Conversational Marketing in the Age of Social Media
This week I kept hearing one particular verse of the Stevie Nicks song, Landslide, playing in my head,
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
Oh I’m getting older too”
Then, I remembered, we were coming up on another year. To be exact, two years ago today, Weber Media Partners published our very first blog post on Impressions through Media.
Who would have known at the time, but it was only the beginning. From there we went on and created presences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Delicious and more. We became regular commenters. Readers of countless RSS feeds plus a long list of books about social media marketing. To put it simply, we love what we have discovered in social media. We love sharing knowledge and information through following, updating, friending, tweeting, youtubing. In fact, we love everything about the new ways of communicating. We’ve become true social media enthusiasts.
Our family has always valued exceptionally prepared food using long proven recipes. For Christmas dinner, my aunt, a professional cook, comes to my home to help me prepare my German grandmother’s Rouladen, which we serve with egg noodles and red cabbage. She has taught me to keep notes on quantities, cuts of meat that work best, and any alterations we make to the original recipe.
It was at my aunt’s house, as a young girl, that I first saw Gourmet magazine decorating the coffee table in the living room. The glossy covers often had food that I didn’t recognize, but given her background, I knew it must be an important professional resource, and everything in it must be good.
Over the last few years, things have changed. While we still make the traditional Christmas meal, the recipe needs to be gluten free, which makes holiday meal preparation an exercise in caution as much as a celebration. As for where we get our recipes, rather than cut out of the paper or a magazine, we find them online and share them via email. When I want to make something with leeks, it’s a whole lot easier to search for it online, rather than shuffle through an archive of magazines. This approach, while more efficient, doesn’t have the same leisurely experience of paging through a magazine, being inspired to make something you wouldn’t have thought of on your own, like pumpkin soup or a peach crumble.
I haven’t picked up Gourmet in years, so I guess it is not a surprise that the magazine is going under, as announced today in the Wall Street Journal. With magazine advertising dollars being shifted to online publications, we will lose some of the old standbys. There will come a day that print magazines as we know it will no longer exist, along with print newspapers and television networks.
While I embrace the digital publishing model, I still love magazines. While I know you can do a lot with it, you can’t dog-ear the page of a Kindle.
Several months ago, Weber Media Partners initiated our “Make Every Tweet Campaign.” We took on the challenge of truncating messages from noteworthy books and reports about social media marketing and business.
We believe tweets should make a difference, have an impact. Tweets can tell a story. Can educate a line at a time. For the user, its an easy way to stay on top of resources they may not have otherwise known about or thought they had the time to read. The hope is that the tweets will spark more interest, be re-tweeted, initiate direct messages and most importantly encourage the user to read the material in its entirety. As we say, Make Every Tweet Count campaigns should not substitute for buying and reading the entire book!
For the month of October we are excited to bring you month-long tweets from Erik Qualman’s new book, Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, published by Wiley. Socialnomics was a shoo-in for “Make Every Tweet Count.” You can open the book at any page and take away a message which will either change the way you’ve been thinking about social media or validate why you’ve been using it in your personal life or at your place of work.
Follow us this month on . Join in the conversation, 140 characters at a time.
Not being a naturally goal-oriented person, sometimes I have to make conscious decisions about committing to the things I hope to accomplish. That’s where my Social Media Reading List comes into play.
A few weeks ago, I set myself a goal, even wrote about it on my Amazon Reading List on LinkedIn—that I would read three new Social Media books in early fall. After reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, and Sticks & Stones by Larry Weber, I’m happy to report I’m on the third one —Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman.
As suggested even in the title of Qualman’s book, Social Media most definitely transforms the way we live and do business. Sometimes it even changes the course of our direction, how our day unravels. So, this morning after dutifully reading through the numerous google alerts I subscribe to, I clicked on a link towards the bottom of the google alert page for social media marketing. It took me to a post, a blog I’d never been to before. The post was good, kept my attention. I kept reading. Buried down towards the end of the post was a link. I was curious, it peaked my interest. That’s what linking is all about, right?
Then, after clicking through from one link to yet another, lo and behold, I found myself on Erik Qualman’s blog, where I was greeted by the video httpv://socialnomics.net/2009/08/11/statistics-show-social-media-is-bigger-than-you-think/, Social Media Revolution, and a list of the statistics used in the video. The experience was Social Media’s equivalent of six degrees of separation.
Qualman’s video is excellent. I thought I’d take a second to post it here for you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to reading Socialnomics. More about the book later.
There’s so much wisdom in Sticks & Stones: How Digital Reputations Are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click by Larry Weber, it’s hard to know where to begin writing about this new book. Weber makes you realize how truly mind boggling it is to have the abilities for creating the impact and impressions on the public, in what he calls, “World 2.0.” The implications are far reaching, and at a fraction of the cost than we’ve ever been able to do before.
These quotations from the book should give you a feel for the magnitude of the take away messages and how powerful the Web is in World 2.0:
Do you know any “Trust Agents”?
Chances are you do but maybe you haven’t had the language to best describe them. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have recently published the book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, and describe them this way:
“The power users of the new tools of the Web, educated more by way of their own experiences and experiments than from the core of their professional experiences. They speak online technology fluently. They learn by trying, so they are bold in their efforts to try new on often, on social bookmarking applications (Delicious.com and the like) than anyone else. They connect with more people than anyone else, and they know how to leave a good impression.”
With the myriad of social media tools at our disposal e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging; it’s understandable how some of us may be scared away by feeling we have to learn everything, and as a result, stay away from new tools entirely. For people new to social media, some tools will make more sense than others, so it’s always good to assess your needs, your particular business and industry, and determine what makes the most sense for you.
Brogan and Smith offer a good perspective on how trust agents leverage social media to the benefit of their organizations . As they say, “By doing more with what is available to you, and by building two way relationships and conversations.”
Maybe it’s because of the time of year. Reminiscent of all the school beginnings, new terms, new school supplies. The times when you had to hunker down and read books on your teacher’s reading list. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have friends who recommend books to you. And, of course there’s always the book group phenomenon where people actually get together to talk about books! What a novel idea.
Over the two years since I’ve been blogging for Impressions through Media, I’ve come across and read many social media marketing books which have been instrumental in helping to explain these new channels and how best to integrate them into your businesses marketing. After all, most of us who have been working in marketing for some time now, have been somewhat mystified by the ways the channels have changed. What were standard ways of promoting your business may now becoming obsolete. We need to have a way to keep up. For me, it’s perusing the new titles online and in the aisles of the bookstore. Looking for suggestions from other bloggers, as Chris Brogan and Julien Smith call, “trusted agents” And then, the real clincher, is finding the time to read them.
In the past couple of weeks I have come across three very exciting new titles, which I feel compelled to share with you, all published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons.
In September, to continue our monthly “Make Every Tweet Count” twittering campaign we’re sharing tweets about Mobile Marketing. The resource for these tweets is from a new book by Kim Dushinski entitled, The Mobile Marketing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Mobile Marketing Campaigns.
At Weber Media Partners, we’ve been thinking about the implications of mobile marketing. We know sometimes it might feel difficult to keep up with all that’s being expected of marketing these days, which is one of the reasons why it’s good practice to not get too far behind. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and either are good social media campaigns; willingness and a step-by-step approach go along way.
On this topic, Chris Brogan has an interesting post today, “The Building Blocks of Social Media Business” with solid advice about getting out to where your customers are on social media platforms. Along with a great plug for maintaining a email marketing presence, Chris advocates for diving into mobile, “…it’s definitely part of what’s next.”
If you want to start getting your feet wet and learning about mobile marketing a tweet at a time, join Weber Media Partners on this month as we tweet messages quoted from Kim Dushinki’s book. Like all of our Make Every Tweet Count campaigns, reading these tweets should not substitute for buying and reading the entire book!
140 characters at a time, you too can learn a lot about mobile marketing. More to come on the topic!
We can surf the internet to our heart’s content, and follow every link we come across, but even still there are zillions of websites we’d never come across. Following links often makes me think of the song, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” from the Wizard of Oz.
Then, someone comes along and compiles a very comprehensive listing. In this case a new over-sized periodical, “1000 Websites You Need to Bookmark: Best of the Net—1000 Websites you Need in Your Life,” Techradar.com, and Future Publishing Limited. This is a very impressive endeavor!
The authors have taken an extraordinary amount of categories everything from the abstract to the most basic, and provided lists of sites worth visiting. While a publication such as this one, could take us all off in our own merry away, there were two categories in particular which I was interested in; one being “Social News” and the other, “Office Tools.”
In an intro by Alex Summersby he explains how the sites were chosen, “Selection is based on visitor statistics, user ratings, online referrals and reviews, and long conversations over a pint with our expert colleagues on future’s wide range of special interests.”
Follow, follow, follow, follow….
“Can everyone just stop whining about information overload?”, is a great opening line by Paul Hemp in his piece, “Death by Information Overload” from the September 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review.
It’s the kind of line which grabs us by our smartphone (or dumbphone, if the case may be), and sounds a relentless ringtone until we wake up and answer the call to action.
Sure, I’ve thought all about the whining, too, and how tiresome information overload has become. Let’s face it, it’s either shape up or ship out.
Shaping up is exactly what Paul Hemp offers in this candid portrait of people who are just eking to get by. Hemp acknowledges that in the knowledge economy, information is our most valuable commodity, but some of us may be struggling with information inundation.