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social media

On Twitter You Can Run But You Can’t Hide


OK, Twitter is going off the deep end.

Ashton , Oprah, P Diddy.

The hype machine is out of control.

And some of us are as well.

We need to curb our enthusiasm.

Sow down.

Be calm.

And think a little before we tweet.

Because what you put out there will come back to you.

So if you decide to engage with someone and criticize them, be sure that your more careless tweets are not so easily accessible.

Because someone will find them.

And who you truly are will come through in those seemingly meaningless 140 characters.

Don’t think your personality doesn’t show itself to the world when you tweet?

Bet your bottom dollar it does.

And the prejudices and baggage and thoughtlessness you may believe resides in others, lives right there in you.

Carl Jung called it the Shadow.

He claimed that most people go through life projecting onto others the worst part of themselves.  And that not until they assimilated their Shadow persona into their own being, would they be able to truly become an individual, separate from the scripts assigned to us from birth.

Bloggers, marketers and entrepreneurs like to think of themselves as separate from the herd.

But many are just following and projecting their Shadow onto others.

So if you have an issue with someone, be careful you don’t leave a trail of evidence as to how long and dark your own Shadow is.

Because someone will find it.

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cocktailparty-thumb-300x247When Justin Moore-Brown of Mobo Media (and the man behind the design of this site) told me he wanted to experiment building a social network, I told him it would be a fun project to do together.

About a month later, over coffee, I said to him “OCJobTalk”, and a couple of weeks after that, we launched the site.  A little more than a month later, we have 153 members who have created profiles, posted jobs, links, blogs and photos, all in an effort to help each other find work in a tough economy.

Having both read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, we were aware of the notion that 150 appears to be a magical number at which most social interactions for human beings are maximized.  After 150 people, there is a change in the dynamic.  In cognitive psychology, the concept is known as channel capacity.  It’s the same reason why phone numbers are seven digits.  After seven digits people have a tough time memorizing numbers.

The relevance for us is what is known as a social channel capacity, which was put forth by anthropologist Robin Dunbar.  Dunbar found that 150 appeared to represent the number at which you could have a genuinely social relationship.  In his research, he found the number coming up time and time again.

He looked at 21 different hunter-gatherer tribes worldwide, that have historical records and found the population average to be 148.4.  The same pattern holds true for military organizations.  Military planners all seem to agree that functional fighting units should not exceed 200 people.  And then there are the Hutterites, a religious group living in self sufficiency for centuries in Europe.  They maintain a strict rule which declares that every time a colony reaches more than 150, it must split and start a new one.  They know, intuitively, that as groups get too large, something is lost that can never be regained; that smaller groups are closer, more effective and more successful at community life.

We see all of this in effect at OCJobTalk.  It is a small, high-quality group.  We are easily able to engage with most members in a timely manner and we have already had some early successes helping people find work.  We feel like a part of the group and not above it or out of it.  And we want it to stay that way.

At the same time, as business owners (and competitive guys) we like to set benchmarks and measure growth.  So we are a bit torn.  We want to grow.  But we don’t want to lose what we have right now.  So we have been encouraging our members to join our industry groups and so far that looks to be successful.

We shall see.

We are hoping to create something that can actually be effective and deliver on its promise.

If we can help people find work, then we are easing and enriching lives…not a bad thing.

But if it just becomes a numbers game for the sake of numbers, we will most likely fall on our face.

It’s still an experiment.

And so far we haven’t blown up the lab.

What do you think?

Does the Rule of 150 even apply to online social networks?

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twitterbirdTwitter members have been very good to OCbizblog.

And we are returning the favor by highlighting some of the local folks who have managed to obtain “elite” status.

This is an eclectic crew to say the least.

If you are a small business owner or a marketer, many of them can help you navigate the waves of social networking .

You can find them  here.

OCbizblog made it!  #40 or so.

Why Dentists Fear Facebook

Sit back.


This won’t hurt a bit…

Behold the probing tools that make dentists nervous:

MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp. And whatever other social media business you can think of.

Like a lot of small business owners, dentists used to just advertise in local papers and magazines, do a direct mail piece now and then and watch their practice grow.

But the game has changed.

The old ways aren’t working.

It’s the death of Adus Interruptus.

Time for a little self-examination. Here are several reasons why your typical dentist is slow to embrace a social media marketing approach to his practice:

He doesn’t listen.
He is old school in his approach. Top down. He’s a genius. I’m an idiot. Let’s talk a little bit. Let me be part of the process. I’ll tell you what I think and you tell me if I’m making sense. Pull me, don’t push me.

He doesn’t connect with me.
I’m not talking about being my buddy. Just do something to remind me that you’re a human being. Stop sending me the tired postcard two weeks out and the day-before phone call. Try doing something different that takes you out of the pile of people who just want my money.

He doesn’t care what other people think. Someone told me they had a bad experience. Is that true? No? Well, why did they post it to their Facebook page? Why did they Twitter about it? Why are you so poorly reviewed on Yelp? In the past, it was easier to hide poor execution, shady practices and shoddy performance. Not anymore.

He tries to upsell me all the time.
I’m not in junior high anymore so let’s just skip the retainer, ok pal? It’s invisible? Yeah, ok, it’s invisible. And I know you paid a pretty penny for that flatscreen image of the inside of my mouth that makes it look like a napalmed village but those fillings still work.

He has no empathy.
Do you realize what you’re suggesting is not only going to cost me a boatload of both time and money put also pain and stress? Can I tell you the 138 other things I’d rather do than come back for that?

No humor, no mirth, no glee.
Goes back to being human. C’mon buddy. Lighten up. It’s teeth!

Social media marketing is simple and painless. There is nothing to fear. Just get out of your own way and start connecting with people. Do it online and offline. Build some trust. It’s the social currency of the future.

Social Media Backlash

This is a blog about small business marketing in Orange County.

But I can’t pass up the opportunity to share the Motrin Ad debacle. Johnson & Johnson just pulled this online ad for its over-the-counter pain pill Motrin after it triggered protest on the Internet from consumers who thought the ad was an insensitive portrayal of women’s pain.

The ad was launched over the weekend and was geared toward mothers who get back pain from carrying their babies in slings. But angry viewers quickly objected, voicing their opinions quickly and steadily on YouTube and Twitter and numerous blogs and social networks for moms.

After they pulled it, J&J issued some lame apology that could have been a real opportunity for conversation with their customers but they whiffed. The power of social media in full effect.

By |November 18th, 2008|marketing, social media|Comments Off on Social Media Backlash