Social Media Neophytes and Great Hopes

16 07 2009

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel organized by the local Entrepreneurs network about social media. The audience was clearly a majority of neophytes from local businesses, agencies and even government. I think it was an eye opener for me as to what people have on their mind. For them, the 6 panelists certainly gave them tons of useful information. It was participant driven which was a great experience. My natural tendency is to discuss on this blog larger phenomena occurring in the social media world.  I’ll therefore try to address those same questions a bit more regularly on the Extanz blog. For now, I want to focus on some of the points raised at the event….

Time devoted-to make effective? What to listen? How to listen?

I think entrepreneurs are even more wary about the time sucker that social media can be. Let’s just consider Twitter to start with as it’s probably the most straight forward one. If you’re lucky, and you have more than one

computer screen, I would pull up applications like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or PeopleBrowsr and start setting up searches, creating groups by interest. Scout for topics that your company is involved with, see what results come up. Tools like Twitter or Friendfeed are the most valuable when listening or monitoring that action. You or your company’s ‘social’ networks act as a knowledge guardian, you’ll be able to stay on top of what’s of interest to you (being the Tour de France or what are your competitors are up to, what customers/consumers are saying, etc). Most of these applications will allow you to create ‘columns’ or ‘groups’ that filter by keyword. Scroll through it, see what is being said and reply / participate if it’s worth your time. You can also share links or articles you find valuable or simply RT (re-tweet) with your comments. I would also advise using these tools in conjunction with Google Alert, Filtrbox, OneRiot and other similar tools which are much more efficient search tools than staring at Twitter all day.

ROI 101: Return On Investment 101

Throw away any of the usual metrics you’ve learned. Building relationships for a person or a brand cannot be measured as a statistical number. You will still see more followers on Twitter, more fans on your facebook fan page. Ultimately, if you share valuable content and engage in conversations, you’ll have a clear sign that people like your content. This clearly has a more powerful impact for you or the brand you represent. Also, I hear too often that people don’t use Google Analytics yet on their… this is a must have. If you expect to show any sign that your time is spent appropriately, Google Analytics will be able to show you this progress.

What percentage of your marketing strategy should be devoted to social media?

That will depend on your audience. The more you deal with tech industries and the knowledge industry, the more important it’ll be for your company. For example, a company like Crocs (not so much knowledge industry based) has one full time dedicated employee for Social Media (George Smith Jr) out of 3-4k people worldwide. Make sure to think about every activity you carry as a company and how to leverage social media in relation to those activities. Social media is not a marketing play, it’s a relationship play. Relationships happen at every step of a company’s value chain. Social media can fit in those segments. See what happens. Draw conclusions. Be creative. Repeat.

Some simple steps to get started:

Level 1- Join groups related to your industry in Linkedin or Facebook, engage there. This might be enough as some of audience is already there.

Level 2- Join twitter, start following 50 people who you care about as a company, start listening, share interesting news in your industry or localized content, engage where you can.

Level 4- Create a facebook page and try to get your other marketing activities to promote that facebook page. Link your Twitter account to your facebook fan page.

Level 5- Start a blog… this is a difficult exercise and can be time consuming, but it is still what can carry your business voice the furtherest. Remember that if you blog, stay away from clogging, don’t use this as just another ad channel (#fail).

There are 100s of things you could do, but start there. Your company’s digital footprint will benefit and you may be able to spend 1-2 hours per week without losing your boss’ trust. Finally, it’s more complex than it seems. If you want to be effective at it, getting help is usually well worth it.

Off you go,

Thank you for you great pictures:  by quelquepartsurlaterre, ToniVCjohn.d.mcdonald


FiltrBox Kudos – Listening in on the Social Media Sphere

29 07 2008

Aren’t we getting closer to the Matrix every day :)?

I think so and in some very good ways.

Every day, I’m happier about my  FiltrBox… I have to say that those guys are onto something big. We and our clients benefit everyday from their ‘listening in’ on the social media sphere. It is like your corporate communication program finally found receives feedback from the work done by your PR firm…

Analyzing tab

Analyzing tab

For people like us [Extanz] – we need to have a simple place where we can add multiple email recipients to an account. We often have 3-4-5 people at a client who should receive those daily digests.

So, if you’ve been using “google alerts” – take a free account at, say hi to Ari and his team and start comparing your fresh serve of information daily.

You won’t believe what you can find out!



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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

7 07 2008

How do you think Snow White’s Queen could have used Social Media to gauge her popularity?

Snow White’s Queen may certainly have tried to suppress her competition – fair enough – sounds like a good tactic to me. Common practice, you could say, with the Microsoft-Yahoo deal just another modern example.

But there are other, nonviolent ways to measure your brand popularity these days. Google News Alert is probably the easiest way, but if you want something more elaborate, there is FiltrBox. For those with healthier economic means, Collective Intellect or Networked Insights can really help too. So the big question becomes – how to positively influence all those participants in the social media democracy??

The Social Media Sphere is like the Queen’s mirror. Really. It tells the truth. If someone doesn’t like what you are doing, social media will reflect that back to you. The opposite also holds true – if they love you, the upward wave will carry you along itself.

Social Media Mirror - Bring marketing activities above water will benefit you

Social Media marketing is really about looking at all your offline, traditional media activities as “underwater activities”. You need to look at which ones are the most likely to float to the top and into the larger Social Media Sphere (above the water). It’s a lot more fluid and random there in terms of message and audience. Are you sponsoring a football game? Donating to charity? Launching via the college crowd? And how best to reach your audience for all these events?

Things to take away:

– Every activity in your value chain may have potential in the Social Media Sphere. People want to know more about you and your brand than ever before. Be ready to shoot videos of your manufacturing process, how you build your homes and why doing business with you is a good thing. People care, give’m what they want!

– The conversation is happening anyway, monitor it, engage and create social media marketing programs that will tackle head-on the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s beautiful to be able to engage… before a brand was blind to upwards and downward trends.

– Engage beyond yourself. Your marketing department or PR agency can do only so much. Your customers can do a lot more.

– Ask the question…..Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?