Why I’m Removing @MarketingCloud From My Twitter Bio

logoSocial 2011 took place April 7-8 in Boston and was organized by the company formerly known as Radian6, but it was more than just a software user conference. It was confirmation that what I was doing at my first full-time social media job was actually a job. 

I met Social Media managers from Dominoes and Omaha Steaks and even Consumers Energy and AutoDesk (the 3D design/engineering software company). I heard from influencers and thought leaders like Mitch Joel,  from “Six Pixels of Separation” fame, customer service guru Mitch J. Lieberman, and B. Bonin Bough, then from Gatorade and now with Kraft. I even got to meet the Old Spice Guy.

More important than meeting all these great folks were meeting the Radian6 employees. Folks like Radian6 CEO Marcel Lebrun and CMO David Alston, as well as the dozens of other amazing dedicated staffers. It was also the first time I met or tweeted with the uniquely talented community team. In the two years since that conference, I’ve become friends with a lot of the community team and others at Radian6 – Jenn and Zoë, Trish and Jason, Mel, Amanda, Julie, Mike, Bart, Heather, David, Genevieve, Krystal, Shannon, Sherry, Mike and Nick, Daniella, Jeff, Marty, Faith and Michele, and countless others.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 7.12.38 PM

I’ve become such a fan that I’ve had to add “@Radian6 User and Superfan” to my Twitter bio, and recently shortened to “@MarketingCloud Fan,” not only because I actually was a big fan, but because I talk about the product so often, that people have approached me as I was a Radian6 employee. Others have even tried to quote me in press. I’ll help out fellow users or prospects whenever I can, but I had to post a disclaimer that I wasn’t an official representative of the company.

In the three positions I’ve held since that day, I’ve continued to be a Radian6 user and an active  fan and am amazed at some of the upcoming new features with the Marketing Cloud. The new features are bittersweet though – they come from the Salesforce acquisition of Radian6 and at the cost of many friends in layoffs late last year, but more importantly, have shown some key operational changes seemingly brought after the Salesforce takeover. Where Radian6 highly valued influencers and engagement, Marketing Cloud no longer does.

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Marketing Cloud’s own “How To Generate Leads With Social Media” e-book (published just a week ago) recommends, “Build a Network of Strong Ties,” and a Google Searchof the term “Engagement” on Radian6.com yields over 6,000 results. One of the top tags in the Radian6 blog is Engagement, not to mention that an entire product of the Radian6 offering is called the Engagement ConsoleWith all this, the deemphasizing of engagement at Marketing Cloud seems to indicate the mantra is now “do as I say, not as I do.”

I don’t have any concrete numbers, but the majority of my twitter connections, retweets, mentions and favorites used to come from Radian6ers. We engaged regularly about Radian6 blog posts, e-books, webinars, and it has even led to my involvement as a guest blogger. I have even helped provide product enhancement ideas for the Engagement Console.

Now, it’s gotten to the point that I rarely see any Radian6 community team members in my stream at all anymore. I understand that fewer staff means fewer engagement, but there seems to now be no engagement at all. I’m not complaining that Marketing Cloud isn’t mentioning me, but rather that they’re no longer walking the walk, and the tight-knit community that I once was a part of now seems like a divorced family – unable or unwilling to talk with one another.

My beef is not with the current community team. Jason, Amanda, Trish, David and Heather are all doing amazing jobs, being pulled in lots more directions before and with fewer resources. My beef is with the corporate folks, now in San Francisco, or New York that don’t give the resources or offer the support to keep up the engagement that there once was, and maybe the engagement that there really needs to be. If you don’t lead by example, how can you advocate social media marketing, engagement, listening and measurement to everyone else?

Don’t get me wrong, I still connect with my closest Radian6 and ex-Radian6 friends on Facebook, but purely on a personal level. Engagement about Radian6 is strictly limited to a few times a year when I submit a guest post, but almost all other regular engagement has all ceased.

Because I no longer feel like part of a vibrant, informative and tight-knit community, and because that means I am no longer mistaken for a member of the Marketing Cloud staff, I have decided to free up some of that twitter bio real estate and devote more of it to my professional life.

Have you seem a drop off or significant shift in Social Media strategy for one of your favorite brands? Share your thoughts below.

The postings in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of  my employer.

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8 comments

  1. Hi, Eric. You’ve always been a strong and supportive member of our community, and we think of you as a friend, even if some of us have only met you online. There have been times when your name has come up in staff meetings as often as people who actually do work here. I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback here. We’re always looking at the best ways to do what we do, and there’s no doubt that the last few years have been tumultuous for everyone in the industry. It’s sometimes hard to find the right balance on a fast-moving… um… train. Or something.

    Please know that we still value our community. That’s what the folks on my team talk about more than anything. It’s very important to us that our commitment is as strong in the public eye as it is in our hearts and minds. Heather and the team are working on new ways to make sure we can get everything done we need to do while keeping our voices active in the community. I hope you’ll see the effect soon, and give us your continued feedback on what we can do better.

    Thanks very much,

    Dave

    David B. Thomas
    Senior Director, Content and Community
    Salesforce Marketing Cloud

  2. Hi Eric,

    Great post! I have heard this echoed by some of my colleagues who miss the engagement and feeling of community from the Radian6 team.

    One company who comes to mind who have maintained their voice and message across their social media networks, even after being acquired, is BufferBox. I followed this company for awhile after I got introduced to the team while working in the same building in Kitchener, Ontario. At that time they were a start-up who had just launched, placing one of their first BufferBoxes (they are a parcel pick-up station for orders placed online) in the office. They always maintained a fun, light-hearted voice throughout their twitter, and were quick to engage with members of the Kitchener-Waterloo community, which has a very large community of tech start-ups who the folks at BufferBox were always quick to support also.

    Last November, the company was acquired by Google, however continues to maintain the same social media presence they had prior to partnering with Google. They continue to support the external Kitchener-Waterloo community and the tech startups within it, and are quick to engage with customers who voice concerns or questions to them.

    On the one hand, I would think it important to assume the ‘identity’ of the company you have been acquired by. Parent companies would be dealing with social media disasters if their acquisitions didn’t share similar values, strategy or promote a similar message as them. However can’t those values and that message be shared using the voice, the identity of the smaller company? After all, it was previously successful- they were acquired right?

    Good post, great topic Eric 🙂

  3. Great post Eric! I have the exact same feelings as you do with this.

    I used to engage with Radian6 a lot (I still call it Radian6, even though it’s now Marketing Cloud). I felt like I was part of the Radian6 community. I enjoyed mentioning them in #FF, retweeting, having conversations, etc. The engagement that we had led me to do a social media campaign to work there! That’s how much I liked them, and they gave me the feeling they liked me.

    Much like you, they invited me to guest blog. They featured me as fan of the week on their Facebook page. They made everyone in the community feel special.

    And all of a sudden, it stopped. The community team stopped thanking me for sharing their articles. Engagement in general went down. I no longer felt appreciated.

    It’s definitely not like it used to be. I now keep in touch with Jenn, Zoe, and Jason mostly on a personal level on Twitter, but I rarely engage with the Radian6 brand anymore.

    It just feels like they took the meaning out of the word “engage” 😦

    Hopefully they get back to their old ways soon. I would love to become a Radian6 superfan again.

  4. Hi Eric,
    Thanks for sharing you sentiments and in-defense of a competitor (I work for Brandwatch) in the market, social intelligence/monitoring/analytics as a whole has changed as it matures.

    I remember interacting with clients, competitors & influencers on a daily basis in 09 & 10 as new approaches to effective social measurement were being discovered and invited. But as this technology becomes adopted, the approaches are what separates company A from company B. Then this becomes a competitive advantage over your competition.

    The other part I would factor in, is that acquisition will often change cultures and what was once a core mission statement, is now just simply a feature in a broader package. As part of the original Techrigy team we witness the same thing happen when we were acquired as well.

    That being said, we’d like to invite you (and other refugee’s) to take part of our community at Brandwatch (www.brandwatch.com & http://www.brandwatch.com/blog) and if your down in Austin for SXSW we’d love to have all of you join us at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5639132798 . We believe in the community and as our culture is crossing the pond from our UK roots we know it’s going to be you and not us that will define our success.

    Jim Reynolds
    Sales Guy/Mischief Maker
    Brandwatch
    @jimmyrey

  5. Hey Eric, we always have an eye on what you’re up to, and we’ve had some communication over the past year or two.

    With Radian6, unfortunately, this kind of thing happens when companies get too big, or get submerged in a large corporation. Not to criticise our competitors, but we too agree that they’re not as friendly, outgoing or human as they once were. A shame, really.

    We’d love to have you involved in the Brandwatch community, guest posting, sharing, all that jazz.

    Let me know if you want to try out our platform or get involved in any other way. We’ll also be at sxsw if you’re around – tweet me.

    Thanks,

    Joel

  6. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

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