More advice from new #bloggers

A year ago I shared advice from my social media class, 4 weeks into blogging about how to succeed at blogging. I am back, this time with advice from new bloggers 6 weeks into their new passion!

I think that bloggers six weeks into the craft have an interesting perspective: they have tried a variety of approaches but blogging is still new to them.

Some of the suggestions mirror a year ago; others are new. Here is advice from the 32 students in SMM 388-01:

Blogging class 2

On Blogging

  1. Try not to be too formal –  a grammatical version of your spoken voice may be ideal.
  2. Get more PERSONAL in the posts.
  3. Use personal pictures.
  4. Use video!
  5. Sweat the details: grammar, look, small paragraphs, good pictures.
  6. Spend time on TITLES.
  7. Benchmark other bloggers.
  8. Draw a picture within your writing.
  9. Choose your illustration before you finish writing

On Sharing Content

  1. Tag your WordPress posts; use #hashtags on your Twitter and Instagram promotion.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use in-person word of mouth promotion – tell your friends to read your blog!
  3. Repurpose content whenever possible. You can blog on Linkedin.

On Getting help or support for blogging

  1. Collaborate with other bloggers.
  2. Find a mentor who is a great blogger.
  3. Reach out to other new bloggers. Form a support group.
  4. Pay attention to feedback and activity – evolve!
  5. Get to know the influencers in your niche.


What is missing from this collection? What would YOU add?

Posted in Blogging, Content, Higher education, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Coffee Conversation with a Social Marketer

A while back my daughter and I were having coffee with Caitlyn Scaggs, the founder of Blue Mobius Marketing. At the spur of the moment, I had Kiki record a snippet of the conversation on blogging and content marketing.

I think you can see why I like having her guest lecture my classes.

Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Advice from New Bloggers

blogging-2The students in my social media marketing classes must blog for 12 weeks. After 4 weeks this term I went around the room in one of the sections and asked for tips or tricks they have picked up on blogging, using WordPress, or sharing content. Each student came up with a unique tip or trick. I collected them below.

On Blogging

  1. Start writing the post, THEN do further research.
  2. I now select my picture before I finish writing the post – it helps tie it in.
  3. I watch YouTubes about blogging for inspiration and ideas.
  4. Look at trending topics for ideas.
  5. You are not writing an essay: Envision an informal conversation with a reader.
  6. I start writing before I complete an outline: sometimes I am surprised where it leads!
  7. Edit carefully and then have a trusted friend read it carefully.
  8. Continually brainstorm for ideas: never run out!
  9. Try video.
  10. Keep fresh by rotating media. Video. Write. Podcast. Repeat.
  11. If it is a timely topic…don’t wait for tomorrow. Get it out even if you must stay up.
  12. Make your posts personal and emotional.

Using WordPress

  1. Double-check all links – bad links are a turnoff.
  2. Set the controls to auto-post my new articles on my social media.
  3. Use tags aggressively: experiment with “long tail” tags.

Sharing Content

  1. Don’t forget to promote your blog in person! It doesn’t have to be online.
  2. I seek out other bloggers, social media groups, and forums on my topic.
  3. Actively promote content on Twitter.
  4. Actively engage other bloggers and content creators.
  5. Select a day and time – be consistent with posting.
  6. Share other people’s content; they may share yours.
  7. Snapchat isn’t great for links, but I post a pic of my new article.
  8. Don’t be afraid to promote to old friends and family on Facebook.
  9. Email can be a great place to promote a post.
  10. Pinterest isn’t just for weddings, recipes and decorating.
  11. Have a thick skin – promote on Reddit!

I think it is interesting to see their tips from 4 weeks…

What would you add?

Posted in Blogging, Content, Higher education, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Worst Ad Performances of SuperBowl 51

tmobileI tweeted the Superbowl commercials for my social media classes #SMM4RU and for Wharton Future of Advertising #WhartonFOA. I am glad that I did, as I might not have stayed for the fourth quarter heroics otherwise!

I rated the four worst commercials as:

  1. T-Mobile: 50 shades of stupid
  2. T-Mobile: 50 shades of stupid II
  3. KFC Gold: I didn’t understand the message and didn’t care
  4. Busch: When you swallow those bubbles they have to leave somewhere…

50 shades of gray wasn’t really that cool two years ago. And the SuperBowl is still family programming. What was it like to explain those ads to your 10-year-old? My takeaway: Verizon is DOMINANT and T-Mobile is desperate.

Maybe Busch should have teamed up with Fabrese….

There were two commercials that really attracted my attention,  but whose sponsor I cannot remember.

  • Who was the domain company for JohnMalkovich?
  • Who brought up the issue of 4 years of bad hair?

I appreciate the entertainment, but there may be a problem with an ad if I find it memorable but don’t know the sponsor.

Finally, who were the worst performers as companies? I argue that two stand out:

  1. Anheiser-Busch: by my reckoning with three expensive fails:
    1. Busch – passing wind;
    2. Spuds M. – back from the dead (eerie but not a zombie); and
    3. Roots – the guy who founded our company before his offspring ran it into the ground and sold to foreigners… came over from Europe (a current issue, get it)?
  2. T-Moble: We are being dominated but don’t like it. The Justin Bieber commercial seemed to appeal to some viewers, though.

Mark Schaefer posted an article that called the A-B Roots ad “pandering.” I had been considering it an ineffective example of newsjacking, but I think pandering works better.

How can major companies spend 8 (or 9?) figures sums on efforts like this?

I should note that there is certainly room for disagreement. ABC News declared that Budweiser and T-Mobile were among the winners of the Superbowl. The companies – and their ad agencies – pouring over the analytics will have the best sense of what worked.


So what do you think? Did I leave a deserving bad one out of this discussion??


Join the discussion on #WhartonFOA next year…


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Whither Twitter? Save the little blue bird!

Twitter is losing money. Improvements in the platform are rare and rarely make a splash. Somehow the pioneering public messaging service missed the huge private messaging market – and Facebook has the leadership position. Salesforce decided not to buy them.

In addition there are the stories of bullying on the platform. And much of the non-bullying activity seems to be by BOTs, Trolls, or brazen hawkers.

The founding team and management of Twitter is legendary: at least one book has been written about the dysfunction of management. Twitter’s pioneering in live streaming seems ready to be squashed by Facebook; they recently closed Vine which was eclipsed by a Facebook subsidiary, Instagram.

There has been a lot of speculation on the future of Twitter, as noted by my favorite tech and innovation cartoonist, Kiki, in her review of 2017 Social Media Trends.



How to make Twitter fun again!

A recent trending topic on Twitter was #How to make Twitter fun again:

My suggestions were to aggressively block BOTs, trolls, and haters; try an upgrade to make DM into a messaging platform; and post videos on “how to have fun on Twitter.”

Is Twitter truly at risk in 2017: What the press says

A sampling of what the business press says (with links):

Wired: Twitter in 2017 Either Learns to Thrive or Dies | WIRED

A struggling company isn’t easy to turn around. But at some point, you have to ask: Is Twitter going to make it? Twitter is in even worse shape then a year ago. Management is a mess; but it does have a core of loyal users

Fortune: What Twitter Needs to Do in 2017 |

Roll out improvements. Deal with trolls, fake news and bots. What about that edit button?

Why do some people think Twitter is shutting down in 2017? – BBC News


A thoughtful blog author was sited in several of the articles:

A Billion Dollar Gift for Twitter Anil Dash, Medium Twitter

Here’s the short version of his article:

  1. Show you can consistently ship new features
  2. Directly handle abuse and tell the world what you’re doing
  3. Stop using meaningless metrics as your measure of success
  4. Provide specific tools for each of your types of users
  5. Decide if you give a damn about developers or not

[I RECOMMEND READING THIS FULL POST – hit the link above!]

What do you think about the future of Twitter?

I have already stated my recommendations for improvement above. I love Twitter and consider it irreplaceable. I have met so many interesting people on Twitter. If Twitter were to disappear I would still use LinkedIn for networking and my professional activities. And I would probably scan Facebook for baby pictures, pets, and vacation pics… But where would I meet the fascinating people I have befriended in Twitter?

Fight the BOTs, trolls and bullies. Test new features regularly. Hire a sane management team. Try to turn DMs into messaging. Add the edit button. Develop an easy Twitchat tool.


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New Student #Blogs – Check them out!

The students in my Wintermester Social Media Marketing class are on a blog sprint. They are supposed to produce 8 posts and build some sort of audience in only 3.5 weeks for a blog about their passion!

Why not check them out? Here are some new student blogs to sample:

blog-craftsAre you a Do-It-Yourself-er? Crafts and Cream Puffs discusses a wide range of DIY from fixing things to cooking. This cherry dessert looks pretty good…




Thrift and Flip talks about the hobby of “thrifting” at Goodwill or online for bargains or for profit. The first two posts discuss where and what to thrift.

Music Blogs


This blog could be called my life on the guitar. What was the origin of the electric guitar?

Music A-Z talks about a different genre every week. So far Jazz and the Blues have been discussed.

Sports and Fitness Blogs


Two Wheels talks about the ins and outs of biking. Early posts have included choosing the right style and size bike for you… (Keep that bar at least a half inch below you!)

World Class Hunter discusses the issues involved in deer hunting and being prepared for the start of the season.

Mblog-fitnessen’s fitness blog takes on big issues like: Should you diet? and Cutting versus bulking. Just in time for your resolutions!


blog-skiWhy I Ski. A look at the sport and the bloggers love of it…



Fashion Blogs

blog-fashionKaci’s Fashion World is written by a student with a passion for fashion. Her three posts are about her personal link to fashion, Micheal Kors, and Kate Spade.



This blog is called Passion for Fashion. How has fashion evolved? Why are there cycles in fashion?

Posted in Blogging, Higher education, pedagogy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Advice to my son on working from home

My son just took a job with a fast growing online firm where he and most of his colleagues work online from home. I had worked from my home office for a while with a company headquartered in Berkeley during the dot.bomb era. So naturally I offered him some unsolicited advice about being a “home warrior:”

  1. Network. Network. Network. Make it as personal as possible.
  2. Have clear OFFICE space.
  3. Locate that office space as far from fridge as possible.

I asked my tweeps for other suggestions. One Twitter friend, @sdtapex, warned me that flextime and telecommuting had led to near disaster in his company. Eight others added suggestions:

  1. Plan your day and stick to that schedule. (Am assuming that office space is without a TV!)     — Raghunath Koduvayur (@MarketingRags) August 5, 2016
  2. When unmotivated, I wear business attire. Helps me feel more like I’m working, less like I’m lounging at home   — Justin Campana (@Justin_Campana) August 5, 2016
  3. Develop a routine – perhaps clothing related – to clearly identify which identity is current. What says “I’m at work now?” — John Bordeaux (@jbordeaux) August 5, 2016
  4. Have clear office hours to go with clear space — Kris Bulmer (@jkbulmer) August 5, 2016
  5. Set regular “working hours,” get a good headset — ednoles (@ednoles) August 6, 2016
  6. Make sure that the family understands the rules. #WorkFromHome — Fatherhood Factor (@FatherFactor) August 6, 2016
  7. Get involved in a local professional organization to ensure F2F contact! — Amy Doonan Cronin (@AmyDCronin) August 6, 2016
  8. Set appropriate work hours. I started working from home & set my own hours. Ended up waking up late and staying up too late — Christopher Church (@chrishchurch)

So with the help of Twitter I am up to 11 suggestions for the home warrior!

Any more???

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Effective Titles: Once more with feeling!

Titles drive the engagement of a blog post. Established bloggers such as Jeff Bullas suggest that you spend just as much time on producing the title as you do writing your post.

In his excellent book on how to deal with content shock, The Content Code, Mark Schaefer reiterates the 50% of time rule and suggests using some of the online title analysis tools to help with title development.

This graph is from aBuffer_headlines_Charts_numbersn interesting article from CoSchedule titled Proof that Emotional Headlines get Shared More on Social Media. Using the emotional index (based on percentage of emotional words in title) titles with an index score of 28 were shared five times as often on average as titles with an emotion in the high teens. Titles in the 38-40 range were shared TEN TIMES as often!


Last week I posted anTitle article on LinkedIn about problems generating ideas using  group brainstorming compared to individuals. I was disappointed with engagement on the first day and decided to take a look at the title. “Ideas come from Individuals” described the article and had a solid emotional index score of 25% as measured by the analyzer on the Advanced Marketing Institute page. The title was classified as “intellectual.”


I then Title2experimented by adding a comma and two words – “, not groups” – to the original title. The emotional index doubled to 50 as shown in the next screen shot, which seems the ideal score. In addition the new title better described the article and showed up as “empathetic” and “spiritual” as well as intellectual!




I changed the title the next morning and something unusual happened… the viewership on days 2 and 3 exceeded the views on day one!


Take the time to get the title right!!!


Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Rant on Twitter!

These Tweets, directed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, are from Malcolm @Gladwell – who has previously described the NFL as an “abomination,” due to CTE and physical maiming of its players…

I first saw these collected Tweets in a USA Today report

They were Tweetted about a minute apart… (Pictures and minor commentary mine…)

Oh sarcasm… I think I see where this is going!

RIP Ken Stabler, Earl Morrell, Dave Duerson, Frank Gifford, John Mackay, and so many more


So nice of the Foundation to pay off the mortgage – hard to live in Tuscaloosa on $7 million a year…


DavisBuild us a new stadium and guarantee revenues or we will move to LA… or San Diego… or Oakland… or London … Shanghai? (Al’s spirit lives on..)



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Content Shock Illustrated

Mark Schaefer wrote an insightful post about Content Shock two years ago, explaining that a glut of content from hundreds of millions of blogs and websites was testing everyone’s capacity for attention. Therefore content marketing might be an unsustainable strategy for individuals and organizations without the capacity to buy attention.

About that same time LinkedIn began slowly rolling out its new post feature that encouraged people to blog with LinkedIn. I had qualms about using the new platform because of fear of “digital sharecropping” – once again slaving away to create content in order to make a couple nerdy guys in California rich.

I experimented with the new platform and posted 11 articles between June and October 2014. I was delighted with the engagement – averaging over 2,000 views and 25 likes. Even after taking out the highest and lowest viewed posts, each article averaged over 1600 views and 10 likes.

For personal reasons I stopped posting on LinkedIn for 10 months. I have posted 4 posts between August 2015 and today. The drop-off in views, likes and comments has been significant!

Time Period Avg Views Avg Likes Avg Com #Posts


26 6.5 11
6-10/14 w/o extremes


12 4


8/15 – 1/16

124 9 2


I expected a decline, as I had noticed a steady rise in the number of posts every day by the people I follow and and linked to. But the fall really is dramatic. From an average of 1600+ views per article to less than 125 and from 12 likes per article to 9.

By creating a new platform for blogging LinkedIn afforded me a personal accelerated view of Content shock. It looks like this:

Content Shock2

Small sample size, my own experience: this is anecdotal evidence and I would like to hear from others who have been posted on LinkedIn from early 2014 so there would be more evidence. I did anticipate a drop-off in interaction in advance of resuming, though, because of all the content currently being shared – content shock.

How are you dealing with the glut of content???







Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | 7 Comments

#Cluetrain Derailed!

The Cluetrain is derailed.

Last Spring Adage pronounced that “There is no more social media marketing: just advertising.” The article announced a new era of #NotReallySocialMediaMarketing and went on to proclaim:

“The idealistic end to business as usual, as “The Cluetrain Manifesto” envisioned, never happened. We didn’t reach the finish line. We didn’t even come close. After a promising start — a glimmer of hope — we’re back to business as usual.”

I love Big Brother

My first social media marketing class was Spring 2012. It was a brand new class – there were no syllabi online to crib, so I built the course fresh with the help of my Twitter friends. I proclaimed that “marketers must drop the megaphone – broadcasting or shouting at customers and prospects is dead! We must engage and have a CONVERSATION.” Our group projects were to work with organizations to show them how to have that conversation….

Tomorrow I will face two new sections of my SMM class. I will talk to them about the ominous and omnipotent Facebook algorithm, social media advertising, and sponsored posts. I require them to be Google AdWord certified. For our group projects we will participate in the Google Marketing Challenge and use AdWords to help organizations with their marketing efforts.

Using AdWords is a valuable skill. Translating that skill to the evolving world of paid posts and social media advertising is challenging and interesting. My social media marketing class will continue to be a vital part of digital marketing and the marketing curriculum.

But I really love Cluetrain

I love the original manifesto! I want to believe in “the conversation” and “content marketing.” We should return to the craft model of having a genuine relationship with our customers. We absolutely should stop shouting and drop the megaphone.

“Organic” communication is so much kinder than paid ads. The idea of a “Like Economy” was really cool.

Just two years ago I warned that Zuckerberg was using the algorithm-formerly-known-as-EdgeRank to kill the Like Economy. At the same time Mark Schaefer noted that even without malignant forces such as Zuck and Facebook, content shock would wreck havoc on organic marketing strategies as audiences were buried in a deluge of information.

Organizations: learn the ins and outs of online and social advertising. A conversation sounds civilized, but you have to reach your audience.

Wishing doesn’t make it so…  The Cluetrain is off the tracks!



Posted in Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Social (Media) Innovation

In a post on my service co-creation blog, I took another look at a list of my 16 favorite innovation books. I categorized them and then thought about what gaps were exposed by my list and several others I reviewed.

One of the two big gaps I identified was Innovation and social media.

I am surprised to not be hearing and seeing more about the impact of social media on the innovation process. There have been lots of great ideas like “netnography” or social mining to uncover deep needs. Or social prototyping to test concepts earlier and more often. But aside from crowdfunding and crowdsourcing – both of which are big deals! and both of which will be discussed in upcoming posts – I haven’t seen evidence of organizations integrating social media into innovation.


Am I missing something?

To read the post on the “Blue Ocean” spots in innovation books go here.

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Social Mood and Social Media

Kerry Gorgone and I were recently interviewed by Bethany Teague, a TV reporter from WSLS in Roanoke, about a defendant’s request for funding for a detailed social media study to support a change of venue (child abusers don’t seem to be popular in Pulaski county…). I attach the 6 O’clock news version of the story.

I think we will hear more about this issue and this application of social media analysis going forward. Certainly social media reflects social mood. Traders are following social media to spot sentiment changes for stocks; a consulting group from Virginia Tech predicts political events from Twitter…


This copy is a bit old school: I set my webcam in front of my TV and played the saved broadcast from my DVR. A lot like the 75 cent movies they used to sell in Macau. The DVR has a USB port, but I couldn’t figure it out… The version that WSLS posted on their website was condensed to the point that the issues were not discussed (and Kerry and I had little face time 😎 )



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Think twice before sharing unconfirmed information…

A 30-second news clip from an interview with Justin Ward of WDBJ7 after the on air tragedy at the station….

Many people wrote and shared false information about Wednesday’s shooting on Facebook and Twitter…

Source: Think twice before sharing unconfirmed information on social

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Are you living on #Facebook?

NewsYesterday (August 26) at 6:45 Alison Parker, a young newspaper reporter at WDBJ, and Adam Ward, a camera person, for the Virginia TV station were tragically murdered by a former employee of the station.

The killer created Facebook and Twitter accounts to post his videos of the murders.

Within a couple hours of the murder Chris Hurst, a news anchor at the station, posted romantic  pictures of Alison with him and shared the news that they had moved in together recently.

In the world of 2015 this shooting is horrible… but the social media activity somehow seems perfectly normal…

I posted pictures of my dog visiting with my mother at her assisted-living home yesterday. My daughter “stages” and then posts every restaurant meal on Instagram before dining.

All of this would have seemed weird a decade or so ago.

What does this mean? Are we now living our lives on social media. Is the Facebook timeline our life? Did something really happen if it is not recorded on social media? Is the “real world” becoming artificial as we stage Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat moments? Are we all narcissists? Is reality online?

What do you think????????

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#Blog problems: Blogger’s Block? #Audience not growing?

A 17-minute SMM lecture on what to do if you encounter the two most common problems after launching a new blog:

  1. Blogger’s Block – I used up all the great article ideas!
  2. Where’s the audience?

My goal is to motivate new bloggers to keep going!!

I appreciate any thoughts on material to add or how to improve this lecture…

Posted in Blogging, Digital Marketing, Higher education | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Student Blogs – From Moneyball to Cotton Seed Oil. Check them out!

Yes there are 200 million active blogs in the blogosphere. Never fear – my Digital Marketing class has created 7 fresh new ones to take a look at!

cotton-seedDeb’s Dietary Do’s and Don’ts –  Insight from a concerned consumer about the impact of the food we eat. She has discussed cotton-seed (see pic on left), hybrid corn, diet soda’s and auto-immune disease. And More to come!

Enjoy “Moneyball?” Here are 2 blogs about the business of baseball (sans Brad Pitt):

Cincy BBall

BaseballBryan talks about the Marketing of the national pastime, including social media efforts on Twitter and Snapchat.           America’s Greatest Tradition talks about the front office and business of the sport.

Retirement by Design deals with the key issues of who will be able to retire and when. It also offers advice on planning and saving for retirement.

Heard of the Paleo diet? Sound interesting? Pushing for Paleo discussing the details of the popular diet and  the reasons for the fad.

Expansion in Charlotte – Are you a fan of soccer living in North Carolina or SW Virginia and frustrated that the nearest MLS team is in Columbus, Ohio? This blog is for you!

What does it take to pass the CPA? Another student blog talks about the issues and work involved.

Tech Doodles – Finally I take the liberty of recommending a new tech cartoon blog that happens to be created by my daughter.

EIGHT new blogs – check them out! Return next week to the ones you find interesting!

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You can make a good decision… and lose – Ask Pete Carroll

PetePete Carroll will be long remembered as “the coach who blew Superbowl 49.”

Everyone KNOWS that he should have had “Beast Mode” run for the winning touchdown, but instead:

  • Over-thought it,
  • Tried to be cute, or
  • Favored Wilson over Lynch.

But let’s take a moment and fresh look at: How would a strategic or data-driven manager make the decision to run or pass?

Continue reading

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Update: Favorite Social Sites of College Seniors

The initial survey of my 60 social media marketing students last August (see previous post!) generated some interest, so I thought I would update it for Spring Semester 2015.

Weighted Scores – Favorite and Most Used Social Sites

Continue reading

Posted in Facebook, Higher education, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged | 1 Comment

Essential Social Platforms for College Seniors

I like to survey my incoming social media marketing class about their social networks. It is often a learning experience for me: a couple of years ago I learned about two new platforms, Instagram and Pinterest, before they hit a “tipping point” and were in the news. Last January I learned about the popularity of Snapchat and some upcoming sites including Tinder, Whisper and Yik Yak.

Yesterday I surveyed the sixty students, generally seniors majoring in marketing or communications, about which social media sites were important to them. I asked two questions:

  • What are your three most used social media platforms in order, and
  • What ONE social media platform is most important – the one you would keep if you had to have only one?

The weighted scores of the seven social media platforms that drew more than 2 mentions from the 60 participants is shown in the following table. The weighted score was created by giving  a platform three points for every student that ranked them first in “most used”, 2 points for second and one for third. As you can see Instagram edged out Twitter, followed by Facebook and Snapchat.

Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Content, Facebook, Higher education, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Extended Posts on LinkedIn

Have you tried the new extended post feature on LinkedIn? What has been your experience? What are your concerns??

The past three weeks I posted a blog article on LinkedIn.

Jeff Bullas, Neal Schaffer and several other people I respect on social media urged experimentation with the new platform. I had had early access for a while, but finally gave it a try when LinkedIn announced that it was available to all.

All three posts have been “re-purposed” articles from my two blogs, SMM 4 Business and Service C0-creation.

I have been pleased with the metrics on the three. In the following table I compare some basic measures for the original posting on WordPress to the re-posting on LinkedIn. The numbers are very favorable and they are all in addition to the original posting.

LI post summariesThe numbers for postings two and three on LinkedIn are probably bolstered by the fact that I hired @kikischirr to make illustrations for them.

My concerns

My concerns are:

  1. Irritating my most loyal followers by multiple postings.
  2. Negative SEO impact as Google allegedly penalizes for multiple postings. (When I Google “Four P’s of Content Marketing” the third organic result is my LinkedIn post and the fifth is the original on WordPress.)


  • Have YOU tried the new extended post feature on LinkedIn?
  • What has been your experience?
  • What are your concerns??

Posted in Blogging, Content, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The 10 Principles of Social Media Marketing

This is the last week of my summer social media marketing class. Seven MBA students, most of whom are working during the day, have gathered together twice a week from 6 to 10 pm to discuss SMM for organizations.

Last session I asked the class to generate “Ten principles of Social Media Marketing” that I could use as a starting point for my next class. These are the 10 they came up with – with very little prompting or comment from their usually talkative professor (they rarely get out early):

  1. Know your organizational culture and voice. Know your audience and community. Speak to the audience with your voice.
  2. Listen. If you do nothing else, listen to what people are saying about your organization, products or services, competitors and environment.
  3. Social media is SOCIAL: Engage your community.
  4. Be patient but measure! Progress takes time but must be monitored.
  5. You can’t be on every social platform: Be on the social platforms that your target audience or community use most.
  6. Be authentic 24/7/52.
  7. Show your passion. Involve your stakeholders.
  8. Be consistent with message, principles and tone.
  9. Produce great targeted content.
  10. Have good manners. If you are angry delay your post or tweet and read it again before posting.

It seems like a good list to me…  but I am likely biased.

Do you think they nailed it?

Are any of their 10 not really necessary?

What is number 11??



Posted in Blogging, Content, Facebook, Higher education, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | 3 Comments

My Content Marketing II: #Curation, #Contributed + #Branded Content

In my last post on this site, I noted that Content Marketing goes back two centuries.

In my two previous careers (only going back to the last century) I was a content marketer and salesperson. In the days before blogs and email I folded newsletters, stamped and licked envelopes to get content to a targeted community of bank and other financial traders. I had also started holding seminars and offered to speak at third-party seminars and conferences.

Curating in Asia

When I went to Asia to run an institutional bond and derivatives sales operation I noted that many local desks divided their brokers into two groups: idea brokers and entertainment brokers.

I clearly wanted our desk to be identified as an idea broker as it: (1) fit my personal style, (2) it was more profitable – they paid the same commissions to both, but entertainment brokers had horrendous costs, and (3) I valued my liver and my family. So I stepped up the content activity.

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Posted in Content, Personal Learning Network, Selling, Social influence, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Careers in Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Content marketing has been a hot topic in social media and marketing for the past few years. The Google Trends chart shows a dramatic upturn in searches for content marketing since 2011.

But if you look carefully at the chart you can also see that there had been a sustained level of searches by that term from before 2004. Actually it goes back much further than 2004. Content marketing is not new: in fact the origin of content marketing is often traced back two centuries. According to an article on the Content Marketing Institute site, content marketing dates to the launch of The Furrow magazine by John Deer & Company in 1895. Other early practitioners of content marketing included Michelin, Jello, P&G and Sears.

As I noted in a previous post, I had been teaching marketing and social media marketing for several years before a conversation with and an article by Sander Biehn (@sanderbiehn) led me to the realization that I had been a content marketing and content salesperson in my two careers prior to becoming a professor. In this post I will talk about content marketing and selling in pre-social, even pre-web times.

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Posted in Blogging, Content, Selling, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber: Google Trends tells a Story

Did you know the careers of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga were linked? Take a look at Google Trends for clear empirical evidence:

justin and lady g

If you look closely you will see that the Google search pattern for Justin is eerily similar to that of Lady Gaga – but delayed a year. Is it really a stretch to assume that Ms. Gaga acted as some sort of mentor to the young man as his career was launched? 😉

I really enjoy Google Trends – if you haven’t in a while go to the site and check out what is trending. Find out what is hot and predict the future!

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Posted in Facebook, Innovation, Internet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Journalist – “a blogger wearing pants?” Contributed and branded #content.

“A Senate panel working on laws to protect the media has agreed on an official definition of a journalist. The new official definition of a journalist is a blogger wearing pants.” –Conan O’Brien

Newspapers everywhere are shrinking and dying. The story is best told in a simple chart of real ad revenues borrowed from Business Insider:


As you can see vividly in this graph, from a peak in 2000 inflation-adjusted ad revenues for newspapers have dropped to 1950s levels. The closings, job losses and service cuts are what you would expect in an industry that has seen revenue decline by 70% in less than 15 years.

Pressure from social media and internet offerings has forced existing news companies to explore hybrid content approaches that many journalists see as a threat to integrity. Two popular “blended” content approaches blur the lines between journalism vs. blogging and journalism vs. advertising:

  1. Contributed Content, and
  2. Native Advertising or Branded Content.

These blended approaches also neatly address the pending crisis in content marketing brought about by Content Shock, the overwhelming amount of content available and the Post-Like era of social media, where social platforms make it harder for organizations to reach customers without paying for access. Organizations who can afford it, can use these techniques to reach an audience saturated with content, who are no longer easy to reach out to on social media.

These blended approaches are controversial though as discussed below:

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Posted in Blogging, Content, Internet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

#Blogs – Something New, Something New

There are over 300 million blogs… but don’t worry more are still coming!

These are seven new blogs are from my summer SMM course. Why not take a look at one or two that interest you?

Encourage a couple eager new bloggers!

Getting to Know Israel – The author is a young Israeli women attending an MBA program in Virginia. In her blog she seeks to share what it is like to live and grow up in her home country.

Six months to Fluency – Sharing the journey of learning a new language (Norwegian – but the focus is on learning a foreign language).

Life with a LagomRabbitorph – Rabbits are wonderful pets. Really! This blog explains why.

Top Ten Sporting Moments – The author shares his most enjoyable moments as a sports fan and elicits those of this community’s.

Working out Stress – Exercise has many benefits – often overlooked is the management and reduction of stress. A how-to guide to working out stress.

BALD HEAD ISLAND WILDLIFE discusses the unique ecosystem and wildlife of Bald Head Island, NC. Save the turtles!

Goldsmith Barbeque and Cooking – Smoking and Barbeque VA and NC Style. Smokin!

And one more from my Spring undergraduate SMM class:

Faith and Hot Coffee – Living an active life with Lyme disease.

Please check out a couple that interest you and give a new blogger some feedback!


BTW the Beatles third or fifth album (depending on how you count), SN/SN, included the German version of “I want to hold your hand”…

Posted in Blogging, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why Teach Social Media Marketing: #Context and #Integration

In a post last Tuesday, I noted that the students in my social media marketing classes are a great source of information on new social platforms. For example: Instagram is tops…Keep an eye on Yik Yak, Snapchat and Tinder…Facebook is for baby pictures.

I also learn new details and tricks of using Facebook, WordPress and Instagram in every class. It was clearly appropriate to start the discussion of teaching social media marketing with the quote: “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”  – Yogi Bhajan

Why teach social media marketing?

If college students are so well versed on Social Media, why do I firmly believe that every marketing major, every business major and in fact every major would benefit from taking a course in social media marketing?

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Posted in Blogging, Content, Facebook, Higher education, Internet, Klout, LinkedIn, Mobile computing, Personal Learning Network, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Is anything out of bounds for social media?

Caitlyn Scaggs is the Director of Communications & Marketing for Polymer Solutions Incorporated . Polymer Solutions was highlighted by Hootsuite this week for use of social media by a B2B firm. Tweet to @CaitlynScaggs & @PSITestingLab. 

Recently I let my mind wander about the amazing possibilities of social media marketing and how it can be used to elevate ANY other marketing activity—without exception. Any time I hear absolutes like, “never”, “always” , or “without exception” the first thing my mind does is race to find the exception. With social media though, I just can’t. I believe that any marketing activity you can come up with can be leveraged across a social media platform. Budgets are always tight so it is necessary to find clever ways to make your marketing dollars stretch as far as possible. I’ve come up with three marketing initiatives one might think would be out of bounds for a social media strategy—but in fact they are not!

Print ads:

Print ads aren’t digital, so surely this is an area of marketing that has to exist out of the digital world…right? Wrong! Next time you run a print advertisement try this:  Take a picture of your print ad, share it over Twitter, and @mention the publication in which the ad is running. The publication will appreciate the shout-out from a customer, you will get to share your ad to the world at large, and the ad lives on beyond the printed version. This is a great way to leverage the time and money spent perfecting the print ad. Here’s an example: “Did you see our ad in @MPO_Magazine? We do it for the love of great #science!”

Marketing Swag:

Do you regularly send your customers marketing collateral or freebies in the mail? Craft a Facebook post asking your clients to post a picture of themselves with the collateral. Did you mail a coffee mug? Let them know you would love to see a picture of them enjoying their morning coffee with your mug.  You could also use the swag as an incentive for interaction: “These new coffee mugs are looking sharp—the first 10 people to retweet this post will receive one!”

Logo wear:

Do you love it? Do you hate it? Either way, most of us have to embrace it.  Logowear is a great way to represent your company and make it abundantly obvious who you work for when at tradeshows, conferences, or other professional events. It would be fun to take a #selfie in logo wear or a group photo in the logo wear and share the picture in a clever way over you social media platform of choice. How about this:  “Check out our team looking #snazzy in our company shirts! #triplets.” This will bring an element of humanity to your brand, show your company in a fun and engaging light, and show off those custom embroidered shirts in which you invested a portion of your budget.

These are just three examples of way to transform a seemingly non digital, non social media marketing efforts into socially sharable material. Maximizing your company’s presence over social media comes down to creative thinking, willingness to try new things, and the desire to have fun with it.  This epitomizes what I love so much about social media marketing; there is nothing out of bounds!

Caitlyn Scaggs

Guest author Caitlyn Scaggs is the Director of Communications & Marketing for Polymer Solutions Incorporated . Her specific areas of interest include social media marketing and creative content marketing strategies. Connect with Caitlyn and Polymer Solutions via twitter: @CaitlynScaggs & @PSITestingLab.

Posted in Digital Marketing, Internet, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

What is hot – Learning from my Students: Teaching SMM

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”             – Yogi Bhajan

Some insights on college students’ perceptions of social media platforms from my  2013/14 SMM classes:

  • Instagram is THE ONE; Vine is only for professionals.
  • Facebook is where new mothers and grandparents exchange baby pictures… And freshman post embarrassing pics that they must erase before graduation.
  • Pinterest is great – but still for women.
  • Snapchat is FUN and a little (?) racy.
  • Yik Yak is cooler than Whisper and Secret for anonymous messaging: non-PC rants, gossip etc.
  • Twitter is a workhorse for messaging.
  • LinkedIn is boring, basically assigned homework for job hunting.
  • Tinder is for Wednesday and Thursday nights… (More about Tinder later…)

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Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Higher education, LinkedIn, Personal Learning Network, Social Media, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Do Clothes Make the Man… Or hide him?

Please don’t show this post to my students! I spend time in my professional selling class promoting “dress for success” and urge students to dress just a bit better than their interviewer or sales prospect.

Yet since I have become a professor I daily dress in the broad range of business casual:  jeans and polo or plaid shirt, or a sport coat sans tie on special days. Why are my colorful silk ties and custom-made suits from Asia gathering dust in the back of my closet?

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Posted in Entrepreneurship | 1 Comment

It is hard to do the #Flip! How much have you flipped??

I have been inspired to flip my classes by the VT conference on Pedagogy and educators such as @josebowen author of Teaching Naked,. Due to this flipping influence, my classes now have:

  • Fewer lectures than three or four years ago,
  • Student summaries to begin lectures in some of the classes,
  • Weekly online Monday evening quizzes on the readings for each week, and
  • More project or application work in class

From the time saved in reduced lecturing and testing during class time:

  • In sales class we have time to do more role plays on sales practice and mock job interviews;
  • In social media marketing class there is more in-class time to work on the group consulting projects and compare individual passion projects.

What are the effects? I am confident that:

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Posted in Higher education, pedagogy | 3 Comments

WhatsApp is the future; Facebook is history…

tl;dr or Summary: I have argued for some time that Facebook is going to be disrupted: Facebook was the huge winner of Web 2.0 but doesn’t really fit the mobile age. They still have the advantage of a huge user base, but the primary functions of FB — photo and video sharing or text communicating — are better performed on smartphones by specialized apps developed for mobile. In my opinion, the purchases of Instagram and now WhatsApp is an acknowledgement that Facebook itself shares that vision!

Disruption: The model of disruptive innovation (Clay Christensen) is a new platform, technology or business model that results in a new product or service that seems more basic than the current market leader. The market leader ignores the new product/service too long and it evolves to become the new market leader. Think Mainframes/minis/PCs or the array of memory devices for computers…

Mobile is a new platform. Instagram or Vine are more basic than FB but are better as sharing pics or videos on mobile; Twitter or the more basic message apps are better at texts. Already I see my students moving from FB to Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Twitter…

According to the model Facebook should be overwhelmed by some combination of Instagram and either Twitter or a more simple message service like WhatsApp. The big twist here is that FB has acquired Instagram and now WhatsApp before they ate Facebook’s lunch.

I hate to say it (in fact I REALLY hate to say it!) but if I am right this makes Zuckerberg a truly exceptional business leader. One of the factors that makes disruptive innovation so deadly to traditional market leaders is the unwillingness of the leaders to self-cannibalize their existing business. IBM had to send a team to Boca Raton, far away from headquarters, in order to even get a foothold in the PC business… Blockbuster held on to their stores…

Zuckerberg is, in my opinion, investing heavily in companies very well-positioned to take Facebook’s business. Exceptional!

(I have a theory of a large niche market that Facebook will eventually be limited to… I will write about that in a later post…)

 What is YOUR opinion:

  • Are WhatsApp and Instagram the future of what WAS Facebook?
  • Is Zuckerberg the truly exceptional leader who embraces disruptions?
Posted in Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Innovation, Mobile computing, Social Media, twitter | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Personal Learning Networks… A #PLN keeps on giving!

A personal learning network is indispensable for a true life-long learner. No one person can keep up with the rush of information in her/his area of interest, but a good PLN can filter the information and keep one alert of important trends and developments.

PLNs have always been important…social media only makes it easier to create, manage and maintain the network!

I wrote some posts about how a good PLN on social media enabled me to propose and create courses in social media marketing at my university before the usual aids – other profs syllabi or a textbook – were available.

Even the STORY of how this PLN, based in Twitter and LinkedIn, has been helpful to my career:

  1. Mark Schaefer and the SMCKnox invited me to SoSlam to tell the story… and then posted a video on YouTube that has collected over 400 views,
  2. The VT Pedagogy conference invited my wife and I to give a workshop on PLNs, and
  3. The current issue of the Marketing Education Review includes an article of mine describing the process.

Don’t neglect your PLN…it keeps on giving!

Posted in Blogging, Higher education, Innovation, LinkedIn, Personal Learning Network, Social influence, Social Media, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Reverse Mentoring in action… Or learning about social media from my daughter.

Teach, your parents well” -CSNY

Reverse Mentoring is a phenomenon that has been noted in many business publications including the WSJ and Forbes. Reverse mentoring involves assigning newly hired young employees to help educate experienced executives about technology or most often social media.

Reverse mentoring is obviously a reversal of the traditional model, although the bonds formed may be even stronger and more helpful to the newly hired over the course of their employment with the organization. I have effectively benefited from reverse mentoring from teaching social media to demanding young undergraduate and MBA students. I have also benefited from living in the same town as my daughter, who has both artistic and entrepreneurial interests.

Chris or Kiki as she has re-Christened herself has shown me that 15 second Instagram videos can be funny… and that Snapchat has uses beyond the obvious benefits to someone like Anthony Weiner…

Crowd-funding New Art

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Posted in Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

#Flip the flipping classroom!

I listened to a great talk by @josebowen author of Teaching Naked, a book urging professors to use technology – laptops, smartphones, social media and games – to flip the classroom. Move lectures and readings to outside the classroom…. and close the laptops and do hands-on projects in class.

Jose cheered the large crowd by declaring that the “MOOC Bubble” has peaked and probably popped. “Lecture capture” is dead: a taped 50- or 75-minute lecture from the most entertaining and knowledgeable expert in the field is generally B-O-R-I-N-G.

However he went on to remind the crowd that the traditional university model will continue to be under siege. Online providers are learning from Khan and others how to make content more digestible than broadcast live or recorded lectures.

Flipping as a defense against online disruption

The same studies that have shown that interaction with faculty is central to good academic results, show that the interactions that students remember are not lectures, but typically  are outside the classroom, activities such as seeking help with a problem or consulting with the professor in the professor’s office.

Dr. Bowen and many others argue that lectures just aren’t that effective. We should be focusing on those valuable contacts with students involved in solving problems or understanding content by bringing those experiences into the classroom.

Content delivery has moved from lecture halls and libraries to computers and now tablets and smartphones. So narrate some of your PowerPoints and post them on slideshare or elsewhere. Find other’s who have presented some of the same material in an enjoyable video and send students there. By “flipping the classroom” you encourage content delivery out of class where it is more efficient and increase teachable moments where students discuss, apply principles and try to use the knowledge.

The key principle of flipping: Let students receive content by the text, computer, and smartphone; use precious class time for discussion and individual or group applied work with the professor as moderator or consultant. Even the most tech-savvy flipping professor might well want to ask students to close their laptops and put their smartphones in their pockets when they are in class!

Flipping the classroom has been one of the enduring ideas for the five years that I have been attending the VT Conference on Pedagogy. It also is consistent with my teaching experience.

I think all of us in higher ed should be flipping!!

But… It is HARD. I will follow with some posts on how I am attempting to do the flip in my classes.

Your thoughts??

Posted in Higher education, Innovation, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The FOUR P’s of #Content Marketing

If you produce amazing/awesome/great content – focused on user needs. enlightening, and entertaining… then…………………… They will come.

In my recent posts I have questioned how social media marketing and content marketing will need to change now that Facebook has decided that businesses should pay to talk to customers. I call it post-Like SMM. A prominent social media writer, Mark Schaefer has been talking about Content Shock from so much stuff being published and publicized on social media. Post-Like is driven by monetization; Content Shock is a result of so much content marketing; but the effects of both are complimentary and problematic for traditional content marketing.

A number of fervent believers in content marketing have responded to the post-Like articles by citing an argument that seems borrowed from the movie, The Natural – just produce amazing content and people will consume it. Mark Schaefer has obviously had the same experience as he lead off a discussion a followup post “Six Arguments Against Content Shock” with “Great Content will always rise to the top.”

Content Marketers who argue for the “better mousetrap” are not following marketing theory or real world evidence. Was Windows 3.1 better coded or better to use than the Macintosh language? By what possible standard – other than success – would one judge “Keeping up with the Kardashians” (9 years on TV), better than “Firefly” (less than a season)? A recent Ad Age article discusses pervasive myth of the better product winning.

I think it is useful to think of content marketing in a traditional marketing framework. Some marketing people have fit social media marketing into the 4 P’s framework by suggesting that Product is brand and Promotion is Content. But if content is key to customer relationships it may be best to view it as the “product” in the 4 P’s framework.

There are FOUR P’s in Marketing!

How would the 4 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place – apply to content marketing?

Product: Content should be high quality and matched to user needs. Content had better be excellent. Especially in a world with Content Shock where so much content being created! It is proper for marketers to product great content, focused on the target audience. However, excellence is necessary, but not sufficient. That’s why there are 3 other “P’s.”

Price: If attention is a scarce resource, even “free” content may be expensive! Price in this context includes ease of discovery: reputation and search positioning matter. This may be a real barrier for new entrants in content marketing, as already established content providers turn out more and more stuff. Making content easy to consume – summaries or ease of  skimming – may be an advantage.

Promotion: There is a reason why companies are including web addresses and social media names on products and in paid ads. Now that FB has revised its algorithm to encourage businesses to use ads and paid posts, smart content marketers will need to experiment with a mix of paid ads and posts and content.

Place: Place is more than which searches one’s stuff shows up in, or in which social networks it is shared. Further focus must be on the communities where the content is consumed, discussed and shared. In a world of abundant content, WOM will have a huge role in what consumes precious attention.

Content production will be evaluating as a product – benefits vs. costs. Some businesses may find other marketing strategies to be more useful.

What are YOUR thoughts about Content Marketing in a “post-Like” world afflicted with “Content Shock”???

Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Post-“Like” Social Media Marketing

The previous post in this blog questioning  the role of organic social media marketing once Facebook closes the “Like Economy”, generated a lot of comments on FB, Twitter and this blog from people whose opinion I value.

  • Some of the respondents questioned whether there really will be any role for organic SMM going forward as all platforms seek to monetize.
  • Some like Jason Falls said that organic will always be central to a social media marketing effort.
  • Dave Kerpen and others said that the market has already shifted to “pay for play.” Content and engagement will continue to be important but promoted posts and ads will be essential for reach. Content and engagement become part of the “digital IMC” mix.
  • Mark Schaefer pointed out that “post-Like SMM” is consistent with his warnings about “Content Shock” – content losing impact because of a glut and limited audience attention. Both forces could lead to digital marketing that is more expensive and has scale advantages for large companies.

The evolution of SMM in a post-Like world of Content Shock will be a recurring theme in 2014.

What should a business do now? I would urge four steps for the present:

  1. Maintain engagement with your community – do not lose any momentum you have going.
  2. Continue to produce great content.
  3. NOW is the time to get up to speed with Facebook promoted posts and ads, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads and even Google ads!
  4. EXPERIMENT with the ads. Google will give you $150 of free ads, Facebook $50. At $5 a day that is 10 free days of experimentation. Find out if some approach or target seems to produce results.

How do you see social media marketing evolving?

What actions would you recommend for a business today?

For more on these issues see my original post on the post-“Like Economy” and Mark Schaefer’s series on Content Shock.

Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is there value in #Organic #SMM after Facebook closes the “Like Economy”?

Facebook shut down the “Like Economy” in December 2013.

You do remember the like economy: businesses large and small would encourage – or even bribe with promotions – their customers and prospects to “like” their Branded Facebook Page. Going forward businesses could then keep in touch with their fans through clever posts, content and promotions that would appear in the communities’ news feed and timeline. The content would have to stay good or the brand page might slip in priority or be de-Liked, of course…but there was the hope of a continuing link to a community.

But in December Facebook made another change to its news feed algorithm (the algorithm formerly known as “Edgerank”) which dramatically lowered the visibility of branded page posts. According to a study by Ignite Media a post by a brand’s Facebook page could expect to reach 16% of its fans a year early; after the algorithm change that figure seems to be 2.5%!

Of course Facebook has a solution for the problem caused by the algorithm change: paid posts! An article in Ad Age praised Facebook for being more open about the algorithm change this time than the change last year, noting that the last time it modified the feed and de-emphasized brand pages it had denied any effort to promote ads. The Ad Age article goes on to say that under the new scheme “the main reason to acquire fans isn’t to build a free distribution channel for content; it’s to make future Facebook ads work better. ‘Your brand can fully benefit from having fans when most of your ads show social context, which increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency'”

A consultant who works with social causes told me that he has advised his clients to immediately cease efforts to increase FB page likes. He noted that he views the primary benefit of Likes going forward is to grant paid access to the fans’ friends with an implied endorsement. Since most of his clients are not comfortable with that approach, he sees no reason to promote likes.

At least on Facebook, organic alone is not going to be sufficient for brands. It will be a combination of paid and organic efforts. The increased importance of promoted posts along with the demand for more and better content has led Entrepreneur Magazine to predict that social media with be more expensive this year.

This leaves me pondering some questions about social media marketing going forward:

  1. Is the purpose for organic social media marketing going forward primarily to COMPLEMENT paid posts and ads, as well as  SEO efforts?
  2. Will small businesses be priced out of SMM?
  3. Does the decline of organic combine with a newly proclaimed “Content Shock” (Mark Schaefer) to fundamentally alter what we mean by social media marketing?


[For more information I would direct you to the four articles linked in the post.]

Posted in Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Social Media users praise brands in private and criticise in public

With Ana Canhoto’s permission her post about how customer’s complain and compliment brands and products in social media is posted here.

Her post illuminates an issue raised in an earlier post in this blog on social media complaints: Social Media Complaints – Put it to them?

I recommend readers interested in marketing research follow her blog!

Ana Canhoto

Jan Kietzmann and I have been investigating how social media users talk about their consumption experiences online, a phenomenon called “electronic Word of Mouth”, or eWoM. While there is considerable research regarding why and, to an extent, how consumers engage in eWoM, our research is novel in that it:

  • Investigates how different aspects of the consumption experience influence eWoM, and
  • Considers not the experience in itself, but the consumers’ assessment of the experience
  • Is not specific to one single social media platform

This post give a very brief overview of our findings, and the full paper can be accessed here (paywall) or here. We have both good news and bad news for marketing managers.

But, first, let me tell you a little bit about the framing of our study.

What we looked at

cafeThink about the last time you bought a coffee. Was your satisfaction with the experience…

View original post 794 more words

Posted in Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, twitter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

##@!# Marketing: Too much #Hype?

I teach a class called “social media marketing” and fervently believe that social media does change everything…especially what marketing people do. But what actually IS the new paradigm? So many flavors of marketing are discussed in relation to the online world.

I really enjoyed the book Marketing in the age of Google and believe that the concept of ZMOT is powerful… But acknowledging the importance of search engine optimization, I believe that we have moved beyond simple Search Engine Marketing or Google Marketing. eMarketing and Digital Marketing are too general and sound like Internet Marketing from the pre-social days.

So what should Social Marketing be called. I much prefer Social Media Marketing to Facebook Marketing and do not believe that FB will get the stranglehold to merit their name on the new paradigm. Many observers stress that the change is bigger than a single platform like FB or even all the SM platforms as indicated by SMM and have tried to name a new paradigm based on a more fundamental change.

In this brave new world customers must allow us to interact so perhaps it should be called Permission-based Marketing or Like Marketing (however with the changes made to the algorithm-once-known-as-Edgerank, Like has become pay-for-play on FB). Inbound Marketing also reflects the power shift to customers.

Content Marketing seems the preferred flavor today. The mission of an organization is to engage its customers and prospects with the right content at the right time!

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Facebook, Internet, Klout, SEO, Social influence, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#Twitter #Surveys – Are #DMs now worthless? How much #Automation?

I attached quick surveys to a couple recent posts on twitter issues. All the normal caveats apply: the sample size is small, it is a convenient online sample, and the sample is likely NOT NORMAL since they read my blog and are willing to respond… 😉

But I thought the responses were interesting.

In “Do you check your Twitter DM’s regularly” I argued that Twitter DMs are so spam-y that I often ignore them for long periods of time and they have become largely useless to me. Yesterday Mark Schaefer posted his opinion on Facebook that DMs were no totally worthless and most of the comments seemed to agree. In my earlier post I asked readers their opinions and to date the 18 respondents don’t seem to agree with my opinion or Mark’s:

  • 44% said that they still check their Twitter regularly
  • 22% still check but find them less useful
  • 28% only rarely

In “Should any social media be automated?” I argued in favor of Twitter automation, short of ANY content automation. The 19 respondents who answered were more conservative then me:

  • 76% argued for scheduled posts only and
  • 18% argued for NO AUTOMATION whatsoever.

What do you think on those issues? Hit the article links above enter your opinion and/or to see the full detail of responses.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Social Media #Complaints! Put it to them??

A recent article suggested that social media would help kill bad customer service. The article highlighted disgruntled customer @HVSVN who spent over $1000 on Twitter promoted posted so that his complaint about lost luggage was widely viewed.

Thanks for ruining my EU business trip #britishairways. I shouldnt have flown @BritishAirways @British_Airways. Never flying with you again

— ░▒▓█ (@HVSVN) September 2, 2013

The business class passenger spent over $1,000 on promoted tweets like the one above. He also tweeted his reach and bragged (gloated?) about the damage he had done to British Air’s reputation and brand with a relatively small investment (for him).

The article linked above claimed that companies will have to offer better service and better response to complaints in order to avoid campaigns like the one from @HVSVN.

Companies have learned to monitor customer complaints online and to prioritize complainers with high influence as measured by Klout, PeerIndex or Kred scores. Now organizations should be alert for irate or irascible customers with the means to promote their complaints!

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Posted in Blogging, Content, Facebook, Klout, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, twitter | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tips on #Teaching #Social #Media Marketing: Another Hangout!

Four members of the elite LinkedIn group “Teaching Social Media Marketing…” – Don Stanley, Jeremy Floyd, Matthew Kushin, and yours truly – met for a Google+ Hangout on “50 tips on teaching social media marketing.” Since we didn’t get past the halfway point another Hangout will likely follow. The discussion is here:

Two of the other participants have also posted the Hangout with interesting additional material:

  1. Matthew also promoted use of Google Drive and
  2. Jeremy listed the 25 tips for people who don’t want to watch the video.

Check them both out!!

What tip would you add?????

Posted in Blogging, Content, Facebook, Higher education, LinkedIn, Social Media, Teaching SMM, twitter | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mysterious #911 Photo….

On 9/11, THE 9/11, I was at home in Lake Forest, IL, weighing several job alternatives. My last two employers both had offices in 1WTC and I still had a permanent pass to that building. As I watched events unfold, I counted, recounted and again recounted the floors in the tower below where the plane rammed that building. People I knew were trapped and dying: some were likely among the ones we could see – live on TV – jumping to certain death.

Forty people I knew perished while I was watching on TV. Two, Jim P. and Diane L., were friends and two of the best salespersons I ever knew. A couple of days later, when mail service resumed, I received a photo in an envelope with no accompanying note, return address, or even writing on the photo. 

The photo was taken at a futures and options industry function at Top of the World in 1 World Trade Center that had taken place  a couple of months earlier. That evening some of us had slipped out a side door and actually stood outside, on the roof of 1WTC 100+ floors above the ground, enjoying the view while leaning on a simple railing.

In the mysterious photo I was sipping wine with Diane – a friend and great salesperson who perished on that day. I have never discovered who sent the photo or why no note was enclosed…

I seem to have lost the photo during my move to Virginia, but I will never forget.

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Wisdom from #LinkedIn #Live!

I had the pleasure to participate in LinkedIn Live, a joint effort of LinkedIn and the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council in June. Davis Schneider of LinkedIn put together a slide show to summarize some of the themes from the conference. I thought it was worth sharing on this blog:

The conference was attended by 150 small and high tech business people and had a waiting list.
Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My last Auto-DM… Should any #social #media be #automated?

Auto-DMs are NOT cool. I un-follow or block one or more tweeps for spamming my DM box nearly every day. I am not interested in buying 10,000 followers and do not believe that I am really featured in a shocking or funny video that they have recently viewed! In fact, as I noted in an earlier post the spam in the DM box has made Twitter direct messages useless for me and many others.

But until yesterday, I used SocialOomph to send an auto-welcome to new followers, thanking them for following me and suggesting that they take a look at this blog and consider subscribing to it. About once every two months I would get an indignant or even vitriolic message about my message, but the tone of the message made it easy for me to ignore the note and consider the sender someone I probably didn’t want to communicate with anyway. It seemed I got more followers than hate notes.

Yesterday I received a couple polite notes from @marcymassura informing me that she was unfollowing me because of the horrible first impression from an auto-DM. Horrible first impression…I teach professional selling as well as social media marketing; in selling I stress the importance of the initial impression! Marcy got me focused on the issue of first impression and I decided to shut down the auto-DM.

What should be automated in social media?

Continue reading

Posted in Social Media, twitter | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What is in YOUR carry-on? Portable #PC, #iPad, #Kindle or #smartphone

We are at the beach today. But realistically how much time can one spend walking uncrowded beaches, swimming, chillin’ and such? So… what mobile computing devices did I bring with me to stay connected:

  • Portable PC,
  • iPad,
  • Kindle, or
  • Smartphone?

All of the above, of course! Any serious work – even a blog post like this one which I am typing on my Lenova – is maddeningly slow on the iPad. The iPad is great for quick viewing of social media or videos, but serious reading is way better on the Kindle. The white screen is easy to read, even in bright sun and white sand – and it doesn’t hurt if it falls on my face! And of course the smartphone is always with me and nearly always connected…but the screen is not big enough for my eyes.

My wife brought three of the four as well, but substituted 6 paperbacks for a Kindle. When we arrived in the cottage the two of us needed to sign seven devices into the WiFi provided!

To some extent it seems illogical to carry so many devices to read and connect to the internet. But what are the alternatives?

One change I would make if I had some influence over the evil wireless phone oligopoly would be to free cell phones to act as hot spots to connect other devices for those occasions when we are away from wifi range (connections are weak at the pool…).

Smartphones, especially the new larger models, may be infringing on the tablet market already. An interesting article in Ad Age argues that “Apple’s Tablet, the iPad, Is Becoming the High-End Niche Within a Niche That Big-Screen Smartphones Are Cannibalizing.” (I believe cannibalizing is the wrong word to use but it was Ad Age’s choice.) The article notes that tablet sales, even iPad sales which include the new minis, are down from a year ago.

Will the mobile world of the future comprise portable PCs and smartphones, occasionally augmented with specialized niche products?

What do you think??

Posted in Blogging, Mobile computing, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twelve New #Blogs!

The summer II session just ended… I fought against teaching social media marketing in a 6-week summer format… But my professional MBA students proved me wrong!

My fear was that the experiential nature of the course would be negatively impacted by the compressed time frame. But motivated students seemed to use the time frame as an excuse to immerse themselves in social media.

One major takeaway from this class: Twelve new blogs! They are listed below by category. Check them all out!

Food and Wine

How about learning authentic Turkish cooking… with the promise of relatively simple recipes! The author also is a skilled photographer: I think this site qualifies as “food-porn” – a technical term my friend Lin Humphrey loves to use. Recipes, Pictures and Culture! Already honored as a @foodista blog of the day…

Turkish Cooking

Cooking Healthier for Life talks about balancing health, taste and time… and getting it right! Check it out…

Interested in the vibrant wine industry of Southwest Virginia? Check out Sipping and Swirling! This blog shares experiences and pics…And gives helpful advice on when to visit and what to do!

Health and Healthy living

Dieters to think bigger. It is not just weight loss, it is about lifestyle!

You know you should exercise… but who has time to drive to a gym and spend hours and $$? This blog has video instruction on how to get good exercise at home in 10-20 minutes a day!

The Diamond Sport talks women’s fast pitch softball. Are you interested in the sport? In seeing it return to the Olympics? Or in Jennie Finch? It is all here!

Women’s Snowboarding. The look at the sport, the pros, and the struggle of an up and coming boarder… And snowboarding in the summer or summer shreds.

Have you heard about therapeutic horseback riding? This blog takes a look at this unique service and how volunteers help make it work. One of my twitter followers was inspired to sign up to help at a facility in NY state.

Home improvement and building one!

How can a busy professional also manage home improvement projects? This blog – 50 shades of paint – shows improvements carried out by an employed MBA candidate…

Have you considered building a house? This blog has advice for people taking the plunge or stories for people interested in the process… And lots of pictures!


Cheapskate Cathy wants to help Americans stop their overspending. Great tips on living a simpler better life…within your means! Yes it may seem somewhat un-American…. but it really is a traditional American value!

Strong Opinions

This author shares his 2 cents worth about issues of pop culture and sports: Why do athletes making six figure incomes commit so many crimes? Why are we so obsessed with celebrity? What is fair in balancing mens and womens college sports?


What do you think of this collection of a dozen new blogs?? I have the strong opinion that their are some great reads here!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Blogging, Content, Higher education, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Do you check your Twitter DM’s regularly?

A couple weeks ago two twitter friends sent me emails to follow-up on direct messages (DMs) that they had earlier sent. I realized that I have not be checking my direct messages on Twitter.

I am a Hoot-suite user, so I really have no excuse: I have a preset Twitter DM column, I just need to display and check occasionally. I tweeted and FB posted an inquiry of whether followers had also stopped checking Twitter DMs.

Two of my online friends whose judgement saw DMs the same way: Mark Schaefer said “[DMs are] worst way to communicate to me. I hardly look at them any more. 90% spam”; Dawn Westerberg said “Never check – I completely ignore them”; and Kerry Gorgone added “I’ve only ever checked them rarely. Mostly spam.” I also collected some of the Twitter responses in a Spotify post here.

What is your thought about Twitter DMs?

Posted in Social Media, twitter | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Are you a social salesperson? Really?

Are you a social salesperson? All the cool salespeople are! LinkedIn now has a measure to ssi72let you know whether you are: the social selling index (SSI).

The tool must be valid – when I checked it recently I scored 72, which puts me in the top 2% of my industry, according to LinkedIn.

You can check your score – here.

Do I sound cynical about the new index? Well… it was developed by LinkedIn and it measures your content sharing, engagement, profile quality, amount of searches, and communication (including paid inMail): all on LinkedIn. In other words it really measures the extent to which you use their product!

I also believe that influence-measures such as Klout have had a roll in making social media less personal by encouraging everyone to over-post and over-share. The “Hawthorne effect” is powerful in social media – behavior will change when it known to be measured. (For example, I pushed my SSI up from 65 to 72 by posting blog posts twice last week in anticipation of this article.)

Why it may matter

LinkedIn is THE professional network and has been shown to be the the most effective platform for lead generation. The four components of the index are logical for a social seller:

  1. Self-branding,
  2. Search (prospecting?),
  3. Engagement, and
  4. Relationship building.

LinkedIn claims that “Our research shows those with an SSI over 70 see two times the new clients approached, meetings secured, and opportunities gained than those who lag behind.” In a case study of the use of the SSI at Microsoft a sales manager for the software firm claims that for every “ten point increase in SSI, his team sees an average of 4.3 more opportunities.”

It may be self-serving, but the SSI index may signal your effectiveness as a social salesperson.

Again, can check your SSI score – here.

And an article from LinkedIn on how Microsoft uses the SSI index.





Posted in Digital Marketing, Klout, LinkedIn, Selling, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments