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the end of social media as agencies know it

By on Sep 30, 2013 in Uncategorized |

The social media retainer, a dependable gravy train of revenue for PR and social marketing agencies, is on its last legs – and the agencies have no one to fault but themselves. The problem is the way these retainers have been sold. Typically, a client will go unchallenged when they ask their prospective agency questions about how, rather than what, their social media retainer will deliver: What are the most popular channels in market x What audiences will be targeted How many pieces of content will you generate, per channel and market How much ad spend will be required to drive fan base growth How long will it take to hit x number of fans and followers This outputs led approach to thinking about social media generates a slew of metrics: Reach Month on month fan base increases Engagement rates These metrics, however, don’t necessarily indicate meaningful outcomes. They...

happy 17th birthday, website

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Cybersoc is 17. In late September 1996, I decided to publish my MA Sociology Thesis, an ethnography about online communities, online. I ordered a copy of Adobe Pagemill, the first WYSIWYG html editor, and bashed together a website which, aside from a purple background and the odd blink tag, wasn’t THAT bad. Within a few days I was getting letters from my ISP, Demon Internet, complaining that traffic to my site, hosted on a “tenner a month” account, had temporarily knocked down their entire web hosting infrastructure. Unbeknownst to me, I’d be listed as “Yahoo’s Cool Site of the Day” back when Yahoo mattered (this was two years before Google launched). Happy 17th birthday,...

social media week london

By on Sep 23, 2013 in conferences/events |

Social media week has descended upon London with what must be well over 100 events. Earlier today I attended an enjoyable and insightful presentation from Facebook’s Ed Couchman, who shared some useful stats on how brands can build engagement by targeting specific audience segments on the right device at the right time. Tomorrow (Tuesday the 24th) I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on the Future of Community, hosted by The Social Partners. I haven’t sorted out the rest of my schedule for the week yet, but will probably attend a few events each day at the Social Media Week HQ in Covent Garden – drop me a line if you’re going to be around.

only a third of social strategies are focused on outcomes

By on Jul 22, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I’m constantly banging on about the need for the social media industry to “grow up” by becoming more strategic. At the weekend, I came across a post by Brian Solis that makes same the same point. He writes: “Having a Facebook page or Twitter account is like having a telephone or a printer — they are tools that need a purpose…” Solis goes on to quote from an Altimeter survey of social strategists and executives that found, “…only 34 percent felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes. Only 28 percent felt that they had a holistic approach to social media wherein lines of business and business functions work together around common goals. A mere 12 percent were confident they had a strategic plan that looked beyond the next year. And perhaps most astonishing was the fact that only one half of companies surveyed said that top...

customer experience excellence requires focus on the journey

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

A recent McKinsey study (link hat tip to Dion Hincliffe) highlights the importance, for brands, of focusing holistically on all the touch-points of the customer journey rather than on isolated interactions (which they call “moments”): “Customers are increasingly using multiple channels to interact with companies in an effort to meet their needs. To resolve a billing issue, for example, customers will often start with their bill, turn to the internet, call in to a call center, revisit the web site to check for resolution, and finally confirm a resolution on their next statement.  In fact, over 70percent of very satisfied customers build a favorable impression when their needs are met over three or more  touchpoints. A Customer Journeys approach addresses this. Additionally, Customer Journeys are consistently better predictors of value. They do a better job than the...

social businesses of today can learn from the gigging bands of the 90’s

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I just came across an interesting post by Jeremiah Owyang, in which he charts the evolution of social business and makes the prediction that it’s future will be centred around the collaborative economy: “…the next phase of Social Business goes beyond marketing and customer support, it changes the fundamental business models and relationships that we will have with our customers. The big change that brands will struggle with, as is it means that brands will have to care about the relationship between customers as they trade and rent your products between themselves.” Whilst I agree with Owyang on this being the next stage of social business adoption, it’s not an unfamiliar or new model (update: which, to be clear, isn’t Owyang’s arguement). As a university student, in the America of the mid-90’s, I observed a number of bands – Dave...

why social networking struggles in the living room

By on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I recently purchased, after some consideration, a new flat screen television with built-in wifi. One of the big selling points of TV manufacturers these days is integration with download services (for me, it had to come with iPlayer integration to be on my short list) and social networking platforms. I just don’t get why someone would want Facebook, at least in its native format, on their television. Facebook is a personal experience, centred around an individual’s profile, whereas television viewing, at least in my household, is a communal experience – something an individual centric, profile based platform can’t natively support. I’ve thought of a logical workaround, however – a Facebook app that allows all viewers (perhaps it could use the built in sensor to determine which family members are viewing) to be logged in simultaneously, with the...

search – a source of outcome based metrics for social

By on May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized |

It’s long been known that social media impacts a brand’s overall visibility, both through it’s reach into social media audiences as well as by generating new inbound links, wrapped in useful context, that search engines index and apply within their algorithm so as to (help) determine relevance. The latter of these – the “boost” that social media gives to a brand’s visibility in organic search results, is a potentially useful source of outcomes based metrics for social media activities. Let me explain. Google, according to a 2012 study, usually displays 10 results on it’s first page, 85% of which are organic with the remainder paid. Over half – 53% – of users will click on the first organic result. A further 34% will click on results 2-5. That’s a total of 87% of users clicking on the top five organic results. How much is...