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And The Era Of Social Sales Begins

by · August 27, 2014

The purists said, “You can’t sell using social media.” And the purists were wrong. Damn wrong. In fact, there’s little more social in the business world at all than selling. It’s just taken us until recently to get the social purists out of the way so we can get back to business.

And get back to business we will. Who better to help lead us there than David Meerman Scott, one of the pioneers who led marketing and public relations people down the path of the New Rules? He’s out with his new book, The New Rules of Sales and Service, and it couldn’t be a more perfect text book for the sales industry.

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Six Social Marketing Memes I Wish Would Die

by · August 4, 2014

We social — nay content — nay digital marketers sure are a predictable bunch. Please know that my “we” does include me. We’ve top-10’d and How-to’d and Infographic’d our way to taking an online space full of intelligent signal to unintelligible noise faster than a bitchy customer can tweet.

Even from a purely social perspective, we aren’t than original. Some of the personal content I see from my friends in the space is the same old crap, eaten up, chewed up and spat out again and again like they’re a robin feeding a nest of chicks. And, as Nichole smartly explored last week, most of what we do here is all fueled by our egos. Some of them are playful and innocent. Others are pointed and somewhat sinister. Still others are flat out of control.

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Is Your Ego What’s Really Driving Your Social Presence?

by · July 28, 2014

Have you ever stopped to think about why you’ve developed a social presence for yourself? I mean really stopped and asked, why am I doing this? Is this for me? Or is this for them? Many of us would probably answer that we are there to serve others, but, as I look at the content that is being shared, it’s pretty clear that we’re really there to fuel our ego.

Unfortunately, brands are no different. We all jumped on the social wagon without a clear purpose and mission, and if we really looked deeper, we’d see it was a whole bunch of ego that led to a game of ego back-patting. You share our content; we’ll share yours. You follow me; we’ll follow you. I’ll make you the hero of our content because we are so much more superior than you, piddly follower.

Whether you are a brand or an individual with a social presence, there are some tough questions we need to ask ourselves.

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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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Celebrity spokespersons and the Federal Trade Commission

by · June 25, 2014

Since Twitter allows users only 140 characters, any celebrity endorsing a product via tweet must leave room for “#ad” or “#spon” – at least according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC has long required advertisers and endorsers to disclose their material connections. Thus, when a celebrity has been paid to endorse a product or service and they fail to disclose that fact, both the advertiser and endorser can be liable.

The issue of celebrity endorsements on social media was first addressed by the FTC in its 2009 update to the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Guides”). Now, five years later, seemingly every celebrity has, at minimum, a Twitter account. So the need to hold them and advertisers accountable for potentially misleading endorsements on social media is even more significant today.

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Why It’s Good To Be The Asshole

by · June 23, 2014

Perhaps it’s that the news of the day bothers me more now since I have to explain a lot of it to the inquiring minds of my children. Maybe I’m getting more cranky in my old(er) age. Or it could be that I just like a good fight. Whatever the reason, I seem to have gotten into more debates and discussions about social issues and politics lately on my social networks.

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A Brand And Person Offer The Same Post With Very Different Results

by · April 28, 2014

My social media hippie friends have their collective organic panties in a tofu wad over my recent rants about how brands can’t really be human. Hey? The truth hurts, especially when you’ve been telling your clients the opposite for 8-10 years.

Sorry. They don’t call me an “instigator” for nothing, I guess.

While the recent news that Facebook will allegedly be dialing down organic reach for brand page content certainly inspired my thinking, this goes well beyond Facebook. Think about it in your own life. Would you trust the recommendation of a company to use their product or the recommendation of a person who used the product? Would you trust the company salesperson (who we assume is human) over the product user? Would you trust any of them over a trusted friend?

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The Easiest Way To Win With Social Media

by · April 21, 2014

Its Twitter stream is a never-ending flow of promotional links. Its Facebook page is much of the same. In fact, many of its social posts are mixed languages as well, potentially confusing or turning off part of its audience. It’s LinkedIn presence is nothing to write home about. If it has a blog, it’s impossible to find.

This doesn’t sound like a successful social company, does it? But it might be the hottest thing in social yet. Here’s why: Almost, if not every mention of it online is a glowing review. People go out of their way to brag about the company. The word-of-mouth metrics on this brand online are through the roof.

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Rick Pitino Can Help End Prejudice By Admitting His Own

by · February 24, 2014

Ignorance has reared it’s ugly head in many ways the last few weeks. Everything from sexual orientation to social media has been the victim. Sochi hosted perhaps the most politically controversial games since Mexico City with Russia’s anti-gay policies inspiring President Obama to send a noticeably out-of-the-closet delegation to accompany the U.S. team.

Closer to home, professional locker rooms have become hot stoves for the LGBT discourse as Jason Collins broke the openly gay, active player barrier last night for the Brooklyn Nets and Michael Sam went through the NFL combine prepping to become the first openly gay professional football player. Thankfully, we’ve reached a point in this debate that most of the conversation has been supportive and inclusive, though the topic still stirs up reactions that are less than ideal to even downright mean.

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