Three Social Media Lessons Learned

There is no learning like hands on learning. Books, seminars, or cocktail discussions are valuable, but it cannot compare to what you learn by rolling up your sleeves and doing something yourself.

In that light, here are three things I have learned through my increased involvement in social media and starting this blog seven months ago.

Find the UnexpectedNo one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.  Julius Caesar

Until I actively engaged in social media, you could not anticipate the type of return I would see. The real results from my social media involvement have nothing to do with numbers. Not only has it exceeded my expectations, the return has come in areas I never considered.

Over the last few months, I have had exposure to pre-launch initiatives from a number of companies, including Bizo’s Switchboard, which I was able to share here the day it was released.

I have developed new industry relationships, some with people I have had tremendous respect for over the years, but who hardly knew I existed before. I’m awed by this democratizing power of social media. Read more of this post

Optimizing Digital B2B Marketing Campaigns

Plans are carefully laid. The creative is impactful. The content is compelling. The media surrounds your audience. Search, social and email are integrated in support of the overarching program. But the results are not there.

Your plan is the result of your passion. When someone says it isn’t performing, it is nearly a personal affront, but it shouldn’t be. Doing something that doesn’t work is learning. Continuing to do something that doesn’t work is lunacy.

Let’s skip past setting goals and establishing your metrics. If you are still struggling with this, there are numerous good articles available. When should you optimize your campaign? When are you certain that making a change is better than waiting it out? Read more of this post

Beyond Lists: Use Filters to Manage Twitter

Manage Twitter with Filtering in TweetDeckWe each build our own communication channel on Twitter, choosing who to follow and list. However, based on a number of recent conversations I have had on Twitter and Google+, many Twitter users are overlooking a significant tool to customize their channel and reduce noise: filters.

If your Twitter stream clogs up every evening with color commentary on a TV show, filters can remove it, without unfollowing people you otherwise appreciate. If auto-post applications are filling your stream with drivel, filters can cut through it.

Filters change the list/follow/unfollow decision, giving you more control over the tweets you see from each person. The difference in the stream of a single person may be minor, but across even 50 people, filters can be the difference between a stream of noise and a source of content and conversation. Read more of this post

A New Way to Understand Your Social Media Audience

Audience research is invaluable and well developed personas provide a broad array of insights into the lives and minds of your target audience, insights that form the basis for your social media plans.

Then, you put your social media plan in place, including sharing great content from others and creating your own. And you hit a fundamental disconnect. Your planning is based on your target audience, but you are measuring activity from everyone. Here are two questions that are difficult to answer.

  • Is the content you share via social media resonating with your target audience or a random audience?
  • What content is most popular with your target audience?

Read more of this post

Is Marketing Strategy Out of Favor?

wooden wagon wheelDoes this sound familiar? “We know our budget doesn’t let us do this right, but we need to do what we can.” No wonder marketing doesn’t have respect in so many organizations! You can’t meet your goal, so you “do what you can”? For any other group in your company, this would be completely unacceptable. For marketing in many organizations, it is almost expected.

The result too often is a series of random acts of marketing. One marketing activity that makes sense on the surface, but without complementary components, simply doesn’t deliver what it could. A single solitary activity (or even two or three) that do not surround the audience, that do not deliver and reinforce your message, that are not part of a larger cohesive story, are just random acts of marketing. Read more of this post

Which Social Network is Right For B2B Marketing?

When you consider what social networks can become key marketing channels for your business, there isn’t one right answer. Take a quick look at the very different sharing patterns of the three sites below.
Read more of this post

Stop Advertising and Give Them Content! [The Numbers Prove It]

We all want to get more than we give, it is simply human nature. We don’t overpay at Walmart out of the goodness of our hearts. Likewise, we don’t pay attention to advertising that doesn’t give us something of value in return, either discounts, entertainment or information.

I could launch from here into the value of developing personas to ensure advertising is delivering value. And it is true, understanding your audience is critical. But instead, below are real results comparing an ad unit to other elements of the page.

Read more of this post

Are Your Company Values a House of Cards?

House of CardsCompany values cannot be merely said, they must be lived. Lived by every single employee of your company, internally and externally. Prospects and customers experience how you live your values in every interaction.

All it takes is one misstep for the perception of your company and brand to unravel. If employees are not living your values, including internally, it undermines all of the effort that has gone into creating those values.

I experienced this earlier this year. A vendor inadvertently forwarded an internal email chain. And it was damning. Read more of this post

Part One: Marketing Measurement and Pissing People Off

You know the line “you manage what you measure”. So do you consider what matters but is not measured? As digital marketers, we tend to measure the positives. Even negative measurements are rarely negative, they are just small positive measurements — low response rates or conversion rates.

Over the last 10 to 12 years, a number of online tactics have come and gone. A few of these delivered great results on paper, blinding marketers to the negative impacts that were not measured. Here are three activities which such negative impact that people fought back, outright disabling marketing tactics. Read more of this post

Four Insights for Cloud Computing Marketers

IDG Enterprise released its Cloud  Computing Research results at the end of last year, and I finally had the opportunity to review it recently. I just wish I had looked at it earlier. The research is based on a survey of approximately 1,500 IT and business professionals, with good representation of senior IT management and large companies. There is a lot of great data in the research, if you market cloud computing services, it is worth downloading and spending a few minutes with the slides.

Beyond the data points, I saw four key themes. Each is an opportunity for marketers to differentiate their offerings or position in the cloud marketplace.

IT Expects Control
For CIOs, the top concerns are security (two-thirds), followed by access, governance, and meeting standards. And IT is a key stakeholder in cloud decisions at larger companies (more than 80% of the time). In contrast, concerns about business and employee receptiveness is cited by less than 15% of respondents. Read more of this post

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