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.