Mitch Joel recently posted about Best Practices in Social Media Marketing and has asked folks to weigh in with their best practices. This is an awesome idea ... a crazy number of us blog about doing the right thing, but no one has really pulled them all together. So this is my small contribution in the hopes that these all get pulled together in a handy place for communications folks new to this space.
To me, there is nothing more attractive (and yes, kinda sexy) than
someone who is passionate about what they do. And what makes me even
more admiring is when they take that passion and share it in amazing,
creative ways. And when you get the right passionate person talking
(or writing or singing or vlogging) about the right topic, magic
My Best Practice in Social Media Marketing
Choose the right person. Now this may seem like stating the obvious, but so many social media marketing efforts have failed because the person who started the initiative didn't have the temperament for social media. They may not be the obvious choice (like the CEO or the VP of Corporate Communications). They will also likely not be the most popular person in your company (like the Director of Sales who is super-affable at the office party and with clients, but whose emails make you cringe).
The right person should be passionate about their work and the company they work for. They will want to share the good and the bad about the company/products because this genuinely helps customers. They will have a clarity of communication (in a number of forms) and will have a spirit of learning and reciprocity. They will embody the values of transparency and disclosure. And they will, of course, know how to listen.
It is by choosing/encouraging the right person in your company that you will come to know success through social media marketing.
âSimply because a domain name is identical or similar to a trademark name should not result in the transfer of the domain name to the trademark owner. In my view, unless there is some evidence that the use of the domain name infringes on the use of the trademark name, a person other than the owner of the trademark should be able to continue to use the domain name.â
That, in a nutshell, is the law in Canada, thanks to Justice Wright.
In the Great iTunes Library Transfer of 2007, I lost all of my song ratings and play counts. Sigh. Which means that my smart playlists weren't so smart anymore. So I've been slowly putting in ratings again. Which is a pain b/c you have to switch to iTunes to do it. And they don't have a keyboard shortcut. Now, I found a number of smart folks who had written Apple scripts to do ratings short-cuts or tweaked keyboard shortcuts in the system settings. For a Mac newbie, a little scary.
So instead, I have tried and am delighted by a little toolbar app called "I Love Stars"
It appears in your menu bar when iTunes is playing. And you just click to set your star rating. It also takes scroll wheel input. It's so tiny and easy to use. Even more so than a keyboard shortcut, I think. MacApper says it best:
I think utilities like these are really helpful because it reduces
distractions. Having to switch to iTunes just to rate music is annoying
and somewhat distracting. Though you originally planned to just tag a
song, in no time, you’ll end up browsing album art, looking through the
iTunes store, and actually buying some music. It’s simple utilities
like these that get the job done, and done fast.
âUntil recently, retailers considered social networks relevant only for the youth market, meaning that many have largely ignored them,â said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner. âHowever, as social networks expand to embrace ever-wider demographic groups, retailers need to ensure that they have a position on them.â
Blogger relations and blogger outreach. Should you pitch? Should you not pitch? Do you send a press release, a review copy, an invite to an intimate lunch and learn? What do bloggers want? How can I make them happy? What is the secret formula to blogger outreach nirvana?!?!
And bloggers. You hate pitches. You love pitches. You want to discover things for yourself. You want to get fed a constant stream of new content. You want a relationship. You want a one night stand. You want a conversation. You only associate with flacks who contribute to the community. You just want the goods. Why don't you get what you want?!?!?
Here's the thing:
There is no right answer for the question "how do I pitch a blogger?"
So, bloggers, write your own "pitch policy" and put a big fat link on every page of your blog to it.
PR/marketing types: read and adhere to those individual policies. (If that sounds like more work than a blanket approach to blogger relations - it is! But the reward of spending the time to respect the preferences of your blogger contacts is substantial.) Oh, PR/marketing types should also remember that most bloggers have day jobs and will not adhere to the same unreasonable timeline that you make your own people adhere to.
It's not hard to write a pitch policy. I did it. I based mine on Ed Lee's. Try to make it simple and concise. I thought about making a template. Do you really need a template? OK, here you go:
[Your Name/Your Blog Name]'s Pitch Policy
I [DO/DO NOT] want to be pitched.
I am interested in pitches on: [clear bulleted list]
I am NOT interested in pitches on: [clear bulleted list]
My preferred form of contact for pitches is [email/mail/phone/skywriting].
Use this [email/addressl/phone/colour of smoke].
The ONE thing that really pisses me off about pitches is [your trigger that makes you run screaming through the streets shouting "die, flacks, die" and then post the offending item to your blog and get all your friends to Digg it].
So, that's my take on blogger relations. There's no right or wrong answer. There is, however, courtesy and not being a jerk - on BOTH sides of the blog.
I sat on a "blogger relations" panel at Cossette Convergence back in May with esteemed bloggers Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss604) and Darren Barefoot. Great talk and great questions about some of these issues (Raul live blogged it so you can check out the notes)! We each had an opportunity to share our thoughts on blogger relations, so I put together a little slideshow. Again, these are MY preferences on being pitched. Everyone will have different preferences. The best thing you can do as a blogger is write them down; the best you can do as a PR/Marketer is respect them.
This is the first time that I have seen a branded, niche-focused dating site that runs on the match.com platform. It seems pretty smart to me - both from a likelihood of success perspective (better matches if we already like some of the same activities) but also from a business perspective, allowing the branding of their engine for a specific community.
Are there other branded match.com communities out there?