Are You Up to Speed on Socialnomics?

May 8, 2010 · Posted in Marketing, Social Media, Strategy, Technology, Video, Web · View Comments 

Socialnomics, the economics of the social world and social media.  It isn’t a fad, it is here to stay.  Brands, companies, and industries have been paying attention — have you?  Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics has updated his video that has mind-blowing stats regarding the use of social media in today’s world.  It is an update of his original one that came out when he launched his book.  Some of his interesting statistics include:

  • If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest ahead of the United States and only behind China and India
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
  • 80% of companies use social media for recruitment; % of these using LinkedIn 95%
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
  • Kindle eBooks Outsold Paper Books on Christmas (COMMENT: I wonder how this will change next year with the iPad out)
  • Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men Listening first, selling second

Here is the latest video.  What do you think about the stats?  Anything jump out at you?

Knowing Your Audience: When to Use Tweets vs. Status Updates

April 20, 2010 · Posted in Marketing, Social Media · Comments Off 

In the world of social media, one of the most viewed pieces of content is the tweet or status update.  Updates and photos.  Those are the biggest social media traffic builders.  In fact, according to a recent PEW Internet study “Some 19% of internet users now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others.”  In addition to this stat, at Chirp, a developer conference for Twitter, it was stated that Twitter has over 55M Tweets per day compared to Facebook’s 60M status updates per day.  I first saw that stat come from Steve Rubel, a VP at Edelman PR and I immediately replied back what was obvious to me, “but how many of those status updates are really tweets?”  And there lies my problem.

For me, I use Twitter distinctly different than Facebook.  What I share with these distinct audiences is different, and purposely set up to be different.  In fact, I’m more likely to connect my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts than I am Twitter and Facebook.   You see, I use Facebook for personal reasons.  I don’t have two accounts like many people do (which violate their terms of service, you know that thing you agree to when you create accounts on sites that you most likely never read).  I leave my personal / professional network to Twitter and LInkedIn.  I often see people using the convenience of tools like TweetdeckFriendFeed,  or even just built in integrations between Twitter and Facebook (with a Facebook App) to update a status once and let it go to many social networks.  I think that is a mistake.

I know I’m not alone when I find a tweet in my news feed on Facebook annoying.  Twitter uses different protocols for replies and use of hashtags for topics.  While Facebook has attempted to incorporate the @ symbol as well, to be frank, I just think that audience doesn’t get it, and that’s why it isn’t used.  I also think the way people tweet, at times linking people to other content, websites, or replies to people is different than how people publish status updates on Facebook.  This makes for a very disjointed news feed.  It has gotten to the point that I’m about to “unfriend” all my Facebook friends who integrate the two together.  I’m sorry, it just doesn’t work for me.

Presumably you use your networks differently as well.  Maybe not to the same degree I do, but the people you friend on Facebook may not be the same people you follow on Twitter or connect with on LinkedIn.  So why send them all the same message?  Just like marketers have to segment and target their messages to get the most return on their investment, you too should be conscious about what messages you send to your networks.  You will have stronger networks in the end who will pay attention to what you have to say, not ignore you because the last 10 tweets had nothing to do with what you talk to your friends about on Facebook.

I never found out the answer to my question regarding how many Facebook status updates were really Tweets.  Maybe someone will publish that stat someday.

Why Advertising in Print is Still Smart

January 13, 2009 · Posted in Articles, Marketing, Strategy · Comments Off 

This isn’t a researched post.  It isn’t one that has a lot of stats or basis to stand on.  It is a pure observation that may or may not spark a conversation.  I read headlines and hear from colleagues that all the advertising spending in print continues to decrease.  It’s moving to online advertising or being cut out completely.  This is accelerated even more with the economy saying hello to the ground floor when it has been on an express ride to the skydeck the last few years.  However, I think companies and advertisers are missing a point, an opportunity.  Better, I don’t think companies “get it” when it comes to marketing their products and services.

I heard on the morning news today that despite the economy, companies are still willing to spend $3M for 30 seconds on NBC for the Super Bowl.  30 seconds in one of the most popularized, entertainment sporting events of the year.  Sure, your exposure is to millions of viewers (and a few football fans while you’re at it).  Some companies will spend about that much money to nail that 30 seconds for your attention.  To resonate with you to take some action.  What will be the return?  How can it be measured?  Sure there are ways, but the measurement is a conversion from one medium to another.  TV to Brick and Mortar or TV to Online.  Let’s repeat this, the measurement of success will most likely be a measurement of a conversion from one medium to another.  That’s where advertisers are missing the point in print.

Traditional uses of print advertising has been mostly around awareness.  It’s about branding.  But the problem is many companies haven’t adjusted their print strategies to consumer behavior.  They see that print isn’t returning results like it used to, and it’s too hard to “measure” a return.  The reality is that the C-level management want faster results, and print isn’t one for “timely” analytics compared to online advertising.  Additionally, circulation is still a “best guess” number, not as hard-core as actual pageviews/impressions that can be given in online advertising.  I get it, make sure you receive value for what you are paying for.  However, it’s reality. 

Arguments for why online advertising is better than print are completely valid.

  • Better tracking
  • Instant measurement
  • Smaller buys can render bigger results
  • Target, segment, target, segment
  • Test, tweak, test, tweak

Yes, the are all good.  But let’s not forget that people still read magazines and journals.  They still like flipping through pages at stuff they can’t buy, or may want to buy, or are interested in. Online advertising, while instantly measurable, still has banner blindness.  The fear that a click on an ad will mean they will get more ads, or spam, or more pop-ups.  Seeing a full page ad in your favorite magazine means you can read it, flip past it, come back to it, read it again, and then make a decision to do more.  No fear.  They are in control.

Advertisers need to continue to understand consumer behavior.  Understand that your opportunity to grab one’s attention is still valuable in print publications.  Understand how you can create an effective campaign to go from offline to online and still measure success.  They need to accept the fact that the return on that media buy for an ad in a magazine isn’t going to show results for weeks after delivery.  But the incentive has to change.  You have to get the consumer to change mediums.  Print to online is possible.  The messaging has to be right, valuable, yet still enticing enough for somone to go online to do more.

Go back to my Super Bowl example.  How long of a lead time do you think companies are taking to get a campaign together for that $3M investment.  Weeks?  Months?  Now how long do you think it could take to put together a campaign and media buy for a print pub?  Yes, publishers still need weeks of lead-time, printing, and delivery.  So it may be on par with a TV advertisement, but not as expensive.  Not a one-time 30 second shot.

Integrate your marketing campaigns into multiple channels.  Print shouldn’t be ignored.  It still holds value, especially when it is being adapted to new mediums.  For instance, Digital publications.  Migrating to the Kindle and other digital readers.  When evaluating your marketing dollars, don’t forget the print publication.  It’s not dead.  It’s still valuable.  While patience is a virtue, management needs to know print can still return results.

Change: Obama and Use of Technology, Marketing, and Social Media

November 7, 2008 · Posted in Marketing, Strategy, Technology · Comments Off 

I don’t think anyone can argue
that Barak Obama made history this week. 
While the popular vote was no landslide, unlike the electoral college,
Obama had several strategic game changers during election campaign that
separated him from his opponent. So it should come as no surprise that everyone
is now writing about how organizations can use the same tactics and strategies
and apply them to their own organization. 
Here are just a few articles and blog posts worth reading over.

Obama’s Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators – Harvard
Business Publishing

What Newsrooms Can Learn From Obama – Recovering Journalist

How Better Marketing Elected Barack Obama – Harvard Business

BNET: Obama’s Communications Moving at Warp Speed

While the use of technology will was not the only game
changer in the Obama campaign, it played a significant role in my opinion.  His campaign strategically found ways to
connect with his constituents by allowing them to campaign on his behalf
through myBarakObama blogs, using text messaging for
updates, using YouTube to let video messages go viral, and use of his ever
growing email database. 

While I certainly can’t dissect his entire campaign
strategy, he also brilliantly executed an integrated marketing strategy.  He took the concept of “small is the new big”
by asking for small donations from individuals, not the maximum from them at
once.  Additionally, he asked his
database of volunteers and advocates to do small things such as calling friends
and strangers about his campaign, which resulted in a huge workforce. 

I think Obama executed two strategies extremely well during
his campaign.  First, he brilliantly used
social media to empower his followers. Jermiah Owyang, a Forrester analyst on
Social Media, researched and found stats on how Obama and McCain used social
.   While Owyang won’t draw any correlations to
the use of social media to his win, Obama commanded the use of the Internet. I
believe it was that use of technology that helped, if for nothing else, give
him exposure to a larger population of voters. McCain followed suit by
participating in the same space, but I believe the generation gap of a 70+ year
old using MySpace and Facebook wasn’t as authentic as a 40+ year old.  In fact to compete with Obama’s “MyBarakObama”,
McCain launched McCainSpace using social network took Kick-Apps.

Obama’s second strategic win was how he treated his
volunteers, and that was with respect and authenticity.  He would send a message (or tried on several
occasions to mixed results) to his volunteers and donors informing them of what
he was going to do next before he would do it to the media.  He understood that by informing this audience
first he not only respected that they want information, but knew that they
would spread that message beyond what the media could accomplish.  However, by informing his volunteers and
donors first he also put transparency on his campaign and that, in my opinion,
is a level of authenticity that builds trust.

And Obama’s not done either. launched yesterday getting not only himself ready for the
next four years, but informing the American people as well.  As technology evolves, going back to the U.S.
Mail distributing pamphlets to America
back in the beginning of our country to TV bringing a face and live debate to
every home to the Internet, our public officials and government will change as
well.  If Obama uses the Internet as much
during his presidency as he did during his campaign, change won’t be just that
an African American is at 1600 Pennsylvania,
it will be how he has enabled the entire country to speak to him to make changes
the American people want.  

LIVE! Day 2 at Forrester Consumer Forum 2007

October 12, 2007 · Posted in Management, Marketing, Strategy, Technology, Web · Comments Off 

Day one had a great line up of speakers and content. Day two looks like it will be no different.
Here is my Twitter Stream which I will be updating during the day. I’ll then recap later.

    Full Twitter String
    RSS Feed

    Online Community Sites of Note:

    Dell Community
    IdeaExchange by Salesforce
    Real World New Cast Member by MTV
    IdeaStorm by Dell

    LIVE! Observations and Thoughts from Forrester Consumer Forum 2007

    October 11, 2007 · Posted in Marketing, Strategy, Technology, Web · Comments Off 

    Updated: 3:45pm
    I’m at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago today and tomorrow. I’ll be writing my thoughts and observations on the content from the conference here.
    So far there have been some great speakers. The theme of the conference is around the online world, social integration, advertising, and how your company can understand and take advantage of this medium. The format of the Forum is pretty cool. Short presentation on targeted topics, then a “coffee talk” type Q&A with the speaker (literally two chairs with an end-table on a stage w/ two large video screens on each side). The dialog is great and personal to those in the audience.
    Kicking off the conference was Forrester Vice President and senior analyst Charlene Li. Charlene does a lot of her research around the social technographics. Who is using the social tools, how, and to what level of participation.
    Christie Hefner from Playboy had a great keynote on how Playboy has truly been able to leverage the Playboy brand in ways that most companies would drool over. It is amazing how they have been able to integrate new solutions successfully from Print, to TV, to Online, and now Mobile. They have brought the brand beyond the print publication(s) to the real world, and now virtual world with an entry into Second Life. They also have been able to leverage a key demographic and target market by launching PlayboyU, a social space for college students with an .edu email address.
    Richard Edelman, president and ceo of Edelmen PRgave one of the most forward thinking perspectives when it comes to PR/MR. It resonates with a lot of what I’ve been thinking about when it comes to control of messages, brands, and the interaction with your consumers (and in my work, members and consumers). One of the biggest take-aways was the reality of how the traditional media triangle works. It used (and in many corporations still is) to be that a few influencers controlled the conversation and distributed it to the masses. It has touch points of how it got distributed and they all came back to the same message. The internet, and social media such as blogs, ratings, reviews, etc. changes that model. Today if someone wants to have information about some topic, the influencers are now bloggers, customers, like-minded individuals who publish online. Companies have to realize that there is a limited amount of influential control they have left. Now, the mass audience make up their own minds–right, wrong, or in-different.
    I also got to attend one of track sessions. It was about how User Generated Content, or UGC, can have a place in corporate strategies. The panel included representatives from Dell, QVC, and Baazarvoice. Each explained how they have taken UGC and integrated it into their company strategies. From Dell’s IdeaStorm, a customer feedback site that allows users to rate feedback for popularity, to how QVC uses real-time feedback to inject into their programming. UGC is a tough cookie to crack and how to use it. Let alone if it really does. Many of us have wondered how to make it work. We are fearful of the backlash and if execs can even swallow the fact that they are not in control of what goes on. But that’s OK. Rather, we need to find ways that work for us. For example, customer reviews. Having all positive customer reviews on a product page in reality is just product testimonials. You need negative reviews to show authenticity. Companies have to understand how UGC works, it is written by passionate individuals (for good or bad) and it is often intended to help like minded individuals (though companies can listen and learn from them). Monetizing on this type of feedback and content is still a challenge, but models are being formed and success is in the results–more products shipped and more revenue generated.
    I’ll be updating this more with my notes and perceptions. This is just the beginning so I can pay attention to the presentations and blogging at the same time.
    Additional Coverage
    Forrester Marketing Blog

    Google Gets Burned: FeedBurner Acquisition a Done Deal

    June 1, 2007 · Posted in Marketing, Solutions You Can Use, Strategy, Technology · Comments Off 

    As of 1:00 today FeedBurner was officially acquired by Google. I had a quick chat to day with Rick Klau today regarding setting up an account with them and was double checking about the Terms of Service when he mentioned that they would be updated at around 1:00 today. So the rumors were true! Yes, it seems they were.
    I’m excited to see where this all goes. Google just continues to get bigger, but they are making strategic buys too. I mean just think what the JotSpot acquisition will do for them if they integrate it into Google Apps. RSS is the future of content distribution, and now advertising opportunities too. I believe that RSS subscribers are more targeted than regular website pageviews and traffic. FeedBurner has a great model and it will serve Google well.
    Congrats to FeedBurner. They have long been a company I’ve admired, wished I could have worked for (and now you see why!). You can read more about the acquisition at the Burning Questions blog.
    Update: Google’s Announcement
    Chicago Tribune Story (Free Reg. Req.)

    Are New Media Companies the Only Ones who “Get It?”

    August 8, 2006 · Posted in Marketing, Strategy, Web · Comments Off 

    The word on the street today is that Niall Kennedy is leaving Microsoft, not long after Robert Scoble left. This is yet another in “A” list or high-profile bloggers leaving their company’s to do either start their own business or leave for a new-media company. Kevin O’Keefe asks the obvious question “Can large corps retain the visionaries?” I say no. Here is my short list why:
    1. Let’s face it, old school companies, ones who are older than the Internet, don’t “get it” (bold statement, but more true than false)
    2. New media companies like Feedburner, LexBlog, Google, and even Userland have started because those who founded them believed in changing the Internet via the Internet. Old media still believes in traditional ways that are proven. They are less likely to take, or set aside monies for risk that will not make a profit for shareholders. Which leads me to no. 3…
    3. Funding is different. Either it is via bootstrapping or VC funding, new media is exactly that…new and thus has to find funding in new ways. Old media have shareholders to answer to and thus cannot or are willing to take chances on new technologies
    So can companies keep visionaries…I say it is no because those companies who have visionaries are either too political, have to answer to shareholders, or are too slow to adopt to changing times that the visioinaries get bored and need to feed the need to make a difference. So I ask you…do you have a visionary you need to worry about leaving? Are you sure?

    A Perfect Example of How a Blog Benefits a Company

    August 3, 2006 · Posted in Marketing, Strategy · Comments Off 

    I proudly host my Web sites with Dreamhost and lately I’ve been a little perterbed with them regarding their Webmail service.  It has been slow, timing out, erroring out, and overall frustrating.  It is with their blog that I learned of some issues they had been dealing with on some of their systems that directly affected Webmail.  So I tolerate the problems knowing they are being addressed.  I routinely have been impressed with how Dreamhost handles the glitches that come their way over the three years I’ve been hosting with them. 

    Last year you may remember that Los Angeles had a major power outage.  Turns out that many Web hosts are located in LA, including Dreamhost, and they were hit head-on with the outage.  The building their server farm sits in lost power, due to the fact that all their back up systems (deisel generators, UPSs, etc.) all failed.  Yes, FAILED.   Well after learning from that experience Dreamhost went into pro-active mode and saught out some disaster recovery solutions, like migrating part of their network over to a second host.  The long and the short of the story is that in the process of being proactive, some other random server issues, and another power outage severs went down, routers crashed, and service was interrupted again.  It is through this blog post Josh, the owner of Dreamhost, explains the problems, how it happened, what was their fault, and how they are fixing it.  Through humor, bluntness, and some associated graphics, this post in itself will be the reason why I continue to host with Dreamhost.  Transparency is key and this blog, a corporate blog at that in its own unique way, is what makes it possible. 

    If you are looking for a Web host that has a variety of features, check out Dreamhost.  If you are really looking to host with them, let me know and I can hook you up with a discount code to waive your set-up fee.  Drop me a line at fred [at] fromthe21stfloor [dot] com

    How Well Do You Know Your Own Brand?

    July 25, 2006 · Posted in Marketing · Comments Off 

    Not just for law firms, knowing your own brand is very important. Tom Kane points to quick 10 quesiton corporate brand test for you and your employees. Everyone should take a test like this as everyone in your firm is a corporate advocate or salesperson at some level.
    Via Legal Marketing Blog via Tom Collins More Partner Income Blog
    To me, your corporate brand is about as important as your product or service. And that has to be distinctly represented on your Web site as well. So if you are in the middle of writing or re-writing your corporate brand policy make sure you incorporate any brand rules to be applied to your Web site as well.

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