Sword and the Script

Infographic: Social Media Short Hand for the un-Social CMO

by Frank Strong

Social Media CMO

So much for the Social CMO. A recent study by IBM indicates just one-fifth of CMOs incorporate social media in digital marketing.

This suggests to me that social media is either completely useless, or it still presents and enormous and latent opportunity. My money is on the latter.

Perhaps seizing on an opportunity, Adobe which also runs CMO.com, published an infographic, we first spotted on Visual.ly titled: The CMO’s Guide to 2014 Social Media Landscape. Read More…

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Wear Sunscreen When Social Media Sites Die

by Frank Strong


Photo: Google screenshot on an image search on the closing of Posterous.

If I could offer you one piece of advice, it would be this: don’t bet your egg-nest on any one social media site. 

Social media may never sleep, but it also won’t live forever.  At least not in its current form.

A former colleague once relayed a story about MySpace. They’d met with an advertising team and signed a big contract to spend a boatload on paid media on the site when the unexpected happened.

The next day MySpace filed for bankruptcy.

There’s an old saying about eggs and baskets which needless to say means if we have more than one of the former, we certainly need more than one of the latter. Read More…

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If Everyone Owns Social Media…

If Everyone Owns Social Media

Photo credit: Flickr

If everyone owns social media, then no one owns social media.

Ever work on a condominium committee? Everyone is an owner and little gets done.

Ownership is a strong word, especially for social tools, which are often credited with having a democratizing effect on the web.  However, using it successfully requires leadership and decisiveness.

Writing on the SHIFT blog, Chris Penn, classifies the question as silly. His answer?  Whoever can use it to help build your business, that’s who.

Penn’s thoughts mirror my own, though I’d further qualify social media as a role for the do-ers.  There’s a difference between those that talk and those that do.  Social media needs a champion to weave, both the tactics, and the teams together.

This question is old, it has its old critics and old champions.  It’s also new, with new research, that attracts view points from multiple angles.  But it never fails to unleash a firestorm of opinions that range from rants to disinterest. Read More…

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Most Read Posts on Sword and the Script 2012

Most Read Posts on Sword and the Script 2012by Frank Strong

Doing an analysis on the most read posts posts of the year on any given blog is a useful exercise in as so far as it tells us what information people consumed.  TheJackB might point out that posts on our most read posts tells us about our most popular posts but may not in fact tell us which posts are best.

He’s right and I’m sure of it because the most read posts are a puzzle. We have all the information we need to analyze — Google Analytics’ Adam Singer even did the work for us — and all we need to do it put it together.  Thanks to Malcom Gladwell, I can claim there is a distinction between a puzzle and a mystery.

A mystery is forward looking — we do not have any information — and we do not know for certain what will be our most read posts in 2013. We can make inferences and forecasts from our existing data — like a puzzle, where information exists but we just need to put it together — but the fact is no one knows what tomorrow will bring.  Not even the Mayans.

Thank you to all who read this blog, who take the time to offer thoughtful comments and who engage with me on social media. Cheers and hopes for much more in 2013.  Read More…

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No Doomsday? Say Something Nice on Social Media

No Doomsday  Say something nice on social media

by Frank Strong

It’s 5:30 in the morning on Doomday 2012.  It’s dark and it’s quiet, but the world hasn’t ended.

I don’t know anyone that took this so-called Mayan prophecy seriously — certainly I did not — but it’s always useful to find a reason to be positive.  Moreover, I think we should use today as an excuse to be just that and to demonstrate it on social media.

Why?  Because there are too many rants on social media.  Too many people engage brands on social media with an air of entitlement. A couple days ago, I watched one person — who self-identified as community manager for a brand — attack another brand on Twitter and was completely wrong about the whole thing. Read More…

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Consider your social media identity carefully

Note:  the following is a guest post by Michele Hudnall.  Michele and I worked together several years ago for a company that developed and popularized a concept for IT operations management, known as Business Service Management or BSM.  Today, she runs the BSMHub, and contributes to a related corporate blog for NetIQ.

          >>> Years ago, I would never have thought I was starting my social media journey and baby steps to a social media identity.  After today, I am reflecting on how we mature through our social identity, just as we do in life and as with life, change is HARD!!  To those who have scoffed the use of Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Google+, and others, I’m here to say the world is growing smaller due to social media connectivity and conversations.  I have now closed a seven figure software deal that started with a tweet – a mere inquiry for information, a call with me to sort it out and in less than four months, the deal was closed.  This may seem like a two year journey – from tweet to deal – but really it has evolved in maturity over a longer period of time.

I know my friend, who publishes this very blog, Frank Strong, reads this with a smile – he was an early adopter and mentor who pushed me hard to participate in the conversation in circa 2007.  Moreover, what I have discovered this week is that my roots go back even further.  Read More…

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Six take-a-ways from Marketing in the Round

by Frank Strong

Integrated marketing has been the Holy Grail for marketing since I started working in the industry.  It was popular a decade ago, and even a decade before that.  For some reason, the concept ebbs and flows like the fashion of bell bottom jeans.

Why hasn’t the concept stuck?  It’s logical, practical, and more importantly effective.  The term “integrated marketing” may not be sexy but for me, it brings a sense of nostalgia, yet the overlap in marketing functions we’ve seen as companies increasingly adopt social media, causes me to believe that maybe this time…this time it’s real.

Marketing in the Round is about integrated marketing in a digital media age and it’s a straight forward, no-nonsense read, perhaps the result of two pragmatic marketers teaming to write the book. If you are new to marketing or PR, you should put this on your reading list; if you are a veteran, its chance to step back and re-think marketing strategy.  Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston launch the book earlier this year, and though it took me a while to sit down and focus on reading, I finally got it done on a plane ride to vacation – and wrote this on the plane ride back.

Here are my six take-a-ways: Read More…

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Social media is NOT that important

by Frank Strong

Social media never sleeps; therefore PR is a lifestyle not a profession.  This pushes responsiveness to the top of the priority list.

In my heart of hearts, I believe this is true, but I’ve also come to believe that social media is entering a period of normalization.  It’s something akin to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, where expectations were exceedingly high — beyond possible — but are now starting to normalize.  And normalization is sorely needed.

The compulsion to respond immediately with top of mind thoughts is slowly ceding to responding in a timely fashion, but with greater consideration.  Social media can wait.

Last week, I just left traffic court (unfortunately, I have a heavy foot, one of my many faults).  I’m stopped at red light that is malfunctioning and traffic is backed up in a serious way.

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The future of social media is email

by Frank Strong

Did you check your mailbox today?  I don’t mean email, I mean your 100% USPS grade mailbox.

Today, my mailbox had two mail order catalogs, a shopping flyer and a piece of political direct mail.  I placed them all directly into the recycling bin nearby without a glance. That’s pretty much the routine these days — there’s very little of value in snail mail these days.  It’s all junk.

Unfortunately the email inbox has followed a similar path.  I receive literally more than 300 emails a day, and I used to consider myself an email master.  Now, it’s all I can do to keep up.  I find deleting emails on my iPhone is the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning.

Gosh, that’s a depressing thought.  Heaven forbid I leave my desk for 10 minutes because I’ll come back to 20 messages.

The newsletters are the worst — often produced by the publishers that employ the very  journalists who also complain about PR pitches by email.  Every newsletter in the world now offers an “extra” that comes in the form of an additional email (or two) and a “most read of the week” email which contains headlines I’ve already either skimmed or read.

Worse, few publications offer a way to opt out of the extra newsletters without opting out of the content I actually want — it’s all or nothing.  I’m coming darn close to folding my cards and opting for nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I like newsletters, I subscribe to them for a reason, but I didn’t consent to the same content in triplicate.     Read More…

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Communications professors without a social media clue

by Frank Strong

A little more than two years ago I contacted one of my old professors from American University.

We were working on a Webinar theme and I thought he’d be a good fit.  A published author, an associate (not an adjunct) professor (but without a PhD), he had a lot of real world experience with political communication.

It had been about 10 years, but I could still remember the slide overlays he used in class to stimulate discussion.

And that’s the problem.  Zero social media presence.  How can a professor of communication profess to be an expert in teaching the skill if he’s not using the tools that are so widely adopted, and in many ways, have turned the idea of (a very weak) communications theory on its head?

They can’t.  That’s right Professor.  YOU can’t teach communications if you don’t have a clue about social media.  And prospective students, you should avoid their classes. The university should drop you from the program.  Sadder still, those of you implicated will never see a post like this one here.

“I’m a very private man,” he said to me.   Please.  You don’t have to share intimate details on Twitter if you choose not to.  You do have to understand its impact on communications. Go be private in the private sector. Oh, wait, maybe you can’t.  Read More…

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