Diva Foodies - My Newest (Ad)Venture!


Heartfelt Tips _Free eBookDiva Foodies, is a sister company to Bloomberg Marketing, serving the food industry. 

I am delighted to work with people who are passionate about their business including foodprenerus, chefs, cookbook authors, media companies and caterers.

As with Diva Marketing, the focus is to help grow the business through digital strategies... creating marketing road maps and supporting execution. Of course, at the core of all initiatives are ensuring brand value and end result accountability.

Diva Foodies is proud to host the popular Tweet Chat #FoodTVChat. It's the only Twitter chat bringing TV Chefs Contestants and audience/fans together in a quick paced digital conversation.

Pie Making Pure Joy

Lost in the Social Media Forest ~ Help!


: Help! I'm lost in the social media forest and can't find my way. How do I make sense of it all when every day there seems to be a new social media channel?

Day 2 of #BloggerGroove Challenge: 7 blog posts in 7 days. This time Darren Rowse asked us to create a posted based on an FAQ.

Forest 2 paths _creative commonsIt's far too easy to get lost in the social media world where multiple paths intertwine and new shiny opportunties can take you into places that make no sense for your brand.

Let's put a business spin on it and call these paths "channels." As examples, in the digital/social media space channels would include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube and throw in blogs. It's enough to make even the most experienced digital marketer dizzy.

Add to that each channel has its own quirks, algorithums, audience. Add to that C-H-A-N-G-E-S. Add to that you must determine what resources (people, time, money) you can dedicate to explore and master new channels and updates.

Example. Just this week Instagram, the popular photo sharing platform, released an a la SnapChat feature. Instagram Stories will disappear in 24-hours. Oh no another thing to learn how to use and how to market! Note: Article comparing Instagram and Snapchat that might give you some insights. 


A couple of "IF - Then What " questions that can and should be used with any new social media channel or feature you're considering investing in. Don't fool yourself. Each and everytime you commit to a social channel it becomes an investment and (hopefully!) an asset for your brand. There is no free!

If your customers love Instagram then will they love Instagram Stories?

If your customers are on Snapchat then will they stay on that channel?

If your customers love both Snapchat and Instagram Stories then what is your content game plan?

If you've built assets for Snapchat then how much more development and maintenance will you dedicate?

If you think your customers will migrate to Instagram Stories then what's your game plan?

If you're not sure if your customers will migrate to Instagram Stories then what's your game plan?

No wonder people get lost in the social media forest!

3 additional suggestions that may lessen the stress and even help you enjoy the journey!

Know where you're going, call it -- Define success for you.

Understand how you're going to get there, call it -- Create a roadmap.

Build in time and resources to understand new channels and features call it -- Explore new paths. Forest _create commons

Your turn! How do you navigate the ever changing world of social media?


A Social Media Gift of Little Miracles


Miracle on 34th street"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."

Nope, it's not a new social commerce strategy. It was an innovative sales program

launched in 1947 by Macy's Department Store. In the classic film, Miracle On 34th Street, Mr. Macy took chance on a different way to conduct business.

Customers would not be coerced into buying what they did not want; however, the real courage was if another store had a better or less expensive product Macy's would refer them there. 

Fast forward 65 years into the future and we struggle with similar issues of how to provide value for our customers. Technology has given us an amazing, let's call it a gift, that provides a new way to for us to build relationships and nurture with our customers.

Pull off the pretty red  bow and you'll find digital platforms with funny names like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It's a world where to succeed we have to go beyond a one-off sale to opportunities where three entities: company, employee and custome can create the brand experience .. together. That takes courage too. 

Unlike the impact of Macy's initiative, social media impact reaches beyond just one customer. For the first time, the entire enterprise has skin in the game. The digital relationships that the people who are the heart of your brand can set off a unique chain reaction.

  • Continuous listening -> learning -> understanding -> results in trust ->  leads to loyalty -> leads to the cash register bells ringing. And every time a cash register bell rings a marketer gets a bonus or gets to keep her job (!) .. oops wrong film.

Corner grocery store digital relationships that are build not only with you and your customers, but among your customers and your employees could never have been imagined when Kris Kringle entered Macy's Santa Land in 1947. However, even as we approach 2013, for many organizations open conversations still seem like a Miracle on (insert organization name here) or like the ghost of Xmas future (oops wrong movie again.)

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

As we begin 2013, technology developments spin even faster taking digital business into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '2012.

Imagine a digital destination where you can include your review of the product, service or customer care that influences your or your friends' buying decisions.

Imagine a digital destination where you can talk to a brand employee who doesn't respond with a scripted answer.

IImagine a digital destination that allows for product and service customization.

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

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

Imagine multiple digital devices, moblie, tablet, computer, television not "or" but "and" ... and one day even your glasses! 

Imagine a digital destination where you can chat with people about their experiences and learn from each other .. in real time during your shopping experience. The result is smarter purchases.

Imagine an authenitc conversation, in real time, with your favorite actor, politician, author or reporter who responds to your comments. 

Imagine an authentic conversation with your senior managmenet or an admired corporate executive where ideas are transparently exchanged. 

Imagine an organization that works in partnership with its customers and employees to create a brand experience that is relevant, innovative and imaginative across multiple divices. 

Imagine an organization that cares not simply about for for its customers. 

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

What a funny world we live in. It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2012 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 same:



-Add value

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

I believe that as we learn how to use social media it will change how we conduct business .. leading to  creating an environment where people truly matter. And that my friends, is as couragous and innovative as Mr. Macy's Miracle on 34th Street.

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

Sidebar: A Classic Diva Marketing post based on an article written for American Marketing Association Marketing News.

Max and I wish you a year of little miracles, joy and all things wonderful and bright.

Maxie Santa 2012

Social Media: Winds of Change


At the moviesDo you ever get a line from a film or a song or even a conversation playing over and over in your your mind? Some times for me it's not the exact words but the rhythm of the concept. Today the words were "winds of change" as it is portayed in the award winning film Chocolat (a def must see!) 

These are the opening lines from the Storyteller of Chocolat: Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village ... So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North... 

I've been doing more work with organizations on what Bernie Borges and I termed "Corporate Personal Branding."  I believe as sites like LinkedIn automatically pull data into a common corporate page; and employees' digital footprints continue to multiple throughout the Internet, organizations will realize this is a critical component of social business. It's an aspect that must be managed. Since it would be near impossible to review every employee's digital presence, most likely it will be managed through training and corporate culture norms and expectations.

Corporate Personal Branding Defined: The convergence of corporate branding and employee personal branding, based on the alignment of common values, supported by content creation and social media, for mutual benefit.  As part of a planned strategy each (enterprise and employee) lends their goodwill and influence to the other. The result is a a halo effect that affords opportunities for common and unique goals to be acheived.

Of course the flip side is unless values are aligned and expectations set you can expect some degree of muddy footprints that might require industrial strengh cleaning.  Mr_Clean

Winds of change .. as we've seen time and again with social media as the catalyst. This time it's the fabric of the enterprise that is impacted .. the culture of the organization. Recently I've notice that more companies are taking the time to understand their corporate culture and how it impacts, not only customers, but employees.

No one understands this concept better than a small business owner. With a smaller employee base each person's impact on the work environment is felt. However, no matter how strong the personalites of your staff, culture is set from the CEO .. or the "boss." On MSN Business on Main Marcus Erp asked seven entrepreneurs for their tips on being a better boss. My favorite is #4 See employees as whole people. 

Corporate Values Alignment Exercise

A successful enterprise is built on a culture that is true to yourself while also being true to the values of your brand/organization. To succeed employees must understand their own values and how they align with their company’s brand promise. To help you begin this exciting journey here are a couple of exercises that I often use with clients and in workshops. 

Question 1: What 3 words would you use to describe your company's corporate culture? Example: Excellent customer serivce 

Question 2: What 3 words would you use to describe your personal business values? Example: Cares about people

Question 3: What do you/can you do you to align you values with your company's brand value and promise. Example: Personal satisfaction from helping people quickly resolve their service challenges

Use the Front PORCH approach to building relationships based on corporate personal brand values.

People: Remember each person is unique and relationships are formed with “people” not a company logo.

Organize: Plan how, why and with whom you want to build professional relations (with).

Respect: Respect diverse opinions even when someone has challenges with your company's service, billing, etc.

Contact: Plan how frequently and through what media (phone, eMail, face-to-face, LinkedIn, etc.) you will keep in touch

Hospitality: Bring the culture of your organization into your relationships

Question 4: How will you build relationships that reinforce the culture of your company? Example: Be an advocate for the company brand online and offline.

Let's Have FUN!

MSN Business On Main/Diva Marketing Small Business Tip Contest ~ Win $100!

Your challenge is to share 1 idea on to use social media to support creating corporate culture

Our special guest judge is Bill Flitter, an entrepreneur from the word go. Bill is the founder of several successful companies including Pheedo and dlvr.it.He is also a visionary when it comes to Bill_Flitter online and social content distribution .. seeing trends and opportunities before they became mainstream. When it came to incorporating social media to help support a small business I knew that Bill would be the perfect judge for this contest!

Connect with Bill on @dlvr.it @bflitter dlvr.it blog Facebook

Rules of MSN The Business on Main/Diva Marketing Social Media Small Business Tips Contest 

1. Post your tip for how to use social media for branding on this Diva Marketing post And on this MSN Business On Mail Post. If you don't post on MSN BOM and indicate Diva Marketing you cannot qualify for the $100 prize. 

2. Identify your post on Business On Main with the words Diva Marketing

3. Winner is at the pleasure of Diva Marketing.

4. Contest ends midnight Saturday February 11, 2011.

Note: Since we know how busy you are, we're extending the deadline until midnight Friday February 17th. 

5. You must be at least 18 years of age

6. A valid eMail address must be included on the "Post a Comment Section" of your Diva Marketing comment. (How will I know where to contact you to send your check?)

That's it .. now it's your turn! Wouldn't $100 be a nice Valentine’s present? 

Thanks to Kaye Kaplan from CB Transportation for the brainstorming!

ResourceTaking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee Customer Care by Sybil Stershic.

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MNS Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

At it's ♥ Social Media Is Our Teacher.


One of the aspects of social media that I like most is what is at the very ♥. Try as we might (and we certainly keep trying!) we can't corral it.

Gifts on keyboardSocial media is not the beautifully wrapped box you might have opened last week. It's not the gift that you knew exactly what to expect from the shape or size of the package.

The ribbons on our social media package, just as beautiful as that perfect gift, are slightly skewed. The paper is held together by all sorts of different tapes. And when you rip open the package it's not quite what you might have expected. You see Girlfriends, social media is a messy, magical gift.

Sometimes it's playful and brings innovative new ideas. Sometimes it holds a mirror up to help you understand how the operational side of your business is working .. or not. Sometimes it's comforting with friends supporting your efforts.  

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

Our friends at MSN Business On Main posted an article highlighting characteristics of successful entreprenurs. Steve Strauss identified the Top 3 Traits of the World’s Best Entrepreneurs: Idealistic, Teammates, Character with Character. Steve's post held an ah ah thought for me. 

Take this back to social media. The Internet has given (most of) us, for good or for bad, a digital footprint trail. Your presence, especially on open social networks e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and let's add blogs and blog comments, is so easily findable. You have, by default, let loose into the world .. your personal brand .. along with your digital business card.

Your digital footprint trail provides insights into who you are: Idealistic, Teammate, Character with Character. Even if your social media presence is not tied directly to your company, in an adjunct way, you are part of its digital tapestry and it to you. One more way that you can't corral social media.

During 2011, I began to build personal branding workshops that help organizations leverage the benefits from their employees' personal brands while aligning with the company's brand values. My thoughts are this is a critical piece of the social business puzzle. Bernie Borges termed this "corporate personal branding."

Clara Nelson, one of the awesome project managers at the American Marketing Association, understood the concept. She asked if I would team with Bernie Borges, CEO Find and Convert, to develop a 2-day workshop for AMA: Personal Branding Within The Corporate Workplace. Our podcast offers tips on how to begin your corporate personal branding strategy.

So you see, Divas and Divos, although when you first unwrapped your social media present you might have assumed it was simply a Facebook game or Twitter chat. Social media is so much more. Where it will take us in 2012 is anyone's guess. The one thing I do know for certain .. 

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

With just hours away from bidding 2011, either a fond good bye or a kick in the derriere .. from the Sound of Music  --

 So long, farewell

Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu
To you and you and you

Thank you for your support and friendship. Max and I look forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2012. In the meantime, wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous year where all that you wish comes true. 

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MNS Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

Social Media Changes The Branding Game


Brands abc blocks Do we expect too much from social media and in particular social networks? Marketers anticipate Facebook, Twitter, blogs, video sites a la YouTube, niche communities and now Google+ will not only create awareness, support customer service but increase .. ROI .. revenue. Social media has become a one-stop shop for extending the brand. 

So I got to thinking .. does social media really fit as a branding tactic? First, I guess we better figure out what is this thing called "branding." Barbara Findlay Schenck's post on MSN Business On Main goes into a deep dive about traditional branding. Not only does she tell how to value your brand but provides a few definitions. She describes a brand as ~ Your brand is what people believe about the promise your business upholds and the benefits it consistently delivers

Let's zero in on ~ benefits it consistently delivers. Let's move in closer to the word consistently. Most marketers and branding experts (ah at last we can call someone an "expert" without the world coming to a stop!) would agree that consistently is the secret sauce when it comes to branding. It's what gives us a sense of comfort and security in making that purchase decision. 

There are many elements that build brand offline and in the digital world including the social web. Tactics range from the visual .. consistent logo design across all channels to the strategic .. targeting the same audience in all medias. However, social media adds the dimension of people having conversations. That changes the branding game. 

So I got to thinking .. if social media is about the people/employees behind the brand interacting as their authentic selves, can there still be consistency of brand?  The challenge is how to be yourself in the social web while maintaining the value and promise of your brand.

I like to think of it as adding jimmies (or sprinkles for those of you who didn't grow up in the Boston area) to an ice cream cone. The "brand" is of course the ice cream and the jimmies are the dash of Ice cream cone
extra personality and humanity that people bring to the brand. However, some brands just don't go well with bright pink sprinkles. What can you do if you are a pink person but your brand is mint green? 

Now comes the extra fun part .. You can win $100!

 MSN BOM is providing me with $100 to run a monthly contest. Thank you kindly MSN.  This month's deal. Let's create a list of tips on how a business can use social media for branding.

What is your tip on how to use social media to support branding? The suggestion that Max & I and our special guest judge BL Ochman choose will win 100 dollars

BL&Benny_kiss (3) I am thrilled that internationally, respected, marketer B.L. Ochman has agreed to be our guest judge this month. B.L. has worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them incorporate emerging media as part of their strategy. She is the founder of the popular What's Next Blog and the innovative pet lover's site Paw Fun. Join B.L. on Twitter too! 

To get you started here are .. 

3 Social Media Branding Tips 

1. Build the story of the brand, as well as the brand value and promise, into new employee orientation sessions. 

2. Create an internal communications strategy that keeps all employees up dated about new brand strategies.

3. Ask employees, who are participating in social media how they will be the guardian of the brand, while still being their real self. 

Note: More on social media and branding from Heidi Cohen 

Rules of The Business on Main/Diva Marketing Social Media Branding Tips Contest

1. Post your tip for how to use social media for branding on this Diva Marketing post And on this Business On Main post

2. Identify your post on Business On Main with the words Diva Marketing

3. Winner is at the pleasure of Diva Marketing

4. Contest ends midnight September 15, 2011

5. You must be at least 18 years of age

6. A valid eMail address must be included on the "Post a Comment Section" of your Diva Marketing comment. (How will I know where to contact you to send your check!)

That's it .. now it's your turn!

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

Graphics credit: Luster .. the cute ice cream cones are charms and pins.

Why Don't They Care About Social Media?


Whisper Shh .. I'm going to tell you a secret about social media that no one talks about. But first you have to promise not to tell. If you do people will laugh at you and your social media credibility will vanish faster than last week's greatest tech toy. So you see girlfriend, I have your best interest at heart. Hold that thought for a second.

In the past week no less than three people have said to me something like .. "We know we need to include social media, I mean everyone is doing it; but Toby to put it bluntly, we don't much care."  Doesn't hurt my feelings. I think there are too many people cluttering up the digital air waves with tweets, blogs, Facebook and Linkedin status updates which should be folded back into traditional sales channels. 

However, I couldn't help but wonder .. why don't they care about social media.

1. Could it be the organization doesn't have the resources e.g., people or time to dedicate to an initiative that is on-going?  -  "Yes," I was told, "But ... "

2. Could it be the people don't know how to integrate social media into an overall master marketing plan to ensure it supports the brand? - "Yes," I was told, "But ... "

3. Could it be that VIPs are demanding numbers, spreadsheets, results. It can be confusing how to pull that out.  Polly Wade has written a detailed post, on Business on Main, highlighting five metrics from Jay Baer's book The NOW Revolution. However, Polly also reminds us benefits are found in other ways as well. "Sometimes it's a comment on a blog or connection between two people that can make a world of difference to a company."

4. "Yes," I was told. "Those were all good reasons but .." - But what? Perhaps it was the content. Social media is a long, long LONG time initiative. How do sustain a blog, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform day after day, month after month, year after year? It takes more than a content strategy .. it takes a content direction. 

There are many concepts on how to create content for social media. In her Ask Business on Mail response, Barbara Findlay Schenck advices that, other than in your About page, the personal should not be included in a business blog.

I respectfully disagree with Barbara. For me, social media is about not only sharing knowledge, but sharing your self. How much you "give" is up to you and the culture of your company. However, it is through what one might call the mundane that relationships are built. In the Diva Marketing post Building Social Media Business Relationships With The Mundane I give you 10 Tips to Decorate Your Social Media Walls.  "Yes, content sustainabily is a concern as well." I was told. "But ..." -

As they continued to talk I listened more closely. (Which is what I should have been doing rather than trying to solve the problem right off.) I began piecing the conversations I had together like a giant jig saw puzzle. Then the ah ha moment came!

I realized these people just did not Like social media. Oh sure they might have dabbled in Facebook, created a Linkedn profile and perhaps even tweeted a time or two. However, at the end of the day, it made no sense to them. They considered social media a waste of time .. for them personally. Social media held no value for them.

They grudingly admitted that some of their customers were active on social networks. Perhaps social media might hold a place as a new channel to "message" (ouch!). And of course, everyone was doing it.

It will take more than one chat to help them understand a new way of thinking about business Fail communincation. However, what I could tell them, at that second in time, was there would be better than a 50-50 chance their social media efforts would fail.

Now the big secret. It's critical to have an internal social media champion who Likes social media. Of course, the person should not only understand the impact social media marketing will have on the business and brand, but is actively participating and has strategy and tactic skills. 

A bonus secret .. to be really successful in social media it is not sufficient that you are what is today's hot buzz word - "likeable." You must also like people. But that's a post for another day.

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis.

Graphic credit: The Lost Jacket

Interview with Ed Garsten: Chrysler's Twitter Storm Back-story


Chrysler fiat logo It seems that every five years or so Chyrsler gets caught in a bit of a social media firestorm. Not bad when you think of the volitility of the social web.

For those people who might have been out of the country or unplugged from social media during the past week there were two events that occurred within a day of each other that had the social pundits buzzing and tweeting up a virtual storm. 

One: An agency employee (Chrysler's Marketing Department contacted with a PR firm to be their voice on Twitter) was fired for an inappropriate tweet that ran on Chrysler’s @ChryslerAutos Twitter account. Two: Chrysler severed relations with that agency the day after the tweet was posted.

Too often, especially on the web, it’s easy to connect the dots in ways that don’t always create a true picture. I admit I have been as guilty too.  As Gloria Steinem said on a Marlo Thomas post, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but you think it's a pig... it's a pig.”

Ed Garsten, head of  electronic media for Chrysler, offered an explanation on his blog. I thought it was pretty good. However, like a Pig With Wings, it seemed to me that the pieces of the story are still flying around the social networks.  I, like so many other people, couldn’t connect the dots. What was real? What was not? Pig with wings

I asked my friend, Ed, yes, we are pals, if he would take the opportunity to tell us the back-story on Diva Marketing. Then to open the discussion to lessons learned so we can all benefit. Diva Marketing's goal is always to understand how to use social media to bring people together in ways that support your brand’s value and promise.

Diva Marketing/Toby:  Mister Garsten, this virtual stage is yours .. please connect the dots for us!

Ed Garsten/Chryster:  Thanks for the opportunity, Toby.  Last Wednesday  we noticed, what you would call an “inappropriate Tweet,” coming from the @ChryslerAutos Twitter handle. That’s the handle for the Chrysler Brand and managed by our former social media agency, New Media Strategies (NMS). 

I won’t repeat the tweet, but I’m sure I don’t have to. It was hard to miss.  The tweet denigrated Detroit area drivers using an obscenity. Once we got to the bottom of what happened, we issued a statement relaying the information, apologizing to the public for anyone who may have been offended, and revealed that NMS terminated their employee, who apparently thought he was tweeting from his personal account.

There was a lot of chatter that Chrysler and NMS were cold hearted, terminating a person for a mistake and that using an obscenity on the web is no big deal. Chrysler did not ask for this action. NMS did it on their own.

Indeed, it wasn’t the obscenity at all that we took issue with. As I wrote on the Chrysler blog, it was the fact that we’ve built a tremendous amount of goodwill promoting Detroit and the U.S. auto industry through our TV commercial that first aired during the Super Bowl. That’s the one featuring Detroit-area native Eminem and the catchphrase “Imported From Detroit.” 

Any slam, intended or otherwise, against the great people who live in southeastern Michigan under a Chrysler brand banner is unacceptable and compromises the progress we made in a few short weeks.

By the next day, the company decided to cut its ties with NMS. Again, not because of one inappropriate Tweet, but for a collection of missteps that I’m not at liberty to discuss.

We issued a release announcing this development at about the same time I posted my blog item on the corporate blog.  We also spent the next couple of days responding to many tweets while posting the link to our blog, and to third-party stories that most fairly portrayed the situation.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Thanks Ed. Let's explore now how Chrysler is currently incorporating social medial.  Not to give away trade secrets, but what is Chrysler’s high level direction when it comes to participating in the social web?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: Having gone through three owners in five years the direction has changed about as often.  Thankfully, Fiat is aggressive in social media and all of the brand heads are turning to social media for everything from product launches (2011 Dodge Durango) to promoting marketing campaigns, and building communities. 

We’re also encouraged, and do, engage with the public on customer service issues, solving some, but not all, but nevertheless, pleasing consumers that they are able to speak directly to Chrysler.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Chrysler is obviously, subcontracting part of its “voice” in social media to agencies. Why did you choose to go this route instead of keeping all of social media participation in-house with the brands's employees?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: It’s a split decision, Toby. Marketing prefers to use an agency; we in corporate communications do everything ourselves.

As you know, it’s not uncommon for a company to outsource its social media activities and splitting the duties does have its challenges. However, we work closely with marketing to make sure messaging is consistent and there is a minimum of redundancy.

Toby/Diva Marketing: I always say, "Those who hold the conversation, hold the relationship." What does a brand gain by allowing an agency to hold the social conversations for it?

Ed Garsten/Chryster:  Basically, bodies. The auto industry has a long history of  using contract employees and agencies as a means of getting work done with a minimum of back-end costs. The trick is the brand must strongly direct the agency and the plan begins to fall apart when the agency decides to “freelance” on messaging.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Hmm .. perhaps it's time to reevalute that dated out sourced model. On the flip side, what does a brand give-up by allowing an agency to “talk” for the brand?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: Immediate control. The agency gets its direction from the company, but once the conversation begins, it can get off track very easily.

Toby/Diva Marketing: The world knows now that ChryslerAutos was authored by a PR agency. However, the bio on the Twitter page simply states: The official Twitter handle of Chrysler vehicle In keeping with the concept of social media transparency, why did Chrysler not indicate that in the bio?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: Good question. I honestly don’t know. As I mentioned, NMS worked for the marketing department and unfortunately, I wasn’t in on those decisions.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What I find interesting is the difference in approach to social media between Marketing and Corporate. Will Chrysler continue to engage third parties to author social media platforms? If so, how will you ensure Chrysler's brand’s values and promise are not compromised?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: We’re re-examining our strategy, although there is a strong possibility of going with a new agency, but perhaps more participation internally in creating content and engagement.

Toby/Diva Marketing: I'd fight for keeping it internal Ed! What are the critical lessons learned that we should all keep in mind from this experience?

Ed Garsten/Chryster:  Keep a tight rein on your agencies. Strictly forbid those who have access to your social media accounts from doing so on devices that are also used to access personal accounts.

React as quickly as possible. Even if you don’t know all the facts, let the public know you’re aware of the situation and will update them as you learn more.

Closely monitor the conversation and use social media to join that conversation to clear up any misconceptions or inaccurate reporting.

Toby/Diva Marketing: This week an Aflac tweeter joined the club of people who are misrepresenting the brand they work for. I strongly believe that part of the "fix" should be ensuring that Everyone who is involved in a brand's social media initiative understand the brand's value and promise. That means more than just messaging but getting it from the gut and heart. 

In Chrylser's case, I can't help but wonder if the agency dude had understood what Chrysler's Made in Detroit initiative was trying to accomplish (beyond just selling a few cars) if we might not be chatting righ now. 

The tweets aside, Chrysler is doing some interesting work in social. What’s cool on the horizon that you can share with us?

Ed Garsten/Chryster: We’re looking more at growing our mobile presence to better reach folks through their smartphones and iPads. We’re also using social media to launch vehicles rather than the typical auto show press days.

Why only tell reporters—tell everyone! It’s important to remember, our company isn’t quite two years old.  We basically started over again on June 9, 2009 when Fiat came in to manage the company, so we’re running fast to make up ground.

Toby/Diva Marketing: As a blogger, brands and agencies often share campaigns with me. Recently, I’ve been presented with several new auto campaigns. While the concepts are exciting, none address the women’s market.  Btw .. I must admit it’s a little frustrating. Does Chrysler have plans to engage with “my people" .. especially with women over 40?

Ed Garsten/Chryster:  I’m not aware of anything specifically, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something in the works.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Hope so! Let’s wrap this with a similar question to the one I asked you in our 2005 interview:

Ed Garsten On Social Media

It’s the lawless society that presents innumerable opportunities to connect with people and communities and has given virtually anyone who can log on a voice.  From a company’s point of view, we’re able to directly connect with our customers, prospects, stakeholders, employees, investors without the middleman of the mainstream media.

Thanks my friend .. a toss of a pink boa! Pink boa

Interview with Jamie Turner, Author of How To Make Money with Social Media


Business has always been organized around people. However, in the last several decades, with the onset of mass marketing and global commerce, somehow too many marketers lost sight of that truism.  It was too easy and at the same time too difficult to remember that business begins with the personal. 

In the past decade, along came the internet and with that new ways to connect with customers in a digital environment. And it was a very good thing.

However, the cries from the C-Suite often were not where's the beef, but where's the $$? My friend Jamie Turner wrote a bout that addresses that issue. In our interview I challenged him to answer his own question .. "How do you make money with social media?" 

How to make money with social media Jamie Turner is the Chief Content Officer for the 60 Second Marketer, the online magazine of BKV Digital and Direct Response. He is also the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media, which is available at fine bookstores (and a few not-so-fine bookstores) everywhere. @60secondtweets

Diva Marketing/Toby: Before we dive into this interview, let’s set the stage with a question I often ask, “What does social media mean to you?”

Jamie Turner: Several years ago, someone I respect a great deal named Toby Bloomberg introduced me to social media. One of the first things she said to me was that social media was about having a conversation. I’ve always been grateful for the insight you provided me from the very start.

That said, if you’re a business, social media isn’t just about a conversation – it’s also about turning that conversation into revenue. After all, businesses don’t do social media to be social – they do social media to make money. That’s something that’s overlooked way too frequently.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Oh, blush .. and look where you are now .. a famous author! But Jamie, there are zillions of books about social media with more published every second, or so it seems. Why this book? What was special about your vision that the reader would take away from the read? 

Jamie Turner: This is one of the few books out there that provides a step-by-step roadmap on how to set up a social media campaign so that it generates a return on investment. Most of the other books on social media are just about the conversation. This one is about turning the conversation into revenue.

Diva Marketing/Toby: The title of your book is captivating. It s indeed the $10 million dollar question! So, Jamie let’s cut to the chase .. what is the insider’s secret on using social media to make money?

Jamie Turner: Okay, first the bad news. If you’re going to make money with social media, you’re going to have to know math. That was a surprise to me when I first started writing the book, but the math is relatively simple once you get the hang of it.

The math starts with a direct response formula called Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). In its simplest form, CLV is the amount of revenue a typical customer generates for your business over the course of their engagement with your brand.

So, if you’re a lawn care company and the typical customer is generating $80/month and stays with you an average of 3 years, then your CLV is $2,880. Once you know your Customer Lifetime Value, you can then calculate how much you’d be willing to spend to acquire a customer, which is called your Cost Per Sale (CPS).

In most cases, Cost Per Sale is 10% of your Customer Lifetime Value. In the case of the lawncare company, the Cost Per Sale would be $280. In other words, you’d be willing to invest $280 to acquire a customer that will generate $2,880 for your company during their engagement with your brand.

Once you’ve established your Customer Lifetime Value and once you know your Cost Per Sale, then you can use those figures to help calculate the ROI of your social media campaign.

For example, going back to the lawn care company, you might spend $280,000 on an extensive social media campaign that includes YouTube videos, Facebook promotions, Twitter updates, LinkedIn updates, e-newsletters and other social media tools. But, if that $280,000 generates 1,000 new customers, then you know your Cost Per Sale was $280, which works out perfectly.

It sounds complex the first time you come across the formulas. But if you understand Customer Lifetime Value and Cost Per Sale, you’re well on your way to making money with social media.

Diva Marketing/Toby: In your book you compare a successful social media to that of a successful marriage built on great mutual communication. I get the communication part, but how does that really play out in the social web?

Jamie Turner: When I first started in social media many years ago, I thought you could just do it in 15 minutes a day, so I’d crank up my computer in the morning, spend 15 minutes on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and then sit back and wait. And wait. And wait.

Unfortunately, nothing happened. Which is when I shifted over to an ongoing conversation during the entire course of the day.

Like any good relationship, a social media relationship has to be ongoing. You can’t have a successful marriage in 15 minutes a day. Nor can you have a successful social media campaign.

Diva Marketing/Toby: One of the most allusive aspects of a social media strategy has always been aligning it with Return On Investment. For some people ROI translates only to sales dollars. For other people ROI can mean a set of metrics that support a strategy’s goals. Which camp are you in and why?

Jamie Turner: That’s a good question. I’m definitely in the ROI camp. After all, in this day and age, the Chief Financial Officer wants to see specific results for their investment. When you use the formulas outlined above and covered in detail in the book, you can track your ROI and show the CFO that for every $1 invested in social media, it generated $10 or more in revenue.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Let’s wrap this by playing “what if.” What if a client came to you to create the ultimate social media initiative that would lead to making the cash register sing. How would go about creating that program?

Jamie Turner: I would do what Dell does and what we do here at BKV. That is, I’d make sure that every social media channel has a link that drives through to a landing page on our website. In Dell’s case, that landing page sells their products directly via e-commerce. In BKV’s case (we’re an ad agency), we have to track downloads of our white papers, then re-market to those prospects to see if we can turn them into customers.

The bottom line is that it’s all track-able. As such, we’re able to show a return-on-investment. So, in a nutshell, the ultimate social media initiative is one that can be tracked and measured on an ROI basis.

Blogger Disclaimer: Jamie kindly comped me a copy of his book.

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Social Media Lessons For Brands & Their Agencies From Football


Social media use is a contact sport, not a spectator sport. The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter, Allison Fine

49775_49ers_raiders_football It's so easy to buy your bag of peanuts and sit in the bleachers as you watch your agency kick the ball into flight. Oh sure, you might have been in the Xs & Os meeting helping to create the strategy. You feel that you are an integral part of the play.  And you very well may be.

However, huddled with your branded blanket, watching the game you're not on the field. Unlike an advertisement, press release or CEO speech where your customers accept that someone else has crafted the words, your fans assume that it is You the Brand People who are playing on the field.

Not only have you shifted reality for your raving fans but you've relinquished control of the ball/ brand to your agency. Remember: who ever controls the play (or the conversation) controls the relationship.

Even the best intentioned interactive, ad, PR agencies or consultants can easily fall into the illusion that doing less for a client is actually doing more.

Client cheers!

We don't have time.

The agency can write better than our CEO.

Who will know or care if a tweet comes from the agency or the brand people?Patriots junior cheerleaders

Doing more is built into the DNA of the billable hour agency model.

Agency cheers!

The more we do the more you'll love us.

The stronger the relation.

The more we'll get paid.

When it comes to an agency or consultant social media service (versus social media services) there is a new model emerging. It's one built on positioning the agency or consultant as a "sherpa" who guides and advises. That is far more critical than writing a tweet or a Facebook status up date. It's also far more difficult.

Instead of the client sitting in the stands encouragng the agency to make that social media touchdown, the agency becomes the cheer leader and the coach. The brand people make the plays and interact with their fans.

Role & Responsibilities of the New Social Media Agency/Consultant

High Level Perspective - The role of the social media agency/consultant becomes much more complex as a social media sherpa. A trusted partnership must exist which crosses every area/department that touches the customer .. from marketing communications, consumer insights and PR to customer care, HR and beyond. I call this aligning the social enterprise.

Creating Strategy- Development of integrated plan. Helping to develop guidelines. Leading conversations about social media ethics, transparency, authenticity as it relates to the company culture and brand values/promise.

Monitoring the Conversations On The Social Web - Utilizing tools to create reports that track what the discussions about the brand, industry, people etc.   

Tracking Changes in Tools & New Tools - Social media is moving faster than the average speed of a football thrown in an NFL game (40-60 MPH). It's a challenge to keep up (How many times in the past month has Facebook changed it's rules? Or LinkedIn it's functionality?) with the continuous developments in social media. Providing analysis of which are beneficial and which are shiny new toys.

Creative - Development/building out of branded social media platforms e.g., Facebook, games, ads.

Update: Forgot one of the most important roles ... 

Education: Helping your clients understand not only the culture of social media and the big picture but the tactical execution e.g., how to write tweets, posts,etc., social media etiquette and ethics, participating versus messaging, etc.

There are many ways an agency or consultant can be of social media service to a client beyond kicking the social media ball on the field.