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Some good tips, but actually practicing them is critical. I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to typos or grammar issues on a blog, but when you call out not proofreading as a mistake to avoid, follow your own advice. Even basic spell check would pick up that "littel" was a typo...

7 hours, 17 minutes ago on What Not to Do, Part 2: Social Media Content Marketing Mistakes


@annelizhannan Anne, I had the same problem until I turned off my ad blocker on this page. It seems Frank doesn't want to admit it, but this is actually his ploy to ensure all the ads are delivered on his page and he gets paid in full by his sponsors. Of course, if he just switched to native ads it wouldn't be a problem. ;-)

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Infographic: The State of Native Advertising is…Confused


LOL. Love this, and so true!

4 months, 2 weeks ago on A Listless: Misguided Brands Must Stop Sponsoring Schmucks


LOL, thanks Shonali, I'm looking forward to it!

7 months, 1 week ago on Monday Roundup: A Goodie Bag of #measurePR


Shonali, clearly you are reading the wrong books. There are hundreds (millions?) of books, blogs, white papers, ebooks, infographics, ... that break down in detail how to be the grand poobah of social media for your business in anywhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes a day. 1 to 2 hours a day? Crazy talk. Once your social media money machine is running, you won't work, in total, for 2 hours a day!

Ok, snark is over. I've wondered how you have been, glad to hear that less blogging and social media time just means you are busy. We'll have to carve out an opportunity to say hello for real, you know, between the time spent doing real work, family time, keeping social media barely alive, ... :)

-- Eric

11 months ago on Dear Business: Get Over the Social Media Hump


Gini, I prefer "Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the New Age of Transparency" but if the SEO generals will approve a little change I'll like it a lot more: seriously, we should be communicating with customers, not communicating to them.

I'm not a big fan of all of the "spin" ties, many aren't particularly clear, and one (spinning out of control) is a fun play on words but I think introduces a different meaning for spin that could change what someone assumes the main title means.

One idea that I think clarifies spin a bit (can keeps communication in): "Spin Sucks: Taking Spin Out Of Your Communications Toolbox"

Alright, best of luck sorting through a few hundred more options! :-)

1 year, 1 month ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle


Holly, this is great and something so many people seem to struggle with. Thank you for sharing your perspective along with your personal experience. 

PS - you don't need to quote Godin, the good part here is straight from you.

1 year, 2 months ago on Would the Real Holly Dawson Please Stand Up?


Shonali, great list, definitely a couple new ones I'm looking forward to trying. I didn't even finish the post once I hit Write That Name, I just stopped and signed up (and then came back and finished).

Thanks for sharing!

1 year, 3 months ago on 20 Tools to Grow Your Business, Efficiency and Productivity


Shonali, definitely an interesting view (and a refreshing departure from all of the "add an image!" recommendations out there). 

I wonder, on the 0.1% comment, if the % is fixed, or if the amount of content that can really go viral, in terms of the attention it get and requires from each person, is what is fixed? ie If 10 times as much content is created, will that actually drop to 0.01%? 

I suspect the chance of "going viral" drops each and every year. Would love to hear what others think of that.

1 year, 4 months ago on What Compels People to Share Your Content?


Oh, where to begin.


Ok: 70%.

I've been guilty of using this statistic, however when I tried to trace it back to a real source last year, I found there isn't one. This is a great example of a "known fact" created simply by repetition among bloggers and marketers. As you point out, CEB has a pretty different figure. I believe the 70% has been twisted from an older estimate of the portion of research that happens outside of direct dialogue with sales, it doesn't mean sales isn't involved until the process is 70% complete. (ie 30% is directly in dialogue with sales, a really big number!)


Next: Social Zealots are Drunks.

I'm quite certain I've seen Ninjas and Gurus with LDS affiliations in their Twitter bios. I'm thinking there are stronger illicit drugs at work here. Just sayin'


Moving on: The CEB study.

I'm not familiar with the methodology, but the fact that it is survey-based definitely points to some type of self-reported statistic. Even before slicing it up by industry, country, etc, we should recognize that it is a picture of how buyers buy on average and every process is different.


Finally: The abuse of statistics.

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Statistics are easily twisted (ignoring for the moment the fact the 70% one isn't even a real stat). 


What should the 57% really mean? This is all: many buyers do their own research before connecting with sales. Does your sales and marketing consider these buyers? If not, should it? 


This should take into account your industry (as you pointed out), the type of solution (completely new paradigms versus differentiated but well understood categories versus complete commodities), as well as your business goals. Even if this buying process is common in your category, it doesn't define every single buyer. You may be able to establish a very solid business even ignoring people that do research first (or even: letting your competitors spend time to educate them on the category and then delivering when they are ready to buy). 


Ok, I'll stop before the comment becomes as long as the post! Great, as always, thanks for posting!

1 year, 5 months ago on This B2B Whopper MUST Go


Thanks for the kind words about your followers here at BNJ!


And yes, I agree. An example or a case study does not a best practice make.

1 year, 6 months ago on Right Way to Share a B2B Success


Jon, I wasn't certain what to expect from the title, but this is spot on. #1 and #5 are real thorns in my side and much of the marketing advice I read takes people down these bad roads! 


Great post.

1 year, 6 months ago on 5 Promises Every Living Marketer Should Make to Themselves


Where to begin...


Let's start with the tweets.

Only two of the eight tweets say anything about search, but this appears (I think, we will get there...) to be a paper about improving search. Sets the wrong expectation and draws the wrong audience.


Landing page.

Way too many baseball metaphors in only about 50 words. I have seen a number of marketers make this mistake lately. It is like they are so enamored with the campaign idea that they carry that they have decided to talk about the campaign. In doing so, their real value proposition has been lost.


Strong brands use big data for long-tail discovery. Completely disconnected from most of the tweets and way too big of a mouthful. It sounds like marketing, how would you explain it in a conversation over coffee? Hopefully not like that...


It's really about search (I think, when I strip away all of the metaphors) and basically says we will help you improve your search marketing. Ok, but about 1800 other companies or pieces of content make the same claim. Nothing motivates me and makes me believe this piece of content is better than the stack of similar pitches already sitting in my inbox.


(Nevermind the metaphor issues, which muddy language and cause problems in search more often than not. Clear direct language is key in search, but I digress...) 


Thank you page.

Really, don't make me go dig out of email. I know you want to make certain you captured a legit email but your content is proof of your claims of expertise. Don't make it so hard to get that your target audience never gets that proof.


"Thanks for your interest in BloomReach." No, I didn't express any interest in you, just your piece of content. Rather than assume I'm interested in you and present a bunch of links about you, offer up additional content or information I might be interested.


By giving me two or three related content options, my decision about what to look at next actually would give BloomReach additional information about me and my interests, which they could use to make any followup emails more relevant (enter marketing automation). 


Ok, my rant is over. Thanks for sharing!




1 year, 7 months ago on Conversion Optimization 101: Social Media Landing Pages


For most businesses, nothing is going to overcome a consistently poor experience with your product/service/solution. If that isn't going right, stop and fix it. Marketing will not solve your problem. However, marketing may have an important role after that.


Loyal customers are customers that expect to continue working with you. They are confident not only in your service today, but in what you will continue to provide in the future. In B2B, this is where marketing's role in loyalty comes in.

1 year, 9 months ago on Loyalty (sigh). What A Concept.


Interesting perspective. I definitely agree with you, today's buyers don't want to see volumes of additional largely irrelevant information tossed their way. 


I think the answer for marketers is a bit more nuanced. They need to deliver the right information, not all of the information, to prospective buyers. In order to have the right information, most need to produce a lot of information. From that library, they then need to surface the right information for each person. Of course, sales has always done this in a 1-1 environment and they didn't need the same range of content that today's marketing approaches require. With the opportunity to provide information along with context specific to each recipient on why it was being provided, they could introduce it appropriate. Today, content has to stand on its own.


So, don't flood ME with content, but you just might still need to produce an overwhelming amount of it.

1 year, 10 months ago on What B2B 'Personas' Initiatives Neglect To Consider


@JayBaer @jay_zo The routing for response mechanism here may implement much more quickly than you indicate here in a number of companies. Consider both customer service (where there is already a degree of automation) and new business or sales (where it is more often manual but routed to the appropriate contact). 

What takes time is scale, but for companies that already have a routing infrastructure and mindset, I have to wonder, why is this such a leap? When you label is "social" and "content" it may seem like a big change but when you dig under the covers, I think there are a number of companies that are not far from being able to implement meaningful aspects of this.

1 year, 10 months ago on Why Insourcing is the Next Social Media and Content Marketing Trend


 @TedRubin Thanks for the reply. I completely agree with your closing statement (and have said something similar myself).


"Understanding and immersing themselves, at least a little in social, will at the very least give them a basic feel for what it is instead of what they perceive it to be."


If they do NOT support social and it is because they do not understand it, then yes, most definitely, getting engaged can make a big difference. Ultimately, I view this as a path to supporting social. Understanding it better is just one of the potential paths there. 


Appreciate your reply and perspective helping to shape mine.

1 year, 11 months ago on CEOs On Social Media: Do As I Say, Not As I Do


Steve, why do CEO's need to embrace a presence social media? Do they take out the trash? Do they answer the phone at the front desk? 


I think the social media community is too focused on personal usage by executives, and the analogy you use is a bit broken. Equating business use with social use is apples and oranges. Equating personal use with being willing to support it in the business is also apples and oranges. 


I agree with you, it may be many years before most CEO's of major companies are engaged in social media. But as long as they support social media in the business, it should be ok.

1 year, 11 months ago on CEOs On Social Media: Do As I Say, Not As I Do


Wow, a lot of good points. I want to share a couple reactions I had to this. 


1) My views are not necessarily my employers. Yes, being somewhat active in social media, my views may be public, but what is important is generally far more important is my behavior. If I post that content is overrated as a differentiator and is fast becoming tablestakes for marketers as we are all inundated, you won't likely dismiss my agency for content. In fact, you might even see that we do content creation and see perspectives of individuals around content's evolution as a positive, even if it isn't a position you will see on the agency's website.


I'm blogging, tweeting and facebooking in public, with full disclosure of who my employer is. What I say may not be there view, but that doesn't mean I'm not associated with them.


2) What is sharing? In my view, it should be an endorsement that it is worth the time to read, watch, fill out, etc. It can be something a disagree with but gives insight into a different perspective. Or can be entertaining, or it can just be so awful that you have to share the misery of having sat through it (with a full disclaimer of course for what it is).


This isn't a sense of the right way and the wrong way. It is a perspective I have after following many people and seeing the increasing glut of content. What is valuable to me, and I believe will be increasingly valuable to others as well, is that we are acting as a filter.


And a closing note: views are my own, so please don't hold my employer responsible for anything considerate or intelligent I might accidentally say.


My $0.02.

1 year, 11 months ago on Does Social Sharing Equal Public Endorsement?


Sam, I don't want to pay for content because so much of it these days isn't valuable. I hesitate because I don't know that it is worth the bother of even providing my email address.


Add to that being burned so many times by companies that sell or spam me or processes that start with a simple form (first name, email) and then require a 20 field form to be completed as the second step, I would rather take the next result in Google because it isn't any more likely to be low quality than the one I just passed on paying for with my information.


It isn't just blogs that are producing awful content these days, even some of the respected publishing companies produce a lot of fluff these days. If we don't pay with our information or credit card, we are still paying with our time and attention.


So, to answer your question: yes, there is value in free content. But the real value is in valuable content. Content that your audience would MISS if it wasn't there. When you consistently deliver that content to your audience, you win the battle for attention.

2 years ago on Is Free an Asset to Content Marketers?


Good point from @ShakirahDawud , blogs can be skimmed. What I appreciate most about your posts, and a few other folks, is that they are NOT directly actionable, but they are thought provoking. They plant a seed, like this one does.


Seed: Is making someone stop and think enough, or do you need to tell them the answer too? Does the answer to that change depending on the relationship you already have with them?


I don't need a 60 minute webcast to spark a thought, if I have 60 minutes to give, then I don't have any time after to think! But for a blog, there is ample room for both styles. 


My $0.02 in reply. :-)

2 years, 1 month ago on Of actionable items and a touch of hypocrisy


Welcome back! 

2 years, 1 month ago on Catching Up


I'm speechless. 


[This is where I bite my tongue and resist the urge to launch into a useless monologue. Well said Margie, absolutely nothing should be added.]

2 years, 2 months ago on The problem with armor


 @Lisa Gerber Happy Birthday Lisa! 


-- A fellow Pacific Northwesterner

2 years, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Lisa Gerber


 @ginidietrich I look forward to joining you in the 10% club.


Here is my crazy question (because I always like to flip statistics on their heads): will this be 90% because people will be writing that much less content? Or is that a 9x increase in content, rewritten and repurposed by machines? 


Remember the old game of telephone? I wonder what happens when a machines creates content that is then spun by a machine that is then spun by a machine that is then...


Will a cycle of machine content built on machine content end up creating and perpetuating misinformation?


So, here's to the 10%!!

2 years, 2 months ago on Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story than Humans?


One of the worst things about self-hosted wordpress blogs is sorting through all of the available plugins. This is a great list, and particularly helpful since I'm also using Genesis. Thanks for posting Danny!

2 years, 2 months ago on 27 Highly Recommended WordPress PlugIns As Used on Here


Jay, saying Pinterest will behave like search is an interesting thought. For physical products, that might be the case, but I think that view may ultimately be too marketing centric.


Seeing the bit that is shared from my blog, it is clear many people are sharing images that resonate with them, for reasons that have nothing to do with the underlying content.


I don't have the data on pinterest traffic to my little blog to compare engagement in a meaningful way, but take a look at these two pins, both from my blog, and the boards they are on. Clearly the image, not the "bookmark", is the thing being shared.


Definitely a space to watch as it continues to develop. And yes, I agree 100%, traffic for most should merely be a means to an end, it is meaningless if it doesn't get you there. Great stuff, as always. 

2 years, 2 months ago on The Most Overrated Social Media Metric


I'm definitely a fan of the magic middle idea here, although I wasn't aware of the term before. I highlighted something similar as the "real" goal of Klout and other firms - they don't need to identify the top 10 people for us, if they give marketers a way to engage influencers 100 to 1,000, they can provide significant reach through an audience that historically has not been targeted by marketers in the same way (and hopefully isn't as jaded).


Nice to see the source of this approach!

2 years, 2 months ago on How to Manage Influencer Outreach Programs: The Power of the Magic Middle


Definitely a dichotomy in social media, but I'm not convinced it is actually as big of a disconnect. The biggest problem I see is that "conversation" isn't connected. Conversation or engagement is generally good advice as part of an overall plan, but it has been adopted standalone, without connecting that engagement to the process of educating prospective buyers and uncovering new sales opportunities.

2 years, 3 months ago on Myth: Marketing consists of just talking to people (or what is Social Media Marketing)


Margie, what strikes me about the "X is dead" perspectives is it always seems to come back to two points:


1) The cost of X.

2) The limited visibility into results from X.


As you point out, visibility into results is, in part, a factor of knowing how to track traditional media. The other side of this coin is that digital and social media don't necessarily provide great insights into real business results. Most digital reporting connects activity (clicks, tweets, etc) to activity (purchases, leads, ...). Unfortunately, it doesn't establish cause or get to lift. Those are much harder to measure, are far closer to a measurement of the business impact, and are more commonly used in traditional (ie the hard to measure) media. You can do it in digital and social too, but it isn't easy.


The cost arguments have some merit today, but are mostly fleeting. When new channels emerge, they frequently don't get the investment they potentially deserve. Marketers are reactive, they wait for their audience to move. Marketers that can move quickly can get a brief cost advantage. But media and marketing are about return and the return is, in part, a function of those media costs. If social media is really more cost effective, the costs will come back into alignment over time, and then the next "new" thing will all of a sudden be the cheaper option!


Alright, a mini-rant and nearly a blog post, I'll wrap up at that! :-)

2 years, 3 months ago on Myth: Killing anything that's not social media is advisable


Marissa, definitely interesting stats, but I can't help but wonder if there is some bias here. Do you know how the responses were recruited? From the numbers, it would seem social media was a big piece of the recruitment. 86% to 94% of people caring about what a company does in social media, outside of social media circles, seems tough to believe. Any context you can add back here to help understand what these results mean?

2 years, 3 months ago on Study: 74% Of Respondents More Likely To Buy From Companies With CEO Social Media Engagement


One challenge is with frequent use, new words that captures the essence of an idea become commodotized. They come to have a simple definition and have been disconnected from the ideas their use was born out of. As a marketer, one more I would add to the list: strategy. We used to need a strategy. Today, according to bloggers, we need a headline strategy, a Twitter follow strategy, and probably a color strategy for our site. Strategy is important, but the word no longer has an important meaning.

2 years, 4 months ago on 7 Business (Buzz)Words That Have Lost Almost All Meaning


Hi Doug,


I actually blog on my commute. I have a slight advantage: public transit instead of driving. I'm able to draft or completely write the majority of my blog posts during my commute, relatively free of distractions, all on my mobile. Check it out:


One additional point that adds: the possibilities today, thanks to the power and functionality of mobile devices, are way beyond what we had just a few years ago. I remember syncing news to my Palm every morning using AvantGo, to make productive use of my time. It was a pain and the screen was awful. What mobiles and apps make possible a decade later is pretty incredible.




2 years, 4 months ago on 12 Most Efficient Uses of Your Commuting Time


Margie, sadly, it isn't just you (but you already knew that). Consider David Meerman Scott's book and advice on Newsjacking. 


The problems are not just in social media, they cover all aspects of marketing. They can't shout any louder, so to be heard, marketers are shouting earlier or in the moments of silence we once had. I have said in the past that marketers will move to the extremes to be heard. It is unfortunate, but right now, it is the world we live in. My goal is to work with marketers that pick the extreme of serving their audience, rather than shouting louder, ambushing, bashing or spreading FUD. However, I do believe that we will see all possible extremes in the years to come in a desperate attempt to stand out.


Great point, well said. Thank you for sharing.

2 years, 4 months ago on For the love of the shame


I'm with @BruceSallan1 on this one. There is definitely more intimacy in personal interactions. I would never tell my wife to check Facebook when she asks about my day or limit the information I share with her to what I share publicly.


The issue of "always knowing" aside, technology definitely brings us closer together, closing distance for collaboration and relationships. The global workforce is now the global office in many cases, and our ability to communicate and collaborate effectively over distance, with no loss in time, is incredible when compared to just a decade ago, and increasingly these advances are available to everyone, not just to major companies.


When you head west to see Bruce, take a trip North to Portland. Lunch is, of course, on me.

2 years, 4 months ago on “Death Of Distance” – Social Media and Collaboration


Learning is sexy. Learning by succeeding is really sexy.


Learning by failing... well, at least its sexier than just failing, but wouldn't you be better served to test things with confidence they will be successful at some level? I think we all would...


Great post, thanks for sharing.

2 years, 4 months ago on Myth: Failure is Sexy


@margieclayman If you are of that rare breed of publisher than never drinks your own Kool-Aid, it may be possible, but the rest need to maintain some degree of separation or they will be blinded by their own bias.

I know you have been in media buying in the past (it's a big piece of my day job), and I'm sure you have heard publishers that say things like "our CXO audience starts their day with our content" or "if we don't publish it, CXO's don't believe it". When publishers have attitudes like this, they are not longer capable of really wearing their audience's shoes.

2 years, 5 months ago on Myth: E-Newsletters are easy to create and send


Margie, I would like to add one very good reason why some people rail against newsletters yet send newsletters.

We are not our own audience.

This is what I mean: marketers (publishers) need to meet their audiences. As the publisher here at, you may despise newsletters, but you have that little signup box in the top right corner still. You do it because you know that some of us will prefer newsletters, others will prefer RSS feeds (personally, I'm of the RSS variety), and maybe a few will prefer to subscribe to your FB page. As a publisher, you don't impose your own preferences on your audience.

Now, I don't mean to support adding people manually to your newsletter, that is a completely different topic of conversation. But why do we rail on newsletters yet still send them? There is a very good reason...

2 years, 5 months ago on Myth: E-Newsletters are easy to create and send


I rarely see promoted tweets in my main stream, thankfully. However, I do see them regularly pinned at the top of search columns in Tweetdeck (I still have the old version, that may be why I don't see them elsewhere). I don't like the room they take up, my laptop screen only fits 5 or 6 tweets, when one of them is promoted...

Clearly, the promoted tweets need some targeting work. Since Twitter doesn't fully explain 'how' they determine who to show them to, examples like this will be a barrier for advertisers as well.

Personally, as long as the "volume" of advertising doesn't distract, I'm willing to put up with a few irrelevant promoted tweets. Besides, this is in my stream right now, and it isn't promoted: "Gagnez 1 paire de billets pour le combat ''Championnat du monde'' de " Umm, I can't even read it! I think that automatically means it qualifies as not relevant. :-)

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Twitter Spamming Users?


Ross, I was just preparing to say something similar. There is some truth to it, and I'm exposed to it regularly. People that are aware of social media buy not particularly engaged see followers as success. In fact, @jeffbullas posted a case recently of an individual that credits his follow numbers, not their engagement or opinion of him, but purely the numbers, for some of his success.

@PamMktgNut Overall, I agree with your view here, where I disagree, I'm saddened by it. The fact that worthless gaming the system purely for the sake of follower numbers can make you more successful with some people is one of the things that is wrong with social media today and continues to create an opportunity for the consultant you profiled here.

Hopefully it changes soon. Hopefully the number of followers is ignored. But unfortunately I don't think it will be until we have an alternative to replace it with. Size is used as a metric in every publishing business, and people looking to quickly grow an audience to blast promotions have the mindset of low value publishers, and people like this are playing directly to that mindset.

Alight, I'm ducking into the corner now with Ross. :-)

2 years, 5 months ago on Social Media Consultant Gone Bad... Real Bad!


Margie, this is awesome. I'm trying to figure out how to pen it. My advice is to use more words in your posts, it will make it easier for us (your rabid fan audience) to pen your posts and help drive traffic back. If you haven't heard, penterprise is THE place to share the written word, building your audience, driving traffic and garnering massive SEO benefits all at once. I suggest preparing for it now, when it is released to the public in 2013, it will be THE big thing.

2 years, 5 months ago on Enough of the gold rush


@ShakirahDawud You are right, "authentic" is the wrong word (or actually, it is applied from the wrong perspective, it shouldn't be used from the marketers perspective, but rather from the audience's perspective). We want them to seem real to us, as the folks in the audience.

As I said in my response to Gini, to me this is about being believable, and in many ways, it is the same as appearing authentic from your audience's perspective (although it has NOTHING to do with actually being authentic to who you are!). Crazy how we have learned to abuse the language. :-)

Thanks for the comment!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@penneyfox Good point.

Part is definitely choosing what to share, to take the analogy further, it's like pushing the whiskey to the back of the cupboard first. It starts to shape the image we give someone, sometimes in subtle ways. I think marketers can, and most should, shape that image somewhat as well.

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@geoffliving As a place to engage with companies, I certainly hear you. As a way to meet individuals (like @ginidietrich and @lisagerber , who opened the door for me to post here), I find social media to be incredibly valuable. The trick for companies is harnessing that personal value, and their activity as a "brand" isn't always the way to do so.

I'll stop there though, or I will end up writing another full post in this comment!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@Shonali Thanks Shonali!

"Face" is a great way to put it. It is a complete image you project, and one you live up too. If there is a big gap between the real you and the public profile, you won't be able to keep up the act (stay in character), and you will be called out for it.

Thanks for the comment and the kind share, look forward to your upcoming post!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@jasonkonopinski Well said. When the gap is too wide, we see right through it. You will not be living up to the image you are attempting to project and you will get called on it.


2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@wabbitoid Um, thanks for supporting my authenticity, I think... :-)

Thanks for the great addition to the discussion here!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@KenMueller Wow, thinking about this throughout the afternoon? Glad it sparked a reaction and thank you for sharing!

Yes, we definitely get mixed up in the semantics here. Authentic doesn't mean revealing everything, but the line blurs very quickly.

There was a TV ad a couple years ago of a guy riding a lawnmower, living the 'perfect' life. The punch line: "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs". His life wasn't authentic because he was projecting an image that was very different from the reality.

So where is the line between what we need to share and what we can conceal? And is it a line that, as marketers, we can really say we will never cross? Personally, I don't believe it is.

Love the comment, thank you for sharing!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@ryancox Wow, thanks Ryan, appreciate it! I would appreciate it if you ping me when your post on twitter (wittlake) when your post it out!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@jamienotter Jamie, you nailed it. Let me add another word to the mix, that I used in my reply to @ginidietrich as well. Believable.

Companies that only show their good side are no longer believable, and companies that are not believable are definitely not trustworthy. When we talk about trustworthiness, we are still talking about an image we create. What is changing is what we, as individuals, will believe about a company.

To me, that isn't authenticity from the companies perspective. When we talk about authentic, what we usually mean is something that seems believable. To us, in the audience, we believe it could be authentic. But when a marketer looks inward, that isn't actually authentic, it is still a carefully constructed and supported believable image.

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@maryhruth Hi Mary,

Thanks for the comment. You are right, it is simplistic, but I think anytime a group latches on to a word that represents a principle, the meaning of the word starts to take precedence.

This post first struck me when I saw the bicycle pictured in the post. That is real, that is authentic, and yet when we see the equivalent in social media, we lash out against it.

To your point, we need boundaries, and that is what this is about. Those boundaries are what we construct our image within and we each have our own view of where those boundaries are. But almost all of us are projecting an image that isn't exactly the same as the one we have with our families. Does my family recognize the "me" that lives online? Yes (I think!). But it is a louder, less introverted version of the me with a different set of priorities than they see at home.

Thanks for adding a different perspective, I appreciate it.

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


@ginidietrich Thanks Gini! Wow, what timing.

As others are pointing out, the definition of authentic is what people are reacting to here. I don't believe being authentic requires disclosing everything (financials? no). On the flipside though, I do believe it means not lying.

To me, what this really comes down to is being BELIEVABLE. What has changed is the threshold of what we will believe. We will not believe that you are perfect. We know you have flaws. As marketers, we have to project a believable image and we then have to live up to it. If we don't, people will see through it very quickly. Is that image authentic? In my opinion, it rarely is. But it can't be something people readily can see through.

Thanks for the opportunity to share here at your place!

2 years, 5 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice


Hi Pam,

#11 hits home. It seems everyone is a shill for something these days. Add to that the applications that will spam our connections, either through malware or as 'legitimate' applications with buried disclosures of what they will do, and there is a pitch to connect, buy or download around every corner.

I have backed off on my personal networking because of this. On LinkedIn, I rarely accept an invitation from someone I have not had a meaningful conversations with and have already formed a clear opinion of. On Twitter, I follow back increasingly sparingly. On Facebook, I almost completely refuse to install applications or respond to application invites and companies that use the platform for marketing messages are quickly disconnected.

On one hand, I decry the downfall of some of our social media platforms. On the other hand, it is a whole lot easier than moving to a new email address.



2 years, 5 months ago on Social Media Tools & Tech - 15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind!


Margie, well said. I would like to add thought leaders and copy cats to you list. Building on the idea of the echochamber, everyone wants to be recognized for their perspective. What happens is everyone ends up touting the same perspective. Some have had a hand in creating it, some really understand it and can continue to move it forward as the market evolves, and many are just touting what they heard last.

Is this the equivalent of jerks and truth tellers? No, but it contributes significantly to all of the noise we have today in social media about blogging and marketing and the need shout to be heard over the din of it all.

[one typo fixed and reposted...]

2 years, 5 months ago on Jerks, Truth-Tellers, Link Bait, and Compliments


Pam, nicely said. One thing I have seen is social network relationships quickly extend beyond just Twitter. People I met via Twitter have become connections I turn to with questions or thoughts. Platform is valuable because it made the initial connection possible, but the people are what keep me coming back.

Looking forward to the rest of the series and how businesses weave into this fabric of the people. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on The Heartbeat of Social Media


@margieclayman Yes, and yet I got your reply notification by email. I wish we could get rid of email, but alas, not quite yet.

2 years, 6 months ago on #WomenWednesday Incoming! The Direct Message


Margie, I will be sharing a post I've written with you by DM at the next available opportunity. That is inequality we can easily rectify.

I just skimmed through my DM's, so to add a guy's perspective, they are relatively balanced between men and women. That said, most are a note that isn't, for whatever reason, appropriate for public or for a very specific purpose (business, transactional, scheduling followups, stats, etc).

2 years, 6 months ago on #WomenWednesday Incoming! The Direct Message


@keithbloemendaal Keith, I completely agree. However, when Universal Search was first rolled out, we saw the same thing, then Google corrected over time. Now they have been tamed and I appreciate the universal search results in Google. I do believe (and I hope!!) that Google will make the same type of corrections here. If they don't, I'm going to turn my search over to Twitter (it won't be pretty).

2 years, 6 months ago on Google Search Plus Your World: The Debate


Hi Tyler,

You make some great points here, however I'm on the side that true transparency is a phantom, it doesn't exist, and we don't really want it to.

Deleting negative comments? No, I don't support it. But transparency includes transparency into your own motives, not just allowing your customers voice to be heard. Companies are not transparent, and if they were, if their motives and methods were fully on display, most of us would not want to follow them and wouldn't be attracted to them.

Too often, I think we confuse transparency with being a good web citizen. Please, let's all be good citizens, engage in civil discourse (even when we feel otherwise), but I don't believe we will see full transparency, and frankly, I don't really want to.

This is a different take on transparency, but its one I believe the industry needs to discuss.

2 years, 6 months ago on Six Reasons to Practice Social Media Authenticity


Dan, this is great.

One of the biggest problems with the voice people adopt is it limits opportunity for real dialogue, and as @margieclaymen would point out, keeping face often degrades into keeping sides and creates pointless divisions.

2 years, 6 months ago on Your Social Voice – Are You A Faker?


Margie, I really like this post. Like you, I see the same topics over-and-over, in blogs and in publications like Mashable. I have two issues with the conclusions in the study (and I certainly think the echo chamber exists).

First, it is a really big echo chamber that certainly extends beyond the people I am friends with on Facebook. That way too limited of a view.

Second, Facebook EdgeRank WORKS. People see things in their feed that are interesting to them, either because it is from a close friend or it is a topic that resonated with their friends. When you manipulate the results and show content Facebook normally wouldn't show, people don't know that is happening. They are inclined to think it might be interesting. Of course, if it ISN'T in their echo chamber group, it is unlikely they would have shared it later, therefore any small increase in sharing is a sizable increase in the likelihood of sharing.

When I get out of my marketing echo chamber, with personal friends that don't use Twitter at all and still don't know that some people spell clout with a K, views are very different. When I talk to people during my morning commute (I have used this as a time to get feedback from a random mix of commuters on marketing topics at times) or people from my church, it immediately becomes very clear that online, I'm part of an echo chamber of ideas that are completely disconnected from many of the people we, as marketers, claim that we are connecting with.

If you disagree, try this: Ask a local church pastor how much his last sermon increased his Klout score. ;-)

2 years, 6 months ago on Social Media Echo Chamber – Myth Or Truth


Harrison, we forget this too often and too easily. Thank you for the timely reminder.

2 years, 6 months ago on Six Ways to Make People Like You


Are you doing business, in all aspects of your business, person-to-person? Or as a big company serving a big group?

I like the small business comment from @RobertDempsey because many of these businesses develop loyalty because they develop relationships with their customers and local community and listen to them in order to meet their needs. As customers, we feel as if we benefit their business and they treat us like we benefit it (in contrast to a company like WalMart, who doesn't need any one individual's business).

Augie Ray had an eye opening post to me on social business and how it might evolve, definitely worth a read:

Great stuff, keep it up!

-- Eric

2 years, 6 months ago on The Definition of Social Business?


Jay, yes, ads can be polarizing, but roughly 1/3 negative? If a marketer is pleased with this, the goal is to create conversation, and they are willing to have an ad that is disliked by a sizable portion of viewers in order to create that conversation and increase visibility.

If I'm right, you just made them more successful! ;)

2 years, 6 months ago on 6 Potentially Wildly Inaccurate Observations about Tostitos and Social Sentiment


@bdorman264 Sure, you can support your friend. What we all need to remember is we are supporting our friends, when we share their content, by 'spending' the trust we have earned. When they produce great stuff, we get a little more trust. When we share a flop of theirs, we lose a lot of the trust we have built up. But at the end of the day, each of us has our own bank of trust, to use as we see fit.

2 years, 6 months ago on Are you actually reading this?


Margie, I'm so glad you wrote this wonderful title. And yes, of course I read your title before tweeting it and submitting it to Stumble, I'm surprised you would even consider suggesting otherwise.

Thanks for all the great titles you contribute to the blogosphere. When it is your title, I tweet it as quickly as I can, because I always know my Twitter audience will like your title's. One of the most challenging things in social media is finding enough great titles from other people to share, which makes me appreciate the few consistently great title writers, those rare folks I can always count on for tweets, without resorting to feeding quotes to my audience. Somehow quoting someone that died 200 years ago just doesn't have the same personal from-me-to-you feel that a title I read and selected myself adds to my Twitter stream.

Keep up all the great titles! But if I can make one request: please write a few more titles. At only 30 to 75 characters a piece, I'm sure you could write more than one a day.


2 years, 6 months ago on Are you actually reading this?


Congratulations Dan! Big move, wish you the best in your new role!

2 years, 6 months ago on My Change In 2012: New Year, New Career


Pam, I really love your last point. THIS is why all of the seminars, books or coaches in the world won't work for you. If you are not engaged, if you don't love social media and social business at least a little bit, you will be following a checklist that was outdated by the time you found it, even if it did completely cover every nuance of the topic when it was published (no, none of them do).

Social media is constantly evolving, and the ONLY way to keep up is to embrace it and identify your own opportunities. If you don't, the only business you will be driving will be your agency's, consultant's or seminar publisher's business, not your own.


2 years, 6 months ago on The Only Way to Become a Social Business in 2012


Thanks Margie, you just made my blog to-do list a little bit longer. Better twitter button and email subscribe.

I'm interested in any tips for the chrome RSS subscribe issues, Jure's is good for us as users, but it doesn't help our visitors. Is there a way to make it work in default chrome installs? Maybe Feedburner fixes this?

Alright, one more high priority update to make for my blog...

2 years, 6 months ago on Are you locking out blog subscribers?


"The only way to achieve loyalty is through deeper engagement." Awesome, and let's add the product managers to that list as well, as great experiences with the product, not just marketing, drive that loyalty.

2 years, 6 months ago on Brand Managers Who Want More Loyal Customers Need To Do This


There is plenty of doubt still out there, I hope you have your earplugs ready for the year! All things I would rather not hear as well, but what is more important is how we respond to them.

Rome wasn't built in a day... Also, your email, probably a major element of your marketing program, wasn't built in a day. You had to build your audience (your database) over time. In social media, you have to build your connections over time, one by one. While I hope we don't view social like email (build an audience to promote to), it is a useful reference for the time it takes to establish a program.

2 years, 6 months ago on Top Five Things I Resolve To Never Hear A Marketer Say About Social Media In 2012... And Beyond


Aaron, I definitely agree with you on mobile, people are adopting in spades (although I think marketers will continue to follow too slowly) and functional services like Buffer will certainly embrace mobile apps (I hope!!).

However, I'm not sold that companies will move from promoting social presence to mobile apps very quickly. Social is easy to promote, still far more widespread than robust smartphones, and research continues to show that we tend to only use a small handful of the apps we download on our mobile phones. The barrier for a marketer really driving usage of their mobile app will be too high for most marketers to take on. We will see a few exceptions, the wild successes, and there will be lots of dismal failures that will fade away and be forgotten.

Then again, you have the benefit of time travel and being able to look back at what really happened! :-) It will be an interesting year, looking forward to seeing how mobile and social continue to evolve this year.

2 years, 6 months ago on 5 Social media trends that will lead 2012.


No, I don't remember my first email. But looking at those account numbers back in the mid-80's... I think I have more emails today than there were email accounts then. Yikes!

I love @mqtodd 's claim that he doesn't even look at most email anymore. He follows back everyone in social, and just ignores the pool of spam that his email has become. If accounts keep growing like this, we may all have to adopt his approach.

2 years, 6 months ago on The History of Email – Infographics


Stanford, you look to have combined Guidance and How-To in one post. Whatever it is, nicely done. ;-) Good perspective and one I will revisit as I think more about the plans and objectives for my personal blog this year. Keep up the great content, this is becoming one of the first sites I think of when someone asks me how to get started blogging.

2 years, 6 months ago on 3 Things Your Readers Need to Hear Before They'll Read Your Blog


Nice post Steve. Yeah, I agree there are a number of marketers that are missing the boat on social media because many look to do a brief pilot and don't give their program the calendar time it needs to build. I wrote a brief post on this thought a few months ago - Social Media Success Starts with Commitment, not Pilot:

There are certainly things companies can do, and many have been rehashed widely. Listen, participate regularly, share content, etc. The one thing companies are missing in all of this is advice is relationships, probably because it isn't an easy checklist item to hand off. To your point, there are people on the other end of the twitter account, targeting specific individuals and slowly developing those relationships opens the door to offline conversations.

REALLY listen to your targets. Not just listening software, but in a list column in Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or whatever other tool you use. Building relationships is the long-term road to success in Twitter and other social media platforms. Otherwise, they become broadcast channels paid for in hours instead of dollars.

2 years, 7 months ago on Are B2B Marketers Not Using Twitter Correctly?


Funny thing, they are all bloggers. I have certainly noticed that comments drive comments. If I comment regularly on your blog, you are more likely to notice and take a quick look at my blog as well. Since you are a creator, not just a nameless visitor, if the content grabs you at all, you are more likely to take the time to comment as well.

I could go drop links to my blog in the article comments in a marketing publication. I've done it, with rarely a comment, yet my phone has rang, my email has dinged, etc. Bloggers are commenters, but the general public isn't.

Call out random individuals, and it won't drive comments. Trigger trackbacks to other bloggers and look out for the comment and social share flood!

Confesssion: I struggle with this. My blog is a relatively low traffic, but at times has a very high comment rate by any benchmark. Is it an indication of good quality content? Or just that nearly all my readers are bloggers?

Oops, there I went and got more serious in the comments than you were in your post!

2 years, 7 months ago on An Ironic Blog Post About Getting More Comments


Steve, I really like this and I think you nailed some of the issues. We talk about how companies don't like the idea of giving up control, even though the discussion could be happening without them. A crisis brings this to the fore. In a crisis, the company has lost control and the conversation has gone someplace they do not want it to go.

A good social media reaction is critical, like the Red Cross case you referenced. When companies try to control the situation (like Chapstick), it backfires. Although I won't say it is the test of a "brand", it certainly is a test of the social media team and the company's willingness to accept their lack of control and still participate when things don't go their way. Unfortunately, brands like Chapstick aren't passing this last test.

2 years, 7 months ago on Is A Crisis The Real Test Of A Brand When It Comes To Social Media?


You are right, isn't for people that are serious about Twitter. But Coca-Cola isn't on Twitter just for people that are serious about Twitter either. That is why brand pages do matter, to Twitter and to brands, even though you and I may never care about them personally.

Twitter's change is driven by the 90-9-1 model, Twitter is trying to make the leap from serving the creators and editors to also serving the audience, the 90%. For Twitter, the important change is serving consumers. This is why I think the Discover tab and the integration of media are really the most important changes. These are the things that allow people to spend TIME on, which will feed their advertising model and grow their audience.

You and me? We become some of the evangelists that get more people to join. We are no longer part of the audience that directly drives their business.

2 years, 7 months ago on Twitter Brand Pages are Pointless


Unfortunately, many will see this as Walmart being authentic. They are asking their employees not to be and Walmart's reputation is a company that doesn't care about others.

Some will see this move as further proof of Walmart's reputation, when it could have been a small step towards improving their reputation.

2 years, 7 months ago on Why Walmart is Making a Huge Social Media Mistake


Jay, I don't know that real time knowledge is empty calories, the new knowledge in it is worthwhile. However, in our attempt to consume the real-time information stream, we tend to consume the same information repeatedly. Be it another blog post or advice article that re-spins the same old advice or a news article that was quickly published with the same bare facts every news organization received and published, so much of the information we consume isn't new, it is just in a new place.

We need an intelligent trigger, either an event we anticipate or a monitoring application that triggers us, that says the information IS valuable RIGHT NOW. I think this intelligence layer is what is missing in today's real time information stream.

-- Eric

2 years, 7 months ago on We Know Faster, But Do We Know More?


Hi Jonathan, are the benefits you and Peg have seen from Social Media ones you can share more information about?

2 years, 8 months ago on Social Strategies for Uncommon Businesses


You are spot on here. There is no reason to talk about the same thing everyone is saying. If you expect that to spark discussion, you better have the most eloquent writing, proof point story, or something similar to react to. And then, those reactions will not be the discourse that makes you smarter about the topic.

On my blog, the three top posts, based on comments, are all provocative. It is important to note though that the point wasn't to be provocative. It was to share a view I have, as someone close to a topic, that runs somewhat counter to current conventional wisdom.

Here are the three headlines, and an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite comments.

Five Reasons Lead Generation is on its Last Legs

Content Will Not Be King

Social Media is Lowering our Content Standards

And my favorite comment:

"When I read the title I thought I would be against this post because I naturally thought, that social media should be pushing us to share higher quality content. It seems however that you are right..."

Provoking for the sake of provoking is being a publishing troll. But a provocative point of view drives valuable dialogue. I say bravo, never be afraid to have your own opinion.

2 years, 9 months ago on Provoke Is Not a 4 Letter Word


Pam, inspiring perspective, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Incredible what your business has become in just two years, how it started, and how you have gotten some of the balance you never had in the traditional corporate world.

Look forward to hearing more and connecting in the future!

2 years, 9 months ago on Entrepreneur Success: 15 Tips to Zoom Business and Life


Steve, I won't disagree with the advice to use both social media and email. Marketers need to meet their audience where they live and want to engage. As marketers, forcing our channel choices on our prospects and customers is a losing proposition when our competitors increasingly meet the audience on their own terms.

However, the stats here don't lead to this conclusion. There are differences in the two segments that stretch beyond merely the use of social media + email or email only. For instance, if lists are 53% larger, but only growing 5.5% faster, that means these businesses had larger lists before anyone was integrating email and social media.

I would look at these numbers differently. In short, focused marketers that have developed strong audiences are more likely to continue to focus on smart marketing and move to more integrated marketing.

I don't mean to be a troll, but I have seen a lot of statistics shared recently to support arguments that are well beyond the scope of what the statistics are actually saying, and it is particularly troubling when it is is support of a spot-on recommendation.

2 years, 9 months ago on Use Email Marketing And Social Media As Part Of An Integrated Marketing Strategy


#20 made my literally laugh out loud.

BTW: What's with livefyre? All my favorite bloggers seem to be switching, and as a user, the dashboard is useless, and the email notification options are horrible. Would love to understand the appeal for when I finally break away from a subdomain and actually have to choose from options...

2 years, 10 months ago on 50 Signs You're Addicted to Social Media & Twitter


LOL. Well, it's Labor Day weekend, and I'm commenting on a blog. I guess I'm not making the commitment.

On a more serious note, I disconnect almost completely when I'm with family on Sundays. Doing so regularly helps break your feel of dependence (although I still feel much of it!). The thought of being without my smart phone on the weekend no longer gives me the shakes. In fact, I look forward to it.

I just wish I had a way to turn off all data connections on my phone, so it would just be a PHONE, carried for emergency use or family coordination, without all those flashing lights and notification icons from Twitter and email. Hmm, maybe time to pay the app store another visit.

-- @wittlake

2 years, 10 months ago on Unplug and Reconnect. Seriously?


Wow. As I'm reading this, I'm considering how companies connect with their audience. As an individual, on behalf of yourself or for a company, this is somewhat natural to do (although admittedly I could be much better at it).

But for corporate marketers, developing an audience for their own publishing... this post highlights what some of the challenges are.

Good food for thought this morning, thanks!

-- @Wittlake

2 years, 10 months ago on 5 Things People Want from Bloggers!


Cheryl, thanks for sharing this and starting with some definition.

The definition and role of brands seems to have been a topic of some debate lately, with definitions ranging from a verb (branding activities) to a thing (your logo, colors, etc) to what you stand for (the view you look to create of your company) to the perspective others have about you (how brand is ultimately measured by most companies).

Personally, I see a brand today living in the hearts and minds of your audience. All of the activity companies do (and your example of Verizon Wireless here is great) are adding to and reworking those perceptions. Marketing today is one of many competing influencers of our audience's perception, and that fact needs to pervade modern branding activities.

We are exploring similar areas today, I posted (this morning) a view on branding and its role: The Importance of Woozles in B2B Marketing (its a lighthearted title, but a serious perspective).

Would love your perspective on it!

2 years, 10 months ago on What is a brand?


Wow, more thought provoking stuff Jay.

You are putting the burden of setting the direction for social media on today's practicioners. Will they push back on short-term, non-social behavior in social media?

Doing so seems altruistic today. It is for the good of the medium, but is it to the detriment of the individual marketer? Today's automation and not-so-social tactics by one company will boost results, but as just one participant, they have a negligible impact on the channel overall.

Unfortunately, the long-term view isn't in vogue today with most companies. For that matter, with most senior marketers having a short tenure, true long-term views without significant short term wins are often not in a marketer's personal best interests either.

The question at the heart of it is: is there too much short term and individual company benefit when compared to long term and channel detriment to get social media marketers to be work towards the good of the channel? (I believe the answer today is "Yes"). More importantly then, what changes in social media will change this equation?

@mediasres has a couple really interesting posts that apply here. Here is an excerpt from the first of Kevin's posts below, both are short and sparked a healthy comment debate. It is really interesting when you think about it in context of non-social marketing-driven behavior and the entire social media channel (in place of Triberr and Twitter).

"There is an Ecological Argument for why we might object to Triberr technology and use. That is: The common retort that some Triberrists hold out, “Hey I’m just doin’ my thing, this is a free world, just unfollow me” just may not be the whole story. There is a level at which, what I would call the Ecological level, where we all have an interest in the entire realm of Twitter. When something proliferates that changes the norm of what is expected, when the medium itself is changing, at the very least we can prick up our ears and think about it."

2 years, 11 months ago on Nobody Said Social Media Should Be Simple


Jay, I want to share a post I wrote about a month: Not Just Automation, Marketing Needs Real Conversation.

I have seen a couple companies test real conversational mediums as part of their broader marketing, it is interesting to see, although it is too early to call it a trend. Even SAP recently tested running a chat on Twitter.

(Conveniently added as a reply so you can delete if you feel I'm link spamming you. That isn't my intent).

2 years, 11 months ago on Is Technology Ruining Online Community


Jay, I love this post. However, I don't think marketing gets this side of social media. And maybe that's the problem, maybe marketing (including PR) are the wrong homes for social media. As a marketing person, I have misgivings typing that sentence, but the challenge you laid out here is not one marketing organizations, as a whole, are inclined to address.

Consider marketing's solution to delivering more qualified leads to sales. Marketing Automation. The name says it all. Everywhere you turn, marketing's answer to delivering one-to-one communications is scalable, automated processes (with complexity in business rules that limit the APPEARANCE of automation).

What will happen when businesses can use IBM's Watson for marketing and one-to-one communications? Will marketers see it as the ultimate 'technology' solution, able to automate far deeper engagement? Will machines empathize with us in social media? And if so, as consumers, will we accept this, or revolt against it?

As always, you raise questions and make me think. Thanks for sharing this.

-- @wittlake

2 years, 11 months ago on Is Technology Ruining Online Community


Wow, great post and discussion as well from @PamMktgNut and @samfiorella as well. Yes, we all selectively share. I'm closer to Pam on this, there is a line between dishonest and choosing what we share. I don't call selective sharing 'spin' though. I won't always share my unvarnished opinion. No one, frankly, has the time to hear it.

I want to move things forward (yes, that is authentic) and I look for ways to do that. Sometimes, that means suppressing my own opinion. That may be spin in this post, but simply keeping your mouth shut when it is appropriate should not have the negative connotation that 'spin' sometimes has.

Great post, thank you for sharing the post and the folks that have commented.

2 years, 11 months ago on Spinning to Survive


Josh, I think you nailed a number of points here. However, it isn't Advertising that is critical, it is communication. There are options beyond social and advertising, such as PR and trade shows, that can keep a pipeline full.

I think the key is that you don't look at communication as a way to drive business during a drought, but that communication is a constant. In small businesses and B2B, I see this challenge, with companies alternately looking to fill the pipeline, then work the pipeline, then refill the pipeline. Businesses strive for stability but this format ensures business will not be stable.

2 years, 11 months ago on 5 Reasons You Need to Advertise While Business is Strong to Remain Successful


Definitely dilemmas. I think the answers are unique to each of us. We need to find a way that reflects who we are and how we engage with others. For instance, thanking for RTs but never engaging is a robotic exercise, and may be an attempt to look like something you really are not (engaged).

Scheduling is interesting an interesting one to me. Outside of Triberr, I do schedule some tweets with the goal of creating conversation. I schedule around my calendar, for times I expect to be available. Since I do most of my reading on my mobile, this let's me comment and share content I like at times I am more available to potentially let it spark a conversation. While this solution isn't perfect, real time sharing isn't either. Unexpected phone calls and last minute meetings can pull you away, even if you were there to respond just a minute earlier.

How do you handle these dilemmas? What is the balance you have found that works for you? I would be interested to hear how you handle these personally.

-- @Wittlake

2 years, 11 months ago on 10 Modern Dilemmas Twitter Presents on a Daily Basis


Hi Jamie, I think you nailed some of the big issues. As I have gotten more involved in social media and seen what more companies and individuals are doing, and not doing, there are a lot of challenges.

After going to an event ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA targeting executives, I was shocked that myself and a colleague were the only ones using Twitter. That shifted my view, I know think consultants and pundits need to help individuals get personally involved at some level, not just focus on corporate involvement. I believe individuals will understand far better if they engage professionally as individuals for just an hour or two a week than from attending a never-ending string of conferences about what they need to do for their business.

Measurement is a huge challenge. The resource commitment is significant, and unlike traditional advertising and marketing activity, companies cannot take a break. They cannot rerun last quarters creative. KMart's CMO's recent comments highlight these challenges. Sure, we have have lots of granular data, but it doesn't tie to top-line lifts in business, because the method isn't there and the scale isn't there.

Another big issue is putting one toe in. Social media is a great line to throw around, so sure, let's do a little test, we will "see if it works for us". The problem is, it takes time and commitment. As a third priority with a short timeline and an expectation that it might not work, rather than making a commitment to find how it can work (even in a small program) leads many people to failure. We tune out quickly, a momentary lapse and we are gone.

Sparing you the link spam to my blog, suffice it to say, I'm in written agreement.

-- @wittlake

2 years, 12 months ago on 3 Reasons Why a Social Media Marketing Strategy is Absent from Most Companies


What, ROI isn't followers, mentions or traffic? It has to tie to real business results?

It is good to see a number of posts in the last week on tying business results to marketing and speaking the language of business. Marketing has lost credibility with business in large part because so many have forgotten how to do this (if they ever knew).

Now, my former business and finance hat comes on and I have to point out one thing. You are using something closer to gross margin than revenue. It is a far better calculation than revenue, and comes much closer to approximating real return, which is incremental income or profit, not merely revenue. If revenue was the basis for ROI, Groupon would have fewer detractors.

Thanks for sharing, a good logical framework!

2 years, 12 months ago on Calculate Your Blogging ROI in 9 Steps


Taariq, engagement around your content can happen anywhere, but if your goal is a live conversation, you need to make that as accessible as possible. That's what I like about Stanzr removing the forced tie to a social media platform.

If your conversation is about social media, then Twitter or G+ may be appropriate. But for most topics, penetration simply isn't there yet (IMO).

As for how to use G+, the opportunity today feels a lot like other social media channels, and your post reflects that and nicely picks up some of the nuances of blending real-time updates with a richer content stream.

Social Media is about relationships (to me), when this gets really interesting is when we figure out how to leverage the relationships we have developed for promotion, while respecting and reinforcing those relationships. G+ Circles have potential, although I'm not certain it is there yet. The public stream has more visibility, but a targeted circle avoids creating irrelevant noise. Would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how to use Circles for this, and the pros/cons of limited but more targeted distribution.

Thanks for sharing, certainly have liked seeing what Stanzr has done to improve some of the Tweetchat experiences!

-- @wittlake

3 years ago on Google+: How Social Media Chats take advantage of Google’s new platform to promote conversations & transcripts


A rant is a rant, but often there is a nugget of truth in it. Likewise, unless you are reporting with no perspective, blogs will reflect your opinion. My underlying view, that marketing was once able to win by pulling the wool over the eyes of the audience more effectively than the next marketer, but marketers can't compete on that basis any longer, is (in my opinion) arguing the obvious. Yet it is an obvious that seems to so often be missed in actual marketing practice.

So where do you draw the line? A lot of it comes down to your purpose. If my primary goal was traffic, I would post headlines like "The 7 Step Plan to Dominance with Content Marketing". But my goal is improving my knowledge, building new relationships, and improving my business relationships by allowing those I work with to understand my POV (and the difference with the few vendors who have taken a couple minutes on my blog before calling me has been tremendous).

Here is an example of an opinion post. It generated discussion. It has my point of view. But at the end of the day (as you can see from the comments) there are smart people that both agree and disagree with my opinion.

Now, I would love to hear your opinion, as a blogger that is only ~5 months into this exercise, I would welcome your opinion.

-- @wittlake

3 years ago on Why 98% of Opinion Blog Posts Suck


Stanford, another tip is to search for your domain on Twitter search. Here is a link to any recent retweets of for pushingsocial posts:

I have found it easier to look at tweets from the last day or so via Twitter search than to individually search for people that have tweeted each post, and someone that comes across an older post and likes it enough to share it in some ways seems more valuable than someone RTing my latest post.

Although for me there isn't much activity on LinkedIn, you can also use LinkedIn Signal to find people that shared your post publicly on LinkedIn: - you may need to search for a fragment of your title to get it to come up in trending, but then you can click on it to see all recent public LinkedIn shares.

Good tips for building relationships, thanks for sharing!

-- @wittlake

3 years ago on Blog Traffic Secret: Woo the Groupies


Stanford, I like the new tagline, it certainly hits on your trinity. It also points out just how much more work I need to do...

While I talk about marketers becoming media companies, I still view my blog as a place to share my personal perspective, engage and learn from everyone else. As you point out, we are all competing for attention. Even if we are publishing purely for personal purposes, if our purpose includes engaging other people, you have to adopt a competitive mindset.

Maybe its time to put a new personal marketing hat on, thanks for the "Social Push"!

-- @wittlake

3 years ago on Who Else Wants an Unforgettable Blog?


Nice translation from direct marketing fundamentals to social media. You can't engage your audience until you have an audience to engage.

Once you have the audience, don't forget to engage. Engagement is how you will keep an audience. And its fair easier to keep a relationship than to create a new one.

-- @wittlake

3 years ago on Simple Direct Marketing Secrets that Will Jumpstart Any Blog


Maureen, well said. I think you are nailing a misconception of branding that still pervades many organizations. Paper, color, animation, etc may, as you say be part of presenting a company professionally, but that better not be the heart of your brand efforts. At the heart of "rebranding" should be realigning an organization that has gotten out of touch with the needs of its customers and prospects and getting back in touch with what makes a product or company the right choice in its market.

I think you would agree that for many B2B companies, the best way to refocus on the the customer is through training sales (and other groups that consistently interact with customers and prospects). Those real experiences engaging with your company are far more impactful than an advertising message pushed through various channels, even if the logo and color are right.

When "rebranding" is about refocusing on the customer and how your company is valuable to them, I believe marketing has a role, beyond producing marterials to support sales. But the building blocks have to be there. Your product must live up to what you sell, your selling must live up to what you market. Until the product and sales are ready, if you are in a consultative selling market, don't bother with brand marketing to change the perception of your company to be something it is not. The truth comes out long before someone becomes a customer.

-- @wittlake

3 years, 1 month ago on B2B Branding, like Communism, Is A Nice Idea In Theory


@Andrew K Kirk @carmenhill Andrew, Techtarget has published some stats on this specific to the IT market. Willingness to provide accurate information is falling year over year, and the information you ask for matters. Email address is still likely to be accurate, most people in their survey say they do not provide accurate phone numbers consistently.

I wasn't able to find their research quickly this morning, if you reach out to Techtarget, it is part of a tracking study they have been publishing with Google.

3 years, 1 month ago on 5 Ways to Deliver B2B Marketing Content that Sells (Without Sabotaging Sales)


@bellenoelle @carmenhill @MaureenB2B @Ferris Stith Ha! Just don't label your content categories as Hook 'em and Book 'em on your site! :-)

3 years, 1 month ago on 5 Ways to Deliver B2B Marketing Content that Sells (Without Sabotaging Sales)


@carmenhill Great list, congrats on guest posting here, and thanks for the quote! I like the idea of the pivot point, where you move from a more anonymous relationship to directly connecting. I just hope companies will empower the audience to identify the pivot point, and not attempt to 'force' it before the audience is ready to share their information.

-- @wittlake

3 years, 1 month ago on 5 Ways to Deliver B2B Marketing Content that Sells (Without Sabotaging Sales)


Kary, I agree, parts of Twitter are beginning to suck. However, it isn't just Twitter that is the problem, Twitter is going through the same kind of evolution that other open platforms go through. Online, we can tell the difference between really good content or information and spammy, low value content at a glance. We instantly see the difference between spam emails, blast marketing and one to one dialogue.

On Twitter, we see the differences, but we don't have the benefits of spam filters, priority inboxes or even PageRank. Twitter desperately needs these filters, and the companies and individuals that use Twitter need to get ready for the day these filters are standard, or today's borderline practices, that have become accepted by so many marketers in particular, will land them squarely in a new Twitter junk folder.

-- @wittlake

3 years, 1 month ago on Three Reasons Twitter Is Beginning to Suck


Maureen, I like the idea of breaking down the type of B2B selling organization you are. Being customer-focused should be intuitive for marketing (sadly, it's not).

The segments you outline not only provide part of a framework for understanding your customer, it also clarifies the role marketing plays. When marketing is focused on an audience, we need to remember, particularly in B2B, marketing is rarely the only one focused on the audience.

Another segmentation I would consider is switching costs or lockin. The higher the switching cost, the higher the cost of a bad decision. For instance, if you choose the wrong ERP solution, there is a huge cost, in time and money, to changing. Recruiting sites (Monster, LinkedIn's recruiting offering) have all of the elements of a complex sale. However, the risk of a wrong decision is far lower. With a low switching cost, prospects can really trial your offering in their business.

Notably, businesses with low switching costs are expanding offerings, with the recruiting solutions, for instance, adding applicant tracking and management functionality. These expansions increase revenue opportunities, more importantly, they create lockin, making the incumbent provider more valuable than a challenger.

Looking forward to seeing the discussion around this topic!

-- @Wittlake

3 years, 1 month ago on B2B Sales Support: One Size Does Not Fit All


Jay, while I'm a numbers and spreadsheet junky, the anecdotes are so valuable, and in many businesses in high price point markets, those anecdotes actually prove value. When it only takes on or two sales a quarter to make your social media results a knockout success, value really can be acribed to a stream of anecdotes.

3 years, 1 month ago on Social Media Measurement – A 6 Step Process


Jay, I have been following the comment thread here and continuing to think about the comparison you made. Email has not evolved to become a social and community platform as the web has evolved. In my book, adding sharing buttons is just another link and call to action, they don't make email social. A web 2.0 lens on email actually looks more like Facebook than like email.

The other change this points to is that the key isn't the platform, it is developing an audience. Today, Facebook makes sense for most marketers, in niche markets, some vertical networks might make sense as well. Long term, it isn't Facebook replacing email, it is email become just another channel where marketers have developed their own audience they can reach, impact and engage over time.

Too much to respond to as a comment, this inspired a full-length blog response, the link is below.

-- @Wittlake

3 years, 2 months ago on A New Way to Calculate What Facebook is Worth to Your Business


Jay, I like this approach. In addition to valuing the impression, it also makes the scalability much more apparent. With the hype around social media, this approach makes it clear that you need to develop an audience or start those relationships first, and as that audience grows, the results will too.

What are your thoughts on facebook versus email frequency in this model? By that I mean sending email daily is about the limit for most companies, twice a week is common, but multiple updates a day are generally appropriate on facebook, and can quickly push a higher number of impressions. Do we need to adjust for this or begin valuing fan numbers like email subscribers, with some adjustments for engagement, instead?

3 years, 2 months ago on A New Way to Calculate What Facebook is Worth to Your Business


Beth, thanks for including my Digital B2B Marketing post in your roundup!

I really like the question you asked: "What then is the best way to approach content marketing from a true customer perspective?". That question alone could drive not just a post, but an entire book. Drop "content" and it becomes a question for everyone in marketing would be well served to carefully consider.

3 years, 2 months ago on Saturday Morning Reads: What's the Return on Investment (ROI) of Content Marketing?


If you are shouting "Sell", you can't hear the pain your product needs to solve. I like the picture you painted here!

3 years, 3 months ago on The “New Offer” Tidal Wave