Small Businesses and Large Alike Need to…


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Small businesses and large alike need to shut up and listen instead of using social media as an advertising and broadcasting tool.

They are too worried about who has more Twitter followers and about who has more fans on Facebook. They’re worried about who is getting the message out more consistently on those platforms rather than taking the amazing amount of market intelligence available to them by looking at people that are following them and reading what they are writing on their own pages.

Businesses need to spend less time tweeting and posting to Facebook, and more time reading, listening and understanding what it is their customers really want. They can’t expect to use social media only when it is convenient for them and expect customers to remain engaged.

Way too few companies are empowering their employees on social media, seeing it as a threat instead of a benefit. Small business needs to recognize that their best advocates are their employees. Empower your employees and they will power your brand.


Guest post by Sarah McAloon… originally published at Full Impact Marketing



I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter recently, both my personal use of it and for the brand I work on @sbarro.  For the last year I’ve been on a Twitter deep-dive and I’d say I’m an intermediate with ~900 followers.

I wanted to write this blog to help other executives realize the opportunities that I have found in Twitter, for themselves and for their brands.  If you know anyone who can benefit from Twitter please feel free to forward.

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How NASCAR Uses Relationship Marketing


I am the first to admit I am not the biggest NASCAR fan – by a long shot. I am however, a huge fan of any brand that uses relationship marketing to better engage with its fans.

Such is the case with NASCAR, who recently re-launched their digital platform. Seeing the need to engage and relate to their very large and impressive list of fans, they entered into an agreement with Livefyre, the leading provider of real-time social software which allows fans to have conversations in real-time across, whether it be on a PC, tablet or mobile device, to discuss everything NASCAR from the latest in-depth news to live action on the race track.

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Lead Generation Continues To Challenge B2B CMOs

B2B customers have become more independent buyers in the procurement process as a result of their increasing access to information, research and peer-recommendations.  In fact, this modern buyer is something of an enigma to B2B vendors.   Traditional lead generation efforts such as trade show and publication advertising, direct mail, email, etc. are decreasing in effectiveness. Lead generation through social marketing has received much hype yet case studies demonstrating real bottom-line impact are still few and far between. How does one capture their attention (and wallet-share) in an environment where competition has surpassed competitive vendors to include the increasing availability of information and perception driven by customers and non-customers alike?

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Why Do Customers Use Social Networks for Customer Service? Because They Can…

Every day, an increasing number of connected consumers are taking to social networks to ask for help or express sentiment related to business or product related experiences; some do so to seek resolution from their peers, others broadcast questions or comments as a form of catharsis; and a smaller group of consumers actually hope to receive a response directly from the company. The reality is that social media is the new normal. A myriad of social networks, whether you use them or not, are now part of the day-to-day digital lifestyle with Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Youtube among others becoming the places where your customers connect, communicate, and engage around experiences. They take to these social networks and more because they can. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

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There’s Hearing, Then There’s Listening

We were all probably taught the difference between listening and hearing when we were children. “I hear you,” you say. No doubt you’ve uttered that or had it uttered to you. But is it enough?

We all have a fundamental need to be heard; that implies that we’re acknowledged, certainly. Technically, hearing is simply the process of sound being transmitted and received. Telling someone that you’ve heard them is a good first step, and while that’s an easy way to make a customer feel appreciated by a major brand, there are times when it needs to go beyond hearing and to truly listen: to take to heart what they’ve said and take a harder look at a business practice or service.

Read more Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Radian6, the Industry’s Leading Social Media Monitoring Platform (NYSE: CRM), the enterprise cloud computing ( company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Radian6, the industry-leading social media monitoring platform, for approximately $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock, net of cash acquired. The transaction is expected to be completed in’s fiscal second quarter ending July 31, 2011, subject to customary closing conditions.


Comments on the News

  • “With Radian6, is gaining the technology and market leader in social media monitoring,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, “We see this as a huge opportunity. Not only will this acquisition accelerate our growth, it will extend the value of all of our offerings.”
  • “Social media has made every business recognize the value of paying attention to the voice of the customer. Radian6’s technology is built for the new norm of customer engagement – real time, two way conversations that includes social channels,” said Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6. “Joining the team will allow Radian6 to grow faster to meet the demands of our rapidly expanding customer base.”

Radian6 is the Market and Technology Leader in Social Media Monitoring and Engagement

Founded in 2006, Radian6 was created with the idea that companies need to monitor the social web in order to effectively join conversations with customers and prospects. Radian6’s unique technology captures hundreds of millions of conversations every day across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs and online communities, and provides actionable insights in real-time.

Radian6’s products include a monitoring platform designed to help companies track and analyze their social media efforts, as well as an engagement platform to help companies connect with individuals and communities online. The intelligence gained from these conversations has become critical in helping companies better market and sell to prospects, service customers and understand what’s being said about their brand, products, competitors and services.

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From Community Management to Command Centers

In early 2007, Chris Heuer, Shel Israel, Deb Schultz, Giovanni Rodriguez, and I explored the evolution of social media within the enterprise at an intimate business event in Palo Alto. One of the more memorable discussions focused on the rise of an official role within business to listen to social discourse and channel inbound questions and comments as well as official responses. The question eventually arose, how do we classify this new role within the organization? The designation of “Community Manager” earned the greatest support that day, but it did so with a caveat, “communities, by organic design, could not be managed.”

Fast forward several years, the community manager has evolved into an industry standard position within the social media value chain; it is also the beneficiary of its own appreciation day.

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Fences make good neighbors

Fences make good neighbors — even in the social media world. 

 Too many brands assume that the most effective way to market in this digital age is to use social media to post and tweet as many marketing messages as possible to the widest range of potential consumers across the greatest number of social networks.  Spread the word to anyone and everyone, and hope someone believes enough in your message to create a connection and become an advocate influencer for your brand.  

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Intentional Listening: The Foundation of Social Media Marketing

If you interact with a significant other, a neighbor, team members or co-workers, no one needs to tell you that listening is critical to almost any relationship. Since social media marketing builds on relationship, there’s been plenty of talk about the nature and role of listening in SM.

What we must not overlook is the fact that all listening is not equal. Query your favorite search engine for “types of listening” and you’ll find plenty of content on Discriminating (I-get-to-pick-and-choose), Passive (I’m-not-really-engaged) and a handful of other labels that seem like attempts to quantify the fact that sometimes we listen; often we fake it.

It is not difficult to make a case for Discriminating Listening in selected situations. After all, it is almost impossible to find a market segment that is not flooded with messages, each making as big a splash as possible in pursuit of mind share. The art of communication often seems inexorably linked to the metrics of media buys, production costs and decibels. The result can be deafening.

And with all the talk about the subject, one can’t help wondering whether marketers are listening.

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