Posts Tagged 'jason breed'

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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The Social Customer

Posted: November 2nd, 2010    By: Jason Breed

You think marketer’s lives are rough, try being the customer.  So much is being thrown at the customer these days, its hard to keep up.

B2B Customers: You used to have a few vendors that competed for your dollars, the agencies were simply creatives and technology vendors simply did technology.  Without all the improvements in technology, manufacturing had many barriers to entry which reduced your choices.  You never heard about how vendors were treating your employees (good or bad) and you never cared how they were performing with other peers in related industries.  Marketing was marketing and technology was, well, technology and never did the two meet.  Decisions were made independently without concern to the ecosystems that are in place today.

B2C Customers: You were able to make purchase decisions simply based on how the product tasted, handled, or felt.  You did not worry about their greenhouse effects, the videos their employees were making behind the scenes or how much the same product cost at other stores within a 7 block radius.  Your friends may have mentioned cool products but you did not have to worry about your friends seeing every purchase you make (remember that Dixie Chicks album you really want) nor did you have to remember if you had ”like’d” the Brand in one of your networks.  You did not care what they were making next because if you did not want it, you would simply just not purchase it.  Forget writing letters to your friends to warn them that the “new & improved” product really wasn’t.

Fast forward to today.  Customers are more equipped through technology and network science to make purchase decisions than every before.  Interestingly enough though, the buying cycle is getting longer, not shorter.  Customer’s purchase paths have changed. No longer do they call you to see if something is in stock or what your hours of operation are. No longer do you get a chance to speak to prospects, they simply search online, visit the first few sites that come up, comparison shop through online and physical stores, review product ratings and comments.  If prospects can’t relate to the things they find in that process, those potential customer simply go away without you ever knowing they were actual prospects.

While purchase patterns have changed, so have expectations.  The expectation is that I, as a customer, can ask a question online to a company and get a response back either from other customer zealots or from the company itself.  The other expectations are that you are being a good corporate citizen (because I’ll find out if you are not) and that my vote counts.  I want to influence the direction of the next product, not as a shareholder, but as a product user and Lord help if my product breaks down before I think is reasonbly expected.

We know that customers are changing for both B2B and B2C and yes, even for B2B2C.  The challenge is that customers have not yet fully transitioned from customer-of-old to customer-of-new so they are still in motion.  They don’t know what they want in a Brand yet however the expectation is still there.  So how do you handle this?

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 Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Posted: April 26th, 2010    By: Jason Breed

On its surface, this topic is a “status quo” topic, one that fits into the traditional advertising model that says radio, television and print are channels therefore the Internet is a channel too.  Agencies and old-school marketers feel comfortable when discussing digital as just another channel.  They figure if a portion of their budget allocated to digital and they tweak their messaging to match the medium then Whoalla! we are all new-age digital marketers.

The problem with this approach is it assumes consumers are the same and want the same messaging pushed at them to interfere with their online entertainment just like they consume television or radio entertainment.  Consumers have changed!  Consumers do not shop the same, communicate the same, consume content the same nor do they react the same to advertising.  When it comes down to it this topic cannot be about marketers adding a new channel, it has to be about those marketers who can adopt to changing consumer behaviors and those who cannot.

Consumers no longer want to be talked at, they want to be engaged with.  They want to see who prepares the food and talk with the baggage handlers, they want to feel they have a voice in determining the features of their next car model and want to help select what charities their soda maker donates to.   The majority of companies today are not set up to handle this new consumer.  Decades of closed systems and legally approved content are getting in the way of companies trying to interact with the consumer.

So what is this post about then?  Even though consumers are changing their behaviors by the second, companies can not move that quickly.  Companies need to have some transition period to move from traditional to digital and it’s not just in the way they advertise.  This is a cultural shift,  a systems shift, a shift in processes and approvals to a more distributed workforce.  This is much more than simply a messaging shift.

This post is about transitioning.  Many times, the only way to move the needle or to convince traditional executives is with proof.  That proof comes in comparing what they already know and are familiar with and in a way that they understand like reports and measurements that can compare traditional apples with digital apples (apples to apples).  If you measure traditional marketing with reach (ie. magazine has 100k circulation + 2 times pass along and costs $5k) and sales (call volume rises when our infomercial airs and conversion increases 12%) then your digital marketing reports cannot use language like followers, subscribers and linkbait, they must be consistent.  The good news is with proven success comes additional funding and a higher tolerance for experimentation.

Once you are able to measure and report consistently across traditional/digital and begin to show positive results, how do you determine how much is the optimal amount to spend on each?  Again, a fully integrated interactive marketer does not allocate a bucket of monies per channel.  Integrated messaging and consumer engagement is determined by the need at the time.  If a customer makes an online mess, it may require an online video response or it may require an actual television ad to express your point-of-view.  In order to stay flexible and meet your daily needs you cannot have a pre-allocated budget based on channels that was set 9 months ago.

In staying with the theme though, you need to be able to show value as you transition from traditional advertising to more integrated.  You have to show that any investment is worth the return before executives will release additional funds and approve more experiential marketing.  In light of that, what is the right mix?  Ford transitioned 25% of their marketing budget to social.  Seems like an arbitrary number but what is the right mix for your company as it transitions from what it was to what it needs to be?

To help us get a better handle on the right marketing mix for your company, we are bringing in a moderator this week who not only understands the measurement and monitoring side, she also understands the business side and promotes the advancement of companies into a more integrated marketing approach.  Amber Naslund, the Director of Community at Radian6, understands organizational change is just as important as technical change is and knows how to get people there.  While there is before digital (traditional) and after, more importantly there is a during or a transition that not many can talk to except Amber.  This week’s topic and supporting questions are as follows:

Topic:  Managing the Marketing Mix: Which Channel is More Effective?

Q1:  How do you know your traditional marketing efforts are effective?

Q2:  How do you know your digital marketing efforts are effective?

Q3:  What is the right budgeting mix between traditional & digital?

Be sure to join us Tuesday April 27 at noon Eastern and participate by following #sm57 from any Twitter client or simply goto our LIVE page during the event.

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.

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.

This weeks #socialmedia tweetchat topic: The Next Big Thing is So Last Year #sm49

When: Tuesday, March 2nd / Noon Eastern
Hashtags: #socialmedia, #sm49
Topic: The Next Big Thing is So Last Year

    In the 49th edition of this popular and long-running chat series, Greg Verdino of Powered and Crayon fame,will be tackling on of his favorite topics and biggest business bugaboos — marketers’ exuberant (and often irrational) obsession with the next big thing, the flavor of the month, the latest but not-necessarily-greatest shiny object. We’ll plan to cover riff on three key questions:

    • Why are marketers so obsessed with the next big thing even though so many turn out to be next big busts?
    • How do you balance the benefits of strategic innovation with the risks of constantly chasing shiny objects?
    • What’s the one social media “old thing” most marketers still get wrong?

    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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