Idiots Hate Applebee’s (and They’ll Hate You Too)

Failure, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, News, Social Media 50 Comments »

I was super busy all week with two productions and just got to this.

Now that the dust has settled and the real facts are available, I wanted to quickly weigh in on the giant “Applebees Unjustly Fires Poor Waitress” fiasco.

I’d like to get your thoughts on it too.

Here are the facts before I get started:

 

1) An Applebee’s waitress received this stupid note from Pastor Alois Bell on the signed credit card receipt.

It says “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18″

2) Chelsea Welch, a different waitress (not the one who served the customer), took a picture of that credit card signature receipt with her phone and posted it on Reddit.com along with the caption:

My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.

3) Customer found out about it and complained

4) Chelsea admitted to doing it and Applebee’s fired her

5) Hell broke loose on the internet.

The media ran to the server’s rescue.  Competitor’s ears perked up, fan pages popped up, and 20,000+ fans commented on Applebee’s first Facebook post about the situation:

“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”

6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.

People called them names and accused Applebee’s of hypocrisy for breaching their own privacy policy by sharing a customer’s “receipt”  earlier in the year.

(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)

6) Applebee’s posts a larger update and temporarily hides the old post.

Enraged Facebook fans claim that Applebee’s deleted their comments.

7) Applebee’s unhides the original post and denies manually deleting any negative posts.

8) 20,000+ more comments go onto their Facebook page.

Thousands of people now “hate” Applebee’s

 

You know what this is?

 

We’re witnessing an old-fashioned online lynching.

What we’ve got here is a company protecting their customer’s privacy (I don’t want my signature online) and being dragged through the mud by idiots looking to lynch Applebee’s.

The idiotic pastor’s note was truly stupid.  Great servers deserve great tips.

However, it would take another true idiot to think it’s okay to post a customer’s signature (customer is the key word) online while mocking them, even if what they were mocking was indeed stupid.

No, I don’t think Applebee’s had the perfect response on Facebook.
No, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Yes, I’m calling a lot of names here.

Here’s why:

  • It’s not okay to hurt a business because you don’t understand how to run one.
  • It’s wrong to post nasty stuff about companies or people when you don’t have the facts.
  • It’s easy to play armchair quarterback when it’s not your business.
  • The local owners, people that work at Applebee’s, and their family members are real people who get affected by idiotic boycotts, 40,000+ nasty comments, and all the distractions this has caused.

But this isn’t just about Applebee’s.  It’s about you and me.

I had something like this happen on our Attention Era Media Facebook page last year when we posted this video and asked if people liked their idea:

A large feminist group began saying we supported misogyny and tying women up for commercial purposes.  It wasted a ton of time and hurt our new brand.

For what?

For entertainment.

People like to hear themselves talk on social media, especially if there’s an ignorant mob that agrees with them.

I know people that work for Applebee’s.  This is not amusing.

This is not entertainment.  Don’t kid yourself. Idiots hate Applebee’s and they’ll hate you too.

That’s why we need to stick together.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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We All Need to Move Forward

Leadership Thoughts, News 8 Comments »

Obama voters.  Romney voters.  Democrats.  Republicans.

When do we simply become just “Americans” again?

In a world where politics is always in perpetual campaign mode, I think it’s time to get back to business.

  • We have a major debt problem.
  • We have government gridlock.
  • We have sharp divides.

This is where leaders come in. Not just in the White House, but in your house.  My house.

Our government is a reflection of our society.  Yes, it’s divided. However, we have only ourselves to blame.

The acidic things I’ve seen written on social media channels about Obama and Romney are outrageous.  When did we lose our civility?

We’re not hurting the candidates. We’re hurting ourselves.

Let’s seek healing and unity tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Congratulations to the Winners of the Mega Millions Jackpot!

Business Opportunities, News 15 Comments »

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Dear winners of the $640,000,000 Mega Millions jackpot,

Congratulations!  For now, you are some of the richest people in Maryland, Illinois, Kansas, and the country.
  • You can do the kind of work you love now.
  • You don’t have to listen to discouraging people who doubt you.
  • You can pursue your life goals.
  • You can give money to worthy causes.
  • You can start your own business.

The world is full of possibilities!

Unfortunately, you didn’t need to win the Mega Millions lottery for these opportunities.  These doors opened a long time ago for you.

I was sad today to see the excitement in the eyes of those who bought tickets.  The fire was burning.

“Oh, what if I win!”

 

It makes me sad because so many people quit their dreams early and live for moments like these, chances to open new doors, do work they love, and help people.

Help yourself today.  Pretend like you won the Mega Millions lottery.  Walk through the doors that are open.  Do work you’re passionate about.  Give back.  Start a business.

Ignore the doubters.

Let’s act like we won tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Halftime in one 8pm Warrior’s Life

Goals, Motivation, News 29 Comments »

So, I’ve been lying to people for years about my age. I didn’t think anyone would follow a 27 year-old CEO.

Today I turned 30. Hopefully I’m old enough now.

I made this video last night. It gets a bit personal, but I figure over the past year we’ve gotten pretty personal with each other in the comments here so I wanted to share it with you even though I’m a bit nervous…

So, there it is. I’m assuming I’ve got until 60 with the way I’m pushing my body, so this is halftime.

If you’d like to help me reach my goal, visit my project here. The goal is to bring fresh water to 50 families in Africa. If you want to make a difference with your life, please consider joining me with a donation and/or sharing this post.

Every little bit helps.

I only get one life. It’s “go time” for me if I’m going to reach my goal. Thanks for all your help and support.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Curious why I’m doing this and where the money goes? Watch this video:

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News Flash: Pinterest Isn’t Just For Girls Anymore

Attention Era, Business Opportunities, Changing Times, Marketing, News, Social Media 37 Comments »

Pinterest is being invaded by men.  It’s true.

Ready or not, here men come!

 

I first heard about Pinterest.com from a woman who was telling my wife that she and her daughter are addicted to “pinning” things and looking at “pins” all day.  Since I never want to miss the next big thing (addictive is indicative), my ears perked up.

That is until they started talking about the cute hairstyles, pretty dresses, and neat craft ideas they found on Pinterest.

I took a pass and let my wife be the pioneer on this one.
Pin It

However, about a month ago I started paying attention again after hearing that it was the #3 social network for time spent, #5 traffic driving social network (beat out Google+), and had growth of 400+% in the last six months.  On Tuesday, Hitwise tweeted that Pinterest’s visits have grown from 10 million to 17 million in just this month!

I also started noticing more visits to 8pmWarrior.com from Pinterest.com, so I did some research.

This is what I found

 

There are men on Pinterest?!

 

I don’t ever want to be a latecommer to the next big party.  Plus, I was an art minor in college and enjoy graphic design & video production.  Many people (all women) told me that Pinterest was right up my alley.

So I signed up.  Yep.

Once on the inside, I found great infographics, inspiring quotesinteresting real estate, funny stuff, and other suitable “pins” for men.

I also learned how to braid hair too.  (You can’t win ‘em all)

I might get kicked out of the men’s club for sharing these names, but to prove that I’m not the only guy on Pinterest, I’ve assembled the entire list of other men on Pinterest:

If you’re a guy on Pinterest, please post a link to your profile in the comment section below so I can follow you.  The more men I hang out with, the less feminine I feel.

In all seriousness though, I strongly believe this will become something big.

 

As an entrepreneur, I see the potential for businesses.  As a marketing thinker, I see the potential for exposure.  In the Attention Era, I see the best stuff in the world getting attention.

Essentially, it’s a visual version of twitter.  Instead of links, there are pictures to click.

17,000,000 people went on it this month, which puts it in the top 10 social networks in the world.

Pinterest is going to be big.  If I was you, I would check it out.

It isn’t just for girls anymore.

If you need an invite to Pinterest (it’s still private), I’ll send invites to email subscribers of my blog since I already have your email address.  Let me know if you need one.

If you’d like to connect on Pinterest, my profile is http://pinterest.com/abiebert.

Try something new tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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6 Leadership Lessons from the Costa Concordia Captain

Bravery, Failure, Leadership Thoughts, News 14 Comments »

Were there any leaders on the Costa Concordia?

 

No joke, I just got off a cruise ship today owned by the same company.  We watched the news updates of the Costa Concordia sinking while sailing on our ship off the coast of Cuba (see below).  It was not amusing.

After reading reports and watching various videos, I have some questions:

  • Why did the captain go to shore hours before the last passenger?
  • Why did they continue to tell the passengers it was merely an electrical issue?
  • Why was the evacuation so disorganized and delayed?

 

The answer is:  Leadership!

 

In this case, it was a lack of leadership.  Here are six lessons we can all take from this leadership debacle:

  1. It’s not “if” bad things will happen, but “when”.  We must always be prepared.
  2. When bad things happen, we must meet the challenges head on.  We cannot deny them.  We cannot hide from them.
  3. Leaders must care first about those under their care.  Will anyone follow that captain again when he gets out of jail?
  4. It’s okay to make mistakes.  It’s not okay to make people suffer or die covering them up.
  5. When everyone knows there’s a crisis, communication is key.  Silence creates more problems.
  6. If you don’t have a real leader, you must be the leader.  We need you!

What happened on the Costa Concordia is inexcusable.  It is wrong.  Someone must make the hard decisions.  Someone must communicate.

This wasn’t just a failure of the captain to lead in the moment.  It was also a failure of the captain to surround himself with real leaders.

Nobody had to die.

As I’ve said before, there is a place for bravery in a modern world.  Leaders must face their mistakes.  Leaders must be the first into danger and the last to leave it behind.

Leaders must speak clearly, honestly, and with strength to take scared followers and turn them into brave warriors as they face their own battles each step of the way.

Let’s learn from this.

Have a safe night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Costa Concordia Videos

Announcement that it’s only an electrical problem as crew members walk around with life jackets on. (Raw footage)


News report about the Costa Concordia captain


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5 Reasons Brands Should Stumble Upon the New StumbleUpon

Attention Era, Changing Times, Marketing, News, Social Media 19 Comments »

After its update this week, StumbleUpon.com has a new logo, new channel feature, and improved profiles.

The “Explore” search feature is also out of beta and ready to change the way people search for interesting pages on the web.

Just like the recent YouTube upgrade, I think these changes are notable.

Here are 5 reasons you should check out StumbleUpon:

1.  StumbleUpon sends more traffic than Facebook

Yep, you read that correctly.

With well over 1 Billion pages visited through their service each month, leaders can no longer afford to ignore it.  If you’re producing great content on the internet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to have your work seen by people who have opted-in to see the very topic you just wrote about.

2.  StumbleUpon now allows brands to have their own channel

This has huge potential.

In the past, it was frowned upon to open up an SU account just to share your own blog posts.  Recently they’ve done a 180 and now encourage brands to share their content via integrated RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook.  The only problem is that it’s not an easy process to set up a branded channel.  In fact, there is absolutely no instruction on how to create a StumbleUpon channel, despite the fact that their blog clearly states that it’s open to everyone now.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure they’ll work it out soon.

It will look something like the 8pm Warrior profile:

 

3.  StumbleUpon has 20,000,000 users and counting

It’s definitely not a passing fad.  It’s been around since 2001 and is now seeing tremendous growth. More members means a larger community of people exposed to your content and sharing it through the Su.pr shortlink system or the StumbleUpon “Submit” buttons (see example on the left or bottom of this post).

Almost all top blogs have these “Submit” buttons and now services like Triberr have it built in too.

Ubiquity + 20,000,000 users = Success

4. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

For as little as $0.05, you can have someone on your site without another click (beyond clicking the “Stumble” button).  No banner ads.  No miniature square Facebook ads or small text-based Adwords.  An impression is an impression of your whole page, not just a small logo.

It’s also not too expensive either.

You can target it to interests, locations, or demographics and it integrates with Google Analytics so you can see what’s happening with your traffic.

5. New “Explore” Search Feature on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon.com is not a full-blown search engine (yet), but it does allow you to search almost 500,000 topics and find pages at least one person found interesting.  Yes, it takes some of the serendipity out of finding a cool site randomly, but it allows for a more customizable feed of stuff that is more likely to please.  A big win for users.

The “Explore” feature looks like this:

 

Any leader, marketing pro, producer, or blogger needs to be aware of the positive impact that StumbleUpon can have on your business if you use it correctly.  In the Attention Era, there’s nothing as valuable as free attention.

If you’ve never heard of it before, check out the 45 second video below and learn how the new site works:

If you’re already on StumbleUpon, let’s connect. Here’s the link. I always follow back my fellow 8pm Warriors.

Stumble around tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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YouTube Changes to Integrate with Google+, Twitter & Facebook Videos

Attention Era, Milwaukee, News, Social Media 11 Comments »

YouTube is more than cute animal videos, funny stuff, and stupid stunts. It grew up today.

Ignore at your own risk.

Any 8pm Warrior trying to get their message out or sell a remarkable service should be using YouTube.  Video cameras are built into nearly every smart phone and nothing captures the personality of a business like video.  Nothing.

I’m sharing from experience as a producer of several online shows and video productions that were created to build community and sell a product in a social savvy way.  Video changes the game.

Here’s why YouTube matters:

  • YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world (think SEO)
  • It is the largest video-based social network
  • Google+ is now integrated even closer with YouTube for additional community building (more on the way)
  • YouTube is simple to use and even offers a free video editing feature
  • Video is perfect for the Attention Era

YouTube made widespread changes to their channel formats today and I think it changes everything.  In the past it was millions of chaotic channels with long lists of video uploads that were hard to understand or group together.  Email subscription was the best way to keep up.  It was barely social.

That all changed today.

In what was probably the biggest upgrade since Google bought YouTube, channels can be restructured to display videos in the form of a series, much like a television network groups their shows together for DVR or On Demand.  It even tracks which episodes you’ve already watched in a series.

Each YouTube account also has a news feed feature, much like other social networks. To make it more social, the new YouTube is even more integrated with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  This makes it much easier for interested viewers to subscribe and interact with brands or personalities that they enjoy.  It keeps each channel fresh, even when no new videos are posted.

It’s a lot more like TV now.  It’s how it should be.

I really like it.

Channels Using the New YouTube Channel Upgrade

You can see screenshots of the new upgrades below:

New YouTube Channel Design

 

 

New YouTube News Feed with Google+ Integration

 

 

If you have any questions about the new YouTube upgrade, feel free to post the questions below, on the 8pm Warriors Facebook discussion forum, or on twitter @Biebert. I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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