Posts tagged ‘digital’

April 30, 2011

Social Media Profession Saturation?

Is the profession of social media becoming competitively saturated?

Early adoption of social media led to great communicators becoming industry leaders as social media professionals.

Communicational icons, such as Amber Naslund, Brian Solis, Paul Barron and Chris Brogan sprinted out of the gate, blazing a new industry called social media.

As the growth of social media has exploded, giving rise to official professional associations such as Social Media Club and educational programs such as “boot camps” and Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Strategies Certificate, leaders in this industry – the true professionals – have eschewed monikers such as “guru”, distancing themselves from too-narrowly focused “ninjas” and those out for a quick buck.

In a conversation last week with a significant franchisee of Papa Murphy’s Pizza brand (with tens of locations and direct corporate HQ relationship), it was shared that they are approached three or more times a week by so-called social media professionals, offering to “build them a Facebook fanpage”. The franchisee laughed in frustration, stating they had established a strong gate-keeper, because nearly all of these approaches were unable to provide the metrics ability businesses require.

On another front, the critique of traditional public relations and marketing firms was heavy over the last few years – that they didn’t “get” social media. With these traditional communication providers unable to advantage social media for their clients, the clients turned to either outsourcing or handling it themselves. As recently as December 2010, I was approached by a national public relations firm seeking a statement of Chalkboarder’s social media abilities – that they could subcontract for the benefit of their clients. Many of these communication firms have now put serious investment into gaining that social media knowledge in the last 18 months.

My question is this: as traditional public relations and marketing firms increasingly offer skilled social media services to their clients, does this reduct the opportunities for other talented communication/social media professionals? Are brands going to return to their public relations/marketing firms that they have had prior relationships with and eschew social media professionals that “got it” early on? Is the industry becoming crowded? Is there value to membership in a social media professional association like Social Media Club versus more traditional associations like the American Marketing Association or Public Relations Society of America?

An additional question would be – how can brands determine the true reach and effectiveness of social media service providers?

Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO – Chalkboarder

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December 19, 2010

Presenting in the Ignite Style

A Different Way to Present Concept


This past month, I was invited to participate in Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference Ignite presentations. Having never presented in the Ignite style, I decided to research effective methods of communicating in this presentational mode.

For those of you who have never done nor seen an Ignite presentation, it works like this. Presenters get five minutes for their topic and provide twenty powerpoint slides. The slides are assembled into one combined presentation and they auto-flip every fifteen seconds.

This means, as the presenter, that you can’t control the advancing of your topic slides – they change every fifteen seconds. Talk about presenter pressure! I already knew that I wanted to talk some smack to the USA restaurant industry and did some research through Google and YouTube on effective Ignite presenting skills.

The key lessons I learned from this research (which caused me to chuck my first draft) were these:

  • Go thematic. When preparing your presentation, stay in a generalized topic, meaning, don’t try to push a lot of details.
  • Use imagery. The slides are there to reinforce what you are speaking too.
  • Put tiny clues into your slides to keep you on topic; maybe one or two trigger words.
  • Be a storyteller. Structure your five minutes like you were telling a story to peers at happy hour.
  • Stay away from a bulletized presentation style.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of bright lights when you practice. Don’t worry about messing up – in fact, what counts is your ability to recover if you get stuck.

Here is the Youtube video of my Ignite presentation at PSU’s Digital Marketing Conference 2010. I planned my target audience to include social media, as a way to get exposure for Chalkboarder. Mind you, by mid-way through my presentation, my microphone hand was noticeably shaking. It had been nearly thirty years since I was on a stage that size with lights that bright.

Another of my favorite presenters from the day…

Paul Ting: Add Some Australianisms to Your Social Media

I want to give props to everyone who organized and ran Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference, especially those involved in producing the Ignite Series. They all worked supremely hard to deliver professional results.

Here are all the other links to the Ignite presentations from that day:

Jennifer Wakayama: Ugly Kitchen Contest
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Andy Van Oostrum: A Planning Framework for Personalization
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Don Bourassa: Location Based Services for Great Advertising
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Kim Stetson: Digital Organization
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Mary Nichols: Social Media for Product Development
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Matt Selbie: Customer Retention & Marketing
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David Smith: Convert Listening to Revenue
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Taylor Ellwood: Imagine Your Reality Business & Social Media
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Charlie Levenson: Everything I Learned About User Experience
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Bret Bernhoft: Free Tools
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Ayleen Crotty: Customer Superstars
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Jennifer Hancox: Digital Marketing for Restaurants & Bars
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Jeff Simmons: Grassroots Marketing Through Social Media
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Lydia Smith: One Path, Many Ways: The Camino Documentary
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Siouxsie Jennett: Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads
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Mark Brundage:  Building Communities to Create Growth
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Mark Wills: Everything You Need to Know About SEO
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Kent Lewis: A Path to Retirement Using Social Media
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Kate Ertmann: 3D Trends Marketers Need to Care About
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Rhiannon West Chamberlain: Social Media & Travel

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Everyone did a fantastic presentation. I believe for most, it was our first Ignite experience.

October 11, 2010

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It takes two to tango is an idiomatic and well-worn expression in the United States. Often spoken when describing personal relationships, it is also used to describe peer or business relationships. As brands have jumped on the social web express, how many have signed contracts with or hired web community managers and assumed that these individuals or outsourced providers can take the ball and run with it, without support?

We’ve learned at Chalkboarder that some clients are a “bear” to fully collaborate with. It seems no matter how many times a week we seek raw content from these clients, it’s damn difficult to get collaboration. The reasons are varied, of course. Some clients are simply so busy managing day-to-day operations that social community management and content production is a big after-thought.

Other clients have assumed that, since they have a community manager, that’s all they need.

I’ve spoken with other social web managers who’ve experienced this as well. One, a mentor and friend, recently told me one of her clients cut short the relationship, stating that they were going to do it on their own. My friend described to me how the former client had, in her estimation, only used her minimally, despite repeated requests for raw content and collaboration.

If you’ve hired a web community manager, are you giving them all the tools and ingredients they need to do outstanding work for you? Take a look at this – don’t assume that just because you hired a manager that the social media show is a wrap. Hiring a web community manager without providing collaboration and raw content is a lot like a restaurant hiring a talented chef into a well equipped kitchen, but then not supplying food ingredients for them to work with.

If you truly desire to take advantage of the social web, you have to provide good quality raw content to your community manager. Better yet – flood them with good raw content. They’ll generate wildly distinctive and effective dialogues, build communities and drive sales if you do.

I’m curious how many other web community managers struggle with this?