Persuasive Picks for week of 4/30/12

Women Are More Social – When It Comes to Social Media, That Is writes Entrepreneur’s Mikal E. Belicove reporting the results of Nielsen’s latest State of The Media report that shows women are the alpha players on the social media playground.

In How Products Participate In Social Media, expert blogger Matt Compton explains that the evolution of the Internet and smart devices has created an amazing fabric of connected lives and now weaves together people’s connections with things, and brands are starting to “participate” in new and meaningful ways. – via FastCompany.

Freelance writer Michael Estrin says there’s no longer a question whether a brand should have a YouTube channel. Instead, the question is, what should a brand do with its YouTube channel? Here’s his 6 lessons in launching a branded YouTube Channel on iMediaConnection.

Many businesses see their social media following as a list, without acknowledging there’s a human being on the other end. James Debono at SocialMediaToday thinks that they just aren’t “getting it” and gives 10 guidelines for Marketing with Social Media – Grow A Loyal Community by Increasing Your Worth.

Thanks From PerkettPR

It’s that time of year again when we take a day off in the U.S. to breathe a little more, slow down (even if for just one day), think about the blessings in our life and thank those around us who make it better every day. I asked the PerkettPR team what they’re grateful for this year, and here are some of the answers:

  • I’m grateful for great friends, family and food this Thanksgiving – not to mention four days of being able to sleep in (forget those Black Friday lines; I’m thankful for online shopping!) – Jennifer
  • I am thankful for my kids – they are the funniest, smartest, craziest kids I know. They teach me more than I teach them and I am amazed by their generosity, patience, understanding, humor, intelligence and politeness every single day. – Lisa
  • I am thankful to have found such a great group of people to work with; I have been renewed with an overall sense of optimism and positivity. Thank you! – Vic
  • A lot can change in a year and this year especially I am thankful for good health, family, and best friends. – Johanna
  • This has been a rough year, but with the hard times, comes the much needed reminder of all the blessings in my life. I’m so grateful that my kids were able to spend some time with my dad before he passed away this fall. I’m grateful for my husband who is endlessly supportive and generous. I’m thankful to have a good job and a fantastic group of colleagues – and one amazing boss — who not only inspire me with their work ethic every day, but understand and respect that we each have personal lives and responsibilities and graciously offer their support when needed. Finally, I’m grateful for this moment — a few minutes in the midst of a busy day to reflect on what’s truly important and give thanks. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. – Crystal
  • Things I am grateful for this year – My Dad surviving his first (and second) heart attack last week, the doctors who saved him and the wonderful family and friends that have been so supportive with it all.  Also thankful to have a career I love, the great community that I live in and the health and happiness of my family and friends. – Susan
  • I am thankful for good health! – Stephanie
  • I’m thankful for so many things but one thing I actually smiled about the other day (as I was driving home from helping my son’s first-grade class make cookies for charity) is how thankful I am to have a job that I love that also allows me the flexibility to be so involved in my children’s lives and take part in moments like that that are so special to them and me. – Kristen

From a professional standpoint, I can say that I am most grateful for my team at PerkettPR. They are hard working, intelligent, creative, patient, supportive of each other and fun to work with. They are also extremely loyal and committed to our clients. They get results, and they have a camaraderie that makes our culture what it is – leaving egos at the door, digging in and working together towards mutual success every day. Thanks guys, I’m proud to work with each and everyone of you.

I’m also grateful for our clients. Each time we build a positive new relationship, it’s a feeling of pride. The best clients are honest, open communicators and I’m grateful for what I learn from them – and the respect that they give us in listening to and learning from us – as well as the respect they give me and my team. I’m especially grateful for those clients that rehire us time and time again as they move along to other companies throughout their careers. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with them over the years – even decades! It means they respect us, our work and what value we provide, and we build long-lasting, fruitful relationships and friendships. Special thanks to those clients like Donna Parent at Aternity Inc., Parker Trewin at Mindjet and others who have recently returned that I can’t yet mention!

I’m also extremely grateful for the community that supports PerkettPR every day through reading or participating in interviews on our blog, liking our Facebook or Google+ pages, interacting with us there, sharing ideas, spreading the love for our clients, trying their products and apps, following us on Twitter, inviting us to speak at events, etc. We have met many clients, friends, supporters and industry colleagues through these networks, and it has enriched not only our daily work, but our business.

Thank you!

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Please share in the comments!

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 07/18/11

EngagementsWhat is Engagement in Social Media?
Angela Hausman explores the definition of “engagement” via this post on SocialMediaToday. Be sure to read through the comment thread for additional definitions and view points from the SMT community.

What does Google+ mean for your social media policy?
Technologist David Reinhardt expands on the potential impact Google+ will have on the way we maintain personal and work relationships and the added complexity this new social platform could add to your organization’s social media policy.

How to Turn Customers Into Loyal, Raving Fans
Mike Michalowicz, author of “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” expands on the value and importance of under promising and over delivering when it comes to building the ultimate customer base, via this post on WSJ.com.

Is Social Media Experiencing the Search Engine Consolidation?
Fast Company expert blogger, JD Rucker, explores the idea of a future where social platforms begin to consolidate and morph into new sources of online search.

Email Metrics: Open, Click Rates Highest in the Morning
Gain some insight into becoming a better email marketer in this MarketingProfs post that shares key findings and great statistics from a recent MailerMailer report.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 07/11/11

circle_c.jpgThe 5 Es of Content Marketing
ConversationAgent‘s Valeria Maltoni shares five inspirational tips to help writers take advantage of the “lazy days” of summer by pushing forward and gaining traction with their content creation and marketing efforts.

4 [Social Media] Failures and a Success
Sometimes the best way to learn is through your mistakes. This time around, IT blogger Peter Thomas share four of his own failures and the lessons he learned along the way. He caps off his SocialMediaToday.com post by sharing one of his personal successes as well.

How the U.S. Army is Using Social Media
ReadWriteWeb‘s Founder & Editor-in-Chief  shares this very interesting look into how the U.S. Army uses the web and various social platforms to share stories, interact with its online community and enhance recruiting efforts.

5 Reasons Google+ Is Not A Facebook Killer
Google+ has certainly been the focus this past week as millions of users rush through the flood gates to kick the tires on the new shiny social platform. However, not everyone is convinced that Google has come up with something that can be in it for the long haul. Dave Davies provides five reasons why in this post on SearchEngineWatch.com.

The Four Fundamentals of Social Media
Digital Media Consultant Dan Taylor shares a ton of great information and advice to businesses that might be trying to do everything all at once when it comes to their social media presence.

Image Credit: Leo Reynolds

BDI’s Social Convergence & The Enterprise – Advice, Insights & Lessons Learned from Jet Blue, Unilever, Century 21 and more. What’s Your Best Social Advice?

On Wednesday we attended and moderated two round tables at the Business Development Institute (BDI)’s Social Convergence & The Enterprise event in New York City. I was happy to attend an event with the not-so-usual suspects – fresh networking and opportunities to expand our community are always exciting.

The speakers at the 1/2 day conference ranged from companies such as Harvard to Jet Blue, Unilever to Century 21. Attendees held positions in HR, marketing, business development and other areas of business. I have to say that, having attended a lot of networking and social media events over the last few years, the topics can grow tired. The presentations can all begin to look the same – even infamous Tweets, photos and charts are often reused. But, for the most part, this event was a fresh take on a much-discussed subject: social media in business. I would definitely attend again and encourage others to check out BDI’s events.

The format was three hours of case studies followed by two sessions of round tables where attendees sat down with moderators and discussed pre-determined subjects. I found this of interest because often the attendees have interesting insights and lessons learned to share as well, and typical conference formats don’t usually provide the opportunity for an extended, interactive discussion between panelists and audience. Allowing a few questions from the audience is much different that sitting down with each other after the presentations and really digging into the topics. And, asking the presenters for case studies is a good way to ensure they’re sharing insights and lessons learned – not just observations and opinion like so many of today’s speakers on social media.

Some of my favorite tidbits from panelists included:

- How Jet Blue opened up its communications – and rebuilt its brand – after a crisis in 2007. Speaker Jenny Dervin shared interesting insights into their culture (“we all help clean the planes”) and how they handled customer communications more proactively thereafter – despite knowing it would frustrate in the short run but build loyalty in the long run. Strategies included a video message to crew members and customers from the CEO, as well as a letter to every customer who had ever flown Jet Blue – all in the name of “We’re sorry… please give us another chance.”

 

- “You cannot be successful in social unless you involve the whole organization – let employees engage in social media” – from Paul Hernacki of Definition6. He advises that the entire company needs to be on board for success.  He asks, “Are your employees fans of your brand?” And suggests, “Eat your own dog food – social and the digital lifestyle needs to be part of your company DNA.” He also implores CIO’s to help make it happen by stop blocking of social sites and blogs. “You’re not solving the problem by blocking.”

- “We don’t own our brands anymore, consumers do.” Stacie Bright of Unilever talked about how to handle this new Wild West frontier of social media. “There are good conversations and brand conversations – but we can choose to be a part of those conversations.” Amen. Ignoring the conversations and not making social media part of your business is like my 5-year-old putting a towel over his head and telling me I can’t see him. We also found ourselves nodding in agreement when she said “Have a calendar [for social media initiatives] – anyone can be a one-hit wonder.”

- Consumers want engagement, so humanize your brand – let your employees have real conversations with your customers (what a concept!). From Matt Gentile, Director of PR and social media content strategy for  CENTURY 21. Another great thought from Matt – and one that we have always used with PR campaigns: “‘Measure for success and then adjust for optimization.”

After panels, I moderated a round table called “The Rule in Social Media is that There are No Rules.” Of course, this isn’t completely true – as Doug Chavez, who leads digital marketing for Del Monte, recently told me: “I believe thereare rules. First is that a brand has to listen, second is to engage when appropriate and [value] additive to the conversation, third is that brands need to always be transparent and authentic.” Ok, so he’s right, there are some rules, but the genesis of the “no rules” sentiment is that some companies get too caught up in the rules – instead of thinking about what’s right for their company, they try to find a pre-written playbook or follow only the basics (I don’t know what we’ll do but we must be on: Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook). They fail to create a strategy based around their business goals and often forget that social media is still so new – that while there may be guidelines, the results are still largely unproven. And thus, any “rules” could change tomorrow – or change today if you’re the company willing to take that risk (an example: Ben & Jerry’s abandoning email marketing in favor of just using social media. Will it work out for them in the long run? We’ll have to wait and see).

If you’d like to listen to the panelists and their full presentations, you may do so at BlogTalkRadio.

If you’d like to hear what some of the attendees and online followers have to say about social media, visit our Sweet Marketing Advice site, created to capture advice not only from the attendees of the BDI show, but of our network as well. We wanted to share our offline experiences today with our online community as well. And, as a thank you to those who took the time to share their best tips, we created a voting mechanism for the community to choose the “Sweetest Advice” – the author of the advice that the community votes as the best by 5 p.m. Friday, July 23, wins an iPad. So please visit the site to not only learn some great tips, but to vote on your favorite. You can submit your own advice too, if you’re so inclined, and see what the community thinks of your expertise.

As an aside, we listen to our community and some of the early feedback on our Sweet Advice Contest is that it was just another Twitter popularity contest. That was disheartening to hear but we re-evaluated our contest rules and text after this feedback. Let me be clear that the intent was to open up the experience for those not in attendance, to capture a variety of “best tips” to share with all of you, and to learn not only from the panelists and speakers, but from the attendees themselves. We thought it would be fun – but also useful – to have both the BDI attendees and our online community share their best social media convergence and marketing ideas, and to have the community vote on which advice was best. We changed the auto-tweet button on the site to share each tip as part of the Tweets – in an effort to make the Tweets more valuable.

Of course, entrants are also inclined – and yes, encouraged – to ask their community to vote for them if they like the advice, and they may choose to write what they want in order to get them to do so – but our intent was to entice people to give advice, aggregate it in one spot, ask the community to vote on the best advice and offer an iPad as both an incentive and a thank you for sharing. The advice voted the best – highest number of votes by Friday at 5 EST – will win an iPad from us, and the community benefits from an aggregated spot of great social media and marketing advice. Enjoy.

Special thanks to BDI and Steve Etzler for the wonderful conference and the opportunity to participate. We learned a lot and met some really great people. Great job on the conference.