social networking

What Social Data Really Tells Us

By Corporate Strategy, Marketing, Uncategorized

This is a VERY interesting infographic from the geniuses at Pivot, presented by that other genius Brian Solis.  It highlights what Brian likes to call The Perception Gap, or the difference between what marketers THINK their customers want versus what the customers actually TELL us they want. It’s a fascinating link worth checking out. While I wait.

OK, now that you’ve seen it, here is what I took from it:

Businesses, regardless of how much they blab about wanting to use social platforms to really get to know their customers, still operate from a blind spot oriented towards their own best interests. 

Which is to say, they OVERESTIMATE customers’ interest in things that are easy for these businesses to provide, like “product information,” and woefully UNDERESTIMATE for things that are more difficult or expensive to provide, like discounts and rewards and exclusive content.

What’s the upshot? USE THE DATA, MR. MARKETER!!! Don’t hide in the sand, own the reality and give them what they actually say they want, not what’s easiest for you! That’s how you’ll get them to become loyal to you.

Happy marketing!

Social Media Success Story: Finding a Job through your Network

By Public Relations, Social Media

Our friend Kim Connolly, @cvillekim on Twitter, vice president of Marketing & Communications with United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, wrote me an email with the subject line: My Social Media Success Story.


This is actually YOUR success story, too. I went to your get-together at Commonwealth Skybar in lieu of the first cancelled Meet the Media Tweetup event. While there, I struck up a conversation with a young man, John Kowalski @theoriginaljage and learned that he had just graduated from VCU with a degree in media and communications and was looking for his first real-world job to get him started on his career. There was something about him I really liked, and I wished that I had an opening for him here. I did tell him he should widen his search to include nonprofits because of the opportunity to be flexible and creative and not relegated to some cubby in a bigger organization.

I invited him to come by the United Way the next week and we talked some more. I sent him some nonprofit marketing job listings and then saw an opening at the United Way in Fredericksburg for a Communications Coordinator that listed all his skill sets. I also saw from their staff list that this position was the only purely marketing position there. I sent him the job posting and told him it would be the perfect starter position. He did apply and I called their president to encourage an interview. Coincidentally, she had his resume open on her desk when I called, and told me he was in her “maybe” pile, but based on my referral, she would include him in her first round of phone interviews. Long story, short – he got the job!

All because of Twitter, and because of your Tweetup, which started the ball rolling.


We LOVE success stories like this — thank you Kim and best wishes in your new job, J.J. — we’ll be staying in touch with both of you!

The Culture of Social Media without the Platforms; Mind = Blown

By Communications, Public Relations, Social Media

It’s a very busy time for my business and yesterday included a marathon of meetings right in a row (six!). Right in the middle, we met with a prospective client.

Now, Jaggers Communications offers the full suite of communications services from public relations to brand positioning to social media strategy, but often client conversations begin with learning about social media (it is a specialty of our firm). One of the people we met with shared his complete lack of use and knowledge of social media. He’s not engaged in any way online and hasn’t had an interest in doing so personally, even though he understands it’s important for his business to begin to seriously look at digital communications and how they should be used.

Then, he went on about his business philosophy, about how he prefers to serve clients, to interact with partners, to collaborate and nurture a culture of transparency within his organization.

And then my brain exploded.

Everything he said is exactly the culture that social media has established and worked to grow. It’s precisely where bloggers hoped business would evolve when it became impossible to hide behind a curtain of complacency. But it wasn’t the culture online that drove this man’s business values; it’s how his company has done business since the 1970s, long before blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

It was so refreshing, and so very exciting for me to meet with someone who “got it” before the technical aspects were even brought into the discussion. In fact, the words we use to talk about the tactics of social media are almost irrelevant. They’re tools to get us to the goals we make. The framework and quality are there; the genuine stories and rich culture exist; we have the honor of helping the business share them online.

Sometimes my work makes me giddy.

Social Media Assignment #9: Boost Your Connections

By Communications

“People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.  All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.” Guy Kawasaki

Today’s social media assignment: Add Five!

Whether LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter are your social networking platforms of choice, take a few minutes today to think about and choose five new connections to make in your social network. If it’s LinkedIn, make it five people you’ve worked with or know from a business relationship. If it’s Facebook, connect to five friends in your community. If you’re a Twitter user, find five interesting people in your industry to follow and respond to one of their tweets today.

Feel free to make me one of your five!

Social Media Assignment #2: Show us Your Face

By Communications

I’ve been pretty adamant on this point because I believe in it so firmly.

It’s really important to show your face in social media. I see a lot of companies using a logo rather than an image of the actual person behind the tweets — I get that in some cases, there are multiple Twitter contributors to a single account. But often that’s not the case. So for single-user Twitter accounts, it is imperative to provide an image that reflects you; who you are right now (not as a four-year-old, as I am depicted to the left).

Here’s why this is important: when you’re meeting with someone for the first time, you are providing them a sense of comfort by allowing them to recognize you at first sight.

It’s not about you; it’s about what you’re doing for others.

If you’re squeamish about your own image, (trust me, I get it; I’m constantly fussing over bad hair or bags under my eyes) think about this: Roger Ebert lost his chin, jaw and, in fact the lower portion of his face due to cancer. He’s never shied away from showing us his face. If he can do it, well, come on!

Now it’s OK to be silly (see left) or seasonal (also left, at Easter) as long as it looks like you. My point here, is you do not need to hire a photographer to capture an image of you to use on social platforms.


If you want to appear professional, if you want to look good, you should absolutely leave it to the experts and hire someone to give you a headshot you’re happy to share. Digital images can be captured in the dozens, giving you the chance to select from several “takes” — choose one you are satisfied with so that you will really use it everywhere you can.

Today’s Social Media Assignment:

Find or make an appointment to get that image of your face you’re happy to show the world. Wear something that doesn’t distract from what you look like; unless you wear a hat all the time (I’m looking at you, John Feminella), don’t wear a hat in the photo. The idea is to make yourself as recognizable as possible; it’s one of the best ways to really be human in your virtual social network.

Special thanks to Angie Brement Photography for professional headshots I’m happy to use!