« November 2007 | Main | January 2008 »

Listening and Participating_Social Media Marketing White Paper

12/31/2007

Download listening_and_participating_white_paper_may_2008.pdf

Friday Fun: Digital Photo Memories

12/28/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

As we wrap up Friday Fun for 2007 seems appropriate to chat about memories.Photo_album Here are 1 - 2 - 3 digital memory-photo ideas for you to take into 2008.

1. How organized are you when it comes to your photos? Do your digital photo files remind you of that system that is a favorite of many .. an old show box? Photos_shoe_boxHow do you find that smashing photo of you in your pink silk jacket that you saved in a special file with a name or you just new you would remember but now forget? Guess it's the old hunt and search method now.

Girlfriend, have I got a thing for you - Photology. A few smart scientists and engineers got together, using artificial intelligence and data processing, they created a ultra easy, cool way to find photos on your computer. No tagging. No playing hide and seek. You use simple filters like face, sky, color, location to search your digital photos. Photology can search through 10,000 photos in less than a second to find 3,000 photos with plants, or 1,000 with beaches, or 56 with just the right shade of purple.

It's not free but there is a free trial and there is a sale through Dec 31. Enoetic (the company) plans to  give back part of every sale to charity. If you know of an established, reputable charity that wants to build a partnership relationship give Enoetic a shout out please.

2.  Although we love our friends at the "Big F" there are many, Many, MaNy more options. A Google search for photo sharing pulled up 105,000,000 hits for photo sharing. Let me introduce you to an online photo service that is aSmugmug_team family affair - SmugMug. The MacAskill family's success is a great entrepreneurial success. Cousins, siblings and now friends have built a thriving business. Revenues doubled every year since SmugMug's launch in 2002. In 2007 revenues reached $12 million. Not only that but they sure seem like they're having fun! Read more in the LA Times article.

3. Your photos are organized and even to your critical eye you think they're pretty darn good. While you're waiting for Sony or Canon or Pentax or Konica Minolta to tap you for a blogger relations program perhaps you can earn a few $$ for your efforts. Phototrade is a new photo sharing site that pays users each time a photograph is viewed. This site, still in beta, combines the best of photo sharing, stock photography, and photo sales plus the ability for users to earn ad revenue.

Phototrade also gives back to the community .. and in this case the social media/blogging community. A donation was made to the Frozen Pea Fund. A fund that was established for breast cancer research to support Susan Reynolds. Read more in Diva Marketing post - A Pea Green Twitter Miracle of the Heart

Lessons From Christmas 1947

12/25/2007

Christmas 1947. Before blogs, micro blogging or building online communities.

The CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department. "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

With those words Macy's Department Store launched the most innovative sales program ever viewed...on the silver screen. It was a Miracle on 34th StreetMiracle_on_34th_street

Fast forward 57 years. The use of the internet is one of the most exciting sales and marketing strategies we've seen in the last 60 years. However, in this model there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. The customer is in control of the brand experience.

Include a social media strategy to the marketing mix and another dimension is added. The company steps out from behind the shadows of traditional PR, customer service and research (all valid in their own right) and declares it's ready to listen and learn from prospects and customers...on the their terms.

It's not afraid (okay perhaps there are a few wobbles) to show the world that there might be a few warts. That's a giant step from old world marketing to open communication new world marketing.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible... consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As the year 2008 approaches, high-tech developments spin even faster taking the possibilities of internet marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '07.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a site where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care.

Imagine a site where you can talk to people about their experiences and learn from each other.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2007 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the the:

-Listen

-Understand

-Add value

-Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

Max_dec_07_1 And with that Max and I wish you a very merry holiday!

Sidebar: Based on an article written for Marketing News

A Pea Green Twitter Miracle of the Heart*

12/24/2007

Do you believe inMiracles people miracles? On this day, or eve, perhaps you're popping by after the last package has been wrapped, I'd like to tell you a, as CK (@ckEpiphany) calls it, a social media Xmas miracle story. Steamy hot chocolate or spiced cider along with a cookie or two would be lovely to indulge in right now.

Connie Reese tells the story best of how a tiny snowflake twit grew into a green pea snowball of love. A green pea snowball .. how odd you may say but true stories are often stranger than fiction. Our story includes invisible people, a big scare, a brave woman and the spirit of kindness from so many.

Chapter One By Connie Reece (@conniereece)

A friend I’ve never met in person is scared. Very scared. Susan Reynolds (@susanreynods) is having a mastectomy tomorrow. She found the lump on December 5, went to the doctor the next day, and was immediately sent to a diagnostic radiologist. Big words, big fear: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

You can read about Susan’s journey through the cancer experience in her new blog, Boobs on Ice. The story I want to share is how a community of so-called invisible friends rallied around Susan to support, comfort and cheer her up–and somewhere along the way turned it into a fight–and a fund–against cancer.

It started on Twitter, where Susan is the self-proclaimed nana; she’s also a power networker with hundreds of followers. When she posted a new Peavatar_susan_reynolds_2avatar–a photo of a package of frozen peas tucked inside her camisole to relieve the pain from multiple biopsies–she joked about putting her boob on ice. Her friends continued the joke.

On the Friday before Xmas Susan's surgery was a success. Joyous twits flew across the globe.

Chapter Two The Peavatars

Peavatars Then came Ann Miller (@annohio) who changed her avatar on Twitter to a package of peas. Within a twit Twitter was a wash in green peas. Of course the peavatars must have a Flickr Peavatar Group. When last checked  Frozen Pea Friday had almost 300 PPPs!

Chapter Three Frozen Pea Fund

One of social media's strengths is the evolution of ideas. Cathleen Rittereiser (@cathleenritt)'s suggestion went from simply friends-helping-friends to a challenge to raise money for cancer research.  In honor of Susan, the Frozen Pea Fund was launched. In the first 15 hours $3,493 was raised from 118 peaple on 3 continents.

FrozenPeaFund launched in under one week w/ no budget, no biz plan, no mtkg plan .. just a handful of volunteers who understand social media - Connie Reece (@conniereece)

Chapter Four Lessons Learned and Questions To Ponder

Peas_in_a_pod_2_2 As in any really good story there are lessons that we take with us. Frozen Peas teaches us lessons from a belief in the goodness of people to the power of micro blogging. What made this work was a sense of community. A sense of belonging. tiny snowflake messagethat grew into a green pea snowball of love.

Jonathan Trenn (@jtrenn) insightful observation - We weren't being consumers. We were just being people. Spontaneous caring.

Could a company accomplish as much as quickly with a formal strategy? Could a not for profit make a similar impact?  Can Spontaneous caring occur as a social media marketing strategy? What happens if say, Birds Eye was part of a community would you feel the same? Would you embrace this type of marketing initiative if the American Cancer Society was behind it?

Chapter Five It's Personal

I must tell you I don't know Susan. But we have dear friends in common who through hundreds of twits connected me to Susan's world. Her fight touched my heart for you see my sister fought a brave battle with breast cancer. Susan__wedding_3 Her name was Susan too.

You are fabulous, thanks so much for encouragement, smiles, support. You really make me feel like this is a team effort. Susan Reynolds (@susanreynods)

Chapter Six The Community Fundraising Challenge

CK words "community" fundraising are spot on. The Frozen Pea Fund is growing quickly organically. Perhaps the time has come to dream bigger. The Peavatar Group is now challenging corporations to join in the fight.

Birds Eye Jolly Green Giant how about matching funds with what the community raises?

We will not apeas cancer!

Blog title inspired by a twit from Drew McLellan *  Drew's post on Marketing Profs is wonderful and these are too!

What Does Social Media Mean To You? With Josh Hallett, Julie Squires, Chris Thornton

12/21/2007

What Does Social Media Mean To You? is a continuing video series of Little Sound Bites of thought, insight and fun. Perhaps you'll be on the little Flip video next time we meet!

For Josh, Julie and Chris  .. it's about people, it's a strategy and it's sharing ideas.

Josh Hallett - Hyku Blog New Media Specialist,  Voce Communication

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
A different channel of communication.
People want to be treated like humans.
It's just people talking to  people ; and if you can't have a handle on that than you probably shouldn't be in business in the first place.

Julie Squires - First Light Blog CFO, Softscribe

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
As a marketer it meant total confusion.
As a mother it meant how do I protect my children.
But now because our public relations clients need it, it means a way to become more individual .. it has to be in-line with your strategic objective

Chris Thornton - Chief Marketing Officer Definition 6

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
People willing to share ideas with each other that's more personal, more relevant and less planned. More open which makes it a lot more honest at the end of the day.

View More What Does Social Media Mean To You Interviews
Kevin Nalts, Peter Kim, David Berkowitz
Debby Ruth 

Creative Writing Class Circa Social Media: Twitter

12/18/2007

Teens_computer Twittory stories. 140 middle school students from around the world are writing a story on Twitter. Each student writes a line.  Innovative use of micro blogging that teaches creative writing, about different cultures and perhaps a few students will make a new friend or two. I remember doing something similar at camp and as a theatre exercise. It was great fun to see how the story would unfold. Girlfriend I think this is ultra cool .. I wonder what writers like Nettie Hartstock and Peggy Payne and Beth Kepart have to say.

The many voice story thus far -

In the depths of New York City, on top of the Empire State Building, a creature rested. That creature was me.

As I feel my life slipping away from me, I can barely remember a time when I was happy. I remember my friends and family. Like a dream.

I feel like I'm totaly lost. It's like I'm in a scary movie. I can't even see because it's so foggy. What am I going to do? Where can I go?

Maybe I'll slowly creep away tonight, while the city sleeps, and make my way back to the depths of the ocean. A place I call home. 

As I start down, I can still see movement in the city. So I creep lightly through dark alleys so nobody can see me. Suddenly,

I see a light turn on in a window. My eyes lock with a young woman holding a baby. She screams and I start to run.

Heard it on Twitter (of course!)from Cameron Reilly, GDay World and The Podcast Network. Seems Cameron came up with the original idea. Pink_boaToss of a pink boa to the guy down under and to George Mayo the teacher who is coordinating the project. Alison Stewart, NPR picked up the story.

Perhaps the next Age of Conversation book .. the book that was written by 103 bloggers from all over the world .. will be created via micro blogging (winks to Drew and Gavin and the mahvolus authors!)

This seems to be micro blogging week at Diva Marketing: The Party Line Circa Social Media: Twitter

The Party Line Circa Social Media: Twitter

12/16/2007

Telephone_operator_cir_1904 It's Sunday and I'm multi tasking with a dose of social media thrown in. Reading Twits from around the word. Often referred to as micro blogging following a twitter thread can be like listening in on an old fashion party-line.

What's a party line? Glad you asked. In the days when there were not sufficient lines for everyone to have their own private line people shared a line. When the party line is already in use, if any of the other subscribers to that line pick up the phone, they can hear and participate in the conversation(Wikipedia).

Twitter is an online service that enables you to broadcast short messages to your friends or "followers." It also lets you specify which Twitter users you want to follow so you can read their messages in one place. - Newbie's Guide To Twitter. Other micro blogging tools include Pownce, Jaiku and even one for micro videoing - Hictu.

Curious to what people might chat about in 140 characters or less ..  here is a sample of what my Friends were "twittering" about this Sunday morning.

The Weather was a popular topic from England with Hugh to Susan, Graham, Francois , Kyle and Chris around Boston to in Canada to Marianne in St. Louis and Matt in Cleveland.

Winter trivia from BL. 10 billion snow flakes make one snowman. Frosty who woulda known? After dancing to Aretha Franklin BL has an idea for a new reality show .. Dancing with Dogs. Max would like that one!

Jeremy and Josh are wondering about winter travel plans. While in Canada Maggie has an extra day at home because of the snows.

An inspiring thought to start the week from Dina - When I let go of what I become I might be." Lao Tzu
Amy, Graham and BL twittered a link to a podcast to a lecture by William McDonough, Center for Social Innovation ".. to think beyond the reduction of business externalities when designing industrial and commercial processes, services or products. The goal shouldn't be to do the wrong thing less badly but to do the right thing."

Brian provides some information about Google profiles.

Congrats to Mister Robert Scoble who twittered he was celebrating 7 years of blogging today.

A from the heart twit from Jeremiah who links to wonderful 50 year love story of Chinese couple Liu and Xu. One has to be brave to love like this .. sigh.

Connie  puts out a twit request for a graphic designer to create banner art for cancer fundraising site.

... and the beat goes on. This great quote from Shel Israel wraps up this now Sunday pm post ..

Social media is, in fact, in a dynamic stage and so are the quantification efforts. Shel Israel  SAP Global Survey: Part 4 Business Analysis

What Does Social Media Mean To You? With Kevin Nalts, Peter Kim & David Berkowitz

12/13/2007

What Does Social Media Mean To You? is a continuing video series. Perhaps you'll be on the little Flip video next time we meet!

Question: What do a video guy, a researcher and a guy who works in the SEO biz have in common when in comes to their thoughts about social media? Connecting. Connecting. Connecting. It was the over riding concept in the following videos. Enjoy!

Kevin Nalt - Will Video For Food /YouTube Director & Producer Hire Nalts

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
A break down in geography and the ability to connect in a rich media with  people of similar interests, values, beliefs and humor

Peter Kim Being Peter / Senior Analyst Forrester Research

 

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
A great way to build relationships and cement them in the face-to-face world.

David Berkowitz Marketers Studio /Director of Emerging Media 360i

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
Changing how people expect to interact with any type of content.

More What Does Social Media Me To You Interviews

Debby Ruth, VP Communications Cox Enterprises

Consulting Lessons From Emory Students

12/12/2007

Handshake Many of the folks who pop into Diva Marketing are consultants. Some people are traditional consultants who serve many different clients. Other are internal consultants whose job it is to provide support within their own organizations.

Consulting is a profession where head and heart are both critical. In fact, often the person with the best technical skills may not succeed to the extent as the person with the best people skills. The ability to form and sustain collaborative relationships is key.

One of my favorite undertakings has been co-teaching a management consulting class at
Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. This is my 4th year as part of this innovative course where undergraduate (juniors and seniors) students are matched with non profit "clients" and assume 95% of managing client relations. This unique program was profiled in Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell's ebook Creating Customer Evangelists  - click on Bloomberg Marketing and highlighted in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

It's always a time of fun learning for me. This year I had the pleasure of working with a great class and with one of the most talented consultants in O&M (organization and management)- Prof. Peter Topping. 2007 clients were: AHMENhousing, PeopleTV, Camp Horizon, Cobb Medical Society, Literacy Action, Theatre In The Square, It's A Journey, Atlanta Police Foundation

At our pizza party last class the students told us some of their lessons learned about consulting.

  • There is no set path you have to be ready to change as you go along.
  • I will never forget how important it is to define the scope.
  • You need to know if the client has the ability to implement your recommendations.
  • It would be nice to know if the client will actually do anything with your strategy.
  • Never know how much red tape there will be and what will be simple or easy to get (note in terms of data from the client) or more difficult.
  • I learned I don't want to be a consultant.
  • Understanding the organizational structure and who to go to for information.
  • Everything takes longer than you think.
  • Opinions (about what to do and how to do it) can vary within an organization.
  • Every time we met with the client there was a new piece of information that could have helped us if we had known it sooner.
  • The client's list of stuff he wanted from the project seemed to grow every time we met.
  • Every project is different and you have to adjust to the company (culture).
  • Keep your eyes on the primary goals.

Agree? Disagree? What are your lessons learned from consulting or from working with a consultant?

12 Tips To Creating Social Media Communities

12/07/2007

Community In another online world, I am the moderator of the American Marketing Association's member only Internet Marketing SIG. Recently a community member asked for ideas on how to launch a social networking community for physicians.

I've been hearing buzz about - let's called them the Gotham Cities of communities .. Girl friend, I don't think I need to name names but drop a few initials MS .. FB .. YT .. some people have been saying there is no need for any more.  However, in this highly fragmented world I still believe if you can create a 'long tail/niched' safe environment where people feel  comfortable, the community is relevant, the members are listened to and brought into the development you have a good chance of giving people value and succeeding.

The AMA person should look at this from two view points: the unique challenges of engaging docs and the basics of building community. Here was my response. How do you think community should be build and is there still room in this virtual world for new niche players?

1. Begin with a very clear goal, that goes beyond the number of eye balls, that integrates metrics. As with any marketing strategy (and I assume that this is part of a larger initiative) social media can and should be held accountable. However, the measurements may be (and often are) different. For example instead of the number of unique visitors you might look at length of visit, number of comments, integration of relationships, etc.

2. As in any product/service you can't be all things to all people so who within the doc community are you targeting e.g., new docs, specialists, docs who have an interest in changing the healthcare system, docs who are politically active, etc? Do your conversation categories match their needs and expectations?

3. Once you have the strategic direction developed look at the "pay back"  to the community. Especially with docs where time is a very precious commodity what do they get for participating in your community? Again, taking the mystic out of the equation and approaching it from a product/service marketing point of view  .. what are the benefits? Another example is Sermo, a closed community for *only*  licensed physicians. The benefit is the members are in a 'safe world' .. well quasi safe since Sermo has allowed paid sponsors to listen in to the conversations .. and can share their opinions, exchange ideas without  patients or the larger world listening in.

Sidebar: An (email) interview with the founder of Sermo, Dr. Daniel Palestrant is in the works. One of the questions I asked  Dr. Palestrant - Let’s start with the end game and then fill in some of the details. It appears as though the long-range vision for Sermo is not simply to create a virtual chat room for U.S. docs, but through that community to become the voice of U.S. physicians that in turn, impacts the healthcare system. I had the sense the community wanted to go further too. Please tell Diva readers some of the blueprint that will turn that dream into a reality. Should be an interesting discussion.

4. Perhaps this should be #1 .. always remember that your world is part of consumer generated media and people will talk about what they like and what they don't like in other communities and on blogs and within your own community. Those conversations may not stay in the virtual world but may get picked up by main stream media and you may find yourself on the front page of the WSJ or NYT. So understanding the culture is critical. 

  • Honesty, transparency and authenticity are not nice to haves but *must haves* if you enter this space.

5. Develop guidelines  that give the community room to breath but at the same time define expectations. The right guidelines will also help build trust .. in the community and among its members. If people feel "safe" and appreciated they are more likely to engage. (see #7)

6. Identify authentic champions who can help nurture the community and want to take an active role in its creation.

7. (You) take an active role also in nurturing your community members. Ask for their opinions,  listen to the conversations and if appropriate participate.

8. In building a physician community personal invitations are a must for the initial launch. Word of mouth will build if the community is found to be of value. Consider identifying people who are active within social media worlds e.g., blogs, Facebook, etc.

9. Explore creating a Facebook group. While this may seem counter intuitive it may provide additional awareness.

10. Consider an email strategy that promotes some of the more popular/interesting conversations.

11. What can you do to give back to the larger community? For example is there a way to support a not for profit? Working towards a common cause or goal may encourage strangers to become friends.

  • 12. This deserves repeating .. listen and learn from your community. Make it easy for them to talk to you. Talk to them off community.
        Read more about developing social media communities in Diva Marketing Interviews
        Nancy White
        Elisa Camahort - BlogHer
        Simon Schnieders of BabyChums
        Rebecca Weeks of DivineCaroline

        Thanks to Create The World You Dream for the graphic