Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Facebook-Off with a Friend

I sent some personal emails to my exec-level friends to encourage them to consider having me "train them" in social media best practices with my private coaching "C-Tweet" service. I got a fairly strong POV email back from a friend who couldn't understand all the fuss about Twitter. I didn't write back immediately, and he sent me another note via Facebook (ironically), concerned he'd upset me.

Our back and forth, quoted below, was a great illustration of exactly why I think this social network seachange we're facing almost a social version of the VHS/BetaMax facebook-off. The use and the use-nots? The cares and the care-nots? (Of course I'D like to think it's the at-least-TRY-to-keep-ups vs. the head-in-the-sands!)

He wrote:
I hope I didn't make you mad at me... But interestingly enough I saw this article on CNN Money* this morning which tells me I am not the only one.

I am not wanting or trying to offend you. I hope you make a ton of money off of social marketing and Twitter. I still just don't get it. Maybe I am wrong. But I always change the channel when CNN starts posting Tweets on air. Which is funny considering that I used to like Letters to The Editor in my news mags and newspapers. But it has gotten so pervasive that I am beginning to not care what Joe sixpack has to say anymore. I guess to each his/her own.

I hope you are well!

Today at 11:28am
Hi - you didn't make me mad; just busy (maybe with the time suck of social media!?) But this isn't personal at all, at all, so no worries, and I've known you forever! But you underscored my realization that educating executives on the big picture of social media marketing understanding is more necessary than ever! :-) I don't really care about Twitter per se -- and C-Tweet is described as teaching that and all social media best practices to the C-suite level, but I do find Twitter an incredible crowdsourcing tool. And it's worthy of a second look, I think.

Do you remember how in interactive TV advertising we always used to describe it as being able to use the remote to "buy Jennifer Anniston's sweater"? Well, it's common now for the masses who don't really use it to say, "I don't want to know what so and so had for lunch." It's so NOT that, unless you're choosing to follow knuckleheads who aren't interesting, and aren't savvy about how to contribute. BUT, I agree it has no business model yet, and it is a time suck. (Though I spend a lot less time blogging now since I can share thoughts quickly and easily on Twitter.)
Anyway, what it is good for now, at the very least is, as Christian and Troy said in the comments of that article, is that it's another tool that represents the way the world is going. The more facile you are in multiple tactics, the better you'll keep up with change and new marketing insights.

And, the overarching theme of what I try to share in social media for marketing/business relationships especially, is that you have to LISTEN first...and to do that you need to know WHERE to listen for conversations of interest to you (or your business.) It may be that it's not even ON Twitter (though with a year to year increase of 1400% year to year in users, it is increasingly so for our peers!) And, by the way, some companies ONLY listen, without joining the 140-character conversations.
It may NOT be for youth. They are still predominantly into Facebook. Just as they USED to be predominanly into MySpace. I barely ventured onto THAT platform even in its heydey. Now they're moving into Tumblr, etc. as the "oldsters" start taking to Facebook. And so on.

Would love your thoughts on this. And this convo is great material for a blog post, by the way!

PS: I think it's lame when all the news shows try to Tweet, also. It's like Lawrence Welk saying "Get-ah down, Get-ah Funky, everybody." It bugged me when iVillage first added their email jockey, and bugs me when the TV bugs cover up on-screen headlines with urges to follow them on Twitter. I believe in convergence, but not forcefitting it just to try to be groovy. I DO however, follow Anderson and Sanjay, etc. on Twitter, because when I'm USING the medium I choose at the moment I can choose to see them then. Just like I CHOOSE to sometimes watch them on TV instead. Know what I mean?
Now how about YOU all? What do you think? Important to at least be up to speed on what's happening now, or dismiss it? (Hmm, perhaps that question came across a tad slanted.) Well?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From Twitter's suggestions for business to a Slice of Real Life

I work with some big companies and some small companies. What they have in common is that they are made up of human beings...most of whom have not quite wrapped their brains around social media, or at least social media best practices and strategies. I work to help them enter that space with some 1:1 trainings (C-Tweet!), some team workshops, and ongoing real-time doing (okay, or doing as a say, not always as I do!) as we set strategies for Listening, Learning, Participating and ultimately, we hope, Leading.

This morning, I was catching up on blogs, tweets, etc., and reading some stories associated with some keywords I’m interested in -- or my clients are. My thought process was centered on what I needed to learn...and if I needed that info, might my “readers” or my client's readers be interested, too? If so, I'll alert my clients, if they're not up to speed on alerting themselves yet! I sent one client an article, with a suggestion they post or comment...and then as one thing led to another in the DOING of the 'best practices,' it dawned on me, that what I was doing is what I've been trying to explain they start doing on a regular basis.

So I thought I'd use this as a real-time (sort of) example of my process of "organically" noticing, sharing, commenting, following, and being a little farther into the social scene. Since this morning I was involved in my core competency, Ad Sales Marketing, those are the examples used here:
  1. Ironically, it started with the story I saw through my Adweek Interactive news alerts about about Twitter teaching companies to tweet. I thought it was a good reminder of what I've been encouraging, so I read, then forwarded to my client. After reading that story, I saw the link to “related stories" or "most emailed" -- which included the Ad biz facing the “New Normal.”
  2. I suggested that my client post that article as a way to continue being a resource for interesting info about their media business, but even better — suggested they add a comment contributed from one of their execs, one that hopefully shared a POV, because that would also show him/him being PRESENT in the very space where their clients are.
  3. In reading the COMMENTS you see many interesting points of view and they lead you to more people who are more involved -- or more engaged -- in the social media space.
  4. Of the 30 or so comments, I saw one written by “S. Postaer” who said: “There is a silver lining, albeit small consolation to those eliminated: “ Didn’t know who he was, but it was simple, compelling, and it offered a link with an intriguing title, so I clicked on it.
  5. THIS a good example of how the commenter, S. Postaer, drove people to HIS blog, where I can learn more about him the human, maybe read an interesting post, and now follow him — perhaps by subscribing to his blog
  6. His blog includes a link to instantly enable you to follow him on Twitter (which I have done for me...AND suggested my client follow him, too, because even following him means, again, at least for my client, SHOWING UP and being present).
  7. His Twitter profile doesn’t have a lot of followers. Yet. But he’s there. S. Postaer is present. He’s available to be humanized and share some personality, which makes me — suckers that we are — like / trust him a little bit more. Even if we don’t always agree with him. Oh, and did I mention he turns out to be "Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of one of the world’s largest advertising concerns, Euro RSCG Chicago" according to his bio? Granted, I could have done a search for him specifically, or the keywords associated with his business, but it's a big world. And now I know a little more about this executive other than just doing a knee jerk "follow" or "friend."
  8. THAT whole sharing the process thing that I went through with my client as a teaching example led me to write this, my next OWN blog post...which I think might help others.
  9. So maybe, someone will share MY link or tweet it, and so on.
  10. And see ME as a breathing human being behind the Moss Appeal brand and will turn to my company more because as Sally Field once said... Oh you know what I mean.