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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April 10, 2012

Why Pinterest is changing how we communicate online

Chris AbrahamIf you use images or photos on any of your sites, you’re already on Pinterest, whether you’ve registered on Pinterest or not. So, what are you going to do about it?

If you’re not on Pinterest, you’re already losing control of your visual brand as we speak by virtue of not participating. Pinterest is going to push you to better brand your content and IP in such a way that people know where that content is from without imposing grotesque watermarks, oversize copyright notices, or garish splashes of brand that takes away attention from the message in the image.
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