Opportunity Cost of Twitter


I can pick up the phone and make a cold call and talk to someone who I might be able to get business from; or I can create a Twitter account and follow people who I might be able to get business out of.

The next best thing that a person can engage in is referred to as the opportunity cost of doing the best thing (more desirable) and ignoring the next best thing to be done.

So which is the best thing? Which is more effective?

Opportunity cost is a key concept in economics because it implies the choice between desirable, yet mutually exclusive results. Which is desirable? Making a cold call or reaching out via Twitter to someone you might get business from? Which is a more effective use of your time? Are the results mutually exclusive? Maybe. But not immediate.

The notion of opportunity cost plays a crucial part in ensuring that scarce resources are used efficiently. If I have 2 phones and 2 computers with 2 Twitter accounts-which will be more efficient in the long run? Or the short run for that matter.

You see, opportunity costs are not restricted to monetary or financial costs:  it can be the real cost of  lost output or lost time. Twitter can be quite  inefficient when it comes to working it into the prospecting flow of your work day and treating it like you would your outbound marketing. You have to know how to use it correctly. It compliments, but it doesn’t replace.

Try selling that to an SMB

Social media postulate #32

David Armano has a deck out right now titled social business by design in slide #6 he states that facilitation leads to engagement, and engagement leads to participation. I’m down with that.


According to Wikipedia,The term facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy but what if we substitute the word facilitation for fascination?

According to Merriam Webster, Fascination is the state of feeling an intense interest in something

So what if…

Fascination leads to engagement


and engagement leads to interaction?


and  interaction led to demand?


Would that work?

Why Social South Worked


Of all varieties of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Title, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.
– Robert Burton

Did you know I have a tattoo on my arm with the saying “Virtus sola nobilitas.” on it?  It’s part of my family crest. As cool as that is, what’s more important is what the words mean. Essentially, it means that virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.

Why do I bring this up? Because the words mean a lot to me. They resonate. I like people who carry themselves without pretentiousness. Especially when they so easily could. I think it’s an amazing quality to possess. Humility. Especially in today’s personal branding, all about me world.

At Social South I was amongst the most unpretentious, unassuming, group of high profile social media thought leaders assembled in one place at one time. Sure, I could have gone to a half dozen “larger” more visible cities and had just as many social media thought leaders assembled. And I have. But I would have gotten the attitude thing along with the assumptive title of social media thinker, high brow, I’m better than you, thing.

There would be none of this at Social South.

Beyond a list that included the incredibly down to earth Beth Harte, the humble Mack Collier, the classy Toby Bloomberg, the social media handyman Paul Chaney who has a book coming out, the incredibly smart Jason Falls, the genuine Christina Kerley, the effusive Kellye Crane, the solid Tom Martin, the refreshing An Bui, and of course the giving Lionel and talented Richard from Dell, There were a host of “other” people that deserve recognition in their own right.

From Andrew Keen, Dave Barger, Mitch Canter, Robert French, David Griner, Tammy Hart, to Dana Lewis, Andre Natta, Phyllis Neill, Will Scott, Jeff Vreeland, Stacey Hood and of course Ike Pigott all of them brought value, humility, a sense of community and a sense of “leave the ego at the door and lets learn from each other.” You don’t get that at 95% of the conferences that you attend. That’s why Social South worked.

Of course I would be remiss to not bring up 2 more people. The first is as finest an individual that I’ve met from practically meeting for the first time. This person essentially pulled Social South together and shaped it into the conference that it was and did it in a way that it was seamless and looked effortless. Scott Schablow you rock.

Esra’a Al Shafei

What can I say. This person gave one of the most riveting non-keynote keynotes I have ever heard. And it was via Skype. The night before Scott Schablow mentioned that every time he heard her speak, it gave him goose bumps. I had no idea what he was talking about. Yet, this was no exception. Not only did it give me and everyone else goose bumps, it also reduced more than half the audience to tears and the rest were giving her a standing ovation.

Esra is the founder and Executive Director of MideastYouth.com, and what she did was she showed the crowd gathered at Social South the true power of crowdsourcing people for the cause of freedom and human rights via  social media, via video, via the internet and really any other means possible. She showed what’s possible. What is possible.

In short, it was the perfect keynote for a group of people who were so into what they were doing. People who were so genuine, that it made perfect sense for them. As I said, you don’t get that at other conferences. You hope to, but you generally don’t.  And That’s why Social South worked. Thank you #Soso!

I could go on, but it might take days to highlite everything! But one more thing before I go, here is that tattoo and remember,”Virtus sola nobilitas.” 🙂


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Your Ah-Ha Moment

The definition of resonance: A quality of richness or variety: A quality of evoking response. In social media, we enter into a social network and we initially don’t know what to do and how to do it. But what eventually happens is that the noise starts to diminish as we slowly are able to find our way. We find out niche, we find out people, the ones we connect with. And what happens at the end or the beginning depending on how you choose to look at it, is what I like to call social media resonance.


Has it happened to you yet? Is social media resonating with you yet? Have you had your Ah-Ha moment yet?

Social Media conundrum #714. Are relationships campaigns?

Maybe some of you are missing the point.

I think some of you are thinking that social media is this:


If you build it…blah, blah, blah…

But if we look at the offline equivalent of online relationships, you wouldn’t do this.


Waiting for the phone to ring?

The same holds true online and in social media. Whether you are connecting or you are creating, or you are immersing yourself in culture. It takes work. It takes a leap of faith and it takes a belief that it’s all worth it. And once it starts, it doesn’t stop.


But decide right now. Whether you are a company or a small business owner or an individual. What is your commitment going to be? And, what do you want to get out of it? We all have a notion of what we want to get out of any engagement. Social media is no exception. Beth Harte has put together a wonderful Slideshare of this thought which she presented to a packed room at Social South this past week. Essentially saying, social media requires planning and measurement.

But couldn’t you say that about relationships? You don’t enter into a relationship blindly, and you certainly have expected or anticipated outcomes of your involvement and committment to that relationship. Right?  Look at Slide #13 of Jason Falls presentation on The Marketing of Unmarketing and see if you can figure out what these people are referring to.

Once people get past the…


“You had me at hello”…

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and understand that social media and the realtionships YOU will create are not a campaign. But you knew that right?

Social Media Saturation Yes, Maturation No.

baby steps

Not another post about social media…Yes and no, but indulge me.

Yesterday Jason Breed of Neighborhood America and I were talking about elevating our game with hashtagsocialmedia in the same fashion that #Journchat tried to do Monday night on Twitter. Journchat, if you were not aware, hosted some live sessions in a number of cities that coincided with their regularly scheduled Monday night session. It worked to a certain a degree if not for the sake of trying. They get props for trying to raise their game.

Meanwhile, I had been expressing to Jason that I would like to see that eventually happen with Hashtag Social Media as well-namely some type of larger more event like type of setting for #socialmedia; and it was then that Jason brought up a seriously major point.

“What could we say or do that people have not already heard countless  times?”

Which led me to pause, reflect and nod my head in agreement. I think he’s right.  Has social media or the writing and talking about social media reached a level of saturation? In my opinion yes. But with a caveat. Yes, for those of us on the front lines and in the bubble. What more can we read and or write about that has not already been said? What power list have we not seen? What 10 sure fire ways to do something in social media have we not bookmarked, read or saved a half dozen times? How many blog posts about social media measurement have resonated with you? Whose Venn diagram have you saved and shared with your colleagues? How many slideshares about social media have you embedded?

Saturation yes. Maturation no.

After Jason and I agreed that though much has been said and repeated about social media, we both then agreed that there is still much, much more to learn, share, and expound upon. If we were to look at the Gartner Hype Cycle for example or even just your traditional bell curve, and we were to determine where social media, holistically speaking, was located  on the curve, we would both say we had not even come close to critical mass.


Before you can run you have to walk. before you can walk you have to crawl. The history of social media is but a mere blip on the radar that is social computing, networks and clouds. Its a starting point that we have to get beyond. Let’s quit spinning our wheels about what it is and get to, “What it can do and how”.

We can all continue to write about things that we have all read countless times in different forms, and then we can slap each other’s backs and share it amongst ourselves. or we can step beyond that monotone and truly start to think about social media on business levels and use levels and not adoption levels. Am I wrong or am I just too close to the subject?

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The Humanity of Online Social Networks Offline.


Call it the missing link, no pun intended, but after spending 2 days at Universal Studios in Orlando, and watching the mass of humanity at play, I was able to see a cross section of society that one is not afforded in the online world no matter how deep one is into it.

But one tends to think (or rather I start to think) how this crowd source spends its time online and in social networks-if at all. Yet, there were so many similarities between what occurs in an online social network and what I saw, that I just had to share 10 of them with you.

#1 What recession? With waits ranging from 2 hours to 15 minutes, The 2 theme parks we attended were not hurting for customers. $12 dollars to park and no less than $60-$75 per person to get in. Think of Universal Studios as this massive social network, and in a sense it is. But no walls and no silos. The point being- If people want it, they will pay for it and they will wait for it, they will walk miles for it, and they will suffer in the heat for it.

#2  People of all ethnic backgrounds, shapes, sizes, ages and color can some and be welcomed without judgment. Truly a melting pot, both literally and figuratively. A social network where anyone could come in and be themselves with others…Hmmm…

#3 People like to show their individuality, their uniqueness and their affinity to products, teams, people, brands, looks and passions. Their “niche” was in attendance and the park was their platform. This included tattoos, team jerseys, devotion to designers, bands and brands from head to toe, and everything in between. I could have easily segmented everyone there into specific groups, all with healthy memberships.

#4 Everyone was in a fishbowl. I watched, they watched, we watched. From people eating like pigs, parents shouting at children, couples young and old making out, people in wheelchairs, people in scooters, people who didn’t need to be in scooters, folks trying to scam to the front of lines, people not understanding directions, rules or each other, people helping each other with pictures, others letting others in front of them in lines, extreme acts of kindness and of course mean people. What’s my point? Everything and anything was there to be seen. I didn’t have to look too hard. Sound familiar?

#5 I saw zero tie in anywhere with any type of  current social network-which led me to wondering…

#6 How much of this demographic was engaged online via a social network? My initial thought was less than 30% of the total attendees. They just didn’t seem to be the types. Maybe I am way off on this. I did see the potential, just based on the number of digital cameras present, that photo sharing would seem to make the most sense in tying in the activities within the theme parks into sites like Flickr or Facebook. Kodak are you reading this?

#7 Zero tie in with SMS-This was glaring and seemed to have a huge upside as well as potential for either integrating with buying food or a Fast Pass or perhaps park, ride, wait, and show information. 95% of the people there had mobile devices. How was that leveraged?

#8 Tremendous potential to make the experience better for its most important asset, the people that shell out hundreds of dollars per day to attend. It can be even better but I think a certain aspect of smugness permeates the overall park experience for the sake of printing money. In other words,  “We have a hot property, so though the experience could be better, we don’t need to really worry about it…”

#9 Some attractions had zero intuitiveness and thus getting lost even with the map was an issue. Directions were an issue.  Assumptions in the capabilities of the attendees were perhaps over estimated. Hard to change? hard to upgrade? Hard to improve upon?

#10 Technology played a part in the design of each and every ride there to enhance the experience and the destination, but technology could be used even more effectively to enhance the journey all along the way.

My thoughts are this. What makes online social networks work is the individuality, yet the common thread that all people possess. This is obviously the key, or can be the key offline too. The struggle in both scenarios for marketers is trying to tap into that. The struggle for managers is how to deftly address the wants, needs and desires of every segment. The key might be right in the middle of the crowd. The crowd…It’ s in the crowd.

Note* Perhaps one way for us to reduce healthcare costs might be for Universal Studios to quit serving up the Western Diet to so many who obviously  indulge in this far too often. More than 40% if not more who were at the park, were overweight..

“I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency that…”

I made a mistake. It took a a comment from a reader to point it out to me. A few days ago I wrote a post titled, “17 things that a social media consultant, agency or customer can’t do for you.” Though the premise was correct, I just couldn’t quite wrap my arms around the delivery. It happens. I’ve written enough blog posts where some feel right and some don’t. The reader was right. The original post sucked.

This original post was born out of frustration and that might have been the root cause.  It’s now in it’s 6th rewrite, but thanks to  Rob Laughter, who’s just getting started in this business, I was able to see the error of my ways and have tweaked the post considerably.

Though the original post was not meant to be snarky, or bitter, I can see how it might have come across as such. I still maintain it to be somewhat of a cautionary post as well, but I now have changed the phrase, …”Can’t do for you” to “I’d like to see”.. So I have softened it to almost a wish list of sorts.

See if you agree.

  1. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency takes the time to show companies how to blog. Not just set them up and set them free.  The assumption can’t be made that everyone is capable of writing a compelling blog with compelling content..
  2. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency that can teach you how to write for SEO, the User, AND for Social. It’s not easy, it’s time intensive, and not for the faint of heart and probably not in their DNA. You’d be surprised how many can not do it.
  3. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency articulate to you the relationship between search and social. Why? It’s an art as much as it is science and to be honest, why should they? Most have a baseline knowledge of that to begin with. Should you take the time to at least understand the dynamics? Yes.
  4. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency tell you when it’s appropriate to not to do something with social media. Why? because even though it’s not in their best interests, it is in the best interest of the client. Some aspects of social media are just not right for every business. Let’s not jam round pegs into square holes just for the sake of getting the business. As a decision maker always ask why. It’s you’re right. Which leads to #6.
  5. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you to understand the why. Why? Because it helps to understand theory. You need to take the time yourself to understand the why. Preferably before they come calling. Make them squirm before they get there. Dazzle them with your knowledge.
  6. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency  teach you to know when not to pimp your stuff. Why?  Because if you think it’s the right thing to do and you’re a traditional marketer, chances are, you’re going to do it anyway.
  7. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to be yourself. They can tell you, they just might not be able to teach you. It’s really up to you. You will figure out that being authentic goes a lot further than #7.
  8. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to have real conversations. You know the difference, really…you do! You have them at the dinner table every night. That’s real.
  9. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to have real online conversations that result in business. Slightly different from #7 but no less impactful or important. The gist being that you can’t force the action.
  10. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to not be disingenuous. You’ll find out real quick how this one works. It’s generally when you learn what the word flame means in the online world and the only voice you hear is your own.
  11. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to not be overt and blatant with your marketing message. Why? You’ll think that it’s the right thing to do to, until you see otherwise. See #10
  12. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to have or create your “ah-ha” moment, you’ll know when it happens. You will have it. Though they may have the skills to set up a moment for you, they’re more fun when you have them on your own time.
  13. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach patience and perseverance-because it is a cornerstone element of social media.
  14. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you to want it-the only problem is, if you don’t want it, then you won’t want it…this speaks to #17
  15. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to write FBML why? Because chances are they don’t know what it is. That’s ok,  just outsource it
  16. I’d like to see a social media consultant or agency teach you how to “be social”… but they can’t. You just have to try.

Thanks Rob.

Does the tail wag the dog?


I often wonder who calls the shots.  Some how the older I get the more important that is to me. I like leadership. I also believe in followers too. There’s nothing wrong with people following. Thought leadership? I like that term too. People that push the envelope of thinking in marketing, social media and technology are leaders.

I love “what if” questions too.

But in social media, though leadership is needed and is important, except that it’s the crowd that steers the ship.  The mob dictates. Viral determines. On Youtube, sensationalism seems to rule. Humor dominates.  Getting hurt drives traffic. Perez Hilton is a must read. Jason Calacanis and Michael Arrington shift the tide. Why is that?  No longer does big media/ mass media call the shots.  The fourth estate  is and was the dog and yet  it no longer wags its own tail. The user calls the shots. The tail wags the dog.

That isn’t such a bad thing except…

Our thirst and their thirst too,  is now satiated by the envelope that was once here and now is here…


Which begs the question, “Where will this put us in 5 years?” I’m not afraid of the tech aspect of that question.  That is exciting. I’m just wondering where the standards and where our ethics, morals and norms will be in that time. The more that UGC( user generated content) explodes on the scene and continues to permeate every pore of our online being, the more desensitized we become, which means, we’ll want more. Our expectations and our needs become greater. Almost to the extent that even governing bodies might start letting down their guard.

Face it, we’re becoming UGC  users and junkies; and where our fix comes from next (the technology) is not as important as how strong the next fix will need to be just to function or satisfy our demand.

There’s not a thing we can do about it either.

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