Friday, December 17, 2010

The Twitter Police

There's actually such a thing now.  Check out this article from the Seattle Times Newspaper:


Seattle police say their new effort to publish stolen car information on Twitter has helped recover a car.
Police say a woman called 911 on Tuesday night to tell them the location of a previously tweeted stolen Honda Civic. An officer recovered the car and notified the owner.
Earlier this month, Seattle police announced they would begin publishing the color, year, make, model, body style and license plate of stolen cars on a Twitter account dubbed "Get your car back."
Police say the average number of cars stolen per day in the city has risen from 8.46 last year to 9.9 this year. The department reports that 3,011 cars were stolen through October.
The department encourages Twitter followers who spot stolen cars to call police.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LinkedIn No-Nos

In every field there is jargon that everyone says, but seems so unnatural outside that realm. Corporate America is full of them. I hate when things are "socialized," "run up the flag pole," or "gone through the approval process."  And whever uses "drink the Kool-aid," just stop.  LinkedIn has just released the "Top 10 overused buzzwords" used in profiles.
Among the 85 million profiles on LinkedIn in the U.S., the most overused buzzwords are:
Extensive experience (But it's so alliterative!)

Innovative (Jonas Salk was innovative, not you)

Motivated (If you have to tell someone you're motivated...)

Results-oriented (i.e., you consider the means to those ends...ahem..."flexible".)

Dynamic (Let me be the judge of that.)

Proven track record (Use this AND "extensive experience" in the same profile, and I will hunt you down.)

Team player (Which means you're not.)

Fast-paced (If that includes talking fast, pass.)

Problem solver (Are you suggesting my company has a problem that needs solving?)

Entrepreneurial (Rube Goldberg was also entrepreneurial...)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Understand Small Healthcare Marketing I Look At Big Healthcare Marketing

When a doctor has only 10 minutes per patient, how many minutes do you suppose he has for his blog.  So, to look for case studies I had to forgo the small business and look to the bigger ones--the insurance companies. The one that first came on my radar is Anthem Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

So what is the company doing in the social media arena? The health insurer is piloting a program to use Twitter to identify members with possible questions or concerns about health benefits. Twitter lets Anthem communicate and stay connected through quick, real-time conversation, and respond to each tweet about Anthem. The AnthemHealth account on Twitter has 225 followers, and includes messages to members complaining about long hold times, customer service complaints, and complaints about cancelled coverage.
Also, ever wonder why so many celebrities are pushing their Twitter account. It's because they get paid. Anthem is also working with reality show celebrity Bob Harper of the TV program, The Biggest Loser to provide information on healthy lifestyle through Twitter at Harper's account, BobHarperAnthem, which has 12,191 followers. That's quite an extended reach.

"Tools such as Twitter and Facebook provide an additional means of communicating with our members and all consumers in the communities we serve in a way that's convenient and of interest for them," said Anthem president Larry Schreiber in a statement.

The company also is using Facebook as a forum for it's members.  On YouTube they are showing Bob Harper videos and
On the Anthem Facebook page, the company is looking to provide a forum where members can interact with Anthem and each other. Though, neither of these seem to be getting many visitors.  The facebook page isn't integrated with the company page and only has a few hundred visitors and the You Tube videos don't have many views.

Any company can do this type of program on a smaller scale. Look for someone local in your field with a lot of followers on twitter.  They don't even have to be that popular.  Someone on facebook with 500 friends, that you partner with, still has 500 people that you wouldn't ordinarily be reaching.  Perhaps a small partnership where you pay a few hundred for say a dozen posts over a year, could reap you more reach and views than most listings on a traditional source.

The other case studies I looked at an may report on in the future are the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and Mayo Clinic. Both organizations are using social media to connect with patients. 


Friday, December 3, 2010

The FDA At Work With Boring Podcasts

ER, Grey's Anatomy and MASH definitely make medicine seem flashy, exciting and funny. Then you get the information produced by the AMA and FDA and you realize how really boring it is. Why do a podcast if your goint to make it sound like the one titled: FDA Drug Safety Podcast for Healthcare Professionals: FDA recommends against the continued use of propoxyphene.

I think it's great that professional and science groups use social media to express themselves. But being a science based organization doesn't mean you have to be a boring organization. Add some production and personality to your blog, podcast or videocast.

For a good example listen to this podcast on autism at:  I admit it's not Howard Stern, but at least it's got some interest to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Social Networking Map

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this illustration is worth more.  Here's a great visual that I found on the Creative Circus' blog. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top Six Ways To Find The Time To Blog

When it comes to blogging, almost everyone I know has the same concern: time. In the quiet spaces of our lives where the gusts of work, chores, meals and sleep seem to calm, few people want the weight of a laptop bearing down on them. They also don't long for the pounds of guilt they will feel at having their last blog post be counted in dog years.

So, if you will never have the time I recommend to people--hire me. If they don't want to do that, I soon get over my shock and pain, to tell them not to create a blog but to try to post on other more established sites.

If the urge or marketing significance pulls at your conscience enough, then here are my top six recommendations for working on your blog, so that you can get back to watching the last "Glee."

1. Get on a schedule. You have to make the time to blog. As you can see by my archive, I'm not great at this, but deadlines help. If you can convince yourself that there is a hard nosed editor with a salt and pepper crew cut and bristly mustache standing over you, hey, it may work.

2. Start content for a rainy day. Unless your blog is about stories from the black and white headlines of today's news, then you can write some posts ahead of time. When you have a bank of five posts on your hard drive, the word procrastination doesn't seem so scary.

3. Find content on which you have a unique opinion. It's okay to quote other posts or articles if you're giving your take on it.  If Men's Health can write every month about washboard abs, there has to be a different approach you can take on your subject matter, even if it's washboard abs.

4. Guest authors are like interns that you don't have to manage. People love publicity, so if there's a vendor, co-worker or friend who is passionate about the same subject you are, ask them to write a post. Best case scenario, they do your work for you. Worst case, just play it off as a compliment.

5. Refer back to old posts. If sitcomes can have a "remember when" episode where they replay their favorite scenes, so can you. Family Ties always did that.

6. Tell a story. Sometimes fiction is the quickest way to tell the truth. Instead of having to search for an example of what you want to communicate, make one up.  Don't pass it off as factual, but people love a good yarn and will hardly fault you for explaining yourself in a home cooked example.

Good writing and I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Healthcare Marketing with Social Media

I wanted to provide some great examples of Social Media in Healthcare and found, as usual with the internet, someone had done it better.  So this list of examples comes via the Top Rank Blog.  These show how some great providers have provided great social media plans.

1. Tweet Live Procedures

In the past year, social media channels have helped open up an area of healthcare previously only available to a select few: the operating room.
Last February, Henry Ford Hospital became one of the first hospitals to Tweet a live procedure from an operating room. Doctors, medical students and curious non-medical personnel followed along as surgeons tweeted short updates on the kidney surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

This healthcare marketing tactic can effectively create excitement and raise public awareness for a healthcare organization. In the case of the Henry Ford procedure, Twitter was abuzz that February day with users both re-tweeting the messages from Henry Ford and adding their own thoughts on the event. That buzz can help healthcare organizations both attract new patients and recruit medical personnel.

2. Train Medical Personnel

Some healthcare organizations are beginning to recognize the potential impact of leveraging social media channels to complement training efforts. Mayo Clinic Social Media Manager Lee Aase, for example, incorporated social media into a recent training presentation for local chapters of the American Heart Association. (Check out Lee Odden’s social media interview with Aase for Online Marketing Blog.) During the presentation, Aase leveraged Twitter to encourage participants to contribute to the discussion using the #AHAchat hashtag.
Weaving social media into healthcare training initiatives can provide multiple benefits, including:
Giving trainees a forum to ask questions and quickly receive answers

Providing presenters with immediate feedback from trainees (i.e., if trainees have mastered a concept of if more guidance is needed)

Enabling organizations to complement healthcare marketing efforts by sharing slideshows, video or pictures from training sessions on social sites like YouTube or Flickr

3. Reach Mainstream Media

70% of journalists now use social networks to assist reporting, compared to 41% the year before, according to a Middleberg Communications survey reported by PRWeek. With numbers that high, it only makes sense for healthcare marketers to leverage social media channels in order to achieve coverage by both mainstream media and industry publications.
As part of healthcare marketing efforts, organizations can use social media channels – including blogs, forums and microblogs – to share success stories from out-of-the-ordinary operations or treatments, medical research or other significant achievements. For example, when Aurora Health Care tweeted a knee operation in April, it received significant media attention, both from mainstream media and industry publications including Good Morning America, the local Milwaukee public radio network and Hospital Management Magazine.
4. Communicate in Times of Crisis

When disaster strikes – whether it be a flood, an earthquake or a terrorist attack – hospitals and healthcare providers are at the center of it all. Healthcare providers can leverage social media networks to provide real-time updates both for those directly affected by the crisis and those watching from afar.
During the November Fort Hood shooting attack, Steven Widman of Scott & White Healthcare – one of the hospitals that treated Fort Hood victims, used Twitter to provide up-to-the-minute news. Through Twitter, Widman provided updates on emergency room access and hospital operation status, re-tweeted news from Red Cross and communicated with reporters.
Widman shared with Found In Cache Blog the results of the social media crisis communication efforts:
Twitter followers increased 78% in just three days

Scott & White Healthcare was listed on the front page of Twitter as a “trending topic”

The hospital’s YouTube channel was ranked the 79th most viewed non-profit channel during the entire week surrounding the crisis

5. Provide Accurate Information to Patients

73% of patients search for medical information online before or after doctors visits, according to this video from the HealthCare New Media Conference. With the magnitude of health information available on the web – both accurate and inaccurate – it’s likely that these patients can easily be misinformed.
By integrating social media into the healthcare marketing mix, organizations can share accurate, timely information regarding symptoms, diseases, medications, treatments and more. Social sites like Inspire are providing a forum for patients to share their health problems and questions about treatments with other patients, as well as qualified medical personnel. Inspire, for instance, partners with trusted health nonprofit organizations to ensure information is accurate and its community is safe.

The benefits of integrating social media into healthcare marketing efforts are priceless – from improving patient care to gaining media coverage to attracting new patients and staff. If your healthcare organization hasn’t already taken advantage of social networking channels, now is the time. If you’re having challenges getting approval, check out “Social Media in Healthcare Marketing: Making the Case“.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The American Medical Association's (AMA) prescription for social media

The American Medical Association (AMA) and its journal (JAMA) is one of the most respected health institutions in the country.  Yet, recently its most read work goes beyond the bounds of medical discovery.  The association has adopted a new policy on professionalism when using social media. The policy, announced during the AMA's semi-annual policymaking meeting in San Diego, aims to help physicians maintain a positive online presence and preserve the integrity of the patient-physician relationship.

To quote the AMA: “Using social media can help physicians create a professional presence online, express their personal views and foster relationships, but it can also create new challenges for the patient-physician relationship. The AMA’s new policy outlines a number of considerations physicians should weigh when building or maintaining a presence online.”

Of course, medical groups, insurance companies and other providers have to be extra careful in their highly regulated arena.  HIPAA rules must be maintained.  Patient/Provider confidentiality should always be kept.  There are, however, great services provided via social networking.  I've written before about the CDC's use of social media to get out information about H1N1 controls.  I'm working with a physician who wants to use a blog and updates to educate people about new findings and new journal articles.

The new policy adopted by the AMA encourages physicians to:

  • Use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites;
  • Monitor their own internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their sites, and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate;
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained;
  • Consider separating personal and professional content online; and
  • Recognize that actions online and content posted can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, and may even have consequences for their medical careers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Greeting Card Marketing

You walk to your mailbox.  You open it up for the normal fodder, bill, bill, direct mail, direct mail.  Wait, there's something actually handwritten and in that square card envelope.  Who doesn't open that first.  As much as I've written about social media, email marketing and fast database solutions, I thought as the holidays approach, this time I'm going old school.

Greeting Cards to your clients, vendors and family get opened and if their good, even put up somewhere in the office or break room.  The key is to be different.  Don't go with the sappy, script over flowers card (unless it's so bad you can make it a joke).  Instead, try humor or something personal.

Also, try different holidays for greeting cards.  Everyone sends cards around December.  These are appreciated but how about the other holidays.

Client birthdays - If you happen to know the birthday of your main contact at a client's company, be sure to put it on your calendar. Unlike major holidays, which are the same every year, it takes a little work to remember a client's birthday. Acknowledging the day with a card is a thoughtful gesture that your client will be sure to appreciate.

Thanksgiving - What better time to let a client know that you are thankful for their business, than at Thanksgiving? These cards don't have to be anything fancy -- just a high-quality, professional-looking card and a short, handwritten note letting your client know that you appreciate their continued business.

Fourth of July - Independence Day makes a great middle-of-the-year excuse to send out greeting cards to clients, but feel free to pick another summer holiday if you'd prefer. Inside the card, you can say you hope their summer is going well, and let them know that you are available for summer projects. Since some people take off or reduce their hours during the summer, this can be a valuable way to remind your clients that you are still open for business.

I have sent cards on Valentines Day that say "I love my clients."  It's just a fun way to get their attention. Even people who hate the holiday get the joke.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You write the blog... then what?

Nine Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts

  1. Bookmark your best posts on Delicious. Once it’s in there, there’s a chance someone might happen upon it.
  2. Stumble your best posts on StumbleUpon. Some folks disagree with stumbling your own work. The way I feel okay with it is that I stumble approximately 9 other people’s great blog posts to every one of my own.
  3. Post an intriguing title and link to the post in LinkedIn‘s status message.
  4. If your post is about a specific industry or relates to other great blogs, find a recent blog post that has related information. (Now, this is different than what you MIGHT normally do, so pay attention). In the URL part of the sign-up form, put the link to your post, not your blog in general. In the comment body, don’t talk about your amazing post. Just offer genuine commentary on the post you read, and share your thoughts and ideas. Repeat: don’t mention the post. (If your comment is great and worthy, people will click through and check it out.)
  5. Share your post on Facebook. I really like BlogCast, which used to be FlogBlog. It’s got a nice interface.
  6. Share your post in FriendFeed automatically, and let the amazing community there decide if it’s interesting.
  7. Try Zemanta. Zemanta is a blogging tool that either adds on to your browser (Firefox only, I think), or comes now as a WordPress plugin. It allows you to find related stories and post them at the bottom of a post. When you’re part of the Zemanta community, I believe your stories also go into their list of potentially related stories. I’ve seen traffic coming in from Zemanta-recommended links.
  8. Don’t forget Twitter. I find lots of my traffic comes from Twitter, especially because I don’t ever just post a link. I ask questions, inspire comments, etc.
  9. Write blog posts that others will find useful. I know it’s not a technology answer, but it’s the truth. If your posts aren’t that useful to other people, they won’t be popular. People won’t care. If you’re re-blogging news that several other larger sites have covered, who cares? If you’re telling us about your day at college, who cares (unless you’re a great writer)? Make it really good, useful stuff, and we’ll come along for the ride.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Facebook Is Now Court Evidence

Social networking sites, such as Facebook, have now become informational sources that workers' compensation lawyers are now utilizing for evidentiary purposes. The question that remains unanswered is how information obtained through social networking sites can be admitted and utilized as evidence.

In a recently published article, Law School Professor Gregory M. Duhl and attorney Jaclyn S. Millner, focus on the issues of professional responsibility, discovery, privacy and evidence when social networking factors integrate with a workers's compensation proceeding. Since the compensation system is theoretically no-fault and the evidentiary system is informal, the authors theorize that the workers' compensation arena will act as a fertile ground for experimentation in the legal application of this new technology.

Social networking sites have experienced a surge in use. Web users spend more time on Facebook now than on Google. Workers' Compensation judges are also increasing their use of social networking sites.

Text, photos and commentary, shared among the social network, will provide a new avenue of factual discovery that may assist the decision maker in reaching an evaluation of the claim. The authors review the professional responsibilities of attorneys to their clients in advising them of the potential benefits and hazards of social networking, as well as their strategy for preparing text and photographic material into evidence. They conclude that lawyers handling workers' compensation matters need to be educated on how to properly utilize facts and opinions gathered from the social networking system.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Facebook Fan Pages

Lately, I've talked to a bunch of people about Facebook fan pages, groups and profiles.  It is confusing that there are so many ways to use Facebook and they are often connected.  The rules on Facebook just changed, so if you want to know the details, go to their site, but here's an overview.
Full disclosure: Yes, I have a Facebook page, but it’s private. I use Twitter and LinkedIn for business, but I haven’t set up a page for my copywriting business.
The first thing people ask me is what type of account is best? A group or a fan page? For me, that’s simple. A fan page. Why? A post on Mashable about the difference between Facebook pages and groups lays out the differences nicely. Here’s a summary:
Groups are great for organizing on a personal level and for smaller scale interaction around a cause. Pages are better for brands, businesses, bands, movies, or celebrities who want to interact with their fans or customers without having them connected to a personal account, and have a need to exceed Facebook’s 5,000 friend cap.
A fan page lets you grow as big as you want, send updates to an unlimited number of people, and keep the focus on the organization without revealing the administrator (unless you want to).
Okay, so once you’ve set up your account as a fan page, then what? Here are some tips:
Upload a logo or photo with a web address at the bottom. It won’t be clickable, but fans can see where to go if they want to visit your website.
Fill out your info page completely. Here you can have a clickable web address, company overview, mission, and products. You can give only what Facebook asks for or get creative and provide other information as well.
For example, in your company overview, you can list links to pages on your website, your newsletter signup form, other social media, or whatever you want.
Post often. The same rules apply to Facebook as any other social media. It’s all about content and interaction. Posting something every few weeks won’t cut it. Post every day or even several times a day to make sure you’re showing up in the news feeds of your fans. This can be links to your blog, product announcements, questions, news items, or anything your fans would be interested in.
Every time someone becomes a fan, comments, clicks the “like” link, or shares your post, it shows up in that fan’s news feed for all their friends to see. So “viral” is built in.
Link to your page from everywhere. If you want fans, you have to let people know you’re on Facebook. Put an icon or link in your newsletter, on your website or blog, in your email footer, everywhere.
Email and blog it. Don’t be shy. Do an email blast driving subscribers to your fan page. Post a blog about what’s happening on your fan page with an invitation to become a fan.
Send updates to your fans. This feature is a little like email. Don’t abuse it, because Facebook fans aren’t expecting (and don’t want) an avalanche of messages from you. But used wisely, this handy feature lets you update fans about your products, sales, and events.
Subscribe to similar fan pages and groups. You can buy ads on Facebook, but the consensus is that response is poor. A cheap way to reach beyond your fans and attract new fans is to subscribe to similar pages and groups and post short messages inviting people to visit your page. Don’t do it too often. And don’t be spammy.
There’s more you can do with Facebook, but this is plenty to get you started.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two People Try To Twitter A Run On The Banks

Venezuelia has arrested two people for trying to cause a run on the banks by using Twitter.  The couple could face up to 11 years in prison if found guilty under a 2001 law which forbids the spread of misinformation.

The banking system in this country is pretty destable, and the one in Venezuelia is even worse. President Hugo has been interfering in the system which has had dreadful effects.  But these arrests seems to drip with government censorship. 

This is the first Twitter arrest I've heard of and hopefully won't spread further.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fortune 100 Are Loving On Social Media

According to a new study out by Burson-Marsteller, the Fortune 100 are all over the social media scene.  More and more, companies are creating social media positions or departments as part of their efforts to keep up with consumers or clients.

79% of the Fortune 100 are present and listening, using at least of one of the main social platforms to communicate with their customers.

20% of Companies are using all four of the main social technologies (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogs)

82% of the Fortune 100 update and engage with customers on their Twitter account per week.

Fortune 100 Companies on average post 3.6 wall posts to their Facenbook page per week

50% of the Fortune 100 have a YouTube account and upload 10 videos on average a month

This is no surprise. 
Fortune 100 companies should be on the social media sites.  Theyhave the luxury of having large contact lists to use to start their programs. They are high profile enough to have searchers come to them. This is a great way for them to learn not only what people are thinking about their brand but also about their entire industry.
But what I thought was interesting, when you look at the companies in the Fortune 100, is how many are business to business rather than consumer companies.  Many of them have very specific target audiences.  I wonder how many of their tweets and updates are being read by those clients and how many are more going out to the public.  Either way, they are using social media to boost their visability and interact with the public.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quit Facebook Day

As most of you don't know.  Yesterday was "quit Facebook day."

The social media campaign protesting the site's new privacy policy did manage to get 30,000 of Facebook's 500 million followers to drop their pages. It was a drop in the bucket, but overall the bucket still got full.  Last week, Facebook modified their policy.  Facebook also publicly denounced rumors that it would sell information to advertisers.

As the Brittish Paper, the Telegraph, reported:
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, last week rolled out a new simplified "privacy dashboard" to make it easier for people to lock down their personal information with a single click. He said that any setting applied to Facebook accounts would also be applied retrospectively, and that any new features or elements added to the Facebook site would automatically default to that privacy setting.

The changes were prompted in part by growing criticism from Facebook users who were concerned that some personal details were being shared with other users and third parties without their explicit knowledge or consent. The anonymous organisers of the Quit Facebook protest group said in a note on their website that although Facebook gave users a choice about how to manage their data, they weren't "fair choices" and Facebook made it "damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this".
Maybe their protest would have been more successful if they were better and using Facebook.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization can be considered the new SEO. In fact, Local SEO can almost entirely rely on SMO to provide fast (usually 1-2 days) geo specific organic results on Google. These techniques give Atlanta Roofing Contractors, Atlanta Plumbers and Atlanta Attorneys the ability to reduce the overall cost of marketing by at least 30%. There are generally three main components to SMO and each is listed out below.
Correct Website Platform
Digg, StumbleUpon, Propeller and Twitter love content coming from blogs! Use some type of blogging platform that has enough flexibility to look like a website. You can also use a service like Squidoo to accomplish the same desired effect.
Target Your Keywords
Be sure to use a keyword tool or your current website analytics to determine which keywords mean the most to your business online. Don’t waste time chasing after keywords that aren’t leading to sales.
Social Sites to Use
Once you’ve posted an article to your site using Digg and Propeller to publish it gets the ball rolling. Next we will use Social Bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Delicious bookmark your social news snippet. Usually bookmarking your snippet on 3-4 of these sites will be sufficient.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exposed On Facebook

Facebook's privacy policy once promised, "No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings."  Not any longer.

You can no longer keep private certain information on your profile. "Your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests" will now be transformed into "connections," meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don't want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.

If you're under 18, you're information can still be shielded.  All others will be open to the marketers that Facebook is obviously wooing with these changes.  Also if you want to test your page for privacy, you can go to  It may not be a big deal to share your interest in pottery or your job, but you should know about it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Is Jesus On Facebook

I knew if God could hear our silent prayers he could read my Facebook updates.  These pictures prove that at least his followers are watching. 

Then, I looked up Jesus on Facebook.  As you can imagine there was quite a bit to choose from.  The Jesus Daily fan page, the Jesus Bobblehead fan page, plenty from the hispanic comunity and those looking for salvation through social media all grabbed my attention.

Hey, the church was the first to use advertising, via their agency Michaelangelo, Raphael and DaVinci.  Now, they can continue to spread the word through different means.  I wonder if Michaelangelo has a facebook page?

Monday, May 10, 2010

LL Cool T, ladies love the Twitter

Who is on social media? Twitter, Facebook, Google's various apps, Foursquare, and more all have mobile applications. And according to Nielsen, women seem to use their phones to participate in social media more than men.

Fifty-five percent of women use social networks while mobile, compared to 45 percent of men. Additionally, Nielsen noted that most people think of social networking as a kid thing, but the 35-54 age group was the most likely to post updates from their phones, at 36 percent. (The next largest group was 25-34, at 34 percent.)

It makes sense. All the numbers make sense but with the ipad and new sales of smart phones growing it will be interesting to see how these numbers change. The numbers will grow. Perhaps us guys will catch up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Ohio State flash mob

Social media is also social.  This was a brilliant viral video that worked.  I'm from an Ohio State family, so the video was sent to me by at least three alumni.  Plus, I've seen it on four other people's facebook updates.

So far the video has about 360,000 views. That's about six times the student body. I know if I went to school there, I'd want to see what will happen next at the union. Well done Ohio State. Go Buckeyes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is Social Media Personal or Corporate?

The answer is both. It’s a cliche, but social media is all about people. The reason most corporate blogs fail is because they lack the personality, humour, critical eye, and the failings (even) of a real human being. I've heard of companies putting typos in their blog on purpose to seem more human. Your brand is your personality. Use it in your posts. Even a bank can be witty.

It’s the same for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Free and unfettered social interaction and discussion is anathema to strict corporate communications – so for social media to work, senior managers need to loosen those strings a little and allow staff to be themselves online. It’s a big ask! The issue is even more delicate when using services like LinkedIn – in which the account is personal (not corporate) and the contacts and reputation each person builds are their own, not their company’s. This personal vs corporate line needs to be drawn clearly and early on in the process.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Everyone Has A Niche Social Media Site

There is a blog out there all about one man's lego land fire station and the pretend 911 calls they answer.  It sounds like someone who still lives in his mother's house and spends way too much time in the basement, yet he has his passions.  We all have our niche.  I like to run half-marathons, read spy novels, listen to podcasts and write plays.  And now, with the growth of social networks, even the people with the strangest interests can find kindred souls.

It is amazing how quick niche social networks have grown. Below is an ever growing list of niche social networking sites. (I am including sites that are built on community building sites like Ning.)








Carpool/Share Business Travel 














Monster Dare




Food and Beverage Workers



Instant Messaging/Chat

Interior Design



Legal Profession


Media My Review of














Real Estate








Talent Showcase


Text Book Swap

Time Capsule




Video Games



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympian Lindsey Vonn Won't Break The Blogging Rules

When anyone puts rules on social media it gets confusing.

Wired magazine reported that ski superstar Vonn won't touch her blog or tweet because of rule violations. It's all a big misunderstanding--sort of. 

Vonn wrote on Facebook "because of the Olympic rules I will not be able to post any updates from now until march 3rd. Sorry, it bums me out too!"

The Olympians have been told about rules in which they must only blog and tweet about their experiences. It's all due to a rule that states that only credentialed journalists can report on the games. They define reporting on the games as reporting on other's experiences. Yet, with social media, we're all reporters. There have been some great blogs and tweets from the olympics.  You can see them on NBC's website among other places.  I love the fact that you can actually get a sense of who these Olympians are first hand. 

Apolo Ohno has some good ones:
"Was my last training in these Olympics. 1 more day! Yes!!!! I'm in the zone. Call me Mr. 25/8"
Ben Agosto also gives us more of a first hand look into his mind:
"The twi-drought is over!!!! Vancouver is AMAZING!! When I used to dream of my perfect olympic skate, it didnt live up to how I felt on mon"

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Top Olympic Blogs. Go USA!

Want to know what's going on at the olympics?  The field of blogs is ten times deeper than that of different nations.  From independents to ESPN and NBC, there is so much to discover that it's fun shopping around for the gold medal of blogging. 

At, you can get headlines from several top blogs.  It's a great way to get information, especially if you want that information condensed into the top headlines.

NBC has a section on their site for tweets and blogs.  I especially am impressed with the athletes tweets.  Talk about a mini-look inside their life: from meeting the VP to what they think is funny ie. Apolo Anton Ohno "RE: this is hilarious!!."

Then, if you look up your own town's newspaper or TV station you'll be sure to find an olympic blogger somewhere in the mix.  It's enough to make you think that there are no other people in Vancouver but olympians and reporters.  Which, with social media, is true.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You can't take anything too seriously!

Introducing the Hot New Social Network, PhoneBook

Allows User to Call Friends, Speak to Them
SILICON VALLEY (The Borowitz Report) – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.
According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and even the much anticipated Google Buzz in a cloud of dust.
“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.
“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains.  “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.”
Another breakout utility of PhoneBook allows the user to arrange face-to-face meetings with his or her friends at restaurants, bars, and other “places,” as Fruber calls them.
“You will be sitting right across from your friend and seeing them in 3-D,” he said.  “It’s like Skype, only without the headset.”
PhoneBook will enable friends to play many games as well, such as charades, cards, and a game Fruber believes will be a breakout: Farm.
“In Farm, you have an actual farm where you raise real crops and livestock,” he says.  “It’s hard work, but it’s more fun than Mafia, where you actually get killed.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogging at the Winter Olympics

The new W2 social media center just opened in Vancouver yesterday to broadcast the olympics over your computer.  The plan is to have the building produce independent reports 24-7 webcast through its satellite distribution system, digital media labs, and a TV studio.  W2 will be the first ever social media center created to help non-accredited media journalists and bloggers cover the Olympics.  Pretty cool. 

Press briefings have been scheduled and media outlets such as CNN iReport, CFRO Radio, 24 Hours, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Observer, The Tyee,, will use the W2 complex, as well as bloggers from the UK, Norway, USA, Japan, and the Netherlands. W2 is also providing subsidies to Downtown Eastside community media looking to cover the games from their own perspective.

After the games the center will continue to be used as a social media outlet.  It will become an incubator for dozens of those crazy Canadian bloggers. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Social Media In the Super Bowl

Every year, the Super Bowl means one thing for many Americans.  A renewed interest in television advertising.  Today, everyone is ranking their favorite ads.  People across the country are blogging about the ones that caught attention (Hello Betty White) and the ones that fell flat (Hello Men Without Pants). 

One thing you didn't see a lot of was social media.  But oh yes, it was there, bubbling under the surface, supporting every ad and brand.

1. For instance, "Man Crunch," the gay dating site that got punted off the superbowl got plenty of publicity.  It also got tons of views on YouTube.

2. Similarly, when GoDaddy's ad was banned, the company smiled and put "Lola" up online.  They get the publicity, the views, and they still had two spots on the multiple screens in every sports bar.  Who cares if you can't hear that message.

3. Several companies are using social media to tie into their super bowl investment.  Coca-cola's live positively spot goes along with a facebook page.  Budweiser used Facebook to allow their fans to pick the spots they most wanted to see on the big game.  And Monster has it's super ad supported by the site fiddle a friend.

4. What's really interesting, is the typical Super Bowl advertisers that didn't do ads, but relied more on social media to carry their brand.  Target this year got in on the Super Bowl action of facebook with its Super Love Sender. Pepsi, another Super Bowl regular, opted to spend it's $20 million on a social media campaign called Refresh Everything rather than on 30 seconds.

So, I hope everyone enjoyed the game, the commercials and the social media.  Geaux Saints.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Twitter and Facebook failing kids?

It used to be TVs jobs to turn our brains into slush.  Then the commercials came out claiming it was Hulu's fault.  But no, a study just came out blaming Facebook and Twitter for a growing number of high school students who have the English grammer skills of a New York cab driver.

CTV News reported that social media is failing the kids.  At Ontario's Waterloo University, accepted students are required to take an English language skills exam.  Professors have watched the scores over the years drop further and further.  This year almost a third of the incoming class failed.  At Simon Fraser University in Brittish Columbia, one in 10 freshman can't take the manditory writing courses require for graduation.  Why?  Facebook of course.

"There has been this general sense in the last two or three years that we are finding more students are struggling in terms of language proficiency," says Rummana Khan Hemani, the university's director of academic advising. "Emoticons, happy faces, sad faces, cuz, are just some of the writing horrors being handed in. Little abbreviations," show up even in letters of academic appeal, says Khan Hemani. "Instead of 'because', it's 'cuz'. That's one I see fairly frequently," she says, and these are new in the past five years.
That's right, kids can text at 120 words per minute, they can create hilarious short films, and even create full web sites for themselves, friends and brands. Yet, they can't write a simple letter.  But wait, a letter, what's that?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

If you blog against the Air Force, the terrorists win.

The United States Air Force has created a method of dealing with bad publicity from bloggers and posts.  No, it doesn't include a sidewinder through the window.  It's actually one of the smartest communication plans I've seen put together.  Best of all, this is a plan almost any business can put into place.  

The first step, not included on this chart, is to monitor for the blogs that are talking about you and your competitors.  It's time and effort, but these days more people are reading blogs than the newspapers.  So, you need to know what's being said about you, so you can join the conversation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coca-Cola's Happiness Machine

Here's a great new viral video from Coca-Cola.  It's a simple idea but with terrific execution.  I've also heard there's a great site coming out to go with this from Definition 6.  I haven't seen it but this video makes me want to take a gander.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to make friends and blog with people

I have to say I really enjoy talking with bloggers. You have to be passionate to write about something day in and day out for months and years at a time. Most bloggers do an incredible job at coming up with content.  Others simply steal content. Then there's most bloggers that do a little of both. 

I've recently been doing some blogger outreach. It seems that most of the smaller bloggers are so hungry for content that they love an offer to guest blog or to republish an article. I recently helped a company with their newsletter. It took quite an effort to get it written, rewritten and approved. Then it went out to their customers and prospects. This is the list that gets everything the company email blasts out. 

So, I asked if I could pitch it to some of the industry bloggers.  One blog, with several thousand hits a month, picked up two of the articles.  That means the people not in their database, who might have never thought of the company is expanding their reach.  They are also getting much more ROI out of the money they already spent on that newsletter. Hopefully that means, they are happier about the job I've done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

15 Social Marketing Questions you should know the answer to

Atlanta Ad Club's Social Marketing Roundtable on January 21st.

On next Thursday, I am helping put together a roundtable on social marketing in Atlanta.  It's interesting to put together a group of really interesting and smart group to talk about social marketing and the new techniques going on in this city.  The panelists are:
Nicola Smith, Moxie Interactive
Bert Dumars, Newell Rubbermaid
Jennifer Jones, Porter Novelli
Reggie Bradford, Vitrue
David Rollo, 22 Squared

What's really important is here are the questions we'll be asking them.  These are questions I want to hear their answers on?  Really they're questions anyone involved in Social Media should have answers for.  My plan is to steal their answers and merge them with my own.  What are your answers.
1. Why does Social Media matter so much to businesses?
2. What are companies doing right with social media and what are they doing wrong?
3. How do you integrate social media into the marketing mix?
4. What can you do to encourage participation?
5. How is advertising, PR and social media working together? 
6. Does social media belong in the realm of advertising or PR?
7. How do you measure results/success?
8. How do you tie social media to sales?
9. Can you give an example of a social media campaign you've completed that's been a success?
10. How do you go about working with bloggers?
11. What do you think the future of social media looks like?
12. If social media isn't "free"... how much does it cost and what does it get you?
13. Where are companies diverting marketing dollars from to support their social media investment?
14. FACT: Over 65MM people access Facebook via Mobile per month. Will this change how companies leverage mobile as a key social platform differently in the coming months/years?
15. How have social media management tools/services grown/changed in the last 12 months. Are they making things easier or more complex?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time Is Never On My Side

The Rolling Stones lied.  I find more and more that time is never on my side.  It may not always be working against me as it does with my hair line, deadlines and movie theater lines, but it never is helping me out. 

When talking about social media, time is the biggest cost. Social media is the most available, low cost, accessible media out today. People only need the time to blog, update and monitor their twitter lists.  There are so many times a week when I remind myself that I should be updating my blog. Yet, I have to make the time and put this out.

I recently read a blog about automating Customer Relationship Management or CRM.  This is a touchy subject.  Basically it means any time someone tweets about Wendy's, they can get an automatic reply from their local store.  This is an amazing way to save time, but it makes Wendy's seem robotic.

Just think about the last time you were in the maze of phone options that most large companies come up with as a part of customer service.  The hairs on the back of my neck go up higher and higher with every "Press 1 if you want to talk to someone in India, Press 2 if you want to talk to someone in Indonesia."  Is that where social media is going? 

Social media should be about having a conversation and not just yet another way to push a message out to the public.  Let them come to you, become a fan and want to get your message rather than shoving it down their throat.  The problem is... it takes time.