Posts Tagged ‘social networking’
From Ray’s NETT blog:
What are the most important factors to consider when you’re communicating ideas to people? How do you get your message across successfully?
From my days as a journalist writing for newspapers and magazines through to my current work presenting digital marketing messages or lecturing to students, a few common themes have emerged in terms of what works consistently.
Actually, I exaggerate – there is really just one fundamental rule in successful communication: make your concept relevant to your target audience.
This is expressed as a couple of acronyms:
• WIFFM – what’s in it for me?
• WSIC – why should I care?
If you can understand what matters to your audience and work out how to relate your message to their concerns, you’ll get your point across.
This principle isn’t limited to written, visual or verbal communication messages: it extends to the communication of ideas, and can include the dissemination of those ideas through a variety of media.
Take music, for example. My favourite band of all time is the Doors, led by the late great Jim Morrison. The Doors tapped into the Zeitgeist of the 1960s with music that protested against traditional mores.
Their sometimes dark messages about love, fitting in and pushing back against parental barriers struck a chord with young Baby Boomers who were just starting to flex their muscles and question the structures of the world that they were inheriting.
Read the full story
- Tags: content, digital content, digital marketing, e-marketing, internet content, Jim Morrison, Journalism, Marketing, online content, online marketing, Ray Welling, social media, social networking, The Doors, zazoo
Posted in Australia, Journalism, Marketing, e-marketing, social media
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I was interviewed a few weeks ago for an article on social media marketing in NETT magazine. The article, “Not all conversations are markets“, published this week, canvasses the views of a range of communication and marketing experts about issues in social media facing businesses today. It covers areas such as:
- What department should be responsible for social media? (My vote went for the marketing department)
- Should you try and control what your employees do and say on social networks, particularly during work hours?
- Should businesses create “trusted avatars” and “sock puppets” (unidentified company spokespeople who try and create and steer conversations on social networks)? (The overwhelming answer was ‘No’)
- Should you buy lists of friends? (Again, ‘No’)
- What’s the proper etiquette for joining in on conversations in social networks?
It’s worth a read (of course I would say that, wouldn’t I?).
While on the subject of self-promotion, here are other marketing/social media articles and podcasts we’ve produced recently, for the HotHouse blog:
A messy village of communication and Branding’s mid-life crisis - Podcast interview with US branding expert Jonathan Salem Baskin and accompanying article about his book “Branding Only Works on Cattle”
Greater than the sum of the parts, The great juggling act and Confetti on the screen – Podcast interview with Australian Internet pioneer Tony Surtees and accompanying articles
- Ray Welling, Content Guy
- Tags: branding, conversation marketing, HotHouse, HotHouse blog, Jonathan Salem Baskin, NETT, NETT magazine, Ray Welling, social media, social networking, social networks, sock puppets, trusted avatar
Posted in Australia, Journalism, Marketing, Media companies, Technology, Writing, e-marketing, social media
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Here are a few interesting stories about social media that have been published in the past few days:
Social Media Benchmarks: Realities and Myths
“….many clients still ask about benchmarks. They ask, ‘What are good CTRs, CPCs, CPMs, etc. so I know how my programs stack up?’ Well, there’s good reason those benchmarks are hard to find. Lacking a reliable source, I ran my own analysis over the last three years and came up with many eye-opening results…”
Australian Social Media Statistics Compendium
“With so many new social sites emerging it is very important for marketers to have Australian specific intelligence to determine which channels are the most attractive to pursue as part of your marketing strategy….”
How Accurately Can You Gauge the ROI of Social Media Tactics?
“Marketers are under constant pressure to measure everything they do. The result is often a default to tactics that are more easily and accurately measureable, regardless of their effectiveness. This is especially true in social media marketing which often requires qualitative measurement rather than quantitative metrics that are more familiar to online marketers….”
Online Marketing’s Evolution
“What’s the future of interactive advertising? Executives from interactive agencies and marketing technology tech companies tried to answer that question at two conferences this week in New York City. Discussions ranged from the challenges of working in social media, risks for agencies in using pay-for-performance models, one online marketing sector that’s thriving, and Amazon.com’s crowdsourcing initiative. Here are some takeaways….”
Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium, Report Likens Twitter To TiVo: More Hype Than Reality
“Social media has reached critical mass, with 83% of the Internet population now using it… But for all the media industry’s hype and buzz surrounding social networks, microblogs, and other social networking platforms, the genre has failed to become much of a marketing medium, and in the opinion of the Knowledge Networks’ analysts, likely never will. The report, “How People Use Social Media,” finds that social media is having a profound impact on the way people connect with each other, but that it’s not becoming a very meaningful way for people to connect with brands, or advertising promoting brands….”
The Social Data Revolution(s)
“In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. What are the implications for marketing?….”
With the recent explosion in Facebook and Twitter use (the media hype and recent stats are backed up by anecdotal evidence such as the stream of high school and uni friends that have discovered me on Facebook and a bevy of would-be porn stars following me on Twitter), it’s inevitable that some pundits are starting to ask if we’re reaching social media overload.
Judy Shapiro, writing in Ad Age, writes that, “We use our different social networks to enrich different dimensions of our lives. Therefore, as you would expect, we want different things from our different social networks…. This is the heart of the problem. As marketers, our knee-jerk reaction to every community we create is to motivate members to create rich and robust profiles of themselves so they can connect with each other in new and powerful ways. While this approach may be desirable to us as marketers, it may not be best for consumers. We need to be mindful and respectful of the realities our customers live in and the truth is that managing all these social profiles is none too easy, the technology and tools notwithstanding.”
She suggests marketers take a close look at their community-building strategies, asking “Are we being practical about what we expect users to reveal about themselves in our communities? Is our community a hub where users will congregate regularly, where rich profiles are of value or are we creating a secondary ’spoke’ community meant to address narrow or temporary niche needs? In short, as marketers do we demand that users create too many profiles in all our community-building programs?”
The Harvard Business Review has also discussed this issue recently, recommending that companies treat communities as a high-level business strategy that is integrated across business functions, rather than just being the domain of the marketing department. A Facebook group or a Twitter account is not good enough.
The HBR authors advise that companies shouldn’t try to control communities, and should view online networks as just a tool for community building, not an entire strategy. In other words, get out there and meet people face-to-face rather than just via the Internet.
It concludes: “Although any brand can benefit from a community strategy, not every company can pull it off. Executing community requires an organization-wide commitment and a willingness to work across functional boundaries. It takes the boldness to reexamine everything from company values to organizational
design. And it takes the fortitude to meet people on their own terms, cede control, and accept conflict as part of the package”
Anyone up for the challenge?
Following on from yesterday’s post on the Skittles.com saga, the interest in this story in social media circles has been phenomenal, but now that Skittles has yanked the #skittles Twitter Search page from its home page (you can still find it if you go looking deeper on the site) like a spam Twitter account, the post-mortem has begun in earnest. It’s a bit like a digital version of the finger-pointing that goes on after disasters such as the recent Victorian bushfires.
Catherine Taylor writes today in Social Media Insider: “Now, it’s time to drown in social media clichés, like the following: The mere fact I’m writing about this means the campaign achieved some success. Awareness of Skittles on the Web probably hasn’t been this high, ever. The underpinning for the strategy for this campaign is in itself a social media cliché: The consumers own the brand.
“But I’d also like to offer that, in obsessing about this campaign, social media watchers are becoming their own cliché. What stood out to me in looking at the tweets about Skittles this morning wasn’t the naughty stuff, which seems to have run its course, but the whole meta phenomenon where people aren’t talking about Skittles per se, but what the Skittles campaign means for social media. Then there’s all the hand-wringing about the fact that some people said naughty things about Skittles and how that somehow mars the campaign (no pun intended, though Skittles is made by Mars). C’mon. Do you really think the agency and client were so naïve as to not know that would be part of it?
“It’s time to move on to something truly important. Kudos to Skittles and Agency.com for embracing the idea that it’s not the brand home page that defines the brand. That’s a good thing. But we knew that already.”
To quote from a couple of the comments on Catherine’s blog post:
“We have to be very careful about what strong thinkers we are and make sure not to over-intellectualize these new age approaches as marketing professionals. This wasn’t about us. This campaign or experiment thereof was about where we’re going. It wasn’t rocket science, but I’m sure it worked. Skittles displayed a direct interest in finding their consumers where they are likely to be found and used their consumers to communicate the brand however the consumer chose to in their very own language…and the consumers did just that!”
“I’m not sure what you need to know to wake up and be MORE IN TOUCH with your audience. They got trashed on Twitter because Twitters are about REAL, organic, testimonials and truth in real time. Spending the time, and $$$ with an agency that didn’t understand nor grasp that from the get go, shows that someone at the top of this, should have done more homework, or solicited better advice about using Twitter. Every agency in the world wants to jump on the bandwagon and utilize Social Media. If you don’t understand how to properly “engage” consumers using Web 2.0 technology, you need to be careful, for it’ll blow up it you face.”
“The only important question is will this cause people to buy more Skittles? I look forward to learning the answer.”
“I think the real value is less about the execution and more about the philosophy that drove it. If it means anything at all, it’s that this campaign is a recognition of the importance of the role social media plays in brand-building. The game has changed. It’s not 1999 anymore.”
It will be interesting to see how the campaign is viewed in the fullness of time. Brilliant tactic or big mistake? What do you think?
11. Helps me to be seen as resourceful
10. Current content maintains my visibility throughout the Web without having to pay for sponsored links or ads
9. It generates a “buzz” about my business
8. Connects me with my audience at an emotional level
7. When I serve my customers well, they’re more likely to pass my name on to others
6. Establishes my business identity
5. Connects me with people in places I currently don’t have access to
4. Helps future clients get to know me better as a business professional and as a person
3. Connects me with businesses whose services I may need
2. Helps me to understand who my customers are
………….and the number one reason Why I Use Social Media is……..
1. Builds trust between me and my customer
Trust is the new currency.
Reprinted with permission from:
Ray Schiel © Copyright 2008
The Global Social Media Network
The Social Media Marketing group on LinkedIn had an insightful discussion this week about why traditional companies struggle to “get” social media. Robert Stinnett started the discussion with a story about his recent visit to a department store and his thoughts on how mobile marketing might have led him to buy a $400 barbeque while he was idly waiting for a salesperson in the next department.
He said, “It’s frustrating to see companies not realizing the potential of social media. I can’t tell you when the last time it was that I paid attention to an ad on the television or in print; yet I “listen” and “react” to my social networks. I trust the network far more than I ever would an advertisement in traditional formats nowadays.
“Of course, I also realize how hard this is. Companies seem so unwilling to change until they are facing something that makes them change.”
Some of the comments posted included:
- “We often hear or read amusing stories of how some high-profile individuals remark about a technology that is new and amazing to them but that the general public has been using for like 2-3 years. So it could be that the ones who are making decisions are so out of tune with current trends that they simply can’t understand the benefits.”
- “Consumers in the market continue to move beyond the reach of traditional marketers. This issue of lifestyle habits and running both old and ‘new’ marketing simultaneously to hold aging consumers yet appeal to younger ones plays a role, in-part, in the economic disorientation society is experiencing right now.”
- “We all want perfect, but in this day and age business is running at the speed of light. You have to have an agile workforce and an agile management team willing to try new things and move with the markets. Sitting around and doing nothing, but what you did for the past 10 years, isn’t going to work. Look at Obama’s speech tonight. Twitter was buzzing; Facebook was roaring. The feedback loop was in full swing - and I felt like I was part of it, and not just some dud sitting there watching ‘another speech’ on television.”
In the current economic climate, with companies around the globe just trying to stay in business, it will be interesting to see if they view social media as an opportunity to shine in the gloom, or whether it’s easier to just pull down the shutters and spend less on everything in the attempt to survive.
Paul Verna has published an insightful article at eMarketer looking at user-generated content online. He says it’s important to understand what makes up content creation and consumption, as well as “appreciat(ing) the complexities of the content ecosystem, which means looking at gray areas between creation and consumption.
Forrester Research has broken down the user-generated content universe into several categories of users:
Verna asks: “Do critics and collectors create content by generating reviews, comments and lists, or are they simply reacting to content posted by others? Are joiners actually part of a content exchange if their main interest in social media is to use online networks for interaction and communication?
“These are the kinds of questions marketers should be asking as they dive into social media. The better marketers understand the habits of the various groups that make up the content spectrum, the better they will be able to use social media to further their campaigns.”
He writes that marketers need to ”accept a fluid exchange of marketing information across multiple media…. marketers must be prepared to share control with their customers and prospects…. (and) encourage and empower their customers to post feedback, even if those efforts put the marketer’s product in a harsh light. And it means marketers should tailor their campaigns to people who fall into gray areas along the user-generated content spectrum.
He concludes that ”rules that worked in previous generations need to be refreshed, and in some cases completely rewritten.”
The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years - from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.
While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites. Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35% number represents a larger number of users than the 65% of online teens who also use online social networks.
Online social network applications are mainly used for explaining and maintaining personal networks, and most adults, like teens, are using them to connect with people they already know.
- 89% use their online profiles to keep up with friends
- 57% use their profile to make plans with friends
- 49% use them to make new friends
- Other uses: organize with other people for an event, issue or cause; flirt with someone; promote themselves or their work; make new business contacts
Full report here: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Adult_social_networking_data_memo_FINAL.pdf
A few interesting links to finish the year:
Feel free to add your own, as well. Happy New Year everybody!
- Tags: 2008 wrapup, 2009 predictions, buzzwords, e-marketing, Marketing, social media, social media measurement, social networking, social networks, twitter
Posted in Marketing, Technology, e-marketing, social media
- 1 Comment »
I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, that provides a great primer for companies thinking about Web 2.0 and social media. The headings are great:
- Don’t just talk at consumers - work at them throughout the marketing process
- Give consumers a reason to participate
- Listen to - and join - the conversation outside your site
- Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell
- Don’t control, let it go
- Find a ‘marketing technopologist’ (someone who has strengths in marketing technology and social interaction)
- Embrace experimentation
Highly recommend anyone wanting to find out about the potential of marketing technology but unsure about how to go about it to read this article!
Finding Twitter more fascinating the more I explore it.
Have installed TweetDeck to manage the firehose of activity.
Waiting to hear back from Mr Tweet, who will tell me who I should be following (how many of them am I already following?)
Am starting to think in <140 character bursts - am annoying the heck out of my wife!
OK, enough of that, back to proper blogging mode… as the media declares the death of MySpace and the rise of Facebook, has the digerati (or is that twitterati) already moved on to Twitter as the next big thing? Not everyone thinks so. Sean Carton has written a thought-provoking piece on ClickZ comparing Twitter to Second Life (which is so early 2008 (or maybe even 2007)) “and other now-embarrassing fads.”
He quotes stats showing that ‘only’ 200,000 people are using the service, and that 1% are super-users (he uses the word ‘addicts’) who account for 34% of all ‘tweets’.
He writes that, “the people writing most of the glowing reviews about Twitter are probably its most avid users and are therefore part of a hermetically sealed group that lacks perspective. People who write about technology online are paid (well, ‘paid’ might sometimes be a relative term) to write about online technology and to be the first to use it. Pumping a new technology makes them look smarter and raises their street cred because it gets others to use it and makes them (and I’ll even include myself in the ‘them’ here) look like they got the scoop before everyone else.”
Not surprisingly, this has sparked a lot of debate, with strong arguments on both sides. As one commenter writes, “In 12 months, this will look like the most ridiculous thing posted on ClickZ in 2008. Citing Twitter’s April, 2008 usage numbers is absurd in this context. Usage has increased by at least 1000% since then (reported and estimated by several good sources). The examples of real business being done on Twitter, major company heads using Twitter to reach out to their customer base, journalists relying on Twitter for sources… These are not ‘let’s take on a fake identity and chat to other cartoons’ like Second Life. Twitter is becoming the new email, and you miss the boat at your own peril.”
The next comment on the list: “Consider me in peril because Twitter is useless.”
TechCrunch has just published a post which backs up the observation that Carton’s numbers were low, while Denise Zimmerman on iMedia has written a good guide to ‘Becoming a Twitter all-star’. There are many more salient postings, such as the one I heard about on Twitter this morning but which has already been washed away in the flood of postings, where the writer said to treat Twitter like a river - you step into it on occassion, get wet and splash around, and get out again; the point is to not worry about all the water flow you miss when you’re not in the river.
To extend the analogy, I think you also have to make sure you don’t wade too deep that you get in over your head and drown. Here’s to a strong swimming stroke for 2009!
Is it just me, or is Twitter exploding in weird ways? I’ve had heaps of new people following me in the past couple of weeks (my handle is raywelling if anyone who reads this is interested), partly due to me following more people, partly due to blog visitors, and the other part due to goodness knows what. Keeping in mind that my profile clearly shows that I am an Internet content worker based in Sydney, Australia, here are some of the people that have started following me:
- AOL News
- Bizarro Grundy, who runs a ‘fictional fighting’ blog (don’t ask)
- A mentor and trainer based in Birmingham, UK
- The Florida Strawberry Festival (Did you know that at 10.30 a.m. on Feb 26, Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra will perform free on the Florida Strawberry Festival Soundstage? No, I didn’t think you did.)
- someone called ‘bouncyti**ies’ (the asterisks are not there because of fear of offending readers, it’s fear of unleashing a stream of spam comments to this blog similar to what I am still receiving for a previous post which used the word ‘p*rn’)
How did these people find me? What moved them to start following me on Twitter? I tried to send a direct message to ‘bouncyti**ies’ earlier today to ask those questions (no really, that was the only reason I was attempting to get into direct contact) and it turns out she (at least I think it’s a she, based on the icon), has had her account suspended due to ’strange activity’. Hmmmm…
Look, I get the principles behind Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc. - both parties need to agree there’s a connection before something happens, so only real connections work in those networks. At the same time, I like the fact that I can follow the thought leaders in social media and e-marketing through Twitter without them needing to acknowledge my existence. I think I can even get where miss bouncy was coming from - she was probably preparing to send me a link to an esteemed photographic website. It’s the Florida Strawberry Festival which has me worried. Why me? Why now? And why do I now have this strange hankering for strawberry shortcake?
Yes, it’s that time of year when people look back at events of the past year and come up with predictions for next year. There are so many of these kinds of stories that have already been published, I’m going to summarise some of them and link to them. Today, it’s looking back at 2008:
- From AdAge - Check out Digital Predictions that Didn’t Pan Out, Viral Videos You Should Have Seen (my vote goes to Christian the Lion - it’s a tear-jerker, and the only appropriate use of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” on record!), and the Fastest Rising Search Terms of 2008 (I’ve heard of that Obama fellow, but who the hell is David Cook?)
- 2008 was the year of online reputation management, crowdsourcing, and the rise of the attention economy, according to BizCommunity.com
- Barack Obama was the social media pin-up boy for 2008 (too many links to choose from)
- Twitter is becoming a victim of its own success
Tomorrow, predictions for 2009…
Dave Evans, author of “Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day”, wrote a guest post in ClickZ last week about one of my hobby-horses, the importance of measuring digital media impact.
He says a key point when measuring social content is establishing a baseline. “Before you do anything else, measure what’s happening right now,” he says.
“Quantitatively measuring social content is the simplest, easiest, and lowest risk approach to getting comfortable with the social Web. Once you get a solid handle on the current conversation, you can measure the change in this content over time. This is the most important step toward a defensible ROI.”
But it’s in for a penny, in for a pound. If you’re going to measure, you have to be comprehensive, Evans says. “Sampling a few points on the social Web does you no good. Like a lone fighter surrounded by swordsman, you’ve got to watch them all. You can’t do this without a robust dataset. Sooner or later a comment or some other content will catch you off guard.” He cites the example of Janet at Exxon, someone who posed as an authorized representative for the company on Twitter. Not only was she not an official representative, she may not even be an employee of the company.
Evans points out that “What you learn on the social Web may not translate directly into a marketing campaign. It may, for example, inform future product revisions or your definition of an emerging service. This again shows the important connection between operations and marketing when engaging customers socially.”
He concludes that “Unlike traditional media - where you set the terms of engagement - your customers define the interchanges on the social Web. Operations - including a concerted effort aimed at your own internal behavioral changes, or external (visible) changes to the products and services you offer - effectively influence conversations on the social Web. It’s not what you say (traditional marketing), but rather what you actually do (socially-based marketing) that defines the conversations that enhance or challenge the balance of your promotional and brand-building efforts.”
- Tags: analytics, digital, Exxon, measurement, social media, social media measurement, social networking, social networks
Posted in Marketing, Technology, e-marketing, social media
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