Tag Archives: Social Media

The Decisive 2009 Social Media Event Calendar

Add them to your calendar now and start looking for budget. Susan Mernit published her calendar of the most important social media events for 2009 . In addition, JD Lascia created a similar list of social media events with a quick blurb about each.

There are so many good opportunities to extend the relationships you’ve established online, and these are among the best. For communicators interested in bleeding edge social media conversations, I highly recommend Austin’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival in March and Maine’s Pop Tech conference in October. Bloggers shouldn’t miss the Web 2.0 Conference or Supernova in San Francisco, or BlogHer in Chicago/New York.

If you don’t have budget to travel, check for meetings of Social Media Club , Social Media Breakfast or PodCamp in your area.

Social Media Statistics Galore

Statistics are persuasive, which is why you’re going to need them to help persuade the holder of the purse strings to invest in a social media strategy. My Mashable post today titled “how to find statistics on social media” offers a selection of key stats and resources to round out that PowerPoint deck you’ve been waiting to present.

I’ll summarize some of them here:Social media is rapidly becoming a core channel for disseminating information. Fifty-seven percent of this group of early social media adopters reported that social media tools are becoming more valuable to their activities, while 27% reported that social media is a core element of their communications strategy.

- Society for New Communications Research, “New Media, New Influencers & Implications for Public Relations

Social media can have a dramatic impact on your brand’s reputation. “34% post opinions about products and brands on their blog and 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs.

- Universal McCann’s Social Media Research Wave 3

Just over one quarter of the Inc. 500 reported social media was very important to their business/marketing strategy in 2007. That number has increased to 44% just one year later.

- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research

Social networking use grew 24% year over year worldwide, with notable increases in Europe and the Middle East.

- Comscore, August 12, 2008

And here are a few compelling statistics not included in the post:


Over one-in-five (20.9%) of reporters said they spend over an hour-a-day reading blogs. A total of nearly three in five (57.1%) reporters said they read blogsat least two to three times a week.

- Brodeur Reporters Survey, January 2008

If you have any other statistics you find useful (along with their source), please share the link in the comments section below!

SXSW Interactive Launches Panel Picker

image If you’re planning to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin next March, it’s time to vote for the sessions you’re most interested in seeing. Organizers recently launched the Panel Picker, which empowers participants to review all of the proposal submissions and cast a vote for the sessions that sound most appealing.

According to the site, voting will account for about 30% of the decision making process, while the remainder will be at the discretion of the advisory board and organizers.  Categories range from advertising to community to new technology, each of which have close to 200 submissions. That’s why you’ll probably want to use the robust panel search function, as you can also just look for keywords you’re most interested in, like panel submissions that include the word ‘suck. If you want to vote, you first have to create an account. It’s a pretty cool search function, and will help you wade through all of the different submissions.

Voting closes August 29, so if you have a panelist you want to see or topic that you want to hear, now’s your chance to let it be known. I highly recommend (cough, cough) voting for the one that I’d be a part of, “PR for Peanuts.”

And if you live in Austin and have a couch I can crash on in March, let me know!

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40+ Topics for Corporate Bloggers


While I was on a bit of a social media vacation last week, Mashable published my post on 40+ Topics for Corporate Bloggers. I started it off by saying that there will be times that you have to contribute a post for your company’s blog and you just don’t have one idea that inspires you to start a conversation.

It’s difficult to blog on behalf of your company, even if you love what you do. For one, you’re representing your company in a public way.  That’s scary, especially if you haven’t done so before. Also, you have to find topics that don’t compromise your company’s corporate blogging policy but still provide value to readers. Of course, some of the most exciting things you’re working on might not be ready to be shared publicly. So what the heck do you write about?

The Drama 2.0 blog took issue with my list, saying that a canned list of topics lacks authenticity and that “forcing” a blogger to write on a topic that doesn’t inspire them actually hurts the conversation. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.

The value of lists like this is that they provide a resource for corporate bloggers to turn to when they just can’t think of something to write. I’ve been there before, and I find lists like this one from Chris Brogan are helpful in sparking a new post idea or topic. That’s probably why they are so popular. We all approach blog writing from different perspectives, even if we begin with similar ideas.

The conclusion of my post is the same one that I’ll end with here:

Remember, what makes a good corporate blog post is the passion of the writer. Find the topics that you are most interested in and help your readers to feel that same type of excitement.

Going Offline: 5 Books on Corporate Social Media

image I’m trying to take a social media vacation, and it’s not working out so well. I’ve found it much more difficult to unplug than I imagined. It’s hard to let go of something that you’re passionate about, which is why I’ve been doing a lot of reading on social media during this downtime.

My Mashable post today includes a list of books on corporate social media. It includes:

There are a lot of free ebooks and white papers out there if you don’t want to cough up the money for one of these (cough, cough CHEAP cough, cough). However, if you’re tasked with formulating a corporate social media plan or you just want to learn more about how it can impact your business, any of these are well worth the investment.

Alright, I’m going to try unplugging again and see if it sticks this time.

How to Measure Social Media ROI for Business


My post on Mashable today is about measuring social media ROI for business. This was a difficult post to write for several reasons.

First, I know there are a lot of smart people already talking about this and I wanted to make sure I added to the conversation. It’s hard to do that when there hasn’t been a ton of progress or much movement in the last 12 months. In the research I conducted, I found the same themes in blogs tackling the subject today as I found in those from a year ago.

Second, there’s still no answer. It depends on the tactic, the audience, the objectives, the measurement tools and the department (i.e. PR or Marketing) conducting said measurement. That’s just one of the reasons I feel in large organizations, social media fall under the guidance of the PR team. I’ll address that in another post.

Finally, communicators or experts in this space need to come up with a set of measurement guidelines for the value of a conversation. In the absence of any proposed guidelines for social media measurement, we’ll see the regurgitation of the same points time and again. For example, PR firms generally agree that the value of an article placed in a newspaper is three times that of the value of an advertisement in the same paper of roughly the same size. I’m sure there’s some sort of study out there that supports it, but it seems pretty arbitrary as a rule of thumb. But it’s something.

So here’s my question: who should be tasked with developing standards for social media measurement? What organizations are already working on it? How do you measure social media success for your company?

Everything You Know About Viral Video Is Wrong

At least that’s the word from a guy who should know. Arun Chaudhary, Barack Obama’s director of video field production, has helped the campaign to post more than 1000 videos on YouTube as well as capture footage for TV ads, news clips and everything else.

After taking leave from his day job as an adjunct professor at NYU’s film school to work for the candidate, he returned to the university last night in his first public appearance, sponsored by frog design and Fast Company. Chaudhary spoke to a packed crowd about the use of video by political campaigns in an age when everything is documented and how that is impacting the political process.

The one hour chat was moderated by Fast Company senior writer Ellen McGirt,  who reported on the campaign in the April 2008 cover story “The Brand Called Obama.” There were a lot of great gems, but I wanted to focus on two things Chaudhary said.

The first was the example he gave of Hilary Clinton’s 3 AM ad:

When the ad aired, it turned out that the sleeping girl in the stock footage the campaign used was actually an Obama supporter. Four years ago, there was little you could do to get that message out. But Chaudhary’s team found the girl, Casey, and put together a YouTube video. At one minute, it was still too expensive for TV, but it had the opportunity to spread online:

As the campaign moved forward and the YouTube channel became a destination to post footage from Obama’s speeches and appearances, the community started talking back. Comments below the posts, emails to the new media team and general feedback at events yielded two findings:

  1. The audience for the YouTube video skewed towards an older demographic – 45-55 year olds — not the typical 18-34 age group most people expect to find on YouTube.
  2. People didn’t want short, edited clips. They wanted to watch the whole video.

What? People want to watch long form videos?!?!  Chaudhary went on to say that based on what they’ve heard from the community, people aren’t interested in sound bites and clever edits. According to the numbers, full speeches at important moments are underestimated. That might be unique to the political process, where people want more context as every quote has the potential to be politicized (ask Jesse Jackson). But I don’t think so.

Key takeaways:

  • People want transparency
  • Don’t make assumptions about your audience – listen first!
  • You never know which moments people will respond to, so test and test and test. You might be surprised by the outcome.

What say you?

The iPhone is Released Today…Yawn

image Personally, I don’t care. I don’t have AT&T and therefore, I can’t get one. This post is how I’m dealing with that jealousy.

I have noticed that the release is dominating my Twitter and FriendFeed streams. Hopefully someone is watching the chatter, as this will make an interesting case study about the role of social media in product launches.

And of course, the excitement will quickly be followed by the product glitches and subsequent criticism of the company  through social media.

That’s also part of the new product lifecycle. I wonder if Apple has a strategy for dealing with this already in place…

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How To Leverage Social Media For Business


My post on Mashable today discusses how businesses can begin using social media for community building and conversations. Obviously it’s impossible to construct a plan based on a single post, but I hope there are some good ideas mixed up in there to get the juices flowing.

After the tutorial was published, I shared the link with my Twitter community, asking them for their thoughts. Several people responded:

  • @MSGiro said, “I’d also toss in be prepared for the good and bad yet don’t fear the bad. Embrace and learn from it.”
  • @PaullYoung said, “Good outline mate, solid for the newbs. Go offline is always handy, but not essential. Good concise writing!”
  • @RobertCollins said, “I’ve found capturing 3 things our client’s exec staff are passionate about & sharing gets them to listen and engage faster.”

Thanks for all this feedback. That’s the part of social media that I enjoy most: the ability to bat ideas like this back and fourth in near real time with people I respect all over the world.

There’s a lot more that probably deserves to be covered as part of this topic, so I’ll try to do so here over the next few days.

Facebook In China As A Community Organizing Tool

“Wen Jia-bao is my homeboy,” shouts one of the comments on the wall of Chinese Premier’s Facebook profile.

Portolio’s Daily Brief reports that Premier Wen has garnered more than 50,000 supporters in 30 days, primarily in response to his handling of the situation following last month’s devastating earthquakes. The profile, obviously not created by the Premier himself, displays his image as well as some publicly available information about him and relevant URLs in a mix of English and Mandarin.

Now the Party probably doesn’t rely on Facebook as a barometer for how their policies are received by its citizens, but perhaps a future generation of leaders will.

One of the opportunities here is to listen to the feedback from constituencies. It might seem obvious, but I doubt that many government agencies are doing this. Yes, they are monitoring these networks, but for security reasons, not for feedback.

But a lot of good can come from listening. Some companies are already seeing the value of this. It’s time for governments to do the same in a much more transparent way.

And if they’re smart, they’ll check the pulse of the population in other large Asian social networking communities like 51.com, Friendster or Hi5 as well.

What do you think? Am I way off base here?