moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.

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Social media needs to be social

This was originally posted over at theBrewRoom blog.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that social media is, in fact, social.  Every time that certain car commercial comes on (you know, with the rep reading tweets and their hashtags), someone in the room with me asks, “What’s a hashtag?”  It’s a link to all the tweets in the world with said hashtag.  Then the inevitable, “But…..why?”  So you can see what people are saying (and jump into the conversation, of course)!  We’re so focused on using the Internet to throw information out into the universe that we forget the best way to use it; no one wants to be talked at, they want to converse.  Social media, and the marketing that goes with it, is virtual word of mouth.  It’s a conversation.  There are peoplBill Lumberghe constantly talking with and engaging other people.  If you want your business to be successful, you need to engage as well.

Let’s say I work somewhere like “Office Space.”  I have 3-5 on any given day asking me to tweet something, usually a promotion.  Of course, they all think  their message is the most important one to disseminate (so it must be posted NOW).  Well, when you overload people with text and they aren’t getting anything meaningful out of it, guess what will happen to your message? It’ll get tuned out (or they’ll just unfollow you period).  Now, when Lumbergh comes back 5 minutes later to ask if anyone is talking about it, he’ll be let down because the answer is no.

Long story short: be social.  Show you care about the community that you’ve built:

  • Ask questions.
  • Answer questions.
  • Include comments when you retweet whenever possible.
  • If you need to promote services or events, do it in a way that’s natural and not pushy.
  • Mention people to get the conversation going if you have a piece of information that you think is of interest to them (just don’t be spammy; no one likes that).

And don’t forget to “listen” to the conversations.  It’s a two-way flow of information.  Don’t expect to get a response if you are not responding yourself.


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Things to remember when posting for your business

**Please note: this was first posted over on theBrewRoom blog.  You can check out the full post (and more) there!

Inspired by a list published on by Simon Dumenco, “9 Media Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated,” I hereby give you my list of 7 Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated When Posting For Your Small Business (or any sized business for that matter) on social media accounts.  Posting for your business can be tricky to navigate at first, but it gets easier with practice (and remembering these reminders).  Please note: there is no particular order because these are all important.  Well, except for No. 1.  That’s pretty important.

5. Henceforth, your posts shall only contain one punctuation character in a row.  I get that you’re excited, but use your words, not your exclamation points.  Exception: ellipses…

4. Henceforth, you shall not ramble.  The ratio of number of characters per post to percent of increased engagement varies between Ragan, Short Stack, and Linchpin SEO infographics, but they all will tell you that posts clocking in around 100-150 characters (3 lines of a Facebook update) see more interactions on Facebook.  Similarly, about 80-100 characters are ideal for a tweet.

3. Henceforth, you shall not post willy-nilly.  Everyone (yes, everyone) will tell you to make a schedule of posts and stick to it.  It’ll keep you organized, keep you on point, and ensure that you post essential messages without becoming overbearing (and annoying).

2. Henceforth, if you must automate posts, know who/what/where/when.  Don’t be the person tweeting your two-for-one BBQ Nite when something devastating (or joyful, but mostly devistating) happens.  Make sure you know what’s going where and when.  Try your best to make a quick change should you need to.

1. Henceforth, you shall be interested in others.  As John of YaJagoff will tell you, social media is losing the “social” aspect.  He’ll also tell you that you can get more people interested in you by showing interest in them.  Think about the last time you were faced to endure time with a “me” person.  It’s a turn-off, yeah?  Don’t be that person online.


Where is the love

Today I powered up Twitter to a see a feed full of tweets about Burger King’s twitter account being hacked.  A picture says a thousand words, so I’ll give you two:



McBurgerKing's Twitter Feed

McBurgerKing’s Twitter Feed

If you’re a high schooler, I’m sure you find this insanely hilarious.  I find it mildly entertaining simply because of the line “The Whopper Flopped.”  But that’s about where the humor ends.  Why is hacking accounts becoming so prevalent?  It’s like the new thing to do now that the secret about bath salts is out.  People hacking banks accounts, a business’s Twitter feed, even a knitting forum I have heard of has been compromised recently, resulting in stored information becoming vulnerable.

Is someone that bored they say, “I’m going to wreak havoc today”?  There are probably scores of people who are in really hot water from the compromised banking systems.  People at Burger King who are probably ready to jump off the building because of this PR nightmare that someone caused for giggles.  A knitter who’s identity got stolen from someone hacking a knitting forum?  Really?

Where is the desire to be a decent human being, to want to bring good into the world instead of breeding negatives?  I don’t understand how there are people out there working really hard to make a difference for the better yet someone is content to sit behind their computer and cause destruction like this.  Perhaps it is because my mind doesn’t function in a criminal way, but where do people get these ideas?  I understand that if someone is desperate enough, they’ll do anything to get what they want, be it money or a political message.  But where is the political message in the Burger King account.  I scrolled through some recent tweets and it just appears that someone is having a field day being ridiculous; I see no political content.  And it isn’t like there is a monetary amount to be gained from this directly in finding classified account information.  I just want to know: where is the love (and compassion)?

Although if this turns out to be a crazy marketing strategy for BK, great job; you succeeded in getting people to talk about your brand.  If not, get a job.

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Oreos, Twitter, and Power Outages: The Trifecta of Super Bowl Sunday

It wouldn’t be “Super Monday” if everyone didn’t throw in their two cents regarding the Super Bowl, its ads, and this year, the power outage.  Side note: who wants to bet that next year any gambling on the Super Bowl will include concessions for power outages?

When I logged into Ad Age this morning, I was expected to be met with a wall of ad recaps and I wasn’t disappointed.  What was going to start as a disgruntled post about how most of the ads were lackluster and,”If I was going to spend $4 million on a 30-second spot I’d want a little more pizzazz” changed into a “Holy bejeezus, check out the power of social media” post.  During the power outage in New Orleans, the smart marketers jumped to create real-time ads via Twitter.  Nat Ives, Rupal Parekh and other Ad Age staffers compiled companies’ Tweets during the power outage.  In their article, “Marketers Jump on Super Bowl Blackout With Real-Time Twitter Campaigns,”  they write about Oreo:

“Power out?” Oreo posted to Twitter. “No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet was retweeted 10,000 times within one hour.

In the Super Bowl of ads, Oreo wins at life.  10,000 retweets in an hour.  An HOUR.  And it cost Oreo basically nothing because they used the internet.

The Oreo graphic was “designed, captioned and approved within minutes,” according to Sarah Hofstetter, president of the cookie brand’s digital agency of record, Dentsu-owned 360i. All the decisions were made in real time quickly because marketers and agency members were sitting together at a “mission control” center, or a social-media war room of sorts, at the agency’s headquarters in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. Among those who were there were two brand team members from Oreo, and nearly a dozen creatives, strategists, community managers and social-media listeners.

While Oreo isn’t the only brand to jump aboard the Twitter train–Tide, VW, Audi, Speed Stick, and Bud Light got a piece of the action–its effort was impressive.  Granted, everyone was whipped into a frenzy and wanted to take advantage of thousands of Tweeters making Bane jokes.  Tide created a graphic that looked similar to an ad, but in my opinion, Oreo took the cake–er, cookie on making it look like they took time and put the ad together days prior just in case something like this would happen.  Oreo pulled together an advertisement that stuck with the brand’s personality and was consistent with the other efforts put forth by the company.

This is why you need someone on stand-by in case you need to create an ad, get approval, and disseminate it in a matter of minutes.  This is also why brands need to harness the power of social media.  It is quick and cost effective.  You can have a two-way conversation with customers or broadcast your brand’s message to thousands of users at once.  Social media is also a great barometer to check in on customer’s thoughts; a big part of social media advertising is using it as a tool to monitor reactions.

Last night’s effort during the Super Bowl highlighted the versatility of social media and the unpredictable nature that comes with the industry.  You work for months on a 30-second spot that you spend millions of dollars of the budget on and yet you get showed up by a simple Tweet and a cookie.

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Social TV-edia

The lines between virtual and reality are constantly being blurred.  It seems as if the only thing separating these two entities is a finely-erased line.  Every TV show has a badge in some corner of the screen with the proper “hashtag” to use while “live tweeting” about the show.  Just last night, the Food Network prompted the use of the tag “#Star” while @altonbrown (and the other team leaders whom I don’t follow..sorry Giada and Bobby..) updated followers throughout the premier with his (hilarious) insights on the episode.  Don’t get me wrong, I joined right in and showed my #TeamAlton spirit.

But it does give me pause for concern.  My (knock on wood) future career relies on people seeing an advertisement and talking about it.  There are just so many ways to talk about something.  If the joint use of social and traditional media is any indication, consumers want to talk about everything; this open discourse is important to consumers.  It’s evolved from using a phone with a real cord to call your friends after the episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to confirm your allegiance to Spike to picking up a smartphone to broadcast your displeasure over the “American Idol” vote to, literally, the world.

How does someone monitor all of these conversations?  And how do you respond to them?  They say that one negative review ensures that 10 people will hear about it and choose not to buy whatever it is that you’re selling.  But with social media and the rabid dissemination of all sorts of messages, that number is more likely to be some exponential integer.  In an article on the AdAge website, “CW’s ‘Twitter Party,’ or the Upfront’s Hinging on Social,” CW’s VP of integrated sales and marketing, Alison Tarrant reflects:

CW was careful not to bombard fans with irrelevant or aggressively promotional content […] You have to be very thoughtful and strategic about whether it makes sense for brands to play in social media. If users feel they can’t get anything of value, they will ignore the promotion or, worse, discuss their annoyance with friends and followers.

What does this mean for social media, and larger, traditional media?  Well, using social media to connect and extend the reach of traditional media will provide a closer connection to the brand, or so thinks Lisa Gurry, senior director at Bing.

So it seems that we’re stuck with the hashtag in the corner of the screen during any given episode that’s broadcast.  If this allows consumers to speak to exactly what they want, and takes some guess-work out of the advertising process, well then I’m up for the challenge.

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#WhiteGirlProblems and other hashtag fun

Let’s see how many 140-character statements we can make about #WhiteGirlProblems.  Yay Twitter for blogging inspiration.

  • Sephora doesn’t sell MAC cosmetics
  • This latte isn’t non-fat
  • These Uggs make my feet look ridiculous but they’re comfy
  • I want to be Adele’s best friend
  • What did I drink last night?
  • Oops, I did it again
  • I’ll talk to you again when your bo-ho, feather-wearing phase is over
  • Remember when it only took a few drinks to get drunk? Me neither
  • Remember what it was like to actually eat? Me neither
  • The problem with my boyfriend is that he’s poor
  • I don’t know whether I love you or hate you
  • I need a fat friend to make me look skinny when we go out
  • This celery tastes fattening
  • How many calories are in a skinny vanilla latte?

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The problem with the world

Here it is, folks.  Instead of working on stuff for my advertising class (group meeting in T-minus 3.5 hours and….yeah…moving on), I have figured out the problem with the world.  I haven’t figured out the meaning of life, though.  Give me a few more minutes.

The problem with the world is that we, as a culture/nation/what have you, glorify people who do not deserve it.  I mean, Snookie has a book.  An actual book with her name on the cover.  Apparently, she knows how to write.  Coulda fooled me.

As well, I follow @SororityProblem (Sorority Girl Problems) on twitter.  This mystery author released a “book” available only in electronic form.  From what I can gather, it’s filled with entirely unrealistic stories about college.  It begins with  a short trip down memory lane, her calling her life “tequila-soaked” and continues to say that she was suspended for three days in high school for showing up with a traveling mug of white wine.  Did I mention she’s 18?  Ahh, memories….?!

I am not, nor have I ever been, in a sorority.  But it’s things like this “book” that give girls A) unrealistic expectations about college and B) make them think that if they aren’t drinking and dressing like a hot mess and doing Lord knows what else, that they will not be accepted by their peers.  Granted, this is a generalization, but I have a feeling that a lot of impressionable high school girls think that this actually happens in college.  I mean, the cover has spilled wine and crushed pills on it.  What kind of  message is this sending!? You don’t need to “buy” friends, binge drink, or turn yourself into a slut to make guys like you or to make girls want to hang out with you.

Anyway, the fact that trash  like this gets published is what is wrong with the world.  We are glorifying the wrong people.  Does anyone read Jane Austen anymore?