Social Media Archive

How To Use Social Media For PR Tips & Best Practice from #SESSF

Social Media & Digital PR – A Marriage Made in Heaven #SESSF from Mel Carson
SES San Francisco was as awesome an event as ever, full of some of the best advice on search engine marketing, social media and digital advertising from thought leaders from all over the world.
I was speaking on the first day on Social Media and PR Best Practices in a session called The Marriage of Social Media and PR. It was great fun and the audience was very engaged. Lots of head-nodding and activity on Twitter.
The essence of my presentation was to show how digital had changed the landscape of how business does public relations, and that it’s all about putting the public back into PR and not focusing so solely on press.
According to Experian, we spend 27% of our time on social networks and just 2% on news sites, so optimizing your PR  content for social channels has become more and more important.
Take a look at the presentation, and if it resonates take a look at what Delightful can offer your business in the field of Digital PR.
I also encourage your to buy Lisa Buyer’s new book Social PR Secrets. She’s one smart lady!
Thanks for your time,
Mel

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Learn Social Media Strategy Best Practice from Kristy Bolsinger – Video Interview

Welcome to the first in what will be an unending stream of “Delightful Conversations” that I’m kicking off on our new YouTube Channel – Delightful Videos

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The aim of the channel is to bring you frank and informative interviews with people I meet around the world who are wise (and willing) to share their solid knowledge on social media, digital PR, personal branding and entrepreneurship.

In this chat, I talk to the wonderfully smart Kristy Bolsinger from PwC just as she stepped off stage at SMX Advanced in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.

I asked her what makes a good social media strategy, how should brands be thinking about measurement and what social media metrics to track?

I also probed her for her thoughts on the future of social media and what the next big thing is going to be.

She gives some really good advice, especially about how to get away from the tactics and see social media as part of your overall business strategy and objectives.

Let me and @Kristy know what you think when you’ve watched the video, I’d love to get feedback on the format so I can tweak it.

Oh and you can subscribe here!

Jack Black at #CannesLions on How to Make a Viral Video

Now I may not be at Cannes Lions this year, but that’s not stopping me watching all the coverage pouring across the Atlantic from the Cote d’Azur.

I’m a little bummed I’m not there now, as this’ll be the third time I’ve narrowly missed seeing Jack Black in the flesh.

Next best thing is to watch this hilarious video interview with him backstage after a Yahoo! seminar.

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Intertwined with the funnies is a serious message:

Don’t count on a video going viral when you’re creating it. Just do what you think will make people laugh and don’t try too hard.

“Keep it tight and trim the fat….keep it short because on the smaller screen you don’t want to go too long. I’ve found that 10 minutes is the optimal length of a nugget of entertainment.”

I remember the CDO of Dentsu saying similar things 4 years ago at Cannes. He said you have to have a good idea and it’s that that people pick up on aand want to share, the idea and how it makes them feel.

Or just be unexpected!

Nice work Yahoo! getting Jack to the south of France! You didn’t screw this one up!

Be Unexpected: Michael Dubin Does It Again With Butt Wipes

It must have been like working on the proverbial second music album.

You’re a new kid on the block and your first attempt at making marketing history goes stratospheric – 10 million views on YouTube and counting!

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Everyone wonders if your next release is going to top the first.

You’ve told a major magazine that it’s coming in weeks.

It gets delayed for months.

And then this happens…

Pretty funny huh? Maybe (I’m sorry Mike) not has funny as Number 1, but still UNEXPECTED!

Who expected botty wipes from these guys? Who expected nearly a million views in a little under a week either?

And WHO expected a name like One Wipe Charlies?

You see Michael Dubin is all about being UNEXPECTED and quite rightly so.

In a crowded market like men’s personal stuff, you need to stand out, be agile and, dare I say, delightful.

His “unexpected” mantra can be applied to any market, especially when you’re looking to shine head and shoulders above your competition using social and digital media. You just need to be creative and not give your audience something, “they could have written themselves.”

You often only get one shot. A split second to draw people in and keep them engaged as your carefully thought out brand idea unravels before their eyes and captures and holds their attention long enough for them to want (no NEED) to share your content.

This is what Michael Dubin and his Dollar Shave Club empire do so well and I hope books will be written about them in years to come! (There’s an idea!)

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They’ve also helped me find a use for Klout! I got pinged last week with a perk that meant I could watch the video again and then get sent a free trial pack of the butt wipes. Thank you Joe Fernandez!

If you’re looking to get ahead of your competitors, remember it’s not the technology that will propel you into the lead, it’s the idea.

Don’t let myths about stuff going viral because of YouTube or Twitter or Facebook distract you from focusing on the big idea.

If you do, you might just get left………behind!

Why Time Management is Inextricably Linked to Your Personal Brand

Last week, I attended a time management course at SCORE, which is a nonprofit small business advice service based in Seattle.

The course was delivered by a chap called Greg Paley, who has been a successful business person within the field of digital media.

The reason why I felt compelled to attend was because as a new business owner myself, I’m always trying to make sure that my time is being is spent as wisely as possible.

I’ve always been the type of person who is a bit of a procrastinator. In fact I self diagnosed myself about a year ago as a maladaptive perfectionist. Now a maladaptive perfectionist is someone who likes to have everything just so, but because they know that not everything is going to be perfect, they delay until the last minute in actually getting anything done, thus exacerbating the fact that the results of their work will not actually be as perfect as they want them to be.

Sounds crazy? Yes! Tell me about it!

During my time at LookSmart (from 2000 until 2003) I used to get myself in quite a state, always feeling like there was too much to do and too little time. My boss at the time, Rob Pearson, called me into a room one day and suggested I take a time management course. (Yes I have now been on two, but they were 10 years apart!)

The day I entered the classroom, in a tiny office above Tottenham Court Road in London, change my life! The guy teaching the course was an ex-British Airways steward who had decided to get into corporate training. At one point during the course he started talking about the “circle of influence and concern”, something that Steven Covey talks about in the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. You can read more about that at this post, as right now I’m in a hurry to explain how having an excellent grasp on your own time management can help enhance your personal brand!

During Greg Paley’s presentation he talked about the prevailing attitudes that we all have towards the amount of time there is to get done what we need to get done.

Things like:

  • No matter what I do, I still don’t or won’t have enough time
  • I work better under pressure
  • Time management is just common sense
  • I use an appointment calendar and a to do list: is not good enough?
  • I don’t have time to learn how to do all of this

Any of these sound familiar?

Time Management

Flickr Credit AToach

Greg also poked a little fun at all those people who seem to spend so much time telling everyone how busy they are, so much so, that it actually makes them underperform.

If there’s one thing seven years of Microsoft told me, it was how to plan my time, plan ahead, and plan with other people’s agendas in mind. My personal tactics are to use Microsoft Outlook is my calendar, use my inbox as a to do list of actions, emails, or things I have to read, and I have a real world notebook and pen in which I not only write notes from meetings, but also copious amounts of to do lists.

It really doesn’t take much to use these few tools in order to look forward now and again (at least once a day) to what meetings you might have coming out, deadlines you have looming, or people you should be contacting or following up with.

Getting a grip on your day-to-day activity, anticipating that other’s may not be as organized as you are, and sending an email or making a phone call couple of days in advance of the meeting or deadline, can not only help them prioritize their own task list, but also potentially save a last-minute scramble.

I honestly used to think that I thrived off stress; that being in a rush to the finish line at the end of every project, meeting, brainstorm, or reporting cycle, somehow made the work better. But it’s only now in my 13th year in the digital industry that I feel somewhat in control of how I manage my time, and therefore how that time management affects the other people across the projects that I’m involved with.

Like many others, I have a lot to do, but I always try and keep everything prioritized to keep ahead of the curve so that I don’t impact anybody else’s work life balance or their stress levels. There are a few things worse in our business lives than having a deadline looming and worring that there will be some kind of crazy hiatus coming down the line that could’ve been avoided.

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given during my time at Microsoft, was to never accept the meeting request that did not have an agenda attached to it, and to never accept meetings that were in hour-long. The advice said that nothing that could be said in an hour couldn’t be thrashed out in 45 minutes, and by giving yourself that 15 minutes back, meant that you have time to reflect on the meeting you just been in and plan for the meeting you might be about to go to.

This is been invaluable advice to me, advice that I’ve held even more dear since starting Delightful Communications. The fact that I try and keep meetings to a minimum, means now I have more time to actually do the work my clients are paying me to do.

Having more time to do the work, means I’m more productive, and I hope the results of that much more sweeter for the client.

Before starting my business, I was encouraged to read “Million-Dollar Consulting” by Alan Weiss. In this remarkable book, Weiss states that true wealth comes not from the amount of money you have, but from the amount of time you have to enjoy that money. I’ve never understood the attraction of “pulling long hours” in order to get a project finished, or this very idea that unless you’ve spent many many hours producing a report, or writing some technical spec, it can’t be very good.

Getting a grip on your time, providing timely responses, planning ahead and anticipating your workload’s next direction can really help improve your quality of life.

Trying to chip away at Greg’s “prevailing attitudes” and using all the tools available to you to keep you on an efficient and productive course will enable and not hinder your future professional growth, your family will love you for it, and your co-workers will see you in a new and endearing light.

Having excellent time management skills is so important to how the people that work with (and for you) perceive your professionalism and productivity.

Isn’t it time you though about spending more time on things that really matter?

If this post resonated with you please share it. If you hated it, please share it anyway and let me know why!

Science Behind Great Social Media, Digital PR and Content Marketing

A couple of weeks ago I presented on a panel called “Nobody Clicks on Boring!” at Pubcon in New Orleans.

On stage with me were the fabulous Krista Neher and Jeff Cohen, who gave rousing talks on what I frankly thought was one of the best session titles I’ve ever seen!

Science of Great Social Media, Digital PR & Content Marketing from Mel Carson
My talk focused on some stories of really great social media engagement and then deep dived into my thoughts on the “science” behind what makes content discoverable and shareable.
Slide 13 (unlucky for some but I hope lucky for you) shows the four elements your content needs to be to have an enduring effect on your audience >> Authentic, Useful, Relevant and Actionable >> across your all social media, digital PR and content marketing efforts.
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Photo: Jordan_Lloyd
I then strip down some Twitter and Facebook examples to show how important (and how possible) it is to have REALLY thought about what effect every word or phrase might have on your fans and followers.
The presentation ends with some examples about the three key ingredients your organization needs to be in order to be successful and, dare I say, Delightful in this increasingly crowded online space.
Flick through it on Slideshare and let me know what you think.
This is an evolving arena, so I’m always interested to hear what others think or get some perspective from your experience.

Learning: Link Building Advice & Excel Tools for PPC and SEO

Ever since I started my own consultancy nearly 8 months ago, I made myself a promise that I would try and learn new skills every day.

Just because my new job was to advise and help others understand social media, digital PR and get the most from their personal brands, it didn’t mean I knew everything, and I should see this as an opportunity to keep up-to-date with all the latest tools and trends.

That might seem an obvious discipline to stick too, but in my 13 years in online marketing I have met many people willing to take money from others who were not as current as they might have been.

My mantra has always been to be as transparent as possible, and if I don’t know something, admit it and go and learn whatever it was I needed to know.

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Life’s a Long Path of Learning

What has helped me keep learning is taking on clients from which I’ll learn in spades as well as help them improve in the areas they hire me to.

John Gagnon from Bing Ads last week published a post outlining a bunch of PPC and SEO Tools for Excel. He’s been speaking about these Excel tools and how to use Excel to distil oodles of data and present it in an actionable way at conferences for a while now.

Finally getting it all down on his ClickZ column, it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who knows they should be using Excel in new and smarter ways.

The other piece of content marketing I’ll be pouring over this week is on Majestic SEO’s blog: Webinar Recording: 7 Secrets To Getting More Quality Links

This is a free webinar from Ken McGaffin and Garrett French who talk about how to be smart with link building and get wholesome links to your site that the search engines will sit up and pay attention to.

A few months ago I gave some insight about how you might use Majestic SEO for link building and influencer outreach, Ken and Garrett’s webinar goes into lots more detail and offers some really smart tips.

So there you are. It’s not even 9.30am on a Monday morning and I already have my learning cut out for me for the week.

How about you? Seen anything recently that you want to help educate our readers with?

Comment below and share this post with your ideas.

Pinterest Marketing An Hour a Day – Interview with Author Jennifer Cario

The work I get to do with Majestic SEO never ceases amaze me (among many other things) because of the good luck I get whenever I’m on their booth at many of the digital conferences I attend with them around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, it just happened that our booth at SMX West was smack bang next to Market Motive’s where the fabulous Jennifer Cario (nee Laycock) was signing copies of her new book: Pinterest Marketing: An Hour a Day

Pinterest Marketing An Hour a Day

Not one to pass up an opportunity, and always on the look out for tips to pass onto my clients and followers, I asked Jennifer if she could spare a few minutes chatting to me about the book, what tips she had for businesses when it comes to their Pinterest marketing, where Pinterest marketing should fit into the overall social media mix, and how marketers should be thinking about copyright and trademark issues so they don’t get into a sticky mess with their pinning.

I know from my experience with clients – I also pin Delightful social media insight and digital PR research when I can – that Pinterest can be a wonderful resource and source of traffic for websites, but that, even though we keep hearing it’s a must “have” social channel, many businesses are still a little in the dark as to how to leverage it well enough to justify the time spent.

Jennifer gave some great, no-nonsense answers to all those questions, so if you are in any doubt as to whether your Pinterest marketing strategy is heading in the right direction, take a peek at the video above and follow Jennifer on Twitter for all her Pinterest goodness.

Thanks,

Mel

P.S. If you think Jennifer’s Pinterest tips and advice are worth sharing, why don’t you share this post and let all your followers in on the information!

Content Marketing Tips: Beware the ‘So What? Factor’

Last year, “Big Data” was this buzz phrase emanating from everyone’s mouths and social media handles.

Now we’re well into 2013, “content marketing” seems to be the Holy Grail adorning the subject line of most inbound marketing blog posts and digital industry conference agendas.

It’s a little funny to me, because for several years many companies have been creating meaningful, useful, relevant and delightful content in order to amplify their brand presence and attract new customers (keeping current one’s entertained), and yet it only seems recently the trend has become mainstream and part of our digital vernacular.

To this I say, HURRAH!

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/shrug (Flickr Credit: striatic)

During my time at Microsoft, I worked with different marketing and PR teams to create content – be they blog posts, videos, photos or social experiences – that helped the brand be talked about for longer. I’ve written before about how important Digital PR is to an organization, and about how CEOs need to get with social media in order to create the kinds of conversations people want to hear. So couple that with a content marketing discipline throughout the company, and you start to have a really powerful platform for message dissemination that’s both enduring AND endearing.

CEOs Need Help With Social Media and Personal Branding

Something told me when I set up Delightful Communications that I was onto something with helping CEOs with social media and personal branding.

During my 12 years in digital marketing and my 9 year career in the entertainment business, one thing I’ve observed is just how badly some CEOs and senior business leaders conduct themselves online and onstage.

Okay, so “badly” is probably too strong a word, so let’s say they leave a lot of opportunity begging as they and their PR teams miss many chances to really cement a positive image in the minds of their own staff, their customers AND their potential customers.

Only last week, eMarketer talked about some Weber Shandwick research into the subject.

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Is your CEO ready for the digital stage? (Photo: CODYody)

This is what they concluded:

“Having some kind of CEO presence on social channels is becoming an almost necessary part of doing business—whether for brand image or company transparency. Eight out of 10 employees deemed it important to communicating with customers and investors. On the flip side, almost half of respondents said CEOs who did not engage on social channels risked becoming out of touch with their customers—an indication that, over time, not engaging on social media will be considered a liability more than a choice.”

We’re living in an age where digital feedback via social channels is rife and marketing and PR teams get that.

What their not doing well is promoting one of their best and most public assets in an intelligent way.

Next week I’m talking about Digital Evangelism at SearchFest in Portland, and I’ll be touching on the need for companies to have a face, a human face that customers can identify with and look for positive signals from and engage with.

Digital and social media content across a myriad of devices has educated a much more savvy public as to what is PR spin and inauthenticity on the part of a CEO.

They can smell it a mile off, and they will react badly if they get a whiff.

What companies need to do is formulate a strategy around their leaders’ personal brand and open them out a little to the world.

Some CEOs are not that gregarious, really busy running the business, and just not that into broadcasting their every thought and that’s OK.

But they all have a story to tell, and they all have a duty to respond in some way in an authentic and honest manner to feedback whether good or bad.

In 2013, that’s the sort of behaviour that gets your brand liked. That’s the sort of behaviour that get’s your brand talked about in a positive and endearing fashion.

In a world where one Tweet can go more viral than anything ever before and say so much in a photo about that leader and his feelings & values, doesn’t it make sense that your business at least try and create a positive digital platform for your CEOs personal brand and that of the company?

If you or your company leader is in need of a personal branding strategy please Contact Me…….before your competitor does!

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