Notable Advertising and Marketing Quotes

As with most people in the industry, we all have our opinions about advertising and marketing. That being said, I’ve been posting my thoughts about advertising and marketing on Twitter and other social platforms, but I realize I haven’t provided a central repository for all of my learnings, thoughts or observations.

So, here we go, here are some of the musing from the year to date. And of course, I’m interested in your feedback and thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with these ideas?

#SXSW 2012: Move Beyond the Check-In: Making Events Truly Social

A while back, I first viewed Amon Tobin’s new stage for his ISAM tour. It was an illuminating and innovative experience to view online. Yes, I am going to see him when he comes to Chicago in October to experience the projection mapping for myself. Yet, when I viewed it, I knew that it was so powerful and could not go unnoticed. I tweeted the video and got some amazing responses. One of the responses was from @mrrylln from our London office. This guy, is an amazing creative and witnessed the show himself out in the UK. He brought an amazing idea to the table. It was simple, how can you integrate social into something like that? Well, that got me thinking.

I wasn’t just thinking about projection mapping and social media, but events and social media with innovative technologies. We are reaching a period where users are starting to engage themselves with brands and locations rather than the other way around. How do we tap into that advocate power being marketers? These users who are checking into venues and are leaving comments about the experiences and by extension, building brand awareness for us.

Now, my question is, how do we take that check-in and make it worth something to the consumer? Well, it has to be valuable to the consumer, it has to be innovative to leave a mark, and it has to be engaging. I think that we have become pigeonholed into the simple check-in in social media. Check in here, then you get this. Incentive based check-ins have their place in the social ecosystem, but not to the point of consumer retention.

Another question is, can you buy friends, can you buy loyalty? The answer is no, you cannot buy loyalty. Loyalty, like trust, has to be earned and brands are not exempt from that. So, let’s push this forward a bit. Let’s move beyond the check-in and beyond a simple incentive.

Real-time engagement is the key; real-time engagement through innovative technologies. Let’s think of a concert. There is a band on stage and you have checked into the venue and that’s about it. You told your friends, both online and offline that you are there. Where is the engagement by the band? Perhaps they have a tweet to screen or a photo-to-screen technology set up? What if the band allowed you to vote during the show, via LBS, what the set-line up should be? And, what if, after the show, those who participated got the concert for free as a download? What if then, the band asked you to rate the show and share your experience or if the set line up worked? Or, what if the same type of line up occurred in Europe, from others voting and the band let you know after the fact? This is the type of real-time engagement I’m talking about here; taking the check-in by a consumer and doing something with it.

Recently, Foursquare announced they are offering event check-ins along with their location check-ins. Instead of checking into a concert venue, you are checking into the concert itself. This change was created by Foursquare after they observed all the check-ins by their users and noticed they were commenting on the event and not the location. This idea is brilliant and the next level of where event based social needs to go.

I submitted a SxSW panel topic called, Move Beyond the Check-in: Making Events Truly Social. This is line of thinking is what I will, hopefully, be presenting at SxSW 2012. I will be exploring new trends, technologies, consumer behaviors and ideas in event based marketing.

This is the new frontier. We, as marketers, need to take this relationship that the consumers form with the brands, onsite to online. We, as marketers, need to engage these consumers on behalf of the brand in innovative ways through technologies that offer value and excitement to the consumer. We, as marketers, need to retain the consumer long after the event is over. These consumers who are checking into events are the advocates that all brands are looking for, and we need to welcome them with open arms into the social community.

I have some wonderfully smart and creative people joining me on this panel from all over the industry. Vice President of Social Media, Heidi Skinner from Critical Mass will offer her unique insights into consumer loyalties and new technologies. Chief Creative Officer, Joe Sutter from GMR Marketing will bring his unparalleled experience in event-based marketing to the panel. And, Siobhan Quinn who is one of the original Product Managers at Forusquare. Her experience in location-based service is unquestionable.

Here comes the shameless plug. Please read my panel entry and vote for me to speak at SxSW. I firmly believe event-based social is the new frontier for marketers and the new way to interact with consumers. (Also, if you do vote for me, thank you!)

PS: A few others from Critical Mass have also submitted entries to SxSW and I invite you to check them out.

For the Chatty Community Managers:
Confessions of a Community Moderator
Workshop and interactive “confessional booth” including moderators for Converse, Peanuts, Humana and Aveda.

For the Statistically-Relevant and Uber-Accountable:
F**k Privacy: Neuromarketing is the Web’s Future
Panel, led by CM’s VP of Marketing Science, Shaina Boone, with contributions from the Chief Privacy Officer of Adobe and CEO of Next Stage Revolution.

For a Brand’s Strategic Moneymakers:
Social Commerce: The New Standard of Loyalty
Dual presentation from CM’s VP of Social Media, Heidi Skinner, and Social Commerce Today editor, Paul Mardsen.

For the Gadget Gods and Goddesses:
Consumer Goods: The Next Social Channels
Panel, prototyping contest and demo led by CM’s SVP Executive Technology Director, Scott Ross.

Include Social Media in your Brand Strategy

Branding your company is a big, arduous task. It’s not just a logo, it’s not your business cards, letterheads and advertising. What a lot of people and companies don’t understand about branding, is that your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what the consumers believe it is. It’s what the consumer feels about your brand. How do you communicate with your consumers to understand what they’re thinking, and how do to align their beliefs with your own brand strategy? Enter social media.

The term social media gets thrown about a lot, and social media strategy equally so. However, where does a social media strategy actually fit within your brand strategy? How do you leverage social media channels to effectively communicate with your consumers and how do you use social media to affect change within your brand strategy?

For starters, social media is a tool to reinforce your marketing communications pillar. It is not a separate entity; social media should enhance your marketing objectives and then your business strategy. Your business strategy aligns with the perception of your brand. This process is ever changing only because your consumers’ opinions are ever changing. What social can bring to the table is immediate, effective understanding and communications with your consumer base. Social is where you will find the most up-to-date brand opinion. This is important, vastly important to your brand, because you can decipher what your consumer believes, understand their concerns and with quick process, adjust the marketing communications to align your brand communications with the consumer’s perception.

Large words, I know. What is important to know is, consumer brand perception can and will change faster than marketing or brand channels can keep up with. Social offers a unique point of view of what’s happening in the eyes of the consumer and allows for rapid modification to marketing communications.

Picture this: Your brand launches a new product to market. This product is supposed to change the way people look at your brand. It’s meant to instill faith in your brand and some sort of positive, hopeful emotion. Now, let’s say there is a backlash against the product. Your product is either too expensive, insulting or just downright lame. Your consumers have an obvious opinion about this. Where do they go? They go where they spend the most of their time, Facebook and Twitter. Their opinion about your product is posted online, for their network, the network’s network, and the world to see. And with 90% of consumers trusting recommendations from people they know*, more consumers gravitate to the opinion and now you have a mess on your hands.

You have a Facebook fan page. The consumers post their discontent on your fan page’s wall. What do you do? Delete them? No! You respond respectfully and send the consumers’ opinions up the ladder to the marketing communications department. The marcom department, after dealing with problem at hand, should send it up to the business strategy arm. If you don’t have a business strategy arm, you should. Immediately, decisions should be made as to what to do with the information. It’s not a matter of how to stop this consumer belief from impacting your brand, because it IS your brand now. The matter is, how do you change it. Brand perception is no longer a top-down activity, it’s a bottom-up enterprise and social is your inroad to the perception. What you do, what you say, how your brand reacts on social will have an immediate effect, positive or negative to your brand. This process requires a new model of communication similar to that, which was introduced in the book, “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier.

New Messaging Platform

*From “The Brand Gap,” Marty Neumeier

One item of note, the brand and social “strategy” are not solid, concrete action plans. Think of them as an organic, living system that’s ever changing. People’s beliefs change and your brand will have to evolve along with.

Your social communication should have a clear, precise path to the decision makers in your company. If your decision makers can’t hear what your consumers are saying about your brand, then you have lost what little control over brand perception you had. Your consumers are speaking about your brand through your social channels to, what they perceive as, people who can change things. Why not send that message fast and direct? The longer you avoid a clear, established, path from social media to the brand decision makers, the longer it will take to recover, redefine, or reinforce your brand perception and ultimately, your bottom line.

*Econsultancy, July 2009

I Will Be Attending @SXSW Interactive

Big news! I’m heading to SXSWi next Friday and yes, I can barely contain my excitement. I will be there from the 11th-15th learning some new practices, introduced to new start-ups, engaging with technology, and hopefully meeting some amazing people. This will be my first time going to SXSW and my first time visiting Austin, TX.

I will be traveling with some coworkers from Critical Mass and we’re going to paint the town, intellectually speaking of course. Some of the sessions that I’m going to be focusing on are “Branding/Marketing” and “Social Graph.” It fits, right? I mean, I work in social media with a secondary passion in branding. (It’s going to be awesome!)

This event requires a lot of prep work. For starters, the schedule of sessions and events is large and full of, what sounds like, amazing content and lecturers. As I complied my schedule for the 5 days that will be down there, I came to realize that there is no possible way I can attend all the sessions. I had to be selective with the sessions I wanted, weigh the pros and cons, realize I can’t be in two places at once, so I had to choose the best session of the time. And it’s because of that, I believe this will be an extraordinary experience.

Another aspect of prep work that is requiring a lot of diligence is the travel. Yes, my flight and hotel are all taken care of, but when it comes to traveling in the Austin area, that may prove to be a bit more difficult. I found a shuttle service that runs from my hotel to the convention center. I think that might be the winner there. If that falls through, there are always cabs, right?

A while ago, I wrote a blog post about how I love working with and being around smart people. Here we go again and I can’t be more psyched! Not only am I heading down with some of the most talented and intelligent coworkers I’ve had the pleasure to work with, but we’re all going down to meet and learn from some of the most engaging and intelligent people from the nation and around the world.

So, what do I hope to take away from SXSWi? Well, I hope to learn more about social media and branding so I can bring that back that knowledge back to the team here in Chicago. I also hope to make industry connections, share my experiences, learn from others’ experiences, and overload my brain with knowledge and insights. The way I look at it, the more I learn and the more people I meet at SXSWi, the more I can offer my clients and Critical Mass. Professional development is something I don’t take lightly and it’s an ongoing process.

And then, there is the “fun” part of SXSW; the parties. I think I have triple booked myself for all of the evening parties. I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal. After all, my first priority is to learn down there and my last one is to rage it up all night. I’m thinking that I’m going to take the parties as they come and call an “audible” on the ground as they are not high priority in my book. However, I really want to attend the Mashable House — I heard that’s a killer party.

I depart for Austin on Friday and as I said before, I’ll be there until the following Wednesday. You can follow my travels and learnings by reading my tweets: @ebreakdown, following this hashtag: #cmsxsw, or by reading the blog: ebreakdown. Honestly, I probably will be tweeting more than blogging down there just because of time constraints. If you have any suggestions for enhancing my SXSW experience, I’m welcome to them! Also, if you are going to be down there and want to meet up, shoot me a tweet — we’ll make it happen.

Recap: The Chicago Auto Show

Saturday, I had the opportunity to check out the 2011 Chicago Auto Show with my brother Eric. Now, I for one absolutely love auto shows. Perhaps I love them because I grew up liking automobiles, maybe it’s because I’m a guy and guys “like that sort of thing,” or maybe it’s because auto shows are just plain cool. Regardless, auto shows are fun and this year’s show illustrated how integrated our culture is becoming with technology and communications. I noticed two activities the auto manufacturers were investing in, they were social media interaction and interactive, on-site engagement.

Social
Social was a very large component in the majority of the large auto manufacturers’ displays. Here is a rundown of how some the auto companies engaged socially.

• Volkswagon: Upon arrival to the Auto Show, I checked into the Chicago Auto Show via Foursquare. Very soon after, I received a tweet from @VWConnect stating, “Stop by the VW booth to see the all-new Jetta GLI & find out how to get a free T-shirt,” with a TwitPic of a VW GLI. Yes, it was a bot Twitter account, but it served its purpose. I was immediately intrigued by what they had going on and that they were engaging me based upon my location. I headed over to the VW booth to find out more.

I came up to the new model year Passat and noticed it had a CTA image on the vehicle. The image directed me to take a listen to the stereo, tweet about it, and find a Product Specialist. Well, I bypassed those directions and went to the Product Specialist. She was there with T-Shirts in hand, standing right next to the vehicle. She informed me that had I tweeted about the vehicle, she would have taken down some information (for direct mail purposes) and given me a VW t-shirt to take home.

    Pros: VW was highly engaged both online and off. The incentive was adequate for the promotional needs. It was a great way of directing online, to a socially engaged, real-life specialist.
    Cons: Twitter bots are sometimes overwhelming and people don’t respond to them that well. Taking down my information after I did all those steps for VW, was a big of a large ask.

• Audi: Audi used location based services to generate awareness and engagement. Audi featured a couple of signs that directed the public to check into the Audi booth via both Foursquare and Facebook Places. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t much of an incentive to do so. However, I have to say this: I didn’t check in. So, with that said, who knows what was on the other side of the check-in. Either way, it wasn’t mentioned on the signage what would happen if you did check in.

    Pros: Promoting the use of location based services through signage.
    Cons: No real or clear incentive to check-in to the services.

• Chrysler: Chrysler had a simple black-and-white flyer they handed out to attendees of the show. One side featured all of their social accounts with a CTA that asked the attendees to become a fan of their pages and upload images, video and editorial from their experience at the show.

The second side was a CTA to engage the brand through text messaging. Text “Chrysler” to a number, explore the booths, answer questions that were texted back, and get a reward at the information desk. The rewards varied from an eco-friendly bag to a 3-for-1 oil change. A good use of texting, however, it seemed to be a bit of an arduous task.

    Pros: Using texting instead of social to interact with the attendees was different from most OEMs. The 3-for-1 oil change reward was pretty good.
    Cons: Attendees have to pay for the texts. Who knows when else Chrylser will text the attendees. And the photocopied flyers were a very passive approach to social media.

• Chevrolet: Chevrolet had a “bullet-time” photo booth in conjunction with Hot Wheels. Attendees waited in line to get their photo taken in front a Chevy vehicle, were offered a physical copy of the photography, and had the option to post that photo on Facebook or other social media platform.

I didn’t participate in this one; the line was way too long. However, I can only assume Chevy got a great turn out, a lot of social information on attendees, and the offer for participation was pretty innovative. I mean really, where else can you get a photo of yourself in bullet time?

    Pros: Innovate and interactive booth with a social component on the backend.
    Cons: Very long line to wait.

• AutoTrader: AutoTrader, much like VW, had a Twitter bot engage the attendees after an Auto Show Foursquare check-in. Their tweet read, “Thanks for joining us at the Chicago Auto Show! Fly by AutoTrader.com’s booth with this tweet for a prize” offered a clear call to action with a plus up incentive. If it was anything like the LA Auto Show, you get a picture with someone you’ve never heard of, a pencil and a small carrying case. I admit, I didn’t try this one either; I already have a pencil.

    Pros: A quick social response with an incentive back end.
    Cons: Again, a Twitter bot engagement tactic. However, with that said, how else would we know to go over to the booth?

Interactive
The second major piece of the Chicago Auto Show were interactive displays. The auto manufacturers really stepped up their game this year. Let me quickly go through some of the more memorable displays.

Overall: QR Codes were in heavy use with every sort of CTA ranging from vehicle information, to connecting on Facebook, to engaging dealerships. It seems as though QR codes are becoming more prevalent in the industry and used more by the public.

Honda: Honda had an “X-Ray” like display. Basically, there was an image on a wall of a Honda minivan. There was a screen on rails affixed above the image. The attendee would move the screen back and forth over the image to give a detailed, x-ray like, look at the vehicle. The display didn’t work all that well, but the public didn’t seem to mind as they enjoyed just playing around with it.

Fiat: Fiat used an X-Box Kinect interface. An attendee would stand behind the kiosk, waive their hands and interact with a large television screen filled with images and information. The attendee would select one of the images, an informative piece, or video would display and the attendee selected another one. This display had a very high level of interaction and a clear description on how to use it. However, the screen was pretty distant and made it difficult to read the information.

Scion: Scion used 3D video to engage the attendees. The Product Specialists gave out the glasses and all you had to do, as an attendee, was sit down and watch a 3D Scion movie. It was pretty simple, however, offered little interaction.

Chevrolet Volt: The booth for the Volt alone, was larger than some of the other auto manufacturer’s booths overall. The Volt offered a serene test track that allowed the attendees to ride in the car through a beautifully landscaped roadway. Once you walk up to the track, you are inundated with the smell of fresh plants, trees and grass. The attendee didn’t get to drive the Volt around the track, which was about the size of a large go-kart track, they were chauffeured. The line to get in the Volt wrapped around the track. It was a site to see and a calming booth to visit with all the foliage.

Toyota: Toyota’s Prius display was pretty large, bright, and spoke to the “Prius Goes Plural” campaign. At the base of the booth, was a station to charge your mobile phone. Toyota offered, from what it seemed, every type of mobile phone chargers. I think Toyota understood perfectly what type of world we live in right now. Also, when the attendee charged their phones, a Product Specialist would sit with them to chat. I’m not one to be suckered into this sort of conversation, but when you need your phone charged, you will do just about anything.

So, that was just a part of my experience at the auto show. I truly do enjoy auto shows; the designs of the cars, the booth displays, and the unique approaches auto manufacturers use to get our attention. However, one major downside to the show was the shear amount of people in attendance. I think the flow of the show needs to be reevaluated from a perspective of the volume of people. That was just about the only downside, and looking at it from a marketing perspective, it’s certainly an upside.

Shout Out: Thank you Lindsay for the tickets!

Brand Follower Expectations Are Changing in Social Media

We have all seen the numbers, seen the stats and have seen how fast social media is taking off. We are trying our best to create audiences, promote product, educate users and become influencers for the brand’s new market. Marketing industry professionals, myself included, are eager to sign clients, create promotion strategy, sort out metrics and compile analytics. To what end?

I’m not saying that we’re blind to what we are doing here, quite the contrary. What I am saying is, even though social media is new, it’s evolving already.

All of us, including the users and brand followers, are creating a revolution in the marketing world. All of us in some capacity, are improving the networks and driving innovation and expectations further. Never before have we seen such immediate communication between the sellers and the buyers. Social media marketing is fairly new to the advertising/marketing/communication world and it’s changing faster than we can assimilate at times.

What sometimes slips through our cracks is the end user’s expectations of the rapid evolution of social media. Brand followers and customers are not stupid. And in all honesty, they never really were, we just treated them like that. That needs to change. The driving force in the next steps of social media marketing will be adapting to the expectations of the brand follower/user/customer.

For a while now, new media marketers have been set to a standard of post, link, editorial, post, link, editorial, and engagement when needed. Where content is king (whatever that means) and the flow of information is the most important asset any company has. Users, from what I have noticed, are starting to expect more out of the brands they follow. They are starting to understand what marketers are doing, which is basically conventional advertising and marketing practices guised as social media.

So, what do I foresee what brand followers will expect out of us in the near future? It’s hard to tell exactly what the evolution will be. However, if you look at the big picture, you start to notice behavioral changes. Here are a few ideas.

    BRAND PERSONALITY OFFICER
    Brand followers were fine, for a while, with brands just pushing information out on them. Followers liked the idea of “liking” their favorite brand and telling their friends about it. However, the brands have become too passive. To speak to a follower, you need to be able to speak TO them, not at them, or wait for them to speak to your brand. Followers will start to expect a “Brand Personality Officer” to interact with while online and one who creates and fulfills the personality of the brand to the followers. The BPO’s mission will be to engage with brand followers utilizing their own personality mixed with that of the mission of the brand. “Speak as if you ARE Brand X.” If the brand doesn’t have anyone to speak with, the user will most likely pull the plug on the “follow.”

    INCENTIVES
    Why do your brand’s followers actually follow you? What is in it for the brand followers other than a link on their Facebook page and a post twice a day? Incentive based social media marketing has already popped up on the grid but, we need to press further. Rewarding the followers of the brand that have taken the time to view your page or feed is the right thing to do and, in all honesty, the followers are wanting, if not expecting it. Service with a smile and a free cup of coffee.

    USER GENERATED CONTENT IS KING
    It once was said that, “Content is King” in the land of social media. Well, that was true about a year ago. But now, as we press forward and engage with our followers, the brand followers want to engage with “their” brand, they are thirsting for it.* Imitation is the best form of flattery. Allowing and promoting brand followers in generating their own content and sharing it with the brand, even if it’s crappy, is a gold mine of promotion.** Think of it, you as a marketer don’t even have to spend anything to promote your brand, they’re doing it for you and they are happy, if not, eager to do it! Give them the avenue and the “incentive” to do so.

    * Brand followers have a belief that their favorite brands are actually “their” brands.
    ** One key thing about User Generated Content, is the “Brand Personality Officer” needs to comment on it, thank and engage the follower for doing so.

These are just some observations and predictions I have as to the future of online marketing to brand followers. What is the common denominator with all of these? The brand follower wants to be engaged by the brand and wants some sense that there is a person behind the curtain they have access to. The brand followers are going to be expecting more out of the brand and us as marketers. We have to be ready to foresee and adapt to their changing expectations.

->> PS: These are merely observations and not based upon any sort of analytic, just in case you were wondering.

Facebook Privacy Fiasco and the Reasons I Like Facebook

There has been a lot of negative press lately regarding Facebook and their institution of Open Graph and their changes to privacy. People seem to be in an uproar over Facebook messing with “their” information and privacy even to the point of users deleting their Facebook account and writing their opinions on blogs.

Let me be clear, this post is not one of those “How to delete your Facebook account” or a “Facebook privacy damages users” posts. I’m writing this post to inform you of my reasons and rationalizations for KEEPING my Facebook account.

    1) OPEN GRAPH:
    Open Graph is a good thing. There, I said it. I agree with Zuckerberg when he said this is a new way to build communities, measure influence, meet new people and bring the world closer together. I believe Open Graph is just the tip of the social media 2.0 iceberg. What you are going to see in the coming year(s) is more integration of sites. I personally want that. I know that some of my interests will be made public, but only interests I decide to post.

    2) PRIVACY:
    I have done my due diligence and education of privacy settings on Facebook. I understand how to limit the flow of information on my profile to other users, corporations and the public. Since I understand that, I’m fine with the adjustment to the settings because I understand them. In the social networking landscape, it’s a little unreasonable to have a 100% expectation of privacy. Zuckerberg also said it best, if you don’t like it, leave. It’s a little brash, I know, but it makes sense. Facebook profiles are not owned by the users, the users borrow space on Facebook’s servers.

    —> Sidebar: However, I do get discouraged when Facebook has bugs and makes mistakes when it comes to privacy. An example would be when you could view other user’s chats. That is unacceptable, but was immediately remedied.

    3) NETWORKING:
    Facebook is a very valuable tool when it comes to networking. I am a social media guy, this is my job and a little bit of my life. For me to do away with a major social networking site would be an idiotic decision. Plus, I like meeting new people, learning what we have in common and finding out information from brands.

    4) MY JOB:
    Like I said in #3, social networking is my job. I have to be on there.

    5) INFORMATION:
    Facebook has a massive, MASSIVE flow of information running through it. It’s easy to keep up on current events, what your friends are doing, where they go, what businesses are doing, where the next networking event is, etc. I’m a sucker for information, I always want more.

    6) PROMOTION:
    If you use it properly, it’s great way to promote a business or yourself.

    7) MYSPACE:
    It’s not MySpace

    8) SEO:
    Being on Facebook adds to my search engine results.

    9) FRIENDS:
    I enjoy the fact that my friends are on there sharing what they are doing day-to-day.

    10) MYSPACE:
    It’s not MySpace

I know this may sound a bit over the top, but in all seriousness, being on Facebook isn’t a bad thing. The change in privacy isn’t a bad thing. The introduction of Open Graph isn’t a bad thing. Ignorance breeds malcontent. I’m sure that once some users do their due-diligence on understanding how to use the Facebook privacy settings and what Open Graph really is, like I have, opinions may change.

Social Media Personality Conflict

I found myself thinking more and more about the personalities that we as social media and community managers develop for the brands we create and manage online. In part, a good social campaign creates a voice, a personal voice with which we engage the community. Part of developing that voice is developing a brand personality. However, when we create that brand persona we add a little bit of ourselves to it. Whether that little bit is our own voice, our history, loves, likes, style of writing or whatever; a small part of ourselves exists within the brand personality we use to engage users.

Now, if you are a social media or community manager, chances are you already have your own personal brand established and your own personal voice. Day to day, you switch between your work voice and your personal voice with a little bit of an overlap. Some might say, a good social media manager can separate these two; that’s a little bit naive. We aren’t built to separate personalities. No matter how hard you try, there will be a little bit of yourself in your online persona whether it be personal or professional.

A duality then exists inside of your head. You are two separate people, yet the same person; day-to-day. A question develops: How do you manage multiple personalities? You are an extension of your online persona. You are two different people, maybe three. Sometimes it maybe difficult to differentiate the two. If it becomes difficult manage, you start to notice overlap or become somebody completely different; in which you lose your sense of personality. Then where are you?

I’m not saying it’s a superhero mentality; one minute Clark Kent and the other Superman. What I am saying is one minute you are General Electric and the next yourself.

I wonder if the back and forth of persona is healthy.

I wonder if, in the long term, it changes the way we effectively manage our brands and ourselves.

I wonder if, in the long term, this duality can become a disorder where you completely lose your sense of self.

Or maybe, your sense of self is a duality?

At what point to you become the voice you established for the brand you manage? Or, does any of this matter?

Personal Social Networking Rules

400+ million users on Facebook and 100+ million users on Twitter, social networking is becoming more prominent and more invasive. This medium has grown so quickly and we’re all eager and willing to pick up the technology and use it.

Some of us, whether it be inherently or actually spelled out, set up rules for ourselves, our brands, that we adhere to when it comes to posting. I have always had a set of posting rules in place for my social presence. The rules were always just in my head. So, I decided to spell them out for you to see if you agree with them or not, or just to inform you what you will not see from me.

    Politics:
    I am a fairly political person. I enjoy having critical discussions on the nature of government and social change with my friends and family. I make an effort to respect the opinions of others and enjoy learning new points of view. However, I will not speak/post about any sort of political subject on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s not beneficial to me. Plus, that’s not what I’m all about. I’m a designer, social media guru, music and art lover. Those subjects are what I post about.

    Talking politics has become such an intense practice, especially as of late. It polarizes people, it alienates opinions and encourages confrontation. That’s not what I am about. I encourage opinions, knowledge and engagement. I see no real benefit to post about politics unless you want to get into an argument; and I don’t want to do that.

    Religion:
    Oh boy, this topic is just as polarizing and intense as politics. I am a spiritual person, and that is probably the last you’ll hear of it. I respect other people’s beliefs by not speaking about beliefs.

    Negativity:
    Social networking tends to be a “happy” place. From what I’ve noticed in the 5+ years I’ve been on social networking sites, is that the environment promotes positivity. No one likes an angry person, so no one likes an angry extension of person. I’m not saying I won’t be critical, I’m saying that you can be critical without being negative. No fights, no swearing and no alienating other users.

    Personal Adventures:
    Yes, I check in on Foursquare at the venues I go to (not all of them though). I inform my followers of the networking events I attend. However, I believe a disconnect from social networking sometimes is needed (at least for myself). I don’t think that everyone needs to know about all of my adventures when I’m out and about, nor do they probably want to read it. So, with that said, certain times I don’t bring up what I’m doing, where I am or who I am with. It’s nice to unplug a bit and it’s certainly great to keep some adventures for yourself.

    Promotions:
    Please RT me. Do you need design services? Do you need social media services? I don’t like to receive these via Direct Message or via spam bots. I’m sure that if people want those services from anyone, they’ll do their due diligence and find out the companies with the right fit. I do like to promote my blog content and stuff, that’s just because I think it’s a good read. But you won’t find me trying to pitch you my services. I know, that may sound like I’m not a good marketer, but that’s not what my accounts are set up to do.

    Automated Feeds:
    Why do you want to go to Facebook and read something that is on Twitter, or vice versa? The content that I choose to push through my tied in accounts are pushed through for a reason. Not just to post something, but to post something of substance. The use of linked and feed accounts are only for ease of use and workflow, not to just push content. When I post something, and a user replies, you’ll be sure that I’ll reply to it. There is always a reason behind my madness.

    Job Seeking:
    Yes, I’m looking for a job. I have been looking for a job for quite a while now. I have integrity and I’m a little proud I guess. I won’t outright ask users for a job. I won’t randomly post “Leif Fescenmeyer #design #socialmedia #chicago #milwaukee #lookingforwork” or something like that. It just feels to me that it’s a little desperate and a little too vague. Plus, if I were to look for a job in social media, using social media like that; it obviously shows I don’t know what social media is. (PS> But, if you do want to talk about an interview, I’m not against that. Ha Ha…)

    Privacy:
    This is a big one! We all have concerns over our privacy. If you want users to respect your privacy, respect theirs. Posting of photos that I wouldn’t want posted of me, retweeting protected users, and handing out contact information are all against my rules. Granted, I may break this rule from time to time, but rest assured it was not on purpose and I try to make sure if/what I post about others is vetted by that user first.

Keep in mind that we all are fallible. Yes, these are my rules and rules are sometimes broken by mistake. So, let’s just say I try my best to adhere to these guidelines.

What guidelines to you adhere to? Do you disagree with any of mine? (Remember, to disagree doesn’t always mean you have to be negative.)

Watch Out Chicago, I’m Coming Down There!

ATTENTION CHICAGO!
I, @ebreakdown, will be in Chicago all day Wednesday, April 28th. You may ask yourself, “Why is he making a big deal out of this?”

It is true that I travel to Chicago often, but this trip is different. This trip is all about meeting, networking and maybe even interviewing with anyone, any shop, and any organization in Chicago. Even all you Twitter folks I converse with; we should meet in real life! (No pressure though.)

I’m bringing my business cards, resumes and my sparkling personality (I might even wear a tie). So let’s set appointments, share calendars, book meetings to talk social media, design or maybe share a few laughs.

I really want to say, “I’m going to take the Windy City by storm,” but that just sounds way, way too cliche. How about this, “Chicago, you better be ready to meet a killer social media strategist from Milwaukee, because I’m coming down there!” — Who wants to meet?