Sunday, October 10, 2010

Unmarketing, Uncensored: 12 Things I Learned from Scott Stratten

Author Scott Stratten (@unmarketing on Twitter) came to town recently to speak to Social Media Club Detroit while on tour promoting his excellent new book titled, of course, Unmarketing.

The best part about Scott Stratten is that he tells it like it is, whether you want to hear it or not. Before I knew he was a blogger and author, I remember coming across this tweet from him:

"When I see a tweet and it says "via Twitterfeed" (auto tweet program) I feel all unfollowey

Yeah, I thought! Me, too! And this tweet perfectly illustrates the foundation of Stratten's philosophy: If you want to be an effective social media marketer, first be a real social media user. Then, remain one.

Here are some of my favorite nuggets of social media wisdom gleaned from Scott's talk:

1. Twitter is people, and social media is talking. Forget this at your peril.

2. People do business with people they know, like and trust. This hasn't changed in hundreds of years. Social media is a way of getting to know, like and trust people online. Read more...

3. That said, still: nothing beats face-to-face interaction for building relationships. Social media's real job is to enhance face-to-face.

4. People turn first to someone they know when choosing with whom to do business. Google is only a last resort when they don't already know anybody in that sphere.

5. Automated social media "engagement" is stupid because it utterly fails at building relationships. It's amazing that many people/businesses still do not understand this.

6. ROI is overrated. Do we ask, what's the ROI of meeting and talking to people? Then, why are we obsessed with the ROI of social media? The return for Stratten was a book deal, speaking engagements, and free shoes (ask him about that  one). A numbers-obsessed CMO would have pulled the plug on @unmarketing long before any of this ever happened.

7. News for CMOs: you can't shortcut relationships, they take time.

8. We all have ADD online. Comment moderation and Captcha stop sharing in its tracks. Disable these features and just delete spam by hand if you get it. Make it easy for people to share your content with Like buttons, Tweet buttons, and so forth. Easy mobile sharing is critical.

9. The only SEO secret is great content. And the secret to "going viral"? Make it awesome. People spread awesome.

10. Consistency and quality are key to social media success. You have to be present on a regular basis, and then genuinely engage. Stratten decided at one point to really work Twitter for one month and see what happened. He tweeted 7,000 times that month, and went from 1,200 to 10,000 followers.

11. Blogging frequency is not as important as authenticity. The minute you phone in a post, your blog starts to suck.

12. Power tweeting tips for authentic tweeters: Tweet 35x/day for real results, fast. Create standalone tweets amongst your RTs and @replies. Always leave room for others to RT, especially when you tweet something sharable. If you have a really good tweet, it's OK to favorite it, change it up a little, and recycle it from time to time. It's fine to tweet something at a couple different times to reach different audiences. Don't rely too much on queuing tweets for later delivery; it's much better to be present if a conversation starts.

And remember: Twitterfeed, SocialOomph and auto DMs make most of us feel a little, well, unfollowey.