Archive for August, 2009

Opportunity Cost of Twitter

cash

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

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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.

But…

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

curiosity

and engagement leads to interaction?

kidscircle

and  interaction led to demand?

waiting

Would that work?

Why Social South Worked

logososo

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.” 🙂

tat

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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.

smresonance

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:

field-of-dreams-scene

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

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.

leap

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…

jerry

“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 South Thought Leaders

In my efforts to mail in at least one blog post this week. I decided to throw a wordle together of some of the luminaries of Social South in Birmingham, Alabama this week.

soso

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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.

Why?

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 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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