Twitter

SoCon12, coming up!!

Have you ever attended one of the SoCon events? The next one is coming up on February 3rd and 4th. From a networking party at SweetWater Brewing Company to an all day conference at KSU, there is something for everyone! I find that it’s a great way to stay on top of the constantly changing landscape of social media. It’s also great for networking.

Check out the break out sessions. How will I ever choose???

10:30 – 11:30am Break out session #1
Sessions:
• Always On: Will Traditional Computers Survive the Mobile Revolution
• Augmented Reality
• Lessons in Video PR
• Socializing Local Store Marketing (LSM)
• The Future is Now: Social TV and What Consumers Want
• The Great Unfollow Experiment
• The War On Stupid
• Educating (Dr.) Rita
• Social Service: Cultivating Responsible Fans
• The Value of Incorporating SEO-friendly Content into Web content

1:15 – 2:15 pm Break out session #2
Sessions:
• Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond: Growing Your Venture Overseas
• Connecting Georgia Greens – Real World Examples
• Creating and Leveraging Sustainable Social Media Communities
• Crowd Financing 101
• The Creative (not creepy) Use of Social Media Analytics
• Social Media for Advocacy: Using Next Generation Tools to Spread Awareness and Influence Policy
• Quit the Daily Grind: A Former Newspaper Reporter’s Social-Media Journey to Freelance Success
• The Social Journey
• Designing for the Mobile Age

2:30 – 3:30pm Break out session #3
Sessions:
• Create, Connect, Collaborate: Words that work online
• The Intersection of Social Media and Communicating Sustainability
• The World Has Gone Mobile: Use Your Basic Web Skills to Build iPhone and Android Apps
• Why Time Consuming Blogging, Twitter and Facebook Strategies May NOT Work for Your Business: Consider These Alternative Social Media Strategies
• Mine! No, Mine! : Who Owns Social Media?
• Would You Like A Badge With That? Event Organizing In A 2.0 World
• Building Web-Based Augmented Reality Experience
• She Said, He Said
• Crowdsourcing content: The social consumer as a source for content and dialogue
• Social Media Mistakes and how to handle them (Dealing with Online Reputation Management)

If you would like to  join us, use discount code “CSJ15” by January 20th and get 15% off SoCon12’s already low price. Seriously…it’s a steal!!

Here is a link to their Facebook Event and for my twitter peeps, the hashtag is #SoCon12. Hope to see you there!!

Build it and they will come… NOT!

Not too long ago I met a woman at the gym who asked me what I do for a living. I told her that I have a company that does social media marketing for other companies. She said, “Social media?? Oh, I have that for my company. It doesn’t work.” That made me curious so I asked her more about it. How does she use it? Which platforms does she engage on? Turns out that her son set up a Facebook page and twitter account for her. But that’s it. Nobody posts engaging content nor does anyone monitor it so as to respond to people making inquiries about her spa.

analogy on how you have engage your audience for social media to work.

There is a big difference between “having” social media and *using* social media. It’s sort of like having a car but being disillusioned because you never get to go anywhere. Does that mean your car doesn’t work?? Of course not! Having a Facebook page is great. But that’s just a platform for the conversations that you might have. It’s not the conversation itself. It’s not hard, either. It just takes time.

Do you have social media? If so, do you actually use it??

Social Media and Disasters

The southeastern part of the US recently suffered an historic tornado outbreak. Around 300 people died. That night, after reading some horrific twitter accounts coming in from Alabama (our neighboring state to the west), I decided to take my kids and sleep in our basement, just in case. Atlanta was largely spared, though towns to the north of us were obliterated.

I’ve been thinking about how social media has changed the way we live. It used to be that you had to wait for the evening news to find out what is happening in the world. That certainly has changed…the news now finds us. The question is, are we better off because we’re better informed?

I don’t know…watching the Japanese people suffer these last weeks has been awful. But it’s also inspired many to make donations. One of my clients, ProGraphics Communications, has been tweeting support for a campaign called Cranes for Kids, which is a program Carters put together where for every origami crane (a symbol of health and well wishes) that is made, Carters will give an article of clothing to the children of Japan.

And I noticed yesterday that there was a new facebook page called Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes. They already have more than 42,000 fans. And after looking at some of the posted pictures, I felt simultaneously sad and hopeful. People have been posting all sorts of things.

If those were my things, I’d definitely want them back. And it’s inspiring to read the messages of support people are making on the page. Social media has made the world a very small place. What do you think? Are we better off now?

Twenty Two Point Seven

According to Nielsen, people cut down 28% of their emailing and about 15% of their text messaging online between June of 2009 and June of 2010. Interesting, eh? But let’s think about this…WHY did this happen? It’s not like it became harder to do or more expensive, right?

In that same span of time, social media usage went up 43%, which means that in June 2010, Americans spent 22.7% of their online time on social media.

22.7%

This makes sense if you think about it. Emailing and texting are active ways to receive information. You have to actually get involved in the process of getting or receiving information. But social media allows the consumer to have information pushed to her. Let’s say you’re on Facebook, busy stalking your exboyfriend, racking up squirrels to throw at your neighbor on farmville, etc., and your favorite brand announces a sale. They sent you an email, but it will be a few hours before you get around to checking that out. In fact, it might not even happen for a day or two. And even then, your spam filter might have snagged it and you won’t see it until you finally get around to cleaning out your junk email drawer, which if you’re anything like me, might take a year or three.

But if your favorite brand also posts the information on its Facebook page, the sale information is pushed to you. While you’re already online. Where you can actually do something (like, oh, I don’t know…make a purchase or something).

No more email for Ben and Jerry, it is all about the social media.

Something like ice cream maybe; this trend is so compelling that super brand Ben and Jerry’s did away with email marketing altogether. That’s pretty amazing. They are focusing instead on social media and smart phone applications. That’s how their fan base (read: consumers) prefer to receive and respond to information about Chunky Monkey.

So, what does this mean for your brand? Hopefully you’re already utilizing social media. But showing up is only the first step. Social media is not the same as email. It’s not about talking. It’s about listening and then responding…you know, a conversation. A real one. We all know “those” people at a cocktail party. The only time they shut up is to either take a slug of wine or to fidget as they wait for you to stop talking so that they can continue on talking about their own agenda. Unfortunately brands do that, too. Nobody wants to be THAT guy. Bad breath. Stain on tie. Ginormous piece of pepper stuck between his teeth. Blabbing on and on about who-gives-a-crap.

So here are a few tips:

  1. Remember that it’s a conversation. A two-way street. Listen, then respond.
  2. Be authentic. No faking the funk, folks. If you (or your company) made a mistake, own it and move on.
  3. Be consistent. Surprisingly, this is the one many companies seem to have trouble with. Conversations don’t work very well when dragged out over several days. People move on quickly these days…you need to monitor your social media so that you can engage your consumers. Otherwise it’s kind of like having a customer walk into your retail space during business hours but nobody on your team is there to say “How may I help you?”.

What do you think about this trend? Any predictions what June of 2011 will look like??

Top 10 Sectors by Share of U.S. Internet Time
RANK Category Share of Time
June 2010
Share of Time
June 2009
% Change in
Share of Time
1 Social Networks 22.7% 15.8% 43%
2 Online Games 10.2% 9.3% 10%
3 E-mail 8.3% 11.5% -28%
4 Portals 4.4% 5.5% -19%
5 Instant Messaging 4.0% 4.7% -15%
6 Videos/Movies** 3.9% 3.5% 12%
7 Search 3.5% 3.4% 1%
8 Software Manufacturers 3.3% 3.3% 0%
9 Multi-category Entertainment 2.8% 3.0% -7%
10 Classifieds/Auctions 2.7% 2.7% -2%
Other* 34.3% 37.3% -8%
Source:Nielsen NetView – June 2009-June 2010
*Other refers to 74 remaining online categories visited from PC/laptops
**NetView’s Videos/Movies category refers to time spent on video-specific (e.g., YouTube, Bing Videos, Hulu) and movie-related websites (e.g., IMDB, MSN Movies and Netflix) only. It is not a measure of video streaming or inclusive of video streaming on non-video-specific or movie-specific websites (e.g., streamed video on sports or news sites).

Why Tweet???

I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had that began with, “So, about Twitter…um, yah…I just don’t get it.”

When I signed up for an account years ago, I didn’t really get it, either. But I was curious, and that curiosity kept me sniffing around until I did get it. But business owner/operators these days may not have the luxury of time to poke around like I did. So the question becomes: what, if anything, are you missing by not being on twitter?

The short answer to that question is Opportunity. There are all kinds of people on twitter. Some of them represent companies and/or brands; others are just people, trying to entertain themselves. But make no mistake about it. Business is being done there, friends are being made, networks are being strengthened and brands are being built.

What can you or should you be saying or doing on Twitter?

They say “Brand X” is a lifesaver!

You could chime in with a, “Well, thanks! We try and it’s nice to hear from a satisfied customer!”

Or….

They might say, “Brand X wrecked my day by not working the way I wanted it to!”

You could hit ’em with your basic, “Yikes! sorry to hear that there was a problem with our product! Please email me at BrandX@rockstar.com so we can work out a resolution!”

Saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry” are two very important components of representing a brand on Twitter. But the general secret is to just find out where your stakeholders are and engage them in conversation. It doesn’t have to be profound…sometimes even the weather is a fine topic. Just keep it real, keep it relevant and keep it at 140 characters or less, and you’ll be just fine.

You can find me at www.Twitter.com/SocialBex. And by all means, if you have any questions just ask me. Jump on in, the water is fine!