The Depth of Your Social Media Growth

If you were to look at the following image, what would you say the expanse of your social media exposure, involvement or engagement would be?


Let’s assume that  we all start off as seedlings in social media, and as we learn more, we grow. As the tree grows, so does our comfort level. Eventually we branch out and we all go in different directions, yet we all come from the same seed. We all have the same background and the same foundation.

It should all start with listening, learning, lurking and laboring. Lurking? Yes, lurking. Call it passive participation, but we all have done it. We watch the conversations, wondering where we can insert ourselves into them. If we don’t we lurk, we hover if you will.

Laboring? Even passive participation takes work. It takes effort and you have to put forth effort.

As we progress and grow, we become more comfortable in our need and desire and ability to contribute to the conversations around us. It’s a natural progression. But to make the leap to creating content is a bit more longer and takes a little bit more growth.

On the surface and by the looks of the tree, it almost seems that we all should or could be part of the yellow on this tree. However even those that are most comfortable with social media right now are not part of the yellow.Yet the desired or expected outcome from participation and creation lies in the blue areas of the tree.

Yett if we look at Forrester’s Social Technographics results, surveys show that when it comes to social content 21% of online US consumers are Creators, 37% are Critics (those who react to content created by others), and 69% are Spectators, meaning that the majority of people in Forrester’s survey would find themselves more at the root level of the social media tree.

Look at Jake Mckee’s model. The 90-9-1 Principle where 90% of users are the “audience”, or lurkers. These people tend to read or observe, but don’t actively contribute.

9% of users are “editors”, sometimes modifying content or adding to an existing thread, but rarely create content from scratch. and 1% of users are “creators”, driving large amounts of the social group’s activity and  driving a vast percentage of the site’s new content, threads, and activity.

If we look at it from that standpoint then the tree will be inverted, where it’s all about how “rooted” you are and how deep your social media penetration is. The deeper, more involved you are, the more rich the experience is.


So which version of the tree are you? Where do you see yourself? Should the tree be a 100 year oak or a common weed?

#SocialMedia TweetChat led by Scott Monty-A different approach

Ford’s Fusion 41 Challenge – What Are We Missing?

October 26th, 2009

Sit down and buckle in (literally), this week we are taking the #SocialMedia discussion in a very different direction.  Instead of learning during these chats, we have been asked by Ford Motor Company’s Scott Monty to helpford-logo-big teach.  If you are not aware, Scott is on a tear of late with the tremendous success of the Ford Fiesta Movement, he is now going for the equivalent of an encore with the Fusion 41 challenge.  Their newest challenge asks for:

  • Current 2010 model Ford Fusion owners/leasees to apply for the challenge
  • Eight (8) teams (to include the owner and four (4) team members each) will be selected
  • Ford will provide a 2010 Fusion model to each team to compete with
  • Teams will perform a series of challenges taking place over a 3 week period.
  • To coincide with the Fusion Hybrid’s 41 mpg rating, the challenges will take place every 41 hours
  • Team members will complete a task and “hand-off” like a baton to the next member
  • All the while, team members are required to post content and updates across their social networks online

The winning team’s leader will get their new 2010 Fusion paid off and the team members will get free gas for a year.  If you want all the rules check here.

So how can all of us help Scott Monty and Ford Motor?  Well, hang on a second and we’ll get to that.  First, it’s important that you understand where they have come from and where they are going.  This deck from Scott’s recent keynote at OMMA Global 2009 provides a good overview and some insight into Ford Motor’s social media marketing strategy.

View more presentations from Scott Monty.

If you notice, the last content slide lists “Listening to our community for suggestions”  and that, my friends, is why we are all here.  Scott has asked for input regarding Ford Motor’s latest social media marketing project, the Fusion 41 challenge.  The format will be similar to prior weeks with 3 questions, a new question every 20 minutes.  The difference is the questions.  Scott will be providing insight into the planning of the campaign and we will be providing recommendations in how to think differently and possibly add a new dimension to the initiative.

Yes that’s right, for an hour we will all be honorary social marketing consultants for one of the hottest social media brands out there.  Please note: any suggestions made by you during this one hour +/- event are provided for Ford Motor and Ford Motor may use your suggestions at will.

Topic: Ford’s Fusion 41 Challenge – What Are We Missing?

Q1: Evaluate the WOM/Influence strategy

Q2: Evaluate the online marketing strategy

Q3: What are we missing to make this truly exceptional?

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

On Leadership and Chris Brogan

Last week I talked a lot about pushing the envelope in how we approach social media leadership. And with good reason. If we’re to get to that next level, we have to quit talking and start walking. Quit repeating and start leading. Raising the bar if you will.

For a lot of you, you have the 101, 201, 301 and 401 classes down, and it’s now time to graduate. You don’t need any more proof and you don’t need to talk about it any longer. It’s time to put rubber to the road. But I have a feeling a lot of you are going to miss the critical underlying point of all of this.

You’re going to miss the point about how much work it takes.

Whether it’s your “personal brand”, your company, or your client, there is still a lot to be done on the “roll up your sleeves” side. Case in point, Chris Brogan, who most of you should know or heard of, is not an overnight success. Before Chris became the face of the social media industry, speaking everywhere and seemingly showing up at every major conference, I knew him as just a content producing madman providing direction in the nascent world of social media.

Today, he still cranks it out, but there is even more on the plate than ever before. Yet he has more than put his time in, and yet he still has not relaxed or let up. He even says as much in the below videos. To that end, Chris even managed to host one of our Hashtagsocialmedia tweetchats!

He’s reaping the rewards of his efforts just now.

In his 3 part series Chris doesn’t so much give you the secret to his success, as much as he he merely lets you know that he is far from being an overnight success and that he has been busting his ass for the better part of 11 years. The secret sauce? The harder you work, the luckier you get. Enjoy the videos.

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He Said/She Said on the Social Web


You know how movie pitches go? Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, girl meets another boy, boy leaves, they fight, etc. etc…These movies usually have someone like Jennifer Aniston and Tom Hanks in them or someone like that right?

Well I have another similar story for you. It happened last week. It’s a little better, a little different, it’s quick, and has a good moral in it to boot!

It goes like this.

Mom and infant son go to airport, Mom and son go through security, Mom freaks and claims TSA agents separate her and son, Mom blogs about it in excruciating detail, story goes viral, community up in arms.

Except that… the plot thickens

Apparently, that same day, that’s right- the same day, that the Mom writes her post, the TSA fires back…On their own blog no less, and refutes EVERYTHING that is said. Essentially saying that none of what she had written was true. Not only do they refute it, they have 9 cameras to prove it. Not good for Mom, no matter what might have happened. Video has a way of revealing stuff.

So what are to you to learn from this?

From the woman’s perspective:

1) Don’t ever underestimate the power of what you produce, what you write, where you write it, who it’s about, and its viral capability. Be prepared to get hit from all sides once you hit publish.

2) When it involves social media, don’t ever sell something as the truth when it’s not. Especially when there are others who can call bullshit on it. That is blood in the water. Again, be prepared to get hit from all sides.

3) Your credibility and your reputation and your name are all you have online, make better decisions. The erase button hasn’t really been perfected yet for content that shows up in search.

4) If you make a mistake on the social web, don’t run away from it. Take it head on and then move on. It’s all you can really do. Time to repair the damage, don’t make it worse. Remember, we are the county of second and third chances!

5) Don’t ever, and I mean EVER assume that the stuff/content that you create is not being seen, read or consumed by someone, somewhere. That would be your biggest mistake and the one mistake that could ultimately take you down when you decide to push out something wrong, inflammatory or defamatory.

From the TSA’s standpoint, this was a great exercise in crisis management, customer service and PR. Why?

1) They immediately investigated the claim, they didn’t wait 24 or 48 hours.

2) They didn’t wait to respond. They tried to reach out to the woman with the complaint, that same day. And not only that, it wasn’t just an admin calling her, it was the TSA’s Atlanta Federal Security Director and the TSA blog team. They took it very very seriously.

3) They started to do their homework immediately. After doing so and finding some major discrepancies, they realized that if they did not respond in a timely fashion, their reputation, already tenuous at best, would be worse. They moved swiftly. As well, they should have. Why wait?

4) Their swift response comprised following up with THEIR OWN blog post (fire with fire),  and also posting video elements from 9 cameras backing up their claim that they DID NOT do what the woman claimed that they had done.

Conclusions and the moral of the story

Now I’m not going to get into a pissing match here of what actually happened between the woman and the TSA. And I’m not going to declare a winner either since the reality is that there are no winners here. My point is simply that we have 2 instances of where 2 parties used social media to bolster their case. Both sides had detractors and supporters. Both took their cases to the social web and let public opinion and sentiment decide who was right or who won. Not the best usage, but what would have you done differently?

However, the bigger picture here and the moral of the story is the valuable lesson(s) that bubbled up from this on both sides. These include:

  • How to properly deal with crisis using the social web
  • Reputation management using the social web
  • PR using the social web
  • Customer service
  • Full on transparency in a very public setting using social media as a primary means of communication.

Lessons abound people. Let’s learn from this stuff. Here’s the link to the original blog post TSA agents took my son

Here’s the TSA’s response

On thought leadership

Yesterday Peter Kim tweeted the following:

140 characters are for passing thoughts, not thought leadership.

On Monday, Beth Harte and I spent a solid 15 to 20 minutes on Google chat talking about leadership in social media and the best way to push the thinking further. The reasons why were myriad, but the gist was the seemingly attractive proposition of repurposing other people’s stuff as your own and then passing one’s self off as a thought leader.

Which leads me to this. I love when people in this space are like the following image:


But when they pass themselves off as social media thought leaders based on the accomplishments of others and their content and ideas, then we have a problem. You see the term thought leader in and of itself is innocuous.  It implies so much and yet defines so little. And that just may be the problem. Too many self appointed or even anointed social media thought  leaders and not enough social media leaders.

This space needs leaders

Beth and I have had many discussions on this topic and interestingly enough those discussions have occurred on the phone, via twitter, on Google chat, on the comments section of some of her blog posts, and in the comments section of other people’s blog posts. It obviously is something we both are thinking about and passionate about. I’m not saying there are no social media leaders or thinkers for that matter. But it’s just time to move things forward and let the trolls fight over the scraps that fall on the floor.

So what’s your point Marc?

My point is, I’d like to see more of a focus put on people and ideas that are reshaping the social media landscape rather than a focus on people repeating what they hear or see on the social media landscape. Those are not thought leaders. They’re thought repeaters.

In closing, think about this quote by Deborah Schultz via Twitter:

When authority is defined by influence – popularity beats knowledge…

We need to change this…

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This weeks #SocialMedia tweetchat topic

Disclosure & It’s Affect on the Brand Marketing Ecosystem

October 19th, 2009

disclosureWe have all heard a lot about the Federal Trade Comissions’ (FTC) latest policy on the expectation for full disclosure on endorsements and paid reviews or testimonials.  But, how much do we really know about it and how will it affect all of us who are in the business?  That is the focus of this week’s #socialmedia event moderated by C.C. Chapman

To start, you can review the document for yourself and develop your own interpretation of it (it’s actually an update to it’s guides, not a law, and therefore open to some interpretations) as it was announced earlier this month.  Next the rules will be enacted on December 1st so anything being done now is not covered in this under the new guides.  More, while we have all read about the $11,000+ fine, this fine is only enacted after several warnings and for serious offenses as noted in this interview with the FTC from the LATimes:

When a LA Times reporter asked about Restaraunt Reviews, the answer was, “Technically, you’re supposed to disclose all comped meals. But if you don’t, the FTC’s not likely to do anything about it.”My initial reaction to that scenario [comped meals] is that disclosure would be required,” says Rich Cleland of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Our primary concern relates to the fact that you received something of value and it’s for the exchange of writing about the product.”

So is this a conspiracy theory that gives ”big brother” yet another way to find out what my top ten social media blunders post is all about?….probably not as they really don’t care.  What it does do is provide a vehicle for them to be able to pursue the really bad people out there and have some teeth in the punishment.  Read their take on this issue of monitoring (from the same LATimes article),

“But the FTC has a limited interest — and ability — in monitoring blog traffic. According to Cleland, the FTC is far more interested in pursuing advertisers, especially those who violate the rules after repeated warnings, than they are in dunning individual bloggers. Unless the FTC receives numerous complaints about a specific blog, it’s unlikely to investigate. It’s a matter of enforcement priorities.”

And how does the FTC decide who to go after?  It looks like it will be more of an “opt-in list” meaning they already get inquiries from citizens on publishers (bloggers) who are possibly scamming.  they will still filter for the more detrimental publishers and go specifically after them.  In their words:

“If we received complaints,” Cleland says, “we’d look at how serious the representations are. Are there other possible violations? What kind of blog is it? We might be more concerned about a blogger who was writing a review of a medical device that’s used for a serious disease than we would be about someone who’s writing a restaurant review.”

So if the new FTC guidelines are really just meant for the true scumbags out there then what’s all the hub-bub about?  This goes deeper into the expectations that consumers have where honesty and disclosure are now a ”need-to-have” and no longer a “nice-to-have” for reviews, promotions and endorsements.  These new guides begin to shine a light on all marketing relationships and will have serious affects for Brands who try to fool their consumers.  While some may say this officially shifts the responsibility of disclosure from the advertisers to the publishers, what is really does is says that everyone is accountable – the advertisers and the publishers.  Not longer can we stand around like school-children and point fingers at each other saying “she did it”!  We are all responsible and accountable. 

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

Marginalizing your social media relationships


What happens when you marginalize your social media relationships? You discount the impact that it will have on you and your personal brand. You dismiss its outcome. Your needs become the priority, though it has been categorized as a relationship. The loose definition of marginalize is to  relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing.  In other words, you push it to the edge. Whether it’s a social media relationship, engagement or a commitment.You push it away, because its importance is not readily evident to you.

A loose definition of relationship is, a particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other. Dealings with each other.

Here’s the kicker…

The problem with marginalizing relationships or business connections in the age of social media, is that it can come back to bite you in the ass. Some might claim that marginalizing things for them is merely their way of assigning priorities to things. But because of the broad association of people within the social media bubble and for that matter, outside the bubble, connections are magnified. Six degrees of separation is really about two or three. Every connection counts. The context of what is said, what is written, and what is implied, matters. Always. Everywhere.

Morgan Brown recently wrote about a connection that he had with Chris Brogan and how he came away so impressed with the way Chris conducted himself and handled a very brief meeting of sorts. Why am I struck by this? Because it speaks volumes about relationships on the edge. It magnifies the importance of connections that were made prior to the physical meeting. They might not have seemed evident before, and the meaning not readily apparent months ago, yet they now have come full circle for Morgan and Chris. No burned bridges, bad experiences, bad tastes, nothing.

What am I trying to say? In social media, sometimes I wonder how often we get or give second chances at first impressions. Yet, I do know that any social media relationship or any engagement should never be marginalized or discounted because YOU don’t think it’s important enough.

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Practical Social Applicability


If you wanted to look at what or why or how social media works, you have to look at its Tangible Relevance…It’s essentially the melding of being precisely identified with practical social applicability. Look no further than in an article last week in Adage by Simon Dumenco titled, “Balloon Boy, Kanye West and Lady Gaga Walk Into a Bar …”

In that piece Dumenco refers to an earlier article in which he says:

The rapid dissemination of misinformation through Twitter and other real-time social media is increasingly causing a “general derangement of reality” that’s “becoming more and more endemic to the way we consume information and communicate…

He then goes on to marvel at how the public Twitter time line reflects our fascination with Kanye, Lady Gaga and Balloon Boy. Sadly, he’s right! Now back to my opening statement. Yes social media works because of “Tangible Relevance”, but what I see slowly starting to appear, and maybe not so slowly, is a phenomenon called “irrelevant social media with zero social applicability”. Just look at what was trending; Kanye, Lady Gaga and Balloon Boy?

Simply put, the average, social media using public does not need to, nor do they desire to think while consuming social media. A) we make it easy for them not to and B) they just want to be in the moment. Watching, semi-participating but not getting dirty. Let’s call it social media rubber necking. Slowing down long enough to check out what’s going on, make a comment, say something derogatory, view some video, share some misinformation, push out your 2 cent content with zero value and move on.

The problem with all of that? It has zero social depth. There is no practical application to the content, to the story, or to the overall value. It’s like eating cotton candy. It tastes good, looks pretty, but you’re going to be hungry in an hour. Do I have a solution? Nope. Even worse? This is not going to go away or diminish in any shape, way or form. All you can do is watch and comment. Or better yet, bring value to your social engagements. Indeed a general derangement of reality is dominating common social media usage.

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Twitter goes to India and Japan

Twitter Shows Global Ambitions With Moves in India and Japan

Cuts SMS Deal With Indian Telecom and Launches Mobile Service in Japanese With Banner Ads

India has roughly 457 million mobile subscribers, a massive population that, despite a fondness for SMS, hasn’t been able to receive Twitter updates via text. That all changed this week when Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile provider, inked a deal with the massively popular microblogging service that will allow subscribers to send Tweets at the usual text rates and receive them for free.

This just in: They still don’t have a business model but are valuated at a billion dollars.

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

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