Full disclosure: I “like” 256 brand pages on Facebook. Further disclosure: I actually don’t like how the majority of those 256 Pages are using Facebook. A cursory glance shows that many of these Pages haven’t posted a thing in several months, and many, many more haven’t posted an interesting thing in a much longer than that. So why am I participating in such massive apathy and fraud? Why am I acting like I care when I really don’t? Why am I doing a disservice to so many Social managers and brands? Indifference and laziness, mostly. But today, I quit, and I’m calling you to the carpet, too.

Matt Hollowell

About the author

Matt is a lifelong student of design, marketing, publishing, and content creation. His passion sits at the intersection of content and design; in fact, you can often find him there with a cup of coffee in one hand and a notepad in the other. As SME's Creative Director, he supports both the brand and clients, which helps to satisfy his lifelong love of never knowing what's coming next. When not at his desk, you'll find Matt serenading his two amazing daughters, reading gritty British poetry, or obsessively listening to podcasts. Send him your podcast reccs here: @mhollowell.

Why are companies so horrible at communicating?

by · July 22, 2014

In the last few months, I’ve had numerous real-life interactions with companies and front-line employees. And one thing is clear: companies suck at communicating in real life. This revelation begs the following question: how can they ever possibly get it right online?

As we sit and watch the latest customer service issue go viral, we all need to sit back and ask where leadership went wrong. Putting the entirety of social media’s fate on the backs of marketers who are trained communicators is a reflection of the lack of trust in our employees who deal with our customers every day, and this is where we should consider correcting course. Every employee is a reflection of our company, whether we like it or not. Perhaps it’s time we show how important they are to our mission, teach them how to build solid relationships with others, have empathy, and communicate in an honest and authentic way.

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Content Lessons From The Real Pros

by · July 21, 2014

Saturday night’s Dwight Yoakam show at the annual Forecastle Festival in Louisville was my fourth or fifth time seeing him. Not many famous people hail from my hometown, and fellow Pikevillians tend to keep track of the ones that do.

One subtlety I noticed about Yoakum’s performance this time around that was different than my previous concerts was the choice of material. Yoakam and band played a wide variety of his hits from as far back as Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., his first album from 1986. At previous shows, he played mostly songs from whatever album he was touring to support with a handful of hits from throughout the years. He has always done a medley tribute to Buck Owens, including Streets of Bakersfield, but pretty much sticks to the current LP’s tunes.

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How Sococo is Completely Transforming the Virtual Office

by · July 16, 2014

One of the biggest challenges within a remote work environment is how to encourage the natural collaboration that would happen inside of an office environment. This is one of the things SME has been trying to figure out for the last couple of years. We know that most people don’t get their best work done in a cubicle so we’ve shunned opening a corporate office, but we wanted to figure out a way to capture those water cooler conversations and ad-hoc brilliance that comes when two people start hashing out a problem in the hallway.

We just figured out a huge shortcut to getting all the benefits of an office without actually having one; Sococo.

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Paralysis of Choice

by · July 15, 2014

It’s overwhelming isn’t it? All of the choices, developments, options, approaches, strategies, opportunities, challenges. Marketing today is really a lot to process. There are new tools, channels, strategies, platforms (and so on!) being released every week. It gets so overwhelming and almost scary, that it reminds me of standing in front of the cereal aisle in the grocery store. The number of choices available to me is almost paralyzing. When we are faced with more choices than we can process, it is so easy to seize up into a mental paralysis.

In moments of mental paralysis, it is so easy to do nothing. Because it just seems too big. But, let me be the one to remind you:

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Tech Support Just Got Easier, Safer

by · July 14, 2014

What do you do when a customer calls with an odd complaint about your website? They can’t find the “Buy” button or get to a certain page they’re looking for? When visual assistance is what they need and exposure to exactly what they’re seeing is the quickest way to a solution we are often left with cumbersome options?

You could ask the customer to log on to a screen sharing application like Join.me. You could have them take a screen shot and email it. You could ask them to figure out how to download an app then give you remote access.

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7 Tools I Could Not Live Without When Working Remotely

by · July 11, 2014

In my last post, I shared a few tips to help you set yourself up for success as a remote-worker. But, getting setup is just the beginning. It takes organization, simplification and the help of several tools to stay efficient.

Here are the seven tools I rely on to be efficient, effective and to exceed expectations during any given workday:

Basecamp There is nothing more stressful than not having what you need, when you need it. Basecamp is a project management tool that helps you keep everything and everyone in one place. At SME Digital, the agency arm of Social Media Explorer, we use Basecamp for all client and internal projects. Having all communication, meeting notes, deliverables and files in one place, accessible to all internal team members and clients makes projects run smoothly. We also use the task feature that allows us to assign “to-dos” to specific people with a due date to serve as a reminder.

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LinkedIn Misconnects Show that Automated Matching is Hard

by · July 9, 2014

I’ll report here on a LinkedIn error — it’s not a bug, it’s a flawed algorithm, significant although far from earth-shattering — that shows how difficult automated matching can be. I’ll then offer practical steps LinkedIn could take toward accurate matching.

Why should you read on? Not only because (I’m guessing) you have a LinkedIn profile, but also because in an “omni-channel” world, data matching — also known as data integration, data fusion, record linkage, and synthesis — is central to meeting everyday social and enterprise business challenges.

Two Mismatches

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