Cut Social Media Clutter with a Solid Framework

Don’t believe there is social media clutter? I direct you to exhibit A.


This “supergraphic” designed by Scott Brinker is a summation of everything you will see in the Marketing Technology Landscape, i.e. anything where marketing uses technology. I actually quite like this graphic because it helps localize not only the many functions of marketing and technology, and it’s brilliance is in its flouting the conventional wisdom of infographic / data visualization.

To cut through this clutter, however, I believe we have to be able to simplify all our efforts and take a really well reasoned, accessible approach to what we are doing as marketers that help kill the clutter and focus on the essentials. If we don’t have a good hierarchy to follow in our minds, then we will be ineffective  in our teams and our services will fold.

Michael Hyatt proposes I think the strongest framework for organizing our marketing efforts and cutting the clutter. Here it is:

  1. Homebase: This is your home and where you want to direct all traffic in order to convert social media interest to mailing list signups and product purchases. This is what you own and where you deliver.
  2. Embassies. These are part of any service, like facebook or linked in, and they focus on interactions with people on their own terms. They are not the greatest source of value but always point toward the homebase.
  3. Outposts. These are where you have a listening ear to what the conversation is doing, where you monitor your name and can respond to critiques and issues quickly.

With this framework, we can start putting the marketing technology landscape to better use. Once we start to see how each of these services can fit inside to each of these area, then we can get more clarity within our organization and drive more business. This does not mean business isn’t complex, only that complexity needs to be well organized.

In addition, this follows the Rule of Three’s, that I love so much. Data that comes in threes is always easier to remember than data that comes in any other format.





Building Concensus: 7 Ways to Avoid Bad Decisions

Deciding between 2 people, is sometimes a wrestling match.

When making a tough decision, I follow the WRAP process, as articulated by Chip and Dan Heath in their book “Decisive.” I LOVE this book, because it helps me gain the confidence to decide about a myriad of difficult circumstances. While I can control the decision making I make on my own, I cannot control the other’s decision making process. Whether a spouse, boss, coworker, respected leader, etc, if I have someone’s attention, I am often painfully aware that they make decisions in a different way than I do. That is, unless I’m with Chip or Dan Heath (I’m guessing).

So, in my own decision making lifetime, here are 7 things I have learned to do in order to avoid making bad decisions.

  1. Run a good self-checkup.
    Are you hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or stressed (HALTS). You aren’t making any good decisions right now. “Oh, I’m fine…I just really want…or I just really feel…” Guess what, you have a lot on your mind below the surface right now. If you are like me, you have a whole host of feelings that float below the surface, and it takes a great deal of humility to say, “shoot, I’m not doing great right now. I need to get some perspective.”
  2. Nip your “fear-of-loss” in the bud.
    Fear of loss is always going to be more potent than opportunity for gain. When you fear loss, write it down in a concrete number / figure. Now place that number right next to the possibility of gain in a concrete number / figure. If your “fear-of-loss” figure feels more potent than the possibility of gain, then take some time in prayer or meditation to come to terms with this particular decision. Practice giving up control of all outcome.
  3. Make time to talk.
    Very little gets decided without concrete time to talk. Be up front and say, “Hey, I see we have a big decision to make, and it’s the most important thing in the world to me that we be unified in our decision. When can we find some uninterrupted time to talk about this?” That signifies it’s importance and the person’s importance to you in this process.
  4. Communicate early and communicate often about the process.
    I know this sounds basic, but communicate to the other that this is on your mind, and it’s really important to make a decision about it.
  5. Ask “How/when/where?” questions.
    These are the are the least emotionally charged we can ask. Ask “how are you planning to decide about this?” “When do you think you will know?” If you receive “I don’t know,” then their emotional circuits are blown. In that case switch to empathy. What can you see in the other person that you recognize. Fear? Stress? Overwhelmed? At least you can say, “Hey, I see that this is a difficult decision for you. Please let me know if you want me to listen to what you are thinking before any need to make a decision.”
  6. Understand the fastest.
    Realize whoever understands the fastest wins. Spend 10x more energy understanding “why” the other would want to make the decision the way they want to make it. Then if you think that they should change their minds, consider what new information they might not be aware of that would trigger them to reconsider.
  7. Write down the decision shortly after you make it.
    This should never be brought out, but write it down so that you have it in your mind clearly. That way, when you look back and say, “I decided this because of this,” you can say so with more peripheral clarity. Often our minds change and we see events in the past differently than we did at the time we made them. It’s called being human.

These tips can help you avoid unhealthy, expensive, resent-building decisions. That will make a much greater difference to you and your professional and personal relationships and you will be known for making decisions with greater integrity.