Engagement as a Universal Constant

How familiar are statements like these?

“Gee I really wish such-and-such would just engage.”

“Be engaged in order to be successful in social media.”

“Social media is different than marketing because it’s about engagement.”

“We really want to engage our community.”

All fair statements, through their own lenses.

But the trick is that the definition of engagement is in the eye of the beholder. What you perceive as an “engaged” customer might not suit their definition at all. And the limited online periscope through which you view someone’s behavior (and consequently judge it) may not be all-encompassing.

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Audio from the small group meeting with Seth Godin in Manhattan

This is an incredible age of opportunity. We have the power and tools to make and connect with friends around the world who can truly make stuff happen. It would take a long time to catalog all the good stuff flowing my way just THIS month (London, Paris, New York, Orlando, etc.)…one highlight was a day spent in a private session with Seth Godin on his home turf in Manhattan.

About 60 of us gathered to listen. Imagine our wonder and awe when we realized SETH was there to listen, too! Officially, no video cameras were allowed. Unofficially, he allowed me to video tape him, with the proviso that I not publish it. Later during our time together, I questioned him on his “don’t share” policy, but that’s a long post for another time. (To get you primed for THAT post, please check out 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Search for “abundance mentality” and ponder the implications of Covey’s registered trademark of the phrase.)

Even though I can’t share the video with you, I CAN share this audio file of the event. I have Seth’s explicit permission to host and share the MP3 file. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it.

Dear CMOs, Wake up to Social Media challenge

In my previous post titled What is Social CRM and why it is important, I have highlighted the phenomenal growth in number of Social Media users and importance of engaging customers through Social Media for building trust and brand loyalty.

Given statistically significant correlation between social media engagement and financial performance metrics – revenue and profit, one would expect CMOs to be busy making elaborate plans about engaging customers through Social Media, Right? WRONG!

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How to Grow a Targeted Following on Twitter

When I first started using Twitter, I made a big – yet common – mistake. I followed only people who followed me. This resulted in a stream full of spam and total silence whenever I posed a question or shared a link.

When I reached about 1,000 followers, I decided to take a proactive approach to Twitter. I began to seek and follow people in my industry – people who care about the same topics I care about. Once this happened, I generated some great opportunities through the social networking platform.

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The Role of Leadership in Social Media

We often hear of social media being equated with tools and platforms. But it’s really much more than that.

If you’re adopting these technologies and behaviors at your company, it’s not about the shiny new toys. It’s fundamentally about culture change. And that type of transformational change – which may include updating business practices – must come from the top. But more than a top-down dictum, it’s got to be part of leadership.

I’ve previously discussed leadership here – in particular the leadership from Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally, who really gets social media. He promotes a culture of transparency and openness that is completely aligned with the way we’re trying to engage with consumers online and think about how we do business. Consistency of purpose and of message is key.

The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” feature recently did a two-part interview with Alan that captures some of the thinking behind what makes this major culture change at Ford such a success. I thought it was valuable to share these videos with you, since there are broader business lessons here that any marketing, communications or social media professional should understand.

Alan Mulally on catching mistakes

Transcript available here.

Alan Mulally on the “liberating clarity” of his mission

Transcript available here.

This kind of thinking and laser-like focus on our plan is one of the things that continues to set Ford apart. In social media as well as in the industry.

Scott Monty

Costco and social media: Where are they?

As a business consultant, I always look at Costco with a lot of interest. It took me a good 2 years to be convinced that I needed a Costco membership card.
I used to piggyback once or twice a year with a privileged family member. Now, I am a member and I enter Costco feeling special, as if I belong to a privileged club of bulk buyers! Well, at least, that’s the perception most people have!

For those unfamiliar with Costco, it sells a variety of products from a multitude of brands including its own private label Kirkland. One can buy from the bricks and mortar warehouse stores or online. At Costco, you are not just a customer but a member; even if it’s partly semantic, the word makes a difference.

Don’t expect to be pampered at the door and to be able to a ask staff member information about a product at every corner of the immense warehouse. However, you are greeted at the door when you present your membership card, and then you are pretty much on your own. I think the mere fact of showing a membership card unconsciously makes us feel special – we are part of this gated community, we get access to what other people don’t

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Marketing in a Social Media World


Experiment means trying different approaches until you hit the one that works.

Too often “strategic planning” means setting a course and sticking by it no matter what the feedback. The benefit and beauty of social marketing is the ability to experiment in a new environment and chart a course that may otherwise have never been discovered.

Time to come out of that BRAND controlled shell and harness the engagement and user generated content/feedback that can drive the business into the future…

Don’t be scared, it will only hurt a little and the benefits can far outweight any pain.

Ted Rubin

How to Reach the C-Suite: 10 Actions to Shift into High Gear

Think you’re ready for the C-Suite? Whether you aspire to the CEO, CIO, or CMO position, these 10 principles will help you market yourself in executive circles, develop an influential network, and reach your leadership goal sooner.

1. Build “up” your network. Assemble a personal board of directors to tap for business advice. Look for trusted, well-respected C-level leaders who will help you formulate a strategy of progression to the corner office. If you are the leader of your professional network and are the most knowledgeable and experienced in your group, it’s time to enlarge the circle of influence. “Your success, not only in climbing the ladder but in building a leading company, is as strong as the people you can call upon, because these are the people who will advise you, help you out, and whom you can appoint to key positions in your company in the future. As you start to get up higher in the pyramid, you realize that your networking ability, and your worth to the entire network, is what provides the keys to the kingdom,” says Bill Swanson, CEO of Raytheon (There’s No Elevator to the Top, Ramakrishnan, p. 87).

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A Problem Affecting Twitter’s B2B Marketing Adoption (It Ain’t Easy)

Over the past couple of months as we’ve been working with clients at Make Good Media, we noticed a social media trend I thought I would share. It has to do with Twitter. As an active, daily user of Twitter, it is fairly easy to overlook this trend. But repeatedly, we’ve heard the following, “At first, Twitter is really hard to understand, quite confusing, and frankly I don’t get it.” Some have even gone so far as to say, “I’m ready to give up.”

Now as someone who is very active on Twitter, and knows all the ins and outs, this can come as a quite a surprise. It’s not until you sit down with someone, begin going through it, and say statements like, “That’s a DM.” Or “You see this, that is a ‘mention.’ To reply to that, you just type in the at symbol followed by their username.” Pretty quickly you realize you are almost speaking a foreign language, and there are several things that need to be learned for someone to really grasp the basics of Twitter.

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Social CRM: Controversial, Complex, Critical!

Here at The Social CMO we have a number of experts, definers and those interested in the implementation of Social CRM Strategies. Everytime we make a post on the topic, there is always many responses both positive, negative or debating one interpretation or another.

See our recent post from @HKotadia entitled Definition of Social CRM – Explained! and the subsequent comments discussion as just one example of how active a topic that Social CRM is currently.

Also, for those looking for a frank and simple discussion of Social CRM and the approaches and differences from traditional CRM, the below two part interview videos with Lithium CMO Sanjay Dholakia are a great starting place.

Part One of interview with Lithium CMO Sanjay Dholakia

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