Archive for August, 2011

Class Reunion Graduation Cap

A colleague attended her HS reunion recently.  She described a vignette that sums up what not to do when utilizing social media in your marketing efforts.  She was set upon by a classmate who, in the span of about 90 seconds of monologue, made sure she, and anyone else within earshot, knew that (a) he was a Harvard MBA, (b) started his career at a high-horsepower consulting firm, (c) went on to a still higher-horsepower corporate job, and (d) had a daughter now enrolled at an exclusive prep school.  Oh, and the family had just returned from a month at their beach estate on Maui.  Before my colleague could say much of anything in response, the guy was excusing himself to go and refresh his beverage.  And regale someone else he’d recognized somewhere in mid-monologue.

The social media parallel begins and ends with the all-about-me monologue, of course.  You want to engage people. Therefore, you want to foster dialogue.  Find out what interests them and then address it as interestingly as you can.   Drop the self-promotion already.  You can then stand apart and distinct from the monologists who infest the social-media sphere today.  What are you doing to be more engaging than your competitors?  What is your market teaching you?  Where else are you learning new strategies and tactics?



Keyboard With Green Start Button

At lunch the other day with a couple of serial entrepreneurs, questions came up about the optimum timing of product launches and web site debuts.  Inevitably, the conversation turned to the value of blogging.  Nobody denied the value.  There was, however, disagreement as to timing.  So when is the best time to pull the trigger on your new blog for your new company?

There are those who argue that, in the early going, time and energy should be devoted to customer- and product-development. Exclusively. That there are not enough hours in the day for everything.  We won’t argue. Still, in the web 2.0 marketplace, a few minutes a day, or even per week, during which you crystallize your thoughts and share them with your ecosystem is to our way of thinking not a bad use of time.  In fact, it can be a highly productive one. Why?  It forces you to “stand down” for a brief period and clear your head and think about things in a different way.  Yes, you can go for a walk or shoot hoops or jog or pound golf balls.  Or any number of other things that puts you into a different gear.  The thing about crafting a blog post, however, is that you can make that same shift AND get yourself published. This is no idle indulgence in vanity.  It can foment discussions that serve your larger purposes as you prepare your count-down to launch.

Almost three out of four start-ups die during their first five years.  We wonder, right along with successful entrepreneur Martin Zwilling, how many of those failures had a blog.