Monthly Archives: April 2011

Shocking New Social Media Lows – MySpace Bottom Feeding

I received another email from the once Social Network leader and innovator.  This one blew me away though!

Imagine if Ford announced that they would no longer build engines, but instead buy them from Chevrolet. What if in the same announcement they also proclaimed that they would now be using only Chevy stamped steel. As a matter of fact, what if Ford said all they would be doing anymore was designing vehicles and painting them. THAT’S exactly what it appears MySpace is now doing.

Check out this email and the advertising they are doing for one Facebook. How many of us would of guessed we would see something like this 8 years ago? Not too many I suspect. Though three years ago, many that know me will remember I actually did predict what we are seeing today.

Now if you no longer build the engine for your car, you barely design any of its features, but instead modify what you are designing to fit the parts and pieces of your competitor, what is left? This my friends is the big question. I submit that it is all over but the shouting.

So where does that leave the industry? In my humble opinion, when competition diminishes, it creates a vacuum. That vacuum either becomes a driving force for new players to arise  and lead new innovation -or- sadly the remaining players to dominate, dictate and take advantage of consumers.

Like it or not, this email marks a significant stage of the Social Media space in general, and social media marketing as a whole. Will Google, Microsoft or some yet unknown start-up create something brilliant and level the playing field for users and business alike. Or, with the Goliath Facebook/Twitter platforms dictate to us how social media content, management and marketing will play out.

My fingers are crossed!

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

5 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Google, Hootsuite, MySpace, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

Reasons Why I am About DONE With TrueTwit

Spam has become a four letter word in our society. Within Social Media, the term has transcended most understood meanings to become a universal description of anything an individual doesn’t like within a social network. This challenge for some has given rise to tools such as TrueTwit, which attempt to remove that frustration that people have created, bought into or truly believe they have.

Yes, I know I am sounding a bit negative and many of you are seething inside, ready to unleash your proper etiquette stance within my comment section. I realize there are two staunch camps out there in the social media space. One that has no care or concern and will do whatever they can to market and make money. The other camp is largely comprised of purists that state any automation or tool outside of a keyboard is a sin inside of social media.

Let me try and take the middle ground here and question the use of said tools and why I am very close to no longer validating myself.

1) For the few, the many:  Yes, I tend to be on the conservative side of things. I have a real problem when the many have to pay for the actions of just a few. This is exactly how I see this debate. Why am I being penalized when I am not the bot?

2) My time over yours:  How come I have to spend 20 minutes a day validating myself when I am the easily validated human being? Why wont you take the mere seconds necessary to view my bio and timeline, let alone Klout score?

3) Reciprocation:  I painstakingly review every persons bio before I follow them.  I also review their bio and timeline whenever I engage with them. Why? So I get a sense of who they are, how I can help them and what their interests are. This shouldn’t be a rare thing you do, it should be an always thing you do.

4) Just plain lazy: I got to tell you.  I have never had any problem identifying a bot, nor has any bot on Twitter ever harmed me in any way. First, why are you afraid? Secondly, you are starting a relationship with your followers based on distrust, not trust. Do you know of any effective relationships that work out well on that foundation?

Finally, here is where I sum it all up. I can’t recall too many people I followed that use TrueTwit and have been all that engaging, effective or someone I promote. Again, no hate mail, just listen to one persons point of view and consider how you are starting relationships within the social graph. For these and other reasons, I am now seriously considering saving my 20 minutes per day validating as I am. I think that time could go to better uses engaging with people that understand social media enough to build relationships not focus on “bot-free” followers.

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

38 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, TrueTwit, Twitter, Uncategorized

Everyone Needs A Good Poke Now and Then – The Social Media Touch

I was thinking the other day about when I was twenty years old and the 55 employee marketing firm I had. Those were crazy times and I had a lot of responsibility at that early age. With so many people in my company, it was very difficult to spend a lot of one-on-one time, so I had to develop some alternatives.

While thinking about old Concepts Marketing, I started to draw some similarities to Social Media. We were a very young company, trendy and there were a lot of us. We had four in our information technology group and only another 3-4 in supervisory roles. Communication was fast and furious. If you missed it, you “missed” it.

One of the things I often did in my firm was walk the “floor”. I would cruise through the maze of cubicles and simply make eye contact with people. I realized early on that I could leverage my relationship with my team just by making eye contact a few times per day. It became apparent that when I took the time to have short conversations with all levels in my organization, coupled with the frequent group trainings and meetings, a simple hello or eye contact went a long way. Frequently, production went up, team work doubled and relationships flourished with the use of this simple leadership technique.

So how does all this connect to social media marketing, Twitter, Facebook and the entire social graph? Everyone needs a good Poke now and then. What I mean by that is this; We all need to be conscious with intent in our networking efforts for ourselves and out clients. We need to be aware of the influencers and followers that can further our brand, products and ROI. We also need to be sure we are helping those in our social networks achieve their goals and ambitions.

Sometimes a simple “Poke” on Facebook, a Hello on Twitter, a comment on a blog or an introduction on Linkedin goes a long way. I call it frequent touch. Make sure you have a list of the individuals within your social graph that bring value to your efforts and reward them by poking them back. Not literally, of course, but through some of these examples above. Let your fans, friends, readers and followers know you appreciate them, not in word, but in deed!

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

4 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

3 Social Media Eggs For Your Basket

As kids, we would all run like crazy to find as many hidden Easter Eggs and treats as we could find. Most of us did all we could to get the most in our basket before anyone else did. Usually, we didn’t care what kind of candy it was we found, whether it was a treat we would eat or not. We simply wanted to have the most in our basket. Remember?

As I pondered the Easter Egg Hunt this holiday and how it relates to Social Media, this analogy of many Twitter and Facebook users came to mind. Too many people are not spending the time to kind the proper target audience. They don’t have a strategy for growing their following and fan base. There is no conscious effort, only as many eggs they can put in their basket.

Sometimes this is done out of simple ignorance and sometimes it is intentional. Intentional in the fact that ego and pride overshadow strategy and effectiveness. In my view ignorance is a far better short coming then ego. For those that have a desire to be targeted and aren’t sure how, I wanted to give you some direction that we use and is helpful to our many clients and those I consult on social media marketing and strategy.

1) Work backwards: Start by clearly identifying your target market, both geographically as well as demographically. You must understand who your audience needs to be.

2) Determine their voice: Once you have identified your audience, spend some time understanding what they are talking about within the social graph. Knowing what they are talking about allows you to find and follow them.

3) Develop valuable content: Knowing your target audience and what they are talking about also helps you to understand what they will find valuable. Be sure that your strategy incorporates the posting of consistent content that your audience will find valuable. This not only helps others find you, but strengthens your relationships with existing followers and fans.

Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or any other Social Network, you must be targeted with your connections, content and engagement.

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

8 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

My Thoughts on the HootSuite Outage Today

#fail

#justsayin

6 Comments

Filed under Hootsuite, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

Micro Managing Social Media, An Open Letter to Executives

I am frequently contacted by social media managers within larger regional and national companies asking me for help and advice. Many times I give them my recommendations and hear that their managers or executives won’t allow them to execute these tactics that many of us already know work and are needed. Nothing crazy even, the simple things I often write about on this blog.

Since this occurred again, twice already this week, I have decided to address it by writing a letter to your boss for you. I suggest you print it, attach it to a 2 x 4 and go whack them over the head with it. (figuratively of course)

(This is dedicated to two unnamed people I know. You know who you are)  Enjoy!

Dear Executive,

As a fairly well known social media practitioner with a slew of wins, examples and ROI results within the space, I wanted to applaud you for deciding to get your company in the social media marketing venue. Though you do tweet once a day and have 102 followers you never engage with, your decision can have a huge impact on your business. Between your Twitter and Facebook friend list of 141, you clearly get social media management and will no doubt do a great job overseeing and controlling your new on staff expert. For this you should really be commended.

We all know that your superior intellect has led the company to this decision, albeit well behind your competition and even startups that are so far ahead of you at this point it is not going to be easy. Nonetheless, it is your savvy leadership and marketing expertise that has brought you to the point of hiring your new “Social Media Manager”. We know you made the right choice on the individual you hired because you selected them out of the 122 you interviewed. Clearly they know how to manage your brands presence.

Now that you are a few weeks or months into this new “campaign” you initiated and are still taking an over-active role in, you seem to be frustrated with the results, or as you put it, “the lack thereof”. I’m wondering if it is because your social media manager has to vet every single tweet with you for your expert advice and revisions? Could it be that since you refuse to let them speak to your team in the field that actually talk to your customers, your staff aren’t even aware of how to discuss it to make it grow and mature? Or is it possibly that, as usual, your controlling know-it-all management style is crippling the person you hired, not allowing them to actually be social and build relationships with your audience?

You’re right, as usual. Those couldn’t possibly be the reasons. The fact that you hired someone that you trusted and knows what they are doing in something you barely conceptualize would never be a reason you would micro manage it. We all know you are too smart about everything to let this be a beneficial vehicle for your company to grow and dominate.

So again, I just wanted to applaud your decision to get into social media marketing. When you have gone through 14 other social media managers that left to be executives with competitors and are now actually getting traction within the social graph, we will have you to thank. And as we are all sitting on the beach unemployed, we will look at you sitting there with us and shake our heads at the mastery of management and true visionary you are.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

P.S. – I know you never listen to my ideas or my advice based on experience and expertise, but I wanted you to know we may want to hire a consultant like Robert to come in and give you an education on how to better manage me and our social media efforts. :-)


37 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

A Real Example of Employee Social Media Perfection

So I arrived in Seattle yesterday for my talk on Social Media Content in the early evening. It was a long drive and I was needing to find a place to eat and meet with a few colleagues. I checked online for places close by and came across The Ram Restaurant and Brewery, which had a location not too far from my hotel in Kent.

I notified the people I was going to meet and headed over to the restaurant and grabbed a booth in the bar area. The place wasn’t packed, but it was easiest to jump into the bar and seat myself, rather than wait at the front for someone to notice me standing there.

As usual I grabbed my trusty Android and opened my Foursquare app to check in. Right about then my server, Jen S. showed up with a smile. After an initial greeting and a huge smile, she noticed my phone and said “hey, are you going on Facebook? Be sure to check in and let your friends know about us. We are also on Twitter too, but I don’t know much about that.”

I was blown away. I speak on social media a lot and consult with many retail businesses large and small about how to use it effectively. In all of my talks and consulting with clients, I have never seen an employee do exactly what I try to teach, to ME! Needless to say I was very impressed.

Assuming this was a behavior that was corporate trained, I engaged her in a discussion about it. She let me know that it was not. Jen said that management of the location does not train for this, but she took it upon herself to try to use the medium to increase business at her location. Pointing around the mostly empty bar area, she said “well look at it in here. It’s not like we are packed every day, so someone needs to do something to increase our exposure and let more people know how awesome we are.”

If you are a social media strategist, consultant or manager, you must get your client and their staff on board with what Jen has done. This exemplifies social media marketing done well and without question will produce amazing results and ROI, should other staff and management follow Jen’s lead.

Hey Ram? We need to talk! Jen is on to something you need to implement corporate wide. I know the two people you should speak with immediately to establish and implement a sound social media strategy. Jen and myself.

By: Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

19 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized