Social Media Main Focus of Agency Execs

Social media gets a lot of airplay these days thanks to its popularity and emergence across various channels of consumer media. Many of today’s more popular shows and networks such as ESPN, TNT, and even Univision’s Sabado Gigante are using social media tools such as Twitter to engage with fans. Our focus as champions of social media needs to shift from adoption to strategy.

A recent Strata survey sheds some light on the state of social media as a means for reaching different audiences and where the focus lies from an agency exec perspective.

Allow me to take some time here to point out the fact that Latinos overindex on their use of social media and are actively engaging in the new media arena to connect with friends, followers, brands and more. Latino digital spend is an argument we won’t get into but social media and Latinos is a perfect match commanding its fair share of attention.

The Art of Community

Online groups of all shapes and sizes from private discussion boards, open spaces, social networks, digital magazines, and distribution lists to Facebook pages find themselves in a race to generate interest and build community.

As these budding digital destinations evolve, moderators must be aware of the elements that play a role in online etiquette. With much size comes much responsibility. Content creators and group leaders are expected to adhere to the rules of common courtesy and respect for all involved.

Here are a few examples of what not to do when trying to build a thriving online destination:

1. Failing to give credit to where credit is due.

Ex. Posting content owned by another party without proper attribution.

2. Trying to use humor as a panacea.

3. Thinking your site is immune to Human Relations 101.

Respect can go a long way for members and nonmembers.

4. Failing to provide the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

5. Thinking your site is the only answer.

The beauty of the internet is that there is enough room for many players in any given niche.

These are just a few no no’s that come to mind when trying to build and maintain an online community.

Respect, empathy, and freshness can go a long way in ensuring continued growth and a legitimate internet presence.

Skills for the Next Gen Marketer

Agility

Learners who have the ability to adapt quickly and handle the twists and turns which face marketers on a daily basis.

Digital Understanding

A fundamemtal awareness and keen understanding of what’s happening in the digital arena including the always popular world of social media.

Integrated-Marketing Capabilities (My favorite for obvious reasons.)

Consumers are bombarded with information from various angles oftentimes left to deal with cluttered and competing messages. Integrated marketing communications bridge this gap by applying an important element of orchestration to the marketing mix.

Industry Specific Knowledge

Some industries involve a steep learning curve that can only be conquered through experience and first hand knowledge.

These are fantastic recommendations and very relevant skills needed for next generation marketing. However, I believe that we can also add the following:

Cultural Awareness

Audiences are more diverse than ever before. Growing populations such as the Latino market are comprised of cultural nuances that oftentimes determine the success or failure of a communications effort.

Investing in yourself should be an ongoing process.

 

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Where Community Organizing and Social Media Collide

The overall focus of the conference held at Allan Hancock College was bridging the gap between community organizing and today’s new media tools. Of course, as a new media connoisseur it was a can’t miss opportunity to participate in an event where social media and technology were the stars of the show.

In fact, at one point we had the exciting privelege of conferencing in Juan Sepúlveda, Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, via Skype! The audience was locked in and impressed with this unique experience which showcased the power of today’s new media communication tools. Mission accomplished!

Overall, the conference was a beginning point for what is sure to be landmark activity in creating a groundswell of momentum that impacts the Latinosphere on multiple fronts from community organizing, marketing, public relations, and education to voter engagement, health, job growth, and beyond.

Activate! Spark! Inspire!

Purpose in Social Media and Beyond

Saving Private Ryan is a film that at this very moment is trending on twitter. For good reason, this film won five Academy Awards! One of my favorite scenes in the film is where Tom Hanks tells Private Ryan “James… earn this. Earn it.”

Community managers and storytellers alike can learn a lot from this scene. There are numerous articles about the difference between paid, earned, and owned media. For this particular post, it serves us well to focus on the elements of earned media or earned attention across a fragmented audience environment.

How can we effectively establish profitable business relationships, unique customer experiences, and personal growth? How can we ‘earn’ attention, conversations, and share of voice?

By placing an importance on real purpose.

Today’s audiences are fully capable of recognizing authentic and real purpose.

Consider this direction, committment, and dedication as the real fuel that is sure to elevate your efforts in business and beyond.

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The perks of conversation are too few and far in between. We must remedy the situation by maintaining a constant effort to keep our fans and followers interested. Recency breeds reaction…and our focus as content creators should always be on keeping things fresh. It’s good to be so fresh and so clean that our audience keeps coming back for more.

Consistency matters in the chase for relevance.

A small but strong reminder as we continue our social media journey.

The Crowd Syndrome

Popularity is a tricky thing. It’s measure can reside with the masses or take up camp in the mind of an individual striving to capture attention and generate interest. In the journey towards validation, we often mistake a good sized crowd for an engaged audience. In the world of social media, being present matters over presence.

There is no engagement in numbers. Data might paint a nice picture and speak to quantity but quality interactions and true conversation take a crowd from mass to measurable impact.

Let’s not strive for numbers but rather value-added interaction.

This is where true synergy lies.

Four Keys To Organizational Longevity

You wake up one morning inspired ready to take hold of the future and create a social movement. Maybe it was a simple question that caught your attention and interest or perhaps a little unexpected motivation. The next thing you know…you’re in hyper-drive fully engaged in the transformation from brainstorming to the awesome arena of…action! Armed with the strength and reach of the internet, your every desire is to plant a seed, water it, and watch it grow!

The passion and fire we experience in those moments of ideation and inspiration should serve as the fuel to keep the train moving full speed ahead.

However, the road to actualization and reality can be quite ferocious causing us to lose sight of our values, mission, and what really matters.

Following are four helpful steps for making sure your influential and game-changing group is in for the long haul. (And I’m not even diving into the dynamics of contingency planning!)

Communicate with Your Audience

It is vital during all stages of growth to communicate expectations.

Empower Your People

The old saying is true. There is indeed power in synergy.

Trust Your Trailblazers

These are the individuals who have the passion, dedication, and genuine interest to help your community flourish and inspire a Revolution.

Stay True To Your Roots

Everyone has a reason for starting something big or small. As organizations and communities evolve we must stay true to our roots of authenticity, resonance, likability, approachability, and passion.

Final Takeaways

It’s not the size of your organization that matters but rather the people that make it tick.

And remember…every opportunity is a chance to build a bridge or cut down support cables.

Have fun, thrive, and watch your baby grow!

How To Connect With Anybody

We are an audience of many. Our connections open the doors to new relationships in business and life in general. Technology has shifted when and how we communicate. Shifts in communication and new technology brings us to a point where we must be nimble and adapt without losing site of the people factor. Some of the most agile and successful individuals are those who master the art of relating to others.

What does it take to build long lasting authentic relationships?

Trust.

Our society places a great deal of importance on gaining trust. If being polite is a building block of human relations then gaining the trust of your audience is the glue that makes everything stick. Regardless of industry or expertise, winning the hearts and minds of your connections can help elevate you to a position of trust agent, confidant, and maybe even the go-to expert*.

Here are a few fundamental dynamics of building trust:

1. Authenticity

2. Reverberation

3. Empathy

4. Sincerity

5. Credibility

*Nobody’s an expert. We are all students on a unique journey to leave our own mark.

Social Media Marketing Experiencing Growing Pains

The social media frenzy has seemed to take a bit of a backseat lately. Not everyone is talking about how to take advantage of social media and the role of communication. Not much of a bubble but it does seem that social media is growing up. Social media has taken hold of various industries causing a stir and helping to open up numerous opportunities for greater communication.

Brands of all shapes and sizes seem to have their own accounts on the more popular networks which is expected and certainly does add an element of validation to those who have supported new media. However, three elements exist that will determine the success of one’s social media efforts.

1. Measurement

2. Analysis

3. Learning

Social media has opened up a tremendous amount of information sharing and conversation. The challenge lies in our ability to use this activity and turn it into bottomline growth.

Some key questions:

How can we truly measure the conversation stream?

Where do we focus our analytics?

What windows of opportunity exist as we participate in social media?

The individuals and brands who focus their efforts on these three elements will achieve significant returns on their investment. Success in this arena is not solely based on data but rather on creating and capturing true audience value.