Posts Tagged with social media
Social media asks: Who do you want to be?

The barriers have been smashed. Start acting like it. (Flickr photo credit: sheeshoo)

Let me share something with you. The biggest difference between those that are finding social media success and those that aren’t is that the latter see traditional barriers where they no longer exist. In the world before social media, barriers were everywhere. They took the form of gatekeepers and rules of conduct that blocked access to those who, at least in part, held the power to change things for us. They were erected by people who could not be bothered, and it was normally only those with an almost absurd amount of drive or the means to pull strings that could shatter them.

Of course you have to work your ass off to be successful in your social media efforts, but hard work alone won’t cut it. Start acting like you’re already there.

  • Don’t be afraid to write about subjects you’re still learning. What matters is that you’re adding to the conversation when others are holding back and adding nothing.
  • Read what those you admire read. You’ll start understanding how they think, and you’ll be able to engage with them about things you know they find interesting.
  • Disagree openly with them when they give you reason to. Understand that 99% of the people trying to get in front of them do so by publicly agreeing with everything they utter, retweeting everything and sucking up in general. Be part of the 1% that tells them the truth when they’re wrong, and you’ll earn their attention and respect.
  • Click send. The worst thing you can do is ask yourself, “Who am I kidding?” It’s strange as hell seeing my writing on blogs like Convince and Convert and MarketingProfs, but if I didn’t stop worrying about whether it was really good enough, if I didn’t click send, it wouldn’t have happened at all.

The delta between our aspirations and our reality might be wide, but we have more ways than ever to navigate it. Write about what you want to become known for and it will begin to read like the writing of someone who’s already recognized. Engage with those you admire without worrying about if they’ll pay attention, and eventually they will. The barriers are in your head.

Confessions of a social media manager

Flickr photo credit: Ela2007

Imagine, if you will, the following scene. Forget for a second that I’m not Catholic.

Me: “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been since…well, I’ve never confessed.”

Priest: “What is it my child?”

Me: “Well, a long time ago, way back in 2008, I doubted the power of…of…I can’t say it.”

Priest: “You’ve come this far. Now tell me.”

Me: “I doubted the power of social media.”

I instantly burst into flames. Fade out.

I wasn’t a true believer from the beginning. True belief tends to freak me out a bit. I saw a lot of people making a lot of money on something they were claiming was the next big thing—and oh, by the way, they can teach you about it for a price. Looking at it that way, I’m not so embarrassed that I wasn’t fully convinced of the power of social.

Gradually, however, I learned to ignore the affiliate-types, the self-proclaimed gurus and the rest of the loudmouths. I focused on the true value of the conversations people were having online. I focused on the access social media afforded, in a completely unprecedented, almost shocking way, to individuals of every stripe. I maintained what I thought was an appropriate amount of realism regarding the effectiveness of social marketing in the form of skepticism. I still do.

But here’s what changed. Until roughly two years ago, I was convinced there were still some business that could not benefit from a well-executed social media strategy. Some companies, I thought, still can’t get anything out of social. I would play a fun little game in my head, wherein I would try to imagine a business that had little to no chance with social, and then I would try to make up a strategy—playing devil’s advocate to myself (I know this sounds entirely schizophrenic). And, until about a year ago, my favorite scenario to ruminate on involved the tack and feed shop near my childhood home. That, boys and girls, was the business for which I would always come up empty. More on this after I acknowledge the inspiration for this post.

Scott Stratten

UnMarketing, by Scott Stratten, is the first official selection of the Bazaarvoice Marketing Book Club, and I’m loving it so far. Chapter 19 deals with localized Twitter marketing, something I’ve had a fair amount of experience with. Stratten conducts a thought exercise, almost eerily similar to mine, to demonstrate how a fictional Toronto pizza place might profit from going social. Here’s a killer example of how he’s able to distill core concepts into tangible steps (and he’s funny, to boot!):

By putting “near: Toronto” beside your keyword, you will see all the tweets from people who listed in their profile location that they are in Toronto. So now the person who tweets “I want pizza” can now be found geographically.


This isn’t an excuse to start replying to everyone on this list to say “Come use us! We rulez teh universe! LOLZ!” Reply to some people, say something like, “Heya, we could help you out! Let us know, hope you feel better soon!”

Marin Tack and Feed, in Fairfax, CA, was (unfairly) made a victim of this mental exercise again and again because it was a challenge—the challenge, because I couldn’t answer the question people in our business hear on an almost daily basis: “What’s the social media play?” In 2008, I answered the question. Here’s the quick, updated version:

  • Twitter searches will be slim pickins’ but you should still set up columns in Tweetdeck for things like:
    • “horseback near: ‘fairfax, ca’”
    • Ranch* near:”fairfax, ca”  within:50km
    • “party ideas” near:”fairfax, ca” within:50km
  • Encourage your customers to follow you on Twitter, but don’t leave them hanging—make sure that once they do, you start talking with them, helping to promote their content, being a good social media citizen in general. They’ll return the favor.
  • Start a blog (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?). You already go to equestrian events, so start blogging about them. The owners are all competitive riders, so they have a depth of expertise that would work perfectly on a blog. Write about horseback riding in general, so that you rank well on Google for terms like “horseback riding Marin”.
  • Create a Facebook page, and again, make sure you keep it lively. Post 3rd party content about horseback riding, maintain an event calendar, do whatever it takes to keep it from being a ghost town.

I’m just scratching the surface above, but my point is that I’ve seen the light, so to speak. Most businesses will still fail with social media due to poor planning, lack of measurement, lack of commitment and a host of other reasons. But I no longer believe that there are certain categories, verticals or specialties that can’t find value from well-orchestrated efforts.

What are some of the social media revelations that you’ve had?

Should social media marketing expertise be certified?

Is this the next class of social media experts? (Flickr credit: Herkie)

A few nights ago, I stumbled upon a profile of Josh Kaufman, founder of I wasn’t familiar with his story or work, but I was intrigued by his assertion that business schools, “”teach many worthless, outdated, even outright damaging concepts and practices.” MBA programs, it seems, are largely unable (or unwilling) to keep up with our ever-shifting business climate. These supposedly bad teachings are too firmly entrenched and prevalent to merit the tuitions students now pay for them, and anything of value that does get taught can just as easily be learned outside of the lecture halls. Formal education, as the argument goes, has nothing on relevant experience.

I’m in no place to confirm or refute this claim, but I can see why it has legs. And as I’m prone to comparing apples to oranges, I began thinking about the legitimacy and value of a formal social media education.

First, yes they exist. I saw an ad the other day for an Advanced Social Media Certificate from the University of San Francisco. A quick search revealed several other such programs, including…

…an MA in Social Media from Birmingham City University in the UK

…a four year degree in Interactive Web Technology Management from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

…a Social Media and Web 2.0 program at UC Irvine

…a Social Media Marketing Certificate from the University of Nevada, Reno

Are we seeing something akin to the anti-MBA movement, but for the opposite reasons? In other words:

  • (Flickr photos credit: mringlein)

    People are speaking out against traditional MBA programs because they’re, well, too traditional, lack modern currency, built on long-abandoned premises, etc.

  • Are people speaking out against social media programs at otherwise-traditional schools because the space is simply too new, lacking in universal standards, not studied in an academically-rigorous way, etc. ?

I think so. And I understand the sentiment. But I’d ask opponents of formalized social media education:

  • At what point does a field become program-worthy?
  • At what point does knowledge of a subject merit certification, whether by diploma or official certification?

In Exploring the 4 Eras of Thought Development, Wilkie and Moore point out that the establishment of Marketing as a distinct academic discipline occurred during the “Founding the Field Era,” from 1900-1920. This is the first time we saw “courses with marketing in the title”. But traditional marketing had existed since at least 60 years before its academic recognition. Key excerpts from the Wikipedia marketing timeline:

  • 1836: first paid advertising in a newspaper (in France)
  • 1864: earliest recorded use of the telegraph for mass unsolicited spam
  • 1867: earliest recorded billboard rentals
  • 1880s: early examples of trademarks as branding
  • 1905: the University of Pennsylvania offered a course in “The Marketing of Products”
  • 1908: Harvard Business School opens
  • 1922: radio advertising commences

(Flickr credit: Max Sparber)

To say that ideas develop faster these days is an almost-comical understatement. We no longer need to wait 60 years before we can study something. Just think of the body of literature out there on social media already—I’ll venture a guess that within a few years or less, the total amount written about social media will exceed the total amount ever written about marketing. We have access, for free, to nearly all of it. But that doesn’t mean we can possibly process it, or even a fraction of it, in a meaningful, productive way. Remember, we’re also living in the era of the Exaflood.

I think there’s a space to be filled with a formalized social media education. Just like all education, there will be terrible programs, excellent programs and everything in between. The quality of the educators will also vary wildly. Even the best institutions have the occasional bad professor.

Yes, there will also be the equivalent of diploma mills. Just as surely, there will also be trusted industry experts like Olivier Blanchard to expose them. As with all education, the ability to make informed choices will fundamentally determine what a student gets out of it—“buyer beware” will still be the name of the game.

What do you think? Are we ready for social media degrees and official certification? If not, when will we be ready?

On sucking it up for social media success

Social snobbery is lame. (Flickr credit: illuminaut)

Every so often, you hear something that is just so contrarian—so radically counterintuitive—you assume it must be true without really weighing its veracity against the alternative you once took for granted. Sometime last year, I started believing, if only for an instant, that work and passion were somehow mutually exclusive in the “real world”. Yeah, I was wrong (see: dream job). But I think I know now the tiny sliver of truth I was picking up on then.

The way people talk about social media, you’d think they took public speaking lessons from Double Rainbow Guy. The language we use is often vague, but just as often it seems almost freakishly optimistic.  Others notice this, too. There are even scripts to remove “excessive exclamation points” from your web experience (!!!). So when I first heard people discussing how one could earn a healthy income for their work in something as cool as social, the skeptic in me stirred to life. Turns out it was a false alarm, but an appropriate reaction. Over that last year, I’ve realized that anyone that tells you real work can’t possibly be fun, that the work that matters is boring, chose the wrong career.

At the same time, I’ve become annoyed by people that idealize work in social media as something sacred or fulfilling in a way other professions aren’t. Awesome jobs are still jobs. Go to any social media conference filled with people like me, and you’ll hear things like:

  • Don’t publish any content you wouldn’t read yourself!
  • The best content wins in the end!
  • Just be yourself!

I won’t dismiss any of these guidelines outright. Each has its own wisdom, and I almost always side with those who preach quality over quantity. But most of us in social media aren’t in it strictly as a matter of self-fulfillment—we work for someone else, whether it’s our boss or our clients. And as such, we have our orders. We’re to generate leads. We’re to bolster customer loyalty. We’re to meet our deadlines.

Any one of these orders may require that we do things that conflict with our social media “values,” the best practices we accept, or even the things we preach as speakers. You might think list posts are gimmicky, for instance, but if that’s what’s getting qualified prospects to enter your company’s pipeline, you’d better write them. You might not personally like what your coworker handed you for editing, but if it’s the kind of content that helps your company meet its social goals, you’ll need to hit that publish button eventually.

If you’re lucky enough to work in social media, don’t turn your nose up at those that “don’t get it”. You have an awesome job (remember how bad you wanted it?) and you need to perform, not worry about the artistic purity of your work. Let passion fuel excellence, not elitism.

Suck it up!

Blogging in the dark: The vital data no one has (or talks about)
Blogging in the dark

Blindly searching for the data we don't have. (Flickr photo credit: Pranav Singh)

There’s something that’s been bugging me lately, big time. It’s not your average annoyance, or mild setback. It’s a huge problem for all of us in social media marketing, but no one seems to say much of anything about it.

Let me illustrate the issue with a real-life scenario, though there are countless others:

You’re hired as a social media manager or consultant to a company that sells something, B2B or B2C—whichever. Dreaming up a social strategy to generate conversions from qualified prospects (email subscriptions, webinar registrations, contact form submits, etc.) to fill the pipeline for your company’s overall sales and marketing efforts is central to your job description.

Because you’re smart, you know that simply creating and distributing content on your own blog is only half the story when it comes to blogs. Outreach in the form of blogger relationship building, commenting and guest posting form the other half. Of course there’s more, but let’s keep it simple and continue…

So, which bloggers do you engage with, and where do you comment? You can find blogs that other bloggers say are the best in your industry. You can look at lists like The Power 150 that are informed by a mix of data, including traffic and external links. You can piece together which others think are the most important in just about any niche you’re trying to market to, but you’ll be comparing apples and oranges.

The truth is, no matter what numbers you look at, the numbers that should really matter to you simply aren’t there. Anywhere. Because you want to be on the blogs your prospects are on.

Who reads these blogs?

I don’t mean how many people. I don’t mean from where their IP addresses originate. I mean:

  • What industries do they work in?
  • What are their job titles and/or roles?
  • How often to they read this blog?
  • How influential is this blog to them, and how much do they trust what’s on it?
  • What other blogs do they read?

Try finding that information. It’s simply not there. So how do I back my decisions, as relate to external blogs, with data? I don’t.

If you were a media buyer for television campaigns, you would know where to place your ads. All the data would be there—who watches what programs at what times on what channels. It’s why you see ads for for-profit colleges on daytime TV.

Lots of other web marketing strategies can be backed by data. Search ads can be informed by myriad useful numbers. The decision to purchase banner or interactive ads on 3rd party websites is usually based on data provided by the site owner on audience.

So why not blogs?

We need a Nielsen of blog audiences.

I’ve tried in vain for months to locate a single useful source for blog readership demographics.Yes, it would be difficult to create. But it would also be insanely lucrative, and incredibly helpful to those of us in the industry (and the DIYers).

Until then, we’re just blogging in the dark.

Why don’t you think we have this tool and/or service? Am I missing something? Or is this data far less important than I believe it to be?

The past, present and future of content curation

A lot of us were curating before we knew what to call it. The word still doesn’t appear in most dictionaries, so myself and others have been chiseling out a definition post-by-post. Etymology is one thing, but to fully understand curation we need to look at its evolution.

The Weblog: From diaries to news

Justin Hall- First Blogger

Justin Hall: The first blogger (Flickr photo credit: Joi Ito)

From Wikipedia:

The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists, or journalers. Justin Hall, who began personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earliest bloggers, as is Jerry Pournelle.  Dave Winer’s Scripting News is also credited with being one of the oldest and longest running weblogs.

While blogs began as a way to chronicle the lives of the authors, they soon became popular ways to share news updates, opinions and discussions about myriad topics of interest. In this latter form, they involved curation; at its most basic, the selection and sharing of content with others.

The blogroll: Betting on past content

I won’t get into the “is the blogroll still advantageous” debate (today, at least). This blog doesn’t have one; the Bazaarvoice Blog does.

Wikipedia’s definition:

A list of other blogs that a blogger might recommend by providing links to them (usually in a sidebar list).

Here was the next step in curation, in the sense that links to blogs were selected based on some criteria, theme or goal. Blogrolls are often just a set of permalinks to whatever the blogger reads. The links will be there on the homepage, at least, until the blogger changes them on the backend—so blogrolls are static, or maybe semi-static.

They’re also pretty lame. As a form of endorsement, they get the job done, especially from an SEO perspective, as they pass on “authority” that search engines consider in rankings. But are we endorsing every post published on every blog we’re linking to? No. We’re saying, “go there and poke around, because I like to do that.” We’re not featuring any of the content we like to poke around in on our site, at least not through the blogroll. We’re passing along our recommendations for sources of content, not pieces of content.

In general, we’re failing to remove blogs from our rolls if their quality begins to suffer: We’re betting on past content. True content curation is as granular and selective as we’d like it to be. Blogrolls just don’t cut it.

“Best of” and “Top X” lists: The incomplete standard

Lists aren't very sexy. (Flickr photo credit: Fanboy30)

Posts that highlight a number of other content pieces from external sources are relatively easy to compile, publish and distribute. One-off posts on breaking news and updates are popular and arguably valuable as well. They don’t take too long to create, and they add value through curation by informing readers of things they may have missed, passing along link juice and social cred, and maintaining a varied content mix in general.

These posts, however, have two major drawbacks. First, the content management systems they rely upon (like WordPress) aren’t made for rich media. They’re made for vertically-linear, mostly-text updates. Workarounds abound in the form of plugins and code, but piecing together a seamless curation experience takes far too much effort and behind the scenes tinkering. Second, gathering and sharing the content still relies on 3rd party tools. We need to leave the system to find content before we share it through the system. Bookmarklets remove a step, but don’t deliver a completely fluid experience.

Social media streams: Better than fire hoses, but…

Platforms like TweetDeck have come a long way. Things like native URL shortening and picture upload and viewing make it less necessary to go elsewhere in order to find and share information. However, the amount of content we can experience before needing to click on a link to see the original source is limited. Most filtering still relies on manual friend selection and Boolean strings, and is tedious and complicated to implement. The big advantage of these social networks is near-perfect control of shared content. The stream we share was created by us.

The future of content curation: In and out in a single experience.

The idea is pretty simple and intuitive, but far from achieved. Curators need the best way to both find and share content.


A backend through which streams of every popular content type can be digested easily, natively and in full. Part reader, part viewer, part gallery.


Aesthetically-customizable, rich output to a public frontend. Modular. Shareable across popular social networks. Full control over publishing—as wide or narrow of a stream as the curator cares to share with the world.

We’ve arrived when I don’t need to leave.

Curation, attention deficit and the exaflood

Overwhelmed by a conversation about being overwhelmed.

I have a column in Tweetdeck devoted to all mentions of “curation”. Added shortly before I started searching for a working definition of curation, it was the perfect solution to the problem of keeping up with all the latest murmurings on a topic that continues to fascinate me. Content on the subject was being published at a digestible pace, and it seemed we all had time to reflect, analyze and, if we cared to do so, publish our own thoughts, either in comments or on our blogs. Of course, there has always been noise—automated, RSS-fed or query-driven bots aren’t easy to filter out, and this is the path that many feel will lead to success in social media. Nor are the digital brown-nosers, retweeting verbatim the words of their chosen gurus, without adding anything at all of value. But even with these annoyances, the curation conversation stream, it seems in retrospect, was relatively clear, lively and exciting.

This week, I realized that I’m no longer able to follow and participate as easily as just a few months ago. Indeed, since my first curation-related post on June 11th of this year, 3,996 additional posts, whose titles contain the phrase “curation”, have been published on blogs across the social web.

From this Neil Perkin piece, we get a quote by Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

“Between the dawn of civilisation and 2003, five exabytes of information were created. In the last two days, five exabytes of information have been created, and that rate is accelerating”.

“Exaflood” is a term coined by Brett Swanson, and it’s an interesting way to imagine what we’re up against, from both the infrastructural and intellectual perspectives.

A familiar feeling sets in—that of being overwhelmed by possibilities.

Ask anyone that truly knows me: I have too many ideas for my own good. These ideas are just as often great as they are a distraction from other ideas, more worthy of my devotion. But singular devotion has never been fully possible for me, the way that you’ll meet someone every so often that tells you they knew they wanted to be a firefighter since they were 6 years old—and followed through with this dream to its fruition.  Maybe this condition is merely symptomatic of my lifelong struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder, but I don’t think that’s the whole story. I’m probably just more predisposed to being overwhelmed in this way, and my ADD exacerbates it to the point that I spread myself far too thin, putting in a little work here, a little development there, some planning for this and that, while ultimately getting nowhere with anything. My two biggest achievements thus far in life (degree from UT and Social Media Manager job at Bazaarvoice) came through a willing, conscious effort to maintain a sustained focus that is uncomfortably contrary to my nature.

That itch feels familiar... (A panel from "Calliope", written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Kelley Jones & Malcolm Jones III)

In Neil Gaiman’s story, “Calliope”, his Sandman character casts a deeply-debilitating spell on a human villain: that of an unyielding, constant barrage of good ideas. Without the ability to execute on them, our villain feels bludgeoned by them. To a far lesser extent, I can identify. Before seeing a thought through to its resolution or transformation into something of value, I tend to encounter another “shiny” thought and pursue it with the intellectual excitement I once had for the thought I now abandon. People without ADD encounter this, too. In a sense, social media has led us here, to a place where we all feel overwhelmed to various degrees. Perhaps others don’t become quite as overwhelmed, but none of us possess the mental resources to categorize and process the swirling mix of ideas that spins around us nearly every time we interact via social media. It’s impossible.

One of the reasons we create, more than in any other time in history, is because we have been given access through technology to millions upon millions of others—a potential audience that didn’t and couldn’t exist before the Web and social media. So now that our creative endeavors don’t have to remain our little secret; now that we can almost guarantee that our work will be seen, we are driven to create it at a feverish tempo, and driven to share it with as many people as we’re able. Similarly, now that we have access to this fire hose of information that contains, somewhere in the stream, the stuff we’re really after, we become fixated. After awhile, we become overwhelmed.

Curation maximizes cognitive efficiency.

Our typical style of consumption:

  1. We turn on the fire hose (Twitter, Alltop, whatever)
  2. We adjust the signal (try to create streams more suited to our tastes, make columns in our Twitter clients)
  3. We simultaneously absorb and refine—but it’s still too much

The ultimate promise of curation:

  1. We are delivered only the content that meets our predefined criteria (and it’s enough to digest without being overwhelmed)

We’re not there yet.

That much is obvious. But I’m seeing some promising, if scattered, developments that indicate we’re well on our way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I see something shiny I simply must attend to.

Bonus! Ian’s latest recommended reading on content curation:

  1. Content Curation for Twitter: How to be a thought leader DJ
  2. Content & Curation: An epic poem
  3. Disposable Content
5 causes just as likely as the one @danzarrella seemingly picked out of a hat
368 - Cell Texture

What are we really seeing?

I’m not going to explain the scientific method to someone that describes himself as “The Social Media Scientist.” In fact, I have enormous respect for Dan Zarrella and Hubspot, and I know he understands it. So why he writes an article like Twitter Accounts with a Profile Picture Have 10 Times More Followers Than Those Without beats the hell out of me.

Bottom line is, you can’t notice a correlation between two things and then assert one is the cause of the other without eliminating other possibilities.

Here is where he asserts causation: Effect of Profile Picture on Followers [emphasis mine].

Oh, and here, too: “…if you want to get followers on Twitter, it’s a good idea to upload a picture of yourself.”

And here are 5 likely alternative explanations for the correlation Dan noticed.

  1. Number of tweets. Maybe those without pictures tend to tweet less, and it is the latter variable that is causing their lack of followers.
  2. Spammy content. Maybe those without pictures tend to tweet spam more often, and it is the latter variable that is causing their lack of followers.
  3. Age: Maybe those without pictures tend to be newer accounts, and it is the latter variable that is causing their lack of followers.
  4. Location: Maybe those without pictures tend to live in locations where Twitter use is less common, and it is the latter variable that is causing their lack of followers.
  5. Lack of effort: Maybe those without pictures tend to put less effort into acquiring followers, and it is this latter variable that is causing their lack of followers.

I could go on and on. But that’s where you come in! Extra points for funny hypotheses left in comments.

As I’ve said before, Dan noticed something interesting here just by sharing the correlation he found. That alone was worthy of a blog post and perhaps a larger conversation. I don’t understand why he had to then jump to a conclusion and taint the larger effort. I really don’t. Based on our conversation (click “show conversation” after jump), he doesn’t seem to think there’s a problem with what he did. Cognitive dissonance? Who knows?

Remember, I’m writing this because I’m a fan, and posts like this might help influencers like Dan get better—and by extension, our study of the social media universe can improve. But I won’t say posts like this will do much of anything. That, after all, would be assuming causation :-).

Social Media: Our Sleazy, Scheming, Sexy Society

Have you seen the social media underbelly? It’s not too hard to find. Type in one or two of the words that most appall you here and you’re bound to find some shadowy figures tossing them out without reservation. Gangs are now using Twitter and Facebook for recruitment. Talking heads are horrified–horrified!–that teenagers are using Chatroulette for virtual hanky-panky.


photo credit: jonny2love

And what about the spammers? The auto-DM’s from shiny-toothed circuit speakers selling e-books , the incessant requests to become “fans” of boring businesses we’ve never heard of, the phishing scams, the millions of zombie-like broadcast accounts that constantly speak but never listen–what about them?

“Yikes”, says the business owner, “Why on earth would I want to dive into that cesspool?”

“No thanks”, says the pure-intentioned soul, who simply wants to make friends online.

Is the water a bit muddy? Without a doubt. But if all we see is the filth, we miss the bigger picture:

Social media is simply a reflection of our society.

Muddy Splash

How muddy? ( photo credit: Newsbie Pix)

The same imperfect, complex, corrupt, exciting, beautiful society in which we do business every day. The same one, in fact, inhabited by our dearest friends, crooks, liars and everyone in between.

Sex and violence sells, so the media reports on these dark corners of the social media experience and leave some of us with a bleak, yet entirely inaccurate, understanding of this online world.

Stretching the truth in an entirely different direction, we find the schemers. If they can convince us that social media is a utopia of easy money and happiness to which they hold the key, we are one step closer to attending their pricey feel-good seminars or buying their surefire profit system.

Social media is neither den of iniquity nor Shangri-La.

Treasure Island Fest.

This is social media. ( photo credit: helenadagmar)

400 million people use Facebook, for an average of an hour per day. To the surprise of many, who we say we are on Facebook is a remarkably accurate portrait. We are fast approaching  50 million tweets per day. These numbers can’t be ignored because they represent people.

The world is using social media. If the world is filled with your prospective customers and friends, you should be, too.

Which Facebook Ad Will Employers Like Best?

If you’ve already read about my success using Facebook ads in my job search, you know that the ad on the left, below, has generated a terrific amount of qualified leads and interest from top managers, employees with inside hiring knowledge–even C-levels. However, I’ve had some feedback indicating that it’s in heavy circulation on the profiles of the same users and is becoming less and less effective. Overexposure to the same content may be leading to diminishing returns. I don’t like diminishing returns.

Starting today, I’m implementing an A/B test using the same targeting and budget ($10/day) to see if a fresh look, new headline and slightly altered copy will improve the flow and quality of inbound contacts. The ads below will appear with equal frequency.



  • Which do you think will perform better?
  • Why?
  • Share your prediction by leaving a comment below!

Every tweet, Digg, Facebook share, comment and link to this post gets me closer to finding that killer job! Thanks for all your support.