What’s Next in Social Media?

Earlier this week I participated on panel about Social Media at an offsite for senior executive at one of the world’s largest media companies. It was an extremely interesting session and particularly interesting to be on the panel with Dennis Crowley of Foursquare and Jordan Glazier of Eventful.

The last question that was asked was: tell us what we don’t know. What’s coming around the corner? What’s the future?

Southwest: Tier 2 Brand Takes To Social Media

In an earlier post I talked about how there’s a huge opportunity for agencies and social media marketers with Tier 2 brands. I cited United and the Guitar-gate incident as an example and talked about why I don’t think it’s enough to move United into real action.

Illustrating my point, here’s a great example that I came across today of a Tier 2 brand, Southwest, that’s taking full advantage of the Social Web and coming at United competitively: SOUTHWEST LUVS GUITARS (AND CONTESTS)!

AT&T’s Seth Not Real. So What?

So, it appears that Seth, AT&T’s blogger guy, works for its PR agency Fleishman Hillard (sorry, but I think he comes off like a douche in the video). The question was posed on Twitter by Todd Defren about whether AT&T should have disclosed that Seth works for FH.

From a consumer’s point of view, that’s not really the point. For all intents and purposes Seth works for AT&T. By putting him out there as the mouth piece of AT&T, he is AT&T, so to speak. Sure, he’s a ‘blogger’ but do we expect anything impartial from he if he works for AT&T or its PR agency? I think Todd’s question in some ways has more to do with the flaws (and insecurities) of the PR industry more than what matters to customers

The more important point to me is that AT&T is still missing the real opportunity. All they’ve done is more of the same, just a different wrapper. A different channel for the same old message and business practices.

Some Brands Can Suck

Some brands suck and seem to get away with it.

These days, almost every marketer (particularly agencies and consultants) is trying to come up with Social Media strategies for you name it brand out there. It’s sometimes a game of who can scream the loudest when a big brand fucks up, about how social media could save it and it should turn to it right away.

I think this can be a waste of time from an agency’s perspective trying to win that type of business.

Talking About Engagement on Marketing Voices

I met Jennifer Jones last year when she invited me to be a guest on her Marketing Voices podcast to talk about KickApps and social media in marketing. She was kind enough to have me on again and she published the podcast today. We talked about Engagement Marketing and went over some interesting examples of how our clients are using social media and KickApps to engage with their customers. You can listen to the podcast below.

Advertising, PR, Interactive, Search, Direct…Oh My

My most recent job has me thinking about marketing agencies and the shift in marketing that has even the CMO of Unilever (not exactly the brand I think of when one talks about the internet or social media) ranting and raving about the impact of social media on marketing.

As I said in an earlier post, I find that depending on who you ask and what type of marketing they do, they’ll tell you that their discipline is the best suited to be the social media answer to all the modern marketer’s woes. To me that’s not even the point. I think that if you’re having a discussion along the lines of social media you’re having the wrong the discussion–I’ll address this point later, but first a rant on agencies.

It’s about Engagement, stupid!

I’ve been scratching my head for a while about the question of where social media should sit in an organization. I’ve learned that the way a person typically answers that depending on his or her background and point of view. A PR person will typically say, PR! (Especially if that person works at an agency.) An advertising person will usually say, ADVERTISING! You get where I’m going with this.

My auto-response answer is: marketing. As I give it more thought though, I don’t think it’s that straight forward. These days I’m thinking that it should live wherever business strategy lives and in the channels where a company delivers tactically against those strategies. Does that mean it lives everywhere? Maybe.

Who gets it?

About a month ago, I had a conversation with a friend who doesn’t work in the same industry as I do about a phrase that she noticed is quite pervasive amongst the social media set.

“They don’t get it.”

This is used to explain the ineptitude and shortcomings of my brethren in marketing who work at brands, enterprises and agencies or all shapes and sizes, and pertains to their lack of understanding about social media and engagement marketing.