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Tracey Parsons

Is Fun Content Over-rated?

by · September 11, 2014

So your friend would be Bender if he were in the Breakfast Club according to BuzzFeed. How about that? And people are clicking all over that stuff and sharing liberally. Someone somewhere is getting your feed’s attention and it wasn’t you. You know why? Apparently that stuff is fun. Not for me, per se, but for the gaggle of people I know on Facebook it must be the most fun thing in the world. And guess what, people like fun. At first, I thought this was all about the fun, but then I realized, it is exactly the type of fun people like. They like fun that is all about them.

So, if you can make your content fun and totally focused on the id and ego of the reader…#win. But what if your brand isn’t inherently fun? There are a ton of products and services in the world that are not at all fun, no matter what. What if you’re a bank or a cable company or other utility? No offense banks and cable companies, but it is the rare individual who views your products and services as “fun”. Yes, cable companies provide entertainment, and banks can help you buy something fun like a motorcycle, but they are merely the conduits to fun. They aren’t the backbone of fun.

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How to Advance the Customer Relationship

by · September 3, 2014

Last week, I wrote a post about raising the bar on customer relationships and how owning an email address is not a relationship. That an email address is a data point and nowhere near “relationship” status. I’ve encouraged brands of all shapes and sizes to work harder to forge a meaningful relationship with their customers; one that the customer values and the brand nurtures. I’ve come to realize that there are so many things a brand can do to nurture a relationship with a customer. The ones that come top of mind are all related to transparency. Of all the scary things I tell people when it comes to getting the best possible results from social media marketing (things like “don’t talk about your brand all the time” and to measure your results), the one that makes them visibly shiver is related to transparency.

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Raising the bar: Customer relationships

by · August 29, 2014

The past few months I have been a little focused, some may say obsessed, with lowering the bar. From my post on creating less content to my ideas on having a point in your social media marketing. I’ve been talking about being more deliberate, I’ve encouraged people to lower the bar in terms of being useful instead of human and being a trusted resource instead of a thought leader. Well, today, I want us to raise the bar on one thing: customer relationships.

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Consider the trusted resource

by · August 21, 2014

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.

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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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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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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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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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