Posted by: CarolAnn | March 26, 2014

Just Released – Deception by C Bailey-Lloyd

Deception by C Bailey-Lloyd CoverFinally… hitting the presses! Deception” by C Bailey-Lloyd has been released in book form and Deception” on Kindle.  Get your copy today!


If you order your hard copy in the first 30 days, you can mail it to the author for signage. Contact cbaileylloyd(at) with your request.


Look for upcoming events/signings to be updated here: Deception Novel by C. Bailey-Lloyd


Posted by: CarolAnn | January 26, 2014

Social Media – Speak softly and carry a big stick

Just like Teddy Roosevelt referred to the West African proverb, “speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far,” the truth of the matter is that the most powerful and successful communicators know how to do this flawlessly. Most often used in political messaging, the “Big Stick” philosophy means that in order to command authority, you must use a gentle and charismatic voice all the while yielding the power behind it to back it up. The same holds true in social media.

hive-mind-beesAs social media networking is becoming a powerhouse in commercial advertising, many times the brand’s “message” gets lost in translation. Major corporations are uncharacteristically behind the “mom & pop” brands when it comes to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BRM (Brand Reputation Management) because social media essentially works like a Hive Mind.  Social network communities Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit and Instagram, among others, are collective forces with which to be reckoned. And this is where brand messaging can quickly get lost in translation. Where mom & pop businesses generally tend to provide one-on-one customer experiences, it is more of a challenge for those National or Global brands trying to bring similar games to the social media playing field.

Online digital marketing firms promise VOC (Voice of the Customer) monitoring services that can sometimes level the social networking field in terms of reaching a company’s consumer base. Therein lies the problem. Where smaller, digital businesses have successfully taken the lead in word-of-mouth advertising online, larger conglomerates are still struggling to keep up with this now mainstream form of multimedia advertising. Perhaps that is the actual challenge giant manufacturers, retailers and others are beginning to realize: smaller digital businesses have cornered the social media market by being “in the know” before it became popular. Mom & Pop shops online have learned if you want a solid return on investment (ROI), gentle persuasion and charisma in two-way dialogs is how champions are made – not born. You have to earn respect to get mutual respect on the social media landscape.

Roosevelt’s infamous words wield strong caution in today’s social media marketing playbook: Either learn to play right or get lost on the sidelines. On one social media video, the message was that your strongest ROI is having the ability to still exist in five years. As a large national or global brand, it would behoove you to observe power in action by the small mom & pop stores online that get it done day in and day out.

If you want to know what drives that dual personal and professional edge, and how smaller brands grow so rapidly online, take note on their simplistic communication styles. Some may claim that social media is a milk-manfundamental shift in the way we communicate, but that is not true at all. In fact, the only fundamental shift is the fact that corporate organizations are still “feeling” their way around  social media networks. The bottom line is that customers, just like the businesses they patron, want a personal touch, a one-on-one dialog — kind of like the milk delivery man back in the day. “Service with a smile” is sometimes a challenge for hardliners, who’s preliminary message is to sell, sell, sell. The stage is no longer owned by commercial brands – it is owned by the people who patron the Internet. Last I heard, that number of Internet users outweighs individual brands themselves.

The shot heard around the world is not just applicable to the Revolutionary War, it is certainly applicable today in social media as more and more consumers have taken center stage — one tweet, one post, one video goes viral and the global audience knows it. Be kind to your customers, know how to speak softly and carry a big stick by communicating in ways that make sense to your fellow social networkers. Remember the annoying kid who always yelled, “Pick me, pick me, pick me!”that kid? Yeah, that’s you if you are not having a two-way dialog on social media. Just sayin’ …

Social Media: speak softly and carry a big stick

Copyright 2014 – ALL Rights Reserved

OPED by CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd – Social Media, Philosophy, and More

Posted by: CarolAnn | January 8, 2014

Hello, Is anybody REALLY listening?

Mickey-Ds-TwitterThe customer may not always be right, but they do have all the answers.” – Jeff Ready, Forbes Magazine Contributor.Mickey-Ds-Twitter-II

By virtue of the fact that one does not have to search long and hard for the accompanying not-so-flattering headlines, anyone can quickly get the “flavor” of what went wrong with McDonald’s “Mighty Wings”. In fact, we have social media – more precisely, Twitter, to thank for this golden nugget article that dropped right into my proverbial lap.

Yes, I admit it, I ordered and tasted the Mighty Wings when they first came onto the market. My thoughts? They were just edible, underwhelming in flavor, and I could not finish the third, overpriced one because the mismatched spices were as appealing to the palate as one reviewer called them, “McNuggets with choking hazards“. I get it  Mickey Ds…you wanted to try something new, but for lack of a better words, this product was a failure.

Now roughly five months into its original launch, the Mighty Wings‘  debut is ending just as quickly as it came. Or so some in marketing may think. Here’s the debacle, in social media, word of mouth travels hundred-fold faster than traditional multimedia of our recent past.   So how did they miss the signs of this  giant fiasco in the making?

I tend to agree with Jeff Ready (Forbes Magazine Contributor), who more notably remarked that many would-be marketers needlessly spend thousands of dollars on market research from industry analysts without ever using the easiest place to measure the pulse of their own customer base.  He went on to state that “those analysts probably got their data straight from your own customers anyway.” (The customer may not always be right, but they do have all the answers) Why pay specialists generously to mine data from your customers just to have you buy it back from them? Logically it makes no sense, and in a real-time social media landscape, time is money. The more money that traditional marketers devote to outside sources, the less reliable the data becomes, and the longer it takes to respond to flop products like the not-so-tasty “Mighty Wings”, among other product failures of the past.

Social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, to name a few, have thrown a monkey wrench in conventional marketing strategies – both digitally and commercially. And to put it lightly, this cultural trend is not going anywhere anytime soon.

In fact, social media rules the Internet highway; and if you are not having a two-way dialogue with your consumer, then you are missing the ball.

Who is listening to their customer base?

Historically, Coca-Cola ®, Budweiser ® and Geico® have made substantial and fluid progress with social media by stellar marketing campaigns based predominantly on the voice of the customer – commonly referred to as “VOC“. Geico, in particular has resorted to “nonconventional” marketing, which has made a lasting impression for the brand.

Whether you are an entrepreneur with your first online startup business or an established corporation, there is no time like the present to start focusing not just on the quality products and services you provide, but the stage that has now been taken over by consumers who can and will make or break your reputation online.  Traditional marketing in every sense is no longer the king of the ball court.  Truth be told, it would behoove those interested in maintaining long-term growth and ROI, to look to their own customer service base to extract the VOC from the customers who have taken center stage on social media.

Alternatively, you can have a box of Mickey D’s Mighty Wings…but it is safe to presume those will be or already are obsolete.

Hello, is anybody REALLY Listening?

Copyright 2014 – ALL Rights Reserved

OPED by CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd – Social Media, Philosophy, Current Events and Insights for the Modern Age

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