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I agree with you!
But directory bookmarking and Social networking websites can be very important!

We've created a great product that allows you to listen and manage people's conversations about you. Check it out if you have time http://www.buzzding.com

i think there are two ideas i keep bumping into these days. the first is the small idea - fast enough, focused enough and small enough to be nimble and practicable in multiple ways. and the second is what you point out here - brand behavior. what have you done for me lately?

Hi Paul,

I like your cynical post on social media. Listening to what your consumers are saying is great, but if that's all you do with it I think you are missing a huge opportunity. You can build consumer relationships with SM but like any relationship it takes time and sometimes does not work.

Missed you at Likemind. Don't blame you though because it was freezing!

Andy Dunbar

The one contention I have is with "Quit trying to "join the conversation." Sometimes joining the conversation is constructive, like when companies respond to reviews and complaints with their side of the story. Today provided an excellent example of CNN joining the conversation on Facebook, and thus giving people something worth talking about. Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/video/fb/facebook.html?stream=stream1

I like this ... I like that more and more people are saying we have to make stuff happen or face the blackness of our future.

Fight for it Paul, it's the future and it means more interesting insight, imagination and creativity.

[God I sound like an old fart don't I!]

Great statement - it's a good philosophy for any brand really, whether or not we're talking about social media - "be interesting"

Right there with you.

I think, above all, a lot of these social media "gurus" are sounding a lot like (a) self-help authors and/or (b) pickup artists/dating consultants.

Which is gross. Social interactions aren't new. And it's not particularly new and interesting that they're happening online, it's just that more and more people are doing it there.

If you bring it back to the real world, as you have, interesting people are not the ones that are out there talking all the time, they are the people who DO interesting things. And they listen a lot. And that's what companies should be doing.

As you said.

Seems like good personal advice as well.

I like the way Gibson Guitar put videos on their website, giving teaching lessons. Lovely example of them doing something interesting - http://www.pauldervan.com/2008/04/be-interesting.html

I'm right there with you on this one (http://www.thesocialorganization.com/2009/01/the-big-secret-to-social-media-marketing.html)

However, like Larissa pointed out...you may have to join to conversation to figure out that people won't talk about you unless you are doing something that matters.

Glad to hear there are ad/marketing people thinking along these lines.

Cheers -


Completely! Forget trying to make people talk about something or 'going where your audience is'. People already talk, give them an interesting topic and they might talk about it, wherever they are.

I do agree with you to some extent. Although, I believe that companies also should engage and join the conversation and add value with their expertise in their respective area. Fact is, Social Media is not primarily a channel that you use to generate direct sales.

You should use it to build Brand Equity and relationships with your existing and prospective customers. An interactive brand that engages in dialogues will always be favorable in the eyes of consumers.

Lastly, just skimmed through both of your presentations and I sincerely hope I will be able to pull something similar off in the future in terms of content and aesthetics. Great job, sir.

I think this is excellent. Concise and focused.

Oftentimes things are over-thought and then over-complicated... But this gets right to the core of the issue.

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

@paul: Agree 100%. It's a restatement of Gossett's "people read what interests them" - people also talk about what interests them.

There are, however, often smaller forums where people talk about less interesting categories. Not always, but you will get some serious evangelists there.

@clay - I have noticed that too- the guru-as-motivational speaker thing and attribute it to the fact that many of them are just that: they have zero experience in marketing, advertising, PR or corporate communications.

Agreed 100%. Be interesting. Give them something to talk about, something they can use.
A friend and colleague of mine has a great blog about that very subject ...


He's a brand planner at our agency. Good stuff.
(I'm a copywriter, and my blog is a bit different ... marketingplusgood.blogspot.com)
- DY

Hi Paul,
Great thinking.
I wrote something about Zappos.com that just fits with this idea.

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