Who would like to buy my influence on the social networks?

Who would like to buy my influence on the social networks?

Because of the blogs I write and post online almost every week, I keep on receiving all kinds of press releases – most of them are inappropriate – that refer to a ‘‘super’’ product, service or event that shall totally change my blog world! For the last few months, I feel like they are trying to impair my “influence”. For example, they promote contests, such as Nissan HyperCube or the opportunity to get the greatest job in the world. Nowadays, customers are even willing to pay for some advice of mine! Furthermore, my interaction within the social networks is gaining in value: I even woke up one day to find that I was quoted in the Stock Exchange!

You are an intelligent public relation agency

If you are a professional of public relations or a manager who tracks influencers, please follow these different steps before contacting me:

  1. Read several articles on my blog and in the ‘‘À propos’’ section
  2. Ask me if the information you want to deliver is any of my interest, topic-wise and location-wise
  3. Ask yourself if I really have time to promote your product/service/event
  4. Ask yourself why I should promote your product/service/event
  5. Refer to steps 1 to 4 once more
  6. Done and done?
  7. OK. I recommend you to join me during one of the ‘‘happy hour’’ encounters so we could discuss and get to know each other (Yulblog, Yulbiz, Camp, etc.). Only then I shall be more willing to promote your product/service/event.

I won’t be pointing fingers at anyone in order not to disillusion any of the new professional workers. Instead, I recommend you to read (yet again) Sylvain Carle’s article that came out last year on all the contact persons he was able to get from the Nissan HyperCube contest designers.

Could I be traded for an airplane ticket?

To tell the truth, I once traded myself for a train ticket. It happened last year when ViaRail sponsored the Montreal PodCamp team so they could get to the Toronto Pod Camp with Via1. We did not have any obligations; we only had to share our experience of the WiFi access during the trip. Each participant shared its most honest point of view. I am taking the opportunity to thank Nadia who was then working in the communication dept. at ViaRail and who put this fun event together.

This week, Virgin America is trying to seduce web influencers with the launch of a new airline company in Toronto. The Toronto-based residents carrying a high Klout score shall receive a free airplane ticket. Klout is a service of Twitter user influence scoring. At the moment, my score is worth 42/100.

Please buy me!

Karl Marx would turn in his grave if he found out that even human beings are now quoted in the Stock Exchange. With Empire Avenue, each person may increase its presence value on the social networks. The Canadian start-up is playing certain games with ego and lure of profit, two sin concepts that are usually quite popular. However, after only a few weeks as a participant, I am simply not into it. Empire Avenue does not seem to take off either.

I start to wonder where this ‘‘human being marketing’’ will take us. I still believe that social networks are definitely not the best place to do so. Reality TV might be more appropriate.

In conclusion, I will give you the same answer I gave to a public relation specialist who asked me to promote a ‘‘revolutionary pocket charger”: I like the ‘‘social’’ in social networks. The smallest dose of ‘‘social’’ during conversations sometimes gives the best results.

NB: I wrote this article with a Canadian movie in mind. It is called: “Un capitalisme sentimental”. The story took place during the 1920’s and talks about the main character being quoted in the Stock Exchange. Simply a must!

Media User Generated Content

Media User Generated Content

More and more companies ask for their customers/consumers to play a part in their communication. Furthermore, they could even ask them to find their brand name and to produce their promotional video.

Where stands the limit in terms of User Generated Content (UGC)? Should the media take a step aside to let the members of the audience take the lead in terms of news editing? I did try to answer that particular question during my last chronicle on Canal Argent [FR].

UGC: no new marketing concept

My first observation is that people are already turning the brands away. For example, you may refer to vodka Absolut, Adidas or the very popular video with Tigers Woods who chats with his father from beyond the grave.

The web surfers learned to become their own media, thanks to the fast and easy access to publishing tools, such as WordPress and social networks like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. They can easily influence certain market niches.

The brainwave from marketing geniuses – Yes I am one too – is to take the credit for consumers’ creativity to the benefit of their brands. That is how the user generated content was made and began to work in the name of advertising. Ask Loic Lemeur what he thinks about it.

Doritos is an expert in the promotion of UGC contests. The American company did so during the Super Bowl and in Canada during the Doritos Guru. The company asked consumers to pick the flavour for their new product.

News information is worth a lot. Why shouldn’t we ask members of the audience to direct it?

The media took advantage of the fact that it is easy to have consumers over to do all the work. For example, Radio Canada invited 32 people to blog about the 2010 World Cup, with an invitee to represent every country. For now, only Japan and Korea are missing a ‘‘representative’’. CRTC recently moved forward with the Génération V channel which content will be entirely generated by users.

I seriously think that we reached the limit of ‘‘free of charge’’ user generated content. Just like the Sorel-Tracy video contest, it became a must to consider and recognize the work done for the benefit of a brand or a company. Otherwise, I consider that as an act of volunteering and I rather keep on doing it with Île sans fil.

Why create a Facebook page for ZeLaurent?

Why create a Facebook page for ZeLaurent?

I just created a Facebook page for ZeLaurent. Don’t worry; I do not have a split personality. It is all about creating a rationalization of communication and image.

Since Facebook does not compel us to be a page “Fan” any longer and just say “I like” ZeLaurent, my ego tends to deflate and my heart feels like flying.

Facebook Page vs. Facebook Profile: Privacy vs. Social life

As it is for this blog, my ZeLaurent page will contain more of my thoughts about recent professional findings (Internet marketing, social media, on-line video, mobile…). This should give more room for personal interactions on my Facebook Laurent Maisonnave profile.

I think I might have bored some of my dear friends in posting information in a delirious way on my Facebook profile, whether it was during seminars or special events that are part of my professional geek life.
The split between the cult and state will allow me to preserve close relationships, while keeping on sharing my passion with colleagues.

A Facebook page: a reasonable choice

At the moment, I got 23 requests for friendship on hold on Facebook. None of these future friends stated the origin of our virtual encounter. I redirect you to the article of Christian Aubry [FR] to learn more about my opinion on the subject.

I deliberately avoid posting personal details of my life on my Facebook profile. I want my interactions to be transparent. I open my mind but I won’t open the door of my home to everyone.
A Facebook page is the right way to organize your virtual life. Many of my friends did it: Sylvain Carle, Benoit Descary, Christian Aubry and Vincent Abry. Despite her great tolerance, and pressure from her friends and family, my friend Michelle Blanc did create a Facebook page for herself.

At your convenience or if you feel like it, I invite you to comment on this blog, on Twitter and/or on the ZeLaurent Facebook page: facebook.com/zelaurent.