Tag Archives: social networks

Creating a Twitter explosion, or the FlyLady effect

Editor’s Note: Here’s our first report from new guest contributor Christa Bradney, on the ever-expanding Web phenom that is FlyLady. Christa, take it away…

If you keep track of the trending topics on Twitter, you might have thought that the #flylady channel came out of nowhere yesterday afternoon.  (Even more so if you haven’t heard of FlyLady, the Web-based domestic goddess whose keep-your-life-organized system has attracted devoted followers from around the world.)

Besides, in a matter of speaking, the topic did come out of nowhere.  Yesterday morning, FlyLady was not on Twitter.  Then, somewhere around nine or ten AM, she announced on her e-mail list that she had a Twitter account (@theflylady) and wanted to try it out.  Boom! Less than twelve hours later, nearly two thousand people had already followed her to Twitter-land. 

Of course, word is still out on how many of those 2,000 followers were already Twitter users and how many are new to the service, and it also remains to be seen how much more FlyLady’s presence on Twitter will grow. But this was a heck of a start.

So, if you were ever wondering what would happen if a brand with a devoted following puts a Twitter ID in the hands of its fans, look no further. Clearly, when a someone who a) has a strong Web brand name and b) frequent contact with its customer base spontaneously announces that they are joining a social media website, spontaneous Twitter combustion can occur.

P.S. By the way, FlyLady (and other Web celebrities who follow) may find that the rules for communicating with fans have changed once they enjoy more instant contact with a large portion of their fan base. After all, if FlyLady isn’t careful in mentioning small, third-party websites, they could be brought down by an accidental Slashdot effect, and most don’t take kindly to that.

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Google Chrome, and other things that don’t need social media marketing

As anyone reading a blog like this knows, tossing out the name of Google’s super-hot new browser, Google Chrome, is likely to give this item a boost in the SERPs. If I’m Google, I certainly don’t need to pump up my reputation with bloggers or make sure a lot of people “favorite” Google Chrome groups in one form or another. All of that may happen, and it’s fine, but if I were on Google’s marketing team, it certainly wouldn’t be my priority. All of which is to say that while big brands are certainly leveraging social media, it’s still more important for small and emerging businesses:

– Social media has a few well-known networks, but the medium is still rather fragmented, with small but important players emerging seemingly every day. Bigger businesses are unlikely to benefit from adapting to multiple social networks and platforms; it’s more likely to create inconsistencies in their message.

– Social media is neither fish nor fowl, in that it has characteristics of both PR and Web marketing. Big brand marketers seldom have the flexibility to adapt their message, budget and personnel to such hybrids.

– Small businesses are close enough to the product or service to carry the feedback from social networks straight to those who deliver the product or service. Big companies, in theory, can do the same thing, but they’re more likely to respond to focus groups and other throat-clearing.

So what do you think, folks? Aside from a few rumored successes, like Dell‘s moving some PCs through its Twitter presence, do big businesses need to have an integrated online presence yet? I’d love to hear your comments.– Anne

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Do you deserve to be called a social media marketing pro?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a growing number of marketing pros tag themselves as “social media marketers,” but few stop and define what they mean by that. The question is, what defines a social media marketer, anyway?

Here’s my take on the ideal social media marketer:

* They’re people who are intimately familiar key social media communities (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), with lots of real connections there and experience with a given service’s back channels.

* They’re knowledgeable about social network advertising options, including Facebook pages, apps and PPC-style ads, MySpace pages, video advertising on YouTube and PPC ad integration on B2C services like Flickr and Squidoo.

* They’re experienced at (or at least familiar with) Internet marketing in other contexts, including banner placement, e-mail, SEO, PPC campaigns, copywriting for the Web and affiliate marketing.

* They’re extremely current with Web 2.0 news, both traditional and bloggish, and can shift strategies on a dime based on what they learn.

The big question I haven’t addressed here is whether one can call themselves a social media marketer if they’ve never run a major campaign on these networks. (People who specialize in B2B, like myself, are particularly unlikely to have run such campaigns–our clients are not usually the early adopter type.)

Should we stay out of the fray until we’ve spent real money on this medium? Sounds good in theory, but that would pretty much shrink the profession down to a few fortunate folks whose clients/employers are way ahead of the curve.

OK, now it’s your turn. What core skills do you think marketers should have before they hang out the “social media marketer” shingle? Why? And do you think the social media marketing profession needs an association of its own?

Please feel free to comment or write to me at annezieger at gmail.com…I definitely don’t want the last word here!

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Like what you see in What Matters Online? Want to stay up to date on the latest in Web 2.0, social media and old-school interactive marketing? Get notified of our latest updates by e-mail or RSS. I will never sell or exchange your information, and I won’t deluge your inbox — I promise!