Archive for the ‘Social networking’ Category
April 12th, 2013
It’s that time again when we look at the latest case study of someone that should know better using social networks to vent personal beliefs/opinions that reflect negatively on their employer.
No prizes for guessing what happens next.
This time, the brand in question is Microsoft, specifically Xbox, and a recent conversation in relation to the next Xbox, which will be released on May 21st, and its probable always-on feature.
For those that are familiar with always-on gaming, it has been far from a smooth path, and games fans are wary of related issues, especially in light of problems with titles such as SimCity and Diablo 3.
In this instance the conversation was U.S. –based where Internet connectivity varies depending on location, and some parents have also expressed worries that an always-on connection would break broadband caps without their knowledge.
The issue began when A creative director at Microsoft, Andrew Orth, appeared to confirm a rumour that the next Xbox will require an always-on internet connection. Orth has been working as a creative director at Microsoft Studios on a game, which is yet to be revealed, since February 2012 and he was involved in a sarcastic exchange about the benefits of being connected. This was seized on by games fans, which in-turn triggered an online debate.
The discussion, which can be seen below, took place between Orth and Manveer Heir, a senior game designer at BioWare. Orth and Manveer are apparently close friends who seem to have been making fun of each other, but sarcasm does not always translate well, especially when Orth commented “why on earth would I live there?” when asked about towns that do not have good levels of connectivity such as Janesville, WI and Blacksburg, VA.
After a week of controversy, Gameinformer reports that Adam Orth has now voluntarily resigned from the company, which had been forced to apologise for his comments and indiscreet references to the new Xbox project, as below:
“We apologise for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” said the company.
“This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer-centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
This may have been a case of a sarcastic conversation that went wrong, rather than an attack, but the outcome was the same; damage to the brand, resulting in the individual leaving the organisation.
The lesson is simple, Social networks are not private, and anything you write is accessible, so think before you tweet, and remember Twitter Tirades never work!
Read more at:
February 19th, 2013
The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.
You can download the full report here:
In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.
Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.
Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.
Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.
13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.
40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.
The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:
As of August 2012:
â€¢ 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
â€¢ 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.
Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).
December 21st, 2012
As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.
I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.
So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:
- 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
- Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
- 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
- More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
- 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
- 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
- 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
- Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
- In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
- 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
- Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
- According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
- The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
- The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
- Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
- 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
- Google+ cost $585 million and took 500 employees to build. (source: Social Media Delivered)
- Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)
Source – Huffington Post
October 26th, 2012
Yesterday we attended Social Media Marketing 2012, which promised to take a more critical look at social media marketing by focusing on the realities, challenges and what we need to do better, not just the positive stories and back-slapping habits that have become the staple of social conferences.
I have summarised six of the presentations from the day’s discussion,but you can see the full programme here.
1. First up was Mat Morrison, head of social media, Starcom MediaVest Group, who told us: nearly Everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong.
Mat kicked off by making some very pertinent points about Facebook marketing, including: “It’s all about the newsfeed not the page.” And confirming that asking people to click the â€˜button’ on the left or above, which is a common instruction when encouraging participation, is fine on the page, but doesn’t work in the newsfeed.
In other words, when you are talking to customers, don’t assume they are on your Facebook page, they are probably seeing it in their feeds.
He also reminded the crowd that Facebook apps can be difficult to use on mobile, and with such significant traffic coming mobile users, the potential wastage is significant. Therefore, always think
When he asked if everyone knew what Edgerank is, only one soul was brave enough to say no, to which Mat nailed the explanation with: “Facebook Edgerank is a gnome that decides what stories you see.”
Mat proceeded to take us through a few examples of brand engagement with Cineworld and ASOS, who make mistakes early and fix fast, and are a great example of a consumer Facebook page. You can see these in his presentation (see title of his presentation in this post)
Mat asked us to remember:
1. A page isn’t a destination
2. It’s all about the newsfeed
3. A Page isn’t a community
4. Almost no one sees Fan posts
5. Think mobile first
2. We then moved onto our second presentation from Ruth Coates, marketing programme manager – Europe – Staples and Katy Howell, MD, Immediate Future, who gave us an insight into Social strategy in practise: How to meet the challenges of adopting a Social approach
Katy Howell made a good point in relation to strategy to kick-off, focused on where to start in social. She confirmed it’s not just about â€˜listening’, it’s about understanding the organisational opportunity for social media.
This means an internal as well as external audit is important, looking at how the organisation uses and wants to work with social, and how social impacts many different elements.
She also suggested that an audit should look at 2-3 years of data, not just 2-3 months, which will not account for seasonal or event-based variations.
Ruth Coates from Staples identified the main internal challenges that she had experienced in relation to developing a social media strategy:
1 Change management & selling the concept
2. Business value: making social ROI-able, i.e. what does social mean to the organisation, not just metrics, but how does social impact organisational value?
3. Harnessing resource in a decentralised organisation, which was amplified by Staples’ huge challenges with multiple territories, multiple offices, multiple languages.
Katy then identified the four steps in establishing that there are enough conversations around the issues related to the brand to justify a social campaign:
1. Shouting out and asking questions – what are these conversations about? Are they just mentions or is there depth, are there questions? Understand this first, then roadmap.
2. Who is talking? Not just who has influence? But who are these people connected to, what are the communities?
3. Diving into the detail – how are they talking?
4. Social media is leaky – social now impacts what goes instore, online, direct mail, photos on Pinterest etc.
Katy summarised this by confirming that social media is data and spreadsheets, and that you need statistically-relevant samples, which confirm the tones of discussions, impressions and ideas, passion, points what are they saying, associations, what specifics are they looking for, behavioural trends.
You then need to create taxonomies to identify correlation and trends.
Strategy is a lot of heavy lifting on the data if you want to get to the goal of adding value to the business.
Once the strategy was ready to roll out, Staples then identified recommendations to move forward:
1. Pilots to validate – Set timeframes, set outcomes, lower investment to see how it works.
2. Phase your approach – in this case a multi-year phased approach, looking at this over time to develop at the pace of your business so that it can integrate with business communications and existing focuses.
3. Tiered implementation – don’t force people to get involved. Pick out pockets where there is eagerness and resource, and demonstrate learnings to the wider business to enable overall internal sell in.
1. Structure the programme and measurement – set up forums to discuss social on a monthly basis internally with teams, best practises, ideas, development.
2. Intensive training framework – ongoing training across the business to continually move forward.
3. Set out the polices and escalation - from guidelines to appearance of profiles and how to react to crisis.
- Cross functional groups – don’t miss out on ideas and opportunities for the business.
- Great communications – communicate the results of social and let people know how the social focuses are going.
- Ideas forum – cross-team and territories to develop ideas.
Since beginning the new social strategy in February 2012, Staples’ EU presence has grown by:
â€¢ 9 x FB profiles
â€¢ 5 x Twitter profiles
â€¢ 7 x G+ profiles
â€¢ 6 x YouTube channels
Staples closing comment: “It’s not about building 8 million fans, we would rather have 100,000 fans that deliver value”
3. The next session that I covered was on The Olympics: Big data meets Big event, presents Big challenges by Naomi Trickey, Sales Director for EMEA, Brandwatch
Naomi gave us an overview of data from recent events and news issues, e.g. U.S presidential election, superbowl, etc and confirmed that big data presents big challenges.
She also asked the question; What is Big Data? Suggesting size is not the only thing that matters, it’s also variety, volume and velocity.
She backed this up with a quote from Scott Thomson, head of research, Hypernaked: “Reality is easily accessible data, but you have to frame the right questions”
Naomi confirmed that Big = Relevant and data needs to be relevant. She also confirmed that greater social buzz does not result from a higher advertising spend, a recent example of which has been advertising around the Superbowl.
4. Jeremy Waite, Head of social strategy Adobe EMEA
What’s the Real Value of 1 million Fans?
Jeremy, who is always entertaining and informative in equal measure kicked off with a great quote on social media from Scott Stratten “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it just sucks harder in social media. IT doesn’t make your chicken fingers taste better or your beer taste bolder. social media is not a good place to go if you’re terrible at what you do.”
He also gave us an excellent example of useful content in the form of the recent 007 Skyfall ticket give away video by Coke Zero.
Jeremy suggested that Coke understand it’s all about content and achieved 4 million views in 4 days, probably with a hefty seeding budget.
Jeremy then moved onto the focus of his presentation, which was ROI, quoting both:
Forrester “90% of content marketers only track engagement metrics”
Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Skittles’ ad agency “Anyone who says they can track Facebook activity to sales is in a bubble and living on a spaceship.”
To make his point about the mismatch between traditional ROI and social metrics.
Traditionally the metrics that marketers have used to put a value on a relationship, (that don’t work):
- Fans, followers, subscribers
- Impressions and reach
- Change in sentiment
- Click through rates
- Share of voice
- Dwell time
Jeremy also used a trailer for the movie Money ball to illustrate the importance of ROI.
In brief, Moneyball is a film about the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that followed a revolutionary way of buying a winning baseball team, with a tight budget, based on player analytics and a supporting algorythm
Jeremy confirmed this is basically a film about ROI
“This is getting everything down to one number. Using stats the way we read them, we will find value in things that nobody else can do.”
He made the point that we can compete in social with those on bigger budgets.
So what is ROI? Jeremy confirmed ROI in social media is the same as ROI in any other area of business.
“How much do I spend, how much do I make, what’s the difference?”
Jeremy confirmed we shouldn’t confuse social media measurement with ROI, the two are separate.
He recommended Olivier Blanchard‘s book: Social media ROI and ran us through an example of ROI on an Angry birds campaign.
5. Michael Litman, senior social strategist, AnalogFolk gave a great presentation on
Pinterest, what is it and why should you care?
He offered some great statistics, including 51% of interbrand top 100 have presence on it and Pinterest is growing, while Twitter, and other network growth is slowing.
He also highlighted that the usage of Pinterest differs from the UK to U.S, e.g
- U.S 83% female
- UK 56% male
- UK interest sectors – Venture capital, PR, content management
- U.S sectors – retail, creative
- 30% of UK users in the highest income bracket vs 5% in US
- Age group of users is mostly 25-44
- Pinterest first social network to reach 10m unique users
- Pinterest is in fact a power channel to build a strong social brand.
- Pinterest is taking traffic away from ‘traditional’ engines and delivering to retailers
6. Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign
Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, SiteVisibility
Google is trying to do something that we can all do instinctively – i.e. identify that this website is better than that website.
Google believes the way it is going to improve its algorithm is to understand the social web.
This is the future of what Kelvin referred to as off-site SEO, focusing on three key areas of Author rank, links and social shares.
He believes that G+ is essentially a tool to answer these focuses as it helps Google to find your content quicker and gave us a number of practical implementation points to make the most of Google+, which you can see on the presentation and include:
- Use chrome plugin – Bit.ly/do share to schedule updates
- Add Google+ sharing buttons to your website
- Use opengraph protocol
- Use Rel author mark up
Overall he suggested we Ignore the haters, because although Google+ isn’t as popular as other networks,Â it is hugely relevant to your Google ranking and that is essential.
He believes Google+ is here to stay, will only become more important and is having a bigger influence than most of us realise.
Kelvin also believes that search marketers make good marketers because people that understand search, understand people, which makes them great marketers.
Social Media marketing 2012 was a great success, and everyone that we spoke to thought it had delivered on the objective of taking a harder look at social, so congratulations to the Our Social Times team.
August 28th, 2012
Engaging with your target audience through social media is one of those actions often pushed to the bottom of the pile for Start-Ups, or even worse, it is assumed that social comms will be covered by the knowledge of existing team members. Unfortunately that rarely turns out to be the case.
If you haven’t developed a plan for social, you may be leaving the communication of your product, conversations with your customers/potential customers, and potential investors, to chance.
Let’s start by clearing up a few misconceptions about what social communications are. Brand communications in a social environment should be focused on customer need. This need is not motivated by being a fan or friend of your organisation but by deriving value from the customer’s engagement with the organisation.
Before you decide that you don’t have time, perhaps ask yourself what you are making time for.
Last year, the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services survey of 2,100 organisations discovered that 79% are currently using social media channels. They also asked them what they saw as the benefits of social media. Here are the top 5 results and feedback from the real world. You can see the full list here:
The major benefits of Social Media, include:
1. Increased awareness of the organisation
2. Increased traffic to website
3. Greater favourable perceptions of the brand
4. Able to monitor conversations about the organisation
5. Increase in new business
So assuming you’re ready to invest some time, what are the options for Start-Ups?
You can read the full post on TechCrunch
August 17th, 2012
Google+ is building its social marketing business proposition step by step and the vision is integration.
I think we will ignore Googleâ€™s social plays at our peril simply because the company has a greater leverage than any other social media platform.
More than that, Googleâ€™s ability to mesh its social innovations with the other elements of what is surely the greatest marketing platform ever developed means that GPlus will transform online social business relations over the next months.
Google has had a few false starts in social media but has got it right with GPlus. Some people are pointing to data that indicates the low engagement status of Google+ compared with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
But you often get what you ask for in surveys and Iâ€™m not convinced by the structure or the interpretation of the Google+ infographic.
Google is building its social spine and the facility for integration with everything else it offers is a huge opportunity for marketers. Maybe it will not become the Facebook killer but Iâ€™m convinced that this is not its goal.
This week, Google+ launched custom URLs to profiles and pages, currently available to a limited number of ‘verified’ profiles and pages but this service will be soon rolled out to more brands and individuals.
David Beckham, Britney Spears (already the uber-presence on Google+) and brands Toyota, Delta, and Hugo Boss have received the custom URLs. So thatâ€™s sport, entertainment, auto, aviation and fashion/style covered
â€œYour Google+ profile is a place for you to share your passions with the millions of people who come to Google each day…Today we’re introducing custom URLs to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+. A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to your profile or page on Google+,â€ says Google product manager Saurabh Sharma in a blog post.
Softly, slowly, Google is transforming the online social landscape.
August 9th, 2012
Douglas Karr at The Marketing Tech Blog has shared an infographic offering 20 reasons for marketers to switch to Google+.
His introduction positions Google+ as a game changer in online social marketing and he says: â€œThe opportunity is that Google+ [is] an enormous social network, with almost 32 million visitors and 43 per cent growth in June 2012. This is still your opportunity to plant your flag in the ground and build a following before your competitors doâ€¦ go do it!â€
I love Douglas because he is an out-and-out professional and passionate about social marketing – and he puts his head where his passion is.
The infographic, created by Infographic Labs is a template for every would-be infographic designer. Itâ€™s clear, precise, and with good references. Itâ€™s got an online American aesthetic but is none the worse for that.
I agree with the Infographic Labs view that Circles are easily the best thing to happen to social media and we can thank Paul Adams (@padday) for much of that, I think. He was a prime mover in this development and his book Grouped is an essential read.
Paul is now Global Head of Brand Design at Facebook, having left Google. Not sure why they let him go.
Circles do what Paul thought they would â€“ and the infographic reinforces this â€“ they reflect online the way we engage and manage our social relationships.
The 19 other reasons to switch to Google+ rest to a greater extent on the connection with the Search giant. That gives me, personally, pause for thought but for marketers, the professional benefits should outweigh the unequal data exchange.
The infographic also boosts the Google+ photo gallery implementation and itâ€™s surely better than the rivals but I still hope against hope that we can devise a tool that curates images accurately so that we can find the images (still and video) we want without the noise.
I think Douglas @douglaskarr) and the team at Infographics Labs have identified that Google+ will be one of the strongest, if not the leading online social marketing tool in the next year.
I haven’t used Â Google+ fully up to now – but sure I will after enjoying the infographic. The evidence is compelling.
And, by the way, Â the top five Google+ users are celebrities â€“ where Britney, Snoop and Larry Page (Larry Page?) go, we follow .
August 2nd, 2012
This post was originally published on Monty’s Outlook.
As a social species, we should expect our habits and actions on social networks to reflect our natural priorities as humans… as a species we crave companionship and like to feel part of a community.
Our instinct is to learn from each other and share our experiences with like-minded individuals. That habit has served us well, but at some point in our conversations and relationships the number of contacts we have has been given a higher value than the quality of the connection we have with those individuals, groups and brands.
Likes, followers and friends remain the measurement of choice for many of us, even those that know better secretly keep an eye on the amount of people they are interacting with. So although the quality vs. quantity conversation has been going on for many years, something isn’t clicking.
The majority understand the basic concept, it’s better to have 10 meaningful relationships where information is exchanged than 100 empty links. Fine, but try telling a brand that when its closest competitor has two million more likes on Facebook. The digital guys probably get it, the marketing guys may get it, but tell that to the board and they will answer that â€˜we need three million more, make it happen‘.
There are many factors that contribute to this misconception. The habit of using traditional media measurements on social media, the ROI debate, our natural propensity to believe more = better, the fact that social networks want you to have more friends and more likes because it means you are using the product more and they can sell more advertising.
This is not a new issue, and although slight movement has taken place, real change will not happen until the facts are revealed to everybody. The simple truth is if a brand has seven million likes on Facebook, it does not have seven million opportunities to sell. It’s highly unlikely that the percentage of people actually engaged with that brand even makes it into double figures, or single figures for that matter.
The practise of buying likes/followers/friends is widespread and the impact of this is only now beginning to be understood, after the rush for numbers is over and the engagement begins.
There are different levels of buying likes. For example if you advertise on Facebook using certain terms, you will get more likes even if they are not that useful. Rory Cellan-Jones did an experiment on Facebook in July that had some interesting results.
Fundamentally if your strategy is to build your number of likes, you will attract the wrong people as this is not the behaviour you want in return. If you want people to engage with, and ultimately sell to, more likes will not help.
- 66% of people follow less than five brands. If you’re an accountant, that’s the battle you need to fight
- 45% of people who follow a brand on Facebook never go back
- 98% of people who Like a brand only visit the page once
Jeremy also mentioned that only around 16% of people will see any of your posts on a Facebook page. We’re acquiring a lot of fans that we aren’t reaching. This means mass engagement probably isn’t even a reality, and that is one of the major issues, understanding the difference between an empty like and a real connection.
So perhaps we need to recognise this fact and move the assumption from â€˜we have x million fans – well done us’ to â€˜we have x million fans of which only x are engaged’. It seems obvious and many brands do this, but many more do not.
The assertion that social and digital is completely measureable, although true, has pushed us towards a false idol. Of course numbers are important, but if we forget that we are dealing with social beings, with conversations, with listening and understanding, then we are not being very social at all.
Just because we can measure something, does not mean we should. Just because we have the data does not mean it is useful. We need to take a step back from the data – move away from the numbers, people!
As a brand, you may only have a relatively small number of fans/likes, but if the percentage of engaged users is higher because you have built this number based on real engagement, you are ultimately more successful than a brand with a huge number of likes and no engagement.
The bottom line is, if you are under the assumption that people use social media to engage with brands, you had better wake up, and realise this is not the case for the vast majority. If a brand is interesting or relevant to a specific conversation or community so be it, but this will not happen through competitions and requests to â€˜Like us’ alone.
Perhaps we should ask Facebook to add an engaged count next to the like count – that would be a useful number for everyone to understand.
July 13th, 2012
I picked up a post by Shel Israel and have been wrestling for a week or so with the ideas that this respected commentator offered about the marketer assault on social media.
What he wrote was certainly a wake-up call but from where I was placed, did not mesh closely with recent experience. Shel wrote in â€˜Will Marketing Muck Up Social Media?â€™ that a radical change was taking place in social media â€“ and it threatened to destroy the fragile set of new relations between brand and consumer.
Part of his article is worth quoting in full:
â€œThere was once a Golden Age of social media, when people talked about the ability to find useful, interesting, valuable people to talk with all over the world. Businesses of all sizes discovered that there was great value in listening and engaging with customers and other relevant people. What had once been one-directional monologues became two-directional dialogs and most people saw that it was good.
â€œThen the marketers got their hands around the throat of social media strangling engagement and stuffing messages down its throat.â€
Clearly, Shel is pulling no punches here â€“ this is his recent experience. But the rapid changes he is seeing are not similar to those of the team here at Liberate Media. I wonder if this is a geographically specific â€“ North American â€“ regression. From where we sit, in the UK and Europe mainly, the evolution in social media brand engagement is moving in the opposite direction.
We are seeing brands of all sizes in the UK and Europe embracing the ideas that make social media a revolutionary â€˜platformâ€™ for new marketing strategies and methodologies.
Even 18 months ago, we at Liberate Media were faced often with clients who were extremely cautious about the social medium, and very fearful of the loss of marketing control.
This has changed and new clients are coming to us to ask how exactly we can help them to combine traditional PR with social media engagement â€“ and they accept the erosion of brand messaging control.
They accept that shouting into the social wind is not only useless but is damaging to the brand they wish to market successfully. They do accept that loss of control actually opens up a vast range of potential positive connections, through listening, sharing knowledge and having useful, relevant conversations.
Maybe weâ€™re just lucky to be in our current position but it would be very good to hear more from other practitioners about their recent experiences. If Shel is right that there is a regression to one-way messaging, push control, and other worrying marketing conservatism in North American companies, then we have to be very vigilant and prepare to resist the changes in other territories.
At the same time we can help to push back against this regression by showing how effective social media engagement can deliver positive results for every company and brand.
I wonder how the marketers in North America will measure success and ROI, if they are retreating to positions that, from my point of view, cannot deliver effective engagement and commercial results.
Shel makes a point about the return of the dreaded ROI in his article. An answer to that is that measurement can be anything but only precise, relevant focuses will have any practical value.
Drew McLellan echoes this point in his post â€˜Twitter and Facebook ROIâ€™ , worth a read as it nails the challenges of effective measurement.
By the way, Shel is on the Marketing Tech Blog Radio Show at 3 p.m. EST today (7pm BST) where he will talk about the new book he is researching with Robert Scoble, (working title â€œThe Age of Context: Why It Matters to Your Work & Life,â€) and much more, I hope.
You can follow Shel on Twitter @shelisrael
And on his blog http://blogs.forbes.com/shelisrael/
June 19th, 2012
Crowd funding is to my mind the best single social innovation enabled by the internet. But while I am a fervent supporter of the communal aspects of this next step on the web, I have some concerns, largely based around the rules of finance, which we know are elastic and variable.
Crowd funding, as I understand it, is a practical concept that connects people who have money with people who need it. Like so many brilliant ideas, fluid and so is without boundaries.
It simply provides the space where people can find the investment or loan they need and where people with money to invest can find the best return.
The banks used to do this but they stopped doing it a long while ago, preferring to take a punt on the stock casinos around the world. And weâ€™ve always known that banks are basically high-falutinâ€™ money shops that have gone way beyond their station in life. Crowd funding takes things back to basics, which benefit all parties.
First lesson of the market is that if you leave a space, someone will come in and fill it, usually at your expense. Thatâ€™s what has happened to the banks.
So, while the majestic financial professionals continue to embrace Bigtime Betting, and continue to ignore the real world (millions of people who need them), crowd funding fills the very big gap that these masters of the universe (MOTU) have left.
We have Zopa, Funding Circle and Ratesetter, for example, providing the connection between people who want a better than zero return on their money offered by the MOTU and those that need a loan minimum of fuss. Sweet.
And we have Kickstarter blazing a trail in crowd funding for business ideas, connecting investors, reducing risk, and helping to build new companies.
My concerns are first that the crowd funding loan market is largely unregulated and so can be fatally damaged by one or more bad news stories, where someone loses life savings, or an investment opportunity is simply a scam.
My second concern is that the incredibly obese MOTUs will close in and so crowd funding will be swallowed whole. These fears were raised by news that SoMoLend had raised $1.17 million in a seed investment round. Thatâ€™s traditional, old-school and weird. The companyâ€™s LinkedIn profile is also scary but so is the idea that the traditional funders have bought into the new game.
I can see a better future with crowd funding but also, in my bones, understand that the global banking brands drag their enormous bulks into meetings where they will buy up the crowd funding universe.
But they will leave another small space for creative people to engineer new ways to exchange money.