June 28, 2012

Your social media plan needs to shut up and start listening

http://chrisabraham.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20120531-crmbpiya7x7bam93ci7un1p72s.jpgChris AbrahamI know you. You’re spending all of your social media marketing budget on promoting your brand, products, and services; that’s fine except you’ve either forgotten — or never knew — that social media is a two-way street. It is.

And, something you also didn’t know: social media is two-thirds defense and monitoring — listening — and only one-third promotion and publicity — speaking. Most marketing folks not only don’t get PR but they revile it; sadly, this is what social media is, no matter what you call it: public relations, all aspects of it: publicity, of course, but also crisis management! Continue reading

June 27, 2012

Blogger outreach is earned media not paid, right?

Chris AbrahamMy definition of blogger outreach has always been about acquiring earned media coverage from bloggers and online influencers.

My definition–and my assumption–has always been that blogger outreach is public relations and not paid media. I may well be mistaken.

Continue reading

June 13, 2012

Facebook will remain king, but social pure plays will fade


Facebook collage by Jennifer Daniel

Look for the rise of sites with deep social features

This is second of a three-part series on Facebook as an investment. Also see:
Facebook’s biggest barrier to enormous wealth? Trust
Brands: How to cut your exposure to Facebook business risk

Christopher RollysonFacebook will remain the dominant popular social network in many markets for many years, and it won’t have to worry about being “displaced” by another social network the way that it displaced MySpace. In the near term, this lack of competition will give the company some breathing room, but a more daunting threat awaits: the waning of social network pure plays’ influence by 2017. Nonetheless, the fate of pure plays should be top of mind for serious Facebook investors: to produce the fabulous returns that current investors expect, Facebook will have to move far beyond adverts.

In part one of this series, I argued that Facebook had a significant trust gap with users that would inhibit its ability to monetize its most unique and valuable assets, and that the trust gap was recently compounded by its “IPO irregularities.” Below I’ll take a different tack and analyze the investment prospects of Facebook the platform.

Social networks’ disappointing investment results

Pure play social networks (Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn) have not lived up to investors’ ROI aspirations, despite the fact that people (‘users”) have loved the networks and lavished mind-boggling amounts of time on them. The Web 1.0 logic behind investor expectations held that the more time people spent on the sites, the more ads they would see and the more they would click. #fail

In retrospect, it is understandable that pure plays’ management and investors didn’t appreciate social networks’ social context. It turns out that very few people understand the intricacies of “sociality,” much less how to wire it into a value proposition or a business ROI. Continue reading

June 12, 2012

Don’t roll your eyes at social media influencers

Why insincerity doesn’t work in PR, sales, marketing & online media

Chris AbrahamI experience a lot of contempt for bloggers and social media influencers. From agencies and marketing firms as well as from self-professed social media experts and social media gurus. Bloggers and other social media online influencers may not know who Edward Bernays is or have the lingua franca of a trained communications professional, but they sure can spot the eye roll of condescension and contempt from a mile away, even through the terse messaging of a single pitch.

While the biggest brands with the biggest gifts and social cachet can get away with being douche bags and intolerable asses because the level of peer and personal prestige and importance more than compensate for bad manners, rudeness, and a condescending manner — the proverbial upturned nose and eye roll — this sort of behavior isn’t acceptable from anyone but the crown king and queen of their particular demographic. Continue reading

June 6, 2012

Why you, too, should be social media slutty

Are you plugged into new communities, interests and passions?

LinkedIn

Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn

Chris AbrahamIf you call yourself a social media marketer and you’re not completely promiscuous about it, you’re not serving yourself, your boss, or your clients. If you’re not constantly downloading new apps or registering for every single new social network, you’re slacking. If you don’t endlessly click YES when it asks you if you want to search for or invite your friends, you’re derelict in your duties. And if you aren’t hooked in to share everywhere whenever possible, you’re not going to understand how all of these connectors, sharing strategies, cross-posting techniques, check-in features, and general spaminess and shamelessness quotients work first hand.

How, then, would you be able to honestly either know about or recommend any of them? Unless you want to be a professional tweeter and Facebooker all your life, you had better know both what’s out there now as well as what’s coming down the pike.

This line of thinking has surfaced because I have gone crazy now that I have my iPhone. I have jumped in with both feet and have explored any and all passions and hobbies through apps and vertical communities. Since I am on a health kick, I have joined just about every social network that allows me to track my food intake, my activity, my workouts, my progress, my calorie burn, my running and biking routes, as well as my general movement and sleep patterns: fitbit, Runkeeper, LoseIt, MapMyRun, Strava, Endomondo, DailyMile, PolarPersonalTrainer, and Garmin Connect.

Each one tracks differently, each one enjoys a different segment of my followers as members, and each one touches me in ways that either pain or tickle me. And, for now, I am keeping them all fed and watered — a little easier because all but RunKeeper allow me to upload data directly from my Garmin Forerunner 305, so it’s not too hard.

And since I am the new owner of a motorcycle, I am the member of the Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum; and because I am a bouncing baby gun nut, I am a member of GlockTalk, Elsie Pea Forum, Rimfire Central, and the Virginia Gun Owners Forum. So, downloaded loads of forum-reader apps, saw how they share, saw how they allowed me to engaged, and decided upon Tapatalk.

That’s not all. After years and years, I have finally admitted to being a TV addict in addition to every other form of media, including books and movies, so I have joined GetGlue, Goodreads, TV Guide, yap.TV, and BuddyTV as a way of keeping track of shows and movies as well as being able to check in and comment and engage and track hashtags and mentions, and so forth.

Yes, in addition to checking in with Yelp and FourSquare in the physical world, I have even started checking in virtually when I am watching dumbass shit on TV such as 2 Broke Girls, Girls, Veep, Suburgatory, Grimm, et al.

And, whenever I have been given the opportunity to share to my Facebook or Twitter steam, I say YES. And whenever I am asked if I want to find friends who already on there or to even invite a massive amount of my friends via email, I surely do do that — to all of our chagrin. But I do it so I know and I do it so that I always know exactly what will happen if and when I recommend something like that to my clients.

Spend some time exploring new communities of action

What’s more, Facebook and Twitter are not the only games in town. Nor are Google Plus and Pinterest. Or even Instagram. So, in order to make the best recommendation to your clients or to best access your target consumer and customer exactly where they live and spend their time, you need to be aware of all of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-tier communities in addition to the most obvious, most competitive, and most costly 1st tier platforms — both to participate in as well as to build partnerships, sponsorships, prizes, and other tie ins and opportunities. While you might be channeling IBM in that you’ll never get fired for choosing it, a Facebook Page-only campaign is pure laziness.

At a very elite conference years ago, I introduced myself as a syphilitic trucker on the social media highway. No, it’s not funny. Truckers are the No. 1 reason worldwide why heretofore isolated rural villages the globe over are getting sick with all kinds of sexually and socially transmitted diseases. Before, only single-tracks, rivers, and airfields — if anything — connected the most remote points on earth; now, a comprehensive spider web of roads and highways is allowing commerce to reach just about everywhere, both to bring in supplies but also to extract commodities and valuable natural resources.

While that sort of shameless behavior may well have made me quite a few enemies, I am generally patient zero when it comes to turning people on to new communities, new interests, new resources, and new passions. I can’t even tell you how many people are on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, and Twitter because of me; too many to count had been on MySpace and Friendster before that.

And I recommend you, too, really take the time and energy to get off of Tiny Wings for a little while and spend some time exploring these communities of action, circumstance, inquiry, interest, place, position, practice, and purpose yourself. You can’t be a competent advisor unless you’ve had first hand experience over time. So, go git ‘em, Tiger!

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