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Creating with Social Media

Today, I’ll be speaking at Pratt on the topic of social media. Personally, I hate the phrase social media, but love the ethos of sharing, collaboration, and coordinated groups. For those who can’t make it (or for those tuning in after the discussion), take a look at the articles I’ll be mentioning : Malcolm Gladwell’s article “Small Change : The revolution will not be tweeted” in the New Yorker, as well as Beth Kanter’s reponse, Social Media for Good.

This workshop is partly based on the class I am currently teaching “Creating with Social Media

you can register for the class here

Social Media Bootcamp | Resources

During SMartCamp (Social Media Art Camp), nonprofits, artists, arts organizations, bloggers, strategists, and a bunch of other really really interesting people gathered to talk about the intersection of Arts, Culture, and Technology.

As part of SMartCamp, we also ran a 4 hour Social Media Bootcamp. The workshop, which was limited to 20 participants (broken up into smaller groups of 5), allowed attendees to develop the foundations of a social media strategy, or workshop an existing social media strategy in a small group setting with one-on-one support from workshop leaders.

The workshop leaders included
Farra Trompeter
Maryann Devine
Damien Basile
and me, Jaki Levy.

Each facilitator gave a short 10 minute presentation, and then led a conversation within the small groups. All 4 presentations are included below (for even more SMartCamp presentations, go here).

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SMArt Camp at Roger Smith Hotel

This weekend, I’ll be participating in SMartCAMP with a host of very distinguished folks. Tickets are going quick, so you can read on, or just go to the site and register (I’ll be leading a Social Media Bootcamp session on Sunday). 1/2 day passes are still available.


Taking place during art fair week, SMartCAMP will be tackling some of the most important topics in social media as it relates to the cultural sector. Designed to give an overview of how professionals working in the arts can put these new communications tools to work for them, SMartCAMP will be offering a series of panels, presentations and case studies to help artists and arts professionals put together a course of action. For those already familiar with the social web, it will be an opportunity to deepen their knowledge, hone new skills, refine social engagement strategies and gain inspiration from distinguished peers and colleagues working at the intersection of art and social media. For social media professionals who are looking to connect with arts organizations, SMartCAMP offers an opportunity to learn about the challenges and possibilities unique to the cultural space.

“Social media is changing the way people share and discover content, the way they consume information, the very essence of modern-day communication itself,” says Julia Kaganskiy, ArtsTech founder and SMartCAMP program curator. “No industry, especially one as socially significant as the arts, can afford to ignore the social web.”

SMartCAMP will address a variety of topics; social media strategies, technology art start-ups, emerging trends and measuring social media success. The program will begin on each day with keynote speeches from Marc Schiller, Founder of Wooster Collective and CEO of Elecrtic Artists, and Maria Popova, founder and editor-in-chief of Brain Pickings, respectively. The remainder of the day’s agendas will include case studies from artists and institutions, a mobile media presentation, an online ‘video kit’ instructional and a bloggers panel.

In addition to this agenda, several top social media and branding strategists will lead a small group workshop entitled Social Media Bootcamp. The workshop, which is limited to 20 participants broken up into groups of 5, will allow attendees to develop the foundations of a social media strategy, or workshop an existing social media strategy in a small group setting with one-on-one support from workshop leaders.

For full symposium schedule click here
For full speaker list click here
Website: socialmediaartcamp.com

Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/SMartCAMP

Friend on Facebook: facebook.com/SMartCAMP


Social Media Week NYC 2010

The first week of February is Social Media Week in NYC. Along with Little Big Pictures, we’ll be co-hosting this month’s #artstech event, which is exploring the creative overlap between social media and the arts.

Instead of the usual discussion of Facebook fans and Twitter followers, we wanted to take a look at some of the most inventive implementations of social media we’ve come across: social media art experiments. We’ll be taking a look at how artists are incorporating social media in their art-making practices. You want to talk about creative community engagement strategies? Look no further than this round-up.

The speakers:
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New Privacy Policies on Facebook, Cake, and Death

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberger recently announced that Privacy Policies will be changing on Facebook.

Here is an excerpt from the facebook blog:

“Facebook’s current privacy model revolves around “networks” — communities for your school, your company or your region. This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students.

Over time people also asked us to add networks for companies and regions as well. Today we even have networks for some entire countries, like India and China.”

Still with us? Okay – this is the “good” stuff:
“The plan we’ve come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.

We’re adding something that many of you have asked for – the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we’ll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July.

Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we’ll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You’ll see a message that will explain the changes and take you to a page where you can update your settings. When you’re finished, we’ll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you chose the right settings for you. As always, once you’re done you’ll still be able to change your settings whenever you want.

We’ve worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, but we also understand that everyone’s needs are different. We’ll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself. I encourage you to do this and consider who you’re sharing with online.”

Ok – everybody got that?

Make sure you review and update your privacy settings when the time comes.

In other Facebook news, Facebook has also updated its policies on sweepstakes. For more on what that might mean, read this great article on TechCrunch about spamming people and making a shitload of money on facebook (written by Dennis Yu, a former spammer).

Ok – now you can enjoy Eddie Izzard’s Cake or Death in Lego Stopmotion

Social Media and NonProfits

[via http://ow.ly/B5Qg]

1. You are an adult now — it’s okay to talk to strangers. Panel moderator Dr. Kyra Gaunt set the stage by reminding us to forget what we learned as kids. Social media — and in particular Twitter — is great for talking to strangers. You can learn new ideas and share resources with people around the world.

2. Take the walls down and embrace a ’social culture’. Allison reminded attendees that social media tools are just that. If you want to create change, your organization needs to shift how it thinks about social media–from a mindset of fear and control to one of listening and sharing. Several times she said we need to ‘tear down the walls’ and allow the lines to blur between what happens internally and externally. Having a social culture is about opening up and sharing; letting go of the content and giving more credit than you take.

3. The Internet is not an ATM. Success is about building relationships–not building numbers. For those people and orgs particularly interesting in raising money via social media, Deanna shared a helpful way to think about this: Just like you can’t walk into a bar, say how awesome you are and then ask someone for money… you can’t expect people to give you money, hand over fist, via Facebook and other social media sites. You have to build relationships and follow the tried and true practices of fundraising — the same ones that have been around since before the web — share your story, interest the potential donor by giving them something to do other than donating (cultivation), share more about your work and invite them to see your programs in action (stewardship), and then ask them to join you/invest/donate (solicitation).

4. Being everywhere is nice, being relevant is best. Andrew spoke about the huge access the Internet offers — citing stats from how the presidential candidates used social media in the 2008 election. Where radio, TV, and print are economies of scarcity, he said the Internet is an economy of abundance. Deanna asked a great question in response, “How do we move from abundance to being relevant? How do we make info relevant and interesting in people’s lives?” I think this is one of the most important questions to ask and consider right now.

5. Logos don’t talk, people do. Another hot question at this seminar and others on nonprofits + social media is about walking the line between your professional and personal brand, especially if you are the one tweeting, blogging, status-updating, commenting, texting, etc. for your organization. Allison made a great point in response to this topic and reiterated her earlier comments about taking down the walls and letting it blend. People want to talk to other people. “Social media is not a spectator sport—it’s a contact sport.” If you are not sure if social media is for you, start small and experiment.

Next seminar from Baruch College will focus on ‘going mobile’ on November 12, 2009. To watch footage from this event or find out more about the next one, check the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management.

Social Media Expected To Drive Holiday Shoppers

For non-profits, November and December translate to donation season. For businesses, it’s a time to think about what deals to offer their customers. And for marketers, it’s time to think – how will I help businesses reach the RIGHT customers?

by Sarah Mahoney

[via MediaPost]

With consumers determined to limit their holiday spending, a new study predicts they will do more of their Christmas bargain-hunting through social media, and less through search engines or shopper review sites.

The study, from Oneupweb, compared holiday traffic trends over the last two years at the top-ranking e-tailers, social sites and review sites against the latest user trends, and found that while search engines have typically been the leading driver to retail sites, “social media is influencing search behavior and affecting the purchases a consumer makes.”

“We found that traffic to social sites steadily gained on retail sites in 2007 and 2008,” it says. Despite a holiday bump, direct traffic to online retail sites fell 10%, behind traffic to social sites, which grew 12% from December 2007 to December of last year. “Traffic to the review sites remained stagnant throughout the year, experiencing a mild bump during the holiday season,” the report says.

Will you be using social networks to drive sales this holiday season? If so, how will you work to adjust your existing marketing budget?

Social Media Gurus

In February, I did a presentation called, “How to Ruin Your Online Reputation”
One of the sure-fire ways to ruin your reputation is to call yourself a social media guru (or allow others to call you that).

This video sums up the pitfalls of working with a self-proclaimed social media guru

This. Is. Hysterical.
There’s cursing in here, so you may not want to play it at work.

Critics, Bloggers, and PR in the 21st Century

Last night, a group of bloggers, producers, artists, choreographers, and critics gathered to discuss a very important question – in a shifting world where the role of print media is shifting, what is the role of the critic (particularly in the world of dance)?

In the arts, press = $. If you get good press, you get more bookings (from presenters), more donations (from patrons and board members), and more people come see you. So the (basic) formula goes. So, Press is important. Duh. But press does not equal critics. And critics do not exist for the sole purpose of generating good press for art. Critics write to generate dialogue. Is this still the case? More importantly, will that be the case 2 years from now? Probably. It should.

But can bloggers actually fulfill the same role that the critics from the New York Times (and other reputable publications) have filled for the past X amount of years? And what were those roles to begin with?

You’re welcome to debate these questions in the comments. But for the purpose of this particular post, I’ll focus on the role of bloggers, and what I see as an evolution of publicity, audience development, and general discourse around art work. To grossly generalize and simplify things, I’ll break it down into 2 camps. Bloggers are bad, and bloggers are good.

In his book, The Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen takes the position that bloggers and “the crowd” are diluting our culture. In a NYTimes review of his book, Michiko Kukutani writes

“what the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world around us rather than deep analysis, shrill opinion rather than considered judgment.” In his view Web 2.0 is changing the cultural landscape and not for the better. By undermining mainstream media and intellectual property rights, he says, it is creating a world in which we will “live to see the bulk of our music coming from amateur garage bands, our movies and television from glorified YouTubes, and our news made up of hyperactive celebrity gossip, served up as mere dressing for advertising.” This is what happens, he suggests, “when ignorance meets egoism meets bad taste meets mob rule.”

Essentially, he takes the position that the wisdom of the crowds essentially creates a popularity contest. Google search results, he claims, are based on popularity and not relevance. On the other hand, Dan Gillmor has a more optimistic and positive view on the publishing revolution. In his book, We the Media, Gilmor writes:

The rise of the citizen-journalist will help us listen. The ability of anyone to make the news will give new voice to people who’ve felt voiceless — and whose words we need to hear. They are showing all of us — citizen, journalist, newsmaker — new ways of talking, of learning xxix

Many writers have lost their jobs as critics for reputable publications. If writers who have been laid were to publish on a blog, would their word be valued any less? If Elizabeth Zimmer published a critique or piece on her own blog, is her writing any less valid? I trust we live in a world where this is not the case. So why are we not seeing more writers who have been laid off blog on their own sites?

We still believe in mainstream media. Mainstream media still serves a purpose.
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New Study finds correlation between Social Media and Financial Success

Many individuals, companies, and non-profits I work with ask, “Should I setup a facebook profile for my company? Won’t it be a time suck? Is it really worth it?” The bottom line for many of my clients: they are worried about spending more time on the computer, and less time on running their company.  A recent article on ReadWriteWeb delves into this very issue.

Personally, I think it’s quite simple. If you’re actively producing online social media (participation on facebook, twitter, etc.), you’re already more engaged. And if you’re more engaged with your customers, clients, and audiences, financial success will follow.

One of the more interesting “discoveries?” Companies had more success when deeply engaged on a few sites than lightly engaged on many sites. “It’s not about doing it all, but doing it right.”

Read the full article below for ReadWriteWeb’s summary of the recent study:
[originally published on ReadWriteWeb]

A new study released by enterprise wiki provider Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group shows that the brands most engaged in social media are also experiencing higher financial success rates than those of their non-engaged peers. To determine this relationship, the study focused on 100 companies from the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands survey and the various social media platforms they used like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, and forums. Although it’s difficult to prove for certain that the companies’ involvement in social media has led to their increased revenues, the implication behind the new data is that it has.

After examining the companies and their social media activity levels, the brands were ranked on an “engagement scale” where scores ranged from a high of 127 to a low of 1. Those brands that were the most engaged saw their revenue grow over the past year by 18% while the least engaged brands saw losses of negative 6%.

Four “Engagement Profiles”

The study grouped the brands into one of four engagement profiles that related to the number of channels they’re involved in and how deep that involvement is. At the top of the list are “mavens,” the brands heavily engaged in seven or more social media channels – like Starbucks and Dell, for instance. “Butterflies” are like wannabe “mavens,” and are also engaged in seven or more channels but are spread too thin, investing in some channels more so than others. “Selectives” focus on six or fewer channels but engage customers deeply in the ones they’ve chosen. Finally, there are “wallflowers,” or brands engaged in six or fewer channels with below-average engagement; these include companies like McDonalds and BP.

Out of the top 10 brands engaged in social media, the mavens dominate the list. All of the top 10 are mavens and have seen financial success even in a down economy:
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The Pyramid of Engagement

Last year, I presented at a great conference organized by Soundstreams. One of the speakers, Max Valiquette from Youthography, presented research about online communities. He spoke of a Pyramid of Engagement. I couldn’t find his research or article, but after a quick online search, I found this article posted below (along with a nice image).

[This article is reposted in whole. View the Original Article posted on The Facebook Era]

In any community, online or otherwise, there will be varying levels of engagement among members.  At the Social Media Influence Conference in London this week, Guillaume du Gardier who is New Media Executive at Ferrero explained his pyramid model for understanding passive and active visitors to his brand’s various online communities. Thanks to Guillaume’s inspiration, I have distilled a general pyramid framework with four levels:

pyramid by Charlene Li, of Groundswell/Forrester Research

At the top of the pyramid are a small number of creators, including your most influential community members. They are your evangelists, most ardent fans, and passionate contributors of new ideas.

Next are those who tend to comment on, though generally not contribute, ideas and discussion threads already put forth by others. These individuals are essential for creating a sense of dialogue across different members of the community, for helping to refine ideas and make them better.

One step down are people who vote and tag items in your community. They express their preferences and opinions in the lowest-commitment way possible, but are still engaged.

Last but not least are the bulk of your community visitors: people who are just visiting, consuming content but not participating per se.

Online marketing managers need to understand what the pyramid looks like for their particular communities, how they can encourage people to become increasingly engaged over time, and how specifically each engagement level might lead to or be correlated with sales. For many of us, this might be a better, more nuanced way for linking our marketing funnel (as measured by online engagement in this case) and sales pipeline in the Facebook Era.

Read the original post
Buy the book

UPDATE : For great resources and insights on social networks, read Groundswell

YouTube Symphony Orchestra : Building a symphony online

YouTube + Google have launched the YouTube Symphony, a place where anyone can audition for Carnegie Hall.

A few other places (including the New York Times) are talking about it:

I initially read it on Andrew Taylor’s blog, The Artful Manager, but there are many other blogs talking about this great contest.
So what is it? According to Jaime Weinman
musicians make videos of themselves playing a particular part in a short piece by the composer Tan Dun. They also make a more standard audition video of themselves playing their usual repertoire. They submit their videos by January 28, and the judges pick the winners. Then YouTube creates a mashup where they combine the winning parts into an “online orchestra,” and then the winners are flown to New York to do a live performance at Carnegie Hall in April under veteran conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
How did this idea happen? Greg Sandow wrote an interesting article on this and gives us a quick summary:
Two guys at Google came up with the idea (Google owns YouTube), and pitched it to the rest of the company. The rest of the company liked it, so Google went ahead, and found classical music partners to join in the fun.Â
This Washington Post article also gives a nice overview of the contest.
Is this a good idea? Will this water down classical music while bringing it to larger audience? Or will it be a great success?

National Arts Marketing Project Conference

This week is the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

For those interested in how the new ways of the web are affecting the arts and beyond read on!

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City published these two very interesting reports – well worth a read. These publications are being discussed at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

KC Collaborative Audience Development Exec Summary
June 20, 2008
This executive summary provides a brief overview of a three-phased audience development research project initiated by the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and conducted by Surale Phillips between 2003 to 2008. The job of connecting with arts audiences is getting tougher in an increasingly competitive world. Adding to this challenge is the fact that arts organizations often work in isolation, unaware of research and replicable innovations from across town or from across the nation. This report offers guidance for finding new audiences and connecting with all audiences in meaningful ways.

KC Collaborative Audience Development Phase III
June 20, 2008
This report focuses on the many lessons learned by arts organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area in a multi-year collaborative audience development project. As noted by Jerry Yoshitomi, the findings of Phase III of the project align with recent research in social psychology and marketing, as well as the Web 2.0, social marketing, self-curated world that is emerging. The recommendations and tools included in the full report take into consideration the changes in cultural communication methods and make use of new, more efficient ways of using technology to keep marketing costs down while increasing patron connection and response.

AYN Brand has also published this great web2.0 primer. Take a look through the presentation below:

Strategy versus Tactics

Kendall Allen writes :

On our best game, we plan for business and get to market; we move with clarity from strategy to plan to brass tacks. It all ties together. But, given the potential to miss the mark and disconnect horribly, there is an open, perpetual conversation about strategy vs. tactics. In almost any business circle, it buzzes. You can jump in on this confab almost any given day of the week. What is the talk?

Well, I’m sure you’ve noticed that some people truly cannot distinguish between strategy and tactics; it’s all a blur, or they just flat-out jump right into the weeds and operate more as tacticians than critical thinkers. Many of those either lazy or clueless go as far as to say, “Strategy and tactics, one and the same.” So, we talk about them. There’s a collective guffaw among the righteous — and the conversation that extols the difference goes from there. Seriously — just think how many opinion pieces you have seen on whether people — marketers, agencies, media companies — get it or not. It even extends to the world at large –other sectors and even presidential debates. Strategy vs. tactics — what’s the difference? We love this topic.

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Social Media Strategy

social networks statistics
With a growing number of sites and social networks, how do you decide what networks to join? What strategy should you use? What kind of time will it take? While all these questions are valid, the most useful question is: what will be most useful for me? What will keep me connected to others and others connected with me?

A few tips from a few blogs:

Duct Tape Marketing says:

I think the best way to look at social media is to view it as a way to open up access points. These points can then be leveraged to create content, connection, and community. Do that well, and they can also add to lead generation, nurturing and conversion.
I’ll talk more about this in a free webinar this Wednesday put on by the good folks at Jigsaw, but here are couple point to ponder.

Choose your social media tools with an ideal interaction in mind
– Is a blog a starting point or an ending point?
Choose your social media objectives with connection in mind
– Are you after traffic, primary and secondary links or access to communities that think and act alike?

Jeff Pulver writes about the role of an online “Community Developer”:

A company’s Facebook strategy is just a piece of the answer. It is not the complete answer. At best it is a tactic. And a company’s social media strategy isn’t something which can be entirely outsourced either. When implemented it requires a commitment from the company to support the efforts, not to just press play and walk away and hope for the best.

While I have actively used the term “community” since 1994, and hired a friend in 1999 and gave him a title of “Community Developer” it has taken a number of years for the world to catch on to some concepts I have been taking for granted for years.

It turns out when you decided to put your company “on the Internet”, like it or not, it would be a lifetime commitment to being subject to ongoing change and innovation. What at first was creating a gateway for company email and a website to establish an Internet presence has evolved into being able to leverage the best tools whenever possible when playing in an always-on world of pervasive broadband.

Chris Brogan writes a series of articles on social media. A few of his tips:

1. Social media isn’t that scary, but it is different than what you’ve been doing. For one thing, it’s far more messy, and requires a lot more hand-holding.
2. You have SO MUCH to gain from figuring out some of these tools and the way we’re using them.
3. Blogging isn’t the same as releasing marketing materials.
4. Putting up commercials on YouTube isn’t videoblogging.

I read this article by Britt Parrot some time ago and thought it good enough to repost here:

Social media is not about technology, nor about keeping up with the latest trend. The primary goal of using social media has to be communication, not technology and not viral marketing. A company has phones because it wants employees to be able to talk to other people, not because it wants to be at the “cutting edge of voice-activated, enterprise digital communication systems”—and not because it wants to call everyone in the phone book with a sales pitch! If the main goal for using social media is to be at the cutting edge of technology, or if your client’s eyes light up when they realize they can use social media to send a mass message to followers, it will fail. Social media is part of a long-term communication strategy to build relationships.

Ignite Social Media writes about the difference between a social media campaign and social media strategy:

Social media strategy: A social media strategy should always come before a social media campaign. Ideally, it should come at least six months before the social media campaign. In it, you re-evaluate your internal assets and begin to (a) analyze and (b) engage with the community, but you don’t “ask” for anything in return yet. We did this first for Ignite, and it pays huge dividends.

Social media campaign: A social media campaign derives from a social media strategy. The major difference here is that now you (a) understand the audience that cares about your subject and where they gather, (b) you’ve given quality information away and developed followers, and (c) you now have measurable goals. Now you’re activating people and trying to “get” something.

Presentation on Social Media | Soundstream Conference

I recently presented at Soundstreams’ “New Models for Distribution” Conference.

Below is the presentation I gave (sans notes)

Here are a few notes from the first day of the conference:

Presenters included IP and copyright lawyers such as Howard Knopf, and marketers like
Sean Howard from Lift Communications & Max Valiquette from Youthography who examined the world of social media.

The keynote was delievered by Paul Hoffert, CEO of Noank Media.

I’ve pulled some relevant thoughts from today’s presentations:

The term “Global Village” coined by Marshall McLuhan (coincidentally a Canadian who taught at Toronto University) assumes we will have harmonized (and similar) products, services, and programs. These products, services, and programs will exist across territorial, political, and cultural boundaries.

In fact, what we are seeing is that the information age is local – infrastructure is global, but content and culture is local

We think global, but act local. Generally, we trust only 20 people (family, sports teams), can track 150 people, and recognize 1000 people (via email+social networks).

The 21st century model looks to monetize experience, is user centric, and assumes there is viral distribution – Peer-2-Peer. This is a DISTRIBUTED network, and distributed tasks.

Max Valiquette spoke on best practices for social media marketing.
He asks: What are best practices for increased impact?

1. Be where they are – The “If you build, they will come” strategy won’t always work. Make it easy for them. TripAdvisor: Travel Map “Where have you traveled?” Generate post-event content.

2. Be flexible

3. Be interactive – social media cannot be treated as advertising or a media buy. It’s an opportunity for engagement. Be responsive, and proactive. A one-time media buy just doesn’t work in these spaces. Be prepared to listen and talk back. There is a trend towards single spaces that allow you to do everything: blog, email, chat, share photos/music/videos, keep track of birthdays and events.

4. Be Real. Be transparent. Be a person.

The distributed social web flattens the marketing world – theaters, companies, and artists are all brands and everyone else is a brand, so organizations must compete with individuals.

By participating in dialogue and facilitating conversations, we enrich not only our lives, but the lives of others, both online and offline.