Tag Archives: social media

Share and share alike: the building block of social strategies.

This came up recently with a client. Although it may seem obvious as I spell it out here, I believe we often lose sight of the fundamental concept that drives social media: people want to share. They share articles, pictures, videos, opinions, ideas, jokes. They share our content and come back for more.

I often hear people talk about how to build audiences without mentioning sharing. Or else they are attempting to make something “viral” without understanding why it would be shared.

More simply:

The magic of sharing is that when it works, it is enormously successful at building audiences. Effective knowledge dissemination builds audiences, and and large audiences facilitate knowledge dissemination.

The point of all this is not only do you have to have something worth sharing, it has to also be easily share-able. Make sure your web site supports your social media efforts.  Just look at TED.com for a fantastic example of content worth sharing, made easy to share.

Facebook’s World Domination

Really, this video (“The world is obsessed with Facebook”) says it all.

#CMOSummit: A Smarter Strategic Marketing Mix

Here is the second of the three sessions I blogged at the CMO Club. This one was a roundtable discussion. This post can also be found on theCMOClub.com.

CMO Thought Leadership Roundtable: A Smarter Strategic Marketing Mix — Optimizing Across Digital and Traditional Media

  • Kenya Jackson, VP Marketing, Target
  • Terri Graham, CMO, Jack in the Box
  • David Hudson, CEO, NM Incite

Another title for this session might have been: “How do you best integrate social media into your marketing mix” given how much of the discussion focused on effectively leveraging social media. However we also heard from Target’s Kenya Jackson about their marketing mix, which goes beyond traditional and digital media to include signage and product packaging – and may even include sales associates.

Terri Graham kicked off the conversation with a case study from a cross-platform campaign for Jack in the Box. She credits the success of this campaign to the integration of social media from the outset, as well as the focus on “keeping it real.” They don’t tack social media on at the end; it is part of the plan, and part of the ideas, from the beginning.

David Hudson identified the concern that often holds companies back from leveraging social medial: How do we measure it? It’s clear that this is still an evolving field, although they have been able to demonstrate that exposure to sentiment drives purchases.

Target is looking at their mix (including broadcast, circulars, print, web, signage, packaging) from the customer’s point of view, in order to understand what really brings her into the store. And once she is there, what gets her to purchase? Should different departments within the store be presented differently? This would be a significant shift for the retailer. An interesting question was posed: could the store itself be considered social media?

Kenya Jackson considers their team members to be a “media type” – they are each representing the brand every day. Best Buy’s 3000 employees responding on Twitter are another example of the integration of online and offline branding through employee participation.

I found this discussion particularly compelling. For years, the internet was a place apart from real life. It was not particularly interactive, or, well, human. Now, it has developed into a social and engaging place, coming to resemble the real world more and more. And as the web becomes more social, we see that the line between online and offline is blurring. Does social media stop within the computer? I don’t believe the answer to that is clear yet, but the trend is there: we now do online what we do offline. We discuss the news, shop with our friends, share photos. Does the conversation end when we turn off the computer? Of course not.

Marketers have always been trying to sit at the family’s dinner table. Social media may just be the best way to join that conversation.

Guest blogger Sorel Husbands Denholtz often discusses social media at the dinner table and food with her online friends.

Social media overload, yay or nay?

I am pondering the topic of social media overload.

I love that everything is becoming social. I am convinced this is the way of the future, as we are naturally social beings. Just the other day, I sat with a friend in a video iChat window, comparing shoes on Piperlime. Social shopping. Felt natural. And yes, the shoes are on their way now.

And I love Facebook. I love to see what my friends are up to. I love that I now have a small window into the lives of relatives that I never see otherwise.

And I love what I do. I love to think about how business, brands, non-profits and other organizations can connect with people using social media tools.

So it’s all good.

But here’s the thing. There is just so must to keep up with. I mean, I could easily fritter my entire life away on Facebook between posts shared by friends and news from all 353 pages I “like.” And then there is Twitter. A treasure trove of links to pursue. And on top of that I have a really scary RSS inbox with all the blogs I meant to stay on top of. And new technologies to check out. And new apps to experiment with on the iPad or the iPhone. And. And. And. OK, must breathe now.

And then I come across posts like this one about how to follow 15,000 people on Twitter and my head just about explodes.

No one can possibly keep up with it all. OK, some people are better at it then others, and I suspect most of them are employed as social media experts. This has been the number one question I have been asked AFTER speaking engagements. No one seems to ask it publicly, but they approach afterward wondering how to cope. So I am thinking about it. I definitely cope by, well, just not dealing with everything. But what are the filters that I am using to prioritize? A related question, and the one that always comes up from clients (and potential clients), is “how do I find the time to add social media into my job?”

I hope to find the time to write more about this as I process it. But meanwhile, what do you think? Do you feel overwhelmed at times by social media? Or has it simplified your life?

Quick look: When to use social media for marketing?

This came up in a recent discussion with a client and is a work in progress. My preliminary notes are below.

Social media is best used as a marketing approach…

  • To intercept and overhear comments from the public.
  • When you have something to share that people will want to share with others.
  • When you have the time and resources allocated to interact with everyone who responds.
  • When you want to hear from people directly.
  • When you want to connect with a specific niche or special-interest group.

Social media is not effective for…

  • One-way communications or one-time messaging. Always expect dialog.
  • Wide reach, except as part of an integrated advertising and PR campaign. The numbers aren’t there yet. The viral videos that get millions of views are the exception, not the rule.
  • Controlling the message.