Social Media for Executives – Interview with Chris Brogan originally published on Tech Page One. With 27% of total U.S. internet time spent on social networking sites (Experian) and 55% of marketers spending more marketing budget on social media in 2013 (eMarketer), the momentum of the social web has clearly gained mass appeal. Yet many [...]
How do you think brands are doing when it comes to social media marketing?
My friend, Chris Brogan (co-author with Julien Smith of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation), laments the state of social media marketing in one of his latest blog posts, The Bare Truth About Social Media Marketing. While Brogan paints the landscape with a wide brush and lacks any quantitative of qualitative data to back it up (beyond his own review of what some brands are doing in spaces like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), it’s easy to understand and relate to his frustrations.
Social media is not living up to its promise.
You don’t have to go that far back in time. A little over ten years since the publishing of the momentous business book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, painted a picture of how brands could now conduct themselves. Everything was so bright and hopeful back then. Suddenly, all of this inter-connectivity and untethered consumers would lead us to a path where markets truly would become conversations and the promise of Don Peppers and Martha Rogers‘ one to one marketing world would and could come true. In a way, social media has over-delivered on certain aspects of the equation. No one could have imagined just how transformative these technologies and innovations have become. Nobody could have imagined how willfully consumers would want to connect and publicly share so much personal and contextual information. Nobody could have imagined a world where each and every one of us would become our own media channels, publishing our thoughts in text, images, audio and video to the Web… and to the world in real time. Nobody could have imagined the volume of data sets and information that now paint a very different consumer profile, which transcends the world of demographics and psychographics. Just look at what is happening today on Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and more. The opportunity for businesses to connect in a much deeper, richer and more profound way could not be easier. Brands truly can have real interactions between real human beings.
So, what is so wrong?
For my dollar, people like Brogan (and I count myself in the same camp as him) simply wants brands to become more personal and more personable. In short, brands have passed the social media marketing test because they are using it as an added way to communicate. I would argue that communications is not the point… creating true connections is the point. This is not a debate of semantics, but a much larger corporate conversation that brands are simply not eager to have. If you surveyed the vast majority of these brands, they will not understand the gripes of Brogan, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Nilofer Merchant, Avinash Kaushik, Joseph Jaffe or me. They will point to the amount of people who are following them on Twitter or how many likes they have on Facebook and push it further by showing the level of engagement they have with consumers in terms of speed-to-response or resolution in regards to a customer service issue as the barometer for success. They will demonstrate how often their messages are shared, liked, promoted and retweeted. They will highlight individual consumer feedback as a metaphor for the direct relationship that they now have with consumers, but they are still missing the point.
So, what could be so right?
Using social media to communicate a message is the obvious stuff. To this day, we have all-too-many brands who don’t even know how to nail down that very elementary component. What brands are missing, when it comes to social media is the true connection. The trust that is built out of real interactions between real human beings. And, quite frankly, they’re missing this point because social media marketing is simply seen as any other form of corporate marketing and communications. It may even be agency-led or outsourced to a company that specializes in community management. Brands aren’t internalizing the power of how to be social, so the act of social media is simply an extension of the communications and not a true connection between brand and consumer.
Getting social media right.
It’s not easy. It’s not perfect. It’s not fast. It takes time. There is not one set way for all companies to engage and connect. Because of this, brands look at social media marketing much in the same way that they look at their campaigns or their quarterly goals. And, if we’re going to honest about this, that just won’t cut it. Social media is organizational and it’s not a vertical within the marketing or corporate communications department. Social media is the horizontal that runs across the organization, much in the same way that the culture, brand and human resources should. If we benchmark social media by campaigns and quarters, we are relegating it to a world where its efficacy won’t be about how to build a better brand through better connections, but rather a world where its only role is to augment and supplement the communications of a brand. That sounds like more noise to me.
That would be a shameful waste… wouldn’t it?
6 months ago • advertisingcampaigns, avinashkaushik, Blog, brand, businessbook, chrisbrogan, communications, communitymanagement, connectedconsumer, consumerengagement, consumerprofile, contextualmarketing, corporatecommunications, corporateculture, customer+service, datamarketing, directrelationship, donpeppers, Facebook, garyvaynerchuk, google, humanresources, Innovation, instagram, josephjaffe, juliensmith, marketing, marketingagency, marketsareconversations, martharogers, mediachannel, nilofermerchant, onetoonemarketing, pinterest, publisher, publishing, sethgodin, socialmedia, socialmediaagency, socialmediamarketing, technology, thecluetrainmanifesto, theimpactequation, thepersonalbrand, trustagents, Twitter, Vine, webanalytics, YouTube • Tags: advertising campaigns, avinash kaushik, blog, brand, business book, chris brogan, communications, community management, connected consumer, consumer engagement, consumer profile, contextual marketing, corporate communications, corporate culture, customer service, data marketing, direct relationship, don peppers, facebook, gary vaynerchuk, google, human resources, innovation, instagram, joseph jaffe, julien smith, marketing, marketing agency, markets are conversations, martha rogers, media channel, nilofer merchant, one to one marketing, pinterest, publisher, publishing, seth godin, social media, social media agency, social media marketing, technology, the cluetrain manifesto, the impact equation, the personal brand, trust agents, twitter, vine, web analytics, youtube
Don’t blame technology for our unhealthy relationship with it.
Grazing the magazine newsstand on my flight to NYC last week, I was thrilled to see that the latest edition of Fast Company was on sale. I was even more excited to see Baratunde Thurston on the cover. Most people knew Thurston as the director of digital for The Onion. He then moved on to become a bestselling author (How To Be Black), a well recognized speaker, a a regular contributor at Fast Company and much more. In short, he was riding the wave of his digital connectedness upriver into global success, while developing a personal brand to be reckon with (over 140,000 followers on Twitter, multiple appearances in mainstream media and more). My heart sunk when I saw the name of the cover story: #Unplug – My Life Was So Crazy, I Disconnected For 25 Days. You Should Too. Next up: the siren-ringing sounds of your life as it comes crashing to a halt. There is a simple truth here that people don’t want to admit: it’s not the technology and all of this inter-connectedness that is the problem… it’s us.
Unplugging may make your misery worse.
How many notifications do you have set up in your life? Think about your smartphone. When does it notify you of anything? A voice call? A text message? A voicemail message? An update from Facebook? A direct message from Twitter? When you have a scheduled appointment? When someone would like to set-up an appointment? A notification that a meeting is about to happen? A warning that your flight may be delayed? What about your computer? A new email? An incoming Skype chat? A request to connect via Google Hangouts? A reminder that your favorite blogger on Huffington Post has just published a new piece? A special price for that hotel you were hoping to stay at? The lists, pings rings, beeps, buzzers and more could go on and on. Lately, Thurston isn’t the only one talking about a more regimented social media and technology diet. The enthusiasm that many people are expressing to create these digital bankruptcies shore up to a bigger problem: finding a healthy balance in our lives.
Don’t blame the potato chips.
Thurston and others who have recently talked about their inability to keep up with the influx of digital inputs (Chris Brogan and Seth Godin have frequently discussed these issues) could be missing the bigger point: this is the inevitable outcome of success. If you do everything right in terms of building a platform or something that people want to pay attention to, you will never be prepared or able to deal with that success. The same is often the case for brands who are looking to hit viral gold. More often than not, they are not prepared and flounder when it actually works. It is very hard to scale a personality. In short, we become victims of our success. No one is going to cry for Thurston, Godin, Brogan, me or you. Let our biggest problems in life be that we can’t keep up with all of the people who want to consume our media and connect with us. Let our email become one big, unwinnable, game of Tetris where all we’re doing is moving those messages from the inbox to a folder while attempting to respond, only to have that inbox continually increase at a faster and faster click, until: game over.
How to take your life back (without unplugging).
People are often shocked when they spend any amount of time with me in my protein form. My smartphone, laptop and tablet have zero notifications. Zero. There is only one notification set and that is a customized vibration tone on my iPhone for when my spouse calls and/or texts me. That’s it. Otherwise, I look at my devices when I have a moment. Seems simple enough? It is. Over time (and I have been using these technology from very nascent stages), those who connect with me no longer have expectations of an immediate response. The goal is simple: never put yourself in Thurston’s position so that your life requires a moment to unplug. Instead of letting the technology and their notifications manage you, start managing your technology and notifications.
The results will stun you.
You won’t find me thumbing the iPhone while pushing my kids on the swing at the park, because there is nothing notifying me of any sort of message. So, unless I take a break on the park bench and decide to pick up the device on my own accord, I don’t have to play life judge and figure out if an email is more important than the swing-set. This is key: notifications are ambiguous. They no longer tell you what’s important, they simply inform you that there is something new to look at. Like the Pavlovian creatures that we are, we just can’t help but take a peek at what the message could mean. Over time, this conditioning has jaded our judgment and confused the importance of our work. Many people attack the last message that came in rather than the important ones. Many people attack the messages that are quick to respond to and wait for more time in their day to attack to the ones that require more work. All of this isn’t technology’s fault. All of this is our fault, because we’re allowing the technology to manage us, instead of the other way around.
Take a break.
Instead of taking a break for any period of time, start deactivating your notifications. Block off specific moments in the day when you will check your social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…). Decide how much time you’re going to allocate to responding to email messages. A lot of the email back and forth can be solved with a thirty-second phone call, but we’ve conditioned ourselves to engage in a week-long email chain that looks more like a game of badminton than resolving a work-related issue. Agree that before you make a grab for any device, you will proactively define if what you’re doing in the here-and-now is more substantive than what may be on the digital screen in your pocket. See, if you unplug, you will eventually plug back in. What you’re plugging back into isn’t technology. You’re plugging back into bad habits. These habits were facilitated by how technology works, but they don’t have to be that way. The next time that you’re thinking about unplugging from it all, take a step back and ask yourself what, exactly, you’re unplugging from and how you can best manage the process? The vast majority of us will never have as much attention as Baratunde Thurston. The vast majority of us aren’t as gainfully engaged with all of these digital channels and social networks as Baratunde Thurston. Still, all of us can do a much better job at turning off the beeps, blips, lights, vibrations and ringers in our lives.
That act alone has nothing to to with unplugging, but everything to do with plugging into what is most important in our lives.
The above posting is my twice-monthly column for The Huffington Post. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure, but you can check out the original version online here:
6 months ago • badhabits, baratundethurston, brand, businessbook, businesscolumn, chrisbrogan, digitalbankruptcy, digitalchannel, digitalconnectedness, digitalscreen, email, Facebook, fastcompany, google, googlehangouts, howtobeblack, huffingtonpost, instagram, iphone, laptop, magazine, mediaattention, Newsstand, notifications, personalbrand, phonecall, pinterest, platform, sethgodin, skype, smartphone, socialfeed, socialmedia, socialmediadiet, socialnetwork, Tablet, technology, tetris, textmessage, theonion, Twitter, unplug, viralmarketing, voicemail • Tags: bad habits, baratunde thurston, brand, business book, business column, chris brogan, digital bankruptcy, digital channel, digital connectedness, digital screen, email, facebook, fast company, google, google hangouts, how to be black, huffington post, instagram, iphone, laptop, magazine, media attention, newsstand, notifications, personal brand, phone call, pinterest, platform, seth godin, skype, smartphone, social feed, social media, social media diet, social network, tablet, technology, tetris, text message, the onion, twitter, unplug, Viral Marketing, voicemail
Episode #349 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.
We are getting more regular when it comes to recording Media Hacks. In this semi-frequent podcast within this podcast we hold a roundtable …
9 months ago • advertisingpodcast, apple, bazaarvoice, Blog, blogging, brand, businessbook, ccchapman, chrisbrogan, christopherspenn, contentmarketing, davidusher, Dell, digitalmarketing, Doodle, ecommerce, Facebook, hughmcguire, itunes, juliensmith, marketing, marketingblogger, marketingpodcast, massrelevance, mediahacks, onlinesocialnetwork, podcast, podcasting, realtimemedia, samdecker, socialexperience, socialmedia • Tags: advertising podcast, apple, bazaarvoice, blog, blogging, brand, business book, cc chapman, chris brogan, christopher s penn, content marketing, david usher, dell, digital marketing, doodle, eCommerce, facebook, hugh mcguire, itunes, julien smith, marketing, marketing blogger, marketing podcast, mass relevance, media hacks, online social network, podcast, podcasting, real time media, sam decker, social experience, social media
Episode #342 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.
Does anyone remember Media Hacks? It was a semi-frequent podcast within this podcast that was a roundtable conversation with Chris Brogan, …
11 months ago • advertisingpodcast, Blog, blogging, brand, businessbook, ccchapman, chrisbrogan, christopherspenn, davidusher, digitalmarketing, Doodle, Facebook, hughmcguire, itunes, juliensmith, marketing, marketingblogger, marketingpodcast, mediahacks, onlinesocialnetwork, podcast, podcasting, socialmedia • Tags: advertising podcast, blog, blogging, brand, business book, cc chapman, chris brogan, christopher s penn, david usher, digital marketing, doodle, facebook, hugh mcguire, itunes, julien smith, marketing, marketing blogger, marketing podcast, media hacks, online social network, podcast, podcasting, social media
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013. What’s the plan?
I was never a fan of goal-setting… and even less of a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. For a long while, I was working within a framework called The Goal Cultivator courtesy of Dan Sullivan (aka The St…
12 months ago • barrypascal, beyond, brucelee, ccchapman, chrisbrogan, christopherspenn, comfortzone, ctrlaltdelete, dansullivan, goalcultivating, goalplanning, goalsetting, google, my3words, newyearsresolutions, starvation, student, TED, thegoalcultivator, theimpactequation, thestrategiccoach, tonyblauer, trustagents, twistimage, zeitgeist • Tags: barry pascal, beyond, bruce lee, cc chapman, chris brogan, christopher s penn, comfort zone, ctrl alt delete, dan sullivan, goal cultivating, goal planning, goal setting, google, my 3 words, new years resolutions, starvation, student, ted, the goal cultivator, the impact equation, the strategic coach, tony blauer, trust agents, twist image, zeitgeist
Read a good business book this year? Looking for the perfect holiday gift?
I’m usually one to shy away from "best of" and list-like posts, but ’tis the season (as they say). Beyond that, it was a great year for reading and there are some mar…
12 months ago • 11rulesforcreatingvalueinthesocialera, amazingthingswillhappen, austinkleon, bestbusinessbooks2012, brenebrown, businessbook, ccchapman, charlesduhigg, chrisanderson, chrisbrogan, claytonmchristensen, damngoodadvice, danariely, danielhpink, danpink, daringgreatly, georgelois, howwillyoumeasureyourlife, juliensmith, likeonomics, madmen, makers, nilofermerchant, petercoughter, quite, reading, rohitbhargava, socialbusiness, socialmedia, socialmediabook, steallikeanartist, susancain, theartofthepitch, thehonesttruthaboutdishonesty, theimpactequation, thepowerofhabit, tosellishuman, trustagents • Tags: 11 rules for creating value in the social era, amazing things will happen, austin kleon, best business books 2012, brene brown, business book, cc chapman, charles duhigg, chris anderson, chris brogan, clayton m christensen, damn good advice, dan ariely, dan pink, daniel h pink, daring greatly, george lois, how will you measure your life, julien smith, likeonomics, mad men, makers, nilofer merchant, peter coughter, quite, reading, rohit bhargava, social business, social media, social media book, steal like an artist, susan cain, the art of the pitch, the honest truth about dishonesty, the impact equation, the power of habit, to sell is human, trust agents
Episode #334 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.
Welcome to episode #334 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. Please excuse the nepotism, but I treat Chris Brogan and Jul…
1 year ago • advertisingpodcast, Blog, blogging, brand, businessbook, chrisbrogan, davidusher, digitalmarketing, Facebook, itunes, juliensmith, marketing, marketingblogger, marketingpodcast, onlinesocialnetwork, podcast, podcasting, socialmedia, theimpactequation, trustagents • Tags: advertising podcast, blog, blogging, brand, business book, chris brogan, david usher, digital marketing, facebook, itunes, julien smith, marketing, marketing blogger, marketing podcast, online social network, podcast, podcasting, social media, the impact equation, trust agents
Now – more than ever – it’s possible to do business from anywhere at any time.
For over ten years, I’ve been doing my best to figure out how to be as upwardly mobile as possible. To ensure that I can work from anywhere and have access to everything th…
1 year ago • airportlounge, apple, bosequietcomfort, briefcase, businesscolumn, chrisbrogan, consumerelectronics, DropBox, eaglecreek, eaglecreekpackitspectersac, extensionchord, iphone5, iphoneapp, juliensmith, laptop, laptopbackpack, macbookair, mobile, mobilebusiness, Monster, montrealgazette, newbusiness, newspapercolumn, noisecancellingheadphones, noiseisolatingheadphones, outletstogo, portablecomputer, postmedia, powercharger, poweroutlet, powerplug, roadwarrior, samsonite, smartphone, Tablet, theimpactequation, trustagents, tumi, vancouversun • Tags: airport lounge, apple, bose quiet comfort, briefcase, business column, chris brogan, consumer electronics, dropbox, eagle creek, eagle creek pack it specter sac, extension chord, iphone 5, iPhone App, julien smith, laptop, laptop backpack, macbook air, mobile, mobile business, monster, montreal gazette, new business, newspaper column, noise cancelling headphones, noise isolating headphones, outlets to go, portable computer, postmedia, power charger, power outlet, power plug, road warrior, samsonite, smartphone, tablet, the impact equation, trust agents, tumi, vancouver sun
Episode #315 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.
Julien Smith (co-author of Trust Agents with Chris Brogan and the author of The Flinch) was downright mad at me. We have lunch on a frequen…
1 year ago • advertisingpodcast, artistsforamnesty, Blog, blogging, brand, businessbook, chrisbrogan, chrisguillebeau, davidusher, digitalmarketing, entrepreneur, Facebook, googleadsense, googleadwords, itunes, juliensmith, marketing, marketingblogger, marketingpodcast, microbusiness, onlinesocialnetwork, podcast, podcasting, socialmedia, the100startup, theartofnonconformity, theflinch, trustagents, unconventionalguides, worlddominationsummit • Tags: advertising podcast, artists for amnesty, blog, blogging, brand, business book, chris brogan, chris guillebeau, david usher, digital marketing, entrepreneur, facebook, google adsense, google adwords, itunes, julien smith, marketing, marketing blogger, marketing podcast, micro business, online social network, podcast, podcasting, social media, the 100 startup, the art of non conformity, the flinch, trust agents, unconventional guides, world domination summit
Why do you blog? Why should you blog?
One of my most favorite people is Gini Dietrich from Arment Dietrich and the always fun to read blog, Spin Sucks. Today, she published a blog titled, Responding (Or Not) to Blog Comments, in which she says: "…
1 year ago • armentdietrich, Blog, blogcomments, blogger, blogging, chrisbrogan, conversation, criticalthinking, Facebook, geofflivingston, ginidietrich, marketing, media, newthinking, onlinecommunity, onlinevideo, publishing, spinsucks, Twitter, valeriamaltoni, Writing, YouTube • Tags: arment dietrich, blog, blog comments, blogger, blogging, chris brogan, conversation, critical thinking, facebook, geoff livingston, gini dietrich, marketing, media, new thinking, online community, online video, publishing, spin sucks, twitter, valeria maltoni, writing, youtube
Earlier this year, I traveled to Norway to share a stage with Mitch Joel, Valeria Maltoni, Chris Brogan, and Maggie Fox. During our stay there, we ended up having a conversation about blog comments and replying to them. In fact, it’s a conversation Mitch and I have nearly every time we talk. You see, he [...]
I must say the pre-keynote presentation was hilarious. Tom Webster (@webby2001) from Edison Research shared some “feedback” his company had received from the post-session surveys that were sent out for evaluation of the speakers. The comments were those that many bloggers experience on a daily basis: Poorly written, irrelevant, spam on your painstakingly written blog [...]
Trying to convince online influencers to tweet, blog, instagram, or pin nice things about your company is the post-modern version of celebrity endorsement, but with less impact. Public relations firms and/or in-house communication apparatchiks take the same concepts and mechanics of celebrity endorsement and bring them online, using Klout scores in lieu of celebrity Q scores, and blogger [...]
Why didn’t they have commencement speeches like this when I was growing up?
In the past couple of years, it seems like more and more amazingly powerful commencement speeches have been making their way online. The Steve Jobs one still gets its fair sha…
2 years ago • apple, chrisbrogan, comicbook, comicbookartist, commencementspeech, juliensmith, neilgaiman, onlinevideo, presentation, publicspeaking, sandman, Speech, stephenking, stevejobs, theflinch, theuniversityofthearts, trustagents • Tags: apple, chris brogan, comic book, comic book artist, commencement speech, julien smith, neil gaiman, online video, presentation, public speaking, sandman, speech, stephen king, Steve Jobs, the flinch, the university of the arts, trust agents
Can you sum up your professional you in one or two words?
I was very touched watching the documentary, Being Elmo, on PBS’ Independent Lens. The movie is about Kevin Clash (the puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo). From a very young age, Clash demon…
2 years ago • beingelmo, Blog, brandexpression, character, chrisbrogan, documentary, elmo, fozziebear, independantlens, kevinclash, love, marketingblog, misspiggy, muppet, onething, pbs, professionalcareer, Puppet, puppeteer, sesamestreet, success • Tags: being elmo, blog, brand expression, character, chris brogan, documentary, elmo, fozzie bear, independant lens, kevin clash, love, marketing blog, miss piggy, muppet, one thing, pbs, professional career, puppet, puppeteer, sesame street, success
Blogs are one of the most valuable marketing tools ever created.
I believe that. I don’t just say it. I mean it by walking the talk. I started blogging in September 2003, and since then I have written almost three thousand posts. I’m proud of this blo…
2 years ago • ambernaslund, apple, avinashkaushik, Blog, blogcomment, blogger, blogging, bloggingphilosophy, blogmeme, blogplatform, blogpost, blogroll, brand, businessbook, chrisbrogan, content, darrenrowse, davidmeermanscott, digitalmarketingservices, enewsletter, Evernote, Facebook, ginidietrich, googleplusforbusiness, infovore, iphone, jasonfalls, jaybaer, jeffjarvis, mac, macbookair, magazine, marketingagency, markwschaefer, moleskine, movabletype, pc, peterpetrovski, podcampboston, podcats, publishing, rethinkconference, rssfeed, selfpromotion, sethgodin, sharing, socialmedia101, Tag, tompeters, trustagents, twistimage, Twitter, VMWare, windowslivewriter, Wordpress, Writing • Tags: amber naslund, apple, avinash kaushik, blog, blog comment, blog meme, blog platform, blog post, blogger, blogging, blogging philosophy, blogroll, brand, business book, chris brogan, content, darren rowse, david meerman scott, digital marketing services, enewsletter, evernote, facebook, gini dietrich, google plus for business, infovore, iphone, jason falls, jay baer, jeff jarvis, Mac, macbook air, magazine, mark w schaefer, marketing agency, moleskine, movabletype, pc, peter petrovski, podcamp boston, podcats, publishing, rethink conference, rss feed, self promotion, seth godin, sharing, social media 101, tag, tom peters, trust agents, twist image, twitter, vmware, windows live writer, wordpress, writing
The best thing about social media marketing is that you don’t have to be the most popular, have the most followers, or be the most sophisticated, you just have to do a better job than all your direct competitors. You don’t have to be the fa…
2 years ago • AllTop, ashton kutcher, Charlie Sheen, Chris Abraham, digital PR, digital storytelling, klout, New Media, social marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Twitter, Word-of-Mouth Marketing • Tags: chris brogan, gary vaynerchuk
That’s SMWF Europe over for another year; thanks to everyone who took time out of the ludicrously summery weather to come indoors and listen to a host of social media experts waxing lyrical about the developments in our industry. After Chris Brogan tore down our preconceptions and misapprehensions on the morning of day one, before [...]