Tag Archives: social media marketing

Deeper Political Divides in Social Media in 2017

18 Jan

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You think 2016 was rough? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Trump. Clinton. Bernie. Obamacare. Make America Great Again. Black Lives Matter. Email servers. Putin. Benghazi. Wikileaks. Fox News. CNN. Trumpists. Snowflakes.

If you’re paying attention on Facebook, you know your friends’ opinions on many of the above subjects.

Some may think that with the election behind us and the inauguration happening this week that the heated debates are done. I think it’s just warming up.

 

The New (Ab)Normal

Just a few years ago, the public sharing of so much political nastiness was simply not done. At least it was not done by adults and professionals. But after the past year of raw political argument, we have lost all filters.

The incoming President of the United States has forsaken all filters including media editors and his own spokespeople in favor of instant Facebook posts and real-time Tweets. Love him or hate him, we’re now all doing the same thing.

 

Swapping Positions 2009 to 2017

An interesting change between those on opposite ends of the political spectrum is happening in 2017, and I don’t mean the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There’s a role reversal happening in the poli-social space.

In the US and much of Europe, Liberals are now taking over the role of opposition to the Conservative’s new position as the establishment.

For the past 8 years, Conservatives have played the role of the rebel alliance fighting the big-government empire. Think of that timeframe: for most of the lifespan of social media, or at least the lifespan of marketing and massive use on Facebook, Republicans have been on the offense in social media messages while Democrats have had to play defense. When President Barack Obama took office in January of 2009, the Democrats also had control of the US House and the US Senate. The Republicans used social media to attack that establishment. Eventually the tide turned back in their favor.

Now with the GOP in the White House, retaining the Senate, holding the House, and growing their lead across most state governments, it’s the Democrats’ turn to go on offense. This may lead to a great frenzy of counter-culture activity on social. We could be seeing the dawn of a new of 1960s style protest movement, although it’s a sterilized digital version where you don’t actually have to leave your phone to participate.

 

More #FakeNews

How do some respond to news that they just don’t like? Call it Fake News. Be prepared to see about half of the content shared on social media to be called fake news by someone. Caution: the more that label is used, the less of an impact it has.

I personally plan to save the fake news moniker for so-called established news sources that publish false news and ignoring the phony sources that pop up.

 

More Unfriending = An Opportunity for Marketers

On my own personal Facebook account was unfriended by just one friend, but unfollowed or hidden by an untold many due during the 2016 election. Once some people start trimming their friend lists, it’s easy to continue. This could be the start for many Facebook users to scale down their list of friends to their real friends, or more likely, those who share many beliefs.

Here’s where my marketing friends (the real and the Facebook kind!) can find an opportunity in this mess —

Friends’ posts in the newsfeed rank higher than anything from brands or publishers since a June 2016 Facebook update. More unfriending means more prime real estate for your brand’s content on a fan’s newsfeed! Don’t give up on organic Facebook posts quite yet. After a divisive year, there may be a lot of holes to fill!

For more discussion on social media trends we’re spotting for 2017, check out this recent episode of Social Geek Radio with my co-host Deb Evans and special guest, my Qiigo colleague Liane Caruso!

 

 

Making Twitter Great Again

13 Dec

trump twitter

 

Who has made Twitter great again? Or at least relevant?

Answer: @realDonaldTrump aka Donald J. Trump aka soon-to-be @POTUS

 

Just when Twitter was falling to 5th or 6th place on the list of social media channels most cherished by Americans, along came a massive disruption that put Twitter back in the spotlight in 2016. That disruption is called Trump.

When the president-elect has something to say, there’s no need to go through the filters and hurdles of reporters, editors, anchors, and deadlines. He Tweets it directly to the American people.

Whether it’s his pick for Secretary of State, his defense of a policy, or his rant about how much he doesn’t like SNL, there’s no need to go through reporters and hope they get the message right and don’t ask follow-up questions. Social media was the perfect tool for a populist candidate to speak directly to the people.

Obama pioneered politics in the social media space; Trump has settled the territory.

Traditional journalists and the old media for which they work are sinking faster than ever. Trump’s greatest victory in 2016 wasn’t over 16 Republicans and Hillary Clinton; it was over The Media. Or, in his words, The Dishonest Media. The panic is newsrooms isn’t only because most journalists disagree with his policy positions, but also because they are the middle-men that Trump is cutting out.

His campaign had very little paid advertising and a vast amount of negative earned media. Traditional media pundits said this was a recipe for a landslide loss. They were wrong. Trump had Facebook and Twitter.

My favorite lazy journalism moments, pioneered by CNN but now seen on all TV news channels, is when they just air a graphic of Trump’s latest Tweet. Wow, groundbreaking work, guys. Thanks for showing us what’s on Twitter. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug on cable news!

 

The New Twitter

I’ve worked with several hundred brands regarding social media over ten years and the interest in Twitter has dropped dramatically for most of those brands. Facebook is the focus, with a still-growing interest in Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever else is on the horizon. Recently I’ve considered Twitter less of a communications channel and more of a library of searchable links.

But Candidate Trump saw an opportunity to reach the masses using the only non-filtered means available to him. All brands and organizations should take note: traditional media relations and PR may still have occasional value, but unfiltered messaging on social is a necessity every day.

 

Trump Is Broadcasting, Trump Is Not Engaging

Some political pundits had questioned the president-elect’s intentions of giving up Twitter upon taking the Oath of Office.  Are you kidding?!? That idea must have started with TV or newspaper hacks who know they are becoming less relevant every day. Even Trump’s harshest critics should want him to keep Tweeting – it’s an easy target for them to attack.

Don’t get me wrong – Mr. Trump is not engaging on Twitter at all in the way that we in the social marketing arena have been advising for the better part of a decade. He is broadcasting. If you consider communications to be a two-way street as I do, then he’s not even really communicating.

But his broadcast – or live billboard or balcony speech or whatever you consider it –  is working.

 

What Is Twitter Now?

4 May

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Each week marketers talk about the latest new feature on Facebook and how they might use that feature to push their brand forward. We’re also frequently talking about Instagram, Snapchat, and a couple of revolving newcomers.

But many marketers are no longer talking about Twitter, or at least not as much as they were just two years ago. Lately most mentions of Twitter lead to conversations about the company itself and not how marketers are actually using it. Everyone wants to share ideas on the Twitter’s challenges, share price, and CEO rather than how they’re telling their own story on Twitter.

 

If Twitter’s not Social Media, what is it?

 

It’s News

As of last week, Twitter is listed as a News app in the iTunes store and is no longer categorized as a social media app.

I’ve always thought of Twitter as a news distribution channel. It looks like Twitter and Apple finally agree. The smartest Public Relations execs were releasing official news and statements on Twitter as far back as 2008.

If your side of the story is not coming up in Twitter searches, it’s just as inexcusable as not being seen on Google search results. Get to it!

 

It’s a Link Library

Twitter is to articles and blog posts what YouTube is to videos. It’s a vast vault of searchable content. Note, YouTube is also not really “Social” anymore, unless you count engaging with trolls…  

 

It’s a Customer Service platform

You can complain on your Facebook page all day about Brand X, but Brand X will never see it. You can complain on Brand X’s Facebook page all day and perhaps no other customers will see it. Tweet once and anyone paying attention will see it. Then the response clock starts running!

 

It’s the place to “Also Share” your social media posts

Twitter may not be the center stage for your content marketing, but it is a main gate. All social platforms must enable one-click Tweeting of your article, blog post, update, video, image, pin, story, audio clip, or future type of content. Even if you think most of your target audience is not active on Twitter, remember the Link Library idea above and make your content easy to find in any future Twitter search.  

 

 

 

Calling Rules. Or Should I Say… Calling RULES!

10 Jun

mike brady phone

 

In the age of the text, email, and social channel messaging, an actual spoken conversation can be refreshingly productive. Do yourself a favor and instead of sending that next message, pick up the phone and chat with the person with whom you’re doing business. But as we may be a little out of practice, please keep a few things in mind: 

1. Calls on speaker phone: state upfront who is in the room.
Don’t set up your co-worker, client, supplier, or partner for a potentially embarrassing situation. If their success isn’t your success, then why are you in business together? 

2. Speaker phones on iPhones: forget it.  
The iPhone is a fantastic device. But let’s face it – the telephone part sounds horrible. Use a landline or have each person call in to a conference call number. If you’re on the run and have to conference in from a noisy Starbucks or airport, invest in a headset with microphone.

3. Use time zone labels.
Don’t just say “10” when setting up the time to call. 10 what? 10 eastern? 10 pacific? 10 pounds? 10 monkeys?  

4. Translate time zone for your client or partner.
If your client is in Mountain Time, translate your meeting time to Mountain Time. A little thoughtfulness can lead to clearer communication.  

5. EST versus EDT
Nothing says I don’t care about details like scheduling a call or meeting time in EST or CST when we’re on actually on EDT or CDT. I suspect that about one third of the business world thinks EST is a general abbreviation for EaSTern time. It’s not.

 The grammar police have “their there and they’re.” Time cops have this. 

Best practice: just drop the S or D altogether. ET, CT, MT, and PT are fine.  

 

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Our Finest Hour: 11pm According to Winston Churchill

3 Mar


Social Media marketers and community managers are channeling their inner Churchill.

At the onset of World War II, Winston Churchill needed more hours in the day. Sound familiar?

Being the leader of the free world at the time, Churchill was able to do the impossible and doubled the number of hours in his day.

Each day at around 4pm, he left the office, went home, and went to sleep. Around 7pm he woke up, went back to the office and worked with this war staff until about 4am. Then he’d go sleep until 7am, and start the day all over again! In essence, he did create two working days out of one!

And that’s exactly what many of those managing social media for their organizations are doing. And, without the nap! So many of my colleagues are standing down around dinner time, doing their own thing in the evening, and then jumping back in work mode around 11pm or so.

Do you fit this model? Are you jumping back in late in the evening after your time with IRL friends, family, kids, etc? I would love to hear your take on this.

Winston Churchill

Andy Griffith and The 3 Stages of Social Media Engagement

3 Jul

Note: here is a republished post from November of 2011 I wanted to share as we remember Andy Griffith today.

As we begin to wrap up a year of explosive growth in Social Media usage and engagement, I’m seeing many Social Media Marketers moving into new stages of their own involvement. It reminds me of similar changes of audience engagement by one of the all-time great story tellers.
  
I speak, of course, of Andy Griffith’s portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry!

Stage 1: Over the top and finding our way

At the start of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy’s depiction was the same as the characters he had been playing on stage and screen and in his popular monologues and comedy records for the previous few years. Andy was over-the-top, absurd, and loud. It’s what Andy knew how to do to get attention and laughs. 
 
Andy Griffith

Stage 1 Andy: All Laughs

We dig into our own history of past success and use those same tactics when launching our social media engagement. Sometimes it fits, but more often than not, marketers need to tweak their voice and role, leading to…


Stage 2: Getting down to business and finding our role

After the first season or so, Andy realized that it would be best for the show if he played the straight man and let those around him get the laughs. His decision to pay it forward catapulted the show into legendary status.

Andy Griffith

Stage 2 Andy: Paying It Forward

The character of Andy as the normal and wise hub for the crazy Mayberry citizens’ shenanigans is a great role model for how Social Media Marketers should carry themselves within their online communities. Be the Andy by helping solve your connections’ business problems, mediating different point of views, and most of all promoting others before yourself.

Note, many so-called Social Media “Experts” or “Gurus” are the equivalent of Deputy Barney Fife. They take credit for others’ heroics, crow about their own expertise, and obsess on the tools of the trade rather than the message. Barneys don’t really make a community worse; in fact, they can be funny. But in the end, we’re just laughing at them. 

 
Stage 3: Getting annoyed by and tired of those around us

It would be best if you as a Social Media Marketer could stay in a perpetual stage two. Toward the end of The Andy Griffith Show’s original run, Andy’s character further developed into a role that you don’t want to be. These episodes are easy to identify as they are in color and “Angry Andy” is constantly irritated by the dimwits around him.   

Andy and Aunt Bee

Stage 3 Andy: Annoyed

If you feel yourself getting easily agitated by the day to day engagement with the Goobers and Aunt Bees in your online communities, it may be time to stop and to move on to new challenges.
 

The Top 6 Numbers to Use for “Top ___ ” Lists

19 Dec

 

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Everyday, bloggers and other content creators use the device of “The Top (insert a number) Things You (insert topic, advice, or other).” This is an easy way to attract readers who don’t really want to dive deep into a subject but want a quick read.

As we near the end of the year, I’m sure the lists of the best this or that from this year will be flying soon. So, as you develop your lists, think about what that number is that you want to us to stand out. Top 100? Too much. Top 40? Too old-school radio. Less than ten? Now you’re talking!  Here’s my list of the best numbers to use for lists, with absolutely no scientific evidence of anything.

 

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Franchising Goes Social

25 Jul

Franchise Social Media


FranCamp 2011 is the first social media “un-conference” for the franchising industry and is happening this October in Nashville. All franchisors and franchisees are encouraged to attend to learn and share what’s working in social media marketing for franchise systems.

The format is simple: a low-cost, one-day event loaded with a fast-paced and aggressive agenda loaded with super-helpful content. After some sessions at this year’s IFA Convention, several IFA members and I discussed the need for a social media event for franchise systems that was more than just the typical “why use social media” discussion and really get down into useable, actionable takeaways.

I’m excited to be presenting on the topic of Twitter tactics and best practices for franchises. Some of the points we will be discussing are:

  • The dirty little secret of how your customers are actually using Twitter
  • Why Twitter requires completely different tactics than Facebook or Google+
  • 4 things to do if your Tweets are not driving business

Here’s the current lineup of speakers and panelists with franchise leaders who are making an impact with social:

Deb Evans, CEO, Computer Explorers

BJ Emerson, VP Technology, Tasti D-Lite

Timothy Nobles, Founder, Words Go Here SEO

Jack Monson, VP, Engage121

Paul Segreto, CEO, FranchiEssentials

Jennifer MacDonald, Online Community Manager, WIN Home Inspection

AK Stout, CEO, Saying it Social

Joe Mathews, Founder, Franchise Performance

Amy Olson, Director of Marketing, The Maids International

Kurt Schusterman, CEO, Verlo Mattress Factory Stores

Thomas Scott, CEO, Brand Journalists

This daylong event will take place October 22 at CoLab in downtown Nashville. Plus, there will be a Tweet-Up on Friday evening at a Tasti D-Lite location in Nashville!

Outcome-Based Marketing – John Leavy

14 Jul

If you’re in or near Chicago next Tuesday, July 19, I suggest attending a special presentation by PRSA Chicago: New Rules of Marketing presented by marketing leader John Leavy.

John Leavy

I recently devoured his latest book, Outcome-Based Marketing. It’s a fascinating guide for all communicators and marketers to growing any business via the web.

 

Date: Tuesday, 7/19
Time: 11:30am

Place: Maggiano’s , 516 North Clark, Chicago

 

Gini Dietrich – Social Media for Senior Executives

12 May


Here are some video highlights from last month’s PRSA Chicago program. I had the honor of moderating the discussion and Q & A session with Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and founder of the new SpinSucksPro. Video edited by Jack Newell. Enjoy!

And, if you haven’t already registered for the best networking event of the year for anyone in PR, Communications, Marketing, and Social Media, do yourself a huge favor and reserve your ticket now for the 2011 PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards Gala. Register here!

PRSA Chicago Skylines

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