How Not to Pitch Your Business in Social Media |

ouch. an aggrieved journalist takes idiots to task for abusing the foot in the door that social media can seem to offer to would be publicists and entrepreneurs. junk mail and boorish self-promotion are nothing new, but the digital age makes them all the more intrusive.
If it takes three contacts to establish a rapport in person, it probably takes at least seven contacts online — and some strategists suggest that it really takes as many as 21 before the typical online relationship turns transactional. Whatever the number, there are some protocols that need to be understood, especially if you are pitching yourself to media contacts.
via click through for full article

personally, the new math she uses to estimate how many times a suitor must earn her attention before asking to stay over feels a little too rounded to me, but she has a point. one piece of advice for the writer: email filters will remove the most egregious of the offenders....

image: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Bill McIntyre

Expand Reach of Your Press Release With Pinterest | convince and convert

I've been leery of "high-visual" services like pinterest and instagram for not-so-visual clients, but this article on the convince and convert blog ofers up a few ideas outside the bridal boutique and housewares commercial applications I've seen everywhere else. here's one tip:

2. Create a Pinterest Newsroom

If you are pinning one press release, why not create a corporate newsroom pinboard to showcase it, along with your other media/news assets? It can mirror your website’s newsroom, or enhance it with fresh material. Here is a great example from Cisco.

Screen Shot 2012 08 20 at 11.50.41 AM 1024x515 5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Boost Press Release Results

In addition to press releases and infographics, your newsroom pinboard can include news clips, company blog posts, short pitches or expert opinion comments, video – even executive headshots and logos. Just make sure that anything pinned to your newsroom is legible enough to entice clicks, properly trademarked and approved for public use.

Another powerful media tool is an executive staff pinboard, which links headshot photos to biographies, bylined articles and other content that demonstrates their credibility as an expert resource.

When you quote them in a press release, try linking their name directly to their pinboard for added oomph.

via (click here to read all the tips, including a few for *gasp* software firms)


Not Tracking Social Media ROI is Your Fault | Convince and Convert

Here's the buried lead in Jay Baer's awesome post about measuring the financial impact of social media:

it's not about the leads

ironic, huh? ask any smart salesperson or strategist to identify their best customer, and they will tell you, "the one who's bought from me before." why? because everything about selling to them a second time is cheaper, ergo more profitable...and social is a great way to keep the handshake warm.

Turn Social Media ROI Upside Down

A third area where we’re to blame for not measuring social media ROI effectively is in thinking about social effectiveness purely through through prism of new revenue generation.

Here’s my prediction: We’re going to look back at the early days of social media and say “why did we think this was about customer acquisition, when it’s clearly about loyalty and retention?”

The people that are fans of your company on Facebook? Current or former customers (84% says research from DDB). The people that read your company tweets? Current or former customers. The people that read your company blog and watch your videos and look at your pins? Current or former customers.

via (the rest of the article is great too. read it.)


From TV to Twitter: How Ambient News Became Ambient Journalism | Alfred Hermida | M/C Journal - Kate's posterous

Twitter shares some similarities with other forms of communication. Like the telephone, it facilitates a real-time exchange of information. Like instant messaging, the information is sent in short bursts. But it extends the affordances of previous modes of communication by combining these features in both a one-to-many and many-to-many framework that is public, archived and searchable. Twitter allows a large number of users to communicate with each other simultaneously in real-time, based on an asymmetrical relationship between friends and followers. The messages form social streams of connected data that provide value both individually and in aggregate.

MySpace, Your Space? (via Justin Kownacki)

The Re-Undiscovered Country?

In actuality, I’m sure some social media gurus still use MySpace quite frequently.

I just don’t happen to know any of them.

Some of the companies I work with still have MySpace profiles, but they’ve basically been left for dead.  Someone checks on them once a month to see if they’re still breathing, but otherwise, they get minimal attention compared to Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

Why is this, exactly?

I mean, I remember when I personally quit MySpace because it had become a festering cesspool of porn spam and bad design, but I’m an elitist.  The benefit I was getting from MySpace was microscopic compared to the effort required to simply maintain a spam-free presence there.

So I quit.

And I bet a lot of you did the same.

And I bet Scott Ludwig is right: none of us know what MySpace offers these days, or at least not enough of us to convince everyone else that MySpace could possibly be worth adopting again.

And yet, there sit 44 million people, just aching to be marketed to by your crack team of social media experts.

Surely your messaging techniques have advanced well beyond the rudimentary tasks MySpace allowed you to execute in 2007 [which is the last time most people I know admitted they even had a MySpace profile].

So what’s stopping you from carving out that lucrative niche as a MySpace specialist?  Or at least re-incorporating MySpace into your toolbox?

Simple: we’re all waiting for someone else to tell us we can.

Pipe Down; I’m Not Done Shunning You Yet

Nobody has the time to re-master MySpace because we’re all invested in the same tools everyone else is using.

If nobody’s talking about MySpace, there’s no buzz bandwagon to benefit from.  There’s no SEO juice.  There’s no community of peers, and there’s no cool factor that comes with belonging to the same group everyone else is in.

Which, of course, makes it ripe for wildly profitable niche exploiters.

Maybe “MySpace” will become the reheated buzzword of 2010.

Maybe we’ll reclaim that territory and help it matter again.

Or maybe… if you’re really thinking outside the box…

… Friendster.

Go Big, Get Your Employees on the Bus or Go Home (via

The following is also my column in next week's issue of Advertising Age.

Go Big, Get Your Employees on the Bus or Go Home

Photo credit: Traffic by scottpowerz

The single biggest challenge that marketers face over the next ten years is attention scarcity. Bank on it.

According to Andreas Weigland,'s former chief scientist, more data was generated by individuals in 2009 than in the entire history of mankind. Human attention, however, is finite - and arguably, it shrinks as we age. 

The end result is downright ugly. It's like 25 lanes of traffic trying to squeeze through two Lincoln Tunnel tubes during the peak of rush hour. Your marketing programs may be the biggest, baddest bus in the flow, but you're competing with everyone else for the same space and time. Chances are, however, your bus is empty. Park that idea for now. We'll come back to it.

Each individual, whether it's a stay-at-home mom or a twenty-something online addict, will develop his/her own coping mechanisms. Some of these decisions will be conscious. Many of them won't be. And that spells trouble for marketers.

Already one of the ways we're coping is by digging deeper into social networking sites to connect with our friends and interests. According to Nielsen, globally consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites in December. This represents an 82 percent increase year over year. Human beings have always been drawn to each other. Social networking just makes this easier and scalable - or does it?

Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, discovered that we are only capable of managing 150 friendships - this includes brands. Once again, we're handicapped by our darn brains.

Marketers know they need to be engaged in social networks. Some 45% of senior marketers surveyed by The Society for Digital Agencies said that social network engagement is their top priority. However, many marketers that I speak to don't understand the sheer scale that's required, given the above challenges. 

To succeed in a world where attention remains scarce and our brains are limited, businesses must go beyond campaigns and move to real-time engagement. I believe the best way to accomplish this is scale. This means every business must become a social business by deeply integrating their often decoupled employee engagement and digital engagement initiatives.

In short, to revisit the aforementioned metaphor, you must go big, get your employees on the bus, put more buses into the traffic flow or go home.

So what exactly does this look like? It means unshackling your employees. It means equipping them with tools, policies and the means to engage with stakeholders around the clock. Finally, above all, it means allowing your workforce to unlock and share their company and subject-matter expertise. 

According to fresh data from our own Edelman Trust Barometer, we're desperately seeking expertise. Informed publics are more likely to trust what they hear from experts over any other source.

However, the reality there are very few companies understand this. Most are still taking a campaign approach to social networks where it's the brand, not the people, that are the voice - and there's usually only one.

What's worse, the Berlin Wall stands tall inside Corporate America. Robert Half Technology found that only 10% of corporate chief information officers grant their employees full access to social networking sites. Those that do probably aren't guiding them. Manpower reports that only 20 percent of companies have social network policies.

Change must begin at home. If you don't get your employees on buses, your competition will and it will be harder to covet attention. This is every business' challenge in 2010 and beyond.

Ten Steps To Build A Basic Content Hub (via Scalable Intimacy)

a great how to. my comments at the end

Ten Steps To Build A Basic Content Hub

Posted on | January 13, 2010 |

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Using the Web to build your brand is less and less about creating destinations, and more and more about creating content useful to the people you want to reach, then empowering them to access that content wherever and however they like.

The key to this is creating something we call a “Content Hub.” A content hub is more than just a standalone site or application, it’s both the heart of a distributed network of information, and a destination for those that share the interest it supports.

Rather than explain the theory of a content hub in detail, it’s best to just build a quick-and-dirty one, and use it. Here’s the process I’d recommend to do exactly that:

  1. If you don’t have a GMail account, create one, say You’ll need this e-mail for all the logins, might as well use the same one.
  2. Associate your logo with that e-mail in, this will also come in handy later.
  3. Create a YouTube account associated with the same Google ID.
  4. Create a Flickr account. You may need a Yahoo e-mail account for this, just create one.
  5. Create a Twitter account, and customize the profile page to reflect your brand identity. Add an image, and a short bio line, for God’s sake.
  6. Create a Facebook Page. You can do this from your personal Facebook account, if you don;t have one you’ll need to create one.
  7. Create a Posterous account, and activate the Group Profile feature to make it easier for others to post to the account. Connect your YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook Pages to Posterous so that any content you send to Posterous bounces into the other accounts automagically.
  8. Create a simple listening station in Google Reader. You’ll have access to Google Reader automatically having set up the GMail account above. Lot’s of smart people have described how to do this, just do what they say. Once you get the basics down you’ll be able to pull any RSS feed into Reader, which I promise will come in handy at some point.
  9. Click the Reader “Settings” at upper right, then the rightmost tab which is “Send To.” Configure Reader to send content to the destination sites you created above.
  10. Use the damn thing.

The “hub” of the system is your new GMail account. If you log into that each morning you’ll have access to everything you need. To distribute original content through the system, just use the Posterous account. This is dirt simple straightforward… You can post everywhere by sending e-mail to from your GMail address. Send images and they’ll go to Flickr as well. Send video and they’ll post to YouTube automatically, etc. Links to everything you create will will appear on your new Posterous blog, and go out to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, automatically.

“Curating” content is even easier. Whatever is in Reader can be sent through the system by clicking the “Send To” button. When you do that a drop-down appears with Twitter, Facebook, and Posterous as options (remember, choosing “Posterous” sends it everywhere). Begin to poke around in the local blogs and start raising your visibility. Leave short comments on others blogs to draw traffic to your own, and create the personal connection you need to deliver on the brand promise (Gravatar is already set up if you followed the above, so wherever you log in to comment on someone else’s blog and use your GMail address, your icon will also appear and give you some exposure.)

You can also access your brand “listening station” in Google Reader. Just click “Reader” at the upper left of Gmail, and you’ll pretty much be able monitor any appearance of the brand online. You should add some influential local Bloggers to the feeds there as well, and create folders for whatever else you like to read on the web.

So what happens now?

Start posting. Share the content you find interesting in Reader. Build some relationships. Get to know folks. Help people, and watch them help you back. If you need something more industrial strength, please give us a call. But for 90% of the businesses out there, the truth is this is enough to get started building the relationships that will help build your business.

Category: Branding -->


Showing 6 comments

  • Another great post Mike. Thanks for sharing. I have everything but a Posterous account, so this should be easy to give it a try. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.


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  • Thanks, and thanks for stopping by. Let me know how it goes.
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  • Just did this... well, nearly all of it, in nearly the order you described...a few weeks before you posted. I can therefore verify this is a good post, in good order. Also that I wish I had read this first ;)
    Like Reply Reply
  • Why thank you, Jennifer. And thanks for stopping by.
    Like Reply Reply

    abelniak 5 days ago
    Great stuff, Mike. I've put off creating a posterous account, but might now. Like others have, I've done the rest already (except the Gravatar, too). I like this post in combination with one of your other posts (The Plumbing of Social Marketing -
    Like Reply Reply
  • This is a great article! It was very reassuring to me because I am following those exact steps already. I am a recent college graduate who is revolutionizing my marketing theory learned in college by applying new concepts to brand myself online. Content is what is most important on the internet today. By building your own personal brand online shows companies that you know how to brand on the internet. It is always interesting to me to Google my name and see my content creation grow and grow. Thanks for the information!
    Like Reply Reply

    btrandolph 13 minutes ago
    interesting post, Mike. I've started a few posterous blogs and marvel at how easy it is to post and "cross-pollinate" content. maybe a little too easy. back in october, chris heuer called out a "self-brander" for cutting and pasting chris' stuff and chris brogan's into his own blog, adding an "all rights reserved" at the bottom. I did a write-up of the brouhaha at ironically, I got called out last week after reposting a techcrunch article (with full attribution) on my site. the problem? I tweeted about the article with a link to my posterous site rather than techcrunch. in the eyes the follower who chastised me, this is stealing content, not sharing it.

    the way to build a personal brand is by creating content. the content hub you describe is a great way to support that brand with shared content. remember, though, that great gravy cannot disguise poor (or nonexistent) meat.