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Showing posts from 2013

Selling Social Media to the Sales Team

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I'm not trying to spit in anybody's facebook, but you can spend all the time, resources, and tweet equity you want on a social media campaign but if your sales team isn't on board, your efforts will be compromised and results will be social mediocre.

There has been a shift created by social media and the sales process greater than the valuation of Bitcoin or any stock. I have found that great salespeople share some common traits -- desire to change is usually not one of them.  Marketers love change; salespeople often loathe it and understandably so. Once you analyze the market, find a process, establish a routine, and identify pain points and value adds that works, you stick with them. New opportunities are great, so if it's a new product or flavor of ice cream they can sell it all day. But if it's a change to the menu, they'll balk. Social media is more than a new flavor, and it's more than the cherry on top; it's a whole new course. And that'…

Social Media Epitaphs: When Final Words Are Necessary

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Have you thought of what you might say to your idol if you bumped into them today? Or to that one crush you wished you had asked to the junior prom? You'd be worried about not having the time to say everything, afraid of leaving some important points out. You might be thinking how to arrange to see them again. But what if there was a person you met today that was one you didn't want to or think you would ever see again? Not a rival, enemy or anyone for who you viewed negatively, but a stranger or a business associate.

There is certainly no guarantee, but I met someone last week that I know I will never see again. We had pleasant conversation, but don't travel within the same circles, live somewhat far apart, and have no reason to connect again. Later I thought, Good or bad, I could have said whatever I wanted to this person with the knowledge that I would never have to explain it, redact it, or amend it.  And that was empowering.

We are conditioned as marketers to think …

6 Reasons to Make a Dog Your CEO

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The world would be a better place if people were more like dogs. They're loyal, trustworthy, non-judgmental, unaffected by outer beauty and thanklessly provide unconditional love expecting nothing in return. About 20 years ago, a study of chief executive officers (CEOs) at Fortune 500 companies was conducted that stated an overwhelming majority -- near 90% --had a dog while growing up. They said at the time that among other qualities, owning a dog taught them responsibility.


My dog currently holds the title of Vice President of Home Security. He's well-respected, provided free corporate housing, expenses all his meals, gets vacation days, full medical, and regular bonuses in the payment of rawhide. However I was thinking of promoting him to CEO. Not only a position he's earned after ten years of service, but also one he's well-suited to fill.

It got me to thinking that all companies would be a better place as well with a dog at the helm? Make a dog your CEO? Now do…

Social Media: Switch to the On Position

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Last night while watching baseball, it hit me. The idea for my column, not the ball. I'm so spontaneous I just then decided to write about my spontaneity. Like how I recently moved across the country. I purchased the tickets on a Monday, arrived the next day 2,300 miles West. I had been living in the same apartment for seven years. But right before I moved, something wonderful happened. I reached to flick on the bedroom light switch and it was gone. Not from the wall, but from my memory.

My subconscious chose to delete that bit of information from my RAM to make room as it would soon be as obsolete as a floppy disk with Netscape Navigator. And that was the first of my cerebral cleansing with no juicing required. Each day I purged more and more from the mailman's name to -- well see? I already forgot what else I forgot.

Social media marketers strive to flip that light switch on permanently so they are always top of mind. Better, strive to get your posts out ri…

Twitter's Best IPO Strategy? Evolve.

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With a Twitter IPO expected in mid-November, Twitter wants to position itself as indispensable to consumers. Like many Internet companies, investors and analysts contend a huge pool is key to the company's ability to attract advertisers and generate a profit. But according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 36% of 1,067 people who have joined Twitter say they do not use it, while 7% say they have closed their account. You have to expect that drop off though with any new product. For instance, I haven't washed my Shamwow since I ran out of OxiClean after I dropped my George Foreman grill.

Twitter is a bit like a late night infomercial to be honest. It's got the cool factor, fun to use, but really offers more sizzle than steak. I don't tweet much for myself, but I get why people might want a virtual soap box. Say what you feel regardless if it's meant to entertain, notify, or provoke thought. But chances are few will read it. And if you're a regular person, you'…

Next Year, Social Media Will Be Gone

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"Social media" this!  #blahblahblah. Mark it on your calendar. By this time next year, I predict social media will be gone. And not just from my life. 

Have you been reading all those stories having to do with social media fatigue?  There's been a plethora of personal accounts of people swearing off sharing, demonizing their digital dillydallying, repenting from the sins of all things posted. But anything with this much hype is bound to get backlash. Our society tends to demonize anything that gets too popular.

But this is not one of those bashing articles. I'm here to tell you social media is not an evil religious cult -- though I bet Satan hates those requests for Candy Crush Saga as much as the next guy.

Nor do I believe social media is addictive like nicotine. Like Mark Twain and smoking, I think quitting Facebook is easy, I've done it a thousand times -- I learned the first time I quit Facebook though, that wasn't the right approach.

However, social media,…

I Shared This Article But I Never Read It

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"It's true. I didn't read this. I didn't even bother to read the title before I shared it. In fact, you've already read more of the article than I ever will. That's because many Twitter retweets are done digitally through robots.  Or maybe a service found the phrase "social media" and it "Liked" it under my Facebook profile. I wonder if the author named the article what he did to prove a point?"

He did. 


Last week, I was checking statistics to see who had retweeted my last article on wanting social media to be less narcissistic. (The irony of that last statement is not lost on me, but I digress.) The great thing about Facebook, Twitter and other social networks is that nearly everything can be tracked and traced. I was pleased to see marketers, other business professionals, as well as plain ol' regular folks, had liked the article enough to share it with others. 

But as I continued perusing the list, I spotted a ton of phony accounts,…

Zen and the Art of Social Media Sushi

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What is Zen and the Art of Social Media Sushi? Patience, grasshopper.  Put down your Facebook and Twitter posting software for a moment and I will explain.

Famous, recognizable people can be seen all over Los Angeles. In the neighborhood I live, I recognize one every day. But when I walk into my favorite Japanese restaurant for a quick bite, you would think Elvis had entered the building -- when he was alive, I mean. 

Few writers are so recognizable that they fall into celebrity status -- and I am certainly not one of those. Nor are writers often big spenders -- not exactly the highest paying profession in the world. But tonight the chef came out of the kitchen just to shake my hand. The new hostess and server introduced themselves. The manager bowed. And last night I just walked by and the owner waived wildly when he saw me. There seems to be are as many Japanese restaurants in L.A. as there are celebrities, but to my Japanese restaurant, I am royalty. A true celebrity.

Did you not…

The Problem with Social Media? It's Me, It's Not You

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You.

That one word was my first new Facebook status in months. No explanation. No follow up. Just the word, "you."

At first, mostly everyone glazed over it and passed it by. Then a few people followed it up with jokes and snarky comments. Yet, I held back a reply.

Until one of my young, terminally analytical, left-brained friends (you know the type: the ones so gifted mentally that illogical statements or off-beat humor often short-circuit their Beautiful Minds?) just couldn't take it anymore, and had to ask. So I told her.

I have a friend with whom I have grown close. They have recently looked to me for relationship advice. They are going through a particularly tough time and were making some bold moves to help the situation. I wanted them to know that I was there for them I was thinking about them.  But then I realized how I really had that sentiment for most of the people I communicate with through social media.

I've written a few eBooks and a blog about social m…

Social Media Cyborgs or Faceborgs?

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Facebook has made another move into mobile with its Facebook Home app. Use it and the default start page for your Android cell phone provides instant access to photos, comments and chats. Talk about in your face, book. As a rule, the easier to access it is to access, the more people want to use it.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn introduced “mentions" making it more like business Facebook, Google added new Google+ tweaks, and Twitter has released Vine video. No longer clearly defined, a Forbes article speculates on social media's colliding worlds, while its technology article this week questions some social media big wigs for their predictions for Facebook Home's and its potential influence.

The objective seems to be to turn us all into Faceborgs. But in my world, Facebook has peaked and everyone I know uses it less and less. Easier access will not help that. Indeed, the lines between social networks are more than starting to blur. But more notable is how Worlds have alre…

And so it begins. Again.

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I’ve been to Southern California many times on business and vacation. This flight, however, differs, as today’s trip is to move there. I’ve boarded the noon flight to Los Angeles and it appears it will land right on time – give or take 30 years. With two suitcases stuffed with clothes in cargo, and my trusty laptop on my back I am making the 2,200 miles trip cross country to start a new life. Not for a new love or new job, nor was my current job transferring me but solely because I felt it was time to make “the” move. As a gold member of the procrastination club, the airline ticket, hotel reservation, and car rental were made yesterday am on the plane to the City of Angeles. I have no idea where I will live, and oddly it seems like an after thought. Not more than two months ago I decided to give almost everything I owned away, uproot from friends and move for a variety of reasons I will go into in future columns. Saying that planets aligned may be a bit much, but timing had everythin…

Social Media: Be Consistent and Inconsistent

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Unlike the Ten Commandments, social media postings should not be carved in stone. Speaking of tablets, (the stone ones, not the "electronic babysitter" ones that retail for $399) we social media marketers need to think of ourselves as bricklayers when posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like using randomness as our guide. You see, good bricklayers naturally "mix it up" to avoid unwanted patterns.  And they best work when we do it in house.

Case in point. I never eat the same breakfast two days in a row, or take the same route to work, have regular scheduled meetings, or exercise times at the gym on the same day at the same time. Whatever the opposite of a creature of habit is, is who I am. Granted, this "charming" trait has driven any and all the highly-structured, organized women in my personal life out the door faster than common sense and logic runs from Florida politics. Yet, being consistently inconsistent serves me we…

Marissa Mayer Can Make Me "Say Anything"

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Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg suggested that critics jumped on her friend Marissa Mayer's decision for ordering stay-at-home employees back to the office because she is a woman. The press has been careful not to mention the Yahoo! CEO's fetching good looks, charm, raspy (dare I say sexy) voice and appeal as so not to appear sexist. When Mayer implied that motherhood was easy, she drew the ire of working Moms across the country. The double standard continues, but beauty aside, it's a difficult, fine line to walk for female executives — in high heels or otherwise.

Now, according to a new article, Mayer is being maligned for her tough (and perhaps unrealistically high) hiring practices - causing Yahoo! to lose top talent. This one comes from within the company. According to an unnamed Yahoo employee, Mayer addressed the charges at a meeting, retorting "Why can't we just be good at hiring?" playing off the line "Why can't …

Social Media: Flipping the Switch On Old

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I'm so spontaneous I just now decided to write about my spontaneity. I recently moved across the country. I purchased the tickets on a Monday, arrived the next day 2,300 miles West. I had been living in the same apartment for seven years. But a week before I moved, something wonderful happened. I reached to flick on the bedroom light switch and it was gone. Not from the wall, but from my memory.

My subconscious chose to delete that bit of information from my RAM to make room as it would soon be as obsolete as a floppy disk with Netscape Navigator. And that was the first of my cerebral cleansing with no juicing required. Each day I purged more and more from the mailman's name to -- well see? I already forgot what else I forgot.

Social media marketers strive to flip that light switch on permanently so they are always top of mind. But that's impossible to accomplish. Instead strive to get your posts out right after your readers and followers purge information they deem …

Seeing Through Google Glass

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Google churns out technology products faster and more proficiently than Octomom produces tax deductions. And I've been a fan and faithful contributor for years (of Google products not Nadya Suleman that is). Gmail, Google Calendar, Android, Blogger, Maps — I'd list them all but I'm sure they'll release a few more by the time this article is printed today. And the latest product is Google Glass.

Part steampunk, part Terminator, Google Glass looks more like eye wear Jordy from Star Trek might wear on the beaches of Rigel 7 than a technology product. But it's Google's new way of looking at your world as seen through the Internet. Through verbal and motion commands, it can take a photo or video of what you happen to be looking at at that moment and lets you share it through the Web. It gives you directions if you want through maps. And of course does searches for images, answers, etc. on command. It even comes in five colors.

Now aside from the Goog…

Going Postal: Social Media Tries to Save Snail Mail

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Sometimes there are so many things humorous about a news item that you don't know where to begin to make fun of it. But with others — like the US Postal Service deciding to stop service on Saturdays -- is so funny it borders on being heartbreaking. Like one of those well meaning but painfully bad cable access shows that air at 3:30 am on a channel you didn’t even knew existed. To make fun of the USPS at this point would be tantamount to beating a dead horse… with a baby seal…at an orphanage.
The situation is so pathetic, that the USPS, which loses about $25 million a day now, is being championed by the chief cause of its demise, the Internet. On Facebook they started a save snail mail campaign. Will social media help save the Postal Service and Saturday delivery?  On Saturday they had a "Buy a stamp and mail a letter or a postcard on Saturday. That’s what one Facebook event, titled “Because we love snail mail,” asked its participants to do. More than 900 pe…

A Valentine to Your Genuine Self

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I make it a point to lead a relatively stress-free life, but for some reason I've managed to squeeze a couple year's worth of stress into the past month. Illness, family illness, dog illness, moving with no place to move to, job relocation, and perhaps the greatest opportunity of my lifetime all at the same time. I'm sure I'm missing a few more but my head is spinning and that will have to do for now. But despite being miles up the creek with no paddle or land in sight, I am handling it all quite nicely but what I am most proud of is that I just realized today that Thursday is Valentine's Day.

Being in love was always something I put a lot of effort into -- too much if you ask my friends. I love being in love and am a hopeless romantic by anybody's standards. But I've made it such a priority in my life that I've forsaken so much else.  Consequently, Valentine's Day each year has been a cause of so much worry and unhappiness for me over the years. I…

JetBlue’s Premium Service A First Class Failure

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This hasn't been a good week for JetBlue shareholders and some of it's passengers.
Rather than provide the extra leg room based upon something as ridiculous as excess height, JetBlue now charges for exit rows, calling them premium seats – most of which are mid-cabin, mind you. So after the Captain had turned off the seat belt sign I slipped into the “Even More Space” row as they call it. Within seconds, I was pounced upon by the flight attendants, informing me that if I wanted to sit in one of these empty seats I would have to pay an additional $45 for the non-first class seat.

Could this the new backlash policy for what happened earlier in the week on a cross-country JetBlue New York JFK-San Diego flight that was diverted to Denver, after a passenger became unruly because a flier moved to a seat next to her paid less for the seat? The woman apparently became agitated when a man who had been seated in the normal, less-expensive area was moved next to her because …

Apple Drops, the iPhone Stops, and Galaxy Pops

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Evidently I'm not the only one who was disappointed by the iPhone 5. Last year, I gave my view on why this faithful Mac user wasn't buying the iPhone 5 then or in the foreseeable future. This week, the company said it shipped 47.8 million iPhone's, a quarterly record for Apple that nonetheless disappointed many analysts accustomed to years of dominance in the smartphone industry. Wall Street was predicting more. No, it wanted gobs, and gobs more. I'd say how much more but each time I go to write this article it drops again. Now, Apple is no longer the most valuable company in the world. My problem with the iPhone was that customization was almost non-existent. That's something Microsoft customers have readily accepted over the years, but for us Mac loyalists, that kind of stuff just won't fly. But it was so darn cool and well made that Apple could do just that as the iPhone was clearly the best cell phone on the market. But then something happen…

Zen of Social Media...from Cough Drops?

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It seems everyone I've spoken with this season has experienced a mega cold this New Year. If you haven't gotten yours, don't worry it probably got lost in the holiday mail but I'm sure it's on its way. I haven't had a cold in a few years but I wasn't so lucky a few weeks ago as I'm just getting over one that lasted a whopping three weeks — lasting this long mostly because of my air travel from New York to Florida which the airlines might as well rename the Influenza Express.

Having a Holiday cold isn't usually worrisome but it is almost always rather annoying. Like the visiting in-laws, you know it's going to leave soon but that doesn't make it less miserable or easier to put up with. But when a cold lasts weeks instead of days it can bring down both your defenses and your spirit. It's times like these that you can use words of encouragement and I found mine in the most unlikely of places: wrapped around my cough drops.

In …

Google Starts Happy Birthday Home Page

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My Google home page looks significantly different than yours does today. When you signed in,  you saw the standard Google logo. When I did, I was greeted with something quite different. No, I didn't customize it -- Google did it's own customization for me.

You see it's my birthday today and Google customized it's home page logo with a new birthday logo for me (OK for everyone celebrating a birthday today). Rather than the red, blue and yellow Google font, I'm looking at cakes, pies, torts, all adorned with icing and lit candles shaped into the Google logo. My own Google Birthday doodle.

There aren't many benefits of having the first workday of the year as a birthday. Scratch that. There are no benefits. None. Zero. The world's biggest party leaves everyone with the same New Year's resolution: no more partying. Not to mention if people somehow do remember it chances are your gift will be a regift and most assuredly wrapped in Christmas paper. So trying …

Happy New Year! You've Been Dumped!

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When the ball dropped in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, so did the axe on love relationships around the world.

Though two years ago an ex girlfriend chose December 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) to "drop the bomb" on me (more appropriately I suppose,) New Year's Eve remains the leader of National Get Dumped Day around the world. It's obvious why. People want to start the New Year fresh and unencumbered. My best friend is making it a bit of a tradition dumping a boyfriend on the last two New Year's Eve.

Not surprisingly, the first post I saw as I signed onto Facebook while drinking my morning coffee was a friend in Asia who just went from "in a relationship" to "single." And by the time I finished the sip another from France messaged me the same on chat. She couldn't decide between the two men in her life so instead dumped them both.

Ironically rather than sadness, I feel envious. Almost to the point where I feel like proposing…