Community Powered, Live from SXSW: C.C. Chapman

 

Co-founder and Principal of The Advanced Guard, CC Chapman

Co-founder and Principal of The Advanced Guard, CC Chapman

Next up in the #CommunityPowered podcast series featuring Susan Bratton of DishyMix, is co-founder and managing partner of The Advanced Guard, C.C. Chapman. In addition to his full-time gig, C.C. regularly shares his knowledge about new media and technology on his on his Managing the Gray site (posts and podcasts). He’s also an avid photographer and can be found regularly with his Canon strapped around his neck (some of his work can be seen here on Flickr).

During his conversation with Susan, C.C. says that the “bright shiny object” he’s most excited about right

Poken - powered by RFID technology

Poken - powered by RFID technology

now is RFID technology incorporated in things like POKEN (he demonstrated his for Susan). CC also shares some tips from his latest Facebook Fanpage white paper (think blueprint for brands to create a social presence on this uber-social network) including, the importance of creating engaging content for their fans.

 

In addition to reading CC on Managing the Gray, you can follow CC on Twitter at @CC_Chapman

Right-mouse click to download.

NEXT UP: Rohit Bhargava, SVP, Strategy & Marketing at Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence

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Uncool, man. Uncool.

My daughter is thirteen years old. She’s smart, savvy, and wise beyond her years in many ways. She’s a tech-freak, teaching herself photo editing, photography, HTML, and more. Her Palm® Centro™ is constantly in her hand. In many ways, she and her gaggle of friends are the perfect audience for social marketing. We talk about using social tools like Twitter to reach new generations of consumers, the ‘kids today’ obsessed with MySpace and Facebook and the rest.

Imagine my surprise when I told my daughter “You should get on Twitter!”, and she responded “Please, all our parents are on Twitter”. Apparently, this makes Twitter automatically uncool. Ouch. Ah well, I’m a parent. I’m used to anything I like being automatically uncool (with the possible exception of music, movies, and TV – we seem to have a two-way dialog going on there). However, this conversation got me thinking.

My daughter is a Millennial, aka a member of Gen Y or the Net Generation. What we’re seeing, as dinosaur Gen Xers ourselves, is that our children experience the world in a vastly different way than we ever did. They don’t have artificial boundaries, or loyalty to any one technology or platform as a vehicle to connection or self-expression. If a MySpace clone emerged with better functionality (say, for my daughter, a better interface between unsigned bands and music lovers), she’d dump MySpace in a heartbeat and not give it a second thought.

It occurs to me, then, that we must broaden our understanding of social marketing if we’re going to reach this vital group of consumers. Make no mistake, my daughter and her friends have serious money to spend. Millennials account for more than $170 billion dollars of spending a year. That’s roughly five percent of all US consumer spending. As they mature, that number’s only going to rise.

We might think we’re on the cutting edge of social media, but what if we really have tunnel vision regarding the future of the movement? What works today with us and our peers is not likely to work tomorrow with my daughter and her peers. Teenager Tom says, “Yeah there’s a lot of advertising everywhere, but I don’t know… The more advertising I see, the more it kind of turns me off of buying things I think, ’cause I don’t like all that advertising being right in my face all the time. I don’t buy any of that stuff. I basically go, if somebody else has it I ask them, y’know, what they think of it or I’ll try it out myself. I don’t really listen to commercials and ads and newspapers and everything.”

These kids grew up with Tivo®. My daughter experiences physical pain (or so one might think from her moaning and groaning) when she can’t fast forward through commercials. If you try to sell her, you’ve lost her, because guess what? You’re trying too hard. And trying too hard is…you guessed it. Uncool.

Millennials listen to each other. Microblogs, corporate blogs, anything with the tinge of ‘The Man’ to it will automatically turn them off. Of all the elements of social marketing available to us, ratings and reviews are the ones most likely to work in this growing demographic. What if the aforementioned Tom wanted to spend his Christmas Best Buy® gift card on a Bluetooth® gaming headset for his PC, but none of his friends had such a thing? He’d head to the Best Buy Web site and look for ratings and reviews. But not just any reviews – he’d look for reviews that actually address the things that matter to him, and that he felt were written by peers. The concerns of a middle-aged Gen Xer who is enthused about using his headset to talk to his colleague in Finland on Skype™ would not resonate in the slightest, and might even provoke the dreaded teenage eyeroll.

The thing to remember about marketing to Millennials is that while they’re more connected than any other generation in history, they’re also the most deeply cynical and suspicious. They like to get advice from each other, but they don’t trust advice from outside. Finding a way to target ratings and reviews without looking like we’re targeting ratings and reviews is the key to communicating with them. The good news is that, once you do manage to open a dialog based on trust, you’ll have their loyalty…at least until something better comes along.

 

Community Powered, Live from SXSW: Chris Brogan

 

Uber Blogger and President of New Marketing Labs (Photo Credit: Jim Storer)

Uber Blogger and President of New Marketing Labs (Photo Credit: Jim Storer)

CommunityPowered podcast series featuring Susan Bratton of DishyMix, is Chris Brogan who is not only a good friend but number two on AdAge’s list of top 50 Marketing bloggers (watch out Seth Godin). In his spare time, Chris is the President of New Marketing Labs, co-founder of Podcamp and spiritual lead of the Inbound Marketing Summit events.

 

Listen in as Chris weighs in about location-based platforms like Brightkite that are finally starting to deliver value beyond the “Starbucks coupon” offered on your cell phone as you walk by a local franchise [love his example of how movie makers can use this]. Chris also reinforces the importance of “cafe-shaped conversations” or the humanizing of certain brands by allowing brand ambassadors to have real conversations with customers in places like Twitter. When it comes to community building, Chris recommends things like: listening first, being helpful and not being afraid to make mistakes.

In addition to reading ChrisBrogan.com, you can follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisBrogan.

Right-mouse click to download.

NEXT UP: CC Chapman, Principal and founder of The Advanced Guard.

Social Marketing: This ROI is Too Good to be True (slides)

Yesterday, Powered hosted a webcast titled “Social Marketing: This ROI is Too Good to be True (archive coming shortly). The presentation consisted of 20+ slides focused on:
  • Branded Online Community Measurement – Kathy Warren, Powered
  • Results of the 2008 ROI Benchmark Study for Social Marketing Programs – Bill Harvey, TRA
  • Social Media: Why it Makes Sense and How I Prove it to Myself
    Brian Halligan, Hubspot

Archive of this webcast will be up soon (I’ll link to it from this post).

 

Cross-posted on Blog.Stroutmeister.com

Community Powered, Live from SXSW: Dave Taylor

 

 

Photo Credit: FunTimesGuide.com

Photo Credit: FunTimesGuide.com

Next up in the #CommunityPowered podcast series featuring Susan Bratton of DishyMix, is theDave Taylor, the brains and brawn behind AskDaveTaylor.com and Filmbuzz.org. Not only is Dave a serial entrepreneur (see his bio to learn about the dozens of startups he’s been a part of) but also an author and big idea guy.

 

Listen in as Dave gives advice on how brands should think about engaging with their customers in the “communisphere.” Dave also provides great insights on the importance of engaging with social (think Twitter and blog comments) as part of a company’s marketing efforts. Trust me when I tell you that Dave is worth the listen.

In addition to reading the AskDaveTaylor.com, you can follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveTaylor or at @filmbuzz .

Right-mouse click to download.

NEXT UP: Chris Brogan, CEO of New Marketing Labs and blogger at ChrisBrogan.com.

Social Marketing ROI Report (Video)

Today is a red letter day for Powered. We’re announcing the release of our annual Social Marketing ROI report. To kick it off, we’re holding a webcast (there will be an archived version) with Bill Harvey of TRA, Brian Halligan of HubSpot and Kathy Warren of Powered (that’s us). See the video below for more details.

Sign up for the webcast and you’ll get the report for free.

Facebook Connect: Your Invitation to the Party

mashable_sxsw_v1_posterHave you ever been so steeped in something that you see it everywhere you look? Standing in the middle of the Powered-sponsored Mashable party during South by Southwest Interactive, beer in hand and exploring the various rooms of the Six night club, I started to think about Facebook Connect. Yeah, this is how bad it’s gotten.

Facebook is a party. It’s a huge place where you can share content and news, play games together, engaging in many of the activities you do with friends in the offline world. The problem is that the party, up until now, has really just been for Facebook itself and its users. If you were any entity with commercial interests, the best you could do is give Facebook a banner to hang somewhere for you. This would be like if Powered sponsored the Mashable party but we could only hang a banner inside the bar. How effective would that be for our marketing, over the din of the music and rumble of conversation?

With Facebook Pages, now you can attend the party. You’re just like I was at Six, a sponsor floating around the crowd, having a few conversations and talking about Powered. This is much more effective marketing-wise than a few banners (at least I think so!), but still I’m just one guy and although there were a few other Powered employees our impact at the event was still limited. This was compounded by the reality that people didn’t always want to talk about Powered, a fact that is even truer in the personal-conversation world of Facebook – which is about as far away from an industry party as you can get.

Facebook Connect is really where things get interesting. It allows you, as a brand, to have your own room in the bar. By that I mean you can build your own communal experience and attach it in a meaningful way to the Facebook experience. People can walk into your room, find the people they already know, and message people outside the room about the cool things going on there.

Word-of-Mouth Traffic Flow

This doesn’t absolve brands from creating an engaging experience in their own community environment. You still need to populate your room with interesting content, people, and programming. But it really helps with one of the main problems branded communities have, which is getting people in the door. There is only so much you can do with email marketing, media promotion, and search. Here, Facebook runs the party, and you just hook into their flow. You are instantly rewarded for creating engagement, versus having to create engagement and then work hard to get the word out.

The Power of Context

The reasons why you would build your own room (Facebook Connect) versus just attend the party (Pages) are similar in both the online and offline world. With Connect, you gain context. Everything that happens in your community is in the world of your brand, versus the world of Facebook. Context is extremely powerful in the user’s mind, and it has a lot to do with building people’s brand affinity, advocacy, and loyalty. Does reading this blog entry on the Powered blog make you attribute the value to Powered, or to me (Wick, Doug Wick)? How would that change if you read it on my personal blog? If you walked into the Powered Room at the Mashable Party, how would this be different than just meeting someone from Powered?

Learning Ability

Also, with Connect comes data. Your ability to listen and learn as an organization is significantly enhanced when the technical handoff between Facebook servers and yours happens. What if the Mashable party went on indefinitely (I felt like it might at some points) and you never adapted your room to be more reflective of partier’s preferences or need – or even just freshened things up a bit? If you don’t have the data, you won’t have the visibility into individual behavior on a quantitative or qualitative level. You won’t learn or adapt as effectively, and you’ll start sounding like that boorish guy who’s always at the party saying the same things. Yes, we’ve heard that story about how you went bungee-jumping in Cancun eight times, thank you very much.

So now that you’ve been invited to the party, will you get in there? Or will you sit at home and let other brands have all the fun?