Your Government 2.0 has arrived – U Ready?

21 01 2009

Lately,  the blogosphere has been speculating  if Mr Obama would ‘follow through’ the social media groundswell movement his campaign had started with his government.  Today was a good sign. From having his Blackberry taken away for security reasons (then given back to him), the “twitterverse” has kept debating. The HOPE is: “we don’t want the traditional way”, it’s a time for change, right? Will the new Oval Office still use  its new way after blowing through the roof of every social media form? Check out these stats from during the campaign: Twitter (165,000 followers), Facebook (close to 4,000,000 fans), MySpace (1,100,985 friends), Blogging, YouTube … etc.

Well, in the hour after the inauguration, we had the spark of an answer, the new WhiteHouse.Gov site is now up and features a blog on the front page 🙂 – This will make those of us who think that blogging is the mothership of social media smile widely! There is no better way to engage and distribute your content today than through a [useful] blog. The Government is doing it , don’t be left behind! This is now the most cost effective way to reach out and spread the word about your brand’s higher purpose. Every blog is a natural SEO (Search Engine Optimization) method of increasing your relevancy.  RSS will distribute the mail (blog) for free and at the speed of light.

Along those lines (of doing the right thing), I had a brief interaction with @georgegsmithjr from Crocs recently – Wayne Sutton was interviewing George Smith at Crocs about their young voyage through Social Media. I think that many companies could certainly learn from their humble approach to social media [read more here] – They are tiptoeing into it,  their blog is buried on their site [unlike the new White House one on the front page] and feeding their blog to their brand fans in Facebook is not there yet, but they are definitely trying, kudos to them!  I speak to many marketing folks who are simply afraid of any ‘interaction’ with real people.  It’s funny how people can just become robots when they enter the work environment.  Crocs is definitely trying the right way, the human way. It’s time to engage, now that we have all that sociable leadership in the White House.

Today was another huge spike for the ‘people’s voice’ with Twitter experiencing moments of  5X more tweets per second than the normal daily rate. It’s always a good reminder that Twitter is now mainstream. Your customers and the most viral of them are on it 🙂 Be there. Even if you or your company are not blogging, try yourself out with micro-blogging — it is a good place to start. I also highly recommend you use TweetDeck (Desktop Application) if you are going to use Twitter. Tweetdeck is way more efficient than using Twitter by itself.

Blogging, yes we can…

Cheers!

@yannr

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Got A Higher Purpose?

16 11 2008

I never thought I’d write as I do now, in this case,  in a blog. My work has revolved a lot around marketing and business development for hi-tech, software, internet startups and social media for  3 years now. Good things can happen. How do you feel about blogging, tweeting, writing your self and putting your status out there, or even Brightkite – ing yourself?

Yes, a huggggge shift has happened since the birth of RSS 2.0 in 2002. There are 250 million blogs out there, don’t tell me you still feel like it may be a waste of time? Your blog is the door step of your company. Welcome them, connect with your customers and industry. So how often should you blog? hmm well, how often do you like visitors? Do it often, be interesting…

I have heard countless times:

  • What is our business going to blog about? Is that worth the time?
  • Are you doing the narcissist thing?
  • Gee… what if somebody say something bad about us?

Do you ask yourself the same question when reading a good book? Probably not. Does the writer? Probably not. So what’s the difference? We’re all here to learn and feed our brains with good stuff. Are we nourished by the traditional corporate newsletter? Hmm, not really. By press releases?  Hmm, not really.  So why do you keep doing them?

We’re searching for the good stuff – Isn’t that what blogging should be about? Micro-blogging aka Twitter … is in the same boat. SO, here is the deal, your business is in an industry – You own the creation of content to customers, prospects, competitors, partners… You own the distribution, no more traditional media. But here’s the key…you need to position yourself as a thought leader and always blog about the higher purpose of your brand. The more you do it, the more your brand will be seen as a leader vs just a player.

It’s hard to do. I’ll give you that. Blogging about a higher purpose is not easy but when you open a book you expect that level of content and connection. What’s stopping your company (I would recommend external bloggers, us :)) from generating the same level of content you read in newspaper? Nothing. Your brand can create journalistic content and you can do it now.

Blogging about your brands’ higher purpose will engage and envelope customers in your brand. You will do well.

“Hey, what’s your higher purpose Yann”? I’ll speak for Extanz. We’re here to share our journey through social media. We take our clients and you through that journey and hope to share and shape forward thinking ideas, people, enterprises and action. We’re here to be extraordinary with you.

Cheers!

Yann

Thanks Laughing Squid and SteveGarfield for your cool pics.





WOM-ophily: Why does social media marketing matter?

19 08 2008

I really wish this was a word. Internet might make it to be but I doubt it . WOMophily. Okay, think “homophily”. Wikipedia explains…..“Individuals in homophilic relationships share common characteristics (beliefs, values, education, etc…)”

Word Of Mouth (WOM) marketing has been around for ever and since commerce was invented. There is now a few more people on the planet and the internet is slowly becoming more effective in serving your information needs. WOMophily then is people who share common characteristics (beliefs, values, activities) sharing ideas and spreading the word about your product or services. There are few characteristics to bear in mind, however….

SMM uses Social Channel Capacity: We cannot physiologically stay in true contact with more than 150 connections, you, your friends, your relationships, their relationships (c.f. Blink, M. Gladwell) – The others just don’t have our attention like those 150 (primary and secondary connections). This is where Twitter and all the “what are you doing now?” features come in. They help us keep track of more people easily. Last week I was talking about “Saturation Points” and “Information Immunity”? If you don’t suffer from those, you are a rare indeed. Or maybe you just watch TV! There only 200 million blogs out there. Patterns of influence have changed and traditional marketing channels are just not cutting it anymore. BUT you CAN rely on your close trustees and their close trustees …etc, in terms of letting you know what services you may like, what products you should buy, what brands may matter to you. Social networks and social media have allowed the 200 most viral million of us to stay connected at this micro-level and filter out all the other marketing noise. The “You can now stay in touch and follow at the ‘micro’-blog level” is where a ton of stuff is going. The influence of micro blogging is increasing every day. Think PEOPLE LIKE ME.

SMM puts your customer to work(finally): if you connect with them PROPERLY and RESPECTFULLY through social platforms, they will value your words and spread them for you. Give them extras tips, info, cut them some smart discounts, help them understand you better, like they would a good friend. You may think, “well who’s going to keep up with all that?” Extanz might, but remember, it’s not about increasing your marketing budget but about reallocating your priorities. The ROI will be substantial because you’re dealing with hyper-targeting and word-of-mouth techniques that will carry your marketing message much further for less $. Think PEOPLE LIKE ME.

SMM is cheaper than any other form of marketing – the cost of acquiring new customers is enormous compared with growing current accounts. Social Media allows you to connect with individuals who have homophilic relationships with you current customer. The cost of acquisition is now only a fraction of traditional marketing. Think PEOPLE LIKE ME.

SMM reveals your true colors: “Do you care about me?” asks any customer. Your “blink” impression of anyone, any service, any brand gives you information that you always put back into your wallet for later. Social media forces your brand to actually connect with customers and prospective customers – not spam them like any other form of (wasted) marketing. If you don’t want to connect and stay remain aloof, you’re just falling behind. Consumers are very well informed and rely on others like their friends to use their purchasing power. Think PEOPLE LIKE ME……or maybe in this case, WE LIKE PEOPLE.

SMM doesn’t play well with control freaks and big spenders: Again last week, I was talking to a VP of Marketing in the Denver area. They focus on consumer services and their consumers are extremely passionate [hence my motivation to talk to them]. The biggest obstacle for them in terms of using Social Media Marketing was ” We would like to control the conversation….be able to ‘respond’… be able to ‘manage this internally'”. Ah right. Have you ever tried to follow 100 stocks on Wall Street at the same time? Have you ever controlled every conversation at a dinner party? Seriously, people. To think this conversation is not happening because you are not participating in it is a figment of your imagination. These conversations are happening anyway, WITHOUT YOU. Any marketer who thinks they’ll save their company by not engaging in social media will just have to try to play catch up in the next five years… it’ll be too late. Think PEOPLE MAY NOT LIKE ME ANYMORE.

SMM does not do WOT, it does WOM: WOT = WASTE OF TIME. Notice that these are the same marketers spending fortunes in surveys, market research, competitive assessments, marketing firms [not us:]. All to find out what their customers want or how to beat their competition. Yeah. OLD SCHOOL. That’s WOT busyness. You need WOM busyness. Just open up, your customers will save you millions. Then those happy customers will make sure their friends know about your product and services. They’ll become fans of yours on Facebook. The not so happy ones and therefore, most valuable in terms of your learning, will give you 2 GIFTS: The truth (that your CEO, product development and operations teams need) and the importunity (important opportunity — those new words keep popping up, don’t they) to show that you carethe very best marketing weapon you have against consumer apathy these days. The costs of ignorance and invisibility are far more expensive than any marketing budget. Think WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE (WHO) LIKE ME?

Do you care?

Do you care?