Notable Advertising and Marketing Quotes – Part 2

Previously, I wrote a blog post with some of my thoughts about advertising and marketing that I had posted to Twitter. With anyone in the industry, we all have opinions and best practices or even mantras about the world of advertising. That being said, here is round two of that thinking, or more to the point, my thinking, thoughts and learnings about the industry and creativity.

What are your thoughts?

A Critique of Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” Branding

This year, Chrysler stunned the advertising and consumer world with their “Imported from Detroit” rebrand. This rebrand effort was launched during the Super Bowl with the famous commercial featuring Eminem and his music. I will not lie, I was stunned at the excellent delivery of emotion from the folks at Chrysler and I had great hopes that this commercial would be the precursor to a rebirth of branding and advertising not just in the auto industry, but in the ad industry as well. Sadly though, my hopes were a little too high. Chrysler partnering with Wieden Kennedy, created an amazing foundation for a brand rebirth, but failed and continues to fail in execution and evolution of that rebrand.

[youtube=”http://youtu.be/SKL254Y_jtc”]

There not doubt that the promotion of Saad Chehab to CEO of Chrysler and Lancia brands was a result of the Wieden Kennedy’s work with Chrysler. Chehab delivered on a promise to Detroit, to give hope, inspiration and sense of fight back into the people who have endured so much. Chehab said that he wanted to “capture the story of a downtrodden city with a glorious history that still had so much to offer.” That’s true; he with W+K helped bring that story to light. However, what has happened, and I am sure most people in Detroit are keenly aware of, the delivery of that story and offering is quickly dwindling if not completely gone.

This is Motor City, and This is What We Do
Eminem’s epic moment in the brand’s feature commercial was, not doubt spectacular, especially with the line “this is motor city and this is what we do.” Moreover was the introduction ahead of Eminem’s appearance, was much more powerful. The quick cuts of the real Detroit; the cold, the strength, the people and the faith the city has. The commercial told a story of those who have fought long and hard. Those people who have worked, those people who have never given up hope. The commercial followed the rules of emotional branding to their finer details. “The hottest fires forge the toughest steel.” Hope and ambition, strength and character, America and its people were the messages being drilled into our hearts. We did not weep when watching this commercial, rather we watched with open eyes and mouths while not breathing a single breath. We knew, just like those in Detroit, that this commercial, this message, meant something. It touched us in a way we haven’t felt in a long while. And there it was, emotion being applied to the brand. It was as if Chrysler never left us and never will. It was here to stay and lift us up from the dark.

That was the point of it all; hope and inspiration. Chrysler created something that we all believed in and we attached ourselves. If you notice, the car was in the commercial for all of 15 seconds. It wasn’t about the car, never should have been. It was about the people making it and the people around it.

And that’s the last we saw of that messaging.

Introduction of New Cities
I don’t know if it is easier to shoot in New York and LA, but that’s where the latest Chrysler commercials filmed from. I agree, that a brand needs to evolve and needs to seek out new landscapes, however, New York and LA are not related to Detroit even in the slightest. This rebrand was about blue-collar, the American struggle. New York and LA do not provide that persona at all. Nor is “Imported from Detroit” about fashion or hip-hop. The introduction of fashion designer John Varvatos in New York and Dr. Dre in LA do not align to the emotion already set.

Yes, Varvatos is from Detroit, but fashion is not and Dr. Dre is from LA. These are complete disconnects from the brand or what the brand is supposed to be about; or from what we gathered the brand is about. I know that Dr. Dre’s Beats Audio are integrated into some vehicles, but what about having those commercials shot in Detroit or city similar? What I don’t get is the fashion angle. How does fashion or a fashion designer relate to this campaign at all?

Eminem came from and will never leave Detroit. He has blue-collar in his blood. In fact, word on the street is that Chrysler and W+K had to prove that the campaign was going to reflect and promote Detroit and that Chrysler will never leave it. Well, fast forward 5 months and Chrysler left Detroit to shoot in LA and New York.

In my opinion, if you want to maintain that level of emotion around a city and its people, especially those who are hard working, determined and full of character, don’t leave that city. Make Detroit the epicenter of the rebrand. Align Detroit to Chrysler; align the people to the image. If you have to, move to a city much like Detroit such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburg or St. Louis. It is very apparent that Chrysler, along with W+K have lost sight of the emotion they had originally created.

The Branding Dispute
Pure Detroit began selling apparel and other items with the “Imported from Detroit” slogan on them. Chrysler quickly came down on them with a cease-and-desist order and began to sue them. Yes, large brands know how to keep hold on their brand and enjoy controlling it and maintaining the image. Where Chrysler made the mistake was this case specifically. Given the fact that the rebrand was about Detroit’s people and the American people, the rebrand should have been allowed to evolve and be owned by the people. I’m all for brand equity and promote it with my clients. However, this case is different. The people of Detroit evangelized the brand after one, one commercial! This is unreal. This is free advertising, this is free advocacy and free recognition. Chrysler as a brand doesn’t have to do anything to move the brand forward, yet, they came down hard on the “working man” or the Detroit they have come to realize was always there waiting to be understood.

In this case, allow the merchants to create your brand for you. Allow the consumers to respond with faith in your brand and become inspired by the work they do to create the cars that you are selling.

Branding and Art Direction
The rebrand’s art direction is the brass tacks of what I’m concerned about. Coming from an Art Director background, watching this campaign unfold makes me cringe. The inaugural commercial had “feeling” belonging only to itself. When W+K or the other agencies working with Chrysler started rolling out traditional media, follow up commercials and microsites, the image and the emotion quickly fell apart.

If a large brand like Chrysler wants to rollout a campaign like this, it is required to have a cohesive image and message across all channels and outlets. You see below that the commercials do not have the same art direction as the traditional pieces. The websites do not live up to the image in the commercial as the sites are all about product and not image and emotion.

What I do have are stills from videos from the auto shows at the booths after the commercial aired. They are emotional, endearing, historic, and they tell a story of where we have been and where we are going – all without products. I want to sit in a Chrysler after seeing these images.

[slideshow]

Here’s a solution, take visual cues from the commercials that made you great. Speak, through images and content about the story, about the emotion, about the city, and about life. Let the consumers make a connection with your story, then with your product.

What This Campaign Should Have Been About
In summary, this campaign should have been about hope, reality, inspiration, fight and pride. It should have been about the people and the feelings. Chrysler and W+K have failed at aligning meaning behind the rest of their approach to the brand that they started back in early 2011. Align back to Detroit, speak to the people that make that city great and this country great. Speak to sacrifice, hard work and determination. Speak to THEM and stop bringing us that which we cannot relate to. Do not leave Detroit, do not ignore the “blue-collar” worker and do not leave us like the brands before you.

Want to know what I’m talking about? Watch what Levi’s is doing.

Recap: The Chicago Auto Show

Saturday, I had the opportunity to check out the 2011 Chicago Auto Show with my brother Eric. Now, I for one absolutely love auto shows. Perhaps I love them because I grew up liking automobiles, maybe it’s because I’m a guy and guys “like that sort of thing,” or maybe it’s because auto shows are just plain cool. Regardless, auto shows are fun and this year’s show illustrated how integrated our culture is becoming with technology and communications. I noticed two activities the auto manufacturers were investing in, they were social media interaction and interactive, on-site engagement.

Social
Social was a very large component in the majority of the large auto manufacturers’ displays. Here is a rundown of how some the auto companies engaged socially.

• Volkswagon: Upon arrival to the Auto Show, I checked into the Chicago Auto Show via Foursquare. Very soon after, I received a tweet from @VWConnect stating, “Stop by the VW booth to see the all-new Jetta GLI & find out how to get a free T-shirt,” with a TwitPic of a VW GLI. Yes, it was a bot Twitter account, but it served its purpose. I was immediately intrigued by what they had going on and that they were engaging me based upon my location. I headed over to the VW booth to find out more.

I came up to the new model year Passat and noticed it had a CTA image on the vehicle. The image directed me to take a listen to the stereo, tweet about it, and find a Product Specialist. Well, I bypassed those directions and went to the Product Specialist. She was there with T-Shirts in hand, standing right next to the vehicle. She informed me that had I tweeted about the vehicle, she would have taken down some information (for direct mail purposes) and given me a VW t-shirt to take home.

    Pros: VW was highly engaged both online and off. The incentive was adequate for the promotional needs. It was a great way of directing online, to a socially engaged, real-life specialist.
    Cons: Twitter bots are sometimes overwhelming and people don’t respond to them that well. Taking down my information after I did all those steps for VW, was a big of a large ask.

• Audi: Audi used location based services to generate awareness and engagement. Audi featured a couple of signs that directed the public to check into the Audi booth via both Foursquare and Facebook Places. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t much of an incentive to do so. However, I have to say this: I didn’t check in. So, with that said, who knows what was on the other side of the check-in. Either way, it wasn’t mentioned on the signage what would happen if you did check in.

    Pros: Promoting the use of location based services through signage.
    Cons: No real or clear incentive to check-in to the services.

• Chrysler: Chrysler had a simple black-and-white flyer they handed out to attendees of the show. One side featured all of their social accounts with a CTA that asked the attendees to become a fan of their pages and upload images, video and editorial from their experience at the show.

The second side was a CTA to engage the brand through text messaging. Text “Chrysler” to a number, explore the booths, answer questions that were texted back, and get a reward at the information desk. The rewards varied from an eco-friendly bag to a 3-for-1 oil change. A good use of texting, however, it seemed to be a bit of an arduous task.

    Pros: Using texting instead of social to interact with the attendees was different from most OEMs. The 3-for-1 oil change reward was pretty good.
    Cons: Attendees have to pay for the texts. Who knows when else Chrylser will text the attendees. And the photocopied flyers were a very passive approach to social media.

• Chevrolet: Chevrolet had a “bullet-time” photo booth in conjunction with Hot Wheels. Attendees waited in line to get their photo taken in front a Chevy vehicle, were offered a physical copy of the photography, and had the option to post that photo on Facebook or other social media platform.

I didn’t participate in this one; the line was way too long. However, I can only assume Chevy got a great turn out, a lot of social information on attendees, and the offer for participation was pretty innovative. I mean really, where else can you get a photo of yourself in bullet time?

    Pros: Innovate and interactive booth with a social component on the backend.
    Cons: Very long line to wait.

• AutoTrader: AutoTrader, much like VW, had a Twitter bot engage the attendees after an Auto Show Foursquare check-in. Their tweet read, “Thanks for joining us at the Chicago Auto Show! Fly by AutoTrader.com’s booth with this tweet for a prize” offered a clear call to action with a plus up incentive. If it was anything like the LA Auto Show, you get a picture with someone you’ve never heard of, a pencil and a small carrying case. I admit, I didn’t try this one either; I already have a pencil.

    Pros: A quick social response with an incentive back end.
    Cons: Again, a Twitter bot engagement tactic. However, with that said, how else would we know to go over to the booth?

Interactive
The second major piece of the Chicago Auto Show were interactive displays. The auto manufacturers really stepped up their game this year. Let me quickly go through some of the more memorable displays.

Overall: QR Codes were in heavy use with every sort of CTA ranging from vehicle information, to connecting on Facebook, to engaging dealerships. It seems as though QR codes are becoming more prevalent in the industry and used more by the public.

Honda: Honda had an “X-Ray” like display. Basically, there was an image on a wall of a Honda minivan. There was a screen on rails affixed above the image. The attendee would move the screen back and forth over the image to give a detailed, x-ray like, look at the vehicle. The display didn’t work all that well, but the public didn’t seem to mind as they enjoyed just playing around with it.

Fiat: Fiat used an X-Box Kinect interface. An attendee would stand behind the kiosk, waive their hands and interact with a large television screen filled with images and information. The attendee would select one of the images, an informative piece, or video would display and the attendee selected another one. This display had a very high level of interaction and a clear description on how to use it. However, the screen was pretty distant and made it difficult to read the information.

Scion: Scion used 3D video to engage the attendees. The Product Specialists gave out the glasses and all you had to do, as an attendee, was sit down and watch a 3D Scion movie. It was pretty simple, however, offered little interaction.

Chevrolet Volt: The booth for the Volt alone, was larger than some of the other auto manufacturer’s booths overall. The Volt offered a serene test track that allowed the attendees to ride in the car through a beautifully landscaped roadway. Once you walk up to the track, you are inundated with the smell of fresh plants, trees and grass. The attendee didn’t get to drive the Volt around the track, which was about the size of a large go-kart track, they were chauffeured. The line to get in the Volt wrapped around the track. It was a site to see and a calming booth to visit with all the foliage.

Toyota: Toyota’s Prius display was pretty large, bright, and spoke to the “Prius Goes Plural” campaign. At the base of the booth, was a station to charge your mobile phone. Toyota offered, from what it seemed, every type of mobile phone chargers. I think Toyota understood perfectly what type of world we live in right now. Also, when the attendee charged their phones, a Product Specialist would sit with them to chat. I’m not one to be suckered into this sort of conversation, but when you need your phone charged, you will do just about anything.

So, that was just a part of my experience at the auto show. I truly do enjoy auto shows; the designs of the cars, the booth displays, and the unique approaches auto manufacturers use to get our attention. However, one major downside to the show was the shear amount of people in attendance. I think the flow of the show needs to be reevaluated from a perspective of the volume of people. That was just about the only downside, and looking at it from a marketing perspective, it’s certainly an upside.

Shout Out: Thank you Lindsay for the tickets!

Smart People

Recently, I had the opportunity to take part in a large branding workshop. I have to say, it was a truly amazing experience. What made it amazing? It wasn’t really the workshop itself, it was the people that took part in it. It was the people who surrounded me.

These “people” were smart people, very smart people. It was a refreshing experience and, at the same time, a humbling one. I’m not saying that I haven’t been in rooms with smart people before, I have. What I am saying is, I haven’t been in a room with this MANY smart people before. I really am not at liberty to disclose what was actually said, or what the brand workshop was focused on. I can disclose, however, the experiences that I took away.

I am a young man when it comes to the professional world. I know, I am nearly 30 years old and some people consider that old, but in the grand scheme of things, that is very young. I understand that I have a lot to learn and I very much welcome that challenge and this workshop provided that challenge. I was in a room with the playmakers and the decision makers for the majority of a day. We all sat down and pondered the why, the what, the how and what the next steps were in branding. The “where we are,” to the “where we should be.” We had brand planners, designers, marketers, copywriters, web designers. We had executives and creatives. We had all the people that contribute to the brand in one room. And more importantly, we all were listening.

It wasn’t a matter that no idea was a bad idea, it was a matter that all the ideas were heard and discussed. That is the true meaning of collaboration, every idea gets heard and its time in the light. These ideas came from very, very smart people. Those who not only know what a good idea is, but know why it’s a good idea because they’ve been there. The smart people know when to listen and when to speak. They know the results because they’ve been there. They aren’t just the playmakers, they are makers of the game.

When I say I was humbled, I truly was. I’ve been in rooms with smart people before, really smart people. But this wasn’t college football, this was the NFL. I had to bring my “A” game at be “on” all the time. There was no room for error in this hall. Now, when I say smart people, I don’t mean people who were smarter than people that I have met, I mean people who are smarter than me. These types of professionals bring the best out of you, if you are open to it. Being immersed in “A” game thinking, elevates your creative thinking and the logical side of your brain at the same time. This is the type of experience that I long for. I may come out the room with an understanding that I don’t know a whole lot or at least, as much as they do. However, it makes me strive for more. More knowledge, more experiences, and more talent.

What did I takeaway from this experience? I learned that there is a process to these types of idea-sessions. Here’s the breakdown:

Listen
Someone once said that you never learn anything by talking. Listening is probably the best activity to master. No multitasking is allowed, close your computers and turn off your phones. Listen, take notes, assimilate the information heading your way. There is a reason why someone is speaking, because they have something to say. You can learn from people. They can assist you in thinking in a different box. They can spark ideas in your head.

Engage
When I say it was a humbling experience, it was. I was a little nervous in engaging with some people and having my ideas heard. But what I realized was, that I was there for a reason. Nothing comes out of passivity. If you feel that something needs to be said, say it. Offer up a critique of someone’s idea. Engage, question, articulate, and argue. Discourse and dialog bring about amazing ideas and change. They also allow us to explore other ideas and take ourselves down different creative paths. Also, meet new people. Introduce yourself. After people meet you, they become more open to the idea of discussing ideas with you.

Takeaway
Always come out of the room with an idea or something to move yourself forward. I came out of that room with a ton of ideas that I want to move forward. I came out of that room with many new contacts and connections. I also came out knowing that I need to know more than what I know now. I decided to buy some books, catch up on reading. If you come out without any sort of takeaway, you’ve wasted your time and sadly, theirs too.

Learn
This aligns with “Listen” and “Takeaways.” Take the information that you’ve listened to and the takeaways and assimilate that. Learn from your counterparts and learn from the ideas that were shared, even the ideas that don’t work. Ask yourself the “why” and if you don’t have an answer, seek it out.

Who did I listen to? I listened to everyone.

Who did I engage with? I tried my best to offer up and idea or opinion to anyone. It was scary from the start, but I rallied.

What takeaways did I leave with? A ton! I need to read up, I need to follow up, I need to take ideas that were solid and implement them.

What did I learn? Try not to be scared to interact with people. All ideas are welcome. I need to learn more. I want more dialog. I have many, many pages of ideas I need to implement.

Facebook Privacy Fiasco and the Reasons I Like Facebook

There has been a lot of negative press lately regarding Facebook and their institution of Open Graph and their changes to privacy. People seem to be in an uproar over Facebook messing with “their” information and privacy even to the point of users deleting their Facebook account and writing their opinions on blogs.

Let me be clear, this post is not one of those “How to delete your Facebook account” or a “Facebook privacy damages users” posts. I’m writing this post to inform you of my reasons and rationalizations for KEEPING my Facebook account.

    1) OPEN GRAPH:
    Open Graph is a good thing. There, I said it. I agree with Zuckerberg when he said this is a new way to build communities, measure influence, meet new people and bring the world closer together. I believe Open Graph is just the tip of the social media 2.0 iceberg. What you are going to see in the coming year(s) is more integration of sites. I personally want that. I know that some of my interests will be made public, but only interests I decide to post.

    2) PRIVACY:
    I have done my due diligence and education of privacy settings on Facebook. I understand how to limit the flow of information on my profile to other users, corporations and the public. Since I understand that, I’m fine with the adjustment to the settings because I understand them. In the social networking landscape, it’s a little unreasonable to have a 100% expectation of privacy. Zuckerberg also said it best, if you don’t like it, leave. It’s a little brash, I know, but it makes sense. Facebook profiles are not owned by the users, the users borrow space on Facebook’s servers.

    —> Sidebar: However, I do get discouraged when Facebook has bugs and makes mistakes when it comes to privacy. An example would be when you could view other user’s chats. That is unacceptable, but was immediately remedied.

    3) NETWORKING:
    Facebook is a very valuable tool when it comes to networking. I am a social media guy, this is my job and a little bit of my life. For me to do away with a major social networking site would be an idiotic decision. Plus, I like meeting new people, learning what we have in common and finding out information from brands.

    4) MY JOB:
    Like I said in #3, social networking is my job. I have to be on there.

    5) INFORMATION:
    Facebook has a massive, MASSIVE flow of information running through it. It’s easy to keep up on current events, what your friends are doing, where they go, what businesses are doing, where the next networking event is, etc. I’m a sucker for information, I always want more.

    6) PROMOTION:
    If you use it properly, it’s great way to promote a business or yourself.

    7) MYSPACE:
    It’s not MySpace

    8) SEO:
    Being on Facebook adds to my search engine results.

    9) FRIENDS:
    I enjoy the fact that my friends are on there sharing what they are doing day-to-day.

    10) MYSPACE:
    It’s not MySpace

I know this may sound a bit over the top, but in all seriousness, being on Facebook isn’t a bad thing. The change in privacy isn’t a bad thing. The introduction of Open Graph isn’t a bad thing. Ignorance breeds malcontent. I’m sure that once some users do their due-diligence on understanding how to use the Facebook privacy settings and what Open Graph really is, like I have, opinions may change.

Social Media Personality Conflict

I found myself thinking more and more about the personalities that we as social media and community managers develop for the brands we create and manage online. In part, a good social campaign creates a voice, a personal voice with which we engage the community. Part of developing that voice is developing a brand personality. However, when we create that brand persona we add a little bit of ourselves to it. Whether that little bit is our own voice, our history, loves, likes, style of writing or whatever; a small part of ourselves exists within the brand personality we use to engage users.

Now, if you are a social media or community manager, chances are you already have your own personal brand established and your own personal voice. Day to day, you switch between your work voice and your personal voice with a little bit of an overlap. Some might say, a good social media manager can separate these two; that’s a little bit naive. We aren’t built to separate personalities. No matter how hard you try, there will be a little bit of yourself in your online persona whether it be personal or professional.

A duality then exists inside of your head. You are two separate people, yet the same person; day-to-day. A question develops: How do you manage multiple personalities? You are an extension of your online persona. You are two different people, maybe three. Sometimes it maybe difficult to differentiate the two. If it becomes difficult manage, you start to notice overlap or become somebody completely different; in which you lose your sense of personality. Then where are you?

I’m not saying it’s a superhero mentality; one minute Clark Kent and the other Superman. What I am saying is one minute you are General Electric and the next yourself.

I wonder if the back and forth of persona is healthy.

I wonder if, in the long term, it changes the way we effectively manage our brands and ourselves.

I wonder if, in the long term, this duality can become a disorder where you completely lose your sense of self.

Or maybe, your sense of self is a duality?

At what point to you become the voice you established for the brand you manage? Or, does any of this matter?

VIDEO: A Personal Introduction

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RfmHDc-uB4]

You may have been wondering who this “ebreakdown” guy is and what this is all about. Well, here is my introduction.

This video is an attempt to define, a bit more clearly, who I am, what I do, where I come from, and what this blog and twitter account is about.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. I just may respond to them in the next video post.

Also, a personal favor: this is my first vlog, diary, journal, or whatever via video; please don’t be too critical. Believe me, I’ll get better.

PS> It is a terrible thumbnail; I know. Can’t be helped.

Tron Legacy

Lightcycle

Just recently, Disney has released the official trailer for the upcoming Tron sequel, Tron Legacy, staring Jeff Bridges.

Tron has always been near and dear to my heart ever since I first saw it way back when I was young. The graphics of the original Tron, back in the day, do not hold up to the graphic standards of today but, that doesn’t matter to the lovers of Tron (me). It’s not all about the special effects, it’s about the story line. A real life human is taken into the computer where he has to fight against the MCP to free the rest of the “computer world” alongside Tron. What a great story line even to this day.

Tron Legacy appears to have the same styling of graphics, but updated to the demands of a contemporary general audience. Jeff Bridges makes a comeback in the sequel; which brings a smile to my face. I’m not sure of the story line just yet, but given the deep love and admiration of the first movie by fans, I’m sure Disney will try their best to not disappoint. (I say that as I cross my fingers.) And, if it’s any indication that Disney is putting forth their best effort in creating a great sequel, it’s by using Daft Punk as the group to produce the soundtrack. (I can’t wait to get my hands on that.)

The Tron Legacy trailer looks amazing. I’m so energized every time I view it. I can’t wait until December!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxdtVWvfFSU]

#GoogleBuzz Concerns

Everyone is talking about Google Buzz it seems like. I started to use the service myself today more in depth. I have to say, it’s pretty intuitive. It’s a great way to share information and updates with your friends and other users. However, there are a few things that I’m not 100% on board with.

Privacy:
I’m still working out the kinks in the privacy aspect of Buzz. Yes, I am aware that I can limit the privacy of my posts and such, but what if someone, who is public, starts responding to my post, does that come up in search? Probably not, but I’m still concerned about it. Or, conversely, if my friends wish to remain private, yet they respond to my public post, should that be a concern of theirs or mine? Another piece of privacy that I’m concerned about is search. Yes, my profile is set to private, yet it still can be searched for, along with everything I post, if you’re good at searching. Does my email come up in that search, or my other contact information?

Frequency:
Yes, Buzz is a valuable tool for communicating with your friends and other users whom you share common interest with. However, what is the frequency of posting? How fast should you return comments? Do I share my time with Twitter? Of course, these are questions that will be resolved in the coming months by monitoring the use by users. But, what I see happening is people are anxious to use the service and promote them on it. Which, is good, however, it adds another level of social media, on top of the already saturated market.

Integration:
Google, during the release of the product, did state that two-way integration isn’t here just yet for Buzz and it may not come at all. However, I do believe in order to make this more useful for the social media crowd and basic consumer usage, you will need the app to communicate both ways with other platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter. Otherwise, you are limiting growth and functionality of the site.

Let me be clear, I am sold on the whole idea of Google Buzz. I like where Google is taking their social network. However, I’m concerned with certain things that are in place right now and the practice of using it. Like I said before, I’m sure these issues will be addressed very soon and more functionality will be added into it. After all, it was just released a few days ago. I’ll keep using it and see what the trends say. Who knows, maybe I’ll only use Buzz instead of Gmail.

Please Don’t Do That On Twitter

I have been on Twitter for years now. I have made a lot of new friends, connections and networked with many in my industry. Twitter has taught me a lot about how to communicate in social media and helped me get what ever message I wanted out to the world.

Certain Twitter methods can yield great results for you and your brand. However, there are methods that can prove to be detrimental. Methods that annoy users and consequently discourage users from interacting with you and your brand, enable users to stop following you, or in the extreme cases, these detrimental methods could lead to you being reported and shut down.

This is what I’m going to focus on, the detrimental. I will focus on some methods that you should not employ while on Twitter. (Incidentally, these methods make me really annoyed too.)

Blast/Burst Posting:
Blast posting is posting tweets anywhere from every 30 seconds to every 2 minutes. Yes, Twitter is all about real time updating, however, it needs to be done in moderation. If you blast post, it becomes difficult for your followers to read what else is going on in the world from other users. Followers become annoyed and develop a negative perception of you or your brand. Burst posting is similar to blast. Bursting is posting 3-5± tweets within a small time frame (like two minutes or so), then waiting a bit, then doing it again. Followers feel the same about burst posting as they do blast.

Spam:
This is a no brainer. Do not spam, at all, period. Spam on Twitter usually comes in the form of a user that follows you in the hope you follow them back to read all their advertisement tweets from some sort of API they have developed. Common spam users will offer “how to get more followers,” “check out my pics,” or “how to make money tweeting.” Users on Twitter tend to be ‘seekers’ of information. They seek out the info they want from users that provide it. If they wanted to learn how to make money tweeting, they will follow you, not the other way around.

Negativity:
Typically, the overall vibe on Twitter is a happy one. No one likes it when you put someone down, argue with other users or whatever. People who are negative on Twitter are not completely called out about it, but they do become quarantined from other users. Your Twitter profile is an extension of yourself or your brand. To remain positive in any and all circumstances will result in a positive association of yourself or your brand.

Check Out My Blog:
Another annoying bit of Twitter is when users, who are either added by you or add you themselves, direct message you to check out their blog or website. “Hi, nice to meet you. Check out my site.” I can’t tell you how many people tell me to do that. Again, Twitter users are seekers of information, they will seek the info out if they want to. Especially, when most likely, that information will be in your profile anyway. When you message someone on Twitter, make it as personable as possible. Which leads me to the next annoyance.

Scheduled/Auto Tweets:
Scheduling your tweets can take away a sense of personality to your Twitter profile. I’m not saying that services like Hootsuite are all bad, quite the opposite. What I am saying is, using automatic tweets only for your profile’s tweets becomes detrimental when trying to develop an audience of followers. Followers like the interaction, they hunger for it. It is ok to, at times, use tweet schedulers for relaying informational links and product launches. However, solely using schedulers, auto responders, and auto tweets separates you from your followers and thus the message becomes lost in a sea of information.

Bots:
Twitter bots, oh man, these are nasty little programs. They vary in their application. Sometimes they show up if you tweet a certain word and they retweet you or send you a direct message. Other times they seek you out based upon your tweets and profile to send you specific messages for their advertisers. These bots become annoying and reflect negatively on anything they tweet about. Let’s say, I tweet about Obama. I will get a retweet about Obama with a link inside it. And let’s say, I get four retweets about that. That becomes annoying and congestive. Also, since they are retweeting me, my followers get annoyed. Again, Twitter is a land of seekers, if they want the info, they’ll find it.

So, there is the list. Yes, most of these annoy me a great deal. But, I’d like to think it’s a good look into what not to do in the Twitter world. Keep this in mind: remain positive, encourage interaction and be personable.