Remember the days of playing Pac Man on your Commodore 64? Sigh. Those were simpler times. Yes, I had a pager longer then was deemed cool and I was admittedly one of the last of my friends to join Facebook. That said, like many people today, I’m trying to keep abreast of what is going on in the world of technology to stay competitive in the workforce. I have jumped on the preverbal technological bandwagon, hee, haw! I’m stumbling my way through a complicated web of technology that is constantly in a state of flux. I want to take you on my ongoing journey and would love to hear feedback on your adventures in using technology!! Be brave, my fellow tech-warriors!! Ahead, warp factor 6!!
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I’ve seen numerous ads on how to get people to retweet your tweets. It says look at me world, someone values what I have to say and wants to spread it to the masses. Taken to the extreme, some people fondly remember the first time someone retweeted their tweets and felt all warm n’ fuzzy inside. Kick it up a notch on the extreme-ometer and what do you get? A guy romanticizing about getting his first retweet akin to having a first kiss! Enjoy!
Q: Do you remember your very first retweet?
A: It happened some time ago… I was at the Blue Dragon hotel. It was about 10 minutes before midnight. As I sat directly in front of my laptop and logged into my Twitter account longing for my first retweet. I felt butterflies in my stomach, then all of a sudden it happened my first retweet. Oh, yes. I remember it. It was something magical, like something out of a Harlingen romance novel.
Dear reader, do you remember your first retweet?
Photo credit: RenzoFerrante
It has been deeply challenging to summarize what I’ve learned from reading Social Media 101 authored by Chris Brogan simply because I’ve learned a lot, so this list comes with a caveat. It represents the main things I’ve taken away, but by no means covers all topics, however, it will give you a glimpse at the value of buying this book. This is what I’ve learned:
- How to hit the ground running with starting effective social media initiatives, how to hire social media personnel, and measure their effectiveness.
- Information from a very well chosen plethora of useful websites.
- In depth, practical ways of becoming a successful blogger.
- How to create and sustain a strong personal brand.
- Importance of actively listening, finding your customers, interacting and engaging with them and giving them something they value.
- Importance of trust and transparency.
- Importance of using social media to reach your consumers.
- How to effectively create and execute a social media strategy.
- How to leverage key social media websites to work for you.
- Real-life experiences of companies using social media.
Various definitions abound. Here’s my stance. A website is interactive when there is some sort of two-way interaction that puts the consumer in the driver’s seat.
That said, it is possible for a website to be engaging, but not interactive. Yes, I mean who doesn’t like clicking? For example, the click-happy kook in you likely gets some measure of satisfaction in being engaged enough to click a Like button, click.
Does a Like button on a website make it interactive? I argue the Like button makes for a potentially engaging website, but not an interactive one.
- Jones Soda allows users to customize the label on their product and have it delivered to you. This product screams originality and personalization! When would you use such a product? You can personalize the bottle as a wedding favour for your guests, a birthday gift for your best friend or a Mother’s Day gift.
- You can enter the 7-11 Photo Contest where they pick two photos a day for the month, each getting prizes. All submissions get posted to their gallery for viewing, shazaam!
- You can also play a Jones Soda-themed memory game and see how you rank compared to your peers, but, I think that veers more on the engagement side, then being interactive, but it is a cool website feature so I felt compelled to share it with you.
Your turn, what’s your favourite interactive website?
Transparency: full disclosure that you are a marketer. I’ve sifted through a string of tweets from a group of people that I’m following on Twitter that I fondly refer to as my ‘Geek Squad’. I also cosied up with my trusted social media books* of choice in hand and hunkered down in a local cafe shop to ponder:
Why is transparency so important to an organization? Transparency is the foundation that our customers need to trust us. We need our consumers to trust us for our social media efforts to be effective. That’s huge! Trust is your social lubricant applied liberally; therefore, it follows that if you’re not prepared to be transparent to your customer, you are using the wrong medium, adios!
*Social Media Marketing, an Hour a Day, Dave Evans.