This is your place to hear about social media trends. It is my objective as a young professional to cover all topics that are important to the world of social networks for a personal, professional, and corporate standpoint. Please feel free to interject, disagree, argue, scold, and even possibly praise my posts for I don't claim to know everything about anything, but I guarantee that I will try to have something to say about everything.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Chinese Twitterphone

So the MTV VMA’s were last night and as you can assume the twitter world was cluttered with tweets about performances and award winners, both positive and negative. Many came out in full force to tweet their love of Adele’s soul moving performance as well as Lil-Weezey’s tight pants and some rather confusing tweets about Lady Gaga…. Or in light of some of the tweets Mr. Gaga???

I have not researched the topics very much yet, not being what you would call a “Pop culture expert” and thought this post would be better if written while still in my confused state. The nature of this post is to show the influence of a person or company’s actions on not only those who choose to follow you, but those who are friends with those people.

I understand that the rich and the famous do the things that they do on stage for a reason. They are carefully constructing their images so that we the public will stand in awe, but it seems that they often forget the dreaded Chinese telephone, or in this case twitterphone, effect. Point in case, Lady Gaga...I understand that she is not the most normal person in the world and I actually love her music. She has constructed some kind of reputation for herself. In no way can I begin to define her and maybe that is what she is going for, but according to tweets from last night she is a… sheman with junk who loves women and can’t make up her mind on if she likes meat or has meat…(a condensed compilation of about 12 tweets). This is outrageous.

Now realizing a company doesn’t really have a sexual orientation, the same thing can happen to companies. If a company makes a move that disagrees with a certain demographic they must realize that the Chinese twitterphone will take the actual action and throw it in a blender and unless they have carefully thought through the situation they may end up with an audience as confused as I am on Gaga.

I am not expert however, I believe that if you just take a second to think about what you are doing, realizing that your actions will have repercussions and then make the call if it is worth it or not. Then if you do decide to go for it, plan ahead to make sure your audience and their followers don’t turn you into a lesbian hermaphrodite which, if you are not, is not the most flattering of labels.

FYI I love Adele and really wish I would have seen her.

Pic via

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interns and Social Media: by an Intern

This post is inspired by a post from a much wiser man than I, who has substantial more experience, Kyle Lacy. Anyway, I don’t want to dote on him, so I’ll move on to his post, “Do Not Leave Social Media to the Interns.”

As a former intern, I totally agree with this post and express the point of view of the intern who has said responsibility.

Now, I believe that it is more than possible for an intern to help manage a company’s social media strategy, the key word of that statement being “HELP”. I in past situations have run and/or controlled the social media of two different companies, the first was a smaller company in terms of social media presence and because they had less strict guidelines over what was being communicated to their audience, it was easier. I was able to easily align what I thought needed to be communicated to their audience with what the company’s personality was.

The second company was larger and much more difficult. When entering the position I was told to research the “best practices” on social media, which I did, referring to many different sites and blogs on internet marketing. With the information that I gathered I began to post what I saw as relevant comments on different social media sites. Many of the posts were relevant and relatable to the company and what it wanted to communicate to its audience…. And then there were some other posts… posts that some of the higher-ups didn’t quite believe aligned with the companies goals. Goals that didn’t exist in the best practices, documents that I was told to read… bummer I know.

SO… after all that rambling, my point is, if you are going to give your interns access to your social media accounts don’t refer them to a list of best practices and then spank them on the ass and tell them to hit the field. Instead, take control over your companies social media, delegate it to employees who have something invested in your company and know it inside and out.

And to you interns who have this responsibility slapped on you here is a tip. ASK what you should be posting…or use a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets a day in advance and then write them all out and have somebody (such as your boss) review them. If they seem too busy, then post something obscene and when they complain to you about it say something along the lines of “well I asked you to review them.”

There you have it, the honest opinion of a young professional who doesn’t know much. That last part about posting obscene things is a joke…. Kind of… no really it’s a joke.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Comment on Crisis Management

I recently had a very significant incident in my life where in I was the one and only person responsible for communicating updates in the situation to family and friends for short time. It was taxing. I was running in and out of rooms to find cell service and calling the same person several times in a row, because updates were flowing in like the beer flows out of an upside down bottle of Bud Diesel.

Regardless, many times during the whole situation I wanted to just tweet updates for everyone to follow (I didn’t because of the fact that most of the people I was updating would say something along the lines of “What the Heeellllll is Tweeeter”). Nonetheless it got the old brain going and opened my eyes to how easily a company/person can handle tragic situations with social media and put comfort in the mind of those who have something invested.

In my mind it boiled down to three basic forms of communications:

  • -Social Media
  • -Email
  • -WOM

With these three methods of communication almost any situation that you don’t mind making public, which if you are a business should be everything because let’s be serious secrets do make money unless you’re selling them, and that isn’t always legal.

Either way you can start your own rumors with social media. If you can foresee an event, it is important to act before it can land. So if you can inform your network that you have the situation under control by notifying them in a tweet saying

“Be aware, if you use our service you may experience technical difficulties for the in the next few days, we are sorry for the inconvenience. We are working to resolve the situation.”

With proactive communication you can control the situation instead of letting it control you.

The same can be done with email, and the only reason I would recommend using an email blast is it shows an extended amount of care to those people who have a solid enough relationship with you to have shared their email with you. Showing this extra care will only serve to foster that relationship and help generate positive WOM

By WOM I am referring to “word of mouth”, arguably the most important aspect of communication for a business. WOM is so important because you cannot guarantee control over what people are saying about you with anything less the Benjamins, but you can influence what people are saying using the above mentioned tools and a positive customer care.

Creating a situation of proactive engagement and on the ball response times can damn near tie the reins on the wild wind that is “WOM” and help you to dodge the long road to rumor town.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Marketing, The Formula

So I recently applied to a marketing position that required you to explain marketing in a creative way. I pondered the project for some time and since I lack the technology for a feature length film on marketing I went with the next logical choice... breaking marketing down into a full blown mathematical formula. I understand that this is quite the undertaking and also realize that it may take a lifetime to perfect, but hey if Einstein can do it with science why can't I do it with marketing. Anyways, I thank the fine people at Silver Square for the inspiration. Hope you all find it useful...

To explain my thoughts on what marketing is I contemplated on several different ideas including video, (which I shot down because I lack adequate editing software), an essay (I omitted this because it obviously lacks the creativity to appropriately express my feelings on marketing), and interpretive dance (this was one of my top choices until I realized you cannot effectively send a dance in an email). Having gone through those options and a few others I decided to create a formula that can mathematically show what I believe that marketing is.

Product + Resources + Relationships^2 = (MARKETING)

Now this is obviously a very vague overview of what marketing could be so I took the liberty of breaking the equation by section.


Product is obviously a number of things so for the purposes of this formula I have broken it down:

Product = (direct) (indirect)

Direct = (tangible objects + services)

This is the thing that will actually be transferred to customers, any objects or ideas combined along with services that are offered either in place of or in addition to a tangible product.

Indirect = (relative knowledge +experience)

The indirect aspect of product references the pertinent information and related experience to/with the direct product. This is an important aspect when talking about marketing because it can have a direct influence on customer satisfaction, repeat sales, and client referrals.

Taking this into account your new product equation is:

Product = (tangible objects + services) (relative knowledge +experience)


Resources understanding an allocation is a very important and extensive portion of marketing, thus it is the largest portion of the formula.

Resources = physical + time + personnel

This is not the elaborate equation promised, but hang in there it will be.

Physical in this equation stands for little more than essential tangible resources such as technologies, paper, buildings, desks, ink, cameras, recorders, ect.

Time = (available hours – hours after deadline) + overtime

For the purpose of this explanation I have narrowed time to the spectrum of the work week. Where time is the amount of hours left until your dead line within the normal confines of the work week less any hours that remain in the week later than the assigned deadline in addition to any extra hours that personnel are willing to attribute to a project out of their personal time.

Personnel = (ability +personality + creativity) quantity

Personnel is defined by the amount of people available represented by “quantity”. Understanding that it is nearly impossible to define or measure the quality of a person I have instead narrowed it to the relevant attributes to marketing being the ability that a person as, their personality, and the extent of their creativity.

The resulting equation is:

Resources = Physical + [(available hours – hours after deadline) + overtime] + [(ability +personality + creativity) quantity]


By far the most important aspect of marketing, relationships are the key factor in any successful marketing activity.

Relationships^2 = (relationships)(relationships)


So after having stretched out the formula to its full size you have:

MARKETING = [(tangible objects + services) (relative knowledge +experience)] + {Physical + [(available hours – hours after deadline) + overtime] + [(ability +personality + creativity) quantity]} + [(relationships)(relationships)]

picture via:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Content as a Product?

Today I am sitting in a local coffee shop eves dropping on the people next to me, which by this time seem to be two entrepreneurial men trying to start some sort of software company and a female consultant they had contacted to help get their gig going. However nice of a story that is it is mostly unrelated to what actually sparked this post. At one point in their conversation the consultant leaned in close and said that “you are selling your information and expertise, your content.”

Maybe it was just the way that she said it or maybe I misunderstood what she had meant, but it started an argument in my head. “Is a company’s content its product? Is it possible for a company to compete selling its ‘content’ while so many others are giving it away for free? How can a company get away with that?...” The list of questions went on and on for about 10 minutes until myself and I agreed that we believe that any more a company trying to sell its expertise and information is no longer enough. With nearly every company on the face of the earth possessing its own web space and most of the well-designed/higher traffic sites having blogs that give their content away for free, how could one suggest that the product these men were supposedly bringing to market was solely information?

Take one of the companies that I view to be on the forerunning edge of internet technology, SEOmoz, they have employees across their entire organization sharing their thoughts, tips, and secrets to the entire world! Hell, they even let the public try their product for 30 days FOR FREE! Sound crazy? It should. It is a down right outrageous strategy that is working wonderfully for them. This is because they have realized it is not the information that they are selling, they are selling the experience that tells one what to do with that information.

So to bring me full circle, I wish I would have had heard that consultant and have leaned over to say, you’re wrong. I should have walked over sat down and said that the information you have isn’t worth anything to a customer, because if you want to charge for it, then the customer can just Google “Information like what company XYZ is trying to sell” and they will most likely be given 200 links to sites more than happy to give away the same exact information for free. Finally, I should have finished by saying that since your information is basically worthless, you have to focus on selling the fact that you know what to do with the knowledge you possess and that you are willing to share that with those that choose to buy your SERVICE.

Then these people, these poor business men running company XYZ, who would have been trying to sell information as a product, while Blogger Bob gives it away for free, would realize that they don’t have to focus on selling their information at all, but they must key in on selling their experience and guidance on how to use this information as a service. Feel free to disagree and please if you have a valid point share, I wrote this in the passion of the moment and realize I may have skipped over some exceptions such as the media or encyclopedia companies. Have a good day!