Mardi Gras and Social Media

mardi-gras-parade

Today is Mardi Gras and given that I’m here in Naples and I’m from New Orleans, I need to do the next best thing. I’m going to compile a list for you. The list is of people that I would want to buy food and drinks for and a short reason why. You see with drinks and food readily available, we could have some killer conversations.   Hell we already do, and there ain’t no food and drinks!!!! 

And isn’t what this all about? Social Media, Mardi Gras, being together sharing, talking, laughing, drinking, eating…So,  laizzes bon temps roulez

Say Hi to…

Mack Collier– great conversation, good person, here’s some beers for you Mack, followed by  a shrimp po-boy…:)

shrimp-po-boy

Arik Hanson Loves a good hoppy microbrew, so pull up a chair and crack one open.

Amber Naslund, she can bring it. Between myself, Arik and Amber the beer scene will be covered. I’d have beers with Amber anytime.

I gotta have someone who can bring the crawfish. Ahh Paul Chaney is in Lafayette, he can do it. Plus he’s a great guy. I’d split 15-20 pounds of crawfish with Paul!

crawfish1

This party needs some flavor and maybe I can show David Alston that his Canadian beer is not up to snuff. Molson? ick…:)

I can’t forget some Austin Flavor right? How about Peter Kim, Jack Leblond and Dave Gonzalez? I need to buy all three of these guys beers for their ability to share so much with me, for that, they can drink for free!

beers

What party wouldn’t be complete without some wicked people from the Boston area? Rachel Happe between sips of her Sam Adams, would be a welcome addition. As long as she kept the Red Sox talk to a minimum!

I’d buy a beer for good friend Jason Breed anytime, as long as it was a 2 for 1 special!

Speaking of Jasons why not have Jason Falls? He has an “in” over at Makers Mark! Plus, he’d be a welcome addition to any party.

I better invite George “Loki” WIlliams since he lives in New Orleans
and does write a blog called Social Gumbo!

I’d buy a few beers for David Armano provided he hooked us up with some Chicago dogs.. waddya say Dave? Plus he’s a good dude too. As big a heart as someone can have.

It goes without saying that 3 of my favorite gals would all be getting beers AND shots from me. Beth Harte, Liz Strauss and Toby Bloomberg. If They didn’t want that, then we’ll settle for splittin a Muffeletta from Central Grocery– Trust me you won’ be disappointed. These sandwiches are ridiculous!

muffuletta

I’d also like to have beers with the following: Sonny Gill, Daria Steigman, Ari Herzog, Nathan Taylor, Lisa Trosien and Shannon Paul, Todd Defren, Brian Solis and of course the Yat Pundit! Because they all are great conversationalists and thinkers and even more importantly, better people!

One more rule, You can bring 2 friends. Mardi Gras is all about blowin it out..so bring a friend or 2. Who ya bringin? and Where Yat?

Oh we need someone to do the music, any suggestions?

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The only 2 questions an SMB will ask about Social Media

I had been throwing the following around in my head after meeting with a quite a few business owners and talking with some respected thought leaders in the social media marketing space and I want to know what you think.

As an SMB you need to ask two primary questions when pitched with incorporating some aspect of social media in to your business and they are:

#1  What is in it for me and my business?

#2  What’s in it for my customer?

Simple enough right?  But we’re forgetting someone. Someone as critical to the business as the customer is. Do you know who it is? One of the beauties of social media is that there are so many layers, aspects and dynamic components that allow it to address people it all levels of an organization. Including the sometimes forgotten and under appreciated employee.

So Mr. or Mrs. SMB, what we are really saying is that, if social media is pitched or considered then, the pitcher/social media practitioner, should be focusing on 3 aspects of the business:

  • The business owner
  • The customer
  • The employee

For the business owner you will want tangible hard core proof of “If I do this, this is what I can expect for my business and my employees and If I do this, this is what the customer can expect or will do, or this will be the customers reaction. It’s that simple.

If you are a social media marketing…person,  show the SMB what the expected results will be. Give them examples of either what you have done, or… if you are in the majority and are just starting out as a social media marketing N00b, utilize the many URL’s that are starting to crop up citing examples of other companies using social media components within their organizations.

Here is a list of links that SMB’s can utilize that may help them in at least understanding more of what is going on should they be approached by a “social media marketing consultant” or are thinking about doing it on their own. At the least, you will get a better understanding of what’s in it for you, and whats in it for your customer!

Why Executives Don’t “Get” Social Media This is a good article on executive level mindsets as they wrestle with including social media into their companies.

The Ultimate Small Business Twitter List This is not only a great list but it also includes a list of Orgs. and their employees or Reps. that serve the small business market.

Here is a great link on Facebook titled, Social Media for Small Business that some of you should check out.

Why Social Media Is Worth Small Business Owners’ Time Taking advantage of all the Web has to offer is like eating your vegetables or getting exercise — most of us don’t do enough, and even those that do could always do more.

My friend, Amber Naslund, who now works at Radian 6 has 2 posts that I think are worth reading. here is the first Getting a social media foothold and The social media starter kit. Self explanatory right?

Lastly we’re going to finish with some video. I encourage all of you SMB’s out there to watch it, as well as newcomers to social media marketing. It includes a number of my friends and colleagues and thus, I would put a lot of stock in what they are saying. They are the genuine real deal:  Brian Solis, Rohit Bhargava, Tim FerrisToby Bloomberg, David Alston, Liz Strauss, and Paul Chaney,

Lastly, let me say this. IF, you are a social media marketer, wannabe, or whatever… At the end of the day, you better do a pretty damn good job of stating your case. Because no one, and I mean no one can afford to screw up right now and the last thing an SMB wants is for them to be your test case!

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.

Let’s quit talking to each other

This post is or was inspired by Liz Strauss.  Actually though, I was going to write this post a long time ago. It’s origins can be found within Twitter, and it’s flourishing within the blogosphere.  Part of my post is fueled by the innate ability of the late comers and the me-too’ers to echo what everyone else is saying via Twitter and their Insta-blogs. Some of them are merely trying to get in the game, while others are just trying to profit off of the efforts and sincerity of others. But the bottom line is they are bringing nothing to the table-zero. You know who you are.

The other part of my post is about the rest of us, me included, who tend to write about whats right, wrong, great, shitty, and awsome about social media, marketing, and all things related to what we do. There’s one big problem with this though. You see we get paid by companies who need what we do. We get paid by companies who have no clue. But our blogs and our Tweets are read by  most people who already know or pretend to know what to do. I know that’s not completely the case but for the majority it is.  Sure we share resources and blog sites with another “great post”,  but the people that we need to be reaching out to are companies that need what you do for a living. And they might not have access to your blog or access to your Tweets.

We need to quit validating each other so much and patting each other on the back. We need to start doing more with clients, and talking less to each other. You need to figure out a better way of getting clients to listen to your Tweets and how you’re going to get them to your blogsite and your website. If that means changing your tune on your tweets or your blog, then so be it.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Who are you talking to?

Anyone know who Travis Bickle is? Back in 1976, an actor you may have heard of, was still trying to carve out a name for himself in Hollywood. He was in a movie called Taxi Driver, In this one memorable scene, Bickle is looking into a mirror at himself, imagining a confrontation which would give him a chance to draw his gun. He says the following line:

You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?

So my question to you, who are you talking to? When you write your blog, who are you writing for? Are you talking at them? or to them? Who is them? Someone had written recently that you don’t have a successful blog unless it’s loaded with trackbacks and comments. I bet to differ, but I do think it’s important that you are writing with purpose and conviction. That’s what makes a blog successful. But one other important aspect of blogging, is the ability to listen and the ability to focus.

Here is your thought for Monday. take a step back and figure out what is the message and the theme of your blog. When you do get traffic, what brings them to you? And how can you get them back again. What is your unique value proposition? it should be, listening first and talking second. I’m not saying your blog is wrong, I’m saying, be more succinct in the theme. BE CLEAR There’s nothing wrong with randomness, but if I want random, I can find that anywhere. This is especially true if you’re first starting out as well. Know why you want to blog. Here’s a good primer on how to blog ,for the uninitiated.

BTW, Travis Bickle was played by Robert DeNiro, but you knew that right?