Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/16/11

sm_expert.pngI Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You
Lets start things off with my favorite post of the week. Peter Shankman provides a wake up call for the so called “Social Media Experts” and the companies that have made the poor choice of hiring them in this entertaining post that puts everything in perspective.

Study: Marketers Reporting Social Media ROI of 100, 200, Even 1,000 Percent
Aprimo CMO Lisa Arthur highlights four key findings from MarketingSherpa‘s 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report via this post on Forbes.com.

6 Ways to Boost Return on Twitter
So you’ve found your groove on Twitter, but are your efforts as effective as they could be? Riverside Marketing Strategies President, Heidi Cohen provides “Six strategies to boost your Twitter return” via this post on Clickz.com.

7 Guidelines To Taking Your Global Brand Local Via Social Media. And Vice Versa
Enjoy some great nuggets of advice on how to make your big company more personable, or how to make your small company look bigger, via this post on MarketingVox.com.

Unfollow, Unfriend, Retweet: AP Stylebook Adds Another 21 Words
Keep your writing in check by getting a quick brush-up on the latest social media-oriented additions to the AP Stylebook via this post from Ann Handley on MPDailyFix.com.

 

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/11/11

White HatPR Is Not A White Hat SEO Technique
This post from Nichola Stott on SearchEngineWatch expands on the dangers of using press releases as an SEO strategy that could ultimately “backfire and possibly damage your clients’ reputation.

5 Top Marketing Blogs by Entrepreneurs
I’m always on the look-out for new blogs to add to my newsreader, and this post from ReadWriteWeb‘s Danny Wong provides some noteworthy alternatives to the traditional marketing streams out there.

13 ways to get your clients to think like a blogger
Continuously creating new content for a blog can be a daunting task for some. This post from Arik Hanson provides numerous tips to jumpstart your brain and get the words flowing.

Facebook and Email are NOT distractions, but necessities!
This “energetic” post from Peter Shankman schools readers on how to properly use Facebook and email for business rather than seeing them as distractions.

How to Measure Your Facebook Engagement
This SocialMediaExaminer post from Facebook Diva, Mari Smith provides a wealth of information on measuring your Facebook page’s level of user engagement.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/07/11

Facebook's New Page Layout Facebook Launches Pages Redesign
Get the lowdown on this week’s rollout of Facebook‘s new layout for Pages via this Mashable post from Ben Parr. What does it mean for your brand?

Facebook Page redesign: 10 things admins should do RIGHT NOW
Since this week’s first pick filled you in about all the Facebook Page changes, this post from David Griner on TheSocialPath.com will guide page Admins in the right direction on what key things they should change first.

Marketers use social media for Valentine promotions
Valentine’s Day is upon us and many marketers have turned to social media in order to promote their related brands. USAToday‘s Bruce Horovitz share examples of six brands who are vying for your Valentine’s Day attention in the social space. On a related note, our client Corey McPherson Nash asks your opinion of the new “romantic” messaging from Teleflora, in this “Tired or Tacky Hearts” post.

Top Ten Things That Get You Unfollowed/Unfriended
Are you still trying to learn the ins and outs of proper etiquette when navigating the social landscape? This post from Peter Shankman provides a good list of DON’Ts to keep you on the right track.

Cyber graffiti with WiFi network names as advertising
Author David Meerman Scott shares this entertaining post on how brands can potentially cash in on some free advertising by leveraging the publicly-broadcast name of their WiFi access points with some creativity.

Are You A PR Influencer?

Even though 99% of everything you do in PR is on behalf of your company or your client, are you working on becoming an influencer yourself? Our own @missusp spoke last Friday afternoon at the PRSA Technology Conference in New York on the topic of PR professionals as influencers and shared her insights into how our role is changing. She highlighted several PR & digital marketing professionals turned influencers including: Chris Brogan, Kelly Cutrone, Steve Rubel, Peter Shankman, Brian Solis, Scott Monty, Ann Handley, Sarah Evans and more. You can see her full presentation on SlideShare or check out some of the key tips and takeaways below:

  • It’s about YOU – PR professionals aren’t just "flaks," we’re tastemakers — choosing to work with the best and brightest upcoming brands, products and services. Embrace your role as an influencer and share your thoughts, insights, opinions – we have a better chance than ever to show how intelligent we really are.
  • Build your personal brand – YOU are your personal brand  and guess what – it lasts forever. Put some care into making sure it’s a brand you’re proud of. Great examples of personal brands include Gary Vaynerchuk, Julia Roy and more.
  • Do what you know and do it well – especially in PR! Bad pitches are now public – often the subjects of a reporter’s wrath – so “do what you already know how to do” but do it well because the footprint you build now will stay with you forever.
  • Share, Share, Share (with your networks) — the difference between simply being a member of a social network and being an influencer is sharing valuable content. Think about how you can help others.
  • Write a book — or at least a blog! PR executives need to be great writers and that means doing it well and doing it often. Blogs also give you another platform for sharing insights and opinions – embracing that role as a tastemaker -  as do Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks where you can be a resource with answer, opinions and thoughts. The point is to write – it keeps your skills sharp and increases your credibility as a PR professional.
  • Don’t say you are (just) in PR — our role has changed and we are so much more than PR pros now. Know the new terms used to describe our profession and make sure you are referring to all of your expertise, as it has now evolved to include digital and social media marketing, for example. As a leader, you should recognize when to change your messaging to meet the growing demands of our industry. You’ll notice many of the best-known PR leaders don’t even have "PR" in their company descriptions anymore. Some do – but regardless, all the strongest marketing influencers today include terms such new media, social media and digital marketing in their expertise description.
  • Make your own rules (within reason) – be bold and innovative. Take risks. Try new things – the best PR and marketing often comes from throwing out the old rules and making your own.
  • Remember it’s all about you (but really it isn’t) — we are all well versed at building relationships online and off and we continue to find new ways to leverage our communication skills for the better good of our companies and clients. Building your personal brand is important, but remember; you are doing all of this for the betterment of your clients and ultimately positive exposure for them. Your own influence on social networks is becoming directly related to how successful you will be with generating buzz for your clients.

Thanks to all who attended the session on Friday and for all the #TechPRSA tweeting. It was a great event!

It’s Not Personal – or Is It?

When Twitter first arrived on the scene a few years ago, it took a long while for businesses to jump on the bandwagon. A few brave souls were early adopters but even today, there’s still a lot of skepticism on whether or not social media is appropriate and valuable for business. I think we’ve made it clear here that we believe it is, but if you’re still wondering, take a look at some of the biggest “web-celebs” (individuals popular on the web and who have successfully used it to build and extend their brand) and their use of social media. Many of them use it solely for the purpose of business – you rarely, if ever, see a personal update from them. So, although one might argue that these folks are focused on “personal branding,” ultimately, they are using their recognition to grow their businesses. A few examples:

Pete Cashmore (he moved over to Google Buzz in lieu of his “personal” Twitter account)

Robert Scoble (a few scattered personal comments but usually around where he is, especially with his current focus to travel the world to study how start-ups are formed)

Guy Kawasaki (“firehose” is putting it lightly)

Michael Arrington (if you don’t count semi-arguments with people trying to get his attention through controversial engagement)

Brian Solis (the most personal current Tweets are around his own book)

On the flip side, there are several examples of some new “web celebs” who often share personal updates, sometimes posting such random things like quotes from their favorite song, or what they had for dinner. Folks like Laura Fitton of oneforty, Penelope Trunk (who is a writer, so perhaps this is part of her persona), Chris Brogan (also a blogger, but now also a marketer) and Peter Shankman (of HARO fame) all share a combination of personal viewpoints and professional insights.

Then there’s a lot of talk about the new “over sharing” of personal information around location-based technologies, such as Foursquare. If you missed the latest hoopla, check out this TIME story on Please Rob Me and the dangers of getting too personal online. A recent PR-specific example of over sharing is the young lady who was hired – and then had her offer rescinded – by People’s Revolution (a fashion PR firm and center of the BravoTV show, Kell On Earth) for tweeting about her job interview.

So what’s my point? It’s really more of a question – are those who keep content more professional-focused and less personal-focused, more successful in business? Have social media networks crossed the chasm from personal fun to serious business tool? If so, why are so many brands still hesitant to make the leap into social marketing? Clearly, these few examples are only a small part of the social media population – but they are also strong examples of those who have successfully grown their personal brand through heavy use of social media and digital content.

What’s your style? Do you have a preference of the type of people that you connect with in social networks? Is it better as a business/executive – especially a marketer – to keep what you share 100% professional? I tend to believe that as a PR executive, social networks give us the opportunity to show that we’re human, more intelligent than often given credit for, and interested and passionate about many of the very products and services we promote. However, I often wonder whether or not I should post anything personal on my social networks. My historical preference has been to strike a balance between professional and personal posts, although with Facebook I really struggle – should I be posting anything personal? If I want to be personal, should I only accept “friends” who are truly friends in real life (you know, those people I’ve actually met and share common interests with)?

What do you think? I’m particularly interested in hearing from those who have built brand awareness online and if such success came from staying on one side of the fence or another. Thanks in advance for “sharing.”