Posts Tagged 'beth harte'

Conversations? Now They’re Just Sound Bites

When you get a chance go read Jay Baer’s post titled, Is social  conversation a myth? It’s a quick read, well worth it, and got me thinking. You know what’s cool in a weird, sorta, karma like way? Sometimes in the social media bubble, there’s  a confluence of thoughts on the same topic at the same time. This is one of those moments. And it revolves around social media and drum roll please…Conversations. Or the lack thereof.

Joe Jaffe is right. Mitch Joel is right and Jay Baer is right.

Call it the short cut of social media, or the “new reality” of social media,  but it’s as simple as this.

People would rather reap the benefits of social media without putting the effort in.

Initially I wanted to title this post- “SMB’s don’t care about long term strategy in social media”. My thinking and experience has been that SMB’s would prefer the shoot first, aim later methodology. Conversations? Not part of their mix. Frankly, I can’t blame them. My experience is that social media is hard work and has long term benefits that you only start to see after a minimum of 6 months. So why can’t SMB’s or anyone for that matter use social media as an ice breaker or as a warm call, instead of a cold call? They can. You can, in theory use it any way you want. It’s the purist in us that longs for those not so long ago days when we used to talk face to face, use Twitter the “right way”, comment on blogs, and read newspapers…:)

Case in point Erika Napoletano aka Redheadwriting and I were passing each other in the hallways of Twitter and we were both like, “Hey, whats been going on?” It was a quick (of course) long time no talk kind of conversation . You see, Erika and I used to “chat” all the time in the halcyon days of Twitter. We even reminisced about that fact as well. In 140 characters of course. Now we barely have time. Or do we?

Do conversations happen on Twitter? Yes but it’s like trying to have one in a bar during happy hour-Eventually you get tired of trying to yell above all the noise-so you just reduce it to sound bites.

Beth Harte is another “old schooler”. We used to chat it up all the time on a few social platforms but with a twist…We would take the conversations off line and call each other too. For a few of us, its still about the conversation, or it used to be about the conversation, but now its about remembering what it used to be and adapting to what it is now.

We’re an evolutionary type of species and we’re evolving just like everyone else is in the social media world.  It’s all about utility now.

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15 reasons to love social media

My last few posts have been about the darker side of social media and thus I wanted to clear something up.  I am the biggest champion of social media that you will find and here’s why. I may get a little spicy sometimes, but that doesn’t diminish all the “good” things about this crazy space and all that it delivers to us daily. So get a gander at these 15 reasons and when you’re done reading them add your reason to the mix.

1)  Today I have a very large network of close and semi-close contacts that I can reach out to at a moments notice. Chances are, you do too! 4 years ago, I did not have anything remotely close to this type of network.

2) If I need a really good PR firm for example, I can contact that person today and we’d know each other well enough to have a very nice conversation… without the usual vetting process. The confluence of PR and social media ain’t no coincidence.

3) If I wanted to have someone guest post on my blog and bring their incredible smartness and knowledge to the table, all I have to do is ask. Have you ever thought of asking someone? You should. There might be some really smart folks in your network and you might not even know they are following you!

4) If I have to refer a killer web design person to someone, I can do that in 5 seconds. I’m sure you know of someone too. I could come up with a list of 10 in no time.

5) Need a good email marketing company? I know one or two. In fact, I got to know someone from a pretty cool company just in the last 2 months,  Thanks network.

6) How about a good social media monitoring company? I can help you, I know a few good people there. What’s great about this one particular company? They don’t push the product, they just act like normal people should act.

7) Want to know who you need to contact in regards to social media and non-profits? Here’s one for you. Thanks to social media, these people have a chance to influence us in a way that allows us and them to make a difference in this world. We need more of that.

8. Because of social media, my network, no matter how jaded or pissed I can get sometimes, allows me to  get jaded and pissed… and they’re ok with that. They still like me in the morning. :)

9) Social media has allowed me to contribute to one book and create a rough draft for another. It’s allowed me to present at conferences, write articles in magazines and speak on the radio and create projects that connect some very dynamic people together.

10) Without social media none of us would be allowed to share the cool things we are doing 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean we always care about all of it, but you have a channel to express yourself now that you didn’t have before.

11) If I need help, all I have to do is ask. Need proof? Check out the 50 people that have hosted Hashtagsocialmedia. I asked and they said yes.

12) If I’m asked to help or assist on something, and because I generally know who is doing the asking, I don’t hesitate, thanks to social media.

13) Because of social media, when I meet someone for the first time, like a Jason Falls for example, I generally am “not meeting” them for the first time. We already know each other.

14) Because of social media, we have something to talk and write about every day.

15) If I didn’t know you before and now I do, chances are it’s because of social media.

At the end of the day, it’s still all about the relationships, the connections, and the conversations. For that, I’m thankful.

Social Media Marketing:Do you know enough to know where to begin?

Good question right? What’s the simple answer? Maybe not. If you are a marketer thinking about social media marketing then there is a good chance, if you have not done anything yet, that its because you just don’t have enough information yet.

On Monday in Tampa, I attended and spoke at a conference titled Social Fresh, at that conference, during Maggie Fox’s keynote, she nonchalantly asked the audience how many of them were marketers. Surprisingly, more than 80% raised their hands.

Clearly, 2 things became evident: One, there is a need for more social media conferences down in the belly of the  state of Florida(that in and of itself is worth another blog post) and two, marketers were indeed starved or looking for answers/solutions to the primary social media marketing puzzle/question. The How To. Implementation. Why haven’t they done it yet?

In this post I want to address those issues so that you can get started with social media marketing.

According to Equation research, one of the primary barriers for social media marketing adoption for brands or agencies is that they just don’t know enough about social media to know where to begin.

But why? Why is it taking this long for marketers, agencies, brands and businesses to learn about social media? For some of us, we have been talking about and writing about social media for almost 4 years.  Is it fear of social media? Do we have so much on our plates that we don’t have time to check social media out?

Maybe.

Is it because your falling back on the excuse that you can’t measure social media? Please tell me that’s not the reason. If so, then please have a look at Olivier Blanchard‘s deck on the basics of social media ROI. Once you have rolled through it, I think and hope your fears on the ROI issue can be put to rest.

Another valid reason that may be preventing you from adopting social media may be budgetary. That can certainly affect any and all social media marketing efforts, as well as marketing efforts in general. If you got no money, then you go no money.  However, I do want to point out that the barriers for entry into social media are relatively low. In fact your only costs when first starting out will be or could be design and labor.

So know this, getting into “it” is easy. In fact Chris Kieff suggests just listening for the first 6 months before you do anything else. It’s quick to set up and easy to do.  I’m not adverse to that strategy, but think that maybe 2-3 months might be just as effective. But the point is, by listening for a bit, that gives you a feel for how things work in social networks and how brands, conversations, posts, links and search results all evolve because of social media.

Managing it takes a little bit more skill. My friend Jason Falls who writes a great blog on all things social media  marketing related, has a post on managing social media marketing. Though it’s from 2008, it’s still relevant and valuable even today. There are some great tips contained in the post.

So you might say you don’t have enough time.  Hey just like everything else in life, it’s all about time management and being efficient with your usage of time. Social media marketing is no different.  I have often said that social media marketing can be an incredible time suck, but the way to work thru that, is to make sure you have a plan every day that applies to your social media marketing strategy and speaks to your social media tactics. Above all stick to it. This includes your personal social media interactions. You have to know how much you allow yourself each day to engage on your own social networks.

Another issue that prevents marketers from even starting and which might be completely out of their hands, is there could be legal constraints. I can tell you from first hand experience how difficult it can be sometimes when any copy or any site designs that you create have to then pass the litmus test of legal. It seemed that everything we did was always not with the customer in mind, but always under the auspices of, “I hope legal is cool with this…”

Beyond that, you may have corporate policies that may prevent your marketing department from engaging in social media, if so, it’s up to you to try and get corporate to look at the bigger picture of social media marketing and its effectiveness. Help them create a social media policy both internally and externally that allows you to use social media in your marketing efforts! Work with them, because there could be a very high likelihood that they have no clue of social media and thus they will err on the side of caution and completely lock down your efforts and attempts at social media marketing.

Lastly, I will say this. Given that search results can return articles and blog posts that rank high on the how to’s of social media and social media marketing, I think it’s important to trust one’s peers and their associated networks. What I’m saying is that if you have questions, go to Twitter and ask a trusted and valued resource. I rely on my network. Rely on yours and get started. it’s not too late.

You have 11 months to step up your social media game

What are you looking for when you read the latest link bait blog title? I’m always looking for the new tool. I’m looking for what I haven’t found yet, We all are. It’s why new diet books keep popping up on book shelves. Because people keep buying them. Because what worked before just doesn’t seem to be doing it now. We’re all constantly looking for a new approach, a new way to do things. Social media is no exception. We just have a different name for it, it’s called social media obsolescence.

Here’s an example:

You see as a society we’re just not satisfied. This extends to the social networks that we use. Yes, we all are using Facebook, and they are truly the exception to the rule. They are the immovable force. But other sites just die on the vine but for no other reason than it has reached it’s point of critical mass. It’s now in decline for the simple reason that we are looking for, no craving more than what that site delivered to us flawlessly.

To that end, I often find myself pondering whether I could possibly write something that hasn’t been said already. What will satisfy this rabid audience of social media consumers looking for the brass ring or the uber answer? Well the answer is, every day there is another great batch of great posts from some really smart people that I’m pleased to know professionally. Each with a new twist, a different angle, a fresh thought. Which tells us that indeed we are in the nascent stages of this monolith that we call social media.

So what’s there left to do?

What is left is for you and even me, to take all of these thoughts and processes and put them to good use and into action. Then you, my dear readers must pay it forward. No more selfish consuming.

You need to become the next legion of social media foot soldiers. We still have so many people that are completely perplexed and yet those of you that have been playing in the sandbox now for say the last year, know so much more than 75% of the population. That’s you! Start sharing what you know and what you have read. Don’t keep it to yourself.  Be a creator, as well as a conversationalist. Push the envelope in 2010, you have 11 months to get it done!

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The Ideal Skillset for a New Hire for an Agency

I made a comment earlier to someone that it is really hard to find someone or people that have depth and breadth across the board. In fact this exact discussion took place at Social South late in the Summer by a pretty smart group of folks worth following on Twitter. The group included  Scott Schablow, Tom Martin, Jason FallsDavid Griner, Beth Harte and myself.

The question or challenges continues to present themselves to me and that is, trying to find someone with a blend of skill sets that can take on the challenges that this new marketing and communications world has presented us with.

What types of skills are needed? Here’s a quick list that I threw together, I know I’m missing some obvious ones, if so let me know.

  1. Understand the nuances of customer service and why the customer matters
  2. The ability to understand technology’s big picture as well as the small stuff
  3. PR skills-“the how tos”, “the whys”; and “the what fors”
  4. Soft listening skills
  5. The ability to write a blog post with tags, links and proper attributes
  6. Know how to comment on a blog and why
  7. Know how to post a blog post and where
  8. SEO skills-How to write for SEO
  9. How to write PR releases with SEO in mind
  10. An understanding of social media
  11. A deeper understanding of social media
  12. How to use Twitter and what the purpose of twitter is
  13. How to write an email-I know it sounds simple but…
  14. How to create an email blast and send it properly
  15. How to write a proposal
  16. How to monitor a brand across multiple channels
  17. An understanding of basic HTML. CSS would be nice
  18. The ability to use Photoshop to some degree
  19. The ability to use a MAC or a PC well.
  20. The ability to present in front of a group-speaking skills, remember them?
  21. The ability to create a PowerPoint presentation
  22. An understanding of UI-know what sucks and why
  23. The ability to manage your time effectively
  24. Know how to prioritize
  25. Know what web tools can make your job better and make us better
  26. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion,it matters
  27. The ability to share and be selfless, it’s important
  28. The ability to learn quickly and absorb it
  29. The understanding that everything that you create digitally, now is this close to being consumed publicly.
  30. The ability to change direction on the fly

Though it would be nice to find the person that had half of the skills mentioned above or perhaps knowledge or understanding of 3/4 of them, I know that might be asking too much. If I can get someone who knew a few of them, that’s a start.

Does this seem like I’m asking too much of college graduates? I don’t think so. This is a new world where having expertise or a degree in one discipline just won’t cut it anymore. Our industry requires that you have knowledge in lots of areas. It almost demands it. The good news is that a lot of graduates and individuals are already armed with these skills. The bad news is, it might be changing tomorrow.

Why Social South Worked

logososo

Of all varieties of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Title, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.
– Robert Burton

Did you know I have a tattoo on my arm with the saying “Virtus sola nobilitas.” on it?  It’s part of my family crest. As cool as that is, what’s more important is what the words mean. Essentially, it means that virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.

Why do I bring this up? Because the words mean a lot to me. They resonate. I like people who carry themselves without pretentiousness. Especially when they so easily could. I think it’s an amazing quality to possess. Humility. Especially in today’s personal branding, all about me world.

At Social South I was amongst the most unpretentious, unassuming, group of high profile social media thought leaders assembled in one place at one time. Sure, I could have gone to a half dozen “larger” more visible cities and had just as many social media thought leaders assembled. And I have. But I would have gotten the attitude thing along with the assumptive title of social media thinker, high brow, I’m better than you, thing.

There would be none of this at Social South.

Beyond a list that included the incredibly down to earth Beth Harte, the humble Mack Collier, the classy Toby Bloomberg, the social media handyman Paul Chaney who has a book coming out, the incredibly smart Jason Falls, the genuine Christina Kerley, the effusive Kellye Crane, the solid Tom Martin, the refreshing An Bui, and of course the giving Lionel and talented Richard from Dell, There were a host of “other” people that deserve recognition in their own right.

From Andrew Keen, Dave Barger, Mitch Canter, Robert French, David Griner, Tammy Hart, to Dana Lewis, Andre Natta, Phyllis Neill, Will Scott, Jeff Vreeland, Stacey Hood and of course Ike Pigott all of them brought value, humility, a sense of community and a sense of “leave the ego at the door and lets learn from each other.” You don’t get that at 95% of the conferences that you attend. That’s why Social South worked.

Of course I would be remiss to not bring up 2 more people. The first is as finest an individual that I’ve met from practically meeting for the first time. This person essentially pulled Social South together and shaped it into the conference that it was and did it in a way that it was seamless and looked effortless. Scott Schablow you rock.

Esra’a Al Shafei

What can I say. This person gave one of the most riveting non-keynote keynotes I have ever heard. And it was via Skype. The night before Scott Schablow mentioned that every time he heard her speak, it gave him goose bumps. I had no idea what he was talking about. Yet, this was no exception. Not only did it give me and everyone else goose bumps, it also reduced more than half the audience to tears and the rest were giving her a standing ovation.

Esra is the founder and Executive Director of MideastYouth.com, and what she did was she showed the crowd gathered at Social South the true power of crowdsourcing people for the cause of freedom and human rights via  social media, via video, via the internet and really any other means possible. She showed what’s possible. What is possible.

In short, it was the perfect keynote for a group of people who were so into what they were doing. People who were so genuine, that it made perfect sense for them. As I said, you don’t get that at other conferences. You hope to, but you generally don’t.  And That’s why Social South worked. Thank you #Soso!

I could go on, but it might take days to highlite everything! But one more thing before I go, here is that tattoo and remember,”Virtus sola nobilitas.” :)

tat

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Social Media conundrum #714. Are relationships campaigns?

Maybe some of you are missing the point.

I think some of you are thinking that social media is this:

field-of-dreams-scene

If you build it…blah, blah, blah…

But if we look at the offline equivalent of online relationships, you wouldn’t do this.

waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring

Waiting for the phone to ring?

The same holds true online and in social media. Whether you are connecting or you are creating, or you are immersing yourself in culture. It takes work. It takes a leap of faith and it takes a belief that it’s all worth it. And once it starts, it doesn’t stop.

leap

But decide right now. Whether you are a company or a small business owner or an individual. What is your commitment going to be? And, what do you want to get out of it? We all have a notion of what we want to get out of any engagement. Social media is no exception. Beth Harte has put together a wonderful Slideshare of this thought which she presented to a packed room at Social South this past week. Essentially saying, social media requires planning and measurement.

But couldn’t you say that about relationships? You don’t enter into a relationship blindly, and you certainly have expected or anticipated outcomes of your involvement and committment to that relationship. Right?  Look at Slide #13 of Jason Falls presentation on The Marketing of Unmarketing and see if you can figure out what these people are referring to.

Once people get past the…

jerry

“You had me at hello”…

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and understand that social media and the realtionships YOU will create are not a campaign. But you knew that right?


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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