Meshwork Consulting


When I talk with clients and colleagues about gaining a deeper understanding of their customers, demographics alone have real shortcomings. I talked to one startup that claimed it was targeting 1% of Facebook users. I asked about which 1% they were after. They didn’t have an answer, so they went into marketing mode by listing product features, etc. I asked about customer pain points. I repeated the question five times before someone heard me. I then asked if they spent time talking with any target users. No. Painful? Yes. Did we get somewhere? Yes, eventually.

So, like fostering innovative ideas, you need to sit down with your potential customer and find their pain points and passions. Learn more about what they want to solve, how, and what turns them on. It’s the only way to connect and deliver a solution that works for them.

Here’s more from Ron Amok on Passionographics. What ways have you connected with your customers?

Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes

Looking for a quick way to get updates anytime your name or brand appears in blogs and Twitter? Check out this great article called Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes. I’ve been doing this for some time now, with some variations. But it’s a great to get feed updates on any mentions. If you’re watching your company, though, be prepared to do something about it by engaging in the conversation.

What other listening tools do you use?

Successful Twitterers, Bloggers and Small Business Owners are just Extroverted Over-Achievers.

Ahh, the realities of Twitter, blogging and running your own small business settle in quickly after the honeymoon. It’s like reading a self-help book, jotting down your goals and then blowing them off a week or two later.

Some may consider these social media tools work. Like tending a garden, there’s an inherent value in these tools. I like to share my knowledge with others, so having a repository like a blog is a quick and easy way to get it out there. And it’s much easier for me to say, “Check out my blog at” instead of searching for a bookmark and e-mailing it out later.

Read Tac Anderson’s comments in his article on Successful Twitterers, Bloggers and Small Business Owners are just Extroverted Over-Achievers. Would you cast me as an extroverted overachiever?

United Airlines Breaks Guitars

I picked this up from David Meerman Scott’s blog, which sets up the story. As a musician, I can relate to the fear of having your instrument damaged by careless baggage handlers. Even my suitcases lose a piece here or there in the course of a trip.

For an airline to not accept responsibility for damaging precious cargo like a guitar (did the handlers on the tarmac think it was a clever suitcase full of clothes?), we’re well beyond customer abuse. Check out the video:

6 Reasons NOT to Launch a Corporate Social Network

Oh, how I love this article. Six Reasons NOT to Launch a Corporate Social Network ties strongly to my philosophy about strategy. Sure, you can save money and leverage free sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to help you build a corporate social network — BUT, before doing so, consider the six points in Amber Rae Lambke’s article. 

Also think of your social network as a garden. First, think about what you want to grow with a clear strategy. And second, it takes time to nurture, grow and reap the rewards of a strong social network. Don’t have the strategy, resources or time? I’m glad to show you how I can help. Shoot me a Tweet (@dougmetzgar) using hashtag #socialnetwork.

Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: 10 Tips

I like patronizing restaurants that are engaged in the social media conversation. But just having a Facebook or Twitter account, friending/following a zillion people and then posting specials isn’t enough. It’s social media vomit.

Listen, strategize and engage. How? Here’s a good list that contains 10 social media tips for restaurants and institutions. Do you have any tips or examples of restaurants doing this well?

Social Media For Non-profits

I’ve been doing some research lately on social media and how it can be used to help non-profits. This is one area in which I have a lot of interest since I’ve recently joined the board of a local group called Life’s Kitchen, which helps at-risk young adults. Unfortunately for my waistline, they make a mean bisque.

Some great links to check out:

Social Media for Social Causes Study: The Results
5 Events That Have Used Social Media for a Good Cause
DIGITAL CHARITY TOOLBOX: 50+ Ways to Get Your “Give” On

Do you have any other examples of how non-profits can use social media?

Rebranding Me

I have an admission to make. I was wrong. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson from it. Branding me is hard.

For the last two years I’ve been working under the business name of Lion’s Tooth Marketing. I chose the name in a hurry and didn’t expect it to get far, figuring that inspiration would strike and, voila, I’d have a new name. Not so. Over time, I established myself with new clients as a channel and community expert under the Lion’s Tooth brand. It has a good story, which relates to social media, but it isn’t one that doesn’t translate well in an elevator pitch.

I prefer a brand to mean something, to my clients, myself and my colleagues. Like a surgeon attempting to operate on himself, there’s nothing harder than coming up with your own brand identity. 

After brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of respected colleagues and really working on something that was meaningful, I renamed the business Meshwork Marketing. I’m excited to announce that my official identity and site will go live in June 2009. I’ll keep this blog here, but once the new site’s live, I’ll roll the content over and grow it from there. I hope you’ll join me.

PS — the new site will rely on my favorite blogging platform, WordPress.

Social Media Vomit

Please stop puking. I need to get these gripes off of my chest and I’m doing this for the good of my fellow Tweeters. I’ll probably lose a bunch of followers, be de-Friended in Facebook and get scathing comments on my blog, but it’s to everyone’s benefit. I’m willing to take the risk.

First, don’t Tweet about how cool your company or brand is. I’m following you because I’m interested in you, think you have something unique to share, have already bought into what/who you are, and may want to RT your Tweet. 

Second, don’t try to sell me on your real estate, insurance, chocolates (yes, chocolate) or some MLM program. I get enough solicitations in the mail and at work after regretfully adding my cell number to the local chamber business list. If you’re an expert in your field and I want your services, I want to know more about what you’re thinking, your industry trends, and how you approach your field. 

Third, think about your audience. Don’t be an amateur by vomiting useless information. Be relevant. Be informative. Share. Be cool.


Finding Utility in the Jumble of Tweeted Thoughts

I always enjoy getting these questions from the Twittercurious — “What’s Twitter and what does it do? Isn’t it a big waste of time? How do you keep up?” I respond with “What do you have to say and what do you want to know?”

Sure, Twitter cold be a time-wasting utility. But it’s not if you manage your time and efforts well. You have to be focused. Like I tell my clients — stay focused on the message, not the medium. The true value in Twitter is understanding what you want to say that’s relevant to your followers, and knowing what you want to get out of it. 

My social media-focused colleagues and I find Twitter useful for sharing marketing information, new social media tools, giving props to each other for their achievements with clients, and much more. I also like to follow news sources, from global to local. I love the guy who Tweets local speed traps around downtown Boise. And I’m exploring the utility in Twitter for non-profits. It’s a great tool for engaging donors with updates on fundraising, industry statistics that reinforce the need for your organization and achievements. Here are some interesting perspectives on Twitter in The New York Times. And here are 13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners.

How do you make Twitter useful in your personal and professional lives?