Edward Boche has a lot of respect for the masses. He sees companies either taking advantage of their customers for cheap labor through crowdsourcing or not paying enough attention to them in the first place. He credits Netflix for crowdsourcing with a purpose other than creative. Netflix tasked all its members to improve its recommendation algorithm by 10% accuracy for $1 million (http://www.netflixprize.com/rules). Another similar examplem http://www.innocentive.com/, which aggregates problems companies are having and offers cash prizes for the person who comes up the best solution. You have to take him seriously when he says this because he practices what he preaches. Working with Grain Foods Foundation to “crowdfund” and he hosts http://www.thenextgeneration.com to help professionals understand where this up and coming social media guru generation is coming from. Instead of trying to go on business as usual, Edward is working with his clients to embrace this new user.
Edward’s key concept is to engage rather than interrupt. Social media is the perfect tool for this, but like anything in its infancy, its still being refined and mistakes are being made. The fragmentation right now is displayed in this picture perfectly (shown in Edward’s Posterous post http://edwardboches.posterous.com/the-social-media-landscape-contained-in-a-sin). It shows how much is still really being experimented with right now. Edward wants to get advertising and social media working together and to do this he promotes actively using social media rather than simply occupying space. The key to successfully doing so is to keep the conversation active rather than “only once every 16 days” and to use the metrics available to you to find that sweet spot your audience loves. Don’t be afraid to put up content that varies in subject matter or tone, but when you do keep track of which ones are performing the best. Without that content that really drives people to interact with your company on some level you simply aren’t relevant. With the overflow of relevant content they can get from the web they will very quickly forget your Facebook page, blog or Twitter account and move on to the next brand. Edward credits one of Facebook’s employees in his blog as saying, “targeting + creative + conversation strategy = the most effective social media marketing”.
If I were looking to get a job with Edward I would be involved with social media, continue to evolve my online/offline drive and don’t confine myself to any one role. Over the next couple of months I plan on reviving my since abandoned blog (studying abroad along with a job abroad can do that to you) and developing my portfolio to the point of being confident enough to officially put it online. My goal is not only to blog but actively participate in others’ blogs as well. A lot of people have a lot to say, but truly making it a conversation is what I want to do. Two years ago I wasn’t even a month old in MCAD with very little direction. Today, I nearly have the next five years of my life planned out. Will it all happen according to plan? Most definitely not, but that’s what I’m looking forward to.