Table for One. Or a Hundred.
The quality and calibre of the content at the 2013 Solo PR Summit - Second. To. None.
One standout for this event for me was relevance: this wasn’t pie-in-the-sky luxury available only to global brands, these concepts are scalable to many of the small and medium businesses we advise. Even more, much of what was presented – the need to be nimble, flexible, adaptable; the focus and human touch - cuts both ways.
Wish You Had Been There
After fearless leader Kellye Crane kicked things off, we got two days of smart, insightful and best of all, take-this-home-and-actually-USE-it! presentations.
- Professional means just that. Think professional – doesn’t mean boring, stuck-in-the-mud stiff! – headshot, social profiles, brand image.
- Website, blogs and branded, professional business email address.
- ” Waiting to build your personal brand until you need it is like waiting until you’re cold to build a fire.” – Kevin Dugan
- It’s not about traditional vs. digital; it’s about how those can layer, build and support each other – creating value.
- Solve clients biggest problem: no time to keep up. Be resource, share info.
- “Don’t tell, beg, or ask people to follow you/engage with your content, show them why they should.” – Lucas Miller
Proposal Secrets: Revealed. Love when I get a chance to know people better, this time it was Natalie Ghidotti. Key takeaways:
- Creativity Works. It’s not about the boilerplate and formula; use visuals, match presentation and format to the client.
- Start at the right place by asking the right questions – H/T to Mary Barber for great list of questions – in order to give them what they need (not just want they want).
- I need to start watching Mad Men DVDs.
Learning from Biggest, Brightest, Bestest. Jeremy Porter, Definition 6/Journalistics; Aimee Ertley, Sage North America; Ashley Callahan, Coca-Cola; Candace McCaffery, Independent Consultant. Key takeaways:
- Interesting case studies on the use of social, the rethinking of web, traditional and new media, convergence of content, CRM and more.
- Solo or Independent isn’t limiting; much of this is scaleable, adaptable at the SMB level.
- Think Different. There’s more than one way to tackle issue or position a client. “Any business can be interesting.” – Aimee Ertley
And that was just a half-day! So much was shared, this barely scratched the surface.. and one of the days I’ll get a handle on embedding these awesome tweets.
For a first-of-its-kind event, the Solo PR Summit really hit a home run. Big time all caps bold KUDOS to Kellye Crane for making this happen. Look for Solo PR Summit Day 2: Electric Boogaloo next week when we do the Harlem Shake and expose someone as a cheap hooker. Stay tuned.
What did you think of Day 1? Please share.
“Do not wait for others to open the right doors for you.”
Not much of a fortune – don’t ya hate that?! – but certainty good advice, even if from a cookie.
Yes there are nice, courteous people everywhere but one thing I’ve always loved about The South, the manners. More than a few times a nice gentleman has waited – a long bit – for me to get to a door so he can hold it open for me. If only everything was like that.
If you want to open some doors, here’s what you do:
- Stop waiting.
- Develop a plan for success.
- Work hard, find your right doors.
- Open the doors your damn self.
That’s what good public relations and content marketing and social media are about. It’s why the myths about blogging are b.s.
YOU have to do it.
No one else will do it for you. You open the doors by doing the work. You hire the right team, talk to the right experts. You research and plan, you study data and numbers, you find your doors. And find ways to open them.
You open the right doors by doing your homework. Research, targeting, relationships with strategic stakeholders. You know your story better than anyone, what you can do for others; so tell it.
You open those doors by creating content. It takes a team, so you get leaders and management involved to write blogs and post videos, produce content of value that people – your audiences – can actually use.
You open those doors being genuinely social and find the right doors getting out of your own house. And sometimes, out of your own way.
Here’s to not waiting, finding inspiration anywhere, shorter posts (personal victory!). Here’s to doing the WORK and opening doors for ourselves.
Photo courtesy: Humorsharing.com.
Implied? Explicit? What does it mean to be Social?
That mileage may vary as will the Rules of Engagement, everything from your Twitter rules to how you LinkedIn, whether or not you mix the professional with the professional, if this is about work, play or any point in between.
Taking the long way around
This post started in one place, and then took some twists, a couple turns and a few loooong breaks, detouring and rambling along here:
Not everyone is always talking to or more importantly, with us. Many of us buy-in to listen, with an option to speak or engage later. Is there an implied social contract with the lurkers, many of whom only follow because they believe that – should they ever choose to delurk and comment or DM – they’ll have a chance at being heard?
If one develops the reputation for being ‘oh that person is social, they WILL reply, respond, follow back’ – what happens when they suddenly don’t? I don’t know.
The rule of follow back. I ain’t no follow back girl and yet, I get surprised/annoyed when I discover someone with whom I’ve engaged regularly via Twitter and blogs is not following me. (I don’t bite. I shower on a regular basis. I use proper grammar, spelling and character-saving acronyms. I’m a catch – if you care about public relations, wine, travel, SEC sports. I don’t get it.) Anywaaay…
I also don’t understand anemic 0.23% follow-to-follower ratios, or Twitter recommending such users to me. Not saying we should open the floodgates to any yahoo on the street, but something that cracks whole digits can’t be that hard to manage. If I had 10K non-fake (I also block spammers, vanity metrics be damned) followers, I’d be honored to at least follow 1K of them back.
Reciprocity. Tough one, ala thanking Twitter followers. You can’t always respond to every comment or trackback, but I think it’s also rude to ‘ignore’ your supporters, your stakeholders. When that long-supportive lurker finally delurks and offers their two pennies, that’s worth just as much to me as the comments from the usual suspects.
The people subscribe, read, comment and/or share our blogs more than a few times, you know what – they have often have blogs too. (Crazy, right?!) Isn’t responding in kind once in a while basic, professional courtesy? If you reserve your comments and social shares only for your List clique or Tribe of usual suspects, doesn’t that just perpetuate the groupthink we’re supposed to be avoiding?
Again, IDK – I loathe the idea of comment clubs or tit-for-tat RTs, but there’s gotta be some middle ground, some balance – a little give along with some take.
Friends. I think as much about others’ lives and interests as I do their businesses, their blogs. Oh – ‘you’re another Disney fan, just love that’ is what I think when I see your tweet. Moving our engagement from Twitter to other networks, or vice versa; toss in a chatty phone call or two, some emails or DM chats - the relationship really does change. Share a meal, a drink in person - offline networking FTW.
Surprises me, how common it is for me to reference this email or that tweet because of the business friends I’ve made over the years. I’m all about the business, but love that I’ve made real connections and friends online.
It’s who we are.
Whether at a party or behind a keyboard, social is part of us. I don’t know what our social contract is, nor what it will be as we evolve as a social (media) society. But I’m thinking about it – so that’s a step in some direction anyway. FWIW.
Photo: Love that I finally discovered Bluntcard.
Many changes afoot at Twitter.
- API crackdown. Fare thee well LinkedIn, so long Instagram, smell ya later Tumblr.
- VIA be gone. Not showing the 3rd party apps on the web, so you won’t see clients like Buffer and TweetChat included in the tweets anymore.
Dear Twitter, The reason everyone uses someone else’s apps for Twitter instead of yours or your web interface – it’s because they are BETTER.
Best from the Rest
TweetDeck. Used to be awesome, which is why I use the old pre-Twitter buyout build. It allows for: Scheduling, I time-shift my reading, and schedule tweets so as not to bombard all 14 followers who might be paying attention; Organizing by lists, groups, searches into columns; and Filtering by apps, which is my favorite old feature; my stream doesn’t include FourSquare updates and Paper.li and I like it that way.
HootSuite. Pretty good, does a lot of the things TD does like handling multiple accounts. It also allows me to ‘automate’ the one blog feed I know I’ll promote – mine.
Though I wish I could clear mentions and messages I’ve seen, it has a nice interface for reading, organizing, scheduling and a solid iPad app. It also includes someone’s Klout score in their profile, if you’re into that sorta thing.
Twitter bought TweetDeck because it was so popular. TweetDeck was popular because it was powerful, gave users a variety of options and controls. Twitter then ruined TweetDeck - it stripped away the very flexibility and customization that made it a hit. Boo.
Have it MY way.
Companies like Buffer and HootSuite, they’re getting marketing types to pay for Pro versions. Is it a matter of user fees, like App.net seems to think?
Ads supported by eyeballs? Back-end features for the brands plying their wares? Plenty have written, myself included, posts about Twitter’s impending demise and the moves they could make to stop it.
Reclaiming control of their API – this is supposedly how Twitter will make money, by killing its openness.
Who knows? What I do know is that Twitter seems set on defining what it should be and should not be – for the user. It’s kinda like giving me a dozen eggs, but telling me I can only use them for omelets, no cookies or cakes or french toast allowed.
From where I sit, that’s the wrong move. I think Twitter needs to let us decide what OUR Twitters will be and – in ancient news, then figure out how to make that profitable.
Maybe Twitter is a news service; maybe it’s a microblog; maybe it’s something totally different. Maybe an ‘active’ not-fake user IS someone who just reads but seldom tweets. And maybe some of us want to link with other networks, use other apps and clients. Certainly that mileage will vary.
FWIW MY Twitter would let me decide what’s noise, what “via” apps to filter; how to best connect with others, what I want to automate, what I will do myself, and what apps and services I’ll use to get the most out of Twitter. If I had enough options to make it truly mine and work for me, I might even pay to use an ‘official’ Twitter.
Are these 3rd-party crackdowns salting your Twitter game? If it changes too much from what YOU like, would you stop using it?
Photo Credit: Geek and Poke, some of the best tech comics around.
What makes social special?
Forgetting all the bots and fakers, social media allows people to connect to celebrities, to business moguls, to entrepreuners and thought leaders. Social can play matchmaker; when billionaire T. Boone Pickens retweets rapper Drake, it’s magic that results in one of Twitter’s finest moments.
Not sure there is a magic formula – it’s about being real, human, having personality. Those tres uber popular on social media have a lot going for them:
- Celebrity. Whether it’s the real or ‘internet’ famous, the more who know of you – the greater your audience of followers and fans. And when my dad’s heard your name, then you’re BIG.
- Engagement. Responding to others; talking to the audience; it’s about access, seeing the inside. When I see someone like Avengers director Joss Whedon do an AMA on Reddit, says that he ‘gets it’ – he knows it’s the fans that matter.
- Authenticity. Not talking about b.s. notions of 100% transparency; that’s way TMI. I mean ditching the script once in a while and keeping it real.
People – individuals and celebs and *gack!* personal ‘brands’ – I think have a better chance at connecting with fans, with customers (aka other people) by simply being human, flaws and all. Which is why I think that “one bad tweet” sending social stars – ala Ashton Kutcher - running for the boring embrace of outsourced social media consultants is often a mistake.*
*Not for nothing, I’m a consultant. And I’d have advised 1) an apology and 2) a little coaching to not make the same mistake. One poorly devised tweet wasn’t exactly ‘off brand’ for someone who’s made his bones being a Punk’d Jackass or whatever, but turning over an open and genuine Twitter account – once famously linked to a race vs. Oprah for fans – was.
(Side note: Social presents different opportunities – and challenges – for brands, politicians, executives. One errant tweet from Tim Cook and Apple’s stock could take an unfortunate dip while possibly sending shares in pitchforks through the roof. Just saying.)
Billy Mack, Social MegaStar
Ever see Love Actually? On cable the other night and I couldn’t help but be sucked in (again).
Bill Nighy’s performance of a has-been rocker pandering to the Christmas audience is effing hilarious. Set today, he’d be a social media LEGEND - crazy, profane, transparent with zero bullshit about quality or value. He’d be real.
I don’t follow many brands on social media – too much like the digital equivalent of a dose of Ambien. But if they were a little more like Billy Mack, I might reconsider.
Is there something you and your business learn from the likes of a Billy Mack? Have you – or your business – experienced benefits (or dangers) of being more human and social?
Photo credit: Discovered Bluntcard not too long ago. Squee!