Tag Archives: social media Blog

Tech Backlash In the Wind?

People seem to have an unending, unquestioning love affair with technology. But this article indicates that that may be changing. As the tech companies amass greater and greater power and wealth, a backlash among governments has appeared. After giving carte-blanche in their early days, regulators are becoming concerned about the huge numbers of users, unending flow of data, and massive influence these companies have come to possess.

Tech companies have accrued a tremendous amount of power and influence. Amazon determines how people shop, Google how they acquire knowledge, Facebook how they communicate. All of them are making decisions about who gets a digital megaphone and who should be unplugged from the web. … Their amount of concentrated authority resembles the divine right of kings, and is sparking a backlash that is still gathering force.

One would think that tech users would be the most concerned, having already been effectively transformed from consumers of technology to “the product” sold by technology. But that does not seem to be the case yet. Some would say we’ve already become more dependent on modern tech than is healthy. Will people ever give up their phones and social media as we now know them in order to regain something of their privacy and perhaps autonomy? Or will society eventually find itself followed, categorized, directed, governed and judged by the companies that once seemed so cool?

Read full article: http://nyti.ms/2xFF5XK

Twitter IPO: Why Social Is the New Low-Fat

Everyone in the tech world wants to come up with the ‘secret sauce,’ the ‘killer app’ — the one ingredient that makes their product or service irresistible and essential. With Twitter’s successful IPO everyone should recognize by now that that ingredient is social media.

It reminds me of several years ago when fat-free foods were the rage. Reducing fat in our diets was believed to be a key factor for longevity and robust health, and this is probably true. But what was amazing was how quickly food producers began touting their low-fat products, or creating low-fat versions of products that normally are ‘full fat,’ including low-fat donuts, ice cream and pizza. It wasn’t long before almost every edible product we could buy had a low-fat label on it. And if that was all that was necessary to ensure good health it would have been a great thing.

With social media we’re seeing the explosion of something on the Internet that’s been arising since its beginning, and that’s the power of mass interactivity. Because communication on the Internet is two-way, brands can target ads, gather data, follow users from site-to-site, create profiles of their activity online (if not specifically identify them), all towards the end of getting advertising messages in front of them. But what’s different today is that interactivity is bypassing the brands altogether. Consumers are now talking to each other via social media about brands, products, services and prices before making buying decisions.

People on social channels are ‘curating,’ (gathering things of interest to post online), and ‘recommending,’ (sharing things they like with others online). These two activities are what makes social so important. Depending on whose statistics you read, anywhere from 80 to 95% of consumers prefer a recommendation from someone they know over a search engine result or an advertisement for a product when deciding to buy something. In fact, the very notion of a ‘brand’ is changing. It’s no longer what you say about yourself that matters, but what others are saying about you.

So, what does this have to do with low-fat? Soon, most websites will need to find ways to incorporate social tools for their users. This means not just providing ‘share’ links out to social media websites, but tools that allow customers to connect with each other within a site. Imagine users being able to curate items into a ‘set,’ and then sharing their sets with others to solicit opinions and comments. Or tagging, naming and saving sets, which others can then search for, add to their accounts and edit. Social tools like this could be implemented for everything from clothing and household items, like on Polyvore, to color palettes and swatches like on Adobe Kuler to content on news, movie and TV sites. Customers will be able to learn from and be inspired by other customers. In fact, consumers will begin demanding these tools, just like they did with low-fat foods.

Businesses need to get involved with social media now, if they haven’t already, and start gaining experience. The Twitter IPO, if nothing else, will open the door for investment in sites that offer ‘social commerce’ solutions that attract customers. With close to 2 billion people already using social media we’re way past the learning curve. And consumers will only continue to tune out advertising. The only caveat is that you won’t get away with selling potato chips that merely reduce a portion from 300 calories to 280 and calling it ‘low-fat.’ You’ll need to provide quality tools that give customers the ability to learn from others, enlighten others, and obtain useful recommendations that lead to sales. Consumers are ready for that kind of buying experience. Which is why social commerce is the prescription today for future business health and longevity.

Content Strategy

Search, social, penguin, panda … a website requires a content strategy today, and someone to oversee it.

When you consider that people have been on the web for content since day one, it’s amazing that content hasn’t gotten the premier position it deserves until now. But that’s what social media has done. Sharing content via social networks increases its value exponentially through the power of recommendation. If a user says something is good it carries much more weight than if a brand, media outlet, agency, or salesperson says so. And content can literally be anything, whether it’s hot off the press or exhumed from the archives. A creative touch can put value on anything and it becomes content.

“a head of Content Strategy, Creation and Distribution … should be at least vp level and report to the CMO. It makes sense that this person live in marketing, but he or she is going to have to build relationships and bridges to every part of the organization and teach companies to think about all published materials as content. Very importantly, they must evangelize the importance of content in driving business results and help the entire company think about whether or not a piece of content is worth sharing.”

Soon all the social networks will want to use your likeness and words to place implied recommendations on anything that’s for sale. The further your content can be shared — or the more shareable content you can publish — the more social-power will come into play in your sales process. Every website today needs, no, requires a content strategy, and someone to drive it. Think “content.”

Read full story: http://bit.ly/1a0tCBM

Some Trends to Watch in Digital Media

The twin forces of mobile and social are creating changes across the board for online businesses.  While it can appear overwhelming, there are opportunities if we grasp the trends and develop plans to position us “on the wave.” Here are five interesting trends that will continue to grow and, as a result, change things in ways that cause us to further adapt as the digital world speeds on.

We are all simultaneously creating, being disrupted by and exploiting an incredible array of changes in the way our digital world works. While these shifts can sometimes seem overwhelming because they are proliferating and accelerating so fast, their broad themes can be simplified to help us understand their underlying meaning.

  1. Multi-Screen Proliferation
  2. Advertising Precision
  3. Accelerating Automation
  4. Interruptive to Native
  5. Static to Real-Time

Read full article: http://linkd.in/18e9HAo

Understanding Google Plus

If you’re like me you’ve had a hard time figuring out, much less using, Google Plus. Do we really need another social network? Then about a year ago Google changed its privacy policy and began integrating its many properties. Now you’ll often see a Google log-in for services like YouTube, where it didn’t exist before. There’s a method to the madness though, and it turns out Google Plus is destined to be the hub of Google’s services, which in the long run has the potential to be a far more integrated and meaningful approach to social networking than we have seen to this point.

Most people believe [Google Plus] is just another social networking service where all of our friends are supposed to join and share photos, status updates, and messages with each other. But it’s really not that at all.

Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to it, but Google Plus is really Google’s version of Google. It’s the groundwork for a level of search quality difficult to fathom based on what we know today. It’s also the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more. And Google is starting to roll these products all up into a big ball of awesome user experience by way of Google Plus, and that snowball is starting to pick up speed and mass.

This articles goes on to show how services like Google Authorship and Google Plus Local Business pages all come into play to make Google Plus membership a must have. I think it’s time to take a second look at Google Plus, and be ready for a migration to come some day soon.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/XeiGt5

LinkedIn Endorsements: Frictionless = Meaningless

LinkedIn seemed to have hit on a great idea: let members endorse other members for their specific abilities with a single click. Problem is, it’s so easy to do that endorsements have become meaningless. Everyday I get endorsements. Then dutifully I go and return the favor by endorsing my endorser. The result is a click-fest that distorts what people really do. Judging by my endorsements, I’m an expert in SEO and web marketing. These are things that I offer to clients, but our strong suits are design, technology, strategy and digital media (code for ‘video’), all of which appear at the bottom of the endorsements list on my profile. And because that list is so prominently displayed, visitors will totally misconstrue my business. Hopefully they’ll read the summary portion of the page, but does anyone read anymore?

There is a way to make endorsement relevant, however. Make them harder to give. The article below suggests a couple of ways to do this:

Right now, endorsing is way too easy. When you go to a connection’s profile page, there’s usually a list of categories in which they can be endorsed. If you click the “Endorse” button, you endorse that person in every category … remove that all-in-one feature and you’ll probably get rid of a lot of spurious or unintended endorsements. Second, when you endorse, give the endorser the opportunity to expand on the thought by citing a specific project they both worked on …

LinkedIn’s endorsements point out a greater problem, however, and that is how companies are, more and more today, creating features that benefit themselves and not  users. A solid endorsement mechanism could provide value if it reflected companies’ and individuals’ true worth. Something like that already exists: recommendations. But they take some effort to write. It’s easier for users to just click an endorsement. Yay! pop the cork and celebrate our brilliant feature. Everyone’s using it. But if there’s no meaning you just end up with lots of data signifying nothing. Unless what really matters is LinkedIn’s user engagement numbers.

Read full article: http://on.mash.to/VkibMW

Myspace Puts On a New Face

It may be a little late, but former social media star, Myspace, is back in the news with a new design. A nice video overview of the site is available on Vimeo.

Myspace was viewed as “the future” when it was bought by News Corp. in 2005. But just as quickly it fell into obscurity, eclipsed almost immediately by Facebook which has risen to become the social media venue of choice for all humankind. A complete history of Myspace is available on Wikipedia.

With the new design it will be interesting to see if Myspace can recapture at least a portion of the social media mania it helped spawn. It features large photos, which everyone loves, great page effects, and a side-scrolling interface. However, it’s hard to imagine how any website can hope to head off the FB juggernaut, much less a “been there, done that”  comeback kid like Myspace. But this, after all, is the Internet, where things change quickly, and the unexpected is always possible.

For two contrasting views on the new Myspace we have TechCrunch presenting the thumbs-down, and Engadget, the thumbs up.

In the course of things, a product or service can go from popular to fad to wildly popular, find its peak at some point, and then begin its fade once it stops innovating (as market leaders often do) or is replaced by a better idea. Comebacks are another story. Once something is branded, is it possible to be anything else? Perhaps the people who bought Myspace from News Corp. would be better off renaming it and not bringing back the negative aura. To a certain extent, Myspace is reminiscent of another rising star that merged with a traditional media company and then fizzled, then came back under its own name, but never regaining it’s past glory. That would be AOL, which has been on the fringes ever since, and never really had a chance since its business model was outdated by that time. But social media is all the rage today, and that makes Myspace different. Everyone’s social savvy, and people try new things. But trying “Myspace” is like trying on a shirt from the ’90s, isn’t it? But if it just had a new name …

Figuring Out Twitter

Twitter is one of today’s biggest and most important, as well as most talked about, social networks. But how do we use it in business? That one escapes many people who expect social media to provide instant access to customers and an immediate flow of orders. The fact is, Twitter is a town square, or water cooler experience. You go there to talk, listen, share and learn. Social media is where connections are made. The business that derives from those connections takes time, and typically goes to the people who’ve learned how to communicate in the medium. That’s why many are having a hard time figuring out how to actually use Twitter in a way that helps them.

The advice for marketers is simple. Make sure you’re ready for a long Twitter tenure (that is, don’t sign up today and complain about not many followers tomorrow). Participate in specific discussions and with target groups by using hashtags and following lists. Reply back to people who you find interesting and compelling. Twitter is made for talking, but everyone likes to hear something back. Pay very close attention to trending topics and engage the moment you see something at all relevant to your brand.

There’s a lot to learn about using Twitter. There’s also a sense that if you’re not using social media in some capacity you may soon be somewhat left behind. Check out the following article for more information, and then think about what you need to do to ramp up your social strategy.

Read full article: Why @garyst3in Is My New Online Home

Time for Businesses to Broaden Social Media Efforts

Social media continues to grow in use, usefulness and buzz. But the real importance of social media is that it’s become a part of everyday communications for the majority of people. As we’ve been saying, businesses need to be where their customers are.

Even more noteworthy is a new bit of information: social media is now being used regularly by over 50% of people over age 50. This attests to the adoption of social media by the mainstream. As mainstream tools, business should re-evaluate their strategies and adapt their efforts accordingly. Adapting quickly — that’s how business online works.

For more information see the full article: