Persuasive Picks for the week of 12/13/10

Top 10 PR blunders of 2010
Is there anything more satisfying than reading about the PR trials and tribulations of others to reassure you that you’re doing everything correctly? Read on to find out – unless you’re on the list… in which case, move on to the next pick. :)

Finding the Sweet Spot for Journalism and Social Media
There’s no doubt that mainstream print media entities are still trying to figure out who should be running social media within their respective organizations. This AdvertisingAge post from Thomas Pardee explores how the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today are handling the task.

One-third of Brands Converting via Social Media
Stats abound in this MarketingProfs recap of a recent R2integrated survey that found over one-third of participating companies have been able to make cold hard cash through their social media efforts. That number is projected to increase throughout 2011, as over 60% of marketers surveyed will be increasing their budgets for social.

Leaked Slide Shows Yahoo Is Killing Delicious & Other Web Apps
As an avid user of Delicious, I was saddened to hear that Yahoo will be pulling the plug on the well known bookmarking service in addition to several other acquired services. Luckily, there’s an export feature in the Delicious settings section to download and save your links. Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell gives the rundown on the story, via this post.

6 Social Media Success Metrics You Need to Track
Social Stratagist Jay Baer shares several “undervalued” sources of social metrics that you should consider adding to your measurement routine.

The Almighty, The All Powerful…The Tweet

This past week, Twitter revealed 2010’s “Twitter Trends”—a snapshot of the top overall topics that have dominated the 95 million tweets a day* sent this past year from across the world. Twitter released the top trends overall—splitting up the top tweets into categories including news events, people, movies, television, technology, world cup, sports, and hashtags.

According to a recent blog post, Twitter explains the “Twitter Trends” process as “automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously. The Trends list is designed to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world, in real-time. The Trends list captures the hottest emerging topics, not just what’s most popular.”

Further, Jodi Olsen (@jodiolson), in charge of Twitter’s Corporate Communications, in a separate Twitter blog post added in, “These Trends indicate the things that are most meaningful in our lives. Each day on Twitter, people tweet about news, sports, entertainment and cool new technology–and everything else in between. The list of 2010 Twitter Trends reflects what’s happening in our world, demonstrates the power of turning any event or story into a shared experience, and underscores Twitter’s value as a real-time information network.”

The overall Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010 are as follows:

  1. Gulf Oil Spill
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. Inception
  4. Haiti Earthquake
  5. Vuvuzela
  6. Apple iPad
  7. Google Android
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  10. Pulpo Paul

In addition to the top overall trends, Twitter compiled a list of the “10 Most Powerful Tweets.” Examining Twitter’s list of powerful tweets proved thought-provoking. It represents the various ways people use Twitter from the political world to disaster relief.

are as follows:

  1. Ann Curry: “@usairforce find a way to let Doctors without Borders planes land in Haiti: http://bit.ly/8hYZOK THE most effective at this.” (http://twitter.com/AnnCurry)
  2. The White House: “Welcome to @twitter President Medvedev! RT @KremlinRussia_E: Hello everyone! I’m on Twitter, and this is my first tweet.” (http://twitter.com/whitehouse/)
  3. Cyclist Leigh Fazzina: “I’ve had a serious injury and NEED Help! Can somone please call Winding Trails in Farmington, CT tell them I’m stuck bike crash in woods.” (http://twitter.com/LeighFazzina/)
  4. BP’s Fake PR Account: “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.” (http://twitter.com/BPGlobalPR)
  5. Ecuador’s President: “Gobierno declara estado de Excepción #Ecuador #30S” (http://twitter.com/Presidencia_Ec)
  6. Clarence House, the office of the Prince of Wales: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – www.princeofwales.gov.uk” (http://twitter.com/ClarenceHouse)
  7. Sun’s CEO: “Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku. Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more” (http://twitter.com/OpenJonathan/)
  8. Idaho’s John Foster: “Congratulations to Raul Labrador on a hard-earned win, and best of luck as Idaho’s next Congressman.” (http://twitter.com/foster208)
  9. Spain’s defender Carles Puyol: “Gran ambiente en la rua!!orgulloso de ver a tanta gente feliz. http://twitpic.com/24qkg5″ (http://twitter.com/Carles5puyol/)
  10. Conan O’Brien: “Hey Internet: I’m headed to your town on a half-a–ed comedy & music tour. Go to http://TeamCoco.com for tix. I repeat: It’s half-a–ed.” (http://twitter.com/ConanOBrien/)

While the list may appear simple: 10 tweets; the 140-character statements prove the real power of Twitter as a social medium. Twitter isn’t about easy mass-marketing or how many times you can tweet at your followers– the real power of Twitter is creating conversation, building authentic relationships, and most importantly tweeting to your followers. Not to mention, Twitter is the essence of viral marketing—no other social network can match Twitter’s effectiveness and speed in getting a message across to millions of people. In fact, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center about  8% of American adults who use the Internet are Twitter users. Twitter just may be the communication tool of the coming age.

So my fellow Tweeps— how’s your buzz level? What did you tweet about this year? Do you have a powerful tweet that’s missing from the list above to share with us? What was your breakthrough tweet this year? Please share your thoughts and top tweets of the year with us in the comments below.

*Twitter Blog, 12/8/2010

Persuasive Picks for the week of 12/06/10

Social Media Success: 5 Lessons From In-House Corporate Teams
Providing internal resources for social media related tasks is almost always a challenge for brands to tackle. What type of success might your brand be able to obtain if creating a dedicated team became a reality? Mashable‘s Amy-Mae Elliott shares five stories from brands that have made the leap and have enjoyed success through building their own social media teams.

Social Media Gains Ground in PR Biz
John Egan of the AustinInnovation blog shares highlights from a recent Vocus survey that shows social media becoming more important to PR professionals throughout 2011.

Does the World Need Another Social Media Site?
Just when you think your social media toolbox is filled with everything you’d ever need, something new pops up to steal your attention. Could Hashable be the next big contender for your social attention? SBTV.com CEO and Fast Company Expert Blogger, Susan Solovic gives a brief run down of what makes Hashable stand out from the crowd.

Five B2B Trends for 2011
A new year typically means that a plethora of “trend prediction” posts will invade the blogosphere. This one in particular caught my eye, as Lisa Nirell from EnergizeGrowth, LLC shares potential trends that will be of interest to those in the B2B space.

Introducing the New (Facebook) Profile
Facebook launched a new look for personal profiles – the new features almost give profiles a LinkedIn type feel. Facebook users can opt-in to use the new profiles now while Facebook plans for a full rollout in the beginning of 2011. Learn more about the changes after the jump and read more on the official Facebook blog.

Yes, Content Rules… With a Clear Strategy

We’re proud sponsors of tomorrow’s launch party for the new book Content Rules by Ann Handley (Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs), and C.C. Chapman (founder of DigitalDads). We’re big fans of both authors and know their ongoing content quite well – so I know the book will become a social media business bible of sorts.

Content has been on my mind quite a lot this week as we’ve been working with clients to create marketing and sales content. One thing I’ve noticed is that many businesses are getting caught up in creating content but have no strategy behind it. They want us to create a custom Facebook tab or an event microsite or a video to tell a story. But what I’ve found is that they aren’t always thinking about who they want to tell the story to, or what they want the story to accomplish – or even what action or return they are expecting from issuing their content. And, they’re usually not sure where they want the content to live – or why they want it in a certain place over another.

Jumping into content development without a strategy in mind is indicative of some of the social media hype. Brands just want to get “something cool” out there and they aren’t thinking about the RRR – resource to return ratio. At the same time, many complain that involvement in social media takes too much time and the ROI isn’t yet clear. That’s what happens when you don’t have a strategy!

Creating content for content’s sake is not a good use of your resources: time, money or people. It’s one of the reasons that I believe PR and marketing should be involved in the social media process for businesses. Sure, the marketing department doesn’t have to create the content necessarily, but they should have a hand in helping to shape the messages within it, as well as where it should live and how it should be promoted. Marketers are experts at messaging – and if your content has an empty or off-kilter message, it’s just noise.

Here are a few simple things businesses should be thinking about before they jump into creating social media content:

  • What do we want to share?
  • In what form do we want to share it?
  • Who do we we want sharing it? (CEO? Customers? Partners? Spokesperson?)
  • Who do we want to say it to?
  • Why will they listen/watch/read/care?
  • What do we want them to do as a result? (If anything)
  • What will we consider a success as a result of creating this content?
  • How will we track and measure that success?
  • What resources do we need?
  • Do we expect people to interact with this content? Share it? Write about it? How do we make that happen?
  • Where do we want it to live?
  • How will we share and promote it?

It sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how many brands jump into content development without asking these basic questions. They see something that worked for another brand (ex: Old Spice) and they say, “Hey, we can do that!” – without thinking about how it applies to their customers, their business and their goals.

Don’t create noise. Create content with a purpose. A purpose comes from defining a clear strategy before you begin.

Got more tips for businesses looking to create social content? We’d love for you to share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Persuasive Picks for the week of 11/29/10

LinkedIn Launches Share Button
LinkedIn might be a little late to the party with the release of its sharing button for blogs and websites, but it will certainly earn its spot among the many ways you can allow your community to share content. Get the lowdown on the button’s release via this post on Mashable.

How Much Time Does Social Media Marketing Take?
Aliza Sherman shares an updated take of Beth Kanter‘s original 2008 info-graphic on how much time per week social media activities take to implement. The difference between the two is interesting and shows how access to better tools can make us more efficient at getting the job done.

Does B2B Social Media Drive Holiday Sales?

Jeffrey L. Cohen, Managing Editor for SocialMediaB2B.com shares a few tips on how B2B organizations can successfully mix a little holiday cheer into their social media relationship-building efforts.

10 Steps To Kickoff A Social Media Campaign
KeySplash Creative CEO Susan Gunelius shares 10 informative tips to help get your social campaigns started off on the right foot in this guest post on BussinessInsider.com.

Me v Gary Vee: Is Social Media Over-rated?
Techcrunch‘s Paul Carr and Gary Vaynerchuk discuss the merits of social media in this Webby Debates video moderated by CNNMoney’s Laurie Segall.