Posts tagged Brian Solis

What Does Your Audience Want?

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What does your audience care about? In “Lost & Found: The Next Generation of Alumni Donors,” Fran Zablocki looks specifically at alumni and why many of them don’t give. But his suggestion–focus on what interests them, not on what you think is important–hold true far beyond the world of alumni associations and university development.

Brian Solis talks about how “Social media is about social science not technology.” He points out that too many marketers don’t ask their audience about what they want, or how they benefit–which means that too many marketers are making decisions based on guesswork, not data.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that tablet ownership among college students has more than tripled, and that in a sharp reversal of last year’s results, they prefer electronic texts to print editions. So is this a new trend? And how if you’re in the business of producing materials for college students, what do you do about it?

And it’s not just college students. Encyclopaedia Britannica is no more–at least, in its traditional print format. People want instantly updated information at their fingertips, and there’s no way to provide that in print–plus, at more than $1,300 a set, it’s something of an aspirational item. The only problem is that fewer and fewer people are aspiring to it.

So what does your audience want? And are you sure?

Get Pinned!

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Still interested in that Pinterest thing you’ve been hearing so much about? Here are some more places to find ideas about making it work for your brand.

“Pinterest Rivals Twitter in Referral Traffic”
If you’re wondering if there’s a point to all of this, check out Brian Solis’s post about Pinterest’s success in driving traffic and engagement.

“How Brands Can Get Involved on Pinterest”
Social Media Group has a few how-to tips that may come in handy, as well as methods worth exploring.

“Pinterest drives enormous blog and business success”
On {Grow}, Lauren Schaefer provides a case study of Pinterest success, including that careful balance of self-promotion, how-to, and outside ideas that fit the brand.

And a worthy repeat:
“Pinterest for Brands: 5 Hot Tips”
Mashable has some more suggestions: promote a lifestyle, use it like a focus group, crowdsource, run contests, and inspire your team. All of these have potential–but I’m repeating this one for #5, because all too often, that end of the equation is ignored.

Summer Reading (Social Media Marketing Edition)

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The Washington Post usually has a great list of books in a variety of genres. I’m not going to try to match that (although I’m really looking forward to the new Louis Bayard novel), but I do want to share some recent titles that I’ve found valuable. Each is by a thought leader in social media and marketing, and all of them are easy to read.

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman
As you might guess from the title, this book focuses on the importance of content. I think we can all agree that content is essential–without it, you’re literally talking about nothing. Handley and Chapman provide a valuable look at how to produce substantive content for a variety of platforms, from Twitter to podcasts and white papers. (Ann Handley: @marketingprofs; C.C. Chapman: @cc_chapman)

Engage by Brian Solis

There are two editions, so be sure you buy the new one. I have each, because I bought the first just before the second came out. Solis does a great job of explaining why transparency and trust are vital to the new marketing world, and provides valuable case studies about customer engagement. (@briansolis)

UnMarketing by Scott Stratten
Great book. Stratten just might rule the Twitterverse, and here he provides insight into how every point of contact is important. I’ve long said that the saying ought to be “You only get one chance to make a last impression,” and I’m pretty sure Stratten would agree with that. His book really demonstrates why seemingly inconsequential encounters make a difference, and why “business as usual” just may lose customers. (@unmarketing)

Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard
I’m in awe of this book. Blanchard doesn’t just focus on ROI, although wow, will you learn about that. He also provides a social media primer that is a great reference for newcomers and a refresher for those of us with experience. Suggestions on how to develop social media training for your organization, how to persuade reluctant managers to buy in, and more–this book has a wealth of information. Buy it! (@thebrandbuilder)

World Leaders and Social Media

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Recently, Brian Solis wrote an interesting post about world leaders and social media. A couple of thoughts:

I agree that there’s a need for both a personal account and an institutional account. This is true for much more than politics–we’ve seen it play out in the business world, but higher ed could learn from it as well.

It’s a good idea to have fun with it. Not everything has to be A Serious Big Deal.

But one thing I do question, and that’s Solis’s discussion of “Twitter Diplomacy.” I get the idea, but I also see how it is a really tricky subject. Do you unfollow a leader or office when international relations change? What are the geopolitical ramifications of unfriending a fellow head of state? There’s opportunity here, but there’s also room for tremendous hazard.

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