Posts Tagged 'hashtag social media'

15 Things I’ve Learned from 138 Social Media Tweetchats

More than 2 years ago Jason Breed and I decided to create a Tweetchat.  The format was pretty simple, we would find a killer, compelling host in the social space, like a Beth Harte who was our very first host, and we’d pick a killer, topical, compelling, subject. After we settled on the topic, we  would collaborate on 3 questions and off we would go to promote it for the following Tuesday. We also decided to create a killer, award winning, website thanks to developer Terry Mckyton that would captures all of the conversations in real time and even allows you to tweet from the site, but other than that, we were ready to go have Tweetchats. Boom.

When Jason first called me, he was looking for ways to  brand  his previous company. At the time, the Tweetchat, “Journchat“, was on fire and that was our inspiration. In the course of about a 1 minute conversation, Hashtagsocialmedia was born.  We had no idea that 2 years and 138 tweetchats later, “Hashtag” as we call it would still be chugging along.

So what have I learned?

1) Tweetchat’s don’t work w/o participation. From having great hosts to having great participants, you need both to succeed.

2) The content comes from the crowd. The gold is in the conversations.

3) Trolls can easily be exposed and don’t last long, but contrarians can bring balance and perspective.

4) There is always a retweetable soundbite that can sum up the discussion. Always.

5) There is never a shortage of topics though some seem to be more popular than others.

6) Passion is never on short supply.

7) Smart people are everywhere.

8. The generosity of the hosts has always surprised me and yet doesn’t.

9) The value of the conversations lasts longer than the Tweetchat

10) We can always learn and takeaway something even from sub-par Tweetchats

11) Every Tweetchat will be different. No two are the same.

12) There is a ton of room for growth for all Tweetchats.

13) There needs to be a next gen level of Tweetchats

14) Businesses, brands and companies should incorporate tweetchats into their marketing mix

15) People actually learn from tweetchats.

I could easily come up with 123 more “things” I have learned, because I have learned something from each and every one of them, but the point is, there is always a takeaway. In fact, not only have I grown from these Tweetchats, but also from the half dozen others that I pop in to from time to time. The bottom line is that Tweetchats are a tremendous opportunity to network, grow and expand your user, knowledge and friend base to the nth degree.

I’m better because of our Tweetchat, I’m better because of the people I’ve met from them, and I know it brings value to others and that makes me feel pretty damn good. Tweetchats work. So tell me, have you participated in our or any Tweetchat? What has been your experience?

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This weeks #Social Media Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Posted: May 3rd, 2010    By: Jason Breed

The title of this post pretty much sums it up.  So often we get caught up in frameworks and checklists and strategies and everyone is running around looking busy.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch where the real work happens, consumers are still being marketed online.  How could this be?

It is helpful sometimes to take a step back and take a look at what you are doing from the outside looking in.  Consider how your consumers view you online and where they view you.  You might begin to understand why your social programs are performing the way they are.  So many strategies stop at the tools so you end up with a blog or a Facebook page and the strategist goes home.  Inevitably the same marketer or communications person does what they know and starts blasting messages.    As a result, the consumers that you were trying to get closer to actually end up further away.  To translate this back into social media jargon, you end up with an audience of lurkers (assuming they stay that long) when you are attempting to get those consumers engaged.

Jake McKee 90-9-1.com

Jake Mckee’s infamous 90-9-1 pyramid comes to mind.  If you do not make it easy, fast and safe for consumers to engage you will end up with more than 90 percent lurkers trolling your content.  On the other hand, if you take the time to create baby steps of engagement like a simple “thumbs up/down”, share this, or even a one question “quick poll” your audience will begin to engage more.  This helps to establish trust as well.  With trust comes responsibility though.  If you allow members to digitally attack each other via comment threads, etc then you will end up with the same 4 people running your site like street dogs marking their territory on trees.  Curating community content to keep it safe will go a long ways for members to want to contribute and connect with greater frequency.

Once they are connecting with higher frequency, what’s your plan then?  What messages do you want those consumers sharing?  Your consumers have 2 experiences with every interaction they have with you.  Those 2 experiences are perception and reality.   If you ask for suggestions, get them and never respond or even acknowledge them, the consumer’s perception is that you really don’t care.  All of these experiences get crafted into a story that is told and re-told online, at dinner parties, at the gym and anywhere else someone brings up your store, brand or product.

If consumers are your storytellers, then shouldn’t you have a plan to help shape that story every chance you get?  Two main themes are emerging: 1) enable consumers to connect with you more frequently and 2) have a plan in place to help mold their story about you once you do connect.  Sound straightforward?  If it does then you have never had to a) manage a community first hand, b) never been responsible for results or c) all of the above.

By design, our moderator has a lot of experience doing both.  Kyle Lacy is the head of Brandswag and a highly sought after social media practioner for businesses.  Kyle will lead a discussion around how to better connect with consumers by converting more passive consumers into active consumers of your brand and what to do once they become active.  This discussion will follow our weekly Tuesday event schedule taking place 5/4 at noon Eastern.    The topic and questions will be:

Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Q1) What are ways to move customers up the interactive chain from lurker to influencer?

Q2) What’s the value of storytelling vs. messaging?

Q3) How can you get customers to take action on your behalf and tell the story for you?

The event will begin with Q1 at noon eastern followed every 20 minutes with the next questions.  To follow along and add your POV simply track #sm58 via any Twitter client or follow along via our LIVE page.

This weeks #Social Media Topic: Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs #SM55

Effective social media programs? Yeah right, how would you ever prove it? That’s the struggle of corporate social media marketers.  There are tons of systems that help you listen and monitor, there are a lot of publishing tools that let you update multiple accounts and personas in the same dashboard, hundreds of social platforms and a few reporting tools.  The problem is they are all just that, all disparate systems that are not connected and certainly not integrated.

So back to the question, How do you manage the effectiveness of your campaign?  If you are like most social marketers today, there is little support for the social manager who is typically part of the marketing or communications team.  Left to their own devices, they usually use the free tools and simply infer the results that they can patch together.

There is a new suite of tools coming onto the market that proclaim Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) that begin to couple two or three components together.  Here’s the problem, even the specific SMMS solutions don’t provide a real look.  The current SMMS solutions are tools.  They were created as tools to measure other tools.  What’s missing are the actual use cases, the tools that marketers need to track, analyze and report campaigns.  In general, here’s a list of what’s missing:

  1. Central Database – to pull the results together and create a single platform to analyze and report from
  2. Proper Reporting – that integrates the different systems and provides true enterprise analytics and reports
  3. Advanced Sentiment Analysis – not just positive and negative either.
  4. CRM Integration
  5. Traditional Marketing Comparison

Take a look at that last point.  To truly understand the effectiveness of your social programs, you have to have something to compare them against.  Think about it, a platform that could listen, suggest influencers (based on advanced sentiment), provide a place to respond from, track internal links and their paths/subpaths, manage digital ad spend, then monitor traditional ad spends, effectiveness and finally compare and recommend an optimized marketing mix based on real-time results and all at an enterprise scale.  The panacea of managing the effectiveness of your social media programs.  (From my experience, I have only seen this solution from one provider, Accenture Interactive (Disclaimer: Jason Breed works for AI)).

The reality is that only the top brands require the type of solution mentioned above.  Every marketer has unique needs and unique results that will all have different values for each marketer’s brand.  There is one marketer that has the experience to help us work through what’s most appropriate for all needs.  That marketer is Tac Anderson.  Tac has experienced the brand side at HP and the agency side from his current position at Waggener Edstrom.  He will lead the discussion around the following topic:

Topic:  Managing the Effectiveness of Your Social Programs

Q1: What type of planning should go into your social media campaigns? What is your process?
Q2: What metrics should you always be looking at?
Q3: What should always be on your scorecard to measure effectiveness? Are there any constants?

We invite you to join the conversation on Tuesday 4/13 at 12 noon EST by following #sm55 from any Twitter client or from our LIVE site.

This week’s #Socialmedia Tweetchat topic: Twitter What’s Happened and What’s Coming!

TwittervilleIt is not often that a technology comes along and changes the world.  That is the case with Twitter.  Started in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter is a micro-messaging platform used to communicate via the web or mobile 160 characters at a time.  In only a few short years the service, both widely acclaimed and widely criticized, has certainly had it’s impact across all corners of the globe.

The impact varies as much as the individuals who use it.  Some things Twitter has been used for includes:

  • Reporting News – the first news and pictures of the Hudson plane crash were sent out on Twitter before any major media was on the scene.
  • Civil Unrest- like the twitterscope (microscope that Twitter creates, yeah I just made that up!) around the Iranian presidential elections of 2009.  The world gained insight into the civil dissention surrounding the election proceedures with detail like nothing ever witnessed before.
  • Education – grade school teachers turning to Twitter to help in class projects and providing global experiences.
  • US Politics- most notably, President Barack Obama used Twitter daily to connect with supporters pre-inauguration.
  • New Business – small companies using Twitter to scale like Threadless and others use it to pick up incremental business like Tony & Alba.
  • Public Relations – many companies are lifting the corporate communications veil and using Twitter to humanize the organization like Kodak’s CMO.  Government agencies are also using Twitter to communicate better

Need more examples?  Well, this week’s moderator actually wrote the book on Twitter case studies from over a hundred interviews he completed.  Now he wants your story.  Shel Israel has a storied career in the social media space helping companies, from start-up to grown-up, better utilize digital communications to grow their businesses.  This week’s #socialmedia chat will take a look at how Twitter is affecting all of us and where Twitter’s value will lie in the future.  As one of the industry’s most respected thought leaders, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to “hang out” with Shel Israel for an hour.

Topic: Twitterville – What’s Happened, What’s Coming

Q1: How did Twitter change you business in 2009?

Q2: How will Twitter change in 2010?

Notice anything different here?  This week we will focus on only two questions (compared with the usual 3).  Please join us Tuesday 01/26 at 12 noon EST and follow along at #sm44

This weeks #Social Media Tweetchat Topic: Socializing My Business – What Comes After the Chit-Chat?

chitchatcafeEveryone’s talking about integrating social media into our everyday business.  Whether you have a small local business or are a global enterprise, everyone is interested in the best way to incorporate social media practices in some way to solve their business challenges.  As with any disruptive technology there are no shortages of short-sighted integration strategies. Initially we all focus around the new shiny toys/technology then we focus on the people side and the individuals who are using the shiny new toys are how great they are for it.  Eventually we need to evolve, to discover the best ways to integrate into our management and business practices.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen many attempts at defining the RIGHT approach.  First, it was Forrester with the POST methodology where the People, Objectives, Strategy then Technology were the core focus.  This approach turned everyone into strategists, albeit for the betterment of campaigns.  Campaigns are how agencies are oriented, client teams organized by geography then charged with the next big idea to WOW consumers.  Therefore, this is how many large companies who outsource their creative and marketing duties with agencies started “trying out” social media, through a number of well-thought out , one off campaigns.  The problem with the campaign approach is that everyone figured out that if social media is about developing relationships then a series of unique campaigns could not possibly deliver on the expectations that social media marketing promises.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Dachis Group recently rolled out their methodology around Social Business Design.  This approach says that the only way to compete in the future is re-organize the entire enterprise from the ground up with a framework to be a social business by design.  There is some good thought here around culture, business process and technology however no company wants to be the first one to scrap decades of legacy to “try” a new way to build a company.  Even if the management agrees to it, the shareholders will demand proven solutions.

So where does that leave companies?  Right now it depends on their leaders.  If you break out small businesses, it comes down to the type of leader that runs the company.  Some individuals “get” Twitter or other tools and will figure out how to make them work best to solve their unique business challenges.  Other small business leaders still need to be convinced this new “fad” will last before they invest any of their time into it.  For each respective small business competing in a local market, it will come down to whomever continues to build better relationships with their consumers whether online or off.  If customers feel a connection, they will patronize that local company whether they follow them on Twitter or not.  It’s still that simple.  Want proof?  Look at how many small businesses still do not have a true website…and they have made it this far.  Focus on a great product and over-the-top service and people will continue to purchase from you and spread the good word.

For larger business competing in multiple markets or globally, social business will play a larger part of their business success.  The speed by which information travels socially is simply overwhelming, good or bad.  Consumers have a new expectation for engagement, service and transacting.  Companies who succeed will be the ones who are able to embrace this new consumer, employee, partner or shareholder and manage appropriately to those expectations.  Note of caution: Simply communicating quickly does not equate to a new, successful social business.  So what else is there?

Social business transformation is happening from many fronts and is yet to be perfected.  But one thing is for certain, you do need to understand more than just technology and culture to truly apply social to your business.  While every business is different from it’s management, employees, culture, focus, expectations, etc your consumers are still the same as your competitors.  The big question then is how to win.  In my opinion, those who consider the underpinnings of prior corporate revolutions will be better suited to transcend into this new age than those who continue to stay shallow in their thoughts.  Consider such areas of practice such as:

  • Psychology: Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs which refers to 5 basic needs including: physiological, safety, social, self-esteem and self actualization
  • Sociology: which is often referred to as the Social Science, is the study of human societies.
  • Network Sciences: LikeMetcalfe’s Law - which conspires that networks (of faxes, phones, computers, people, or anything else) dramatically increase in value with each additional node or user

These sciences have influenced business revolutions including the information, management and globalization business revolutions that have helped shape the pace by which we operate today.  The question is how the new Social revolution will re-shape traditional business practices today and in the future.  Less discussed movements like social production, cognitive outliers, the wisdom of crowds and distributed transparency will certainly help shape this business revolution and the companies who embrace these learnings will emerge as leaders in the future.  The only way to get your businesses out front will be to look beyond the shallow dialogue like openness, authenticity, transparency and building relationships that is prevalent today and start understanding how the sciences will continue to influence business and consumer expectations.

Social, Managerial and Organizational Dimensions will all have an impact on both intra-organizational and inter-organizational aspects in social business integration.  To take us through this week’s conversation will be a true change agent in her own right, Kristi Colvin.  Kristi has a tremendous amount of experience leading corporate integration of disruptive technologies.  She will lead us through a series of questions to help challenge us to think deeper in managing our organizations through this monumental, customer led sea-change that is upon us.  The topic and questions follow:

Topic: Socializing My Business – What Comes After the Chit-Chat?

Q1: Why do we even need to integrate social into our businesses?

Q2: How should you begin to socialize your business and what should you expect?

Q3: What does social business integration look like for employees & the company?

This week’s chat will take place Tuesday 1/15 at 12 noon EST as usual.  To follow the discussion, use #sm42 from any popular Twitter app (like tweetchat, Tweetdeck,Seesmic) or from our LIVE page.

Social Media Rock Star Syndrome

Twankers, Rock Stars & Gurus – Authenticity In A World of Exploding Egos

The term “Authenticity” get played out a lot.  I mean – ALOT!  It gets used to discuss personal branding issues like what kind of avatar should you use and how to disclose if you get paid to communicate a product or experience.  Authenticity is used to discuss ethics in business including can you outsource moderation of your community or what if corp communications manages the CEO’s blog?  Most of the discussion comes down to the distaste for people trying to be posers online.  The fact is whether online or off, people are going to stretch the truth (or outright lie).   It happens.

This week, we wanted to change up the conversation a bit and look at it from a personal perspective.  Authenticity is a way of being and not something that can be attained by following some corporate policies.  While there many people who start out being truly authentic it’s interesting what happens when some get a few wins under their belts.  Somewhere they begin believing everything they hear and their ego gets in the way of what was once rational thinking.  Kind of a “forgetting your roots” scenario.

Then we have the people who stay true to their character despite success or sometimes fame.  Our moderator this week certainly fits the latter description.  Rohit Bhargava is a SVP at Ogilvy 360 Digital  Influence (which he was a founding member) and is the author of the award winning book Personality not Included.  Despite his success, he remains truly authentic at every level.  How does he do it? We”ll find out this Tuesday at noon EST.

Something a bit different this week as we will start out with everyone sharing their thoughts on who, today, exemplifies authenticity whether famous or not.  Then as everyone joins we will start with Q1 that asks an interesting question.  For businesses looking to get established in social media, do you need to task someone who has already built up their own personal brand or can you be successful in building a corporate brand even though your personal brand is not established?  The next question should be a hot one.  Let’s say you have social media success in the consumer packaged goods industry, are you qualified to lead a team from the healthcare industry?  In other words, is social media the same across industries or do you have to specialize.   Then Rohit will tackle a question that centers around the idea that some contend extensive personal branding can detract from a company’s branding efforts.  This week’s topic and questions:

Topic:  Twankers, Rock Stars & Gurus – Authenticity In A World of Exploding Ego

Pre Q1: Who do you feel lives up to being authentic in the digital world?

Q1: Do you have to ROCK your personal brand in SocMed before you try to ROCK your company’s?

Q2: Does Social Media expertise transcend industries?

Q3: Does personal branding compete with or add-to your Company’s market influence?

With Rohit, we are in for a fun chat that is sure the raise the bar for all of us.  Plan on joining us Tuesday at noon EST by following the #sm34.l

 

November 10th #Socialmedia topic-Social Media’s Impact on Business and ROI

Social Media’s Impact on Business (and ROI)

gas_powered_blender

Feeling like stirring the pot a bit this week so we thought a discussion on ROI should do it.

ROI certainly can stir the pot.  But, saying that most of everyone’s conversations on this topic are not actually ROI, rather Impact on Business (IOB), takes the act of stirring and turns it into a blender.  Ahh, much better!

So let’s start by saying that just because it’s “social” does not mean it should be held up to standards typically defined by financial returns whether in business, government or non-profits.  Someone can start a blog or join twitter simply to better understand the tools or to connect with associates they just met at a conference.  This becomes truly social and may at some point have an impact on your business whether financially or some other measure but does not need to be tied into sales goals just because an employee wants to post office pictures so other offices can see how they decorated for the holiday party.  That’s a beginners first step into social computing but not what we are interested for this discussion.

What we are looking for here is to better define and understand what we sometimes mean when we refer to ROI as a verb instead of referring to ROI as a financial metric.  The real definition of Return on Investment (ROI) is: gain from investment minus cost of investment, then divided by cost of investment.  Business books are written, classes are taught, and undergrad studies are derived from this very straightforward metric.  When I talk about ROI, I try to dumb it down a bit into either: 1) increase revenues, 2) decrease costs, or 3) increase in shareholder value and that assumes a financial investment of course.  So why then, does the term ROI get thrown around so much in the context of social media when no financial gain or costs saved are referenced?

Impact on Business (IOB) is the actual term that should be used when discussing things like: # of followers, brand awareness, mentions, impact, conversations and what ever else you can think of that is not related to a financial calculation.  The impact of an employee being nice on twitter is great.  The fact that the customer decides to continue service (Retention) as an indirect effect does not make the time that employee spent on Twitter an actual case for ROI.  It is however, IOB. Olivier Blanchard actually was the first that I know of to begin this discussion a few months ago here.  Companies all over are using social media to have an impact on their business like Kodak measuring Smiles or any company promoting their Facebook fan page.

Many industries discuss IOB like fast food, IT, or big box retailing and it affects every company’s business in some way or another.   You can even consider different departments of a company and the impact of HR, Payroll, PR, Sustainability, Operations play in a company.  Although often not connected directly to revenue, a company would have a difficult time without those departments.  Impact is easier to measure if you don’t have to tie it back somehow to ROI and ROI is much easier to measure if you don’t try to include calculations of impact.  To lead our discussion this week is Jacob Morgan, a principal at Chess Media Group, who focuses on Social Media ROI.  Jacob is well versed in this type of discussion and brings a lot of expertise to the table.  The questions will attempt to progress the discussion from ROI as a catch all phrase to the differences between Impact and ROI for businesses and how to align them.  They are:

1.  Whether Impact or ROI, what “Investments” could be measured to prove out value in Social Media?

2.   How can you prove value from Impact or ROI to executives to continue or try Social Media?

3.  What are some examples of businesses attaining true ROI from Social Media?

Plan on joining in this discussion Tuesday 11/10 at noon EST.  To join either follow #sm33 on Twitter or follow our LIVE site.

 

The UNPANEL

Ok, so the previous post was about our new project for Twitter. Hashtagsocialmedia.com, which revolves around targeted conversations-in this case, social media. Well here is the off-shoot of that project that bubbled up from those conversations with Jason Breed of Neighborhood America. The Unpanel.

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Hashtag social media launches

One of the great things about collaboration, social media, and the power of truly thinking outside the box, is that when you put words into action the finished product can be oh so cool. That is the case with Hashtagsocialmedia.com.

The idea for this came out of roughly 2-3 meetings with Jason Breed of Neighborhood America. It bubbled up over a desire to really try and extend the social media conversation beyond the boundaries it was currently taking place in, and do it in a collaborative and open environment.

6 weeks later, here we are.

sm

The premise is simple. Using the #journchat  theme of a hosted discussion we’ve decided to structure 1 hour per week (Tuesdays at 12pm eastern) around hot topics and issues that concern #socialmedia. With a guest host/moderator to keep the discussion moving forward, we hope to create some unique perspectives and POV’s on social media business issues.

So our first guest host is none other than Beth Harte Beth brings a tremendous amount of passion, experience and tell it like it is attitude to everything that she talks about, writes about and does as it pertains to social media and marketing. She is the perfect first choice.

We hope you can join us every Tuesday at 12 noon est. To help us take the business of social media into new directions


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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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