Tag Archives: marketing

Strength in Humans – The Power of People in Social Media Marketing

When we tell brands to be “more human” it’s rare that they immediately understand how it translates on social media. Tim Howell set the stage for this blog when he asked businesses to ask themselves why it was important to “be human” on social media. In this blog, I’ll look at how businesses can effectively be “more human” while still meeting their social media goals.

I believe that part of the answer can be found by looking to Humans of New York (HONY).

HONY is social media.

More specifically, HONY is a website that gives people everywhere “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City”.

These people aren’t famous. They are normal, everyday people walking the streets of New York. And their photos and stories have transformed into something almost magical – creating news, inspiring imitators, and serving as great platforms for calls to action.

It is visual. It is storytelling. It is measurable. And at its core, it is undeniably human.

So how can companies use the magic of HONY’s humanness to inspire their brand’s social media content?

Step 1. Highlight the Human Side.

Every business has a story to tell. There may be a single person who embodies the spirit of your brand, or an entire department that spends everyday living up to your brand promise. You are a company made up of people. Embrace it – your audience will.

Step 2. Write Well. Write Often.

You are as strong as your content. If you go to a party and tell the same story over and over, eventually people will stop paying attention to you. Social media is the same way. Part of the appeal of HONY is the stories behind the photos, told through short, platform appropriate captions. New content is posted daily to multiple platforms, which brings me to the next point…

Step 3. Know Your Platforms.

You wouldn’t use YouTube to post photos and you wouldn’t ask someone on Tumblr to “Like this post!” Great content will go nowhere if it was posted to the wrong platform. The visual nature of Tumblr and the ease of sharing across the network made it ideal for HONY. Adding in the virality and reach of Facebook enhanced the reach and awareness of the brand. Before you post, ask yourself: are the capabilities of the platform aligned with the needs of my brand?

Remember: the “Robot Revolution” hasn’t happened yet. If you want to successfully communicate with humans, you need to be human. 

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman drinks a lot of tea. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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Headlines Can Change the World

My wife says I don’t read enough and she’s right. I’m not sure anyone really does.  Even her; book, or Kindle in hand every evening as Storage Wars and Duck Dynasty provide the soundtrack for whatever world she’s been transported to.

[Before I continue, I would just like to take a moment to thank A&E for making my evenings just that much better.]

Then I start to count the number of headlines I consume in a day. It’s startling.

From Fierce feeds to Smart Briefs to the magic of Flipboard [again a pause to say thanks for reinventing my world news experience], the total headlines in a day can top 1,000 easy – discounting for the breaking story that hits me 8 – 10 times depending on the category.

So let’s consider the impact those headlines have on decision-making – not just mine, but anyone’s.

For example, a prospect we’ve been working with in the Financial Services industry is trying to empower their advisors with more education and control of information to best support their end clients.

Consider an advisor that needs to read and understand and interpret financial data, trends, risk tolerances, past, present and future performance of multiple markets and client portfolios, squaring off with a client that just got finished reading their 1,000 headlines, some several times, most likely leaving a stronger impression on them.

Put yourself in the advisor’s seat and think about the questions you could get. Ever hear the phrase “out of left field?”

And, by the way, we’re fighting our own brains when we’re trying to interpret what we’ve just read:

This scenario applies to anyone in an advisory position, whether you’re developing products, helping to bring them to market or closing the sale at the end of the chain.

You can even remove the business aspect of this overload and apply it to parenting, dieting, socializing. We are creating our own disadvantages by generating too much information and ways to consume it.

How do we solve for this?

1) Don’t write to confuse

I’ve had a number of conversations lately where people will listen to me speak and ask, “what does that mean?”

The question isn’t driven from a lack of clarity in words used to express my ideas. It’s because they are looking for  hidden meanings and motivations.

We’re all interpreting instead of being plain. Let’s be plain and let the complexity unfold in dialogue and exchange of ideas.

In other words, do what you say and say what you do.

2) Be more selective in what we write

I can’t fault anyone for trying to make a living. Your top 10 list might just be the next one to get chiseled out on stone and carried forward as commandments.

Just take care that what you’re writing is unique, delivers a different perspective, or adds value to an existing conversation. Parroting doesn’t add real value [leave it alone, search marketers]. Your audience will thank you for it.

3) Write everything like it’s The Pelican Brief

No, I didn’t read the book. Remember, I don’t read enough. But the movie has recently come to mind for me as a great approach to making sure what we get in our newsfeeds is the penultimate of thoughts and words.

Imagine if every headline you read was from an author being chased through New Orleans by trained assassins because their thoughts and words could shift the balance of power as we know it. How cool would that be? Seriously. Let’s say you do have that phenomenal top 10 list that we all need to read. Great. Own it. Shout it from the roof tops. Make sure your audience knows what you’ve uncovered and don’t let them leave until you’re sure they’ve understood it. And be prepared. That could take years. It doesn’t need to be new to be right.

Write like that and we’ll all be better for it.

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JOSH JORDAN is the Founder and President of Make Me Social. Josh has spent the majority of his career blending his passion for people, technology and community development to create real relationships for brands and their message. Josh and his wife Jennifer live in St. Augustine, FL where they volunteer their time and energy to support the local arts and children’s charities and spend endless hours keeping their 19 month old son, George, entertained.

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As the Kings of Content Battled, The Digital Revolution Continued: Why Viacom and DIRECTV Fought the Wrong Battle, A Social Media and Marketplace Analysis

The recent battle between Viacom and DIRECTV captured a lot of attention this month. By focusing on the issues that Viacom and DIRECTV were addressing in their negotiations, it was easy to miss the larger issue: that winning this battle would not win them the war. We turned to social media analytics and market research to examine the big picture, and ask: can the Kings of Content survive the Digital Revolution?

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Sources and Content Creation

“Don’t think so hard. You might hurt yourself.”

I can’t remember the name of the teacher who interrupted me during an exam with that message, but I’ve never forgotten their words.

Each month we host an internal training for all members of our content team. This month we focused on ways to find inspiration for content curation and creation, and the presentation was heavily inspired by the sentiment behind those words.

In the interest of sharing and all that is social, we’ve decided to make portions of that training available to the public. Enjoy!

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys finding that her degree is relevant to her life. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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Three Simple Solutions to Integrate Social Media and Direct Marketing Efforts

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to the Baltimore Postal Customer Council, a mix of Printers, Direct Mailers and USPS employees with one thing in common: strong traditional direct marketing backgrounds. Many of them were surprised to hear that they were perfectly positioned to integrate social media into their marketing mix. Often the perception is that you need to be at SXSW each year or working for a big brand to see big results from social media. I’ve seen social media work for businesses of all sizes, when the business looks at social as a complement to existing ongoing efforts.

I focused the discussion on identifying scalable solutions and building processes for implementation and integration. The single topic that garnered the greatest interest was integrating social media with direct mail, so I thought I would list three easy solutions that should never be overlooked:

  1. Don’t let opportunity pass you by! On every piece of print—whether it is to be used as a direct mail piece or collateral at a trade show – incorporate your social media icons.  This is also true for business cards, letterhead and even job applications!
  2. Integration works both ways:  As you mention your social channels on your printed components, so should you be talking about your DM campaign in social media.  Use social to alert your followers to a direct mail campaign they will be receiving soon.
  3. Complement one another:  Whether you are sending out a direct mail campaign or speaking at a trade show, the topics being covered offline should also be covered online, on your social channels. Use social media to keep the conversation going.

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A senior industry leader with 20+ years combined Marketing and Business Development experience at leading digital and direct marketing firms, and formidable record of driving significant financial gains for multiple clients, Meg works directly with the Make Me Social Agency account team, managing client relationships and overseeing accounts. Prior to joining Make Me Social Meg was an integral part of a family mailing and addressing company.

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The Power of Social Media Storytelling: Facebook Timeline and True Corporate Communication

Author Reynolds Price once said of stories, “Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives,”

In cultures across the globe values are shared through allegories, pictures are painted with narratives, and emotional bonds are created through stories. This is as true online as it is offline, in life as well as in business; after all, aren’t the two woven together for at least 8 hours a day Monday through Friday?

If you ever doubt the power of a good story, look at the view count on Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video. Whether you agree with the organization or not, over 79 million views speak to the power of using storytelling to drive people to action. If you were one of the 79 million views you probably noticed that they used Facebook Timeline to tell that story.

Visual: How Facebook Timeline Enables Storytelling

This is not a coincidence – Facebook Timeline is designed for storytelling.  While many assumed that the switch to Timeline was about aesthetics, it’s about a larger change that we’ve been watching happen since Make Me Social was founded in 2009. It’s the end of corporate doublespeak and the beginning of true corporate communication – where the audience talks back.

In a world where stories are written in 140 characters and the only walls that exist between nations are ones made of code, companies must learn to become storytellers…and the really good ones will learn how to make their audience a part of their story.

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys listening to books on tape and pretending that the words are coming from the storyteller doll that she made in 3rd grade. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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Call for Interns: Now Accepting Summer Internship Applications

Summer is coming and with it comes the opportunity to intern at the Make Me Social office in St. Augustine, Florida. Our agency is looking for a few students who are interested in getting hands on experience in: Marketing, Public Relations, Graphic and Web Design, and Sales.

We’re looking for students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program; who have completed their Sophomore year; are legally permitted to work in the United States; and have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

To be considered for any of the listed internship positions, please send a copy of your resume to info@makemesocial.net. The email subject should include the specific internship position that you are interested in.

For the full descriptions of each position, please click the appropriate link below:

Marketing Internship 
Public Relations Internship 
Graphic and Web Design Internship 
Sales Internship

As the great meme above says: SUMMER IS COMING. Please send your resume in by May 4th in order to be considered for one of the available internship positions.

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