3 Social Media Landmines & 5 Steps to Avoid Disaster with Frank Luntz

frank luntz article pic frank on tv interview croppedLove him or hate him, Frank Luntz calls it like he sees it. During my recent interview with him on the IMA Leader podcast, Luntz didn’t pull any punches when calling out Republicans for their weak social marketing strategies.

“Republicans didn’t implement in 2014 what Obama was doing in 2008.”

Though he got his start on a national stage working for Newt Gingrich and helping to draft the Contract with America, Luntz pulls from a wide audience. He serves as a contributor to Fox News and CBS which is rare. He’s worked for politicians on both sides of the aisle and, though he’s definitely known as a Republican pollster, he started off our interview by telling me he didn’t define himself that way.

“I’m sort of a jack of all trades and master of none.”

Luntz was incredibly pessimistic when talking about social media. He laid into Republicans who seem to have their head in the sand when it comes to using the relatively new media to engage the electorate. Luntz also had some words of caution for people using digital marketing techniques to talk with an audience.

3 Social Media Landmines

1. Lengthy messages do not get read.

2. Social media is a place for venting, not to think and contemplate.

3. Your posts can and will be twisted and used against you.

5 Steps to Avoid Disaster

So how do we tame this beast? Given Luntz’s stipulation that social media has its limitation and potential pitfalls, here is advice from the ‘maestro of messaging’ himself:

frank luntz article pic 1 response by facebook post length

1. People don’t read much more than 450 words 

In the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, you generally get 800 words to make your point. Not so in the social world.

On Twitter you get 140 characters and on other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn you certainly can use far more, but no one wants to read a diatribe so keep your blogs to one topic and stay focused. Keep your tweets, Facebook posts, Pinterest descriptions, etc. as short as possible.

Buffer even recommends 40 characters maximum for Facebook posts for higher engagement. Less really is more.

2. Visuals are powerful

videos and photos are shared more than text aloneThe likelihood of your information being shared increases when a visual component accompanies the verbal message.

In fact, according to Hubspot, videos on Facebook are shared 12 times more than text posts and links combined, photos are twice as likely to earn likes over text updates, and photo and video posts on Pinterest refer more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 6.41.14 AM

3.  Play to emotion

Because social media is a great place for venting, connecting quickly to your audience through emotion is a top strategy. Get them to laugh, cry, fume, or jump and your message will be more widely shared and engaged with, thus eliciting a bigger impact.

Read more on the Science of Emotion in Marketing from the Huffington Post for how you can leverage it in your social media strategy.

4. You better have facts

frank luntz article pic 4 just the facts

If you don’t have facts to support what you say, prepare for destruction.

The best rule of thumb according to Luntz is to ground what you say in principles or information not up for debate. This reduces what opponents can argue with and the havoc they can wreak on your message. For example, include verifiable statistics when talking about a product or situation.

No: “Our product was great.”

Yes: “Our product was in the top 3 of industry rankings 7 out of 8 years.”

5. Never “set it and forget it”

frank luntz article pic 5 one does not set it and forget it

Part of your social media strategy must include monitoring what you put out there and the engagement it receives. Many take pride in hijacking communication for their own interests and even the best communication attempts can be thwarted if you don’t monitor and correct confusion.

Luntz believes that we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. In our interview, he shared mistakes he made in his life that helped him realize that with social media, you need to be short, visual, authentic and emotional in order to be successful.



Be sure to subscribe to IMA Leader and hear guests like Frank Luntz share the experiences from which they learned to be successful in today’s hyper-communicative and ultra-competitive world.

Do you have other “rules” that should be added to this list? What social media mistakes have you learned from that you can share with our IMA members? Comment below or tweet me at @domsir411 or at @IMA_Network.

022: Andrea Ward: Not for the Faint of Heart



andrea ward vp marketing at oracle headshotAndrea Ward (@awatpa) is the Vice President of Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud (@OracleMktgCloud). With an MBA in International Finance, Andrea has had a lengthy career in many aspects of Marketing from Public Affairs, Market Research, and Product Management to Finance and even Mergers and Acquisitions. Andrea has great perspective on what’s happening in marketing today.


Oracle (@oracle) — the second largest software maker in the world after Microsoft — unleashes innovation and enables its 400,000+ customers in over 145 countries to deliver the best experience to their own customers by simplifying IT.

In 2014, Forbes listed Oracle’s brand as more valuable than AT&T, Walmart, Verizon, and Budweiser. With 38.3 billion dollars in brand revenue, Oracle sells more than Ralph Lauren, Visa, EBay, Gucci, and Rolex combined. Oracle is also one of the major sponsors of the IMA.


“You need be able to use the tools available to you to be a data-driven marketer — to use data to create more personalized interactions. And that may mean a different skill set than what a marketer may have needed 10 years ago.”


3 out of 4 marketers have taken on new responsibilities but 9 out of 10 report no corresponding increase in budget or resources.


“97% of B2B marketing leaders say they are doing new types of work, new skills for marketers will be desperately needed going forward, and the pace of relentless change in their worlds is expected to pick up.” ~ Forrester & Business Marketing Association Findings

The field of marketing continues to expand and push forward in innovative ways. Andrea Ward, VP of Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud, discusses how the move to the cloud and other technological advances require marketers to use both their natural and developed skills to do even better at communication, collaboration, and data driven decision making. She highlights  improving communication with IT departments – by speaking to them in terms they value like efficiency and cost savings – to ensure better customer experience and increased driving of demand.

Andrea goes on to discuss the concept of “digital dialogue” and how using new data capturing technologies can help marketers learn about their known customers and unknown (potential) customers to engage with them real-time in a personalized way. Marketers need to develop their own skill sets in the right direction to be leaders in their fields.

Show Links & Social

Oracle Marketing Cloud

Darian Shiraz (Founder & CEO of Radius) Interview

Forrester & Business Marketing Association Findings

Andrea Ward LinkedIn

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DOT Report, Latest Content Marketing Practices

Successful content marketing activities involve not only good content but content that complies with Google guidelines as well. Below are some important suggestions on utilizing the latest content marketing practices.

While using advertorials, it is important to declare prominently that such posts are sponsored. In order for the link in the post to not have a follow-up, labelled anchor text must be used. The focus of your advertorials should be good quality and well known sites, as it is important for the link to have SEO relevance. Without any SEO importance, it will fail to attract users to the site. A well known and good quality site has the power to attract web users and to increase your search engine ranking.

Like advertorials, one can also get paid press releases distributed all over the web which is against guidelines set by Google. It is therefore important that press releases do not contain any follow-up links. Like advertorials, even press releases require the use of labelled anchor texts. Most importantly, a press release should contain only newsworthy content. There are many press release service providers in the market who follow strict editorial standards when it comes to producing interesting content.

Guest blogging is another well known content marketing practice. While guest blogging is conducted on a larger scale, most of them end up focussing on inferior quality websites. Google has the software to detect the frequency and number of guest posts that are being submitted by a particular user. It essential to limit the amount of posts being produced by you, since Google has the power to punish you either manually or algorithmically. Guest posts should be created every alternate month in order to avoid getting penalized by Google.

Another aspect of guest blogging that requires consideration is that the structure of the site should be looked at before producing any guest posts. The website should have a continuous and logical theme in the varied guest posts. You need to see whether the site has an authentic social following in terms of social sharing and comments. Like advertorials and press releases, even guest blogging requires the use of labelled anchor text and mention of paid post in the writing.

Another common content promotion practice is blogger reviews. One must always mention in the reviews that the content has been paid for by the reviewer in order to avoid getting penalized by Google. Since the review is already paid for, the reviewers have the choice to write positive or negative reviews. Reviews by bloggers should only be produced and posted on popular websites. At the same time, reviews on well known sites should also contain a reasonable amount of social interaction in the form of comments and sharing with other users.

Infographics are one of the many top content marketing practices that are most widely used in blogs. While the use of good quality infographics is important for promoting your content, there is also a limit as to the number of infographic sites that one can use. One of the best practices that you can follow with regard to infographics is to delink your links. The use of labelled anchor text in the implanted code is a safe way to market your content. Even certain industry sites have use for infographic content. For this reason, these sites are considered to be high quality sites when it comes to creating genuine and organic infographic copies.

These are some of the content marketing practices that are being used by people to promote their content and websites. As long as these practices comply with Google’s rules and regulations, they will not affect your website and content in an adverse manner.



Understanding the importance of Content Marketing

There can be all kinds of definition for content marketing but the implementation aspect of content marketing is made up of some of the best practices. Like all practices, even content marketing has its dos and don’ts with regards to market research, process and governance, editorials, and execution and analysis.


The first important point to remember while conducting your market research is that content marketing should be all about the management of expectations. This can be easily achieved by having a road map with everything from deadlines to deliverables clearly outlined. This would ensure that everyone stays focused on their task. It is a known fact that market research is a tedious process. Nothing can be gained by rushing through it. The fallout of doing so is the irreparable damage to the persona of the firm involved in content marketing.

Proper market research is crucial for the generation of sales. It lays the foundation for the development of strong and sound strategies. For this reason, research shouldn’t be rushed, and most importantly, it shouldn’t be left incomplete. Market research is all about persona development through routes like customer surveys, groups and customer interviews, customer service division interviews, reports of external markets, surveys of readers and interviews of bloggers, and a host of other ways to develop a required persona.


Traditional publishing mediums like magazines and newspapers have been in the business of content production for a long time. They can be the perfect source for organizing your perfect content producing workforce with a clear cut demarcation of roles and responsibilities. This is essential in order to avoid any kind of internal conflict or confusion. Various teams need to work together to create content that has continuity and consistency for the perfect user experience. This is paramount for ensuring mess free content on your website.

It is essential to have a thorough understanding of your company’s legal stance in order to avoid any kind of obstacles with regard to compliance and editorial reviews. This is essential since the internet is abounding with problems like copyright infringement and plagiarism, and a marketer might unknowingly break some kind of law. Legal woes can be further avoided through the incorporation of a clear cut policy among various content producers.


There should be certain editorial standards in your content. There should be consistency in the structure and voice of your content. This is only possible if there are well defined editorial guidelines for the writer. Again, the guidelines should be the same for all the different teams. This is necessary for consistency in the content. There can be many forms of content. Content can be made different and creative through the use of different formats, topics, styles, media, and so on. At the same time, one shouldn’t sacrifice revenue for creativity. The content should be creative and should incorporate the necessary keywords, personas and funnel mapping for revenue generation.


The end purpose of any kind of content should be revenue generation. A clear knowledge of this goal and the means to achieve it will help your content to stay on track. Content should be created with the aim of improving the overall business of any firm. Before the launch of any kind of content, there should be some kind of mechanisms in place for determining the success of your content. The content list should be updated regularly. Such a practice is important for the development of new content in the future. The focus of content marketers should not be only bringing in new customers, but retaining old customers as well.
Your content marketing initiatives can only reach their full potential through well executed and best practices.