This week we recapped the overall progress of online & social media trends in 2014 and chatted with a fantastic panel of guests about what’s new in their world and what they see happening as the year progresses:
+Dustin W. Stout – +dustn.tv – web designer, branding enthusiast, blogger and social media junkie
+Ileane Smith – +Basic Blog Tips – Blogger, Podcaster, YouTuber, Social Media Diva!
+Debi Davis – +3D Communications (Debi Davis) – Business Communication Strategist
+David Amerland – Author, Speaker, Analyst, Mental Magician (I made that one up, David!) – davidamerland.com
We started off by checking in with each of the guests:
Dustin Stout has a lot of great things going on! He’s been working with a ton of great people and designing brand identities. Basically , “telling cool stories”. I love this! This is what branding & marketing is all about. He’s also been working with Nicholas Cardot & Jason Wiser to create a new product – the WordPress Social Sharing Plugin – it’s going to be #OffTheChain. Steady Demand, a Google Plus Marketing Analytics company, is next on the horizon. He’s also collaborating with Syed of WP Beginning & List25.com. And, of course, Social Media Marketing World 2014 has left him mind-blown from all the speakers. #Shocker – me too!
Ileane Smith shared that she’s been able to experience many HIRL’s (hangouts in real life) in the new year! She lives close to the Aweber headquarters which is eco friendly and open to all! They are a communications/email marketing company – if you are blogging, you should be building your email List and AWeber is good place to start. Ileane sung the praises of Hunter Boyle, Senior Business Development Manager. Look for Hunter to be on a podcast with Ileane soon!
Ileane is also crazy about podcasts & thinks there is a great opportunity especially for those fearful of hangouts & getting in front of the camera. She loves it because it’s another way for her to connect with her audience. Anyone can listen to podcasting, especially while they are multitasking (the smart phone has contributed to that greatly!) For hangout hosts, they can easily extract .mp3 file & throw that into an RSS feed. Lybson, etc. BOOM, you have a podcast.
Instagram and Pinterest are also her favorites and she is supremely adept at utlilizing those platforms. It’s definitely something we should all pay attention to in order to fill the Facebook void. Oh, and we love the app “Repost” for Instagram.
Looking to connect with more people in real life? Ileane suggested to go to Meetup.com to find great IRL connections.
David Amerland jumped in and proclaimed that, as of late, he has so many air miles that he should be a pilot. We decided that David needs his own plane #DavidAmerlandNeedsHisOwnPlane
Let me just say, there is NO way I could accurately regurgitate all of the verbal bon mots from David so I will quote/paraphrase here:
We are seeing a natural transition happening: our drive for connectivity and the maturity of technology. When these come together, we get a more nuanced approach, whether that is through relationship building, business connections or the sheer change in how we sell & buy. For instance, Shopper Hangouts are in beta (and I can’t wait to see where this goes!)
The human element is coming into its own. If we look at the G+ stream, we see authenticity and relationship building. People are talking to people and people are connecting to people. And you want to achieve this with people you know, like, trust and connect with. David mentioned that he is seeing this with large corporate entities. They are beginning to understand that they can’t operate under a façade. They really have to humanize the corporation which can be a huge struggle. The discussion went on to discuss the potential for companies to develop a more trusting & connected environment. If this is achieved, then employees will take this attitude to their own personal environment, operate in the same way and have an impact in their world. Which means the world is gradually changing!
The discussion turned to the idea of Employee Advocacy that was presented by Jay Bayer at Social Media Marketing World & how companies can activate their employees in that role of ambassadors & advocates for brand as a whole. HR Block is one of the companies touted as embracing this and the BatPack Audience also mentioned Lyft & Cadbury as companies they thought were great examples. (thank you Lynn Abate Johnson and Irene Brodie for those examples)
Debi Davis jumped in with feedback on the corporate world and agreed that the corporate environment did not lend itself to collaboration & the feeling of connectivity. Her background was in the corporate world but she broke away from it when she realized they just could not embrace or hear social media at the time. There were always “communication silos” between the departments.
The discussion turned to Google Hangouts which David termed “a quiet technology. Hangouts are definitely gaining steam and are creeping into everyone’s horizon & are becoming “disruptive” (in a good way). Google presented them quietly without much direction on what to do with them. The moment a tool like begins to gain attention, then it becomes multipurpose. As David terms it “Hangouts are the only real shortcut that exists in terms of trust & authority”
Because you are able to hear tone of voice, gestures, body language, facial expressions, etc. you dispel so many doubts very quickly. Once you are able to connect.. them you have someone’s attention. And, as David pointed out…. and attention is expensive. That’s what everyone is fighting for! We are all looking for people to listen to us. Once this happens – that leads to a relational exchange whether that be a commercial transaction, via referrals, advice, taking info, pitching ideas, collaborating together. As David puts it: “these things all happen but first, I have to listen to you and get into this trust exchange mechanism which allows everything else to build from that which is critical and Hangouts On Air can make it happen.”
With that being said, I HAD to bring up David’s new book: “Google Plus Hangouts for Business”. It’s a “how to” but even more of a “why to” book and is great for veteran hangout hosts & newbies. We then rolled on over to predictions & trends:
Debi noted how connections online & Google have happened so organically and will continue to do so. Hangout have changed how she does business! And Debi’s excitement is contagious (don’t miss that)
Rebekah Radice joined and we could not have been happier! Rebekah mentioned a huge trend of the “doers” who are making amazing things happen! She’s noticed a tremendous amount of energy with people getting things done – things that most of us never thought possible. People are teaming up & putting things in place: programs, products, new systems, tools. There is energy & drive going on & massive collaboration to partner up. Rebekah’s enthusiasm is also contagious!
Ileane predicted a focus on blog comments and mentioned that Copyblogger recently turned off comments on their website in order to funnel comments through social media, mainly Google Plus. She sees this as trend where people are starting realize that their content can get some traction on Google plus.
Mia predicted that Hangouts will increase and will also be looped over to podcasts.
Dustin threw in a few conjectures & predictions: Twitter stock is going down which could make them ripe for the Apple acquisition he mentioned last year. They have cool redesigns. There’s also been chatter about getting rid of “at mentions” & hashtags. There could be redesign of retweets that takes up less characters. (I like this!) He also thinks there will be shifts in the blogging world. Based on what he observed at SMMW14, he thinks podcasting and visual content marketing will have a more accelerated progression. Dustin’s quote: “hangouts on air are the new podcasts”
Guest BatCrapCrazy Moment:
Rebekah’s BatCrapCrazy is Mia (blushing hard here) and her call to action is to check out www.rebekahradice.com
Ileane is BatCrapCrazy about her new iMac! She made the jump to light speed! But she still has a Galaxy S4. Go check her out at http://basicblogtips.com/
Debi is BatCrapCrazy for … strategy. In addition to collaboration that is all the rage, she is getting involved in discovering new ways to strategize in the Hangout World. Check out User to User Live!
David’s #BatCrapCrazy is about world peace and stray cats! He sees a ‘quickening going on and is fascinated with connection. It’s transformative. He wants to see more thoughtfulness in connection – it benefits everyone. Check out Google Plus Hangouts for Business – and if you read it… tell him what you think! Feedback is what helps him write!
Dustin’s prediction – twerking is not dead (you need to see the event stream for the photo. No really, I mean it!) Dustin’s call to action ‘be ridiculous and have fun in social media” and I could not agree more! Visit http://dustn.tv/
My Batcrapcrazy – 100Happydays.com ! And make sure to subscribe here at http://themiaconnect.com/ for show updates & info.