Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who has the relationship with your customers and fans?

I am a firm believer that companies should participate in Social Media even if they outsource the work. I have run Marketing for a client for 3 years. She has a small business that is mobile. I have begged and pleaded to have her employees participate on Twitter where we have a very passionate and rabid following. They are Tweetphobes. Because the Owner doesn't do twitter she has pretty much no relationships with her customers online and she is based in Los Angeles. I am in Vermont. I know a lot about her fan base. And no matter what I relay to her or her crew they do not have relationships with their customers online.

For another client which I took on last summer the same is happening. On Facebook and Twitter I have begun forging new relationships for them. Again this client is based in Southern Calfiornia with franchises in Texas, Georgia and Florida. I am in Vermont. There are some very important business connections I am building and I share this with the client. Often nothing happens. They are busy. 

Which has me thinking about Social Media. It is Social. And while I feel it is ok to outsource Social Media if you find the right people or agency who can represent your brand authentically, by not participating your become vulnerable to seeing all this work and good will disappear if you change agencies or even internal personnel. I know where my clients fans live, work, play. I know who is passionate about different things in life. Food. Sports. Health. Travel. I know who supports them the most and who goes the extra mile for them online. There is no way to generate a report to relay this. You need to see it, feel it, live it first hand.

So what do you do? You are very busy. You have Social being run via marketing or outsourcing it. You feel the work is below you? You are scared because you don't Tweet or Facebook? You are shy? You are too busy?


is what I say. Are you too busy to take care of other engines of your business? Are you too busy to wine and dine your biggest customer or take their call when needed? Are you too busy to enjoy dinner out with the family or your weekend off?

I don't care the size of your business. 4 people in a garage or a Fortune 20 company. I suggest you make time to participate via Social Media. Either as yourself or as the company and you will gain insights no report or presentation can ever tell you. and you will forge relationships that won't leave the next time you change personnel or marketing agency.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday's 3 Things!

Once again it is Sunday! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and if you shopped on Black Friday scored some sweet deals.
Fish: A Tap Essay  

Michael on Loving Something on the Internet. Many of us shared a common and awkward moment this week. While stuffing our faces full of stuffing, we were forced to go around the table and tell our family what we were thankful for. Of all the things that were likely to come out of our mouths, something we love on the Internet probably wasn’t it. I mean if, while surrounded by my family, I were to declare my undying gratitude for Radiolab, Back to Work or even friends such as Gini or Howie, my four-year-old might take it personally. Yet, moments after this unfortunate holiday ritual, the conversation picked up and chances are that you did talk about something you love on the Internet (or at least it’s a certainty I did). It’s also probable someone else at the table turned you on to something they love on web. Because none of you invited me to Thanksgiving (not that I’m angry), I thought I’d share something that I love on the Internet: Robin Sloan’s app Fish. Fish is an app-based manifesto that (quite fittingly) encourages you to recognize the difference between the things you like and the things you love on the Internet. Not only is it great, but having a better understanding of that seemingly subtle difference between what I like and what I love is something I’m very thankful for. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. 

 Consumers Punish Brands  

Howie on Brands Using Social Media. Social media has become complete anarchy. Every brand wants to talk with you on social media....RIGHT NOW! Yet we spend most of our time interacting with our friends and family. So few people consumer brand's social network engage. And their networks tend to be just a fraction of total customers. Yet if you aren't there to respond, take complaints, give stuff away, people have their pitchforks out and are ready to light you on fire. Your mistakes get amplified. Your triumphs often barely mentioned. And yes, if you intrude, they will hate you. 

The Branding of Black Friday  

Gini on Crazy Shoppers. More than a century ago, Black Friday referred to the day the stock market crashed. But today we know it as the day after Thanksgiving. The busiest shopping day of the year. The day people camp out for hours, waiting in line to be the first inside to grab deals. But how did it come to be? This Bloomberg article explores the evolution of the name and gives credit of its branding to Philadelphia cops. 

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, or article you think we need to see?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why Marketer's Shouldn't Be Honest

Well I don't mean it that way specifically but I can see why they aren't.


There I said it. Is there a more irrational behavior that gas prices when it comes to eople's perceptions vs reality? If people find gas say 10 cents cheaper they tell people. They filled up 15 gallons maybe. Saved $1.50 and brag about it. They could use a 20% off coupon and save $10 on clothes and won't tell a soul.

This defies logic. There are lots of examples of people being illogical. Most have nothing to do with marketing. But marketers see this and so they think they can snow the average person and guess what? They do very often.I blame the people for allowing themselves to be duped. Buyer beware was coined for a reason.

I would love you to share examples that astound you.
Welcome to the seventh edition of The Three Things, brought to you by Michael Schechter, Gini Dietrich The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t suscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

Monday, November 5, 2012

3 Things Edition 6!

Welcome to the sixth edition of The Three Things, brought to you by Michael Schechter, Gini Dietrich and myself.

Before we get started, everyone send well wishes to Shrek. Because he’s in New York, he’s had to work from home all week, plus he’s creating a big new writing project as part of NaNoWriMo. He’s a little busy, flustered, and probably a bit ADD from all the extra stimulation.
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things is ppublished every Sunday so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

Squarespace: Sandy Updates

Michael on Dedication. This week has taken its toll on many of us here on the east coast. While my family and I were more than fortunate, there are many who have not been so lucky. Through all of the stories of pain, there have also been tales of triumph. While there are many to choose from, I’ve been particularly impressed with the efforts that the team at Squarespace have taken to keep their service up and running. If you want to see what doing right by your customers and your service looks like, especially in the face of serious logistical and emotional adversity, take some time to read through their regular updates.
Disclaimer: Squarespace is a frequent sponsor of Michael’s podcast.

Fake Storm Reports

Howie on Citizen Journalists. I blog often about the limits of social media due to the platform’s short comings. That any tweet or Facebook post will be seen by maybe one to three percent of your network, due to the high volume of posts and size of your network. Typically, individual content never goes viral but topics do, such as updates on Hurricane Sandy. This article covers the recent discussions about whether speed is more important than accuracy and how often it compromises the quality of reporting. Obviously this one tweet got lucky that it was picked up by the right accounts and reshared. Even the Washington Post admits being duped and it cost someone his job.

When a Daughter Dies

Gini on Medical Care. I’m not going to lie. This father’s story about his daughter’s 20 day battle with cancer made me cry. Told on the Freakonomics blog, Steven Levitt’s dad (who is a doctor) tells the story of how his 50 year old daughter had an unsteady gait and went to the doctor only to discover she had brain tumors. During the next 20 days, she goes from being healthy and active to needing ice chips and morphine. While the blog post is written in highly technical medical terms, I think it will affect you the same way it did me. Near the end he says, “In this era of molecular biology, the most valuable medication was morphine, a drug that has been available for almost 200 years.” Amen, Dr. Levitt. Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, or article you think we need to see?