Adding To The Noise

A critical view of new media, new technology and new marketing.


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100 Insights For New Media Marketing


For my 100th post on this blog, I thought I would share all 100 insights in one place. Each listing is a link back to the original post.

Social Media Marketing Tips

100 Insights For New Media Marketing:

1. Is New Media Killing Traditional Media’s Star?

2. Are Bloggers More Sensitive To Spin?

3. Technology Makes Us Dumber, Less Productive And Stressed Out

4. Which Advertising Medium Is best?

5. Can Direct Response Be Creative?

6. Toyota Apology-athon

7. Why Does New Media Matter? Because United Breaks Guitars

8. The Last Thing We Need Is Another Blog

9. Walk A Mile In Zappos’ New Media Shoes

10. Tu Voz Rings True For Minority Marketing

11. More Information On Information Overload

12. Does Copy Matter Less On The Web?

13. Can The iPad Save My Newspaper?

14. Are You Ready For A Content Revolution?

15. Somebody’s Watching Me

16. Is There A Creative Process?

17. Is All Buzz Good And Cheap?

18. Brand Extensions Achieve MAXIMum Failure

19. Speak Softly And Carry A Big Marketing Stick

20. Is Facebook’s Privacy Policy Friend or Foe?

21. BP Can’t Get Beyond Petroleum

22. Are Mobile Ads Still Annoying?

23. Are Intellectual Property Rights Wrong?

24. EBSCO, Forbes, Time Open The Digital Divide

25. Yahoo Cheers Associated Content Acquisition–Society Jeers

26. Can Millennials Save Us Through Cause Marketing?

27. Creativity Beats Media In TV ROI

28. GM Recall Recalls Past PR Crises

29. Cause Marketing Or Crisis Response?

30. US Census: Bad Ads But Great Information

31. Where Is The Star Power In The Gulf Clean Up?

32. Cause Marketing’s Future Is Engagement Through Social Media

33. Churchill, TED And New Marketing

34. Blah, Blah, Blog: Why Companies Should Listen

35. Online Research: Temptations and Limitations

36. Does .005% Make A Difference? Ask Toyota

37. Can Marketing Statistics Improve Your NFL Team?

38. Celebrity, Media Outreach And Events Oh My!

39. Cable TV Decline: Media Planning Gets Tougher

40. Failed Test? Try An Ethnographic Study

41. Do We All Need Twitter Editors?

42. The Press Release, Blogger Outreach And SEO

43. New Media Needs A New Name

44. Public Relations Challenges For Non-profits

45. Three Is The Magic Number

46. Corporate Communications, Marketing, IMC, PR and Advertising. What’s the difference?

47. Which Social Media Conversation Are You Joining?

48. Earth Day PSA 2.0

49. Click Here: Digital Call To Actions

50. Measuring Print Response 2.0

51. Visual Continuity in Print And Digital

52. Brand Equity: Tangible Assets Are A Small Part Today’s Brand Value

53. Do You Have Social Media Fatigue?

54. Which Came First The Product Or Value?

55. Ride The Cluetrain To Five Easy Pieces: New Marketing Strategy For A New Digital Market

56. The Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in Marketing and Advertising

57. Social Media Is A Big Idea For Small Business

58. Cause Marketing to Boost Startups and Small Business

59. As Smartphone Ownership Crosses 50% And Mobile Ad Spending Jumps 80% Keep 3 Key Measures In Mind

60. Search Gets Social

61. A Dead Guy Is Following Me On Twitter: Signs Social Media Is Taking Over

62. Visual Continuity: Is It Always A Good Strategy?

63. Big Ideas And Big Results Don’t Need Big Budgets

64. Afraid of Digital? History Says Run To It, Not Away

65. Savages Movie Written With Fragment Digital Media In Mind

66. A Social Media Experiment: TDI Club Forum

67. Hallucinations Aren’t Contagious, But Social Media Is Real For Many Business Functions

68. Do You Look For Wrongs Or Rights? Stop Social Media Excuses

69. “Like” Is More Than A Facebook Icon

70. Forrester: Facebook and Twitter Do Almost Nothing for Sales

71. Communications: The Language That Drives Revenue

72. Brand Engagement Through The “Martydom Effect”

73. Super Bowl Ads: A Unique Opportunity for Undivided Attention

74. Fear Means Go: Stretch Yourself For Social Media Success

75. Successful Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes To Discover New Approaches, Opportunities And Business Models

76. What Do We Do With Out-Of-Date Advertising Professors?

77. Gen-Y Honda Student Campaign Gets Results With This Gen-Xer

78. A Text For That? App Hype Shouldn’t Discount Text Marketing

79. Trouble Harnessing Social Media? Relationships Can’t Be Automated

80. Can Retail Make Room For Showrooming?

81. There Are No Top 10 Best Rules for Social Media Marketing

82. Has PR Become An Unsustainable 24/7 Profession: Do We Really Need Social Media Mission Control Centers?

83. Do You Have To Be Active On Social Media? Do You Like Being Invited To A Party And Being Ignored?

84. Filling The Digital Marketing Gap 19 Students At A Time

85. Mom’s Don’t Tweet But They Do Watch The Voice And #VoiceSave Through Their Teens

86. The 12 Ways of Brand Community Value: My Year End Social Media Tips List

87. Research Says Add New Media, But Don’t Drop The Old: Study Of Over 400 Successful Marketing Campaigns

88. What Is Your Social Media BFF? 42% Of Adults Now Use Multiple Social Sites

89. Shakespeare Predicts Super Bowl Commercial Winners: Research Shows Sex And Humor Aren’t The Key, It’s Story

90. USA Today Ad Meter Super Bowl Results: Story Wins With Puppy Love And Others!

91. If You’re Simply Adding To The Noise, Facebook Will Now Turn Off Your Organic Reach

92. Airline Industry Has Highest Response Rate On Twitter And Facebook. What About In Winter Storm Pax?

93. Irony: Sharing Social Media About Spending Less Time On Social Media

94. 5 Ways Social Media Can Fuel Startup Success

95. 24 Hour Rule: What Harry S. Truman Can Teach Us About Social Media

96. Advertising Campaigns Are Dead: Brand Story Is The New Big Idea

97. Star Bellied Sneeches: Social Media Badges Can Save Companies Billions

98. Return On Relationship: Thanks Ted For Living It

99. Behind Amazon’s Pay To Quit Program: Happy Employees + Social Media = Real Value

100. 100 Tips For New Media Marketing

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Return On Relationship: Thanks Ted For Living It


The other day I got a direct message from Jeff Bullas. I was excited. Jeff has a great blog jeffbullas.com that gives a lot of good blogging and social media advice. He’s a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, has written books and speaks and consults. His blog gets over 4 million page views a year. Jeff’s direct message on Twitter said, “Thanks for following me. I look forward to following your tweets.” With over 225,000 Twitter followers I responded, “I am impressed that with so many followers you do this.” I was looking forward to a conversation, but here it is 10 days later and I have not received a response. Then I noticed that Jeff sent me a direct message before (see below) two years ago with the same exact message. Back then I was also excited to start a conversation, but as you can see he never responded then either.

Blogging, Jeff Bullas, Social Media

Is Jeff really “looking forward to following my tweets” if he won’t respond to two DMs he initiated? Are my expectations off? Other top social media influencers have decided to reduce or stop their engagement, becoming more like traditional publishers. I love Seth Godin and use a lot of his material in my classes. Unleashing the Ideavirus is a classic that is still very relevant today, but Seth doesn’t allow comments on his blog. He explains why here and he makes a lot of good points for him.

Then there is Copyblogger getting rid of comments. They  just wrote a post explaining “Why We’re Removing Comments on Copyblogger.” They say the conversation has moved to wider platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. They say people put too much effort into great comments on their site and should instead put that effort into their own website. They say they have spent way too much time sorting through the spam – only 4% of comments get posted. This change is a pretty big deal.

I was curious to see the reaction to this big announcement, but they removed comments. Instead they encourage me to let them know my thoughts about the change on Twitter. So I clicked on the link and went to Twitter. Just 12 days later that discussion is lost in a sea of unrelated topics, conversations and blog post promotions as you can see below.

CopyBlogger, Removes Comments, Blogs, Blogging

If I scroll down the Twitter stream back to March 24 I do see comments about getting rid of comments, but this seems like a lot of work. At least on the blog all the comments under the post are focused on that topic and do not get lost in everything else. I also appreciate their efforts to weed out the spam, so the comments and conversation is of a higher quality. Moving to Twitter gives up all that control and opens up the floodgates of spam. Besides, I was already on their blog and wanted to talk specifically about that topic. Isn’t copyblogger owned real estate versus rented? Don’t they want to drive people there? Don’t comments help with SEO? This is all the questions I would have liked to ask on their blog, but I suppose I am taking their advice and writing it here on my blog instead.

Less social engagement from social engagement innovators. Is this simply where we are headed? As the innovators of social media engagement get too big, they simply must engage less? There just seems to be something weird about telling others to engage more while you are engaging less. This brings me back to my title. Ted Rubin was just named #13 on the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers of 2013 (Just two down from Jeff) and he has over 196,000 followers on Twitter (the most followed CMO on Twitter). In 2013 he published a book with Kathryn Rose Return on Relationship, which is the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations and sharing.

Ted Rubin is a busy guy, but he is living what he is preaching. I have had several conversations with him on different social media platforms, and he has even commented on this blog. Thanks Ted. Still are my expectations off? Ted does wear Superman socks. Ted’s not the only one, there are a lot of social media innovators out there like Michael Stelzner who I know are still very active and engaging with their audiences even as they grow.

If I am wrong, let me know. Can relationships be automated? I also suggest checking out Ted’s book. #ROR

Ted Rubin, Return on Relationship, ROR


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24 Hour Rule: What Harry S. Truman Can Teach Us About Social Media


Dean Obeidallah starts off a recent CNN article with “Who could’ve ever predicted that 140 characters could screw up so many people’s lives?” His article was about the now famous ex-PR professional Justine Sacco’s regretful tweet before hopping on a 12 hour flight.

I am sure you can think of numerous “think before you tweet” movements. Below is a recap of the top ten from 2013.

70 years ago our 33rd president Harry S. Truman practiced a good policy when it came to writing letters. Any letters written in anger sat on his desk 24 hours before they could be mailed. If he felt the same, he sent the letter, but by the end of his life he had a large desk drawer full of unmailed letters.

How prevalent are social media mistakes? A study finds that 1 in 4 adults regret posts they have made on social media. Emotionally charged posts are the most regretful, with 29% of people saying they’ve feared getting fired or turned down for a job over a post.

With an instant mass publishing medium in our hands at all times, it’s harder than ever to have a “cooling off period.”

So what can we do today? This blog provides some useful tips.

1. Use Evernote As Your Desk Drawer. Get those thoughts out in a notes program as a draft. Check it the next day to see if you still want to send it.

2. There’s An App For That. The app “Social Interlock” forces you to perform sobriety tests, if you fail, you’re locked out.

3. Phone A Friend. Angry? Give your phone to a friend until you calm down.

4. Plan Ahead. Make a list ahead of time of what you will and will not post on social media. Thinking this through and consulting before you text could save you and others a lot of heart ache.

5. Use A 24 Minute Rule. When you get the urge to tweet, set a timer or alarm on your phone. If it’s still a good idea after time has passed, go ahead. Or perhaps that Tweet will no longer seem so important.

6. Be An Editor. If you do post something you regret, go back and edit or delete your posts. This is not full proof, but can be much better than doing nothing.

Don’t be fooled by the childhood saying “Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” It is simply false. Your words are a powerful weapon that can be used for good or bad. Think them through carefully. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

What’s your personal social media policy?


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If You’re Simply Adding To The Noise, Facebook Will Now Turn Off Your Organic Reach


One of my favorite bands is Switchfoot and their song “Adding to the Noise” is the inspiration for this blog. When I started it four years ago, there were roughly 200,000 million blogs and I couldn’t imagine why the world would need another one. I even wrote a post  “The Last Thing We Need Is Another Blog.”  Ultimately this question lead me to the debate between quantity versus quality. A recent Michael Stelzner podcast interview featured Jeff Goins, a successful blogger and author who had several blog failures when he was chasing subscribers (quantity focus) until he started a passion blog (quality focus) that now has over 200,000 subscribers.

Today Technorati indexes over 1.3 billion blogs and the focus on quality content has become more important than ever. For marketers this noise has been creeping up in another social landscape – Facebook. In August of 2013 Facebook revealed that “every time someone visits News Feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories … most people don’t have time to see them all.” By December 2013 Ad Age reported “Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads.”

The bottom line is that Facebook has changed its algorithm, formerly called Edgerank, and content from business Pages has seen a drop-off in organic reach. In response, Facebook is urging paid distribution for brands to get back into their fan’s News Feeds. Since the tweak some brands have reported as much as a 40% decrease in organic reach.

Facebook Drop Organic Reach

Decrease in organic reach from Edgerank Checker.

In the end, business may have to increase their Facebook spending to maintain or expand reach, but there could be another option. Switchfoot sings, “What’s it going to take to slow us down … If we’re adding to the noise turn off this song.” Perhaps we need another content revolution. If you provide content people want to engage with, not turn off, you will break through the noise. Brands could up their content game to emerge organically from the noise in users’ News Feeds.

But this revolution is fueled by more than quality content. It is also about quality time. Mari Smith, author of Facebook Marketing an Hour a Day suggests that marketers should focus more on community management. The more your fans like, comment and share your content, the more likely that content will show up in their news feeds.

It seems there is room for improvement in the engagement game. Social Bakers provides social media monitoring tools and has been measuring brand’s engagement levels on social networks. Their recent reports indicate that only 10% of brands respond to 85% of questions on Facebook.

Socially Devoted Brands on Facebook and Twitter.

Socially Devoted Brands data by Social Bakers.

A brand that steps up its engagement game could not only protect its organic reach, but also find a significant competitive advantage. We all love when someone listens to us. When your fans hear from you, their excitement will spread along with your reach and reputation.

Ted Rubin calls this a real Return on Relationship. Fight quantity (clutter & filters) with quality (content & engagement). With every post, update and comment ask yourself, “Is it adding something meaningful or simply adding to the noise?”


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What Is Your Social Media BFF? 42% Of Adults Now Use Multiple Social Sites


The term Best friends forever (BFF) is a close friendship developed by teenagers and young people. We may be friends with a few or a lot of social media sites, but I bet you have your favorite.

800px-Best_Frends_Forever_-_Golden_Gate_bridge_guard_rail_166

The Pew Research Center’s Social Media Update gives us a look into how social media use is evolving. As of 2013, 73% of online adults used social networking sites. Facebook was many people’s BFF in terms of number of users. But Pew Center Research also found that a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms.

Results of the survey indicate that some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. What’s more, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. Have you starting exploring personal, career, or business relationships beyond Facebook?

SocialMediaSites

But even this information from the Pew Center Research study can be limiting. It only looked at Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. We know there is a lot more out there. It seems that every month another social media star is rising. Lately you may have been hearing about SnapChat or Quora, and Digg reinventing itself and gaining ground. Plus, you can never count out Google+, which keeps adding features to gain users. Let’s face it, social media can be overwhelming.

The key to success is realizing you don’t have to be in every social media channel to see real results. How do you choose? Start by organizing them into categories. You probably have high school and college BFFs, family BFFs, Work BFFs and neighborhood BFFs. They are all your friends, but you do different things with each. Below are the main categories of social media that I have developed with a list of the main players in each

Social Media Categories:

Social Networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+

Blogging and Forums – WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr

Microblogging  – Twitter, Pinterest

Media Sharing – YouTube, Flikr, Instagram

Geo-location – Foursquare, Facebook Places, Google+ Locations

Ratings and Reviews – Yelp, Citysearch, Google+ Local

Social Bookmarking – Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg

Wikis and Social Knowledge – Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, Quora

Podcasts – RSS, iTunes

For personal, business, or career, you have to decide who you want to talk to and what you to say and how you want to say it. Wikipedia says BFFs are common when you are young, but you may grow out of them as you get older. Perhaps it is time you grew out of your social media BFF and start exploring some of these other options.


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Filling The Digital Marketing Gap 19 Students At A Time


The Online Marketing Institute (OMI), ClickZ, and Kelly services released results of their 2014 State of Digital Marketing Talent report.  This survey of 747 Fortune 500 marketing executives reveals there is a serious digital marketing talent gap. What’s more, this shortage of digital marketing skills is hurting sales and marketing ROI. The good news? If you have these skills, you are in high demand.

In my post “What To Do With Out-of-Date Advertising Professors?” I spoke about an Advertising Age article that talked about the underperformance of undergraduate marketing and advertising classes. An advertising agency owner quotes students saying things like, “Subjects like mobile marketing aren’t even offered at their schools” and “classes promise integrated marketing while delivering insights about only traditional tactics.” In light of this education gap, I would like to highlight one course that I offer through the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University. Blogging & Online Copywriting  is attempting to build a bridge to the new digital language.

Digital Marketing, Online Copywriting, Digital Copywriting, Advertising, Education, Careers, Internships

As you can see in the graph above, the ClickZ, OMI, Kelly Services report highlights the missing skills that are creating the talent gap and potentially costing corporations market share. In my Blogging & Online Copywriting course we cover all these subjects: analytics, mobile, content marketing, social media, email marketing, marketing automation, SEO, digital advertising, and more. For example, one former student is now working at digital marketing tech firm HubSpot, the 2nd fastest growing software company within the INC 500.

Another insight from the study is that hiring managers say “sorting through resumes is time-consuming and applicants do not differentiate themselves from one another.” Blogging & Online Copywriting also teaches students to create their own professional blog that has helped many land valuable internships and their first jobs out of school. This helped that one student get her foot in the door at HubSpot as she talks about on the CLE Student Blog.

So for corporations saying they, “… haven’t been able to hire the specialist we need due to lack of talent or experience in our area.” I know of at least 19 Johns Hopkins students you may be interested in this Spring.

Yes, there is a digital marketing talent gap as much as 27% to 37% in key skill areas at Fortune 500 companies – Imagine what it is at other corporations, startups and small businesses. But with the gap, comes opportunity. ClickZ, OMI, and Kelly Services sum up the rewards of investing in digital marketing education:

  • For the global brand it means “major expansion and market share gains that would normally take tens of millions of advertising dollars.”
  • For the startup and small business it means “going from surviving to thriving.”
  • For the career minded student it means “one of the best paying and growth minded career opportunities ever.”


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Has PR Become An Unsustainable 24/7 Profession: Do We Really Need Social Media Mission Control Centers?


I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media affects our professional lives. One particular development has been in the back of my mind since I saw a keynote presentation at the WVU IMC INTEGRATE conference that has particular relevance to the Public Relations profession. Fred Cook, CEO, of PR firm GolinHarris spoke about the many changes in the industry and how his firm has adjusted to the digital revolution. In particular, he talked about a new 24 hour, 7 days a week social media monitoring lab they built to listen and respond to live consumer chat on behalf of their clients. I’ve kept thinking about how they staff the room. Like marketing and advertising, PR has not traditionally been an hourly, shift working profession. And GolinHarris is not alone in reacting this way to the 24 hour news cycle and 24 hour consumer chatter. London based Chapel PR  recently launched their own 24/7 rapid response social media listening lab for client Thomas Cook to monitor their 60+ global brands.

How is this changing the human side of the profession? In a Social Media Today interview, PR pro Bernice Burnside of Bvisible says, “The ‘Golden 24 hours’ within which a company needed and was expected to respond to issues has become the ‘Golden Hour.’” This 24/7, 1 hour response time expectation does raise the issue of possible overwork. Occasional all nighters is one thing, but marketing and communications departments and firms are not built like a customer service or operations department used to functioning at this level. An extreme case is the death of a 24-year-old Ogilvy PR employee in Beijing, who died of a heart attack at his desk. Ad Age reports there are rumors that the cause was overwork, but nothing has been confirmed.

And how much does all this around the clock listening cost anyway? PR Newswire did some calculations in this area. They estimated that is takes a typical PR Pro 8 hours a day to manually monitor social media and compile a clipbook including scanning sites, collecting clips, generating a data spreadsheet, plus analyzing and reporting. With the average PR Pro wage, this could cost $80,000 a year just for one employee for 1/3 of the day. Dave Folkens from TopRank Blog observes that when one upset customer on Facebook or an angry blogger can send a brand into a crisis mode, PR is in an “always on” mode. Certainly, PR has always had to deal with “on call” issues, but social media has expanded the potential complaints and the public visibility of these issues. Has it gone so far that “on call” has now become 24/7 shift work at the office?

Social Media Monitoring

Gatorade’s Social Media Monitoring Mission Control Center

Of course, not all of these 24 hour listening labs are being built-in PR firms. Some marketers have chosen to invest in their own internal social media monitoring centers with branded design and important names like “Mission Central.” For example, Gatorade has built a Mission Control room in the middle of their marketing department to monitor the brand in real-time across social media. Gatorade has used it to leverage a popular song in one of their commercials that was getting a lot of buzz, optimize landing pages to increase engagement and host live events such as a nutritionist answering consumer questions.

Still, does all this activity justify an elaborate, branded lab that is staffed 24/7? Gatorade admits that all the real-time data reported in Mission Control is also available to employees on their laptops. Perhaps deep down inside all of us, there is a childhood dream to work on something as critical as Mission Control at NASA. Or perhaps we all have seen Apollo 13 way too many times.