Tag Archives: social media marketing

“Breadcrumbs: Using Curiosity to Strategically Reach Audiences”

Last week, Robert Scoble declared Tech PR useless.  My response, a light-hearted post to shake off the negative energy, called for change within the PR industry.  Many of you emailed me asking about the future of PR and marketing, so today I wanted to share those thoughts.

Changing Landscape

The founders of our industry, in my opinion, did not intend us to be keepers of the keys and intermediaries, but actual creators and facilitators.  The original press release was not an announcement, but rather a creation of compelling content that editors wanted to print.  They looked for stories to tell and then pitched these to reporters.  And it worked, as long as the mainstream media was in control of the information.

Things have changed.  Today, the Mainstream Media is struggling and the walls are crumbling.  The rise of the Internet has moved content consumption online.  Also, thanks to social media, everyone has the ability to create content themselves.  Translation: The Internet is a REALLY REALLY noisy space.

Information Overload

Technologies like search and RSS feeds make information easily accessible–but they never seem to find *exactly* what you want.  Also, social networks and bookmarking sites have added the human element to finding content, but even that isn’t always enough.  With traditional media, reporters distilled the real world into articles.  Likewise, bloggers take information on the Internet and present what’s good.

With decentralized information filtering, how do we make a significant impact to reach our audience, whether they are bloggers, reporters or consumers?

Curiouser and Curiouser

If I understand Robert and the other Tech bloggers, they are finding information through community and curiosity. They listen to what others in their online peer network (whether Facebook, Friendfeeed, Twitter, RSS Feeds, etc.) are saying/sharing.  They also track and discover products and services the same way consumers do: word of mouth and surfing/searching.

What does this mean for PR and marketing practitioners?

  • The goal is to leave breadcrumbs your audience follows to find you as if by magic
  • To do this, we have to think like our audiences
  • Instead of asking “What do we want our customers to think?”, we have to ask “What are our customers interested in? How can we reach them?” and “What can we teach them?”
  • We no longer create stories, we look for conversation
  • We execute strategy to reach audiences where they share ideas
  • We engage in industry wide discussions with our clients as the moderator

We Are The Music Makers, We Are the Dreamers of the Dream

Instead of just producing viral videos, widgets, blog posts and (gasp) press releases, let’s create content people will want to consume.  Let’s build rabbit holes of discussion that our curious audiences can crawl into.

The ultimate goal: Be known for facilitating stimulating conversation around topics related to our clients/services by creating content our audiences will be interested in.

How do you see the future of PR? How do you inspire curiosity and conversation to energize communities and build awareness?

[This post inspired by a conversation with Tim Dyson, CEO of Next15 (the holding company that owns my firm, Text100) and numerous conversations with Todd Defren and Brian Solis]

Like what you read? Add our RSS feed! [what’s that?]. Or start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox! Or read Chris 24-7 on Twitter!

[The above photo, “Down the Rabbit Hole” by valkyrieh116 on Flickr, used under Creative Commons]

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Future of Media, It's A Conversation, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Chris Heuer, The Conversation Group”

Like the cold winter wind, today’s biting “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” will chill your bones!

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week, socialTNT met up with Chris Heuer, partner at social media communications firm The Conversation Group. He’s also an executive and cofounder of the Social Media Club. In today’s episode, Chris tells us his definition of social media and proclaims that PR is dead.

When Chris and I met, we started talking about his book, a discussion of social media tools for internal communications. He enjoyes bouncing ideas off of people to spawn creativity. He also prefers working in collaborative, Socratic environments, so it’s not surprising that Chris cofounded the Social Media Club as a venue to share ideas about emerging media. This manifested itself throughout out our conversation; every time one of us would say something clever, he’d jot down notes in a a Moleskine notebook, potential ideas for the book. After a few minutes, our chat diverged away from his book and into a discussion of social networking, disposable attention, and brands.

As Brand managers everywhere try to stifle social media and maintain a uniform brand image, Chris promotes opening up. Instead of silencing employees, companies have to let go. To maintain, companies have to trust and educate their employees. To support his theory, Chris broke out a power point slide with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but
people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not
to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.”

Fun Facts About Chris

  • Once taught Interactive Advertising at the Miami Ad School
  • Has a Virtual Assistant outside the country
  • Does not have or use an RSS reader
  • Is a hit-and-run Twitterer
  • In July 2007, married Kristie Wells, VP of Customer Advocacy at Joyent, the company that used to host Twitter
  • Prefers in-person, real world communication over its online counterparts, but you can still find him on Facebook and LinkedIn

Ever wonder exactly what social media is? Chris’s succinct definition is not to be messed. He also explains what changes Public Relations and Marketing will need to make in order to stay alive. Check it out:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Wow. A lot to chew on. Is PR dead? Has social media killed it? What do you think PR will need to do to evolve? Is Schizophrenic Branding a problem? How do marketers deal with multiple voices coming out of their company? Let us know in the comments.

Quick Note: Today marks the first day socialTNT’s “3Q’s in 3Min” is available for download on iTunes. Yup, that’s right: Now you can view our video interviews with today’s top reporters and social media experts anywhere you want. Watch us on the train, at the gym or even at the break room of your stodgy PR or marketing firm. The last seven episodes are currently available in high-quality video, with the full library coming soon. Oh, and it’s all available to you for FREE! 🙂
Christopher Lynn - socialTNT - socialTNT

Also, don’t miss a post: Please add socialTNT to your RSS reader [what’s that?]. Better yet, subscribe to socialTNT by email!

[The above photo, “Utterz Meetup House of Shields – Chris Heuer” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]

4 Comments

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Enterprise Public Relations, Internal Public Relations, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“Let’s Get Physical: 10 Lessons Abt Social Media I Learned at the Gym”

“getting-huge.jpg” by ericmcgregor on flickrA little secret about me: I’ve been involved with sports since I was a kid. I can give a rocking sports massage or plan a kick-a workout. At one point in my life, I’d even studied to become a Physical Trainer. Today, I’m here to pump you up with ten lessons about social media I learned at the gym.

  • When first starting out, get to know the gym, the exercises and proper use of the equipment.
    • Same goes for a social media campaign. Check out your surroundings. Listen to the community and see how they interact before diving in. It also doesn’t hurt if you know the tools inside and out.
  • Flexibility can prevent injuries.
    • Communities are built from people. People don’t always react how we want them to. Go with the flow. If you are flexible to their needs, listen and respond to their comments accordingly, then you can prevent a PR disaster.
  • Have patience. Quality results require a long term commitment.
    • Rarely do you see results in a short period of time. Lasting relationships are built with time and interaction.
  • Eat healthy. You have to feed your body to grow muscles.
    • Same goes with a blog: consume relevant media content to help develop your ideas and grow your community.
  • Healthy living requires a complete lifestyle change. If you want lasting results, you have to let go of old habits.
    • Social media isn’t just about looking pretty, it’s about opening up. You have to let go of corporate messaging and the tired notion of brand. It may be scary at first, but I guarantee once you get the hang of it, it will feel great!
  • When in doubt, get a trainer.
    • Sometimes we need someone to give us that extra push to help get us in shape. A community manager can help shape community relations.
  • A workout partner or a team can keep you motivated and increase results.
    • If your company has a hard time maintaining the corporate blog, bring some more writers on board. This will make it easier to keep producing content.
  • Different bodies need different routines.
    • Not all workouts and diets work on every body. Same can be said about social media strategy. Play around until you find a plan that works with your marketing objectives and fits your community’s needs.
  • Don’t wait too long between exercises.
    • In order to keep that target heart rate, you have to keep moving. If you slack on a blog, your readership will drop.
  • Make it fun!
    • It doesn’t have to always be serious. Fun posts make it enjoyable for the reader and easier for the blogger. 😉

Happy Friday, Everybody! Thanks for your continued support!

add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: TailRank

[The above photo, “getting-huge.jpg” by ericmcgregor on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

Don’t miss a post: Add us to your RSS reader [what’s that?], or Sign up for our Email.

Recommended Reading:

“It’s a Conversation, Stupid! Part 1″

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back”

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Mario Sundar, LinkedIn”

“I’m a Binge and Purge Blogger, What About You?”

2 Comments

Filed under Best Practices, Community Manager, Community Relations, How To, It's A Conversation, Just For Fun, Marketing, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Ray, Suited Productions”

Like a marshmallow in a cup of hot cocoa, today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” is guaranteed to sweeten up your cold winter’s day.

Jon Ray is the FutureEvery Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

While on vacation in Austin, socialTNT was able to catch up with Twitter friend and Social Media Marketing Consultant, Jon Ray. Today, Jon tells us what it is a Social Media Consultant does and also what to look for when choosing a live videocasting host.

At the ripe age of 23, Jon is founder of Suited Productions, a media production and marketing firm. The company, founded in 2005, originally started off as an HD video production company for television and music video. Jon’s move into social networking campaigns began in the early days of MySpace, when a real estate company asked him to figure out ways to attract a younger crowd to the near-campus district. Jon set up a renter community to help calm parents’ and young renters’ fears, while also generating leads for the real estate firm.

Since then, Jon’s main focus is helping brands integrate their ad campaigns and marketing goals into social media campaigns that create a conversation. His biggest success so far has been the Toyota Line of Scrimmage to introduce high school students to Toyota. The series involved reporting on and broadcasting high school football games from the back of a Toyota Tundra. Not surprising, Jon has been hired as a consultant for ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

Jon’s approach to social media is very hands-on and experiential. He’s not just satisfied with reading about the various tools and strategies, he has to test the technology and see what works. You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Right now, Jon is testing transparency while trying out various lifecasting and video casting platforms.

[For an archived video of Jon’s lifecast from our interview and warm-up, click here. Watch as we talk about Apple’s lack of social media strategy and other geek stuff.]

See the results of Jon’s trials to find out which videocasting platform Jon prefers and listen to him say sooth on upcoming social media marketing and advertising trends for 2008!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Are you as much a video fan as Jon and I are? Or do you think live video is just another fad?

Don’t miss out: Add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email.

[The above photo, “Jon Ray is the Future,” used by permission from Jon Ray]

5 Comments

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Stick It To the Man, Video, Video Interview

“MacBook Error: Six Tips To Apple On Social Media Marketing”

It’s MacWorld fever in San Francisco. I think their new Macbook, the MacBook Air, is beautiful, but everytime I hear the new name, I hear MacBook “Error.” Today I want to address the biggest MacBook Error: the thinness of their conversation in the social media realm.

Yes, I know they are on top of the world, but there are voices from the blogosphere that point to cracks in the MacBrand base; early adopters and super fans feel left out. As Apple becomes more of a consumer brand, more mainstream users will purchase Macs. This means more complaints, stretching the ardent fans–and customer service–thin; no longer will every negative Apple post be bombarded with super users flaming the blogger. To address this, Apple will need to stop pushing products and messages at its community. Instead, they will need to become more engaged with their community.

Steve, are you listening? Here are some of my top tips for Apple on refreshing their Social Media efforts to revive the Fan Base:

  • Stop trying to silence your superfans!
  • Beautiful Ads and Demos, set them free!
    • Sharing is Caring. Let the videos into the wild by allowing them to be embedded into other sites and shared. Just by sending a link back to the page is tres 1.0. Do this with Steve’s keynote, too.
  • MacBook Air: Behind the Scenes
    • For movie buffs, the “Extra Features” on a DVD are one more reason to buy. Same goes for tech geeks. Show us the behind the scenes of the MacBook Air. Intimate video chats with the Hardware Design team. Live podcasts (with call-in) featuring the User Experience team.
    • Too hardcore? Ok, open up developers’ blogs!
  • Like a shepherd herding the flock…
    • A Community Manager could address the worries early adopters are having re the MacBook Air. They can also hit up the Green bloggers upset about Apple’s lack of true environmental concern, or just common users P.O.-ed about Leopard’s constant crashes. Go and address those posts head on. Cut the messaging and speak to them like people.
  • Open up a dialog
    • Apple currently has a web-based form for feedback, but it feels like you are sending it out into a void. Make it a community, like Dell, where users can submit suggestions/concerns and then vote on the ideas. Yes, there is a forum, but it relies heavily on super fans…and forums are SOOOOO 1.0.
    • Customers also need to know that they are taken seriously. Close the feedback loop. Let them know the status of their suggestions.
  • I’m Streaming of a Live MacWorld
    • Ok, it may be a little far fetched, but I want a cam to be following someone through the MacWorld experience, like a fly on the wall. Bonus points if that fly is STEVE JOBS!

I love all my Apple products, but I’ve been a little upset since upgrading Leopard. No longer can I play music on Front Row through my Airport Express. I filled out a comment form and have not received any sort of follow-up. I’ve dropped so much money on my desktop, laptop, keyboard, Airport, Airport Express, and I deserve some sort of acknowledgment.

What do you think? Is Apple heading towards Dell Hell or are they on the right track? What suggestions would you give Apple on reinvigorating their fan base?

add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: TailRank

Recommended Reading

Don’t miss out: Add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email.

4 Comments

Filed under Best Practices, How To, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Rants, Sharing is Caring, Social Media, Video