GE’s Tweets Fail to Put an End to Tax-bill Brouhaha

General Electric’s public relations department took to Twitter this week to push back against a report that the company would pay no federal income tax for 2010 — but the company’s aggressive approach was followed by faltering responses to questions from Twitter users. The campaign had the opposite effect from what the company intended, writes Henry Blodget. “[L]et this be a lesson to you, corporations … once you assert something on Twitter and then go silent when you are asked simple questions about it, the folks you’re trying to snow are going to conclude that you’re just trying to spin them,” Blodget writes.

Read more: The Business Insider

When Should You Outsource Your Social Media?

There are many good reasons to bring on additional resources to help you manage your social media presence and outreach, but possibly the biggest could be that unless social media marketing is a core competency of your company you’re going to be at a disadvantage when trying to build your social media channels but determining which ones to use in the first place to best leverage your company assets and best reach your target audience.

Let’s take a look at some of the times when hiring out your social media efforts makes sense, starting with the most dire — and undesirable — situations first:

1. When things blow up

You’ve been managing your social media channels, communications and community building. Then something goes terribly wrong. It could be that your company is experiencing a crisis communications incident, and your social media channels have ignited with vitriol from the public who see your Facebook Page and the Twitterstream as a battleground to lob attacks against your company.

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Glaxo Analysis Shows The Cost Of Neglecting Social Media

A report based on an analysis of seven years of social-media data shows that GlaxoSmithKline failed to keep up with customers’ concerns over its troubled diabetes drug, Avandia. As doubts grew over the treatment’s safety, customers turned to social media to vent — and GSK missed a crucial opportunity to engage them and pass along the information they sought. “A closer eye to social media could have given GSK — and other companies in a similar situation — a better idea of what consumers were saying, and given them a leg up on reacting to address concerns,” writes Adam Gaub. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

How the “Ground Zero Mosque” Team Tapped Into Twitter

The team behind a controversial plan to build an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site in New York City has been using Twitter to respond to critics. Oz Sultan, the social-media consultant managing the campaign, says he has had to learn on the fly, and is dialing down his usual snark and quirky jokes in a bid to defuse the pubic relations storm surrounding the project. “People are sitting there shoving visceral and vitriol down your throat and, because of the sensitivity of the situation, at the same time, you have to be sensitive to them. It’s like post-modernism in action,” he says. Capital New York LinkedInFacebookTwitter

The 4 Key Principles of Social Crisis Management

When things go wrong for your company, social chatter can easily fan the flames of customer discontent into a full-on PR firestorm. There’s no guaranteed trick for placating an angry social-media mob, writes Caroline Himmelman, but by being honest, open, responsive and contrite you can usually minimize the harm done. LinkedInFacebookTwitter