Posted on October 5, 2010. Filed under: Best practices, Social Media | Tags: advertising, ambient intimacy, appvertising, best practices, book, branding, Business Strategy, Clara Shih, customer engagement, cyberbranding, Internet, marketing, online community, online marketing, reference, small business, social business, Social Media, social networking, Social Networks, sociology of social media, The Facebook Era, web, web marketing |
If you want to know how tapping into social networks can help your business, then touch base with Clara Shih. After all, she wrote The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate (2nd Edition), which is chock full of case studies and practical information for creating strategies and tactics to help you succeed in the new world of social business.
I recently enjoyed a conversation with Clara. My prior post, How Social Networks Are Changing How We Do Business, features Part 1 of our conversation, and here’s Part 2, where we get into things like ambient intimacy, appvertising and how Clara wisely decided not to go with the book title originally suggested by her publisher.
Interview with Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era, Part 2:
Much your book talks about how businesses can use social networks to gain more information about customers or prospects, and their connections. But it can also work in the other direction. Customers may use social networks to decide whether they want to do business with you. They may want you or your business to have a referral or a seal of approval from someone they know.
Clara: Yeah, I see it going in that direction. It happens to me all the time, with people that haven’t bought my book, they’ll go to my page and they’ll see two of their friends are already a fan of the page and it helps them make up their mind… It’s really interesting.
That’s the most important thing to keep in mind for understanding social media. Because once you get this then everything else is easy. All the tactics you can pick up, and they’re changing all the time because Facebook and Twitter are always changing. But this is a fundamental paradigm shift that’s changing and creating these new business practices.
If you were to encapsulate the paradigm shift how you describe it?
Clara: It’s the idea of ambient intimacy. People sharing more about themselves than they ever have before. There are implications for business development, marketing and targeted advertising.
One of big challenges many businesses have with social media is that it’s 24/7, but most businesses don’t operate 24/7. So they run up against issues with time resource allocation and providing an adequate response. Do you have suggestions to help a business manage its social media presence?
Clara: Well the first thing to consider is that people are talking about your company 24/7 whether or not you’re on social media or not. So better to be there and to be monitoring than be in blissful ignorance.
Beyond that I think in terms of setting the expectation of timeliness. And I’ve seen this — companies will have something on their Twitter or Facebook page that says, if we don’t get back to you in 72 hours or whatever the timeframe is — put out what to expect, so everyone is on the same page.
You hear a lot about how in social media you can’t do the hard sell, you have to do the soft sell. But people know why you’re on there — your purpose is ultimately to sell, if you’re a business.
Clara: It is ultimately to sell. And that’s OK if you acknowledge it. But it’s also to show that you care about people.
Right you can vicariously create tighter connections. Still, a customer can always write an email if they want to get in touch with a company Yet there’s something different about expressing yourself through social media.
Clara: It’s very subtle psychological things — like seeing your profile picture next to a comment you made on a businesses page… it makes you feel important. Like you have a voice. And I think people really resonate with that and people are drawn to that. Because you feel heard. Your comment is public. People can link back to your profile and possibly interact with you and like or comment on your comment.
In your book you talk about appvertising. I don’t know how many companies are aware of it, or the benefits. Would you mind giving a brief overview how companies can be smart with it?
Clara: Sure. Appvertising came about when Facebook started opening their platform to other developers to create applications on Facebook. And the idea is that with traditional advertising you get only that split second to interact with the audience. People basically see your ad and they decide to click or they don’t.
With Facebook apps, instead of giving people a onetime offer, you’re engaging them with a game or some sort of other application that they would want to come back to again and again. You can brand those games. You can sponsor applications, or you can build your own applications that really touch upon your core business and be able to deepen your relationship with a customer and engage with a customer over a longer period of time than you would with traditional advertising.
How do you do it so you’re not just creating a commercial that just happens to be a game? Even though that is essentially what appvertising is.
Clara: The key part is the branding is more subtle. One of my favorite examples is, there’s a General Mills brand called Cacadian Farms, where they promote organic foods. If you play Farmville you can buy blueberry seeds from Cascadian Farms that are all organic, non-genetically modified blueberries. That’s a fun way to engage; people are getting exposed to the Cascadian brand, and it’s good for the players because it’s good for their farm.
Still, companies must be careful about what apps they’re in and how they choose to be in that space, right?
Clara: It’s very important to find out with the apps, are they really reaching the core audience that they want to reach? There was a big controversy about a year back where Offerpal partnered with Netflix. The idea was if you were playing Texas HoldEm inside of Facebook you could throw out an offer for a 30-day trial to Netflix in exchange for chips. They got a ton of response because that’s a really popular application and people wanted the virtual chips. The problem was the end-value to Netflix was ultimately very low, because these people all cancelled within a few days. They weren’t interested in Netflix; they just wanted the chips.
As an advertiser and as a business you really have to think about are you achieving the goal that you want to achieve? How much will this interest last? Is it a short-term win or is it really a long-term gain where you can acquire these users?
OK, last question: Why call your book The Facebook Era; even the first edition is about a lot more than just Facebook.
Clara: I’ll tell you something funny; my publisher wanted me to call it the MySpace Era, because at the time MySpace was significantly bigger. I just thought there was something about Facebook that was different. It was really the first social network that encouraged us and supported us in reflecting and extending our real world networks, versus trying to replace those real-world relationships. There’s something that’s just much more lasting and more inherently valuable about basing it on true identity and true relationships.
And we continue to call it The Facebook Era because Facebook is still the largest and fastest growing social network, not only here in the U.S., but worldwide… I believe that no matter where you are in the world you want to be connected, and often times that includes people in your county and beyond, and that’s the deal with Facebook.
Many thanks to Clara for being so generous with her time and thoughts. She gives us plenty to ponder.
- Deni Kasrel
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Posted on June 8, 2010. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations | Tags: blogger relations, blogging, branding, business, business marketing, Business Strategy, community, connect with customers, content platform, crowdsourcing, cyberbranding, e-book, ebook, ghost blogging, marketing, marketing communications, marketing guide, metrics, online conversation, podcast, research, roi, Social Media, social media ethics, Social Networks, tweet, Twitter, vlogging |
Twitter is a powerful publishing platform. But when messages are limited to 140 characters it has its limits, right?
Well, less than you might think — if you’re as resourceful as Toby Bloomberg. She recently published an ebook based on interviews conducted via Twitter.
A guide to social media, one tweet at a time
As Toby explains in the introduction to her free ebook, titled Social Media Marketing GPS:
“The goal was to create a comprehensive body of knowledge that could serve as a roadmap (GPS) for developing a strategic social media plan. My thoughts were if this could be accomplished in a series of 140 character tweets it might help ease the apprehension for people new to social media, while at the same time, providing a review and offering some interesting ideas for those more experienced.”
Toby admits the whole thing was conceived as an experiment.
Based on the result, I’d say it’s a success. Social Media Marketing GPS is a shining example of the power of communication conveyed through social media.
Featuring advice from 40 marketing pros
The book features tweets from 40 professional marketers, all of whom are avid practitioners of social media.
Some handle social media for corporations or agencies, while others are solopreneurs. Contributors include Paul Chaney, Mack Collier, Roxanne Darling, Ann Handley, Beth Harte, Neville Hobson, Tim Jackson, John Maley, Scott Monty, B.L. Ochman, Connie Reece, David Meerman Scott and Liz Strauss.
Certain of those names are well known; still, I like that Toby didn’t simply turn to the uber-darling “usual suspects” of social media to create her book.
Not that there’s anything wrong with superstar power. It’s just nice to hear from others who are in the trenches, blogging, vlogging, podcasting, Facebooking, Tweeting, branding, and otherwise successfully engaged in social media marketing.
That, of course, is part of the beauty of social media: It helps level the playing field for who has a voice (and impact) in the marketplace.
Big ideas presented in bite-size nuggets
Each chapter of Social Media Marketing GPS features useful ideas and opinions regarding social media strategies and tactics. Topics covers tools and platforms, ethics, metrics, branding, blogger relations and more — all presented in bite-size nuggets.
In a way its presentation strikes me as being akin to how you might use a yellow marker when reading, to highlight essential details. Only in this instance, the content is strictly the highlights.
Toby is the consummate conversationalist
Toby — who, in case you did not know, is a popular blogger and marketing maven in her own right – serves as ringleader, instigating interviews with a leadoff question. She embellishes each chapter with concise introductions and summaries of key concepts, and then closes out with questions to consider when creating a social media marketing plan.
These questions also invite you to think about each topic — on your own — which enables Toby to create a kind of conversation between the ebook and its readers.
Of course, if anyone knows how to generate stimulating conversation — virtual or otherwise — it’s Toby. She does it all the time on Diva Marketing Talks, her podcast series featuring chats with experts about all things social media. Those familiar with the series may note a considerable overlap between her guests on Diva Marketing Talks and the individuals featured in Social Media Marketing GPS.
Useful to both new and experienced marketers
Meanwhile, Toby does succeed in her goal of creating a book of value to both newbies and those experienced in social media. Wherever you may fall on that spectrum, I recommend you give it a read.
And by the way, if you happen to have an e-reader, the book is specially formatted for this handy gadget.
- Deni Kasrel
Have you read Social Media Marketing GPS? What do you think of it? Comments welcome.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Posted on February 4, 2010. Filed under: Business Strategy | Tags: be ready for unexpected, Business Strategy, crises management, delegate authority, frustration free management, leadership, management, strategic planning, strategy, team leadership, think before you do, time management |
This is a guest post by one of my social media friends, Jarie Bolander, who recently published a book: FRUSTRATION FREE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT: Proven Techniques to Thrive as a Manager. This tidy tome offers techniques using the POEMS (Personal, Organizational, Emotional, Managerial and Sustaining) process. Jarie’s advice is applicable to communications managers—including the following intriguing thought…
Waiting for something to happen does not mean doing nothing
Most managers fill their day with productive work. They usually don’t connect the dots that their real job is to wait for something to happen. That’s right. Wait for something to happen. This is a foreign concept to most managers since they got to where they are by doing something. Waiting around for something to happen does not mean you are doing nothing. Quite the contrary. While you wait, you think about what could go wrong, monitor your environment and think about your strategy. You do tasks that need to get done but that can be dropped quickly. Monitoring your surroundings will allow you to anticipate the barriers your group will face and eliminate them. Monitoring also prepares you for the inventable crisis. This is particularly important in our hyper-connected word where communications travel as fast as electrons, bad and good news can’t be controlled and trends are created and destroyed within days.
Be Ready To Jump In
A crisis is unplanned and random. You will never know when a crisis will strike so you must be prepared to drop everything and jump in to help solve it. If your day is booked solid, then how can you deal with these random crises? This can be a major challenge for managers since waiting is not something they easily do. They got to where they are by doing. In some respects, managers tend to think that the only valuable work is something that produces a tangible result. This is true for their team but not necessarily for them. As a manager, your other job is to think about your strategy and how to deploy your resources, crisis or not.
So I know this sounds like a hard thing to do but if you manage people, your best bet is to wait around for the next crisis while you think about your groups overall strategy. Doing that takes discipline and some planning. In reality, it’s about being available for your people so that you can assist them when things go wrong and thinking more longer term so you can guide your groups overall strategy. In order to achieve this, consider doing the following:
- Take Yourself Out of the Critical Path: If you are tempted to do actual work, then at least do work that’s not in the critical path. If you are in the critical path, then when a crisis hits, it becomes a double crisis since your critical path tasks slip as well. Doing work in the critical path also dulls your forward thinking mind because you are solely focused on getting the task done and not on thinking about the longer view.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate: One way to have more free time is to delegate to your staff. This is a great way to not only free yourself up but also allows you to stay about the fray so you can have some perspective. Staying above the fray will allow you to think more about how your strategies are taking shape. This is critical to a well-formed, overall strategic plan.
- Schedule Thinking Time: On your calendar, create pockets of time to think. Preferably, hour or so chunks of time with no interruptions. These blocks of time will allow you to have a consistent time for reflection and to ponder longer-term strategies. With reflection, you will be able to handle the inventible crisis while still keeping your strategic vision in focus.
- Train Others: The best way to free up your time is to train others to do tasks you need done. Of course, there are some tasks that you should only do but the more mundane or repetitive tasks, train someone else to do. Mangers should be involved in doing some things but in general, it’s best to have plenty of free time to ponder the deluge of data that is flung your way.
- Ask What’s Going On: Don’t just bury your head in your own work. Ask your team what’s going on. Doing this will connect you with the action and make it easier for you to ponder what challenges your team might face. The people on the front line also see what is really happening. This data is invaluable to collect and filter because it shows whether or not your strategic vision is taking shape.
It’s About Your Staff, Not You
Having your day mostly free also allows you to be available for your staff when they need you. Since the performance of your staff is how you are judged, you need to ensure their success by always being available to them. Having a jam-packed schedule does not say you are busy but rather it says you are unavailable. This seems trivial but is a powerful tool to effectively manage people. Being free to help shows that you know what is important – your staff’s success. The other part of your job is to set your group or companies strategic focus. Being too busy to think about how best to implement your strategy will prevent it from happening. This gets compounded when a crisis hits. Your team’s ability to react to a crisis will be directly proportional to the amount of time you have spent thinking and communicating your group’s strategy for success.
Jarie Bolander is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He is currently VP of R&D at Tagent, a company working on breakthrough technology that will help reduce medical errors. Jarie also blogs about innovation, management and entrepreneurship at The Daily MBA and has recently published his first book, FRUSTRATION FREE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT: Proven Techniques to Thrive as a Manager.
Thanks to Jarie for sharing his ideas with us. If you want to know more about how he thinks, buy Jarie’s book or follow him on Twitter @thedailymba.
It it really a good idea for managers to wait for something to happen? Do you have a story to share that applies here? Comments welcome?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Communications Strategy, Trends | Tags: 2010, augmented reality, Autom Tagsa, brand strategy, Business Strategy, Communications Strategy, community building, corporate authenticity, file sharing, Google real-time search, integrity profile, interactive device, Jason Spector, marketing, Microsoft, Mobile Technology, online advertising, real-time, real-time search, social media dashboard, social trends, Strategic Communications, synthesis, transparency, Trends, Twitter |
And while we can’t predict all that’s yet to come, we can expect exciting times ahead.
My previous post, Communications Trends For 2010 (Part 1), featured forecasts from several individuals whose ideas and opinions I greatly admire. They’re all deep thinkers who understand communications on many different levels.
A couple other pals were kind enough to offer their two-cents regarding where communications are headed in the coming year, and because these seers sent in lengthier responses, they warrant a separate post.
Here it is, part two of Communications Trends For 2010:
On social media, mobile technology and transparency
Dashboard tools accelerate social media usage
“We’re going to see a more seamless integration of the various communication channels. Going forward, I see a standard communication tool like email or social dashboard providing much of this information pulling from the various sites, like a social/communication profile dashboard. Web clients will probably come first followed by desktop apps. This will lead to a wider acceptance and usage of social media overall.”
Social media permeates the business space
“Businesses of all sizes will get serious about social media. Companies that are still ignoring it are going to be driven into it or truly left behind. Companies that are already involved with it are going to dedicate resources, plan for it and attach an ROI. It’s going to become a major part of marketing and customer engagement initiatives (if they’re not already) and not as much of a secondary effort.”
Mobile plays a much bigger role
“This is an obvious one, but I think the software and hardware of upcoming mobile devices will focus even more on communications, such as AR [augmented reality], gaming, photo, video, file viewing/sharing, conferencing and collaboration. Businesses are also going to focus more on mobile as a viable interactive device for their branding and marketing, such as virtual promotions.”
Transparency is no longer optional
“Consumers are going to demand more transparency from the companies they engage with. They have a huge amount of tools at their fingertips to learn about a company, talk about them and communication with them. It’s no longer just user reviews on sites. Social tools allow for instant support or criticism. The businesses that are honest and open will be accepted (and promoted) while ones perceived as “hiding something” will be seen negatively whether it’s true or not.”
Real-time, Twitter and the ideal integrity profile
The push for real-time will add complexity but drive other opportunities
“We’ve seen this wave engulf the online stream throughout the latter half of this year. As Google, Microsoft and other major players fiercely compete to secure market share in real-time search, it leaves one wondering just how this flurry of immediacy impacts the day-to-day user: How are they expected to (a) understand/appreciate the technological advancement, and, if they don’t care, how are they (b) expected to effectively filter the barrage of information. Also, as other leading start ups introduce more sophisticated tools that aim to better monetize online ads in real-time, this may well create opportunities that the online advertising industry sorely needs.”
Twitter’s broader penetration will bring us to the next level
“Twitter-r-us. Need I say more? I have long postulated that Twitter will be the driving force that reshapes certain existing and traditional forms of communications. Beyond democratization and paving level playing fields, it is fast becoming a recognized, universal channel (not necessarily for accurate nor meaningful info) but nonetheless ‘the go-to channel’. I’ve already seen ‘follow me on twitter’ embedded as a standard icon on many a communicator’s or company’s online vehicle. Why not on press releases, biz cards, signs, ads, etc. — “follow me” is the new calling card. As I have said many times before ‘Twitter is the iconic face of social media so it’s certainly become prime time and will be more so in 2010 as it begins to penetrate the business environment with upcoming biz-oriented tools.”
Synthesis of the corporate and personal brand will be a market differentiator
“What’s become apparent this year is how loud and clear we all heard chatter surrounding integrity, transparency and one’s corporate or organizational face online. Many struggle to reconcile with the notion of personal brand versus corporate brand, ghost writing/tweeting, etc. as discussions surrounding both ethical and best practice implications begin to colour what we perceive as effective communication versus credible communication and why the “ideal integrity profile” really ought to embody both aspects.
The ones who will secure a trusted following and an attentive audience are those who are able to successfully meld their personal brand with their corporate identity. It will give them a kind of passionate voice behind a stoic product or service. This is purely a visceral interpretation on my part but I think it merits closer attention. We’ll see more and more of that synthesis happening.”
And in conclusion…
All that sure gives us plenty to ponder, eh? Jason and Autom, thanks so much for your two-cents; although I really think your thoughts are worth a lot more.
And readers, follow these gents on Twitter to keep up with what’s on their minds in real-time.
- Deni Kasrel
What do you think of Jason and Autom’s trend predictions for 2010? Have some of ideas your own? Please share. Comments welcome.
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Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: Communications Strategy, Marketing and Public Relations, Social Media | Tags: B2B, B2C, benchmarking, Business Strategy, communications, consumer use of social media, corporate culture, corporate use of social media, cost of social media, human side of social media, marketing, marketing report, MarketingProfs, metrics, PR, real cost, research, social influence, Social Media, social media budget, social media marketing survey, Social Networks, social technology, Strategic Communications, strategy, tactics, The State of Social Media Marketing |
You’re not looking to simply follow the hype, right?
Better to go with well-researched data regarding the reality of the many social media options. Learn about true-life success stories (and failures, to avoid making those same mistakes). Figure out what fits your situation and use that information as a guide.
Ah, but where to begin?
Well, for starters, there’s a new report by MarketingProfs called The State of Social Media Marketing. Based on survey results from 5,000+ professionals, it covers a lot of ground, to include budgets, benchmarks, metrics, trends and most/least effective strategies. The 242-page report comes chock full of graphs and charts. It’ll keep you busy for a nice while.
Meantime, I asked Tim McAtee, MarketingProf’s director of research, to provide a little peek under the covers. He most graciously obliged with this illuminating Q&A interview, which hits on a number of key areas addressed in the report.
There are plenty of marketing surveys out there, yet you claim yours is different and is more nuanced. Can you elaborate?
Tim: There are three big differences:
- We have a much bigger sample than other studies, which means aggregate trends are more likely to be accurate, and there are enough respondents to look at really specific smaller cuts of the data and still have projectable findings.
- We acknowledge that there is a difference in voice when it comes to social media—the voice of “the corporation”, “the worker”, and “the person”. We all put on different hats at different times and use social technology very differently depending on which of these voices we’re using at the time. It’s really important to acknowledge that and to structure survey questions to allow for that difference to be shown in the data.
- Because social media is a very human endeavor, we tried to think about it in very human terms. For example, we looked at personality types and corporate culture to see if there was correlation between these and social media usage and success (there was). Also, instead of just asking about social media budgets, we asked about time-spent with social media.
Can you explain the methodology – how was the survey conducted?
Tim: The core of the study is a survey sampling our base of 300,000+ MarketingProfs members. Most studies go out trying to find social media users, then ask them about usage. This creates an imbalance in the data from the start. It’s all numerator, no denominator. We survey as many marketers as possible regardless of social media use to get a better sense of who is not using social media, and why, in addition to who is. Out of the 5,140 marketers we asked, about 70% are using social media for work purposes. In addition to this survey data, we pull in outside panel data to look at consumer usage of media and technology. For this study, we turned to ComScore for up-to-date numbers on usage of a variety of social websites and tools both in the US and globally.
You surveyed the relationship between corporate culture and social media success — what did you find to be the most and least ideal type of culture for social media support and success?
Tim: The one consistently negatively correlating corporate culture across all types of success metrics was “prefers to maintain the status quo”. On the positive side, a willingness to have “honest internal dialogue about marketing successes and failures” was often key. However, it’s not quite that simple. Companies with nothing to hide did well with more open marketing tactics like unrestricted employee blogging, while highly secretive companies did well with more controlled tactics like PR and managed communities. In other words, companies should be fitting the right tactics to their culture, not revamping their culture to keep up with irrelevant tactics.
What about B2B vs. B2C – what are the major differences as to how these two market sectors are approaching social media? Why do you think this is so?
Tim: I think the difference is really just one of reach and target audience size. Consumer-facing companies tend to favor direct communication with large numbers of people, while business-facing companies focus more on the quality of a short list of contacts. The tactics you use to promote building the size of your lists vs. nurturing a small list are very different. The one thing both do well is to use social media to listen.
Spending for social media is growing. Where do you see the biggest increase – what aspect is getting the most attention expense-wise?
Tim: Expense-wise, the biggest cost has to be employee time. After that, probably analytics. Automating the listening and customer-service aspects of social media is key to scaling up corporate usage of these platforms.
What did you find out about the true cost of social media?
Tim: There’s kind of a gray-market of social media work going on. 60% of marketers using social media at work for work purposes aren’t actually paid to do so—it’s not “technically” part of their job. I think the true cost of social media is hidden.
Are companies now creating new roles specific to social media, or is it still more an add-on to other responsibilities?
Tim: It’s more of an add-on responsibility at present. Who does what depends largely on role. CEOs are often staying late to blog and tweet and generally maintain the thought-leadership aspects of social media, while PR people and customer service people are suddenly trying to handle complaints on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. Ideally, companies should be creating roles and guidelines regarding who does what when it comes to social media to ensure that strategic goals are being met and employee time is spent wisely. In other words, the CEO shouldn’t be handling complaints on Twitter, and some junior PR person probably shouldn’t be blogging on behalf of the corporation.
If it’s more an add-on, does that short-change social media efforts? Or is this indicative of how social media needs to be integrated into marketing, as opposed to being seen as something separate?
Tim: All media is becoming social. It’s inextricable. Smart people need to figure out how to make the best of it. The hard part will be sorting the signal from the noise. That’s why it’s so important to have analytical systems in place. Are three crazy people complaining about your product on Twitter or is this a groundswell you need to pay attention to before it develops into a mass-media news story that does lasting damage? Should you route information coming from consumers to your R&D department, your customer service department, or your PR department? As these new channels open up, companies need to adapt their existing internal communication systems to handle input from unexpected sources.
You have a section devoted to “Most and Least Effective Social Media Tactics and Strategies” – can you give a top level overview of these findings?
Tim: Listening works very well, broadcasting often doesn’t. Targeting niche groups with highly relevant information is much easier and effective when you know who you’re talking to.
I loved the question: “What are some commonly used but counterproductive social media tactics.” Can you offer some insight about the most telling responses?
Tim: Counter-productive tactics mostly have to do with using social media platforms like broadcast platforms. Dialogue is a lot more work than monologue and most marketers aren’t prepared for that. They present their broadcast message which either falls on deaf ears because no one cares, or people do care, respond, and the marketer is suddenly swamped with thousands of responses they can’t handle.
A section of the report covers the topic: “Do Social Media Workers Think Differently? Differences found in the values and personalities of social media workers.” That one sounds fascinating. When you say differently, how do you mean– different from what? And then, what did you find out about how social media workers’ personalities and other characteristics may differ from other marketers (or maybe they’re the same, after all).
Tim: We looked at Meyers-Briggs types and values statements, then compared them to social media usage to see where differences arise. We found that there were more similarities than differences, but that those most involved in social media professionally do indeed over-index on very specific personality traits, such as the desire to mix their work and personal lives. Based on some spikes in the data, Intuitive Extroverts that are not perfectionists, but will “roll with the punches” seem to be the best fit for social media marketing, especially when they are already doing a job that involves a lot of writing.
Did any of the results surprise you? Anything that stood out and made you think “wow” now that’s really something?
Tim: What surprised me the most was how complicated the results were. There are really few trends that apply to all types of people or all types of companies. The learning curve for figuring out how to incorporate and take advantage of social media at the corporate level is much steeper than I expected.
If you had to narrow it down to two big takeaways from this report, what would they be?
- Social media seems inevitable, so every company needs to be adapting their current business operations to factor in these channels of communication, including paying people to work them.
- Figuring out your social media strategy is far more important than immediately enacting a bunch of social media marketing tactics. Don’t listen to anyone advocating one-size-fits-all social media tactics, with the exception of using social channels to listen—everyone can benefit from that. Instead, map tactics back to an over-arching strategy that makes sense for your company and your customers.
How do YOU see the state of social media marketing? Does it fit what you read about here, or is it different? Please share your thoughts and experience.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: bloggers, brand management, brand strategy, branding, Business Strategy, community building, community engagement, Conversation Agent, e-book, execution, free, Marketing in 2010: social media becomes operational, marketing strategy, popular blogger, Social Media, social media strategy, social media trends, Social Networks, Valeria Maltoni |
You know the adage “it’s the thought that counts” when it comes to giving?
Well, ’tis especially true in the blogopshere, where valued free gifts abound — in the form of useful content — on a regular basis.
This time of year, certain bloggers are extra generous; as is the case with one of my faves, Valeria Maltoni, who created a free e-book that’s one of those “gifts that keeps on giving.”
How can social media work for your brand in 2010?
Maltoni is the astute mind behind the popular blog, Conversation Agent. An expert in marketing communications, customer dialogue and brand management, she has lots of friends in the biz, 10 of whom contributed to Marketing in 2010: social media becomes operational (a link to download the e-book is at the end of this post).
As Maltoni explains, her e-book is predicated on the notion that:
“Execution in social media enriches brands and the people or tribes that make them work. It means you are changing the world and allowing the world to change you as a business in commensurate parts, while you interact with it.”
Maltoni is a deep thinker, and so are the pals she asked to ponder variables and propose directions that make social media marketing operational; such as objectives, strategies, tools/tactics, people, and measurable goals. The result is a revealing collection of well-considered insights from individuals who are all actively engaged and practice what they preach.
Contributors and articles are:
- Jason Baer — Operationalizing in 2010
- Olivier Blanchard — Next Evolution Between Business World and Social Media
- Danny Brown — Are You Wile E. Coyote or the Roadrunner?
- Mark Earls — The Moose Will Provide
- Rachel Happe — Operationalizing Social Media
- Gavin Heaton — Social Media is Like Water
- Jackie Huba — 2010: It’s Time to Get Boring
- Jonathan MacDonald– The Business of Social Media
- Amber Naslund — Bringing Social Inside
- Shannon Paul — Becoming a Social Business
These assorted articles explain how, in the coming year, companies must be savvier, more serious and more strategic in how they plan and execute social media programs. They assert social media marketing is no longer optional, but a must-have, to be integrated and aligned with overall business goals and objectives.
2010 is the year a clearer picture develops, such that experimental theory settles down into best practice. Along with prognostications, there are directions for how to execute best practices to ensure your social media marketing success.
Each author is a prominent blogger in his/her own right and the e-book provides valuable perceptions — you’ll want to keep it on hand for reference throughout 2010.
And again, to download the e-book, click on the link at the end of this post on Maltoni’s blog, Conversation Agent.
Why not check out this valuable free e-book and then share your thoughts on its content? Comments welcome.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: Business Strategy, communications, Communications Strategy, email, Google, Google Wave, innovation, innovations, launch new product with a bang, limited preview, marketing, new product launch, new product rollout, online collaboration, photo sharing, PR stunt, product launch, product roll-out, promotion, public relations, public relations strategy, Social Media, social network, social networking |
How do you ensure a product still in development catches fire come launch-time?
Keep things largely under wraps, while simultaneously spilling a bunch of the beans.
A neat trick that takes finesse to pull off; one recent example is the rollout of Google Wave.
Limiting who gets to test drive
Not quite ready for prime time, there’s already gobs of chatter about the Wave, which is in limited preview. You must be asked to give it a test drive.
Invitees include developers and influentials — tech writers and bloggers being a big block here — who are in turn allowed to ask 20 additional individuals to join the fold.
Google’s tactic of limiting who gets a preliminary trial ensures invitees are quick to spread the word. To clue people in on the Wave, of course, but also, it’s an opportunity to infer, without really saying so, “I’m one of the chosen people.” It’s a status symbol.
Anyone can peek under the hood
You can get a gander of the product by visiting the About Google Wave web site.
The site includes a long (80 minute) video presentation, originally given to developers, about this new collaborative communications platform that appears to be a souped-up combination of email, chat, photo sharing and other social media tools, with considerable real-time capability.
FYI, you don’t need to watch the video all the way through. The first part has demos and explanations in plain English. The rest is for developers who may want to build apps and other tools to work with the Wave.
If you’re not into tech talk stop after the first segment: You’ll still see what the ruckus is about.
Meanwhile, buzz about Google Wave continues to build.
Computerworld claims the Wave is indeed innovative, but wonders if it’s truly useful in the real world.
As yet another tantalizer, you can request an invitation to Google Wave.
Follow the leader
Few businesses have a footprint as big a Google, where this kind of rollout has such immense impact.
No matter, you can still follow the leader. Here are the basic steps.
- Unveil your upcoming product to select influentials. This group includes members of the media (both traditional and social media), prominent existing and/or potential customers, people who will eventually market your product, and others who communicate to audiences that can derive benefit from your product.
- Inform invitees of their exclusive status.
- Tell the general public you are giving pre-launch test drives to invited individuals (to elevate the status factor even more).
- Post limited information about your new product, that anyone can view, showing how it works. The “you can look but not touch” approach creates anticipation and desire.
- Tell invited influentials you are not simply looking for free PR, but want authentic feedback on how they perceive the product.
- Listen to and absorb the feedback, both positive and negative.
- Dangle a carrot to the uninvited indicating that you might let them take the product for a spin.
- Gradually increase the number of invitees.
- Launch product and watch the sparks fly.
Time will tell if Google Wave is a tsunami (or not).
Until then, the fire lighting up public interest continues to burn.
- Deni Kasrel
Have you heard about Google Wave? Are you one of the chosen few who gets to test the Wave? What do you think about Goggle’s limited preview? Can you see it working for other products? Please offer your thoughts. Comments welcome.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )