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 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 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. – this is the other end of the spectrum. One of the first things 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...