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chess

For these past few months I’ve been what I would call the hardest working not working person out there.  I’ve posted a little over 50 insights, ideas, and opinions on Buff’s Blog, well over 30 commercials on The Daily Interest, a slew of Content & Copy on Posterous, and read more than I can even imagine on advertising, social media, marketing, and web 2.0.  I’ve put all this work in to build my personal brand, to define myself online, and to network myself into a group of people within the industry I wish to enter into.  I’ve always said, a resume can only say so much about a person, and in my case, it doesn’t say a whole lot.

The problem you run into in today’s world of 24/7 news feeds, is the fact that a lot of messages get lost.  Sure I receive on average, 60-70 hits a day, but I’ve always envisioned it reaching a much larger audience.  The other problem you run into in today’s digital world is the addiction that comes from having information constantly updated throughout the day.  It’s become hard for people to let go of thier laptops and their cellphones.  Use me for an example.  I always want to be on Twitter, Facebook, and Blogspot seeing what people are doing, writing about, and posting links to.  It’s a healthy obsession, but an obsession nonetheless.

In an attempt to restructure and reorganize my social media behavior, I have decided to try out a few new applications.  Hootsuite is the first.  On Twitter, I post everywhere from 20 to 30 tweets a day.  While this only takes about 20 minutes to do, the research behind some of the tweets can take hours.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am posting some of the most entertaining, interesting, educational, and relevant stuff out there, but I’m not sure who exactly is receiving it.  Hootsuite is an application that allows you to schedule your tweets.  Rather than post 20-30 up-to-the-minute tweets, I’ve decided to use Hootsuite to schedule 8-10 tweets a day.  It will allow me more time to gather information, sift through the relevant stuff, and will give my followers more of an opportunity to read my posts.  More or less, I’ve decided to rebroadcast and reinforce, rather than to be the first one to break news.

As a writer and blogger you begin to get yourself into a bind.  You spend so much time writing an article, only to have it pushed to the back of your blog when you post something new.  I think the blogger dilemma can best be exemplified in the context of a band releasing music.  Ludo, one of the best bands out of STL, worked hard touring and releasing independent records in the Midwest for about 5 years.  They built a loyal following in this region over those 5 years, but it was their major label debut “You’re Awful, I Love You,”  that truly put them on the map.   After two years of touring on that album, they decided to re-release their previous two albums because all of their new fans had no idea they even existed.  That’s kind of where I’m at in terms of my twitter and my blog.  I’m very proud of what I’ve posted and what I’ve written, but at the same time, it’s hard to accept that there’s probably only 10 people, my mom, dad, and girlfriend included, who’ve read them.

Anyways, just a little rant.  My spirit’s are actually at an all time high right now.  I’ve got some great career opportunities on the horizon and all of them involve writing, social media, marketing, branding, and almost everything I’m looking for in a job.  My Twitter might be a little slow while I reorganize my strategy, however, that’s where all the business happens, and you can find me at http://www.twitter.com/mbuffa.

moms

Moms are taking over Facebook. Have you realized this yet?  Everyone I tell that to is stunned.  Heck, I even think it’s weird that my mom is on Facebook.  Fact of the matter is, they are the largest growing population on the platform.  Look at a quick stat here from a 2009 study done at iStrategyLabs.  “Facebook’s 35-54 year old demographic segment not only continued to grow the fastest, but it accelerated to a 276.4% growth rate over the past 6 months. That demo is DOUBLING roughly every two months.”  Scary huh?

To top this off, I just recently came across a Whitepaper put together by Mr. Youth and Repnation, two leading market research companies out of New York.  The title of the piece read “Why Millennial Moms Are the Most Connected & Technology Dependent Population.”  It briefly explains some of the psychological reasons behind why this segment of middle-aged females is growing so rapidly.

The four main reasons they came up with for Millennial Mom’s to be on Social Networks are as follows:

1.  They’re multi-tech, multi-taskers: Allows them to streamline busy lives and enables them to do more in less time.

2.  They build communities to ease tension: Online communities provide support and information through different life stages.

3.  They crowdsource decisions: Peers are sought out to for advice over experts and celebrity endorsements.

4.  They’re masters of the overshare: Curtains are peeled back and information is made more public.

In the study, it was found that 65% percent of moms utilize four or more technologies per day including blogs, videos, and cellphones and the same percent use online photo albums over traditional ones.  They are quickly realizing that in order to stay connected, one must move past traditional means of mail and telephone and embrace emerging media platforms.  They also, unlike their male counterparts, want to stay connected all the time, especially with family members and friends of the family.

Moms often live in what technologists refer to as a virtual village. They don’t want to read books, they want to refer to friends and family.  I notice this with my own mom as well.  The study found that 49% of women read blogs and participate in social network discussions about parenting.  More and more blogs and sites relating to this are popping up because of the increase in interest.  I even follow a blog called “Two Mims” profiling different “Mom’s In Marketing” and how they manage their personal and corporate lives.

It more or less comes down to the fact that moms realize they have access to millions of other moms and they are just a click away.  They trust and respect the opinions of other moms over that of a marketer, a man, or a college student.  Advice from a friend, a coworker, or another mother tend to be “highly influential” in the decision-making process and this advice is often found throughout blogs and social networks.

Lastly, moms love to talk. They are “the masters of overshare.” They no longer have bumper stickers that say “my son is an honor student,” they have Facebook status’s and tweets proclaiming it.  They share photos, keep journals, and fill everyone in on the lives of their children and grandchildren because that’s what they care about.  They don’t live much for themselves, rather the happiness they get out of the lives of friends and family.

What does this mean for marketers?  Well it means a few things need to change:

Platforms need to be built that allow moms to interact and engage with one another.

Conversations need to be started with this demographic, not campaigns directed at them.

Provide honesty and action over entertainment.

This is the future of social media as we know it.  College kids and millennial moms.  Two different target markets, same media platform.

Are we ready for the madness?

I was having a conversation the other day with a man who was having trouble sleeping.  After staying overnight at multiple research facilities, having about every test done you could imagine, he said his problem still persists, although now he has a much more throrough understanding of why.  He briefly explained to the me the different levels of sleep and how each relates to the brain cycle.  His brain was stuck in the first three stages, also known as Short wave sleep (SWS) when a deep sleep isn’t reached until the sixth stage, known as Rapid eye movement (REM).

I guess the marketing part of my brain started to kick in during this conversation and I immediately decided to write down some notes on this topic.  I thought, market strategy is all about different stages, can I apply them to this?  With a little stretching, and a few plays on words, I decided, this most definitely applies to the industry.

In a conversation on sleep, SWS can be used to describe short wave sleep, but when we’re talking advertising, let’s talk “Safe Work Solutions.”  I always read articles about brands taking the safe way out.  I even wrote a blog on the idea that the client, more often than not, gets in the way of a good idea.  My proposal is that the client, in his/her best interest, in an attempt to get the best possible outcome available, needs to strive for REM, or in this discussion, Realizing Emerging Media.

What do I mean?  Well, I’ll give you a brief example.  About a month ago I met with an entrepreneur who had just started a real estate company.  The company has a website, a wonderful location, and a team of agents ready to storm the St. Louis area.  What were they missing?  Word of mouth, publicity, buzz.  Safe Work Solutions (SWS) were used in the form direct mail pieces, press releases, and a newsletter, but the full spectrum of affordable and necessary advertising hadn’t been realized.  A month later, what has happened?  The company has successfully Realized Emerging Media (REM).

The company posts listings on Twitter, Facebook, has a Linkedin profile promoting network connections, has a blog posting relative creative content, and professional pieces of editorial profiling the experience of the real estate agents and venture capitalists.   They’ve moved past the first stages in the marketing process and have made significant steps towards REM.

What happens after REM?  The perfect strategy.  The point where traditional, unconventional, and new emerging media come together to create a relevant, cohesive, deliverable market strategy.  Just like we all strive for the perfect sleep, business should strive for this perfect strategy.

I think I’ve got a decent analogy here that all of us sleep lovers and sleep deprivers can relate to.   Do I see the light or do I just have sleep in my eye.  You be the judge.  Comments are always welcome.