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Five Steps

May 17, 2010

Nice post, check out full article at

Five Steps for Consumer Brands to Earn Social Currency

By: Ben PaynterMay 1, 2010

Major consumer brands still have a lot to learn as social tools continue to proliferate. How to stand out and profit in an @anywhere world.

Five Steps to Social Currency

See full post at:

Originally found at:


Still here!

July 8, 2009

Sorry that’s it has been so long since my last post, but I decided a short break was in order after the flurry of the last few weeks.

I am going to try to keep up with this blog and post some more thoughts and articles here, and see if I can’t keep this all going a bit longer. I probably wont post quite as much as I was in the past – but I’ll see if I can keep it interesting. Thanks for checking in still – and enjoy!



June 18, 2009

I have seen many articles that talk about their rules for “good” Social Networking. I certainly don’t believe I have all the answers, but from all of my research I would recommend a few best practices for arts organizations.

1. The conversation must be two-way.

2. Organizations must be authentic and personal in their interaction.

3. Organizations must be flexible, as everything is changing.

4. Organizations must target their audience and use the appropriate method to speak with them.

Act Now!

June 18, 2009

Organizations must act now to adopt polices that integrate internet social networking strategies or risk being left unable to communicate with their audiences.

There is no doubt that organizations must engage with audiences using Social Networking. Social media and internet use is growing at an incredible rate, across multiple demographics, and it is becoming one of the most important methods of communication today. I must stress however, that organizations must be prepared to learn how to use this communication technology, or they may see very poor results. One must invest time to first understand the method of communication, and then decide what conversation an organization wants to have. Time is an issue on many levels, and an organization does not have the luxury of spending five years researching these things. Organizations must learn fast and be able to respond to changes in Social Networking as technology develops. Social Networking is certainly not the only way to speak to constituents, but must be regarded as another tool in the communications toolbox, as organizations reach out to existing and new audiences.

Demanding Personal Interaction (III)

June 17, 2009

So what is this personal or real interaction? Social media can only be a successful tool if the person you are trying to engage with knows that the organization is “there” and cares about the dialogue. If organizations are inauthentic, or show little interest in the conversation it is just as bad as someone having coffee with a friend and doing nothing other than staring off into space. People do not like to be ignored. So by “real” I mean personal. Social networking is personal and the conversation has to be authentic and a two-way dialogue. Organizations must be committed to having these open dialogues with their constituents. This also means that there is the potential for individuals to post statements publicly that are not terribly flattering for the organization. The organization must be willing to allow this to happen. If people feel that the organization is controlling content (or worse manipulating or manufacturing it), they will not engage though social media. Take for example Wal-Mart. In 2006 there was a blog on the internet about Jim and Laura, who were supposed to be a couple who were spending time crossing the country in an RV and sleeping in Wal-Mart parking lots. This blog was very successful until it was discovered that it was being written by Wal-Mart’s public relations firm, Edelman and was a fake. Backlash was quick and scored a huge amount a bad publicity and lack of trust online for the company. People dislike being misled, and if organizations are not authentic online it will be discovered, and it will be almost impossible to regain trust.

Demanding Personal Interaction (II)

June 17, 2009

Now that organizations are starting to understand that the exchange online has to be a “real” conversation, they are also starting to realize that content is becoming more and more important. Audiences who are being engaged though Social Networking need something to talk about and organizations can help direct the conversation though content.
I wrote in one of my earlier posts:
“People who are engaging with our organizations digitally want content. It is a personal experience. Arts organizations must work hard to make quality content available that helps audiences want to see our performances.”
Patrons want this personal experience and have a hunger for content like never before. Communication rules are changing, and we see more and more that we have to adjust our models if we want our organizations to stay relevant. A surprise for many organizations is just how much time and effort this content requires, and also how much time and effort it takes to respond to individuals on the internet. It is incredibly critical for organizations to respond to interested and engaged audience members who are participating on their blogs, Facebook pages, MySpace pages etc.  As I have stated, this is what the constituents are expecting, and if an organization isn’t actively engaging in the dialogue, people will stop caring.

Demanding Personal Interaction (I)

June 16, 2009

Patrons will demand more technological personal interaction and meaningful content in their communication with theaters.

We now live in an age of connectivity, and the internet is a key player in that regard. Never before have people had the opportunity to receive information from so many sources, so quickly, and in virtually any place. Social Networking has taken advantage of this new technology and has enabled individuals to connect and take advantage of technology in new, ever changing ways. Organizations of every kind had started to see the potential and popularity of these services and have begun to try to use them. As we have seen, many early attempts for organizations to use social networking were not terribly successful, mainly because they did not understand how to communicate using this different medium.

Just as communication over the telephone is different than how you write a letter, communication over different Social Networking platforms must also be distinctive. Organizations must always remember that this kind of communication is much more like a personal conversation. This means that what worked in a fundraising letter that you mailed to your constituents five years ago cannot just be posted online today. People who are using Social Networking have become accustomed to responding like we do in a personal conversation. If you were to read your fundraising letter out loud to someone in a conversation over dinner, they would think you were quite odd. This is true for old institutional language on the internet also. When connecting via Social Networking platforms, the message must be tailored to the audience and the platform and must be designed to enable a conversation. Patrons are looking to be engaged in dialogue, so organizations must be prepared. All the research has pointed to this, that the conversation is most important.