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Listening And Measurement Is Useless Without Action

by · November 6, 2014

The past few weeks, I have been writing about listening and measuring to learn what matters most to your audience. I’ve taken a look at my own startup CredHive.com as well as served as an active advocate for my clients about listening deeply to the customer conversation in your category. I am wildly passionate about connecting customers to brands and to do this, I think it is really important to know what customers want. To understand what a customer wants means you need to listen to understand and really know your metrics.

The net of both of these posts (and many of my earlier posts) are about advancing the customer relationship and adding value to the audience’s day. The goal of course is to help your brand stand out in the social and digital landscape by really studying what’s working, what’s not and where any existing white space may live. I think measurement and listening are incredibly efficient ways to do all of these things.

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Getting Past the Social Echo

by · October 20, 2014

Listening is an important part of social strategy. It is important to know what’s being said about your brand where and by whom. I would argue that it is more important to listen to the conversations in your category or industry. In the past, I have called this delineation listening to respond (branded listening) and listening to understand (category listening). And here’s the big problem, when you are listening to just your brand, all you can hear is the echo of your own voice. Brands are creating more and more content each day and this content is being shared on their social channels and it is not following the 80/20 rule, so, the conversation is usually about you. And when you listen to respond, you will see your word clouds be, well, all about YOU. Which doesn’t tell you a whole heaping lot about the conversation. You might see that your brand or product is being mentioned frequently in social channels. And you might be cheering about that, until you see that the mentions are coming from YOU.

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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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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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Social Grows Up

by · May 1, 2014

Social is older than we think. Listservs were the first foray in social and those were alive in the late 70s. But, mainstream social is becoming a teenager. Teenagers can be a wildly frustrating bunch. They change, have attitude and have a unique and burning desire to push buttons and challenge convention. I can see how this is manifesting itself today.

There has been quite a kerfuffle over how Facebook has changed their algorithm to hinder a brand’s reach. People have said that they are biting the hand that feeds them (total teenager move!). Over at Twitter, they are working hard to monetize their platform with more ads in feed. And LinkedIn is becoming a classifieds section and everyone’s content (people included!) is getting lost. Yes, indeed, social is growing up and becoming a fine teenager. And it’s time for us to let go a bit so that we can grow up too. Here are a few points to ponder as we do this.

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Stop trying to be human – Try being useful.

by · April 23, 2014

Once upon a time businesses were businesses and people were people. Then one day someone (probably at an agency, possibly a real-life Don Draper) convinced a business to be more like people. And businesses made attempts to be more like people. The actual people didn’t buy it and then the big bad Facebook changed their reach algorithm and no one lived happily ever after. The end. Or is it?

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Listening to Understand

by · March 20, 2014

Listening. I talk about listening a lot. Which is a really, really funny thing if I think about it. Maybe I talk about listening too much and in fact, should be listening more. Listening is not only under-rated. It is also not being done thoughtfully.

When I talk to most of the clients about listening (snicker) I find out that they are making the mistake that everyone makes.

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Content Marketing Alone Will Fail

by · November 25, 2013

A friend asked me what was the difference in content marketing and social media marketing. He seemed to think the trend is now that companies are following the flow toward content marketing and the social media part has sort of passed it’s prime.

The problem is they’re different. While one begets the other, it doesn’t necessarily work the other way. This could pose a dangerous problem for brands that don’t see the natural flow and relationship between the two.

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The Highs and Lows of Timely Posts

by · October 16, 2013

A recent post by Scott Stratten got me thinking: Where is the line between shameless plug and mindful, timely brand participation?

Like most things, there is a time and a place for brands to piggyback a current event or holiday as a chance to connect and engage with consumers. These opportunities range from acknowledging a symbolic day of national importance (think Fourth of July) to bringing attention to a playful, off the radar holiday like National Hot Dog day. Holidays can boost engagement, but knowing the “when and how” of execution is important before pushing that share button.

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