Social Media Breakfast – Irresistibly Delicious

socialmediabreakfastI finally was able to attend Social Media Breakfast – loved it – and immediately registered for the Ning. Great group (part of which I knew already) and exciting topic. This was an anniversary meeting for Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis, and all I was thinking… what took me so long? 

At the time when even BusinessWeek writes “For companies, resistance to social media is futile…”  keeping in touch with the industry becoming more and more important. Even if I don’t completely agree with every point of the article, I am so happy to see it online.

Two little notes from the event:

  • WordPress blogs might be better indexed if they are hosted by WordPress comparing to other blogs… It verifies my preference for blogs hosted in a “proper” blogging neighborhood…  because the purpose of the blog is to be found first, and look/feel/familiar CMS second…
  • People who twit too often may loose their followers… I must admit that I “un-followed” some particularly fruitful twitters in my network too, but have never thought about the issue…

MIMA – Inbox Insanity: The Future of Email Marketing

jeffI was fortunate to attend another MIMA event  that attracted enough interested marketers to pack a rather spacious Depot room…  despite less than ideal Minnesota weather.

The speaker, Jeff Rohrs,  was as engaging as always. I remembered him from The New eMarketing Essentials conference  – a very insightful event brought to Minneapolis by ExactTarget   last spring.

Jeff Rohrs started from the definition of Social Media and to my delight described it throughout the history of humanity starting from the stone age… 

All social media is trying to replicate personal conversation.

victorianinternetHa! It was a pleasure to hear this definition after all my arguments in MBA classes about e-business. I categorically refuse to recognize “e-business” as something separate from a “regular business using the Internet as channel.”

Jeff Rohrs recommended a book Victorian Internet  that sheds light on another revolutionary communication channel and it growing pains.

Ideas from the presentation:

  • We are experiencing “inbox explosion,” where we have to monitor too many inboxes that exist for different purposes, including mail, phone, IM, Facebook, LinkedIn, financial services inboxes (for security purposes), WordPress, Twitter, Yammer, UouTube, Flikr…
  • However, all social networks use e-mail to set accounts and to communicate with members…
  • There is a need to create a “universal” inbox… Yahoo is attempting it with Yahoo Social Inbox 
  • However…  the e-mail is still #1 inbox….  The other networks are “inside” the e-mail box.

yahooWhat it all means for marketers?

  • We are not in control
  • Marketing communications increasingly exist by invitation (particularly with millenials)
  • Invitations are easily revoked

Marketers should resist the pressure to send more e-mails…  “You want them to follow, but only if it is relevant for them…”

Agnostic Philosophy

  • serve individuals
  • honor their uniquespreferences with regard to
    • communication
    • contact
    • frequency
    • channel
  • Deliver them timely relevant content that improves their lives

Other interesting points:

  • Direct mail is considered more appropriate for unsolicited messages than any other form of communication….  But it might be because the cost of direct mail prevents too much “spam….”
  • Twitter search is superior to Google search for current events (yes, I noticed…)
  • Considering inbox explosion, a “subscriber” could be a prospect, a friend, a follower, a connection, etc.

As usually, thank you ExactTarget   😉  I am hoping we can see another conference in Minneapolis this year…

I also loved the food…

MN AMA – Hard Times, High Hopes: Young Adulthood in the Recession Era

mobIt was a pleasure to attend this insightful presentation by legendary Iconoclulture

Millenials are filling the crunch of the economic crisis and they have to adjust their expectations. However, there is a silver lining in these dark clouds or reality – young people are rethinking what matters.

Demographic

1987 – 1995
72.1 million
$1.5 trillion of buying power

Formative financial events for the Millenials:
1980 – Dawn of self esteem movement (everybody gets a trophy)
1990 – Recession is not felt (too young)
1995 – Launch of Amazon (idea of accessibility)
1997 – TiVo (idea of control)
1999 – launch of Napster (free music – free access)
2000 – First Millenials graduates college – 65%  in debt
2001 – Mild recession, quick rebound
2004 – MasterCard target twins (Hallow Kitty debit card)
2006 – all 10 largest colleges cobrand credit cards targeted to students
2008 – Financial meltdown

Generational mindset

  • extraordinary by default
  • praised and raised for success
  • “what I want when I want it”
  • I’m “me, but part of “we”
  • The good life is a right, not a privilege

Generation feels good about themselves, more narcissistic tendencies than other generations. However, it is not “I deserve it,” but rather “we deserve it.”

The reality

$20,000 – average debt for college graduates
$2,500 – average credit card debt ( 2008 )
57% pay minimum on their credit cards
77% moving in with mom and dad

Specific generational pain points in a recession:

  • prosperstudent loans
  • credit card debt (average salary for young grads is less than a generation ago, but prices are higher)
  •  jobs disappearing  (more laid-off professionals are willing to take jobs that used to be entry-level)

Changes in behavior

  • using less credit cardswesabe
  • trading off (moving with mom and dad; choosing community college, etc.)
  • adjusting expectations (no “job hopping”  when dissatisfied with a job…)

Still…

81% are hopeful about the future
57% are excited
81% cited relationships with friends and family is important (rather than career success)

As a result…

  • Thrifty is good!  “Almost a pride in clipping coupons.” Online comparative shopping.
  • Flash mobs – large groups of people offering to shop in a certain establishment if price is reduced or business practices changed to more ethical/green
  • Peer-to-peer landing
  • Social money-management resources
  • Recognition that we need to educate young people about finances
  • Reexamination of priorities by the young people (friends…gardening… making own clothes…)
  • Interest in “practical” careers
  • Gross National Happiness: a new world order

MIMA – Your Brand Is Not My Friend

alanAnother exciting event for the interactive Community. I must admit that Alan Wolk challenged some of my assumptions, destroyed a couple of myths, and actually supported one view that I held for some time already.

Supported view: an agency’s role in social media is helping the client with establishing content strategy, training the client how to use the tool, setting the tool, and explaining best practices. No blog or Twitter ghost-writing or any other “imposter” activities on behalf of the client.

Great points from the presentation:

  • Our world changed from Ad > Purchase…  to Ad > Google > Purchase. Implications: Advertising has to be honest. Advertising now need to get people to Google.
  • Some brands are “prom kings” and everybody want to be their friend, but 99% of brands are not in this category. 99% of “non-prom king” brands need to behave differently.

How to use social media correctly for one of 99% of “non-prom king” brands:

  1. Identify a need of your customers with which you can help
  2. Give something to the customers (a coupon – something useful)
  3. Approach the process as a sales person (not to pretend to be something different)
  4. Use Twitter for customer service or to share news. Don’t use it to sell.
  5. Don’t push it. In social media the more unobtrusive you can be the better

Whole Foods “does Facebook right.” The company connects each channel to the web site and also connects the web site to each channel. It provides useful information without attempting to sell on social media channels. You can place the same information (promote a coupon or contest) on every channel – repetition is totally accepted.

wholefood

More points:

  • Thought leadership in a specific area – setup Delicious link collection and connect it to Facebook page
  • LinkedIn is a place to be for b-to-b

Agency hints

  • Most agencies are not setup to handle social mediamima
  • Digital part of the agencies can be treated as a stepchild – traditional media is “converted” into something to be used within social media – what does not fit
  • Clients are ahead of the agencies
  • PR is ahead of the game
  • Recommendation for an agency to have a PR function, combine user experience with strategy, have people who are on the top of changing technology
  • Marketers should become interdisciplinary proficient
  • Start small: don’t do anything: look, listen…
  • Social media is a huge opportunity for advertisers, but they should not take a “usual” approach.

As usually, it was a pleasure to meet a great group of people… who even helped me to verify an iPhone question I answered at work a couple of hours earlier…