Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Truth Is, Social Media Produces Real Relationships, Even Heartbreak

Based on everything happening in the company today and tomorrow I had not anticipated to blog today. I am completely slammed with the launch of our new technology on Wednesday, but some things are just too important.

As I sit here in tears I can barely write. Last night a good friend’s husband passed away from cancer. She called my mother last night when it occurred and I found out a short time ago. Over the last 9 months I watched and prayed as this battle wound up and came to a close last night. I am completely overwhelmed and feeling the pain that comes with loss and seeing someone you care about hurting…

Here’s what you don’t know. This friendship was totally and completely one that began in the social graph. Yes, a very close friend I have never met in person.  Someone I have grown to love as a sister. Someone that has shared the most difficult part of her life with me and mine with her and her husband. A bit dramatic for you?  Too bad!

As my friend kept me posted via Twitter DM’s and Facebook messages, the prognosis continued to degrade as the doctors tried one thing after another. Being asked for prayer from someone you care about is an amazing thing I do not take lightly. My family even got involved in the situation as my “prayer warrior” mother exchanged phone calls with this friend. Praying, supporting and just encouraging the two of them as they faced the inevitable end.

So this morning I posted the following across my social graph: “A good friend of mine lost her husband to cancer last night. Life is very short my friends. Live with no regrets, Love like it’s ur last day”.

My challenge to you today is to take this medium seriously. It is about business and ROI but that all comes through relationships. Be a human being. Care for and help others daily. Just as in real life, you need to be human and establish true lasting relationships. THAT is what makes social media so effective, fulfilling and dynamic.

I love you Cheri!!!!



Filed under Facebook, Social Media, Social Media ROI, Twitter

How Starbucks Influences Social Media On and Offline

There are not too many things in the world that have a lot of influence within as well as outside of the social graph. One of them is no doubt Starbucks for many reasons. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or countless others, this discussion of Starbucks, meetings and appointments always seem to come up.

As many of you have come to understand me, you realize that I am really big on coffee and I frequent many Starbucks locations around the Portland Metro area for meetings. Recently, I have even started posting funny coffee pics of the day to continue and expand the influence I have on the topic. Why you ask???

Within social media, it seems that coffee and even Starbucks are highly connected. Just ask my Starbucks buddy @UltimateVirtual or the Charity Metro Toy Drive I am involved with. Many of our personality types are into coffee and subsequently into Starbucks for their consistency and quantity of locations.

Starbucks has influenced my social media conversations significantly in three main ways:

1) Social Media gets real – My world view of social media marketing says that it is all about building relationships. So it is a must to get social media outside of the social graph exclusively and into phone, face-to-face and email. People buy from people they know and like, we know this. Meeting at a Starbucks creates a relaxed environment to get to know someone and build relationship.

Everyone knows what Starbucks is and where many are located. Setting up and conducting a face-to-face in their environment can be very effective.

2) As a topic – I have found (as stated above) that coffee in our American culture at least, as well as across the social graph is prolific. Many of us are over achievers, innovators and hard working people. This intensity tends to create an atmosphere where many of us connect around this energy drink for bonding and inspiration.

At this point if I simply mention coffee, or check into a Starbucks for a meeting, it automatically opens up conversation and engagement that builds deeper connections with my social graph. Funny? Maybe.  Fun? Definitely.  Effective? My results show that to be true…

3) Through Metro Toy Drive – Since Starbucks happens to be the largest partner for Metro Toy Drive it has become even more integrated into my social marketing awareness and implementation directive. This only makes sense though, right?

Be sure you leverage Coffee appointments and discussions with your social graph to create conversation, build connection and move social out of digital to develop lasting personal and business relationships.


Filed under Facebook, Google Plus, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Video Chat – Google+ X Facebook + Skype = Game on

As Google plus dominated headlines in the social media world, behind the scenes Facebook and Skype had been planning all along. One of the features that Google+ is the “hangout”, which allows you to do group video chats with people in your circles. Unique? Not so much. Unique within social networks, yes. But wait…

When I heard that Microsoft had purchased Skype on May 10th, I knew exactly where this was headed. Since Microsoft’s Bing search and Facebook were already partnering, it was very natural to assume a video partnership was on it’s way. You may recall me posting on my feeds that this was inevitable.

I will reserve my comments and views related to Google Plus for another post, because this morning, I watched Facebook’s Live page, where Mark Zuckerberg announced video calling, using Skype that brings the same functionality to Facebook. In the live broadcast, Zuckerberg explained that on their platform Billions of things are shared everyday. This is no small number and shows how

With 750  million users already on Facebook and additional untold millions using Skype for personal and business efforts, this lightens the media frenzy surrounding Google+. The barrier of adoption for new integration of products and services someone already uses is far lower than getting people to change behavior to something different. This was true when I tried to install the Google Plus Hangout plug-in and my Google Chrome Browser crashed.

More importantly, brand pages have an incredible sales tool to provide customer service, sales and support functions real time right where their fans and friends already reside. That fact is very compelling in my humble opinion. It is yet clear how the pages will connect with the video capability. The incredibly smart move here allows me to stay in Facebook and video chat with my friends/business contacts, without leaving the Facebook infrastructure. That equals ease of use and low barrier to adoption.

It will be interesting to see how all of this integrates into the social graph.  I for one think it is an amazing step forward for social communication.


Filed under Google, Google Plus, Skype, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Social Media Aggregation – 2 Ways To Leverage Daily Online Papers

We have all experienced the frequent feed posts stating “The so-and-so, such and such daily is out – Top stories by:”.  Clicking the link takes you to some or Summify hosted newspaper.  Though many people have latched on to the online paper craze, as a social media professional I am not a fan.

Before you all get up in arms, let’s take a look at this from a social media marketing perspective. We all tend to agree that content drives the social web. The main purpose for content is to drive conversation that leads to relationships, which in turn tend to open up opportunities for revenue and ROI. So whenever you mention one of your followers, there needs to be purpose behind it that leads to relationship and conversation.

My experience is that, for the most part, those that mention me in their daily’s (approx 20-30 times a day), rarely engage with me outside of these mentions. Furthermore, they rarely respond to my replies regarding these mentions. This leads me to conclude that many (not all) use the service as a crutch for their social media campaigns. Taking the lazy way out, rather than truly understanding the medium and what it takes to make it successful long term.

Aggregation of content is a fabulous thing. Using it properly within the social graph can be very powerful.  However, simply automating that aggregation to an “online paper” that has little or no audience, community or engagement connected is doing you more harm than good. If you are determined to use such aggregation papers, here are two simple suggestions to make them more effective.

1) RT the content:  When your online paper sends your automated posts about your followers content, try actually Retweeting the content mentioned. This will give you, the presumed valuable content and your follower much more exposure and increase the opportunity for engagement and conversation.

2) Engage with the followers in your daily:  Rather than just letting the automated online paper system post to your stream, pay attention to the followers the system is aggregating content from and target those followers for conversation. If their content is ending up in your daily, we can presume they are influencing your news feed quite heavily and therefore make them an excellent follower to engage with. Building a relationship with these followers will extend your current reach within the social graph, providing value to your audience, these relationships as well as YOU!


Filed under Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter