What Brands Expect Out of Social Media: Quid Pro Quo

Jul 21, 2010 by

Yesterday, the Modern Media Man Summit received it’s greatest level of support to date: A whopping, super duper sponsorship from Chevrolet and General Motors.  This one announcement has taken M3 to a new level of credibility, and today, we’ve been in touch with two other significant sponsors from two other spaces in the marketplace.  

What we as men and dad bloggers now must also come to realize is that it’s now our job to reciprocate in the generosity of Chevrolet and GM,  P&G’s project Man Of  The House, PitchEngine, and iContact, and bring our A-Games to the equation.

In our quest to seek sponsors, we’ve heard from a good many of them about the frustration brands have when they get taken for granted by other bloggers in the past who seemed a little less savvy to the principles of doing business.

Companies are into social media because of the value of the relationships they have with bloggers and social media mavens.  And like all good relationships, there needs to be a balance between give and take.

I’m not speaking on behalf of any of our sponsors specifically, but brands make investments in conferences like M3 so that they also yield a return on their investment.  They are, after all, in existence to make money.  Investing in conferences like M3, is a newer form of traditional marketing.  Likewise, if they make a buy in a local/national newspaper and they don’t see any shifts in purchase trends, they move away from that modality in the future and put it somewhere else where there will be a positive return with measurable metrics.

Seriously, isn’t this how all of us do business?  We try something.  If it brings tangible results, we consider it a success.  If we’re making such investments on behalf of a client and we place their money on something and if in the end, there’s a low ROI, how likely is it that your client is going to let you do it again the following year?

This is one of the prime factors M3 is seeking to make sure doesn’t happen as we assist men and dad bloggers in their formations of partnerships with brands in the future.  Let’s face it, there are some Wanna Be Mom Diva bloggers out there, whom we all know and “love,” who contact brands and say, “Hi, I’m @SuzieSweetieSnazzle on Twitter, and I’d like for you to let me know when I can come pick up:  a car … try out a new phone …  get a whole exercise gym in my house … get a new house to live in … etc. Now, can I come get one tomorrow or when will it be delivered?”

How do you think brands feel when they get this sort of treatment?   How would you feel if you were a brand manager and got a DM from @SuzieSweetieSnazzle? **

My guess is the first thing you’d say to yourself is, “Well, let’s ship one out to Suzie right now!”  Uh, no.

Ultimately, the questions would start with, now how much would that cost me?  How much reach does @SuzieSweetieSnazzle even have?  Oh, she has 69 followers on Twitter, is following 1,996, and has 98 friends on Facebook, and has an Alexa ranking somewhere between 5-6 million worldwide.  Seeing that, you’d say, “Let me pick up the phone and call shipping!”  Uh, no.

Guys, we have our chance to show that we understand how to participate in the social media space with brands.  Several of our guys have been knowingly joking in their tweets about how they’d like to use Chevrolet products for the drive to program to M3 since we made the announcement.  While I’m sure all of us would like to get our own Camaro or Corvette to drive cross country to the event, that’s not what our sponsor has in mind.  (I’m sure they’re happy though to see us using their product names, so don’t let that stop!)

Indeed, they’re trying to reach family men; Guys who are excited to have a turn at the wheel of one of their new lines of Chevrolet or GM SUVs or Crossovers.  (And guys, on a cross-country road trip, it’ll be okay to share the wheel.)

They want us to feature cars that look sleek on the outside, but also are practical enough to use back at home with moms who you have 2.5 kids with; who like 2-2-3 row seating configurations because that means you’re not going to have to fool with a bench row when you get the kids out of the car for school/soccer drop offs; and yet is still sophisticated enough with OnStar, cool gadgets like the back up camera, the Bluetooth connections for your cell phone, and the Bose speakers so you can crank it when you get to drive to the ZippyMart to pick up a gallon of milk at 9:30 p.m or put gas in the car for the next morning’s routine.

And by reaching guys who are interested in those particulars, it’s then where we’re going to be looking for guys who are the mayors of great places to eat on FourSquare, who tell great photo and word stories on Whrrl, who Tweet their business–”Hey Y’all, I just passed a (insert name of cool-looking @Chevrolet product) that looks like the one I’m in & damn, I know I’m hot because she looked hot in hers.”  (Obviously, there’d be the hope at that point that the Mrs. doesn’t follow your Tweets.)

And then there’s the prospect of blogging, posting pictures of your adventure, and, even asking others to write about their experiences in the same make of car. (My example to you of such would be from my relationship with @GMTexas, who loaned me a 2010 Traverse in June and we created www.TraverseAdventures.com)

At Modern Media Men Summit, we’re thrilled to have a sponsor like Chevrolet on board.  They’ve been great to work with and are really excited about coming to Atlanta Sept. 9-11 for our first-ever event.  Obviously, we’re still looking to close the deal on other great brands and get others to join with them.  Our essential point to all brand managers and potential sponsors out there reading this is simple:  As men and dad bloggers, we get it.  We’re happy to do the Quid Pro Quo dance with you in Hotlanta.

Like I’ve said, a sponsor like Chevrolet is fantastic to have aboard as our Platinum Sponsor.  The company that forever has burned the notion of “Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” has stepped up to the proverbial plate.  Now it’s time for Modern Media Men to bring their bats.  We’ve got some social media hitting to do.

** (For clarity’s sake, I do not know anyone named SuzieSweetieSnazzle and the characters make the name impossible to have on Twitter.)

  1. iFroggy

    Patrick O'Keefe iFroggy

    @daddyclaxton I think that a lot of it has to do simply with how you were raised, too, oddly enough. I’ve been talking with companies and receiving free products since at least 2003 or so, when I would have been 18. I never had the obnoxious, gross sense of entitlement that your post mentions and that I’ve seen in people. Definitely ugly! 17 minutes ago via web

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What do @Twitter @SnickersIceCrm @GaryVee @M3Summit @GMTexas Have in Common?

Jun 3, 2010 by

As noted in this space many, many times, I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and his book Crush It! My copy of the book is covered in as much self-applied ink as what the publisher printed.  As a man/dad blogger, I’ve really stepped up my social media presence in 2010 thanks to reading and re-reading Crush It! and other noted books, and the results are really beginning to show.

One of the primary points we’re trying to make to men/dad bloggers through the Modern Media Man Summit is that besides the great one like GaryVee, women and moms aren’t the only ones who can do social media and do it successfully.  And wisely, in the blog world we’re beginning to see brands begin to better recognize that we men/dads are out here wanting to do good things with our social media presence and do something quid pro quo as well.

@SnickersIceCrm

Last Thursday morning before Mom and I headed out the door to go to on our adventure trip for the Taste of Creede, CO for the weekend, I stumbled upon the mouth-watering taste at the thought of  Snicker’s Ice Cream brand’s Twitter account and sent them the following tweet:

@SnickersIceCrm: I’ll bet with lots of dry ice & some ingenuity I could sample some samples & tell the world how good your product is!

Their almost immediate response was simple and to the point:

Ha! How about I send you some coupons!

With a follow up DM of my mailing address, I smiled, told mom how cool that was and we walked out the door on our trip.

ONE WEEK LATER

Today, June 3, a week later, I received in the mail 6 coupons:  Three for $1 off the Snicker’s Ice Cream product lines and three coupons for FREE boxes of their product lines. 

Feast your mouth-watering eyes on this: The coupons are good for “Any one MULTI PACK: DOVEBAR Brand 3 Pack, DOVEBAR Miniatures, DOVE Brand Packaged Ice Cream, TWIX Ice Cream Bar 6 Pack, M&M’s Brand Cookie Ice Cream Cone 6 Pack, SNICKER’S Ice Cream Cone 6 Pack, SNICKER’S Ice Cream Bar 6 Pack, SNICKER’S Ice Cream Bar Miniatures.

Until I just typed that, I didn’t know there was a Twix Ice Cream Bar, and to know that there are six of them in a pack, well, I’m all that about that. (Just don’t tell my EA SPORTS Active friends!)

You see, the other great thing about all this is that I did this as a man blogger/dad blogger!  Yes, even with testosterone in my system, I’m able to reach out to brands, make contacts, offer to do something positive for their company, and reap incredible rewards because of it.

Hey, and now I also get to enjoy SIX TWIX Ice Cream Bars that I won’t be telling my DDs that I have!  Sorry girls, I don’t know where they went…..

“YASEETIMMY”

If you ever watched the 1994 movie “Speechless” with Michael Keaton and Geena Davis, you will recall that Keaton said at the end of a good story, there’s a “YaSeeTimmy,” just like in Lassie when they always said, “You see Timmy ….” and passed on an important lesson from the episode.

The Ya See Tim,/Jim/Gary/Chuck/Don, of this lesson is two-fold:

  1. Brands want to have relationships with men/dad bloggers. At the present, it’s sort of a challenge for them to find us.  Without parsing any words, it’s been a Mom Blogger World for far too long.  Moms do a lot of the buying in a household, but so do we men/dads. Reaching out to brands and connecting with them can be a positive experience.  There needs to be a system for helping brands find dads.  I know some peeps who are working on just that!
  2. Men/Dads, we need to do a better job of reaching out to brands. They’re not going to come looking for us.  Well, they’re kind of having to, but it makes it a challenge for them when they can find 500 mom bloggers at the click of an enter button on Google and they can’t do that when they go looking for us.  We must step up our efforts to present ourselves to brands online, to build positive mutually-beneficial relationships with the brand managers, and then do honest and positive things to support that relationship.

There is an ever-increasing role in the blogosphere for men/dads.  There are some great pioneers in this field–e.g. Gary Vaynerchuk, etc.  but there are more of us still standing around on the shoulder of the information highway wishing we had the courage or knew the right way to stop a top brand coming down the expressway.

@GMTexas

I can’t give a better current example of the benefits of a quid pro quo men/dad blogger exchange than my relationship with Donna M. from @GMTexas. Our connectivity began through her own Twitter account and then through the corporate account.

I’ve been invited to three events with GM now in the past two months and been in town to enjoy two of them.  While I was savoring the thought of eating the Snicker’s Ice Cream bars, I received a phone call on behalf of GM.  From roughly noon June 21, 2010 to noon June 28, 2010, I’ll be the driver of a 2010 Chevy Traverse LTZ, complete with OnStar, XM Radio and free to go anywhere I want to with it during those seven days.

The girls and I are planning an adventure for that week.  As a matter of fact, you already can go to TRAVERSEADVENTURES.com and find yourself right back here at www.DaddyClaxton.com.  Just wait, in a few days, there will be a specific page set up just so you can find out great things about this new product from GM.

And that, my friends, makes all this even better than the convertible roadster Keaton was driving Davis around in Speechless.

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13 and standing on top of the world–A Modern Media Man?

May 23, 2010 by

Hats off to 13-year-old Jordan Romero, now the youngest person ever to scale Mount Everest.  What a tremendous feat. What an incredible adventure.

The Big Bear, CA resident now has scaled the tallest peaks on six continents.  His next adventure in December:  the Vinson Massif in Antarctica.

The young man reached the top of the world yesterday with his dad at his side.  He’s in eighth grade and took along two months worth of homework with him.  My guess is he’s learned a lot more spending five weeks climbing up Mount Everest than he will in his remaining years of school, but that’s another topic.

They had to take a different route than most in their adventure to get to the top of Everest.  In Napal, there’s an age limit for those who can scale the mountain.  On the Chinese side, there is no age limit.

An argument can be made that letting a kid so young do such a thing isn’t good for the kid.  I’ve gone round and round personally over the same issue and have been told I’m not considering what’s best for my kids.  Personally, I’d like to take my three girls, pull them out of school for a year and spend that time with all three of them traveling around the world.  Would they learn more about what they need to know about themselves and living and life in school, or going around the globe with their dad?

But as a dad, looking to the other side of the world at this fantastic feat, I have to say this to me is nothing but inspiring.  Who could imagine a  greater adventure in life than to scale to the top of the highest peaks on the globe and look down upon the surroundings right there with one’s dad at your side.

Personally, one of my greatest desires in life has been to go to a baseball game with my dad at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  We almost got to do that in 2004, but that year the Cubs were doing well and tickets were hard to come by.  With all three girls and dad in the car, we drove around looking for ticket sellers, but none were to be found.  I still hold out hope.  I was able to take his dad and his mom to a game.  But my dad always has remained elusive to this dream.  I don’t know why, but it’s not ever worked out.

THE SEARCH FOR ADVENTURE

But more importantly for Jordan Romero is that even at a young age, he and his dad are refusing to be confined to the norms and are in search of adventure.  I’m sure Jordan’s dad, Paul Romero, has been told numerous times how “Foolish, starry-eyed and out of his mind” he is for “exploiting” his child and putting him in such harm’s way.  It’s just this type of stereotyping that has put so many of today’s Mod Men in the unfriendly to the soul confined boxes in which many of us are stuck.

Today’s Modern Media Man I feel in many ways has lost his sense of adventure.  In many ways, from seeing Ex2’s boys sit tirelessly for hours at a computer screen playing RPGs, the generations of today are still escaping to adventures.  But I think one day they’re going to find they’ve missed so much about the world.

I’d imagine Jordan Romero isn’t one for sitting hours upon hours in front of a video game.  He’s out walking in the real one.  He’s healthier for it.  He’s more experienced for it.  And he’s living a much richer life.

My point isn’t that we all should pack up our hiking gear and head to China or Napal to climb Everest.  It’s more that today’s Modern Media Man needs to re-evaluate what purpose he wants to serve in this world and begin seeking it out.

IDENTIFYING ROADBLOCKS, STUMBLING BLOCKS, MENTAL BLOCKS

In order to do so, my Faith Coach, Ron Rose told me last week that he wanted me to focus on the road blocks that are now in my way from seeking out God’s purpose in my life and the pursuit of those adventures that will make me more into who I desire to be.  As I’ve pointed out before, Tim Ferriss in The Four Hour Work Week stresses the same point–Find the 20 percent of things in your life that are causing 80 percent of your problems and eliminate them.

Once the roadblocks are out of the way, it’s time to identify and anticipate the stumbling blocks that might trip me up along in my adventures.

And then, maybe as important to the other two points, what mental blocks are out there that are keeping me from seeking out my life’s adventures?

This is what I feel to be one of the biggest problems for Modern Media Men.  The fear of the unknown. The dare to take risks.  The criticism that will come from daring to express or even pursue a dream.  Maybe this comes in the form of a nagging wife.  Maybe it’s a feeling that things are going to turn around this coming week if ….  Maybe it’s just that we as Modern Media Men have been beaten down so by the mores of our culture that we dare not be non-conformists.

Whatever it might be I’m encouraging you to have strength, to identify those immediate challenges, and search your soul for ways in which to over come them.  Maybe it’s the folly of youth that has Jordan Romero not worrying about the dangers of climbing the highest peaks on seven continents.  It doesn’t matter.  He’s out there living life.  He’s living an adventure.  He’s living out dreams some of us have yet to imagine from the confines of our living rooms or laying flat on our bed staring up at the texture of the ceiling as kids play on video games, the wife does what she’s doing, and the sun passes from the east to the west on another day of the same.

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