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David Carr, NY Times: Brands, Chill Out About Social Media

April 27, 2011

By Grace Bello

David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times, thinks that brands can become more honest, relatable, even humble by using social media platforms such as Twitter:

Brands have to get cuddlier. They have to get friendlier. They have to be more willing to make mistakes. They can't speak with a single voice…It's a rolling organic conversation that's not going to always go out perfectly.

In his presentation at the 2011 ANA Brand Conference presented by The New York Times on April 5, 2011, he cited the Chrysler f-bomber as an example of a happy mistake--for the tweet writer, at least. The tweeter in question hailed from the agency side of Chrysler and was promptly fired. Said Carr, "That guy's over at Ford [now]. He's totally killing it...Nicely done!"

An organization should handle PR crises like the f-bomb debacle with understanding, patience, and guidance. As Carr says in the video above, a brand's social media messages must not sound like a press release and, to that end, organizations must give social media managers the latitude to experiment. Those with access to your company's Facebook and Twitter accounts may commit grammar crimes, show poor taste, or overshare, but it's all a part of the social media learning process.

What do you think, readers? How many people do you have crafting your social media messages, and do you trust them enough to post what they want?

For more on social media, join the ANA at our Digital and Social Media Conference presented by Meredith taking place in New York, NY on July 14, 2011.

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