Author: Josh Peters

Want social media success? Make it meaningful.

Have you ever seen someone say “Wow, look at that social media campaign. Look how amazing it is that they are pushing out their same old advertising crap and ignoring everyone. Look at the way they haven’t embraced the medium, but instead have just found a new way of doing the same old crap. This is such a terrible waste of time, we should all emulate it.” No? Neither have I.

Your campaigns are never going to make headlines, your campaigns are never going to be worth talking about, your campaigns are never going to get anywhere until they mean something.

Would the Ford Fiesta campaigns have ever been note worthy if all it consisted of was a deaf Twitter channel and a few links that said “Tweet This”? No.

Would the Old Spice social media campaigns attracted any attention if they just consisted of “Here’s our crap, now buy it” messaging? Nope.

And would Jet Blue have had anywhere near the success they did if they just used the same old tired tactics and pushed out crap no one cares about? Definitely not.

A new year is just around the corner and it’s going to be a great opportunity for you and your business to find some meaning in your marketing. To build something that is new and exciting, to have a message worth spreading and to start seeing the success that comes with it.

Say no to meaningless marketing and start making messages that matter.

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

Is Social Media Changing the Political Climate As We Know It?

If you ever played the game, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, you know that Albert Einstein invented a machine to change the weather. It was a Weather Machine (or something to that effect) capable of destroying your enemy’s units and buildings. It wasn’t the best weapon you could get, but if you had it you could tilt the game in your favor. If Albert Einstein were a lesser man he would have done so in real life. If he were alive today he would be a staunch advocate of social media. Why? For politicians today there is a sort of machine that exists, it’s called the Internet.

It’s hard to deny the influence of social media in politics. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both announced their candidacies for President in 2008 on Youtube. Barack Obama’s campaign was defined by its ability to turn the young, the media hungry, and web savvy away from apathy and dejected cynicism, and into avid supporters that propelled his campaign into the white house.

Social Media is a kind of softball for smart and pragmatic politicians looking for low hanging fruit. With the ability to reach millions at low costs compared to traditional media like television, print, and radio, it’s a no-brainer. For media hungry politicians like Sarah Palin, who perhaps has a greater addiction to Twitter and Facebook than the average over-caffeinated High School teenager, social media is a godsend. It keeps them connected to their followers at all times, the die-hard fans and supporters who go to rallies, who call up radio shows and who talk obsessively at dinner parties.

But lets face it, politics is about money. The more money you can raise the more likely you are to win. It means better television interviews, better media placements and of course a better campaign manager who can make you a better candidate, which will make you look better in the media. Clearly social media is great way to get people interested very early on in the campaign process. A candidate who has an effective social media strategy, popular videos on Youtube, a ton of followers on Twitter, and a strong web presence, is at an advantage. That popular candidate has an advantage because, clearly, no one ever wants to bet on a losing horse.

Cynicism aside, social media is in a way changing how politics works, or at the very least challenging the current system; highlighting serious chinks in its armor, and disparities abound. In 2009, Twitter had its big coming out party on the back of the protest surrounding the Presidential elections in Iran. Despite heavy censorship of Internet Service Providers by the government, protesters staged an effective protest not only in the streets, but also in the global community. Not so much through traditional media outlets, but through Twitter. Newspapers and cable news stations reported on tweets and not sources in Iran.

In 2010, China shutdown Google, because Google was too democratic in showing search results critical of the politburo members Zhou Yongkang, and Li Changchun. We know this now thanks to another variation of social media, WikiLeaks, which is, according to every traditional media outlet and traditional politician, the devil incarnate.

So, is social media changing the political climate? The longer answer is maybe and only time can tell how effective it will be. There are numerous micro-donation sites that are dedicated to making real change happen but they represent small drops in the bucket compared to the prevailing trend of media hungry politicians. These drops represent a relative minority who have always been present, maybe as brick and mortar non-profits and NGO’s prior to social media.

But at the present time social media is a great forum for debate, promotion and fund-raising. If that constitutes a change in the political climate then yes social media is changing how we vote and debate and fund political campaigns and causes. But if we’re talking about a real change as in significant changes that lead to more effective government, and better policy, then no. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube may only serve as a distraction from the bigger picture.

Thierry Godard is a writer based in New York City. He is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on accredited online universities for Guide to Online Schools.

Insubordinate added to free Seth Godin ebooks for download

Seth Godin

On Tuesday I added Brainwashed by Seth Godin to the “All of Seth Godin’s Free ebooks in one place” list that I have been keeping up on this site. That led me to start poking around and start looking to see if maybe there were some others I might have missed.

Yes, yes I did.

Insubordinate (17) is a free ebook related to Seth’s latest book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?It’s a quick read packed with great insight into the heart of Linchpin. Give it a read and then if you like, come back here and leave a review of it in the comments sectio below.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Josh “Shua” Peters

p.s. It looks like Seth has indeed finally compiled a list of free downloads on his Squidoo page, so if you’d like to check that out for any additional, non ebook related downloads I haven’t added to my list, just click the link above.

New Seth Godin ebook “Brainwashed” added to free download list

Brainwashed Seth Godin Free Download

As of this morning Brainwashed (260) by Seth Godin has been added to the “All of Seth Godin’s Free ebooks in one place” list that I have been keeping for over a year. This one was brought to my attention by a reader, so huge thanks to Josh R from Rocky Mountain Fly Fisher.

If you haven’t already read it, Brainwashed is basically about things we’re conditioned to do from a young age, how they are hurting us, and how to fix them. Over the last few years it seems like Seth has been moving from marketing to self help, and this ebook doesn’t break that patter.

As usual, it’s a great read. It won’t take very long, but has some great lessons to teach us. Give it a download (right click & save link as), give it a read, and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

The Ukrainian visitors and back to blogging

A couple weeks ago (about a month now) I had the tremendous opportunity to speak to a group of people visiting from another country, Ukraine to be exact, and it was phenomenal.

I had the chance to speak with them about how government is using social media and how it’s changing the face of American politics. They were a very active and interested group to speak with and it was a ton of fun. I hope I get asked to come back and do it again sometime soon.

On a personal note I want to thank everyone who took the time to send a thoughtful email, tweet, wall post, or comment. The last couple weeks have been very trying and you’ve all been so awesome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now to get back on that horse and find me some new clients, and write some new blog posts!

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

Looking for a new opportunity

Josh S Peters

This photo is only moments old, and so is my shave.

This week marks the end of all my current consulting contracts as I prep for moving to jolly old California. This is the first time since I was 8 that I didn’t have a job (seriously, I’ve had a job since I was 8 years old at 29 I have 21 years in the work force). It’s kind of a creepy feeling living off of a savings account, but it’s necessary for making the move and that’s where you (my adoring public) come in.

I would love (some may say need) your help.

I have been consulting since 2007 and at times it can be lonely. I actually want to be part of a team (preferably as a manager or director but beggars can’t be choosers). It’s something I have been missing out on and would love to get back to. It’s one of those things that I feel I need right now for the progression of my career.

As you, my readers, might know, I am a published author, I have blogged all over the web, spoken to a variety of groups, and worked with Fortune 500 clients. I am now looking for a position that will take advantage of all that I have done and deliver new challenges that I can excel at. Additionally I want to go back to school to get my MBA and when you’re on your own, spare time is much harder to come by and your work day doesn’t last from 9-5, but from dawn till dark.

The position needs to be in California (preferably, but not necessarily, in the LA / Monrovia area) or be a remote position. I would like to work at an agency because working in this field for so long I have a ton of ideas that would help make an agency more remarkable but require a team to carry out. However, if the right corporate opportunity came along I definitely wouldn’t say no.

This is where I’m at, and this is where I ask sincerely of you my readers to spread this blog post and pass it on to anyone you know who is hiring for social media / internet marketing positions.

A HUGE thank you in advance. Below is my resume and link to my LinkedIn profile.

Thanks for reading & thanks for helping,
Josh “Shua” Peters

More businesses should use LinkedIn for job applications

As previously mentioned, I’m looking for a new employment opportunity, and as such I have been applying everywhere around the LA / Monrovia, CA area. During this search I have seen some of the most awful, lengthy, horrendous methods of applying for anything. I have filled out job profiles on corporate websites that have taken 45+ minutes and I was surprised they didn’t ask for a DNA sample to go with it.

There have been very few application processes that have been done even close to the way I think they should be done, and none have been done the exact way I think they should… till I found Netflix’s. Take a look at the screen capture above, notice how simple it is and how compact the info.

Resume, LinkedIn, name, and contact info. That’s it. What more do you really need these days? LinkedIn is basically a living resume with lists of your references, employers, accomplishments, other profiles, etc. More companies should look at this approach and take note.

After spending many many many hours looking, applying, and trying to find something new I can say that LinkedIn is completely underused. In fact, only 1 other application has asked me for my LinkedIn account yet. Which doesn’t make any sense to me. If you wanted to streamline your process, why wouldn’t you just want it glean all your info from one source instead of dealing with thousands of resumes in thousands of different formats?

It’s nice to see some companies working to get their HR, and application process in line with how things are changing online, but from my current experience I can tell you it’s still a far way from where it should be.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

Why twitter follower numbers mean nothing

As a follow up to yesterday’s incredibly successful post (over 10,000 views on Social Media Today so far) I’m going to not just tell you, but I’m going to show you why Twitter followers mean nothing when judging value.

Take a look at these two accounts. Mozelle is from New Delhi and Gusella is from Mumbai and their accounts are EXACTLY the same (minus background and picture) and why is that? Well they are worthless spam accounts and one has 4,500+ followers while the other is just under 6,000.

Seriously, take a minute and look at them, and then think about it.

When you use crapware like TwitterAdder Pro and other junk to auto follow and grab as many followers as possible the numbers mean nothing. The only time you can use them as a gauge is when they are gained organically, when it’s grown without any “assistance” then you can measure your growth trend.

Twitter follower numbers, Facebook friends or fans when gained using “legal cheats” mean nothing, and even if they are gained organically they still don’t really mean much.

Why?

Because it shouldn’t be about what your neighbor gets out of following or friending that person (or even if they follow or friend you back), it’s what YOU get out of following or friending that person.

But what about company accounts? I’m sure some of you are using it for business and your boss doesn’t understand that 10 engaged followers are better than 1,000 who couldn’t care less and they would like to see those numbers rise.

Here’s a tip for that. Shift the focus.

Show how effective your Twitter account is as doing it’s real job of engaging and sharing info. Track your links, track your mentions, RTs etc. Track the stuff that matters and build on that.

If you want to play numbers games go here. If you want to communicate, grow your network, and engage other people, then go here.

Twitter is not about follower numbers, it’s not a numbers game, it never has been so stop trying to make it one. It’s all about the value YOU get from it.

Give it a good thought and ask yourself, If a worthless spam bot can get 6,000 followers without being shut down then really, what does that say about that “metric”?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

image by Benimoto

How an internet marketer is like a MMA fighter

If you know anything about both MMA and internet marketing then you can probably see where I’m going with this already. If not, well then you’re in for a treat.

Since you’re reading my blog I can assume that you have a t least a passing familiarity with the varied aspects of internet marketing, but I can’t assume that about MMA, so here’s a real quick rundown on MMA.

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. It’s a combat sport (like boxing, jiu jiutsu, wrestling, etc) that takes the best aspects of various types of martial arts and mixes them together (hence the name). All the best MMA fighters use elements of Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, jiu jiutsu, kick boxing, judo, and any other martial arts they or their trainer know.

This mixture of fighting techniques makes them a formidable opposition on the ground or standing up and able to defend or attack from any position. Good MMA fighters train their bodies to the extreme and are able to dominate any opposition in the ring.

It’s no different than any other type of combat competition. There are rules for the safety of the fighters (there have been zero MMA related deaths because of these strict rules compared to many each year in boxing and football), and their goal is to incapacitate the other fighter to show the dominance of their skill.

It’s a lot more than two people in a ring beating the snot out of each other. That’s a “tough man” competition. In MMA there is real skill, thought, and dedication involved.

Now, how is that like internet marketing?

Well lets look at the current landscape of internet marketing and see how we can draw the comparison.

Current REAL internet marketers (not the fake I’ll sell you my IM system if you sell me yours spam seen everywhere) have to possess a range of skills. SEO, SEM (PPC), social media, email, media buys, content marketing, networking, etc. Not to mention the knowledge of current and emerging technology.

The well rounded internet marketer knows how to utilize each and how they all play together. They know what role SEO plays in social media, email, PPC, online press releases, and content marketing. They know how email can bolster your social media efforts and vice versa.

Mixing the disciplines together under the unified banner of Internet Marketing.

A good internet marketer will be on top of the companies SEO and know how it plays into social media, content creation, and PPC.

An MMA expert will know how to stop a take down by being a take down expert and know how to follow it up with an uppercut that wins the fight.

Skilled internet marketers will know how optimized landing pages help conversion for PPC and media buys. How they work with email, content marketing, are the perfect internal links for blog posts, and great for sending out via social outposts.

MMA champs can move the fight from a standing game to a ground game with no trouble. Setup their opponent by letting them attempt a submission just to pull one off of their own that the other guy never saw coming.

I’ve been saying for a while now that integration is the key to social media success, but that’s not where it stops. Integrating all of your internet marketing (and offline marketing) efforts is going to be the key to future success.

Tomorrows best internet marketers will be less like one-dimensional boxing pro’s and more like multi-dimensional MMA champs.

Questions, comments, thoughts, or musings? Put them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

Learning from failure

This weekend was supposed to be another SMAC Social Media workshop, but I was unable to get enough people signed up for it. Unlike last time, it wasn’t a great success.

Now like with anything else there are two ways of looking at this. #1 would be to try and forget it happened and continue with life. #2 would be to look at failure as an event, take the feedback I got and build a better workshop.

Feedback

  • 2 days is just too long – This was a common email I got recently. I guess 2 days is quite a bit much for most people so I’m going to look at how I can lessen that and still retain value & info.
  • Weekends might be better – I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I had several requests for a saturday workshop instead of a Thurs / Fri
  • Price – Too expensive. I offered some discount codes to readers of my blog and the SMCSLC, but I guess that wasn’t enough. I don’t know how much to budge, but it’s worth a look

Like most people, I don’t like when something doesn’t go my way, or when something doesn’t play out like I want it to. The only way to truly be defeated by a failure is to not learn anything from it, and I refuse (as should you) to ever be truly defeated by anything.

Questions

What do you think? What would you like to see in a social media workshop? Are there certain topics, teaching styles, info, etc that you would find more useful than others?

I’d love to hear more feedback in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters