The Digital Vibes


Measuring the impact of your social media campaign
January 23, 2010, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: ,

Am due for a client review, and was asked to talk in detail about a social media campaign that we undertook and to elaborate on the results. Found this excellent article from iMedia Connection that’s helped me in putting together a qualitative analysis of what we achieved.

Published: September 09 2009

How to measure your social media campaign’s impact

By Daz Connell

Co-author Cheryl Dandrea is senior scientific editor for DAZMedia’s healthcare agency division.

Brands can benefit from advertising in the social media space. The approaches offer a means to engage consumers, enhance brand reputation and image, build positive brand attitudes, improve organic search rankings, and drive traffic to brand locations, both online and offline.

The steps in any advertising campaign will begin with setting campaign objectives and end with assessing the effectiveness of the strategies and tactics to determine the degree of success in accomplishing the stated objectives and to inform the next campaign. The challenge is to develop a set of measures to assess success and plan for future strategies and tactics.

The appropriate approaches to measurement will vary depending upon the campaign’s objectives and the social media strategies and tactics used. However, there are the basic steps any measurement program should include. Those are the steps this article will outline.

At this stage of development, social media advertising lacks the standard metrics that have served as a primary advantage for online advertising. Online advertising as a form of direct-response advertising has measurability built into its very existence. Advertisers can measure reach (the number of people exposed to the message) and frequency (the average number of times someone is exposed), and analyze site stickiness (the ability of a site to draw repeat visits and to keep people on a site) and the relative pull of creative presentations (a comparison of the ability for different creative executions to generate response). They can also monitor click-throughs (the number of people exposed who click on an online ad or link), sales conversions (the number of people who click through who then purchase product), and view-throughs (the number of people who are exposed and do not click through but later visit the brand’s website). These metrics are applicable to the use of display advertising in social spaces. If L’Oreal buys display ads on Facebook, all of these metrics are available to gauge effectiveness.

However, for the more innovative approaches available, metrics like number of unique visitors, page views, frequency of visits, average visit length, and click-through rates are either totally inappropriate or irrelevant, or simply fail to capture information about the objectives of a social media advertising campaign. Our tendency is to count — count impressions, visitors, friends, posts, players. There is still a place for numbers in the social media arena, but the numbers may be different from the ones marketers have traditionally used — and they may not be effective if not combined with more qualitative data.

Knowing the number of community members involved in brand-related conversations can serve as an indicator of exposure, and the number of message threads and lines of text within a thread can serve as proxies of conversation depth. However, counting does not capture the essence of the interaction consumers had with the brand, the degree of engagement felt during and after the interaction, or the effects of the interaction, exposure to brand messages, and brand engagement on measures like brand likability, brand image, brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand affiliation, congruency, and purchase intent. Jeep may have 8,500 MySpace friends, but the number does nothing to tell us how the friends feel about Jeep. An ARG may boast millions of players, but the sheer quantity of players does not reveal the success of the strategy.

To measure outcomes of social advertising, organizations must balance quantitative metrics with qualitative insights. Here’s how to go about doing this.

1. Reviewing objectives
Step 1, reviewing the campaign objectives, assumes that the objectives were set prior to pursuing advertising opportunities in social media. Not all brands set formal objectives. Some are simply experimenting with social media, and for them, the experience of executing a campaign using emerging platforms is sufficient.

For most brands, though, failing to set clear objectives is a mistake. When it comes to assessing success, if there are no objectives, how do you know if where you ended up is where you wanted to be? The specific objectives identified can vary dramatically from brand to brand but usually encompass three overarching issues:

  1. Motivating some action like visits to a website or sales
  2. Affecting brand knowledge and attitudes
  3. Accomplishing the first two objectives with fewer resources than might be required with other advertising and promotional methods

2. Mapping the campaign
Step 2 calls for mapping all of the social media aspects of the advertising campaign. This activity results in a visual representation of the tactics used and how they may interact. Maps can be crude, simple drawings, but even a rough sketch can be valuable as brands seek to measure accomplishments in the social media space.

An effective map would display the types of branded messages produced and distributed (e.g., written vehicles like blog posts and white papers, ads in the form of display ads or rich-media video, and podcasts), invitations for consumer engagement with the brand (e.g., games, consumer-generated advertising contests and promotions, and interactive brand experiences), and the online location for these materials. It should also include online locations where others can go to distribute content relating to the brand. For instance, are there viral videos on YouTube that highlight the brand? Are there product reviews on sites like Epinions.com? Are there MySpace pages with brand icons and information posted? Are there bloggers writing about the brand? Are members of Delicious tagging the brand’s website, and are Digg members voting for branded content?

Once all the sources of brand information are identified, the map should sketch out the chain of all possible touchpoints. A touchpoint is simply a contact point between the brand and the consumer.

MINI Cooper “touches” a consumer when someone visits the dealer showroom, visits the MINI website or one of its microsites, receives brochures and other promotional materials from the company, or brings a car in for service. These are all brand-controlled touchpoints, but many touchpoints that the brand does not control do exist, especially online.

In addition to the consumer-generated content that relates to the brand, there may be conversational touchpoints going on. Are people reading the blog postings (or even responding to blog posts) that mention the brand? Are people watching videos posted on sites like YouTube? Are they voting for content on Digg? In other words, is the media (whether brand-generated or consumer-generated) being consumed by those it reaches and is it being “fortified”? Ultimately, the map should show four levels of contact:

  1. Brand-generated content
  2. Consumer-generated content
  3. Consumer-fortified content
  4. Exposures to content consumers

3. Choosing criteria and tools of measurement
In step 3, the criteria for assessing effectiveness are determined, and the tools necessary for measurement are selected. The objectives and the map should direct both the identification of criteria and the best tools for measurement.

For example, imagine that you seek to develop brand awareness for a new product. You also want to drive traffic to the product website and reinforce the brand’s image. The brand enters the social media space with an advertising campaign, which also includes traditional media components. The brand website and its microsites would be sketched on a social media map, along with other tactics, like a celebrity MySpace profile (featuring your brand as a sponsor).

What criteria and tools then should you use to evaluate success of these techniques? Your campaign objectives emphasized a desire to:

  1. Build awareness of the new product
  2. Drive visits to the websites
  3. Strengthen the brand image

Objective 2 is easily addressed with traditional website metrics and measurement tools. The brand site and microsites can track hits, page views, and unique visitors; if the sites enable registration, then registrants can also be tracked. Organic search engine rankings can also be assessed for the brand name and its slogans.

Awareness (objective 1) can be suggested with website traffic and traffic to other branded components. For instance, your celebrity endorser’s MySpace profile will have friends, some of whom will fortify the profile with comments. Awareness can also be suggested with brand mentions in other online spaces. You might ask, “Is the brand being talked about? If so, how much, and where?”

The criteria for answering these questions are straightforward. One simply needs to identify evidence of the brand in online conversations and publications, get a count of those occurrences, and note the source of the material. The tools necessary for this could include a virtual version of a clipping service to determine what is being said about the brand and the brand’s competition online. This can be an in-house project, or outsourced to companies like CyberAlert, which can then monitor specific publications or the entire internet for brand mentions. Collecting brand mentions in-house can be accomplished with tools like Google Alerts. These tools can provide a count of mentions, and the sources, but they should be combined with other tools to determine whether the communication was positive, negative, or neutral for the brand.

Next you might ask, “How many people are exposed to these third-party messages?” To assess the impact of these brand mentions across the web, one can turn to companies that measure the size of a site’s audience. Media Metrix, Nielsen NetRatings, and comScore offer measurement services that include hits, unique visitors, and page views for sites. Such assessments will need to consider all the locations of postings mentioning the brand and the audiences for each location.

In our example, you also set out to strengthen your brand’s image (objective 3). This can be influenced by what the target audience thinks and feels about the branding for the campaign. Is the audience engaged with the interactive games you are using? Is your association strategy using celebrity endorsers effectively? Does the audience feel that the quiz and the recommendations included in the quiz’s answers enable your brand to symbolize their own self images? The campaign itself will influence the brand’s image. You could use primary research in the form of surveys and focus groups to answer these questions.

4. Establishing a benchmark
For all of the criteria and measurement tools you have chosen in step 3, to apply them effectively to your brand, you need to move to step 4 and set benchmarks, which will give you goals to reach so you can determine if your campaign is on the right track or if changes are necessary.

Assuming you are employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative measurement tools, your benchmarks will most likely consist of not only traditional quantitative measures — such as a set number of unique visitors — but also more qualitative metrics — such as positive focus group feedback indicating heightened brand awareness. Then you can use the data you collect from the measurement tools to observe as you get closer and closer to reaching those benchmarks.

5. Analyzing the outcomes and proposing changes
After selecting your measurement tools and the benchmarks you are striving for, step 5 is to analyze the data you collect using your measurement tools, compare the data versus your benchmark, and, if you determine that your campaign is falling short of reaching your goals, propose active changes that might help you attain those goals.

6. Continuing to measure
While it may seem like your job is done once you’ve measured your success versus your benchmark, the work is far from over. Measuring should be a regular, continual part of your social media campaign — so really, step 6 never ends.

Setting regular intervals of measurement (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on the type of metrics chosen and the campaign’s needs) can help maintain discipline in this regard, and continuous measurement can also help you assess consumer reaction to any changes that are instituted mid-campaign.

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What’s really elevating new media – passion
October 12, 2009, 12:04 am
Filed under: Blogs, Social Media | Tags: , , , ,

New media is something we often talk about. Over the past couple of years, we’ve talked and talked about the rise of blogs and citizen journalism, and divided into three camps of believing new media will overtake traditional media, that traditional media will always triumph over new media in terms of credibility, that there will be co-existence.

I’ve taken turns in all three camps and like most of the world have taken up permanent residency in the last. But what really jolted me into realizing just how significant new media is and will be, was an event that I worked on about a fortnight ago.

The Grand Prix was in town, and my client being a significant team sponsor, invested in an unusual campaign that involved sponsoring the team motorhome, transforming it into the swankiest one on the paddock that gave the team a homely respite in the blistering heat.

I had the opportunity organize media and blogger visits and what really struck me, very deeply, was the sparkle I saw in the eyes of two bloggers who are passionate about F1. It’s often said that your eyes are the windows to your soul. The windows of these two people touched me at a very deep level when I saw how much they appreciated the visits. It made me remember that my job had a purpose, somehow.

This epiphany was in stark contrast to the jaded responses of traditional journalists, understandably battered by the constant tsunami of pesky PR assaults. I realized then, what exactly would tip the scale towards new media – passion. It’s easy to ask what your passion is but terribly difficult to answer.

It’s funny how even the World Business Forum addressed this issue. Robit Bhargava, one of the bloggers invited to the event, couldn’t have said it better:

In the surround-sound media environment of today, there is no shortage of places you can go to see an expert’s view of business and where it is headed. What I took from the first day of the World Business Forum, however, was just how important passion is as a common thread in the people (and their organizations) who are accomplishing something. The future of business isn’t about leveraging Twitter or weathering the storm, or even finding the next great groundbreaking product. The ones who really change our world for the better will be the ones most passionate about doing it.

Check out his post here.



A free DIY approach to social media
April 8, 2009, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Online presence, Social Media | Tags: , , , ,
A nice post from iMediaConnection on getting the word out there on social media, without paying for viral power.
Published: March 25 2009
You don’t need a huge budget or a big agency to start harnessing the power of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These five methods will increase your audience — all by yourself.
Developing content in today’s user-generated media world is easy; marketing that content successfully is not. Numerous bloggers and site owners regularly ask me to explain how they can drive traffic to their sites in order to support their monetization goals. After all, quality content (or a unique product) leads to traffic, traffic leads to branding, and the combination of branding and reach leads to monetization. I respond to these entrepreneurs by telling them that their priority should be to understand and utilize social media strategies and tools, all of which can be easily accessed and are free except for the investment of their time.

Below is a “cheat sheet” of the five most impactful and immediate do-it-yourself actions you can take to increase your site’s traffic.

Access and empower your target audience within social communities
Social media is not as intimidating or complicated as it sounds. Simply start out by setting up your complete profile within various online and mobile communities, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, Seesmic, YouTube, Meetup, Naymz, etc. Don’t worry — registering is free and easy. Then look for your friends and existing readers or users (more on this below) by searching for certain keyword topics, groups, affinities, etc., or by looking at the connections one or two degrees of separation removed from you.

Also, browse around for like-minded influencers — the people frequently starting conversations, writing product reviews, contributing their own posts, uploading videos, answering questions, or moderating the community.

Now, befriend these influencers and people you admire, and even consider inviting them as contributors or columnists on your site. For example, one female blogger I invited to be an early contributor to DivineCaroline was so honored that she added “writing at DivineCaroline.com” under her name in her standard email signature.

Keep in mind that using social media for marketing purposes must go beyond simply “collecting” a large amount of friends or connections. You need to connect with community members in a genuine way, by giving them feedback about their profile, sharing some content they might appreciate, or nominating them for an award. If you don’t have content to promote, you could consider launching a new product or making an exclusive offer to members of a specific community.

A friend of mine whose videos are frequently featured on YouTube told me, “I find exposure on YouTube to be an invaluable, free marketing tool that gives me credibility among cool, online influencers. I’m able to see who has voluntarily voted on the quality of my videos and then reach out to them.”

Twitter is a free, simple and effective tool for increasing your exposure, establishing a voice, and keeping tabs on conversation about your site, content, or brand. It’s not a fad you can afford to write off; last month, Twitter’s user base grew more than 33 percent to more than 8 million users in the U.S. The majority of publishers and businesses using Twitter have said the benefits of tweeting include keeping their brand in the public eye, humanizing them to readers on a daily basis, and building a stronger sense of community.

Even a traditional brand like BusinessWeek is sharing, connecting, and learning via this micro-blogging community. John Byrne, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, solicits questions from his audience of 10,000 followers, points out newsworthy articles around the web, and highlights stories from the BusinessWeek website without coming across as too pushy.

Through Twitter Tracker, you can see a real-time listing of some of the most popular media, entertainment, and consumer product feeds. Twitter is only one community out of a handful you need to participate in, so I won’t go into detail within this article. Rather, read these 10 tools for getting started using Twitter.

Next page >>

Leverage your existing user base
Encouraging your current readers or users to promote your site is the cheapest and most efficient way to acquire new visitors. First, take the time and effort to understand who your most loyal users are. Determine this by researching who regularly comments on your content, links to your site, or forwards your enewsletter most often.

Second, communicate with these users by doing things such as showing gratitude for their participation, asking their opinion, and replying to their comments or posts. I know a blogger that every week writes one post profiling a particular reader whose comments she appreciates. Not only does this reader become more involved and loyal, he is also likely to tell his friends to check out the post written about him. Now you can see how connecting personally with these users — and boosting their egos — will encourage them to talk about your interaction or your content with their friends and peers.

Third, show respect for their interests by asking for feedback about your site: What do they like most? In which section do they spend the majority of their time? What do they want to see more of? Implementing even small, creative tweaks to your site or content can result in a traffic upswing for the long-term.

Lastly, after you’ve communicated with and empowered your most active user base, find out where they came from and where they visit next on the web. This is called upstream traffic (the sites they visited before they came to yours) and downstream traffic (the sites they visit after yours). Companies like comScore and HitWise provide this information. Quantcast, a free service, also shows sites that your audience is likely to visit. As an example, Fast Company readers are likely to also visit USNews.com and DIYForums.net. Reviewing the sites listed and any emerging patterns can help you learn more about your audience’s interests, suggest promising new content areas, and point out possible partners.

Syndicate and execute link exchanges with relevant publishers
In today’s Web 2.0 era and going forward, the sad reality is that very few large media companies will pay to license your content, no matter how awesome you think it is. Does this mean that you should hoard your content? No. Just the opposite: Syndicating content or widgets for free to other publishers and distributors is a great way to establish authority for your brand, and increase exposure and traffic for your site.

I caution you, however. From my years in business development, the most important thing I’ve learned about collaborating is that every partnership must be a win-win for both parties involved. So when you share your content, you need to confirm a fair barter exchange: You’ll give content only if they’ll include your byline, logo, and a hyperlink back to your site. To view examples, check out how Huffington Post displays partial articles from DivineCaroline and how MSN features technology articles from PC World.

Another opportunity with partners who have an audience you crave is to agree to do a link exchange with them. This approach — in which you write about and link to a piece of content on their site and they do the same for you — requires little effort and has the potential to drive decent traffic, depending on the size of the partner’s audience and the relevancy of your content to what that audience is reading. This approach shouldn’t take up a large percentage of your time, so be sure not to waste too many hours contacting publishers with small audiences or giving more links than you get back in return. Two easy ways to execute a link exchange include creating a “best of” categorized list, like ReadyMade does, or creating a weekly round-up article with a particular theme, such as Lemondrop’s weekly Link Love.

Get exposure on social news sites
Social news publications and aggregators enable people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. These sites, such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Fark, Yahoo! Buzz, and delicious, promote the best content as submitted and voted on by the community. When you contribute an article, image, or video, your submission will immediately be added into the mix, where other members can find it, access your site to read it, and vote for it. Once something has earned a critical mass of votes, it becomes worthy of appearing on the site’s homepage, which is the traffic driver you’re aiming for. Since you’ll have to compete with some of the nation’s leading content providers, you need to be strategic about which pieces of content you select to submit (they need to be unique and memorable) and which are most appropriate for a particular site’s audience (for example, Digg and Fark cater to more males than females).

There are several simple ways to package and market your content for success on these sites: write strong, bold story titles; use subheads within a story; organize bites of information into lists (i.e. “Top 10 ways to avoid a layoff”); offer new details on a popular topic (i.e. wacky info that makes you a hit at a dinner party); vote for great content, not just your own; and submit your stories regularly and frequently. Don’t forget to build a network on these sites — invite your friends, find related authors, and add them to your friends list so that you can collectively find news together.

Create tools for users to share your product or content
What good is your content if readers don’t know how to share or reference it? You need to add “take action” tools on all your article or video pages, such as print, subscribe to a feed, bookmark, share (email), etc. AddThis offers a free tool that enables users to easily share your content with social news sites. For example, when a reader wants to indicate he likes an article on NewScientist.com, he can scroll over the “share” button and select Digg.

Then he either registers or signs in as a Digg member, and can instantly vote for that article, thereby increasing the article popularity and promotional exposure.

Another free tool for exposing your digital content is a widget. You’ve probably heard the term, but you’re too embarrassed to ask what a widget is and does. Basically, it’s a compact, portable application that can be easily embedded into someone else’s site or blog. You can use this format to showcase your site’s headlines, features, images, or whatever you think will motivate a user to click through. I suggest asking a question, taking a poll, or somehow getting the user to enter information so that they feel more connected to your brand on a personal level. The Weather Channel’s widget does this well — users insert their zip code, and with one click of a button the local forecast appears. Products like Snap Shots and Widgetbox help you build, customize, distribute, and track your own widget.

Allison, who founded the Mrs. Fussypants blog, is a prime example of a content creator who used multiple social media tools and tactics to grow her audience. “I knew early on that I had to be proactive and that I needed something to offer my regular readers to spread the word. So I used Widgetbox, and also asked my readers to subscribe via RSS, favorite my site on Technorati, and write a blog post about me. One reader joked that soon I would ask them to name their next child after me. But all of these efforts have increased my traffic.”

In addition, Allison received so many requests from bloggers to be featured on her site that she decided to create an e-zine, called Blissfully Domestic, with each category written and managed by a specific woman.

Through friends, fans, partners, and free tools, you now have the education (and zero excuses) to greatly benefit from social media.

Rebecca Weeks Watson is director of business development for Real Girls Media.



Top 20 Ways to Share a Great Blog Post
April 6, 2009, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Blogs, Online presence | Tags: , ,
Great post on how to  generate online publicity for your blog post, from Mashable:

March 29th, 2009 | by Ben Parr

One of the best things about the web and social media is how much great information is written and produced every single day. If you’re a regular reader of blogs, you probably come across great articles that you just want everyone to know about. But what’s the best way to share these posts?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to spread the word. Blogs, social networks, instant messenger, and mobile phones are some of the many ways to let others know about the best content on the web. Here are our 20 favorite ways to share a great blog post:


Sharing Via Social Media:


Mashable Twitter Image1. Using Twitter to Tweet and Share: Perhaps the fastest and most effective way to share a great blog post is through Twitter. Sharing or retweeting a link in Twitter can spread like wildfire. Use a URL shortener such as tinyurl or bit.ly to shorten links to fit within 140 characters.2. Posting to Facebook: Sharing a blog post on the world’s largest social network is as simple as going to the Facebook homepage and posting a link.

3. Digg it: Not only will you help bring that blog post one step closer to reaching the front page of the news site Digg (which will spread it even further), but all of your Digg friends will see it as well.

4. Post on MySpace Profile: Don’t forget about the world’s second largest social network when sharing your favorite articles. Post the link to your MySpace profile so your friends can enjoy it too.

5. Posting to LinkedIn: Some blog posts are worthy of being shared by your business network on LinkedIn . Post a link to the Network Updates area in the homepage.

6. Stumbling on StumbleUpon Stumble the post! StumbleUpon is a favorite network for discovering fun websites and useful information, so make sure that you give the post a thumbs up. The StumbleUpon Toolbar is the easiest way to Stumble.

7. Bookmarking to Delicious: Delicious is great for not only sharing posts, but for helping categorize blog posts for others to find. In addition, you can import your delicious bookmarks to Facebook, FriendFeed , and other social media websites.

8. Sharing on FriendFeed: The social media aggregator FriendFeed has a vibrant community who love to share videos, links, and pictures. Use the FriendFeed bookmarklet to quickly share a good blog post to FriendFeed.

9. Adding to Reddit: Reddit is another great social media site for sharing and voting on articles. It’s quick and easy to submit a link


Sharing Via Blogs:


10. Reblogging Great Posts: Blogging about a great article is one of the best ways to engage with the topics being discussed. Post a link, write some commentary, and share it with all of your readers. And don’t forget to share your own blog post as well!11. Sharing via Google Reader: Google Reader has a great feature for sharing blog posts. If you use Google Reader as your news reader of choice, all you have to do is click the “share” button at the bottom of blog posts to share it with all of your Google friends. You can also add notes and comment as well.

12. Posting on Tumblr or Posterous: If you want to share something via a blog, but don’t want to write a full blog post about it, there are great options for that as well, primarily Tumblr and Posterous . They are the quick and easy versions of full-fledged blogs, ideal for posting about pictures and blog posts.


Useful Tools for Sharing


Shareaholic Image13. TwitThat: TwitThat is one of the quickest and easiest tools for sharing blog posts. It will post to your Twitter quickly and easily. Just add the bookmarklet to your browser toolbar and click it whenever you come across a great post.14. Shareaholic Firefox Extension: There are a lot of great social networks where you can share a great post, but who wants to visit Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn to share a post? If you are a Firefox user, then install Shareaholic, an extension that goes on your toolbar. It provides quick links for sharing to all of the major social networks.

15. Ping.fm: If you’re a busy person, you might not have time to share on all of these social media websites. Isn’t there an easy way to share a blog post everywhere, all at once? Ping.fm links to all of your social networks and sends your updates to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, to any other website you wish to link to it. You can even update from your instant messenger. It’s the perfect solution for those who like to share content all over the web.


Other Ways to Share:


ShareThis Image
16. Emailing: Email has always been a good way to share articles, especially with close friends and family. Although it may not reach as many people as Twitter, it will definitely reach anyone who isn’t as deep into social media as you are.
17. Texting: Did you know you that many blogs, including Mashable, support sharing an article via text message? Look out for the ShareThis button (three green dots connected by lines) under blog posts and select the “text” option. iPhones and mobile browsers have made it easy to read links sent by texts.

18. Changing IM Statuses: You probably have dozens, if not hundreds of IM contacts. Share great posts with all of them by changing your IM status to a great post you just read or wrote.

19. IMing a friend: If changing an IM status seems too impersonal, then just IM your friends the link. You can then have a fun chat about the blog post.

20. Talking to Friends: If you don’t have a computer handy, then don’t forget about the analog approach – call a friend or tell him or her over coffee about a great blog post you read. You can always send the link later if necessary.


How Do You Share Blog Posts?


This post only scratches the surface of sharing in social media. There are hundreds of tools and resources at your disposal. If you have another great way to share blog posts, please add it in the comments.



Online publishing and blogging
March 27, 2009, 1:11 am
Filed under: Blogs, Online publishing, Social Media | Tags: , , , , ,

The same, but not quite? Is blogging a subset of online publishing? Or should online publishing follow the concept of blogging as a best practice? We all have our takes on this, but March has given me this little conundrum to ponder on.

Three weeks ago, I attended Blogout! 2009 organised by The Digital Movement. You can check out Claudia‘s post-event write-up on TDM. The vibe was casual and fun. The event was organised and attended by some of the most dedicated enthusiasts in the local blogosphere and social media scene. What was truly admirable was how well the bottom-up grassroots event was organised, and how passion shone through in every aspect of the event. Kudos to the team behind it!

The event covered the following topics (I shamelessly culled from the TDM post – description and links – but check them out!):

The best part about Blogout!… I got the opportunity to meet – a blogger who blogs about a traditional form of pottery fired in dragon kilns, and a blogger who blogs about Cosplay and literary arts. Imagine that!

And now my experience at Blogout is juxtaposed against a three-day seminar led by US-based Mequoda Group in Singapore, that I am currently attending. Organised by the Magazine Publishers’ Association, this online publishing and marketing  workshop covers information on how to attract, convert, engage and monetize online traffic to create a more robust and profitable web presence.

Being a professional seminar, the vibes were at the other end of the spectrum from what I felt at Blogout. Yet the deep dive into the strategies so well explained by Don Nicholas, really expounded the methodology behind successful online publishing.

My 3 key takeaways, among many other things, by the end of Day 2 are:

  • Keywords
  • Driving traffic to your site
  • End users are loyal, advertisers are fickle

The topics of driving traffic and monetising by selling to your end users were addressed at Blogout, but explained in great detail at the online publishing seminar. Yet the subject of keywords is something I have never heard being addressed by a blogger, but heavily emphasized at the seminar. Keywords… something for bloggers to think about.

All in all, two very different events, yet equally insightful for me. An eventful March with lots to think about.



E-books for social media communication
August 25, 2008, 12:35 am
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , ,

This is Brian Sollis’ treasury of e-books on social media communication, check them out for a great source of reference.



Who’s taking over the social media job?
August 11, 2008, 1:49 am
Filed under: Social Media, Social networks | Tags: , , ,

Let’s start with assuming that PR is best positioned to take on the social media portfolio, because PR is the discipline best equipped to handle the conversation-based web 2.0 environment.

Will this portfolio go to the agency, or go in-house? Or how can the client and agency split the job? I think Canadian PR practitioner Ed Lee has a very thoughtful analysis about the whole situation and you should check out his full post here.

Ed says:

On the Internet, an organization needs to own its own words. This means that the organization needs to produce its own content; this is not an action that can be left to the PR or interactive agency.

Put simply, an external agency, no matter how deeply entrenched with the client, will never have the depth of knowledge nor the passion for the issues that the client needs to write about in order to produce compelling, authoritative and authentic content.

I guess what that means is that the in-house corporate communications function will widen to include social media engagement, while agencies can provide additional counsel in the area of social media. Does this mean more jobs for the PR profession, or simply more work for everyone?

Or in the case of large companies, social media deserves a department of its own. Former community manager with Hitachi and current star analyst of the social media industry, Jeremiah Owyang, is compiling a 2008 yearbook-like list of social media professionals on his blog. Check out who’s on the roll as pioneers of this emerging job function.