It’s probably no secret to you that, “When it comes to trust, third-party and word-of-mouth sharing has always carried more weight than advertising,” as Bryan Kramer reports in his insightful new book, Shareology. What may be more mysterious is exactly how you (the personal you and/or the corporate you) could share more effectively. Here are six ways to up your sharing power gleaned from Kramer’s in- depth study:

Listen Up
As the CEO of an agency that promotes “social inspired marketing,” it’s little wonder that I’d call out listening as a prerequisite to power sharing. Kramer reminds us early in his book that, “If there’s one thing we should all practice more, it’s listening.” But rather than leave this as a nebulous no-brainer, he advises that, “Gleaning actionable information from escalating online babble requires a comprehensive strategy and structure.” Importantly, listening needs to become a discipline unto itself.

Clear Up
Effective sharing, whether at cocktail parties, business meetings or on social channels, requires a clarity of purpose and voice. (read more…)

One of the buzziest phrases in marketing today, thought leadership, is a kind of content marketing that leverages your skills and experiences to consistently answer questions and solve your target audience’s pain points. If you’re a thought leader, you provide the best and deepest answers to your targets—often before they even have to ask for it.

Why is that so important? Cultivating thought leadership means proactively establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. Providing valuable content to a large audience at a consistent rate shows that you represent the kind of brand trustworthy enough for potential leads to consider buying from.

Let’s say you’ve got the knowledge needed to be a thought leader, but don’t know how to disseminate your insights to gain the recognition. How and where do you establish yourself as a leading voice in your field?

Social media platforms are a great avenue, but it’s a competitive space: Today, 84 percent of B2B companies are using some form of social media marketing in order to reach new leads and share their thoughts on prominent topics. (read more…)

One of the most common challenges I see my clients coming up against in social media marketing is a lack of time and focus. Hootsuite can make the management of Twitter more efficient and more effective; here, I’ll explain how you can get more out of it through the use of streams and custom searches. Everything I’ll describe is in the free version of Hootsuite.

Set up streams for easier, more efficient Twitter monitoring

Hootsuite’s streams are your secret weapon for more effective Twitter monitoring. By setting up streams within your Hootsuite dashboard, you can filter through the mass of information on Twitter and get to what you need, quickly.

There are a selection of streams that should be standard, these being the home stream (pulls the Twitter home feed), mentions stream (every time someone mentions your Twitter handle), messages inbox stream (to show DMs) and the retweets stream (shows your tweets retweeted). (read more…)

Everything is awesome for Lego. With over 189 million engagements, including 184 million on its YouTube channel alone, Lego was the brand with which consumers were the most highly engaged throughout the second quarter of 2015, according to the ListenFirst Digital Engagement Ratings (DER).

For this analysis, we studied the owned, earned, or organic consumer behavior across Facebook, Google+, etc for the Redbooks 500 — a cohort of companies based on a weighting of variables, including brands’ revenue, advertising spend, and social media engagement.

This quarter, Lego’s social channels were very content-heavy, with Lego sharing more than 700 new pieces of content, with a special focus on YouTube content. The content that accumulated the most views and engagements on Lego’s official YouTube channel were a series of promotional videos for “Jurassic World” with the video “A Day in the Life at Jurassic World” standing as the top post across all channels for the quarter when it accumulated over 3.2 million interactions. (read more…)

Do you ever get the sense that retail technology is overhyped?

Personally, I love it. In my career, I have overseen technology roll-outs at thousands of high-touch retail stores nationwide. I have also consulted with major retailers and automakers on a raft of tech-related projects.

But let’s take a moment to get real about the role of technology in retail.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks I often see is the tendency to apply new technology to old techniques. We all feel comfortable sticking with known commodities — the approaches that have generally worked for years or even decades. All too often, the Web and ad agencies with which retailers have existing RFPs and retainers find it easier to rely on status-quo methods. This leads to shortcuts along the lines of, “We already paid $XX,XXX to create that message for the end cap, so let’s just make that show up on someone’s phone, too.” Or, “Make sure to tweet about that new (brand/product/feature).”

Tweeting might seem advanced, but if you think about it, it’s really a one-way communication — the equivalent of taking out a newspaper ad. (read more…)