Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Social Media Rules Article in Entrepreneur

June 17th, 2013 No comments

Last week, an interview I did with Entrepreneur magazine did whatever the digital version of “hit the newsstands” is.  While many of these thoughts were geared to CEOs of small or medium businesses, the content could really apply to any social media leader living in the real world of constrained resources.

Please head on over there and take a gander.

Addressing Social Media Ageism

September 21st, 2009 1 comment

ABA graphWhat you see above is are the top reasons that marketers within the American Bankers Association have not yet added social media marketing to their current mix (taken from a longer survey on the state of SMMarketing in Banking).  While the options listed are all important, the top reason for reluctance that came out in discussions in a learning lab I hosted at the ABA Marketing conference last week is not listed.  That reason is some combination of the following: “I am/my marketing manager is/my customers are TOO OLD for this stuff.”

How do you handle this statement? In the past, I have chosen to fight it with a mountain of demographic data (or the handy Forrester technographics tool), but demographic data can easily be dismissed as too generic or inflated.  This is as much a state of mind issue as state of the reality issue anyway. Here are some other options to address:
Train and encourage personal social media adoption in the workplace. Once it becomes a part of your life, it is much easier to understand the benefits, relevance to your customers, and how your might marry the two. This is  harder than it seems – it is very easy to help someone set up a Facebook account, but an uphill battle to get them to use it.
Get specific data on your customers’ social media usage. This could be done through primary methods like polls or through secondary research such as looking for mentions in social media (free tools include Summize Twitter search, searching on Facebook, or Google Blogsearch). While demographic data may not hold water with your peers, demonstrating that  your customers are looking for you is extremely compelling.
Run a pilot in your “Sweet Spot” to show results. When all else fails, ask forgiveness.  (note: this could be risky, but sometimes very successful).

What have YOU done in your workplace, your agency, or around your dinner table to respond when you hear that social media is just for kids?

Personal & Professional in Social Media

June 22nd, 2009 3 comments

WHO IS THIS WOMAN? BLOGGER? MOM?  WOM ADVOCATE?  WIFE?  STRATEGIST? She’s not confused, just multi-dimensional like you.

This week, I was honored to be asked to participate in IBM’s Social Media Marketing Summit.  The first speaker of the day was a social media standard, but someone whom I had not previously met: Frank Eliason, the man behind @comcastcares.  Frank has not only become a poster child for his company, he has become a go-to case study for traditional media getting value out of Twitter.  Frank had a lot of great nuggets of wisdom to pass along through sharing his journey, but there was one aspect that I got some additional questions on later: his very open, brave take on how personal and professional worlds fit together in social media.

Frank’s profile page not only bears his own photo, but links to his family’s personal websites.  This is Frank’s interpretation of a critical principle: people don’t create relationships with a company, they create relationships with people. He shares these links to personalize both himself and his employer.  While I agree with the underlying concept, my interpretation of what it means to bring this principle to life is different.  While my tweets, this blog, and my entries on the Ogilvy blog are all written in a very conversational style that reflects my personality, I do not have digital links up to family or (non-business-relevant) friends.  I am also pretty sensitive to the topics of what I cover and try to stay close to my mission of discussion social media & WOM-relevant topics with an appropriate slice of life on the side.  For the purely personal or “venting”, I usually use Facebook.

I truly don’t think there’s any right or wrong or black or white on this issue.  Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to figure out why I have consciously and unconsciously made these decisions.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:
I have clients – there is already a certain level of professional self-censorship on the stories I share as much of what I am exposed to is proprietary or sensitive for my clients.  Someone who is the face of a brand might feel a bit more comfortable sharing a larger percentage of their days and nights.

I’m female – I started blogging in the age of the mommyblogger explosion, but was not blogging about anything personal.   Because I am a mom who blogs, but am not a mommyblogger, I have probably veered a little dramatically to stay out of that category and pay proper respect to those who truly excel at sharing about their personal lives.  And like Rock and Roll Mama says: I’ve still got it.  Even when I am up to my elbows in Elmo and goldfish.

Virginia Miracle is a Professional Construct (or: Dad Ate My Google Results) – Virginia Miracle was born in 2004 when I married into an awesome last name.  Prior to that, I had a different, somewhat complex and very southern name that is extremely close to that of my Dad – my fabulous and extremely prolific writer father.  For a guy who just got broadband last year, he has a shockingly robust digital footprint.  Getting a new name coincided with the year that I found WOMMA and my career changed.   Thus, everything public that is associated with the name “Virginia Miracle” has stayed relatively professional and been highly correlated to Word of Mouth Marketing.

I don’t think there is a “best practice” here, but it is important to be conscious of your choices as you start that Twitter feed, create a YouTube video of your friends in Vegas, or blog about your parenting style.  Depending on how and where you share, it could follow you to your next job interview, background check, or family reunion.  Best of luck and happy social media sorting…

Lessons from Jeffrey Eugenides

March 19th, 2009 No comments

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Jeffrey Eugenides speak about the writing of his Pulitzer winning novel Middlesex.

As Prof. Eugenides was talking about the NINE YEAR experience of researching, writing and rewriting, it struck me that his craft is in some ways the ultimate MACROmedia – the antithesis of trying to distill your thoughts into 140 characters and belching them out in real time.  There were, however, a number of nuggets of wisdom that he shared as a novelist to which a social media content creator can relate:

1) Eugenides shared that the most hated comment he receives after introducing himself is “I always wanted to be a novelist – I just never had the time” – implying that pretty much anyone could write a Pulitzer Prize winning novel given enough “time off”.  On the social media front, we often hear “How do you find time for that crazy stuff?  I’m too busy!”  Social media can indeed save you time used correctly and allows you to maintain more and different types of relationships at once.  It does not replace the in person networking that most businesspeople consider to be part of their careers, but it can greatly enhance it.  In short, you make time for the things you deem important and once you do, you’ll be surprised how efficient you get.  (Check out Ian Sohn’s great piece on making time for social media here).

2) “You can’t do too much research, but you can put too much in your book.” This is a helpful guiding principle to anyone who gives presentations on a regular basis.  The point of a presentation is never to download the complete exhaustive sum total of your knowledge on a subject – it is to include only what is relevant to your audience in a way that is compelling and will make an impression on them.

3) Individual identity trumps gender.  “I” is more important than “he” or “she”. This is a takeaway specifically from Eugenides’ struggle with the challenge of writing from the perspective of an intersex narrator, but I found it to be an applicable concept to my life.  Social media and the ways it allows us to express ourselves – in words, images, avatars, and connections enables self definition and expression that breaks the old business rules.  Social media can help us defy the paths that used to be set by education, company, old boy networks, etc.  Social media + the economic flat spin should make this even more true – the time is now to craft your own social media “I”.