2 posts categorized "April 2013"

April 26, 2013

Social Media Lessons Learned From The Audience

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Last night I attended a fireside chat where Vince Thompson interviewed The Audience founder Oliver Luckett.  His company manages social media from major brands including artists, athletes, entertainers and super-cool companies.  (His co-founders are none other than Ari Emmanuel and Sean Parker).  

Every month, The Audience reaches between 600million and a billion people with their branded content.  He thinks of the company as a modern day Factory (think Warhol, not Demand media) that produces objects for brands to publish for their followers and key stakeholders.  During his comments, a few nuggets of gold came out for any person, company or entity that wants to leverage social media to build deep and profitable relationships.  

1.  Marketers Should Think Like Publishers - His point is that marketers need to feed their followers content that resonates with them, so they will embrace/share it.  They should not think of social platforms as a bullhorn to make announcements.  Sure, at some point when you've fed your followers enough great stuff, you can interupt the content-banquet to let them know about an opportunity to interact with the brand (concert tickets for his musician clients, movie release dates for actor clients and so on.)  Takeaway:  Develop a content schedule that's consistent, well times, contains objects (pictures, videos, essays) that enrich the life of the follower.  

2.  Measure Everything - Oliver was a key member of the Disney marketing team, helping to launch movies like Toy Story 3 and building brands like Dory, who is now even more popular than Nemo! He learned that if you measure the effectiveness of each object you publish, you can improve future effectiveness by "orders of magnitude." For example, he learned that if you post a picture of rapper Pit Bull in a pink shirt, it gets shared by followers exponentially  more than if you posted a picture of him in any other colored shirt.  (Apparently, pink makes Pit Bull come off more sensitive and improves his carriage with female followers.)  Takeaway: Test different versions of content, and mesure the results.  It's not just about measuring likes, it about optimizing your content strategy! 

3. Don't Tell Your Followers What To Think - When working on Toy Story 3 at Disney, Oliver noticed that declarations like "Isn't this great!" (captioning a movie poster) were often met with comments like, "No, it sucks!"  When the content was reposted without a declaration, it was met with enthusiasm.  While this was targeted at teens and young adults, the point is obvious: Don't sell people, serve them and let them sell you.  Takeaway: Content doesn't need to have a call to action, it needs to resonate, excite and delight followers.  You need to trust that they will reward you with loyalty and consideration. 


April 20, 2013

Our first book: Finding the Next Steve Jobs (by Net Minds)

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Less than a year ago, I met Nolan Bushnell at a METal breakfast, where I gave a talk on "the Future of Publishing."  He told me he had a few books he was working on, and was interested in talking to me about publishing them via Net Minds. 

We met the following week (see above) and cooked up a third idea: Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Retain and Nurture Creative Talent.  I had just read Steve Jobs (by Walter Isaacson), and was aware of Nolan's history with Jobs, and how he created a creative-friendly workplace culture at Atari.  I knew that many companies today need a creative genius to reinvent their products, or perhaps their industry. 

Nolan talked to me about all the changes he made, and how so many of today's companies are getting it wrong.  They filter out the creatives, then let the naysayers discourage the few that get in. We both realized that this was the book he needed to write, so he joined Net Minds and we started the project.  

Using the Net Minds network, we put together a team around Nolan's book that included editorial, design, marketing and media relations team members.  On March 26, it was the first publication by our young company, and it was covered widely: AP, NYT, AllThingsD, Mashable, Fox and Friends and In the Loop on Bloomberg TV.  

We got this book to market in less than 1/2 the time it would have taken through traditional means. We've already cut deals to license the book in Russia and Taiwan, with several foreign publishers on deck.  Many of you have supported us by buying a copy of the book.  It's a great read, and will help managers and leaders of all types attract, hire and retain creative talent. 

The book is comprised of short chapters (Pongs, read on here) that give YRMV advice on how to change your culture, environment and process to be more creative-friendly.  Here's what Walter Isaacson said about the book when he read it (on an iPad): "An absolutely invaluable book by the founder of Atari and the man who launched Steve Jobs' career." 

We have a special offer for companies or organizations.  If you'll buy a minimum of 100 copies, we can setup a Skype or webinar with Nolan as a priceless bonus (based on mutual availability).  If you are interested, email me

For those that are eBook friendly (maybe everyone has an iPad?), we have a special way of helping you buy them in bulk for your whole company.  Here's what our partner BookShout did for one of Nolan's speaking clients. Hangcards

Sweet, huh?  Again, if you are interested in this, drop me a note