A few weeks back Nichole Kelly wrote a series about ego and social and it took me a few weeks to really marinate in her words, the thing that I keep coming back to is this: We are overshooting social media. If the idea was to connect people with people with more immediacy than ever realized before, the opportunity for brands was to transition from monolog to dialog. It is simple. Have a conversation with your customer. Answer their questions. Take care of them when they need you. Occasionally introduce them to new products and services, but mostly, offer them an opportunity to dialog. It is something I like to see from my favorite brands. I like to get ideas for my home and get inspiration for dinner from my favorite brands.

Tracey Parsons

About the author

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

Your Presence Is The Best Present You Can Present

by · August 20, 2014

Flashback: My 2-year old daughter, like many 2-year-old daughters, has a doll that she has latched onto: Chandani. She carries it around; it rides in the car with us; she puts it down for naps. This particular doll has a bit of prescribed interactivity: touch her cheek, “mama”; tickle her foot, laughter; squeeze her hand, crying. My daughter does not understand why her doll cries out; however, her reaction is always the same. She does not sing to Chandani, she does not chastise her, she does not try and converse with her, she does not ignore her. She simply touches her doll’s head and softly states, “I am right here. I am right here.”

The one and only priority in this relationship is presence; rain or shine, good or bad, light or dark, my daughter simply assures, “I am right here.” Because to her, that is precisely everything that matters.

Yes, that is all a bit emotionally-tingly. However, there is a truth here that has resonated with me again and again during the five years since I first wrote about this. The idea of presence-above-all-else haunts me, as a husband and father, as an employee, and, especially in these days of Social ubiquity, as a marketer and brand representative.

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Integrating Print Signage and Social Media to Extend Your Marketing Reach

by · August 19, 2014

Now is a better time than ever to use a combination of both print marketing materials and social media tactics in a glorious cycle of promotion that gets all of your great content seen. While social media is king of communication and customer engagement these days, its ubiquitous presence is making print advertising more and more of a nostalgic novelty. In a world of things digital, our brains respond to advertising that is tangible and demands to be seen.

But how do you make your signage and social media accounts the perfect tag-team? There’s more to the strategy than tacking an array of social media icons onto your printed advertisements. Your content must interact coherently across all channels to advance your overall image and message.

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What’s the point?

by · August 15, 2014

For the last year, I have been lucky enough to regularly contribute to this blog. I love it and aim at all times to be useful. I do get preachy, #sorrynotsorry. I am passionate about the customer. I enjoy encouraging my fellow marketers to think about her. Consider her needs and wants. I like to spend a few hours each week in her shoes. I like to be her for a bit to tell the marketers who read this blog what she wants. And you know what she could use right now from you in social? A point.

A purpose. A reason for interrupting her feed. A point is something we seem to be sorely lacking in our social media marketing lives. Far too many times the point is either glossed over or lost. And when the point is lost, so is your message and brand because so much of social media is now simply noise. And even our friends are not rising above the noise factor, so how is your brand going to ever hope to get noticed? You’ll increase your odds of being noticed if you have a point.

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Could “Prospective-Customer Service” Best Traditional Marketing?

by · August 14, 2014

My latest obsession: Prospective-Customer Service (PCS) departments. Their time has come. In Nichole Kelly’s amazing blog post, Is Your Ego What’s Really Driving Your Social Presence, she asks:

“…if [our social presence wasn’t] about our ego, wouldn’t it be okay to simply go out there and help people? I mean help ridiculous amounts of people with all kinds of things that have nothing to do with us?”

It’s a question that I simply cannot shake. And I keep arriving at a follow-up question: Is it time for brands to focus less (a lot less) on navigating the ever-increasingly tricky marketing landscape and, instead, plant their flag where they can have the most impact: helping people? Helping ridiculous amounts of people?

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Can marketers tell the difference between lies and truth?

by · August 12, 2014

Marketers are trained on how to spin…how to write elegantly…how to stay in the brand voice. We’re also trained on how to lie and how to lie well. In all honestly, we lie so well that sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it. All of the half-truths, omissions, and spins we put on all of our marketing pieces could be what is holding us back from an authentic connection with the exact audience we’re trying so desperately to attract.

You could argue that we’ve become such good liars that we can’t even tell the difference between lies and truth anymore. How did this happen?

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A Cheap Way to Discover Brand-Topic Affinities on Twitter

by · August 11, 2014

Sometimes interesting things appear when you’re not even looking. And some lessons taught are applicable far beyond immediate challenges.

Case in point: The realization that Twitter advertising statistics can reveal brand-topic affinities.

Ad stats help you assess how well you’ve targeted promoted tweets — that’s their purpose — but you can use them for much more. You can use them to study competitive positioning and identify influencers around particular topics of interest. The trick is to craft tweets that don’t (only) promote a product or service, but also/instead help you evaluate the topic-engagement link. The insights revealed aren’t especially useful for me — I’m well-positioned in my text and sentiment analysis consulting specialization — but if your business depends on precision online targeting, you may find ads data to be a new, unique, inexpensive source of social intelligence.

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Content Marketing: Set Expectations & Identify Opportunities

by · August 8, 2014

One of the best moments as a marketer is that “a-ha” moment of grasping the concept of informational vs. decision-making content and the importance of how they work together to optimize your content strategy. To see truly remarkable results, it’s not enough to post an in-depth industry report (hint: decision-making!) to your website, then cross your fingers that people will come to your site looking for this information, and then ultimately decide to purchase your goods or services. You must create a layered content strategy, offering informational pieces that help drive awareness, excitement and interest around your industry report. Your decision-making pieces can help with lead generation and closing a sale.
We could talk for days about layered content strategies, but first things first: what is informational and decision-making content, and why does it matter?

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More on Finding Your Content Mojo

by · August 7, 2014

In a conversation in the SME: Digital (SoCoCo) office, I realized I do not have a lot of online conversations about stuff people normally talk about on social media. I rarely rehash episodes of the Bachelorette. Never review a movie or rate a restaurant. And for the love of God, I do not care which member of the Breakfast Club BuzzFeed thinks I would be! (Bonus points below if you knew me in high school and want to tell people who I was.)

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