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Buying Likes

9 May

Recently,  I was reading some Facebook posts by some bloggers that I know, and an interesting topic came up.  “Like Buying” on Facebook.

The long story short, is that on Facebook’s new timeline layout, you can see where your favorite brand page’s likes come from.  Why this is interesting, is that if you search any of your favorite pages on Facebook, you can see “How I met your Mother” is has the most likes from Istanbul Turkey. Or you can check out your favorite bloggers fanpage and see that their readers are not in fact US based, but rather in a remote village in NE Russia.

As a brand, I personally don’t think likes or page views are the most important way to determine if the blogger is going to be a success.  I think that in many cases, it is just as important to have an idea of how that blogger interacts with  you and other brands.  As well as how much the blogger’s audience interacts with them.  If they can’t tell you a lot about their audience or why  your product would work for their audience, you probably should think twice before partnering.

What is your Audience Worth?

23 Apr

Facebook filed an amendment to their S-1, and according to Tech Cruch, each Facebook user is worth an average of $1.21 a quarter.  As they go public, their goal will be to increase the value that each user has.  They won’t necessarily be able to rely on rapid user growth and will need to find innovative ways of continuing to grow the company’s product options.

But what does this have to do with anyone outside of Facebook?

The answer is simple- your site is only as good as it’s product offering.  That Facebook has a value that is positive for a product it does not charge it’s users for, is indicative of the usefulness of the internet.  If you have a site that provides value- users will follow.  If users grow, your ability to bring in revenue based on these users grow. It’s a fairly symbiotic relationship.  But it’s only useful, in a monetary sense, if you know what your audience wants and who they are.

If you do not know who your audience is, you can’t begin to expect to make money off of your site.  Moreover, life in general, requires that we know our audience.  If there’s one lesson that more and more people should know, it’s exactly how vital your knowledge of your audience is to success.

You may have started your blog with an idea to target a specific region (I’ve spoken with a lot of bloggers about this) and find that when you pull your Google Analytics numbers, that you’ve started to hit a different city altogether.  Or you might think your audience is primarily older young moms, until you run a survey and find out that single women are actually your biggest readers.  In either situation, if you keep blogging for the audience you think you have, rather than the audience you have, you devalue your entire site and the worth of your audience.  Not because they are less valuable- but because you don’t know how to express your audience to the sponsors, ad agencies, and brands you are reaching out to.

It seems like such a simple concept- know your audience, know your worth, just plain and simple- know!   Your site is only going to be as successful as the information you have access to exploit.  This is running theme in every piece of business advice I hear, in every critique of a failing business I read about, and every path for someone to do far better than they currently are.

Part of the reason Facebook has been able to be as successful as they currently are, is that they learned to pivot quickly as they learned about their business.  And they constantly learned about their audience and data value.

And let’s get something straight- value isn’t just a large number of followers, a combine readership of hundreds of thousands of people.  Value can be having 100 great audience members who are also influencers and able to spread your message even further.   It’s about your audiences’ wiliness to actually take action on the message you have presented.  Imagine if you were trying to sell televisions to the Amish- it doesn’t matter if you had ever Amish person in the room- you’d likely fail in the endeavor.

Know your audience, know your value!

Why Social Media Nerds will Rule the Earth!

22 Aug

Why Jen Friel is my latest nerd crush and a great example of social media possibilities…

I have numerous nerd/geek crushes.  They include Craig Ferguson and his beautiful/awesome Doctor Who love.  And of course, there is the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick.  But how in the heck did I not know about Jen Friel?  Thankfully, my day job took me to #20sbsummit in Chicago this weekend.   Many of the sessions were helpful, in the blogging conference way.  Great people, good tips on publishing, etc.   But by far, my favorite session of the event was Jen Friel’s speech-which was more a display of awesome than anything else.

There is no doubt in my mind that this awesome nerd chick is winning at life because she just rocks so hard core in her nerdiness and embraces the hell out of it.  She  is a fearless gal who has said “no” to doing what is expected in this humdrum thing we call life, and has decided to really push herself forward into the universe.

What I love most though, about Jen, is that she has embraced social media and made it her b*tch!  There are two ways to really use social media.  Most people (and heck- I know I include myself in this group way too often- something I am definitely inspired to change), use social media to connect in a very surface and base level conversation.

But others- like Jen, are taking social media and using it to proclaim their mighty self.  Social Media has so much potential to let us create the space and the freedom to really be who we are (whether a corporate brand, a personal brand, or just a person who uses the internet to connect).  Embracing who she was, what she wanted to do, and letting herself fall free of everyone’s expectations and broadcasting it to the world on social media changed Jen’s life.  And they are leveraging that freeing power to do the things they want, instead of what is merely expected.

Bloggers I talk to, always ask about how far is too far before you sell out to the brand.  Jen is the living example of how you can work completely with big brands and still be yourself.  If you have a chance, you should read about Jen’s #BJDiet — which I promise is not as dirty as it sounds.  When her first foray into living life by just doing and proclaiming ended- Jen was trying to figure out what she needed to do to survive and still live the life SHE WANTED to live.  In her pursuit of this, she decided she would live off Beef Jerky for an entire month (get it? BJ…hahaha).  She wrote several companies, but many thought she was bat sh*t crazy.  They didn’t get her, and in the end, she wasn’t what their brands were looking for. And that was fine with her, because if a brand didn’t connect with her idea, they wouldn’t have been good for her to work with either.  And the same is true for anybody. If you are doing something and following your path, your heart, your purpose  (or to be more business succinct- your mission statement) you do not want to do business or enter into relationships with people who don’t get it. Because you will always be fighting a battle about why you do it how you do it, instead of how you can do better!

Which conversation sounds like more fun? 

Lunch Keynote by Indra Nooyi

9 Aug

Probably the most unexpected highlight of BlogHer11, was getting to listen to Indra Nooyi’s amazing Keynote conversation with Willow Bay. Particularly of interest was Indra’s wonderful down-to-earth perspective on what her brand (PepsiCo) should be working towards to become both successful and purposeful.  Ms. Nooyi sat down for a little over an hour over lunch, to answer questions.   She was extremely forthright about the need for CEOs to interact more with women bloggers.  I have to whole-heartedly agree.  She showed both an amazing passion for her brand’s portfolio, but also gave some genuine and delightful insight into her brand that has definitely helped PepsiCo’s brand equity.

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BlogHer Day 3- Your Blog and Social Media Marketing

7 Aug

Your Blog Can Make You a Social Media Marketer-10:45am:

This session was a great session, however, I believe that in-house social media marketers were lacking on the panel.  In the end, the way a PR firm and an in-house social media maven function, I believe can be very different- at least in my experience.  Brand managers for PR Firms, inevitably will find it difficult to wholly grasp the voice and feel of the company they are engaged with.   And it’s not their fault despite how hard they work.  But think about it, if you are regularly cautious about how you interact on-line because Brand A does not like a specific style- it has such a high potential to bleed through.

Personally, I believe it is extremely important to engage in an authentic conversation with people, in this modern age.  If brands choose not to, with so much media being exchanged daily, they run the risk of mixed signals based wholly on what market research says is the next best moral code…

With that said, there are some great take-aways after the jump.

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BlogHer11- Day 2

6 Aug

Don’t forget- that  if you miss anything, you can find information at the conference website.

The Newbie Breakfast.

Yesterday, while my second day out here in San Diego for BlogHer, was technically the first full day of the conference–  and boy was it a blast.  I’ve never been more inspired and excited to be working with the wonderful women that make this an amazing community.  (I should also mention that as I’m fixing this up, I can hear Bob Harper-downstairs leading an exercise group.  How awesome and surreal is that?)  I went ahead and live blogged some of the stuff that stood out to me in a few sessions- and in the coming weeks will likely come back to the these topics. In the meantime though, here’s a quick breakdown.

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