Photo courtesy of
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Social media, social media, social media. Since we will not be escaping those two words anytime soon, let’s embrace them—and educate ourselves. I recently came across an article by Arik Hanson, communications consultant and PR guru, in which he compiled a list of social media stats from various sources. Following are just a few you might find surprising.


  • 75 percent of Brand ‘Likes’ on Facebook come from advertisements. (Mashable)
  • More than 250 million people use Facebook Connect every month. (Facebook)
  • During the average 20-minute period in 2010, there were: 1,5870,000 wall posts, 2,716,000 photos uploaded and 10,208,000 comments posted. (


  • Since April 2010, Twitter has gained 40 million users and a 62 percent increase in mobile use of the platform (Source: ClickZ)
  • Friday at 4 p.m. ET: The most retweetable day/time of the week. (via Dan Zarella and HubSpot)
  • 48%: The percentage of Twitter users that either never or rarely check Twitter. (The Next Web)


  • The average American Internet user watches 30 minutes of video online per day [40 percent increase over 2009] (comScore) Compared to 5 hours of television per day
  • 22 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have a public-facing blog that has at least one post in the past 12 months (comScore)
  • Social networking site usage grew 88 percent among Internet users aged 55-64 between April 2009 and May 2010 (Pew Research)
  • In 2009, social gamers bought $2.2 billion in virtual goods; Predicted to increase to $6 billion by 2013. (NPD Group)

Some key takeaways and tips?

  • Remember to include social media info in your advertising
  • Consider how different social media platforms connect to each other and use them to your advantage
  • Get your tweets out Friday afternoons
  • Utilize mobile platforms when you can
  • Include videos as much as possible
  • Start a blog for your company
  • Don’t forget about the boomers!
  • Or the gamers!
February 4, 2011 · Posted by in marketing  

TWCableHelp on Twitter

It’s no secret that people use the Internet to complain about things, and that certainly extends into the area of social media. In fact, if you did a bit of research you’d find that venting about products and services amounts for a great deal of traffic on sites like Twitter. Some brands are dealing with this by putting their best foot forward and trying to fix the problems… Time Warner Cable is one of them.

The people behind the @TWCableHelp account on Twitter keep tabs on the site looking for people who are having problems with their service, or who just complain about something, and offer to help. I experienced this again recently when I posted a complaint about some issues with their web site.

Within minutes of me posting my complaint tweet, I got a reply from @TWCableHelp asking if they could help. They’ll also start following you so you can DM them more info if needed. I ended up trading over a dozen direct messages over the course of 30 minutes, and in the end, my problem was partially solved, and I felt much better about things.

Now, I said my problem was “partially” solved, and since it wasn’t a huge issue, I was OK with that. I walked away from the experience appreciating the customer service that Time Warner Cable offered me.

The takeaway from this is, if you’re doing social media, you need to listen. Listen to what people are saying about your brand, and respond to it in a helpful and positive way. Social media isn’t traditional broadcast media, it’s a discussion between two parties. Engage your customers, don’t just spew marketing messages at them. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

February 3, 2011 · Posted by in branding  

As advertisers and marketers, it’s easy to get social media tunnel-vision. We’re so wrapped up in getting our clients’ messages out to the public that we can sometimes forget how the average person views these tools.

Over the weekend, I was feverishly typing at my computer when I heard a loud crash. I turned around to see a coaster flying through the air and a terrified cat jumping out from behind the recliner. I rushed over to find my burning candle on the floor, bright red wax splattered everywhere. [Insert expletive here]. The lamp, the side table, the coasters – they all were drenched in wax. But nothing was hit as bad as the carpeting… my parents beige carpeting.

Frantic and panicking with tears welling up in my eyes, I froze. What was I going to do? Blot it up with paper towel? Grab ice, freeze it and then try to pick it off? Feeling completely helpless, I tweeted my predicament: “Cats tipped over a candle. Red wax everywhere, all over my parents beige carpet. I. Am. So. Dead.” I was venting, but I found comfort in the range of responses from complete strangers.

@flounderfish: @olivia67rae I’m the Coroner, you don’t live in my county, do you?

@thatbrendon: @olivia67rae <– hope that helps!

The coroner’s response made me giggle, and the welled-up tears disappeared. And the link was actually very helpful, leading me to learn that using a warm iron and paper towel or a brown paper bag would be the solution. Who knew? After an hour and a half on my hands and knees, the wax was almost completely lifted from the carpet.

Sadly, the dye in the candle did leave behind an awkward pink reminder, but I’m hoping the carpet-cleaning machine will lift that up before my mother has the chance to see the damage. If not, keep an eye out for my obituary, @flounderfish.

But back to the point of this posting. Twitter isn’t about promoting relevant content or having conversations with customers. It’s about people coming together to share real-time experiences. It’s human nature to want a feeling of community. We find that feeling in our workplaces, special interest groups, dart leagues and now online. We want a connection, and we tweet to get it. Keep that in mind next time you’re pushing out a client’s (or your own) tweet.

January 25, 2011 · Posted by in marketing, misc, web  


There’s a great interview with “Sharpie’s Twitter Queen” that highlights how Newell Rubbermaid (owners of the Sharpie brand) empowered an employee to be their voice on Twitter.

If you’ve ever though to yourself, “it’s just a marker” then you’re missing out on what Sharpie is doing for their brand, which is, building a community around it.

Besides the Sharpie Markers Official Blog, there’s Sharpie Uncapped which serves as a community site with a gallery of some amazing artwork, as well as instructional how-tos. Sharpie also has the requisite Twitter account and Facebook page, and all of these pieces work together in a cohesive manner.

Disclaimer: Z2 Marketing has no association with Sharpie, though they did post about the Drawbot that I built.

January 19, 2011 · Posted by in branding  

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