Ten Most Poplular Citizen Marketer 2.1 Posts of 2009

For the record, I’m totally following the pack on this one — something I don’t normally do. But give the fact that I had a lot of posts this year, I couldn’t resist putting out a list of the ten most popular posts on Citizen Marketer 2.1 aka “Stroutmeister.com.”

One funny aside, my Experts in the Industry interview with Ken Burbary – a good friend and the head of digital strategy and social media at Ernst & Young — got 6,786 hits in one day. Why did this not make it into your top ten you ask? It’s certainly not because I get so much traffic that Ken’s post didn’t rate. But rather, it was due to a misdirected shortened URL in a tweet by a Ms. Demi Moore. Yes, that Demi Moore. I wonder if any of the 6,786 people that visited Ken’s interview that day actually stayed and read the post.

With that as the backdrop, here are the top ten in reverse order. I tried to provide a one sentence summary to help you decide whether or not you want to spend the time reading. Enjoy!

10. Experts in the Industry: Jennifer LeggioI’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the popularity of this post is 50% due to Jennifer being a rock star and 50% due to her being my Quick-n-Dirty podcast partner. #justsayin

9. What’s the Deal with MovemberWhile the post itself was shit, I am most proud of this one because of what #TeamAustin did with Movember [hint: it had something do with raising $17,800 to fight cancer in men]

8. The Virtual Tongue: How to NOT Use Facebook for Business – In fairness, this one was a little bit of a rant but it got a surprising number of comments and retweets, mainly because I think many folks knew exactly what I was talking about.

7. Five Reasons Why Your Comany’s Website Sucks – To be honest, this one is a little bit of a headscratcher because while the topic is an interesting one, it was definitely not one of my better posts.

6. How We Market – This was definitely one of my favorites, probably because it spoked to the value of “eating one’s own dogfood.” The fact that it got 19 comments also didn’t hurt.

5. Experts in the Industry: Diane Hessan – No real shocker here. Diane, the CEO of Communispace is a smart woman and one of my favorite people in the world of community.

4. Marketers Beware the Age Wave – I co-penned this post with my good friend, and now semi-regular blogging partner partner, John Cass. It speaks to the risk that marketers face if they ignore the impact of GenY consumers in the coming years.

3. Can Social Marketing Save the Auto Industry – this post (which wasn’t really even a post but rather a teaser for a kick ass webcast I did for my company, Powered) was an amazing discussion with the heads of social media at Ford  – Scott Monty and GM – Christopher Barger, along with the fabulous executive director of community at Edmunds.com, Sylvia Marino. Definitely worth the hour of time investment.

2. Social Marketing Challenge: In 100 Words or Less… – Amazing what a $20 iTunes giftcard and a challenge to describe “social marketing” in a 100 words or less can do. 54 comments on this one and one winner in the smart and witty, Shannon Paul.

1. Experts in the Industry: 45 Interviews in 45 Days – I would have been shocked if this handn’t been the winner (it was twice as popular as #2 on this list). In short, the concept of creating a series of 45 interviews with smart online/social people leading up to South by Southwest was one of the better ideas. Not only was it great blog fodder but it had crazy SEO implications. I’ve also had at least half a dozen people ask me if they stole the concept – of course I agreed. Oh yeah, I ended up interviewing closer to 75 people and ran way past SXSW but that was neither here nor there.

So these are according to the numbers. What was your favorite post on Citizen Marketer 2.1? Let me know in the comments so I can better plan my content calendar for next year.

Weekly Social Marketing Links: Week of 10/28

Cross-posted on Powered’s blog

Yup. It’s been a few week’s since we last posted our team’s weekly social marketing links. As some of you know, I try and do a weekly digest of the links that my team (marketing, sales and product) come up with for our recurring staff meeting. Unfortunately, (work) life just gets in the way sometimes. Here’s what we’ve got for this week:

Beth Lopez (Marketing)

Found How to Do Social Marketing in Heavily Regulated Industries to be an interesting read on how regulated industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare and Pharma should tap into social marketing and how best to do it. The thinking is that since social marketing is a “pull” technique and not a “push” technique (where traditional regulations apply), advertisers and marketers in regulated industries should focus on…wait for it…wait for it…listening to consumers on social networks to gather research and insight (doesn’t everyone say that these days?). The author also goes on to state that for pharma (look in comments), marketers should be thinking about conversations around the disease versus the actual drugs (which is where they can get into trouble). All in all, an interesting perspective.

DP Rabalais (Marketing)

This article from Adweek, The Revolution Will Be Mobile, talks about how the worldwide adoption of mobile phones (61% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone) is influencing how marketers connect with consumers. Mobile Internet usage in the U.S. has more than doubled in barely two years, and mobile communities are emerging.

According to the article, “For a brand that would like to learn more about what its customers and potential customers want, social networks via mobile are the perfect platform with massive scale. The Japanese mobile community “Mobage Town,” for example, includes 12 million people. Anyone who wants to can listen in or join discussions, and anyone who wants to sell a product or service is enabled to do so.”

Bill Fanning (BizDev)

This week’s post was written by Francois Gossieaux titled, Why Brand Communities Don’t Exist. Notice he refers to “Brand” communities, not “Branded” communities. To be clear, when we say “Branded” communities we are referring to where the community is hosted (on the brands site as opposed to Facebook or other external communities) not to the Brand being the topic of the community.

Francois makes a very important point (one that we at Powered built a business on) that people don’t participate in branded communities simply because they like the brand and enjoy their products. They participate because they are passionate about the lifestyle associated with the brand. The community gives them a place to get valuable information, interact with other people with similar interests and engage with the company. He notes several examples like the communities hosted by Harley, Jeep, Mini Cooper and Fiskars….we could add several others as well.

Good post!

Doug Wick (BizDev)

[Okay, so Doug has been up to his eyeballs with RFP's, contracts and keeping his blogging hat on. So I'm going to include his most recent post on Powered as his entree of the week...]

Almost anyone who knows anything about interfacing with customers or prospective customers through the Networks (Facebook, Twitter, et al.) will tell you that you should start by listening.

So most marketers’ first step is to set up a monitoring tool (maybe expensive, maybe as simple as a free keyword search on Twitter). Then, the first experience that almost every media marketer (or marketer, period) has after listening to the Networks for a bit is that the brand, product, or company they are representing will be mentioned. When this happens (“just bought a Honda at Carmax, great experience!”), it will make a positive and socially important impression on everyone who views it. This is exciting because it is essentially a free media placement, a nugget of gold dropped into people’s news or Twitter feeds that didn’t cost you anything! This type of mention is often called “earned media,” earned because your company created a great customer experience that made someone tell their friends.


Jay MacIntosh
(BizDev)

The Tribalization of Business Study (2009) by Deloitte and Beeline Labs.

Disclaimer: I don’t understand why anyone would refer to a group of people sharing an interest as tribes. I’ve always thought of tribes, similar to the clans of my Scottish background, as having to do with ancestry (i.e. people who came before us like forefathers/mothers). Do we really need to “dress-up” social media to get more people to pay attention to the significance of the online social phenomena? I guess so…

Anyhow, this recently released study from Deloitte paints a broad picture of where companies are at with their adoption of social media. As suspected, backed up by the conversations I’ve had with over 50 such companies the past several months, I’d say they’re at the preadolescent stage. Characterized by – beginning to care somewhat about if/how they fit in, have a rough idea of some goals, more focused on the future, beginning to care about how their appearance, etc.

I won’t go into the details (which you’ll get in the 10 minutes it takes you to look through the 28 slides), but here are a couple of the most interesting findings:

  • It looks like only about 20% of these communities have members in the thousands.
  • Approximately 60% of their company’s oldest community have been in existence for less than 1 year.
  • Stated goals (i.e. what they want to achieve) and metrics (i.e. how they keep score) are out of whack.
  • 45% plan to increase their investment in social media and online communities while only 6% plan to decrease investment.

Don Sedota (Product)

Good perspectives by Jeremiah Owyang
on the Google/Twitter/Bing deal announced earlier last week. Basically Google and Bing will now start incorporating URL tweets/re-tweets and the influence/reach of corresponding tweeters into search rankings (i.e., consumers now have a direct impact on search rankings).

His key takeaways include:

  • Companies must focus even more on listening to make sure PR flare ups and the like on Twitter are quickly extinguished
  • It’s becoming increasingly important for companies offer easy social sharing (e.g., via Twitter) for site content. (Also of note is that Facebook will be offering public status updates to Bing so sharing via FB/FBC becomes more valuable to companies from a search results perspective)
  • Companies must continue to develop in-house influencers on Twitter in order to juice the search rankings of corresponding tweets (URLs)

How about you? Any good articles/posts/research to share? We’re always looking for fresh inspiration.

Slides from my Presentation at Driving Sales Exec Summit

Today I had the privilege of speaking in front of 150 VERY smart folks from the automotive industry at an event called the DrivingSales Executive Summit. Many work in large auto dealerships and have started using social media in a number of innovative ways. Equally exciting was the opportunity to meet folks like JD Rucker, Eric Miltsch, Gary May and Jared Hamilton to name a few. Oh yeah, some dude named Chris Brogan also showed up to speak. I was like, “whatever.”

Driving Sales Exec Summit – Using Social to Drive Businesshttp://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=drivingsales101409-091014182741-phpapp01&stripped_title=driving-sales-exec-summit-using-social-to-drive-business
View more presentations from Aaron Strout.

To see the Twitter back channel from the event, head over here.

Hat tip to Sylvia Marino and Kyle Flaherty for helping supply some of the case study content.

From Zero to Community: Webcast Archive

Here is the archive of the webcast, from Zero to Community, I did with Bert Dumars, VP of interactive marketing at Newell-Rubbermaid, and Rachel Happe, principal of The Community Roundtable two weeks ago.

This was hands down one of my favorites. How about you?

Weekly Social Marketing Links: Week of 9/21

Cross-posted on Powered’s blog

Oh how quickly the time passes. As some of you know, I try and do a weekly digest of the links that my team (marketing, sales and product) come up with for our recurring staff meeting. A series of all day meetings and the usual travel have conspired against me. Fortunately for you, that doesn’t change the quality of the content/links that the team found.

With that as a backdrop, let’s see what we’ve got…

Beth Lopez (Marketing)

(9/16) My article submission for this week is called The Great Trust Offensive. It appears the top 100 brands (as ranked by Interbrand) have fallen out of the trust tree with consumers. Edelman conducted a phone survey and found that only 44% of Americans stated they trusted business, down from 58% in the fall of 2007. As a result, many of the top brands are now focusing their advertising and messaging on re-building this trust with consumers and joining the “conversation”. The article goes on to provide case examples of McDonald’s, Ford and American Express and has CMO’s of these companies quoted throughout.

You can also view the 100 Best Global Brands 2009 in a slideshow format which provides a snippet of their marketing strategies. I’ll see if I can download the full report and provide to everyone. Here’s the link to the slideshow.

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(9/4) Joe Marchese throws down the traditional vs. social marketing gauntlet in the blog post,
The $1 Million Social Media Marketing Challenge, which starts with “I think there is an inherent conflict in the following statement: “We can’t measure social media ROI. But when we buy television in large amounts, we know it works.” He goes on to state the problem with marketers comparing social media and TV and issues a challenge: If the ROI from social media is not equal to that from traditional media, his company will deliver free media until the difference is made up.

Interesting read to say the least.

DP Rabalais (Marketing)

(9/16) As I mentioned in our meeting, I thought it would be of value for all of us to become more familiar with Net Promoter Scores, since many companies place such a high value on them.

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(9/4) The title is Social Net Branding Fails to Sway Women and the article was published today on brandweek.com. A study by ad:tech Chicago and Q Interactive that analyzes how women engage online with brands finds that 75 percent of women reported that social networking sites have little bearing on their purchasing decisions.

Sites have “somewhat” of an influence over 21.9 percent and greatly influence only 3.3 percent of users.

Only 10 percent of women said that participating in brand-related activities, such as finding information (8.7 percent) and writing reviews (1 percent), was their most common social media activity. Sending private messages to peers (34.6 percent), sharing photos (13.4 percent) and chatting (12.8 percent) ranked as women’s top-three social media activities.

Bill Fanning (BizDev)

(9/16) I actually have two articles to share. The first is post on Eyecube blog titled, Congratulations TGI Friday’s, Now the Work Begins and the second post was written by Greg Verdino and posted to his blog titled, Social Media Marketers are a Shallow Bunch. Both posts highlight the latest campaign by TGI Friday’s to drive Facebook fans but are curious about what’s next. Now that they’ve blown out the goal of reaching 500,000 fans (875,170 fans as of this morning) how do they plan to keep them engaged. They’ve got a real opportunity to drive ongoing lasting relationships with their consumers and, quite frankly, revitalize an otherwise stale brand. Will they capitalize on it? We’ll keep watching and hope for the best. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my free burger… I think.

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(9/4) This week’s shared post is from Jason Falls’ blog Social Media Explorer, titled, Brands Are People. It’s short and simple but powerful. He refers to a message he received from a friend who worked in the Golden Age of the Advertising Industry and a WWII fighter pilot. He says “It seems we got into the idea that ads were a lot easier than relationships.” I’d agree and we’ve been saying this for a while, but it just seems more credible coming from someone who actually lived and worked during that time.

The rise of TV as a mass marketing media was certainly a major contributing factor that widened the relationship gap between consumers and companies. We live and work in an amazing time where the rise of the internet has provided consumers a media that will require companies to break down the walls that divided them and re-learn how to build real relationships with consumers. The companies who choose to embrace the new media and master it will have a leg up on those who don’t.

Who knows…maybe in 30 years our kids will be watching a show like Mad Men where they act out the lives of today’s Social Media movers and shakers. If the characters are based on the folks I’ve seen speaking on Social Media panels over the last couple years, it’s bound to be funny but not nearly as classy!

Jay MacIntosh (BizDev)

(9/16) What Powered does is game-changing for marketing.

At the end of last year as I was becoming more familiar with social media marketing and our company, my intuition was that speaking with customers on their terms (i.e. things that they care about, when they’re interested and with people they trust) was the golden ticket for marketers. The disconnect for me was the lack of available data to support my intuition. What I had from our client programs, or third party sources, wasn’t quite complete or reliable enough so the results story often came up short. I think that’s recently begun to change due to a number of factors including our improved measurement & reporting capabilities as well as other practitioners publicly sharing their results.

Let’s look at one key marketing metric related to engagement – click through rate (CTR). This article from MediaPost Tuesday Super for Facebook Brand Pages talks about a study that found the avera
ge CTR on Facebook brand pages to be 6.76%. It goes on to say that certain days of the week perform multiple times better than other days of the week. Tuesday being the best and Friday being the worst. It’s encouraging to see that the Facebook 6.76% CTR kicks butt on other forms of marketing such as email (CTR 3.9%) and banner ads (CTR 0.2%). And what about Powered’s CTRs? For content our CTR is 50 friggin% – talk about kicking butt? For HP’s HHO site the CTR to their ecommerce is 7%. That’s kicking some serious booty.

And what about other ways marketing is measured like conversion, net promoter score (loyalty & advocacy), customer insight? What we deliver in these areas is also game-changing. So why aren’t more marketers going for the golden ticket? Is it lack of knowledge, understanding, familiarity, budget or something else they fear? I’d love to hear y’alls thoughts on this.

Don Sedota (Product)

(9/16) Although this probably isn’t groundbreaking insight to the team, I thought this article “When Facebook Fans Turn Ugly: Examining The Honda Accord Crosstour Page” was an interesting synopsis of a recent PR snafu that Honda had to deal with regarding their new FB page to promote the Accord Crosstour. After numerous comments from users about the ugliness of the car, a Honda rep (posing as a regular Joe) chimed in to give his support. Once he was outed, Honda had to do some quick damage control (some good, some not so good). The bad – removing the comments from the Honda rep which further enraged fans. Anyways, a good quick read that hits on some of the do’s and don’ts of containing a negative social media storm.

On a similar note, I have to feel kinda sorry for the Intuit reps that are trying to keep up with a hoard of unhappy Mint customers after Intuit acquired the financial site earlier this week. Ouch!

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(9/4) Here are a couple of pretty entertaining articles that I found this past week.

The first one from David Berkowitz’s blog called, When Augmented Reality Goes Social talks about a few applications of augmented reality (when digital is layered over real-world experiences to “augment” the experience) and social. My favorite example is a Yelp application for the Android platform which is apparently still pretty buggy but allows you to walk down a street and through your camera lens you can view Yelp overlays in the appropriate spots to show different restaurants and their ratings (really cool). Apparently more applications like this are coming down the pipe.

The second one is social related but entertaining more than anything else. It’s a blog post by Jonathon Fields called PR Gone Bad. How to Anger Bloggers and Hose Your Client. Jonathon details a back and forth exchange he had with a PR firm who was trying to get him to review a new book for their client. The PR tactics are extremely traditional and impersonal and the ensuing exchange of emails between Jonathon and the PR rep is a classic example of how certain people still don’t get the fact that social marketing is changing the way PR firms and the like have to conduct their business. Well worth the read if you have a few minutes.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Weekly Social Marketing Links: May 25, 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. Links are below:

Beth Lopez (Marketing)
Found the article, The One Word You Can’t Say, quite amusing given how we have always advocated the need to view social marketing as a long-term strategy. Seems that it’s starting to become a mantra at all of the social marketing events and tradeshows. Per the article, the word you can’t say is “campaign” when referring to social marketing…preferred alternatives include terms like “program,” “initiative,” or even “conversation.”

DP Rabalais (Marketing)
Great article aimed at CEO / CMO level. Do You Need a Social Media Marketer? Measurement & analystic seems to be the big reason more companies aren’t embracing social media / social marketing. Another reason we need to continue to plug our analytics/insights capabilities at Powered. To that end, I called out a paragraph from the article that drives our point home:
A recent survey of 110 of the top CMOs by recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles in Atlanta seems to echo Schwartz’s point. The report found that social media was a relatively low priority—ranked in the bottom third. “Mostly it’s because of analytics,” said Lynne Seid, a partner at the firm. “The things that are measurable are a top priority. Most marketers see [social media] as an experiment.

Bill Fanning (Business Development)
This weeks article is titled Social Media vs. Social Responsibility, written by Reid Carr (president of Red Door Interactive). It’s an interesting look at Social Media being the great equalizer to the companies who over the years have behaved more like magicians trying to trick people into buying their product or service rather than honestly marketing and selling their products and services.
His premise is that this behavior has lead to a severe distrust with consumers and social media allows consumers to have a powerful vioce, finally balancing the power that traditional businesses and media outlets once owned. He notes that it’s our responsibility as consumers to not only support our favorite businesses by purchasing from them but also by talking about them in various social media outlets. Likewise, it’s our duty to responsibly talk about the poor experiences we’ve had with businesses.
Jay McIntosh (Business Development)
On a self-appointed hiatus this week.

Doug Wick (Business Development)
A very short article about the brand innovation behind Cereality, a café concept based on our favorite cereals. This article struck a chord because of the way that they developed the idea for Cereality, by building on the brand equity of popular cereal brands and focusing on a food category that is both ubiquitous and taps into brand passion. The approach put forth is similar to the process behind the conception of branded online communities, which tap into passion points and truly put the consumer at the center of the experience.
A salient quote from Cereality’s founder – “When you hit that zeitgeist and people are excited and find it relevant to their lives, they start a conversation and you have to be at the center of that conversation.”
Don Sedota (Product Management)
This week I picked a report written by Forrester analyst, Laura Ramos, titled Effective Customer Reference Management Anchors B2B Community Marketing Efforts, that might be helpful to our program managers in the context of setting up community customer reference strategies for our clients and/or for our own corporate marketing efforts. Hopefully validates/supplements our current strategies in both arenas.

May 19: Weekly Content/Social Marketing Links

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. Links are below:

Beth Lopez (Marketing)
Kicking butt on next week’s webcast and our new website this week – she gets a hall pass…

DP Rabalais (Marketing)

Two articles this week. One on how Retailers are Shifting Marketing Dollars. The other speaks for itself…

Bill Fanning (Business Development)
The article I’d like to share was published in Tech Crunch and is titled, Jump Into The Stream. The author, Erick Schonefeld, discusses the evolving distribution of online information, from a collection of web pages to a real-time stream, and the impact on web business and consumers of information. The interesting part of this article is the idea of the new metaphor being “streams” instead of “pages”. Web business are transforming from being owners of content to providing a place to present the most relevant stream of information, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Digg, Google Reader, and a bunch of others. Consequently, the way we consume information has been forever altered.After reading the article, I started thinking about how this applies to branded communities. I think it re-enforces the importance of being able to share your activity in a branded community with the “stream”. For example, the ability to publish a particular activity to your Facebook feed, or the ability to share an article through sites like digg or de.li.ci.ous. Participating in these types of distribution networks are, and will increasingly be important traffic drivers to the community. It also re-enforces the need to supply a steady stream of new and relevant content to keep the community engaged. The content could be professional, user generated or both, but it needs to constantly evolve.

This article is loosely based on a blog post by John Borthwick, CEO of Betaworks (Twitter, bit.ly, Tweedeck, etc.) titled, Distribution …Now, which he references several times. Also, well worth the read!

Jay McIntosh (Business Development)
My article this week presents a perspective on the challenges of seller vs. buyer interactions. It’s written by an experienced marketer who has been on both sides of the “fence” at different times in her career. I too have spent several years on both sides and completely understand where the author is coming from when she points out the all-too-common salesy approach taken with potential buyers. A salesy approach is when the sales person thinks, talks and acts as if it’s about them, their product, their company. This is the way the majority of salespeople (and companies) approach buyers even today. They want to tell their market all about themselves and why they’re the best…blah, blah, blah.
Anyhow, I switched over from the buy side to the sales side about 12 years ago. At that time, the promises of the Internet and all the new technologies and tools made it okay to sell/push products. Actually, it was more about just taking the customer’s orders and getting the contract/PO in place. That doesn’t, won’t and can’t work today or any time in the foreseeable future. It is all about the buyer and what the seller can do to grow their business. Start with this as the foundation of developing a business relationship. This foundation based on the seller delivering the goods, provides an ongoing compelling reason for the buyer to buy…it really is that simple!

Doug Wick (Business Development)
This week’s article is taken from Business Week’s Executive Guide to Social Media, How CEOs use Twitter. The individual stories are interesting, but the common story is that these CEOs need to be able to hear individual voices, and to choose whose voices are important to listen to at any given time. The power of social is just that, to introduce not only the voices of peers, but the voices of individuals inside companies and inside brands. Within brand communities, the consumer can listen to all of these voices and decide which ones are important given their needs and where they are in the customer life cycle.
Don Sedota (Product Management)
On vacation this week – he gets a hall pass…

Quick ‘n’ Dirty Podcast: Logo Design Contest

The other day, I posted about the fact that my friend, Jennifer Leggio, and I are planning on doing a weekly podcast. Being more organized and forward thinking than me, she realized that we probably needed a logo. To that end, she’s put the rules up on her blog. The important stuff that you need to know if you want to enter is below…

[W]e’ve pulled together some fantastic sponsors who have contributed to a prize package for the best Quick’n’Dirty podcast logo:
  • Seagate: Free Agent Go portable hard drive
  • Intel: A coveted Ajay Bhatt t-shirt
  • Scate Ignite: Copy of Scate Ignite 4 multi-media presentation and e-learning software
  • EuSecWest: Conference ticket -OR- MIMO UM710 mini monitor
Want to win all of those prizes? Simply enter the contest. Some guidelines:
  1. Aaron and I know the name is edgy but this is still a family friendly podcast. He has a wife and kids and I have… well… he has a wife and kids!
  2. Our tagline is “Because social media doesn’t have to be complicated.”
  3. Our format includes some head to head point / counterpoint, a weekly challenge to listeners, digging into unknown social networks, and highlighting up and coming social media rockstars
  4. We’re fun but we’re serious about what we do. So fun but professional would be a good tone.

Submissions should be uploaded to Flickr or a comparable site and the link (not the attachment) should be emailed to mediaphyter gmail com.

Deadline: Friday, May 29. We want to have this up and on our BlogTalkRadio page before we kick off on June 4.

Let’s see what ya got!

New Podcast Show with Jennifer Leggio aka Mediaphyter

What do you get when you combine a year plus Twitter relationship, numerous collaborative efforts including a social media charity auction, guest blog posts and losts of link love with a dinner argument over the merit of celebrities joining Twitter? A weekly podcast show with a good friend and kindred spirit, that’s what. Yup, in a couple of weeks (shooting for June 4), Jennifer Leggio aka @Mediaphyter and I are kicking off a weekly podcast show.

The working title of our show is, “Quick ‘n Dirty Social Media.” Here’s the tenative format we’ve discussed:
  • Case study (alternate B2B/B2C)
  • Featured guest
  • Opposing viewpoints based on the week’s hot post/topic
  • Review of a social network du jour (think FourSquare, Plurk, Tripit)
  • Discuss a new exec that is blogging or twittering
  • Challenge
Because we’ll be kicking our podcast off in three Thursdays (6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT), we still have time for your feedback. Are we missing something important? Are we trying to cover too much? You can either weigh in here or on the show itself (yup, we’ll be broadcasting live). I don’t know about you but I’m excited!
URL for the BlogTalkRadio page is coming SOON.