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Tracey Parsons

Be the editor of your brand

by · July 24, 2014

There are about a thousand ways to say what I need to say today: Less is more. Never add, always subtract. Pare it down. I’ve recently decided that we could all use a good editor. It’s easy to believe that pushing out new content several times a day is the goal. It isn’t the goal. It isn’t even close to the goal because, well, it’s potentially annoying to your customers. The goal should be pushing great, sharable content. I think that’s where we all started. I think we started with good intention to contribute great content to our audiences, but then we fell into the trap that we all fall into from time to time. If it works…do more! Sometimes more is just more. Never forget that. More is just more. More does not equal better. Better equals better.

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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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LinkedIn reminders for marketers

by · July 8, 2014

Of late, I have been bombarded with a number of unsolicited sales messages from people I do not know on LinkedIn. And I am not even talking about the hundreds of generic “Connect with me on LinkedIn” connection requests from people I do not know that I get in a given month. This is straight up sales pitches via LinkedIn’s platform. I am talking “Buy now” stuff and “Hire our firm to do xyz”. And it is annoying to say the least. It makes me use LinkedIn less. I am growing tired of getting mail that I don’t want in exchange for being visible to people I used to work with. It is a dangerous place for LinkedIn. It is possible that this is happening because people see an opportunity to use the LinkedIn platform to go deeper within their marketing efforts and launch direct marketing via the channel. Sounds awesome in theory, but like the email channel, people do not like unexpected solicitation in their inboxes. No one signed up for your sales pitch and just because we share a group does not give blanket permission to directly solicit people. LinkedIn is supposed to be about relationships and networking. And too many of us are skipping that part and trying to go directly to the sale. We should not skip that step…it’s the whole idea of LinkedIn! With that, here are a few reminders for marketers to be better marketers on LinkedIn. There are five things you can do that will increase your chances of getting my attention and not getting marked as spam and ending up in LinkedIn Jail

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Four innovation traps to avoid

by · July 3, 2014

We work with a number of very large organizations that strive to innovate in their category. Innovation is an awesome buzzword. One that gets shareholders excited. There are in fact whole departments at some companies dedicated to innovation. In addition to large organizations, I’ve also been involved with start ups of late who have laid out their sole purpose to change the way things are done in various industries…you, know disruptors. And these two entities, large companies and small startups do things so completely differently, but the ones that really come through and innovate and disrupt, they have either avoided these traps, or were nimble enough to escape the trap quickly and adjust.

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Swallow your fear and start measuring

by · June 24, 2014

Digital marketing is my passion. Some would say I am “tattoo passionate” about digital marketing. I freaking love how people can do darned near anything online and how marketers can leverage the endless possibilities of digital to create meaningful experiences for their customers. It brings me joy. You know what else brings me joy…doing a good job and being good at what I do. And I have to know if I did well or not, because it is really, really, REALLY important to me. I need a scorecard because you see, I am insanely competitive. And it is really hard to know the work I am doing to create meaningful experiences for customers is working. In fact, it’s really hard when we collectively jump under our desks any time anyone asks us about return on investment.

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Eight tips to kick summer’s butt

by · June 18, 2014

It’s summer and in our house that generally means crazy town. My husband and I both telecommute, which is awesome and also a challenge. We both have flexible work environments so we split time during the workday and take turns as parents with our son.

To many people this sounds completely awesome and ideal. And in so many ways it is. What falls apart? Things like extra blog posts, webinars, working out, grocery store visits, you know… life. (I promise I’m getting to the point) And then it struck me, this should be the time of year when we appreciate the glory of summer and instead of freaking out about not getting to every little thing, we get a 10-12 week period of time to change gears. So, let’s embrace it with the following tips that we can apply to work and home:

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The High Cost Missed Opportunities

by · June 12, 2014

Ever need to hire anyone? It is hard. Ask most anyone out there. Hiring people is long and arduous. And far too frequently, it doesn’t work. Turnover is increasing, people switch jobs more frequently than ever and it isn’t getting any better. In fact, as the economy is turning around, it is only going to get more difficult. The recruiting industry has not changed much in many years. Yes, there is LinkedIn, but it’s just an online association with a job board, which really, is the old-school newspaper classifieds on your computer.

If you take a look at many social feeds of top employers, they are currently using social to post more “Help wanted” ads as if there are not 1 bazillion other places to post those job descriptions. And we all know that 70% of a job is in that last bullet item on the job description, ahem, “Other duties as assigned”. I’ve often pondered the challenges in recruiting and have come to the conclusion that the whole transaction is built on two things that are total and complete BS: the job description and the resume. I think this is why we have such a hard time finding talent and why it is so hard to get them to stick. Which brings me to the missed opportunity of social recruiting.

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Finding your content mojo

by · June 3, 2014

As brand marketers we are tasked constantly with maintaining a social channel. And in doing so, we need to generate a TON of content. It is a huge challenge and one that has created some serious social paralysis in many marketing departments. Not only are we tasked with generating a lot of content, but our audience is looking for it to be (gasp!) useful and (dear lord!) valuable to them. Plus, we aren’t really supposed to be talking non-stop about the brand, so what are we to do. Simple – find a few key social themes.

Social themes are basically buckets in which your content shares some commonalities. For example, when I am curating content for our Facebook and Twitter channels, I focus on customer experience, innovation, content and channel strategy. These are the themes that drive my passion as well as the passions of our readers. We know our readers care deeply about these topics and there is a lot of amazing content that is developed to support these themes. Themes are incredibly important when you are curating content as they help focus your efforts and ultimately save you time and effort.

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Is all engagement created equal?

by · May 28, 2014

We spend a lot of time here at SME: Digital talking about Return on Investment. Heck, our CEO wrote the book on it. So, it should come as no surprise that when we were out post-client meeting enjoying adult beverages that the conversation should come back to measuring social media. We had this amazing conversation overlooking the city of San Francisco about metrics and measurement and the value therein. As the conversation was winding down, it dawned on me, we should think about looking at our social engagement metrics in a slightly new way.

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About Tracey Parsons

Tracey Parsons

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.

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