Persuasive Picks for the Week of 05/03/09

The Seven Deadly Sins of Social MediaThe Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media
David Griner from Luckie & Company and TheSocialPath blog provides some helpful advice to companies looking to take the plunge into Social Media. He adds an entertaining twist to the subject by aligning the tips with the “Seven Deadly Sins.”

How Twitter Can Drive Your Bottom Line
Stephen DiMarco from the Compete.com blog posts some very interesting stats and examples of companies that have had impressive success in adding Twitter to their overall marketing strategy. Dell’s achievement of $1 million in sales – exclusively through Twitter – is just one of the examples shared. Read on for more.

A Second Look at Measuring the Corporate Blog
Kyle Flaherty of BreakingPoint Labs revisits the challenges of measuring your blog’s success and provides seven areas that he and his team focus on to conduct their own success measurement.

Micro-interactions Get People Talking. Thank You, Corner Bakery
With the rapid influx of “follower” collectors on Twitter, it’s refreshing to see the occasional example of real businesses integrating Twitter into their marketing strategy and doing it well. David Armano shares this quick example of how Corner Bakery is getting off to a great start on Twitter by making the right moves.

Will Social Media Save The Newspaper Industry?
We’ve seen a lot of announcements lately that newspapers across the country are slowly closing their doors. Many papers are scrambling to revise strategies that will allow them to keep their doors open, and many of those strategies involve social media. This post by David Finch on SocialMediaExplorer.com questions if that will be enough to keep them operating.

Who Owns Your Brand?

Right now we are participating in a Twebinar (think Webinar + Twitter) hosted by Chris Brogan and Radian 6 on the topic of “Who Owns the Brand?”

Do companies own their brand or do the customers own the brand? There are a lot of differing opinions on the subject. I believe companies own the brand – they just don’t have sole control over it (and really, never did – the Internet just makes this more glaring).

Companies set the stage for their brand by communicating their intentions, credibility and value. Customers help shape the brand, collaborate on its direction and share it (good or bad). Today, more than ever, the customer takes the brand a company presents and either accepts it or rejects it – spreading the word or influencing change (as Dell experienced with IdeaStorm).

A huge part of what direction your customers take the brand depends on the company keeping their brand promises. Smart companies recognize this and welcome customer influence by embracing them, conversing with them and inviting collaboration. That means listening and taking action based on customer feedback.

What do you think? Follow and join the conversation here (type in #tweb2) or visit Radian 6′s Twebinar to watch the recorded version and learn about future Twebinars.

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.

Social Media Lessons Still Being Learned

Last night a few of us attended the Boston Social Media Club’s “Social Media Lessons for Big Businesses” Panel discussion in Newton. The panel consisted of Josh Bernoff, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Steve Restivo, director of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Northeast and Dan Lyons, senior editor at Forbes Magazine “aka” Fake Steve Jobs.

The panel was interesting and the insights helpful – Bernoff’s were of particular interest in

that he speaks about social media as “letting go of control.” He talked about how we, as PR executives, need to help our clients learn how to join in the conversation rather than try to control it – because they can’t anymore. I think this is a hard lesson for corporate America to swallow.

A lot of the discussion was around the blogosphere – only one portion of social media – and how companies are using them to open up dialogues with their customers. Some great examples discussed were the Sony Electronics Blog and Dell’s IdeaStorm. Examples of other companies embracing social media to connect with customers included Target, Unilever, eBags and others. Ironically, the group felt that technology companies weren’t necessarily doing as good of a job as the consumer companies and called out Google, specifically, as failing to embrace social media as a way to open conversation with customers.

The panel and audience also debated the merits of CEO blogs. The fact remains that most executives simply don’t have time to write a daily blog – and many people believe that a blog’s not a “real” blog unless it’s updated every single day (who made this rule, anyway?!). The panel pointed out a good example with Mark Cuban and that he does not write every day but when he does write, it’s interesting – and open. I also found it interesting that they held him up as an ideal because so many executives feel that they have to blog only about corporate-related content. Mark is all over the map – from technology to politics to sports and healthcare. And it’s good reading so people will pay attention – as opposed to boring entries posted every single day that no one will read anyway.

Overall, the main themes around social media continue to resonate: be open, invite conversation, don’t hide even from criticism or mistakes, and join the conversation. Perhaps blogs are the biggest most influential force that will drive corporate America to become forthright and truly customer-oriented.