Social Media: You’re (still) doing it wrong

Interesting conversation I was having last night. The topic of social media came up, and I promptly proclaimed that everyone is doing it wrong. The response was “I’m very interested in your product and would like your newsletter. Please tell me more”. Well, ok.

Let us begin by making sure we all understand 1 thing. Social Media is not internet marketing. Just because you have an email newsletter, blog, Twitter and Facebook account, does not mean you are “doing” social media. If you are using a marketing firm, not your own employees, to represent you online, you are not “doing” social media. If you only talk about yourself online, ignore comments and questions posted anywhere, then for sure you aren’t “doing” social media. That’s internet marketing.

This is one of the things that continues to bother me. Social media is about the conversation, it’s about making connections, about being social. Sometimes, social media is even about being in person, meeting people, kissing hands and shaking babies. That is social.

Internet marketing is all about you. What you can do, what you have done. You, you, you. Your email blast, blog posts of the latest thing you created or are selling. Linking those blog posts to Twitter and Facebook. All of that is not social media. That is internet marketing.

Social media is as much customer service as it is anything else. It’s listening. It’s acting. It’s knowing what your audience/customers want and giving it to them. It’s paying attention and helping your audience/customers become the best marketing tool anyone could ever hope for. An army of raving fans that enthusiastically spread the word of your brand to any and all that will listen.

That should be your end game. Raving fans.

Raving fans will give you the follower counts you so strongly desire. And the web traffic. And the re-tweets and shares. Because you have created something awesome that is share-worthy that your audience is excited about. And when you follow that with a presence ready to answer questions and accept feedback, no matter where it comes from, and are able to act quickly on that feedback, that is “doing” social media.

Why I Like Instagram

Like it or not, Instagram is one of the most popular photo sharing services on the internet right now. Available originally on the iPhone only, now available to almost every smart phone with a camera. And the internet is awash with photos of pets and food from your friends and family. For most people, this is really nice too. Add in some filters to (arguably) jazz up the snaps from your phone, and you have something that quite a few people seem to enjoy using.

But, as we know, we here at donburnside.com aren’t most people. We try to find new and better ways to do things. Sometimes by trying to force the proverbial round peg into a square hole. Sometimes by digging into the settings and see what something can do. That’s the case with Instagram.

One of my favorite features of Instagram is not the filters. It’s the delivery options. After a photo is taken, with a few slides of your finger you can share a photo via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, email, Tumblr plus on Instagram (the default). Add in a helping of ifttt.com and you have some serious photo sharing goodness.

As mentioned prior, I drove a MINI for 11 days over 4,500 miles. The schedule was pretty tight. While I brought 3 different cameras and my Macbook Air, I barely had time to take photos with the Nikon, let alone import them into the Mac, process them and get them uploaded for sharing. The fact is, I didn’t have the time to even open my laptop for more than the last half of the trip.

Enter Instagram.

One of the last things I did in preparation for the event was tweak Instagram to see if I could use it the way I had a feeling I would need to, and that’s posting photos to a Facebook page, not my Facebook wall. And wouldn’t you know that Instagram can do exactly that! I took the extra step to create a new Instagram account and configure it to post to both IG and Facebook. And since I have Facebook posting to Twitter automatically, I was able to hit 3 of the largest social media sites with photos in about 30 seconds. As an added bonus, IG doesn’t limit the number of devices connected to an account, so I was able to sign on with this account on 3 other devices for even added coverage.

The added people sharing shots gave us the ability to shoot and share 150 photos during the event and provided a level of engagement that was staggering! Within 3 days we had almost 100 followers on that IG account. Each photo was registering at least 40 likes across all of the sites it was posted, some with multiple shares and re-tweets. The Facebook page even garnered an additional 50 ‘likes’ during the course of the event without any blatant promotion. It was all in the photos.

Not only that, but thanks to an easier tagging mechanism, that site is now officially part of the history of that event. Search Twitter or IG for #mtts2012 and you will see White Roof Radio as part of that tag. Forever. Search Google for the same thing and the results speak for themselves.

All of that from a photo, a hashtag and 30 seconds of time. That’s why I love Instagram.

I Heart the Internet

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of creativity that can be found on the internet today, especially in video form. Sure, we’ve all seen the Google Videos for Chrome that tug a bit at the heart strings or make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. I shared one of those recently over at Google Plus. It’s pretty fantastic so check it when you get the chance.

Of course Apple does this very well too. Although usually in a much shorter format. Until this year’s WWDC that is. About 7:00 into the presentation there is one of the greatest clips I’ve seen in a very long time. I’ve narrowed it down for you, just press play.

I love when a company really knows how to sell itself. How to make itself look larger than life, look better than everyone else and, at the same time, just look like they are doing things because it’s the right thing to do. Like or it not, believe it or not, that’s exactly what this particular clip is all about.

And it’s done right.

This Would be Fun

Have you guys seen this?

That is for Dollar Shave Club. Of course I signed up, you should too. Especially if you are tired of spending $20 for razor blades. But that’s not what brings us here today.

This video is pretty aggresive. In-your-face and all that. Some might even say ballsy. Definitely plays to the customer they are shooting for I think. If you followed the link above to the website and read some of the copy, you’ll notice it’s consistent with the video (or vice-versa). Edgy, ballsy, in-your-face and a little snarky.

Some day I would like to work on something like this. I’ve got an idea floating around in my head to work on as a test for one of my personal projects. I’d like to run a program like this for real. Besides the fact that it would be a blast to do, I would be curious to see if it works and if I could actually pull it off.

I think I could. Who wants to find out?

Reminder: Podcamp AZ

Podcamp Arizona is coming up next week! November 12-13 at University of Advanced Technology. Click over for the full schedule of speakers and sessions and to get registered if you haven’t already. It’s free, so there is no excuse.

I’ll be giving 2 sessions. On Saturday at 10:15 I will be discussing podcasting and answering your questions. On Sunday at 11:15, I, with my pal Evo Terra, will be doing a session on actually making a podcast. You will be able to hear those at IMadeAPodcast.com Sunday and they will be available in iTunes. If you actually want to make a podcast, make plans to be there!

I will also be on the live stream for Podcamp AZ from 10:45 – 11:00 on Sunday morning. Details to follow. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for details as we get closer.

Can’t wait to see you there! Also can’t wait to make a podcast with you!