Persuasive Picks for the Week of 03/24/08

There were a lot of juicy bits to choose from this week. Here are a few that made our Persuasive Picks:

A Successful MySpace Social Media Campaign
While not all businesses will find MySpace to be suitable platform for their Social Media campaigns, those who might will find inspiration in this post on the Social Media Optimization blog. It details the success that Disney had during its recent campaign to promote its “Step Up” movie franchise.

15 Reasons Why Blogging Matters More Than Ever
If Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation Blog and Podcast aren’t on the top of your reading and listening lists each week, then you should take some time to work them to the top of your list. This week he touches upon why blogging still matters. While its a topic that has been beaten to death on hundreds of blogs already, Mitch’s points are all very relevant and are presented in a thoughtful way that keep the material fresh.

The Ready, Fire, Aim, Reload Strategy for Social Media Success
Brian Clark from Copyblogger touches upon a new a new style of thinking that should be understood when adapting to the process of creating content for your site’s visitors.

Case Study: Dissecting the Dell Regeneration Graffiti Facebook Campaign
Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang analyzes Dell’s recent Regeneration Graffiti campaign on Facebook and shows that sometimes letting go and letting the community drive the “campaign bus” can yield very positive results.

The Beauty, Secrets and Utility of Twitter for Business
Social Media Strategy Consultant, B.L Ochman shares her experiences and love for Twitter and how it fits into her daily ritual as a favorite business tool.

Turning radicals into revolutionaries: the key to kick-starting your social strategy
More good nuggets from the Forrester camp this week with this post by Charlene Li who taps more content from her upcoming book Groundswell. This time Charlene speaks towards harnessing the power of your most passionate employees to lead the charge in engaging your customers online.

Persuasive Picks for the Week of 03/17/2008

This post marks the start of a new weekly series on PerkettPRsuasion that will highlight many of the notable happenings in the world of Social Media and PR. From time to time we’ll also include links to posts about personal productivity and tips for working in a virtual company like PerkettPR (10 years strong!!). Each entry will include links to the original post as well as some brief commentary explaining a bit about the topic and its relevance. Here are the “Persuasive Picks” for this week:

25 Social Media Buzzwords Explained (Part 1 & Part 2)
Jim Tobin from IgniteSocialMedia.com shares this great two-part post listing 25 common Social Media buzzwords and brief explanations of each. This is a good primer for folks who are new to the Social Media space and want to get a jump-start on the lingo.

Bucking the System
Forrester’s Josh Bernoff shares insight on strategies for pioneering change towards Social Media within your company. The advise is taken straight from Bernoff and Charlene Li’s upcoming book, Groundswell.

15 Free Social Media White Papers and Ebooks
Even if you’re a seasoned Social Media maven, there are sure to be some interesting nuggets and different perspectives found in this compilation of 15 white papers and ebooks posted on Mashable.

How I tamed my inbox
Chris Brogan shares his process for keeping his email inbox clean and projects organized. Both are chores that haunt web-workers on a daily basis! Chris also provides a link to Merlin Mann’s excellent “Inbox Zero” talk that he presented at the Google offices last year.

Organizing Our Digital Lives
Scott Monty fom Crayon appears on MarketingProf’s Daily Fix this week and shares a number of web-based aggregators that can help you get a handle on the fire hose of information that can drown the typical web-worker. I’ve played with a few of them, and they can definitely help get the flow under control.

Starbucks Transformational Agenda
Brand Autopsy’s John Moore takes a look at the initiatives that Starbucks announced after their 2008 Shareholders Meeting and offers an interesting perspective. All eyes are on their announcement of the MyStarbucksIdea.com website that is being launched as part of their new Social Media strategy. Its success (or failure) could be the next most popular case-study!

Thats all for this week. Feel free to leave a comment and start a discussion on any of the topics. Let us know what you think of the format, and stay tuned for more “Persuasive Picks” next week!

Tools of choice: Twitter vs. Facebook

Social Media consultant Tom Raftery recently wrote a blog post about the power of Twitter versus Facebook as communications tools. Tom had recently used both tools to aid his search for a new job. Ultimately, he found the Twitter community responded to his to his messages much more frequently than his attempt on Facebook and he sites that the power of Twitter is in the network.

I couldn’t agree with Tom any more. From my own personal experiences, I have found Twitter to be a much more valuable networking tool than Facebook. For the most part, I think it comes down to the nature of the two beasts.

Facebook is Passive

When it comes to reaching our to your social graph for help or answers to questions, Facebook leans towards a very “traditional marketing” approach in the way that it lets you communicate. You can either directly contact someone with your message or post something in your status or profile. When you go down that path, your only hope is that someone is paying attention and sees it in between games Scrabulous games and warding off Vampire bites.

As echoed many times throughout the course of 2007, business professionals are adopting the use of Facebook at a rapid pace. That still doesn’t change the mostly passive way it operates as a communications tool. For the business professional, Facebook is a fun, great less formal alternative to LinkedIn. It allows you to build an online calling card of sorts and it provides the ability to keep your contacts up to date on the latest happenings in your life through photos and video. True conversation can be found through discussion threads within Facebook groups. Finding groups that both match your interests – and that are consistently active – can be a hit or miss situation.

Twitter is Active

On the other hand, Twitter does one thing and it does it well. It’s all about the conversation and there is always someone there to who will see your message. From the outside looking in, it’s often hard for people to understand the value that Twitter brings to the table. Its value is directly related to the quality of the people that you choose to follow. My Twitter network has grown substantially faster than my friends on Facebook. In fact, a good portion of my friends on Facebook are folks who I originally connected with on Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter are also fairly different when it comes to demographics. In October of 2007, Forrester’s Charlene Li presented that 34% of Facebook’s user base is comprised of business professionals. Twitter didn’t start as a student targeted platform and, from personal observation, I would bet that professional use dominates the platform by 90% or more. Younger generations are already deeply engrained in SMS messaging and standard instant messaging. This difference keeps the conversation on a generally more “mature” and honest level. Experienced Twitter users are always ready and willing to lend a helping hand, no matter if it’s with raising money for a friend in need, or voting on the best commercials during the Superbowl.

Who wins the battle?

In the end, I don’t think either Facebook or Twitter can be deemed better than the other. They both server different purposes and provide different mechanisms for communicating with your peers or target audiences. Facebook is feature-rich and offers passive and indirect communication tools. Twitter focuses specifically on the conversation and enables more immediate and direct communication with your all of your “Followers.”

Based on these reasons, it definitely pays off to put some thought into the tools you use when communicating with your social graph. Choosing the correct tool based on the your specific needs will give you the most “bang for your buck” – even when the tools are free!

What do you think? If you have a Twitter or Facebook success story, we’d love to hear about it!

UPDATE: Facebook Beacon – Maybe Not SO Transparent

12/7/2007: UPDATE – this week Facebook issued an apology and users can now opt out.

The advent of social media has had everyone throwing words around such as transparency, interaction and sharing. But the hoopla this week over Facebook’s Beacon suggests that the world is not as transparent and willing to share personal information as many business executives had hoped. Apparently the extent of how “social” consumers are willing to be is still a mystery to the business world.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Facebook announced Social Ads earlier this month, as well as the launch of Beacon, “a new way to socially distribute information on Facebook.” Beacon is “a core element of the Facebook Ads system for connecting businesses with users and targeting advertising to the audiences they want.”

With public outcry and petitions galore from Facebook users, the company has backed down a little and is now offering users the option to publish or not publish the information in the “stories” feed. It seems that all the social media fans are not willing to be quite so transparent as having their online shopping behavior become news to their “friends.” (Shocker!)

A universal opt-out has been unclear to-date, although Charlene Li of Forrester Research just published official word from Facebook that “Adding Beacon-generated stories will require an explicit opt-in by the member. Before, if the member did nothing, the story would appear.”

There’s always a catch to free services, friends – Facebook has just taken the online advertising model a bit too far. Duncan Riley of TechCrunch does a good job here of dissecting exactly what this means to users. We haven’t canceled our Facebook accounts – yet – have you?

Can’t wait for the Groundswell

Forrester Research analysts/bloggers Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff will be announcing the winners of their Groundswell Awards this week and we can’t wait. Not because we submitted clients but because we are genuinely interested in what’s happening out there with social networking and technologies.

The winners will be announced at the Forrester Consumer Forum, taking place October 11 and 12 in Chicago. You can read a sneak peek from some of the entries in Josh’s September 17 blog entry, “Insight from 78 Social Media Projects.”

While B2C is well on its way with social media success, our clients are constantly asking us who’s doing what with social media, what the results have been, who’s doing it well and who’s not – especially in the B2B space. If you have great examples or articles to share, please let us know. For now, it seems everyone in B2B is stumbling around in the dark looking for the light! Agree? Disagree? Know a company who’s figured it all out when it comes to social networking for B2B? Please, share!