Saturday, September 12, 2009

OLD STYLE MAD MEN, "We don't need no stinkin' Twitter!"

Below is a very interesting and thought provoking video posted YouTube on the Social Media and it's growing influence on how we communicate, interact and even market our brands and products today. There are a few very powerful statistics and points put forth on the growth and power of social media that might shock you:

  • If Facebook were a country it would be the fourth largest in the world.
  • Social Media has over taken PORN as the #1 activity on the web.
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations whereas only 14% trust advertisements
  • 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle
I don't know how accurate the statistics in this video are - too bad YouTube doesn't have an appendix, however statistics aren't necessary to see that social media and the Internet have changed the way we communicate in a radically short amount of time.

I wanted to share this video with you because it is well made and it reinforces what I continually point out: If you are attempting to build your brand you cannot ignore the Internet and you cannot push social media aside as "silly kid stuff" anymore. Watch the full four and a half minutes, it will open your eyes and you won't regret the investment of time:

I don't believe you can consider this new form of communication a fad. Fads are, by definition a "short lived" phenomenon, whereas a trend is "a prevailing tendency", so maybe it's a trend - something that changes course and morphs as it moves along. This is the nature of technology, isn't it? I believe that this is exactly what social media will do and this means it will be necessary for any company or individual desirous of effective marketing to stay abreast of the changes and be able to change course along with this new method of interaction.

Traditional media sources like newspapers and television are losing ground to the Internet. I have gotten news on Twitter sometimes hours before it showed up on the news on TV and obviously way before a newspaper landed on my wet lawn or in my gutter 30 feet away from my front door. Yes, you have to "check your source" on sites like Twitter and Facebook because people will tweet and retweet information they have not confirmed - it is a case of Caveat Emptor or, in this case, let the "tweeter" beware, but it's a matter of a few searches and a few moments usually before I have the "real skinny" on any news item.

What does this mean to those of us who are trying to sell a product, build a brand or promote a service? It means that we now have the same tools at our fingertips that that Madison Avenue has but it also means we can no longer hide in anonymity. Exposure is instant and viral - it means that new ideas and products get great exposure in a seriously shorter time period, what you say on the Internet is out there in a nano second and it stays there.

In today's world you can reach millions or possibly billions with less effort and cost than traditional media, it means even the little guy can get into the advertising and marketing game and become a mini Mad Man or Mad Woman. But it also means that bad corporate moves can become fodder for hilarious YouTube videos, a public relations blunder could turn into a world wide nightmare for a company and a moment of stupidity where you tweet how much you hate your job can cost you that job. The Internet and social media are great tools for promoting yourself and your brand but, like any tool, you have to learn how to use them to wield them to their best advantage.

For myself and my brands - PopArtDiva, The Martini Diva, The Diva of Tiny Foods and, of course, The Normal Challenged Artist - I have chosen to put a very personal and unique face on my image. I bring a lot of my own personality and a lot of my sometimes snarky sense of humor and what my Mom used to call my "smart mouth" to my branding. I am what is termed a "personality brand" as opposed to a "corporate brand."

I do promote my online stores, my website, my products and my blogs but I also share information, link to my free recipes and art, tweet fun information and quotes and I make comments on other content and trends going on that particular day. I interact with fellow social media players and create acquaintances and network with like minded people. I do not try to increase my followers (Twitter) or friends (Facebook) artificially to gain high numbers. I am after quality not quantity. I want those people who link-in with me to actually read what I have to say and pay attention. If they don't then I am wasting my time trying to promote anything.

Primarily I use Twitter and Facebook, as well as Linked-In and a few industry pertinent sites. I do have MySpaces, YouTubes and other accounts as well. I use several tools like, Twitterfeed, SocialOoomph (formerly Tweetlater), TweetDeck,, SplitTweet and a few others to semi-automate my feeds and I spend my time on the top 5 social media sites primarily. I watch the trends and search the rankings to see who's hot and who's not. Yes, it's a lot of work and takes a lot of time. That is why this whole phenomenon has actually created a whole new job classification - Social Media Directors and Account Managers. (Think I'm kidding? Do a search and see how much these jobs pay!)

Whether you are a giant corporate brand, a celebrity, a politician, a soccer mom or an individual artist just trying to make a living with your creativity there's a reason for you to use social media. (Take a look at who's using Twitter!) Corporations are now using it for customer relations, PR, as well as marketing, individuals use it for staying in touch but you can use it to get a lot of exposure and exposure can translate into a better bottom line!

As for me? You may follow me on Twitter as @popartdiva and @TheMartiniDiva and you can friend me on Facebook as well as google my YouTubes, MySpaces, blah, blah, blah- you'll see how I use these new tools and you'll also get all my blog updates and news before they land in your e-mail box!

Happy and Prosperous Tweeting, Friending and Networking to you all.

Click the links below to download my articles for a nominal fee of only $2.50 each:

What Kind of an Artist Will You Be? Define Your Product First.
Creating Your Booth - Making a Portable Gallery That Works
Preparing To Do An Art Show - Getting your art, your booth and yourself together
The Most Important Sales Techniques for Selling and Marketing Your Art

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