As a male of the species, discussions that explicitly involve the topic of emotions usually make me anxious. Sometimes they make me uncomfortable, perhaps even disturbed, perturbed, or annoyed. Other people’s emotions I can manage to some degree – I can analyze and dissect their cause and impact, which makes them seem – well, less emotional. But when it comes to my own emotions, I would rather talk about… pretty much anything else.
It is hard to know whether this aversion to emotion is Nature or Nurture. Is it baked into our manly DNA, after thousands of years of evolution, or did it come from watching too many action movies as a child? It could definitely be Clint Eastwood’s fault, or perhaps it was Rambo. On the geekier side, I distinctly recall thinking that Spock from Star Trek, a super smart Vulcan with no emotions, was pretty damn cool.
In the fast-evolving world of social media marketing, there are many terms found sprinkled liberally throughout most industry whitepapers and thought pieces. “Advocates,” “influencers” and “engagement” are a few of my favorites. They are used frequently because they represent important and powerful concepts, but all too often they end up simply as buzzwords.
Such things may be easy to say, but they’re not trivial components of a successful marketing program. If a brand wants to generate engagement with its best advocates and most important influencers, how does it go about doing so? Many firms, vendors and consultants claim experience in this area, with the ability to spot advocates and influencers from 1,000 miles away and then expertly engage with them.
As with most things, not all of these claims are grounded in reality. There are too many different solutions and variables to make broad generalizations, but I believe the organizations that can effectively deliver have something in common — they have access to, and mastery of, large quantities of a necessary and very valuable resource: social data.
We call it social data because it is made up primarily of information about people interacting with each other and with brands. It is important to note, however, that it is much more than simply data mined from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There are multiple ways to categorize such data, but I believe there are four main components to an effective set of social data.
To find out more about social data, including some key concepts for successfully dealing with it, read the rest of the original article posted here.
Social media has become an indisputable force in the marketing world, but it is evolving rapidly and often difficult to master. While many marketers have quickly become experts in the field, there are some for whom the term ‘Social Media Marketing’ evokes only thoughts of Facebook ads and promoted Tweets. If that sounds familiar, may I humbly suggest that you are doing it wrong.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend the Social Media Insider Summit, sponsored by Media Post. Over the course of three days, attendees were given the opportunity to hear from experts in the industry, including representatives from prominent brands, agencies, and technology providers. In addition to formal presentations, a series of roundtable discussions provided for dynamic and open conversations around a variety of topics. The conference covered a lot of ground, but three high level concepts stood out for brands that want to get the most out of social media: Listen, Engage & Measure.
Nan Player Hermus
Below is the full text of the Eulogy I delivered for my mother on August 18th, 2012. It was written to be spoken, however, and I have not edited it for this blog post. A video of the actual speech is located here.
I have in front of me many words prepared, but we all well know that words are not, and cannot, be sufficient for an occasion such as this. Like in all other things, we can only try our best, and that is what I shall do as I attempt to honor the life and the memory of my mother, Nan Gwynn Player Hermus.
I am not a great family historian, and thus we are spared a linear recounting of the events of Mom’s life. I say spared, because though I often regret my lack of knowledge of some details of her past, they wouldn’t adequately convey the true essence of what made my mother so very special.
So, I set out to craft a picture of my Mother, using stories from my memories of her. As it turns out, curating from a lifetime of memories is a daunting task. In the minutes and hours after her passing, I attempted to conjure up some warm, happy images of Mom to hold close during that difficult time. In shock, I found that I couldn’t do it, and I was absolutely overcome with panic. How could this be? I felt this incredibly intense emotion, a combination of love and loss so strong that it felt like fire burning inside of me. I could not breathe.
As sun in the Spring, she nourished all
Warm and sustaining, light without end
To others dedicated, no thought of herself
Family or friend, and acquaintance alike
Or stranger lost, with need of guidance
Like a gentle rain, to parched earth given
Herself she poured, those around her received
Life freely bestowed, to the gardens of souls
flowers and greenery, gladly brought forth
Where sadness had been, only dust before
Sparkling starlight, she twinkled and shone
A radiant blossom, for all to behold
Her song in the wind, carried far and wide
Luminescent and soft, with heartwarming glow
Offered laughter and cheer, keeping darkness away
Facebook Open (Social) Graph
Facebook recently unveiled the beta version of their next generation Open Graph API at the f8 conference in San Francisco. Originally debuted in 2010, the Open Graph Protocol was an attempt to organize large swaths of the internet via meta tags, enabling Facebook to better contextualize the content that people share and connect with (http://ogp.me).
While a very interesting concept, OGP didn’t necessarily take hold the way that Facebook would have liked. However, with this most recent iteration of the platform and API, Open Graph could be positioned to gain explosive adoption and usher in a new generation of Facebook Apps. At its core, this change enables developers to easily design and implement rich, social interactions with an unlimited set of objects, bounded only by the imagination. Read more…
Building a Web Site in the Dark Ages
Back in the 1990′s, the World Wide Web experienced an explosive period of growth; it was a renaissance age that helped shape the Internet as we know it today. However, as we look back now, that period was also akin to medieval times, in terms of the tools and technologies that people had to work with. In those formative days, it required a full-fledged, hardcore techie to set up a web site with basic content (and not just becuase of all the annoying animated images). If you wanted to build a fully functional e-commerce site to sell seven varieties of pet rock, you were looking at a major investment. That kind of project required a team of people with experience in a wide range of skills, including alien disciplines such as Perl, CGI and UNIX .
Of course, back then the term e-commerce site had not yet come into usage. People were still talking about the information superhighway, and you could only access it through primitive devices that prevented you from talking on the phone. No one had ever heard of blogs or social media, even though early forms of both already existed. There was certainly no Google to help you google, no Twitter to tweet with, and no Facebook to offer you endless diversion. Read more…
As I have started to embrace the world of social media from both a professional and personal perspective, people have asked me: “Do you think social media is for real? Is it a lasting phenomenon, or just a bandwagon fad that we have hyped to an extreme?“ Not everyone asks it that way, but is a very common theme.
I have asked myself the same question, more than once. There are some easy, dismissive responses to that question, such as “it has been around for over 20 years already” or “750 million Facebook users can’t be wrong“. Fine, you got me! We can agree that it has been a long evolving trend, and that Facebook, Twitter, and social media in general are wildly popular right now. Does that prove that it is here to stay? Not necessarily, but the current explosive growth and sheer scale of adoption make it difficult to believe otherwise. But for me, that isn’t quite satisfying, because it doesn’t tell us much about why social media has become so successful. Read more…