• Why Good Trumps Great: The Evolution of Business

    If I could call this post a manifesto, I would. And, perhaps it is just that. This mini manifesto is written for all business owners and at-heart entrepreneurs. This past weekend, I attended a dinner hosted by good friend and colleague Suzanne Falter Barns. Tim Kelley spoke at the dinner about the old vs. new paradigm of business, and the thirty of us present chimed in. The main message: Greed is Out. Purpose is In. The businesses of the past focused solely on growth. But, today’s landscape is different. Growth is a small percent of what makes a company truly great. A small company can rule supreme (in terms of profits and brand loyalty). Bigger is no longer better. Better is. Umair Haque, blogger for the Harvard Business Review (and my recent professional crush!) wrote this: “Hypercompetition — and hypercollaboration — is accelerating. The people formerly known as consumers are now your peers. Regulators have a keener eye and a longer arm. Stakeholders went from being hippie pacifists to shark-toothed activists. In this world, mere innovation and “strategy” are commodities. Globally, naked consumption must transition into durable investment. Meaning is the new cornerstone of advantage: Does what you produce actually…

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  • 7 Ways to Make an Event More Memorable

    Just got back yesterday from speaking at the Social Business Bootcamp in Dallas. See me smiling in the picture? It was a great event, and it got me thinking about what makes an event truly memorable. Event planners and conference hosts, take note. 1) Don’t overlook a great MC. A Master of Ceremonies is often an afterthought for many events, but the MC sets the mood. And, a good one makes the whole event better. Couch surfing Ori was the MC yesterday and his humor really helped the audience relax. A good MC will make the speaker’s job easier. 2) Loan out video (point and shoot) and digital cameras to the participants. At the end, collect them back and put the content online. It is a great way to engage the crowd and see the event from many perspectives. 3) Choose a Twitter hashtag beforehand. Make sure all the participants know what it is and encourage them to use it before and after the event – not just during. This is a great way to see what someone remembers a week -or even a month -from the event. 4) Give all participants a copy of the agenda. On the back…

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  • Why No One Will Fan Your Facebook Fan Page

    Let’s face it. Your fan page is the equivalent of the party in college that no one wanted to attend.  Sure, your mom and best friend may be your fans. They may fan your auto shop or financial services consulting page on Facebook. But, for the most part – no one else will. People Fan Pages Based on Their OWN Identities. I learned this lesson in graduate school while researching for my thesis. People don’t join groups or fan pages because of you or what you offer. They join because of them. Facebook is the ultimate mirror. We create profiles that reflect who we are as human beings. We fan pages based on how they fit into our image of ourselves. See yourself as a neighborhood proud soccer mom? You will probably fan the local farmer’s market page. See yourself as a technology and book lover? You will probably fan the Kindle. Understanding how people fan pages will help you get more fans. No One Loves Your Business THAT Much. If you aren’t Coca Cola or Mac – the chances are that people won’t flock to your fan pages. Your brand may not be what people identify with on a…

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  • How to Build Offline Relationships with Bloggers

    I recently had the pleasure of being invited to a dinner party hosted by Bing – yes, the search engine. Bing invited 13 Dallas bloggers to a great Dallas restaurant to demonstrate their search engine. I’ve attended a few events where companies strive to connect with bloggers. Tres Generaciones did a good job, and so did Bing. In fact, we (at the Marketing Zen group) have also hosted events on behalf of clients who want to connect with key local influencers. I find that all these events have five key elements. 1) FOOD. Is there anything more universally pleasing? Food is a great incentive to attract people. Good food gets people talking. And really good food makes them want to stay. What can I say? If you want bloggers to take time out of their busy schedule and attend your event, be sure to have food. (I hate eating in the car.) 2) Enable Networking. I loved the fact that Bing demonstrated their search engine but allowed us plenty of time to connect with each other. I finally met Cali Lewis (great gal – and we both live in the same neighborhood!), re-connected with Zane Aveton, and met some great…

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  • What Parents Must Know about Kids and Social Media

    I usually speak on social media as it relates to marketing, but I often run into parents who ask me how they should handle social media as it relates to their kids. So, I wanted to share a few tips. Now, I am not a parenting expert. I don’t have kids yet (unless you count Snoopy the dog). But, I do know a fair amount about social media. And, high school isn’t (yet) a distant memory. Here is what I think parents MUST know about social media. 1) Admission Counselors are Looking. Heck – camp counselors are looking! I know employers are looking – I speak to them on a regular basis. You have to explain to your kids that their status updates are not for their friends’ eyes only. You have to teach them that a diary is personal. The internet is not. Kids these days (for the most part) are smart. They know perception matters. They just don’t know WHO is accessing their profile. And, don’t let them comfort you with a “it’s private mom!” Privacy settings on social networking sites are notorious for glitches. And, remember the six degrees to Kevin Bacon joke? It still applies. More…

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  • Google Buzz? That Stings!

    After tons of emails asking me about my thoughts on Google Buzz, I thought I’d share them here. Google Buzz is a VERY bad idea. Why? 1) Google should stick to what they do best – SEARCH. They could have focused on making their search better (especially with Bing at the heels). They could have indexed Facebook and Twitter so well that people used Google to find their friends to connect with on Facebook. But it didn’t. It focused on social networking. 2) Facebook should NOT allow Google access to its content. David Coursey made some excellent points about this in his PC World article. 3) Google could be in serious trouble for breaking privacy policies. People use gmail! Lets use that information to create a social networking site. Bad move. A lot of people didn’t appreciate an “instant” social network using email contacts. Email contact base does NOT equal social media base. My prediction – Google Buzz will cause a lot of buzz (pardon the pun), but then fizzle. Could I be wrong? Of course. In which case, I’ll be happy to show you how to use Google Buzz. For now, Facebook has my vote when it comes to…

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  • How to Navigate the New Facebook Design

    Screencasts and videos online

  • Can Entrepreneurship Change the World?

    There are plenty of opinions on where our economy is headed – not just in the US but globally. How do you save the world? Seth proposes being a linchpin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?). Umair Haque argues we don’t need to be great, but good. We should focus on socially responsible entrepreneurship. I recently got an invitation to speak at the honorable St. Gellan Symposium in Switzerland. The topic? Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change. Tomorrow, I leave for Indiana to go speak to the bright students at Culver. On what else? Entrepreneurship. What will I tell them? Yes, entrepreneurs have changed the world since the beginning of modern civilization. Perhaps even before that. (I sense a  “even a caveman can do it”  joke.) I will tell them my story about how I became one. And, I will share with them these five key points about Entrepreneurship – 1) Ideas aren’t worth much. EXECUTION IS! Ideas are a dime a dozen. Dreamers are a dime a dozen. The true power lies in execution. No matter how brilliant the idea,  if you cannot implement it – it doesn’t mean much. 2) Invest in Education. Education doesn’t have to be conventional. It does…

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  • Time Spent on Social Media Sites is up 82% – Twitter and Facebook Lead the Pack

    According to a study by The Neilsen Company, consumers spent 5.5 hours on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009. Just three years ago, the average consumer spent 3. Key points from the study – – The most popular online categories, in order of popularity, are: Social networks, blogs, online games, instant messaging. – Growth from Facebook (200%) and Twitter (368%)  trumped overall social networking growth. – Time spent on social media sites by an average US consumer went up 143% in a year. – US has the largest population of social media users (142.1 million), followed by Japan (46.6 million).

  • Twitter was NEVER a Social Networking Site – proof!

    Ha! I love it when I am right. *Happy Dance!* For years, I have been explaining that Twitter was never in the social networking business. It was in the human search engine business. It isn’t Twitter vs. Facebook. It was – and will be – Twitter vs. Google. Do I also smell an IPO in 2010? Good buddy and reputation management expert, Andy Beal, picked up something very clever in Biz Stone’s OpEd piece. Biz Stone is one of the founders of Twitter, and I had the pleasure of sharing the speaking stage with him this past year.  Very down to earth guy, but, I digress. Here is what Andy found… “It can be these things but primarily Twitter serves as a real-time information network powered by people around the world discovering what’s happening and sharing the news…In the new year, Twitter will begin supporting a billion search queries a day. We will be delivering several billion tweets per hour to users around the world…” A BILLION searches. Google currently handles around 400,000 million searches a day. Twitter will BEAT that. The coming decade will redefine not just the role of media – but media ITSELF. The King is Dead….

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  • So, You Want to be a Social Media Expert?

    Okay – here is the thing. Everyone is complaining about how many social media experts are popping up these days. I agree. It is indeed a little freaky to me when people who came to hear me speak two months ago and asked “what is tweeter?” are now social media experts on Twitter (pronounced correctly this time). I remember playing on Twitter when it was first released. There were like 3000 of us. This is pre-Oprah and pre-Kutcher of course. But, you know what? Just because we came early to the party doesn’t mean that the party is now over. But – it does mean you have to work harder! One of the reasons it was easy for some of us earlier players to establish our expertise and presence in the field was because well, we were IT! When 10 people are talking about social media in the world – they are all experts. When 10,000 start proclaiming overnight expertise, it gets tougher. So, here is what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to sit here and look down on the newcomers. 80% of them MAY just be jumping on board because they think its the “next hot…

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  • Beyond Blogging – A Great Read

    Let’s face it. If there was ever something to be said about blogging – it has been said. Well, maybe not everything. But, most of the time we hear more about blogging than the topic being blogged about. So, why am I endorsing and recommending that you get Beyond Blogging (affiliate link) by Nathan Hangen and Mike Cliffe Jones? Because they’ve collected the wisdom of top bloggers and distilled it into one place. Yours truly was humbled to be a part of this lineup – but seriously, this is an excellent list of bloggers – * Chris Brogan (who doesn’t love Chris and his blog?) * Gary Vaynerchuk (wine and personal branding GURU!) * Penelope Trunk  (a blogger who pushes the envelope and succeeds) * Chris Garrett (awesome blogger + humble soul) * Darren Rowse (one of the original bloggers) * Pete Cashmore (good looking? yes. also the force behind Mashable.) * Jonathan Fields (good buddy and super cool blogger) * Steve Pavlina (excellent writer and builder of communities) * Brian Clark (fellow Dallasite and ummm CopyBlogger!) and more…. I love the fact that it doesn’t matter if you are a new blogger or a pro – you will really…

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