Five simple guidelines for social engagement

iStock_000010779625XSmall.jpgI have talked about the importance of developing and implementing social media policies within organizations previously on this blog. These policies not only protect the company, but go a long way to educating its employees on what the implications and ramifications are of engaging in social channels.

I've seen a number of instances where seemingly harmless information is posted on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and that person was not aware of the connectivity of the medium. Soon, people find out what they said and share it. In an age when the "delete" button means nothing (everything is stored forever in most cases even if you do delete) it's crucial to have informed employees.

In college, I had a professor who suggested that when making a tough decision that we look in the mirror and see if we believe what we're saying. Here are the five guidelines that I think are the core of social engagement when you are working within a company. They are my mirror test.

Five guidelines/questions before posting:


  1. Assume your Mom reads/sees everything that you post
  2. Assume your boss reads/sees everything that you post
  3. Assume your biggest client reads/sees everything that you post
  4. Assume your biggest competitor reads/sees everything that you post
  5. Assume your children will read/see everything that you post

I run through these filters myself when I post things as a final checklist. If something doesn't pass, then it's out the window.

What guidelines would you add to the list? How do you make content decisions?

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The cohesion of conversations; brands taking a #(pound)ing

iStock_000007087342XSmall.jpgThe hashtag (aka the pound sign, #) is a ubiquitous part of social networking at this point. The purpose of the hashtag is to be able to track and lump a strong of asynchronous messages together for later review and analysis.

For example, a group of people coordinate and use the same keyword at the end of every tweet. You probably saw this at SXSW this year when people were ending their messages with #sxsw. You can use third party sites to aggregate those messages into a single string that is ordered by date to see how events unfold.

However, the hashtag is also being used to track the community's brand engagement. Situations like #motrinmoms, #dominos and #amazonfail now have a public timeline that will remain in place forever. The massive volume of similarly tagged content will make it very easy for anyone to find what happened and see how the company responded across search engines and social platforms.

An argument that people have used to avoid engagement in this space is that it's a relatively small sampling of people who engage in these networks. Regarding the Motrin Moms controversy, an Advertising Age article quoted a Lightspeed research study that stated 90% of women had not seen the Motrin ad that spawned the backlash online. Of the 10% who did, 8% said it negatively impacted their brand impression. While that is a small number, you cannot underestimate the power of small, passionate groups of people who use turbocharged platforms to connect with and influence other like minded people. Wildfires can start with a single match, right?

Internal listening is paramount

I can partially understand when companies have some hesitation in listening to the broad community and engaging. It's time consuming and you have to have a corporate culture to make it work. However, I do not understand companies that do not listen in the social space for employee engagement issues, brand perception problems and platform breakdowns. These types of issues are having an impact on Dominos and Amazon right now.

#dominos: This one is picking up steam now. For more info on what happened, go here.
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#amazonfail: This ramped up a couple of days ago when a "glitch" in the Amazon system starting delisting GLBT titles. People responded to the "glitch" with the hashtag #glitchmyass. It seems to be trending down at the moment.
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[Update] Here is page one of the Google search result for Dominos as of 10:30am on April 15, 2009. Notice entry #3 from YouTube, the top news story as well as the next three stories after the new results.

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The bottom line is that these companies should have been listening and engaging all along, should have been prepared earlier with real, honest, personal responses and taken proactive steps to make things right with their community. Waiting a day to respond is WAY too long, waiting hours may even be too long.

Some things to think about:


  • Listening is more important than ever
  • Active listening can pick up issues before they become crises
  • Community building is key (in advance of an issue)
  • Events are being linked together by consumers for all to see
  • The content of those interactions will live on forever
  • The content also appears in search
  • A few, passionate individuals can dramatically hurt or help a brand in its interactions online

Do you go back through hashtags to see conversations over time? Have you come across them in search results?

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When everything becomes social, what is "social media"?

iStock_000005140921XSmall.jpgWhat do you think of when I say the term "social media"? Do visions of Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, blogs and wikis dance through your head? If you do, I think you're selling yourself short. VERY short.

Social media is a fad. All media will be social.

For the past year, I have included a slide in my presentation decks that says "Social media is a fad. All media will be social". We're already seeing instances of this in mainstream media. Just look at the Facebook/CNN partnership for the inauguration. It nearly crippled business networks around the world as people chatted with their Facebook friends while watching broadcast TV online.

This is an experience that has been taking place through divergent platforms for more than a decade (IM + TV), but is now becoming integrated into a single user experience. Just open Twitter during prime time TV and see what dominates the conversation. It's people talking together around a common topic enabled by whatever show is on.

Current showed us another example of the integration of TV with social technology as it flowed in real-time messages from Twitter during broadcast. This is a clunky solution for now until cable platforms integrate these services into the broadcast or they focus more on online delivery of content.

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In-person events are even taking advantage of social technology to make the event even more engaging. Speakers (including myself) take questions on Twitter and engage people beyond the four walls of the room. Live streaming of video allows a global audience to participate in a local event.

Social technology is allowing radio broadcasts to expand their conversations as people engage online while listening or even while not listening. Smart stations are engaging with their audiences through multiple platforms. Each morning I listen to the BBC's Radio 1 on my drive to work. The Chris Moyles Show uses multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, email and SMS to engage the audience in real time. The hosts are savvy and the technology is simple and fast.

Mobile device experiences will become increasingly more social. You're seeing the start of this now with applications like Loopt and FourSquare, but you will see social interactions around news content via iPhone apps or any other platform that brings people together.

Does news become more relevant when discussed with my peer group? Absolutely. Once of the main problems with most social content is that the group of people commenting/creating are not relevant to my interests (see YouTube comments for example). If I can select who I have conversations with on certain topics, it's very valuable to me. I'm not saying we should censor people, but the technology allows for added relevance that we should be taking advantage of.

Even outdoor ads have started to become vaguely social. Mini Cooper took the lead on this a few years ago by using RFID technology to display custom messages to their customers as they drove by.

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So, instead of taking a narrow, short-term view of "social media", we need to step back, look at all media and see what the social technology potential is and look at how to take advantage of that to deliver more relevant experiences.

How does this notion that all media will become social change your view of media? Is TV/radio dying? What about magazines? Do these have to be digital to be social?

Let's hear what you have to say!

Note: If you're interested in having me speak to your group or organization, check out my speaking page to get in touch with me.

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Launched: Skittles.com

skittles.pngLaunched is a series that I am renewing to highlight practitioners who are using social media in consumer and B2B campaigns. The goal here is to cut out the theory and rhetoric and focus on real world examples of social media in action.

** Let's cut the BS on this one. I've seen a lot of people pontificate on if this launch is good or bad. Honestly, that is up to Skittles and their agency who are the keepers of the campaign objectives and analytics.

Now, on with the post. There has been a lot of buzz around the new launch of the Skittles.com website. Long story short, Skittles launched a site that uses third-party social media outlets as the base for their content. That means load up the site, you see a small Skittles widget on top of either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or Wikipedia. Take a look at the video to see what I mean.


[Feed readers click through to the post to see the video.]

It has certainly created a lot of initial buzz, but that seems to be quickly tailing off.

Twitter Buzz:
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Blog Buzz:
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Picture 26.pngWhat I have not seen, and this may be more telling about their overall approach, is engagement from the brand. No outreach, commentary or other follow up. That is a huge loss for the brand in extending the conversation to an even broader audience.

As I mentioned in the video, the age verification "restrics access" to the content (even though it is wide open if you go directly) if you are under 13. Via Quantcast (not 100% accurate, but picks up trends) around 16-26% of their total visitors are under 13. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Pros:


  • Very open and transparent
  • Bold move for a consumer brand (I wonder what legal said)
  • Provides easy access for customers to engage on their own platforms
  • Created buzz online (was it all echo chamber rhetoric?)

Cons:


  • Not what you would expect at Skittles.com (games, Flash video, etc.)
  • There are some usability challenges that detract from the concept
  • It has been done before (although not at the brand level)
  • Social media is susceptible to attack/fraud/defamation and, while transparent, could be of concern for a lot of companies

Key Takeaways:


  • We need to know the goals of the campaign to judge this fairly
  • Buzz has definitely picked up, I wonder if they'll be as open with their sales trend data to show results
  • Good embrace of social media (especially with a younger audience)
  • The total lack of any control is a little scary, why not pull in all of this content into a branded site? Does this form factor add or detract?
  • You need a VERY open legal team to let something like this through, with Skittles they are young, open and it may not concern them at all

What say you? Take the following poll and let me know. Is this smart, dumb or are you waiting to see?

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Inside//Out: Radian6

Picture 23.pngIf you are at all involved in social media, either on the client side or the agency side, you have heard of Radian6. This Canadian-based company has used its own tools to grow their influence and broaden their customer base. Post nearly anything about the company or its employees and you will have someone stop by your site to leave a comment or lend a hand. (Disclosure: Radian6 is a partner of Fleishman-Hillard, my employer.)

Just this past weekend, Radian6 released an updated version with a new set of features. If you remember in my post 'Executing a listening plan' there are three layers to doing this well. Radian6 handles the social media/forum/micromedia data very well and helps coordinate the people layer. It does not include print news, TV or radio.

Radian's new release adds more team monitoring elements to enable multiple people to coordinate. The new release also tracks comments by integrating BackType into the system.

I think it's time to give you a tour of the product, show what it is capable of and discuss how it may fit into your listening plan (current or future).


[Feed readers please click through to the post for the video.]

I am going to do more of these videos on other measurement tools to show you what the landscape looks like. If you have a suggestion or recommendation for a future video here on Techno//Marketer, drop me an email!

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Facebook finally learns from its mistakes (or did they?)

facebook_logo.jpgAfter a few weeks of controversy over a change in their terms of service (TOS) agreement, Facebook today has announced it has apparently learned from its mistakes and will open this process up to the users. It is hard for me to fathom why this has taken such a long time given that this is what social media is all about. Why has it taken five years for the world's fastest growing social network to start listening and engaging its community?

Why has it taken five years for the world's fastest growing social network to start listening and engaging its community?

Facebook is opening up two documents for discussion. The first is basically a user's bill or rights called the Facebook Principles. The second document is a replacement to the TOS called the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Both documents are housed in separate groups that invite conversation and engagement. Once that dialogue happens, the community will vote for and against changes a la Wikipedia.

They're still keeping a nice big loophole open.

All of this is great, but the wording in Mark Zuckerberg's post about this topic is very interesting. He talks about innovation and "disruptive technologies" that "will not be subject to the notice and comment or voting requirement". So they're still keeping a nice big loophole open.

The overall management of the operation is what I see being the largest problem. Facebook's Groups are not good at handling a large conversation. It's a glorified message board. When 10,000 people respond, how do you ensure people are heard? How do you filter down the hot items? Who does that filtering? Sounds like a big hurdle that could backfire.

A couple of thoughts and questions on this move:


  • The command and control approach Facebook has taken in the past seems to be dying off
  • Still unclear what happens if something is enacted that impacts Facebook's business if they will adopt it
  • In Facebook's five year existence, it's hard to imagine why this hasn't happened sooner
  • How can they effectively manage thousands of points of feedback and narrow it down? Who does the narrowing?
  • Does the loophole I note above make this futile?
  • What are the legal implications of the community dictating policy? What if there is a conflict?
  • Should businesses look at adopting this approach to their online engagement?

So, what are your thoughts on this? Are you satisfied with the new process? Do you feel they've learned from their mistakes? Let me know!

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The two hour minumum

iStock_000002783708XSmall.jpgI am sure that if you are in an agency, on the client side or an individual in the social media space, the following question has popped up.

How much time do I need to spend in social media each day?

I hear this being asked in meetings, presentations and see it pop up across the web. To be truthful, there is no set rule here. However, I have come up with the guideline that I'll talk about in this post for engaging clients in new work, managing existing campaigns, talking to up-and-coming bloggers, etc.

It's the two hour minimum per day.

Why two hours?

The two hour minimum comes from my experience here on the blog as well as in the agency environment. I've given this a lot of thought, but at the end of the day, I've tried different formulas to arrive here.

To give you an example, I spend around 5 hours a day personally on this blog and in my networks. This is on top of my workload and personal commitments. I've found that if I spend around two hours I can stay above water. As soon as I dip below that, my community suffers. That's what I am trying to avoid. I've backed this up through client work where that number seems to fit with our internal teams as well as client-side teams.

Two hours is the absolute minimum amount of time that a company/individual needs to spend EVERY DAY in this space.

What do you do with two hours?

Oh, trust me. Once you start engaging, two hours goes by like a speeding bullet. The following items are a good foundation on how to spend the time each day.
    Listen - Check your feed reader, check your Google alerts, monitor Tweetdeck, do a Twitter search (unless you've added them into your reader), check Technorati (you never know), look at your commenting service (co.Comment/Backtype/etc.) to see who has replied to you. This isn't a one-time thing, set a schedule through the day and check back for 5 minutes.

    Engage - Monitor those conversations through the day and reply as close to realtime as you can. Overnight delays are common and (I think) accepted in most cases. During the workday, however, you can make more impact by replying within 2-4 hours. If you have a blog, write a post or at least brainstorm new ideas based on what you're seeing.

    Discover - Another part of the day should spawn from the listening and engagement phases. You should constantly look for new blogs, people on Twitter to follow, new relevant posts to comment on, etc.

This sounds like a lot to do in two hours, eh? It is. Remember I said this is a minimum starting point for entry into the space. The commitment will grow over time.

*Variables: Note that the complexity of your business/industry will weigh on this minimum requirement. If you have 5-10 brands, you may need to spend an hour each. This is not set in stone, just a guideline to get you thinking and talking.

What next?

Scale is important to be aware of in social media. The more success you have, the more time it will take to grow to new successes. The more you monitor, the more conversations, the more people you meet, the more time you spend.

Be aware of this and scale your two hours up to 3, 4, 5 to a full time person to a team of people. Richard Binhammer at Dell (@richardatdell) could probably teach a class on this.

Advancing from two hours

As you grow, it's crucial to maintain your level of engagement. This is a financial commitment for your client/company and needs to have accountability.

Some situations that can tell you when to scale:


  • When your response time is slipping due to volume
  • When your discovery portion of the time you're spending is limited due to listening and engaging
  • When your customers ask you to ramp up

These are good problems to have by the way. It means your community is starting to embrace you and your team. The goal is to grow steadily over time for maximum results. Quick wins are few and far between. It takes real effort and dedication.

How much time do you spend each day? Please weigh in on the poll below.

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Executing a listening plan

iStock_000000564491XSmall.jpgLast week I wrote a post on the lack of listening that is taking place among top marketing executives. In my opinion, most of the problem with listening stems a lack of the right tools and a lack of an action plan for what to do with the information.

Two of my top key takeaways from that post got me thinking.


  1. You have to have humans involved
  2. You have to have an escalation plan

I'm a visual person, so I wanted to come up with a construct that could frame this challenge in the enterprise for further discussion. Here is what I cam up with, let me know what you think:

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[Click to enlarge image.]

The data layer

The data layer has been getting a lot of attention lately. Many companies are very active in this space and provide great solutions. However, data without human filtering is useless. The key to the data layer is that you're listening to the spaces that matter and that it spans media types.

Data alone without human filtering is useless.

Aggregating news, TV, radio, blogs, micromedia, message boards, etc into a single location is becoming a necessity. People are doing this now, but the information is rarely synchronized and shared in a coordinated manner. Good filtering in the data layer can help to eliminate work in the human layer, but it's a fine line to make sure that emerging trends aren't excluded. The solutions that exist in this space at the current time are not adequate for major global brands.

The human layer

This, in my mind, is the key to success. No matter how good the data layer, you still need a human looking at it who knows the business, challenges and processes. You need to spot trends across media, uncover new innovations, and listen to what is happening with internal department responsibilities in mind.

The humans in this layer should span media formats, look for trends and spot emerging issues to flag for appropriate follow up. Within a company, these flags will need to be communicated to the right department at the right level. That's where the action level takes over.

The action layer

Listening without action is a waste of money and is one of the reasons I think more companies are not engaging. Companies are huge, siloed beasts that eat disorganization for lunch. Rolling out a listening plan is a challenge, but not one that can't be overcome.

The humans who review data need to know the structure of the organization and the people involved. In other words, these people need to be 100% integrated in the company's culture/process. They need to know the legalities of the business, HR issues, communications opportunities, brand/product feedback, how employees are engaging and representing the company and what is being said about the companies media properties.

In a company that is fully engaged in social media, this structure is VERY flat and responsive to even the smallest issues/opportunities.

Within each layer there needs to be an escalation plan. I didn't show that in this diagram, because each department will be different. You need to think about how the business operates and look at the possible issues that could arise. For each possible issue, determine who needs to know what and how fast they need to know it.

Here is an example for a consumer product company:


  1. Issue is detected. What is the issue?
  2. It's a product safety problem. How serious is it?
  3. Lives could potentially be threatened.
  4. Alert all heads of departments by SMS/email as well as key contacts within each department
  5. Schedule call as soon as possible

A cross-functional team needs to sit across all related departments to bind this process together and ensure success. They determine alerting protocol and responses. In a company that is fully engaged in social media, this structure is VERY flat and responsive to even the smallest issues/opportunities.

Listening as step one

If you remember my post from late September "Should your company blog?" (it applies to your company/CEO/VP/or yourself), the first step in the process is listening. The more companies that take this first step and listen are on their way to a solid foundation in customer engagement. You can't start truly engaging with a strategic insight until you listen. What's stopping you?

blog decision tree.png

How would you improve this? What am I missing? I'd love to have your feedback.

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You suck at listening!

iStock_000002581157XSmall.jpgWell, not you personally (I hope). A recent CMO Council study, however showed that only 16% of 400 executives they surveyed have an online listening plan in place. 56% have no plan to track of drive word-of-mouth and only 30% thought they had the ability to resolve complaints quickly. Why such a low percentage? What is stopping these CMOs from implementing a plan?

Personally, I think that creating a listening plan is pretty easy. It's what you do with the information that you are collecting that is the hard part. This is where these marketing executives are falling down.

What you do with that information once you have it? How do you get all of the other departments to commit to the initiative? How do you execute on it without losing productivity? It really comes down to creating a customer service culture, where the customer is the priority. This is not how a lot of companies operate, however.

From my post earlier in January, here are three keys to listening online:

  1. Find your customer and spend your time there. While Twitter is great for some brands, you will find that message boards, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, etc. may hold the majority of your customers. If you're listening in the wrong place you're not doing any good.

  2. Use technology to speed the process. Instead of watching Twitter for 12 hours a day, subscribe to the RSS feed for your keywords on Twitter Search. Do the same with keywords on Google and your Technorati page. Check this a couple of times a day. On top of that, you can overlay that information on top of the monitoring tools.

    Big tip, I've seen monitoring companies sell their services as the end-all of this area and they are not. This requires a human being who knows the industry and company to make it worth while.

  3. Create your active listening plan. Listening is a good first step, but a lifetime of listening without action is not going to move the needles that you need to move for your business. Creating an plan for what to do with the information you learn is key.

    I wrote this post in February of 2007 on active listening and it still holds true today. This quote sums it up:

    "Agile marketing companies are leveraging new technology to create real, one-to-many and many-to-many conversations. They are using the outcome from that interaction to make meaningful, remarkable, relationship-enhancing changes that impact their clients in a positive manner. Are you listening?"

Key Takeaways

  • You have to have humans involved. This is often overlooked with all of the technology that we have out there, but humans can spot trends, flag issues that matter and ignore ones that don't. Whatever automation you employ, make sure you have a smart person reviewing it.
  • Have an escalation plan. Don't just listen for listening's sake. You need to know what to do when you hear something. Set action alerts when a certain criteria is met, set a clear path for issues to be escalated through and assign a person to follow up and make sure they're resolved.
  • Use the community to improve your ideas. Just like the examples I mentioned in this post listening can give you insights into your customers that would otherwise cost you millions in testing and research. Listen hard and act on what you hear.

At the end of the day, listening is easy. Setting up the systems and processes that take what you hear and turn it into a business resource is the hard part. What steps would you take if you were in their shoes?

2/3/09 - IMPORTANT UPDATE: I think that it's important to note that 75% of journalists get story ideas from blogs. How can you not be monitoring the space that has this much influence over the editors who cover you? This single reason alone should be enough to get people off of their butts and starting to plan their strategy.

Also, check out Jon Burg's great follow up post "10 reasons CEOs need social insights and 6 steps to setting this up".

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Marketing imperatives for 2009 (free eBook)

AEB6B71C-CCA7-4F88-BD8A-42352B2099D8.jpgMy good friend and blogging role model Valeria Maltoni has done it again. Valeria has created a free eBook written by 12 marketers (myself included) about our execution imperatives for 2009. There are some new voices and fresh thinking inside and is absolutely worth a read.

Here are some quotes from the book and links my fellow co-authors:


  • "Basic metrics you can initially use to match up before, during and after sales deltas are frequency, reach, and yield"
    - Olivier Blanchard, The Brand Builder, @thebrandbuilder
  • "There are three imperatives for execution programs in 2009 - start with measurement, create content for the open Web and for mobility"
    - Matt Dickman, Techno//Marketer, @MattDickman
  • "The foundation and core of what social media is, consists of the five C's. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution"
    - Mike Fruchter, My Thoughts on Social Media, @Fruchter
  • "With social media as a platform for participation, people can behave the way they were hardwired to behave in the first place - humanly, tribally"
    - Fancois Gossieaux, Emergence Marketing, @fgossieaux
  • "Social media enhances marketing efforts as an additional indirect communication channel"
    - Beth Harte, The Harte of Marketing, @BethHarte
  • "Companies with greater social intelligence have stronger bonds with employees and customers, and that translates into revenue"
    - Lois Kelly, Beeline Labs, @LoisKelly
  • "Change ensures our own livelihoods - new opportunities and trends to capitalize upon, unique products and profit centers that merit development, robust innovation to leverage"
    - Christina Kerley, CK Epiphany, @ckepiphany
  • "Social media interaction allows us to haveā€¦ well, interaction with our customers. It lets us see them as people instead of statistics and it lets us hear their voices"
    - Jennifer Laycock, Search Engine Guide, @JenniferLaycock
  • "Goals absolutely must be built on business objectives"
    - Amber Naslund, Altitude Branding, @AmberCadabra
  • "A proper social media education is more than just learning new tools. The most important lesson we can impart is the necessity to think 'humans'"
    - Connie Reece, Every Dot Connects, @ConnieReece
  • "Social media isn't causing problems, but it is revealing them. And the problems aren't new; they've been around for a while"
    - Mike Wagner, Own Your Brand!, @bigwags
  • "The secret of success in social media is a product or a service that people actually like and use"
    - Alan Wolk, The Toad Stool, @awolk

Take a read and let me know your thoughts. What are your execution imperatives for 2009?

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We bring good memes to life

If you live in Cleveland (or follow the NBA at all) you are sure to know about LeBron and his pre-game chalk hurling ritual. Basically, he walks to the scorer's table, gets a handful of chalk and launches it into the air in a huge puff of smoke. Very dramatic. I've seen kids around Cleveland pretend to do this in the street and grown men demonstrate it in line for lunch (I am not kidding).

That's why I love this ad from Wieden which plays on this insight and the experience and is right in line with the brand.

To go along with that, Nike has this LeBron ad when you enter downtown Cleveland. Note the smoke at the top of the photo.

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This goes to my post about being ready to pounce. This is a more public example, but the execution is terrific in what could have been a lost opportunity.

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Three keys to better listening

iStock_000000564491XSmall.jpgAre you listening, I mean really listening? Over the past month and a half, I have been running a poll in the sidebar on this blog asking people "How do you listen in social media?". I want to share the results of this poll with you as well as some observations that I have regarding the responses.

First off, 85 total unique visitors took the poll (see final results below). While that's not a huge number it is pretty solid. Far and away Twitter was the top listening tool (75%) followed by Google alerts (48%). After that, Google search and monitoring tools came in with 16%. The "other" category was next followed up by Technorati at around 6%.

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Key takeaways from the reader poll:

  • Twitter is a great tool, but you have to make sure your audience is there. If you're listening in the wrong place, you're missing the point.
  • Google alerts are also great to have and easy to set up. However, they often miss content that needs to be picked up in other ways.
  • Google search is also very easy, but has the same problems as Google alerts (duh). It's also a little too overwhelming unless you do an advanced search and limit the timeframe. (Don't forget you can subscribe to a search's RSS feed to keep updates manageable.)
  • Monitoring tools are very helpful at making sure you see the whole conversation. They do, however, suffer from the same faults as Google alerts. There is just too much data to manage effectively. It takes a human to process it.
  • Technorati, though low on the list, does still serve a valuable roll and can catch blog mentions before other means.

Three keys to better listening:

In order to do this right, follow these keys to better listening online:
  1. Find your customer and spend your time there. While Twitter is great for some brands, you will find that message boards, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, etc. may hold the majority of your customers. If you're listening in the wrong place you're not doing any good.

  2. Use technology to speed the process. Instead of watching Twitter for 12 hours a day, subscribe to the RSS feed for your keywords on Twitter Search. Do the same with keywords on Google and your Technorati page. Check this a couple of times a day. On top of that, you can overlay that information on top of the monitoring tools.

    Big tip, I've seen monitoring companies sell their services as the end-all of this area and they are not. This requires a human being who knows the industry and company to make it worth while.

  3. Create your active listening plan. Listening is a good first step, but a lifetime of listening without action is not going to move the needles that you need to move for your business. Creating an plan for what to do with the information you learn is key.

    I wrote this post in February of 2007 on active listening and it still holds true today. This quote sums it up:

    "Agile marketing companies are leveraging new technology to create real, one-to-many and many-to-many conversations. They are using the outcome from that interaction to make meaningful, remarkable, relationship-enhancing changes that impact their clients in a positive manner. Are you listening?"

Be sure to answer the new poll question for an upcoming post. Do you have (or advise your clients to create) a social media policy for employees? Let me know your thoughts!

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Five big social media contradictions and how to manage them

iStock_000002248298XSmall.jpgWhat's fast to build, slow to grow and needs constant attention? No, not a Chia Pet. It's social media! I've given this post a lot of thought over the past couple of months as I talk with executives and marketers who are discussing their entry into the social media space. Some are skeptical, others are passionate. Most have incorrect pre-conceived notions that are contradictory to the way things actually are. Ironically, most of these contradictions have been used as selling points in the early days of the space. So, here we go.

Contradiction 1: Fast setup, slow build

Yes, it is true that you can create a blog in less than five minutes. However, a five minute blog is going to have the same marketing impact as letting an 2-year-old create your brand identity. The physical build of a blog will take months to get right. It needs to be professionally designed or at least customized to look unique.

That, however, is the easiest part of blogging. The real build comes in building your community. It took me around 8 solid months of posting 4-5 days a week to really start making traction. Only around a year and a half in did I start to feel like I was making an impact.

Tip to manage: Look around at people who are successful here. Look at companies like Zappos, Dell or Comcast and see how they use it. Look for other companies in your space and seek out what they are doing. Ask experts, people are very accessible here.

Contradiction 2: Cheap up-front, financial marathon

I think way too many companies think of social media as an inexpensive alternative to pricey paid media options. On the contrary. The physical build/setup/design/etc. is in line with traditional digital implementations (think website/microsite). The real investment comes in the personal time necessary to make an impact. The build is just the tip of the iceberg.

Personally, I estimate that I spend 3-4 hours a day on this blog and within my online space. That's reading, commenting, writing and thinking about digital marketing and social media. That's on top of my workload and travel.

Let's say you have a community evangelist to work your digital marketing as well as social media. There are around 260 work days a year. I am a proponent of companies dedicating AT LEAST 2 HOURS A DAY to do this right. (Obviously, the more time spent the better.) Take agency rates of around $150/hr and that works out to around $78,000/year minimum just to manage the work. More time = more chances for engagement = a better chance for success.

Tip to manage: Look at the people/companies who you admire and ask them how much time they spend. Do your own estimations. Look a the content they're creating and estimate what it took to build. You have to show that this requires a continued commitment from a financial perspective.

Contradiction 3: Open/transparent/mashed-up meets legal and regulatory

While the spirit of social media and participatory marketing is open and extensible, there are real fears that MUST be addressed with the legal team. The best way to do this is to address them head on. Legal teams have been trained to defend brands, stop "unauthorized use" and do it quick. That doesn't fly in this space, it backfires.

Extending marketing and customer service into social media requires the full commitment of the organization at all levels. Everyone needs to be comfortable with the strategy and be kept aware of the execution. If this doesn't happen, it can lead to big trouble.

Tip to manage: There are a ton of examples here. Look at Scrabulous for example. The best idea is to sit down with legal and draw parallels to help them put this in a framework. Can you compare traditional media outreach to blogger outreach? Can you compare your phone reps to your Twitter reps? You can and you should.

Contradiction 4: Creating real estate turns to building on other people's property

Up until social media, digital marketing has been all about creating real estate. Websites, microsites, Flash demos, webinars, virtual offices, etc. Marketing around these spaces required volume to be successful. Email lists were crucial, online ads drove volume and measurement supported these tactics.

Social media is about finding where customers already exist and finding ways to add value within that space. Solving problems, crowdsourcing product and service development, creating cool applications, etc. all add value. Customer service may be the silver bullet in this space. Measurement needs to adapt to your business. Throw out the standards and find what matters to you, then measure it.

Tip to manage: Again Zappos, Dell and Comcast are case studies in the making here. Think about how Nike+ shifted the paradigm of tracking runner's progress and extended it to widgets, Facebook apps, etc. The iPhone is another example where you can add value and get the marketing benefit.

Contradiction 5: Unlimited opportunities to engage, finite places to make real impact

There are literally thousands of places to engage with your customers online. The challenge for brands is to find out where they are, how they move and what they find of value. The other challenge is to dedicate resources to support customers in the places that make sense while limiting waste. Facebook is a great platform to use if you add value to your customers through your marketing. However, if your customers aren't there it's a waste. If you don't see that they shift to a niche network on Ning next month you will continue spending time and begin wasting money.

Listening is key to keeping the pulse of your audience. It lets you see changes in location, sentiment and identify memes that resonate in real time. It lets you be able to pounce and that's key.

Tip to manage: Follow big brands and follow personal brands too. Look at how Chris Brogan engages with his community and grows his business. Look at how Mario Sundar advocates for LinkedIn. Watch Guy Kawasaki extend his business and build new ones (seemingly) on the fly. Watch Jeremiah Owyang redefine what it is to be an analyst while helping to empower an amateur analyst army. See Gary Vaynerchuk kill it every day and inspire everyone he touches like in this video:

What contradictions would you add? Any other examples that people should pay attention to beyond the ones I noted?

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You can't do that on Facebook

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Hopefully you got the reference to that great TV show of the 80s "You Can't Do That on Television". This post, however, is the first in a series of posts covering a couple of common mistakes that marketers are making on Facebook. First up...

You've gotta be you.

A post on drew McLellan's blog prompted me to write about this in more detail. I think most marketers are not aware of the limitations of Facebook and they port over bad habits from other social networks. Unlike on MySpace where companies, brands and spokespeople (real or imaginary) can have a profile, on Facebook you cannot create an account that does not belong to a real person. Comprende? If it's not a real person, don't create an account.

Let's break down the Facebook terms of use that specifically cover this:

Facebook clearly states that "except for advertising programs offered by us on the Site (e.g., Facebook Flyers, Facebook Marketplace), the Service and the Site are available for your personal, non-commercial use only"

Users agree NOT to:


  • register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;
    This means: Don't sign up for somebody else or a group

  • impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;
    This means:Don't sign up and impersonate somebody else (no ghost accounts), don't create fictitious accounts and don't lie about who you are, your name, how old you are or who you represent

Hopefully this is pretty clear. Like I said, I don't think marketers read the terms and conditions on most of these sites, but it's important to know how they work and engage in appropriate, more successful ways.

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You spoke, I am listening

iStock_000005475259XSmall.jpgI hope you all had a great holiday! A while back I posted a poll on the blog asking what you wanted from this blog moving forward in 2009. I wanted to post the results here and tell you how I am going to adapt to meet your needs. Thank you to those of you who took the time to fill this in. As always, I'm continually looking to improve and you can email me with any more specific questions or comments

Here are the results of the poll:

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Here is what I am going to do:


  • Incorporate more actionable information in every post. This includes tips, hints, "top 5s", etc. You'll see this immediately.
  • Provide more strategic and advanced content. This is something that I'll start to weave in immediately as well. I've kept the level pretty basic here, but everyone can benefit from more advanced content.
  • I'll provide more video content in 2009 including the launch of Techno//Marketer.tv which I am developing. This will have more video and a weekly show that I think you'll enjoy.
  • I'm recommitting to more posts in 2009. This is hard to do with travel and my workload, but I need to do it.
  • Some people want the same content or don't know what they want. That's okay too! I'll keep the same type of posts I am doing, just more of them with some of the other info sprinkled in for good measure.

Like I said, I'm completely open to your feedback. Let me know if there is anything you would like to see added.

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I need your help

iStock_000006699283XSmall.jpgAs the year winds to an end, I am beginning to look towards next year. As a pulse check exercise I would like to give you the opportunity to take the following poll (click through to the post if you don't see it). I want to make sure that I am delivering the content that you're looking for so that I am adding the most value.

I have been pondering a couple of new projects, but I want to make sure that I am working in your best interest. Thank you in advance for your time!

If you're looking for something that's not on the list, just drop me an email.

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Best and worst new Twitter services

iStock_000000997148XSmall.jpgOne of Twitter's core attributes that has helped propel its growth is its open nature and extensible architecture (the ability to build on it). Twitter's open API (click here to see my API for marketers video) makes it possible for developers to allow access to user account information from third party servers and then build upon that.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been exposed to two services that leverage Twitter and try to add value to the community by building additional services. One I loved and the other I am totally over. You be the judge.

Picture 1.pngThe worst - Qwitter At first, I thought I would like this application. Qwitter is very simple to use. You sign up online and the service looks at who is following you. Over time it tells you when somebody stops following you. Great information to know right? For me personally, I found that I was taking this personally. Qwitter would send me an email that somebody stopped following me and I had a little pang of guilt. I would think to myself, "what did I do wrong?" "How could I change this?". It wasn't healthy. So, in the end I quit Quitter. It wasn't adding value to me. If you're a masochist, go for it ;)

Now, for clients I would recommend using Qwitter. I think it's very valuable to know what messages lack resonance so the voice can be refined over time. It's part of the listening process. It's just not for me.

Picture 2.pngThe best - Mr. Tweet I heard about Mr. Tweet on, you guessed it, Twitter. (Go figure.) At the end of the day, however, it's one of the most valuable services I've found for extending the service. Mr. Tweet is also easy to use. Once you follow their username on Twitter (@mrtweet) they send you a direct message with a personal URL. Once there you have two options, 1) find people who follow you and you should be following and 2) find new people to follow. Mr. Tweet uses some influencer mapping to suggest new people to you.

The service lets you log in to your account and easily follow the people you want. They show you nice metrics like total followers, total following, total message and the follower-to-following ratio. If you're looking to extend your network in a quality manner, this is a great service.

There is room for improvement however. Mr. Tweet has a very slow/non-existent refresh rate and needs to update each time new people are added to show a new group. Showing that I already follow someone isn't that valuable to me.

I'd encourage you to try Mr. Tweet if you have time and try Qwitter if you can take the rejection.

Either way, let me know what you think!

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Inside//Out: Backtype

2D39C42A-6EA8-4A6F-8FD8-B6724F0DE243.jpgOne of the most confounding issues in social media for most people/companies is finding, tracking and staying in the conversation. Backtype is a service that I've found helpful in monitoring comments that I leave, as well as reviewing comments that others have made.

As most of the value in blogs comes "below the post", monitoring comments is vital

On top of monitoring your own comments, the service also lets you track keywords inside all of the comments they index. This is an area that you will find hard to manage if you're monitoring with Google (who doesn't index most comments). As most of the value in blogs comes "below the post", monitoring comments is vital.

Here is a video overview of how it works:

[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the player.]

Key Takeaways:


  • Listening in the comment stream is normally difficult because Google does not index comments (so no alerts, etc.)
  • Uses a simple interface and method to track where you leave comments
  • Tracks replies to your comments or other comments in the same thread
  • Allows you to see how other people are commenting
  • Allows you to track keywords in comments (also hard to do with Google)
  • Built around a social network platform, add friends to see their comments when you log in

Do you monitor comments? If do, how do you monitor comments? If not, why?

If you have a suggestion for my next video, let me know. You can send me an email or you can leave me a comment.


Download the Techn//Marketer podcast here!To help you stay on top of what is happening in digital marketing and social media subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Stay informed and get access to new videos first.

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HR in the age of social media

iStock_000001943264XSmall.jpgI am far from an HR specialist, but I often see companies who are struggling to adjust to the age of social media. On the flip-side, I see a few companies who understand this shift and take advantage of the possibilities.

We're operating in a difficult economy, surrounded by a shifting, unsure world. HR practices of yesterday are not possible to maintain. Leaks happen, employees are building personal brands and creating content that is (like it or not) related to your company.

As challenging as this is, it also is an unprecedented time to use social media to engage and acquire the best talent in the world. It takes a clear strategy, a solid focus on what works and the follow through and commitment to make it work.

Here are some successful, and unsuccessful lessons from social media. What would you add?

ON VIDEO

Don't create a staged, inauthentic video that makes you look silly (I'm talking to you Bank of America)

Don't post a video that you wouldn't want to have used against you for the rest of your agency's life (Agency.com Subway pitch aka "When we roll we roll big")

Do create a video that allows people to see who you are, how you operate and do it in an authentic way (One of my favorite videos from Connected Ventures will either implore you to run away or apply immediately)

Picture 9.pngDo give the world an insight into your culture using the tools of the trade (I always enjoy the Critical Mass Always in Beta site which evolves as they need it. Through video, photography, new applications, Twitter and more they engage their customer and recruiting audiences in an authentic way.)

ON TWITTER

Don't think that people who you are laying off/disciplining/promoting/hiring/etc. will keep quiet, don't think their peers won't find out from Twitter first. Once it hits, the message (right or wrong) spreads very quickly.

Here are some layoff announcements on Twitter:

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Do be proactive, honest and open (Zappos is a great model for this. They missed some funding and the CEO sent a Twitter message linking to a blog post with more info. Some employees made a video to help people cheer up.)

Here is the original message from Tony, the Zappos CEO. Note, you could see all of their customer and employee reactions in realtime at twitter.zappos.com

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I could go on and on with other platforms, but this should get the conversation boing. How are you using social media for HR? It's has the potential to be an amazing sales tool or it could be a repellant for new talent. Would you know? Are you listening and engaging?

Let me hear what you think!

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I've got Seoul

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Next Sunday morning I leave for Seoul Korea to speak at the IDG Next Generation Marketing Conference. I'm giving the opening keynote address on the topic of global marketing trends and then moderating a panel discussion with peers from YouTube, Microsoft, Chiel Worldwide and MTV. It's going to be really fascinating to talk to people there and see how social media is taking hold. There is a huge interest in "web2.0" at this conference and I am interested to uncover if the definition changes on the other side of the globe.

Korea is one of the most connected countries on Earth and I will be paying particular attention to the state of mobile marketing/technology and adoption of social media across countries. I'm going to do a lot of video and take a lot of photos and turn the blog into a real journal over the course of next week to share as much as I can about the culture and the shape of marketing there. It'll be a bit of a time difference (14 hours ahead of US eastern time) so bear with me.

If you have questions or are curious about anything in Korea related to marketing or technology let me know and I'll help you out. If you happen to read this blog and you live in Seoul let me know and we can meet up.

* Photo credit Tyler Durden


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Age of Conversation 2.0, now available

The wait is over. The second version of the Age of Conversation is finally here. 237 authors from 15 countries tackle the question "Why don't they get it?".

Masterminds (and cat herders) Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton have done it once again, and it's all for a great cause. Proceeds from the project go to Variety the Children's Charity, you can purchase it here.

There are a number of ways you can follow/get involved.

Here is the list of everyone who is participating:

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem



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The IM, SMS, email shootout

iStock_000003737885XSmall.jpgI came across this chart in today's eMarketer email and wanted to flag it for you to weigh in on. The chart looks at the preferred channel for receiving messages from marketers across various age groups. The channels they looked at are instant messenger (IM), text messaging (SMS) and email.

The chart (below) gives an interesting view of the choice of interaction. Note the IM numbers are actually shrinking as SMS is replacing that functionality especially as mobile devices improve. SMS is booming in the younger (high school) generation and holds strong through the 18-24 college group. The recent grad group drops off on SMS toward email and once you pass 35, nearly 80% goes toward email.

Here is the eMarketer data:

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Email importance grows as age does while SMS importance grows as ages gets younger. Take a look at this in graph form to see the trends more clearly.

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Basically, if you're looking for the preferred (read most effective) way to reach certain age population groups, make sure you keep this in mind. There are a lot of tools in the digital arsenal that need to be formed into one cohesive strategy.

It's also very important to recognize that the next generation of consumers are engaging in drastically different ways. We have got to have a good grasp on these platforms, what makes them effective, what makes them fail and grow our planning to include test cases NOW. Next quarter could be too late if your competition is already engaging. It's crucial to sustain future growth.

This goes toward explaining my post yesterday looking at the ROI from a digital marketing point of view and why email is still delivering results. Are you using SMS/IM in your marketing mix? We've seen studies about how people want to be communicated with in social media. How do you see them balancing?



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The pop-up community phenomenon

iStock_000006184805XSmall.jpgWhile the goal of most marketers in social media is to build long-term communities, the enabling technologies have made pop-up communities a powerful force. Pop-up communities happen spontaneously in most cases and grow through the viral nature of social media hooks. They use social nets, blogs, tagging, video, IM, etc. to grow organically until they reach critical mass to catapult forward.

The Obama sign watch: An individual in Portland, Oregon had their Obama sign stolen from their yard twice. They decided to live stream the sign and invited people to come and watch the feed (you can see it below). At any given moment you can find hundreds of people watching and chatting on the UStream channel.

Social objects: Pop-up communities happen on a small scale around social objects. This can be seen most clearly in You Tube videos that get a large viewership, drive comments, start conversations and grow through social media outlets.

Obama girl has over 10 million views and nearly 53,000 comments. It his the mainstream media and became the topic of many conversations.

Even Charlie had his day with 55+ million views and nearly 85,000 text comments and 180 video comments. The clip has been embedded, shared and otherwise passed along millions of times.

Presidential candidate sites: Before this election cycle, the current presidential candidates had little of their expansive social media platforms in place. It makes you wonder what will happen when the election is over. What I have seen before is that they become a ghost town. I am hopeful that each candidate, regardless of the outcome, will continue to engage their supporters for the long haul.

Sporting events: Major sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup are examples of pop-up communities. They appear a few months before and disappear once the events are complete. The next time an event happens, they start from scratch.

If you visit the Olympics site today (located here) you will notice that is seems abandoned, and it is. That is the nature of the pop-up community. The other end of the timeline can be seen on the 2010 World Cup site that is ramping up for their time in the sun.

Long term transformation
The question for marketers is how to transform a pop-up community into a long-term community. The answer to the question comes down to the intent of the individual. If there is a long-term interest and passion from the person or people at the center of these communities they can survive. The topic will have to evolve to maintain relevance and keep adding value, but it is entirely possible.

The question for marketers is how to transform a pop-up community into a long-term community.

Marketers need to be aware of this phenomenon and learn that, like all new marketing, they are not in control. Smart marketers are learning how to cultivate these communities, add value in a smart way and maintain relationships over the long term.

What pop-up communities have you seen or been involved in? How did it start and what happened to it?


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Brand engagement in social media

I just saw this new report from eMarketer about the presence of brands in social media and what consumers expect from them. Of note is that 34% of people think brands should engage and interact regularly, 51% think brands should engage, but only intereract when requested. Only 7% thought brands had no place in the social media landscape.

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I think this does not take a number of things into account including the value-add to the community, the quality of the offering and the level of participation (being a member of the community vs. just being there).

What do you think about these numbers? Are they low/high in your opinion?

[UPDATE:] See a similar study conducted by Cone (disclaimer: Cone is also part of Omnicom Group).


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The key is ROI

iStock_000005509580XSmall.jpgI've said this for years, and I think every digital evangelist wakes up in cold sweats every night thinking about it. ROI in the digital space (SEM, social media, e-commerce, campaign sites, email marketing, etc.) is measurable, accurate and accountable. You know your digital ROI for every dollar spent, but if you're spending offline, you really have no idea what you're getting. I've seen the equations that publications use to guess their reach and it's total BS. I've also heard radio DJs exclaim that they really have no idea how many people are listening.

I can say this all day long, but I think Gary Vaynerchuk (who I met at Blog World Expo and is even more fantastic in person) does it with his unique passion, so here you go. Enjoy, and if you don't follow Gary's blog and watch his videos please make it a point to do so.

Are you moving more dollars online? Are you seeing more pressure put on magazines, newspapers, radio and TV to deliver? What are you having success in measuring for clients?


I'd love to know what you think.


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