Friday, January 15, 2010

Sticking it to the Man

Occasionally a good challenge comes up that's just too darn good to pass up. Here's the deal. My boss's boss's boss issued a challenge to me and my team: get 10,000 Twitter followers on the @NaxosRecords account by the end of March. Will we stick it to the man? Can we do it?

I think so. The intent is obviously the more people we have in our community, the higher the raw numbers of click-throughs and retweets become. Right now, we average about a 7% click-through rate and a 12% retweet rate, with roughly 3300 followers. I'd love to see all 3 numbers increase! Thankfully, the challenge is just to get our numbers up, and not interactions. One of the great things about Twitter is that the average age of Twitter users falls in the 25-54 range (, 04/2009), which is our target audience. It stands to reason that there are at least 10,000 classical music fans in the Twittersphere. The big key is how to motivate them to follow us.

This probably needs a separate post, but Janet and I recently attended SocialFresh, a great conference for social media geeks. Definitely check it out - the guy that runs it is a BAMF and deserves mad kudos for putting it all together.

Anyway, Paula Berg (@PaulaBerg) formerly of Southwest Airlines, gave an incredible talk about the power of social media, specifically Twitter, to help propel @SouthwestAir into 2 of the largest grossing days of sales in the history of SWA in 2009. It took her from the beginning of 2007 to 2009 to connect with over 1M Twitter fans with her team. Those two years focused on bringing the employees passion and love for SWA to Twitter, building trust, and adding value to the Twitter community. Her team tweeted about everything from delays, weather, and news, to funny/inspiring stories about SWA, passenger's pictures and videos, and crazy tales from employees. It was and continues to be a pretty solid mix of corporate/business information and feel-good human stories.

I bring this up because this is the ultimate test of whether or not social media marketing will have longevity with companies: ROI. At the end of the day, we are all in business to inspire people to spend their money with us. If we can't prove ROI with our social media efforts, then what the hell are we doing?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Power of Search on Twitter

I'm in the middle of watching the Texas/Alabama National Championship Game, and when Colt McCoy got hurt, a major spike on Twitter happened. It's actually pretty incredible how much information gets disseminated on Twitter before the networks have any information. Take ESPN for example. They only have what happened to Colt, but they don't have anything posted about Colt's status and it's been almost an hour.

At the same time, @JoeNBC (Joe the host of the Morning Joe on MSNBC) already posted a tweet about Colt breaking his collarbone during the Championship game. (I'm really hoping that his source is wrong, but I'm doubtful).

As you can see - the power of Twitter and getting information as it's happening is key. I know there are a lot of people who don't get Twitter, but when you think about the political, military and social implications of being able to access and post information instantaneously, it's pretty darn powerful.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions Aren't Enough. You Need An Anthem.

Here we are. 2010. Another decade flew by, and yet we aren't teleporting anywhere or driving hovercrafts, much to my chagrin. Every year we make resolutions -- to quit smoking, to lose weight, to join the gym, to find the "one," to get that job or start that business that's going to let us retire early. But before you know it, 10 years are gone. That's not to say baby steps on the ladder of life haven't been taken, but, somehow, you thought you'd be farther by now. So what went wrong? You read the books, you tattooed "Carpe Diem" on your arm, you joined the gym. What happened? Why aren't you lunching with Oprah and Bill Gates yet? Oh, I don't know the answer. And that isn't what this post is about. Maybe Tony Robbins has a blog that could help you there.

I didn't ever really make new year resolutions in the past. I tried. I said all those same things above. I've had small successes -- I gave up meat for Lent when I was 14-years-old, and 23 years later, I'm still a vegetarian. I figured, if something was worth giving up for 40 days, it was probably worth giving up for good. Mind you, the next year, I gave up Lent for Lent.  One year I gave up fast food for the whole year. That was monumental for a latch-key kid who grew up on TV dinners and McD's. However, I still grab an Extra Value Meal now and again. So why didn't that one stick? I blame it on whatever they put in the fries (Note: Don't read Fast Food Nation if you love McDonald's fries).

Instead of resolutions, something that I did, and I'm not sure where the inspiration came from, was that whatever the first song I heard was after the new year rang in became my anthem for the year. This one is tricky because DJs love to play New Year's Day by U2, so I began to set rules after hearing that one every few years. A few of the memorable songs that became soundtracks to my years were "Let Love Rule" by Lenny Kravitz, "Touch of Grey" by The Grateful Dead, Led Zepplin's take on "Nobody's Fault But Mine,"and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest. I was always a little surprised how these songs would turn up during the year to get me through. They became my mantras, my anthems.

The bottom line to succeeding at New Year's Resolutions or any goals in life is to write them down, give yourself deadlines, and outline actionable steps to how you will achieve them. I'd like to add, get yourself an anthem. Every soundtrack to life needs one. I'm hoping that when I turn on the radio this year I'll hear the theme to "Rocky," because, let's face it, the song rules. However, it will sure make achieving your goals this year a hell of a lot more fun. Commit. Know the result you want. Do the work. Hear your anthem.

What songs inspire you?