Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How Companies Respond to Social Media

A really on point post from Dave Fleet. These are the five ways in which companies typically respond to social media.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

B2B Marketing

Forrester and MarketingProfs conducted a survey of B2B marketers to see what’s working and where they were spending money during the economic downturn. The report itself costs $279, but they disclosed some of the findings in this press release.

Key findings in the report include:
• 47% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on company websites and search marketing this year.
• 42% plan on increasing expenditures on podcasting or online video.
• 36% will increase their budgets for discussion forums, social networks and communities.
• 31% say they will actually decrease their budget for online display ads.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter Research

Some really great data in here from Harvard about behavior patterns and Twitter.


Campbell's and Hunger

This is a really good case study about how to incorporate social networking into a philanthropic effort. Campbell's has launched the Help Hunger Disappear campaign in Canada and associated with that campaign is a Web site that incorporates social networking technologies.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Comcast and Customer Service

One of the questions we are going to continue to encounter as we engage clients on social media is ROI. How do we demonstrate that the money we put into it didn't just go down the drain? Customer satisfaction is certainly one appropriate metric to consider, and in this case with Comcast, their Twitter efforts directly contributed to an improved customer satisfaction score.


The Future of Twitter

I thought this was an interesting interview with one of the founders of Twitter on how the company plans to make money going forward. One of the most commonly held beliefs is that Twitter will begin selling ads like other popular social networks have. After reading his statements that sure doesn't seem to be the case here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reputation Risk and Social Media

There are some really fascinating stats in here about how employers and employees view social
networks. The study found that 60% of business executives feel that they have a right to monitor what their employees are saying through social networks, while 53% of employees disagreed.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blogger Outreach

This is an important article to read as blogger outreach has become another weapon in the D&E arsenal of late.


Friday, April 10, 2009

There Is No Social Media Department

Geoff Livingston (The Buzz Bin guy) has a great post today arguing there is no such thing as a social media department. His feeling (one that I agree with actually) is that every "department" has the capability to do social media. Granted, there will be people who become good at it, but that doesn't mean other departments cannot adopt it too.

By the way, it will be interesting to see how this blog changes (if at all). Geoff's firm was bought by CRT/tanaka.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Social Media Isn't for Everybody

When you make statements like that you sometimes have to duck. There are those who feel that social media is appropriate for everybody. Guess what? It isn't! If your stakeholders are not taking part in online conversations what makes you think joining one of them yourself will bring them there? What this article also says (thanks to Lisa Zone for sharing!) is that the listening phase of social media is critical. Again, I agree 1,000%.


How do you define a social media expert?

The term "social media expert" has a negative conotation, particularly among the people who are quite obviously experts. There were three posts on the topic of social media experts this week, and I'd encourage you to check out all three:

Lisa Hoffmann - she had always been against using the term social media expert because it is difficult to be an expert on an industry that is moving so quickly. However, her post the other day argued that because she (and others) were unwilling to take the mantle that it had been taken over by people who were far from experts.

Mack Collier - his points are similar to Lisa's, though he does take some consultants to task for relying solely on a lengthly client list as a demonstration of expertise.

Beth Harte - she could be considered a social media expert, but doesn't want to take that title because her feeling is that once you become an expert you stop learning. (not sure I agree with her argument, but it's worth reading anyway)

Persistence: The Key to Social Media Strategy

It seems as if there have been a lot of posts on social media strategy lately, and this is no exception. David Finch argues, rightly I think, that building a "community" is not something you can pull off in a day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Guarding your Online Reputation

One of the misconceptions of social media (at least in my opinion) is that joining Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like is the only way you can participate in the process. Quite the contrary. Listening to your customers (if they are talking to each other through social networks) can be just as useful for companies, particularly from a online reputation managment perspective. Check out this example from Fortune Small Business that demonstrates just that.

The Power of Twitter Continues!

It's always cool to see examples of how companies used a social network, like Twitter, to reach and engage their customers. Check out this USA Today story

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Who Makes up the Facebook Community

These are just some interesting stats on the makeup of Facebook users worldwide from Matt Dickman. Check them out when you have a chance.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Will PR Agencies Represent Communities and Not Brands?

It's an interesting question to consider from Jeremiah Owyang at Forrester. Jeremiah's point is that firms will discontinue representing brands, but more likely be bringing communities to brands.

Think before you post

This post from Jason Falls highlights one important thing about social media - think before you post! Is the information you are sharing appropriate for a broader audience? Am I OK with this information being available forever? Will it embarrass me or the company I work for?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Four Faces of Social Media

I'm actually not a really big fan of this post, but I'm sharing it with you so that you can see how puritanical the social media "elite" are. Beth Harte outlines the four different "faces" of social media. Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but her tone toward the agency and SEO gang seems a little negative.

The Social Media Process

I liked this post from David Finch (via the blog of Jason Falls) about how companies can embrace the social media process. The process according to David:

1. Monitor conversations
2. Create content that you'll give away
3. Fish where the fish are
4. Engage in the conversation
5. Track and analyze results

Is job security keeping us from being ourselves online?

There has been so much written recently about transparency, and (lack of) poor judgment in social media lately, and this post is no different. David's point is particularly worth considering - are people changing who they are on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook for fear that they may put their jobs in jeopardy?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Social Media Monitoring Guide

This is a good post from Kat French on Jason Falls' blog about social media monitoring. This is less about the importance (I don't think anybody is disputing that at this point) and more about the tools available. She says some good things about Radian6, but also mentions some free techniques that folks can use.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Social Media and the Customer Chasm

I thought this was an interesting post by Jay Baer about whether or not our drive to social media is creating a "customer chasm." His point, and I think it is one worth considering, is do we actually do our customers a disservice by only rewarding the ones that follow us on Twitter or "friend" us on Facebook?

Guy Kawasaki Uses Ghost Writers

One of the social media legends, Guy Kawasaki, uses ghostwriters for his Twitter account. There were several posts (click on the ghostwriting tag) recently about whether or not ghostwriting in social media made sense. What's most troubling about this, to me anyway, is that Guy never really disclosed that 3-4 people were tweeting from his Twitter account. Then, when Dave Fleet asked him the question about the ethical concerns he just blew it off. Curious...Check it out

A GREAT study of how marketers are using social media

When you have a moment, I’d encourage you to check out the study linked below by Michael Stelzner. Michael is the author of the book, “Writing White Papers,” and has several big name clients, including Microsoft, Dow Jones, FedEx, LinkedIn, Citrix, HP, Monster and S&P. The attached report is an analysis of 700 responses from marketers all around the country asking questions about social media uses, time commitment, benefits they have seen, tools they want to learn more about, etc…

A couple of interesting tidbits included:

Marketers are mostly new to social media: A significant 88% of marketers surveyed are using social media to market their businesses, BUT 72% have only been doing so for a few months or less.

How much time does this take? A significant 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week and 39% for 10 or more hours weekly. What’s most amazing about this statistic is that as people grow more accustomed to utilizing the tools on a day-to-day basis the time spent goes WAY up.

The top benefit of social media marketing: The number-one advantage is generating exposure for the business, indicated 81% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic and building new business partnerships


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jack in the Box

I think this is another great case study about what social media can bring to a company. What I like about this story is that Jack in the Box joined the social media world willing to be authentic and transparent. They almost had to be as consumers were coming to their Web site and posting comments -- some negative and some positive. Despite the smarmy tone this reporter takes toward their program, it's definitely commendable and one worth keeping in mind as you talk to clients about social media.

The Art of Retweets

I thought this was another cool post from Dave Fleet, countering another blogger's (Mitch Joel) assertion that "tweeting" somebody's blog content is the ultimate blow off. Essentially, Mitch's argument is that the social media elite should be blogging about your content and not using Twitter to push it out. If they really cared about your content they wouldn't be trying to sum it up in 140 characters. Dave's post does a good job of countering those arguments.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Auto-Following on Twitter

An interesting debate on whether you should always follow someone back on Twitter from Dave Fleet.

Having trouble coming up with new blog content?

if you contribute to a blog, there always comes a time when you are stuck for content. Check out these 20 blog topic tips from Chris Brogan if you are in that position.

Twitter and Facebook Integration

If you use TweetDeck, I'd encourage you to check out the new version. It allows for a much more seamless integration with Facebook. in fact, in a much overdue upgrade, you can actually select which Twitter updates you want to have appear on your Facebook page.

Is Twitter Peaking

On his blog Micropersuasion, Steve Rubel asked the question whether or not Twitter is peaking. He thinks it is. My opinion is that there is still tremendous capacity for Twitter to continue growing. Just think about brands you buy products from. Are they on Twitter? wouldn't it make sense for them to engage customers through that network? As long as we can point to capacity, I think it's hard to make the case for it peaking. Thoughts?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Social Media's Impact on the Practice of PR

This paper is worth checking out when you have a free moment. Don Wright from Boston U. and Michelle Hinson from the University of Florida, building off of previous research done by them and the Institute of PR, examine the role social media is playing on the practice of public relations. Some of the more noteworthy findings include:

Findings show that traditional news media receive higher scores than blogs and social media in terms of accuracy, credibility, telling the truth and being ethical.
93%of this year's respondents spent part of their average workdays with some aspects of social media.
85% believe social media complement traditional news media
92% think blogs and social media influence coverage in traditional news media.
88% believe blogs and social media have made communications more instantaneous


Friday, March 13, 2009

CEOs on Facebook and Twitter

One of the challenges of social media is getting the C-Suite to buy into its power. Stories like this from Forbes.com help us "sell" that power. Some great evidence as to why CEOs should Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Twitter and IR

Further evidence that social media isn't just applicable to marketing anymore...The applications of social media for IR aren't always obvious, so it's helpful to see stories like this one from eBay. The company held their first analyst day in three years yesterday, and during the event the company's corporate blogger was "live tweeting" the event. Cool eh?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Want to take a few minutes and learn a ton about social media?

if the answer the question is yes, then I would highly recommend checking out these "video shorts" from Radian6. They launched a series of video interviews on YouTube with social media experts like Jay Baer, Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Sean McDonald from Dell, Scott Monty from Ford among others. Great pieces on everything from the value of social media as a brand reputation management tool to the importance of having a strong customer service foundation as you enter social media.

SEO and Social Media is Empowering PR Agencies

I thought this was a particularly good post from Bulldog Reporter about how getting involved in social media and SEO is really empowering PR agencies.

finding your "brand voice" on Twitter

This is a good post from Mashable about the importance of companies finding their "brand voice" on Twitter. As he notes, companies "must consider the right “Brand Voice.” One that is appropriate for what they want to say, and who they want to reach. This is a different sort of voice than the one companies have been familiar with in their traditional print and broadcast media channels, as it’s a more open and authentic form of communication."

social media metrics

another in the long line of solid posts from Amber Naslund over at Altitude Branding. Great discussion here about social media metrics that companies should consider using to evaluate their social media campaigns.

Don't use social media...yet!

This is a good post for those of you who try and educate clients/peers/colleagues about the social media world. His five talking points make quite a bit of sense.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Microvision, IR and Social Media

You don't find many good investor relations/social media case studies, but this is one of the better ones. Microvision launched a blog at the end of 2008 that dealt with IR and marketing topics. Before their most recent earnings call, the company opened up the blog to investors. If you read Dominic's blog often you'll know that he has been calling for more companies to do this...

What I particularly like about this is that we aren't talking about a mega-cap name. Microvision is relatively small, in comparison to some of the other IR case studies we have so far (FedEx, GE)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Fine Line Between Analysis and Excuses

If you only read one of the posts in this week's rundown, I'd highly suggest this one. I think Amber does a great job of debunking some excuses we often hear for not engaging in social media. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!

Embracing customers through SM

This post is somewhat self-explanatory, but I like it. Here are some practical tips on how to embrace your customer through social media. After all, that's one of its primary purposes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It just won't die

This topic, paid blog posts/ghostwriting, is being killed just for the sake of watching it die. This time Groundswell has a post (a good one by the way) about why sponsored conversations can make sense.

Setting Social Media Expectations

I think this post was written more for personal social media use, but I think it could apply to companies as well. Setting realistic expectations is a pretty critical step when using social media.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ghostwriting and Bill Sledzik

The drama around ghostwriting blogs continues with this post from Bill Sledzik. I definitely don't feel as the purists do--ghostwriting is 100% wrong. I do feel, however, that putting out overly refined messaging via social media is dangerous, and probably not effective. The best brands let the conversations flow, they don't try and force the conversations on their communities. Anyway, what do you think?

Social media driving coverage?

Here are some great tips on how you can use existing social media conversations to drive media coverage. I don't think I've ever seen this approach before, but I like it.

Twitter Expert or Advocate?

I liked this post because it shows that you don't have to be a social media (in this case, Twitter) expert to be influential. If you're an advocate, and help people through SM challenges, it's likely going to be returned to you 10x over.

Can brands respond to all customers in social media?

It really is an interesting problem that faces many of the larger brands. Can they possibly respond to every customer complaint/inquiry that happens in social media? The answer is probably no. However, it's probably a slippery slope to look like you are playing favorites by only responding to the "social media elite." That's why I liked this post from Jason Falls. He recaps two incidents he's had recently that both received resolution, while two of his friends were not nearly as lucky. Jason has about 7,000 Twitter followers. Curious...are we paying so much attention to influencers in our own analyses for clients that we are losing sight of what social media is really about--listening and engaging?

Friday, February 27, 2009

5 Essential Social Media Strategies for a Bad Economy

Here are some great strategies for social media in a down economy from the blog of Jason Falls. Nothing here will probably shock you, just good to keep them in mind.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Explosion of Social Media Experts

Cool post from Jeremiah Owyang about the explosion of social media "gurus" as a result of the recession.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Social Media and B2B - GREAT STATS

It's getting increasingly more difficult for B2B brands to say they aren't interested in social media because their stakeholders don't read blogs, or use Twitter, or don't have Facebook accounts. Forrester released some great data on how buyers in the B2B space are using social technologies. This one is particularly noteworthy:

91% of these technology decision-makers were Spectators. This means you can count on the fact that your buyers are reading blogs, watching user generated video, and participating in other social media. Note that 69% of them said they were using this technology for business purposes.


there was a spirited debate on Twitter yesterday about whether or not blogs, or for that matter, other social media technologies should be ghostwritten. the cases on both sides are pretty strong, though put me in the camp that says ghostwriting is bad news.


Questions to ask our clients about social media

I suppose this is in the spirit of the trusted advisor conversations we've been having...Scott Hepburn, who works for the PR Store contributed this post on Amber Naslund's blog about how to turn the tables on your clients that are asking about social media. Some good questions here that we can probably use.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Personal Brand

I thought this interview with Jeremiah Owyang at Forrester by Shel Israel was worth sharing with you. Shel is working on a new book about Twitter, and interviewed Jeremiah in preparation for the chapter on personal brand. If you aren't following Jeremiah, i'd highly recommend it. He's as savvy as Robert Scoble, and talks at a level that all of us can understand.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Clients Want from Their PR Agencies Regarding Social Media

This is a really great article by Jennifer Leggio (based on survey data I might add) about what clients want from their agencies regarding social media. I think this reinforces the previous post from the analyst at Forrester, but few agencies are really walking the walk.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Agencies need to walk the walk

This is a great post from Jeremiah Owyang at Forrester. If agencies are going to be pitching social media/Web 2.0 to clients they better have experience using it themselves. I love this part of the post in particular:

"I asked the VP of Marketing, Paula Drum (a social media buyer and decision maker) of HR Block if she would hire an agency that wasn’t using the tools, and she said “no."

Six ways to make Web 2.0 work

An interesting report from McKinsey Quarterly about how companies can make Web 2.0 technologies work for them. Over the course of time they have interviewed about 50 "early adopters" of this technology and have distilled those thoughts into six key criterion for success.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Importance of Listening, Part 2

Continuing on the theme of the importance of listening...this time from Matt Dickman. This post outlines how to create and then execute a listening plan. He makes the case, as do many social media "experts," that listening before engaging is one of the most critical steps to success. The graphic associated with this post, while basic, is definitely instructive of how the social media process should evolve.

Is social media changing communications or not?

A fascinating debate is developing in social media: Social media is changing the foundations of public relations versus social media is just another vehicle to deliver a message (the fundamentals are still the same. You get two posts for the price of one today. The first is from Bill Sledzik from Kent who argues that much of what we see in social media is PR 101. The second is from Amber Naslund who argues that social media is indeed changing how PR is practiced. Where do you fall?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The power of listening

I'd highly recommend reading this post from Marcel Lebrun about the value of not only listening, but engaging in what he calls "conversational listening." As he notes, it is important for companies to listen to what is being said about their brands, but that isn't enough. They have to be willing to engage in the conversation. He outlines some great benefits to "engaging" customers/key stakeholders. We all know it's difficult to get our clients to take a step back and "know the landscape," but I think in social media it is EASILY the most critical step of the process. Without knowing, the client is likely going to try and "control" the message or take it in a direction that isn't of value to the folks they care about most. It isn't about issues control in social media, it's more about issues management, and knowing what your customers are saying makes it easier to manage those issues.

Are we expecting too much of people in social media?

The question is an interesting one to ponder, especially as the economy continues to go into the toilet. Should we be expecting people to engage us (our clients) in tasks like creating videos for a contest when they are worried about whether or not they will have a job tomorrow? something to chew on anyway...

Leveraging your Newsroom

These are some great thoughts on how companies can leverage their newsroom using social media tools.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pew Internet and Twitter

Pew released a study yesterday that indicated about 11% of online adults have used Twitter, or a service like it. Personally, that number doesn't sound all that impressive, but when you consider the number of online adults it is much bigger. I would've preferred they use the raw number. But anyway, the study itself is interesting. Check it out when you have a chance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reporter has a meltdown on Twitter

Absolutely amazing that this reporter thought this was a smart decision. Whoops.


SM and B2B

My never ending quest for posts related to social media and B2B continues. This from Todd Defren at SHIFT Communications. Saying you know your customers well enough, or you have a very specialized product aren't the right questions/statements to make. The REAL question is are your clients/customers online. The answer is yes in almost every instance. If so, then social media should be a consideration.

How to Create a Successful SM Program

This is an interesting slideshare presentation on how to create a successful social media program from SocialMedia404. I like the O.A.S.I.S. approach they take.

Social Media is NOT for Everyone

Shannon Paul is in charge of new media for the Detroit Red Wings. Check out her blog...it makes a lot of sense. This post is particularly good. The harsh reality is that social media probably isn't for everybody and it definitely is NOT easy. The best brands using social media are those that "cultivate" their audiences. Think Marriot, Whole Foods, H&R Block, Wachovia, Ford, Dell, among many others.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Social Media Guide

I love the title of this..."Just An Online Minute... Your Guide To Not Being An Idiot." Evidently Fleishman held a social media panel yesterday with some interesting commentary.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tools of the trade

This is sort of basic, but it's helpful to see people's perspectives on the tools of the social media trade. This is just one person's take on the tools necessary to begin engaging in social media. Many of these we already use, but it couldn't hurt to know more about each tool.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How to get started on Twitter

This is an essential read for all of you that are not on Twitter already.

Best Buy

Lots of great social media best practices coming from Best Buy. Here is just another example of that from the blog of Lee Odden

Friday, February 6, 2009

Social Media Guidelines

As I come across this i'll try and share as many as possible. More and more companies are developing social media guidelines, and I think Intel's is particularly good. From the first paragraph:

"These are the official guidelines for social media at Intel. If you're an Intel employee or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media both on and off intel.com—these guidelines are for you. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of Intel to be trained understand and follow these guidelines, failure to do so could put your future participation at risk. These guidelines will continually evolve as new technologies and social networking tools emerge—so check back once in awhile to make sure you're up to date. "

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You say Twitter, I say Community

Wow. Ironically enough I came across this post through Twitter written by @thebrandbuilder. It really is one of the best explanations of Twitter and its value that I've ever come across. Check it out when you have a second.

b2b Companies using social media

I'm always on the lookout for interesting stuff about how b2b companies are utilizing social media. Here is an interview that Shel Israel, author of Naked Conversations, did with Aneta Hall, Pittney Bowes' emerging media manager. Check out her advice for b2b companies that are starting to become interested in social media. Very practical stuff and it almost makes social media less intimidating.


Lots of good stuff written recently about how to "spread" your Twitter network. Better yet, how to make your posts go "viral." Mack Collier had a good post on his blog a couple of days ago about how to get your tweets retweeted. These are very common sense, but it is much harder if you don't work at developing your network of people you are interested in talking to.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The love festival, not to be confused with the Cleveland Twestival, with Ford's social media efforts continues. This is a site maintained by Scott Monty and housed on the Ford Web site that has social media press releases, photos, videos, and a PDF with communications guidelines. Amazing how far ahead of the game these guys really are.

Banks Using Social Media

Since we have some bank clients I thought this was worth passing along. Some thoughts on how banks can use social media from Jesse Torres, banker, author and social media expert

What's Old is New

If you follow some of the social media "heavyweights" on Twitter you might get the impression that they were the inventors of this thing called social media. While they absolutely helped create what social media is now, they definitely didn't invent it. Check out the most recent post from Shel Holtz making the point that many of the old school concepts are just being reinvented for social media and being called "new."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One Person's Social Media System

At the risk of this becoming the Amber Naslund "re-blog" service, check out the list of social media systems that she utilizes almost every day. She gives some ideas as well on how to use the tools. By the way, check out the amount of time she spends on Twitter. Sure, her profession is social media, but she's considered one of the better tweeps out there.


The most obvious goal of social media is interactions. Chris Brogan gives some good tips on how you can encourage participation and interaction when using social media.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Communications Toolbox

Here are some great tips for companies when/if they are trying to create a social media communications guidelines. She also gives some best practices within this post as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pogue's Post

No, not the Dick Pogue you are thinking about. David Pogue, the tech writer for the New York Times. He recalls a presentation he just gave where he demonstrated the power of Twitter. If you're an active user of Twitter you've probably seen something like this several times a day. Still, it is interesting to see it in action.

B2B and Social Media

Since the majority of our client base is B2B, I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas to take advantage of social media for clients. Check out this blog post from Paul Gillin for an example of a couple of SM tactics that could work well for our clients. Also worth noting are the B2B brands that he considers are engaging social media in an effective way.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fortune 1000 Adopting Social Media

An interesting, and sort of troubling report for us as we try and get prospects/clients more interested in social media. Research firm Gartner has a new report out indicating that a majority of the Fortune 1,000 will try social media and more than 1/2 of those trying will fail.

Social Media Metrics

One of the reasons you hear often by companies who do not want to adopt social media is that you cannot measure your results. Phooey. As many of you know, Katie Paine has her own measurement and evaluation firm and really is the "queen" of social media measurement. She puts out a newsletter to clients called The Measurement Standard that encompasses all things measurement. The most recent issue has a great article by Jim McNamara, who I've seen speak a few times, and who really is a measurement guru in his own right. The article gives some very easy, and I think approachable metrics for trying to measure social media performance.

Why do companies trust their employees to answer a phone, but not to blog or get on Twitter?

I watched the debate via Twitter that this blog post references and remember thinking that these are the same things we often here from clients.

Monday, January 26, 2009

SM Case Studies

We are always looking for these -

These are some great examples of how to use social media to build/boost customer loyalty.


The Death of Non-Social Media

I've read this post from David Schumacher a few times and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. Yes, he's right in that the traditional media is dying a VERY slow death. What i'm not sure about is the statement that at some point all media will be social.


Can you build an online community without any off-line support

Jason Falls would say no. This post is centered around a presentation he was creating for Makers Mark on how to utilize Web 2.0 technologies. I think this quote says it best:

“Social media and Web 2.0 are great, but not pure play. If you don’t already have a community built around your brand, you may as well set your Internet marketing budget on fire, because you’re faking it.”

By the way, it's definitely worth following Jason's blog and his Twitter profile. Almost always great stuff.


Handling Negative Blog Comments

I think this is an issue we are getting from clients more and more often as they venture into the social media world. Mack Collier gives some great, and very practical tips on how to respond to negative blog comments on the MarketingProfs Web site.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Scoble Blindness

This is an old post on MarketingProfs but definitely one for us to consider thinking about if we are adopting Twitter as a tactic for our clients. Scoble Blindness is the strongly held belief that everyone using social media is supremely interested in what Robert Scoble and others like him have to say. The argument here being that what Robert Scoble, and "influencers" like him, have to say is of very little interest to the average Twitter user. While I think that's probably true, seeing how Scoble, and others like him, use Twitter can be helpful for the non-hi-tech among us.

One other point worth raising that doesn't seem to make sense to me.:

"Twitter as an asynchronous IM device to (a) keep up with their real-life friends (b) follow the ramblings of a celebrity tweeter like Shaquille O’Neal or Britney Spears-- people with whom they have zero expectations of reciprocity and (c) get updates from broadcast-only news feeds like the New York Times or the BBC."

Perhaps that's true for the high school or college student, but I think where the article misses the point is that the real growth in Twitter users is coming from professionals, like us, hearing about the technology and then adopting it to ultimately use for some professional purpose.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

McKinsey Survey

A great article and study from BtoB Magazine and McKinsey about the "divide" developing in social media.


C-Suite Blogging

This is a somewhat self-explanatory, yet I think a very good list of ways you can draw attention to a C-Suite blog. Of course, "selling" them on the value of doing a blog is the first place to start. After you've done that, come back to these ideas.


Social Media Resources

Trying to make the case to someone on the benefits of using social media? Maybe a boss or a client or a co-worker who’s a little resistant? Maybe a lot resistant? Check out the link below for a great list of articles that could help you "make the case."


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Consumers Want to Socialize With Companies

Came across this October PR News article while doing some other research and some of the findings were astounding. Because you are required to enter a subscription to view the actual article here is the source of the research -- Cone Inc. Just one of the more interesting findings was:

According to the survey, 93 percent of social media users believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media. In fact, 56 percent of users feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.

FedEx and a Corporate Blog

Will we ever reach a point where companies discontinue using the traditional wire services and instead post corporate news ONLY on their Web site? Who knows. My sense is that we are moving (albeit slowly) in that direction.

Federal Express seems to be one of the early adopters of that philosophy. FedEx announced through their Web site that they were not participating in Super Bowl advertising in 2009. While the news isn't material, and probably didn't require a news release, it is pretty major news when one of the traditionally major advertisers pulls out.

Check out the comments below. The company was actually applauded by a few folks for being responsible corporate citizens in this difficult economic environment.

An all-or-nothing proposition

I think I've mentioned how much I like this blog -- Altitude Branding -- written by Amber Naslund. Today's post is no exception. Check it out. I think, quite accurately, notes that just because you start down the social media path doesnt mean you are stuck with it forever. You can bow out of the process gracefully, particularly if it isnt working as you had hoped.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Soc. Med in 2009

SO many of these stories came out right before the holidays and the first week we were back from vacation. PRSA had an interesting story themselves last week written by Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer of TNS Cymfony.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Social Media and the Opera?

Who knew anybody could make a connection between social media and classical music, but somebody has. Yesterday's post on the blog Altitude Branding did just that. She ties some lessons she learned in music school to social media. Worth checking out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chris Brogan

If I were to recommend one person to follow to new Twitter users it would be Chris Brogan. He always has some interesting and really value-added things to say.

Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, as well as the home of the New Marketing Summit conferences and New Marketing Bootcamp educational events. He helps large and mid-sized businesses understand how to use social media tools like blogging, social networks, community platforms, and more to build business value for marketers, sales organizations, and internal collaboration in general.

His blog usually has some great content as well and today is no exception. Check out the link below. Chris opines a little about how you align social media within a business.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SM in a Crisis

If you aren't following @MackCollier on Twitter you should be. ALWAYS has great stuff, and it always is on a different aspect of social media. Today's post on using sm in a crisis is particularly great. As he notes, sm is often viewed as a medium applicable only to marketing and media. Crisis comms professionals can use the same technology to their advantage.


GE Reports

Check out this new blog launched by General Electric. Launched by GE's Communications team, GE intends for the blog to be a way of providing investors with additional information, not to replace other modes of disclosure. As part of this effort, a companion YouTube channel was launched


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

10 Tips to Be Effective at Marketing on Twitter

TwiTip posted a great list of he top 10 tips to be effective at marketing on twitter.


Social Media "Expert"

Saw this on MarketingProfs today and it is definitely worth sharing. Amber Naslund is a social media and marketing professional, and the Director of Community for Radian6, where she’s responsible for client engagement, community building, and helping companies tap the potential of online reputation management and social media monitoring. She’s spent the last decade or so raising funds, building brands for companies of all sizes, and messing with all things online.

Based on that I'd consider her a social media expert. Her take is interesting on the role of the consultant in social media. She feels that the consultants role is largely short-term as if the social media effort is going to be successful the company needs to immerse itself in the process.


Monday, January 12, 2009

social media is still #1

Not a surprising statement as I think many of us would have probably thought it anyway. Still, lots of small businesses plan to increase their spending on social network marketing in 2009. In fact, 25% of the small businesses surveyed by Ad-ology Research indicated that they would increase spending on the medium this year, a higher percentage than any other marketing format.


communicating during difficult economic times

This is a popular story line these days as the economy has continued to struggle, but I thought this was a pretty telling/interesting post by Barry Judge. As you probably know, Barry Judge is the Chief Marketing Officer of Best Buy. He wrote a post today about BBY's voluntary seperation package and his thoughts therein. I think it's pretty heartfelt, an interesting use of social media and a way to demonstrate that senior leadership is indeed human.


Friday, January 9, 2009

How To Pick The Right Blogs

EXCELLENT post and accompanying presentation by Jason Falls, the director of social media for Doe-Anderson, a brand-building agency in Louisville, Ky on how to identify the appropriate blogs for your public relations outreach. As he notes, identifying those blogs isn't easy.


Social Media Gut Check

This is a great list of questions that we (our clients) need to be asking before suggesting to clients that they dive into the social media pool

Why is social media of interest to us?
What obstacles do we see in front of us related to social media?
Do we communicate well internally?
Who is leading the charge?
What are our expectations as the social media advocates? Are those expectations the same with our peers, colleagues, and mangement?
Are we willing to spend money on this?
What happens if we stumble?
What happens if we succeed?
What will we do with what we learn?


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Social media isn't just for those young kids

I came across this post from Jason Baer and I had to laugh because it is so true. The post happens to be a pretty good discussion about why it's important for everybody in an organization to adopt social media techniques, not just the young kids.

As he says:

"I’ve worked with some amazing interns, but interns don’t transform brands. It’s not that they don’t have the smarts. It’s not even that they lack experience. It’s that they don’t have the ear of senior members of the client team."


Measuring MySpace and Facebook

Great outline of how to measure the success of your Facebook and MySpace campaign from KDPaine & Partners (measurement firm based in New Hampshire).


Social Media Rules

Mack Collier (if you dont follow Mack on Twitter you should - typically very good stuff) makes a great point in this piece on MarketingProfs. The reality with social media is that there are very few rules. As Mack notes, find your path than travel down it.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wells Fargo and Wachovia

Social media can even be used in a transaction...as Wells Fargo and Wachovia have proven. Check out this newly launched blog to provide a forum to relay key changes related to the merger but also provide a place where basically everyone, but particularly employees and customers can ask questions and voice concerns. Cool idea, and definitely an interesting way to manage the transaction integration process.


Corporate Blogs Aren't Trusted

Or so says Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. I came across his blog and thought this particular post was worth sharing especially because of the ongoing conversations we are having around corporate blogs. He gives a great “scorecard” on how to determine if your corporate blog is “trusted.”


Companies "tweeting" about layoffs

All – check out this story on Workforce Management.com about how social media is “forcing” companies to become more transparent about layoffs, whether they like it or not. The story gives a couple of good examples -

Yahoo! – the company reportedly began laying off 1,500 employees, in keeping with their pledge to cut at least 10 percent of its workforce by the end of the year. The event made news because employees Twittered about their experience.

Zappos.com – this is the other end of the spectrum. One of the first things Zappos.com chief executive Tony Hsieh did when he laid off 125 people last month was Twitter about it.


Social Media in a Crisis

Another on the score of social media in a crisis. Point here being that debating whether “tweets” are news in a time of crisis is meaningless.


Measuring Engagement on Twitter

How do we monitor Twitter? Better yet, how do we know if our client saw any value from a campaign that utilized Twitter? Check out this blog post from Kari Rippetoe on a quick, and seemingly effective way to do both.


Bivings Report on Use of Web sites by Newspapers

Every year, The Bivings Group conducts a study of the web features of America’s largest newspapers as a way to gauge how papers are dealing with the threat and opportunity presented by the rise of the Internet as a news source.

Some of the more interesting findings:

Newspapers are experimenting with user generated content. The study found that 58 percent of newspapers allowed for user generated photos, while 18 percent accepted video and 15 percent articles. Overall, 58 percent of newspapers offered some form of user generated content in 2008 compared to 24 percent in 2007.

Ten percent of newspapers had social networking tools, such as user profiles and the ability to “friend” other users, built into their sites in 2008. This compares to five percent of sites that included this feature in 2007. It is surprising that this number isn’t higher.

All of the 100 newspapers in the study provide some type of RSS feed. In 2007 all but three newspapers offered RSS feeds.


further proof that social media has no bounds...

Check out this story about how the Israeli Consulate is using social media… The Israel Defense Forces are posting daily videos from a spokesperson on Google's YouTube video-sharing service, as well as more clips of air strikes on alleged strongholds for Hamas. On Dec. 30, Israel held a "citizen's press conference" via Twitter.


When employees get mad

This is a great example of what can happen when you have a large segment of unhappy employees. The United Airline pilots started a blog called "Glenn Tilton Must Go" during their most recent contract negotiation. Looks like they've stopped populating the blog.


Shel Israel

This isn't a post as much as it is a link to an address:


I'd highly suggest, if you aren't already, setting up a feed for Shel Israel's Global Neighbourhoods blog. I couldn't think of a single post to highlight so I am highlighting the whole thing. It really is great...ALL OF THE TIME.

SM Sites that Every Business Should Be On

I wouldn't expect businesses to be on all 50, but I think it's illustrative of the fact that there are many valuable social media tools if companies are willing to engage in the process.


Social Media Predictions

Here is a cool list from Peter Kim, formerly of Forrester Research, outlining his social media predictions for 2009. I had to post this one, because it is an interesting list and two because Christina thinks the guy is full of himself. Check out the URL


Who else is on Twitter?

Ever wonder who is on Twitter? Check out the Social Brand Index. Everybody from the New York Times to Whole Foods...if they're on Twitter they should be on this list.


Brands Find Value on Twitter

Sort of redundant because it seems like this sort of story comes out all the time, but ClickZ does highlight some brands (Ford, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot) that see value in using Twitter.


Return on Ignoring

This isn't the sort of "ROI" I am used to reading about, but this story by David Alston for MarketingProfs is definitely worth checking out. With the help of some marketing executives embedded links to YouTube videos in the story) he gives a pretty compelling case for why companies CANNOT ignore social media. Or better yet, if they do they'll see a return but not the sort of return they were hoping for.


Social Media & Brand Reputation

I came across this study conducted by the Society for New Communications Research with the support of Nuance Communications. While the full report is pretty long, there were some pretty interesting findings:

Respondents were asked how often they use social media to learn about the customer care offered by the company when considering a purchase. More than 70% reported that they engage in this pre purchase behavior at least sometimes. Nineteen percent of respondents rarely use social media to learn about customer care and 9% never do.
To assess the potential influence of social media sites on user opinions as they relate to care experience, respondents were asked how often they take into consideration the quality of customer care offered when making buying decisions. Eighty-four percent said they do consider the quality of customer care at least sometimes, while 16% said they rarely or never do

Among others…

From the report – “While much more research is needed on this new topic, in short, this initial study indicates that there is a growing group of highly desirable consumers: 25-55 year-olds, college-educated, earning $100,000+ — a very powerful group in terms of buying behavior. These most savvy and sought after consumers are using social media to research companies. They will not support companies with poor customer care reputations, and finally, they will talk about all of this openly with others via multiple online vehicles. This research should serve as a wake-up call to companies: listen, respond, and improve.”

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Normally my first recommendation would be to contact Radian6, but here are some free tools you can use to track/analyze your social media footprint.


Barry Judge/Best Buy

One of the best users of social media techniques is Best Buy. Barry Judge, the company's Chief Marketing Officer, is a relatively active user of Twitter and has his own blog. I'd encourage you to check out both, but specifically his Twitter profile as he often handles consumer complaints through that forum.



9 Reasons You Need Social Media Marketing in 2009

A good post from Todd Mailcoat about why you need to incorporate social media in your planning for 2009.


Social Media Measurement is Like Gourmet Cooking

What an awesome title and blog post by Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6. I actually blogged about this myself on the D&E site. Worth a read, even for the measurement averse.


B2B Brands on Twitter

Some of you may already know about these brands, but it's helpful to have in case a client/potential client asks who else is using Twitter


Corporate Blogging

We are often asked by clients what are the advantages/risks to starting a corporate blog. To that end, this is a draft of a guide paper from the IIA's Social Media Working Group outlining the benefits and potential risks to starting a corporate blog. While the post says it is intended for Irish businesses the reality is that the ideas are applicable anywhere

Just as a side note, it probably isn't worth reading section 1 of this paper. It's some basic information about what a blog is...