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Lately I’ve been finding myself in a pickle during events around town while with a mix of friends in the biz and those whom are not. My iPhone is usually tethered to my side, so whenever I arrive at say a restaurant, I immediately check into foursquare to see who’s nearby and then tweet away. Fine and dandy when I’m with PR friends, who are usually doing the same, but things can become awkward when I’m out with family or other friends who don’t know twitter from a tornado.
It’s been an interesting experience to find myself explaining to someone what I’m doing on my phone instead of making friendly eye contact…live tweeting, texting, whatever. Usually, the more I talk, the more I laugh at how ridiculous it must all sound:
“Sorry, just need to check into foursquare.”
“Pardon me. A few friends are tweeting me, and I don’t want to be rude by not responding.”
“I’m totally tweeting that!”
Shouldn’t engaging in conversation with the person directly across the table from you be a priority over virtual conversations? It seems like an easy answer, but it can be tough if you’re attending an event with a tech-clueless person and see social media friends in attendance whom are tweeting away points of interest that you’d love to share too.
These experiences are good reminders of what really constitute good manners with your social circle – whether in-person or online. As I started thinking about this conundrum, an old post from Social Media Today about social media etiquette came to mind: 10 things your grandmother can teach you about social media. Take a peek.
Give these a thought the next time you’re nose deep in your phone vs. engaging a real live person in front of you.
A combo of the following occurrences this summer have had my mind percolating:
1) the escalating number of public disturbances locally, nationally and internationally that have been dubbed “flash mobs”
2) the annoying, overplayed AT&T flash mob TV commercial that’s set in Grand Central Station, which shares of visual of how I’ve been defining a flash mob as a marketer
3) the heightened controversial discussions by officials suggesting the restriction of social media and/or mobile use to prevent or counteract flash mobs (the violent kind)
First, I want to acknowledge that the violent outbreaks in London, Cleveland Heights, D.C, Philly and elsewhere are troubling and certainly merit the issue of highest priority for defining a solution. I by no means am intending to downplay their significance in favor of a marketing conversation.
However, I’ve noticed that a lot of us have opined about the terrible situation (both the public disturbances and free speech restriction as a consequence) but few have offered up solutions to try. My colleague, Matt Barkett, who specializes in crisis communications at Dix & Eaton, and I took a stab at suggestions that communities and companies can consider in order to be better prepared to handle any threatened organized effort.
Take a look here. I’d love to hear your feedback.
England’s prime minister has said he’s considering blocking Facebook and Twitter to help contain and prevent riots. Blackberry’s BBM instant messaging service also has come under fire since organizers also used that service to help plan the mayhem. What’s next: banned Gmail accounts?
Locally, communities like Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights are dedicating police resources to monitor social networks to prevent violent flash mobs, which is a smarter approach, in my opinion. Yes, social networks and other technology partners can help to screen for offensive posts, but restricting access seems to draw parallels to the approach of Chinese and Middle Eastern governments. Monitoring, not censorship, should be used to prevent riots organized via social networks.
Here are two interesting pieces of news regarding Google+ in the past week. First, Google+ attracted more than 25 million users in less than a month, which outpaced both Facebook and Twitter and ranks it as the fastest website to reach that milestone. Second, Google+’s (how strange does that look?) growth is slowing down since total visits fell.
That tells me that lots of folks are joining the bandwagon, particularly since it’s invitation only, but once they get on, they’re not sure what to do. Personally, I realized today that besides adding people to my circles, I haven’t posted anything in a week. My issue is that my personal friends are still on Facebook, so that’s where I go to stay connected. I checked my friend circle today and basically only two people have been posting regularly to Google+. My full stream of content on Google+ is all from professionals discussing social media topics. Since I follow most of those people on Twitter, I’m not motivated to check Google+ just to see similar content.
A couple weeks ago, I posted on Google+ asking everyone how they were deciding what content to post there vs. Facebook vs. Twitter. Another friend echoed a desire to get that insight, but so far, no one has responded and I haven’t found any posts or articles that cover content trends.
Would love to hear what your experience has been with Google+ and what content trends you’re noticing.
Are you hearing a lot about mobile marketing, but tuning it out because you don’t think it’s a fit for your customers?
Take a peek at this quick piece I put together that focuses on how mobile marketing can impact your day-to-day interactions with customers: http://www.dix-eaton.com/thought-pieces/mobile-mania-whats-your-strategy-for-reaching-customers/
A couple of weeks ago, Chuck Soder with Crain’s Cleveland Business interviewed me for a story on how small businesses can leverage online tools. His article ran in today’s issue and mostly highlights how small businesses can use social media tools to build awareness that can lead to an increase in sales. Here’s an overview of five tips I shared about how small businesses can best use social media:
1.Listen to social media conversations – Determine what’s been said about your organization on which outlets and by whom online. To accomplish this task, you can use free tools like Google alerts and/or paid software by companies like Radian6.
2.Assess your in-house talent – Allocating resources toward social media efforts is a huge conundrum for companies of all sizes. If you have someone in-house who is familiar with and enthusiastic about social media, that’s definitely an advantage. If you don’t have an internal champion, then the best way to learn is to practice using social networks on a personal level.
3.Define your strategy and goals – Ultimately, the findings of your conversation audit will help narrow down which social networks you should be participating in (if at all), who you should be targeting (as potential audiences and influencers) and what you should be saying.
Here’s a great article that came out from Harvard Business Review that highlights four distinct types of social media strategies for businesses. For example, maybe your strategy revolves around adding an arm to your existing customer service model to reduce online complaints. (Read about D&E's social media strategic process here.)
4.Engage – It’s imperative for small businesses to prioritize and match their level of engagement with their allocated resources (staff, budget, etc.). Recognize what types of outreach will make the biggest impact based on effort required. For example, writing a blog requires more investment than just writing a post. You’ll need to comment on other blogs, promote what you wrote, etc.
Many small businesses have found success with tapping into social media influencer networks. Fore example, opening a retail store? Give local lifestyle bloggers VIP access to build word-of-mouth excitement.
5.Measure and refine – Benchmark your efforts so you can measure the progress and success of your social media efforts and track what impact they have on sales.
Google+ hasn’t even been live for a week and big-name brands are not only taking notice, but taking action. This post, which features an interview with Scott Monty, highlights how Ford has jumped in and what potential Monty and his team see for features that will appeal to brands. Monty shared that the Huddle chat feature can be useful for hosting webinars and analyst calls and can have useful applications for customer service.
Other sources have mentioned that Google has confirmed that brand profiles are in the works, at least for small to mid-sized businesses. Experts like Jay Baer also are speculating that Google will soon begin incorporating Google+ behaviors into the ranking algorithm for websites.
It’s exciting to guess at what features might come next, particularly when you consider the evolution of business applications on other social media sites:
Facebook: Obviously, this site has shown the greatest progression and is still evolving. It just announced a video chat function today. Remember when individual accounts, groups and event pages were the only options for promoting businesses? Fan pages seemed to live in a vacuum until posts were integrated into users’ news feeds. Now, sophisticated business applications exist, such as like pages, Facebook ads, e-commerce and Facebook Deals.
Twitter: Sponsored tweet functions give businesses a chance to trend and reach a gazillion users.
LinkedIn: Although released a while ago, company profiles permit companies to brand themselves.
YouTube: Businesses can brand a channel for sharing video content.
I'm sure I've overlooked some features that are useful for businesses, so please suggest any I missed. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
On Tuesday, Google soft-launched its Google+ social network, which seems to takes aim at social media users who are over Facebook and looking for a solution on how to manage their online social circle. While it’s really late to the game, Google is staking its claim on the groups function of social networking that Facebook has never been able to nail down. Social Media Today did a great job of explaining how Google hopes its social network will mirror folks’ social networks in real life. See this link.
I’ll admit that I wish my Facebook network was more intimate. Family members’ irreverent comments to my posts can be annoying, but I’d rather be annoyed than deal with the backlash of unfriending them during holiday gatherings. I’m not crazy about the idea of rebuilding a network of friends all over again via a new social network, but if Google+ can help me to filter my online social persona better and buy me a few years before family members and acquaintances discover it, I’m in.
Also, did you see that Justin Timberlake bought a stake in MySpace?! Say what?
When companies first started investing in their Facebook presence, my initial counsel was to drive traffic from their fan page to their webpage since the goal was to drive purchasing behavior (and we could track analytics). Over the years, my opinion has wavered about whether to engage customers on their preferred social site vs. a separate e-commerce site. Now, as companies are able to sell merchandise directly on Facebook, it appears to be a moot point. For example, Express just announced that it’s offering its entire catalog for purchase on its Facebook page via its Shop Express tab. Pizza Hut also enables customers to order directly from its like page via its Order app.
Also of note is that Facebook has been phasing out its fbml, which previously enabled pages to create customized tabs and apps. Now marketers can use standard code to design apps, which allows for better design, tracking and selling.
Obviously there are plenty of reasons why companies should manage the purchasing process from their website, but Facebook is becoming a viable opportunity to drive sales too.
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Way back when , blogs revolutionized the publishing industry by permitting anyone with a voice to raise it loud on the interwebs. Paper.li dailies are the latest widget for web publishing. Basically, Paper.li organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook into a daily newspaper format themed on your topic of choice. Check out PRKent’s example here.
Public sentiment seems to be split on whether Paper.li offers good content or spam. Thoughts?