SXSW: Where social conversations drive innovation

I’ll be at SXSW starting tomorrow and I’m excited for several reasons. Firstly, there are so many great presenters doing interesting presentations plus you get to physically meet a lot of people you only know through Twitter and Facebook. Yet equally important is a collision of thinking and conversations that are essential for new ideas …

Thank You Economy: How brands re-humanize themselves to build communities

This week I wanted to share Gary Vaynerchuck’s new book, Thank You Economy. In my mind, Gary’s book stands out for one important reason. When most brands consider engaging their customers using social media, they look to case studies and metrics to ensure the return on their investment will be worthwhile. Understandable, of course. Yet the …

A new social contract between brands and consumers

Many academics, authors and bloggers are taking a hard look at the practice of capitalism with a view to a more sustainable future that ensures prosperity for more people both here in the United States and around the developing world. This necessarily involves an examination of the private sector and the relationship between brands and …

Why brands that do good must also do it well

More brands are waking up to their social responsibility and doing good work through cause marketing campaigns. Yet too many still go about it the wrong way. I mean ‘wrong’ in two senses.  Firstly, they are marketing ineffectively, and secondly, as a consequence their positive social impact is not maximized. Let me explain. There is …

Tell to Win: Purposeful storytelling for social media success

Social media is easily mistaken as an end in itself rather than yet another tool in our arsenal to connect emotionally around shared values through powerful storytelling. When it comes to effective storytelling, there is probably no better expert than Peter Guber. Peter has written a book called Tell to Win that lays out the …

The We First community: Where social technology meets social change

The We First concept refers to the intimately connected global community that we now live in. But it also refers to a community of  brands, cause-marketers, social entrepreneurs and regular people all around the world who have individually committed to driving social change. Every individual effort deserves to be celebrated because each serves as a permission …

MC Hammer on how brands use social media to build communities

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Srkgk90fo Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the Gravity Summit at UCLA where MC Hammer received the award for Social Marketer of the Year. As a celebrity brand on twitter (@MCHammer) that has amassed over 2 million active and engaged followers, and he now speaks all around the world about how brands use …

What brands must do now to engage their customer communities

There’s an adage that is an apt description of the new dynamic at work between brands and consumers connected through social media: People support what they help to build. But now that many brands are launching community-driven cause marketing campaigns, the challenge becomes what to do next? Put another way, how do brands stay connected …

Social Photos: When a picture is worth 140 characters

Over the last weeks we have witnessed the peaceful demonstration in Egypt that overthrew President Mubarak’s regime. In the last few days we watched the protests it has inspired in Yemen, Iran, Bahrain and Algeria. While I have written about the contributory role of social media in these revolutions, it is also worth noting how we have …

Exactly what role did social media play in the Egyptian revolution?

The January 25th revolution in Egypt was an incredible achievement by its people and a truly inspiring example of the power of peaceful protest. Yet the work towards an effective transition to democratic government within Egypt has just begun. Meanwhile a debate continues to rage in the blogosphere as to the exact role played by …

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