Does Transparency Need a Filter?

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If we thought millennials shared too much, what are we to think of the YouTube generation or as they might be called, Gen C? Better yet, what are we to think of anyone with zero filter nowadays? A product of the times? Good for them, they’re just being transparent?

I ask that because recently a friend of mine was on a call in which there were multiple participants.  He mentioned that one person took it as an opportunity to share their dirty laundry, their clean laundry and anything else that might be bothering them. All at the expense of the others on the call and at the expense of the allotted time for the call. He said that at best, some of what he was talking about might have been relevant. At worst, it was awkward and uncomfortable.

Funny thing, this was not a millennial nor a Gen C’er. We think the aforementioned groups share too much and have no concept of what should and shouldn’t be shared in social media, but I digress.

Some might applaud this “transparency” as a new way to do business where we can all share our thoughts and feelings, but when is it too much? Even in a loose business setting, which this was not apparently, and especially on calls, time is fleeting. Personal forums for airing what bothers you on a conference call is not the time or place. It’s a matter of etiquette and being respectful of others’ time.

This has nothing to do with no filters and transparency and everything to do with understanding what tact is in a business setting. Clearly, there is a difference between being tactful, being blunt, and being transparent and having no filters. The key is to understand which one you’re supposed to use and when you’re supposed to use it.

Five Simple Rules for Better Tweeting [Infographic]

Often times reading Twitter feeds can seem almost post-apocalyptic. A vast wasteland of nothing. You scroll through your feed and you see nothing redeeming. Fun fact, we used to refer to the World Wide Web with the same disdain. It essentially was the wild, wild, west where anything goes and anything went. Some think that’s no longer the case. never fear, there’s always Twitter.

Twitter has, for quite some time, completely supplanted the title of THE place where anything and everything can be said in an uber public setting. Again, some think that that’s no longer the case either. But I digress.

What people think is tweet worthy can sometimes waffle between the sublime and the absurd. Where does that come from? A lack of understanding? Context? Of what might be compelling?

My guess is it may be because of a lack of ground rules or better yet, a lack of golden rules. For that reason, the cracker jack team at Digital Response Marketing Group, has decided to offer up 5 simple rules for better tweeting.

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A Look Back: What to Look for in Your Next Social Media Director Hire

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About four years ago I wrote a post/checklist on what you should require when you hire your next social media rockstar. Recently I was asked to build a roles/responsibilities description for a client who had a similar ask and thus I thought my old post might help me in building out that description. So let’s relook at the post and see how it compares to 2015 with comments, updates and observations in red.

1. Do you understand how social media fits into the overall marketing plans and goals of any organization regardless of industry? In 2015, I’d say now more than ever social is part of the fabric of every org. It’s either an integral part of every marketing plan or it does have some role.

2. Could you build a sound business strategy for a client around social media? Let’s hope so! Gone are the days where all clients or brands should or would accept someone who knows how to tweet, post to Facebook and take Instagram pics. That’s a given. But can you go deep on strategy? Do you know how to measure? And no not just vanity metrics.

3. Will you be accountable for the quality of all social media plans/strategies/services delivered to clients as well as their overall client satisfaction? You do know that we measure everything and everything can be measured? This is probably the biggest difference. In 2015 we can measure so much more in social than we did back in 2011.

4. Could you establish social media programs that actually drive revenue? Nothing, I got nothing. Self explanatory. Either you can or you can’t. 

5. Can you drive social media work for clients? Including strategy development, tactical expertise and execution, and measurement of all their social programs? Soup to Nuts and then some. Not only do we want you to drive the work, we want you to think ahead as well. Think Mobile and Social. What works now? Will it work next week, next month, next year?

6. Can you develop a methodology that includes resources, team structure, core processes, and best practices that can be  scalable across the board with media and marketing teams? What’s different in 2015? Managing social needs a team. In some cases, a very large team and a diverse team with general and yet specific skill sets.

7. Could you identify and define social media opportunities for clients as they align with their overall digital marketing goals and strategies? Can you replicate success? Do you understand that one size does not fit all in social?

8. Could you collaborate across all departments and disciplines to identify and implement social training needs? There’s “doing” social and being social but do you understand and can you articulate the nuances of social? Particularly as it corresponds to different platforms? This is a biggie as it can determine success.

9. Could you identify and act on opportunities to attract, market, and recruit top social media talent? I can tell you that what’s attractive to new talent is being able to craft and create social media programs and strategies that push the envelope of what’s possible. Want a hint? Think Periscope and Merrkat and Blab. 

10. Can you manage the recruitment, hiring, retention, and professional development of a social media team? Do you know what to look for? What you’re looking for are people that have worked on projects and campaigns from beginning, middle and end. They know what to measure and they know what success looks like. And, they can think on their own.

11. Can you determine the correct roles, responsibilities, and expertise needed on your team to scale and grow a social media practice? If you’re our director, you better be able to. By the time you’ve reached this point, you should be able to “do” every aspect of social and yes that includes creating topic profiles in Radian 6. :) So we need to assume that yes indeed you can determine correct roles and expertise.

12. Do you know how to monitor trends in any industry and collaborate with upper management to ensure preparation for potential changes within a market segment? and then position the company or division for success as an industry leader? This is the backbone of or one of the pillars of social. You have to know how to monitor what’s being said, where it’s being said and who is saying it and then…How to act on it. If you don’t? Next in line please…

13. Could you work with global practice leads and other social media managers to develop, document, and share social media strategies and successes? Can’t we all just get along? Social media is the best place to collaborate on best practices of what works and what doesn’t. We get new toys and platforms coming at us all the time. This is the fun stuff.

14. Can you facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and encourage participation for social media across teams and offices? This is a tuffy Your ability to create handles, profiles and platforms is one thing, but then to mandate participation at least within your org, whether it’s internal or external, will always be a struggle. Why? Because not everyone is social and not everyone wants to be social, even if it’s on behalf of the company. Sometimes you can lead a horse to water…

15. Can you act or be the central resource for information related to social media? Would you want to be? I would hope so, on both accounts. I mean it is your profession and you are applying for the director position…Should I even ask if you can? Never mind. Shame on me for hiring you if you can’t.

16. Could you be a credible spokesperson of social media at industry events? This isn’t a deal killer. If you could that would be awesome, but if not, no worries.

17. Could you increase and raise the awareness of your organization’s credentials on social media both internally and externally? I would like this person to be active on the behalf of the company but we have others who can push that agenda. However, it is a bonus, whether it’s internal or external if participation is coming from you. So if I were you I’d answer yes to this, regardless. :)

18. Could you advise client teams and other internal executives on the execution of social media programs and new business opportunities? No changes here in 4 years, this is a resounding yes, you better be able to.

19. Can you determine the right solutions for technology and measurement of social media?  Including evaluation of current resources as well as social media vendors and develop partnerships with those vendors? This one is huge. What it requires is that you are on top of what is out there right now. What works, what doesn’t, what sucks and what can definitely elevate who we are and we do in the social space.  Technology and tool wise, you need to know what’s out there. Bottom line.

20. Can you collaborate closely across all departments and teams within an organization to provide complete solutions for clients? Depends on your role but in general, I would say you can count on probably being pulled into more meetings with more groups in which your expertise is required, than you initially thought. You’re the expert. 

21. Can you contribute to new business development by representing social media strategies and services? Could you sell social media to a client? If you got hired for your position, I’d say the answer is yes.    

22.  Do you have the ability to build relationships with senior executives within key client accounts? Is schmoozing part of your DNA? Here’s what you need to know, you’re always going to be selling social media to someone within your org. There will always be someone who is skeptical. Get used to it and don’t take it personal. Win early and they’ll come find you wanting to know how they can leverage it. 

Am I missing any more key requirements that you can think of? Let me know in the comments section. Let’s build the ultimate requirements doc. :)

Ever Really Look at your Linkedin Contacts?

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In 2016, it should be readily apparent that each relevant social platform has a specific value to us. If you, as a digital marketer still don’t know what that value is, well then, shame on you.

Let’s stop for 30 seconds and re-look at that value of each. Let’s take stock really quick. Look at Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope/Meerkat/Blab, Redit, Youtube, Pinterest, WhatsApp and G Plus. They all have a specific value and purpose. Right?

But have you ever really looked at who you’re connected to on Linkedin? Do you leverage those contacts at all? How many of them do you “know?” Better yet, how many of them do you know personally? How many of them have you met in person?

I have over a 1000 people that I’m “connected” to. Occasionally I will reach out to a few to see how they’re doing or to congratulate them on a new gig, Or to endorse them for something that I’m not even really sure they might be good at, but beyond that? Nothing.

You know what I use Linkedin for? First and foremost, I use it as a competitive intelligence tool. That process encompasses the people that want to link with me or the people that I might be working with. It’s a barometer.

Invariably, the majority of people that want to link with me, are people that think the connection allows them to pitch me. Sometimes, I’ll think, OK, this person just wants to network and nothing more- and then no less than a half day will go by and I will subsequently get the requisite pitch email.  I will immediately “unlink” that connection.

So beyond having this stable of intimate business connections, who does the passively dynamic social network that is Linkedin serve best? Job seekers and recruiters.  I check it every day. I look to see who wants to link up with me and 9 times out of 10, I decline. But I do get a ton of recruiters that want to link with me. And for that reason alone, Linkedin is a valuable passive dynamic social network.

There is no better opportunity or platform out there to put a more complete snapshot of your professional accomplishments and current role/position. If you do not take the time to do this, the right way, you lose. If you’re looking for your next great gig, Linkedin is where it starts.

Lastly, I will tell you this. One of the things that Linkedin took away that I personally saw value in was the QA (Question/Answer) section of the site. It gave me insight into the massive intelligence of the types of people that used it, who were willing to take the time, to help you and not necessarily want anything in return; and it also was a quick ad hoc form of getting some professional guidance on certain aspects of things I was not proficient on. For free. Bring that back!

 

 

The Secret to Digital Innovation in an App Centric World

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I was recently speaking to an entrepreneurship/marketing class in Naples Florida about what it takes to get something from cradle to grave. The main idea hit me like a ton of bricks, so I’m going to share it with you. It’s quick, so relax.

It’s as simple as this. It starts with one person. It’s born from one idea. You take that one idea and you make it better. You take one thing about that original idea and you tweak it. You find one person who can see your vision and you become one. Then you find another.

You find that one competitor and you beat them or you take that one thing missing from their idea and it becomes yours.

If it’s about the “one” customer experience that can make the difference. How do you create an amazing customer experience? One experience at a time. You find that one product champion and you build a comunity from that.

Whether it’s your company, your product, your family or your life…Do one thing everyday that moves the needle in a positive direction.. You don’t have to boil the ocean and it’s not about lots of little wins or victories. Focus on one.

One person

One idea

One product

One goal

One win

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Ashley Madison and the Case for In the Moment Marketing

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Sh*t is getting ready to hit the fan again. Just now on Twitter I was curious about the Ashley Madison scandal. So I did a trending hashtag search on the topic. I found it fascinating how it kind of exposed sunlight to the other side of or the ugly side of the web where people like to play, preferrably in the dark. Pun intended.

Think Bitcoins and Silk Road but in the name of cheating…

For those in the know, this is just another notch in the belt of just how “nonprivate” your privacy is and how your data is, for wont of a better analogy, nothing more than sargassum seaweed. It’s there, there’s a lot of it and it can be found by anyone virtually anywhere at any time.

Except this time, the hack is different because it involves sex and outing some people who might have preferred to have had their dark digital selves kept just that, in the dark. For the uninitiated, you’re thinking might be, Ashley Madison is a website for what? People who want to cheat? Seriously?

At which point, your initial reaction might be:

  • You mean there’s a website for something like that?
  • It’s user base is how many?
  • These people actually thought their data would be safe?

Yea, I’m with you on all accounts. That’s today’s web. There’s a tribe and a site for everyone. Those that play on this side of the tracks and yes those that prefer to play on the other side of the tracks. The digital underbelly.

Meanwhile, what struck me as interesting about all of this, was the usage of in the moment marketing. Particularly, it was a paid search placement on Twitter on behalf of crisis management.

See Below:

am

So what was it? Smart marketing PR? Or a troll like activity? A good usage of social media monitoring your key words? Or is it digital ambulance chasing? I haven’t decided yet what it was. Maybe all of the above.

What’s the Sweet Spot for Content Marketing?

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It’s true, the internet has shortened our attention spans. We’d rather watch a video than have to read 400 words or more. As a digital marketer one of the great challenges is to figure out what your audience wants and then to package that into something that’s measurable and moves the needle.

It’s getting harder.

You’d think that with the advent of all the new data tools and analytics packages on the market, that we would know exactly what the customer wants. We don’t really. We have an idea but as the sophistication of our digital world becomes more personalized so does the demands and expectations of the consumers swimming in it.

What I do know is that the content marketing game is drastically shifting. We get our information from so many sources nowadays. It’s insane. Think about it though, each of those sources “needs” content as well as content creators. That content? It could be hit and miss.  We choose to consume it and marketers “hope” you consume it. The latter is a beast. Why? Because consumers are fickle. They’re bored and they have zero attention spans.

We’ve become dependent on digital to entertain us, inform us and babysit us.

Because our devices are always on. Our demand for content, our blood lust for digital content to consume, is all encompassing. Because of this, the challenge for the digital marketer is apparent. Whether the content is educational or is pushing a product or service, how it is created, packaged and pushed out, now matters more than ever. Marketers can’t rely on the “long form” writtern word anymore.

We don’t have time for it. You don’t have time for it.

I don’t see this changing any time soon.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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