The Socializers
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Posts Tagged ‘ social media marketing ’

NATHANIEL HANSEN, CEO OF THE SOCIALIZERS INTERVIEWS Eleftherios Hatziioannou New Media Manager of s.Oliver and former Social Media Manager for Mercedes-Benz Global.

This is the English version of a feature interview I submitted to Marketing Week Magazine in Greece. The article was published in the May 1-5 2011 issue. The Greek version may be found here.

eleftherioshatziioannou

1. How do enterprises handle the 24-7 nature of online social communities?

This is indeed one of the big challenges businesses have to deal with in a truly globally connected world where people get more and more used to non-stop real-time interaction. When Europe goes to bed Asia rises. There is a 24/7 stream of information and conversations going on which can be of interest for brands and businesses. But business can handle it! How? Like in real life it is all about defining some kind of a rhythm to manage the information and issues. Once you have set up the processes, roles and tools, you just need to be disciplined and do your work day-by-day. And never forget: What counts in real life counts for the social web as well. Over time you create a culture and people understand when to expect an immediate answer and when it can take some time. Communities are smart enough to understand that even a community manager needs a break. I suggest to everyone involved in social communities to be really open about what they can offer and what not. One solution could be defining a “netiquette”, which includes basic rules and guidelines about what people can expect from you and when. Like the “old school” signage at the doorstep of your shop.

2. What criteria do you use in discovering technical solutions for social campaign management and internal facing social solutions?

It depends on what you are looking at and in which phase of your social media engagement you are in. It is an evolutionary process after all. Let’s have a look at “web monitoring”. I suggest that if you are just getting started you do a lot of manual work: reading through comments, searching for tweets related to your company and also creating lists of the blogs which are interesting for your business and subscribing to them. You could organize relevant blogs with tools like Google reader for example. There are a lot of other free tools, e.g. Twitter search, to start with.

However, once you grow and start doing more activities it makes sense to look into professional monitoring tools in order to manage the amount of topics and also being able to analyze and report to your management. I recommend looking at different tools and deciding which one fits your needs best. It doesn’t mean that the expensive solution is also the best. What I definitely prefer are tools which allow you to not only have a “radar” system in place but to work with your findings by transferring them into your internal collaboration space. Think about reading a critical or false statement in a blog which you want to share with your PR colleagues who decide whether to make an official statement or not. The more you open up for the online dialogue the more you want to assign tasks with just a few clicks. Other than that simplicity is king! You want to make it easy for your co-workers to embrace the “change”.

3. What goals are realistic when managing social communities and how do excellent community managers succeed?

Behind every blog, account and profile there is a human being with basic needs: The need to be heard. The need to be appreciated. The need to be part of something greater than himself/herself. An excellent community manager understands these needs. He acts like a real friend. If you want to be a good community manager just think of how relationships and friendship works in normal life. He is the “real deal”. He is not faking anything. He is like a bridge between the inside and the outside of the company translating the language and culture in a way that it can be understood in both directions. He is a strong communicator with excellent social skills. A real champion talks with and not to the community. He filters topics according to their relevance for his audience and balances between company’s and the community’s interests. And last, but not least, he always keeps his promises and openly corrects mistakes. Belive it or not: Communities forgive when you are open about your mistakes. And who’s perfect by the way?!

4. How would your strategy differ when managing social media outposts and a branded community?

The biggest difference would be that in a branded community – which is more of a private thing – you can do more and dive deeper into user engagement. People sign up – with all the data you need to know to be safe- because they really want to be in touch with you. In general it is more of a “trusted” environment where you can engage on a deeper level. Look at it like a VIP lounge in a club. Members feel special but also expect a more “exclusive” treatment. It is more difficult to reach a broad audience if you are not a company like Apple or Google who managed to build huge audiences and communities around their excellent products and services giving special benefits to loyal users, e.g. like testing new devices first or using services before the official launch. I like the concept of branded communities especially in the B2B space where you want to have a certain level of confidentiality or privacy.

It is a different story to build and manage a community on a open and massive platform like Facebook for example. There is definitely less control. People “like” you on the go by simply clicking one button. The same applies to leaving your page again. It is a much faster game and you need to really make sure not to overload the community with your contents and tasks. This applies to formats, tonality as well as lengths of post or videos,etc. related to your communications.

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5. What types of insights are most valuable to you from business intelligence gathered via social network analysis? How can such insights also be applied internally in fomenting culture change?

All insights are valuable. The more you know the better you understand the game. At least in this stage of the social media evolution. What is interesting though that in the beginning you appreciate growth in quantitative aspects. “We grew by 1000 fans in Facebook over the past week”, “we have 500 new followers on twitter this month”, “we served 1.000.000 impressions with our campaign”. This numbers definitely help creating awareness and build momentum in the beginning because we were used to measure success in such facts (e.g. CPM – cost per mille). However, I find it much more important to look into the qualitative aspects as well. And in this regard we are still at the very beginning! There are no broadly applied KPIs yet which make your performance comparable. But anything is possible: Why not measuring service levels based on the amount of complaints coming in in relation to problems solved on Facebook? Why not comparing ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions on twitter in comparison to the last month to understand customer satisfaction levels? I guess it is pretty clear what I want to say. Social media is more than just a growing number of fans. Social media is all about real conversations taking place. And there are tons of valuable data available. Think about customer feedback or suggestions related to your product or service. The question is how to handle this inbound stream of information and learning from it?

6. What are your favorite online communities? Why?

My favorite social network is Facebook. I created my profile back in 2006 when I was helping a friend after work to build awareness for a social learning network among students. And back then Facebook was still a platform mainly for students. So we thought it would be the right place to promote this startup.

If I look at Facebook today it amazes me how much they have done right in the course of the past few years. The speed of action. The level of continuous innovation. And of course the massive growth in users and usage. They also managed to hire a lot of talent. I love Facebook for allowing me to connect with my family and friends around the world. They are far away but still so close. I know what`s happening and I can choose how public I want to be. But the social web offers more than Facebook: Think about blogs and how they democratized publishing. Think about twitter and how fast we learn about news in the world today. Or think of the new rising stars who built their audience on YouTube. I find it really amazing to see how technology allows human beings to thrive!

7. You’ve spoken in interviews about culture change internally. Often a period of “cleaning up the organization” prepares the enterprise more fully for social engagement. Speak to the challenges of doing this and also the specific obstacles in a country like Greece.

Change is never easy and you have to make sure that people understand what it is all about. This means that you first have to understand where people are standing right now and what their values are. A colleague in HR in his late 50 with no Facebook profile needs to be addressed differently than a 30-year old colleague in the Marketing team already reading blogs about marketing related issues. What I find valuable is to use the concept of “storytelling” for internal change. Create relevant stories related to the values and challenges of your opponent and also make time to look into and explain the social web. Ask your CEO to “Google” himself or do a live demo of mentions about your company or products. This will work magic – trust me.

Finally, really take your time. Change does not happen over night. Spread the virus, talk to as many people as you can. Walk the talk. You cannot preach change without living it yourself. So spend a lot of time sharing links and information related to social media. Create working groups and inform people about the latest stuff and news. In short: Evangelize and keep walking!

8. Forward looking, what developments in technology do you believe are most relevant to where social communities are headed? How about in relation to where internal corporate culture is headed?

A really interesting question. What is happening right now is that we are going through a complete transformation of our communication and information behavior based on the technologies available and the development of infrastructure (networks, devices, prices for data plans). If you look at the younger generations (digital natives) you see that using various media simultaneously is a normal thing. They got used to real-time information, easy sharing of information, collaboration with friends and all the other technology-driven advances. It has become a natural thing to them. Now, imagine what this means for the “workforce” of tomorrow. Do you think they will come and work for companies which are stuck in the past? Working on ancient soft- and hardware? You cannot expect that they come into the office and forget about all the great tools and features they use in their leisure time.

So besides the cultural change in terms of opening up for online dialogue, embracing social media as a driver for business excellence and stronger customer relations we need to answer the following question: How does the workspace of the future look like? How do we learn from social media about better collaboration? And how can we make work being a playground again for more creativity and innovation? How can we empower our teams to excel?

zodiacsocialteam
Eleftherios Hatziioannou (1), Babis Mavridopoulos (2), Nathaniel Hansen (3) and Peter Economides (4) at the Intercontinental Hotel, Athens, Greece. March 2011.

9. What’s your favorite spot in the world?

Generally speaking I love the sea. Especially the Aegean. I guess it has to do with my origin which lies on Rhodes, in the Dodecanese, where my family lives. The deep blue colour, the sandy beaches and the lovely sun in August/ September are truly amazing and work magic if you want to re-charge for business. I will be back in May or June.

Add’l resource: Brian Solis interviews Eleftherios Hatziioannou on Solis TV here.

Nathaniel Hansen, CEO of The Socializers, (traveling in Athens, Greece) caught up with Lorrie Thomas, CEO of Web Marketing Therapy (traveling in Austin, TX) today for a quick interview on the release of her new book The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Online Marketing.

1. What’s one of your favorite Internet Marketing tips from your new book released today, Lorrie?

My #1 tip from my online marketing book is the healthy reminder that it is not all the geeky-cool wild web tools out there, it is HOW we use the tools strategically to make and grow relationships. At the end of the day, marketing truly means making relationships. This reminder is our compass that heps us choose the social web tools and decide how to use them.

2. What do you see in 2011 in the world of the Internet and social networks?

For 2011, I see a smarter use of social networking. The use of social networking as an interactive Rolodex will continue, however, community development, service and collaboration will explode. People seem to finally get that social web tools merely amplify traditional networking we do live :)

3. I hear that this book is a course and the reader can actually take an online test for certification upon completing the book. Say more!

The 36 Hour Course to Online Marketing does have an online exam that can get readers a certificate in online marketing! There are 100 quiz questions (instructions of where to take them online are in the book) and it is such a smart way to grade your comprehension and boost your resume! McGraw-Hill has been a wonderful partner in this book process and their certificates are such a nice bonus.

4. What conference(s) do you recommend attending in 2011?

As the CEO of a virtual company, I first recommend attending every webinar you can to get the most bang for your buck. Web Marketing has a channel on BrightTalk.com and I’m launching a 36 Hour Online Marketing channel this year too. Devour every Hubspot webinar you can! I am attending the eMarketing conference in SF, Social Media week in SF and RISE Global in Austin live this year, check all those out!

5. Love seems to be a BIG theme lately in your posts. Any thoughts on how Love is important in the world of Internet Markting?

Ah, love :). When marketers love their current and prospective customers, everything falls into place. Love keeps us ethical, boosts how well we communicate and keeps things gentle. May we all embrace love!

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Find more on Lorrie Thomas, The Web Marketing Therapist at http://www.webmarketingtherapy.com/.

“Myths and symbols are the language of the soul. A myth helps us to take a situation to heart and know what we must do: if it is to see the truth and act upon it, then the image of Psyche with her sword provides a magic perspective. A symbolic object can then be a talisman that helps us to do what we need to do. Like passing a literal torch, these are rituals that empower us by infusing an act with a deeper meaning. To think and act this way is magical, metaphoric thinking that can call forth the qualities we need from within ourselves and may also tap into sources of help that lie beyond us.” ~Jean Shinoda-Bolen.

When social media operatives discover a shaman’s name and gain the list of phrases he/she uses to enchant a tribe, the full membership and complexion of that tribe appears like holiday lights in a dark forest, guiding products/services down the CORRECT chimneys. Discover a tribe’s key influencer and study his/her way of phrasing things and you’ll have all you need to discover what draws the tribe inexorably. Chiefs always turned to shamans for the spells to influence the tribe.

In Greek myth, Eros was called an Eleutherios, or liberator. By some tellings, he is the son of Ares (strategy, intelligence, and warfare) and Aphrodite (love and attraction, the most influential of deities). Eros IS an important god for Social Media Operatives, along with Hermes. Social business IS erotic by nature, weaving corporate silos together and blending previously disparate departments like Marketing and Customer Service. To be clear on the sequence, it is Aphrodite (Influence) who seduces Ares (Strategy), producing Eros, “The Eleutherios”, who entrances Psyche EVERY single time.

To translate: True Influencers that gather masses of crowds are a combination of a Celebrity and a Celebrity-Maker, a King and a King-maker. The Celebrity may have a face and body that excites PLUS an idea of how to move that body and crack that winning smile. She elevates when in touch with a strategist who knows the words and the audiences best suited to her devices. This is why Aphrpodite the Influencer and Ares the Strategist create Eros, the Liberator. He is their device by which to attract Psyche, the mythic persona whose story matches the aching passage of all humanity from unconsciousness to consciousness. OR, to speak in marketing terminology, to introduce awareness of an excellent product/service into the mind of the buyer MOST prone to purchase.

A social intelligence document containing all the right keywords, largest audiences and key influencers for a specific product or service IS a shaman’s spellbook…a playbook, a war strategy, and the method to create Kings and Queens. Those who can analyze the social fabric of the Internet and deliver such documents are the kingmakers, the tribe-winners, and gain the ear of kings and queens. Aggressive pursuit has its place BUT to know a tribe’s perfect summoning spell, indeed, to know the right notes on the flute…well, we all know the rest of that story.

HOW WE DO IT:

a. KEYWORD ANALYSIS: We use best-practice leading keyword research tools to drill down on the search volume and Share of Voice of those keywords.

b. ALGORITHMIC AND HUMAN RESEARCH: We enter all keywords into best-practice, WOMMA-ethics-approved tools and run machine-driven research, and then do subsequent human analysis on those results in the social fabric of the Internet, web communities and blogs.

d. DATA COLLATION AND VISUALIZATION: We collate this information and create Excel spreadsheets following best-practice methods. These spreadsheets are then uploaded into several visualization tools to clarify/see the results.

e. CONVERSATION SNIPPET ANALYSIS BY HAND: We assign teams to hand-analyze conversation snippets and provide spreadsheets where conversations around topics of interest are tallied up and ONLY relevant comments are kept/segmented.

f. REPORT AND INFO-GRAPHIC CREATION: We distill all of this information into a report with digestible, punchy insights and best-practice info-graphics based upon the needs of the campaign.

g. TEACHING AND COACHING: We conduct a talent search for your ideal community manager and then teach and coach that individual in best-practice execution of social and internet marketing strategy.

A BEST-PRACTICE PROCESS in SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING is the following:

1. IDENTIFY your customer by doing a writing/drawing/brainstorming project wherein you describe 5 DIFFERENT members of that audience.

2. CREATE THE SOCIAL GRAPH: Generate keywords from those descriptions and use the Google External Keyword Search + any number of paid/free social monitoring tools to create an initial social graph of where these 5 members locate. Buy these posters, laminate them and put them on your wall as MAPS of INFLUENCE in the social web! http://www.theconversationprism.com/

3. OBSERVE and STUDY: Go to the locations on these maps and study the behaviors and likes of YOUR AUDIENCE there!

4. DESIGN: Design your offering in a way that matches OR exceeds what ATTRACTS those individuals. CREATE CONTENT THAT WILL FIT IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR AUDIENCE!

5. GO LIVE: Take the microsite (blog) and social footprint live. Use WordPress, Posterous, Blogger or Drupal as the platform for your microsite (each has their benefit depending on your technical skill level and time available). In terms of social properties, set up in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and Slideshare. Add to these from your research project above and through studying the maps from The Conversation Prism, basing your decision upon contexts populated by YOUR key influencers, customers and community.

6. SOCIALIZE: Use the following sequence as a model for populating the microsite AND social footprint WITH content: http://bit.ly/the_cycle_of_social_spread

7. GET INTIMATE AND GIVE POWER AWAY TO YOUR AUDIENCE! BRING THEM ONSTAGE: Respond to all comments AND build content from your feedback. Create a virtuous cycle by LISTENING and then creating content from what you hear…crowdsourcing a percentage of your content WILL reap HUGE rewards in terms of buzz because your audience wants to get up on stage WITH you! Imagine one man on stage at the outset and then see more and more people JOINING you on stage. This is an image of how crowdsourcing works. Find a great resource on current crowdsourcing examples here: http://bit.ly/THE_crowdsourcing_LIST

IN A NUTSHELL:

LISTENING, STRATEGY, ACTION

LEARN MORE by following this trail meme on social media monitoring and brand creation: http://trailmeme.com/trails/social_media_monitoring or use this Rollyo Targeted Search Window that focuses solely on social media monitoring. Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World is an EXCELLENT book on Archetypes and very helpful in terms of identifying HOW your key influencers may accelerate your audience’s awareness of your offering to the extent that a REAL contribution is made to the world.

Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless. ~Brian Solis

To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation. ~ Chinese Proverb

The best salespeople are great listeners – that’s how you find out what the buyer wants. ~ Spencer Johnson and Larry Wilson

TARGETED RESEARCH + CREATIVE STRATEGIES = SUCCESSFUL ONLINE MARKETING AND SELLING!

Web monitoring tools offer business developers and marketers CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE on where the major audience(s) for a product/service reside in cyberspace and in the physical world. Audiencecounts.com is a website where a 3-tiered competitive intelligence solution is offered. The solution provides online intelligence in regards to where a client’s major audience (major conversations, major communities and key influencers) currently resides in social media/web properties in an accessible format for the non-technical user.

Whereas there currently exist numerous web monitoring solutions available that offer access to this information, there are few services that offer a SIMPLIFIED version of the intelligence ALONG WITH TARGETED STRATEGIES on how to use the intelligence. We offer a simple final format that has TWO sections:

YOUR AUDIENCE: Where your Audience is (based on keywords submitted by the client). This is presented in a Top 25 format in each category:

In blogs
In social media properties
Web Communities
Key influencers
Largest dicusssions
Largest communities

YOUR STRATEGIES: Strategies for the social web that offer basic preliminary strategy/tactics on: (a) establishing a presence, (b) entering the conversation, (c) becoming a leader in the conversation and (d) monetizing tips. Advanced strategies for specific needs related to your organization.

How does this work?

1. Using keywords and keyphrases, we use a combination of sophisticated social monitoring tools to discover the key influencers, major online communities and highest populated conversations about your product/service/brand.

2. We compile a report of these top audiences for your product/service/brand AND give you strategies for accessing and monetizing these relationships and conversations. Remember, a conversation IS a community AND a selling opportunity. Read more here on the Top 10 Reasons to Listen from Radian6, one of the world’s premier social intelligence solutions.

3. We deliver this report to you for your use.

What do I do with the report and strategies?

The key influencers, major discussions and largest groups/networks identified around your brand/product/service indicate fabulous starting points for getting the word out/participating in the conversation about your offering. The strategies tell you how to do it.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Facebook statistics – By the numbers

by Tom Mason

Facebook celebrated 500 million users yesterday. Here’s some more stats to satisfy your desire for information about the big blue social network…

The average Facebook user:

Has 130 friends

Spends around 1250 minutes on Facebook per month.

Creates around 70 pieces of content (updates, links, comments) per month

Uploads five photographs per month

Watches 5.6 Facebook videos per month

In the United Kingdom:

There are 27,020,020 Facebook users (43.7 per cent of the total population)

The United Kingdom has the second highest number of Facebook users (5.54% of global audience)

51.8% are female (13,576 100) while 48.2% are male (12,626,280)

Most users in the UK are between 25 and 34 years old. (26.5% of UK national audience)

62.5% of the UK online population have a Facebook account

31 per cent of users state they’re single

43 percent state they’re engaged, married or in a relationship

Global users

70% of the Facebook audience come from outside the United States

The top ten audiences are from (in millions):

1. United States 128,936,800
2. United Kingdom 27,020,020
3. Indonesia 26,277,000
4. Turkey 22,924,780
5. France 19,351,420
6. Italy 16,858,340
7. Canada 15,756,400
8. Philippines 15,284,460
9. Mexico 13,788,560
10. India 11,534,480

Between 2009 and 2010, Taiwan was the fastest adopted of Facebook, registering a 884% growth of users over the period

If Facebook would be a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world

There are 65 million mobile users of Facebook worldwide

User behaviour per month

20 million videos are uploaded globally

More than 2 billion videos are viewed through Facebook’s video format

Woman post 55% more content than men

The average user writes 25 comments and likes nine things

14 billion pieces of content are shared across the entire site

3.5 million events are created

1.6 billion status updates are made

PAGES

20 million users like new pages every day

There are around 5.3 billion likes for pages across the site

There are 1.6 million active pages

There are 700,000 pages for local businesses

The average user likes 2 pages per month

The most popular pages relate to movies, television shows, books and bands

The most popular brand pages on Facebook (globally) are:

Starbucks
Coca Cola
Skittles
Orea
Red Bull

The most popular pages on Facebook (globally) are:

Texas Hold’em Poker
Michael Jackson
Facebook
Mafia Wars
Lady Gaga

GAMES AND APPS

There are over 550,000 active applications

55% of Facebook gamers are female

28% of all Facebook gamers have purchased in-game currency

The average gamer plays six social games

Of the 200 million users who log into Facebook every day, 15% play FarmVille

80 million users regularly play FarmVille each month

Zynga, FarmVille’s creators, are responsible for five of the ten most popular Facebook games including Mafia Wars and Texas Hold’Em Poker

In 2009, Zynga’s revenue was estimated at $270 million

SOURCES:

http://www.facebakers.com/facebook-pages/
http://www.facebakers.com/facebook-pages/brands/
http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
http://mashable.com/2010/07/07/oxygen-facebook-study/
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6128/The-Ultimate-List-100-Facebook-Statistics-Infographics.aspx
http://www.ekaterinawalter.com/2010/06/key-facebook-statistics-every-marketer-should-know/
http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/06/10/facebook%E2%80%99s-video-stats-show-growth-in-uploads-and-views/
http://mashable.com/2010/02/17/social-gaming-survey/
http://www.nickburcher.com/2010/07/facebook-usage-statistics-by-country.html
http://www.checkfacebook.com/
http://gigaom.com/2010/07/21/facebook-officially-passes-the-half-a-billion-user-mark/

*Disclaimer – The author takes responsibility for incorrect stats or information.
Source of this article: http://bit.ly/source_facebook_stats_article

We, as members of Generations X, Y and the Millenials, wish to communicate the following message to the Babyboomers running this planet.

We begin with respectful gratitude to you, our parents and grandparents, for conceiving and birthing the bodies and world we thrive and live within. We respectfully honor all of the incredible advances in every discipline that have led to better lives for every one of us on this planet. We attribute our own creativity, knowledge and burgeoning wisdom to the truly incredible education system built and paid for by you, our predecessors. We honor the way you have defended us against violence and opened new possibilities for peace heretofore unrealized.

At the same time, we announce to you our wholesale rejection of your conflicts, prejudices and entrenched interests. Our current experience of the negative results to our eco-system, communities and economics from these shadow aspects of your generation’s psyche require us for the sake of our children and your grandchildren to now step forward and alter certain paths elected by you and The Traditionalists since the major world wars in the early 20th century.

Now that a majority of you are reaching retirement age and what the Hindu system calls “the forest-dweller stage”, we as The Central Householders on this planet require a set of fresh perspectives in the major disciplines and verticals, such as politics, economics and environmental policy, so that our planet, communities, food sources and children are protected.

Due to the severity of events in several significant theaters of action, particularily finance, political-process and ecological preservation, we respectfully ask that you join us to hear some fabulous ideas from the forward thinking leaders of our generation. We want you there because you gave us the foundation for this thought and invention to come about. We want to show you, Mom and Pop, Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle and Aunt, Mentor and Teacher, what we have come up with as part of our assignment to make a better world. We hope you’ll come and we think you’ll like what we have in mind.

Our goal is a healthier, wiser and more effective human family, well-equipped to heal, guide and protect our children and your grandchildren into a fabulous and exciting future that will contain astounding technologies, well-woven/integrated communities and children motivated to live and thrive. As we see it, this is truly possible and we have seen a glimpse of it through the rapidly expanding communities of thought, invention and innovation in our online and offline worlds. These worlds are increasingly being woven together globally through the social fabric of the internet, through technologies in multiple verticals and through our innate drive to survive as humans.

We characterize this drive to survive in our generation primarily through meaning. The social fabric of the internet, our primary vehicle for communication, is driven by a search for meaning. In fact, studies show that The Millennials, the latest generation on this planet to hold credit cards and turn in resumes, are characterized as the generation in search of Meaning. These torch-bearers of humanity want work, communities and activities that amount to something more than accumulation of wealth and property. Their definition of wealth is spiritual, emotional and communal.

Understand that we have no choice at this time but to ask you to step down from those aspects of your leadership that involve the wholesale raping of this planet and one another FOR THE EXPRESS INTEREST OF OUR MUTUALLY SHARED CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Understand also, that for those of you who cannot or choose not to hear us due to greed, entrenched interests and general allegience to an out-dated paradigm of consumeristic accumulation, we may need to remove you by force. We honor your courage and vigor in building the worlds you have built…these edifices are truly monumental. But now, in this time, we require that you re-orient toward the survival of the planet, its species and the beautifully woven cultures of the world.

With Kind Regards and Good Intentions,

GenX, GenY and The Millenials

Excited to be included in JWT’s Social Media Checklist 2010 at JWT Intelligence.

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. ~ RACHEL NAOMI REMEN

Listening is one of the most attractive traits in a fellow human being. Interest is sexy, and shows that you want to see into the other person. Learning another’s likes, favorites and passions transforms the relationship into one of transparency and intimacy. A classic rephrasing of intimacy is In-To-Me-See.

In the world of social media marketing, listening is a critical element to the humanization of a brand, the discovery of key influencers, communities and conversations where your product or service has an audience. There are loads of tools for listening, all with different slants on the art and science of gathering intelligence. But a critical aspect of this equation is the EQ (emotional intelligence) of the analyst looking at the data (even if the tool has already performed some intuitive filtering).

To use a dating metaphor: when your date really listens to you, he/she will be tying his/her chosen topics into what you are saying, weaving the two hearts at the table, on the blanket, or on the beach together. This weaving of hearts is just as important in social media marketing, where community managers and small business owners have the mandate to engage in one-one dialogues with customers or segmented niches. Such dialogues are not simply about opening up and letting things go on a natural course. As Charlene Li says in her latest book, Open Leadership, “Being open requires more —not less—rigor and effort than being in control.” The best relationships are ACTIVE!

Listening IS Invitation

Active listening has long been a practice amongst psychologists and psychotherapists, and is no less important in the realm of social networking. To actively listen one might consider the following important actions (adapted from the Council Circle tradition of co-listening):

1) Maintain eye contact with the person speaking (In cyber-space, this means using the filters in the listening tools in an intuitive manner so as to properly segment your audience based on keywords, keyphrases AND other verticals that are attractive to that niche. sCRM is all about this CONNECTION of information from databases to extract precise lists of keywords relevant AND resonant to your audience).

2) Be relaxed but present. (Check out Jet Blue’s twitter account. Their staff are interacting with customers in an uplifting, humorous manner).

3) Be still.

4) Listen from the heart. (The heart is THE most important muscle in social media marketing!)

5) Allow the story to unfold. (The Nestle Facebook fiasco is a classic example of a Community Manager rushing in prior to thinking the consequences through).

6) Listen carefully and the person speaking will always tell you what they need.

7) It’s not your job to “fix” the person who’s working.

8) Common mistakes to avoid:

DON’T give advice (unless asked for). (In social networking, Community Managers/Business owners have the mandate to be problem solvers. To truly solve a problem one must listen first. The key distinction between an Advice-Giver and a Problem-Solver is ACTION!)
DON’T “swap stories” to reassure the person who is speaking
DON’T interpret the meaning of his feelings
DON’T interrupt discharge of emotion (laughter, tears, etc.)
DON’T talk very much
DON’T ask questions for your own information
ONLY ask questions to lead the person deeper into feelings & his own re/solutions.

The most common mistake: Trying to show the person speaking what a good, understanding, perceptive, kind, helpful … person, counselor, leader … you are.

Listen, listen, listen! (That’s really what we all need!)

To return to the weaving metaphor, when one weaves strands of past subjects into the current conversation, a common point of reference is established. The social fabric of the internet is one of the most dynamic environments humanity has EVER engaged in…having the tools to listen is critical (science), knowing how to listen is an art that takes practice or comes naturally. Good community managers are EXCELLENT listeners who hear the heart of their audience and give the customer what he/she wants. And that is what makes GREAT customer-centric business, the current HOT method of marketing.

David Deida, the relationship author, writes, “Who we trust in a business situation is based on how open we are. Openness is bodily openness, muscular relaxation, heart openness as opposed to hiding behind some emotional wall, and spiritual openness, which is actually feeling so fully into the moment that there’s no separation between you and the entire moment.” Openess, feeling and intuition are INHERENT traits of the successful social media marketer/networker.

Who Owns Social, Anyway?
Beats Me, but There Are a Ton of Things to
Figure Out Before We Settle on the Answer

By Pete Blackshaw

So who the heck owns social?
That’s a tricky question, not only because every business stakeholder — marketing, PR, IT, research, investor relations, media, consumer relations — seems to have a piece of social baked into their new DNA and delivery road map, but also because its definition and scope keep getting pulled in new, arguably more complicated, directions.

Indeed, take a gander at all the new terms being used to describe our new world order — social CRM, social commerce, earned media, CRM 2.0, enterprise social — and you’ll quickly find the social juggernaut becoming synonymous with that broader umbrella term known as “digital.”

Indeed, I just dug up some notes from a consulting initiative I led at Nielsen for a major marketer. Digital, I noted, “is a new enabling framework for business and marketing grounded in four related characteristics: on-demand, interactive, sensing and connected.”

Still, legitimate schizophrenia reigns around the ownership question. After all, as marketers we want leadership roles clearly defined (usually in our favor). We’re restlessly — and rhetorically — impatient with silos and the “lack of organizational integration” — even though our “what’s next” appetite inevitably feeds the frenetic front line of fragmentation.

The good news is that social media appears to be softening organizational silos, ostensibly laying a runway for that coveted yet elusive marketing goal of “integration.”

In my pre-call for the Ad Age Digital Conference panel I’m moderating — featuring NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, Dell CMO Erin Nelson and Combe VP-Director of Interactive Communications Tom Cunniff — the vexing “integration” came up repeatedly. Much of this owes the furious pace of “social innovation,” which Schiller reminded us is still in early innings. Put another way, we might need to turn over countless new rocks before we find our stride.

Nelson, who leads an impressive medley of activity from community platforms to service innovation, suggested that Dell’s biggest need is “where to place bets.” Digital and social media, she said, offers countless possibilities, but in the end you have to make choices. And boy, is she right. Combe’s Cunniff concurrently hit the integration need hard but also suggested new centers of gravity would emerge in our socially enabled world, like consumer relations.

Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with “integration,” calcified by 15 years of marketing experience, from “best practice”-heavy P&G to “start with a clean slate” web startups. Two conflicting rules reign supreme in my head: One, that which forces integration and coordination, or prematurely synthesizes, inevitably slows things down. Two, that which liberates, loosens, decentralizes and draws inspiration from external sources, or walks off the beaten path, speeds things up.

Alas, such is the dualism of social media. We want order, but we can’t stand order. Jefferson-Hamilton reincarnated.

I mean, it’s not that corporate stakeholder groups don’t trust one another. It’s just that the group typically holding the social flag most firmly thinks the other groups are too slow, have no business running the social-media show, and are putting the enterprise on the precipice of disaster through naïve embrace of social silliness like transparency and “be yourself” authenticity.

Meanwhile, agencies and supplier networks are all storming the “social media” center: PR firms see social as an extension of their birthright in influencer marketing; ad agencies see it as a new frontier of high-impact ad impressions (for example, earned media); the growing crop of word-of-mouth agencies and buzz-monitoring firms see this as birthright. It’s almost as though we have the “internal” version of Bob Garfield’s “Chaos Scenario.”

Two recent developments really up the ante for both the ownership and integration questions: social HR and social CRM. For all our hype about the wonders of managing influencers and blogger outreach, the folks scoring the biggest wins in social outreach are the HR teams leading recruiting. Indeed, for those struggling with “social ROI” look no further than the fertile fields of open-source, “all content’s a resume” web.

Then again, the HR dynamic can also muddle the marketing track, especially when the flow of a Facebook fan page quickly shifts gears from an on-equity brand message to a college recruiting pitch, or vice-versa.

The rise of “social CRM” further complicates the ownership question. Perhaps the IT or tech experts do have a legitimate claim to a space that’s increasingly ornamented with enterprise software, cloud computing, scary-sophisticated databases, and scary-high consumer expectations (mostly set by the “marketing guy” freelancing “social engagement”) regarding customer service. Social CRM is also introducing aspects of “business-process innovation” (cost-efficient crowd-sourcing, internal collaboration, integrated listening platform, and the like) that halos well above the marketing space.

So what’s a CMO to do amid all this? We’ll set some of these questions in tomorrow’s panel, but in the meantime, don’t naively assume you’ll solve the social-media “ownership” and digital “integration” questions overnight. Your best bet right now is to manage the flow, sandbag unruly currents here and there, and do everything you can to “path the passion.”

Moreover, we all need to become better internal curators and “community managers.” Not unlike a devoted greenie, we need to work really hard to manage our social “ecosystem.” This is probably less about command-and-control than in establishing thoughtful guide rails, tempered by experience, good judgment, and even the lessons of a few legal hard knocks.

We can also get a few things going that will cultivate more meaningful ownership or cooperation in the enterprise. In my experience, the leader who gets the best (and most inclusive) listening dashboard or radar in place quickly accrues the most organizational legitimacy. Listening pipes, after all, feed many mouths and can drive unity around a common purpose. (I see this all the time — especially in crisis situations, where everyone has a stake in the outcome.)

Related, credible ownership also accrues to those who start making sense of the madness through smarter metrics. I’m particularly fond of the “paid/earned” model (even in my dialogue with in Nielsen) because it lowers access barriers to social media and speaks a language others in the organization can easily understand versus “shiny new object” gobbledygook.

Lastly, CMOs can make a world of difference rethinking incentive models. We have silos because we’re all fighting for a limited budget, often at cross purposes.

So who owns social media? Beats me, but there are a ton of things we can figure out before we settle on the “silver bullet” answer.

by LeeOdden

The benefit from a firm grasp of social media for companies is impossible to ignore. Whether you work in marketing, advertising, public relations or interactive, there are distinct competitive advantages for both individuals and businesses from a better understanding of the social web.

This post provides specific advice from in-house social media marketers including: Dell, Comcast, HP, Wells Fargo, Intel, Best Buy, General Mills, Ford, UPS, Home Depot, Cirque du Soleil and a mix of SMM consultants/agencies: Altimeter Group, Crayon, Ogilvy 360, Future Works, Doe Anderson, New Marketing Labs and others. Advice includes justifying investment in social media, strategy, how to decide on tactics and measuring success. (read more)

by Dave Jackson

Last week, social shopping site ThisNext announced plans to buy smaller rival StyleHive; that announcement came after news from Time Inc. last month that it would buy social recommendation engine StyleFeeder as a way to incorporate ecommerce into its online fashion magazine properties.

This recent rush of consolidation points to a trend that’s evident no matter where you look: Consumers have flocked to social networks as an easier way of communicating with friends and peers, getting information, building relationships and participating in community. Activities that used to take place in the physical world — in shopping malls, over the phone, at restaurants and at neighborhood events — have rapidly moved to places like Facebook, Twitter and countless other third-party networks like StyleHive, ThisNext and StyleFeeder.

Most brand marketers have realized this shift and have stepped into these new “common spaces” of the 21st century. They’ve created fan pages on Facebook, accounts on Twitter and channels on YouTube, and have replicated offline marketing tactics, like advertising, coupons and promotions to engage online fans and gain new customers.

With the exception of a few innovative brands like Mattel and Charlotte Russe, however, the majority of online businesses have yet to take the next logical step and allow this social interaction to take place at their own online stores. To continue the common-spaces analogy, imagine if a downtown store only let one customer come into the shop at a time, while the customer’s friends waited on the street. The shopper could go outside every few minutes to get opinions on the outfit or finish a conversation, but had to return to the store alone to browse or make a purchase. (read more)

Social media marketing campaigns are proving to be goldmines rich with customer engagement and insight that companies wouldn’t likely have otherwise. Companies like PepsiCo are going to extensive lengths to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and the payoff has been big.

The company’s Mountain Dew division is several stages into its DEWmocracy campaign — a plan to launch a new Mountain Dew flavor with the public’s involvement at all levels of the process, and PepsiCo also just launched the Pepsi Refresh Project on January 13th. Rather than spending money on Super Bowl television ads this year, the company is spending $20 million on a social media campaign. read more here

7 Takeaways From #BDI: Social Media As a Marketing, Branding & Service Platform

by Sarah Caminker

This week, I had the pleasure of attending a seminar in New York City on Social Integration: Harmonizing Social Channels into the Marketing, Communications & Service Platform. The Business Development Institute put on this fantastic event that included case studies and roundtables for social media marketing, PR and communication professionals. Top-notch speakers included:

Michael Mendenhall: CMO, HP
Joshua Karpf: Digital Communication Manager, PepsiCo
David Patton: VP & EIC, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Brian Kenny: CMO & CCO, Harvard Business School
Lynn Mann: Director of External Communications, Michelin
Richard Pesce: Social Media & Digital Communications, Sprint
Michael DiLorenzo: Director of Corporate Communications, National Hockey League

They all stressed the importance of not seeing social media as a separate entity, rather viewing it as an integrated part of your marketing, branding and customer service. The list below details the top 7 takeaways that were discussed during the seminar.

*Note #BDI stands for Business Development Institute and is the event’s hashtag on Twitter that you can search for real-time insight from attendees.

1. Technology is NOT Social. People Are!
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media sites are just tools. They are only *SOCIAL* if you engage and interact with people on them. Technology is great, but it is about the relationships. Note: these tools are intended for two-way communication and not as a megaphone for your next sales pitch.

2. Feeding the Beast: An Insatiable Appetite for Content
The beauty of the social mediasphere is that anyone can publish, edit or distribute content. We are going through a renaissance of how consumption of information and content is being managed and distributed. Social media has enabled a constant mobility meaning that people expect to receive information 24/7. There is a never-ending hunger for quality content, hence the expression “feeding the beast.”

3. The Era of the Advocate
Mass communication is dead, rather it’s about building personal connections with consumers. The more you serve and support your customers, the more likely they are to recommend your brand to their network (both offline and online). It’s more credible to have an outsider toot your own horn than to have the CMO do it. Remember to thank your “advocates” and make sure they know you appreciate them taking the time to support you and your brand.

4. Digital Newsrooms Are No Longer a Resource For Just the Media
We’re all content creators, and it’s unrealistic to assume that journalists are the only ones seeing your content. Company and industry news needs to be integrated, aggregated and curated for a broader audience. Press releases are just the tip of the iceberg. Begin incorporating multimedia like podcasts and videos and re-purpose content (in the form of white papers, E-books, articles) to tell your story.

5. Transparency and Authenticity is the Only Way to Go
Whether you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur or marketing professional you must communicate who you are, what you do and who you serve right off the bat. It’s also critical that you are upfront and transparent about the content and advice you are giving. If not, people will see right through you, run screaming in the other direction and land on your competitor’s virtual doorstep.

6. Social Media as a Listening Tool to Feed Innovation
Take a step back and listen. Whether that’s monitoring a dialogue on Twitter, following a blogger in your industry to see what conversation they’re sparking or hosting a focus group, you never know when you might get the next big break from just LISTENING to your fans/customers. The #NHLTweetUp is a perfect example. Guess how they got that idea??? By listening to their followers on Twitter! Bottom Line…. Stop, Look and Listen. Then Respond.

7. Crossover From Online to Face-to-Face
Twitter and Facebook are excellent relationship building tools, but there’s something to say about in-person communication that makes that connection even stronger. Take the time to go to industry events, conferences and networking groups to put a face to the avatar. On the business end of the stick, host tweet-ups in different cities, so your can connect with your followers.

I’m interested to hear your feedback and any trends/topics you think could be added to this list. …read more

10 Must Read Social Media e-books. Check them out here.

You have at least two tribes you can be a leader to RIGHT NOW: the tribe associated with your pain and the tribe associated with your joy. Both need you and social media IS one of the most powerful mediums to lead through. This is THE safest, fastest, most rewarding methods to find your inner leader: 30 second videos on a YouTube channel, an eBook of your thoughts, a blog re-purposing the thoughts in the eBook, tweets that condense these thoughts, an landing page announcing your vision/ideas, an aStore through Amazon where you make commissions on products aligned with your tribe, a NING social network where you invite your tribe to interact, a Second Life account where you dress yourself in the world you imagine and find others like you there. Study the Conversation Prism tonight and select the petals of the flower that you belong in and populate those social media properties with your gift to the world…NOW is the time! – Nathaniel Hansen

http://bit.ly/twitter_dell

Michael Stelzner, author of the book Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged, commissioned a recent study that simply asked, “What question about marketing with social media do you most want answered?” From that study here are the top 10 questions your clients want answered regarding social media marketing. …read more

Facebook’s Big Changes: Action Items for Marketers
Social-Media Site Streamlines Apps Before Fanning Across the Web

Facebook’s latest round of updates announced this week will affect everyone: marketers, developers, publishers, consumers and anyone else remotely connected to their site and platform. And some of the changes will especially impact marketers.

In a rare move for any company, Facebook not only announced what changes will take place, but it publicly offered a timeline for when it will happen. Of course, the timeline may shift, and some specifics have yet to be ironed out — I’ve found in consulting both with Facebook executives and analysts covering the announcements that, many of the details aren’t yet known and a number of important questions cannot yet be fully answered. However, marketers should still appreciate the wealth of information Facebook has provided on these changes, including a gallery of screen shots. …Read more

Jane’s video below demonstrates some important possibilities in SMM:

1. If you have a niche, begin marketing to it via short, punchy, informative videos NOW.
2. Don’t wait to get it perfect. You are already an “expert” in something. Get yourself out there.

Watch Jane here for inspiration: http://bit.ly/video_converts_to_fans

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