October 19, 2011

Inbound marketing the way nature intended

Chris AbrahamLast week I asked my management team if what we do at Abraham Harrison is inbound marketing. Sara Wilson, my COO, told me yes, that our digital PR strategy of identifying thousands of topical blogs and then pitching them on behalf of our clients with the goal of securing hundreds of earned media mentions is surely the definition of inbound marketing–and maybe even the way that God intended. Or at least the deities who wrote the Cluetrain Manifesto, where markets are conversations.

Earned media is hard.  How do you get loads and loads of unpaid citizen journalists to make a gift of their valuable time and platform? It must be just short of impossible. Far from it, and we have been doing it again and again, week after week, since the Fall of 2006, about a half-decade ago.

This commonly-held belief, that earned inbound marketing is well-nigh impossible, has caused “fickle and unreliable” bloggers and influencers to be avoided in place of predictable but artificial inbound marketing.  This new version uses technology and SEO, fake review sites, fake blog sites, fake news sites, affiliate marketing, monetary incentives, text-link-ads, link trading. and entire “informational” sites similar to Wikipedia, distributed globally, on many different servers and under many different domains and sub-domains to emulate its “impossible” counterpart. Continue reading

March 16, 2010

Highlights and photos of SXSW 2010

Interviewing Cashmore

From Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter addiction to Evan Williams’ keynote

JD LasicaI‘ve learned long ago the challenge of covering South by Southwest Interactive, which hums along at its own idiosyncratic pace compared to more linear conferences. Thus, I spent last year and this year doing less blogging, conducting more interviews (which I’ll roll out in the coming weeks), taking more photos and doing much more networking.

I returned home from my fourth SXSW last night after 74 exhausting but satisfying hours. Here are 54 photos from the event I just uploaded to Flickr.

Before I return to real-world mode, here are some snippets from the South by Southwest 2010:

A few random bits from SXSW

Exchange between Guy Kawasaki and Laura Fitton at the last panel I caught on top Twitter tools. Kawasaki: “There are two types of Twitter users: Those who want as many followers as possible, and those who are lying.” (I’ve heard Guy repeatedly trot out this chestnut.)

Fitton: “Bullshit, Guy, you have to find the right followers.”

I’m with Laura on this one. I could have hit 50,000 followers long ago through manipulation rather than attracting the 10,000 high-signal followers I have now. Twitter is about connecting with the right people, not creating another broadcast station, though I see how Guy has made good use of his large following.

• If there was ever a doubt that Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is a tech rock star, his keynote chat made that clear. The main exhibit hall and two ballrooms were packed to capacity. I like the modest new Twitter program @anywhere, which lets users follow a writer straight from her byline or tagline on a blog or news story without having to go to the Twitter site. As Ev says, “It reduces friction.”

• Williams: “Openness is a survival technique, because some of your core assumptions are probably wrong.”

• More Ev Williams: “it’s been important to us for Twitter to reach the weakest signals in the world. SMS can reach all these people. It’s actually profound in the right situations.” Those of us who rely each day on the Internet forget that billions of people still don’t have Internet access, though many of them do have cell phones. Twitter has agreements with 65 carriers in world, and people in the developing world are discovering the benefits of using Twitter via mobile carrier. “We take that [Internet connectivity] for granted, that anyone can communicate with each other,” Williams said. “For Chilean farmers who hear there’ll be a downpour in a few days, it can be a life-changing event.” Continue reading

November 15, 2009

Guy Kawasaki’s top Twitter tips for businesses

David SparkAfter a hit presentation at The CMO [Chief Marketing Officer] Club Summit in San Francisco on how to kick ass on Twitter, I asked Guy Kawasaki if he could go over his top three “must do” tips for businesses that want to get engaged on Twitter. One of his tips is to respond to everyone who @ replies you on Twitter. That is really good advice, but I must admit that I’m really bad at replying back to all the people who @ reply me. Most of it has to do with the fact that I don’t want to just say “Thanks for acknowledging me.” I’d want to add some value. And one of my rules on Twitter is that all tweets have to make sense and have substance within themselves (read: “My personal Twitter policy. What’s yours?”.

My two questions for Socialmedia.biz readers:

1. Do you respond to everyone who @ replies you? And if you do, do you say something of substance that would be of value to your other followers? Or do you just simply publicly say, “Thank you”? Or, do you send a direct message instead and say, “Thank you”?

2. I brought up the subject of Twitter actually being lame traffic in that the time people spend on your blog from Twitter traffic is very low compared to other traffic. Kawasaki skirted the question, but I was hoping Socialmedia.biz readers could answer the question. Have you had similar experiences with Twitter traffic? And do you think that the focus on Twitter traffic is just everyone jumping on the Twitter bandwagon without anyone stopping to analyze the value of that traffic?

Check out more coverage from The CMO Club Summit in San Francisco.