Email Is Also Social Media

Once again, we had another great meeting at this past weekend’s meetup with the Social Media Mastermind, Orange County (SMMOC) roundtable professionals.  By the way, if you haven’t been to one of those, and you live in Southern California, you should try attending one.  Here’s where you can get more information about upcoming events.

http://www.meetup.com/Social-Media-MasterMind-Orange-County/

In any case, one of the questions that came up for discussion during our last meeting (and we talked about a lot of things including Rockmelt and–get this–placing QR Codes on sheep (?!)) was the role of email in social media marketing activities for businesses.

How Do You Define Social Media?

Now, if you ask me, if you take the definition of social media as a media channel for social interaction using highly accessible and scalable web-based publishing techniques to turn communication into interactive dialogues,  then you also have to consider email as part of that venn diagram of social media channels, as well.

Now, one of the things we were talking about on this topic was that all the activities that we’re used to doing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and so on — these are things we do in social networks.  And while there’s a place for business and marketing in social networks, I wouldn’t actually recommend trying to garner a point-of-sale transaction in a social network.

The point of sale is still better-managed within email-as-social-media vs. social-networks-as-social-media.

What do you think?  If you’re a business owner, how do you actually make an online sale?  Do you find yourself doing that in social networks?  Or, is there a process you follow that leverages email and dedicated online ecommerce locations?  What have you found effective?

How To Link To a Specific Timecode In YouTube Videos

format for youtube timecodeI posted this little bit of info over a year-and-a-half ago on BusinessCasualBlog about linking to a specific point in YouTube videos.  Surprisingly, even after more than a year-and-a-half, it’s still one of the most popular searches on that site.  So, considering that that’s probably a clue of a bit of demand for that info, I figured it’s worth sharing with you, as well.  Certainly it’s relevant to the kind of topics you and I discuss here.

The URL Format You Want To Use

The picture above is the syntax (format) you want to add to the tail-end of a YouTube URL if you want to send someone to a specific timecode in a YouTube video.  The explanation of variables goes like this:

  • #t (This defines the line between the “regular” YouTube URL and the timecode you want to define as the landing point.)
  • h (This signifies hours.)
  • m (Signifies minutes.)
  • s (Signifies seconds.)

As a practical example, let’s say that I wanted to direct you to the exact spot where my friend Scott Schang mentions the book Cluetrain Manifesto in the video of a panel discussion we participated in recently.  Well, I could tell you to click the link below and then scrub to the point at about 5 minutes and 35 seconds (5m:35s) into the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRuEgmrabrU

Or, I could just as well say, click the link below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRuEgmrabrU#t=0h5m35s

Notice the difference in URLs? The second has the added syntax.

Go ahead, give it a try.

Your Turn

Do you have a similarly helpful tip?  Please share it in the comments below.

In the meantime, it’s Friday.  I hope you’re preparing for a great weekend.  Let me know if there’s anything cool this weekend that’s worth checking out.  I’m wide open for the weekend; unless you give me an option, I’m probably gonna otherwise just be mowing my lawn.  So, save me… tell me what else could I be doing?!

Four Points-of-view On Social Strategies for Large and Personal Brands

Last Saturday I moderated one of the panel discussions at the ProductCamp SoCal conference at CSU Fullerton.  With me were the four points of view represented by esteemed colleagues from the Social Media Mastermind Orange County (SMMOC) roundtable.

Notably my panelists included:

We explored some interesting topics around social media strategies for large and small brands.

Our panel was made especially interesting because of the questions some of you contributed ahead of time through an earlier post I made requesting your help, as well as in the SMMOC group on Facebook.  Also, the other thing that made this panel so engaging was the fact that our panelists didn’t do all the talking.

As barcamps are wont to do, our full house of attendees contributed quite a bit to the discussion.  You’ll see from the video that a lot of our attendees were really quite keen to share some of their own experiences and case studies.

I posted the panel discussion in three parts and bundled them together above in a handy little playlist.

Highlights Include:

  • Opening thoughts about (mine) about terms like “social media revolution” or “paradigm shift” perhaps no longer being accurate statements.  (I also followed that up with another video post after the conference in the post titled, “Is Social Media STILL a Shifting Paradigm?”)
  • Thoughts contributed by each panelist about establishing a baseline definition about any differences between “large” vs. “personal” brands.
  • A discussion about differences between large and personal brands and how larger brands seem to have more infrastructure and resources while smaller (personal) brands have to be a lot smarter and resourceful.
  • The role of consistency and conversation in brand persona.
  • The importance that brands assign resources to monitoring and listening to the social stream.
  • The importance of organizations empower employees to communicate directly with customers in the social stream.
  • Further discussions (debate?) about whether or not social media is indeed still a “paradigm shift” or whether it’s now a “new normal” with implicit changes being more a manifestation of change as opposed to unique effects of social media.
  • Education and training’s role in building an effective social media strategy.
  • Some thoughts about whether or not the popularity of social media is a Gen-Y-driven phenomenon or is social media’s adoption more a result of the “older” generation’s championing and adoption?

If you were on the panel, what additional thoughts would you have added about strategic considerations for social media in brand development?