Monday, August 31, 2009

Just The Social Marketing Facts

Here's a great video with food for thought about the growth of social media.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CDC Prescribes Social Media

One would think, with all the regulation, legal and confidentiality issues in the medical field, public health entities would shun social media the way everyone else shuns ebola. The Center For Disease Control, however, has embraced the media and is using it like a stethoscope with blue tooth.

Their MDs, PHDs and MPHs have found social media to be a great way to get information out about health issues and train people all over the world. They have several programs currently running and are expanding their capabilities. As they say on their website:

Why use social marketing?

Social marketing can be thought of as a mindset used in planning and partnership development, or a structured and strategic planning process. It can be used to influence the behavior of individuals or the behavior of policymakers and influential persons for policy and environmental changes.

The structured planning process allows you to make well-informed decisions about what audiences to target, what are their specific needs, and how you can meet those needs. The development of programs or products to effectively change behavior can be accomplished by understanding your audience.

They not only use these methods but they prescribe it for other health organizations. The center’s website has several case studies for health organizations to learn from and apply.

Below, is also the start of a video about how the CDC is using social media for H1N1. Click for the full video. It’s the first emergency where social marketing is used as a health tool. It won’t be the last.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Become A Member Of My Twibe

Hello, my name is David (Hi David) and I am a Twibes addict. Yes, I’m also a Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogging addict, but Twibes is my newest obsession. allows you to join and create groups of twitter users. Why is this my newest crack cocaine? I have been following interesting people for awhile, but most of their tweets don’t interest me. With Twibes, you join a group with a similar interest.

So, if you’re into running, all the tweets in the twibe have to do with those of us insane enough to count strides and collect numbered bibs.

I can read all about all my favorite subjects at 140 characters at a time. If I want more, I can use the twibe as a portal to my new friends‘ sites or blogs. Basically, it’s a fan page for people with short attention spans.

So far, I’ve joined five twibes and started three, SocialMediaMarketers, AtlantaAdClub and AtlantaMarketers. I’m also going to recommend all my clients start a Twibe for their business. It’s a great way to reach out to new Twitterers.

So, I’ll play the street corner kid with his hood up. “C’mon. Everyone is doing it. Don’t you want to be cool. This first Twibe is on me.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Social Marketing Movie

It was date last night and I went to the Movie Tavern for a burger and a film. The movie was “Julie & Julia,” the first movie I’ve seen about blogging. I don’t think I’m spoiling it when I give away the social media part of the movie.

In the movie, Julie and Julia both try to do more with their lives by writing about the thing they love: cooking. Julie, the 2002 version of the story, the writing takes place ona blog. As Julie says, “I can write a blog. I have ideas.” That blog, based on cooking all of Julia Child's recipes in one year, goes out to thousands and gives her a spring board to fame, fortune, and a fulfilling life.

It’s a case study on the big screen.

Click here to view the trailer:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Creative Facebook Marketing Tips

Facebook is a great place to get your message out. There are the usual methods of using the site: fan pages, group pages, building your profile, gifting, buying advertising space.

Creativity, however can set you apart. It’s an interactive area, so the more interactive you can be the better. I’ve just come up with a couple of quick suggestions for improving your updates that are free, smart and can set you apart.

  1. Give your updates brand personality. Find your brand’s sense of humor. If you’re a high end restaurant, be high-brow and witty. If you have the best dive in town, be low-brow and outrageous. If you’re an accountant, well... self-deprecating humor works too.
  2. Get creative with contests. People love to win something or even just feel smart. Give them ways to do that. A travel agent might put up random streets all over the world and ask people to guess what city the picture is from. If you’re a band, people love to play name that tune.
  3. Reward people with interesting facts. When I worked on the Orkin Pest Control account, we learned that people were intrigued about learning facts about bugs. I wrote songs with lyrics like “In cracks so thin/ that’s where he’s been/ instead of clothes he wears and exoskeleton / Oh, he’s an ant.” People loved them.
  4. Use your fans. People need to express themselves. They may even use their talents to express their feelings for your brand. If a 6 year-old draws a great picture of your logo on his placemat, put it up as if your fan page is his grandmother’s fridge. Get your customers involved and they’ll feel more a part of a community.
  5. Integrate, integrate, integrate. Don’t separate Facebook from everything else you do. Match your updates with events at your location. If you put up a funny billboard down the street, take a picture and put it on an update. Always, let your fans know about special deals.

Facebook is a great tool if you use it correctly. If you set yourself up only because “you should” then to open yourself up to disappoint your core customers. But by rewarding them, you strengthen your relationship with them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Voice Of McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and The Grove.

Every blog, tweet, television spot or press release speaks in “the voice of the brand.” But who is the voice of the brand? The CEO sets the vision and the tone of a company, but rarely the voice. The founder sets the heritage which is a part of the voice, but Ray Krok would be flipping his current real estate if he saw the voice of his brand today. Is it the CMO, the brand manager, the advertising/digital/PR/media agencies, or some copywriter in a cube?

The truth is, it’s none of these people and all of these people. A company or brand isn’t one person or a logo, it’s every interaction a consumer has with the company. You might have the best CEO or marketing person ever, but if the woman behind the counter is chewing gum, with dirty fingernails, and an attitude most Yankee fans would find abrasive then the voice of the company plain sucks.

Social media works mainly in the same way. Plenty of people believe the only one who can write a blog about a brand is the head of the company. I don’t believe this is true. There are plenty of great people in and out of companies that can write about the culture, the passion, the fun, the quality and the products of a company. It’s how a business handles all these voices that matters.

There are a bunch of McDonald’s blogs. The official blog is the corporate do-good, responsibility blog The talks about the food’s nutrition or lack there of. An employee blog called McDonald’s Talk narrates the life and times of a new employee. has one post “Come on McDonald’s--get your act together.” As a McDonald’s fan (Mmmmm, french fries) and stock holder (oooh, dividends), I agree, get your act together.

Dairy Queen, on the other hand, seems to understand that the brand is owned by everyone that wants to be a part of the conversation. They have the fan page, the blog, the twitter page, and more. Each update gives a bit of entertainment, or deals, or good information for the customers. The result is that they have 177,000 fans, over 2,000 comments, and truckloads of tweets--almost all positive. Bravo to the CMO, the agency, the copywriter, whomever else, etc.

So, what about my favorite neighborhood mom and pop restaurant, The Grove. They’ve got a friendly crew serving lunch and dinner. The nachos and wings are fabulous. The owners are behind the bar with a smile and small talk about college football. I would love to put all that into a podcast and broadcast it. That is the voice of their brand. It’s everywhere around their restaurant and should be on twitter, facebook, YouTube and their blog.

The only one who isn’t setting the tone, diction, color and wit that makes a brand unique is a company not speaking. Two things happen to that silence, it’s either filled by someone else or it’s forgotten.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cops' YouTube--BluTube

Police not only have a badge, gun and ticket pad to fight crime. They now have their own video share site called

A new friend, Jennifer from the Speak Media blog, recently told me about this site and I was amazed. I must admit I'm now slightly addicted. You can watch a police officer tasering a 76-year old woman, car chases, and real life police take-downs. Bad boy, bad boys, what you gonna do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

NFL Chargers' Norv Turner Coaches Social Media

Social Media is now everywhere. I have a friend who writes his blog on the NY Subway on the way to work. Sports stars have talked about twittering from the field. Coaches, like all business people, are scared of what their team might be telling everyone on the internet.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Online Dating For Businesses

As a business, if you’re looking to meet new people, might I suggest online dating. Like the dating sites, eHarmony,, YahooPersonals, social media can work as a page for consumers and clients to find out more about your personality than a normal corporate web page.

Singles search for mates, much like consumers and companies search for brands. They peruse the profiles. Who are these people? What is their personality like? If I go out with them, what do they have to offer: humor, an interesting background, taste, or intrigue. Most important, are they like me?

Look at Graco? Graco is a company that makes strollers, cribs and other baby and toddler supplies. It’s a category where new parents compare and contrast all the competitors, wanting the best for their kids. They started a blog to court these consumers. gives parents not only information about being a good parent, but shows the caring personality of the brand. It worked like any good profile, people related to it and it instilled trust. From this they’ve received over 55,000 visitors, inspired 2,000 comments, tons of mom blogs talking about them, and online parties with over 150 people attending each time. Every comment, blog statements, and party statement has been positive.

Of course, online dating online has it’s pitfalls. I’ve heard the stories of the pictures from 10 years ago. There are not-so-slight exaggerations when it comes to height, weight, hair, etc. that have people screening their calls the next day. Brands can learn from this as well, if people find you’re not honest, they’ll never go out with you again... and they’ll tell all their friends.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Social Network To Your Next Job

In this market, social marketing is crucial. Especially for those starting out on their own or in a job search.

It's been said, "it's not what you know but who you know." I've also been told that over 70% of all jobs are found through a personal referral. Networking through friends, family, groups, clubs are great ways to get outside what we know to what everyone else knows. Now, the social accelerate the process and give even more power.

Personally, as I've needed to find new options, I've turned to all of my friends and family for their contacts. My brother-in-law has a database of over 2,000 people in his LinkedIn account. What an amazing resource.

Here are my top social networking rules for using social networking to find contacts:
1. Contact everyone! You don't know who they know.
2. Get recommended on LinkedIn. It'll build trust in employers. It'll build self-confidence for you.
3. Take advantage of every part of your profile. Each piece is an opportunity to communicate your strengths.
4. Update often. It keeps you top of mind.
5. Follow up, follow up, follow up.

Now, here's a piece from NPR on social networking and the job search.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What is Search Engine Optimization?

I'm not Search Engine Optimization expert yet. I work with people who are, however. When I ask questions they send me to So, here's what they tell business people wanting to know what it's all about.

SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines. Firms that practice SEO can vary; some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a more broad and general approach. Optimizing a web site for search engines can require looking at so many unique elements that many practitioners of SEO (SEOs) consider themselves to be in the broad field of website optimization (since so many of those elements intertwine).

This guide is designed to describe all areas of SEO - from discovery of the terms and phrases that will generate traffic, to making a site search engine friendly, to building the links and marketing the unique value of the site/organization's offerings.

Why does my company/organization/website need SEO?

Search Market ShareThe majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines - Yahoo!, MSN, Google & AskJeeves(although AOL gets nearly 10% of searches, their engine is powered by Google's results). If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search - people who want what you have visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users.

Search queries, the words that users type into the search box which contain terms and phrases best suited to your site, carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organization's success. Targeted visitors to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other. Investing in SEO, whether through time or finances, can have an exceptional rate of return.

Monday, August 3, 2009

If Social Media Can Work For Tampons...

You would think a media as public as social marketing wouldn't work with a subject as private as tampons. Instead, it proves a point about social marketing.


Here's a case study for Proctor & Gamble's blog site, sponsored by Always Infinity Tampons. They created a community where the target audience could enjoy new music, ask questions and learn about their world. In the end, it was 4 times more effective for dollar spent than any other piece of their advertising program.