Learning Social Media Engagement from CMO of Converse

Mashable published an interview of George Cottril CMO of Converse with an interesting title:

How Convese become the Biggest Little Sneaker Brand on Facebook

http://mashable.com/2011/05/04/converse-facebook/

Here are some quotes and tips:

The first suggestion  of Converse CMO was when he encountered 8million fans on Facebook he decided to be a passive listener by “doing nothing”. Its difficult for any marketer to “let it go”. To implement this advise, one has to accept the paradigm shift required in customer enagagement on Social media. He outlined his philosophy: “Our philosophy in social media has been to bring our voice to the medium, which includes acting like a good party guest — we bring something to the table, and we listen more than we talk.” This is  the same advise stressed by Groundswell authors, Charlen Li and Josh Bernoff. It is important to be listener on social media sites that trying to intercept and shape conversations.

One has to understand the pscycology of consusmers. The fans of any brand want to know about product and like offers but it is important to have  an emotional connection . George mentioned that his team is trying to be a good host for that connection for their brand. He emphasised the “two way communication aspect of the social media”

He emphasised trust, genuine tone, and respect are important aspect in social media engagement with the consumers.

Lessons for GoundSwell

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Charlen Li and Josh Bernoff, two leading analysts from Forrester, have written a wonderful book “GroundSwell” which opened up doors to master Social technologies to influence customers and learn from customers in the social media. This book covers from what is Groundswell, how to trigger and ride on the groundswell with a lot of practical tips and steps using case studies.

The authours defined Groundswell as : A social trend inwhich people use technologies to get the things they need from each other , rather than from traditional institutions like corporations. The rational behind the groundswell timing is:

1. People: People depend on each other. They share as well as influence each other

2. technology: Technology and its usage has eanbled people to connect and share with each other.

One should care about groundswell because it is a game changer for many professionals. For brand manager, its a threat because brand is no-longer depends on what and how you project but it is depends on how consumers interact and impress on each other. For a news media, its changing how the news are evolved and distributed.  The groundswell has changed the balance of power.

At the end of this book, the authors summarized the lessos that would help businesses to make social media transition:

1. Never forget that the groundsell is about person-to-person activity. This requires a level of emphathy with people(customers). Blogging, connecting in communities, friending – these are all personal activities and engagement needs to be at the personal level with personal tone.

2. Be good listener: This is an important tips to marketers who often think that they know all and their job is to talking to customers to educate them or impress on them. However, in social media engagement, “the best listeners will end up the smartest”.

3. Be patient: Social media initiatives and apps touch too many parts of enterprise businesses and transitioning in terms of people, process and tools takes time and patience.

4. Be opportunistic: Start with baby steps but have a grand vision in mind and surge with speed when there is a green light.

5. Be flexible: Groundswell is full of surprises. Events happen without your control. This requires groundswell thinking to constantly adjust and learn from the events.

6. Be collaborative: Work collaboratively with those with similar ideas in your company.

7. Be humble: In the social media world, the world power comes only to those who are humble.

These are vary fundamental principles, nothing to do with technologies or apps, but are basic practical tips for mastering social media for businesses.

When the State Department can focus on Social Media, why won’t businesses too?

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The US State Department’s Bureau of International information Program is focussing on Social Media Network. According to its PR on 28 Jan 2011 published on its website http://www.state.gov/r/iip/  the bureau recognizes that

  • The explosion of social media;
  • English no longer dominates the Web – more than fifty percent of web users speak a native language other than English, and site “stickiness” doubles when a web offering is in the language of the user.
Some interesting comments from its coordinator Dawn Macall:
She outlined following social Media engagement strategy:
1. Social media Focus: IIP will transition America.Gov to directly distribute content to the full range of social networks and existing 3rd party sites where audiences actually spend their time
2. Social media Engagement: Creation of a talent management unit to identify and recruit expert Americans as writers, bloggers, and speakers for IIP and American missions;
3. Social media Analytics of Audience: A new audience research unit, to provide research and analysis on audiences, channels, and use of IIP products.
Acoording to TheHill.com:

The IIP hosts training webinars on social media “best practices.”  Foe example: “We’re teaching people to write shorter, Chunky; chunk the information down.”

The America.gov site also revamped to enable  “two-way conversation between America and people in other countries,”.

so, when even the State Department understands the importance of social media engagement , how can businesses lag behind? Of course, they would surge into the Social Media engagement for their benefits both interms of out-bound messaging as well as actively listening feedbacks and ideas.

Does Paul Celiga Deserves 84% of Facebook?

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It may be possible that MarkZ had made an yet another grave mistake in 2003 in signing contract or sending this email to Pal Celiga about Facebook ownership. If the email is true and valid in legal terms, Celiga may claim 84% of Facebook. Wow! The last time I checked Facebook is valued 65billion. Now, keeping legality aside, do you think that Paul should get such a share or any share?

Vote if you want in this poll

http://linkd.in/i3CYtH

other wise comment on what do you think what is appropriate..

Security Breach beyond Emails now on Facebook

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The security attacks are common on internet and its an everyday threat. To protect from such attacks,consumers buy various ‘Virus Protection softwares’ to protect viruses / malwares landing on our computer. Since more and more people are using social networking sites the attackers are now invading those sites too. The attacks are centered around the concept of friending and sharing on social media networks.

For example, on Facebook, the attackers would send innocuous friends requests.  As Facebook is becoming so much popular that your friends from distant past, some business acquaintances, someone you just met in a conference, all those send you Friends request, you tend to accept the request without any due diligence. Of course, once you accept the friendship, you are opening a door for the attacker. The attacker can write on your page a message with some offer that has a link . This link can download a malware which can attack the computer of the attacker, steal passwords or contacts and start spamming. Or this can be an offer enticing the visitors to fill up information for a promise of a gift. The gift would not come, but the person may lose his privacy or worst if he enters any bank details, may lose money. There is another attack which many fears worst that is hijacking of the Facebook profile itself. Once you lose the access to your page, the imposter may use it to befriend with your friends and may steal more details about you or your friends.

Anyway, Facebook has started working on tagging such sites and may improve it’s security.

Some Tips from Facebook Security are:

  • Don’t click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails.
  • Remember that you choose what you share and with whom you share it.
  • Verify friends’ request to make sure that you are not friending with unknown.
  • Be suspicious of any email or message that contains an urgent request or asks you to update your information or provide new information.
  • Be suspicious of emails or messages that contain misspellings or use bad grammar, especially if they’re from someone who is usually a good writer.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date web browser equipped with an anti-phishing blacklist.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date comprehensive security software on your computer that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and a firewall.
  • Make sure you’ve listed a security question and answer for your online accounts.
  • Be wary of where you enter your password.
  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  • Use different passwords for your various online accounts.
  • Use a complex password that can’t be easily guessed.
  • For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/security

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    Its Profile Page that Facebook should worry about Not Just One-up Button

    Google yesterday unveiled One-Up (+1) button on search results to indicate your liking of the result. It’s opens up a lot for Google.

    1. Google can now improve the search results based on what users like. This can improve google’s aging ranking algorithm and would directly take on new entrants like Blekko who would like to provide user assisted search.

    2. Google would now profile users’ liking to understand more about the user . And very soon, you may see that Google improve targeted marketing based on the users behaviour.

    3. The most importantly, Google has just now threatened Facebook. Think about it. Once the usage of Profile page increases, Google would start unveiling features that would interate with videos, pictures and its emails. Slowly the Google profile would become a new Facebook. So, IMO, its the Profile Page that Facebook should worry about and not just the One-Up button.