On this week’s InsidePR, our co-host, Joe Thornley, was on his way to Regina for CPRS and was unable to make the recording time. So you get Martin Waxman and me this week while we discuss five social media trends. Martin and Joe spoke at the conference on Monday about the same topic so, if you happened to see them (neither one of them in jeans, I hope!), this may be repetitive. Or, perhaps, I add a different slant that wasn’t covered during their presentation.

Regardless, I know a lot of you are not in Canada so you can listen to the podcast here (make sure you hit the June 16 version). The following five social media trends are what we discussed, but is not a regurgitation of the podcast, as these are solely my views on the trends.


Most of you know I started using video about eight weeks ago, mostly just to see what would happen to our traffic (and there was a small part of me that wanted to say, “See. Video doesn’t work for service businesses.”). I really fought vlogging. Mr. D. always jokes that I can watch a movie 12 times because I don’t retain anything I view, but put something in writing in front of me, and my mind is like an elephant’s. So I was being stubborn in realizing that not everyone learns by reading. Let’s put it this way: Our traffic quadruples when I post a video. ‘Nuff said.


I spoke at PR + MKTG Camp last week and one of the things we discussed, as PR professionals, is what we need to understand in order to maintain our budgets and our seat at the proverbial table. Search, marketing, search, marketing, and, oh yeah, search. I think people get scared by search because they don’t understand how it works, how or what the spiders crawl, or that they don’t know programming. But search is really as simple as learning how people look for things online. As soon as you figure that out, you’ll become invaluable to your team.


I love Foursquare and not because it’s just another social media platform, but because of the infinite customer loyalty applications. I love that Starbucks is getting in the game, but I really wish they’d figure out that offering the mayor of each store a free frappucino, once, is targeting a very small number of people. What if, instead, they worked with Foursquare to target me, specifically? They already have access to the data that I go into the same Starbucks at 8:15 every morning, I order the same grande skim latte with two Splendas, and they have all of my demographic information. Even though I’m already loyal, I’d become that much more if they offered me a free grande skim latte with two Splendas every 10th time I checked in. You’ll see location applications really change our purchasing behaviors.


I recently downloaded the CardBank application (thanks, Nat, for introducing me to it) and I now keep all of my customer loyalty numbers in there. No more carrying the cards around – the store just scans my phone and I get credit. But add on top of that, Starbucks (again) now allows you to pay for your coffee with your phone in Seattle and Chicago. I have my Starbucks card set up on my phone, I go into Starbucks, they scan my number and it deducts the amount from my checking account. I love this idea and can’t wait for other companies to begin offering this. Soon we’ll be able to pay for things with a fingerprint.

Social Media Policies

Every, single company should have a social media policy that is given to employees as part of their handbook and code of conduct. Just like you have guidelines around how to answer the phone, what your email signature should say, and how employees behave when traveling for work, there needs to be a one page document that describes how people should behave in social media. I have collected a bunch of social media policies, which you can find on our Delicious page. But, from my perspective, the policy just really needs to include the following:

* Our social media purpose

* Be responsible

* Be authentic

* Consider the audience

* Exercise good judgment

* Understand community

* Respect copyrights

* Protect confidential information

* Bring value

* Be productive

What trends are you seeing that aren’t mentioned here?

Image courtesy of Cartoon Stock

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich