The Power of Social Reach

Remember the Yellow Pages? When we needed business information or personal contact information, we would have to find the right book from a huge stack, then flip through all those pages to find what we were looking for. If we needed a contact in a different state, we had to make phone calls to find a possible connection to someone we already knew. And we probably didn’t even think about making connections with someone in another country.

Now it’s a whole different world with social media, with almost instantaneous personal connections to people all around the world. Instead of just one-to-one connections, we get one-to-very-very-many connections as we can now tap into the extensive networks of everyone on our own social graph.

If I need a contact in a particular company, or city, or country, all I need to do is post a question on Facebook or better yet, Twitter, asking if someone has a trusted contact in that company or location, and I will soon have a name and contact information. If a colleague across the country needs help in their own town, a quick tweet will likely reach at least one person who can either directly provide that assistance to my colleague, or at least provide the right connection.

We also need to remember that bloggers are an important part of social media’s reach. Just recently, I had two different situations of helping bloggers reach other bloggers in another part of the country – due to the broad social media reach I have created by putting relationships first, I was able to help them connect and get the assistance they needed within minutes by simply tweeting out a request for a contact in a very specific community. Complete strangers tied together through one trusted connection, and time and distance were immediately condensed through the use of social media.

At OpenSky, we are all about the relationships and social reach of our trusted influencers (bloggers, authors, editors, celebrities, social media mavens) and their communities (networks). Instead of just offering products for sale, we offer connection and community to influencers who have products they believe in (from innovative suppliers) and want to share with (sell to) their network. This is the new way the world will connect, where relationships matter.

The world is now your oyster, use social media to find the pearl(s)!

Rick Wion first #MarketerMonday Chat Guest!

This evening at 8:00pm eastern marked the launch of the #MarketerMonday Chat utilizing hashtag #MMchat and Rick Wion @rdublife, Director of Social Media for McDonald’s was the first SPECIAL guest on the chat!

Tweetchat was hosted by yours truly @JeffAshcroft aka @TheSocialCMO and our topic was Social Media Alignment. Check out the full transcript of the chat which was lively with many great questions from the 77 people who joined in the chat posting almost 400 tweets! The only thing better than the questions were Rick’s insightful and interesting answers provided from his unique perspective as the Director, Social Media for McDonald’s.

Next Monday August 3rd, @TedRubin of #Opensky will be our second #MarketerMonday Chat SPECIAL guest and Relationship Commerce: Return on Relationship (ROR) will be the topic!

A SPECIAL thank you to Rick Wion for joining us and making this launch a very memorable evening indeed! And thanks to all of you who participated and please feel free to comment below on our inaugural #MarketerMonday Chat!


Jeff Ashcroft


What Don Draper Can Teach You About Social Media

Warning: Mad Men season four spoiler alert ~ In the season four premiere of Mad Men, Don Draper puts the new agency in jeopardy when he refuses to open up during an interview with Ad Age. His lack of candour gives the reporter nothing to work with. This leads to a bland article that fails to distinguish Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce from every other agency and causes a falling out with a key client.

Although Don is forward-thinking in his campaigns, he failed to recognize the importance of the interview and how the PR could affect the agency. He put his need to guard himself ahead of the needs of his colleagues, his clients and even the Ad Age readers.

Don’s reluctance to be transparent reminds me of today’s executives who are still hesitant to adopt social media.

Perhaps these executives are used to having tight control over their brands and are reluctant to make themselves open for public critique. However, the critiques will happen – regardless of whether you’re using social media or not. Consider how you will look if people talk about your company on the social web and you have no way to respond.

Here are three things Don Draper can teach you about social media:

  1. Transparency is key – Don learned a big lesson about transparency in the season four opener. To save his image, he had to overcome his desire to remain aloof and open up to the public. The importance of transparency also applies to social media today. People will relate to you better if they get to know you as a person – not just as a brand or logo. Social media allows you to build your reputation by engaging in public conversations with your audience.
  2. You can get a second chance – Although Don mangled his interview with Ad Age, he had the opportunity to redeem himself during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. When you’re active on social media, you can also create your own second chances. You can immediately respond to criticism and turn negative publicity into something positive.
  3. Tell a good story – Don’s first interview bombed because it wasn’t memorable. During his second interview, Don changed tactics and told a compelling story that would get everyone talking about his agency. He recognized that people remember and share good stories. Today, you can tell your stories through social media. The more compelling the story, the more word-of-mouth you will generate.

What do you think? Is Don’s experience in the season four premiere relevant to marketing professionals today? If Mad Men took place in 2010, would Don blog and tweet?

Rachel Foster

Social Media and Future of Advertising

What is the future of advertising in Social Age?

Well, we may get as many different answers as the number of Social Media gurus and Advertising pundits out there, which by the way is not a small number!

“Nature of commercial message is not going to look like a display ad, it’s going to provide functionality and a different kind of interface for the user to act on something. People in Social context don’t want to be interrupted, instead want continue to be engaged and want functionality that eases a task they are about to engage in”.

Watch this excellent panel discussion and listen to what four real experts have to say on this subject. The experts are:

I like what Irwin Gotlieb says: “Nature of commercial message is not going to look like a display ad, it’s going to provide functionality and a different kind of interface for the user to act on something. People in Social context don’t want to be interrupted, instead want continue to be engaged and want functionality that eases a task they are about to engage in.”

Enjoy the video and do share your thoughts on what advertising will look like in Social Age.

Harish Kotadia

Calling for the Death of Consumption Guilt

How often do you lament the fact that you can’t get through all of the stuff in your reader? I know I’ve done it.

Do you feel guilty when you unsubscribe something or unfriend someone in your network? Why?

Consumption of content is not a democracy. Giving of attention is not a democracy. We each have to decide what we find value in, and leave the rest behind. If that’s one blog or no blogs or five Twitter followers or a hundred, it’s up to us. And there is no standard that’s fit for everyone.

Read more

Old Spice: Now That’s Viral, Man!

If you haven’t followed the Old Spice phenomenon from this week, you’ve missed out. It’s a great example of a really strong performing viral campaign that harkens back to some of the classics like Subservient Chicken, Shave Everywhere, and Tea Partay.

It started on on television earlier this year with the following Old Spice commercial, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (link for those of you in RSS readers):

(If you’d like to see how this was accomplished, Leo Laporte has a great interview with the agency.)

That commercial, first aired during the Super Bowl in early February, as of this week has garnered over 14 million views. And then the next commercial, “Old Spice: Questions“, went up on YouTube:

Those ads are pretty funny to begin with and were passed around a good deal. But this week, Wieden + Kennedy, creators of the campaign for Procter & Gamble, took it to the next level.

Read more

Love consumers… but don’t forget brands

It’s easy to give brands a bad rap.

In our warm and fuzzy social world, corporate has pretty much become a dirty word.

Scan social media on any given day and you’ll encounter a raft of articles called things like ‘how to become a business that cares’, ‘the latest social media fail’ and ‘dealing with detractors’ (yes, a few of them might be by us) that suggest brands are big, bad and struggling to engage with people on and offline.

But they’re what makes all this possible.

Read more

Sniffing Out Real Expertise in Social Media

As the field of social media matures, there is the inevitable march of the unqualified and snake-oil sellers into this area of expertise. This is not something surprising given that social media *looks* simple, fun, hip, and sexy. Plus there is draw of, “yes you can be paid actual dollars to play on Facebook and Twitter.”

This march of the pretenders is not something new either. If you worked in the digital world through the booms of the Webmaster, push/pull technology, e-commerce or the early days of SEO, this new set of annoyingly unqualified competitors will be nothing new. However, this wave of shameless self-promoters is all the more concerning because they are using their social media footprint as their main qualifier. In a recent interview, a candidate for a job told me, “you can tell I’m an expert because I have nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter.” Hate to break it to you, but popularity does not equal expertise. 10,000 followers shows me that you are good at buidling followers, but anyone who truly knows the social media world appreciates that it is very complex and pointing to a single number as a demonstration of expertise only shows inexperience.

I have been thinking about a post on this for awhile and then I found an amazing post on the topic from Olivier Blanchard on the Brand Building Blog.

A few things about it really stuck with me:

  • A true expert is about more than numbers
  • They need passion that they can demonstrate through experience
  • That passion should easily come through in any conversation
  • They also need to be able to plan, but not a pre-baked, one-size-fits-all plan, but one that organically adapts to your organization

Read the full article. It is one of the best posts I’ve seen about this subject.

Rick Wion

Innovative Use of Traditional Metrics

Here’s an interesting concept: using traditional measurement tactics to determine the success of non-traditional (social media) marketing.

At first, it sounds as though this goes against my persistent encouragement for companies to measure the Return on Relationship rather than just the standard Return on Investment, but actually it doesn’t.

In his July 19 blog post entitled “The ROI of Social Media Marketing: More Than Dollars and Cents”, Forrester blogger Augie Ray introduces the Social Media Marketing Balanced Scoreboard. The key word here is balanced. Although he still uses the phrase “Return on Investment,” what he’s writing is actually about much more than the standard notion of return on financial investment only.

Ray writes, “Facebook fans, retweets, site visits, video views, positive ratings and vibrant communities are not financial assets—they aren’t reflected on the balance sheet and can’t be counted on an income statement—but that doesn’t mean they are valueless. Instead, these are leading indicators that the brand is doing something to create value that can lead to financial results in the future.” In other words, ROR – Return on Relationship!

This Social Media Marketing Balanced Scorecard encourages “interactive marketers” to measure success across four areas:

  • Financial
  • Brand
  • Risk Management
  • Digital

Notice that the scorecard doesn’t measure only financial success – nor does it measure only brand success. Both are included here.

Bottom line? While we social media marketers tend to be all about innovation, there is still room for some things traditional – when used deliberately and wisely!

Ted Rubin