Tag Archive | "Social Media"

Interview with Social Media Citizen: Mary McKnight

Mary McKnight is the Consumer Marketing Director at Where.com, one of the leading location based applications which helps three million users to discover the world around them. She is also an editor of Sacrilicious Marketing, the blog which has a bit different approach to social media. You can follow Mary on Twiter or  Facebook Fan Page.

G: How and why did you get into social media business?

M: I don’t really consider myself “in the social media” business. I’ve worked as a marketer since the mid nineties and regard social media as a new tool to add to my marketing bag of tricks. Social media and social commerce are most interesting when they can be leveraged to reach and engage an audience more personally in a brand or product. Those are the primary reasons I use social media in my marketing campaigns.

G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?

M: Consistency is key! But being consistent on social media is often at odds with being productive in my life and job. I don’t plan my life around Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare or any other social networks… I use smart technologies like Ping.fm and Friendfeed that take the information they aggregate from my entire social lifestream of Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, Foursquare, Last.fm etc and push it to my other social profiles so I can easily and automatically share what I am doing or find interesting at that specific moment. That helps me be consistent on each network while being efficient and effective at sharing. I would never plan my life around social media – social media just becomes a part of what I am doing at the moment and the technologies I use simply assist in sharing those moments.

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Challenging the old media business models (Part 2)

As a follow up to the recent post “Challenging the Old Media Business Models”  I want to get a bit deeper into the analysis of media business (revenue) models. There are quite a few them which come in different classifications and structures, but i find organized by Paul Bradshaw most suitable to discuss the subject, mainly because it is very clear, informative and well structured.

Most of these models like advertising, affiliates, premium (“velvet rope”) services have been tried and work pretty well under certain circumstance , but  “Social value” model hasn’t been explored that much or hasn’t been considered as a valuable enough on its own. According to Paul Bradshaw , “Social value” model revenue is generated through social interaction by brand community (in the form of donations, support or spin-off).Actually it is often dismissed as very mystified and unclear , because social value is quite difficult to measure. But the times are changing. I think with social media going mainstream, personal branding growing bigger and bigger and evolving monetary systems online  – “social value”  model can be the next big thing. I was thinking about it for a while and after short brainstorm came up with this:

free media business model

Consumer pays directly to author.

Social media is all about disintermediation. Therefore, it is is quite a straight forward model, but if developed it would present a real shift in consumer’s perception – paying for the content when you don’t have to ? Madness? No! It would be all about the social status and personal brand building!

It could be very attractive idea for bloggers who already have well established personal brands and maintain their own platforms. In order to implement this model the author would have to provide superior social platform where the relationship building with the community would have to be considered as main priority. According to Paul Bradshaw people never paid for ‘content’; they paid for a package and a service that included content – “They bought a newspaper (brand), not ‘the news.” In this case the newspaper would be a personal brand which would have to provide best social engagement possible. The personal branding  would have to work both ways – not only author would have to get paid for well developed brand and top content, but consumer would have to receive some social points back as well. Lets say consumer could leave his name and contact details on the contributors list or virtual good system could tweet automatically that a person just made a reward or donation. Also, this model could work really great in B2B environment as the parties are much more aware about mutual benefits of marketing and social interaction .

Consumer pays author – author pays media platform.

Author sharing revenue with the media company – basically paying money for the platform to speak (or to be heard).It may sound ridiculous, but this model could be very attractive for less established writers who has interesting ideas but have no strong background to support them or have no capabilities/resources to build their own platforms.

In order to implement this model the two conditions would have to be present – strong media brand and qualified but now well known writer. Young writers would be interested to have their material published on big platform for greater audience in return sharing their revenue with the media platform. Furthermore, the media platforms would be interested to maintain their brands and attract good journalist/bloggers because of advertising dollars they would bring – specialized and engaged communities created under big brand could be well targeted.

The outcome.

If these models are implemented the outcome would be quite dificult to predict. It’s clear though, that the personal branding and community building would gain major importance in the media strategy. The content would improve and there would be less “noise” in media in the long term, because of “natural selection” process.  The  big media brands could concentrate on their core capabilities managing the talents rather that content production itself. Who knows maybe one day we will have our X-Factor of media?  “In my dreams I have a plan If I got me a wealthy man I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball”. – and that would be the song to sing for the audition, just the wealthy man would be the authors who bring wealth with the valuable content  and community. But most importantly consumer would get to be a king, it would be able to influence, participate and gain from the process .

So what do you think about it? Please share your thoughts whatever they may be and submit your answer to a quick poll:

Here is the list  of top articles and presentations analyzing the new media business models:

Making money from journalism: new media business models (by http://onlinejournalismblog.com)

What does the “Media Business Model” mean? (by http://www.longtail.com)

The Freemium Business Model: Anything There for the Media? (by http://rebuildingmedia.corante.com)

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Jo Porritt

JoJo Porritt is communications specialist whose career has spanned the evolution of marketing, from traditional – to digital – to social. She is the Managing Director of BrandGuardian , a social media agency based in UK which prides itself on education, engagement and forward thinking strategy that can be applied to any business sector; from start-ups to global brands. You can follow Jo on Twitter – @BrandGuardian.

G: How and why did you get into social media business?

J: How? I was previously an Account Director with a web development company, managing brands online presence. The shift a few years ago to Web 2.0 and the whole concept of “Read, Write, Share” meant is was impossible to ignore! Why? Because way before social media was coined as a buzz-word, I worked on the same principles that underpin social i.e. open, transparent, collaborative, high integrity, no smoke and mirrors. I yearned for the time when businesses could see how much value there was in “participation” and not just “broadcast”. Essentially, those ethics are in my blood – it was a very natural progression from my personal life to my working life. I guess with the advent of social and my experience to date, I finally feel like things are now aligned.

G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?

J: Being a Social Media Citizen is basically easy for me! As described above, it has been how I have worked with clients and brands for many years. But now that this has become “mainstream” I plan my day by making sure I start it with a quick review of the news across all of the SM sites. I also plan ahead for both clients and my own social media personal branding projects. I try to weave a thread of consistency by posting on certain topics, interspersed with the organic, real time nature social now gives us. In truth, every day is different. I am constantly learning. For me, everything we do as professionals within this industry is always in beta. Being flexible and learning when to stop are also very important strategies.

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How to serve the sale through social media (Part 1)


serving the sale

Sales, sales, sales – there is only one final and ultimate goal for any business. Don’t get me wrong,  I understand that companies have to build relationships, develop brands and cherish their communities, but all that love for the consumer come with the price of the sale. Even though, these two words often don’t go together in social media professionals vocabulary, social media is a great communication tool/channel, so why not too sell as at the end of the day selling is just another form of communication. I believe that selling through social media is ok, as long as you know how to serve the sale.

“Personal selling is oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to "close the sale"  (Kotler,1994) 

Personal selling – is one of the oldest forms of communication and often is overlooked by social media practitioners, mainly, because of the natural fear of the word “selling”. Even though that’s what social media is about –  creating personal relationships with the consumers and in order to attract them to buy product or services.

I can understand if someone feels that it’s not right, but you just have to be honest with yourself , what the point of having thousands of fans on Facebook, or followers on twitter, if sooner or later you can’t monetize them ?! To spread the message or provide information about your products or services, which will result in a sale – that’s the only reason. You can do it in the most creative ways by building communities, providing good content for your readers, freebees and etc – but the main reason for doing that is still the same.  

The times have changed and I don’t think the old tactics and definitions work, but there are definitely some valuable things to remember of this forgotten art. That’s what I will try to analyze in my future posts about “How to serve the sale through social media”.

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Promoted Tweets: the Marketing Industry Insights


As you may have already heard Twitter has started its own Promoted Tweets program a few days ago. I was just following the discussion and reading all the news about it and decided to share this collection of posts which pretty much tells everything you need to know about this developement.

Hello World by Official Twitter blog

Why You Should Advertise on Twitter by Adage.com

Twitter bets its ad platform — and reputation — on "resonance" by New York Times

Promoted Tweets: What Brands Can And Can’t Do With Twitter’s New Ad Platform by Forrester

Twitter COO: “Promoted Tweets Are Not Ads” 

Twitter Announces an Ad program…here is how to rank organically by The Customer Collective

Twitter Sponsored Tweets: The Impact for Marketers by Steve Rubel

Twitter launches Ads, New Business Model by Going Social Now


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World’s Greatest Salesperson contest by Ogilvy

Just what a brilliant example of the major advertising brand Ogilvy using social media for it’s brand awareness, the style reminds me a bit Microsoft ad about the consumer and advertiser relationship though. It’s really interesting how the campaign will develop and how many people will submit the videos, but it’s definitely one to follow. Here is more info about the campaign: 

Ogilvy channel on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/ogilvy

The Brief for the contest – http://channelone.ogilvy.com/WGSP/WGSP_Brief_en.pdf

The Rules of the contest  – http://channelone.ogilvy.com/WGSP/rules.html

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Five outcomes of the social media (r)evolution

The usage of social networks is increasing daily. Clearly, the whole social phenomenon is still far from over. Its impact for marketers and companies is huge.

For marketers, this evolution constitutes an enormous opportunity, but also a major challenge. The attention of modern individuals is fragmented, and in this hectic communication reality they want to decide for themselves how and when and with whom they speak, both in private and with regard to business communication.

Moreover, people can also disseminate information themselves via social channels, which can very quickly send messages all around the world.

The social media (r)evolution has five major consequences for marketers. Note that this does not mean that all of them are only caused by the social media and networking evolutions.

Many of them were happening already. The social Web is a natural evolution (read the paragraph “the rules of linking are changing” in this post) whereby people are connected to people online in a one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many way, more than ever before, but it certainly has strengthened, and sometimes simply caused, each of the five evolutions that you find below the graphic (click on it for a larger version).

Social web implications graphic
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How to Serve a Sale in Social Media (Part 2)

serving the sale

In the introduction post, I’ve wrote about selling as a communication technique which doesn’t receive enough attention in social media. This week I want to elaborate on my opinion. In order to do that we have to go back to basic concepts of selling. According to marketing guru Kotler, these are the main roles of the sales force: Prospecting, Communicating, Selling, Servicing, Information gathering, Allocating. All of these roles could be performed in social media environment, but today I will start with the analysis of Prospecting. Read the full story

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Are you here to make friends?


I’ve just read this brilliant quite personal story by Peter Bregman on Harvard Business Review “Why Friends Matter at Work and in Life“ . The author analyzes a few interesting researches how friendships affect your business and everyday life. I love the authors points taken out of the research:

  • If you’re looking for a job you’d better have friends. The number-one way people find new jobs is referrals by friends.
  • Once you’re on the job, having a best friend at work is a strong predictor of success.
  • Friendships in high school were a strong predictor of increased wages in adulthood — to the tune of 2% per person who considered you a close friend.
  • Want to stay in that job you have? Then you’d better have friends.

In my opinion the real friendships are of vital importance factor in Social Media and community building. I know that this topic of friendship has been discussed over and over again but there is a big difference in having “fans” and having at least a few very good “friends” in the community you are building, mainly because of there reasons indentified by Peter :

  • Friends can refer your business to their friends
  • Friends can  stand up for your business and brand values and send the right message to their friends
  • Friends can help to grow your business by heavily engaging in your social media activities (commenting, sharing and etc.)

So are you here to make friends?

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Chris Hall

ChrisHall Chris Hall is the head ‘Bell Ringer’ at Cow Bell, the digital marketing agency in UK which is predominantly focusing on social media, and how it integrates into an organisation’s overall marketing plan. Chris’s aim is to ‘rethink marketing in the digital age’ , to educate and inform whilst developing clear strategies that bring results. You can follow Chris on Twitter – (@Chris_Hall1)

G: How and why did you get into social media business?

C: I have always been in communications across the on and offline worlds and at the beginning of 2009 I started to feel and see the impact that Twitter was having around me. Although it’s impact was relatively small, as a marketer I just felt I had to get inside it and see for myself what it was all about. From that day in January I spent focussed on listening and understanding rather than too much direct engagement. I quickly saw the power and potential of social media as a communications tool and from that started to integrate it into my working day.

G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?

C: The reason so many are using the social networks are exactly that – to be ‘social’ and to ‘network’ – whether that’s personal or business. It feels like the right place to be for all those reasons, but it must be controlled and managed. I’m sure we’ve all suffered from those times where we realised we’ve been in too long and there’s our jobs to be done. I like to wake up and engage with my friends/followers and then as and when time allows across the day. I like to think of social media as my coffee break or water cooler sometimes. Being social and making connections are what I love to do. It was an easy transition (if at all).

G: What are your favourite social media hang out sites?

C: Twitter (Tweetdeck) is my favourite because of its immediacy. I can hold conversation and listen to what’s going on right now. It also in some ways can manage time too. I can decide after DM’s or replies whether to take the conversation to another place like telephone or Skype.

G: How are you keeping up-to-date with social media environment ?

C: For me it’s about a trusted network (something everyone should have) of Twitter followers and then also my invaluable RSS links. My top sites include:

My days include time in Tweetdeck, Social Mention, Google Reader and visits to LinkedIn and Facebook.

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