Posts Tagged ‘Mashable’

Featured: TAT augmented ID [Video]


Google Escalates The Location War With Google Places – [TechCrunch]

Friends vs. Strangers: What’s Next for Foursquare? And ChatRoulette? – [TechCrunch]

Adgregate Markets’ ShopFans Brings Social Retail Storefronts To Facebook – [TechCrunch]

Nielsen: Facebook’s Ads Work Pretty Well – [Ad Age]

Measuring The Value Of Social Media Advertising – [TechCrunch]

2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report – [Social Media Examiner]

Forrester Announces Peer Influence Analysis: An Analytical Framework to Inform Social Media Marketing Strategy – [MarketWatch]

Facebook Now Commands 41% of Social Media Traffic [STATS] – [Mashable]

The Formula for Effective Facebook Ads [REPORT] – [Mashable]

Revisit Lets You Create A Beautiful, Animated Twitter Wall – [Mashable]

Facebook May Launch Recommendation Service For Other Websites – [ReadWriteWeb]

Facebook E-Commerce App Payvment Allows Retailers To Use Coupons To Attract Fans – [TechCrunch]

Facebook Asks You To ‘Become A Fan’ Of All Your Interests – [TechCrunch]


Facebook Introduces Community Pages, Hopes To Make Them “Best Collections Of Shared Knowledge” – [TechCrunch]


6 experimental social media campaigns – [iMediaConnection]


Insert Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods Joke

OTHER RANDOMNESS

Barbie’s Unflattering Photos – She’s Not So Perfect After All! [Bit Rebels]


Ingenious: Free Music If You Talk About It on Facebook or Twitter [WIRED]

Steve Jobs Reiterates: “Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone” [TechCrunch]

AND…MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:

Satirical whizzes bringing Book of Mormon…

to Broadway

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A version of this post, written a couple of weeks ago, can also be found on the Shamable Blog, Here.

It seems like every day I see another group of posts populating my news feeds and Twitter stream touting an easy to implement social media strategy, a social media mold, readily adapted to your brand or business, or a list of social media MUSTS, things that every company needs to know about and act on – regardless of what exactly your goals or business model might be, the most recent example being Mashable’s “3 Things You Need to Know About Social Media Strategy” (pardon the run on).

Not too long ago, I wrote such posts and sometimes I’ll still retweet them, if only because within their laziness-enabling premise, there are, occasionally, bits of truth and relevancy. But that cold reality of the matter is that these cookie cutter social media plans and strategies, these molds that can be made to fit any organization, are crap. Why? Because for the most part, they simply state the obvious, repurpose other people’s content, and are designed for clueless executives desperate to jump on the bandwagon or their underlings looking to make a good impression – both of whom know next to nothing about the social space and the nature of dynamic content.

For example, lets look at this Mashable post. The article opens by explaining,

“Companies large and small are rushing to understand and get involved in social media. But most of the agencies and consultants who are being paid to establish social media campaigns for corporations are afraid to tell their clients three things they don’t want to hear.”

She goes on to list and elaborate upon these 3 topics:

  1. Everyone must work together
  2. Top Management Must Be On Board and
  3. Don’t Expect Overnight Success

I’m sorry, but I have to be blunt here when I say “DUH!” When are these 3 postulates NOT true in the business world? Should you ever expect overnight success? Does anything good ever come out of NOT working together? And don’t get me started on the involvement of top management.

I’m not trying to call out B.L. Ochman; in fact, I am a huge fan of hers and the What’s Next Blog. I do, however, feel an obligation toward my job and protecting the reputation of my profession. Posts like these feel lazy and dumbed down. Truisms they are, but they have nothing to do with social media, and framing them in that context makes it seem like anyone can do what we do, which is certainly not the case.

I’ve grown to despise these posts because the foster laziness and ignorance, they enable procrastination and poor tactics, and mostly, because they tarnish our burgeoning industry, instead of validating it.

Case in point: I recently spent several weeks assembling a comprehensive short and long-term social media and digital strategy for a client. I surveyed the landscape – what has the brand done until now, where have they succeeded, where have they failed, and what can be improved. I looked to align their existing brand objectives with social media objectives and further specified how those objectives might be reached differently as they take advantage of each social platform’s unique offerings. I audited their competitive set and looked for areas where these competitors were doing well – indicating the brand’s need to catch up – and where the competitors were failing – indicating an opportunity for them.

I looked at trends and predictions. Which brands are best-in-class and how could we emulate them, improve on their models, and innovate and lead? I did my due diligence and amassed tomes of research – what are their target audience’s most common existing behaviors on social networks? What type of engagement does their audience want from these brands and how could they provide it?

After weeks of intense research, meetings, writing and revision, I flew across the country and presented a 57-page strategy and action plan to the client, the first in a day full of nonstop meetings. Not once did I mention that “Top management must be on board,” or that we “shouldn’t expect instant success” – had I done so would have almost certainly damaged my credibility in front of an audience of established and experienced executives.

For what it’s worth, they loved it. The client was happy, thus, my bosses were happy. I thought to myself, with a big smile “Great, mission accomplished.”

But that smile was quick to fade as I realized that my weeks of work and research weren’t nearly enough. I spent the rest of the day listening and learning.  Competitive analysis, reports and reviews of the last 2 years worth of marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts.  There was talk of focus groups and the precise ROI of spending on individual efforts on different media and campaigns.

By the end of the day, I had realized something that I had known intuitively for a long time but was reluctant to acknowledge – social media does not exist in isolation. Nothing does in marketing. Everything is tied together in an intricate web of objectives, metrics, communities, budgets, messaging, and brand images. My 57-presentation was amazing, yes, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. I could have spent another month – and probably will – figuring out how to tie-in my 57-page tactical outline with the rest of the organization’s plans.

UPDATE: Since then, my presentation has led to an action plan, identifying and delegating individual tasks & responsibilities – in order to take my strategic vision into the more realistic world of actionable and executable possibility. Overarching themes and long term objectives were boiled down into a time-line of assignments and iterations of platform-specific mini-objectives, prioritized based on ease of implementation, production costs, time frames, and urgency. This has not been easy, and I’ve yet to find a post outlining a quick and simple methodology to reach this stage of strategic planning, let alone, finding any mention of this process in the “5 Social Media Strategy Musts” types of posts I’ve seen.

The reason these one-size-fits-all “social media stratagems” are bullsh*t and will never work and the reason most enterprise 2.0 consultants fail to actually back up their talk and improve a brand’s efforts to be social and become dynamic, engaging content producers, is that it takes a LOT of time and effort to understand the inner workings of a brand, especially a big business. These lists are fodder for inept and executives too lazy to expend the time and effort necessary to understand and learn about the social evolution of businesses and dynamic nature of today’s content. They are easy to write and even easier to pass off as legitimate plans.

For such endeavors to actually have merit and potential for the brand, they must be customized to the business from their inception, built to align with the companies overall objectives, and most importantly – COMPLIMENT – NOT SUPPLEMENT – existing marketing efforts. There are no MUSTS, no absolutes – what’s right for one brand may be disastrous for another. Social protocols and norms evolve so rapidly that these lists, for whatever value they may have when they’re written, become obsolete before they’d ever have any actual impact. So people, please stop relying on cookie cutter approaches because you are too lazy to devise your own. Stop trying to force your business into a mold that will only impose limits and hinder the true potential new media actually offers.

I’m writing this post – not to crap on Mashable or B.L. Ochman, but because I hold them to a high standard. People look to them, relying on these influencers and industry leaders, for valid, sound, advice. This is an example of parties that hold a clear opportunity and authority to further our industry – and flaking on their responsibility to do so. As such, I would be remiss if I let that happen without calling them out for it. I’m not even saying that I’m any better, but we need to rally, as an industry and as a community, to create more valuable content and do away with lazy “filler” products. We can do better folks.

Thank you and good day!

I am a Social Media Manager & Emerging Media Strategist based in NYC (though I’ve come to prefer Social Media Monkey). You can find me on Twitter as Aerocles and on my blog, the Legends of Aerocles.

Giving 1 Million Followers a Purpose

By now, most of you have heard about the original @Drew auctioning off his Twitter Handle to benefit the Live Strong Foundation. I’m sure you’ve also heard about & Drew Carey and his series of increasingly generous bids – now potentially reaching $1,000,000 – should Mr. Carey’s Current Account Accrue a total of 1,000,000 Followers – Effectively Attributing a $1 Value to each person.

You can check out Mashable’s Coverage of #BlameDrewsCancer & the surrounding story, as well as CNN’s take on the situation.

I’m not breaking any news here – but I would like to make a comparison, even if it’s an obvious one. If you recall, it wasn’t too long ago that Ashton Kutcher, Oprah, and a slew of other celebrities pathetically riding their diamond studded coattails, joined the ranks of Twitter Personas, despite some vehement protesting that they do (and still do) nothing to add value to the community. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t celebrities who DO engage with their followers, ala The New York Jets, Dave Matthews, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon…and others

However, it takes but a quick look at Mr. Demi Moore Willis’ recent posts to see he’s just broadcasting, adding little to no value, using twitter no differently than he would any other medium.

This is also not to say that he’s using twitter any differently than 90% of the rest of the popular platform’s patrons. However, he made a point to garner followers and attention, ‘racing’ CNN to reach 1 million and make the history books – and has since done absolutely nothing with that accomplishment, or his fan/follower base. All that influence – just going to waste.

Meanwhile – Drew Carey’s going to get a million followers (probably, maybe?), and even if he can’t interact with each and every single one – he’s still engaging, adding value to the community by validating their existence, giving them a reason to follow him other than to voyeur on mundane celebrity activity – he’s giving them VALUE – $1 to be exact. Thus enabling every single one of his followers to contribute to a charitable cause just by lifting a finger and without even having to donate any money themselves.

And what does Mr. Carey get out of this? He certainly doesn’t need the additional attention any more than Kutcher, the guy hosts “The Price is Right.” Sure he gets some added PR and a bit of an ego boost – but it’s costing him up to a million dollars.

This whole situation begs us to compare the two and their respective endeavors to reach one million followers – Ashton’s was vain, self serving, and ultimately pointless. While Drew Carey’s is clearly altruistic, not only donating his own money for a good cause but also rallying the masses and facilitating their involvement in charity, in the simplest possible way, through both traditional and new media. I think we have a winner here.

This then begs another question – how will Mr. Carey’s actions impact nonprofits and charitable organizations in their use of social media? Initiatives designed to raise attention for a given cause can elevate a charity from relative obscurity to a zeitgeist phenom with people dedicating their Facebook statii to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, en masse, or Greening their twitter profile picture to reflect the political situation in Iran.

Further, Microdonation campaigns have used the Twitter ripple effect and apps like Facebook causes to refocus attention from low quantity, high volume donations from philanthropic giants to relying, instead, on individuals, average Joes & Janes, donating in small increments but also in great magnitudes.

Now a new method makes the foray into the fray – something of a spin on celebrity endorsements and PSAs with a bit of 90’s domain squatting thrown into the mix, albeit with a more benevolent agenda in mind.

Back on the Ides of April ’09, CNN set what could have been a terrible precedent when they purchased the CNNBRK account, potentially opening the doors for malicious squatters to register for brands’ preferred social media profiles and hold them for ransom. [Note – @cnnbrk has been ridiculously inactive of late – wonder if CNN is regretting that decision]

Personally, I’m curious to see if Mr. Carey’s Actions will catch on – is auctioning off popular twitter accounts a viable means of raising money or is this a one-time deal?

It also calls into question the role of celebrities on Twitter – how should they be using twitter? If they can accrue a vast number of followers with relative ease (or $) do they have a responsibility to activate those followers?

Thoughts Please!!!!

If you’re reading this blog and not reading Mashable or Techcrunch on the regular…well, thanks – but, come on, seriously? I take it most of you have seen the following information the past few days…so I’m just going to sum it up and offer my thoughts on the situation.

Fortune 100 CEOs:

  • As of September 2006, among Fortune 500 CEOs, Sun Microsystems’ Jonathan Schwartz was the only one who has a blog which he updated regularly.

(Source: http://www.populationstatistic.com/archives/2006/09/17/chief-blogging-officer/)

The top CEOs in the country appear to be mostly absent from the social media community.  That’s the result from research we conducted over the past several weeks.  We looked at Fortune’s 2009 list of the top 100 CEOs to determine how many were using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, or had a blog.  The results show a miserable level of engagement.  Here are the major results:

  • Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts.
  • 13 CEOs have LinkedIn profiles, and of those only three have more than 10 connections.
  • 4 of the CEOs only have 1 connection.
  • No CEO in top 20 has a Linkedin Profile.
  • Most Connected of Top CEOs on Linkedin is Michael Dell with 500.
    • 81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page. Meaning, only 19% of Fortune 100 CEOs have a Facebook Profile.
    • CEO with the most friends – Kenneth Lewis of Bank of America – 13 Facebook Friends
      • Three quarters of the CEOs have some kind of Wikipedia entry, but nearly a third of those have limited or outdated information.
      • Not one Fortune 100 CEO has a blog.
    • Warren Buffet – Berkshire Hathaway – 7441 Followers – Not Following Anyone – Last Post: February 20th
    • Alan Lafley (Proctor & Gamble) – 33 Followers – No Updates

Topline Results

Twitter was the least used service by Fortune 100 CEOs, despite being one of the fastest growing social media networks. Wikipedia had the highest level of engagement among the Fortune 100 CEOs, yet 28% of those entries had incorrect titles, missing information or lacked sources.

LinkedIn, a site mainly used for professional networking, only attracted 13 Fortune 100 CEOs, five of which had just one connection. Three CEOs stood out from the pack on LinkedIn, each having more than 80 connections. However, they are all from technology companies – Michael Dell (Dell), Gregory Spierkel (Ingram Micro) and John Chambers (Cisco).

While there were slightly more Fortune 100 CEO users on Facebook than on LinkedIn, most of them had limited information on their page and few friends. More surprising is that no Fortune 100 CEO has a public blog that could be easily found.

Source: http://www.uberceo.com/home/2009/6/23/its-official-fortune-100-ceos-are-social-media-slackers.html

Fortune 100 Companies:

As Fortune 100 companies go, Twitter easily takes the top spot, according to a recent study from PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

According to their findings,

  • 54 percent of the Fortune 100 companies have a Twitter presence
  • 46% do not have any twitter presence
  • 32 percent have a blog.
  • 29 percent have an active Facebook Page.
  • 28% have an inactive or outdated Facebook Page
  • 43% have no Facebook page
    • Those with active pages are overwhelmingly consumer and promotionally focused
  • At companies using only one of these tools, at 76 percent of them, the tool of choice is Twitter.

More interesting than these raw numbers, however, are some further insight into how Fortune 100 companies are using social media. Other key findings:

  • Only 17 percent use all three mediums: Twitter, Facebook, and a blog.
    • 40% use no channels
    • 21% use 1 channel
    • 22% use 2 channels
    • Of the Fortune 100 companies on Twitter:
      • 94 percent use it for news/announcements
      • 67 percent for customer service
      • 57 percent for deals and promotions.
      • 11 percent use it for HR and Employee Recruitment
      • The average Fortune 100 Twitter account has 5,234 followers. The median is 674 followers.
      • 69% of those with Twitter accounts post 4 or more times per week

Source: http://mashable.com/2009/08/03/twitter-fortune-100/

So we do we make of this data? Are these CEOs so absent and disengaged because they choose to be? Do they simply not value social media, do they not UNDERSTAND the value of social media. Perhaps it’s simply a time management issue…

Regardless, I don’t see what HARM could possibly result from a Fortune 100 CEO having someone else build out his/her Linked In page and update the Wikipedia entry. I wouldn’t advocate that for actual one-one interaction like on Twitter. But for a static page, why not?

Real Time interaction is a lot to expect from some of the nations top business leaders…But what about blog posts? 5 years ago, no one expected to be privy to the inner musings of a Fortune 100 CEO. At this point, things have changed. Consumers want and demand that brands be personalized and individualized through the voices of those who exist within the company – specifically, the CEO. Apparently, most either CEOs don’t care or just haven’t heard that expectations have changed, and they need to adapt – lest a young up and comer usurp power after finding favor with the public and investors through 1-1 engagement on Twitter or through Blogging.

What do you think – are we expecting too much from these time crunched workaholics? Or are we expecting them to evolve their personal habits in parallel to the brand’s?

IMHO – They should, without a doubt, be using every means necessary to build a relationship with the masses. The CEO is THE spokesman for the organization, trusted by shareholders and investors, and looked to by consumers for the final word about the brand.

We’ve reach a point where Social Media is becoming the primary vehicle by which we learn about an organization and communicate with them. Customer Service, Sales, Branding, Advertising, Marketing, PR – All Funneled into Social Media. And thus – THE VOICE of the company, the authoritative voice whose heard above all else, should CERTAINLY, be using these platforms and making his/her presence felt to the public.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

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So…like many of you other Twitterholics, I keep the site open throughout the day to stay apprised of the industry goingson and other important happenings. Of course, if I were to read every article that looked interesting, I’d never get any work done, so I’ve taken it upon myself to aggregate them, for myself as much as for you, dear readers, so that we may revisit the ones we missed, obviating the need to keep 53 tabs open in one browser (it was chrome, it’s my record to date, and it crashed the computer…no surprise there).

On that note…have a looksee, enjoy, and feel free to let me know if you think I’m leaving any out!

Don’t Feed The JournalistsLAF

Top 5 Reasons B2B PR Practitioners Should Embrace Social Media (Paige HoldenSocially Creative)

Bringing Balance to Blogging and TweetingAri Herzog

Twitter Waffles About Why @Replies Were Dumbed DownTechcrunch

7 Questions Some Brands Are Asking About TwitterJeremiah Owyang

HarperCollins Wants to Be Your Friend – New York Observer

The Worst Thing About PRDavid Mullen

PR Man’s Bhuna BloomerMedia Monkey Blog

The Journalist’s Guide to Twitter – Mashable

After Early Hype, Pepsi Goes Slow on Global Rollout of New Logo – Adage

As Storefronts Become Vacant, Ads Arrive – New York Times

Mobile Marketing: Is ‘App-vertising’ the Answer? – Adage

How To Be Better At Media RelationsJosh Sternberg

Advertising, Social Media SkillsEdward Boches

Cloudy day: Google, Gmail sucking wind or down; Packets lost in key cities – ZDNET

RNA world easier to make – Nature

SEO, Social Media SkillsJason Keith

10 tips for social media marketers – Ragan

Adult Attention Disorder: The ‘Splittering’ of Communications – ZDNet

Donut Hamburger introduced in Japan: The end of the universe is near.