Industry Commentary, Agency Initiatives and Inspiration

What 70s Rock Teaches Us About Modern Social Media

Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Aug 23, 2016 No Comments

One is the Loneliest Number

Back in the 1970′s there was a very successful rock band by the name of Three Dog Night. And they had a very popular song titled “One.” Three Dog Night’s “One” is a great example of what no longer works for marketing.

This old way to sell your services and the concept of One-Ness is what we now refer to as Outbound Marketing — where brands develop a consistent message and push it out far and wide in the hopes that it will resonate and result in sales. One brand. One message. One voice. All applied consistently across a variety of mediums. This approach is over, much like the popularity of Three Dog Night themselves.

Today in the age of Inbound Marketing, where getting discovered by and engaging with your customer base has emerged as a more influential method of communication, the idea of One is no longer sustainable and is truly the loneliest of numbers.

Social Media By Itself is Not a Real Community, So Don’t Fool Yourself Into Thinking It’s So

Any social media agency worth their proverbial weight in whichever mineral you’d like to use as simile, should tell you this. If you’re working with an agency that doesn’t, you probably should find a new one. Some social media “experts” will happily fill your head with what you want to hear while also gladly cashing the checks you give them. We don’t. But then, we’re known for not being your “normal” agency. By itself, social media is not a real community. Instead, it’s merely a gateway to community, the success of which is completely up to you provided that you take five simple steps to make it so.

1. Network

Taking the “Build It and They Will Come” approach will result in less dream and more nightmare. When it comes to online social media activities, draw on your existing offline networking strategies. As a business owner, you should already be constantly networking — always meeting others both in and out of your field, sharing information about your business and your personal business experiences, and developing lasting, meaningful relationships. Your social media activities shouldn’t be much different. You need to locate your customers wherever they are and join them on their playing field. Initiating such relationships are the key to offline networking, and social media is no different.

2. Listen

The best problem solver in the room is usually also the best listener. And it’s just as important to listen to your online community as it is to the customers walking through your door or calling you on the phone. Remember it’s the voice of your customer and the value of their opinions that’s the primary reason you’re undertaking social media activities in the first place. Your goal should be to encourage the exchange of dialogue, whether good or bad, showing customers that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. You either joined them on their turf, or they took the initiative to join you. Either way you need to listen, even when you don’t like what you hear. Remember first and foremost, it’s their words and their mouths that are the backbone of your word-of-mouth advertising and community efforts.

3. Learn

Unless you already know everything, and you don’t, there’s always something to learn from your community. Take every opportunity to educate yourself about your customers. Embrace what they say about you, your products or your services. This information will help you in a variety of ways, including giving you valuable insight on how to improve what you’re offering. Just because you’ve got an MBA from a well-respected university and your customers haven’t been fortunate to even attend college, doesn’t mean they can’t tell you a thing or two about your product. Dismissing their insights for any reason can potentially result in failure.

4. Cultivate

Inbound Marketing thrives on the free exchange of ideas. Censoring your members in any way or hiding negative feedback from public view may have very dangerous repercussions. We recently posted an article, with the tongue-in-cheek title “How to Censor Your Social Media and Still Thrive at Word-of-Mouth Marketing,” that addresses just this issue. There are very few instances that we would ever recommend setting up roadblocks to communication, or worse, editing or otherwise censoring community members. View such issues as an opportunity to effect change. You can read our thoughts on the topic here.

5. Engage

The way to hold an actual dialogue is to engage. Everyone says it: engage, engage, engage. And we say, engage some more. And just as in offline conversations, the only way to truly engage is to support open, honest and, most importantly, sincere communication with your online community. This isn’t about talking AT your members; but instead talking WITH them. You’re a real human being and so are your community members. And you need to act like one. Be open to collaboration and the two-way sharing of ideas and feedback. There are literally hundreds of examples of successful social media communities, and the common thread among each is the ongoing engagement between all members. Only if you’re committed to open and honest engagement will you be successful at Inbound Marketing.

Leave One-Ness in the Past Where it Belongs

Your social media activities aren’t much different than daily interactions with family, friends, colleagues, or strangers on the street. As with offline relationships, online social activity needs to be initiated, nurtured, tested, refined and nurtured some more. It’s a constantly evolving process and one that you can’t stop once you start.

In the age of Inbound Marketing, there’s no single method of connecting with and cultivating relationships; there are hundreds. No longer do the old ways of doing things work. We suggest you heed the message of Three Dog Night and incorporate the above steps into your social media plans. The easiest way to ensure that your Inbound Marketing efforts fall short of your goal is to continue to embrace the concept of One.

How Twitter and Tats Will Change the World

Advertising, Creativity, Social Action Aug 12, 2016 No Comments

What’s up with this trend toward “Twactivism?”

Can the many catastrophes (both natural and man-made) currently sweeping across the globe really be influenced, or even fixed, by Twitter? Admittedly, Twitter’s shown an innate ability to be a powerful tool for organizing social change. Refer to this week’s London riots (for better or worse), the ongoing uprisings in too many Arab countries to mention, and during anti-government demonstrations by Moldovan citizens back in 2009.

Tweets and Tats for Change

But can tweeting while tatting really change the world? The Social Tattoo Project hopes so. The Project is yet another organization currently involved in attempting to spread awareness about the ails of society via Twitter. The group is encouraging us to “care” about world headlines long after they disappear from our RSS feed. Probably a valiant cause, either way you look at it.

Of Ink and Trending Topics

Tattooed love boys, or merely pretenders? We have yet to see. Social Tattoo Project volunteers are encouraged to ink themselves with eternal art representing a current trending world view. For each tattoo, the group pledges to post 4 trending topics on Twitter; and the most tweeted trend will be the subject of the tattoo. Other Tweeters vote by including #SOCIALTATTOO and their favorite trend to @social_tattoo in an effort to ensure these activistic tats will “make what the world empathizes with today, what you care about forever.”

We like Twitter. And we like Tats. And if together the two can change the world, we’re in.

If not, the broadcast spot isn’t half bad either. At least there’s ink and some skin.

Filmspiration: Riding the Rocket Booster of the Space Shuttle

Creativity, Science, Space, Things That Inspire Us Mar 19, 2016 No Comments

Commemorating the Space Shuttle Program

It’s not often you get to take a ride into space.

Perhaps that will change in the near future with commercial travel to the stars, but until then we can only rely on video representations like this very impressive piece of footage compiled from NASA Space Shuttle missions STS-117 and STS-127: Riding the Booster Up and Down in 400 Seconds.

This incredible piece of work is from the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle soon be released on DVD and BluRay. The movie is from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound.

Make sure you watch it full screen and with the sound turned up. Awesome stuff.

Adspiration: Carlsberg Beer ‘Punks’ Moviegoers in Hidden Camera Spot from Duval Guillame Modem Ad Agency

Advertising, Branding, Creativity, Uncategorized Oct 06, 2015 No Comments

Exposing Stereotypes

In this inventive spot from Carlsberg Beer, the brewery gives moviegoers more than they bargained for with its own version of a hidden camera stunt in what could be affectionately titled as “Beers Behaving Badly.”

In this installment in the ongoing ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ campaign from Belgian ad agency Duval Guillaume Modem, unaware couples planning to take in an evening showing at the Kinepolis Cinema in Brussels, Belgium are greeted with something very special – two empty seats and a 148-member strong, all male audience consisting of the roughest, toughest, and most tattoo-festooned bikers, metal heads and leathermen ever gathered together in one place outside of the mosh pit at a Slayer concert.

Watch what happens, as it speaks for itself.

5 Reasons Every Thought Leader Should Be on Twitter Right Now

Branding, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media Sep 01, 2015 2 Comments

So You Want to Be a Thought Leader, Eh?

You believe you’ve got something to say. Sure you do. And logically, everyone wants to hear it. So you want to become an industry thought leader. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Everyone’s doing it.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a thought leader. It’s not always driven by ego or self-promotion. Oftentimes you do have essential knowledge about your product or service that’s truly worth sharing with an interested community. So go ahead and take the step. But there’s one thing you’re going to need first — a Twitter account.

Faster is Better

In today’s modern digital age where instant gratification is a way of life, if you plan to make ground breaking waves in your industry, change the way the world thinks about your product segment, or you simply want to personally brand yourself, you need be on Twitter. If not merely to serve as a distribution hub for your blog posts, your Twitter account is what’s going to make you relevant with your audience.

Five Reasons a Twitter Account is Essential to Being an Industry Thought Leader

1. Twitter is Where All the Real News Breaks First

There’s no place on the web where news is released faster than on Twitter. For all the black eyes the sometimes misunderstood and often maligned microblogging site gets, Twitter has literally revolutionized the way we get information. As an aspiring thought leader for your product, your service, your industry, your company, or for yourself, a Twitter account will be your lifeline to the rest of the world.

As we all know, some of the most important stories of recent time were broken in 140 characters or less. There was the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals last Spring. Then of course there was this week’s Twitter-shaking report that Beyonce and Jay-Z were having a baby. Jimmy Fallon may have “broken” it best, on Twitter, naturally. Both stories sent the Twitterverse into a veritable tizzy. And if you plan to be a spokesman for your brand, your cause, or are seeking to position yourself as a resource, Twitter is your first best bet. You will, of course, need a blog, a Facebook page and other online resources as well. But you can start here.

2. You Have a Huge Audience That’s Ready to Listen

It’s been widely reported that Twitter has somewhere in the realm of 200 million registered users. This estimate varies depending on the source. But either way you shake it, it’s a whole bunch of people clamoring to listen to what you might have to tell them. According to Wikipedia, Twitter users send up to 155 million tweets a day (again, depending who you talk to). You might say that’s a hefty number of messages to compete with, but with approximately 40% of these tweets considered by a Pear Analytics survey to be ‘pointless babble’, your challenge becomes much less daunting. As an effective communicator offering valuable knowledge and insight, you should easily be able to break through the clutter while also having a built-in distribution hub.

3. Twitter is One of the Web’s Most Popular Sites

Alexa, the California-based web traffic reporting company and subsidiary of retail giant Amazon, ranks Twitter as one the Top Ten most visited sites in the world. If none of our other arguments convince you to get involved on the platform, that should.

A true thought leader needs to be where the action is, and Twitter is truly one of the “in” places. Estimates are that the site’s success is only going to increase over time. And considering they’ve not yet come up with a plan to make money but still remain a viable and hugely successful business, the likelihood of the site going away anytime soon is very small. Any thought leader considering it should get on board now, if not only to ensure you can still claim ownership of your own name, or some close semblance of it.

4. Journalists Are There Looking for You

The people who actually report the news are using Twitter to find the news. More and more, journalists are looking to Twitter to get ideas for stories, locate contacts to quote, identify current events to cover, products to review and conduct research on all the above. And Twitter knows this. The company recently released a user’s guide just for journalists entitled “Twitter for Newsrooms” that helps editors and reporters find their way around. The fact that you’re a thought leader for your industry and you need to reach out to reporters who are actually searching for you should tell you that you need to be on Twitter today.

5. Your Competition is Already Taking Over

While Twitter may be new to you, it’s not new to others in your industry. If you want to take control of the message and influence consumer perception of your industry or your brand, you’d better have a good handle on what your competition is up to. And you can find out on Twitter. Or, if you prefer, you can slog through endless pages of online industry publications to find out what the movers and shakers in your field are up to. However, it’s likely the news you find is going to be more “history” than “breaking,” as it takes 1000 times longer to write a 1400-word article than it does a 140-character tweet. And once your competition is out in front, you’ve got a long way to go to catch up.