Friday, August 20, 2010

Cogster helping local businesses

I'm definitely a "locals" kind of guy. I live in the city and love to support local businesses, whether it's a restaurant, a hardware store or car repair shop. That's why the whole concept behind Cogster really caught my attention. They were recently highlighted in the American Banker. Basically, they are a combination micro-lender and promoter of local businesses.

Local companies identify financial goals they want to achieve, say raising $10,000, and consumers "lend" them the money in return for gift certificates or discounts equal to the amount they contribute. People can donate as little as $10. What I like about this is the promotional aspect of it. Consumers have a real stake in seeing local businesses thrive and there's the social effect as well. If your neighbor is supporting the local merchant, shouldn't you think about it too? The service is currently available in several towns in and around the State College, PA area.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Walking the Walk

Thanks to Jacob Jegher, a Senior Analyst at Celent, I was turned on to the blog, eat sleep social. It's a pretty well written with some good, insight into social media. His latest post, "If you work in social media you need to be active in social media" really resonated with me.
There are too many, well documented stories about social media "experts" or "consultants" who rarely participate in the space. As noted in the post, if you are going to advise people to blog as a business strategy, then you better be blogging about it. A good example are Mike Sweeney and Will Davis of a local marketing firm here in Baltimore, Right Source Marketing. They recommend blogging as a key component of content marketing for their business clients. As marketers themselves, they are "walking the walk" by blogging about their own experiences in their Marketing Trenches blog. It's refreshing to see consistency between the message and the messenger.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It isn't Rocket Science

A tweet came across yesterday from @r2integrated, a digital marketing firm we've worked with for years. The post, entitled "Social Media is Measured by the Sum of its Parts" was from @briansolis, a "prominent thought leader in new media". OK, got it.

He was writing about a recent study by Digital Brand Expressions that found that "52% of social marketers are running social media programs without a defined "game plan". Not surprising, given that many people are trying to figure out if there is any value to it for their organization. Kind of a "try it before you buy it" approach. That's pretty much how we got into it.

He goes on to say, in the next paragraph, to say that "The study found that logistics contributed to visibility, but insight was absent from investing in presence." Huh? I have to admit, I don't have a clue what that means. The rest of the post supports (?) this premise.

This post was re-tweeted 568 times (and counting) since it was published last week. I wonder how many of those people actually read it. If they did, and they see this post, perhaps they can explain it to me. Because all I see is someone making social media seem way more complex that it really is. I mean, c'mon, it isn't rocket science!