Top 10 Social Media Quotes of 2010

Speakers at Monitoring Social Media New York I’ve been fortunate enough to host some fascinating Influence People conferences during 2010.  I’ve tried to keep a note of my favourite...

Speakers at Monitoring Social Media New York
Speakers at Monitoring Social Media New York

I’ve been fortunate enough to host some fascinating Influence People conferences during 2010.  I’ve tried to keep a note of my favourite quotes from each and, collectively, they amount to some highly condensed social media wisdom. Here are my top 10:

“There’s no cure for sucking”

It sounds obvious, but this pearl of wisdom from Mark Schmulen (GM of Social Media, Constant Contact) highlights the fact that, in social media, there’s really no way to hide your inadequacies. If your product is crap and you promote it via social media, expect to be told so, loudly and rudely.

“It’s not about the numbers, its about the story behind them”

Does your amp go to 11?  No… huh.  With social media monitoring and measurement, it’s easy to be blinded by numbers. But as Cory Hartlen from Radian6 pointed out at Monitoring Social Media New York, the real skill is in finding the story behind the numbers.

“Prepare methodically and react fast”

Guy Esnouf, Director of Communications at E.ON UK, the power company,gave this advice for PR’s in our world of real-time communications at a CIPR event (not one of ours) . Apparently his team prepares videos and courses of action for a whole range of scenarios – and put this into action during the high-profile environmental protests at Kingsnorth Power station earlier in 2010.

“Don’t measure what you can. Measure what you should”

One of the most innovative PR’s in social media, Philip Sheldrake came out with this snippet during my Monitoring Bootcamp in London in March. His criticism was targeted at some of the new monitoring and measurement tools (such as Klout) which claim to accurately measure the intangible (or “soft”) benefits of social media engagement.

“Don’t compete for the moment, compete for the future”

During Brian Solis‘ keynote address at MSM Paris he echoed the words of Guy Esnouf (above). His point was, it’s very social media 1.0 to be simply listening and responding. To gain a competitive advantage you need to think beyond the now – and plan ahead. Know who you’re listening to, why and how you want to influence them through your engagement with them.

“Free monitoring tools confuse the market. They make it look easy. It isn’t”

This was something Zach Hofer-Shall from Forrester stressed during his panel discussion at our monitoring event in Boston – and it was a recurring theme of our monitoring conferences all year. Social media monitoring requires time and knowledge to extract real value, otherwise you’re like to get dodgy data and simply confirm your assumptions.

“The more you segment, the fewer advertisers you compete with, the more the price comes down”

Ankur Shah from Techlightenment (which provides Facebook Ad management services) dropped this practical insight into his presentation at Social Media Advertising 2010 in London. Unlike traditional ads, where you pay more to advertise to niche market segments, with Facebook ads, the better targeted to get your ads, the less you pay. Sound advice for social media advertisers.

“Surely, that’s what interns were invented for?”

When the discussion of social media overload was raised at MSM Boston in October, Paul Gillin stepped in with this one-liner. It’s was a great quip to highlight a serious issue. You wouldn’t want interns engaging on your behalf, but sifting through data and highlighting issues – sure.

“I plan to outlive them”

My absolute personal favourite of the year comes from the irrepressible Katie Delahaye Paine at MSM Boston when she was asked how she proposed to deal with the people in social PR who simply don’t accept that ROI should no longer be measured in strict financial terms, but instead through engagement metrics. Talk about taking the long view. Pure class!

“Social media marketers are in the entertainment business”

This is actually something I tell my clients – but I think it’s worthy of a mention here. It’s the one thing big corporates continue to struggle with – and the main reason most corporate blogs fail dismally.  Social media requires an element of fun, dammit, we’re only human!

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    Cory Hartlen Reply

    Great highlights Luke, thanks for sharing, must have been hard to narrow it down to only 10. Monitoring Social Media in NYC was one of my first speaking engagements with Radian6 outside of Canada, and produced some awesome one liners that left the crowd in stitches. You and your team run great events with truly engaging speakers, it was a pleasure to be a part of. Looking forward to talking again in 2011. To be part of your Top 10 Quotes for 2010 is the perfect early Christmas gift. To you and yours, a happy Holiday season and splendid New Years!
    Cory Hartlen, Community Manager, Radian6

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    Luke Brynley-Jones Reply

    Thanks Cory – I’m glad you were there for Katie’s quote too! I’m still smiling about that one. Looking forward to working with you in 2011.

    All the best for the holidays!

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    40deuce Reply

    Great post for the end of the year Luke!
    A lot of the quotes you have here resonate very truly and deeply with our industry, so I thank you for sharing them.
    One of my favourites here is actually yours. I think a lot of people get caught up in the idea of creating content, but forget that the content really needs to resonate with people to have some kind of impact. Most people skip over things when it comes off as long and boring. People have to remember that the content they create also has to entertain to hold peoples’ attention. I like to take a bit of a lighter approach to my blogging so that it also comes off as entertaining and people enjoy reading it, but not everyone does that.

    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

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    Luke Brynley-Jones Reply

    Thanks Sheldon – not least for picking my quote over such luminaries as Brian Solis! Hope to see you at our events in 2011.

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    Aaron K Reply

    It’s good to know that in the chaotic torrent of social media content-pushers, there’s still some useful information. A lot of these tips would be common sense for most people who grew up with social media; remember when facebook had no ads and was only open to college students?! If there’s one maxim I can pull from these 10 pieces of wisdom, its that letting social media be this black box mysterious beast that your business must embrace (because everyone else is) results in a crappy, non-branded effort. Execs throwing dollars at soc. media just because they think they should reminds me of the early web boom in the mid 90s when everyone decided they needed a website to be competitive… the result then: a lot of crappy websites.