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Be fearless if the situation calls for it…

(please note: this article originally appeared online while I was a student in the New Media Driver’s License course at Michigan State University.)

Copyblogger caught my attention a few weeks before I started the New Media Driver’s License course, due to a post entitled “The Eminem Guide to Becoming aWriting and Marketing Machine.” This Eminem post just came from a completely different point of view that many people would hesitate to apply to social media marketing: controversy.

That article drew my attention to his site; I honestly forgot how I ended up there – as I visit a variety of blogs in my efforts to expand my ‘worldview’ on social marketing and online networking. In fact, I belong to a number of groups on LinkedIn related to digital marketing, and I posted a link to it on one of those just to see what the reaction would be. It created a stir; half the people loved it, half of them hated it. The point it made for me?

They were all talking about it.

Prior to the development of digital marketing, I ran a media company that collected short films and Entertinament Weekly Articlreleased them in compilation tapes to the home video market (back in the days of VHS). Selling these titles was never easy, as few people had any exposure to the concept of short film. It required marketing that not only thought outside the box; but reinvented it.

As an example, my company collected a series of hallucinogenic animated films – worked with a performance artist by the name of Tony Vegas – and we turned it into a 60 minute compilation entitled “Tony Vegas’ Animated Acidburn Flashback Tabu.”(Artwork courtesy of Stephen J. Stofflet. Article / Entertainment Weekly May1992)

Now where would you put your advertising dollars for a title like this? We brainstormed: and ended up touching base with Timothy Leary (please tell me you remember him… if you don’t, visit Wikipedia) – and got a copy of the tape in Leary’s hands. He loved it. He wrote an article about it. We got the article in the hands of the entertainment editor at Entertainment Weekly.

The result?

A completely unknown collection of twisted animated short films got a full page in one of the country’s top entertainment magazines. Roughly equivalent to about $30,000+ that cost us maybe $100.00 – and some successful networking.

In a way, this could be compared to the effect of a viral video today; we got a controversial figure to endorse our program in a ‘mainstream’ publication. The response from this exposure was significantly higher than anything we had released to date, due to the notoriety of the author.

That is what I like about ‘copyblogger.’ This guy, Brian Clark, has created a site that is interesting. It’s fun to read. It provides free resources like tutorials that include “Copywriting 101” and “SEO Copywriting.” But he’s willing to go out on the edge with an article like the one on Eminem and what he can teach you about marketing and writing: put yourself out there / be extreme. In fact, he’s posted another similar article pulling material from Madonna: “Madonna’s 6 Secrets to Personal Branding Mastery.”

Does this work for all clients? Absolutely not. However, it’s important to go in this direction for those clients that could benefit from it.

Be fearless if the situation calls for it.

Social media credibility and influence

Kred LogoKlout has been around for some time, providing social media geeks with a way of measuring their “influence” via their various social network postings.

It appears a new player is on the way:  Kred

What is it? Well, in an article posted on Techcrunch, it apparently is slowly rolling out over the next week or so – headed directly for a head to head confrontation with Klout.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to sign up via Twitter to get an invitation to check it out – gotta stay on top of the new stuff, you know…

I’ll let Techcrunch tell ya how it works (go check out the article):

“So how is this different from Klout? The main difference is Kred’s transparency. It shows you exactly how you got your score and lets you drill down to every retweet to see how many points it was worth. A normal retweet might be worth 10 points, but one from somebody with high Kred might be worth 50. A mention is worth more than follow, and so on. Since Kred is calculating everyone’s scores in realtime, it normalizes your score against the average.”

Google+ for the masses…

Google plus logoIt’s official – you no longer need an invite for Google+   -effective immediately, the search engine giant has opened its doors to the public after 99 updates to their offering during the beta testing period.

Have you played with this new networking opportunity yet? I have to admit that I was a little leery at first, but the program offers some really cool options – the most notable being the “circles” that you can create out of friends, family, professional associates, and just about any other demographic you could think of. Currently I work in Facebook as a social / family / friend tool – and save work associates for LinkedIn. This new approach could be a definite game changer for social networking.

Come on over and check it out

 

Real Time Communication for Your Site

Comm100 logoComm100 is an open-source, no-cost hosted customer communication SAAS provider. A chat host that opens up a new level of reaching out to clients, the simplicity of this communication tool is truly amazing because of its ease of implementation, and deserves a solid evaluation from anyone who is serious about developing and maintain client relationships.

By placing a few lines of code on your website, you are able to establish a live link to visitors to your website; providing them with real-time support for any questions they may have. I’ve encouraged a number of friends and associates to explore the flexibility offered by this software, due to its ease of use and the solid real-time relationships that it can support.

It’s especially helpful for those of you who might be exceptionally mobile, as they also offer the ability to monitor communications remotely via their smartphones. They have created apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian platforms.

In addition to supporting real-time communication with visitors to your website, it can provide a wealth of information about who and when they are visiting, and the frequency of their visits. These conversations can be attached to tickets, email follow-ups can be generated, and the entire customer service experience can be exceptionally pro-active and positive, due the ease of this exceptional software.

Visit their site, download their software, install it on your website and give it a try; the experience is surprisingly easy and contributes a valuable personal interface that allows you to establish solid relationships with new and returning clients.

Social Media & ROI

Just got a look at an excellent ‘Powerpoint’ on Slideshare that I wanted to share with you,  regarding measuring the ROI of Social Media (thanks to the New Media Driver’s License website for sharing it initially.)

Update

updateSorry for the inexcusable lack of updates. I’m finishing up a course at Michigan State University:  the New Media Driver’s License, and the final project has been rapidly approaching.

Updating a blog is a habit that must be honed, and this is a skill that I’m still working on. I will be scheduling upcoming posts on this site every Wednesday morning, to begin developing this habit.

As no one is probably reading this yet, this post is really more of a wake-up call for me personally… but I’ve got to get into the habit and stick with it.

Wish me luck…

S