It all started with a simple question from Forrester Research analyst Jeremiah Owyang. A few days earlier, blogger Chris Brogan had written about his decision to accept $500 from Kmart to find out what's cool to buy at the discount retailer and then write about it. Owyang posted a question to his readers on microblogging site Twitter, asking whether it's O.K. for brands to approach bloggers in that manner.
Tag: Chris Brogan
If you’re ready to think of your blog as a business (one of the hot topics over on Third Tribe Marketing), one way to do that is to start thinking of your blog content as the core of a distribution flow. In the little drawing to the left, I’ve put your subject matter at the heart of your system, and then have recommended you look at your blog, other products, education, and partnerships as the four areas you might consider. Note how I’ve moved your blog off to a branch and not to the heart of the drawing. Let’s talk through it.
Ad Age's Survey of Heavy Hitters From Marketers, Media and Agencies Finds Determination to Thrive
There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the chores that social media puts in front of us. The best writing I’ve found on how to manage your time in social media is via Amber Naslund’s social media time management series. Her efforts in crafting this should become a little ebook that you hand around to everyone. If you skipped over that link, go back, click it to open a new tab/window, and then read it when you’re done with this (or skip mine and read Amber’s- it’s that good). If you’re still with me, here’s what I want to say on the matter.
The tools we use for social media have empowered us to be steady-flow commentators. Watch Twitter or Facebook during any event, and you’ll see our added commentary rolling along in time with the experience. At times, such as the US Presidential election, it was exciting to feel that experience, of everyone participating all across the world in an event. There are many more times where it feels like that. In blog comments, on Twitter, all over Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, and several other sites, we’ve been groomed to give our opinion. We spit it out everywhere. We share, rate, criticize, deride, praise, and everything in between. Forrester’s Ladder graphic suggests that critics are second on the content ladder, just below creators.
Sometimes, we overcomplicate things by being worried about the technology part of it. Twitter and Facebook and blogs and mobile apps aren’t all that fancy. They’re just an unknown, and so people are worrying how they’ll do what they know how to do by other means with these new tools. Yes, it takes some new understanding, but at the end of the day, marketing hasn’t changed a lot. Think about the Four P’s of Marketing:
I want to share my take on how human business works, and what the social web is all about. When I talk about these things, they might not line up with what you’ve thought about, but that’s okay. We see things differently. To me, this is a large tapestry and we’re weaving the fabric of new stories together a little at a time. It’s okay if you don’t see it this way yet. I just want to share my perspective, if only to give you a fuzzy squint into what I believe is here, and what I think is coming with all this.
AT&T knows its iPhone-burdened network has become a public relations mess, with a number of major news outlets recently recounting how heavy iPhone use has resulted in spotty service. But the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier's latest effort -- meant to address its network and explain why it took so long to turn on a long-awaited multimedia message service for Apple's iPhone -- isn't helping.
Where do you start? That’s the question I get often when I’m asked how to help a company market using social media tools. The people who contact me are smart. They tell me things like, “Yeah, they said we should start with a blog, and we said, ‘like the blog we already have?’” But what comes next is rarely a simple choice. I wanted to take you through some thoughts on what the basic building blocks of social media might be for a business (in the context of marketing, but then stretching a bit further out). Remember, roadmaps don’t work really well until you have a solid goal or destination in mind. None of this matters unless it feels right to you, regardless of my advice. You know your company’s boundaries. You know what your comfort levels are. Proceed at your organizational pace.
At the time of this writing, I have over 91,000 Twitter followers. No, I don’t read every word they type. No, I don’t recommend that you try to get 10s of thousands of followers. But I’m frequently asked how I keep up with everyone, and so, I’m going to update something I wrote once before in November of 2008. I hope this is useful to you.
You walk into a room full of people. Your first action, if you’re like most of us, is to scan the faces for someone you know. Barring that, you’ll walk towards whoever seems friendliest, or you’ll find a quiet space and observe. Imagine now that someone you know enters the room. Your eyes light up, and you probably smile involuntarily. Now here’s the thing: if this person knows most of these people in the room, he or she suddenly has an equation to work out FAST: should he or she introduce you, and if so, how will he or she do so? What’s the appropriate level of social capital that will become exchanged in the process? Does he or she endorse you, or just know you? This is difficult in the face-to-face world, but it’s even harder online.
I just love apps that are useful instead of pure marketing. Maybe this has happened to you: you announce to your office mates that you’re heading out for coffee, and you volunteer to pick them up something. Now, you’re the easiest order in there: ‘large black coffee,’ and so you presume they’ll be the same. Only not. They want a medium iced french vanilla with one splenda and two squirts of applesauce or whatever, and suddenly, you’re grinding your teeth for offering to go. Dunkin Donuts just built a site and an iPhone app to make it easier.
In A Simple Presence Framework, I gave you a potential set of steps for building a platform (or a collection of sites and software to use) to carry your online presence. In Make Presence Management Work for You, we’ll show you some thoughts on how to use it. This is written from the perspective of managing an individual’s presence needs, but you’ll see where the corresponding points for a business would be, as well.
Gaining the awareness, the attention, and ultimately the trust of a community online is a challenge many people are working to accomplish. Whether for your own personal interests or for a business-related use, we look to build relationships using these tools so that we can have conversations with the right people. But where should you start? What comprises a good methodology for using the platform? What’s the proper etiquette. Here are some starter moves to consider when building a presence framework for business communications purposes.
As a marketing and communications professional, I stress simple, straightforward language in my work, and I’m always watching for the evolving lexicon of the market. Two words that have been showing up all over the blogosphere, Web and in print like they’re on sale are authenticity and authority. After reading scores of bogs and articles featuring one or both words, it struck me there were two schools of thought among web experts, bloggers and marketers about which was more important, or which begat the other.
The only difference between an audience and a community is which direction the chairs are pointing. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When we say community and we mean our selling demographic, that’s not the same thing. When we say community and we mean audience to absorb our message, that’s not the same thing. It’s important to understand this.
When considering the tools of social media and how they relate to your business communications needs, it’s important to think about two parts of the equation: possibility + function. These tools open up new ways to communicate, which is great. It also means that you have to consider what the functional goal of that communication means to your need.
Part of what makes social media great is the ability to reach out and connect with people simply. Tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest are free or cheap, can reach lots of people, and promote two way conversations. You might be interested in using social software to promote your products or service or company, and that’s great. The thing is, this isn’t baseline advertising and marketing. You’re talking into a channel where people have gathered for different purposes. Some will be interested in your promotions. Others will reject them. Still others will rail against you for acting commercially in what they consider a sacred space.
I came across this video by Laura Ross in my Facebook. It seems that YouTube suspended her account for reasons unknown and unexplained to her. What follows is quite an interesting video about the nature of free speech, discourse, dissent, profanity, and the censorship of our voice.
Treat your community like it’s gold and it will return the favor.
We’re all fighting against attention clutter. Our email inboxes are creaking. Our media consumption habits (from newspaper to magazines to TV to radio) are all sporadic and random and very hard to track. It takes more and more for someone to capture our attention and convince us to change our course of action. Let’s consider this to be the continuum: awareness, attention, engagement, execution, extension. I’ll explain all five, and thread into them how social tools can help.
I don’t have much use for case studies. Or rather, I collect them, but mostly to show other people. It’s not that they’re not useful. Instead, I just find that lots of people use case studies as excuses or defense to show the boss instead of as learning tools to better align their strategy. You might use yours just right. I use mine as springboards to build and plan.
What does Pepsi need to tell you in a given day? They want you to enjoy their product. They want to remind you that it’s very refreshing, or crisp, or whatever else you might think about when you think about a soft drink. So, let’s say you hear that message today. They say, “Pepsi is a great drink for these first few days of spring.” You hear it, smile, nod your head, and maybe buy some Pepsi. Then what?
McDonalds is pretty darned smart. You might have your reasons for not liking them. You might feel they’re antithetical to all you hold pure and dear. It doesn’t make them any less smart. They are master marketers. They are business efficiency professionals. They are experience managers. They are savvy business people.
I’m a huge proponent of professional listening as part of a business communication strategy. Lots of people will sell you ways to speak. They’ll give you lots of ways to get your message all over the place. Me? I’m passionate about listening as much as I am speaking. You know: two ears, one mouth, that stuff.
I ate dinner the other night at an Applebees. You might know that this chain of restaurants calls itself your neighborhood grill and bar. I used to scoff at that sentiment until the other night. But my experience there got me thinking: about service, about interactions, about what this all means to me, and about questions of scale.