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Remember when ads tried to get us to buy a product?


I came accross this ad (left) in a magazine recently. Although it’s for a product I have zero interest in (Old Spice), I felt it was my duty to do some investigatory work by dialing the number in the ad. The funny thing is, if the number had been anywhere else in the ad, say at the bottom, I would have easily skipped right over it and kept flipping pages, but the ad was designed in a way that the number WAS the message. So I called it.

The ad is just for deoderant and isn’t really funny or entertaining. The recorded message, “for men press 1, for ladies press 2,” is in general mildly disturbing, but who knows, it might sell some deoderant?

Advertising liek this is not new or social, it’s a traditional marketing tactic, but the trend it is pointing to is that people are going after interaction in their advertising. Call a phone number, visit a website, download the app, this is the new holy grail of advertising.

Then- buy a product.
Now- take an action.

Going after actions and engagement is a wise idea. By taking action under the flag of a brand, product, or service, the brand, product or service can create a deeper impression than we’re used to with traditional advertising messages, otherwise know as distraction marketing. With thousands of ads hitting our eyes, those that we feel compelled to take action on, become something more. So take notice when you see a brand reaching out for engagement in interaction you may be surprised at your reaction after you participate.

Converse on Twitter without spamming your followers


A lesser known feature on Twitter is the ability to chat back and forth with someone without sending those updates to all your followers. A semi-private replying is valuable, because many times a reply doesn’t contain a lot of context, and the tweet would just lead to a lot of confusion about what the person was talking about. You could also send that person a direct message (DM), but with so many spam direct messages they seemingly are becoming less and less relevant.


So here is how it is done:

Simply reply to the person with their Twitter “handle” (@yournamehere) as the first characters in the tweet, then follow it up with any text as your reply.


Using the reply, will ensure that your tweet lands in the other persons’ reply “inbox” and out of your followers main stream, that is, unless they follow both of you. In that case you will then be able to view their conversation and join in if desired. Note: the tweet is still public and if someone lands on your profile page they will see these tweets. They will also come up in a Twitter Search as it is included in Twitter’s “public timeline.”

In addition, when sharing something about that person to your followers, make sure you put some other text in front of their handle, like a RT (retweet), otherwise you’ll hide the promotion from your followers.

Send me a reply message by clicking here.

Demystifying the difference between Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups



Photo by sjaustin (Flickr)

Many people know that Facebook is an incredibly popular social network. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world, boasting more than 300 million active users (click here for more Facebook facts). It’s almost like an Internet in itself. If you are confused on how to use Facebook for business, your not alone. I’ve seen and met a lot of people that are using their Profile for their companies and personal, which is not the recommended method (In fact, you may get banned from the network!). So here is a bit of an explaination on the different options Facebook has to offer.

Facebook allows for businesses to create “Pages.” In the earlier days of Facebook, people would create personal Profiles for their company, but Facebook soon identified this as an issue and outlawed companies using profiles. In response, they enabled them to become something different, hence Pages. Pages act and look just like a Profile which is why many people get the two mixed up. The major difference is that a Page has a very different set of privacy levels than a Profile (Check out this comparative chart for some of those differences).

A profile is designed to keep you up to date with your friends and family, and Pages give companies a way to stay in touch with their “Fans” by using an opt in system. For example, a member can use their Profile to subscribe to updates from a Page by selecting to “Become a Fan” of the Page, but a Page can’t subscribe, or become a friend, of the members Profile, and thus their personal updates.

Additionally, Facebook has “Groups.” Groups are better for clubs and offline groups that just need a simple way to stay in touch. Groups aren’t ideal for business, unless used for a short term marketing campaigns, or as a company Intranet.

The system is really designed for the specific types of users:

Pages = Business
Profiles = People
Groups = Clubs

Get started by building your company Facebook Page

Goals and Objectives from Obama’s Campaign Manager, David Plouffe


Earthsite, co-sponsored a lecture at Dominican University of California yesterday. David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, often credited as being the mastermind for Obama winning the presidency in 2008, spoke to a crowd of about 200 packed into Angelico Hall in San Rafael, CA. Among his many insights, the things he said about their strategy and execution of the campaign stuck out for me.

From the very beginning, they knew they could not win the presidency (goal), without changing the electorate to a younger more diverse set of voters (objective). This clear objective would guide their strategy and tactics throughout the campaign. To inspire new voters, it would take a technological-mixed-grassroots effort, so they worked on creating an organized and empowering group of connected individuals that were equipped to talk to others and encourage others to get out and vote (13 million people on their e-mailing list).

It’s a great example of why having objectives to reach your goals are important. So I ask you, what are your goals and how are your objectives going to guide your strategies and tactics?

Have a little fun with a lesser known holiday


movemberYou may or may not have noticed that I didn’t publish a post yesterday. Okay, here’s a little disclaimer. Things sometimes get a little crazy in the Earthsite office. Especially with the SF Green Festival right around the corner (are you coming to the Tweetup?), so sometimes I’ll miss a post or two, but I’m hoping for a new post every weekday around 6:00pm.

Now yesterday also marked the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down (I was nine years old at the time, but I remember watching men and women standing on the broken pieces, dancing). Not to take anything away from this mark in history, but it got me thinking about how we, as people and as brands, interact with the holidays.

Most of us celebrate a good amount of big holidays every year. During which you’ll find most department stores decorated with Douglas Firs, Giant Easter Bunnies, and big red hearts, and then there are the lesser know holidays that tend to fly under the radar. That’s right, I’m talking about: Name Your Car Day (November 6th), National Pecan Pie Day (July 12th), Swap Ideas Day (September 10th), and some of the many more found here.

When you engage with new media you should find new outlets to have a little fun. I mean, that’s what most people are here for, right? So why not align yourself, or your organization, with a lesser known holiday? Doing it the right way can be a little time intensive, but if you have the budget to hire an agency, ahem, or if you have the capacity to take it on yourself, then you just might find yourself picking up more publicity, building an engaged-loyal customer base, and increasing new leads to your products and services.

(Combine with previous post, EPK, for best results)

Happy Movember! <<good example, good cause

An Electronic Press Kit makes it easy for others to spread your good word



phone by pirate johnny (CC:Flickr)

In the world of social media and social sharing having assets available for bloggers, customer advocates, and other partners, to grab and share can be incredibly valuable to your organization. Often these are called electronic press kits. If your website doesn’t have one, than make one, because it will be worth your time!


Electronic press kits, epk, should give your visitors a variety of options to use in their blog posts, printings, and other types of postings. Here is a great example by our friends at Bioneers, and a list of some ideas that you can include in yours:

  • Photos and Videos
    • of the organization/establishment
    • of management
    • of workers
    • headshots/in-action
    • Slidshows and video players
  • Text/Copy
    • Mission, vision, values
    • anything you’d put in a press release
    • b-roll, quotes
  • Advertisement Graphics
    • Variety of sizes
    • Variety of styles
  • Contact information


Remember, these assets should communicate your brand and your position.

Remember the spectators


Sometimes it get’s a little creepy when someone you haven’t seen or heard from in months, or even years, comes up to you and seemily is up-todate with what’s up in your life. Has this happened to you? It has for me, thanks to Facebook and Twitter (yes, my mom follows me on both, sigh).

What I’m pointing to is that even though you post stuff and sometimes nobody comments or reply’s, you’re still being seen by an audience. If you track your links on Twitter with say, bit.ly, you may know that not everyone clicks through, but remember more people are looking at your post. It’s even more prevelant on Facebook. Facebook, now the 5th largest country in the world (if it were a country), has more late majority adoption than any other social technology out there, less perhaps email. The thing with Facebook is that not everyone likes to post and comment, for a variety of reasons (shy, fear, voyerism, privacy issues), but they like to watch and stay up to date.

According to the folks at Forrester Research, these “spectators” can be characterized based on demographics. Take a look at the Groundswell’s, Social Technographics Profile Tool and understand the tendancies of your target audience, and I recommend picking up a copy of the book as well.

And remember there may be more people out there listening than you think.

How to Spot a Social Media Fake

Anna OBrien, of www.randomactsofdata.com, lays out some great points in this short presentation on How to Spot a Social Media Fake.

Personally, I’m not sure about the word fake. I think there are a lot of people out there that understand it and are genuinely trying to make a living off of it. I mean social technologies ARE designed for the masses, but as you will see in this presentation there are definitely certain qualities that you want to vet for when looking for a social media expert. Enjoy!

In new media, your stories are your gold



Ray Anderson, of Interface. His story was inspirational for many.

I’m a fan of storytelling. Stories inform you of rich settings, complex situations, and creative problem solving ideas. We all have stories that we tell ourselves to make sense of the world, and our companies are no different. In new media, as in life, these stories guide our strategies, provide valuable content for our tactics, all while reinforce our brand.

I encourage you to explore your story. Write it down, explore the language and the syntax. Stew over it. Come back to it. If you’re not satisfied, try adding or editing your story.

The result of this practice can help you market your brand. On the Internet, you’ll find yourself equiped with new keywords you can use for your website or for your ad campaigns. You’ll be able to identify new topics or more specific topics on Twitter, Linkedin, search, etc. Lastly, update your company profiles to reflect this language, as it will help your searchability.

When was the last time you shared your company story?

Posterous, blog when you have no time to blog


Most working professionals don’t blog for a living, nor do they have time to blog, but what if blogging was as simple as sending an email? Would you find stuff to share?

Introducing Posterous, the “dead simple,” email based blogging solution for the uber busy, the first time bloggers, families and groups, social media pros, and the non-tech savvies. Simply send an email to post@posterous.com and watch your blog community take off, that’s right you don’t even need to sign up for an account! It’s also great as a way to bookmark things you want to come back to later.

Posterous has all the bells and whistles that most blog management systems have like RSS feeds, analytics, custom domains, photo galleries, syndication to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc, and more.

Here are some tools to help you get started:

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