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November 2008

measuring YOUR twitter success

Twitter test Is Twitter success measured by...

  •  your level of uptake velocity? (new followers over the last few days)
  • the number of tweets you tweet?
  • the regularity with which you tweet?
  • the number of people who reply to your tweets?
  • the number of people who follow you?
    • the number that you follow?
  • the number of followers relative to the number of people you follow?
  • the number of followers your followers have?
  • the amount of value that that the community places in your opinion?
    • the number of times you have been retweeted?
  • the amount of value you place in your twitter community?

While I love twitter grader and other measures of influence as much as the next guy, I can't help but wonder if these universally objective metrics truly mean anything.  Sure, they are great indicators, but if you aren't getting value out of your efforts, I would question why you continue to engage.

This isn't to say you should jump on and off the bandwagon in a day, but if you've really tried and found no value, then maybe this just isn't for you.

And if you are finding value without ruining the experience of those you interact with, ignore the numbers and ratings Because they don't know and cannot measure the value of this experience to you.

photo credit here

an undiscovered treasure - respect

Bobbies place I've walked and driven past it countless times.

But I never knew what I was passing.

It looked like a local boutique, almost like every other local clothing store... but it was on a backstreet, away from most of the foot traffic.

I had often wondered how Bobbie's Place stayed in business with so poor a location, but they always looked busy when I walked by, recently more busy than ever.

I also wondered why Bobbie's Place had so much activity when they had frosted glass in place of a window display.

Then I found out what Bobbie's Place really is.

Bobbie's place Bobbie's Place is a store unlike any other.  Sure, they have selection and assortment, customer service and a smile, but there is one key difference.  At Bobbie's Place, even those facing economic stress can shop stress free.  Because Bobbie's Place is free.

Bobbie's Place is a charity, but they aren't in the business of giving out handouts, they are in the business of making people feel like the people they are, despite their economic stature.

I don't know how they pay the bills.  And it breaks my heart to see that their business is booming as the seasons change and the economy takes a dip.

And while I don't know the proprietor, I have run into familiar faces on that block, on my walk back from the Subway at the end of the day.  It's a difficult sight to see, but it's better than the alternative.

Inside 1 There is an angel in Midwood, someone who cares not just about the health, but the well being and pride of their customers, even if they've never paid a penny.

There is a lot we can learn from Bobbie's Place.  We can learn how to treat a customer, how to treat a person.  We can learn how to give without making anyone feel like a charity case.  We can learn how to respect a customer.  Respect is free, respect is valuable. 

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the craziness of the holidays upon us, maybe we can spend a little bit of time giving back. 

Because everyone needs a Bobbie's Place.  And whether you recognize it or not, someone in your circle of friends, family or neighborhood needs some financial help, needs a boost to their pride, needs a smiling face. 

We can all use a little more smile in our lives.  Let's spread some love, we're all in this together.  Let's face tomorrow with unity, pride and respect.  Because lrd knows, respect is one commodity we all value and it doesn't cost a penny.

10 ways to make money in social media

Money Nobody has THE answer to the social web's most fundamental question: how do we make money off of this thing?


  • Nobody pays Facebook a membership bill.
  • We aren't paying for twitter (yet).
  • While many of us pay for Typepad, Six Apart is clearly looking to tack on additional revenue streams (their sales arm came down to my offices yesterday).

So where will this industry net out?  How will it drive revenues?  Who is going to make money off of this VC backed free-for-all?

There are a number of potential paths to profit, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  So before you set out on your social venture, consider the revenue opportunities in today's marketplace (aside from selling your body, soul and audience to Google) below. 

  1. Brand Asset Production - Ex. Rock You - after earning their seat at the table with many Facebook success stories, Rock You now building for brands as well.
  2. Market Intelligence - Converseon, Radian 6, Cymfony, Collective Intellect, Motive Quest, Biz 360, Buzz Metrics... the world is talking and for the first time ever, we can listen, learn and even engage.  Any companies will pay handsomly for the capability.
  3. Outsourced Outreach/Relationship Management - Many PR Firms, Social Firms, Media Firms, as well as specialty shops like NMS and Marketing Works, offer "social voice" solutions (both proactive and reactive).
  4. Traditional Display Advertising - high page views = lots of CPM inventory.
  5. Targeted Social Ads - targeting by social circle, social context, profile data or behavioral data allow developers and site owners to charge premium rates for remnant non-premium inventory.
  6. Advocacy / Sponsored Voices - there's nothing like bringing top tier talent to your event to attract the right audience.  Solutions like Federated Media bring the big names, their voice's, audience's, credibility and association's to your brand... for a fee.
  7. White Label Community Solutions - whether you are selling a platform, a service or both, brands love focus groups and are beginning to understand the power of community advocacy. 
  8. Strategists/Consultants - Just because it's new to you, doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there who "gets it" and would be glad to help you get your social plan started.
  9. Subscription Fees - Though rare, subscribers may pony up for your service if it's THAT good or THAT popular.  Ex - Flickr Pro.
  10. Connectors - It's a big world, and it's growing fast.  Serving as a connector/consultant can be a lucrative business if you have the roledex, know how and people skills to pull it off.

If you can't see yourself or your start-up fitting anywhere on the above list, I would seriously reconsider your course of action.

photo credit here

the missing link - measuring motrin

Measurement Nearly every social strategist or professional will tell you that social success starts with listening.

Monitoring online buzz can generate a wealth of information.

However, does online buzz represent broader non-digital real world sentiment?

  • Are social content creators and participants an indicative representation of the world at large?
  • Do digital sentiments reflect real world actions, like purchase, pass along, coffee shop and water cooler talk?

When hundreds of moms jump on the anti-motrin pile-on on twitter, do these actions represent anything larger than twitter and the resulting echo is blogs?

While it is true that digital monitoring provides amazing insights, how far do these insights go?  Are we measuring a sample, an entire ecosystem, or a market as a whole?

And when we counsel brands as to how they use social media and social media intelligence, how much do we rely on the intel at hand - digital conversations?  Is there a conversion metric for the pile-on effect of mini-movements versus major issues in the market at large? 

Outside of Keller Fay diaries and surveys, can we draw a corrolation between digital and analog buzz?

How do/should we taper our digital social insights when it comes to multi-platform, multi-channel REAL marketing?  And in the absence of this insight, are we scaring away brands by providing information without context? 

Without this insight and understanding, I can't help but wonder how social consultants bring real 360 value to the table.  Sure, one can advise one social engagement, but without a broader perspective, how do we know the best course of action, or engagement?

Without this insight, can we validate social monitoring and participation as part of a broader communcations plan?  Can we free social marketing from her silo without understanding her role in the greater practice that is marketing?

photo credit here

motrin and the 40 hour work week

So somebody was offended by your video.  And they shared it with somebody, who shared it with somebody else.

And before you know it, a hashtag (#motrinmoms) is flashing across social media with blinding speed and the social interwebs are all aflutter.  People are pissed, and they are sharing their thoughts with the world.  (see graphic below)

Motrin moms
It's now Monday morning at the Motrin offices.  It's been 24 hours and your brand has already been publicly skewered and is currently roasting over an open roaring fire.  The offended moms across social media have already adopted a tribal dance (#motrinmoms) as they weave rhetoric and spew hatred for the brand creative, and as a result, for your brand.

How did this disaster happen?

Firstly, creative is an art, not a science. One copywriter's inspiration could be a target demo's worst nightmare.  And for the record, my wife thought the creative was pretty cute.

But most importantly, this happened because social "media" professionals, be they at the brand, an ad/media agency, a social boutique, or PR agency, clocked out.  Friday night through Monday morning chatter and performance is something to be dealt with on Monday morning.  And this is a mistake.

Because by Monday morning the damage may have already been done.

There is no easy solution.  At best, social leads could have (and in many cases, should be) setting up social monitoring alerts.  If my brand goes viral on a weekend, someone should be there to pick up the alert and to call in the cavalry.  Give them an early weekend on Thursday, but get them in on Sunday. 

Consumers don't wait until Monday morning to socialize.  We can't wait until Monday to do something about it.

For more, check out BL Ochman's suggestions on things Motrin could have and should now do, and the ever insightful Craig Daitch on where this campaign went creatively wrong.

And now.. the fury of women scorned. Video below

the company-customer pact... what do we think?

CcpactThere's something great about being a blogger... you get great customer service.

The words "I have a blog", while egotistical and self-centered, often open doors.

Being part of the "inner circle" of the social media/marketing worlds often gives me a speed  pass around hold lines, automated telephone trees and endless customer service bureaucracy (real life example - I'm sorry, but that warranty we sold was issued by a 3rd party).

Reaching out to agency and PR friends and colleagues has opened many doors, but it shouldn't come to this.

Everyone should be a VIP.  Every customer deserves the time of day.

And customers have responsibilities of their own, including investigating solutions before writing off brands. 

We need to learn to speak with one another in a more human and civil manner.

I don't know that The Company-Customer Pact is THE solution, but I think it's a great first step.  Check it out.  And if you agree, add your name, throw your hat into the ring or your name into the wiki. 

It takes a village to raise a market.  What steps do YOU think are going to transform or even move the market into a more civilly social ecosystem?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For a great analysis of why the challenges and performance of this and other similar efforts, check out Jeremiah's take here.

social for social good - Standing Together

Movember Yesterday I had a brief chat with Marc Meyer on Twitter regarding Peta's presence on twitter.  Regardless of your feelings about this organization, I believe they belong on Twitter and across social "media".  They are a social cause.  It is their responsibility to their constituency to voice their cause across appropriate social communications channels.  And Twitter is one of those channels.

Case Study
One has to look no further than Movember, a quirky movement wherein people grow mustaches in November to raise awareness around various men's health issues, to see the value of digital social activation for social good.  Anyone that knows me well can tell you that I find mustaches both intriguing and hilarious.  This is a movement that speaks to me as a man, as a human, a humanitarian, a social "media" communicator and as a mustache lover.  And as such, this movement it belongs in social "media", be it online or real world.

There is something deeply human about social "media", something that makes people relate-able and trustworthy, makes brand faces rather than boxes and digital destinations into true communities.

Whether we recognize our place in this movement or walk blindly into the future, we are evolving.  We are sharing.  We are coming together and discovering.  We are talking and we are relating and understanding other people, other perspectives and other cultures in a wonderful new way.

The current war in Iraq was not a faceless war against the enemy state, it was a battle with human faces.  Connectivity and yes, social "media" changed the way we as a nation and as a race view war.  The unpallatable reality that is bloodshed became real.  We were fighting a flag, we were fighting people. 

I do not live with my head in the clouds,  nor do I believe that every gun should be destroyed but I do believe that digital social "media" has made us into a better people.  We now understand, respect and relate to other cultures, people and religions in manners previously unknown.

  • Sure, brands have a place at the table, so long as they don't sit as a logo and harp on themselves. 
  • And social movements and efforts have a place at the table, so long as they behave. 
  • And every adult human being has a seat at this table. 
  • Dialogue may not solve our differences, but mutually human conversation is the first step towards a solution.

Thanks to the wonderful Miriam Schwab for sharing Ann Handley's (MarketingProfs) tweet link to the video below.  Further kudos to Chelpixie and CC Chapman for sharing this along to Ann. 

The world is coming together

Join me...  join us....  as we stand by one another.
  Video below.

Honeyshed... it's alive!

Disclaimer: Honeyshed is a client.

So the big day is here.  Honeyshed is now live!

After an initial beta test, Honeyshed listened to the feedback (including social media!) and returned with a fresh design, a fresh face, fresh functionality, an infusion of fresh management and a truly unique offering.


What is Honeyshed? 

Honeyshed is unique.

Honeyshed is the evolution of the direct sales channels (like QVC) into the digital environment and tailored for a young digital audience.

Honeyshed is digital at their core, not a digital extension of traditional media. 

Honeyshed reviews products, evangelizes brands and enables social interactivity while being "real" to their unique audience.  From the site design through content, from twitter through their blogs (refreshing soon), they ooze "getting it".  Honeyshed is the place where youngsters go to to find out what's hot, to get their daily dish, to share and interact, to create their own shareable wishlists (your stash)... and there is more to come.

Honeyshed is more than "media" or "web 2.0". 

Honeyshed is a vision.  Honeyshed is a voice.  Honeyshed is a passion.

With the recognition that the digital dynamic is democratic and social, Honeyshed is listening.  So please feel free check it out, to share your thoughts.  And you can always reach out on Twitter to learn about what's new, what's happening or just share your thoughts.

I confess that I didn't get fully "get" Honeyshed at first.  But remember, Honeyshed is not your father's interactive channel.  It's built for a specific audience.  And my own informal beta testing of Honeyshed with a few 20-something fashion-aware and trendy girls in NYC had them rolling, laughing and talking.  And that spells potential to me.

This is real.  This is Honeyshed.  Check it out!