Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Social Media, Turning a Negative into a Positive

March 7, 2007

At its core Social Media is about participation, involvement, and listening. As I have said before, Social Media is communication with integrity. It’s a two-way conversation, void of hype and manipulation.

Corporations in general are reluctant to embrace a new medium that is so open and transparent, a medium that encourages an exchange of ideas and attitudes. The two questions that always seem to come-up are, what if we have negative feedback, from this new Social openness and transparency, and how would we handle it?

Until recently, I have always answered, that the conversation about your company is going on right now in the blogosphere. You have the opportunity to engage in the conversation and possibly influence the perception of the Social Media community, or ignore the whole thing, and pretend that negative comments and attitudes will have no effect on the communities overall perception of your company.

Not too long ago, I read a blog that referred to a panel of Social Media experts at the Frost and Sullivan’s Sales and Marketing Conference in Phoenix last January 23rd. That blog mentioned a comment that Angela Vargo, Southwest Airlines, Sr. Specialist Business Development (Blog Program Manager) made regarding this very subject of negative comments on a corporate blog or podcast. She said that “Negative is the new Positive”

Angela gave a case study of how public grievances against Southwest are aired on the blog. Southwest listens, acknowledges and attempts to take care of the problem in public, demonstrating to the world that they value their customers, their ideas, and even their problems.

Angela and Southwest Airlines have given us a great example of Social Media at its best, not sticking their heads in the sand, when it comes to negative attitudes and comments, but instead taking the high-road, giving voice to the consumer, acknowledging their concerns, and showing they actually care. Turning a negative into a positive!

This Social Media strategy builds confidence and trust in a company, building brand through the consumer experience of a responsive company that cares about them, instead of the all too common and ineffective strategy of the hype and manipulation of traditional media, that hold the consumer at arms length.

Can Social Media actually take a negative and turn it into a positive? What do you think? Is it still too big a risk for a corporation to take, being so open and transparent?

Until next week…thanks for the read!

Power to the People…Social Media

Introduction-Episode Numero Uno

February 6, 2007

Welcome to the first edition of this blog dedicated to learning, explaining, sharing, and understanding Social Media and relationship marketing. This is all relatively new. So there is a lot of room to learn and a lot of room to grow. At its best Social Media is a mutual conversation, I would like this to be a conversation about Social Media and relationship marketing.

I hope you will join in and lend your voice! Or pen as the case may be. Oop’s I mean keyboard.

I guess I should start with a little information about myself. My name is Bruce Britton, I live in the beautiful Texas Hill country, but I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been happly married to the same woman for 34 years and we have two sons. Geez! I hope I got the number of years we’ve been together right. You know the trouble that little oversight can cause.

For the last thirty years I’ve worked in marketing, and the audio and video production field. I operate a successful audio video production company, and offer Social Media consulting and podcast production, to corporate America. I also do voice over and narration work, along with hosting duties on some of our corporate podcasts.

But enough about me.

This blog is about Social Media, so lets start with my take on what Social Media is, and why Social Media is so important for corporate marketing. I’ll try to keep it short.

Social Media, New Media, Relationship Marketing all terms used to describe an application of new technology that allows corporations to connect to their customers and potential customers via blogs, podcasts, forums, WIKI’s and video podcasts.

Why is it so important to connect to your customers in “New” ways?

The simple answer is that consumers are not listening to traditional marketing any more.

Studies show that the average consumer is bombarded with over 8000 commerical impressions per day. Is the answer to shout louder, or to make a bigger noise? The answer of course, is no! Consumers are going to the Internet for pre-purchase information, not reacting to the manipulation and hype of legacy marketing found in traditional media.

I call it the “Google Factor”, but it really is a huge shift in how people gather information. If search engines are the foundational element of this shfit, Social Media is the main structure.

Regis McKenna a noted Silicon Valley marketing expert says:

“Until recently, the dialogue took place at arms length, because available tools couldn’t economically support customized and personalized interaction with thousands, or millions of customers. But in the last decade, information technology has dramatically changed the nature of that dialogue. Marketing will never be the same.”

Social Media is all about honest communication. Communication with integrity. It’s about giving the consumer a voice. Its about listening. Its about placing a high value on what the customer thinks and what they have to say. Its about offering useful information, not hype. Its about pull not push marketing. Its about building community. Its about building trust and understanding.

Its about building brand confidence.

Branding these days is far more about what your company is associated with, and the result of your customers satisfactory experience using your products or services, not the hype and manipulation of push media (traditional commericals). Branding has changed to be about building trust with consumers by inviting them into a two way conversation that enables them before, during and after the sale.

The market place is demanding a different experience.

You may have noticed these are the attributes of any good and healthy relationship. Honest two sided communication, listening, and building trust. The same keys that work to build a good and healthy personal relationship can be applied to corporate relationship marketing programs.

Well, enough for now. We will continue our conversation about Social Media, and many of the surrounding issues over the next few weeks, months and even years, God willing and the creeks don’t rise. Had to throw in a little Texas on ya. This first issue I have tried to touch on a few potential topics, and hopefully caused some thought, and maybe even nudged some reaction from you.

At least at first these blog entries will be weekly.

Bye for now, I’m off to deal with a dead car battery, eat a late lunch, and check to see if son no.2 has done said chores and/or at least closed the front door…and of course round up the doggies!

Hello world!

February 6, 2007

Welcome to Britton New Media’s look at Social Media and relationship marketing.

This blog will be dedicated to an in depth look into Social Media and relationship marketing. This is relatively a new medium for corporate marketing, and we can still learn a lot from each other. I hope you will read the blog, but even more so I hope you become involved.

If you are familar with the “thought leaders” of New Media such as Regis McKenna, Seth Godin, Jeremiah Owyang, Peter Blackshaw, Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki, you’ll recognize the catalyst for most of my thinking on Social Media. I owe a debt of thanks for their inspiration and knowledge of Social Media and relationship marketing, that they so graciously share. Even though Pod-Tech is a competitor, I also should mention Jennifer Jones, host of the “Marketing Voices” podcast for the great content she has brought to the blogisphere.

I also should thank at the outset two others that have been key in my progress and growth in Social Media and in business in general. Christian Carpenter, Britton New Media’s Tech Wizard and all around audio/video good guy, and more importantly friend, is the one who first said to me about a year and a half ago “hey Spanko check out podcasts and Social Media.” Good call Mate!

Also a shout out to Janet Ruiz, a PR expert working for Fireman’s Fund Insurance who has been a long, long time friend, who has mentored me in matters of a spiritual nature and business savy, and helped me along the way with introductions, encouragement and advice. Thank you for your love and wisdom. Her husband John, is one of my oldest friends, and one of the best guitarists you’ll every hear. Rock on!

Next, posting we’ll delve into the subject matter at hand, so we’ll offically title it “Episode- Numero Uno.”

I hope you will join us, and lend your voice to this conversation on Social Media and relationship marketing.

Until next time