Holding It Down for Content Marketing and The East Coast

If you’re a fan of content marketing, then you are probaly in awe of all the infographics, corporate journalism and general social goodness coming from Mindjet. Over the past few months together with Jess3 they’ve had an on-going series called “Between Minds: An Ongoing Taxonomy of Team Dynamics”. They have highlighted optimists vs. pessimists,  left-brained vs. right-brained and my favorite – thought leaders vs. do leaders.

When they released their latest post “East Coast vs. West Coast: Bridging to the Coastal Divide”  for the first time I wasn’t quickly and clearly on one side. I was born and raised in New England, of course I might still say “wicked” and eat grinders, but my career began in Los Angeles at the start of the 90’s dot-com boom. How would I choose?

After quite the spirited debate among my coworkers, conclusion was I am an East Coaster in business with some West Coast consensus skills and in my personal life I am West Coast laid back with some East Coast-in-your-faceness. Frankly, I don’t think of it as having 2 distinct parts, so guess I’ve got that work/life integration worked out well. If you believe differently, you should know I was tagged near fisticuffs in the original post below. Guess I might be a bit more East Coast huh?

Between Minds: East Coasters vs. West Coasters Names Infographic from Mindjet

Empathy Is The Most Important Ingredient To Social Business Transformation

If you have read any social business articles, whitepapers or blogs lately you probably read that you need to have a plan, deploy the technology and engage the users. Such advice barely scratches the surface.

It fails to advise how to plan, how to deploy and how to engage. It is like describing the ingredients to a gourmet dessert but failing to explain how to make a mousse.

What guides successful planning, deployment and engagement is something much fuzzier and difficult to nail down: empathy.

For more on this, see the full article at Social Business News

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time – From the HBR Blog

I enjoy reading Harvard Business Review, the subjects they cover and the authors writing for them are usually pretty spot on.

There was a piece today from Tony Schwartz around lost productivity that really resonated with me. Highly suggest you read the whole article but if you’re looking for just the takeaways here they are:

If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting:

1. Maintain meeting discipline. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused, take time afterward to reflect on what’s been discussed, and recover before the next obligation. Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.

2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it’s urgent, you can call them — but that won’t happen very often.

3. Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break. Offer a midafternoon class in yoga, or meditation, organize a group walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or take a nap.

It’s also up to individuals to set their own boundaries. Consider these three behaviors for yourself:

1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to renew.

2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don’t, you’ll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that’s relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.

3. Take real and regular vacations. Real means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.

You can read more from Tony, President & CEO of the Energy Project, on his blog.

Best Times to Tweet – Industry Averages or Specific To Your Audience?

Last week I was thrilled to see the latest social stat from Dan Zarrella on How to Get More Clicks on Twitter. Always looking for ways to increase my reach I have been testing some new tools both from a queue/timing perspective as well as digging into the analytics specific to my follower base. I was interested to see after bumping Dan’s stats up again my actual performance that while many of the best times to tweet were similar, my best reach came at slightly different time because of when my audience was online.

The most amount of my followers are online Monday and Thursday at 10am PST (denoted below by the black dots)

While online time did impact reach a bit, the majority of my replies and RT’s came at different hours. Monday at 10am – no replies or RT even though most of my followers are online, ditto with Thursday. Wednesday between 12-2pm was the best and look at the weekend Fri-Sun – 6pm to Midnight were the hot times.

More Valuable Replies, RT’s or CTR?
When looking at Twitter performance I’m looking not only at the replies and RT’s but also who clicked through on the links. Below is the previous weeks click-data while Wednesday was the best day for replies and RT’s it was one of the lowest for click-throughs, the weekends again killed it for CTR. While Sunday is one of the lowest days for audience online, it tends to be the audience that RT’s and clicks on my links the most.

What is Next?
My best times are determined by two key measures: the performance of past tweets and when most of my followers will be online. I’ll be changing some of the buffering tools I use to tweet armed with this new data and see if I can get my replies or retweets to increase. I look at this data weekly to see how changes in schedule do or don’t impact reach and response.

What are you doing to optimize your Twitter marketing?

10 Challenges Digital Marketers Will Face in 2012

At the conclusion of the recent New York City Digital Collective, PepsiCo’s Bonin Bough – Global Director of Digital & Social Media and the other hosts closed the day with a recap of the biggest issues the group shared they will be facing in 2012.

iMedia Connection covered the event and gathered ten of the challenges they voiced.

1. How do we “talk digital” with the C-Suite? How do we help them have a better user understanding of today’s platforms, devices, and services?
2. How do we find the right talent?
3. How are we keeping open communication between digital teams and business teams?
4. What do we do when guidelines and restrictions are slowing down processes? (How do we build trust?)
5. How do we go from innovation to experimentation?
6. How do we make sure advice from both inside and outside the organization is equally weighted?
7. How do we counter an organization’s cultural fear of innovation?
8. How can we develop better dashboards, so we can see real-time innovation progress?
9. How do we best manage project ownership?
10. How do we continue to put consumers ahead of the brand when planning content and campaigns?

How many of these will you face? What else would you add to the list?