Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s Dead- No, It’s a Clique- No, It’s a Jelly Donut

Social Media is Dead (?)
Geoff Livingston wrote the salacious phrase in the title to his recent blog post explaining why he was discontinuing his involvement in the Blog Potomac events. The gist I took from the post was that social media is no longer a shiny new tool, the province of the innovators.

From Geoff Livingston, www.livingstonbuzz.com

From Geoff Livingston, www.livingstonbuzz.com

While I agree with friend and fellow commentator Greg Verdino that perhaps the world as a whole isn’t so far along the “adoption curve” as Geoff suggests, I also agree that the ultimate end here is that social media finally becomes “media” or part of it; ingrained, rather than ghettoized.

Social Media is a Clique (?)
Yup, I’m linking to Mack Collier again. This time, he muses that some “social media folks,” himself included, may come off as aloof and clique-ish when in fact they are merely shy. Some folks probably act as a clique whether they (we?) mean to or not. Will people recognize the difference between aloof social media “rock stars” and shy people who happen to blog a lot? Probably not. Time to be more outgoing- in person, not just on Twitter and blogs.

Social Media is a Jelly Donut a public servant disaster waiting to happen:

In this post from Shel Holtz, he describes a municipality with a Twitter account in which a few misdirected Tweets led to plug-pulling and denouncement of social media. It led to this quote from a public official:

How anyone could ever suggest that a public body could control a Twitter account is beyond me.

Shel then points to a number of communities that are doing social media just fine, thank you very much. Frankly, I’m not surprised by small-mindedness and short-sightedness at the local government level when it comes to these new scary communication methods. This is a prime example of the kicking-and-screaming road to social media adoption.

Bad Pitch, Good Response
In public relations, reporters- and now bloggers- have always complained about bad pitches. John Cass, who I have known for about four years in the Boston marketing community, actually took on well-liked and popular video blogger and author Gary Vaynerchuk, for a pitch that seemed a bit, well, un-customized. Commenters dissected the pitch pretty well so I won’t. I would like to point out the constant presence of Gary in the comments, showing genuine concern he may have offended and trying to solicit advice on how to improve the process. This is another example of the public seeing the PR sausage being made, and it’s a great example of responding positively to negative publicity.

UPDATE: Gary and John will be on a special live edition of the For Immediate Release Podcast on June 26.

World Events More Important Than Scheduled Website Maintenance (!)
I just wanted to give my nod to the Twitter folks and the U.S. State Department, who combined to delay a scheduled Twitter outage so that the burgeoning democracy movement in Iran could continue to use the tool to communicate. An inconvenience to many in the States, but so what?

15 Responses to Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s Dead- No, It’s a Clique- No, It’s a Jelly Donut

  1. Twitter Comment


    This post is why I read @DougH: Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s Dead- No, It’s a Clique- No, It’s a Jelly Donut [link to post]

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  2. Twitter Comment


    @DougH @veganswines Very distressing.May she rest in peace.

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    Doug Haslam » Blog Archive » Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s … [link to post]

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    socialhelp: Doug Haslam » Blog Archive » Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s … [link to post]

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    Doug Haslam » Blog Archive » Social Media Top 5: Social Media’s …: In this post from Shel Holtz, he descri.. [link to post]

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  6. manufacturer says:

    Social media marketing is what drives us. Twitter is wonderful

  7. map says:

    Social media marketing is what drives us. Twitter is wonderful

  8. John Cass says:

    Doug,

    I was thinking last year that the US election was going to give many business people their “aw ha,” moment regarding social media. Just as the 2004 Howard Dean campaign initiated many new business projects, and probably led to the 2005 Business Week campaign.

    Mmmm… there’s probably a whole thesis on the subject of how US political elections have promoted new marketing and advertising tactics. I’m sure Andrew Jackson’s donkey influenced the concept of image branding, though not as his opponents intended!

    I expected social media to bloom in 2009, I also expected to see many more examples of organizations messing up in social media land.

    Social media is seen as a new channel, while the same old strategies are used for advertising messaging within these new social media tools.

    During the US Elections candidates often used social media as a new advertising medium, but there’s a difference between politics and selling a product. Unless your Harley Davidson, not many product brands have millions of passionate followers to support and conduct a dialogue in online conversations.

    That missing element of existing product community evangelists is probably where most companies fall down.

    While I agree with Geoff that social media is past the innovators. Just like a real implementation of the marketing concept, the idea of conducting a dialogue, or community management is still something that IS in the early adopter stage. Why? The concept is a new strategy for most business people used to the concept of advertising. I think there’s still a very, very important a role for social media experts like Geoff and yourself to explain the concepts beyond the technologies.

    Thanks for the mention about the bad pitch discussion.

  9. Doug Haslam says:

    john,

    Thanks for weighing in, weightily. I really like your point about politicians. Most brands need to work- and think- harder to elicit passion and dialogue if social media is to work for them (I’m certain my friends at SHIFT client Powered Inc. have a lot of opinions on that, especially Aaron Strout.

    Yes, a lot of folks are in “early days” for social media still. I think it’s just as much fun to stick around and see what the rest of the world makes of this stuff.

  10. Skip Bensley says:

    When I talk to clients about Inbound marketing and social media some want to know, others have that doe in the headlights look to them.

    I think social media will continue to grow as more and more people look for additional revenue opportunities and learn more about the process and what is available to them in addition to bricks and mortar marketing.

    How about them Sox?

  11. Twitter Comment


    ‘social media finally becomes “media” or part of it; ingrained, rather than ghettoized’ @DougH [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  12. Aaron Strout says:

    Doug – really nice “digest” post. You are doing a great job acting as a “filter” for those of us that are constantly looking to find the best of the best of the social web.

    John, like Doug, I like your analogy of the recent presidential election to what’s going in the socialsphere with business. Too many companies are really just treating places like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter as other broadcast vehicles rather than seeking to engage their clients. Compounding this issue is that many companies are not fortunate enough to be considered “passion” brands (like Harley Davidson or Disney) so must find proxies for getting their customers to engage with them.

    In our case, we (Powered) work hard to teach our clients to “give before they get” and to do so with meaningful lifestyle focused content that is brand relevant. This means talking about “how to set up a home theater system” vs. “please buy our really cool surround sound system” or “learn how to do digital scrap booking” vs. “check out our cool DVD burner.”

    As more and more companies embrace the concept of truly engaging their customers, the trend of businesses using social as a broadcast/advertising vehicle will hopefully start to go away. In the meantime, there will continue to be a learning curve as companies either choose not to participate in social or worse yet, spend their time yelling at everyone that gets in their way.

    Best,
    Aaron

  13. John Cass says:

    Thanks Doug & Aaron.

    That issue of engagement is the big one, what is engagement, how do you engage? And how do you build an infrastructure. You probably both recall I’ve been the community organizer for the fortune 500 wiki for a year or so. But frankly I’ve come to realize that a census of the industry does not really do much for highlighting the real success stories in the industry. The Ad Age power 150 is probably a better tool for most people to understand who and what should they emulate in the field of social media marketing practices. Yet, even the Power 150 does not rank companies by their level of engagement. Jon Garfunkel and I have worked on models for engagement. I was wondering if you folks think a list that highlights the successful engaging companies will give companies something to aim for? And if so how do we remove the weighting for traffic?

  14. Doug Haslam says:

    Love to see others’ input on John’s question (I’ll rally Twitter troops). Meanwhile, John, links are fine here; can you link to the Fortune 500 wiki for us?

    (Oh, and careful how much weight you give to AdAge 150- this humble blog is befouling that list, though not in danger of cracking the actual top 150 any time soon).

  15. John Cass says:

    Doug,

    Here’s the link to my version of the model. Jon and I took different paths after several months of discussion. But we had different purposes for each of our models. At some point I’d like to see this sort of list put into action.

    http://pr.typepad.com/pr_communications/2009/03/social-media-maturity-index-finding-social-media-engagement-leaders.html

    Doug, I think you should be at the top of the list for the Power 150!

    Here’s the link to the f500 wiki, to contrast. Again, I don’t think a census is as interesting as a list that seeks to point out the successful engaging companies. That sort of list will encourage companies to emulate the leaders.

    http://www.socialtext.net/bizblogs/index.cgi

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