Tuesday, July 15, 2008

50 Ways Marketers (and Churches!) Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing

Found this at chrisbrogan.com. There are some great applications for a church here as well!

  1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
  2. Build blogs and teach conversational marketing and business relationship building techniques.
  3. For every video project purchased, ensure there’s an embeddable web version for improved sharing.
  4. Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information.
  5. Create informational podcasts about a product’s overall space, not just the product.
  6. Build community platforms around real communities of shared interest.
  7. Help companies participate in existing social networks, and build relationships on their turf.
  8. Check out Twitter as a way to show a company’s personality. (Don’t fabricate this).
  9. Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting.
  10. Build sentiment measurements, and listen to the larger web for how people are talking about your customer.
  11. Learn which bloggers might care about your customer. Learn how to measure their influence.
  12. Download the Social Media Press Release (pdf) and at least see what parts you want to take into your traditional press releases.
  13. Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see how they draw.
  14. Build conversation maps for your customers using Technorati.com , Google Blogsearch, Summize, and FriendFeed.
  15. Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events. (Marvel Comics raised my impression of this with their Hulk statue Flickr group).
  16. Recommend that your staff start personal blogs on their personal interests, and learn first hand what it feels like, including managing comments, wanting promotion, etc.
  17. Map out an integrated project that incorporates a blog, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product.
  18. Start a community group on Facebook or Ning or MySpace or LinkedIn around the space where your customer does business. Example: what Jeremiah Owyang did for Hitachi Data Systems.
  19. Experiment with the value of live video like uStream.tv and Mogulus, or Qik on a cell phone.
  20. Attend a conference dealing with social media like New Media Expo, BlogWorld Expo, New Marketing Summit (disclosure: I run this one with CrossTech), and dozens and dozens more. (Email me for a calendar).
  21. Collect case studies of social media success. Tag them “socialmediacasestudy” in del.icio.us.
  22. Interview current social media practitioners. Look for bridges between your methods and theirs.
  23. Explore distribution. Can you reach more potential buyers/users/customers on social networks.
  24. Don’t forget early social sites like Yahoogroups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
  25. Search Summize.com for as much data as you can find in Twitter on your product, your competitors, your space.
  26. Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.
  27. Consider the value of hiring a community manager. Could this role improve customer service? Improve customer retention? Promote through word of mouth?
  28. Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse. Free.
  29. Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.
  30. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
  31. Investigate whether your product sells better by recommendation versus education, and use either wikis and widgets to help recommend, or videos and podcasts for education.
  32. Make WebsiteGrader.com your first stop for understanding the technical quality of a website.
  33. Make Compete.com your next stop for understanding a site’s traffic. Then, mash it against competitors’ sites.
  34. Learn how not to ask for 40 pieces of demographic data when giving something away for free. Instead, collect little bits over time. Gently.
  35. Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. Tread gently into new territories. Don’t NOT go. Just go gently.
  36. Help customers and prospects connect with you simply on your various networks. Consider a Lijit Wijit or other aggregator widget.
  37. Voting mechanisms like those used on Digg.com show your customers you care about which information is useful to them.
  38. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts and build a relationship with the blogger.
  39. Find a bunch of bloggers and podcasters whose work you admire, and ask them for opinions on your social media projects. See if you can give them a free sneak peek at something, or some other “you’re special” reward for their time and effort (if it’s material, ask them to disclose it).
  40. Learn all you can about how NOT to pitch bloggers. Excellent resource: Susan Getgood.
  41. Try out shooting video interviews and video press releases and other bits of video to build more personable relationships. Don’t throw out text, but try adding video.
  42. Explore several viewpoints about social media marketing.
  43. Women are adding lots of value to social media. Get to know the ones making a difference. (And check out BlogHer as an event to explore).
  44. Experiment with different lengths and forms of video. Is entertaining and funny but brief better than longer but more informative? Don’t stop with one attempt. And try more than one hosting platform to test out features.
  45. Work with practitioners and media makers to see how they can use their skills to solve your problems. Don’t be afraid to set up pilot programs, instead of diving in head first.
  46. People power social media. Learn to believe in the value of people. Sounds hippie, but it’s the key.
  47. Spread good ideas far. Reblog them. Bookmark them. Vote them up at social sites. Be a good citizen.
  48. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
  49. Re-examine who in the organization might benefit from your social media efforts. Help equip them to learn from your project.
  50. Use the same tools you’re trying out externally for internal uses, if that makes sense, and learn about how this technology empowers your business collaboration, too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Research Question

I am doing some research for my master's class. I would love it if you could comment on this blog with your reply. You do not need to register to reply, it can be anonymous if you'd like.

Here are the questions:
"Do you go to church regularly? If not, why?" (please think about the foundational answer instead of just "busy" for example)

"Why do you think that the American church (all denominations) are experiencing decline in attendance?"

Thanks for your help!

The Word

Spoke to me today:

Psalm 66:10-12 (TNIV) For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

Psalm 4:6 (TNIV) Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.

Isaiah 54:2-8 (TNIV) “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

Bring it on!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Is anything helped when people are walking in an untruth? Is the Kingdom of God advanced when there is a veneer in place? It is that kind of thing that many find distasteful in churches, how people are one way during the week and then when they get to church everything is "fine" and "wonderful." I have said from the beginning that I wanted West Shore to be a place where people can be real.

So let's be real... As we continue to work on transitioning a church that was on a slow downward spiral for a number of years, we have lost people who liked the way things were...or at least do not like where things are headed. What is absolutely clear to everyone who was able to grasp the big picture is that things could not have continued as they were. If things were to have continued unchanged, the church would have been one of the tragic statistics that show that 3,500-4,000 churches a year are closed forever. (
download the message called Desperate for God's Household for more details) I have seen this happen before.

So in an effort to turn things around and bring change, we have lost people...and things are tight. But we have seen some
firstfruits of what is to come.

We just had a baptism service for a young professional in the area who was for the most part unchurched and had never given his life to the Lord (was not a rededication) before. What has happened in this man's life is a picture of what is to come IF...IF we do not give up. IF we continue according to God's blueprint for His Kingdom. IF we continue in the Jesus way. The church's mission statement talks about building a relevant church that exists for Jesus, and for others. But what will that look like? I have shared a specific 5 year vision that I have, but I want to break that down to some personal essentials. I don't want to speak to demographics or attendance levels, but rather to the heart. Let's dream together...

Imagine a church where the people are very consistent in their spirituality. Their life of faith and walk with Jesus is organic to who they are, and the church service is just one aspect of their Christian experience.

Imagine a church that is passionate about Jesus and their worship of Him all throughout the week. The church service is just one focused time of corporate celebration of who God is and all that He has done.

Imagine a people that flow in the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit in a naturally supernatural way.

Imagine a people that are thoroughly equipped for every good work of service and defense of the faith.

Imagine a people deeply rooted in Christ through a life of prayer both corporately and individually.

Imagine a church whose vision is so dramatic that it will take life-change on the part of every person as well as connection with the God who makes the impossible possible.

Imagine a church that is so culturally and ethnically diverse that it is a true representation of the creative heart of God.

Imagine a church that is creating modern day disciples that walk in humility and relevance towards the people Jesus came to reach.

Imagine the church of God's dreams to impact the West Shore region, Cleveland, and the nations...