Conan’s brilliantly simple Facebook strategy

Brian Stelter has a great piece in the New York Times today on Conan O’Brien’s web strategy.  I was particularly impressed with his approach to Facebook:

Mr. O’Brien, for instance, has almost a million fans amassed on the “I’m With Coco” Facebook group, which formed during his feud with NBC and is controlled by fans. Rather than fully taking over the group, as they considered doing, Mr. O’Brien’s employees simply keep in touch with the pages’ operators and occasionally add links. Still, Mr. O’Brien’s official Web site encourages visitors to become fans of the group. Sometimes, it seems, it is better to embrace an existing online audience than to try to create a new one.

Well said, Mr. Stelter.  And well done, Coco.  Giving up control is understandably an uncomfortable idea for a lot of brands.  But the truth is that you never really had full control in the first place, so why not embrace and support the legions of fans who are already out there championing your cause?

Mike Pilarz

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Social Media ROI: Socialnomics

– Dave

Google Buzz: Pro, Con and Interesting Articles

Since Google Buzz launched Feb. 9, it has garnered more than 9 million posts and comments, meaning there are over 160,000 posts and comments per hour. But is Google Buzz helpful? Here are some of my thoughts:

Pro:

  • Measurement: Outlets like TechCrunch and Mashable have added Google Buzz buttons, letting readers share stories to Buzz. What I’ve always liked about Mashable and TechCrunch is their Retweet button which displays the number of times the story has been retweeted. Similarly, what I particularly like about outlets tacking on Google Buzz buttons is that I can see how many times it’s been “buzzed,” enabling me to gauge how popular a story is.

Con:

  • Privacy: Many publications have articles out already detailing the privacy concerns of Google Buzz. For instance, TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld detailed how he accidentally exposed MG Siegler’s private email address to the 231 people following Schonfeld who didn’t have Siegler in their contacts to begin with.

Some Interesting Articles:

6 Steps to a New Job through Social Media

Everyone talks about the benefits and value of social media, and there are plenty of studies and research that prove its worth. But now it’s personal.

I’ve been an avid fan and a big believer in social networking for a while, but what really sealed the deal for me was when I landed my ideal job at Burson-Marsteller, solely as a result of social media. No searching through Monster, no cover letters or tedious online applications. The process spanned from DC to New York, across LinkedIn, Twitter and multiple blogs, and took half a year- but it’s paying off in spades.

Here’s how it all went down:

  1. My first job out of college, I was the sole PR rep for iCIMS, a great HR tech firm in NJ, where I managed their Facebook, Twitter and corporate blog. Light on experience and heavy on looking to learn as much possible, I began seeking out leaders in PR for guidance. Whom did I find? Whoever was findable: people and groups like Heather Huhman, PRSA and the Public Relations Professionals Linkedin Group.
  2. Heather Huhman is dedicated to helping entry-level PR people, so I took her up on her offer. I explained what I was interested in long-term: PR/communications for a greater societal good. Something like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or non-profit PR. Keep in mind- I was not looking for a new job; I was just looking to educate myself.
  3. Heather had previously worked at Burson-Marsteller and graciously connected me with her former colleague, Eric Biel, MD of Corporate Responsibility. It was extremely generous of him to take time out of his day to talk with me for an hour about CSR (even nicer now that I understand billability!). I was so impressed by the B-M people- former and current, that it had me thinking this was a company I’d love to go work for. (See? How you treat potential candidates impacts your company’s brand and reputation!)
  4. Fast forward to a few weeks later. In my obsessive social media monitoring, I came across Jess Bayer, a DC-based recruiter at Burson who was looking for what my company sold. I was happy to give her as much information regarding the product as possible, but also took the opportunity to talk with her informally about Burson-Marsteller.
  5. Jess very kindly put me in touch with B-M’s NY recruiter, Maggie Kellegher. Maggie suggested I come in and meet her for an informational interview, even though there were no jobs available at the time. I told Maggie all about my background, experience and long-term career goals, and she told me more about careers and culture at B-M. We both felt this would be a good fit; but being there were no positions, we parted ways promising to stay in touch.
  6. Three weeks later, Maggie emailed me on a Wednesday saying a position had just opened up in Public Affairs, the practice I told her I’d love to work in. I interviewed that Friday. I was offered the job on Monday. I began working at Burson-Marsteller less than one month later.

So I don’t have any groundbreaking research or stats on the ROI of social media. But I have my story, and I have a job. And in a feeble attempt to help others, I hope my own experience can be of some use to you reading this.

And one last, final plug: please find me on LinkedIn and Twitter! :)

How is social media being used by kids, teens and young adults?

Within the last few weeks, there’s been some interesting study findings released that show how children, teens and young adults use media. In January, the Kaiser Family Foundation released findings about the daily media use of children and teenagers from ages 8 to 18 in its report Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released the findings of its study Social Media and Young Adults.

Kaiser Family Foundation’s research found that although young people spend an average of almost 8 hours per day using entertainment media, they are actually stuffing nearly 11 hours worth of media use into those 8 hours by “media multitasking,” or using more than one medium at a time. Other interesting tidbits:

  • Social networking activities contribute to the increased media use.
  • Top online activities include social networking, playing games, and video sites (e.g. YouTube).
  • Nearly 75% of all 7th to 12th graders have a profile on a social networking site.
  • Girls spend more time than boys using social networking sites, listening to music, and reading.
  • Boys spend more time than girls playing console video games, computer games, and going to video websites.
  • Mobile media is driving increased consumption.

Although the Kaiser Family Foundation’s findings apply to young adults up to the age of 18, we can learn additional insights from the Pew Research Center’s results, which detailed findings about individuals under and over 30. Some key highlights include:

  • Teens and young adults are blogging less but using social networking more.
  • Teens ages 12 to 17 do not use Twitter in large numbers, though Twitter is more popular with high school girls.

Facebook and Twitter “Face” Off – Which is Best for Marketing??

Rawwwr — Facebook Marketing Machine Reigns Supreme

Marketing Profs (gurus on all things marketing) just came out with a study, “The State of Social Media Marketing.” The study, of course, took a look at which social media machine reigns supreme. The key contenders: Facebook and Twitter.

The study hinted that Facebook may be a the queen bee marketing tool (over Twitter), simply because it’s stickier. Twitter faces out and Facebook faces in, targeting users who may spend more time seeing and reacting to companies’ marketing ploys. My personal experience tells me the same thing. Though my social media-crazed personality keeps me attuned to both platforms, Facebook sucks me in like a black hole…and I love every second of it.

MLK and Twitter (via Vanity Fair)

In light of yesterday’s observance of the birth of MLK, wanted to share an interesting blog post in Vanity Fair that explores Twitter and the potential use cases by MLK and the civil rights movement.

“Instead of imagining Hypothetical King in 2010, I’m imagining a world in which today’s tools exist in King’s day. Specifically, I want to know what Dr. King would make of Twitter…”

Some interesting points (The more interesting points are raised at the bottom, if you want to skim):

“His popular legacy remains one of speeches, but he attended and organized meetings and direct-action campaigns… I imagine he would be frustrated by the passivity and false sense of action that Twitter can promote.

“More destructive than the mindlessness of some tweets, King would have problems with the way misinformation or incomplete information moves rapidly through the service and with how the movement’s message would be oversimplified or completely misinterpreted.”

Probably very true. Worth the read, if you have some time. Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.