Posts Tagged 'valeria maltoni'

Social Venom

snake_bite

What’s the difference between snake oil and snake venom?

Let’s recap the week.

Leigh Durst goes off on people stealing her hard earned, labor intensive work

Peter Kim laments the plague of plagiarism

David Armano discusses how to spot social media snake oil

Olivier Blanchard has called foul on bogus social media experts

Valeria Maltoni interviews Jonathan Bailey, the topic? Plagiarism Today

I wrote about Social Media might be free, but I’m not

Are you sensing a trend here? I am. That, my friend is what you call venom.  Oddly enough, none of the above posts were precipitated by the other. They all came out on their own, out of anger and frustration. And if I had taken more time, I probably would have found more posts.  Even more telling, is what you see in the comments. A lot of comments. More anger, more frustration.

I’m not sure I have a sure fire solution for any of these posts but I have a feeling that the days of wine and roses may be slowly coming to an end in some respects. If not an end, it certainly won’t be flowing like the wine at a Roman Bacchanalia. Content will be locked down more. Ideas and thoughts may not be so readily provided or shared as they once were.

Fortunately though, I have a feeling that Snake oil vendors will have a harder time of proving themselves. On the other hand, as I have experienced somewhat, we will have a harder time of climbing out of the hole that the purveyors of snake oil have dug for us with once burned clients.

I do have a feeling though, that this only the beginning, and that a larger backlash may be at hand. What to do about it is the question. A governing body? A policing body? I’m not sure. The floor is yours…

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The Microcosm of social networks

One of things I love so much about what I do is how fluid it is. Not only personally, but as a whole, the industry and space  I swim in, is very fluid.   But within that fluidity are small pockets of conversations, networks and  silos of brewing relationships that enhance one’s ability to “be fluid”. As of late, I have noticed a lot of really interesting discussions that have bubbled up based on these principles of micro-networks and our ability to flow in and out of them.

David Armano who is all about micro-interactions, adds to his  growing volume of work, which I respect very much, with this  preso titled, “The Micro-Sociology of Networks.”

Slide#36 struck a nerve for me in which David says that Micro-social economics are Niche. For me, I picture the relationships I have in social networks, the relationships I have offline and the one’s I might have in a large stadium, Each has it’s own dynamic and niche quality.

Valeria Maltoni, another person who brings fresh thinking to everything that she touches, did the following post a while back titled Micro Interactions in PR In which she states that:

Public relations is the discipline that gets to the single interactions, the relationships, more closely.

The single interactions and or the relationships.  It’s as simple as this-Is it easier to develop a more intimate relationship with one person or 2 or 3 or 40? Every time you add another person to the conversation, divide the conversation, the relationships and the signal exponentially.

This  exponential division reminded  me of a tweeted conversation I had awhile back with Robert Scoble, in which I asked him, “Now that you have 70,000 followers, what is the percentage of “actual” conversations you have with your followers/or those he followed?”  His answer? When he was only being followed by 20,000, he spoke to 25-35% of them-meaning more than one tweet. Conversations. As the number has risen, it is now less than 10%. In Scoble’s case, I believe it’s always been more of a macro-interaction, but it works for him. But I think he would be the first to admit, that any value that he derives from Twitter, would still be on a personal micro-interactive level.

Recently, I was reading a post by Bernie Borges titled… The Lifecycle of Interaction in Social Media in which he discusses the collective wisdom and influence of communities, and I started to think about the “microcosm of a community” no matter how large or small.

On the one hand one might not think of a community as a microcosm, yet niche communities are in essence, reflections of larger less fluid communities, aren’t they? There is the chance that you are in this or that niche community, because of the rigidity of the larger network. You are, in a sense, a microcosm of a larger group. And because of the possible lack of micro-interactions, you chose to find one that met your needs.

Quick definition here from dictionary.com

mi⋅cro⋅cosm

human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world or universe

The fluidness of  online networks now allows us to be a part of many networks and create many realtionships. Sounds very reflective of the offline world doesn’t it? So it begs the question: Aren’t all online social networks, microcosm’s?  Subsets of society played out online?

In conclusion, as I’ve said, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and the thoughts might be disjointed but as my friend Mack Collier mentions, I’m  removing the perfect filter from this post and throwing it up.

10 Twitter Links that mattered to me this week

Below is a quick compilation of links that I received or found this week that I either tweeted or retweeted that mattered to me or to the people that are in the  Twitterspehere.

I received this this morning and it immediately raised a question for me in regards to whether Fortune 500′s should be on Facebook,  The question:

1) Can Enterprise Social Networks Gain Traction? My point being, perhaps we really need to define or look at what traction is.

2) Came across this and it seems interesting  so I’m gonna give it a test drive later Eyejot

3) For job seekers Adobe Acrobat is looking for a part time Community Manager

4) I’m wondering if this should surprise anyone? Colleges are using social media more than Fortune 500 & Inc 500 in the area of blogging…

5) There’s probably a few here I have not used but perhaps you have not used any of these 33 trend tracking tools

6) Mashable came out with a great post yesterday about 40 of the Best Twitter Brands & the People Behind Them And I thought it interesting to see how some use or view the power of Twitter. Who do you think uses it most effectively?

7) Valeria Maltoni and Geoff Livingston did a duel post on Top 25 Ways to Stop Wigging Out and I have to tell you, I might have to tape it on the monitor or on the fridge, because to be honest right now, there is so much happening in all of our lives, I get the sense that we all are scramblin’ for scraps sometime.

8) I got such a tremendous Twitter RT reception for the following Tweet and post titled “Create the change“:

My advice to you is to not wait on Barack Obama 4 change. Create the change yourself, in your own lives

9) How timely and “in the mix” are your tweets? Check out Twitemperature I know, it’s one of those hit and run type of Twitter apps. But still.

10) This is a must think piece here How Twitter Can be Corrosive to Online Marketing

I think I’m going to start doing this on a regular basis, simply because there is so much info that I miss and that you miss, maybe this will help. Send me one that is worth sharing that I might have missed. Educate me, please.

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.

Talk with them…

I’m learning as much as you right now. If you are a marketer or an advertiser then you need to be talking with your customers and not at them. We have been talking about that for a while now.  IDC just came out with a report that says that advertisers are failing miserably at communicating with social net users. Why? Because they are used to pushing shoving? their info and their product down people’s throats. According to IDC:

There are four major reasons why consumers use SNS: to connect and communicate; in response to peer-pressure; for entertainment; and for work-related purposes. Advertising does not factor into consumer motivations.

Ouch. So essentially advertisers still don’t get it. Keep reading, it gets better. IDC continues,

One of the potential benefits of SNS that the advertising industry has discussed is whether peoples’ connections (i.e., whom a user knows or is linked to) could be used for advertising. For instance, publishers could show a car manufacturer’s ads to a user’s contacts because that user’s online behavior has indicated that she is interested in a particular brand of cars. Anecdotally, there has been some indication that this “social advertising” might be more effective than behavioral targeting. However, that idea is stillborn. Of all U.S. Internet users, only 3% would allow publishers to use contact information for advertising. For instance, publishers could show a car manufacturer’s ads to a user’s contacts because that user’s online behavior has indicated that she is interested in a particular brand of cars.

If you have been reading some of the thought leaders in the social media marketing space like a Jason Falls, like a Beth Harte or Amber Naslund or Valeria Maltoni or Paul Chaney- they have stressed the importance of brand champions and community influencers who can shape the decisions and actions of the group or community or social net-naturally.

IDC’s report says that “One of the potential benefits of Social networks is that the advertising industry has discussed is whether peoples’ connections (i.e., whom a user knows or is linked to) could be used for advertising.”

I’m not sure what to think. Should I admonish IDC for putting out a report in which this comes as to no surprise to a lot of us? Or should advertisers be ashamed for not listening to some of the people I mentioned above who so obviously “Get it”? and have been saying what was put out in the report for a long time? A LONG TIME. IDC and advertisers could have saved a lot of grief, time and money just by listening to what is being written and talked about every day online in blogs and on Twitter.

Advertisers need to start listening to the thought leaders in the social media space to start with.

ROI vs. ROE -I did not do a good enough job selling social media.

I had my biggest challenge of trying to sell ROI for a social media project this past week and I lost. Passion lost. Clarity of message lost, and the power of the conversation lost out to the following unspoken sentiment, “I can’t pay for something where I can not see a clear 1:1 ratio of money spent and money earned.

I’ll be honest, my my own private little thought cloud right then and there was,”Oh yea? What did I spend? Hours of work, sweat equity if you will, on learning everything I could on why social media would make sense for you, mister client, and the irrefutable argument that went with it, and you can’t see it?”

On a side note: There is not a social media practitioner, marketer or evangelist out there, who would not agree that this person and their current business model would not have benefited from a solid injection of web 2.0 sensibilities.

Not only did I do my homework but I also spent hours on the phone with the conduit/project manager, who not only had bought my vision, but had also in the same process, drank the social media Kool-ade. I educated him to the extent that he totally got what I was saying. He GOT IT. Which to a lesser degree is a huge win. Why? Because we met through a 140 character conversation on Twitter. That’s right, this whole process and opportunity came about because of Twitter. The conduit in Austin, me in Naples, and the client in Phoenix.

At the end of the day though, after the nearly 2 hour Saturday conference call with the prospect, it became painfully obvious that he was not willing to spend what it would take to transform his personal brand and what he does for a living, into something more viable, accessible, and transparent- he wanted solid ROI. Not the hope of notion or perceived ROI. His thing was, “lets sell something that makes money, and I’ll pay you if I make money”.

All was not lost. First, I made a friend in Austin, who has passion, vision, and Get’s it. And whenever you meet someone who gets it- the potential for more opportunities like the one mentioned above will always exist.

Second, I learned some more lessons. I say more because I’ve been learning a lot of them lately. Failing forward if you will. I’ve been given some great indirect lessons from my peers through blog comments and tweets, individuals like Jim Storer, Paul Chaney, Valeria Maltoni and Jason Breed. Some lessons that are human and tangible. Lessons learned on the client side and lessons learned from the community. A win win..

So here’s the thing- Ultimately, I have to ask myself, did I do a good enough job of presenting tangible proof on why social media makes sense? I don’t know. I may be too close to the subject to answer that objectively. But The question does arise and will arise again; and this was a concern Friday night when I had completed the proposal and had attached a dollar value to it. Did I show enough proof? A proof of concept to justify the cost that would eventually increase ROI through engagement?

The bottom line is I guess not. Because the bottom line right now is very prominent, very front and center. Managers want to see ROI. They need ROI. I think what they don’t understand, is that if I’m going to embark on a social media campaign for a client, it involves a time suck and a commitment from the client and the person rolling out the project- the cost is labor and time, both of which I think are measurable and ultimately can be charged for. I’m sorry but I value my knowledge and my time and I’m going to charge for it. Ok… I’m starting to get a little fired up again so I’m going to stop here. But here are my parting words-

When you pitch the social media project of any scope and scale, Be thorough, and understand that all managers are going to really, really focus on the investment and the return, no matter how well YOU get the big picture. But you know what? One loss does not define a season. They’ll be more and I’ll do better.

Every follower can be a thought leader

leadership_1_

I was inspired to write this last night after “I started thinking” that we all are capable of being “Thought leaders” in our right. This meme came from a couple of posts that I read over at Amber Naslund’s and Valeria Maltoni’s blogs. Amber had touched on this week about reputation and branding, value propositions and being personal, While Valeria listed 25 ways to fail and come out on top. I highly suggest after reading this short post that you head over there to read what they have to say.

While both Amber and Valeria have taken different approaches to the same topic, the message to me is quite clear. I’m going to sum it up for you. Right now, you read our blogs for pleasure, for business, for insight, for research or for shits and giggles. The reasons are many, but what I want people to realize and what Amber and Valeria are saying in oh so many words is you can be the thought leader or the influencer who inspires us. With that being said, I am a firm believer in empowerment, I think it creates more leaders and less followers and more original thought in doing so.

We talk about thought leaders in social media all the time. But what you need to realize is that all of us, thought leaders and influencers included, are starting from the same point. We start with nothing and we build from there. I tweeted earlier today that everyone can make the new rules. I thought that, because I read and hear all the time about the new rules of marketing or the new rules of media, or social media marketing rules of engagement.  And I get that. But guess what? You can make your own rules too! Wanna know why? Because we’re all still figuring it out ourselves. We always will be. But you can be the one that shows us the way, just as much as the next person.

Be the one that makes or breaks the rules. There is no reason why YOU can’t be the thought leader.

11 thoughts from the last 3 days

So every once in awhile I have these stream of consciousness moments that I need to share on a larger scale instead of just the Twitter platform. Here are some good ones from the past couple of days, at least I thought they were good:

-How many of you understand that one of the true underlying features or aspects of social media is that it really boils down to reciprocity?

-Raise your hand if social media is transforming the way you do business.

-What level of “digital intimacy” would you say we all share via twitter? We’ve all gotten to at least first base here, right?

-The whole election process is a macro-conversation that in the end, boils down to a micro-interaction between you & the candidate. David Armano your thoughts?

-What has been the effect of social media on this year’s election?

-In the looming age of measuring all things related to social media-how transactional should your conversations be? Or how transactional will they eventually become?

-Sacrifice usability at the altar of sexiness-I have to credit Avanish Kaushik for that one, but I love the meaning of it.

-4 things you will struggle with throughout your life : saying no, saying goodbye… saying I can’t, and saying I don’t know.

-Valeria Maltoni is the definition of class. she cares and she is deeply insightful… and she is a game changer.

-The difference between communities is not people but individuals but social media is about individuals being authentically individual.

-The network based on trust begets value which in turn brings a higher ROE return on engagement

Feel free to blog about these, or use them as topics for discussion. I’d love to see all of them become blog posts one day but alas, that’s up to you! Words of advice, keep the yellow legal pad close by!

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.


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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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