Buzzword Series

BuzzWord Series :: Week 2

This is not an indictment of Buzzwords, Jargon or neologisms. Even when this type of language is used with malice (to seem smarter and artificially elevate an argument), it has its place. It serves as a verbal “handle” that aids in the uptake of ideas. Please read on.

In week 1 we focused on some general terms to get us started:

  • Customer-Centric Marketing
  • Thought Leader
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Growth hacking
  • Social Nicheworks

This week we’ll focus on the Social Marketing side of things. I hope you enjoy.

MONDAY 1/25/16: Social Media Listening
It is what it sounds like – paying attention to what people are saying about your company or product in the social media ecosystem. There are tools like Nuvi, Topsy and Hootsuite that do the ground work for you – but then it’s up to you to know what to do with the information. It’s important to know that traditionally brands do not respond to (especially negative) posts as it’s hella tricky to avoid making things worse – but that’s changing – which brings me to our next social Buzzword.

TUESDAY 1/26/16: Social Moderation
Alright, we’re listening and paying attention to the sentiment and chatter around our brand – now what? Traditionally, Media/Community Managers are passive and toothless observers. if an issue gained enough momentum, maybe they’d escalate to a Marketing Director and a statement would be issued. If the damage was serious enough, a defensive campaign may be devised to work against whatever perception is causing the problem. Today however, Moderation is much more about creating a two way dialog with your customers and getting the brand itself in on the conversation. We’ve matured past the point of rote observation/reporting and we’re finally in on the action.

When done right, this new approach goes beyond Facebook and Twitter by incorporating community forums, news sites, Instagram live-event chatter, blogs etc. It’s a lot of work, but it’s not only worth it, consumers are starting to expect and demand it. Happy customers who feel herd and get issues resolved will tell 4-5 people about their positive experience. Moreover, a vulnerable, honest conversation with a pissed off customer is a great way to establish some personality, humanity and humility to a faceless corporation. This can be tricky, and of course it’s easier to just say nothing – don’t feed the trolls as they say – but by putting a little effort into your content strategy/standards and finding the right professionals who can handle the interaction, you’ll get it back and then some.

WEDNESDAY 1/27/16: Snackable Content
I’m bad at this. Or, at least, I’m not naturally good at it. I’m too damn verbose. I like to sink into a story and paint a pretty narrative in your mellon. So i have to work at being snackable when writing content – but it’s worth it. The author Gary Vaynerchuk describes Snackable Content as a quick punch in the face – rather than a prolonged wrestling match. It just means that hitting people with bite-sized nuggets, short sentences or even just a couple of words is much more sharable and potentially ‘viewable’ than the alternative.

While the face punch metaphor is powerful, I like to draw on a quote from Einstein when describing this concept: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself”. And before you post a comment saying “EINSTEIN DIDN’T SAY THAT, HIS TEACHER CECIL SHITBOTTOMS SAID IT!” I don’t give a fuck. Whoever said it was right on the money. Brevity is the soul of wit and snackable content is powerful, effective and highly sharable…… USE IT.

THURSDAY 1/28/16: Ad/Content Viewability
Impressions aint shit. Page views aint shit. Likes, friends, follows – all. aint. shit. What matters? Viewability – by actual people with actual eyes (and wallets). If 10%-40% of followers of any high-profile twitter account are fake users, and if up to 50% of purchased media is never seen by humans, we’re using the wrong metrics to design our campaigns and ultimately predict success.

Let me explain: An ad at the bottom of a page is tracked as an impression with our current tools even if the visitor never scrolls down far enough to see it. Even, in the old timey days of yore, if a magazine has a distribution of 50,000 copies, but 10,000 are never cracked by human hands, the ad buyers should be paying 40k distro numbers rather than 50k – but that’s not the case. The metric of viewability is meant to charge only for instances where consumer influence is possible. Google and Undertone have started offering viewabiliuty pricing models but we don’t yet have a standard in the industry. It’ll probably take Facebook and Twitter to get on board to make any real difference (because fuck banner ads, amirite?) and shift pricing in all paid media rather than just ads.

What will change? Well, we know that the non-viewable ads are baked into ad costs today. Meaning, ads will probably go up in a pure view ability model – rendering our total spend a wash. But at least our numbers will be real and our predictions, ROI numbers and strategy will be based on actual potential-influence.

In the mean time, at least we can start to think in terms of viewability and leave hazy numbers like page views in our rear view.

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