In the world of online media everything is moving at the speed of light (at least if you're part of the business). This blog is a way for me to reflect over things I’ve pick up in research, when speaking to customer, partners or other people in the business. Hopefully the blog will start a conversation that will give me and other participants increased knowledge in the online marketing field. If you would like to know what I do for a living, visit www.impwell.com
Gillar verkligen när jag hittar riktiga nyttotjänster.
I går läste jag om samarbetet mellan Shazam, som jag tycker är en riktigt bra tjänst, och Spotify. Det här är en tjänst som i alla fall ger riktigt värde för mig. Jag vet inte hur många gånger jag hört en låt jag gillat på radio, men missat artisten. Med Shazam kan jag snabbt få reda på detta och med kopplingen till Spotify kan jag enkelt lägga upp låten på mitt konto. Riktigt bra!
I really like Yardsellr & what they are doing connecting the classified ads of private person buying & selling with the social media space. It is a natural development, though, since it is much easier to sell & buy stuff to/from people you have some kind of relation with.
Yardsellr distiguish themselves by not sending traffic to their own site, but give tools to be used on Facebook & Twitter. Eveything is done in the feed. This strategy really moves them ahead of their competition.
Will be quite interesting to see if Blocket will move in this direction + when we will see Swedish clones?
The buzz if yesterday was definitely the Facebook announcement to launch local deals as a part of their places platform. Using their mobile app to launch the service will surely be a first step in bridging the gap between online and offline commerce.
At first glance the success of local deals is not obvious. People use Facebook to socialize, make & read status updates & play games. What would incentivize people to use an app like local deals? Other initiatives announced by Facebook have failed, such as Facebook real time search so why should this Groupon clone succeed?
This initiative is different, though. With about 200 million mobile app users, Facebook surely have a critical mass of users to support their initiative. If Facebook users can be served deals in an app that they use frequently I believe they will use it. On top of that Facebook has most of the worlds major merchants as clients all ready, so the supply of deals will be no problem. Furthermore, they have the ability to couple geo targeting with the social graph and serve highly relevant local deals.
I vote for success and see tougher times ahead for players like Groupon & Foursquare which has not the global reach of Facebook . What do you think? Success or failure?
Read an interesting blog post by Chris Brogan the other day. It was a about people abandoning their blogs and started using other vehicles to build their name & generate leads and sales. Of course, blogs are not a vehicle from which you will see fast results in leads and sales. You have to treat a blog as a loss leader, leading to other things that make money.
Content you publish on your blog show the way you think and the knowledge you have within a certain area. It also makes it possible for people to get a feeling for you as a professional without having to interact with you directly. Since most people today use search engines as a starting point for research, blogging makes you visible and build on your digital footprint.
Thus, disintegrating the blog from your channel mix might be unwise. Instead think about how the blog fit into the mix and have a solid strategy for the content you produce and how to create revenue streams in later stages.
One of the key things when engaging in social channels is to listening to what is being said about your brand and products. There are two main reasons for this:
1. You will find out what people really think about you and your products, and if your desired profile is in line with peoples’ perception of your brand
2. You will learn what drives conversation in your business and what makes people engage in brands and products
The first point is essential since it will tell you if your company profile is in line with what people actually think about you. If it’s not you will need to change, and now you have a perfect way to find out what to change (you have the largest, most authentic focus group at your disposal).
The second point is essential since it will tell you how to act in social channels to build engagement. Here I’m not talking about creating fun and provocative advertising to evoke responses or viral spread of content, though this could be part of the package. I am talking about building real long lasting engagement. This entails creating content that brings real value to your main audience.
A good example of this is Borders Media, which is the digital extension of the Borders book store. Borders realized that the book business is more than just selling books. People are interested in authors and what they say about their work. Thus, Borders created a media channel where they post interesting content for book lovers, such as interviews with trending authors, concerts at local stores etc. By doing this Borders managed to connect with their audience in much deeper way when before (when just selling books).
There are numerous of tools to use for listening. One of the best free tools is Netvibes. Netvibes is a keyword based tool that you can use to build your own intelligence center. Just do a search on the main platforms and subscribe to the service by RSS. You can also use one of the free readers, such as iGoogle or Google reader (do the same as for Netvibes when subscribing to the RSS).
When it comes to tools where you have to pay a fee I can recommend the Swedish tool Silverbakk. It’s also a key word based tool that is really easy to use and have a great interface that displays the information in different formats. Another great thing is that you can choose local languages sources.
When you have your intelligence center in place, you can start collecting and analyzing the information and start build your content in relevant channels. Keep at it and measure the response on what you post. Use engagement metrics like, # of retweets/ tweet, # of comments/ blog post etc to constantly refine you content until you find a format that makes people engage. You can use the URL shortener Bitly to measure the effect of your tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts etc, or you can use tools like the eminent Chart Beat.
When you begin to reach your engagement goals, it is time to start monetize the engagement you have created & that is the topic of my next post!
I have met quite a few companies that just plunge straight into the social pond without any purpose or plan. There is nothing wrong with that since you will at least learn how the different platforms work and how people interact on them.
But, if you really want to leverage the social web you should start by asking yourself these two questions:
1. Why do people buy my products and what kind of value do I bring to market that differentiates me from my competitors?
2. Who do I really want to connect with?
By asking and answering to these two questions you will have a good starting point for building your social media strategy.
Possibly so! At the F8 Conference Facebook announced their plan for making the web more social, or as Mark Zuckerberg stated “..a web where the default is social”. The building blocks are the Open Graph, which replaces Facebook Connect, and social plug ins and “like” buttons everywhere. “Like” buttons are already implemented on quite a few sites (see example from Levis’s site below). These building blocks will have the possibility of making Facebook really powerful.
When you as consumer ”likes” a product or service, and are logged in on Facebook, the information will automatically be added to your profile. By spreading the “like” button to numerous of different sites and services, Facebook will accumulate invaluable information about customer preferences.
Facebook will make use of this information in their partner strategy, where they will share information with third party sites and services. As of yet Facebook have not disclosed who these partners are. To mitigate privacy concerns, Facebook will give you as a user options to opt out from the services where the profile information is used.
I think there will be a debate on privacy issues when the partner strategy is launched. However, it is all up to how the partner sites are making use of the information. If partners use the information to enhance the customer experience, e.g. by making it easier for people to get relevant information or be served with relevant content, the debate will die pretty quick.
There are undoubtedly some really interesting things about the concept that will help customers make purchasing decisions, and other kinds of decisions. Imagine you are going to eat out and you go to a site which displays all restaurants in Stockholm. Now you will have the possibility of being guided to nice places by your network of friends, right there on the site. There might even be pre-selected restaurants based on yours and your friend’s preferences. The same goes for shopping cloths, music, film etc. Instant socialization and instant personalization of every site on the Web is the goal.
A nice effect of this increasingly social web is also that businesses will be forced to deliver true value to be liked, which will be beneficial for everyone.