a kaleidoscope of thoughts


social media marketing

Facebook comment = email reply (Whew!)

It’s true I’m a social media and digital nut. Not only personally do I find it incredibly difficult to rip myself away from my favorite channels, but I also consult for various clients helping them understand how to maximize social and digital marketing from creating a strategy or campaign, to establishing protocols that get the most out of it. 

While so many social channels are still truly in their infancy, they are quickly figuring out how to make the engagement lifecycle easier and more integrated which is critical to longterm success. (Well, within their own channel anyway….try creating a social media campaign that cross-markets using several channels (such as Facebook AND Twitter), then having a management and tracking plan in place that doesn’t consume a full time resource! (More to come on that I’m sure). 

I have my communication preferences just like everyone else and when I started using facebook personally, I was pretty resistant to the whole concept of: 

Share -> Notify -> Sign In -> comment -> sign out and move on -> get another comment/poke/post -> Sign in, etc. 

People started having ‘semi-live’ conversations within a topic and it was certainly Facebook’s point to keep people signed in longer and doing more. But frankly, not for me.  

I would literally reply to an invite/post/comment saying email me@. If it didn’t work the first time, I would be forced to use the word PLEASE, PLEASE email me@ 

So I did eventually get over that 🙂 however MOST importantly (and the big news!) is that I’m so thrilled that I don’t have to get over it at all!! With the new reply-to email to comment on posts, I get to stay in the same places I want to online, and to my beloved email inbox! 

Yayyy! (Just reply to FB activity in your inbox!)


Really, really, really, thank you! This tidy and handy little feature is a setting adjustment in your account – just select your notification preferences (comments, updates, etc.) with your email preferences. If you’re a super-active FB individual and you go around poking people and sending little apps and having real time conversations (or your friends do!), it’s a great way to keep up with the ‘conversation’. 

Now, when you’re at work and your boss walks by to make sure you’re  not burning company time by socializing with your friends on facebook, you’re covered!

Smart move, facebook! As organizations crack down on (unofficial) social media time spent in the office, you’ve made it much easier to keep engaged without getting ‘found out’. And for those of us who just LOVE the handy little feature because it’s how we want to manage our engagements, we’re so much happier!

BTW, let’s not forget how much easier this makes it for several people within an organization to manage a company presence…A definite consolidation trend for 2010. More on that another time.

Yah-WHO? (You, creeps, bullies and maybe everyone else too).

I woke up early this morning, excited to start my ‘social media predictions and trends for 2010’ post, which has been on my list for some time now. One of my new year’s resolutions is to make a greater effort to share opinions, insights, knowledge and observations that may be of value to others in the industry and today was the day!

It went afoul.

I was mildly surprised when I received an invitation to connect from media company “X” via Yahoo! Not that a connection request is odd (and I’m all about connecting), but when I looked twice, then a second time, my pleasant mystery quickly became concern.

Imagine my surprise when I started investigating how company “X” successfully sent an email invitation to an entirely different (unpublished) email account of mine, but through Yahoo!… I don’t know company X, or anyone from company X.

Even more mysterious was the combination of these bits of data:

  1. The email header included my married last name which I don’t use anywhere
  2. The invitation was not sent to my yahoo email (which I’ve had since 1995), nor a publicized address
  3. My yahoo profile had been changed to a hyphenated last name (I didn’t do it)

Curiosity killed the cat (that’s me), so off to I went.

Yah-WHO? You really published my personal information from 1995? And by data mining? Without notifying, telling or asking?

Yes, that’s exactly what happened. I believe the word is “stunned”. In fact, some of the information came from my original yahoo profile, and some data had been mined from a questionable source (let’s just say there are two pieces of ID you never give out, that have that hyphenated name, which is the only source of locating it). That’s pretty much a ‘not-ok’. For starters, your birthday, age and name are public by default.

My auto assigned happy face is not so happy.

After following random clicks here and there, I eventually found the settings (above), and had to click ‘hide my age/save’ several times before it updated (now that you all know my birthday is coming up, I would happily accept thoughtful best wishes. But I’m thinking age isn’t really relevant nor of interest to most. 🙂 

I was expecting to be done, but noticed the new right side bar options; Relationships, Work, Schools, and Interests. At this point, I double-checked my browser URL to make sure I was really at and not in fact on Facebook, LinkedIn, classmates or some dating site that I don’t visit nor am a member of. I clearly felt obligated to keep going because in fact, I really was at

Creeps & bullies, and 3rd party apps

creeps and bullies?
creeps and bullies, oh my! And Lions and tigers and bears? More searching and my level of concern started to match that of my frustration. Here’s your one ‘gimme’ yahoo; I was ‘pleased’ you didn’t pull a Facebook by defaulting ‘share’ with 3rd party apps. It was almost a relief. Can’t edit permissions? That would really be a drag for someone who uses yahoo apps, chat, connections, etc. but I don’t.Wait! Not only did I have a new sidebar menu (which by now I can confidently conclude potentially leads to a dark and mysterious place…)I was now being prompted to learn how to ‘manage my reputation’ and how to deal with ‘creeps and bullies’? If Yahoo feels the need to prioritize those topics on your permissions settings, I equally share the concern about my reputation AND creeps and bullies.How long will this take?I finally found all my options in the help section.
Worn out by now, I believe I finally located the full view of information that may or may not be out there in the help files (look at all those new settings…ugh, what a drag). I’m not sure I found everything, but what was clear is that I had been socialized without even knowing it or being asked. I’m not interested in managing my yahoo reputation, age, birthday, connections and blogs or have a guestbook, photos, manage an alias or chat. I’m sure some people are, but I, like most users, live in the channels that have value to me.

The net-net?

I ‘get’ the business logic for trying to keep your channel engaged by providing a robust & valuable group of services that will keep them – it’s one of the trends I believe we’ll continue to see significant shifts in, moving forward. It will be critical to establishing leadership success. But compromising trust (and privacy) is a fail that leads to initiatives like Facebook death.  

So I’ll wrap this up by calling this out as the ‘mis-perceived value’ and privacy fail. By now it’s an ‘old’ social media truth to ask and I’m not sure why folks can’t quite get that one right.

So, who is my new friend media company ‘X’? I never did find the answer (though I’m certain I’d be happy to connect); But after all that, I couldn’t find ‘X’s profile through yahoo and am still wondering how they found mine.

That mystery I’ll save for another day.

(OLDER 2-19-09) Myths and Truths, Social Media Experts and strategists

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the hype and positioning around what social media (and social media marketing) is; what an expert is; and what makes that ‘expert’ a strategist that now and again I (like others of you), have to take a moment to shake our heads in wonder. The next step, naturally, is to share your opinions and insights.

What is social media anyway?

What we’re asking, telling, expressing and who we trust is still consistent. That’s a human truth. It’s ‘the conversation’, ‘trust network’, confidence in ‘referral’, and so on — not so new conceptually and hasn’t changed even though the ‘buzz words’ have.

So what has changed?:

(1) Who (the “collective” power of the consumer)

(2) What (the tools that enable that power)

(3) Where (the channels in which they exercise it )

(4) How (the media in which they express it)

So we’re really talking about (1) collective consumer voices, in the channels they connect to, relate with, and frequent, such as (2) Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc., that include (3) their websites, other websites, blogs, RSS feeds, digital devices, etc., with the media available either collectively or singularly whether it’s (4) text, music, video or sound.

What makes a social media expert/strategist MYTHS:

If someone:
1. Is a techie, they’re a social media guru

2. Knows how to use some, most of, (or even all of) the social networking sites and/or tools, they’re a social media expert

3. Is all of the above, AND they have online advertising experience (oh, let’s say Adwords, PPV/C, and the usual), these someone’s are now social media strategists

As a business, you can now safely put your brand in the hand of these someone’s, yes? (Ok, that was fun)! 🙂

What makes a strategist/expert TRUTHS:

2. An expert is someone who either knows (or learns), the ‘ins and outs’ of any particular thing. A strategist does not need to be a subject matter expert. They do however, need to understand how to ask the right questions (and what those questions are) that are relevant to the strategy in order to develop the plan. They also need to be an expert in defining (and articulating) how it relates to the strategy, in order for it to be successful. And of course, no strategy is worth its can of beans, without being executable.

3. Understanding social media is understanding how to communicate, when to communicate, and what to communicate all within a particular objective — based on a strategic plan. Probably without having to say so, this is well after asking to authenticate what “that” is, mapped to the objective.

When in doubt asking who the expert is and how they can help develop the strategy to integrate social media into your overall company initiatives (because you really need to), apply the social media truths as you would any other business initiative where strategic expertise and ability is the framework for success.

And if that strategy isn’t reflective of your business objectives (regardless of what it’s called), move right along.

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