Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Building Blog Relationships for Social Media Marketing

Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with these days, as social media becomes the new marketing medium of choice. But when you're looking to build your social media presence through blogs, make sure that you're following the rules of the road.

Be Relevant

As Kivi Leroux Miller writes, you can't simply ask any blogger to post a link to your site, or review your product. You need to build a relationship with a blogger that writes about a topic related to what you're offering. Don't ask Gizmodo to endorse your shop on Etsy.

Be Transparent

Ann Taylor LOFT recently used gift cards to purchase the rave reviews of a group of fashion bloggers. I'm a big Ann Taylor fan personally, but I'd never endorse this scheme, unless the bloggers in question happened to explain the gift along with their reviews. Lena West at Lipsticking has a great post on the topic. For a great example of a transparent blogger, check out Corporette. This fabulous women's businesswear blog prominently posts its policy on endorsed links, and lists in each entry what links are sponsored, so readers are always aware when a click will generate revenue for the blog.

Be Kind

If you find a good blog that will endorse your product, thank the blogger. Create a link-back, post a #followfriday message on Twitter, give them a mention on your corporate blog. Everything in social media is about relationships and conversation, so if someone pays you a compliment, make sure to thank him or her.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Social Media and Productivity

Yesterday, at Borders downtown, I was browsing through a book called Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business and came across an example of how social media makes us more efficient. Basically, by being able to use the ten minutes in line at the supermarket to catch up with friends, find information, share recipe ideas, a typical woman is able to 1) find a substitute for a curry recipe, 2) avoid asking her friend if she put on some weight when she's really pregnant, and 3) tell her husband how to decorate a kid's project on the way home.

The example was really heavy handed, but I had to laugh, because I agree--social media makes me more productive. Certainly not all the time, but when I'm searching for an article I saw a reference to, a quick tweet request can net me a link referral in minutes. When I find blog posts or articles of note, I can add them to my collection on StumbleUpon for easy retrieval later. Applications like HootSuite save me time and trouble by allowing me to broadcast a single message over multiple networks, expanding my reach.

What do you think? Does social media make you more productive?

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Testing - Feedback Appreciated

I'm attempting to fix a few problems--issues with installing a "share and enjoy" button, commenting, etc.

If you have any feedback, please let me know in the comments. Or email me if the comments still aren't working.


Monday, April 12, 2010

The New Busy Annoy the Old Busy

Across Boston, and presumably the nation, Hotmail has unveiled a series of ads on bus stops and billboards. Under the headline: The New Busy, the ads feature sassy slogans, as featured below:

 On my daily commute, "The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea" assails me from a bus shelter. It's slightly better than the "you look great, but your legs could use a lift" Shake n' Bake ad that it replaced, or the H&M Neck Tube ad hanging around from before Christmas, but really? The ad annoys me more than anything else. I don't think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. In the New Recession, it's important to fight for 9 to 5 (or the closest approximation) to avoid becoming one of the many overworked and underpaid. How can anyone try for a normal schedule when there is someone more desperate willing to stay at the office until midnight and sleep under his desk? Don't even get me started on slave labor unpaid interns.

Happily, a skim through Twitter shows that I'm not the only one rubbed the wrong way by those ads:

@BostonMo: Can someone please explain the new "New Busy" Hotmail.com marketing campaign? I don't understand a single ad around the Hub!

@FinnFPM: Have you seen the "new busy" ads about sleep-learning? Apparently the "new busy" are gullible idiots.

@tanukisan: Hotmail's "new busy" ad campaign makes no damn sense at all. I will continue to ignore the unreadable sliding text on 'em.

@baka_rakuda: I don't know what a "NEW BUSY" is but according to MS they can pack a weeks worth of clothes in a carry on. How very mundane.

@fastchicken: if you happen to know anyone in the MS Hotmail team, please point and laugh from me: http://tinyurl.com/ye5r3x9 The New Busy?

@mikegore: hotmail, your "new busy" campaign is annoying the hell out of me. maybe because i'm too busy using google programs...

@TheLastLow: Microsoft's "New Busy" ad campaign might be worse than Bud's "Drinkability" disaster. Are these people even trying?

@kehutchinson: The "New Busy" is a myth--we're all busy, and none of it's new.

Yes, that last one is mine, and it's worth repeating. We're all stressed out by the state of the economy today: layoffs loom, bills menace, and we all have to wonder where the breaking point is. We don't want tools that just confirm that we're hamsters in a wheel, we want tools that will make us feel like we have a little control in our lives.

So listen up, Hotmail. I'm not the New Busy, and there are plenty of others who feel the same way. Start building a tool that will be for the New Relaxed.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Behavior Placement on Broadcast Television

Yesterday's broadcast of Wall Street Journal This Morning hosted by Gordon Deal featured an interesting new trend in television: behavior placement. We all know about product placement--like Lady Gaga's Miracle Whip fascination--but instead of using branded products on TV to encourage viewers to buy something, behavior placement uses characters to influence viewers into doing something.

Remember the eponymous Rachel haircut after Jennifer Aniston on Friends? That's the type of monkey-see-monkey-do connection that NBC is hoping to make with its behavior placement. If Tina Fey on 30 Rock recycles, will you recycle too? Or maybe you'd be more inclined to recycle if Dwight Shrute showed up as ReCyclops.

It's nice to see producers trying to make a positive impact on viewers by taking a break from glamorizing violence.