Blog Archives - Memes & Memos
Memes & Memos
A big thank you to Laura Gainor (@LauraGainor) who came to speak to our class last week about the social media strategy she used to land a great job and tips for how to develop a personal brand through social media.

In terms of developing your personal brand, some of her best advice includes:
  • Be consistent across social media channels. This includes the name you choose and your personal photo.
  • Know your message and know your audience. Why should people follow you? What have you learned that can benefit others? (I love this!)
  • Set goals. What do you want to accomplish? Track your results when you can.
  • Engage in conversations. Reach out and connect with people, especially on Twitter.
  • Play with social media. New tools are popping up every day. Try them out and see what they can do for you.
Check out more of her great insights on social media and personal branding via the SlideShare presentation below.
Every year for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Wisconsin has issued a list of cultural truths that the current class of students entering college today know to be true. The Beloit College Mindset List serves as "a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation."

Here are some of the technology-related highlights for students of the class of 2012 (approximating those born in 1990) that I find astounding. For these students:
  • GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
  • Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  • IBM has never made typewriters.
  • They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
  • Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones.
  • Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
Caller ID has always been available. Growing up, we had phones with cords that were attached to  walls. You had to answer the phone to find out who was calling... And if someone was already on the phone when you tried to call them, you got a busy signal. Some people used pagers. In fact, I didn't have a cell phone until I went to college. Most people had PCs, not MacBooks.

Clearly, things are much different today. College students are equipped with a whole new set of technologies that are commonplace: smart phones, iPads and e-book readers among them. Does this mean their lives are easier because of the technologies available to them? Not necessarily. However,
it's important to keep in mind how the tools are changing from year to year.

The Beloit College Mindset Lists can be found here for the graduating classes of 2002 through 2014.
In the past six months, I've been asked to watch the Social Media Revolution video below several times. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth the watch.

I also came across its sister video, Social Media ROI, also below. Both videos were created by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business and its corresponding blog at Socialnomics.

When I first saw this video, I questioned some of the stats. If interested in checking the sources, Erik has outlined them on his blog here.
Last week we had the opportunity to hear socialpreneur Philip Nowak discuss how some big brands are diving head first into social media without a solid business strategy or revenue model. At first, this sounds shocking, but it's strikingly simple: finding success with social media is about trial and error. Eventually, you will find what works best for your brand.

Philip also talked about some of the reasons why brands use social media. Here are some of the reasons (and my commentary).
  • Fishing where the fish are. People (consumers) are using social media tools. Brands can too.
  • Avoiding brand jacking and other potential PR crises. Get involved before your brand has to.
  • Matching the competition. Your competitors are there. Do you want consumers to connect with them and not your brand?
  • Getting instant feedback. Only from those who want to provide it.
  • Building loyalty and brand ambassadors. Certainly.
  • It's more affordable than traditional marketing. Sometimes. I would argue that finding success with social media as a marketing tool takes time and resources.
  • There's potential for a viral explosion. This is not something that can be controlled and could have positive or negative results.
All of these reasons are relevant, but what wasn't stated directly is that the goal behind all of these reasons is to make money. Brands are using social media tools to make a profit, by using platforms to reach new consumers, maintain visibility, drive marketing campaigns, gather information, manage reputations, or build customer relationships. There may not be a silver bullet approach (think: Facebook page), but the tools are worth exploring.