Warning: getimagesize(): Filename cannot be empty in /homepages/12/d502827397/htdocs/wp-content/plugins/wp-open-graph/output.class.php on line 306

Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: mediasauce (page 1 of 2)

Lost in a social media world – what should I be doing online?

Recently, I traveled to NY to visit a client and help them with one of their learning websites. The business I did there was fine if uneventful but what happened on the way back to the LaGuardia really opened my eyes to how lost people can get in an online world.

First thing I blew it on was the directions. Instead of taking the time – and I have some being stuck in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere in New Jersey – I worked on a few projects and watched some TV. I could have easily gone to Google Maps or something and gotten directions but I didn’t. Instead I decided to trust my original Google map that got me to the business in the first place and just reverse my way back. That was big mistake.

Second, while leaving in plenty of time, this is NY and I should have realized that there is never enough time if you are traveling in New York City. Too many people. Too many accidents. Too much frustration – there’s never the right signs. I don’t know why I trust highway signs. Even though their entire reason for existence is specifically for directions – I always seem to get better instructions from billboards.

Thirdly, I trusted my mobile phone map which just isn’t big enough and it’s practically impossible to see especially when you are trying to use it in lunch hour traffic in the city.

So on my back I got frustrated while stuck in traffic on the GW bridge. This frustration clouded my judgment when it came to reversing the directions – should I go east or west? It says west but… And then I got lost. Badly. I got stuck on a interstate that didn’t have an exit for ten miles – are you kidding? Then when I got off to turn around, there was no entrance ramp on the other side. I was now in the belly of city and not on an artery. I was doomed.

Then in frustration, I put the wrong location in my phone and my phone proceeded to give me directions that got me further lost. I was sure I was going to miss my flight.

So I called my wife and through her soothing and calming voice and her Google map, I found my way back to LaGuardia and I actually MADE my flight. Thank God to because the next one was six hours later. A two-hour trip became four.

How did I get so lost? I’m usually one of those people that have a good sense of direction and I know my way around.

I got lost because I failed to take the necessary steps to plan my roadmap. I didn’t have the right directions. I trusted my gut instead of going with a plan. Then when things didn’t work out the way I wanted I got frustrated and used helpful technology in the wrong way and it messed me up even worse.

So what does this have to do with social media and your company? A lot actually.

The big one…is that if you are LOST IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD, you need to have a real good plan of where you want to go with your social media online presence. There are many routes to go but you should know which is the best one for you and it should be mapped out and on the wall. Here is where you are at. Here’s where you want to go. Stick to it.

You could easily do a blog, social community, twitter, forum, widget, video, podcast, photos, facebook, myspace, etc…but does it really make sense.  How would you know if you’ve never done it?

When it comes to the online world, don’t trust your gut. Trust your research. Many, many people will call you and tell you that what they are doing is the right way – maybe the only way. You may like them. You may trust them. But don’t. Call the references. Check out the work. Do a search on them. Ask them lots and lots of questions about their methodology. They should have a plan customized for you.

Technology is not the answer. Just because it is cool doesn’t mean that it really does anything for you. You have to understand the technology (not in a bits sort of way – but what it is capable of and how it will work for you).

If things are going badly, contact someone you trust and listen to them. Their perspective can bring a whole new light to the subject you are stuck on. They could possibly guide you out of the mess you are in if you let them.

I’ll go back to NY just like you should go back to social media (if you’ve gotten burned in the past) but I’ll do it with a good roadmap (like the ones MediaSauce creates), lots of research, and access to a trusted source.

BTW, this came out today on social media. Customers want you to talk to them through it. Don’t ignore it because of the past.

BlogIndiana and Blogging Basics – Yep, I’m an alternate

I was asked this week to help fill in a BlogINDIANA.

I guess they had a few speakers have conflicts and they hit up MediaSauce for some help.

We’re always happy to help.

Right now, I’m pretty sure I can bang my way through the discussion because that’s really what blogging is all about.  A discussion instead of a statement.

But if you have any questions, you would like me to answer while I’m there – you can post them here on my blog and I’m answer them there.

I’m sure I’ll have follow up after the discussion next week.

I hope to see you all there.

What the heck is Princeton Premier or how Social Media can make or break your company’s internet presence?

So I got this email…

Don Schindler It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2008-2009 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition section of the registry. The 2008-2009 edition of the registry will include biographies of the world’s most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout the world each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement. You may access our application form using the following link: http://princetonpremierbios.addr2.com/url/416876/2fa84429/ Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among other accomplished individuals in the Princeton Premier Registry. For accuracy and publication deadlines, please complete your application form and return it to us within five business days. There is no cost to be included in the registry. If you’ve already received this email from us, there is no need to respond again. This email serves as our final invitation to potential members who have not yet responded. On behalf of the Executive Publisher, we wish you continued success. Sincerely, Jason Harris Managing Director Princeton Premier

_______________________________________________________

Click the following link to update your information
or stop future mailings.
http://princetonpremierbios.addr2.com/mailprefs/f920fa/2fa84429/

Princeton Premier
23-35 Steinway Street
Astoria, NY 11105

I’ve been on the net working professionally for almost ten years now so this just screams BS. But you never know, so I spent a couple of minutes just to make sure.

Google search…ouch. The first entry isn’t even them. It’s a Yahoo Answers questioning who they are. But the answer isn’t that good so I go back to Google and check out the other links.

The official site is the second link.  You never, ever want that to happen. I go to the site. It’s not that professional and looks like a scam.

Then I go back to Google and start checking out the blog entries. There are plenty of them and finally I get to one where they actually dive deep into the site and find out it costs $100 to join and you don’t get the money back if you are unsatisfied with the results. I really appreciate the time I saved by reading instead of filling in the blanks.

Now, this example is easy to show how consumers like myself can find out what is legitimate online pretty easily.

But what if this happened to your small company? What if an upset customer blogged about you and their entry was showing up before yours in a Google search?  It’s like your worst customer sitting outside your doorstep telling everyone that you suck and they should not do business with you.

That’s the number one thing I hear about social media and opening your company up to it? What if a customer complains? What if they write bad things about me on the site?

Well, next blog I’ll explain why I see it as a good thing and how to try and drive a bad entry off a Google search.

Social Media is not advertising nor marketing: it’s about connections

In yesterday’s Online Spin, there was an article Agencies: Reinvented or
Replaced
by Joe Marchese.

Joe’s jist was that ad agencies need to change – that they aren’t prepared for the future of advertising within social media. Here’s what he says,

“In the end, social media is nothing more than a mirror of people’s real-world behavior (albeit amplified and with extreme ADD). If you’re taking steps to make your brand relevant to people in the real world (which I sure hope you are), then it’s not that big of a leap to figuring out how to make your brand relevant to people in a social media context. Social media should be a valuable tool for helping you answer that billion-dollar question of what will make your brand relevant to people, as well as the platform spreading your brand’s message as you achieve greater relevance. It’s listening and talking, instead of just talking.

Agencies certainly have the talent to listen. Some of the best and brightest are hungry to take on the challenge of building the iconic brands that shape our lives, and would love the opportunity to feed back the voice of the people they are talking to. But the current brand-agency relationship isn’t set up for this task – and, more importantly, isn’t compensated for it. Are agencies set up to have a conversation for your brand, or has a mandate to only be the brand’s mouthpiece crippled agencies from truly activating your brand in social media?

It’s this question that has led many to wonder if brands should be handling the activation of social media in-house. It is a valid point. If it’s true that brands’ participation in social media means much more than simply buying media and blasting the “big idea,” can agencies fill this role?

I believe not only that agencies can, but that they must. Because unless agencies participate in social media, their role as stewards of brands will eventually end — and their greatest fear, a future where their services are nothing more than a commoditized function performed by Google and Microsoft, (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/22/business/ad23.php), will come true. If your function can be performed by a computer, it will be. Fighting this, rather than focusing on the areas that cannot be done even by the mighty Google’s algorithms, is a losing battle. The future of agencies lies in more than knowing how to get in front of the right people, but also in knowing how to talk and listen to those people to shape a brand and its message.”

While I’m an advocate of what Joe is saying about social media and the commitment to it by companies, I’m confused about how an agency would change to deal with this. This is a fundamental shift in thinking.

Is an agency really set up to change from push to pull? From messaging to conversating? Why must an agency deal with this at all? It’s not like advertising is going to go away. To add a social media department within the agency (essentially buying your way into social media) isn’t the answer because then you’ve got competing factions within the agency. One that pushes messages out and one that participates in the message.

On the outside, it may seem like a good idea but as soon as one of them starts making more money than the other, agencies tend to be biased in that direction so neither the message nor the conversation works.

So then it must go in house? I don’t believe that is the right call either. What I’ve found with in-house marketing is that it isn’t strong enough or large enough to participate in the conversation. There’s too much going on for a one or two person marketing department. Even larger companies are cutting the head count.

Then what is the answer? I believe social media is an entity to itself and must be treated as such. The new kind of connection agency will emerge that will consult and participate with the brand’s messaging in mind – but they can’t be held to the same standards as a traditional agency.

In other words, you can’t punish them for finding out people think your product suck. You should reward them with finding out the insights on why the product sucks and their ideas on how you can make it better. They will keep you in the loop and connect you with your consumers and your partners.

You may think these guys and gals are just research then but research is and should be at arm’s length just observing what is happening and reporting on that. Connection agencies are knee-deep with the consumer. Consumers should know that they are part of the company – transparent and authentic – and that they can help get them an answer that maybe customer service couldn’t understand or deal with.

You are also in the long haul with this kind of company. This isn’t an RFP type of arrangement. This isn’t somebody you can throw to the curb after a couple of years – or just because you want to jump to the hottest connection company of the year. They are just as essential as your operations department.

Maybe I’m wrong about this but I think agencies aren’t the right place to put this type of communication. Let them do what they are really good at…clearly communicating your message. Let the connection agency find out if it’s working and if your products are delivering the goods.

Clutter on the Web and my Desk – Siteless Web Presence

My desk is a mess.

Once, in first grade, my teacher – can’t remember the nun’s name – put my entire desk in a box and sent me along with the box to the principal’s office. Then he called my parents in so we could talk about how messy my desk was.

Obviously, the teacher’s plan to shame me into cleaning my desk did not pay off because as I look around right now – I still sit amongst chaos.

Magazines and books that I want to read but haven’t gotten to. But I don’t want to shelve them because then I might forgot them. A calendar and dead lava lamp, tons of papers (not stacked but haphazardly thrown around), my “You’ve been bad jar” for myself and co-workers (it’s usually full of treats but is empty right now – I guess a lot of people have been bad), Chex mix, CDs, pens, pictures of the family, a box of client marketing collateral…any normal person would probably start cleaning it right away but not me.

My mother-in-law says her boss is the same way – that she’s never met anyone cluttered. She doesn’t know how he gets anything done.

I defended him by saying, “That’s how I work. I’ll clean it up and then it’ll be a mess again in a few hours so why bother. I know where mostly everything is. It just looks awful to you.”

In some ways, the web is just like this. There’s not much organization. You have to search for what you want and hope that Google or the other search engines find what you want. If not, you start the search over adding different terms to your search.

It can be frustrating when you can’t find what you are looking for but it can also be exciting when you find something that you never knew was there. And when you find it, you often share it with someone. Because what’s the use of finding something cool if no one knows you’ve found it.

This is another reason for why you should have a siteless web presence. The web isn’t organized. Heirarchies have been replaced. If all you have is one website, you are one against millions and millions of other sites.

You need to be in a lot of places all at once so when someone is doing a search, they may come across you. Maybe it’s not your main site but it can always redirect there.

And, when they do come across you, you have to be interesting enough that they might want to share you with a friend. Because it’s easy to share with friends on the web (del.icio.us, stumble upon, digg – there are lots of social bookmarking sites.)

In fact, you should put this on your site. It’s from Add this! It’s easy and free and can’t hurt unless your website is painful to use and ugly – then you might get some unexpected traffic from people making fun of you and your company.

Funny story about that. I was once sitting in a meeting when a client brought up the fact that their website actually cost them business. The prospect had pointed out that if they were such a wonderful technology software company then why did their website look like a grade school student had put it together. Ouch.

If you have problems like this, then come see us at Mediasauce.com. We’ll help you out.

Older posts

© 2019 Don Schindler

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑