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Diminishing the Myths

Mythbusters social media

For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social Web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn’t putting itself out there, it ought to be. Perceptions and misconceptions of social media and social media marketing are starting to become recurring trends from new prospects and clients alike.

Understand that many of the Myths floating around about the drawbacks of social media, are just that.

Here are 10 of the most common misconceptions people share about social media:

1. Social media is cheap, if not free.
The reality is, true – most social media tools are free. However, integrating these tools into a corporate marketing program requires skill, and whats even more valuable, time. Just like in PR, you pay for the time and expertise of staff to brand, promote, and develop quality content.

2. Anyone can do it.
A successful social media campaign integrates social media into the many elements of marketing, including advertising, digital, and PR. Opinion and theory are no match for experience, and the best social media marketers now have more than 10 years of experience incorporating interactivity, blogs, forums, user-generated content, and contests into online marketing.

3.There is no measurable ROI of Social Media.
While this is topic is still a debate among the social media community and marketers – You can use a variety of methods to track ROI including mentions on blogs and in media; comments on the content; real-time blog advertising results, and click-throughs to your company Web site. Additionally, you can get very precise statistics from a variety of sites, including Google Trends, Twitter search, Google Analytics, BackType, and Compete.

4. Social Media is for Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings.
False. Contrary to the perception that social media is for the “kids”, older demographics are evolving into this space rapidly. Take a look at this past year – LinkedIn made a storm through corporate America, niche networking sites like have exploded, and according to BusinessWeek, Facebook’s 35-and-up crowd now accounts for more than 41 percent of all Facebook visitors.

5. You can do it all in-house.
Wrong! You need strategy, contacts, tools, and experience—a combination not generally found in in-house teams, who often reinvent the wheel or use the wrong tools. It is rare indeed to find an in-house team that can not only conceive and execute a social media campaign but also drive traffic to it with effective e-mail segmentation, search optimization, blogger outreach, blog advertising, Google ads, and more.

6. If you do something great, people will find it.
Quite simply, that never was true. Until you can drive traffic to your social media effort, you’ve got a tree falling in the forest, heard only by those standing nearby. A great number of tools can drive traffic, including StumbleUpon, Digg, and Twitter, but nothing works better than word of mouse—one friend telling another, “Hey look at this!”

7. “Social media isn’t really work.”
Merely throwing up a blog isn’t going to get you traffic and merely writing about things that pop into your head isn’t likely going to make you an authority on anything. Regardless of what the common attitude is, it takes work to get results. (Wink Wink Strategis.)

8. Social Media is a Fad.
This past year, the popularity of social media has been everywhere – resulting in a “buzz” that many marketers are remaining skeptical about . In fact, many are hesitating to expend resources or budgets in what appears to be another fad. But yet, social media is obviously more than this, when it is understood. It is a fundamental shift in communication – it isn’t just new “tools”, but new ways of networking, communicating, organizing, and living. It is becoming intertwined in lifestyles – which means it is here to stay.

9. Social networking will replace networking.
As my new Twitter friend Peter Shankman put it, “Social networking is not going to replace networking. Only complement it.” If you want to be a successful networker in your business and personal life – you must use the two together.

10. We can create a Viral Campaign for you – Now! Sure, sometimes a social media campaign can produce substantial and measurable results quickly. Tweets can be used to drive traffic to articles, Web sites, contests, videos, and so on—if people already care about your brand, or if you have a truly original idea that people will want to share with their followers. Ultimately, a solid social media Campaign takes time to make a substantial ‘splash’ in the social media pool. A good sign of a social media campaign is steady progress. The campaign may not launch with astronomical results but that doesn’t mean it wont end up being extremely successful. It may just need time!

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Is it time for a ‘Chief Social Media Officer’?


A Chief Social Media Officer or CSMO role might appear to some as being superfluous to an organization. Do you really need social media reporting directly into the CEO? Perhaps not. Is this just a way for those snake oil social media people to make themselves feel more important? I don’t think so.

Yet and Still, for some organizations that truly put an emphasis on the power and implementation of social media, a CSMO might prove useful. Having a C-Level executive heading an organizations social media endeavor (or any endevor for that matter) enables  the department to exert visibility and communication from top to bottom and across the organization.

But the question is, which organizations would need a Chief Social Media Officer?

I think the answer is, it depends. Most small organizations would probably not need a CSMO because ofter the level of C-Level execs is slim to none. On the other hand, most very large organizations probably wouldn’t need a social media big cheese reporting directly to the Big, big cheese. That said, I think some small to medium sized businesses, especially (but not limited to) organizations that put a premium on the implementation of strategic marketing campaigns could find a CSMO essential to there marketing success.

Observantly, I can say that the sher fact that organizations are even considering creating positions such as CSMO says a lot about the potential weight social media is building in today and tomorrows business world.

So my question to the readers is, is it time for a Chief Social Media Officer?

What do you think? Could your organization find a CSMO or similar position useful to its future success?

Military Discovers Power of Facebook & Twitter


You don’t often hear a three-star general using the word “friend” as a verb. But for Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley and other Army brass, a new era has brought a new language — and new tools like online social networks Twitter and Facebook. The US Armed Forces have begun to realize the amazing potential for seeking out young recruits and spreading the military’s message that social networking sites have to offer. Lt. Gen. Freakley, who heads the Army command that oversees recruiting, says social networking sites offer another way to reach tomorrow’s soldiers. In an interview with Us News and World Report, he cited Facebook as a key component in targeting 18-to 24-year-olds saying “You could friend your recruiter, and then he could talk to your friends. ” Even Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, has a new Facebook page to answer questions about the mission in Iraq and spread the word about what the troops are accomplishing there.

The Army isn’t the only branch of the military with Facebook friends or that is being followed on Twitter. The Air Force has also established a Facebook page, Twitter feeds and a blog, while the Marine Corps is using various networking sites mainly for recruiting purposes. The Navy is “experimenting” with several forms of online media, and some of its commands are using Twitter, a spokesman said. Even the Coast Guard commandant regularly updates his Facebook status while traveling.

The Army has also added to its Web site video games, a virtual recruiter and clips that answer commonly asked questions about life in uniform.

Showing off the videos during his interview at his office at Fort Monroe, Freakley said some of the questions were surprising: Can I have a dog in the Army? Can I buy a truck in the Army? Can I be married in the Army? Even so, the Army, Freakley said, wants to answer those questions.

Earlier this year, the Army established an online and social media division within its public affairs office. The division’s director, Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, said the search is on every day to find new avenues online to reach not only soldiers, but their families and the general public.

“We know that’s where they are, and we need to go to them,” a powerful statement coming from Arata that truly shows the authenticity of this social media phenomena.

The Army recently launched its own Facebook page, which contains much the same information as its official Web site. The army states that their goal is to keep the page an open form and that moderation is conducted in a effort to keep the page family friendly.

The Coast Guard also maintains a presence online.

Adm. Thad Allen, Coast Guard commandant, routinely updates his Facebook status from his cell phone while traveling. He also posts video blogs from overseas, said a spokesman, Lt. Tony Migliorini.

The services’ presence beyond their Web sites represents what Arata called a “culture shift.”

“I’m sure there was the same pushback years ago when somebody invented the telephone. ‘Ooh, you can’t talk there because somebody might hear you.’ Well, that’s the whole point. We want people to hear us.”

In short, the US military, like thousands of other organizations around the world, gets it! Social Media works.

Google to index tweets real-time

It’s time to step-up your Twitter presence. The world on the street is that in a short period of time Google will start indexing Tweets and other real-time web data. Staying relevant and active will be the flavor of the day. This will also catapult the success of Twitter to even higher levels.

And you thought it wouldn’t get any better… You probably did.

Social Media Personal Training

This morning I spoke to a group of business professionals in Duxbury, MA about social media and the importance of having an online presence. This is a topic I am very passionate about and have been speaking about this topic all over New England lately. As I meet more and more people interested in social media a common concern keeps coming up -Time.

I hear “I don’t have the time for social networking,” “I’m too busy for this stuff,” “I’ve got a business to run, I can’t be playing on the internet all day,” “Blogging takes effort and too much time,” “Oh my goodness this guy is so boring, isn’t it time to go yet?”(geez I hope not – but I think you get my point.)

My response is this: Yes. Social media is not free – it does take time. So either find the time or hire the time. Most people like to opt for find the time – especially at first.

So I write this post to offer a solution – (cue theme music) Introducing…


Offering real solutions to any business person wanting to get involved with Social Media but can’t find the time.

Here’s how to get started!

  1. Email and tell me you want in on my “bootcamp”
  2. Pick one Social Media concept (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, social media monitoring etc.) you want to get started using.
  3. We’ll talk. I’ll get to understand your social media goals and I’ll set up a specialized, targeted system for you.
  4. You’ll start a 4 week social media personal training bootcamp. You tell me, phone calls, emails or messages on your Facebook wall – however you want to do it, I’ll be there, virtually shouting social media exercises at you (Monday 9:00-9:20am answer a LinkedIn question! Tuesday 8:45-9:00am read Q&A in the Hospitality section etc.)
  5. I will make sure you are getting this done. No excuses, No complaining. Or else!

No membership fees. No monthly dues. Just you, me and your computer. Oh and one more thing–YOUR TIME!!!

Technology, social media give the book club a cool new update

When I say “book club”, what do you envision? Ladies sipping tea and discussing Jane Austen books in the sitting room? Coffee houses and books with little Oprah approved symbols on it? iPhones and Facebook? Wait, what?

BBC Audiobooks America is launching a book club, but not just any book club, an Audiobook Club. Catering to the iPod generation, this twenty-first century book club aims to introduce a new generation to the audiobook and to put a new spin on summer “reading.” The audiobook club itself is virtual, and open to anyone in the United States and Canada.

The club will moderate an open discussion at the end of the month which will take place online and will be hosted on the BBCAA’s Facebook Group’s page, giving the club a web 2.0 boost. To join the discussion one just needs to join the group now and check back between June 24-28 to participate in the moderated discussion.

Launching in June, which just happens to be Audiobook Month, the club’s first “read” will be Peter Benchley’s classic, Jaws, as they hope to engage beachgoers and shark enthusiasts. The audiobook is available by CD or for digital download and can be purchased through the BBCAA’s Facebook page.

Ads Sales Looking Up Says CBS Radio

Scoops Here. According to MarketWatch, CBS is hopeful about its second quarter ad sales. The good news is largely the result of new and returning ad clients and growing interest in its online streaming…Cheerish the thought….

In the first quarter, revenue at CBS Radio fell 29% to $259.7 million. Operating income also plunged 62%. Now, however, trends are improving, as some advertisers who held back on spending during the fourth quarter and the first two months of the year feel the need to return to the public’s attention, says CEO Dan Mason.  Not any great figures to uphold such a great change in tone. Let me reintroduce myself today because I must be Scoops Kristin the Pessimist.


La Tee Da.

Craigslist Discontinues Erotic Services for Adult Services Category

It was only a matter of time that the altruistic nature of Craigslist was to meet head on with the harsh realities of the real world. If you haven’t heard yet Craigslist will no longer have an Erotic Services category to be replaced by Adult Services. There will now be a fee to post ads to the new category and Craigslist will manually review all postings. It is unfortunate that this change was precipitated by the incident in Boston where a man is alleged to have used the Erotic Services category to meet, abduct and even kill a woman. This was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and it did. One can hope Craigslist was moving in the direction of monitoring this category much more closely. As everyone knows we all have the obligation to self monitor. If we don’t then the government will and that should be a huge fear.

Check this article out and see were some government officials are trying to get involved.

Lead Generation for 2009. Twitter!


It has never been tougher to garner leads and close sales than this year. Most companies budgets are frozen and with that so is interest in looking at new vendors. You have to be creative in searching out hot prospects and the use of social media is looking like the road to success. Strategis has witnessed it first hand, but don’t just take it from us and read this article.

Facebook Classifieds?


Have you ever walked in your house/apartment and said to your self “Hmmm, I wish I could sell that?” and not worry about if someone will rip you off. Pretty soon you will be able to post classifieds on Facebook. With this feature you can see who is buying your “stuff” without any fears. We all know Craigslist is the big dog in this category but as of late people are more skeptical of Craigslist. There are rumors floating out there that Facebooks classifieds will overpower Craigslist due to their gigantic userbase. Lets wait and see. If you would like to read more about click here.