10 Tips for Twitter Unmarketing

As a follow up to the DiGiorno Pizza Critique, I spent a little time thinking about other types of marketers and created a revised post called "10 Tips for Twitter UnMarketing." You can find it here and add your .02 cents.

If you are curious about the title, I'm just not a real fan of the term "Social Media Marketing." I realize it's the hot buzz word - but it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it's just semantics. I don't know.

We are migrating from the post industrial product-centric organizational model that is heavily task-focused -- to post millenial people-centric models that are customer focused (all tasks wrapped around the customer). It's a revolution that is happening at the pace of an evolution -- and can be awkward and painful as companies walk through the change. Perhaps that's why so many companies find delivering great experiences an elusive goal.

In the wake of this change, marketing is undergoing important shifts. Entirely new skill sets are required. Channel proliferation is happening at light speed. The way we go to market is different -- sometimes less expensive but often much more challenging to manage. Our dialog has changed. Marketing today is MUCH less about pushing an agenda and message through aggressive outbound communications, programs and campaigns. Today, it is MUCH MORE about delivering the experience fundamentals, being excellent and remarkable -- and helping people discover us by building authentic relationships, by allowing others to "taste and see" -- by experiencing.

So that's why I used the term "Un Marketing." This isn't about marketing. It's about customer experience.

While I write about a lot of "stuff," my focus has been on creating great dialog with customers, and designing creating great experiences that are people focused. Social media fits in because it's a rapidly growing, dynamic experience tool. It's important to pay attention to what's going on and learn from specialists , (I don't like the term "expert either) who are actively engaged in various aspects of social media.

I can't thank you enough for your comments, tweets, DMs, IMs and emails. Please keep them coming!

DiGiorno Tweets: Tips for Twitter Campaigns

Ad age reported today that Kraft/Digiorno Pizza and Weber Shandwick PR have teamed on the launch of Digiorno's new Flatbread Pizzas. Digiorno will deliver free pizzas to tweetups in LA, New York and Chicago. The Twitter component is part of a national launch involving print and television. The announcement highlights the brand's plans to reach out to "influential" tweeters.

Okay - I think this is a GREAT idea. Tweeters are vocal, fiercely loyal and when you get us together, it's even better. Get a great idea out - make us love your product and we'll push the good news up the flagpole. We love brands that love us, and nothing says love like schwag, food and conversation! Yay!

The thing is, there seem to be quite a few challenges with execution here that are worth highlighting. To ensure success, here's some Live Path advice for any brand planning a campaign with a Twitter-driven social media component like DiGiorno:
  1. Define "influence" in advance. The Digiorno There's no definition of what "influence" is. I find it hard to believe they'll be launching this without that definition in place. The article eludes to number of followers - but any veteran on twitter will attest to the sheisters out there who have numbers but LITTLE dialog or influence. Brands should look at followers against the backdrop of other elements, like overall voice (on Twitter and other social networks), reach (comments, re-tweets, links in), affiliations (e.g. social media club, DMA, others) and activity (travel, conferences, speaking where word may be spread).
  2. Establish Your Angle(s). Beyond influence and geography, it's important to think about specialization/demographic. Social Media makes it easy to target individuals with specific areas of influence. Walmart and 800-FLOWERS are just two brands that have actively targeted Mommy Bloggers. I'm friends with a few of the Walmart 11 moms - and a few have frugal living columns. SXSW featured a panel with Chris Brogan and others called "Dad is the New Mom." I have a fun cadre of foodies in my Tweetdeck group. It's important to define the angle you're going to "shoot from" for "focused tweets." For example, for Digiorno, I would ask the following: Is your angle economics, making mom or dad's life easier, or great tasting pizza... or all of the above. Choose a mix that matters most to generate the best word-of-mouth!
  3. Challenge Geographical Constraints. Don't assume you'll find the best and most influential tweeters for your brand will be found in LA, New York and Chicago - there are plenty of active, chatty hubs in other areas of the country, as well. If your product is aces for middle-american housewives - go get 'em! Targeting is not dead -- in fact it's even easier with social media.
  4. Make it Easy to Get Involved. The article on Ad Age provides no way for people to engage with Digiorno. There's no page on the website - no available URL that details the new program. What happens if an influential tweeter reads this and says "I have an influential tweetup this week! I want Pizza!!" How do they make their case to Kraft? At a minimum, brands should offer a web page with details and criteria. Better yet -they're wise to add some comment functionality to the announcement page, allowing people to nominate themselves or their events in a visible way to others.
  5. Tweet Unto Others. There's not one Twitter profile listed in the Kraft/Weber article on Ad Age. Furthermore, after some searching on Twitter, it seems Kraft is relatively unprepared to meet people from a brand perspective on Twitter. (Administering slap to PR agency hand!) This should have been handled before the release is sent out. When I looked on Twitter @kraft pulled up a person's profile with a link to an article about dead man's sperm. Nice! When I looked up @digiorno two accounts were listed -- without any followers, branded icons OR tweets. That's a shame because it's not hard to lay this groundwork. Put up a clever, branded icon. Seed your accounts with some tweets and information- engage some people in dialog on Twitter to create a tweet history in advance of any press releases. Oh - and while I'm on the subject - follow Twitter best practices. Do not use Twitter to BROADCAST your brand message. Simply tell people about the promotion, ask them what they think and create an open line of communication with the twitterverse. Finally, remember that once you are finished with your campaign - you're not finished on Twitter. Develop a plan for how your brand will continue on Twitter after your campaign is over.
  6. Consolidate #Results. Do you want to demonstrate participation and make it easier to track word of mouth and discussion regarding your campaign? Why not create a hashtag to track buzz and centralize dialog about your promotion? It would be relatively easy to give something away for free with a simple request like this: "Participants will merely be asked to include "#digiorno in their tweet updates during the event".
  7. Focus Beyond Tweets. Just because the campaign component is Twitter focused, your scope should not be limited to Twitter alone. You'll want to look at follow-up posts (like this one) and articles on popular sites and blogs - and you should be sure to comment on posts, and respond to tweets, as well. Recognize that everything starts the minute the press release goes out ... and promotion continues as campaigns ensue. "Shout out" the quick wins and results on the fly (e.g. Announced yesterday and 1000 people signed up!) to encourage follow up posts and mentions. Reward the people who volunteer but don't get selected with consolation prizes, like coupons or schwag. Take a page from Dell or Zappos and celebrate success publicly. Publish a post or rich media case study to highlight lessons learned and celebrate success. You don't have to tell all -- just tell enough to communicate success or how you have learned.
  8. Immerse Yourself. Brands that want to foster dialog through campaigns like this should be careful not to miss the boat by acting like an old school marketer in a new media culture. The old models are dead on new media. Social Media Marketing is about , authenticity, relationship and dialog. It's not enough to just send free food or schwag! You must be present. While you can't be everywhere, you can target a few larger events and send a "brand agent"to listen and engage with your influentials. Make sure they fit in with the culture/bias of the group that is meeting. Make sure the agent asks attendees about themselves and what they think. Listen and respond positively. Be authentic, reflect the social media culture (and be sure to tweet remarks from the event yourself!)
I"m sure there's more to say on this topic, but I'm attempting to be brief here. Feel free to add your comments about how to create success with programs like these. Thanks for listening!

The Social Media Engagement Continuum - What Makes an Expert?

Yesterday, I posted a response to Beth Harte's great post about social media expertise. I highlighted the thought that, rather than accepting an individual's self-proclaimed title of "expert", perhaps it's best to look at people and companies in terms of level of social media engagement and results. I articulated social media engagement along a type of continuum. Taking those thoughts to the next level, here's a more refined, work-in process view:


(Note - Posted Friday 4/3 - modified Monday 4/6)
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Clueless individuals are in the dark about social media. They may have heard the term, but social media has no impact on their personal life or work. They are not only clueless about social media, they are not actively interested in finding more out about it.

Questioning individuals want to know about social media, starting with gaining a clear definition of what it is. They need a clear picture of the landscape and categories of social media, and an understanding of best-of-breed tools. Questioning individuals are starting to read about social media and may have recently joined some of the more popular social media networks to find out what the fuss is all about.

From a Groundswell perspective, "Inactives " fall above this line:
"Joiners" fall below:

(Updated 4/6 formerly called "Experimenting") individuals are testing the waters of several social media networks or tools to determine the benefits or application they may have for life and/or work. With esoteric goals in mind, they have joined a number of networks and are contributing sporadically to dialog and discussion. They are reading case studies and researching social media in addition to expanding their use of social media tools and applications. They do not have a significant network online.
From a Groundswell perspective, Collectors, Critics and Creators start here.

Active individuals are vigorously using (and contributing to) at least five social media applications, networks or tools on a daily basis for work or pleasure. They aren't newbies by any stretch of the term. They have been entrenched in a base level of networks as active users for at least six months. Critical tools must include contributing to one or more blogs, having a presence on at least one major social network the use of social bookmarking or life streaming applications as well as the use/uploading to media sharing sites or rich media destinations.

Active individuals are gaining practical knowledge of social media, and a very clear understanding of how social media changes the way we live and work. They are quick to sign up and test new social technologies, in an attempt to perfect the suite of tools they use for work and life. They are exploring new social media tools and reading actively about social media, measurement, influence, case studies. They are building a social media network and fostering new relationships and dialog every day.

Immersed individuals exhibit the traits of an active user -- only across a much larger array of social media networks, sites and tools. Immersed users have a strong reason to be highly active in social media, usually for professional reasons. They may be actively promoting their brand or business in social media, serve as a community or service manager, manage social media within their organization, or serve as an active consultant, teacher or thought leader in the arena. Whatever role they assume, the use of social media networks, sites and tools is a critical core function of their work day. They understand the categories of social media and how tools can be applied inside and outside the firewall for both B2B and B2C and various types of businesses. They can readily share stories and case study information related to the work they've done that is useful and relevant.

Immersed users are also active contributors in the networks within which they participate. They are actively engaged in ongoing discussion and dialog. They contribute unique content and insight in their areas of expertise in the form of blog posts, articles, white papers, and other media, which is validated and supported by peers and contemporaries. Immersed users have very strong digital footprint, with substantial social networks and following. They also pull up easily within Google - and may be recognized within the field by other notable users.

Influential individuals exhibit all of the characteristics of Active and Immersive users and posses extensive, demonstrable experience working with an array of social media applications and tools. They may have experience developing social media applications, tools and sites. Influentials are active in developing and applying social media in professional environments with the specific goal of shaping the way we work, live and interact with brands. They may work within social media companies, or represent social media tools in a consulting or agency capacity to an array of recognizable clients.

Influentials have a significant amount of experience applying social media tools to drive specific results. They understand the myriad of technologies that can be used to solve client/customer challenges, the integration and operational complexities of using social media and when it may be appropriate to develop something custom vs. out-of-the box. They can readily produce tangible examples of the work they have done in social media through company or client examples, case studies or demonstrations.

It's significant to note that some influentials may have very deep, specialized knowledge of specific "categories" of social media or specific tools or networks themselves. At the same time, a true influential has his/her finger on the pulse of the arena and can speak authoritatively about the application of various tools in a number of enterprise environments, holding their own with inquiring analysts and venture capitalists.

Influentials do not wield influence for the reasons described by "follow bots" and social media grader/recommendation engines. While they do leave a hefty digital footprint and sport an impressive number of followers -- this speaks to the fact that they are authoritative in their area of expertise and have something remarkable to say. Influentials are highly engaged each day with a network of other immersed and influential people who are busy working within social media in a variety of capacities. This network strengthens their ability to do great work and serves as a lifeline of information on developments in social media.


SO! Just thinking out loud!

Curious minds want to know....
Do you feel these categories are accurate and representative of the types of folks you encounter in social media? Where do you fall in the social media continuum? Where does your company fall? Tell me your thoughts. I'm sure I'll be updating this soon enough!

Blog Talk, Webinars & Redesigns, Oh My!

This Friday at 12:30 pm, I'll be interviewed by John Munsell and Paul Chaney on the User Friendly Thinking Show on Blog Talk Radio. The topic of our discussion will be customer experience management - demystifying the term, talking about the move to customer centricity is driving business change and how CEM will impact business and your job in the future. I really hope you'll join us, and look forward to talking to folks in Q&A. Click here for the link to the Blogtalk radio program!

This discussion will serve as a teaser into my upcoming Marketing Profs Premium Webinar on Customer Experience Management, which will be held on April 30th. The webinar is free for individuals with Premium Mprofs membership (It's low-cost, high value. I'm a Member!), and you can also pay for the webinar itself. We'll take a deeper dive and have visuals for this discussion. Click here for the link to April 30th Marketing Profs Webinar on CX with yours truly!

In between paying client gigs and crazy projects, I'm working on a redesign of the Live Path site and Experience Architect Weblog. Stay tuned for more... I'm aware of my usability hypocrisy on the blog now, and glad that most of you feel the content is worth the read, regardless of the crowded UI! Thanks for engaging with me.





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I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.


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