How Do You Approach Social Media?

Every company using social media falls into one of these three categories.

80% of people fall in one category, 10% in another, 10% in the remaining category.

So what are those categories?

Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, “What happened?”

Don’t Be The 80%

The common myth when it comes to companies using social media is “Yeah, I’m on social media.” What the heck does that mean though? Why does that statement influence your bottom line?

80% of companies using social media are there to watch things happen. (You should probably tweet that.)

Lets take an example from nature. Does the early bird get the worm? Yes. Do you think it sits around and waits for that worm to magically pop up from the ground so he can fly down and snatch it up or does he actively fly around fertile soil searching for the right spot where he knows the worm to be at? If you answered the latter, you are completely right.

When you say you are “on social media” you are saying you’re the bird who sits on the fence and does nothing but watch. You can bet your salary that it influences your bottom line. And your stomach.

Be The Active 10%

I’m not talking about the 10% that wonder “What Happened?”. If you’re in that category, you need some education first. The rules have changed on the major global scene and you need to be brought up to speed.

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There is a category I like to call the “Action Takers”. These companies know what they need and pursue it with dogged devotion. They are faster, smarter and leaner than the competition. These are the companies with a loyal fan base, brand evangelists, and just seem to be everywhere you look.

How To Be The Active 10%

By now you know I’m talking about the “those who make things happen/action takers” category. I’m going to give you a simple tip to get started on that path, no matter where you fall category-wise.

Post Daily.

If you have a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, Pinterest profile, Linkedin account or whatever, you need to be posting there. This is the first step on the path of a fruitful social media campaign, all the rest build upon how seriously you want to take this first step.

Seriously, I know you have 5 minutes of free time in your business to devote to this, you are NOT Donald Trump. Schedule in 5 minutes where you will visit each of your social media accounts and just post something. Anything. Status update, client testimonial, picture, video, etc. will work.

I will be covering exactly what you should be posting in next weeks post.

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Image credit: Highways Agency

Re: Since When Are Blogs Not Social Media?

About a year back Copyblogger wrote a post on Since When Are Blogs Not Social Media?

Here is my response to that post. I figured this idea needed to be refreshed because I think people are forgetting something about social media and blogging. They are NOT separate entities. If anything, blogs are used to push out the “new media content” to the masses to spread virally via “social media”!

You may be surprised to know this, but blogging has been around for quite some time. This isn’t something “new”. It is simply an easier way to communicate with a worldwide audience and share your thoughts. In the age of castles, knights, and “damsels in distress” the only way a story could travel was via a “storyteller” who would travel to each town and tell his/a story for the umpteenth time. Talk about being winded! The internet makes it so much easier now… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blogs? Co-equal with Social Media and dare I say where “Social Media” got its body! Can’t have legs running everywhere without a body right? ;P

My Points?

  • Social Media is simply the next step. It is an evolution of the old method made much easier by technology.
  • Yeah, I think you should quit worrying about it Brian. We get it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Tofu? What kind do you mean? The regular kind or the stinky kind? We have both in Taiwan, which is where I am currently. The regular kind tastes good to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Your Points? Comment below!

Pepsi to drop Super Bowl Ads for Social Media?

Can Pepsi pull off its social media campaign?Ah, the Super Bowl. Sitting around with family watching two teams batter each other for the title of Super Bowl Victor. For me, in years gone by, I used to enjoy watching the Super Bowl for the pure fun of it. I was young, there was food, and something cool was on the screen to entertain me.

Then I grew up. I still enjoy watching the Super Bowl and can hold my own when it comes to debating over football teams and players, but that is just side knowledge. One of the reasons I watch the Super Bowl now is for the ads. Yes, you heard me right.

I enjoy watching the creativity of these companies as they duke it out on the big screen. For all practical purposes, there is a subliminal battle going on as well. I want to see which one understands people and the culture better, and what spin they can throw on it whether serious or humorous.

Mashable just posted an article on Pepsi dropping the Super Bowl Ads in favor of a $20M Social Media Campaign. Listen closely here. Anyone think the Social Media Revolution is still a fad, or are we going to wake up?

I am dead serious. Here we have a company who has been around for more than 100 years, and has been an integral part of the Super Bowl for the past 23 years. They know and have used all the traditional media and advertising outlets since the beginning. Want to know what made Pepsi big though? It was NONE of these ads. It was word-of-mouth. Think I’m kidding? Try the good old “Do you like Pepsi or Coke?” line on anyone. Better yet, talk to the company directly. You’ll get answers real fast.

If Pepsi can pull off their $20M social media campaign in 2010, that will show the world something. Something that needs to be taken seriously. Something that the nicely padded traditional agencies need to wake up to if they expect to have a job down the road. This monumentous shift will show the world that if a company that has been around for the past 100 years is taking this emerging industry seriously, you had better darn well too. Let me remind you that Burger King did pretty good with its whopper sacrifice in the beginning of 2009.

Thoughts? Think Pepsi can pull it off?

A Personal Review of Avatar

Avatar - NeytiriI went with a group of friends to see Avatar last night. If anything, this was the one movie on my list that I had to see. I had seen the previews for it, and it sparked my interest immediately.

Oddly enough, the day started out with nothing planned, but I knew for a fact that I would see Avatar before the day was out. I was waiting on a call from the friends as to the exact day and time, and when I did check in with them they said it would be that very night. I may have been caught up in the hype, but trust me, this was a movie I wanted to see.

We went for the IMAX 3-D version of it. When I got there, a line had already formed for the movie. I got my big bulky glasses and waited in line with the rest of them, meeting my friends in the process. There was a slight buzz of excitement, but that was about it. Not long after, we were ushered into the theater. Yeah, it was sold out, but we got the best seats in the house. Smack in the middle, 4/5ths of the way up.

IMAX has a tendency to come out and punch you right in the face when the movie starts, and it did just that. The sound was gorgeous, though I wouldn’t have minded if they cranked the speakers up more. This was a movie I could get used to watching at full volume. The 3-d glasses were an annoyance at first, but I got used to them quickly. if I could give one recommendation on this movie, go for the IMAX 3-D version, you’ll thank me for it afterwards. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Avatar began. Now how do I rate movies? I rate them based on the story they tell and how accomplished they are in its telling. If they are a master storyteller and can weave a story of awe and wonder, that will usually do it for me. Graphics and music come second. James Cameron is one of those masters.

**Spoiler Alert!!!**

The Story

The story of Avatar goes as follows. Jake Sulley was sent to take his twin brothers place at a human base on the planet of Pandora. He had been in cryo for the past 6 years as they traveled from earth to this distant planet. They landed on Pandora, which if viewed in 3-D is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are vibrant, and it feels for all practical reasons like you are there. Very quickly we find out that Jake is handicapped, he can’t use his legs. The rest of the people there are marines, sent to defend and protect in this hostile planet. We are debriefed and learn there is an alien tribe, the Na’vi, who pretty much like to keep to themselves. Ah, but he isn’t fighting. He was sent as part of a project, Avatar, to find out about the Na’vi by actually becoming one. Apparently the base had been around for a while as they were able to mix human and Na’vi DNA together to form a hybrid. That hybrid was then controlled by the “driver”. Jake was one of the drivers. For all practical purposes then, when they linked their brains together, he became a Na’vi. He only looked like one though, he had no idea of anything else. One thing he did like though was that he could use his legs again.

We soon find the real reason the human base is here. There is a rich supply of unobtanium that they want to mine, but the Na’vi just happen to have their “Hometree” located there. Jake is to spend time with them and earn their trust in order to move them to a different location. But the Na’vi have been watching what Jake and the other drivers have been doing in the forest. He is separated from his group, and is almost killed until a Na’vi female by the name of Neytiri saves him. They bring him to their home, but on the way find out that he is unique. They decide not to kill him, and he is paired up with Neytiri to teach him everything about being Omaticaya, or one of The People. He does quite well at it, and soon becomes one of them at the same time winning her heart.

Jake Sully in battle attire

The tables turn here as Colonel Miles Quaritch is impatient with the slow progress. He decides to go and blow up Hometree, where all of the Na’vi live. Jake and the rest who are in their Avatars try to stop it, but are unsuccessful. Hometree is destroyed and some of the Na’vi die. Everything lies in ruin, but there is one place for the Na’vi to go. The Vault of Souls. Jake then does the most insane thing ever by capturing and riding one of the most feared flying beasts of Pandora. Then, with the help of the remaining Na’vi, he gathers as many tribes as can be found for battle. Colonel Miles Quaritch finds out that the Na’vi are amassing for battle, so he decides to pre-emptively attack first. Jake hears about this, and decides to use the surroundings to their advantage.

The battle for the survival of a civilization begins, and many Na’vi lives are lost. But in the end the human ships are destroyed and Colonel Miles Quaritch dies in the final battle scene. All of the humans are then driven off of Pandora, the base is shutdown, and Jake is then merged with his Avatar body with Neytiri at his side.

I can’t imagine watching this in regular now, the IMAX 3-D version was the crispest I have ever seen. Everything about Avatar gushes jaw-dropping graphics from the first moment until the end. Soundtrack was pretty good too. As a matter of fact, a friend gave me a copy and I am listening to it as I write this. This almost three hour long movie was definitely worth the time and cost.

Are you a Marketer? Read Jeremy Schoemaker’s Review on What Marketers can learn from Avatar.

My Story?

Lets just say that I come pretty darn close to Jake in this. Might not be the best or the strongest out there, but its the heart that counts and ultimately makes all the difference. This movie came at the exact moment in my life, its kind of creepy (in a good way) how it mirrors my own life struggles.

One thing in particular I enjoyed about the movie is that when Jake is learning the language of the Na’vi is that Neytiri keeps repeating to him, Oel ngรกti kรกmeie (I See You). Jake is somewhat confused by this until he consults one of the other Avatar drivers, Norm, what this means. He finds out that it actually means “I see into you; I see through you; I see all of you; I understand you.” Don’t know why, but I particularly enjoy this line. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How does this apply to Social Media?

Apologies if its taken this long to get here, but if you are still reading, this is a very powerful point.

In Avatar, they soon find out that all of the trees seem to be connected on a subconscious level. The Na’vi know this. Interestingly enough, they can upload and download memories faster than the speed of light at certain groves of trees. Everything on Pandora seems to be connected to each other at 1012 level with everything around it, each sharing even more then that with everything else both near and far, effectively having more connections than the human brain.

Think of the Internet in this way. Its unbelievable yet true at the same time. There are so many connections, no wonder its called the world wide web. Now with the emergence of social media, you are front and center to the most fundamental shift in communication. 1.7 billion people are now online and connected with each other quite frankly to the umpteenth level. Are you aware of how powerful this is? Tapped into this still blows my mind, as it should yours.

How long did it take the radio to reach all of us? 38 years. TV? 13 years. Internet? 4 years. Oh, and the amount of people coming online daily are growing by leaps and bounds unfathomable. What are you doing to connect and engage?

Pretty impressive eh? And this is just the beginning.

Want to read another post on How Avatar applies to Social Media?

Thoughts?

Official Avatar Movie

Need Social Media Coaching?

Something has been on my mind for the past several years now. It is in regards to showing you how to take advantage of the tools available to us today. I know I haven’t spoken much on it, and I know a small handful of you are following me like a dog to learn from me. I apologize I haven’t been able to provide this sooner, I guess I needed to be bitten on the rear end to actually put this idea into action!

Note: If you want access to the vault where this coaching is stored, here is the link: http://bit.ly/socialmediavault

Now I’m not going to go around like other spammy websites in the blogosphere recommending you to buy this product of mine (pretend I’m waving something around), join an e-mail list (I only provide you with blog post updates and secret tidbits when something is new on my site), or *insert internet scam here*. I know waay too many people in my space that bounce around too much, and are losing my trust little by little.

When I was a Child…

From early childhood on, I’ve been fascinated with technology. Can’t tell you exactly why (my dad was a “car guy”), but I always loved looking into how some gadget worked, rip it apart, then put it back together. You can ask my mother for the details on things I smashed, ripped, pulled apart, or explained how such a piece worked if you’re interested. I always thought scientists were the coolest guys in the world, and they still are, and how you could specialize down to a niche so small only a handful people knew of it.ย  But that niche was so vibrant the world would hear about this awesome new technology that’s discovered sooner or later, and then flocks of people would come in to see what its all about and be wrapped inside the amazement of the discovery. At that point in time I wanted to be either the President of the United States, or some scientist in a tiny vibrant field of research. That defined me up until my teenage years. What happened then? Well, in a nutshell some of my schoolwork came to a screeching halt when I stumbled upon the internet. I guess the DNA for geek was already in me, as I stayed on the computer for hours tapping countless nodes of information. I lived a block and a half from a library, and soon every book on HTML, JavaScript, BASIC, and anything even related to computers was checked out and read countless times. I absorbed HTML through osmosis, and soon was hard-coding webpages on my computer when the dial-up was offline. This world was fascinating to me, as it was new, so I wanted to learn everything about it.

What does this have to do with Social Media?

Well, hang on, you’ll find out… Everything changed in my world three years ago when I first learned about blogging, podcasting, vlogging, and something called, “New Media”. I looked into it and knew in a heartbeat that THIS is where I wanted to stake my flag. This held a small community of vibrant people that quite literally can shake the world upside down and rightside up again. I didn’t dip my feet in, I LEAPT in! I was in the trenches learning everything I could, talking to everyone I could, and engaging with people on a level unheard of in today’s world! I got pretty cozy in this space, until something started creeping into my head. There was something missing. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but I knew deep in my heart that an integral piece of the puzzle had been left out. For months I kept turning up empty and frustrated. Then I attended New Media Expo 2008. Here, I found the missing puzzle piece. What was it? SOCIAL MEDIA!

What about Social Media?

Lets just say that its the engine to a car named “New Media” shall we? It fits pretty well. At last I found the missing part and threw it into action. Let me just say that flooring the gas pedal and pealing down the street was the best feeling in the world at that point. Something exploded, and not long after people started noticing something had changed in the way I had done things, so they started asking questions. I’d help them out, then watch their eyes pop as they went speeding off down the road as well.

Why am I saying all this?

Because I want to help you. I want to bring you into this vibrant community and open your eyes. I want to see you speed off down the road with an ecstatic look of glee your face. I’m finally putting the plan in motion and I want to see you hop aboard with me. I am going to be teaching a course on Social Media over the next few months, and I want you to be a part of it. There is no cost to attend, it is all free training. You are welcome to bring as many friends to the party as you can, I have more than plenty of food for all. Here is the breakdown:

Note: All of these sessions are now over and are in my vault. If you want access to the vault, here is the link: http://bit.ly/socialmediavault

  • November 4, 2009 @ 6pm CST: Teleseminar on “Social Media 101”. I’ll cover the basics and get you to start drooling over the potential this platform provides to you.
  • November 11, 2009 @ 6pm CST: Teleseminar on “Twitter”. I’ll cover all the basics of twitter and bring you up to speed with this vital tool.
  • November 18, 2009 @ 6pm CST: Teleseminar on “Facebook”. Facebook has changed the way we interact, I’ll bring you up to speed with this tool as well.
  • November 25, 2009 @ 6pm CST: Teleseminar on “LinkedIn”. A little known tool that will do wonders if you know how to use it.

Anything in particular you notice that is missing? Have a question? Leave it in the comments below, and I’ll respond back to you. How can I take advantage of this coaching? http://bit.ly/socialmediavault. This is my first offering to the public, so you can bet I’m a tad freaked out (heh, that word doesn’t even do justice to what I feel) by what I’m doing. My mind is yelling at me right now saying that I’m out of my mind, but I’m overcoming this obstacle to provide you with something of value. I’m not going anywhere, I plan on staying here for the long term.

What If

What if I had…

  • …posted everyday?
  • …a new podcast episode every week?
  • Would I be more popular?
  • Would I be the same?

I deal with these questions all the time. What if I had, what if I hadn’t, would things be different? Honestly, I can say I have no idea. Listening to big name bloggers who say you need to post on a regular basis, I think this blog would be alot bigger then it already is.

But then again, I look at it from this angle. This is a website/blog/podcast on/about/regarding me. TaylorMarek.com is the domain name, not xyzbusiness.com. This is where I make my home online, this is where the hub of all the information is located. If you want to know what is happening in my life, this is where you will find it. Obviously the private things are kept to myself and only shared if you know me as a relative or close friend. If you also want to tap into the wealth of knowledge I have, this is where you can get it.

I love consuming and sharing information. Its just part of who I am. This website is a offshoot, and a big one at that. Now with Twitter and Facebook I can spread the information that much further and that much faster that I could have three years ago. I love the space I am in right now. Let me repeat; I LOVE this space! Where else can you say something and have it fly across the world in a heartbeat with untold millions of people?!?! Old media is crumbling, and new media is on the verge of taking over. Social Media as well has been a powerful influence, scooping news reporters time and again on breaking news before it even becomes “breaking” news! Are you starting to see the bigger picture? This is something that can absolutely flip the world upside down. And this is just the start…

Ok, enough with that little bunny trail. If I get on the topic of old media versus new media, it energizes me like no other and I’ll hop as far down the bunny trail as I can because its just so darn cool!…

Anyways to make a long story short, here is the gist of it. This is a personal blog, and as such comes and goes with the ebbs and flows of my life. Quite honestly I’m humbled you even want to continue following after I haven’t created a new post in a while. I’m grateful you are still here and reading this. This blog/podcast is an amazing part of my life, but even more so that I have someone interested on the other side. I’m completely blown away by that, and it excites me to continue pushing out quality content for you to consume and share with your own friends.

My blog is a reflection of me. If I have alot of things I want to share with you, you will get more information. If there are days I have nothing to say, or am on vacation “rebooting” myself, there won’t be much of anything on this blog. But such is with life. There are times when lots of things are going on, and times where nothing is. I’m sure the same is with your own life. And lets admit it, if someone pushed out something on their personal blog every single day of their life, we’d assume they are a robot. Either that or “need to get a life” (interact offline that is). Not only that, but us the audience would be completely bogged down with the amount of information we’d have to keep up with.

Back when I first created this blog, then started my podcast, I always was mad and frustrated when I couldn’t post on a regular schedule. It would drive me up the wall during the first two years of this website. Eventually I calmed down and looked at it from a level head, now I’m sharing it with you a year later. During the times I didn’t post were some of the busiest days of my life, as well as many serious issues came and went. I would have turned into an angry robot if I had kept the schedule, but since I didn’t, I feel a freedom about it. Its ok if I don’t get around to posting on a daily/weekly schedule, maybe I’ll have something of even better quality that I want to share with you later on. Its all about what is going on with my life. Obviously a Grandfathers death and working out a career path will affect you enough so that you don’t post for a while, but that is life. Life is what you make it out to be, and everything will work out perfectly fine in the end. Are you going to let it paralyze you, or energize you for greater trials ahead?