Sunday, April 18, 2010

Too Many Social Media Channels

There are too many Social Media channels to do them all successfully.

In the Traditional approach to marketing there are only so many communication channels to choose from including TV, Radio, Print, Direct Mail, Magazines, Billboards, etc. so it makes it a little simpler to decide which ones to choose. A big part of the decision comes from what your company can afford to invest in Marketing.

When it comes to using Social Media as part of your company's Digital Communication strategy the decision becomes a little trickier since there are a ton of Social Media communication channels to choose from.

It is impossible to effectively utilize every Social Media communication channel available since there is just not enough time in the day. Start with your consumer! Understand who your consumer is and then you can develop a Digital Communication strategy around them targeting the Social Media channels where they frequent.

Target the most effective Social Media communication channels to Listen, Learn, and Engage with your consumers and invest your time there. Don't spread yourself too thin on Social Media communication channels that don't attract your company's consumers.

Contact me to find out how Digital Communication can grow your company...
Evolution of Communication

EOC Summer Internship Program

Digital Communication Intern


Evolution of Communication is looking for talented individuals who are pursuing careers in SEM, SEO, PR, Coding, Application Development, Graphic Design, Website Development, Communication, Sociology, Data Mining/Analytics, or Social Media for our Summer Internship Program.

If you want to gain real world experience in the Digital Communication space with a startup company then this internship is for you. Your time with Evolution of Communication will not be about getting coffee but learning how to help brand's grow online. This internship is about providing you with valuable skills beyond classroom theory that will potentially lead to a job within Evolution of Communication.

  • Currently enrolled College Junior or Senior pursuing a career in one of the fields mentioned above
  • Extrovert
  • Live in Atlanta
  • Experience with Microsoft Office
Interested Students:

Please email me with the following information:
  • Brief summary explaining why you want to become an intern at EOC
  • LinkedIn info
  • Twitter info
  • Current school
  • Year of expected graduation
  • Major
  • When you are available to start
Evolution of Communication is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, military/veteran status, or any other status protected by Federal or State law or local ordinance.

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Evolution of Communication

All About Customer Service

Digital Communication leaves no room for Customer Service errors.  The massive penetration of smart phones ensures one poor consumer experience can spell major problems for your business!

Unlike in the past when a poor customer experience traveled slowly by word of mouth from one friend to another. We are now in a new Digital Communication era where consumers have the power and their experiences are shared at light speed through vast networks that can touch others throughout the world.

Make your customer service a priority and avoid your business being sunk by a bad customer experience.

Contact me to find out how Digital Communication can grow your company...
Evolution of Communication

Are we in a Social Media Bubble?

Umair Haque likes to believe we are in a Social Media Bubble.

He recently wrote a piece for the Harvard Business Review titled "The Social Media Bubble" where he creates his "theory" to completely discredit the value of relationships that are formed through Social Media.

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 1.23.12 PM

Let's start with the obvious issue coming from Umair writing such a post about relationships in Social Media...he doesn't create any! Look at the picture above and notice how many followers Umair has compared to how many he follows. Obviously Umair is not trying to develop relationships on Twitter so how can he pretend to write honestly about relationship development on Social Media channels.

My suggestion is to try and press that little Follow Button on Twitter once and a while to open yourself up to building meaningful relationships on Social Media. It is tough to build relationships if you are a 1-way communicator.

I have personally hired someone I met through Twitter and have developed countless longstanding relationships through Social Media.

It is very understandable for people stuck in a Traditional mindset to believe this "Social Media Thing" is a fad but I would be scared if I was a company trying to make sense of the future of Communication with someone leading the charge who cannot see the Revolution of Communication we are in right now!

Umair...I suggest you pick up the book "Engage" by Brian Solis to help you remove the blinders you are wearing and awaken to the reality that the Traditional approach to reaching consumers is going away. One to one to many is the future of Engagement with consumers.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, theories, etc. but they are also open to criticism of their views without being considered hateful. Healthy debate is what learning is about.

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Evolution of Communication

How about Public Engagement?


My travel to South by Southwest this past March reaffirmed my believe in how quickly Communication is changing.
As communication shifts to 1 to 1 engagement I can’t help but believe the power will also shift towards the strengths associated with PR professionals from the Traditional Agencies. PR Professionals are trained early on to realize the value of building relationships over advertising. This relationship based approach over paid advertising is why I believe PR is poised to finally take its rightful position as the leader in any communication plan moving forward.

The evolution of 1 to 1 engagement will continue to accelerate as Digital Communication continues to prove its value over the waning successes of Traditional Advertising.
Here is the wikipedia definition of Public Relations...
Public relations (PR) is a profession that includes the functions of communication, community relations, crisis management, customer relations, employee relations, government affairs, industry relations, investor relations, media relations, mediation, publicity, speech-writing, and visitor relations.
By the PR definition above you can easily see why in a Communication World defined by 1 to 1 engagement Public Relations is the 1st stop to ensuring a successful strategy. The future of communication is engagement so why not update the perception of PR to reflect its new position as the leader in communication strategy by moving away from the name PR and updating the name to Public Engagement reflecting the Communication Evolution we are in.
I am also willing to suggest the new field of Consumer Engagement. Any professional field that puts the consumer at the center of the communication strategy has an advantage over the professionals stuck in the dying Traditional Marketing approach.
How do you see the future of Communication playing out?

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Evolution of Communication

Rupert Murdoch, Google, and Bing

Rupert Murdoch is obviously a brilliant businessman base don what he has done with News Corp. but he is a Traditional thinker.  His battle with Google shows he can't wrap his mind around the Interactive world and how Digital Communication has changed the information flow.

Rupert Murdoch would be making a HUGE mistake to pull all of New Corp's content from Google to be placed exclusively on Bing. Google is the search leader and people do not value New Corp's content enough to change their search habits by searching on Bing for content.

Contact me to find out how Digital Communication can grow your company...
Evolution of Communication

Does Your Company Need a Social Media Manager Yet?

In 2010, Companies are finally realizing consumers no longer want to be screamed at with one-way monologue messages but want to be engaged in a two-way dialogue with their favorite brands.

If 2009 has been the year of companies thinking about using Social Media then 2010 is the year of Social Media execution for companies.

I do see a pitfall for companies in 2010. As usual with late adopting companies they are now rushing to play catch up with implementing a Social Media program. In their haste they are looking to hire "Social Media Managers" but without really understanding what the job entails.

We all want the greater adoption of Social Media Programs by companies but they need to slow down, understand the what, why, and how of Social Media, develop a Social Media strategy, and then look to hire the right talent to fill those roles.

There is a big difference between tweeting on Twitter and understanding how the Twitter Communication channel can be leveraged by a company to achieve their defined goals.

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Evolution of Communication

The Radio Industry and Social Media

The Radio Industry can slow their demise if they utilize the power of Social Media to engage with their massive audiences.

My Media background is in Radio which you can find here LinkedIn. Since I have such an extensive background in Media it made sense to have my first Social Media clients be from this Vertical.

The slide above is pulled from a presentation I did for some Radio clients (removing their names to protect the innocent) on Twitter Strategy and displays the multi-level benefits of Twitter. The slide also demonstrates the level of knowledge you need to gain about a client's business before you can truly execute an effective Twitter campaign. There are multiple channels within a business that can be affected by a Twitter Strategy and your job is to understand how you can positively affect each one of those channels.

The REAL Social Media Professionals who are out there working with clients know the real story. Understand a business completely then you can figure how to implement an effective Twitter Strategy for them.

Let's look at all the opportunities created for Radio with a Twitter Strategy:
  1. Real Time Research
  2. Promotional Channel
  3. Increase Listener Engagement
  4. Build Brand Loyalty
  5. Content Distribution Channel
  6. Real-Time Content Tracking
  7. Track & Participate in Station Conversations (Brand Management)
  8. Station Marketing
  9. Drive Website Traffic
  10. Drive Streaming Traffic
  11. Build Local Audience
  12. Build National Audience
  13. Decrease Marketing Expenses
  14. Increase Revenue
  15. Competitive Analysis
When you look at the above list don't you think OMG? I do since there is so much opportunity sitting right there just by using Twitter effectively!

Can you guess the one thing a Radio Station or Media Company HAS to do in order to make any of the above 15 points really effective?

They need to engage with their followers...2-way conversations. 1-way communication is dead!

I have watched this concept blow away Program Directors because they had never thought of it before. I make them feel better by explaining most companies don't get it and now they are ahead of most:)

My next post will dive deeper into those 15 points listed above.

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Evolution of Communication

Is Television Advertising Really Worth the Investment?

TV image

Is television advertising really worth the investment?

For decades the TV Industry and the Big Madison Avenue Agencies have had a cozy relationship with the clients getting the raw deal. During the upfront season Agencies and the TV Industry would pretend to work really hard at hammering out the best deals for their clients. The fact is...were the agencies really going to re-allocate their client's budgets to another ad medium (think New Media) outside of TV when that is where they make the most money? It is all smoke and mirrors with the clients suffering.

The agencies make the bulk of their revenue from the creation of TV commercials and buying TV time. <----Did you hear that Mr. Chief Marketing Officer?

What advertising medium do you think agencies are pitching daily to their clients? Why do you think New Media is still not getting close to the share of ad dollars that TV is getting? Where the ad dollars have been spent in the past has lots to do with agency self preservation.

The TV Gravy Train is Done

Big Madison Avenue Agencies out there who are used to every solution to a marketing problem being solved by how many :30 second TV ads they can run are in trouble. In this Economy when ROI is so important you can no longer hide.

The TV Industry has tried their best to put lipstick on a pig with articles like this one "Network Phenom: Little Broadcast Erosion" which came out on 9/25 and can be found

The article praises the Fall TV lineup and mentions how the TV Networks have experienced only a small loss of audience from the previous year. The Agencies pushing TV on their clients love these stories BUT are frightened to imagine a Chief marketing Officer or even a CEO to see this recent TIVO study from an article that came out on 9/

The TiVo's Stop||Watch ratings service demonstrated the following...
  • 83% of "Mad-Men" viewers fast forwarded through the commercials
  • Drama programming's viewers fast forwarded through the commercials 73% of the time
  • 30 Rock viewers were LEAST prone to skip through commercials but still did it an alarmingly 64% of the time!
The above information details what we have all known and have probably experienced in our own homes...we don't watch commercials!

If you are a business who is paying TONS of money to expose your product or service to the masses then wouldn't you want the masses to see it?

The time is now for CEOs, CMOs, and Local Business Owners to wake up and realize their are a lot better marketing answers for their money than TV. Don't let ad agencies feed you the TV BS anymore!!!

When your Agency tries to push TV on you then site the above article for a reason why you want to see a detailed Marketing Plan which includes other advertising mediums. If the agency still tries to push TV on you then tell them you are willing to pay 25% of the TV ad rate since that is the average percentage of the audience who might see your ad...HA!

New Media, Social Media, and Local Radio are three VERY effective and Cost Efficient Mediums which can get the job done at a fraction of the cost for TV.

The times have changed and so should your marketing approach!

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Evolution of Communication

Don't get fooled by Social Media Snake Oil Salesman

Any Industry has people who try and take advantage of the naiveté of others.  Social Media is no exception!

Recently I've been feeling the new Wild West is Social Media and there are plenty of Snake Oil Salesman lurking around every turn. You know how to spot most of them...they like to use titles like Social Media Guru, Twitter Expert, or Facebook Master just to name a few.

I know I should not care what these Snake Oil Salesman do to turn a quick buck BUT I do because...

1) It takes money from honest business owners who are looking for guidance from trustworthy people.

2) It taints these business owners for future Individuals/Companies who can truly help them grow their business.

If you are a business owner thinking about implementing a Social Media Program please consider the following:

Just because someone uses Twitter and has 100,000 followers does not qualify them to solve your business needs! Look beyond those silly numbers and demand to know why you should work with them.

I suggest working with individuals who have a Marketing/Communication background since the good ones are trained to ask questions to better understand how your business works... how you make money, understand your customers, understand your competition, understand your competitive advantage, and the market perception of your company to name a few. The business information gathered will enable the trained individual to formulate a comprehensive strategy utilizing Social Media and any other Communication Medium which is determined to be a good fit for your individual business. Not all Communication Mediums are right for all businesses.

The Snake Oil Saleman Smell test...Can the individual develop a plan to grow your business Revenue, Customer Relationships, or Brand? If they cannot or don't understand the question then they are Snake Oil Salesman...RUN!!!

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Evolution of Communication

Still the Brand

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media are starting to play a larger role in building brands but they are not the end all.

I believe these statements are fundamentally flawed since it is all about the Brand silly! People want to focus down to one specific medium like Social Media or Search Advertising and say they are the best! Those people are missing the bigger picture. Building a Brand takes multiple marketing mediums working in concert. The smart marketer understands the strengths of each medium and chooses the ones that can best achieve the Brand's predetermined goals.


Traditional Media like TV and Radio help to build a Brand's image and perceived experience for the consumer.

Social Media like Twitter or Facebook allows a Brand to enter into a two-way dialogue with their key consumers.

Search Advertising allows your Brand to be in front of potential clients at the moment when they are closest to making a purchase.

The above list is only the tip of the iceberg for a Brand's marketing options but a GREAT start! By utilizing just the Marketing Mediums listed above a Brand can do the following:

1) Build an image in potential consumer's minds (Traditional Media)

2) Drive sales at an online or brick and mortar location (Combination of Traditional Media, Social Media, & Search)

3) Develop two-way communication with key consumers (Social Media)

The mediums to market a Brand have been transformed tremendously over the last couple of years due in large part to the explosive growth of the Interactive space. Even though some mediums may have changed the core marketing philosophies behind building a Brand have not. Having new mediums to market a Brand does not mean the old mediums are obsolete instead it just provides you more opportunities!

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Evolution of Communication

Social Media and Traditional Media

Fox & Friends Twitter

Social Media has changed communication and the way people connect. Do you think the Big media companies noticed...yes! The Bigger question is...are media companies missing out on a twitter opportunity. YES!

The media has been fanatically hyping twitter for the past couple of months. Broadcasters have raced to setup their twitter pages since it seems like the in thing to do. The problem is in the race to setup a twitter page the media companies have not thought through a proper strategy. Instead Media Companies have approached twitter the same way they approach way communication. They just keep pushing out info to viewers, followers, etc. without understanding the "Distribution Channel" or "Medium" they are using. Missed Opportunity!

When you look at any business type the ultimate goal is to gain a loyal following and to keep them. Apple has done an amazing job at fostering their fan base. Big media companies on the other hand just keep doing what they are used to...sitting on the top of the mountain shouting down information to everyone below. One way communication.

To illustrate my point on how Big Media is missing the point of twitter let's look at the Fox & Friends profile page above. I circled the important Following vs Followers info. As you can see Fox & Friends has 22,689 Followers BUT they only Follow 114 people. The translation...we want you all to follow us but we only think 114 of you are worthy of following. Look at it another way...we want to keep pushing our message out to as many people as possible but we are not really interested in what our Followers have to say. To make matters worse...If u could see the full page above you would notice over a 10 day span...Fox & Friends tweeted with followers twice! That is really sad! Once again the one way communication philosophy.

How can Big Media not miss the twitter opportunity?

1) Follow your followers. They are following you because they are fans so don't you think they are important? Without them their is no you!

2) Engage your followers. Ask them questions, find out about their lives, why do they like watching you in the morning, evening, etc.

3) Develop a two way communication with your followers. It is built in research. They will tell you what they like or don't like about your show. What the hot topics are for that day, etc.

4) Get personal! If Gretchen, Steve, or Brian are tweeting with a follower about their life don't you think that follower will feel connected to them? Do you think they will switch the channel on THEIR friend to go see what CNN is saying? Probably not. Instead the follower will tell all their friends about how cool you are and then what happens? You develop more viewers, which drives up the ratings, which brings in more revenue, etc.

Twitter has created a great opportunity for Media companies to expand their brand loyalty like never before but only if it is used correctly. People on twitter are about two way communication not one. Miss this opportunity and your competitor who gets it will eat your lunch!

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Evolution of Communication