Communities are Bullsh*t

Some brands are inherently more “Social” than others. There are varying amounts of success one can have with building a community, and I understand a lot of you have had some wins you would consider big. This article is not meant to discredit your efforts, but more importantly to show many of you that your focus shouldn’t always be on community building. There is a tremendous amount of time that goes into organically building a community. Are you seeing the return? Imagine if your primary focus of all that time were to dominate the first page of Google for an organic search of your brands name. Have you even searched your brands name? What types of reviews show up? Do they dominate the entire page when searching for them by name? Start there, and then plan accordingly. You may find that your time is better spent elsewhere.


Posted by: Andy Gonzalez 


Communities are Bullsh*t

Communities are bullsh*t. That’s right, I said it. Go ahead … think about that Twitter page you manage. Consider the amount of time it took you to build your first 100 followers, let alone your first 1,000. You are feeling pretty high about your ability to grow a “community”, aren’t you? I hate to burst your bubble, but for all your efforts (I know the hard work firsthand) how much is that “community” affecting your brand’s bottom line? Chances are, not a whole lot.

For most Social Media professionals, the dreaded words “Return On Investment” are difficult to explain. Time-and-time again, I’ve read blogs and watched videos of people talking above the clouds with fluffy words like “brand awareness,” “community,” “curate” and “conversation.”

A popular response to people requesting the ROI of a community management campaign is, “it’s difficult to show the ROI of a conversation.” I completely agree with that statement, because there is none.

Recently, Mashable posted an article that stated 51% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow / like. Well duh! Was that really news to any of you? If you like or follow Subway, it is likely because you first tried a Subway sandwich – not the other way around. Leer más “Communities are Bullsh*t”

50 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed

This article aims to show you how to attract users and make them hungry for more. Who is this post for? Anyone with a website. Not all of the items listed below will apply directly to you and your business; however, they are, at the very least, an excellent source for inspiration.
1. Write Fresh and Catchy Content

If you have good content, people will always come back for more. One of the most important things about content is to keep it fresh and up-to-date. But, just like Smashing Magazine, make sure to archive your content for people to refer back to.
Fresh and catchy content
2. Listen to Your Community

If you are already lucky enough to have a community—even just some regular users—listen to them. You can do this by emailing your users directly, setting up comment forms, live chat, or even user feedback systems such as UserVoice, which allow users to vote on site issues and functionality. By listening to your community, you can determine exactly what they want.
Listen to your community
3. Monitor How Your Site is Used

Knowing how users use your site is vital. This allows you to target their needs better. The best way is to keep a close eye on your analytics data; check what country/area your users are coming from, what search terms are working well for you and what sites are giving you the best referrals.

Find out how users navigate your site via heat maps. These help you alter your site so that it is easier for your visitors to use and find what they want. This keeps your users happy and more likely to return.


This article aims to show you how to attract users and make them hungry for more. Who is this post for? Anyone with a website. Not all of the items listed below will apply directly to you and your business; however, they are, at the very least, an excellent source for inspiration.

1. Write Fresh and Catchy Content

If you have good content, people will always come back for more. One of the most important things about content is to keep it fresh and up-to-date. But, just like Smashing Magazine, make sure to archive your content for people to refer back to.

Fresh and catchy content

2. Listen to Your Community

If you are already lucky enough to have a community—even just some regular users—listen to them. You can do this by emailing your users directly, setting up comment forms, live chat, or even user feedback systems such as UserVoice, which allow users to vote on site issues and functionality. By listening to your community, you can determine exactly what they want.

Listen to your community

3. Monitor How Your Site is Used

Knowing how users use your site is vital. This allows you to target their needs better. The best way is to keep a close eye on your analytics data; check what country/area your users are coming from, what search terms are working well for you and what sites are giving you the best referrals.

Find out how users navigate your site via heat maps. These help you alter your site so that it is easier for your visitors to use and find what they want. This keeps your users happy and more likely to return. Leer más “50 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed”

What makes a good community manager? Hear from the experts

More and more brands are starting to employ a full time online community manager – or sometimes a whole team of them! I’m in interested in this as as new job that’s come about through social media and I wanted to talk to some of the best community managers around to find out what makes them tick. As brands and businesses start to build bigger communities around them and those communities start to spread in both reach and influence it’s important to have somebody there who both understands and is able to manage the community. Here are some tips and pointers from people who have already managed communities…
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to other community managers…?


Screen shot 2010 09 30 at 12.49.09 200x196 What makes a good community manager? Hear from the expertsMore and more brands are starting to employ a full time online community manager – or sometimes a whole team of them! I’m in interested in this as as new job that’s come about through social media and I wanted to talk to some of the best community managers around to find out what makes them tick. As brands and businesses start to build bigger communities around them and those communities start to spread in both reach and influence it’s important to have somebody there who both understands and is able to manage the community. Here are some tips and pointers from people who have already managed communities…

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to other community managers…? Leer más “What makes a good community manager? Hear from the experts”

When Twitter becomes real life. Where’s the line?

I saw something happening on Twitter a few days ago, and ever since then I’ve been thinking more and more about the role it plays in our lives and at what point it actually stops becoming something that we ‘do’ and actually starts to replace real life altogether. I don’t want to name the person involved in the incident, but they were very publicly tweeting about something upsetting, as it was happening. As much as I was upset by what they were going through, when I stopped and thought about it, I realised how disturbed I was by the fact that this person had chosen to tweet about this thing, as it happened, instead of giving it the real attention it needed. It was as if Twitter had replaced the real-life situation and it was incredibly strange to watch it happening.

Twitter has always been a different animal. Never quite hitting the mainstream in the way that Facebook has, yet always finding itself in the headlines (or responsible for them). It has hugely affected online communication in ways that we never could have imagined in its early days. But it has had such an odd effect on so many people (myself included). I’m sure I’m not the only one that will think, when something particularly exciting happens or you spot a celeb etc.. that you can’t wait to put it out on Twitter. You think this, even as you’re going through something and you almost forget to enjoy it or notice it as you’re composing your tweet in your head. I find it fascinating that for so many people it’s fundamentally changed every human experience.


//thenextweb.com
By Lauren Fisher

I saw something happening on Twitter a few days ago, and ever since then I’ve been thinking more and more about the role it plays in our lives and at what point it actually stops becoming something that we ‘do’ and actually starts to replace real life altogether. I don’t want to name the person involved in the incident, but they were very publicly tweeting about something upsetting, as it was happening. As much as I was upset by what they were going through, when I stopped and thought about it, I realised how disturbed I was by the fact that this person had chosen to tweet about this thing, as it happened, instead of giving it the real attention it needed. It was as if Twitter had replaced the real-life situation and it was incredibly strange to watch it happening.

Twitter has always been a different animal. Never quite hitting the mainstream in the way that Facebook has, yet always finding itself in the headlines (or responsible for them). It has hugely affected online communication in ways that we never could have imagined in its early days. But it has had such an odd effect on so many people (myself included). I’m sure I’m not the only one that will think, when something particularly exciting happens or you spot a celeb etc.. that you can’t wait to put it out on Twitter. You think this, even as you’re going through something and you almost forget to enjoy it or notice it as you’re composing your tweet in your head. I find it fascinating that for so many people it’s fundamentally changed every human experience.

Your other Twitter life

I think this has contributed to many people almost creating a ‘Twitter self’ that needs to be maintained. I’m often surprised for example, when I see couples talking with each other on Twitter when I know they’re in the same room. But I’ve realised now that it’s not so much about using Twitter as a way of talking to someone next to you, but more contributing to the content around your online self, and talking to your online community. Your Twitter self is something that has to be maintained and so in this way, it almost starts to take over from your real self. For all the benefits of Twitter and all the ways it can enhance your life, there comes a point when it almost replaces your life. And it’s easy to forget this, because it’s just somehow not the same as sitting in front of a chat window. In that case it’s always there and it’s pretty much all you’re doing. But Twitter can run in the background while you watch telly, you can dip in every now and again and work and it doesn’t seem like all you’re doing is reading updates that actually have nothing to do with your work. Leer más “When Twitter becomes real life. Where’s the line?”

A Beginner’s Guide to Website Feedback

Andrew Follett

The term “feedback” is coming close to finding itself in clichéd business word category (along with personal favorites “synergy” and “paradigm”). Even if for you the word itself isn’t necessarily something that you expect to see in a Dilbert cartoon, the thought of what feedback entails can be unpleasant. For many it conjures up visions of clueless coworkers asking you to add animated .gifs and flashing purple buttons to a page, or of a client submitting a list of 82 new items to create on their site even though you are on the ninth round of changes. If nothing else, getting feedback stinks because it’s more (usually boring) work for you, and let’s face it, you’d rather be doing something else.

But you need some feedback. So, here’s the question: how can you keep from having to waste hours upon hours getting feedback from largely unhelpful sources, while still making sure that what you are creating actually makes sense, looks good, and doesn’t end your career?

Here are a few strategies for getting feedback as well as some tools that have been proven to help web designers simplify the feedback process:
Community Driven Feedback

Imagine walking into a big room of graphic and web design professionals (much like yourself). These folks are smart and on top of their respective games (again, much like yourself). Now imagine standing up in front of all of them, showing them your latest work, and then asking for feedback. While there is the potential to get some great input on what you’ve created, the whole process would likely be highly disorganized and nerve-wracking. Fortunately there are some tools that get pretty close to the benefits of standing up in front of a roomful of like-minded professionals, without any of the disorganization or (as much) potential humiliation.


Andrew Follett

The term “feedback” is coming close to finding itself in clichéd business word category (along with personal favorites “synergy” and “paradigm”). Even if for you the word itself isn’t necessarily something that you expect to see in a Dilbert cartoon, the thought of what feedback entails can be unpleasant. For many it conjures up visions of clueless coworkers asking you to add animated .gifs and flashing purple buttons to a page, or of a client submitting a list of 82 new items to create on their site even though you are on the ninth round of changes. If nothing else, getting feedback stinks because it’s more (usually boring) work for you, and let’s face it, you’d rather be doing something else.

But you need some feedback. So, here’s the question: how can you keep from having to waste hours upon hours getting feedback from largely unhelpful sources, while still making sure that what you are creating actually makes sense, looks good, and doesn’t end your career?

Here are a few strategies for getting feedback as well as some tools that have been proven to help web designers simplify the feedback process:

Community Driven Feedback

Imagine walking into a big room of graphic and web design professionals (much like yourself). These folks are smart and on top of their respective games (again, much like yourself). Now imagine standing up in front of all of them, showing them your latest work, and then asking for feedback. While there is the potential to get some great input on what you’ve created, the whole process would likely be highly disorganized and nerve-wracking. Fortunately there are some tools that get pretty close to the benefits of standing up in front of a roomful of like-minded professionals, without any of the disorganization or (as much) potential humiliation. Leer más “A Beginner’s Guide to Website Feedback”

It’s the community, silly!

by Shalu Wasu
Clients recover fairly quickly after being told that I cannot help them create a Social Media strategy! The discussion then quickly veers around the different ways in which Social Media can help in running their businesses better. We usually warm up by discussing the following.

1. Listening, monitoring and insights gathering.
2. Influencer mapping and building relationships with key influencers.
3. Tactical campaigns, promotions, applications, viral videos etc.
4. Creating blogs/sites and other forms of information dissemination.

It gets more exciting when I tell them that all of the above are really at the ‘periphery’ of Social Media and that the single most useful opportunity that Social Media offers is the ability for the client to build, nurture and grow a community / audience for the brand or product.


by Shalu Wasu
Clients recover fairly quickly after being told that I cannot help them create a Social Media strategy! The discussion then quickly veers around the different ways in which Social Media can help in running their businesses better. We usually warm up by discussing the following.

  1. Listening, monitoring and insights gathering.
  2. Influencer mapping and building relationships with key influencers.
  3. Tactical campaigns, promotions, applications, viral videos etc.
  4. Creating blogs/sites and other forms of information dissemination.

It gets more exciting when I tell them that all of the above are really at the ‘periphery’ of Social Media and that the single most useful opportunity that Social Media offers is the ability for the client to build, nurture and grow a community / audience for the brand or product. Leer más “It’s the community, silly!”

Wallpaper: Ant Colonies and Social Networks


Author Christian
Back with another Capabilities themed post. This time I got antsy.

For the second installment in this series, I’d like to share my thought process behind the AgencyNet.com Capabilities slide of Social Media Marketing. Social Media has transformed the way we communicate. It’s one of the most effective methods of efficiently reaching your online audience. It goes way beyond just strategically placing ads or creating social network accounts for general exposure. Today’s social media has taken us from “show and tell” marketing to infusing brands, lifestyles, and consumer products directly into the fabric of our daily lives and community interactions.

When this topic was delivered to me I instantly visualized a social connection that occurs naturally. Few networks are as flawlessly connected as the small but intricate as the typical ant colony. Just as the digital landscape usually does, ants create networks for the betterment and expansion of the community. As they expand their community reach, they also collect and incorporate resources of interest that can assist with the growth of the community. Efficient little buggers, they are… Leer más “Wallpaper: Ant Colonies and Social Networks”