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Social Media Rules of Engagement: Why Your Online Narrative is the Best Weapon During a Crisis by Nicole Matejic

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6Socially transmitted disasters (STDs):The Clap (#PRFail) is now more contagious than ever

Social media is a lot like sex.

It can be good, fabulous, mind-blowingly awesome: where have you been all my life? It can also be awkward, bad and embarrassing: OMG, is he still here? How do I get him to leave?

And most of all, like sex, it can leave you with unexpected surprises that aren’t of the flowers, chocolates or diamonds variety.

The socially transmitted disease ‘The Clap’ is the applause you get from a #PRFail when your crisis goes viral on social media.

That is, people are laughing at you, not with you. And they’re sharing the LOLs far and wide so their friends and their friends and their friends can LOL too. Like a chorus line of likes, tweets, pins and Instagrams, the whole sordid affair spreads across their social media accounts like a rash.

Oh, and you’re now also searchable by video, image, news topic and more on Google, Bing and Yahoo. You may feature in a blog or news channel too … or a dozen of them.

Not the kind of organic SEO you’re after?

Apart from being highly contagious, spreading from one network to another like wildfire, The Clap also bears all the hallmarks of Groundhog Day. You know, that deja-vu feeling that you’ve been down this yellow brick ...

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