The Importance of Customer Service

It’s known as friction. It’s anything that gets in the way of anything less than a stellar customer experience. Brick-and-mortar retail operations can’t afford to have any degree of friction come between them and their customers in this day and age. There are simply too many competitors vying for the same sales, whether that competition

Podcast: The Importance of Authenticity on Social Media in the Fake News Era

Fake news is all around us. Turn on the TV. Listen to the radio. Read the newspaper. Liars, cheaters and stealers abound. Who knows who and what to believe anymore? That’s why it’s more important than ever for businesses and brands to have candid conversations with their connections and constituents. Honesty has always been the

Red Tape and Social Media

Red tape. Unfortunately, it prevents many businesses and brands from making progress in any way, shape or form on social media. Whether it’s because too many chefs are in the kitchen or there is just far too much adherence to outdated rules, red tape can undermine the success of your very best efforts. The most

Social Media Isn’t Rocket Science

Social media isn’t rocket science. Yup. Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like is easier than you think IF you make it a priority. But that’s just the problem. Many businesses, organizations, institutions and communities don’t get it. They are still giving short shrift to what they view as an unnecessary, newfangled way of

Video Rocks

People are asking me all the time now about my videos. They’re seeing my videos on social media and wondering how I do them. My answer is always the same… Recording my videos is easy. Most of them I shoot by myself with just my mobile phone and a selfie stick. Sometimes my wife, Barbara,

Corporate Culture Counts


The importance of having a good, positive culture in the workplace cannot be underestimated.

The Boston Red Sox won 108 games during the regular season this year, the most in franchise history, and then cruised through the postseason to win their fourth World Series title since 2004.

The Sox had to compete against plenty of other talented baseball teams in 2018, but perhaps none had the camaraderie and culture the Boston team had in their clubhouse.

Maybe none had such a supportive, selfless manager like Alex Cora at the helm, either.

Talent and skills aren’t always the determining factors in winning.

Without the right culture instilled into the workplace, even the best teams – and businesses in general – can fall behind the competition.

Without a strong leader installed at the top, even the best teams can fall apart.

Businesses and brands, companies and organizations of all sizes, shapes and forms…ask yourselves if you have the culture and leadership in place to win in the marketplace like the Red Sox won on the field this year.

Corporate culture counts.

Transparency Beats Privacy on Social Media


You can’t have social media without being social.

And…you can’t really be social without being transparent.

That’s why transparency beats privacy on social media…every time.

Being private means to be holding something back, to be hiding something from public view…and ideally, social media is transparent, fully transparent.

That’s what I believe, anyway, and that was the premise…kinda sorta…of the 2017 movie, The Circle.

The Circle was based on a novel written by Dave Eggers in 2013.

The movie is about a tech company called The Circle which places small cameras everywhere to provide real-time video of practically everything.

It’s a little creepy, sure, and certainly scary for some.

But it is my opinion that the premise of the movie, the pros and cons of being fully transparent, is something that not only those of us in social media and marketing will be dealing with more and more in the future, but also society at large.

Brands, businesses, people who are using social media for professional reasons…those whose attention you covet will be far more attracted to you if you let down your guard and share who you really are with them.

They will respect you for being just like them, human, as opposed to being some far-fetched, unrealistic image of perfection.

That’s how it should be in both our professional and personal lives, if you ask me.

Share and share alike.

In my opinion, transparency beats privacy not just on social media, but in real life, too.

The Importance of Customer Service

The Importance of Customer Service


It’s known as friction.

It’s anything that gets in the way of anything less than a stellar customer experience.

Brick-and-mortar retail operations can’t afford to have any degree of friction come between them and their customers in this day and age.

There are simply too many competitors vying for the same sales, whether that competition is located down the street or somewhere on the internet.

Customer service can be the difference between success and failure.

Poor customer service is not only bad for business, it can put you OUT of business.

The best products, the best prices, the best marketing, the best advertising…can’t overcome an abundance of friction.

Satellite Stages on Social Media

I heard Bono on Sirius XM Satellite Radio recently say something about satellite stages.

His band, U2, uses these types of stages, often set up in the middle of the audience, to get up-close and personal with their fans.

That’s how it is for brands, businesses and anyone who uses social media for professional reasons, too.

Your website is your main stage, your presence on social media your satellite stages.

Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like to give your own audience the opportunity to see and hear more from you as a human being, not just a corporate logo.

Put yourself out there. Connect with your followers. Engage with your fans.

Use social media like a series of satellite stages on which you display a more believable and authentic you.

Take a Stand Like a Big Brand

Good for Nike.

I think it’s incumbent upon brands and businesses to speak up for what they believe in…not just on behalf of sales.

It doesn’t matter how they feel about the issue.

What matters is that they realize they have the platform and the responsibility to say something…as long as they believe they can make a positive contribution to the dialogue.

The marketer in me thinks this may even help, not hurt Nike’s revenue.

But much more important, as a human being, I have greater respect for those who are authentic, transparent, open and honest.

People do business with people, not corporate logos.

Iconic swoosh or not, Nike just let consumers know that they are just like us.

Like it or not, they dared express an opinion and join the conversation.

In this day and age, that’s more part and parcel of marketing than we may realize.

In the very near future, that just may be the norm, not the outlier.

Good for Nike. Good for America…if you ask me.

200 Boston-Area Agencies on Twitter


Who knows how many marketing, advertising, social media and PR agencies are located in and around Boston?

I doubt anybody knows exactly how many there are around here, but I have found 200 of them on Twitter for you to follow.

Large, small, old and new, together these agencies represent the best and brightest our industry has to offer.

Seriously! Under their roofs right here in Beantown, you could arguably find enough talent, prowess, knowledge and expertise to launch the most sophisticated and successful campaigns in the world.

While what they can they do in 280 characters or less on Twitter, of course, isn’t quite the same as what they can do on a blank canvas and an unlimited budget for their clients, that doesn’t mean they’re not worth following there. Quite the contrary…

Searching for new job? Contemplating a new hire? Keeping up with the competition? Wondering where so-and-so is working nowadays? Starving for inspiration? Interested in learning more about the industry in which you earn your livelihood? Comparing and contrasting your agency to the others in the field? Looking for a creative spark?

Look no further than my list of 200 (and counting) Boston-area agencies on Twitter…

Note: This post, “200 Boston-Area Agencies on Twitter,” was originally published on the AMA Boston blog on August 6, 2018 here.

Video: The Importance of Being Liked on Social Media


It’s one thing to be popular in real life, but what about on social media?

You want people to like you there, too.

Whether you’re on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, you want your friends, fans and followers to like everything you share as a business and brand.

The more content you share, the better, but make sure it’s relevant, timely and high-quality content, not mediocre, run-of-the-mill stuff.

Social media is not a one-way street, either. It’s important to engage with others online.

The more you like their content, the more likely they’ll be to pay attention to yours.

You want people to like you not just in real life, but on social media, too.

Podcast: A Few Words with Joe Gill

At the first ever #LinkedInLocalBoston event in Boston recently, held at Industrious Boston-Back Bay, I had the opportunity to talk to social media jedi, Joe Gill. We talked about social media, marketing, podcasting and more. Listen…