Ubiquity Marketing UnSummit: An Event Worth Checking Out in the ATX

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine, Jason Stoddard, told me that he was pulling together a conference here in Austin. Based on the description and the group of people he was pulling together (see below for list), I couldn’t help but agree to speak. To that end, I’ve been a bad partner in letting people that follow my blog know about the Ubiguity Marketing UnSummit.

To that end, here are the deets (if you live in Austin, you MUST come)…
Focus: How Local Entrepreneurs can Save the World and Pay the Rent in any Economic Climate
Date & Time: September 3, 2009
8:00am – 6:15pm
Location: Shoreline Grill
98 San Jacinto Blvd – Austin, Texas (directions)


There’s also a tweetup after where Brogan will be doing book signings. If you haven’t heard, he’s on the NY Times bestseller list! He’s selling and signing books (drinks will be available for cash as well).

Oh yeah, the most important part of this (in addition to the opportunity to see some great national and local talent) is the fact that all proceeds are benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank, Mobile Loaves and Fishes & PlanetCancer.

Can you judge a book by its cover?

The title of this post asks, “can you judge a book by its cover?” You can when the “cover” is the front page of someone’s Twitter account and you’re judging whether to follow them. That page contains an avatar image (usually the person’s photo), a short biography (no more than 160 characters long), a link to the person’s home page (or company, blog, LinkedIn profile, etc.), and — crucially — the most recent 20 tweets that the person has sent. You can click through to see more tweets in batches of 20, but if you follow many people on Twitter, doing that often takes more time than it’s worth.

And there’s the rub: if you want more people to follow you on Twitter, you have very little time to make a good first impression on them . . . but many ways that you could string landmines of the “Don’t Follow Me” variety across their path.

Recently four heavy Twitter users — Meg Fowler, Jim Storer, Aaron Strout, and Tim Walker — got to talking (on Twitter, of course) about the poisoned words, phrases, and other cues that automatically signal “Don’t Follow” for them. The end result was that the four decided to bang out a joint blog post that talked about best practices in not following based on not liking the proverbial “cover” put forth by fellow tweeters. Here’s what we came up with:

Tim Walker’s “not follow” strategy
  • “MLM” (multi-level marketing). I’m sure that somewhere, some nice person who does MLM could explain to me how it’s not a veiled Ponzi scheme. Until then . . . you’ll pardon me if I continue to think of it as “a veiled Ponzi scheme.” No thanks.
  • Tweets that include “buy followers” or “hundreds of followers” or anything else in the “get lotsa followers!” genre. I try hard to earn new followers by being relevant, interesting, funny, and personable. The idea that you would buy yours in bulk — much less promote that process — disgusts me.
  • Political ig’nance. I follow people of all political stripes, from all over the world. But if you have to wear your politics on your sleeve, and if your politics are of the knee-jerk type (again, regardless of your leanings), I just can’t stand to follow you.
  • Calling yourself a “visionary” or “expert” or (shudder) “guru.” It’s much better to say you’re a “marketing veteran” or “experienced sales leader” or whatever. Let *others* call you a visionary.
Meg Fowler’s “not follow” strategy (cross-posted on “friend” Gradon Tripp’s blog)

Love it, Tim.
  • For me, it’s more about “who do I need to block around here?” Because no one likes to be spammed. So if I see any of this in your bio and/or first 20 tweets…
  • Requests to “follow me back!”
  • Promotion of affiliate programs
  • Actual affiliate links as the link in your bio
  • Any mention of followers (“I can get you followers!” “Get thousands of followers!” “5,000 followers and growing!” “This program will get you followers overnight!”)
  • “Make money online (from home, easily, doing practically nothing, overnight, with my system, etc.)”
  • Promises to “generate” anything: money, cash, followers, success, creeping rashes…
  • Promotion of tooth whitening programs (Seriously?)
  • A mention of your Twitter Grader Rank
  • Mention of “Sponsored Tweets”
  • Mention of your “Twitter eBook FREE JUST CLICK HERE”
  • Presence of “69″ in name (or “Shelly Ryan” as your name… poor, poor real @ShellyRyan)
  • Rockstar/Maven/diva/coach/thought leader/guru/expert/pro/maverick
  • Porn-star-like attributes in avatar or links (Nudity, actual sexual acts, clear intent to seduce me with something other than words)
  • Requests to click through to “see your profile”
  • Googly-eyed “Twitter Basic” avatar (upload a photo, PLEASE)
  • @ing people the same link OVER AND OVER

Jim Storer’s“not follow” strategy
I’ve never auto-followed anyone, which at this point means I’ve vetted (to varying degrees) nearly 3,500 people. Until recently you had to click through to a person’s/bots profile page to get the skinny on who they are. Now some of that info is available in the new follower email, but what I look for is the same.

  • Following to Follower % (you’re following dramatically more people than follow you) – If this is too imbalanced there’s something fishy and I’m not biting.
  • # of Updates to Followers/Following #’s – In the last six months I’ve started to see a lot of people with 5k+ followers/following and less than 100 updates. That suggests you’re just using a program to rack up followers and that just wrong (IMHO). I’m not interested in being another notch on your bedpost.
  • If your bio includes any of the following I’m not interested: “more followers”, “make money”, “expert” (at anything), “MLM” and everything else Tim, Meg and Aaron came up with. I trust them.
  • If the words you chose to describe your pursuits in your biography are overly loquacious I will not be inclined to follow you back. Get real… use real words and tell me who you are.
  • If you haven’t written anything in your bio and/or you haven’t added a photo, I’m not following you.
  • If you have zero updates how am I supposed to know what you’re going to talk about? I’m not listening until you start talking.
  • If your last few updates are repetitive and too self-promoting, I’m not interested in seeing that day to day. I already saw what you have to say when I was checking out your profile.

Aaron Strout’s “not follow” strategy

The upside and downside of going last is that 1) all the good stuff has been said but 2) it leaves less stuff for me to say. Out of the list above, I’m probably the most lenient of the four. Like Jim, I’ve never auto-followed (but have considered it) so that means that I’ve hand followed back nearly 9,000 people (yup, that’s a lot). However, I have a few basic rules that I follow:
  • In most cases (not all), I like seeing a picture. If someone is obviously a n00b who looks to be figuring things out, I’ll cut ‘em some slack. Otherwise, they don’t make the cut.
  • I need a bio. Is it too much to tell me what you do?
  • I also need a tweet or two (unless they are a friend of mine and then of course they get the free hall pass)
  • No “get rich fast, affiliate or “let me sell you some shit” in the bio or last few tweets.”
  • One I get stuck on a lot is the news feed/blog title posts. These really depend on follow ratio and quality of the tweets. It also is up to my mood. If I’m hand following 40-50 people, these folks usually make it in. If it’s 4-5, not so much.
  • I will follow ANYONE from Austin (pornos excepted)
  • Oh yeah, I don’t follow webcam girls or known pornos.
So what’s your strategy? Who do you or don’t you follow? Share your tips in the comments below.
photo credit: library.cornell.edu

Panhandling for Change: A Little Vote Goes a Long Way

Yup, I’m that dude. The one with his hand out asking for some change. Well, not actual change but the social equivalent. I’m looking for a vote (thumbs up or down) and/or a comment if you can spare it. It’s for the 2010 South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSWi) and I am lucky enough to be in the running for three different panels. I’ve also submitted a fourth panel for my colleague, Kathy Warren, to lead with a client and a couple of other rock star brands.

Here are the details:
Organizer/Moderator: Kathy Warren, VP Strategy & Measurement, Powered Inc.
Panelists: Peter Fasano, social media marketing, Coca Cola; Tom Hoehn, director brand communications & new media, Eastman Kodak; Shawn Morton, senior consultant for social media at Nationwide Insurance
If you’ve ever tried tracking down a return on investment (ROI) on “social,” you’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to find. During this interactive discussion, listen as brand practitioners from Coke, Nationwide and Kodak talk about ways that their companies are deriving real ROI from social while providing best practices, case studies and examples of how companies can achieve this elusive ROI Holy Grail.
Organizer/Moderator: Simon Salt, CEO, The IncSlingers
Panelists: Aaron Strout, CMO, Powered; Dave Knox, brand manager, digital business strategy, Procter & Gamble; Amber Naslund, director of community, Radian6.
Content, content, content. If you haven’t heard, it’s the new currency and companies are looking at new ways to create smart, engaging and most importantly, inexpensive content to engage their customers, prospects and partners. From blog comments and community forums to expert videos, this interactive session will answer the important questions such as:
  1. Where ownership of content starts, ends and why the lines blur.
  2. How to deal with “inappropriate” content, handling negativity, moving beyond the C level fear of what people might say.
  3. The best ways to strike a balance between expert, curated and customer generated content.

Organizer/Moderator: Tim Walker, Blogger, Hoover’s Inc.
Panelists: Aaron Strout, CMO, Powered; Jennifer Leggio, blogger, ZDNet; Kyle Flaherty, director of marketing, BreakingPoint Systems
Teamwork. Preparation. Execution. Sports abounds with lessons for today’s socially enabled business. This panel’s Murderer’s Row of sports fans/social media pros will make you laugh, make you think, and give you fresh perspective on how sports metaphors can elevate social media practice for you and your company.

Organizer/Moderator: Bill Johnston, chief community officer, ForumOne Communications
Panelists: Aaron Strout, CMO, Powered; Jake McKee & Sean O’Driscoll, principals, Ant’s Eye View; Shawn Morton, senior consultant for social media at Nationwide Insurance
Social media practice and implementation is a dynamic and volatile subject that effects all functions in a company from the obvious (product, support, marketing) to the not so obvious (hr, operations). Hear from 5 seasoned social media practitioners (plus YOU!) about where we are on “the map” of social media adoption and practice, and where we are headed. The mood will be lively, the panel bright eyed and prepared, and the audience smart (and involved).

The Virtual Tongue: How NOT to Use Facebook for Business

Anyone that reads this blog or has connected with me on Twitter, Facebook or any of the other dozen or so social networks I belong to know that I’m a pretty reasonable guy. I know I need to be reasonable because I can be a little noisy at times (okay, a lot noisy). But I do try and create value for those I’m connected with whether that’s sharing good posts, interesting podcasts I’ve recorded or helping friends re-broadcast their own messages.

This morning, I had someone friend me on Facebook that did NOT share my same values. After sending me six messages in two and a half hours, I had to pull the plug and un-friend this person. Part of me felt bad because this was only the third person out of a thousand plus friends (and three years on Facebook) that I disconnected with. But enough was enough.
I’m not sharing names because for the most part just to prove my point, here is a timeline of the six messages I received (just in case I might be overreacting)…
  • 6:06 AM – A wall post thanking me for my friendship (I reciprocated by cross-posting on this person’s wall with a “nice to meet you too” message).
  • 7:32 AM – A request to become a fan of this person (I hate these requests for the most part unless a) you’re a company I REALLY like or b) you’re a close personal friend
  • 7:35 AM – An invite to join one this person’s groups
  • 7:38 AM – An invite to attend one of this person’s events/workshops
  • 7:51 AM – Another wall post thanking me for my wall post
  • 8:23 AM – Another invite to join yet another group
  • 9:15 AM – Aaron pulls the plug on our “friend-ship”
Did this person actually think that this type of behaviour was welcome? To bring this around to a dating analogy (you know I like dating analogies, right?) I felt an awful lot like I met this person in a bar, said “hello” as I was grabbing a round of drinks at the bar and then next thing I know, they were trying to stick their tongue down my throat. WHOAAAA! I don’t know about you, but even as a guy I would find this to be a major turn off.
Fortunately, most brands have figured out that creating a spam-fest, especially in such a condensed period of time, is NOT a good idea. I mean this person didn’t take any time to get to know me, engage me in any meaningful dialog or maybe comment on a post or two of mine. Unfortunately, there are more and more of these folks who don’t get it coming into the world of social with no regard to etiquette or best practices.
Do you have a good story about a “virtual tongue” or a bad case of social etiquette? If so, please share it in the comments below.

The Best of Quick-n-Dirty

As you probably know by now, I do a weekly podcast with my friend and co-host, Jennifer Leggio called the Quick-n-Dirty show. If you don’t know the genesis of this series, you can get the back story here.

We’ve been at it for eleven
weeks now and so far, I think we’ve done a good job evolving the show, creating chemistry and devloping a great group of followers like, ahem… Kyle Flaherty (who was kind enough to stand in as a guest host for us in week eight). We’re always looking to improve though so if you have suggestions, please put them in the comments.
So what’s with the “Best Of” focus after only eleven weeks on the job. Kind of like a
successful NBC pilot where you just get hooked and then all of a sudden, bam, they
revert to re-runs. Well, we’re not quite that bad but Jen and I were both travelling this
week so we thought it might be helpful to take a week off, gather our thoughts and gear up for another eleven week run. To that end, why not do a quick recap of what we’ve covered and include a few “best of”moments. If you have a favorite moment, don’t be shy.
By the way, If you want to read

recaps of all eleven, they are here… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ,10 11.

Now onto the highlights:
  • On our eleven shows, we’ve covered ten social networks. We try and cover one every week but accidentally skipped Glue during week two so it got bumped to week three. Here are they are in order of appearance – FourSquare, Glue, Blip.fm, Daily Mile, Loopt, 12 Seconds, Shelfari, Friendfeed and Aardvark. A quick heads up on the fact that we will have have Friendfeed (now part of Facebook) co-founder, Paul Bucheit, on the show next Thursday. Scobleizer take note!
  • One of the other regular parts of our shows is our featured “Tweet” or exec/person that we think is worth a follow. So far, we’ve covered CISCO CTO, Padmashree Warrior, Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Designs, Kodak CMO, Jeffrey Hayzlett, BIDH CIO, John Halamka, Technically Women (comprised of a group of very smart ladies), Cluetrain author, Doc Searls, Dr. Ogan Gurel, Red Sox tv color announcer, Jerry Remy, former Yahoo, Ryan Kuder, principal at The Community Roundtable, Rachel Happe and last but not least, tweeting couple Terre & John Pruitt.
  • My favorite part of our show are our guests. So far, we’ve had a number of great ones including Michael Feferman of C3 and Rick Calvert of Blog World but in particular, Jen and I agreed that our two favorites have been Greg Matthews of Humana and Bert DuMars of Newell Rubbermaid. Not only did both impart some major pearls of wisdom about how their companies were tapping into the power of community and social media, but Greg and Bert also showed a great sense of humor. You can bet that they will both be asked back sometime in the near future. I guess I should mention Pandora CEO, Tim Westegren too ’cause he was pretty awesome.
  • The reason we originally started our podcast show was as a result of a disagreement Jennifer and I had over the value of celebrities like Oprah and Ashton Kutcher joining Twitter. Since then, we’ve had eleven opportunities to “agree to disagree.” To be honest, Jennifer and I actually agree quite a lot of the time so many times, we end up flipping a coin to see who is going to take the counterpoint of a particular topic. This is pretty fun — kind of like debate club if you think about it. In our next batch of shows, I’m goign to have to work harder to find topics that push Jennifer’s buttons. ;)
Am I missing your favorite moment? If so, be sure to either call into next week’s show (we’re now taking 1-2 live callers per show) or let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, keep it quick-n-dirty!

Weekly Social Marketing Links: August 11, 2009

Each week, the members of Powered’s marketing, business development and product teams pick a news article, blog post or research report that “speaks” to them. With that article, they need to come to our weekly staff meeting prepared to give a 120 second update on what the article was about and why they found it useful. I’ve been a little behind in my updates recently so you’re getting a few weeks worth in one fell swoop.

Links are below:

Beth Lopez (Marketing)
I enjoyed reading the article, Desperately Seeking Personal Brand, which talks about how you can tell if a social marketing “expert” is really a true guru or pretender.

—-
Marketers Like Twitter More Than Consumers Do
Interesting stats between the different views of marketers and consumers re: Twitter. While marketers see Twitter as a platform that is here to stay, consumers either don’t have an opinion or think it’s somewhat useful or dead. Both marketers and consumers feel it’s not a good platform for advertising or promoting products, which is interesting considering we get a lot of questions about using Twitter for just this purpose.

I do agree with the article that Twitter can be useful for awareness efforts, but I don’t think that by promoting your business you will generate leads or new business from Twitter. Twitter is about relationships. It’s about connecting with people that you find interesting. It’s about people…not about businesses. And if consumers don’t know or don’t care about Twitter, then it begs the question – Are marketers wasting time and energy in trying to figure out how to use it to propel their business?

DP Rabalais (Marketing)
In doing competitive intelligence this week I cam across an interesting story about Passenger and how they’re helping Mercedes Benz tap into 20-somethings (some current, but mostly future customers) help shape their future product offerings. Definitely worth the read if you get a chance.

—-
Fortune 100 CEOs & Companies: Social Media Use & Statistics

Good article on how CEO’s at top companies use social media, and also how companies are using tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Twitter.

—-
I liked this post by blogger, Mack Collier titled Why Many Marketers Struggle with Social Media because it does a good job of succinctly calling out where traditional marketing and advertising is relevant vs. where SM is beneficial to companies. My favorite quote:

If you’re Burger King and you’re looking to influence whether I go there or not, use plain old marketing. It’s just fine. It’s the right tool for the job. So is advertising. You don’t HAVE to use social media for that.

But, if you’re Burger King and you want to understand me, to get what’s really going on inside my head, and know what we have in common, then THAT is where social media can be useful. Talk to me. Get to know me. Ask me about me and the things that aren’t about you.

Doug Wick (BizDev)
The danger of being an innovative start-up that is a little resource-challenged is that your innovations can be easily imitated. Facebook has been slowly learning from Twitter and incorporating their features while Twitter struggles with problems like infrastructure that Facebook solved long ago. This article does a nice job of showing where the endgame for Twitter might be, now that Facebook has acquired another sophisticated Twitter-imitator, Friendfeed.

—-
My article this week is Virtual Worlds are Getting a Second Life. Some interesting stats about the rebounding explosive growth of virtual worlds (especially among youngsters), and how they have been faster to develop revenue models than their 2-dimensional social counterparts like Facebook and Twitter. I would guess that is related to the fact that Facebook and Twitter ultimately deliver stickiness through the exchange of content (an activity that is complementary to our real lives), where 3D simulations can expand the possibilities for other social behaviors – such as commerce – more naturally since they do not complement, but instead emulate, our own reality.

Jay MacIntosh (BizDev)
Women are more relational and nurturing while men are more transactional…at least that’s the theory from a study by RapLeaf. http://digg.com/u3AQJa I’ve always been fascinated by how women and men think and behave differently. To see it in action, pay attention to the dynamics the next time you’re in a group setting (children or adults). You’ll likely see female energy more focused on understanding others and connecting with them by validating their experiences and feelings. On the other hand, male energy is usually more focused on being understood by others especially in terms of what we know and our past success. How do these differences show up in social media environments? Though I don’t have the data to support this…yet, I’ll bet women use “friending” features more than men, while men participate more in things like reputation management. Anyhow, something to consider when talking strategy with clients.

Bill Fanning (BizDev)

Bill’s been out doing some major sales stuff but time to get him back on the “article” wagon. ;)

Don Sedota (Product)
This is a good list from Jay Baer on 11 Timely Social Media Takeaways. It’s basically a short-list of 11 recent social initiatives or planned initiatives by companies/brands and a key takeaway from each. My favorite is the one on Lane Bryant and their recent announcement of a “Plus-Sized Community” for women. It’s a great example of striking an emotional chord with the customer for a brand that on the surface may not seem to be a great social candidate. Lane Bryant is also hoping to leverage member questions/comments for the purposes of product innovation which seems to be an increasing trend.

—-
In the spirit of interesting stats and prospective customers potentially finding Facebook Connect as an attractive demand generator, here’s a post from Brian Solis on up to date Facebook stats . Unfortunately, he doesn’t mention the source of his information but he says that the statistics will be used in his next book so take that for what it’s wo
rth. Anyways, some highlights that could be used to sell prospective clients on the attractiveness of Facebook/FBC as a demand generation source include:

  • More than 5 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
  • The average social graph equates to 120 friends
  • 120 million users log onto Facebook at least once a day
  • 15,000 and counting websites, devices and applications have implemented Facebook Connect since its launch in December 2008

—-
I found this article pretty interesting, Please Don’t Follow or Friend Me, posted by Steven Hodson on the Shooting at Bubbles blog. It talks about how the concept of “friends” is different across different social networks and whether being someone’s “friend” on one social network is an obligation to accept that person as a “friend” on all social networks. A good quote from the article that sums it up (and I tend to agree) is “The richness and value of the Friending Economy comes from the quality and closeness of your ‘friends’, not the number of them. By blindly reciprocating we dilute the value of our ‘Friending’ not just for ourselves but also for those people who do decide to follow or friend us.”

There’s also an excerpt to another thoughtful post in the article’s sidebar (near the end) called “What Have You Done for Me Lately – Keeping Score in Social Media” which is similar in spirit but speaks to the viewpoint that just because you’ve followed someone, re-tweeted their comment, linked to their blog post, etc. doesn’t mean you should hold them in debt until they return the favor. The payback will be eventual and long-term, and in the end everything evens out.

Software Advice Relocates to Austin (psst, there’s free beer)

Software Advice, just moved to Austin! They’re celebrating by throwing their 1st Annual Summer Bash. Let’s help welcome them.
What: Free hors d’oerves and beer from Independence Brewing Co.
When: 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, August 13th
Where: 714 Congress Avenue, Suite 200 (upstairs)

They’re eager to meet Austin’s press, bloggers, technocrats and party people.

Software Advice Moves to Austin (more deets here)

Quick-n-dirty Social Media Podcast: Episode 10 Recap

Another day, another Quick-n-Dirty podcast show. Oh, I mean that in a positive way. It’s always good when you feel like you’ve hit your groove with a blog/podcast show. Obviously you need to keep it fresh but understanding what’s working and whats not comes from practice. It also allows you to try new things like our surprise guest dial in at the end of the show from friend, Bill Johnston of Forum One (more on that below).

For anyone new to the show, here are the recaps of episodes one, two, three, four, five. six, seven, eight and nine. If you’ve listened to more than a couple of our shows, we do welcome feedback so please feel free to critique us in the comments below.
If you missed this week’s show, you can listen to an archive of episode ten here. If you’re more of a reader than a listener, you’ll find a recap of this week’s show below:
  1. Featured Social Network: Aardvark. While Jennifer and I haven’t used this service a ton, both of us have answered the e-mail requests that have come from our friends. One of the main reasons we like Aardvark (in addition to the awesome t-shirt Aaron received), is that it’s old world (e-mail) meets new world (social networking). It’s also a clever use of geo-based social networking without the intrusivness of being gps-discoverable which Jennifer doesn’t like.
  2. Special Guest & Case Study: Dan Schawbel, “leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y,” author of Me 2.0, and social media specialist at EMC. It was pleasure having Dan although I will say that he sure does know how to talk (and that comes from a guy that’s pretty darn good at talking himself).
  3. Featured Twitterer: Rachel Happe. For the second straight week, Jennifer and I picked someone that we both knew and respected (last week, we had Ryan Kuder). I worked with Rachel at Mzinga for a few months — something that just deepened my great respect for her. In addition, Rachel is part of the group, Technically Women, an organization that Jennifer also belongs to (and something we covered back in week five). Oh yeah, Rachel is a former IDC analyst and is currently a principal at The Community Roundtable along with close friend, Jim Storer.
  4. Point / Counterpoint: The Speaker’s Group neglecting to include any women on it’s “top 10 social media speaker list.” I’ll spare you the details as Jennifer covered it thoroughly in a post over on her ZDNet blog (Geoff Livingston also shared some thoughts here). Bottom line, Jennifer (who is repped by the Speaker’s Group) thought it was most effective for her to work with the SG to help find a solution to their initial faux pas of not including ANY women on their list of top ten social media speakers. My position was, “shame on them for not getting it right in the first place.” To that end, our friend Bill Johnston — our surprise guest caller — who runs events for ForumOne said that it was B.S. because if anything, he found it easier to land great women speakers to talk about social media and community at his events. Yay Bill!
Up next week, we’ll be talking with Bert DuMars, CMO of Newell-Rubbermaid and our featured “tweeter of the week” is none other than John Pruitt. ALSO, we need your input. We’re thinking of carving out more time for live callers toward the end of the show. Do you like this idea? If not, why not?
What, this recap wasn’t enough? Well go and listen live or download archived podcasts here.

Facebook Connect: Rockstar Podcast Interview

Cross-posted from blog.powered.com.

In an earlier podcast I did regarding Facebook Connect, I talked about the fact that I think that this is the future of social marketing. I am so excited about it, I enlisted the help of our PR firm, SHIFT Communications, to collect three more big brains including Forrester senior analyst, Jeremiah Owyang, digital editor of AdWeek, Brian Morrissey and marketing blogger/consultant, Susan Getgood.

A few highlights from the session for those that like to read more than they like to listen:

  • Jeremiah Owyang (3:49 – 3:58) “In the past, we thought of interactive marketing which is user to Web site. Now, in social marketing, very different, it’s user to user. “
  • Brian Morrissey (5:18 – 5:43) “What we’re talking about here with Connect, is how brands can look at these social platforms and tool sets as ways to really further make connections with their consumers wherever they are. And Facebook Connect has the possibility of allowing them to embed social marketing into how they interact with consumers.”
  • Susan Getgood (10:08 – 10:34) “Knowing what people find interesting to share is as important as knowing what they are looking at themselves. When we have a Web site, we can look at analytics and see which pages people are hitting and where they click-through and all this other stuff, but the idea that they thought something was important enough to share, that kind of information gives a company of any size the kind of information to know what kind of content really engages your customer and you can build more of it.”

During the podcast, I also referred to some engaging statistics put together by the Business Insider regarding the effectiveness of Facebook Connect (thanks to Pearl Russell on the Powered team for finding these):

  • Registration: sites that use Facebook Connect as an alternate to account registration have seen a 30-200% increase in registration on their sites.
  • Engagement: sites with Facebook Connect see a 15-100% increase in reviews and other user generated content
  • Traffic: For each story published in Facebook, we see roughly 3 clicks back to the site. Nearly half the stories in the Stream get clicked on. This creates opportunities for the site to encourage more user actions – knowing that each one may result in 3 new visits to their site. With other models like search, there’s nothing you can do to increase user traffic besides optimizing for keywords.

Most importantly, you probably want to know the answer to which successful companies are currently using Facebook Connect? Unfortunately, there aren’t many Fortune 500 companies using it yet but during our podcast, Brian brought up the examples of JC Penney (it’s number 4 on the list of 10 in a great post by Mashable) and Red Bull. Jeremiah mentioned Volkswagon’s Meet the VW’s campaign.

http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf

To download this podcast, right-mouse click here and select “save file as.”

If you’re interested, we’ve got a slick demo of how Facebook will work with some of our Powered clients.

NOTE: The “Back to School” podcast series will be a regularly occurring podcast focused on the business value of social marketing, social media and online communities. Guests will include practitioners, authors, analysts and thought leaders in the space.