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Archive for the 'Social Networking' Category

10 more = 10 years and then time for the blog to retire…..

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

I still remember the day. It was way back in May of 2006 when Frank Summers, Joan Treistman, & Christopher Dallion had a great idea they wanted to share. They said there was something new in social media called a blog and they thought I should write one. Their feeling was that it would be something I would like to do and that would help the company move forward.

Their position was since I look at things differently, tend to be pretty creative, am deadline oriented, know a lot of people, and am very goofy at times that I should do it and it would be successful.

I must say after a number of no’s I finally said yes. For many of you who are hearing the story for the first time, I can 100% confirm it was not my idea to write a blog but three team members who clearly were smarter than I was, saw something I didn’t, and were 100% right.

With that said, July 30, 2016 will be the 10 year anniversary of the Merrill Dubrow Blog. I have been thinking about it for a while and I feel now is the right time to have it come to a close.

My intent all along was a couple of things. To share, to learn, and have fun!

On my end you taught me so much and I hope the feeling was mutual.

Thank you for your years of reading and sharing your feelings!

What is your social selling index? Time to click on the link below and let me know…

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Earlier this year LinkedIn released their Social Selling Index (SSI) to the public. When you click on it, you immediately get a quick snapshot of how you compare to your peers and your network.

As you can see, I have 78 out of the 100 available points. This puts me in the top 1% of people in my industry & top 2% in my network.

Now your turn:

  • What are your scores?
  • On an average day how much time do you spend on LinkedIn?
  • Do you think it helps you move your business forward?
  • Will you try to increase your scores?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Attention Everyone! It’s All About Networking!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Over the past few weeks, I have fielded calls from family, friends & industry contacts and over the course of these conversations, they have asked me:

  • My opinion of Bentley College because his son is considering attending
  • If I had any extra tickets to the Byron Nelson golf tournament
  • What my thoughts were about a specific market research conference
  • For help getting their nephew a job in the IT industry
  • Advice on three research companies for interview purposes
  • Asking if I would be a reference for a job they’re in the final interview process for

      My last 10 conference presentations have all had one thing in common: Networking! I try to reinforce and give real examples of why staying connected and being a good networker is so important. Lots of people think that they can network when they need a job or something. Sorry, but that isn’t the case! At that point, it is almost too late! This is a business environment that we have been in for a very long time and for what is on the horizon, everyone needs to network, stay connected and know what is going on at all times!

      Sometimes people think that being a good networker is a bad thing, is intrusive, or it is taking advantage. To me, it really depends on how you approach the situation. Personally, being a great networker means that I can gain information as well. In fact, important information such as: How are companies doing in the market research industry? Who is hiring? What is the latest buzz in the industry? Which conferences should be on my radar?

      I think that being a great networker is a critical component to staying on top of what is going on and can clearly help make your company successful.

So, the Weather is Bad. Time to Shop!…Online!

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Over the past few years, it appears the weather has gotten craizer, with a much higher frequency of snow and sleet. To me, this seems like an opportunity for retailers to sell more. I’m not talking about selling more in-store…but online! If an area is going to be hit with bad weather, doesn’t that give retailers a reason to increase advertising and marketing about their online offers, even mentioning the bad weather and convenience of online shopping? I know you’re probably thinking, “How often are meteorologists actually right?” but let’s focus on the times when they are correct. The weather in Texas a few weeks ago was horrible. Rain was pounding and I kept checking my email looking for offers from Kohl’s, Nordstrom Rack, Charles Tyrwhitt, Joseph A. Bank and other retail stores that send me emails. Guess what?! I didn’t get a single one that mentioned bad weather or the convenience of online shopping in bad weather. This seems like a missed opportunity to me. Why not mention bad weather and offer 10% off, free shipping, or some other incentive in an email to your subscribers? If this had been an option for me a few weeks ago, I would have shopped and increased revenue for stores!

There are lots of things that just don’t make sense to me, and this is one of them. So, I ask you: If the weather is bad and driving might be frustrating or challenging why isn’t your inbox filled with offers from retailers?

Hey Laurel, Why Are All The Teens Leaving Facebook? Read The Real Story By Guest Blogger 24 Year Old Laurel Glenn

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Yes, it’s true! Facebook is losing its younger audience. First, let’s clarify: by “young”, we’re talking about 13-17 year olds, the “teenage” demographic. According to Facebook’s quarterly reports, 83% of internet users are signed up for Facebook and 55% of those users check-in daily. While these numbers indicate a huge market share, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all saw a growth in teenage users in 2013 but Facebook saw a decline. In fact, more than 12 million teens have left Facebook since 2011.

Why is this?

For a few reasons: The teenage culture is submersed in live technology; they’ve never known life without updates from tablets, smart phones or social media. They are focused on sharing immediate activities and real-time updates with their peers, which makes personally interactive and feed-based social apps like Snapchat or Instagram more appealing. Comparatively, the Facebook app is more cluttered and slower than the Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter app. Even the difference of 2-3 seconds matters when updating real-time activities.

Additionally, changes within Facebook have not been helpful in the attraction of teen users. Changes in the privacy settings now allow teen users to post public updates and interact with public users (previously the platform prevented teens from interacting with people outside of their “friends of friends”) has some parents worried about the safety of teens on Facebook, and, in turn, encouraging their teen to go elsewhere for social interaction. Facebook ads, sponsored posts, sponsored pages and corporate updates are of little interest to teens. At this stage of their life, teens are looking for social media to update and interact with friends, the ads and corporate presence is frustrating to them.

So, when teens examine the offerings of social media platforms and apps: they simply opt out of Facebook and turn to more personalized, interaction-based platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

  • As a teenager, which social media platform do you primarily use? Why?
  • As a parent of a teenager, do you monitor your child’s use of social media and do you have a preference on which platforms your teen uses?
  • For any generation, have you made a shift in your social media presence within the past year? What have you changed and why?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Laurel Glenn
Social Media Analyst, M/A/R/C Research
2012 University of Missouri School of Journalism Graduate, Emphasis in Social Media Studies
24 Year Old, Millennial Generation Representative
Tweets publically under the alias: @SociaLaurel

It’s So Easy To Reconnect – So Why Not Do It Now?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Today’s technology is amazing, easy and frankly exciting. Many people move from city to city, change jobs, change schools, and in the process lose touch with family, friends, and co-workers.

When that happened years ago all we could do was call the last number we had and pray it was right – if the number was disconnected our search and attempt to reconnect was pretty much over.

Well, that isn’t the case in this day and age.

With LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Bing, and so many other tools it is pretty easy to find someone and get reconnected. So if you:

  • Haven’t spoken to a childhood friend in a bunch of years
  • Lost touch with a relative
  • Are curious what a college friend is doing
  • Want to see where a co-worker from your first job ended up

It’s time to get connected!

Time goes by fast – in fact, very fast.

  • Don’t wait! The time to get connected is now, so I challenge every reader to reconnect with one person and share their experience!

I look forwarded to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers… Any Interest In Pinterest?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Pinterest hasn’t been around that long so some of the readers of this post may not know what Pinterest is so let me start with a definition:

Pinterest is an online pinboard. Users can organize and share things you love.

Today’s question is can we use this as a new research technique? Here are three potential ways that I believe we could use Pinterest in qualitative research:

    1. It seems to me that you could use it as a way to warm-up respondents prior to a focus group.

    2. I also can see it as a follow-up after a focus group as a way to gather additional insight.

    3. In addition, I could see building a community and gathering a ton of insights from all of the respondents.

What do you think?

  • Are you using Pinterest in research projects?
  • How do you think you might use this as a research technique in the future?

I look forward to reading your comments.

You Have How Many Connections? Sounds Like An Online Community…

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A few weeks ago I was on LinkedIn and I accepted a new connection. I glanced to my contacts and noticed that he was my 3,173rd connection. For some reason my mind wandered and I thought it sounds like I have created (perhaps by accident) my own online community and who knows maybe my own online proprietary panel.

I truly believe that LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources a business person can have. I have made a conscience effort to understand the value of the tool and connect to people that make sense to me. They range from industry contacts, clients, prospects, boards that I sit on, friends, and colleagues. Here are a few statistics about my online community:

  • 1,475 industry contacts
  • 1,342 people who are in market research
  • 691 people who are in marketing or advertising
  • 627 people who are in the NY area
  • 570 people who work for Omnicom
  • 451 end users
  • 217 people who are connected to the A.C. Nielsen Board
  • 156 people who reside outside the USA
  • 121 people who are in the sports industry, including some pro athletes
  • 18 people with the last name Smith (most common name)

I will reach out to my community for a number of things that include:

  • Bounce a strategy off of them that we are thinking about doing at M/A/R/C
  • Are they attending an upcoming conference?
  • Can they give me a referral on someone we are interviewing?
  • Can they provide some insight about a prospect who we are trying to turn into a client?
  • Great source for product development
  • Sounding board for a direction I believe the industry might be headed toward
  • Pulse check to see what is going on in the industry
  • Once I know my travel schedule I will reach out to contacts that are in that city, which is a very easy way to stay connected with people

That is what I use MY online community for.

Now your turn:

  • How big is your online community?
  • What do you use it for?
  • What do you think of my list?
  • What else would you recommend using it for?

I look forward to reading your comments.

If I Agree To Tweet I Get Better Seats? Really?

Friday, December 30th, 2011

If you look around everyone is on their blackberry or smartphone. It seems like everyone is making a call, responding to an email, sending a text message or tweeting. However, there are a few places that frowned upon using your smartphone. Announcements are made at Broadway shows, movie theatres and the ballet requesting that you turn off your electronic device and don’t send any communication while you are in the performance.

Well, that may change in the future and in fact in a few spots is has already changed! Connecticut’s Norma Terris Theater, Raleigh’s Carolina Ballet, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Dayton Opera have all set aside seats for those who wish to live-tweet performances.

I understand technology of today and the need for speed but tweeting during a symphony? Seriously! These theatres might be ok with it now ASSUMING all of the tweets are positive! What if the people send negative tweets? Are the ushers going to go down and take them out of these “special” seats? Are these “special” seats the best seats in the house? If they are isn’t that creating bias with the people tweeting?

To me cell phones, texting, etc. takes away from a performance and doesn’t add any value at all!

I think this is a horrible idea and one that I hope doesn’t work! Can you imagine the announcement that is made prior to the curtain coming up? ‘Everyone please turn off their electronics device except the special 6 people in the second row who are allowed to tweet during the performance!’

  • What do you think?
  • Would you like someone sitting in special seats and tweeting at a performance that you attend?
  • Would you buy seats so you can tweet?
  • Would you not attend a performance if people were allowed to tweet?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Do I really need to pay attention to Google+? Read on and see what guest blogger Eric Swayne thinks…

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I must admit I am on Google every day and sometimes every hour. Well Google has a new feature that is called Google+. Since I am not an expert on this and I know someone who knows 10 times more than I do about the social space and world I thought it would be a great time to tap into the brilliant, creative and big brain of Eric Swayne.

With that said, here are a few burning questions I had for Eric…


It’s been reported that Google+ has over 25 million users – is that significant compared to Facebook’s 750 million?

Of course Facebook has the larger total audience right now, but there are a few reasons why Google+’s numbers are captivating:

  • Google+ is far and away the fastest growing social network ever, and could even be the fastest growing website in history: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plus-growth-25-million-users-2011-8
  • G+ is still in a beta testing phase – meaning Google is throttling the number of invites handed out and limiting new signups.  Meaning, this network isn’t yet growing at the rate it could be
  • Right now, G+ is attracting almost all of the most socially active users on the web – practically everyone any measure would label as an “influencer” is on there.  Now is a great time to learn this platform and interact with these voices.


What’s the coolest feature of G+?

I’d say it’s a tie.  First, G+ is based around Circles, which are groups of friends you create.  If you include me in your “Friends” Circle, and then post content on G+ just for “Friends”, I’ll get to see it but others that aren’t in that circle won’t.  Moreover, you can include me in a Circle without me  doing the same – we can follow each other’s’ content at different levels.  It’s this understanding of the varying levels of friendship we all have that makes G+ really powerful. 

Hangouts is another feature just as fascinating – this enables real-time video chat between up to 10 G+ users at once.  This feature brings some high-end telepresence features to the masses, and all for free through a very light-weight browser plugin.  Facebook has video chat as well, but right now it’s only one-to-one – so there’s no way to invite others to join you.  With G+ you can announce to any of your Circles that you’re in a Hangout, and they can come join at any time.


Is G+ the next Facebook?

G+ has a lot of similarities to both Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t think you’ll see it completely supplant either of those.  I’ve heard many stories from other G+ users that they’ve started spending less time on Facebook or Twitter, but they still see the utility of each.  G+ also offers brands some very different opportunities from Facebook with Circles and Hangouts  – tools that will enable brands to become really effective Community Managers and interact with consumers at a very personal level.  I think you’ll see brand campaigns span multiple platforms, and smart social marketers will take advantage of the best capabilities within each.


I thought I heard that brands weren’t yet allowed on G+ – is that true?

As of this moment, G+ users must be actual people using their actual names – brands are not supposed to use G+ from a personal profile.  This hasn’t prevented some brands from doing it, and Google has left some of these profile/brand hybrids up as “test cases”, such as Breaking News (https://plus.google.com/109610954243983229925/posts), Mashable (https://plus.google.com/101849747879612982297/posts), and Ford Motor Company (https://plus.google.com/114277687548103339609/posts).  Google has said they are working feverishly on a “Brand Page” type of profile, and will release that soon.  In the meantime, Google has actually received some flack for deactivating accounts that appeared to be using pseudonyms or brand names.


How will you use G+ in Marketing Research?  What are the implications of this platform for Researchers?

As with every new social network, G+ offers us new ways to connect with consumers and find out what marketing actions will best influence their behavior.  G+ will allow us to have very intimate and insightful conversations  by letting us limit sample groups through Circles, and interact with them through real-time tools like Hangouts.  I can easily see G+ being a great tool for interacting with a Consumer Advisory Panel on a regular, long-term basis.  G+ is also going to let us see new ethnographic behaviors – since users are coming to the network with a “clean slate,” we can see how users are conducting social actions now that they’ve had some training from Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace.  For example, photographers have quickly gravitated to G+ over Flickr, because it provides them new (and free) ways to share their art, where Flickr wasn’t innovating. 

I think anyone in the Research field should grab an invite (click here to get one while supplies last: https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DY916-Gq043E%3A7CIErYxx3ro) and start using this network – and not just because I’m “the social media guy.”  What we have here is a brand new social platform that has a genuine chance of taking off and becoming every bit as relevant as Facebook.  Learning the lessons of what works here before it gets huge is an invaluable education, and the kind you can only learn for yourself.


Thanks Eric – I really appreciate your time, insight and comments.

Now your turn:

  • Have you registered for Google+?
  • What do you think of Google+?
  • Do you agree with what Eric said?
  • Do you have a specific question for Eric?

We look forward to reading your comments.

PS – Eric is Director, Social Analytics and Insights for M/A/R/C® Research