Thursday, November 29, 2007

Social Media releases defended

Just read a great post over at PR 2.0 in defense of the Social Media Release. Posted by Brian Solis, the piece explains in depth why the SMR is not a Meatball Sundae. He'll also tell you what that is (hint: Seth Godin).

I thoroughly enjoyed this as his passion for effective communication in a New Media world came through loud and clear. While he admits that continued experimentation and audience segmentation and targeting are essential, he totally slams those that are trying desperately to cling to the wreckage that is traditional PR. I recommend it for those who are just learning about the potential these tools have.

On only one point do my views differ. He writes:
I only propose that they stop talking and theorizing and get some real world experience in the realm of Social Media so we can discuss things as experienced, beaten, successful, and most-importantly, proven peers
We must not stop talking about these important issues and we must not ask others to shut up because they don't meet our standards for a "proven peer." Haven't we all had enough of rule by the intelligentsia? Isn't that what Social Media is really about, giving voice to the crowd, being the medium that levels the playing field? Besides, without their well-meaning but misguided efforts they might never have riled Mr. Solis up enough to give us this excellent post.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who is leveraging the blog

Blogs are great tools. Risky, to be sure, but wonderful for SEO, brand building, message dissemination, training, building employee morale and more. It's clear I believe that because I write about it a lot, but who else is on this bandwagon?

Periodically, a journalist will include a few high-profile corporate CEOs in a story about blogging from the executive suite, but for a more comprehensive list, check out the CEO Blogs tab over at It might surprise you how many of today's top business leaders are using this powerful tool.

Monday, November 26, 2007

CIT: Getting B2B Online Video Right

Finally, a great use of online video for B2B marketing can be found on the CIT website. Here's what these guys are doing right, IMHO:
  • Keeping it short; none of these videos are longer than 3 minutes;
  • Focusing on the topic; each segment centers on one or two related questions;
  • Professional production; making it easy to see and smooth to stream;
  • Backing it up; plenty of related material elsewhere on the page;
  • Creating a series; the viewer is pulled from segment to segment;
  • Serving the viewer; nothing about CIT here, it's all about informing us;
  • Made it easy; it starts automatically...but not until you scroll down.
Very well done and a great example for your own B2B marketing efforts. Click the start button to start the video.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gartner: Banks will embrace Web 2.0

According to a story on Bank Systems & Technology's site, Gartner is predicting that 75% of banks will be using Web 2.0 technologies within 5 years.

This makes sense as banks are working very hard to forge stronger links to their customers in the hope of achieving higher share-of-wallet. But BS&T's Michael Ellison makes a good point when he says:
"That's all well and good, but just because your site makes use of AJAX does not mean it's a Web 2.0 site. The key is adding the social interaction..."
The technologies are there to enable the companies to facilitate the conversation. It's the conversation that leads to the relationship and on to the next sale.

SEO versus good messaging

I have been watching the SEO crowd for some time now. At first I was fascinated at the interplay. A group of clever web professionals would study the major search engines, deduce their methods for ranking sites and then sell that knowledge to clients. Then the search engines would recalibrate their spiders and the process would repeat. Good business for SEO guys. Similar in some respects to the race for better police radar gun detectors, but with a difference.

There is no good alternative to a good radar detector, save compliance. Either you obey the speed limit or you invest in technology. That's not really true with SEO.

I've said for some time that a well written site will lead people to you as long as you have a niche and you have plenty of content. In a recent post on his Strategic Public Relations blog, Kevin Dugan writes:
"SEO’s effectiveness is proven and it’s an important tool. But a well-tailored message should make elements of SEO automatic."
Well said. I would only add that to be effective, this messaging must be updated frequently (blog, perhaps) and should be archived on the site.

Realtors get Web 2.0

According to Joel Burslem, one of the Inman News bloggers over at the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog, attendees at the recent National Association of Realtors show in Las Vegas seem to be getting social media's promise for marketers. He writes:
"I think most people get Web 2.0 - they understand the power of a blog or a social network, for example. They understand the value of syndicating their listings. They know they should be thinking about video tours for their listings. The what? and why? questions have, for the most part, been answered. It’s the how? that they’re wrestling with more and more now."
This is a good sign. Few industries could benefit as much as the real estate sales industry from New Media tools, for at least two reasons. First, we know that the vast majority of home buyers and mortgage loan prospects are hitting the Internet first before talking to a person about the transaction. Secondly, real estate agents make their living through a personal interaction with their customers. That adds up to a lot of opportunity.