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Anise Smith Marketing

Social Media Professor | Digital Marketing Technologist | Mobile Web | Digital Webinar Developer | Analytics

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Social Media

Social Media Gurus -vs- Digital Marketers: Gurus Your Days Are Numbered!

Gurus vs Digital Marketers
It has been a few years now of companies venturing into the social media marketing space by way of different online channels. The past few years have been a huge transition by individuals and companies from utilizing traditional marketing almost exclusively, to venturing into the online marketing space.  This transition has been filled with growing pains i’m sure and although the transition has not been seamless, it is progressing.

At one time It seemed as if companies just didn’t get it, that they really didn’t understand the importance of the online presence. The transition from what was once was exlusively traditional marketing to mostly digital and now a bit of a fusion between the two is lending itself to a willingness by organizations, to embrace this new era of marketing.

Two years ago there was a huge avenue for people to present themselves as SOCIAL MEDIA GURUS to the unsuspecting organization that felt a bit of urgency to run head first into the online marketing space. Now that some have done that and are experiencing it, they are now realizing that working with a Social Media Guru is just not enough. This is primarily because it’s NOT just about social media, it is about Digital Marketing which is a much more diverse combination of Internet strategies.  Exclusively utilizing JUST social media is like using only print catalogs in traditional marketing, it is just NOT enough.  This is the same philosophy that has to be embraced when thinking of Digital Marketing, utilizing JUST social media is just not enough.

At one time it was ok to utilize some traditional marketing and have a website.  Now a fusion of those strategies mixed with social media is making way for the Digital Marketer, which utilizes a combination of these strategies and more to create a total online /offline fusion that will move brands beyond the single dimension of just traditional marketing or just social media.

In 2013 the Digital Marketer will be more in demand that ever, because progressive companies have realized the importance of having marketers that skill sets embrace all digital strategies not just certain aspects of an online presence. Some tradition web design purist haven’t embraced social media integration  and are stuck in what they have learned in a traditional sense. Additionally some social media gurus have not moved past just posting information to social media channels.  However, there are some web designers and social media marketers that HAVE embraced both and those are the Digital Marketer that will be in demand in 2013 and beyond.

Ultimately the goal as a Digital Marketer is to bring value to your clients, customers and employers. This will not be done by any of the following:

  • Tagging 100+ people on Facebook everyday to boost your Klout score. Your employer, client and or potential client/employer probably could give a rats you know what about your score. Most employers or clients don’t even know what Klout is or what is involved with the scoring process.  Do you even know?
  • Connecting to random influencers and NOT becoming an influencer yourself. Your influencer is an influencer for a reason. You will make out better trying to analyze what they are doing right and emulate them.
  • Posting 1000 pictures every day of random things. Although these photos may be beautiful, if this is ALL you do, how can that contribute to the value of your potential employer, client or customer? Or put you in a position to gain customers, clients or find employment in  the Digital Marketing Space?

The goal in this increasingly savvy digital marketing space, should be to provide services of value to potential and current employers and clients to increase their brand exposure, place them in a position to interact with THEIR current clients/potential clients and increase their chances of increasing revenue. This will involve YOU doing NONE of  the above bulleted points but WILL involve you creating custom strategies for potential employers and clients in which to accomplish these goals. The lack of ability to do this WILL separate the Gurus from the Digital Marketers, that are really on their game.

As we move forward in the Digital Marketing space we have to be willing to continue to grow and embrace new technologies that provide added value to clients, potential clients and employers. It has been an amazing few years in this space that is continuing to grow at an amazing rate of speed. 2013 will be the the year of many exciting changes to the people that are on their Digital Marketing game and challenges to those that are not on their game. Either way, get ready because I have a feeling its going to be a helluva ride!

If you have comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent I can be contacted by subscribing to my Facebook public updates or finding me on Twitter!  I shall see you soon, I’m sure!

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This Is Your BRAIN On Social Media [Infographic]

Your Brain On Social Media

Last weekend I was having a bit of a technical issue with my router and it’s failure to communicate effectively with my modem. This created a HUGE issue with my need to communicate by way of social media.  Not that I was having a social media withdrawal issue or anything but I did replace it with one of the ubee routers that I have been researching.

I really think that we have grown so accustomed to tuning in to social media because it allows us to gain access to so many things that are going on.  We tune in to find out what’s going on with our friends, the latest news and everything that is going on in the world.  Social Media has literally become our one stop shop news source.  So it is understandable the it has become very valuable to most.  With that said, it seems that social media has become a bit of an addiction for many.  I’m still not admitting that I have an issue or anything ONLY saying that I understand. 🙂

However, take a look at the infographic below which displays how many other people may be having a social media issues.

Please Include Attribution to OnlineCollegeCourses.com With This Graphic Your Brain on Social Media Infographic

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SERIOUSLY, Walk Away From Your Gadgets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Walk Away From Your Gadgets

We are living in an increasingly Digital world which is really be an amazing thing, especially for those that are interested in having a constant source of news and information.  Content shared,  by way of online channels are accessed at a much quicker rate of speed than traditional online media due to social media.   This was very evident in the recent hurricane that hit the east coast and the political campaigns, both of which were sharing information online at a much quicker rated of speed than traditional online and radio media.  We are officially a connected world.

 

One of the things that we should be cognizant of is the benefits of allowing ourselves the opportunity to TUNE out the onslaught of the constant flow of digital content. As a Digital Marketer, this can be a challenge due to our need to be constantly tuned in.

 

About a year ago I was feeling close to the information overload stage due to being constantly plugged in to so much content. This is when I took a bit of a step back and disengaged from a few channels.   I stopped posting to many social media channels, removed myself from Klout and took a break from Empire Avenue. I took this time to think about the digital channels that I was engaged with and evaluate how I could best maximize my workflow without dedicating so much time to online channels and being constantly plugged in.  This time gave me an opportunity to evaluate how much time was needed to effectively manage all of my digital media channels and most importantly granted me the opportunity to realize the benefits of unplugging sometimes.  I’ve found that unplugging can be a good thing because it allows a fresh perspective.

 

The time away allowed me to organize my time more effectively, minimize some of the digital channels that were not beneficial to my brand and most importantly it presented the opportunity to turn off my brain to the constants onslaught of information. So, now I especially make a conscious choice to unplug at bedtime and it has allowed me  just enough time needed, to start the next day with a clear head minus the technology overload feeling.

 

I seems that more and more people are not utilizing time to step away from their gadgets, even at bedtime. Take a look at the infographic below to see exactly how much time is spent on computer gadgets, even at bedtime.

 

Please Include Attribution to OnlinePsychologyDegree.net With This Graphic Badgets in Bed Infographic

Why You MUST Ignore Your Social Media Scores

Social Media Scoring

Social Media as we know it is still in its infancy and has a lot more growth in the works.  We are still learning and growing in the digital marketing space because the industry is still evolving.  The scoring of social media creates an almost old school atmosphere due to its push to GRADE the quality of our engagement.

There are a few different social media platforms that I am involved with that actively score content based on the companies preformatted algorithm. Klout, Empire Avenue and Kred all have some form of ranking, grading, or number placed upon YOUR social media activity. I am not saying that any of these algorithms are wrong in general but should we base OUR engagement and or activity on ranking higher with any of these platforms? Shouldn’t we instead focus upon providing content that is of interest to our friends and followers?

Like I said, I am involved with these platforms but I do not base ANY of my online activity on increasing any of these scores, ANYMORE. It is very easy to allow your own competitive nature to dictate the types of content that you promote from your brand based on increasing your score.  I have been down that road and it really is not a good path to be on. This is primarily because it diminishes the purpose of social media to a degree and cheapens the value of your content because the focus becomes about increasing your score instead of providing content of value.

I’ve notice that due to a change in whatever algorithm Klout is using these days, people have begun to “game” the system with mass Facebook photo tagging.  I’m not speaking of an occasional tag from a friend that you interact with on a regular basis, I am speaking of mass tagging, everyday from acquaintances whom you have little or no interaction with on a regular basis. I just had to block a person that tagged me on 6 photos all within 3 minutes and the kicker is that I very seldom had any interaction with this person.  It was so bad that I couldn’t find my own content or content that was shared by legitimate engaging friends and followers.

I am NOT speaking about friends or people that I engage with, I am talking about random acquaintances that tag you on multiple photos on a daily basis. I love getting tagged on genuine content that is of interest, that’s engaging or friends think that I would like.  This post is not really about that, but more about the person that specifically tags with the purpose of a score boost.

How does this kind of behavior increase your social media engagement, legitimately?  The score gamers, post content and tag you on the content, so the person tagged either feels that they shouldn’t be rude by not responding or they automatically “answer when called” as we innately do. So does this increase your ability to produce engaging content that has the ability to speak to people, touch their heart or is though provoking? Umm NO! However they did increase their Klout score because they tagged the same 45 people that they tag every day and the people that were tagged responded, which creates dialog on the post.  So, since there were a high percentage of people to comment to the post, they get a Klout score bump. Oh yay!  This, to me displays that the person creating the tags do not have a firm grasp on what social media is about and the purpose of creating content. I will even venture to say that it is a n00b move for the so called social media gurus.

As a Digital Marketer that is listed on Klout, Kred and a player of Empire Avenue I am aware of my scores on all platforms but I am not driven to perform any action to increase my numbers. It simply takes away from the genuine ability to engage and create content that I believe people are looking for when they follow me on my social media channels.  Additionally, it takes away from the enjoyment of social media when it becomes a game to get the highest score at all costs.

I am not a hater of any of these platforms because they do have value in the social media arena. However, I would like to see less gamed content with the exclusive goal of chasing a score and more genuine sharing of content that is of value to readers.

The take away:

Simply, provide great content and people will respond.

What are your thoughts? Am I on point?  Am I off  base? Or Meh? I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, good, bad ugly or indifferent.

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Social Search is Here and So Is Social Search Optimization: ARE YOU READY?

Social Search Optimization
I had a discussion a short while ago about the importance of social media to a business person in this era. My specific conversation revolved around the importance of Facebook for new and established businesses. I cannot stress enough that traditional marketing as we once knew it is over. O-V-E-R. I’m not saying that traditional marketing as it once was does not play a role in our daily lives, only that it has changed.  Think about the last time you picked up a traditional TV guide or magazine. Makes you say wow, right? It is imperative that your marketing plan surpass what was the norm years ago and embrace what is happening NOW.

Social Media has really taken business by storm and grown beyond that even. Social Media Campaigns have totally gone beyond posting/updating your Facebook page and Tweeting your deal of the day. As businesses we must be more strategic than that, we must engage our audience, focus on the social media channels that are good for our brand and monitor our insights to see if the content we are sharing is on target. So, social media campaigns are just that, campaigns and really go beyond just playing on Facebook.

One of the biggest game changers in the creation of effective social media strategies are  the merging of social media and search, I’ve talked about this for a few years now. This really involves utilizing social media channels in search results to increase search rank with Google. A huge player in this game will be Google+ although the naysayers would reject this theory. I have personally noticed an increase of my social media channels integrated in my search results and this has increased my organic search presence.

As an Internet Marketing company I visualize Social Search Optimization as a natural progression to utilizing social media, search and optimizing those channels for the most effective  social media campaigns ever.  It is truly time to take it to the next level, embrace the extreme change of marketing, rock your business and learn more about strategies that give your business an opportunity to compete with and maybe surpass its competitors. A company that is totally rocking this Social Search Optimization space is ThinkBigSites, appropriate name don’t ya’ think?

Are you ready to take your social media strategy to the next level?

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Privacy Starts With Ones Ability To STOP Irresponsibly OVERSHARING

Privacy and oversharing
Social Media has presented us all with the opportunity to engage, share and increase dialogue with many people. The super quick growth of social media has also opened the door to much more with how employers are dealing with social media, individuals, privacy issues, over sharing and much more. YES, I said it OVER SHARING!

 

I hear so much about Privacy this and privacy that, oh my god Facebook is Invading my privacy again, blah, blah, blah-blah BLAH!  Firstly, there is no such thing as privacy as we’ve known it, we are not living in the 80’s.   If that is what you are looking for you could very easily just quit all of your social media channels and then simply turn OFF your computer. However we all know that is not going to happen.

 

The third thing that a person could do to make sure their privacy has not been compromised by social media channels,  is to STOP OVER SHARING. Yes, I said it AGAIN. I noticed that the people that yell the loudest about their privacy being invaded by Facebook and various other social media channels are the ones that are the most guilty of over sharing.

 

There are just some things that need to remain private and I am not talking about funny little antics that have taken place during a persons day that others will find funny and uplifting. I am talking about some the the disturbing things that people share by way of status update that we just do not want to look at, hear about or would ever want permanaently branded into our brains. Before you post anything online ask yourself if you’d like to see what you plan to share floating through your newsfeed.

 

Things that I am pretty sure no one wants to see:

  • We do not want to see what your cat ate and then expelled from its body.
  • We do not want to see a video of your c-section, minute for minute and in its entirety. I had a c-section and I didn’t want to be in the room to watch my own procedure. Seriously, this is NOT Facebook newsfeed going viral sort of content.
  • We do not want to hear about hurling, burping, pooping, farting, scratching and most importantly we don’t want pictures either.

 

I say all of this to make the point that privacy starts with you and your ability to have an awareness about what information that you select to share. If you do not post out of bounds pics, say inappropriate things, share distasteful video you limit the chances of this information coming back to bite you.

 

As we move ahead with social media and social sharing we should utilize the privacy options that all social media platforms have in place. However most importantly we MUST develop an awareness about the information that we share.  The golden sharing rule that I abide by is, I only post something that I would not be ashamed to show my father, son or grandmother.

 

The take away: Think before you share and share responsibly!

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Has #Klout & Measuring Influence Created A Wave Of #SocialMedia Snobs?

SocialMediaSnob
Social Media as we know it now is relatively new with all of the exposure, engaging and sharing of content from a variety of avenues. Of course there were other online platforms available back in the day but we all know that they have not had the impact that present day social media channels have. I just wanted to put that out there so all of the people that CLAIM to have Ten Years Social Media experience won’t write me spouting off about how they were on forums, AOL blah…blah …BLAAAHHHHH because this blog post is NOT about that.

One of the things that I’ve notice lately is the growing number of people that are a little snobby about social media and the creation of a social media cast system so to speak based on the measurement of influence or lack there of.  There are people that may thrive in some areas of social media a bit more than others, but how can there really be a mastery to the extent that one feels superior to those that may not know as much?  Especially when social media is still growing and evolving and we are ALL learning daily about the various channels and platforms. As soon as it is perceived that we have mastered one area it changes and we have to start at square one almost. This is the primary reason NOT to feel superior about any step you may have ahead of a person in any one platform.

Klout and other channels used to make an attempt at measuring social media influence are really responsible for creating a wave of social media snobs that feel superior, if these so called influence channels give them a score that is higher than other people. Klout is really not a valid measurement of social media influence or anything beyond a channel that is now geared toward sales and increasing their own worth. I am not knocking this as this has shown to be a lucrative business platform to most because after all increasing revenue is the reason why most companies are in business. I say this, however to make people think about basing their perception of themselves as higher and others lower based on a system that has flaws in the measurement of influence. This measurement of influence is based on an algorithm that we are unfamiliar with, that can change on another persons whim and by a company that is driven by increasing their own revenue. Again, I am not by any stretch minimizing any business platform based on increasing revenue only cautioning that WE should not base our opinions on others based on reasoning of a company driven by profit. Further we should not minimize interaction and or engagement based on social media snobbery created by some perception of influence.

Social Media is a conversation and geared toward increasing interaction between people and or companies. Social Media should not be used to create a hierarchy, minimize others and practice snobbery  so much so that we feel others are unworthy of conversation,  based on any flawed platform of influence.

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Asking For A Persons #Facebook Password IS NOT A Good Adoption Of An Effective #SocialMedia Policy

Internet Privacy

 

Social Media is new and has honestly throw a monkey wrench into how we all operate and live. Organizations I believe were caught unaware more than most because of the quick adoption rate of social media by all. Now with Social Media quickly advancing into how we think and live it is now pushing its way into how organizations operate.

 

Some organizations have barely adapted to the NEED for computers in the workplace, now there has to be an adoption of social media into the mix. Needless to say, this changes the workplace game substantially.  The growth of mobile devices are making it that much harder to adapt to the usage of social media by the organizational masses.  Technology has literally outpaced the ability for the law, people and organizations to adapt policies and procedures at a quick enough pace.

 

There has been lots of discussion about demands for passwords of social media channels which is a violation of most social media channels terms of service.  In most cases it is against terms of service to disclose personal passwords at any time for any reason.  Additionally one must ask, is this really an adoption of an effective social media policy?

 

Social Media is not going anywhere soon so it would probably be a good idea to seriously look into the creation of effective and realistic social media policy.   Some steps that can be taken to move in the right direction:

 

  • Read a good Internet Law book. Keep in mind that by the time an Internet Law Book is published the laws are already old and may be obsolete. However this will give you a great background on what your rights are.
  • Create a Social Media Committee, this will allow you to compare notes with people and brainstorm.
  • Open the lines of communication, this allows the ability to find out how people are using social media.
  • Consult with an Internet Law Professor or attorney because they are usually very familiar with the latest laws.
  • Write a reasonable social media policy and enforce it accordingly.

 

We should all keep in mind that technology has grown at such a quick rate of speed that Laws have not been able to keep up with its growth. I don’t anticipate the rate of technology growth slowing down anytime soon so I can’t visualize laws catching up any time soon. So I would suggest when thinking about social media and your demands that you be realistic and exercise some common sense.

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