Archive for July, 2008

The trust factor in social media marketing

I don’t know how much I reference Seth Godin but I guess it’s for good reason. I like what he says about marketing, because he uses a ton of analogies and for me, thats a good thing. I need examples, real world or not, but I need colorful descriptive analogous ways for me to wrap my arms around complex ideas and simple ethereal notions.

With that being said, I was reading something over the weekend and was re-reading an old post by him in which he says the following:

 Worry about people with passion and people with lots of friends. You need both for ideas to spread.

I’ve been writing alot lately about social media experts and last week actually compiled a list of what social media is not and subsequently received a tremendous amount of answers, but essentially the underlying theme is this: if you were to couple the question of what social media is not with the experts that are the in the social media marketing space, what you and i are looking for is TRUST. Trust that what I’m hearing is legit. Trust that what I’m reading is applicable.  Trust that I can utilize social media to connect with my audience, my customers, and my users.  Trust that social media is not just a buzzword.  Trust that social media and it’s experts are not just caught up in the jetstream.

One of the other underlying themes of social media marketing, as a marketer, as someone dipping their toes in the proverbial waters of soaicl media, is how do you segment  what you are hearing, what you are reading and what who you are listening to?, How do you separate fact from fiction, How do you know? How do you know what you know,? How do you know they know? I know it sounds sort of like a comedy routine but…

I know that there are some companies out there that do it right but Im going to guess that for every company that does it right, there are 5 who say they can and never have, in their efforts to capitolize on the trend. But trust in any setting business or otherwise, determines the outcome of any engagement, it requires a tremndous leap of faith. Just like marriage. or any type of relationship for that matter.

So going forward, as you venture in, who do you trust/ and why should you trust them?  Does someone who has expert status warrant your trust?  It reminds me of the time where our company needed a Cisco engineer to come out and do some work for us. At the time, his rate might have been $150 an hour. The company said, they were sending out the very best they had, their heavy hitter… So we waited, and about an hour after he was supposed to show, in walks this guy- a bit disheveled, sunglasses on, mumbles that he’s from Cisco. He comes with nothing, no laptop, no pen, paper, nothing, knapsack. I repeate…nothing! Oh and he wreaks of alcohol… First impression? Not so good… But it gets better.

So the guy asks about 5 or 6 questions sits down at a terminal, works for under an hour, gets up and says,”You’re all set”, and leaves. WTF? Blink blink.. ala South Park. We’re screwed.

Bottom Line?  It was done perfectly. He was a heavy hitter, he did his thing and he did it well. Though outward impressions notwithstanding, this guy rocked the house.

The morals of the story are many.  Do you go with your gut, let them do their thing, and sit back and see what they produce? Perception is not always reality? Go with what people tell you and trust them?. Word of mouth, in this case was correct? Company hype was dead on? It’s ok to trust the disheveled engineer whos breath wreaks of alcohol? Cisco engineers rock?

Ok so you’re asking “So what are the parallels to social media marketing you ask?  Well, per Seths point, when deciding what to believe and not believe, in regards to social media you can go 2 ways. You can listen to the person who has a huge following and is passionate or you can listen to the person who talks the talk on their website but does not have much more than tha,t that can be substantiated.

Case in point, when reading about social media marketing on blog sites i would want to read someones blog who has been around no less than a year or longer and or someone who has a pretty solid base of followers and is passionate and or someone who might be on the agency side who ‘does” or “is” the social media marketing person at that agency and has chosen to blog about it.

Who would you trust?   Who would I trust?  That will be in part II

About these ads

Stupid corporate social networking site #312

This just in:

Cats Flocking to new social networking site!

In the category of “I have a great idea and I know management will go along with it”, we have the Purina Breeze cat litter social networking site.  Courtesy of Marshall Kilpatrick over at ReadWriteWeb

Feel free to shoot me other examples of where Corporate America just did not get it right.

The definitive working list of what social media is not

I had, awhile back, compiled a list of what i thought social media was not. This morning while exchanging tweets, Beth Harte mentioned that Amber Naslund had just dropped a post on what social media isn’t, which led me to thinking: “why don’t we create a list of what social media is not”! There are so many lists and blog posts out there that are touting what it is, that maybe we should clarify and quantify what it is not. I would like this to be a continuous work in progress and need everyone to contribute as little or as much as possible. So here goes:

From Search Marketing Gurus we have the following:

  1. Social Media Isn’t:  Easy
  2. Social Media Isn’t:  Fast
  3. Social Media Isn’t:  A Substitute for Sound SEO Practices
  4. Social Media Isn’t:  A Substitute for Sound PPC Practices
  5. Social Media Isn’t:  A Practice to be Done by Interns
  6. Social Media Isn’t:  Another Place to Distribute Your Press Release
  7. Social Media Isn’t:  Something That Will Work if Your Site is “Broken”
  8. Social Media Isn’t:  Something To Send Out Mass Emails For
  9. Social Media Isn’t:  Something You Can Do Without Participation
  10. Social Media Isn’t:  Something You Can Do in Disguise

Courtesy of Rachel Happe we have: 11. Social media is not community

B.L. Ochman says that:

12. Social media isn’t a one-shot deal 

13. Social media isn’t a technique

14.  It’s not a short-term project

15.  It’s not an experiment, 

16.  It’s not an event, 

17. It’s not a quick fix.  and 

18. It’s not something you throw money at.

Brian Solis tells us that Social media is not:

19. The final frontier

Robert Young from GigaOm, mentioned 2 years ago that 

20. Social Media is not Mass Media.

Is that still true? I think it’s not true any longer, nor might have never been. Its perhaps a function or channel of mass media though, or slowly becoming that.

John Gray writing for imediaconnection wrote that: 

21. Social media is not just for kids, and I’m down with that!

Don Schindler from Media Sauce Blog tells us that:

 22. Social media is not advertising or

23. It’s not marketing, it’s about connections.

Ike Piggot over at the Now is Gone blog mentions that, 

24. Social media is not a commodity.

According to the Deal,

25. Social media is not the next bubble. But that was 3 years ago.

26. Social media is not a direct response marketing channel according to the 10e20 blog

27. Social Media may not be all that it’s cracked up to be, this from Jennifer Laycock over at searchengineguide. What the hell does “all that it’s cracked up to be” actually mean? I never really understood that statement.

28. Social media is not about Links, this from Li Evans

29. For teens, social media is not technology, it’s life!

30.  Social media is not a free for all, thanks Luke Armour

Brian Magierski mentions that:

31. Social media is not just another marketing channel. 

Laura Porto Stockwell  believes that

32. Social media is not new

Thanks in part to Scoble we know that Social Media is not:

33. Newspapers

34. Magazines

35. Television

36. Radio

37. Books

38. CDs

39. DVDs

40. A box of photos

50. Physical, paper mail and catalogs and

51. Yellow Pages

And here are mine:

52. Social media is not up to them, it is up to you and your voice

53. Social media is not predicated on many to many

54. Social media is not one to one, but it can be.

55. Social media is not closed to anyone

56. Social media is not calm, sedate, unresponsive.

57. Social media is not passive

58. Social media is not laryngitis

59. Social media is not mainstream, yet

60.  Social media is not static

And here are Amber Naslund’s:

61. Social media is not Show and Tell

62. Social media is not a Popularity and Numbers Contest

63. Social media is not a Silver Bulllet

64. Social media is not just for “Experts”

Ok so I think 64 is a pretty good start. What am I missing here? Feel free to add yours or, feel free to tell me where some of these might actually be wrong. Let’s talk about it!

Plurk surges in June

To all of the Twitterati out there, these numbers should not surprise you. According to Compete, Plurk had over 1.6 million visits in June. The percent change from May was 4561% You can go ahead and refer to the below graphic as to the reason for this surge. Things have actually been good lately, not to mention Twitter’s recent aquisition of Summize. Can’t wait to see Plurk’s July numbers. What’s your take on Plurk? Are you diggin the UI?

LinkedIn in a nutshell

The folks from Common Craft have done it again. Here is a short video that demystifies LinkedIn.

Social Media slides you can relate to

For the sake of virgin ears, the actual title of this slide presentation is “What the F**K is Social Media”? and I wish I could have taken credit for this but it came from alisa leonard hansen’s blog site titled Socialized or thewebissocial,  which came from Marta Kagan take your pick. Subscribe to both their sites, they both have a good take on whats up. Though I am down with Marta’s genius. Per this, it’s amazing as you work through the slides how large the numbers are and yet how they ( social networks and social media per se) have not even scatched the surface.

Searching for social media experts

I just read an article in Adweek about Ford hiring Scott Monty in its quest to grapple with and implement the monolith that is… trumpets please… social media. While reading the piece I couldn’t help but wonder outloud just how social media experts became social media experts in  a space so relatively fresh in our collective marketing, media and PR consciousness. Not that Scott is not one, but this thought came to me after reading that Ford ran 50 candidates through the gauntlet before choosing Scott. 

Which begs my first of many questions: Though they chose a good person, who made the final decision, and what was it based upon? Who were the other 50 and why were they not chosen? I know that there is always a bit of subjectiveness to this process but I think, given the “newness” of the space, that it had to be absolutely fascinating to see how the whole thing went down. I do have to give some credit to Ford for stepping up, now more than ever, and especially given the state of the economy and the auto industry in particular. Somebody, somewhere, within that organization had the foresight to get to a decision maker and say, “we need to grab onto the beanstalk that is social media.

Some other questions I had and I’m sure other likeminded organizations are probabaly grappling with are:

Do we, they become expert like from writing it so much that we begin to understand how it works? Do experts, or are experts people who have implemented  a or some social media campaigns of any scale, successfully or unsuccessfully? What is the criteria? Are they IT people? marketing experts?  PR experts? What determines the experts title as the “expert”. Who determines it? Their peers? The  nascent industry itself?

I do think that longevity in the space that is and has been marketing, PR and even IT/internet/marketing, certainly is a determining factor. Why? Well think about it, when we all got into the business of what we do, what we did then is certainly not what we do now. Our jobs, titles and positions have all evolved. They have morphed into what the public and our bosses have demanded, expected and required us to learn, on the fly. And currently for some of us, that is all things social media related.

With that being said, when I write about the top 30 social media evangelists, I write from a position of referring to these people time and time again about social media topics that are hot. I mention them because they have their fingers on the collective pulse of their clients, their usage of bleeding edge technology to leverage brands, and their willingness to share their experiences. I call them experts, because their names and their blogs come up in conversations, they are constantly pushing out valuable information, and they are essentially practicing what they are preaching. And I find myself going back to “them” because clients and what I do and we do on a day to day basis, requires that I learn fast and implement faster.

Funny thing though, even the experts are wondering who the real experts are!

And if you really want to know the truth. Social media has to be a “practice what you preach model”. Why? You can’t be successfull in the space by being quiet and stealthy. it’s all about the sharing and exchanging of information without pretense. That’s right, the conversation. 

But to be successfull in the space, it is eventually going to boil down to those who do and those who did and not those who have heard and those who say.

All I do know is that the expert does not or should not call himself the expert. I can’t place the quote but:

Anyone who has to tell you that they are “the man”, ain’t “the man…”

Viral Video #76: KTLA Reporter Eric Spillman learns a quick lesson

This video just shows that someone, for the sake of entertainment, assumed he knew his audience better than he actually did. He thus gets smoked in one of the top 5 television markets.

Social Networks: The path you take is equal to the effort you make!

So for shits and giggles the other day, I decided to do a search in LinkedIn for people with my name Marc Meyer. I think I found 13. I thought,  in their infinite wisdom, that maybe they would appreciate linking to me. There was a teacher, a sales rep, another techy person, someone in real estate, and a fireman to name a few. I only got 2 people who agreed to do it, probabaly because they either a) got a little freaked out and thought it was a glitch in the LI system or b) don’t use LI that much or c) were worried about ID theft? d) did not appreciate the irony of linking to themselves…

Marc Meyer is now linked to Marc Meyer.

Odd to think that there are lots of “us” running around out there. But this thought led me to Google where I subsequently “Googled” my name and did a couple of searches on and PeopleFinders and came to find out that there are about 46 of my likenamed brethren running around.  Before you say anything else, I guarantee that YOU have “Googled” yourself at least once. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of you have RSS feeds set up to notify you when your name is mentioned somewhere. Relax, it’s no big deal. I’ve done the former but not the latter.

 Back to my point on why this is relevant?

I’ll tell you why. I have spoken on numerous occasions and in numerous blog posts and to numerous clients about what will happen in the social media space in the future. I have said that what you will see is the “nichefication” of the space. Where large social networks will splinter off into smaller distinct groups. It’s already happening, in fact if you look at the current number of networking groups within the social networking site of LinkedIn, you will see that there are currently roughly 24,000  distinct groups and counting! Thats smaller social networking groups within the environs of the larger ones.

What does this have to do with me and my 46 counterparts?

Well in theory, we all have something in common, in this case, my name. So in theory, it might be worth it to network with people who have my exact name. Maybe not, since I haven’t really thought through the whole identity theft thing. But what could a social networking group consisting of 46 people with the same exact name do? Maybe not much, but they do have something very in common and that is essentially how people are now coming together today, as we speak, in these groups. They find a common thread or link and they build upon it. Through these connections, things happen. Conversations are started and relationships occur. As I have said in the past, we all want to run with our pack, our brood, our peeps. There is a comfort level that is there with people of like minds and backgrounds, so what is more common a starting point than your name?

So do I contact the 46 Marc Meyer’s? Maybe not, since the undertaking, the leadership and the roll out of something like that would fall on my shoulders. Perhaps I could start something on NIng and see where it might end up. But the bottom line is this, and this is what you need to be thinking about going forward: You need or rather you should try and find the group that best fits you and what defines you rather than settling for the stadiums or oceans that are the current state of social networks.

So do you want to run with your own/ or be a part of this large melange of different kingdoms, phylums, classes, genus’s and species?

Or this?


And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.

I had to rework the quote “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”  which is essentially the Beatles closing statement. It is the last lyric on the last album they recorded. Let It Be.  Though it is certainly not the last line or epitaph for social networks and all that they have to offer, it can certainly define the future for Social Networks. So yes, “and in the end, the path you take, is equal to the effort you make.” Now more than ever, you determine you.

A dose of reality from TED

I love what I do. I love information, I love the sharing of information. Unfortunately a lot of the information that we receive and exchange every day lately is about how bad things are or how bad things are getting, or how bad things are going to be. I get that. But I also get that there a lot of good things going on in our world. Great people are doing great things. People you don’t know, are doing great things. My point is,  we all have the potential to do some really cool things and because of that, every day has promise. But every day could also be a bad one.

With that being said, I love TED , what they provide is exposure to everything and not just “tech” stuff. TED makes me think. TED gives me reality checks. Check this reality check out. His name is  Raul Midon

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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