Saturday, July 18, 2009

Growing Social Media Presence By Not Using It

I've been interviewing a lot of places lately, and I know a lot of people working in corporate marketing positions of all kinds.

Many of these people, and some of the places I have interviewed at, have fairly aggressive blocking software on the employee work computers. This I understand, as you need to be able to make sure your employees are actually doing their work, and not farting around on Google or checking their fantasy teams, etc.

But the new trend seems to be blocking social networking sites. Yes, these can be addicting to some types of people, so in a way, I can understand it. But on the other hand, the people addicted to social media are usually the ones USING IT CORRECTLY. They're constantly updating their status on FaceBook, leaving comments on friend's pages, and probably updating Twitter along the way.

To my surprise, many of the companies who are claiming to be all about social media, or are attempting to grow their online presence and connect with people are blocking their employees, and that includes everyone from sales and marketing to the president,etc from using social media on the clock. Yeah, some of them have a person who sits and does update Twitter or put news on their Facebook fan pages...they damn well better have that person.

But is that one person really enough? Not when that person has no clue what they are doing. It seems like they just take someone from the marketing department and say "You're the Twitter person now. You also maintain our FaceBook fans page" and just let them do it, no matter how good or bad they may be at it.

You can learn social media as you go along, and in fact, that's pretty much how most of us have done so...but someone like me who doesn't have a corporate reputation behind him can fuck something up and be able to fix it and leave it behind...but if someone screws up the social media reputation of a major company in ANY industry, its possible that they may NEVER recover. They may hit the jackpot like Skittles, and get tons of publicity - or it could fizzle out and pop with a whimper like the dot com bubble back a few short years ago.

Do what you have to do to avoid the latest trend of developing social media by ignoring it. Social media is not the pet media is the hula hoop, the frisbee, the yo yo. Something that comes in as a fad, but rather than going away in spectacular fashion, it stays around, and will always be there. Maybe a different form sometime down the line, but still there.

Where do you work, and what is their social media policy?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is Fake Word Of Mouth Still Word Of Mouth?

I was reading a book about word of mouth the other day, and there was a chapter about underground/guerilla style marketing and how its no longer as effective as it was. The big reason is because there are mainstream marketing companies designing faux underground campaigns that use paid scripted actors who shill products in situations that seem more organic, like they happened naturally.

Is this really the death of word of mouth? I don't think so. No matter how it starts, word of mouth is word of mouth. Just because it may have been originated by an actor memorizing a script, instead of a random happenstance, the resulting communications by those who were affected is still word of mouth. Its still organically grown as time goes on, whether it started accidentally or on purpose.

Yeah, its probably not what some of the first word of mouth people had in mind, but in marketing and related things, I don't think there's ANYTHING that has evolved exactly the way that the originators have planned. Sometimes the natural evolution of a strategy is completely against the original thought, but it still works.

As much as people who utilize underground tactics dislike it, things that happen in the underground that work very well, often are adopted by the mainstream. It happens in music, it happens in art, and it happens in business. It doesn't mean that the tactic no longer works, it just means it will probably be changed a little bit to make it more accessible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Looking For A Blog Sponsor? Try

A little while ago, I was able to run a contest on my blog for a custom poster print. I became aware of because I myself won a contest on someone else's blog that was also sponsored by uprinting. I decided to join the team after checking out their products and seeing some of the things they do for the blogging community, regardless of who the blogger is, or the content of their blog.

Not only do bloggers get to give away things like posters, business cards, brochures and other printed items, but the bloggers themselves are often entered into contests for cash, free printed items, or other things. I have seen some of the finished products that Uprinting produces, and I am happy to have them as a sponsor of my blog. I am pleased to be able to give away products that meet my personal quality standards for use.

Uprinting itself can describe some of the things it does a lot better than I can, so they have produced the message below.

Why isn't your average printing company:

Blog Sponsorships:
If you are looking to find a sponsor for your blog, is definitely interested. We offer giveaways, advertising and more for qualified bloggers.

Non-Profit Sponsorships:
The U-Community Program sponsors hundreds of non-profits and education to improve our local communities.

Social Justice Projects:
The UPrinting Kiva account promotes small business growth in developing countries.

Green Printing:
UPrinting supports a sustainable future by recycling, using non-toxic inks, and offering eco-friendly recycled paper stocks for business cards and postcard printing.