Posts Tagged 'brian solis'

Using Twitter to grow your business-Webinar

Using Twitter to Grow Your Business
Live Webcast June 23, 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

Twitter describes itself as “a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” And with over 75 million global users generating over 50 million tweets per day, there’s a lot to share and discover.

Small and mid-sized businesses have discovered Twitter and are using it to raise awareness of their business, engage and support customers, generate leads, drive sales and much more.

Presented by MyVenturePad and SAP, this live interactive webinar will explain how small and mid-sized businesses can quickly and easily get started on Twitter, as well as advanced tips and techniques for using Twitter to grow your business.

This free, one-hour session will cover how to:

  • Establish and build your Twitter presence
  • Use Twitter to engage and support your customers
  • Generate leads and bring in new business using Twitter
  • Use Twitter as part of your firm’s marketing mix
Featuring:

Brian Solis is author of the new book Engage, the complete guide to build, cultivate and measure success in the new Web. He is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. He is principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New Media agency in Silicon Valley, and has led interactive and social programs for Fortune 500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. BrianSolis.com is among the world’s leading business and marketing online resources.

Marc Meyer is the Director of Social Media and Search at Digital Response Marketing Group in Naples, Florida. He frequently speaks, writes and evangelizes on the emergence and convergence of social media into our lives, and his blog is ranked in the Adage Power 150, the top 5 of all social media marketing blogs ranked by Post Rank Analytics. Marc is also a featured writer and member of his favorite “go-to” site, Social Media Today. In recent months, Marc was nominated as one of the top 100 online marketers of 2009, has won a Hermes creative award for co-creating a Tweet Town Hall on healthcare, and has been recognized as one of the top social media strategists to look out for in 2010.

Steve King, moderating for this event, is a partner at Emergent Research and a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Steve’s research is focused on identifying, analyzing and forecasting global trends and shifts impacting small businesses, including the growing small business role Facebook and other social media are playing. Steve is the blogger in residence at MyVenturePad.

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Should bloggers be held to journalistic standards?

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Yes they should. But they’re not and that gets them in trouble.  remember the old saying, Measure twice cut once? That means you’ve only got one shot at cutting the piece of wood. The point being “make sure” you have the right measurement. Be sure about your post, before you hit publish.

Back in September I remember asking Brian Solis the exact same question at Web 2.0 expo in New York, “Should Bloggers be held to journalistic standards?” and he answered yes. Bloggers need to be held to some type of standard.Why did I ask Brian? Because he has a unique perspective, he’s a content creating machine and he cranks out volumes of noteworthy and spot on commentary about the social media and PR space and he is accutely aware of what he writes and says.

But a larger point is this.

Bloggers need to hold THEMSELVES to some sort of standard.

Why? Because when they start writing about people and companies and events- and if they have any type of influence, and they get it wrong-the backlash can be brutal for all parties involved.

Which leads me to the reason I’m writing this post. Yesterday Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang wrote a post about the social media company, Mzinga. It did not go over very well.  Suffice it to say that regardless of whether Jeremiah was correct in what he asserted or speculated, what happened next was nothing short of a shit storm.

Yes the mob mentality reared it’s ugly head again and yes Jeremiah was wrong in his approach. But at some point, 2 things need to occur. One, the Mob mentality needs to back off. and Two, Jeremiah needs to apologize.

After comment #19 Jeremiah realized he screwed up and he ultimately apologized and posted a retraction of sorts. However the mob continues to vent some 60 comments later. At last count there were 2 posts that were sympathetic.

So what do we learn from this?

Interestigly enough, even a Forrester analyst has room for improvement. It’s a simple as this for Jeremiah and actually speaks to a vlog I did prior to this post. One of the things we must do, as hard as it is, we must:

Practice a sense of patience.

Instead of rushing to break a story, perhaps it might make better sense to feel the situation out or better yet..”Measure twice, cut once”.

Ultimately, since we do not want to be policed by the mob mentality, we have to police ourselves, and hold ourselves to some type of journalistic standard. No one else will-unless of course you count the blog mob and twitterati.

Lastly, for the mob mentality. Ok  so you’re pissed. And you let Jeremiah know about it. Ok he got that. I get that.  But reiterating over and over again, virtually the same thing, gets tiresome, boring and lacks any type of  originality or constructive criticism.  Maybe the mob needs realize that pitchforks and torches never really worked that well anyway.

simpsons-mob-torches

The only 2 questions an SMB will ask about Social Media

I had been throwing the following around in my head after meeting with a quite a few business owners and talking with some respected thought leaders in the social media marketing space and I want to know what you think.

As an SMB you need to ask two primary questions when pitched with incorporating some aspect of social media in to your business and they are:

#1  What is in it for me and my business?

#2  What’s in it for my customer?

Simple enough right?  But we’re forgetting someone. Someone as critical to the business as the customer is. Do you know who it is? One of the beauties of social media is that there are so many layers, aspects and dynamic components that allow it to address people it all levels of an organization. Including the sometimes forgotten and under appreciated employee.

So Mr. or Mrs. SMB, what we are really saying is that, if social media is pitched or considered then, the pitcher/social media practitioner, should be focusing on 3 aspects of the business:

  • The business owner
  • The customer
  • The employee

For the business owner you will want tangible hard core proof of “If I do this, this is what I can expect for my business and my employees and If I do this, this is what the customer can expect or will do, or this will be the customers reaction. It’s that simple.

If you are a social media marketing…person,  show the SMB what the expected results will be. Give them examples of either what you have done, or… if you are in the majority and are just starting out as a social media marketing N00b, utilize the many URL’s that are starting to crop up citing examples of other companies using social media components within their organizations.

Here is a list of links that SMB’s can utilize that may help them in at least understanding more of what is going on should they be approached by a “social media marketing consultant” or are thinking about doing it on their own. At the least, you will get a better understanding of what’s in it for you, and whats in it for your customer!

Why Executives Don’t “Get” Social Media This is a good article on executive level mindsets as they wrestle with including social media into their companies.

The Ultimate Small Business Twitter List This is not only a great list but it also includes a list of Orgs. and their employees or Reps. that serve the small business market.

Here is a great link on Facebook titled, Social Media for Small Business that some of you should check out.

Why Social Media Is Worth Small Business Owners’ Time Taking advantage of all the Web has to offer is like eating your vegetables or getting exercise — most of us don’t do enough, and even those that do could always do more.

My friend, Amber Naslund, who now works at Radian 6 has 2 posts that I think are worth reading. here is the first Getting a social media foothold and The social media starter kit. Self explanatory right?

Lastly we’re going to finish with some video. I encourage all of you SMB’s out there to watch it, as well as newcomers to social media marketing. It includes a number of my friends and colleagues and thus, I would put a lot of stock in what they are saying. They are the genuine real deal:  Brian Solis, Rohit Bhargava, Tim FerrisToby Bloomberg, David Alston, Liz Strauss, and Paul Chaney,

Lastly, let me say this. IF, you are a social media marketer, wannabe, or whatever… At the end of the day, you better do a pretty damn good job of stating your case. Because no one, and I mean no one can afford to screw up right now and the last thing an SMB wants is for them to be your test case!

The Virtual Street Cred of Twitter

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about virtual credibility. I guess because a lot of the people that follow me on Twitter have some interesting bios. Some that would have you thinking or believing, “wow this person is impressive.” They say they  do this and they have x amount of followers etc. etc.

Simply put, at some point your bio, your connections and the number of followers you have are going to mean nothing unless you can back it up with true hands on experience and knowledge. I will venture to say though, that you can learn a lot about someone via 140 characters  or less. Consider that the ice breaker or the get to know someone phase if you will. And you know what? It can become pretty obvious after awhile, when actually talking to someone whether they have the “chops” or not.  That’s the difference between virtual credibility and “virtual street cred.”

“Virtual Street Cred”

I could refer you to the urban dictionary for the loosely defined version of “street cred” but attaching the word “virtual” to it simply means that it’s one thing to talk it in the virtual space that is the blogosphere or Twitter, but it’s a whole nuther’  thing to walk it.

So yesterday I tweeted that I was thinking about virtual credibility, when Rachel Happe, whose views and opinion I respect very much, asked the following question:

Is “virtual credibility” like virtual currency…it’s not really money but it looks like it on the internet? :)

Bingo!  So, over the past few months, I’ve been having actual conversations with people I’ve gotten to know from Twitter. This is significant on a number of levels. Not the least of which is the virtual relationship has become something other than “tweeting” back and forth. Another significant aspect, is that before Twitter, I might have still been able to talk to people in the marketing, social media, PR and decision maker space but…It would have taken perhaps a cold call or semi-warm one at best to engage them. And many more to get to some type of comfort level.

Twitter has allowed us ways to create amazing relationships and opportunities at a rapid rate. Prior to Twitter we would have had to work twice as hard to get to know each other.  As Brian Solis puts it in his most recent post:

As Twitter gains in relevance and prominence, its conversation platform will ring the alarms of any business that monetizes relationships, connections, and information exchange

From Twitter I’ve received opportunities to work on projects. I’ve also, on a daily basis been privy to a massive stable of talent that I can refer to for help, perspective, resources, advice, knowledge, expertisepartnerships and wisdom and most of all friendship. I have gotten to know people from so many diverse backgrounds that would have never happened otherwise. The majority of these people are a mere DM away.  That is an amazing aspect that is not overlooked by me.  Some of these people now have, in my eyes attained.

“Virtual Street Cred”

In the comments section of a post by Radian 6’s Amber Naslund, Marketer Beth Harte says the following.

I used to think Twitter was silly (hated it really), but now, it’s invaluable. All those tweets really build a character of the people you interact with. And then when you meet them in person, it’s like you already know them well and you can move past the ‘getting to know you’ phase into a deeper relationship. Imagine that from a business perspective…wow!

I feel that way too.

How about you? What has happened to you since you’ve embarked on Twitter? Good, bad, or indifferent?

The top 10 blogs to read in 2009

award-certificate

Yep add my blog post as one of those end of year “lists’. But as I’ve stated, I’m going to scale back what I read. I’m going to hone in on quality. With that being said here is my list with reasons why. They also are in no particular order either.

  1. Paul Chaney’s Conversational Media Marketing blog always has an interesting post or content. It’s light, it’s a good read and it’s insightful.
  2. Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog is always in the sweet spot. Her stuff is short, generally, always to the point, and it resonates on many levels.
  3. Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog is a no brainer. It’s updated daily and it’s chock full of content that makes you better at what you do. Even if you don’t do “it”, it’s worth reading.
  4. Chris Brogan is our Grand Poobah”. Now I know he’s taken hits lately but look, Chris gives away 10 times more than he takes, and thus he should be a blog that you check in on from time to time. He’s a content creating fool.
  5. Valeria Maltoni true to her tag line, “connects her ideas with people”, and will make you think. When I read her stuff, that’s what happens. Her blog is another that I dip into every once in a while for perspective. She’s current, always on point and she’s eloquent.
  6. I like the Ignite Social Media Blog but it might be because it’s very vertical for me. I’m entitled to one or two of these, and this is one of them.
  7. Ok, so something about Joseph Jaffe makes me want to read his stuff. It’s funny usually, and underneath it all, there’s generally some sort of marketing theme or message.
  8. Beth Harte is one smart cookie. She says it in a straight shootin way. She’s respected, she’s connected and she knows all things marketing.  You will love her perspective.
  9. Brian Solis is a good read, he churns out content, it’s not over your head, it’s current and it’s useful. Boom.
  10. Mashable is the source or the site you would go to if you needed information, if you need updates and if you could only go to one site. This is it. Check it out.

Honorable Mentions

Here are 10 more that I read because  they are prolific in cranking out content that is in tune with the issues of marketing, PR,  social media, and life. You didn’t think I could just read 10 blogs a day did you? Well neither will you, not with this much quality out there!

  1. Ari Herzog
  2. Liz Strauss
  3. David Armano
  4. Peter Kim
  5. Jeremiah Owyang
  6. Mack Collier
  7. Amber Naslund
  8. Adam Cohen
  9. Gavin Heaton
  10. Ken Burbary

Like I said, it’s quality over quantity, though all of these people churn out some pretty good quantities of content. I could only hope to do the same.  I look forward to continued learning from all of them.

What can social media do for reputation management?

 

Alot has been written about online reputation management of late, and recently I was asked by a company to explain to them what I had done in regards to reputation management. So I’ve decided to recount what I did and what were the results.

 

About 18 months ago Emerson Directs’ web presence was no more than a brochure-ware site with no more than 3 pages of cursory content with zero traffic and zero web presence. all of its business was by word of mouth and referral. The only web presence was of SERP’s of information on an FTC settlement and consumer affairs reports on some bad customer service that occurred over 6 years ago.

 

Realizing that this had to have and was having a negative impact on the company and its ability to go out and get new business, I decided to do a few things. In short order, 1) I decided to create a new website, 2) a Social Media Optimization strategy wrapped around creating a number of social media pages devoted to the company-specifically the company name, 3) a blog site devoted to pushing out a more positive and leader like image for the company, 4) a robust social networking campaign 5) a Twitter persona in which I knew and hoped that people would go from the tweet to the blog site or to the website based on the quality of the tweet and lastly 6) be more visible and authentic with current and potential clients.

 

By creating the blog, it was another way of creating more content as well as another web site devoted to the Emerson Direct brand. As of today, The blog averages more than 10,000 visits per month, connects with clients, potential clients, and the casual reader, and has received numerous accolades. All of which were not my goal going on. They include ranking in the Adage power 150 The Power 150 is a ranking of the top 900 English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The site is also ranked #23 of the Junta 42 which ranks the top 42 content marketing blogs. It’s also ranked oddly enough in the UK for top marketing blogs. It’s also part of the Big List of SEO blogs compiled by Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog. The indirect result of all of this, is people go from the blog to the website. The indirect direct result has been the creation of my personal brand as well, which has been cool and also very humbling since that was never my goal.

 

The residual effect of this effort has been tremendous in 1) driving traffic to a new site we built as well as 2) creating more opportunity for the company as well as 3) driving down the negative websites and 4) managing our website and companies’ online reputation in a more positive and proactive fashion and 5) I’ve become the de facto spokesperson for the reputation management campaign that Emerson Direct  undertook, as well as a champion for all things social media related and 6) Their phone has been ringing and 7) I’ve made some great new friends and contacts and 8. I’ve learned a ton and  9) respect so many others in the space now.

 

In regards to other forms of social media, I’d also created company related personas at nearly all of the top social networking sites, and even some of the lesser ones. I would venture that the total number was close to or had been 50. Some of those sites included YouTube, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Disqus, Propeller, Friendfeed and Twitter. All good viable ways of sharing content and changing a bruised reputation. Delicious is a prime example of my social media book marking efforts, in which I have over 600 bookmarks. That might not seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is.

 

I’ve toned all of this down now, as I’ve been able to dial it back, tweak it, and develop a happy medium with a consistent social media presence in the places where it’s most effective. Plus the time suck was killing me.

One note:  I also created a number of filters in Google Alerts, Summize  and Backtype that keep and kept me abreast of anything that was said or written about me, the brand, the company, or any of the products that they were marketing, which I highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

The culmination of these social media and reputation management efforts has been, to put it mildly, extraordinary. Not a day goes by where they do not see some type of positive ripple effect both professionally and or for me personally from these efforts. 

The interesting thing about this whole exercise has been, and some people might not realize this, the tremendous amount of effort and work required to maintain and do all of this. The payoff though has been well worth it. I also think it’s important to note, that you cannot afford not to be doing some variation of the above. What do you think? What more could I have done? Did I miss anything?

 

 

You have no idea how much you know

I was on the phone yesterday with a student from Columbia U who is doing her Masters thesis on a certain aspect of social media. We were on the phone because we exchanged a bunch of emails and she felt that maybe a call was in order. After 45 minutes of talking about all aspects of social media we were done. I hung up and I thought to myself; “Wow, did all of that just come out of me?”

Let me sum up what I chatted about.

  • I told her people like Scoble and Chris Brogan had devotional followings yet were different in nature and focus.
  • I mentioned that people like Brian Solis offer an interesting take on the landscape that is the ever-evolving moving target of social media.
  • I mentioned that she should check out Naked Conversations as a primer on what the blogging scene is all about and where it came from and where it’s going.
  • We talked about how Twitter is a great way to connect with Rock Stars, A-listers and thought leaders, but can still pull people into your circle that you have no reason why they are there.
  • I told her she should check out Danah Boyd and some of her work on Social media, teens and class divisions
  • We talked about why people do not contribute right away in social networks, though they have joined a community; and that it could be they’re just not completely comfortable yet.
  • As well, different demographics have different comfort levels in embracing new media.
  • We talked about communities and how individuals and brands operate within those communities.
  • I abused the words authentic, transparent, and “real”.
  • I’m pretty sure I did not take a breath.
  • I stressed that Chris Brogan is walking the line that separates saturation and Scoble like status.
  • I told her that Seesmic would be a good way to connect with people in regards to some of her social network questions
  • I’m pretty sure I mentioned David Armano
  • We talked about the goal of brand participators in communites and the challenges they face in trying to connect with their users and customers
  • I forgot to tell her which of my favorite blogs would help her in her research, so here’s the shortlist.

———————–

  • Brian Solis- Brian is very giving with his thoughts and observations on social media and PR,
  • Valeria Maltoni- If you want deep, thought provoking takes on all things social and beyond, I highly suggest you add her blog to your list 
  • Adam Cohen-Adam is a new add to my list but I enjoy his take and the variety of his posts
  • Ari Herzog-good writer, good take and his posts are timely.
  • Peter Kim-I’ve been probably been giving Peter too many props lately but man his stuff is so insightful.

So after all that, I sat there and started thinking. My first thought was that earlier in the day, I was explaining social media to a bunch of people in a doctors office. The first question out of their mouth was to ask if it was like an online dating site. Ouch.

Having my little chuckle to myself, my next thought was about what I just verbally spewed out to the grad student from Columbia, who by the way, didn’t know as much as I expected. This gave me pause to ponder what do I know? Was it alot? A little? 

Well, maybe I do know a little about some things but… I do know this. The people that I deal with, and talk with, and share with, and laugh with, everyday in my communities, know a lot. ALOT.  And everyone else outside of these circles or spheres that I float in, just might not. And that’s pretty cool. So I wanna thank you for letting me be a part of that.


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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