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A friend recently asked me how he could track click-throughs on a single link that he had posted on multiple social media sites.

He had created a bit.ly of the URL and posted it on Twitter and LinkedIn, but bit.ly could not differentiate which platform (Twitter or LI) the clicks had come from.


There is an easy solution:


Bit.ly Logo

Here is the solution on how to track a URL on multiple platforms, using bit.ly:


If you wanted to track click-throughs from the same link on LinkedIn and Facebook, the full URL you'd use to create a bit.ly would be:


Then create a bit.ly for each URL and post it multiple places, respectively.

Bonus Tip:

If you paste the Bit.ly in a browser and add a + at the end, you will get the stats for that link right there.

More reading:


Here is a more detailed blog on the topic by Jessica Torres.

This week, in recognition of Thanksgiving, Sean Callahan of Bizo / Digital Marketing Remix reached  out to me and others in the marketing world to ask what we are thankful for. Read the answers to his two questions in this blog:


  1. What are you thankful for around your job, your business, and the marketing world in general?
  2. What are you thankful for in your personal life?



When responding, I felt so grateful for so many things in my life, including YOU = my wonderful clients and network, that I decided to share my answers and a link to the full blog here:


  • As a small business owner, I am incredibly grateful for all the referrals I have been getting since I got started. I've met some amazing people who in turn have referred me to their friends and business partners. Integrity is the key for me in everything I do, and I've had the fortune to work with mostly very honest and respectful people.


  • As a marketing consultant, I am grateful for those moments where I am able to “teach somebody how to fish." After working with me on their social media strategy, taking one of my workshops or doing 1:1 coaching, to see how somebody feels empowered to take it from there is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.


  • Additionally, I simply love to write and my job gives me ample opportunity to do that. Thanks to Digital Marketing Remix for giving me an outlet. Marketing is an exciting field that is constantly evolving. While many people fear change I have learned to embrace impermanence. Social media is an area where so much remains to be discovered, invented and tried. It keeps it interesting and provides an opportunity to come up with something truly innovative and intriguing.


  • I feel incredibly blessed in my life. I have a wonderful husband, supportive family, amazing friends, two sweet cats and a job that I love. My health is very good. My husband and I get to take wonderful trips and vacations, and I feel very free. One of my passions is yoga, and it’s very rewarding to teach at my local yoga studio. It’s a community of kind spirits. But just living in the USA, in the beautiful state of California, with sunshine, enough to eat and peace, is enough to be thankful.


I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Peace, health and happiness.

Read the full blog here on Digital Marketing Remix, to learn what other marketers are grateful for.


Thanks to social media consultant JC Giraldo of JC Giraldo Social Media for letting me share his blog on my site this week.


After reading 50% of my book 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing, he already felt compelled to share a list of what he considers the highlights so far. He has promised to write a second blog once he finishes reading the full Kindle eBook. Thanks so much JC!


"I made a compilation of the 20 highlights from "42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing" that I, personally, found very important to share: Here we go, in no particular order:

  1. Organizations have discovered that their customers know how to support each other better than their best service reps…
  2. We are active in Social Media as Marketers, Educators and Speakers...
  3. When we had our first meeting about writing this book, the first question we asked ourselves was , “Who is our audience?”After some debate, we concluded that primary person is a Product Marketing Professional, Campaign Marketing Professional, Product Manager or other Marketing Professional who is familiar with traditional marketing and now is being asked to include Social Media Marketing into their mix…
  4. Smart Companies spend their time listening to the conversations customers are having with each other. This is what Social Media is really about.
  5. Marketers are more likely to agree than disagree that “content marketing is more important than advertising…
  6. Plan your strategy  P.O.S.T = People, objective, Strategy, Tactics/Tools.
  7. The challenge is to align your Social Media content with your corporate tone while speaking in your own voice.
  8. Blogging is a great way to start a dialogue with your customers, prospects, partners and fellow employees.
  9. You can curate content on almost any Social platform, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
  10. Collaborate Using Wikis. On a wiki, any contributor can make a change to the content or format.
  11. When People go on your Twitter profile and click the “favorites” link they will see all the complimentary tweets about your product or services that you selected.
  12. If you have compelling content, put it on your blog.
  13. As with all marketing activities, content is king.
  14. Like in the real world, it requires ongoing engagement to build trust and respect.
  15. When People think of Social Media, Facebook is often the first thing that comes to mind. For B2B marketing, with it’s multiple decision makers, there may be better channels to invest your resources.
  16. Blog at least once a week.
  17. Remember there are always folks who know less than You do, so tweet to share your knowledge. One to five tweets per day will keep people watching your account.
  18. Competitors can read everything about your customers and how well your products and solutions do in the market place
  19. The Social behavior of mobile users creates a huge opportunity for brands and marketers to engage and capture readers, fans, followers, and leads.
  20. The Goal is not to drive people to YouTube; it is to find people on YouTube and drive them to your website.


I hope you find these tips as usual as they were for me. I promise to write a second post once I finish reading the book. Enjoy!  JC Giraldo"  


You might also be interested in:


This Google Hangout on Air educates on the use of  LinkedIn for Professionals.


In the video, LinkedIn expert Greg Cooper, host Mark Vang, (Sanctuary Networking Community) and I, discuss how to use LinkedIn® as a B2B marketing platform, for networking, business development and your career.


You can watch the LinkedIn for Professionals discussion here:




The video covers the following questions and more:

  • Why should you care about LinkedIn?
  • How to optimize your LI profile
  • How do you give social proof?
  • How do you cross-market with LinkedIn?
  • Why is silo marketing bad?
  • What is integrated marketing?
  • Why do I need to think beyond LinkedIn? How do I do it?
  • What is owned, earned & paid social media? Why should you car?
  • What is an example of a real world LinkedIn paid ad campaign?
  • How to create engagement and maximizing the value of groups?
  • Which groups to choose, how to engage in groups?
  • The main strategy to be successful on LinkedIn is?


To get more tips on optimizing your LinkedIn brand and marketing, visit MarketingXLerator.com.



Paint your toes purple to fight lung cancer!

#PurpleToes Campaign                             


Inspirations can be found above and throughout this blog (yes, your pet can participate too).


While you are at it, remember that November is lung cancer awareness month, and we ask you to spread awareness via social media to dispel some myths, like that lung cancer only affects smokers.


So, before I will make it extremely easy for you to spread the word via a Tweet, on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or other channels, here a personal story:


The Tragic


In August 2013 Valerie, a beloved friend of mine, kind human being and a 53-year-young woman received her diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer (it's the final stage). Valerie has never been a smoker!

Before Valerie got diagnosed, she started to plan her wedding to Ralph, her partner of 25 years. Can you imagine their shock?


They recently got married in a beautiful ceremony in Yosemite Valley. While we were thrilled to be part of the ceremony, the lung cancer is their reality now. 


#PurpleToes Cure Lung Cancer


Kindness of Strangers


Through a friend, Valerie got connected with Bonnie J. Addario and her Lung Cancer Foundation.  Bonnie kindly fast-tracked her care to a leading lung cancer specialist at U.C. Davis.   


Since, Valerie has started chemo therapy. And while I am still in denial, it is breaking my heart to see all Valerie has to go through.


We need to make her smile.

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

One day, Valerie was having a pedicure, when Ralph came up with a fun idea to keep her spirits up and make her smile.


He painted his own toe nails with her favorite color: PURPLE.


Ralph invited others to join in, via Facebook, and soon many good friends, complete strangers, women, men, kids, entire families and pets, including dogs, cats and even a couple of horses participated.


They got #PurpleToes and sent Ralph a picture of it to be added to the Smiles for Val Mural.


#PurpleToes to Beat Lung Cancer                       




   Opi Purple for a Purpose Polish - #PurpleToes #BeatLungCancer HOW YOU CAN HELP US GO VIRAL via YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TODAY



To Make It Super Easy, just cut / paste / retweet the content below:


1. Twitter (retweet or create your own tweet with a picture)


  • Sample Tweet 1 (you can RT it directly from the picture, at the bottom):
  • Sample Tweet 2:


2. Pinterest (upload a picture of your purple toes or pin the campaign website)


How to pin purple toes to Pinterest  


3. Slideshare


4. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn (upload your own picture with a link to the #PurpleToes campaign site; Like and tag the Lung Cancer Foundation FB page)


Example FB Post for #PurpleToes Campaign to BeatLungCancer


  • See the example for FB & G+ on the left.
  • For LinkedIn, post as a status update (no personal picture).


5. Blog

  • Write a blog on your own or an external blog site. You are welcome to copy this content. Happy to send you the HTML.


6. All Other

  • If you have questions on any other social media post for other channels, please comment on this blog and I'd be happy to help. Would also love to hear any other ideas.


>>> Finally, I'd like to honor my friend Susan Woolf who is the mastermind behind this great campaign and has done all the leg work.


We both hope to soon see lots of #PurpleToes #BeatLungCancer hashtags and photos everywhere.  http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/campaigns/purple-toes/purple-toes-donate/


Thanks for considering to donate $25 or more towards a cure.


Last but not least, please send good wishes to my wonderful friend Valerie!


In this Google Hangout on Air, Kristina Jaramillo answers the question: Can you share three quick tips on optimizing a LinkedIn profile (to correct common mistakes)?


Kristina Jaramillo of GetLinkedinHelp.com is a New York Times recognized LinkedIn expert who runs the B2BMarketingRadioShow.com



Three Quick Tips to Optimize a LinkedIn Profile

  1. Make your headline a newspaper headline
  2. Tell your story - don't copy your resume
  3. List several positions for your current job (targeted at different audiences)
  • Bonus Tip: Write in first person


Watch the full video to get real world examples for each tip.  Read more:


How can you scale social media? How do you personalize your message to each audience and platform? What the heck is a Social Navigator?


Find the answers to all these questions and more in this blog post. But let me start at the beginning...




Jeremy and I met in a blog comment of my blog “How to Prevent Social Media Overload”.  His comment read:

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.16.43 PM



When we started to email, Jeremy also told me that Sprinklr had profiled me as an influencer. Now he had my full attention. Yes, flattery works well with me, but I also immediately saw the win-win in talking with Jeremy in more detail.

Nat Profile Sprinklr


Jeremy would be able to share some of his social media know how with me and teach me more about Sprinklr - something that I’d be able to blog about (I am always looking for solid content), use in my consulting practice, and in turn, give him and Sprinklr some exposure as an “influencer”.

Let's Hangout

I asked Jeremy if he would be willing to answer a few questions on Google Hangout to add insights to my initial blog post; something we subsequently attempted multiple times.

For some reason, we ran into tons of technical difficulties but in the end, we got a video with actual sound but also without the sound of a contractor drilling a hole in a garage door (full disclosure, that was at my end).

Due to this experience, I can tell you that Jeremy is a very nice and patient person who is passionate about his role and company, and a pleasantly humble VP of Marketing.

Meet him in this video:


The video answers the following two questions:

  1. How to deal with social media overload?
  2. How to personalize your message to each audience on each platform?

As I had a lot more questions and we – at least tried – to keep the video short, here a blog post that summarizes a longer Q&A with Jeremy.


Interview Transcript

Interview with Jeremy Epstein, VP Marketing & Social Navigator at Sprinklr



Jeremy, as the VP of Marketing at Sprinklr, you are part of a busy and competitive marketplace. From my clients, I hear that social media overload is one of their main marketing challenges. Recently, Adobe even hosted a Tweetchat on the topic #DigitalDistress. How does Sprinklr help with social media overload?



As brands become more and more social, the volume of social messages, profiles, and enterprise users grows as well. Each of these require a unique set of capabilities to prevent overload.

For messages—brands can’t manage all of them manually. It’s just not possible. So, for example, we have a native Natural Language Processor with multiple layers of analysis.

In this way, every message can be scored for things like sentiment, spam, influence, among others. Otherwise, how do you know which messages deserve attention now, tomorrow, or never?

In addition, automated workflows that filter and route messages based on profiles (e.g. product advocate or detractor) or keywords (e.g. lawsuit) to the right team or division within the enterprise, no matter where they sit.

These are just some of the examples, but when you’re operating at scale, these capabilities are non-negotiable, since you can’t afford to use “overload” as an excuse. Not every message requires a response, but every message has to be processed.



How is Sprinklr different from, say a Hootsuite or Spredfast?



Enterprise focus, architecture, and experience. We don’t have 7 million customers. We didn’t start off as a tool for Twitter or as an agency.

From the beginning, our vision has been that enterprises have a unique set of needs that transcend one department (e.g. marketing); that security/federated social governance is paramount; and that we need to be able to natively support multiple social channels via a unified message model to create a unified profile of the social customer. We don’t believe that our competitors share this vision.

If you look at Microsoft’s experience deploying Sprinklr to over 1000 users and listen to their own words (after having reviewed 14 different companies), you’ll see that not only the technology, but the competency in terms of global deployments is not just about adding more servers.




At the core of all social media marketing is a deep knowledge of your target audience? Do you agree?



Absolutely!! That’s core to marketing. This is precisely why marketers require things like a unified social profile that combines information and interaction history from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.

Marketers need a full conversation history, so they know what was discussed with the person, regardless of which channel, team, or function had the previous engagement.

For example, if a customer is responding to a promotion, a marketer would want to know that the customer had either a positive or negative experience with the Customer Service team the week before, right?

Finally, marketers need the capability to profile their social customers, using the same taxonomy as their CRM platforms. Who are your VIPs? Your customers with high LTVs? Your advocates? People who live in San Jose?  If you KNOW all of this about your target audience, you can engage and activate in far more relevant ways.

profile properties



How does Sprinklr help marketers send the right message to each audience on each social platform? Personally, I believe that FB, LI, and Twitter, for example, each need a message targeted to that particular "forum".



I think you are right in your assessment. There are a number of ways we do this, with analytics/reporting being a huge component, but let me talk about


Social Asset Management.

  • Most technologies offer a content repository—here are all of the images, for example, that are available for a given campaign. Choose the one you like. What Social Asset Management tells you is how each piece of content has performed historically - by channel (among other metrics). 
  • It tells you which picture generated the most likes, tweets, shares, etc., so future campaign managers can search and discover the content (and not just an image) that has performed best historically; thus making the enterprise smarter over time.
  • The best content gets used. The worst content gets dismissed.


With the amount of money that brands spend on content each year, this is something that our clients have found to be particularly valuable in ensuring the right message gets deployed on the right channel.

SAM ---------------------------



Do you integrate mobile platforms into your product? What about local targeting?



  • Mobile is obviously critical and we have apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.  As one of only a handful of technology companies with established partnerships with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, we work closely with these companies to deliver brands the capabilities they need.
  • Local targeting is one of them. What’s more, through governance, ensuring that only the right people are able to post to a specific region.





·      Does Sprinklr provide actionable intelligence? If yes, what type and how can it help a business?



Yes. In a number of ways. I will focus just on a few use cases.

  • Profile Tagging - let’s say you are a Community Manager. In front of you is a stream of messages coming through. At a glance, via a small icon that shows up next to the name of the social customer, you know if the sender is a customer, a prospect, an influencer, an analyst, or a member of the press.
  • This all shows up via customizable profile properties set by the brand…and knowing this makes it easier for the CM to act upon the message in an intelligent way.


profile tagging


  • Operational Reporting - Having social metrics about likes, retweets, etc. is nice, but companies need to understand the business impact of social. One of those is in determining how social is driving the business forward.
  • They want to know “are we hitting our SLA’s for Response Time?” or “where in the response process is the biggest lag? Legal? PR?” Once they identify this, they can work to improve it…Citi did exactly that, cutting response time by 20%.
  • Social Asset Management - I touched on this above, but it bears repeating. Campaign managers benefit greatly when they can execute based upon the past experience of the organization. If you know that a PDF works best on Twitter and a video works best on Facebook (because others in a different region have already proved that out), you’re one step ahead of the game.





  • Last, Jeremy, what do you see as one of the key challenges in digital marketing today? Do you have a solution approach or a vision? Where does Sprinklr see the digital market world going?



In our view, the challenge for marketers is to break down the silos and work effectively with every other function in the organization. They need to do this to maintain a unified view of the customer and deliver a great customer experience.

If marketing doesn’t have visibility into how a customer has engaged with a brand, regardless of channel or department, the experience is going to be sub-optimal.

Our vision today is the same as it has been since the beginning.

  • Brands need a Social Relationship Infrastructure that connects with existing Line of Business Systems and which serves as the common foundation for all departments.  The social customer necessitates an unparalleled level of collaboration within the enterprise.

We see that some brands will thrive. Some won’t survive.  




Anything you'd like to add?



Yes. I don’t have all the answers to everything, so I would encourage people to contact me via Twitter, LinkedIn, or email (or any other channel) and give me an earful!  

Read more at MarketingXLerator.com.     

As I feel passionate about educating people on the use of social media, I signed up as a blogger on Putting The Seat Down Network (PSDNetwork)My blog series is a 101 guide to creating your own social media marketing strategy; not on a lofty level but with hands on tips.

So what is PSDNetwork all about?

In short, it’s a great place for any entrepreneur to get business advice and connect with like-minded people; even though the prime focus is on women.


The official blurb for PSDNetwork:

Dr. Patti Fletcher of PSDNetworkPSDNetwork, LLC is committed to being the first place women turn to for start-up, leadership, and management decisions. Patricia Fletcher and Heather Boggini founded PSDNetwork with a passion for the women who are transforming the world around them.  The founders have an unwavering commitment to providing highly motivated women with tools and access to achieve their next big thing. PSDNetworkblogs, videos, articles and podcasts deliver concrete advice to navigate the sometimes complex and confusing milestones of growth that intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs face.
Follow PSDNetwork, LLC at @PSDNetwork, on Facebook, and LinkedIn.” Heather Boggini of PSDNetwork


As soon as I learned about PSDNetwork, I knew it would be a wonderful resource as the founders, Dr. Patti Fletcher (left) and Heather Boggini (right) are accomplished, driven and compassionate women.  


Let me give you an idea of what I intend to contribute to PSDNetwork on a monthly basis:


“The objective of my blog is to provide actionable information on how to use social media effectively for marketing. There is a lot of hype, misinformation and fear when it comes to social media. Many businesses and professionals feel pressured to have accounts on all the major platforms but they lack a well-defined strategy to get a return on their investment. I want my readers to be comfortable and successful with social media marketing.”

The following is an excerpt of my first interview with PSDNetwork on the topic of Social Media Marketing for Startups.

(Disclaimer: The rights to the blog are owned by PSDNetwork, where it has been originally published, and can be read in full here.)


PSDNetwork: What are the most common social media challenges your clients are facing today?


Thomson: The top 3 challenges are:

  • Lack of social media know-how
  • Lack of resources (especially: time, people, money)
  • Lack of a (social media) marketing strategy


These challenges translate into 3 common scenarios:

  1. A company wants to leverage social media but doesn’t know how
  2. A company is already using social media but it’s not working
  3. A company wants to use social media but has no marketing foundation, e.g. no defined brand, value proposition, messaging, or content.


Many people underestimate what it takes to make social media work. Social media is definitely not free. And be patient, it takes time!




PSDNetwork: What?! Social media is not free? Please explain that in a future blog, Natascha. I think that is a common misconception – that your business’ social media is going to be free.  Moving on – what is the one thing a solo entrepreneur can do today to be more time efficient with her marketing?


Thomson: Prioritize.

To prioritize, she has to be crystal clear on her goals and brave enough to make hard decisions. The biggest mistake is trying to do it all. For example, who is your main target audience? The correct answer cannot be: “Anybody who wants to buy my product or service”. Know what needs to be done first and allocate your resources accordingly.




PSDNetwork: Where should an entrepreneur begin with social media? What are the first steps she should take to develop a social media strategy?

The answer to this question and the full interview can be found on PSDNetwork, along with the following blog posts:

In this Google Hangout on Air video, Kristina Jaramillo answers the question: What are the top 3 "features" of LinkedIn that business people should care about?


Kristina Jaramillo of GetLinkedinHelp.com is a New York Times recognized LinkedIn expert who runs the B2BMarketingRadioShow.com.


What are the top 3 "features" of LinkedIn that business people should care about?

  1. Keep your PERSONAL LinkedIn profile in top shape
  2. Share great content to create thought leadership
  3. Read LinkedIn Today to learn and engage


Read more:

Porter Gale, former VP of Marketing at Virgin America, delivered a closing keynote at the Social Shake Up 2013. During her presentation: The Power of Social Capital and the Four Degree Advantage, Ms. Gale presented her new book Your Network is your Net Worth, which attendees received in their conference bags. 


This topic tied in nicely with a panel I was invited to speak on the next day, hosted by Maria Poveromo, who runs social media for Adobe, and with Jeanette Gibson, who just moved from Cisco to run communities at Hootsuite. Social selling guru Anneke Seley was our wonderful audience moderator.


Pictures of the #SSUSocBiz Panel at the Social Shake Up 2013


The thesis of Ms. Gale's book is that

"Technology has reduced the degree of separation between our contacts from six to four. More than ever, it’s important to invest in our social capital, connections and relationships as a means to enhance our lives. Strategically building a network improves happiness, productivity and return—whether on a business or personal level".









The topic of our panel discussion at the Shake Up was Social Business Transformation Support Group, based on a case study from our own lives.  Maria and Jeanette are part of SVESMC, the Silicon Valley Enterprise Social Media Council. A group that I started in 2011, when I worked at SAP and provided social media consulting to internal organizations.




Why a Social Media Support Group?


The point of starting the group was to bring together the intelligence of Silicon Valley social media practitioners, to share best practices, help each other solve problems, and have a good time along the way.  We succeeded on all three counts. Frankly, the first time the group met for dinner in Santa Clara was a #DigitalDistress therapy session (see the recent Adobe Tweetchat on this hashtag), more than anything else.


As social media was still very young, we all faced many challenges and wanted to validate if that was due to our own ignorance, something our organizations weren't doing, or simply growing pains of a new era in marketing. Had anybody else figured out what we had not? We all shared the same pain, and maybe that's what helped us bond so quickly.


No Secrets


The motto of our group is "What happens at SVESMC stays at SVESMC". This is true for our monthly dinners as well as our quarterly summits. The first summit was hosted by SAP and we crowd-sourced the topics as well as the speakers from within our own ranks.


At the same time, group members met individually, deepening their relationships and providing each other strategic support. It went so far that Cisco and Adobe shared their blueprints for their Social Media Centers of Excellence; completely open and transparent. Simultaneously, Adobe also worked closely with Intel, sharing know how and creating innovative approaches.


During one of our early summits, we decided that we needed to go deeper on metrics and reporting. So we created a sub-group that met weekly for a few months. The members, led by Sudha Jamthe at eBay, shared their current measurement models and hard-learned lessons, with the goal to come up with a metrics model that could serve as a standard.


It turned out that many companies were going over-board with their measurement efforts, creating lengthy reports with tons of useless data. The key lesson from the "task force": Only report things that you plan to take action on. Never measure for measurements sake.


How to Start Your Own "Support Group"


Starting your own group is simple. Somebody, maybe you, needs to step up to be the leader - Phase 1.


I started the SVESMC group from scratch, with a few SAP colleagues on board. My strategy was to attend social media webinars and participate via the hashtag to meet other practitioners. Cisco had a lot of such events at the time and I followed people who looked like a possible fit on Twitter - Phase 2.


One of the first people I "recruited" was Petra Neiger at Cisco, probably THE most talented social media person I have the honor to know - and Top BtoB Digital Marketer of the Year 2013 -  followed closely by Maria. We've since shared our passion for yoga and become friends way beyond social media.


Phase 3 - I started to invite people I met on Twitter for lunch, floating the idea of creating a support group. The response was overwhelmingly positive and when we set up our first dinner, we had over 20 people attend. Then the group grew through member referrals.  Each quarter, we vote in a new president who runs the group and hosts the summit at their company's offices. We've since held summits at PayPal/eBay, Cisco, Wells Fargo, SAP, and Symantec.


Panel Adobe at SocialShakeUp 2013.jpg


So is Your Network Your Net Worth?


Let's go back to Porter Gale's statement that "Your Network is Your Net Worth". 

Yes, I fully agree, as Ms. Gale is not just talking about monetary worth but personal worth, i.e. the value you extract as an individual as well as the impact a support group can have on your social business (transformation). As many studies have found, being part of a community and forming social bonds are key contributors to good health and a long life.


So, start your own support group today, or if you are in Silicon Valley, work in social media 100%, and like to make new friends, contact me on Twitter @NaThomson or via my B2B Social Media Marketing Blog.


Our next summit will take place on November 15th at Symantec, hosted by current president Rick Graves. Still time to join.   



More from the Social Shake Up:

If you'd like to read more, here is a blog summarizing the SAP Shake Up panel, hosted by Kai Petzelt: Can Social Media Help You Build a Better Advocate?

A tweet summary of the #SSUAdvocate panel at the Social Shake Up 2013. The most tweeted sentence came from Emily Yelling: "An advocate is somebody who tells the truth about your product".


Obviously, for SCN members, this is a very pertinent topics. Thanks to Kai Petzelt and Malcolm Kimberlin for making the discussion possible.


You can read this blog on Storify here. (SCN, please install the plugin!)


Little did I know how heated the discussion would get, as Malcolm obviously has a gift for pairing together the right people: all individuals with strong opinions; none of them afraid to share them. The panelists were  Emily Yellin, Brian Vellmure, Anneke Seley and yours truly, Natascha Thomson. Our talented panel host was Kai Petzelt from SAP, supported by audience moderator Ric Dragon. A video will be available soon.


In good social media fashion, Kai had crowd-sourced the topic for our panel, a process he describes in this blog: How I found the Answer to the Million $$ Social Media Question.


Us panelists certainly did not agree on many issues, including the definition of an advocate, or even the role of marketing (let's face it, the goal of marketing is to make people take action, which means you want to manipulate them).


The tweets below summarize highlights from the panel:


Here a picture of our panel (sans Kai). From left to right: Anneke, Natascha, Emily, & Brian.


I like that the panel is representative of business sched.co/15dtle9 #ssuadvocate 

Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:37:11



Sensei Marketing@SenseiMarketing


“@samfiorella: Q: if an advocate advocates, but no one is listening to them, are they an advocate? #ssuadvocate#socialshakeup


Tue, Sep 17 2013 13:47:55



Sam Fiorella@samfiorella


An advocate is really someone that is telling you the truth about your product ~ #ssuadvocate#socialshakeup


Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:44:42






I like that @EYellin expanded the advocate definition to include negative "advocates", they too provide value #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup

Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:49:23



Victor Gaxiola@VictorGaxiola


@samfiorella Yup! Customers will buy from you, advocates will fight for you. #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup


Tue, Sep 17 2013 09:03:31




Great insight coming from #ssuadvocate We think advocacy is extremely important - we even did a global study about it social.ogilvy.com/Advocacy2013


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:57:03




Bryan Kramer

@bryankramer People are more credible when you are not paying them #socialshakeup #ssuadvocate

Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:59:39





#ssuadvocate panel agrees that listening before engaging is key for building brand advocates #SocialShakeUp


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:19:43





@sapcrm 85% of responders say they'd pay up to 25% more to ensure superior customer experience #remarkable #ssuadvocate -@kevinttully


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:22:50



#ssuadvocate @suzimcctwitter.com/nathomson/statu...


Natascha Thomson


·Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:40:33




Fairlight Gutierrez

@fairlight Hiring people who are naturally kind/interested others' needs speaks (authentic) volumes about your biz. #ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:46:06



Jason Eng@JasonEng_


RT @bacraw:@JasonEng_@RicDragon@jmoss224 u thank ur advocates. Brand recognition, opportunities, product. Branded value. #ssuadvocate

Tue, Sep 17 2013 09:20:50





We're loving the discussion coming out of #SocialShakeUp's #ssuadvocate panel. Might be of interest to attendees: bit.ly/1a0Qxw2


Tue, Sep 17 2013 09:22:24




North Highland


RT @sparksgrove : It's not about the product experience, it's about the customer experience. #ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 09:27:23



Suzi McC@suzimcc



fantastic panel!!! #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp

Tue, Sep 17 2013 09:05:27





Love this RT

@jasondominy: "It's not just about being remarkable, you have to market the remarkable." @nathomson#ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp

Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:21:03



Jason Dominy@jasondominy


"The people who are willing to share the truth about a product, people tend the trust more." @NaThomson#ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp

Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:50:28



Amy Vernon@AmyVernon


If you send a sales prospect to a happy customer who says only good things, has less credibility @annekeseley#ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:50:42





@nancyrubin Amazing day of learning on Twitter - if you aren't listening, you aren't learning! #ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 07:50:49





#ssuadvocate panel agrees that listening before engaging is key for building brand advocates #SocialShakeUp


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:19:43




Dan Gingiss


"You have to pay attention to influencers, but don't do that to the exclusion of everyone else." @EYellin



Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:22:34




Naully Nicolas


RT @jasondominy : I think advocacy is really about humanizing a business relationship. #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp#ronr


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:36:23




Sam Fiorella


Yes. RT @kasperrisbjerg: @samfiorella damn. Sounds like I am in the wrong session! #ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 08:25:09


Our panel, very happy after the great audience participation during our panel. Left to right: Brian, Emily, Kai, Natascha, Anneke.



Thx to the audience, @kaipetzelt & fellow panelists! #ssuadvocate:





·Tue, Sep 17 2013 16:58:12






Build a better advocate ROCKED!! Great interactive throw down! #ssuadvocate


Tue, Sep 17 2013 13:37:26


I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that some lasting connections were created at the event. Anneke already agreed to speak at an upcoming social media practitioner event in Silicon Valley. Contact me if you are in SV, do social media for a living, and would like to join.


See you at the Social Shake up 2014!


For more social media tips and news, visit MarketingXLerator.com.

42 Rules for 24-Hour LinkedIn Success  

Chris Muccio is the author of the (fully revised) bestseller 42Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn and I had the chance to interview him about the book and some hands-on LinkedIn tips for you last week.



1. Amazon Best Seller

2. Named to multiple Top 100 Social Media Book Lists

3. Achieved #1 on Amazon’s Job Hunting & Careers list


Here is a YouTube clip where Chris gives 3 LinkedIn tips in 3 minutes:


The video covers:

  1. One tip that can help you improve your LinkedIn profile right away
  2. Why "42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn" is different from other LI marketing books
  3. Where you can learn more


Off-camera, I got to ask Chris a few more questions that include valuable tips on improving your LinkedIn presence quickly and effectively:


1. Why do you think LinkedIn matters more than other social media platforms?


It all comes back to using the best platform to find your target audience.


LinkedIn is a massive network of millions of people focused on some aspect of business.  People aren't going on there to share photos, they are going on it to use it as an asset for their business or career.  Our professional success is predicated on us engaging with our target audience, and LinkedIn offers us the ability to find them, meet them and relationship build with them.


So, if your business or career growth is dependent on these elements, then you should absolutely be effectively participating on LinkedIn.


2. Can you demonstrate ROI for LinkedIn users?


For most of us in the business world, the ROI that we seek on LinkedIn is increased engagement with our target audience.  However, that is somewhat an intangible item.


I would suggest the following four potential ways to measure an ROI most tangibly within LinkedIn:

  1. Profile and company page traffic: Make it a weekly measurement and look for growth trends.
  2. Growth in connections: Easy to quantify but focus on growing "connections of value".
  3. Credibility components: Expect an increase in the number of "authoritative elements" in your "profile"- on LinkedIn, this could include recommendations, endorsements, InMails received, and LinkedIn mentions.
  4. Lead growth via your website: This assumes you use LinkedIn to create awareness to your site. Look at "total" growth as well as observe the growth trend from month to month. Expect increasing amounts of opt-ins, the longer you continue using effective tactics.


3. What is your favorite feature of LinkedIn?


LinkedIn Groups.  The power they offer is immense if you use them effectively to share value and engage your

target audience.


  1. First, you have the opportunity to plug directly into your target audience.
  2. Second, it opens a whole new world of awareness for us with that target audience.  We can post, comment, like and message within a group.  As long as we perpetually share items the group values vs trying to sell or pitch, it will enable you to increase your visibility with your desired audience.
  3. Finally, we also have the ability to start and build our own group.


4. How do you feel about LinkedIn's plan to allow 13-year-olds to set up accounts?


I can see how they want to expand their user base, but considering the average age of a user is in their early forties, the value to a 13-year-old is going to be very limited.  As of right now (and this can change over time), the site's "value" is greatest to someone focused on business. Clearly, that is not something most 13-year-olds have much exposure to or are interested in.


5. What are 3 things a person can do today to improve their LinkedIn profile?


There are a lot of details per se to focus on, but let's keep this high level.

  1. First, ensure you are ranked as an "all-star" profile by LinkedIn.  Follow their instructions on what your profile may be missing.  This will help your ranking in their search algorithm.
  2. Second, make sure your profile effectively reflects your expertise or your brand.
  3. Third, generate awareness to your profile in acceptable ways.


6. What are 3 things you'd tell businesses to do on LinkedIn?


Start with a plan.

  • Have a clear goal that you are pursuing.
  • Remember, activity is not achievement.
  • Generate positive awareness. There are numerous ways to do this both online and offline.
  • Be strategic and think about how to most effectively leverage them.  Some are super simple like add your LinkedIn URL to your email signature.
  • Conversely, others are more complex like starting a LinkedIn group for your target audience.


The bottom line is, if people don't know you exist, how can they do business with you?

  • Engage, engage and engage some more! If there was a "secret sauce", this might be it.
  • Why? We are looking to build relationships with our target audience.  As relationships build, trust grows.
  • Who do we tend to do business with?  Typically, we prefer to do business with those we trust.


7. Anything you'd like to add or share that stands out for you?


For those of us that want to generate results on LinkedIn, we need to view it for what it is, a business communication platform.  When it comes to integrating other business platforms in our business (e.g. accounting systems, hr systems, etc.), we have a strategy, dedicated resources, a budget, all focused toward making it a successful tool for our business.  We don't expect immediate results and when nothing happens, discard it. 


If we are serious about generating results from LinkedIn, we will leverage a methodology that helps us "integrate" this business platform into our daily business existence and support it with the appropriate sustained, effort.


We share our methodology in the book 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn.


Thanks to Chris for his time and insights. You can check out and buy his book here.

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 9.30.31 AM.png

Only a few more days until The Social Shake-Up 2013 Conference will take place in Atlanta.


While this is the first time Social Media Today is putting on this summit, it looks like they got the who's who of social media to participate.

Personally, I look forward to this event to catch up with old friends, finally meet some Twitter friends in person, and of course, to enjoy the great line up of topics and speakers.


Four Sessions Not to Miss at The #SocialShakeUp 2013

  • For the first two below, I will be the audience moderator. This blog explains what that means.  I picked these two sessions as I find the topics and speakers particularly relevant and intriguing.
  • Number 3 and 4 are panels that I have been invited to speak on. One is hosted by SAP and the other by my friend Maria Poveromo of Adobe.


Here are more details on each of these sessions in chronological order, including the hashtag for each one,

so you can follow online if you aren’t able to attend:


1. Monday, September 16 • 10:30am - 11:30am



Why You Need to Fire Your Ad Agency

As a client, you're paying your agency to push to keep your brand relevant in a shifting competitive landscape, and not to simply take orders. This panel will discuss the role of the ad agency in today’s modern organization.

2. Monday, September 16 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm



All Content is Social: Multiple Screens & Delivering a Consistent Consumer Experience

Mobile technology means that consumers now interact with a brand through multiple screens and in multiple circumstances. Even the same customer can behave differently at different time. In this ever-changing environment, the messaging component of marketing becomes even more important.

3.HOSTED BY SAP's Kai Petzelt: Tuesday, September 17 • 10:30am - 11:30am


SAP put out three suggested panel topics via a Twitter poll and received over 3,400 web views and 80 votes within just a couple of days.

Kai Petzelt describes this process in his eloquent blog How I Found The Answer To The Million Dollar Social Media Question.




Can You Build a Better Advocate through Social Media?

Building brand advocates has become more important than ever for leaders in sales, customer service and marketing roles. Join us for this panel discussion to find out what role Social Media plays in this, and how Social Media can be leveraged to engage your customers like never before.

4. HOSTED BY ADOBE: Tuesday, September 17 • 11:45am - 12:45pm



Social Business Transformation “Support Group” – Case Study

How can you transform your business into a social business and advance your career at the same time?

Join this fireside  chat, to hear Silicon Valley marketing leaders from Adobe, Cisco and MarketingXLerator discuss how they have created their own support network that helps them instigate change on a professional and personal level. Learn how you can leverage your network to help drive a social business agenda inside your company, expand your influence across departments, get executive buy-in and secure funding.


I hope to see you at the event. If you make it to one of my sessions, please stop by to say hello and follow me on Twitter at @NaThomson.


Let’s Shake It Up at the #SocialShakeUp 2013!


When New York Times recognized LinkedIn expert Kristina Jaramillo invited me on her B2B Marketing Radio Show, I was thrilled.


She wanted to talk about my book: “42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing” (co-authored with Peter Spielvogel and Michael Procopio).


  Kristina Jaramillo's B2B Marketing Interview with Natascha Thomson


The conversations included the following topics:

  1. Learn how you should be integrating social media with your marketing activities
  2. Uncovers ways to avoid falling into the trap of jumping into a new social channel without having a plan
  3. Learn the social content creation mistakes organizations are making
  4. Listen to a discussion and debate on curation
  5. Discover the right way to converse and engage with B2B audiences on social media


You can listen to the radio show recording here.



The top 10 Questions and Answers from the show:


1.     Rule #3 is to understand that B2B social media is different. Why?


The main differences B2B vs. B2C social media marketing comes back to the target audience and the offering.


In B2B:

  • The price for an offering is generally higher than in B2C, hence the stakes are higher. Remember the line “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM?”, that’s because there is high risk in B2B purchases due to the potential deal size and the problem that the offering might solve
  • There are more stakeholder involved, in different functions and on different levels. This makes the sales cycle more complex and longer.
  • Consequently, you can’t run the same Facebook promotion for a B2B as you could for B2C.  You need to reach the influencers and decision makers in the different stages of the buying cycle with the right message.
  • And you need to use the channels where these people are, e.g. B2B audiences are more likely to be reached on LI than FB.

2.     Rule #4 is start with your audience – can you explain why you mean and why?


In my consulting practice, there is a common scenario: A company - it does not matter if they are small or large - wants to leverage social media, so they open accounts on FB, LI & Twitter. They have heard that these are the most popular platforms.  Then they bring me in, as they don’t see the results of their investment. What is the problem?


  • Often, there has been no research done on the target audience. It takes a lot of work to determine and prioritize a target audience, and to understand them well.
  • Only when you know WHO you are talking to, e.g. what their roles and titles are and what types of challenges they deal with can you effectively market to them.
  • In step one; you need enough information about your audience to figure out WHERE on social media they participate. Where do they get information? Where do they engage (if they do)? These are just the basics.


Bottom line: if the people you are trying to reach are not on Facebook, or not talking business on Facebook, you should invest your resources in places that make more sense.  A lot of the time, people don’t make the effort to look for niche networks that might hold their audience, e.g. a community around a particular topic, like Spiceworks for IT. Or they neglect Quora or dismiss Google+.


3.     How can we avoid falling into the trap of jumping into a new social channel without having a plan?


It’s simple: have a plan.  Seriously, start from the top down. Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve.


  • What are your business goals and priorities?
  • How do you measure success?
  • How can marketing supports these goals?
  • With or without social media?
  • Who is your target audience? Or audiences? Prioritize.
  • Create a strategy with tactics that support your marketing goals.


Then measure, fine-tune, and experiment.


4.     Rule #6 is to integrate social media into your marketing plan – please share with the audience how some of your clients have integrated social media into their marketing plan following your guidance.


Example 1:

  • A small Silicon Valley start up hired me to do their social media marketing. Turns out, they have done no marketing to date.


Approach: Analyze their situation and create a strategy.

  • Don’t assume social is the solution but take into account the individual situation of this client: Their goals (one new client or 10,000?), their audience (local or global? Small or large enterprise?), their resources (people, time money), their skills and affinities, their dreams, their infrastructure.
  • What they can do know – low hanging fruit and quick win – and what they can develop long terms; it takes a long time to gain a blog following or build a strong Twitter following.
  • Pick the marketing tactics most applicable, ideally integrating social media with the rest of the marketing plan. Make sure there are social sharing buttons on the website and in each email. Create blog posts on your site that can be tweeted. Create content with social media in mind, not as an after thought. Use your content to answer questions on LinkedIn etc. etc.


Example 2:

  • For large companies, it’s the challenge of not running a social media campaign in isolation. This can be an organizational challenge in a Global 2000. Say you run a Twitter campaign for a product but can’t get product marketing to give you access to SMEs. It’s difficult to be successful on LinkedIn if you don’t have a person who can personally connect and be a thought leader. Don’t fall victim to the impostor syndrome; you can’t outsource everything.


5.     Rule #7 is to be consistent – can you explain how b2b organizations (and if you can provide real examples) are being inconsistent with their social media efforts


I don’t think it would be good for my business if I pointed the finger at any particular company. The inconsistency often expresses itself in small things.


  • Social media profiles: make sure your LI, FB, Twitter, Slideshare, Quora etc. profile send a consistent message. This is the 101 of branding. Don’t confuse people.
  • Choose your focus area. If you tell people you’ll talk about Business Intelligence on Twitter and then you engage in political discussions, chances are, you’ll lose a large part of your audience. Be consistent in your promises and what you deliver.
  • The main point here is that your brand and content have to be consistent so you don’t confuse your audience. They will only catch bits of what you say here and there and it needs to fit together to a nice puzzle.


Example: When McDonalds ran a campaign on how healthy their food is now, it totally backfired. Their public image for fast food and the attempt by marketing to make McDonald’s sound healthy could not be reconciled. They were ambushed on Twitter.


6.     Kristina: Talking about social media content creation, too many organizations especially in the technology sector have content that is driven by product features and benefits. Can you explain the importance of creating stories which is rule #8 and why we should forget marketing speak which is rule #9?


Taking the risk to sound like a broken record, it all comes back to the target audience.

  • You have to do your homework and get to know your audience in as much detail as possible. Only then can you create valuable content.
  • Yes, you can entertain, and yes, you can take advantage of the latest video creating app or other gimmick, but, in the long run, and especially in B2B, people want to value.
  • This means, you have to clearly understand what keeps your audience awake at night; their pain points and what their ideal solution looks like. Where are their information gaps?
  • Then, you need to provide this content to the right audience at the right time; which admittedly is not trivial. Hence, I always advise my clients to start small and build up.
  • But, nobody can get around doing their homework, and I have lost customers who did not want to do that. They’d say: “Can’t we just do social media promotions?” They don’t understand that you have to have something important to say or you go under, or worse, get punished.


7.     Rule #12 is to add gamification to your social content creation efforts – can you share a client example?


I have not, personally, implemented gamification for a client. But, when I worked for SAP Community Network, a community with 3 million members, gamification was one of the key ways to motivate our members to participate.


  • It can be as simple as adding ratings to blog posts
  • Giving points to contributors or badges
  • Or as sophisticated as creating an influencer program in which top contributors get access to executives or conferences.


The key for gamification is to be clear on what you want your audience to do and to incent that particular behavior; this can be harder than it sounds, but vendors like BadgeVille are experts at this.  People always say how sales people are coin operated, that’s because the goals they are given are monetary. What do you want your community to do?


8.     Rule #13 is to leverage user generated content – can you share with us a B2B organization that is leveraging user generated content and how they are benefitting


This is 100% related to the last question about gamification. How do you incent users to generate content for you?  In addition to the above, a company could host contents.


  • For example, at SAP, we had a yearly video contest that culminated in an awards ceremony at the technical user conference TechEd. Any community member could create a video about why they were a community member or really anything they wanted to share in this context. It was a very engaged discussion; funny, and the in-person aspect at the live event made the group even more cohesive.

Another example is Cisco:

  • They allow every employee in the company to blog. As we all know, having fresh content and regular content updates helps with SEO. At Cisco, an employee simply has to get certified in an online training session, and then they can contribute their expertise to the public company blog.
  • It gives employees the opportunity to become thought leaders and makes the company more human; people share in a way that is more accessible than marketing speak often is.


9.     Rule #14 is to curate content. Kristine: I do not advise just taking content and putting it on your website or blog and creating discussions around it. Please share with the audience why you think they should be content curating to reduce workload.


I fully agree. What is the point in that? I call that spam and a lot of Twitter is going that way right now. I hope it won’t bring down the future of Twitter.  When does it make sense to curate?


Scenario 1:

  • You work for EMC and are responsible for the Twitter channel. You are not an SME on everything, plus, it’s impossible for you to create enough content to make the channel compelling. You reach out to other people and organizations in the company to curate content from them.


Scenario 2:

  • I manage a Twitter handle for a Global 2000 client, with a focus on Innovation in Silicon Valley. Every day, I read tons of content on the topic and retweet relevant articles with commentary.
  • I tweet about the work the client is doing with their local non-profit partners in Silicon Valley; charity events; fund-raisers; innovation events; shows and events in the area that are relevant.


There is a good following and decent level of interaction that makes me believe there is an interest in this type of content. The goal: to get the attention for the client in Silicon Valley via thought leadership and useful information; plus, the opportunity to engage with us.


10.  I’d like to give our listeners an inside look at how we position ourselves as thought leaders on B2B social media networks.

  • Providing relevant content.
  • Answering questions.
  • Building relationships.


Click here to listen to the full B2B Marketing Radio Show recording.

Question on AMEX Open Forum


I recently conducted a survey on the best social media platforms for B2B on AMEX Open Forum. As LinkedIn got rid of Answers, this is a really good place to communicate about marketing, social media and business. 


The New Open Forum is targeted at entrepreneurs in general; plus, there is now an area dedicated to social media.


What are your favorite social media platforms for B2B?


Gracie Morgan Social Media Account Manager, Majestic Social Media
Believe it or not, Pinterest has done wonders for some of my B2B clients. The majority of people that I've spoken with think of Pinterest as a girly dreamland full of make believes and must haves, but the referral traffic is where the real value of Pinterest lies. Of course you can't just throw up plain or unrelated pictures and expect to see results, but with a proper boards strategy developed with your target markets in mind you can see some real success.  For B2B's in the home improvement industry, the new social site Houzz (http://www.houzz.com) offers robust features dedicated to helping promote brand awareness, increase sales, and most of all - foster creativity. Definitely take a look, (even if its just to get your own ideas)!


Greg Shuey Digital Marketing Strategist, Independent Consultant
B2B... LinkedIn and Quora  Other than that, I've found that hanging out in niche forums and communities is a better source of leads and relationships.


Angela Rodriguez Employee N.011, FiveStars
Google+ and Linkedin have some really great communities for B2B, but be sure to follow the rules/guidelines of the community to a T or the groups' moderators will not post or delete your content. Speaking from experience, haha whoops!


Simon Tam Author, Simon Tam
I always recommend the same thing: use the platforms that your clients or customers are using. The very best channels are the ones with your target audience. For me, I use Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube, G+, Yelp, FourSquare, TED boards, Amazon, and a few others (depends on who I am representing).


Gwen Morrison CEO | Social Media Strategist, Endurance Marketing

I always tell my clients--both B2B and B2C--that the best place to spend their time building social media is wherever their target audience is hanging out. Begin with a plan. For us - and we're B2B - we've had a lot of success growing our community on Twitter and LinkedIn. I would also add, if you create great content, and share it -- your audience will find you. Start there. Listen -- and then be sure you have something to say before you launch into any social media marketing.


What is your favorite social media platform for B2B?


Here some related discussion on AMEX Open Forum:


Find more social media marketing and strategy advice on my blog at MarketingXLerator.