This is the time of year when writers and editors everywhere are working on blog posts and articles about what social media experts are saying is going to be “the thing” for 2014. Read the rest of this entry »
CEO and co-founder of DragonSearch, Ric Dragon has more than 20 years of extensive experience in graphic design, information architecture, web development and digital marketing. He is a sought-after speaker, having spoken at numerous marketing and technology conferences. Ric is also a regular guest columnist for Marketing Land, and Social Media Monthly.
Blog Posts by Ric Dragon
Friend and marketer Ty Sullivan questioned the relevancy of this Capital One ad. He suggested there was marketing disconnect. I, on the other hand, think the ad is, if not the work of an advertising genius, pretty clever.
How we deal with children has changed dramatically since my youth, and if you were to believe the stories of our parents, even more so since their day. The paddles hanging behind my teachers’ desks had one-inch holes drilled across the surface, and when asked why, we were told so that the paddle moved more swiftly, more painfully, with less air resistance.
As a young couple in the 70’s, my parent’s library consisted of a closet bookshelf. I developed my love of reading by carefully studying the pages of the Manual of the Medical Department of the U.S. Navy, Jansen’s History of Art, Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet, and I’m OK, You’re OK, by Thomas A Harris MD. Although the Navy manual and the art history book may have been more rarefied, the latter two were ubiquitous in homes across the country at the time. Read the rest of this entry »
In the course of my job, I often study the social media goings-on of major brands. I mean, I really dig in and study what they do. I’ve discovered some companies doing a superb job, like Maersk , Sony Professional, Cisco , and the Ritz-Carlton. Too often, though, I find brands thrashing about without a cohesive strategy. Read the rest of this entry »
The role of “Community Manager” in technology goes back to the late ‘90’s, when many organizations recognized that they needed some help in managing their online discussion boards and other Internet-related communications. By 2001, it had become a more common job title, used at organizations like Weight Watchers and Consumer Reports.
Fast forward twelve years later, and we find the phrase in countless articles, books, blogs, conferences, and groups – and of course, job titles. Why on earth would two really smart digital marketing professionals like Aimclear’s Marty Weintraub and Lauren Litwinka want to add to the industry’s already compendious literature on this subject?
The answer lies between the covers of their book, The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success, published by the Sybex imprint of Wiley. Note the words in the title “essential” and “complete.” That’s a pretty big challenge in a world of incessant and daily change. And yet, I do believe they’ve come as close to accomplishing their challenge as possible.
The first part of the book covers some of those great big-picture concepts like brand voice, understanding ROI (after all, you’ve got to be able to wrestle with the bosses on why you need to expend effort on this stuff), demographic research, and how to extend your reach using all the means available.
Timeless Tenets of Non-Gratuitous Social Behavior
The second chapter of the book has me at the title, “Timeless Tenets of Non-Gratuitous Social Behavior.” Here, the authors take on some of the behavioral side of community management – much of the emotional-intelligence aspects that are so difficult to teach.
The book wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t address some of the brass, tacks, and nails of the various social platforms. But true to the authors’ reputation for being providers of valuable information for those of us in the industry, even there they’ve shined some light on some platforms that I wasn’t familiar with.
In the chapter on content, the authors take on the topic of owning your content – whether you should put it out there where you have no control or keep it close to home. There are some other gems here, too, like the bit on editorial calendaring. The section on creating your own dashboard in Outlook is worth the price of the book – or even more.
Litwinka and Weintraub sum up community management at one point as being, “all about listening, publishing valuable content that connects with your audience in a human way, engaging with the community, and managing our reputation.” And thus, the book moves from content to engagement. Here, the authors provide more approaches to research and discovery.
The next chapter covers a topic that Weintraub is famous for: the use of paid advertising to amplify your social communications. I’m convinced that if Facebook’s advertising business model takes off, they should send Marty Weintraub a royalty. Zuckerberg should at least name a building or child after him – as Weintraub’s advocacy of these techniques has woken many of us up to the possibilities of these techniques.
Any organization using social media is going to, at some point, make a gaffe or a fumble either on social media or in the “real world.” The chapter on community crisis management could stand alone as an eBook, and should be in the hands of every community manager in the world. Besides all the good sane advice on when and if you should delete comments or ban community members, the authors’ advice on creating a crisis protocol is particularly noteworthy.
Finally, all community managers need to be able to measure their activities and the impact of their work. This is a hot topic, as highlighted by a recent Social Media Today discussion on LinkedIn. I don’t think any of us in the industry have the holy grail of social media measurement solutions yet, but this book’s contribution to the topic is valuable.
For a paperback, at $39.99, The Complete Social Media Community Manger’s Guide isn’t inexpensive. But even if you’re working at minimum wage this book will pay for itself immediately. If you have team members, buy copies for each. As for me, I’m placing an order right now for five more copies.
I’ve been writing a few guest posts on other blogs this past year. To me, a fair amount, although my friend Lisa Barone heartily scoffed at the number. I’m fortunate to be able to make this a central part of my job!
By the way, the list below is a List.ly list. I’ve written a post at Marketing Land on List.ly and its benefits.
When Tim Sander’s speaks to a room of people, he evokes the preachers of the southern Baptist church. That might in part be due to the slight southern drawl he adopted from his childhood home of Texas and the speaking cadence he may have heard in those churches, but his message is also that often found in Sunday morning homilies. Read the rest of this entry »
There are many social media sites in which when a user tags a web page, the system looks for images on the web page to use as a featured image. You can see this in effect when you link to a web page in Facebook – you are then free to choose an image on the target page to use as a featured image. If an image is not inline, however, but positioned as a background graphic, that image won’t be available as a featured image. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve had time lately to work on some of our organization thinking… including the drafting of our core values. We’ve spent some good time discussing these – and believe that none can be taken away and still retain our identity.
There are human endeavors that take away from the world, others that neither add nor subtract, and then others that create positive value. When you take two things and create more by adding them together – that’s creating positive value. What we call 1 + 1 = 3. Our job is to create that value. Read the rest of this entry »