Posts Tagged ‘Microblogging’


Removing Social Media Accounts – What happens when you need to end a presence online?

June 30, 2009

It’s become a fact in this economy that companies are going out of business.  Even those companies that were forward thinking in their marketing have not been able to escape the factors in the economy, and they have had to close down.  A client of ours became such a casualty two months ago.  They had just launched several online platform accounts at the beginning of the year.  All was going very well for them as they built their followers slowly and steadily to amass an engaged audience.  Then we received “the email” alerting us that the client was ceasing all business activities and requested we shut down all of their accounts online.

This would be a first for us.  We’ve worked with over a dozen companies, all with varying degrees of success, but, it has always been success.  It was even successful for this client as well; we had executed the initial strategy well, and were growing our audience to allow us to move into the second phase of the strategy.  Now we had proof though, that even the almighty social media with all of its bells and whistles could not solve all problems a company faced.

So we went and started deactivating accounts and learning to what degree the information could truly be removed or purged from the internet.  The results were interesting to say the least:

The Corporate Website – This was able to be turned off. Searches to the domain name now lead to a placeholder page put up by the hosting company.  Two months later though, the site still shows up in searches.  The links are broken, so I will assume Google, Bing, and other engines will eventually drop the results, it wasn’t gone in two months.  The search engines have archives and cached pages of the website, which are starting to deteriorate as well. Queries made to the search engine companies have come back with inconclusive answers as to how long something can live online.  Some items that are heavily linked to from other sites will last longer than those that had only a few links.

Facebook – the Company’s professional page was shut down, but the owner of the Company kept his personal page up to continue building his personal brand for a new career/job.  Facebook is fairly complete when it comes to deleting material permanently.  Due to the fact that most of the content is kept inside of the Facebook community tags, and unless it was open to search by the outside internet community, it seldom shows up in outside searches.

Twitter – After the corporate Twitter account was shut down, it was determined that the content would not easily go away, in spite of Twitter having the content open for immediate outside search.  The several different search applications associated to Twitter archived Tweets almost immediately and most kept running archives up to eight pages long.  The owner of the company decided to re-brand the Twitter account and continue its use for his personal brand.

A WordPress Blog – The blog was deactivated, but is still found in several searches. The codes that many blogs are created in are very search friendly.  Search sites have copies and cached copies of the blog posts, and many of the posts were reposted on other sites.  Unless those posts are removed by the individuals that reposted them, they will stay online.

Linkedin – The Company profile was removed, but the fact that it is listed by former employees, and as past positions of the owners, the company listings will stay online in Linkedin.

Some of this material can be litigated to be removed, but you’ll want to make sure you are going down the right path with the right legal team for that.  Most bloggers are protected by 1st Amendment rights and you will need to engage an attorney with experience in Constitutional law.  Other sites may require formal legal requests to remove photos, videos and other charts and images.

The bottom line is that yes you can deactivate your accounts and remove some material online, that it will not result in the immediate removal of all of the material from being found online. It may fade over time, like the memory of the company, but for now it is a record of existence that won’t easily go away.  With that in mind, what kind of online legacy is company leaving online?


How to use Twitter for your business (part 2)

April 28, 2008

Twitter as a social media tool is already a force to be reckoned with.  It is spreading throughout the landscape and across several industries.  Of newsworthy and topical applications, the Candidates for the 2008 election have Twitter handles and are amassing followers.  Barack Obama (@BarackObama) has 26,414 followers as compared to Hillary Clinton’s (@hillaryclinton) 3,440. I could not find a Twitter handle for John McCain.  The candidates have a great tool here to get the word out immediately to their supporters, and hopefully spur them into an action on their behalf.

From political stars to rock stars, Twitter is being used to promote events, blog updates, appearances, autograph signings, and so much more.  Henry Rollins (@HenryRollins) has 5,284 followers that he is able to keep updated on his spoken word events as well as musical musings.  Authors are on Twitter. Media outlets are on Twitter (NPR has both their news (@nprnews), and their blog (@nprnewsblog) as Twitter identities online).

As opposed to blasting out an email, or a newsletter, you have a dedicated group of individuals on Twitter, who proactively choose to follow you, so your odds of getting your message to a receptive audience is much greater than if it was an audience that say, just happened to be at the same tradeshow as you, yet they never came to your booth.  Although, you and your sales manager think these are great leads.

You still have to have something useful to say.  You also have to be concise as you have only 140 characters to say it in.  That is why you want to use Twitter to lead your audience to the next step of information dissemination you want to get to them.  These would be things like a landing page on your website, your blog, or your latest press release (AHA! You knew I would get around to the PR part of this).

At Sterling Cross Communications ( we are setting up our clients and working with them to amass their own followers on Twitter.  As their followers grow, it allows them to get messages out to their audience.  It can be alerts to check out the latest press release, or to announce deals, discounts, new arrivals, or exclusive opportunities.  From heavy machinery manufacturers who are announcing their tradeshow appearances, booth locations, and keynote speakers appearance, to personal trainers announcing new class offerings, or announcing time or location changes to their class.

The broadcast to an audience on cellphones and online provide the most comprehensive communication tool to their intended audience, yet some of our clients have regulations that must apply to their communications.  This has lead us to develop other SMS (cellphone) based tools for our clients that must comply with regulations such as SEC or HIPAA, or that need the greater security and privacy provided for their small groups.  We’re able to build them a tool to allow them to comply with the regulations that govern their industry.

Although I have just scraped the surface on how businesses are utilizing Twitter for promotion, join me on my next posting to discuss how Twitter is being used for Customer Service.


To Twitter or Not to Twitter…

April 22, 2008

Do you Tweet? Have you been to Twittearth? Are you showing up on Twurly? I know what you’re thinking, this guy must be Twitter-pated! Nope (or maybe yes), but I am on Twitter. What is it? You’ve probably heard of it, either in conversation or from your text happy kids, but you probably have no idea on what exactly it is, and more importantly, how would I use it in my business?

In a nutshell, Twitter is a microblog (written in less than 140 characters to make it text friendly) which is then pushed out to your followers (a dedicated group of people that have chosen to follow your blog). It was started by the same guy that created Blogger. You can find out more about it, or sign up on You can then choose to follow other people’s Tweets (many of your favorite bloggers are already on Twitter), or start to build your own following.

Over the next few posts I’ll discuss some strategies that are already in play for using Twitter in PR & Marketing, and I will explain how we are using Twitter at Sterling Cross Communications for ourselves and more importantly, for our clients. Come and join the Twitterati!

You can find me on Twitter at: MrChristopherL.
This video is a great primer to get you started:

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