Sword and the Script

7 Takeaways from Mindful Social Media Marketing [Book Review]



by Frank Strong

7 Takeaways from Mindful Social Media Marketing

The concept of Mindfulness has attracted the attention of some of the most recognizable corporate brands, such as Google, Target and General Mills, according to the Harvard Business Review.

In some ways, mindfulness is the antithesis of multitasking, though the concept is deeper:

“When was the last time you sat quietly at your desk and did nothing but think? How would you react if you observed a peer, employee, or manager doing so? Encouraging employees to slow down to focus on the present can seem at odds with a corporate culture of speed and goal attainment. But in today’s hyper-paced work environment, mindfulness practitioners know the importance of recharging in order to regain productivity. And mindfulness research is convincing many managers that investing in reflection, openness, and thoughtfulness will have a positive impact on employees and on the bottom line.”

It’s fitting then, and perhaps quite timely, social and otherwise, that mindfulness is extending itself to social media marketing. Read More…

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Best and Worst of Sword and the Script in 2015



by Frank Strong

Best and Worst of Sword and the Script in 2015

The process of analyzing the best performing and worst performing is both insightful and humbling.

It’s insightful for thinking through why content performed or underperformed.  This is an analytical skill that is easily parlayed into one’s professional work.

It’s humbling for the posts thought derived from epiphany, inspiration or passion that seemingly go nowhere. Every blogger, indeed every writer, can likely relate to this phenomenon. Read More…

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7 Superior Podcasts for Super Listeners Eyeing the Big Picture



by Frank Strong

7 Superior Podcasts for Super Listeners Eyeing the Big Picture

Podcasting as a medium has ebbed and flowed for the last several years. It hasn’t exploded like some have said, but it’s certainly captured a respectable share of the market.  Some 17% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly according to Statista.

There’s several other important points about podcast listeners.  They are affluent, educated and maintain “listening habits dramatically different than the average American,” according to Edison Research.  In other words, these people listen to lots of podcasts.

In a 5-minute webinar titled Why Podcasting Might be Bigger than you Think (video embedded nearby), the research firm says podcast listeners consume upwards of 5.5 hours of podcasts a day.  That may sound like an impossible amount of time, until you realize listeners take “audio where it may not have been previously consumed.” Read More…

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Twitter: Social Ads at Volume are at Odds with Conversation



by Frank Strong

Mass Social Ads are at Odds with Conversation

“We’ve gone full circle,” according to Doug Baker writing for the UK-based Marketing.

“When brands first arrived on Facebook and organic reach was high, we spent a huge amount of time and effort on community engagement and interaction,” he wrote.

“However, as paid media options have grown, and organic reach has shrunk, we’re at risk of only viewing social as a way to pump out content as content.”

That neatly summarizes the challenges facing Twitter as it looks towards 2016.

The social medialites say Twitter has lost its former self, and devolved into a link sharing site that can’t possibly grow revenue to Wall Street’s satisfaction. Read More…

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5 Takeaways from the Salesforce State of Marketing



5 Takeaways from the Salesforce State of Marketing

Marketers disagree on needs and metrics – but appear to be doubling down on social media advertising and mobile marketing. That’s according to the new 2015 State of Marketing Report which Salesforce recently published.

The company that coined the term “marketing cloud” conducted the survey online in October and November 2015 and earned responses from 5,053 marketers around the globe. The report published in January 2015 is the second annual report – which provides benchmarks for understanding shifts in perception. Read More…

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The Marketing Value of Twitter Centers on Earned Media



The Marketing Value of Twitter Centers on Earned Media

Twitter made a number of advertising product (or inventory) announcements recently including a plan to sell ads on other websites. In a CMO round up, Wall Street Journal advertising reporter Steven Perlberg summed it up like this:

…Twitter has made the case that there is a large audience of people who see its content around the Web, but who aren’t actually registered to use the social media service. This is one of the arguments the company has played up to soothe the once-besotted investors worried about its growth prospects. But now, Twitter is readying plans to bring in dollars from those viewers: it wants to sell ads on the streams of tweets within other publishers’ apps and websites…

Certainly Twitter has a good case – there is undoubtedly a sizable audience that lurks on Twitter – and measuring the outcome of such visibility is challenging.  However the pursuit to “soothe the once-besotted investors” by showcasing what amounts to reach drowns out one of the things that makes Twitter so different from any other social ad option (especially Facebook):  It combines earned and paid. Read More…

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Dark Social Enlightens Marketing Vanity Metrics



Dark Social Enlightens Vanity Metrics

The blog posts weren’t especially compelling, in fact these were a little heavy with sales messages; case studies that had been re-purposed.

However instead of the classic problem-solution-format, they featured little vignettes showcasing minor customer victories. The posts were accented with liberal subheads, short paragraphs, and spotted with lots of bulleted lists – classic web writing if such a thing exists.

These were however, solid blog posts, but just not of the epic variety…or so we thought.  While the social share counts were quite low the web analytics were displaying sizable volume of traffic.  It caused us to ask – where was the interest coming from? Read More…

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Symphony of Gates and a Healthy Debate Over Gated Content



Should We Gate Our Content

It’s a question as old as the web – should you gate your content?

It appears that most marketers do and reported gating “80% of their major content marketing assets” according to a survey vetted by MarketingProfs.  The same study points out there’s some content – infographics for example – is rarely gated.

There are credible – and often very passionate – arguments on both sides of the debate but the answer that’s right for an organization probably varies. It depends on the goals across the content marketing spectrum – is the content intended to attract, convert or retain customers? Read More…

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Study: Big Companies Lag at Blogging, Social Media



Study Big Companies Lag at Blogging Social Media

I’ll beg Dr. Barnes to forgive me the editorial liberty I’ve taken with this headline, but that’s my takeaway after finally reading the UMASS Dartmouth Study: The 2014 Fortune 500 and Social Media: LinkedIn Dominates As Use of Newer Tools Explodes.

My interpretation of the results are completely different than those of the researchers who concluded:

“The 2014 Fortune 500 has now fully embraced new communications tools that have taken so many other sectors by storm.”

“These giant corporations are demonstrating an interest in experimenting with new tools.”

“This is a group that now seems comfortable and even excited with its newfound ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began.”

With apologies to Dr. Barnes again, I just don’t see that in the data. I see tepid interest in small pockets of consumer oriented businesses among the Fortune 500. My frame of reference is in knowing what is possible, as compared to what is demonstrated. Read More…

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Super Original Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook



Super Radical Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook

Market research, social engineering and a little bit of luck seemed to produce a spate of so-called “boy bands” in the late 1990s. It was a radical, if not unpalatable idea, that hit artists could be fabricated rather than discovered.

It became a formula that underscores how much closer the entertainment community is to social science than it is to art.  It wasn’t a new concept, but it was the one that turned heads the most, since a time when Levitttown first placed that oh, so perfect tree.

The Truman Show, Minority Report, the Matrix – take your pick, or perhaps take your pill, but this is our world online.  It’s given to us in the name of relevancy because your friends that liked this post, also liked this post. Read More…

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