Bowing down to Tebowing.

Bowing down to Tebowing.

Updated 1/14/11—Dropping to one knee for a brief chat with the Creator has now become a craze known as “Tebowing.” Denver Bronco Tim Tebow is a brand, and he’s doing a great job of promoting it both online and on the field. In school, Tebow was known for his open—and seemingly earnest—praise of his God. When he hit the NFL, he toned it down a bit. One wonders if Tebow’s handlers counseled him that too much religion could limit his marketing prospects; if they did, they were wrong. “Taking a knee” isn’t just a clock-management move for quarterbacks, it’s now a gesture done everywhere from shopping malls to wedding photos, as seen on the tebowing.com website. Slavishly aping Tebow’s genuflection exalts the former and cheapens the latter. In the short term, he will reap the benefits others are sowing. But hype often goeth before a fall. The Me-Too crowd will turn their attention elsewhere and, in the meantime, one athlete has become larger than the thing that made him a marketing phenom. Make that…bigger than both things. Much funnier and more to-the-point is Jimmy Fallon’s “Tebowie” video....

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Facebook users' heads will explode.

Facebook users' heads will explode.

If you have been annoyed by the number and scope of Facebook changes in the past, get ready for your head to pop right off. Facebook is changing Profiles to Timelines, so what you see when you sign in will look nothing like it does now. It will look more like a mini-website or a blog site. Some samples: (Click on any image for the source.) The outcry will be loud and long. Some people will bail on Facebook forever. Where will they go? Maybe to Google+ or maybe away from social media for good. Google+ has some advantages: it’s cleaner and easier to use, and it probably seems like chance to redeem oneself after the hangover of too much intake on Facebook. We’re guessing that Google+ gets plenty of notice on Google. The new Facebook Timeline will be a bit good news for businesses if Facebook rolls it out to business pages, too. The big “cover photo” (see above examples) offers a place for some giant branding. It remains to be seen whether enough folks stick around to see it. You can get the Timeline now or you can wait until Facebook implements it for you; click here for an introduction and to get Timeline. Once you have it, you’ll see that all the stuff you’ve input to your page will show up in chronological order. You’ll have seven days to edit your past in Timeline, then it’s there forever. Will you dive in now, or bail? Comment here.  ...

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Social media isn't so special.

Far be it for me to question the deity of Seth Godin, but his blog post “The trap of social media noise” misses a few key points. First, everyone has always thought he or she was a marketer. How many times does someone run down to Accounting and say, “Scoot over, let me do that?” Second, business communicators have always preferred to talk about themselves: “You’ve made us the number one car dealer in New Jersey” or “Over one million dollars in real estate sales!” is no different than “We need one more “like” on Facebook!” Finally, the level of discourse has always been loud, and low; remember the OxiClean guy (may he rest in peace)? Bad advertising abounds. Technically, social media isn’t advertising; it should be a conversation. But Godin’s post acknowledges that business communicators are using it as just another advertising channel. People don’t mind being sold to if you’re selling something they want, and social media can do that in all kinds of ways. It’s not so different than the old ways, it’s just cheaper to get into. But the cost of screwing up is...

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5 ways to reward your Facebook fans.

5 ways to reward your Facebook fans.

To keep Facebook fans engaged, give them something extra, something they can’t get anywhere else. 1. Exclusive access to information and events. 2. Discounts and printable coupons for products and services. 3. Sneak previews for products and events, with special swag, pre-event parties, etc. 4. Face-time for them and their businesses with pictures, reviews and shares. 5. Contests for prizes by using a third-party app (using Facebook “likes” or comments as the means of entry violates Facebook’s terms of service). The best place to promote special rewards for Facebook fans is somewhere other than the Facebook page itself, as in an e-newsletter, on your website or blog, or via pay-per-click ads. Have you rewarded your Facebook fans?  ...

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