Posts Tagged 'marc meyer'

7 Tips for Staying on Top of the Social Wave

Often times you have to step in it to realize you are in it. With social media, you would have to have lived in a cave on an island in the Pacific to not know how ubiquitous it is. It’s permeating every part of our daily lives. With that being said, here are 7 “things” you should be aware of as we go forward in this digital world that can carry you and your company towards Web 3.0.

1) Look for more content to be produced by “others”. This means look  for the rise of the professional content creators masking as citizen journalists. They will blur the lines so much-you won’t know where the value lies. We used to marvel at UGC, but what is it when large organization start to pass their content off as UGC? Think of Wal Mart or Astroturfing. Know the difference between “real” UGC and professional content.

There’s a reason why Twitter is killing Facebook in CTR rates. Marketers are realizing that Twitter is a consumption vehicle for content and thus they are catching on in continuing to push out content- but they realize they must disguise the content in a way that is appealing and doesn’t seem hook ladened.

2) There will be a continued increase in the value of communities but you will also see more splintering of those communities into niches. Face it, we all have a niche, and connecting to those people via an online community, certainly drives a good portion of our searches. Knowing that people are searching for their tribes will help you in your understanding of market segments. Focus on focus-Want to grow your product? Find the niche, it’s there.

3) Mobile will be THE social platform.The global mobile market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2015. What are you waiting for? Your competitors? What are you doing about it? Get serious about mobile.

4) Social data will determine your next move in your future business engagements, don’t ignore it-Social data will be driving consumer engagement.

Companies are mining the social web to build dossiers on you. Information posted publicly on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, forums and other sites is fair game

5) Engagement strategies will be different on every channel because of the data returned from #4. Don’t assume that your social strategies will be the same across all BU’s. Each has it’s own nuance and needs. Be mindful that your social solutions will be different-understand their capabilities and their deliverables.

6) Mitigating loss of control in social media will continue to be underserved and undervalued. What seems to be common is that people don’t do anything from a crisis communication and loss mitigation standpoint until after things hit the fan. Create your social media worst case scenario plan, don’t wait.

7) Search will still rule, but social search will drive future customer engagement. How are you currently addressing the fact that people will be using a mobile device and could be doing searches through their social network of choice for products and service and companies? For starters, think local and then learn how it works.

If there were a way to etch these in pencil, I would do it. Things change so quickly in the digital social media world that nothing is finite and everything is fair game. But as an organization, agency or marketer trying to make heads or tails over what might happen-this is as good a snapshot as any to start from.

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The 7 Fluid Absolutes of Social Media for 2010


I think a lot about measurement.  Not only measuring my efforts during the workday, but also away from the office like in working out or where my money goes, or why I can’t lose weight- You know, the traditional stuff. But I also like to measure the collective efforts of both large companies and small when it comes to social media and social media marketing as well, and how it all plays out into today’s economy and how it utlimately affects you, the consumer. Thus, I came up with a couple of “fluid absolutes” that for now, make sense to me.

  1. Social media measurement will continue to adapt and evolve with the constant change of external markets and it’s influencer’s. It’s not always about ROI, I’m sorry.
  2. The rules of engaging the consumer and marketing to that consumer are changing at light speed with the advantage shifting towards the consumer and with the enterprise constantly trying to catch up.
  3. Social media engagement should be measured differently in tough economic times. But some rules will still apply when the dust settles.
  4. The tone, the fabric and the nuances of marketing and social media marketing is changing, but sadly, marketers are not.
  5. Consumer expectations of social media will not change during  the current economic woes because they still don’t know what to expect.
  6. The importance of social media optimization, SEO and it’s relationship to mobile has never been larger, yet some still don’t get it.
  7. Some Social Networks have less chance to thrive now,  than they did at this point last year.

As we wind down 2010 with essentially 2 1/2 months to go. What have you seen? What did you predict would happen and did not? What do you think will change? What didn’t change?

Who are You Blogging for? Your peers or Your Customers?

Recently,  Chris, our VP of Marketing sent me an email. Here is a snippet:

The ” Transitional social media marketing document” you sent me is way too vague for a rookie, and makes me go…Blink, Blink.  Again, yet another example of writing to your peers and not the target audience….

I thought or assumed I had sent him a good, insightful, explanatory document of how we go about our business in social media; and I told him he could show that to his clients and that they should have a pretty clear picture of what we do.

Lee Corso of ESPN College Football Gameday has a pretty popular phrase he uses just about every Saturday during College Football season…

“Not so fast my friend!”

There are a couple of problems with my “thinking” and it starts with my blog. I write what I know on my blog. I write to share my knowledge and I write to exchange thoughts and ideas of our industry with others. Yet very seldom do I write blog posts that our prospects or potential clients might understand. Occasionally I do, but the majority of the time I know I’m writing for my peers.

And that’s a problem. A small one for me, but a larger one for others.

In writing that document for Chris and our prospects, I was writing something that I understood, and those of you in the social media bubble understood. But not too many “other” people outside the bubble, like SMB’s or people just starting out, would have been able to grasp it.

We need to (I need to)  step back and understand who we are writing not only our blogs for, but also our white papers, our web copy and our sales literature.

If it’s for SEO purposes, then chances are it’s speaking to the search engines and not really to your customers. If you can somehow straddle the line of SEO and write for your customers and prospects, good on you.

If you write your blog for the sake of peer approval-that’s cool, but then what is the strategy for your blog?  To be liked by the folks in your industry? If that’s it, well then good on you.

It’s funny but we stress all the time about the mechanics of writing good blog posts and making sure its thematically written, has all the right links, a good title and what not but really…There are only 3 questions you need to answer.

  1. Why are you writing it?
  2. Who is it for?
  3. Will they understand it?

Not only does that apply to your blog but every other piece of written content you crank out for your company. You may understand it, but will they?

What or Who will Continue to Shape our Social Media World?

It’s cool to think about the future. especially when it comes to digital, social media, and marketing. With that being said, I started to think of who or what will continue to astound me in regards to pushing the social media envelope. Here are 10 things or people that will continue to move the dial for us. These are not in any particular order.

  1. Video-The number of videos viewed on YouTube every day is 2 billion. Let’s just say that people would rather watch video then read or write. Video continues to be the ties that bind us beyond our borders and generational and demographic differences. It’s social messaging at it’s finest.
  2. Smart phones-As we continue to move away from the desktop, and as the cost continues to drop and functionality rises, pretty soon, everyone will be armed with a device that will replace the television, the theater, the land line, the desk top computer and email. The smart phone is and will be the ultimate connector.
  3. Facebook-500 million users and still growing? Facebook continues to astound the doubters and envelope the adopters. To have a Facebook account is akin to having a cell phone-it raises eyebrows when you declare that you do not have either one. Enter the age of hyper connectivity and hyper communicating. Does it have a shelf life though?
  4. Apple-Apple continues to set the standard on how we “should”  and do consume our media, though don’t be amazed at their seemingly disinterest in applying branded social tools and functionality to their devices, just be patient. They may be Apple, but they aren’t stupid!
  5. Google-Though Google insists on trying to tap into our “social” lives with it’s ill fated attempts with Buzz, Sidewiki, and Wave- they still are the standard bearer in search. Search still dominates our everyday online activity and that will never cease. Stay tuned as to how Google starts and continues to weave social elements into our search results. They know that social and search is the NBT, (next big thing) they just seem to have trouble convincing others at the moment.
  6. Lady Gaga- 6,132,774 Twitter followers. That might be all you need to know. She is the #1 person on Twitter. As of August 2010, Gaga had sold more than 15 million albums and 51 million singles worldwide. In May 2010, Time magazine included her in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.  In June 2010, Forbes listed her fourth on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world; she is also ranked as the second most powerful musician in the world. Now think what she can do with that power and notoriety?
  7. Entertainment- To justify Lady Gaga, did you know that the average American consumer spends over $2,700 per year on entertainment? As social continues to evolve and weave us more into the fabric of “participating” and interacting with entertainment, look for this number to continue to grow. We want to be part of the entertainment as much as we want to watch it! The power of community is built into every facet, nook and cranny of the entertainment industry. They know this and they will continue to build this out.
  8. Social Media for social causes or social change-This area could see the biggest impact on the collective conscience of future generations. Why? Because of the ability to tell a digital social story both visually and textually. As well, having the ability to quickly appeal for immediate action has added a dimension to fund raising and “acting now” that has never existed before. Think Haiti. Think Iran.
  9. Millenials- The trail blazers, the digital natives and the connected. All of these terms define the 18-28 demographic that will be shaping and determining our digital, social  habits for years to come. They might not necessarily be the one’s creating the platforms, but they will determine usage habits. According to the Pew Research Center, Three-quarters have created a profile on a social networking site and One-in-five have posted a video of themselves online.
  10. This one is yours. What do you think will continue to move the dial for social media? Will it be LBS? Social commerce? Augmented reality?

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.

SEO and Social Media are Inextricably Joined at the Hip.

Is it reputation management, perception management? Or search management?

I was recently directed by Tom Martin to read an updated post by Rohit Bhargava on Social Media Optimization and while it did get me thinking again about something I had not given much thought to in a while, it, like many other blog posts, opens up another footlocker of thoughts.

As I’m wont to do oh so frequently, I started thinking about the term reputation management and what that really meant. Literally defined for us in the digital world, it’s about managing your reputation online.

Which means for most of us, reputation management means trying to control or do something about the bad comments that show up on Google’s first page of search results about our brand.  That something is usually defined as using social media and search techniques to make it go away or… Could we say that might be… Social Media Optimization?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Rohit’s definition or ” new rules” of SMO

  • Create shareable content
  • Make sharing easy
  • Reward engagement
  • Proactively share content
  • Encourage the mashup

But you see, at the end of the day the number of  social interactions/engagements you have, and the number of social profiles you have, and the number of social platforms you play on, all to a certain degree will be reflective in higher search rankings. So essentially Rohit’s 5 new rules contribute to better search results.

# of social interactions + # of social platforms + # of profiles = Better search results

Which means the reality is the sum total of all of this activity will alternately end up driving perception. So given that SEO is a key component, ancillary as it might be to contributing to social media, it still is the key determining factor in driving perception of people and brands.

I will say it again.

SEO and Social Media are inextricably joined at the hip.

So is managing your reputation via search and social also include your ability to understand the key components of search?

You bet it is.

Which means that bad companies ( poor customer service, bad products, etc.) could be very adept at SEO, and given that your perception may be controlled or driven by a manipulated or “gamed” search hierarchy, you would never know they suck.

Your perception of their reputation is skewed by a high search ranking and a search result that may have also been manipulated or influenced by surface level social media participation as well.

Which means that the algorithm is flawed.

Given that most of us are intent on putting our best foot forward and are hell bent on quelling or snuffing out negative press-it would seem to me that a full understanding of the implications of search along with a full understanding about the power of how all of your social interactions influence reputation management would be a sound business decision.

So here’s your takeaways.

  • Know that search and social media are tied to each other.
  • Do not treat the fact that you can control these things lightly.
  • Search can be your friend as much as it can be your enemy.
  • Understand that everyone has the ability to game the system.
  • Do not want to wait to address negative search results after the fact.
  • Dive deeper when doing your homework on companies and people.
  • Create meaningful social profiles
  • Participate in social media because you want to, not because of the SEO benefits.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

The Most Effective Social Media Strategy… That I Forgot About

Call it an epiphany. Over the past few days I have gone back to my roots and I feel better about it. It’s almost as if I’m reading Naked Conversations again. What is it that has reinvigorated me? A new tool? A new app? Nope, it’s even more simple than that. It’s right there in front of us and yet I think we’re getting so caught up in a perceived race of sorts that it has caused us to lose sight of a stark reality.

Here’s what it is.

About 5 days ago I decided to start reading “other people’s” blog posts that caught my eye. Prior to that, I read the faves of my peeps and moved on. I was just consuming. In some cases I commented on the new blog posts I read,  in others, I would point out to others that this person is worth following on Twitter. If not that, I reached out to that person either publicaly or privately, and just told them that I thought they were doing great things. Simple.

The effect?

It felt good for starters. I was giving back again. The essence of social media-talking to people. It’s why we gushed about social media in the first place. The connections. The conversations. I think all of us, me included, sometimes get caught up in the chase, or the numbers, or the push for discovery and we lose sight of the thing that made it so great in the first place-and still do, the variety, the freshness and smartness of other people that you meet and get to know.

This epiphany has also extended to using Twitter in a more conversational manner when I can. It’s really easy and convenient to watch the tweets roll by and click on links of interest and leave it at that. But far too many of us have preached to others about using Twitter to have conversations with brands and customers etc. etc. Well guess what? Try it. Try talking to people instead of just pushing info out. The effect has been nothing short of really cool again. Quit consuming so much and start conversing.

Somewhere along the way the conversation has been trampled upon. But it still has a vital and vibrant pulse. You will get more out of your experience if you go back to having conversations. Period.

Should You Outsource Social Media?

This might be the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit. That if they had their druthers, they would outsource their social media activities. Why? Because what they won’t admit is that social media is a big time suck and furthermore, they might not even admit that they are tired of “engaging” every day. Why? because they didn’t know it was going to be like this.

It’s hard to be “On” every day isn’t it?

There is the pretty side of social media, the stuff that you read about every day about how cool it is and glamorous and sexy and blah,blah,blah, but the dark side is that social media is hard ass work.  In fact Amber Naslund just the other day, wrote a”be careful what you wish for” post about the down n dirty aspect of social media.

Those of us who have been around know this. I can’t tell you how many times I have bouts of writers block; and then other times, its a magical stream of consciousness that propagates itself in 3 posts in one day. But you see, there’s more than just the blog, that’s the easy part; there are status updates, there are content updates, consuming content, creating content, sharing info, driving traffic, analyzing data, connecting with your peers, finding your customers, making sure your clients are happy, and looking for prospects. All via social or electronic means. Every day and night. Which leads to this- and I know you’re thinking it or thought about it…

“If I could, I would love to outsource some of this stuff in a New York minute.

But is that really wise? To outsource your social media activities. Except for those times when I’m feeling a bit toasty around the edges, I like doing it. I like connecting and consuming and creating.

Have you ever wondered though if there are others doing it? Well I got news for ya. Hell yea and you betcha. Most wont admit it unless your name is Guy Kawasaki. Todd Defren points out in his wonderful social media ethics series that they have been faced with that exact dilemma, and still others are doing it and you don’t even know about it.

The sexy term might be aggregating activities

The fact is, there are a lot of people who are automating a lot of their social media activities and still another group that are completely ceding control of their social media day to day operations to someone else.

Either in an automated fashion, or by merely having agencies do the work for them in the form of ghost writing or status updates or flat out being someone they are not- people and companies are choosing to wash their hands of real life engagement. Some admit it like Guy Kawasaki and still others… You’d never know the difference.

Do you care about who you “think” you are talking to? Brand or otherwise,  I do. I don’t like talking to logos and when you say you are Mary, I trust that it is Mary that I’m talking to.  Some don’t care and some do- some seem to only care when they find out they are being duped. Some companies seem to think it’s OK to create fictional characters inhabited by multiple people within an organization, I’m not one of them, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Here’s the point.If you’re going to outsource your social media activities, I don’t care, and I won’t care until I find out that who you are is not who you’re supposed to be. I’m taking the don’t ask don’t tell stance. Why? Because I trust you. Funny thing that trust eh?

But I’m also not dumb.

I think that more and more people or companies are doing it (outsourcing their social activities) than you think. Or they are seriously looking at solutions that can streamline, enhance and speed up the reward of their social activities Why? Because I encounter companies and agencies every day that say they dont have time to do it nor do they care to, they just want to reap the benefits. I know it’s selfish and disingenuous but…

I’m ok with that. Why? because isn’t social media from that standpoint, just an extension of what a PR or ad agency already does? In their eyes it is. It’s marketing and PR. They will say, “What’s the difference”? Just do it for me and we’ll pay you. I’ll do it and get you started, but I’ll train you to do it for your selves and your company. You need to take ownership.

As social continues to grow and grow, some people just don’t want to do “it”, the social stuff, they would prefer that someone else do it for them- and you know what? There are plenty of people that will do it and… Do it well and.. You’ll never know the difference.

5 Reasons Why Social Media is so Explosive

Given that we have been punked by the dry erase girl it has become apparent to me a few things about our new social transparent world and why marketers want to tap it.

  1. We love to share stories where good triumphs over evil
  2. We love to talk and tell others about train wrecks for companies and people
  3. We can be easily punked
  4. We love watching video-and then sharing it-it takes no effort, none. zip. zilch.zero.
  5. We are suckers for top ten lists

I know there are more, but these were the first 5 that came to mind..

The Social Media Pitfall of Assumptive Collaboration

Last week I was working with a client and we were at a critical juncture of a web development project in which we were discussing the jumping off points for their initial foray in social media. We were doing this by merely adding social elements to the website in the form of a few actions.

The first was instead of creating “a website” we decided to create it in WordPress so that we would have the latitude to “turn on” commenting for starters. let me back up, I just used the word “we” but in actuality the directives were coming from me and the developer. I had suggested Worpress and a specific WordPress developer.

During the development phase we ( the developer and I) decided to make the commenting more robust and so we decided to go down the path of Disqus. Disqus is a great product for those with social profiles who bop around a lot from site to site. It eases log in issues and multiple identity problems. We were on the fence about creating a community but we (the developer and I figured we could roll it out a week or two later). As an aside-let me also add that by doing this, the user would have had to create 3 separate user ID’s to access various parts of the site.

Do you see a recurring theme here? I haven’t mentioned the clients input at all and or their input in the whole decision making process? Well, that’s because at this point,  it’s very one sided. As a consultant I was not doing my job. I wasn’t consulting. I was dictating. You could argue that I was doing what I thought was best but I wasn’t really listening to the client.

A big mistake and I should have known better.

The developer and I were not out to just “crank” this project out with all the bells and whistles-well maybe we were, but what we got caught up in, was creating a site that fit our “needs”. The development fit my needs of what I thought the client needed. Me and the developer were on the same page. High five’s everybody!  I thought I had a good handle on what the client wanted or needed, I just neglected to educate, provide options and offer suggestions.

So while we were creating  this kick ass solution for us, I failed to remember that my client was just getting started with social media; and more importantly their customers might not be very social either.

Luckily, the client, in a stern but understanding way explained to me what was happening. At first my gut reaction was, “What are they talking about”? But then it hit home. My comfort levels were not theirs. My expectations were not theirs. Their level of understanding and comprehension was not mine. I failed as a consultant. I was an ally but I was keeping them in the dark and not listening. I wasn’t asking questions as we were going along.

I was collaborative but assumptive.

The good news? I realized it, thanks to them pointing it out. I backtracked and caught myself and was able to understand what I was doing. I apologized profusely and went back to the developer and we were able to make some things right and simplify some other things. I still have to get them to a level where they understand the thinking, the tools and the platforms that revolve around social media-but the lesson this time, the learning, it was all on my part. Next time, I might not be so lucky.


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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