Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twitter Asks: What's The Difference Between A Duck?

This is a mashup of awesome photos from bradleypjohnson and Auntie P
Question asked at a recent social media seminar: What gets you more follows on Twitter, using hashtags or posting links? The questioner was in charge of her company's social media presence, and said she was anticipating this question from internal stakeholders.

The speaker was a bit flummoxed by the question, kinda like he'd been asked, "Do you still beat your wife?" or "What's the difference between a duck?" He did his on-the-spot best, but you could tell he knew something was wrong with the question. I couldn't quite figure it out at the moment, either.

After some thought, here it is:

That's like asking, "Do I make more friends when I wear high heels and a cocktail dress, or spike shoes and a golf outfit?"

Well, it depends on whether you're at a holiday gala or a golf outing.

Twitter isn't a system that you can game with metrics, hashtags and links. To quote Scott Stratten (I quote this a lot), Twitter Is People.

Use hashtags when hashtags make sense. Post links when they're relevant and of interest. That's what gets you followed.

Twitter is a lot like real-life networking, whether you're tweeting as an individual or a company. Dress appropriately, be nice, introduce yourself, listen well, try to be interesting, and when you can, be helpful without expecting anything in return.

Don't get me wrong, traditional marketers, it was a great question!

And the best answer is to question the question.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chris Barger Reflects On 4 Years of Social Media At GM

Chris Barger Sums Up His GM Experience
I had an incredible opportunity to hear Christopher Barger, GM's outgoing head of social media, tell the story of how he built GM's much admired social media program.

He spoke to the Ann Arbor Ad Club, and afterward I had the opportunity to join him for dinner, along with our hosts from re:group, the Ann Arbor agency who sponsored the talk, and re:group's David Murray (@DaveMurr), whose friendship with Chris was instrumental in persuading him to share his experiences with us.

Chris' Social Media Journey

Chris is a social media pioneer:  he started out at IBM where, as a PR guy with a personal blog, he was tapped to bring IBM into social media. This was way back in 2004. It's a great story, and better told by Jennifer Leggio on the ZDNet blog.

From IBM, Chris went to GM.

The giant automaker kept calling him, but Barger said he had zero interest in moving to Detroit. Finally, GM said come on out and visit, and if you still say no, we won't bother you any more. Read more...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lincoln's Mysterious TED@MotorCity Event Kicks Off Auto Show Week

Last night's stunning TED@MotorCity event, hosted by Lincoln at the Max Fisher Theater in Detroit, was a hit. Themed "New Tomorrows", the event's surprise A-list speakers delivered a succinct roundup of key ideas that will shape the future.

We heard from Thomas Goetz executive editor of WIRED, Dale Dougherty founder of MAKE and the Maker Faire, Craig Newmark of; Detroit poet Jessica Care Moore; Detroit journalist and author John Gallagher; and Lisa Gansky, author of "Meshed".

Poet Jessica Care Moore at TED@MotorCity in Detroit

There was a certain amount of mystery in the lead-up to this event... the invitation that materialized in our mailboxes stressed that it was non-transeferable, and asked,

"Please don't blog or tweet about this event," and "Please do not forward this link."

Really?! I can't make a Twitter avatar banner?

The invite said little about the evening's program, and gave no indication how we got on the list in the first place. So we were all wondering... separately... what the event would be like, who would speak, and who would be there.

Well, the event was first class all the way, with attentive staff, beautiful food, the Lincoln MKX and Lincoln's first-ever hybrid, the MKZ on display and available for test rides on legendary Woodward Avenue. A real Detroit Auto Show party. It was a much smaller crowd than TEDxDetroit, so the event had an intimate feel. And even the artists, makers and geeks dressed up a bit for it. Read more...