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No “More” Marketing

We (consumers) are in an era that Jay Baer calls an “invitation avalanche.”

Think about it. Every where you turn you’re being invited to follow, friend, find, like, or share not only company’s information, but friends and family too. Even when your mom puts a message on Facebook, it dilutes all the other messages that are being shared. Messages that marketers are trying desperately to get you to engage with.

Marketers today not only have to compete with other businesses, but with everyone else that is sharing information. Not just on Facebook, but all social and email platforms. At lets face it, consumers go to great lengths to not encounter “marketing.”

How Do You Get Marketing Messages Seen?


Certainly not with “more.” Can’t we all agree that we don’t need to read more tweets, more Facebook updates, or more emails. What we (marketers) need is relevance. Or another way to say it is, helpfulness.

Case in point: Geek Squad. They have posted hundreds of “how to” videos on their Youtube Channel. These videos teach the exact things they charge customers for.

“Aren’t they giving away their business” you ask.

Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, was speaking at a conference a while back when a   member of the audience asked “Robert, you guys are in the fixing business, yet you’ve got all these videos that show people how to fix stuff without you. How does that make business sense?”

Robert responded with humor but dead on. He said “our best customers are the people that think they can fix it themselves.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve certainly paid for services like Geek Squad because I thought I could handle the project myself, but then quickly realized I was out of my depth of knowlege.

“Friend of Mine” Marketing

Your content should be so compelling that your audience allows your brand in their inner circle. Jay calls this “Friend of Mine” marketing. Meaning the content you’re producing is so relevant, that once your  target audience needs help, they are not going to “Google a company”, they’re going to call you. After all, they’ve watched your instructional videos, read your blogs, and downloaded your whitepapers—all of which were helpful to them.

Remember though, it’s not a quick close. Being useful in social media and content marketing is all about the long game.


Inspiring the next generation of web developers

Mediacurrent would like to extend an outstanding offer to local University students looking to major in technology, graphic design, or a web-based industry.

On October 27th, 2012, the 4th Annual Drupalcamp Atlanta is taking place at the Cobb Galleria Centre. We would like to sponsor up to 10 college students interested in attending. This event draws over 400+ Open Source developers, designers, and key IT decision makers from around the Southeast. 

Drupal is an open-source, community-driven, web-based content management system powering sites such as:, and Students can learn about the most essential features and concepts of Drupal through hands-on activities. By the end of the day they will be familiar with Drupal terminology and be able to identify how many Drupal sites are constructed. 

Everything learned at this event will help better position them to potential employers—possibly even help land a paid internship. Currently in the Atlanta area there are close to 100 Drupal jobs being advertised!

Any students interested should email adam[dot]waid[at]mediacurrent[dot]com for more information.


She’s acquired numerous nicknames over the past few months. Lady Grace. GracieBelle. Lovey. Amazing Grace. “SweetGracieGirl,” from my son.

I call her, a blessing.

Building Your “Social Playlists” (Part 1)

I recently gave a presentation at the National Sales and Recruiting meeting at MATRIX.  For years I’ve worked with this group on how to find potential clients on social media. Not just how to find them, but how to effectively engage with them.  It’s not rocket science, but I would say it’s an “art form.” Strategically, yet relationally, building a trusted partnership with prospects using social media.

This year, my presentation centered around the theme of “getting organized.”

Let me tease out an analogy for you.

Most everyone reading this post has an iTunes (or some sort of MP3) library. We spend numerous hours and countless dollars downloading our favorite songs.  Studies show that the average iTunes library is roughly 7,000 songs.

We don’t listen to each of those songs every day, rather we have specific times of the day where only a certain type of song will do.  So, we build playlists.

We have our “gym mix,” our “driving with the windows down mix,” even our “My day deserves a glass of wine mix.”

We organize them so we can quickly find the type of song we’re looking for, the moment we need it.

Whether you’re in sales, leading a marketing department, or are a job seeker, you can apply these same principles to your social connections that you would to your iTunes library. Organizing them around your specific “target markets” so you can quickly find those connections when you need them.

Building Your Social Playlists.

How big is your social library? If you’re an avid social media participator, I’d bet between LinkedIn and Twitter your connections are well into the thousands.

How do you know if you’re connecting with the right audience, or if you’re just building a network full of (cough) “internet marketers”? You might have an impressive list of social connections but if they’re not in your target market, then you are simply wasting your time.

But Adam, how do I know if the connections I’m building are poised for not just good relationships, but are on their way to qualified leads for my business?

Ah, good question, and I’m going to pull a Ryan Seacrest, and say, “we’ll find out, after the break.”

In my next post, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how you can organize your LinkedIn and Twitter connections. Putting them into “social playlists” that will enable you to, not only quickly find them, but also give you an indication if your connections truly will help bring in a ROI for your business. Or if you just have a large network full of “noise makers.”

“Don’t touch that dial.”


I’m not sure I can capture how proud I am as the dad of a sweet little girl, but they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

13.1 Miles

After the race with some friends.

Well, I did it.

On Thursday I laced up my shoes, ate some peanut butter and banana toast, then headed down with some friends to Turner Field and ran the Thanksgiving Half Marathon.

Overall my experience was good. My time was right around 1:52, which I was pleased with.

Below are my observations, complaints, and praises of the entire day.

  • Praise – The volunteers were amazing. A big Thank You to those who gave up their Thanksgiving morning to help the day go smoothly.
  • Praise – Race Shirts – love them.
  • Observation – The entire race felt like I was running up hill. I have nothing to compare it to since it was my first half, but I felt like I ran at an incline the entire time.
  • Praise – For me, I desperately needed the “power jelly beans” on mile 8. My body was hitting a wall and that touch of sugar and sour taste helped take my mind off of the hills.
  • Complaint- Marta – Since they didn’t accommodate the runners as well, it caused traffic to pile up on 75/85 like it was a holiday rush hour.
  • Complaint – The after-race food. Though I knew I was about to stuff my face with turkey and dressing, I was hoping the after-race food would be more appealing. I guess I was expecting a party =)

Even with the complaints, I really enjoyed the day, run, and even the time sitting in traffic with my friends.

Also, I’ve very proud of @marvelissa who trained with her daughter and ran her first race ever.

Takeaways from #SocialFresh. Social Media Atlanta Week – 2010.

Thanks to Bob Kennedy from ExactTarget, I was able to get into the afternoon session of the sold-out SocialFresh meeting (part of Social Media Atlanta Week).

Main topic of discussion: Facebook.

I still think many companies roll their eyes when they hear that Facebook is one of the best tools for business. To all you eye-rollers, that’s fine, the rest of us will connect with your customers. (At least for the next five years).

Case-in-point – Chick-fil-a.

Not only one of the best designed Facebook pages I’ve seen, but they truly interact with their audience. They have their “corporate” page (actually founded by a fan), but they also have local restaurant fanpages. I don’t think I’ve met anyone that is “lukewarm” about Chick-fil-a. They either love it, or don’t. So for them, interacting locally on Facebook with their “fans” is really paying off.

Me and My Son trying the Spicy Chicken. I reserved mine through Facebook. Then promoted through Twitter. May 2010

Corporately it’s paying off too. Most of their marketing for the Spicy Chicken Sandwhich was done through social media. I don’t have the exact number, but over 1 million people “reserved” a spot to go into a local restaurant and try the new sandwich. 1 million people made reservations at a FAST FOOD joint! (Myself included.) Tell them that social media doesn’t work . .

Moving on  . . .

Other takeaways:

  • Facebook is going public in 2012.
  • Don’t use for shortening URLs (guilty). It’s an open site. So just putting a + after any URL shows all of the clicked information. Try it. Copy this url – – put it into your brower, then but a + right after and hit enter. (Thanks to Yvett Evans from Vitrue for that insight).
  • Studies show that campaigns that start on Facebook perform better if you drive the audience to another page on Facebook. So, instead of creating ads that then drive the audience to your website, drive them to a uniquely created tab on Facebook. – Thanks to @justinkistner for that insight.
  • Engagement life of targeted campaigns on Facebook – two weeks.
  • Companies are modeling their websites after social media. More social. More interaction. Which wasn’t cutting-edge news to me, but it’s good to hear. If you think about it, 90% of websites are one-way communication. But, allowing your audience to interact with your brand on your website is key. Especially if and when social media starts to lose it’s hype.

The afternoon ended with a great panel discussion (Vitrue, Graco, and Webtrends) on the use of Facebook for business.

From Left to Right.

Erika Brookes is the vice president, marketing for Vitrue.

Kelly Voelker Public Relations and Social Media Manager, Graco Children’s Products.

Justin Kistner is the Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing for Webtrends

My Interview with “The Job Stalker”

Through a series of Twitter interactions I met Brendan Tripp, a marketing and communications professional in the Chicago area. Brendan writes a regular blog series titled “The Job Stalker” where he shares helpful resources about for those that are looking for a job.

Recently, Brendan highlighted MATRIX as a company job seekers should get to know on Twitter. And for those that don’t know I am the “voice behind the M.” You can read the full interview where we discuss the job market, social media, and networking here:

“How Do You Know She’s a Witch?” . . . “She Looks Like One!”

Social Media. Social Media. Social Media!

There. Let’s get it out of our system.

Nowadays companies love to throw a social media “phrase” into the mix, sometimes completely unrelated and out of the blue. Much like the peasants in Monty Python (watch the scene here). trying to dress up a witch, companies throw up a Facebook page and declare they are now on social media.

Yes, SM is great. But I say it all the time, it’s not the “Holy Grail” of marketing.

More importantly than creating a Facebook Page or jumping onto twitter, is looking at how SM can fit into your overall marketing strategy. More specifically let’s talk about the “customer experience.”

In some companies the “customer experience” is managed by a completely different department. But at MATRIX we talk a lot about it in our marketing meetings. After all, the marketing department should be helping with your branding, and the customer’s experience is going to brand you. Good or bad.

Because Social Media was the “buzz” of 2009, companies every where were throwing up SM positions and targeting recent college grads to start tweeting.

I understand that SM its new territory and companies were unsure about it’s “value,” but one thing that was failed to realize was SM, if done right, plays a HUGE part in your customer experience.

So, let’s back up. What do you do? How can you ensure that SM fits into your overall strategy, and guarantee that it provides a great experience for your customers?

  1. Make sure your SM team knows your brand! It’s easy to tweet or create a Facebook page, but does the person behind it know your brand to the core? Better yet, do they know your target audience.
  2. Train your team on “best practices.” How should they respond to a complaint? Or to a question they don’t know? – For Heaven’s sake, don’t just say “I don’t know. . .”
  3. Engage them in the discussions about your marketing strategy. The SM team should know what the overall goals are. Brainstorm ways that SM can fit into and help achieve those goals. Basically, make sure they know where the company is going.
  4. Incorporate SM efforts into your CRM strategy. If your SM team deals directly, even as much as a RT from a client or customer, it needs to be documented. You want to ensure that the rest of the company knows there was an interaction. Especially if there was a complaint. If you customer complains on social media, they shouldn’t have to then talk on the phone with someone that has no idea about the complaint.
  5. Encourage them to “look deeper.” This is probably the most vague point, but don’t just settle for the status quo. Encourage them to  look deeper at the stats. What are the trends, what does your audience seem most interested in?

As you quest for your own Holy Grail using Social Media, keep in mind it all comes down to forming genuine, not illusory relationships. Providing a way to connect with your customer and ensuring that they have a good experience with your brand.

10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media

I recently read a blog post by Taddy Hall titled “10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media.” To be honest, when I first saw it in my google alerts I rolled my eyes thinking it was, yet another, “how to” on social media. Anyone else feel like the “blog-world” is saturated with those posts, that keep repeating the same information.

However, this post went deeper than just “listen first, then engage,” and explained in detail, using fresh analogies, the ins-and-outs on branding using Social Media.

To read the full article click here. But here are a few of my favorite parts:

The 1% Rule
In category after category, our data show that a small fraction of site visitors are responsible for a substantial portion of total site traffic. On average, the percentage of influential users (defined for our purposes simply as a visitor who’s subsequent sharing actions result in at least one additional site visitor) on a given site is 0.6% and rarely above 4%. However, these influencers regularly generate 20%-50% of total site traffic and an even higher share of conversion (defined however a site owner so decides). To make social media marketing effective, marketers have to identify and engage — and better recognize and reward — these super-influentials.

The Power of “Weak Links” Rule
Influentials generally do have many direct “friends” and “followers,” but what makes them truly valuable is the number and relevance of their extended or indirect connections. As Albert-Laszlo Barabasi illustrated in “Linked,” you are far more likely to find your next job through a friend-of-a-friend than through an intimate contact. These “weak links” matter in the “real world,” and they matter even more online. A critical implication for marketers is the need to track the extended social graphs of their content if they are going to be able to understand and activate the dynamics of influence.

The More Things Change Rule
Our research consistently demonstrates that e-mail and IM remain popular ways to share content. So don’t throw out your old e-mail marketing methods just because Facebook and Twitter are the newest communication platforms du jour. The tried-and-true methods of getting customers to share links via e-mail and IM are still extremely valuable sources of traffic. Furthermore, incorporating social elements into your e-mail, such as incentives to share, can dramatically enhance an investment you’re already making.

Finally, I really liked this last section on customer service. I think the best use of social media is when companies come out from behind their “corporate logo” and interact, transparently, with their customers. Personally, when I feel I’ve connected with a company I’m doing business with, I will be one of their “biggest fans” out on social media. And for those companies that don’t connect . . . . well.

The Customer-Service Rule
Social marketing programs succeed when they provide a service to the consumer. Traditional media-planing processes that begin with reach and frequency targets are largely unhelpful in social media. Reach and frequency — as well as engagement, preference and conversion — are positive consequences of giving consumers content that is sufficiently relevant and useful that they propagate your message across their own social graphs. Focus on providing useful content and offers to your target audience and they will spread your messages for you.

What are your thoughts?