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Social Media Vulnerable & Brave


  • Kinda nice but scary and dangerous dealing with the truth. - To SIr With Love

Flowers danilions blowing Customer feedback is built into the DNA of marketing. Although raw opinions in the public world of the Internet can be unnerving, as marketers we're use to customers evaluating the brands we work on and even the service we provide.

Everyone has an opinion and in our online world millions of people are not shy sharing theirs. Even ten year old Perry Chen reviews films on his site Perry Previews. Click a link or two and you're in the midst of a universe of zillions of ways to review and rate products, services, books and even non profit organizations. 

Blogs and social networks also provide avenues to voice personal opinions. These ideas live in an odd, online, glass house world. Social media unleashed another type of evaluation that many never bargained for .. peer-to-peer judgment.

Often when people talk about social media two words are bounced about: transparency and authenticity.  Here are two more words to add to the mix: vulnerable and brave.

When you step into the social media world and express your opinions you are vulnerable to the challenges of your colleagues and foes. However, at the same time the courage to take that risk is too often rarely acknowledged. Toss of a pink boa to those who are creating thoughtful and thought provoking content that encourages us to reach a little further and learn a little more.

Relationships Don't Matter


Alone person  Relationships don't matter .. to some people. Bloggers like to build relationships with the people who pitch them stories; however, that is not always the case for content publishers like Jeffry Pilcher, of The Financial Brand. 

  • I'm a one-man show running two businesses. I don't have time for touchy-feely stuff. If I could spend my whole day "engaging with my readers," "joining the conversation" and doing phone interviews .. Sadly none of that puts food on my plate.

A few eMail exchanges and a comment on a Diva Marketing post might not a deep relationship make; but they opened a door that resulted in an interesting exchange and this blog post about how one publisher finds content for his online site. Perhaps you'll find a few ideas that will help you write your next blog post.

The Financial Brand_2  About The Financial Brand: The Financial Brand is a niched B2B online publication about banking and brand/marketing. The community has approximately 3,000 active subscribers who read about 50,000 articles every month. The site ranks about 135 on Ad Age's Power 150 list.

Monitoring The Internet & Social Media: Jeffry spends about 90 minutes daily reviewing about 50 Google Alerts, RSS feeds and Twitter searches that he's converted into RSS feeds. His search terms including: bank, credit unions, marketing, advertising, new logo, branding, promotion. He has invested many hours honing these key words. In addition, he also scans Twitter using the special columns in Tweetdeck. 

Organization: What interests Jeffry goes into folders. At the end of the week he reviews all and chooses the five he's going to write about. Although he posts five days a week (Monday through Friday) he usually sets aside time during the weekend to write.

Information relevant to his audience that isn't turned into posts are shared through Twitter @financialbrand. Jeffry has even posted his Twitter policy along with a few Tweet resources. Well worth a visit. 

Diva Marketing: What influences your decision to choose the stories for your publication?

Jeffry Pilcher: The #1 thing that will influence my decision to write a full article is the immediate availability of supporting images/artwork. As a publisher of a marketing/advertising website, it’s vital I have visual examples of what I’m writing about. Who wants to read about a TV campaign or billboard promotion if they can’t see what it looks like? Most press release fail miserably with this. I want your logo, pictures of the people quoted in the release, photos, illustrations, graphs, etc.

Diva Marketing: When you're working with bloggers do you do anything differently than when you work with agencies or brand managers? 

Jeffry Pilcher: I don't work with bloggers. In fact, I almost never work with anyone (for any reason). I don't usually do interviews for stories. I just don't have the time. It takes me an average of 4 hours to write an article already, without interviews.

Diva Marketing: When you find a lead from a blog do you do additional vetting to ensure credibility?

Jeffry Pilcher: I never rely on one source and I Google the heck out of everything. Of the four hours it takes me to create an article, easily one hour is spent researching. Also, remember: If I can't find artwork, photos or imagery, I won't run the story. But once I find the necessary graphics for my story, it's almost as if the sources become irrelevant. I can write my own review of what I see.

Diva Marketing: What advice can you give to bloggers, and other social media content creators, who want to gain exposure with online publications? 

Jeffry Pilcher

  • Make sure 100% of your content is 100% relevant to your audience 100% of the time. (I extend this rule to include ads.) If you do that, you can throw away all the other rules. 

There's a lot of noise out there about stuff like "engagement," "authenticity" and "transparency." I ignore all that crap. I'm running a B2B site. It's business, not casual, nor recreational. My readers want insights and information. Period. All I have to do is give it to them and stay out of the way.

If you feel that relationships are important in blogger relations take a look at this informal studyPulse of the Industry: Blogger Relations

The Secret of Marketing With Women - From The 19th To The 21st Century


Last week Kelley Connors invited me to join a few smart people:  Rob PetersonTom Andersen and Cassie Holm on her popular BlogTalkRadio show Real Women on Health for a chat about How To Gain Women's Trust and Advocacy With Social Media.  FACEBOOK AD  

Pre show Kelley & I were talking and we agreed the emphasis should be Marketing With not Marketing To Women. One world changes the entire concept and impacts strategy.

The culture of social media along with those funny tech tools like blogs, Twitter, social networks, etc., gives us an amazing opportunity to create a collaborative environment where marketers and customers can together create the brand experience.

Our podcast conversation explored a lot of issues, however, at the end of the day, we agreed women want to know that they/we matter. Savvy marketers are trying to build emotional connections by:

1. Listening to what is important to each customer segment.  

2. Realizing that women relate through not only information but stories that speak to their/our personal experiences.  

3. Understanding that the segment "women" is comprised of many niches and what captures one women's attention or heart may not work for another. 

In our world we encounter thousands of marketing messages every day. We are bombarded with traditional advertising to new media ads on Facebook fan pages and Tweet messages to logos on t-shirts and even on our own bodies e.g., tattoos. Women (and men!) pay attention to what is relevant to them. Stories are a powerful element that can create emotional connections, that in turn, help a target market relate to the brand/product.

Not to crush any brand marketer's ego .. but, although many in the social media marketing world would claim it as their own, telling stories that resonate with a specific niche is not a new idea.  Shh .. believe it or not savvy marketers have known the secret for over a 100 years .. probably longer. 

Take a look at the ad for Mellie's Food which came from Scribner's Magazine December, 1897. It is a mom's story about how this brand of baby food helped her daughter to be a healthy, happy, little girl. The photo of  a "real baby" adds credibility and solicits an additional emotional response. An added bonus from Mellie is their offer of a free sample. 

Ad merlins food scribners 12_1897 Copy: 

Rhea Elizabeth Dobbrow. 

A Melli's Food Girl

I am pleased to send you a picture of our baby girl, Rhea Elizabeth Dobbrow. She was nine months old when this was taken and a fine healthy baby. She's had Mellin's Food since she was six weeks old, which I can recommend very highly as being an excellent food for babies. - Mrs. Augustus A. Dobbrow. Alton, R.I. 

Write to us (a postal will do) and we will send you a sample of Mellin's Food free of expense. Doliber-Goodale Company, Boston, MA.

So girlfriend, perhaps we should be taking our learnings not from 21st century brand marketers but those from the 19th century! Combining those lessons with the tools of the social web we can create exciting environments where where people come together in supportive communities to share experiences, information and of course their stories. 

Read More

Tom made available a primary research study on marketing to women through social networks

Note: Borden's print ad is from The Saturday Evening Post Septemeber 11, 1949. Cost of the publication: 15 cents. Yup .. we've come a long way Girlfriend!

Social Media - Learning From Each Other


People learning together  A thank you post to the great people who generously participated and gave of themselves to create a "real time social networking" environment last week at the American Marketing Association Social Media 
in San Antonio. Our day and a half together ended as, it began, with people learning from each other. With their permission, here are some of the take aways and lessons learned from our concluding exercise. 

When building a social media strategy

Focus on achievable outcomes and goals

Consider the pros and cons of various social media platforms

Have a basic understanding of your audience and how they want to receive information

Determine the definition and structure of the plan

Define and refine expected outcomes 

Fit audience to appropriate channels

Value of listening

Balance between professional image and more conversational content in social media 


Be aware of and utilize the "funnel" effect of word of mouth

Make it easy for customers to promote events .. talk about you and your brand

Display outcomes of your customers' suggestions in social media

Building an internal case for social media 

Include cases and testimonials

Ability to prove ROI to management

When considering an outside agency

Looking for quality websites

Active in social media

Thoughtful strategies

Consider longevity of media outlets

Toss of a pink boa to the Pink boaAMA San Antonio Chapter for rolling out the red carpet for our workshop .. especially prez Casidhe Meriwether and Sheila Dunn who handled on site logistics. Watch for some exciting social media initiatives from:

Liberty Mutual, Security Service Federal Credit Union, North Lake College, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, San Jacinto College, Texas Weddings LTD, Esparza Advertising, Center for Medical Humaniites & Ethics,  Eye Care Centers of America, CPS Energy, Medical Present Value, Design Strategies, HNTB, Valero Federal Credit Union, Twist Education, Kovel/Fuller, Scout Communications, Syngenta

What's a marketing event without a few photos? Thank you Casidhe!