Social Ads

I just noticed this PG&E ad on Mashable and like the format. It’s interesting that they are showing ways that PG&E is using social media to reach out. Obviously it speaks to the audience of social media mashers on, but the ability to share the ad as I am doing here is a new trend. Heads up folks, this could be the future of social advertising.

I also love that the movies are slight, with the “Play with Sound” call to action on them. Way to ask people permission before bombarding them with your message! Also, thanks for thinking of the different ways I may like to learn more about your company with video, twitter or articles. Just like, giving your customers a choice means you respect them and they will appreciate that. Nice work PG&E!

Why Blog?

In his blog post for today, Seth Godin shares four videos about noice, social and decency and in the spirit of group genius, the power of the group and collective insight, Seth encourages his readers to vote for their favorite video. That’s a great way to get fans to watch all four videos, which are all worth the few minutes they take. My favorite since I just finished teaching my Internet Marketing Now: New Tools & Trends class for the summer at SFSU is the “Seth Godin and Tom Peters on Blogging” video embedded below.

Quoting from the video:

“Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself […] How do you force yourself to describe in three paragraphs why you did something? How do you respond outloud?

If you’re good at it, some people are going to read it. If you are not good at it and you stick with it, you’ll get good at it. […] Force yourself to become part of the conversation, [because] that posture change, changes an enormous amount.” — Seth Godin

“No single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging.” — Tom Peters, Best Selling Author, Management Visionary

And it is indeed free!

Friday Fun: A New Boyfriend and Twitter Interviews

What a great find!  I just learned of the joys of Jay Baer (@jaybaer)and I’ve decided he’s my new boyfriend for social media advice.  You can convince and convert me any day, Jay!  I love your blog.  Not only do you practice what you preach, but you share it too!  Thank you.

Since I’ve been a fan of Beth Kanter for several months now I was tickled to find this twitter interview with her that Jay is doing as part of his 20 Twitter Interview series.  My favorite question and answer from the Twitterview was:

13. @jaybaer: Social media is inextricably linked with inbound marketing. How important is search engine savvy for NPOs today?

  • @kanter: SEO is very important for nonprofit marketing plans – part of the rule of thirds (Web site, social media, SEO).

Good to hear we the web site and SEO still need to get attention in this wildly social time.

The Power of the Group and Exclusivity

Since I’m teaching tonight at the downtown campus of SFSU CEL, I was particularly interesting in the Groupon email in my inbox this morning. The offer is for $35 worth of scrumptious Italian food at Zuppa for $15. That’s a $20 savings and in any economy, that sounds like a deal!

Zuppa is on 4th Street, just around the corner from SFSU, so perhaps some of my students would like to take advantage of it for a late dinner.

If you haven’t heard of Groupon, it’s worth a look because there are some great offers and because they are usually one day only you feel special if you can take advantage of one. The limited time offer is the exclusivity.

The fact that the offer will only happen if enough people buy-in, i.e. want to take advantage of the offer and commit to being there is the power of the group. You see the business can only offer the special if they have enough people. With a critical mass, they are willing to make a special offer. If not enough people sign up, the deal is off.

So it’s one of those win-win propositions. The business uses Groupon to promote business and the customers receive a special deal because they are Groupon members.

Group (rock) on!

Favorite Quotes from Putting the Public Back into PR

Since I just finished Putting the Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge, I am trying something new with regards to sharing my thoughts about the book.  There may be a few more posts talking about the book in the future, but for the book is highlighted and I am revisiting all the highlights to pull out my favorite points for discussion and emphasis.  Here are a few of my favorites just in the first 50 pages.  The book is well worth reading especially if you are a PR professional, but even if you are just getting into social media and trying to get a feel for the New Media landscape today.

“Great PR has always been about telling stories in a way that makes people identify with like-minded individuals to share information and build strong relationships.” — p. xx, Preface, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

Stories are everything.  I am reminded of Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind, that drills this point home in his story about selling wine and if I tell you the story here I will ruin it for you, so if you’re interested read or even better, LISTEN to the book.

“Broadcasting your “message” to your audience with top-down PR campaigns no longer works in New Media.  You have to engage people through the diverse segments that represent your target markets.” — p.14, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

In other words, know your audience and not just how old they are, where they live and how much income they earn, but really know them.  Know where they spend their time, what they like, how they participate in social media, what they do at work and at home.  Know how they think and what makes them engage in conversation.

“New PR is about people and relationships, not just new tools… PR in the era of Socialized Media requires a fusion of traditional PR, Internet marketing, Web-savvy market intelligence, and the ability to listen and engage in conversations without speaking in messages.” — p.35, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

Since I started my career in PR and am now in Internet marketing, this quote makes me feel like I am in the right place to listen and engage.

Have you read the book?  What do you think?

We are Evolving

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

4o years ago today, the first humans landed on the moon.  It was a major milestone with Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to follow the next day.  What seemed impossible had been accomplished and many people worldwide watched in awe as the news unfolded on the black and white television, across  radio waves and in the newspaper.

Today, most people first hear of important news via their social network.  Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or just a friend telling you, who probably received it in “Twitter-time,” the news has shifted from something that is not just reported by big corporations, but also distributed by word-of-mouth over short messaging systems and wifi.

We’ve come a long way in 40 years especially when it comes to marketing and relationships.  40 years ago marketing used to require messaging and money was crucial to building a strong campaign and there was very little opportunity for the small Mom and Pop shop to compete.  Today, marketing requires relationships, connections, conversations and participation.  Even the little guy can succeed if he is smart and driven enough.  It still takes time though and that’s where the skills come in.  Do your research and you’re likely to find a lot of people sharing a wealth of knowledge.  For example, this article by Mari Smith that Michaela Hayes shared with me is a very good strategy for social media.

We are now well into the share economy where sharing and connecting over common interests is the name of the game.
I enjoyed this Nora Jones song I found during an Apollo 11 search on Twitter.  Sometimes reflection on our progress is a great way to continue moving forward.

Being a Teacher Means
Being a Student

I am teaching my Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning in the Integrated Marketing Program.  (If that is not a mouthful I don’t know what is.) The course name is soon to be changed to Social Media and More because since it began a couple of years ago the material has morphed into being more social media than anything else, because that is what is most popular online today.

When you work on the Internet, the trends change so rapidly that was “it” six months ago is now “old” and the new is really H O T, “hot”!

I watched a rather long video today from a marketer I have stumbled upon before on Twitter called Jonathan Bud.  He is certainly confident, exudes confidence and loves himself, and that is all totally fine.  There is nothing wrong with it.  You may want to hate him for it, but you can’t, because he just seems so genuine.

One of the things he says near the end of the video is to become a master marketer, you must become a student of marketing.  Follow other marketers, make note of what they do, study successful marketing campaigns and case studies and have lots of fun with it.  I like to study other marketers and really admire people like Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan and more.  There is always something to learn and I feel like I am a perpetual student.

This is humbling and I also learn from my students when I teach.  One of the assignments in the Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class is to blog everyday for the duration of the class.  I ask my students to do this and I promise to do it too.  It sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.  The challenge is good and I believe the exercise helps students understand what being a blogger is like and what kinds of things you need to do to make it.  I am always inspired by my students with this exercise.  There are so many great writers out there and so much potential.  Follow your dreams.  Do what you want to do and don’t let anyone ever tell you you can’t, because by golly, if you believe you can, yes you CAN.

Free Lunch

Today I started reading Chris Anderson’s free FREE: The Future of a Radical Price on my free Kindle for iPhone application. I’m not very far in the book yet, but am loving the fact that I have a whole book on my phone that I have with me wherever I go, that it was free, that it’s all about how offering products and services for free CAN be and often is a means to making money and everything about the whole experience is well… freeing!


I have been telling students in my classes that there is such a thing as a free lunch for a while now, beginning with the introduction of podcasts. Offering knowledge and services for free is a great way to build goodwill, get yourself noticed and build your customer base. Google is a glaring example. And have you ever paid for using Wikipedia?

Chris Anderson also talks about Monty Python who were disgruntled by the fact that so many of their videos were being shown on YouTube without their permission. They decided to create their own channel of clips with much better quality and asked their fans to just buy their videos, DVDs and other merchandise. The result? After the three month experiment giving away the high quality clips, sales had increased 23,000 percent! Wow!

Dew-mocracy and Customer Engagement

@Jason_Pollock on Twitter posted a video introducing the Mountain Dew Box. It’s an exclusive box of several unmarked cans of different flavored Mountain Dew which they will be sending to an undisclosed number of participants in the Dew Box Campaign. To receive a Dew Box, contestants must send in a 2 minute video about why they are the best candidates for the taste testing job or just send an email explaining why.

Mountain Dew commissioned 50 artists to design the box and is will be using the artwork in the campaign as well. It’s a social media campaign and a creative way to engage customers in discovering the next new flavor of “Dew” and really involve brand and product fans.

The contest is short – starting on Friday, July 17th and ending on Tuesday, July 21st, so those “Doing-the -Dew-ers” are going to be drinking lots of @Mtn_Dew to get that video in this weekend.

Here’s Jason’s introduction:

And here’s the campaign landing page: DewLabs 12 Seconds Challenge. It looks like 12 Seconds, a new video sharing service (social video) is partnering with Moutain Dew. What a great way to increase exposure for 12 Seconds as well as do something fun and exciting for Dew drinkers.

No surprise that there’s a way to connect via a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Flickr gallery. But no MySpace? No link to Twitter from the DewLabs page? Interesting.

What dew yew think?

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