Forrester's New Technographics Widget

The gadget serves up Forrester Research survey data relative to Technographics (play with it here), and for Forrester's definition of these Technographic Groups, see slide 8 of their presentation.

Also see Charlene Li's Future of Social Networks:


Girl's Best Friend

Taking a break from the engagement metrics for a minute of geekology. Who says you can't have it all?


Valleywag Love

the minx strikes again....LOL

Appaholics: Facebook App Leaderboard

Top Ten Facebook App-Makers:

1. The UADA

2. Slide

3. RockYou

4. Zynga

5. Chainn Inc.

6. esgut

7. Flixster

8. Blake Commagere

9. Watercooler, Inc.

10.Social Gaming Network

[via adanomics]

Social Media Now

My Take on What Works NOW:

* WOM- Social media as a platform for conducting measurable WOM campaigns

* Social media as an "SCRM"-- a social CRM in which you establish long-term goals of creating, fostering, and sustaining an online community (read: this can be executed in many different ways, not necessarily suggesting literally building your own network) with which to cultivate a reciprocal relationship with customers & prospects. Build a live, socialized database & channel for CRM.

* Monitoring what is being said about you online.

*Support & Extend - Social media operates as support for existing online & offline campaigns; creating an online, social touch point for say, events or particularly compelling display media.

(My none too secret hope of course is that with the help of the social nets themselves, they will begin to release the data that will so benefit marketing efforts (and them!) in social media.)


2008: VITAL Marketing

Getting on my soapbox again....if I hear "viral" one more time I'm going to scream! Its not about "going viral." Who cares about episodic, viral hype? Social media is about creating VITAL, sustainable buzz, word-of-mouth, relationship, and meaningful presence.

A "viral" campaign may have wide reach and incur a huge upward spike in sudden activity or buzz around a brand; but inevitably that goes away. (Plus there's all that pressure to be the next big internet meme, when really, how is that ultimately beneficial to your brand and your consumer?) The real opportunity in social media is totally being missed.

Social media offers marketers the ability to create extended, sustained customers relationships in the places they live online-- consider it almost a SocialCRM.

This shift in perspective about "viral" versus "vital" marketing comes when the social technologies themselves are becoming less novel, and increasingly important and intrinsic to the everyday lives of consumers.


Multiplicity Effect

I like thinking of social media marketing in terms of its ability to create an exponential number of target touch points. Lets call this the Multiplicity Effect. This ME is what makes social media as a whole a unique medium for marketing-- it allows marketers to not only engage with targets, but can in turn influence prospects down the long tail of consumers online.

Quantifying this ME is powerful when thinking about social media "ROI." For example:

Situation: Company Z executes a Facebook Strategy entailing a Business Page and paid advertising on a popular application.

Objective: Measure true CPM of branded application skin (paid advertising on popular application).

Data: Number of application installs & click-throughs (other users) (so we've got a CPI and a CPC)
Installs: 50,000 (CPI)
Clicks: 10,000 (CPC)

Question: Great, we know how many people installed/clicked on the app, but how many friends do each of those people have which would see the addition of this new app in their newsfeeds? Further more, how much traffic did each of those profiles with the app generate? The client is searching for a cumulative CPM number.

SO, "ME" would be a value defined to illustrate the number of subsequent engagements with a brand generated by either the active (messaging, posting) or passive (feeds) passing of information through a network(s).

Challenge: This vital data is, well, not readily available. Its the kind of data that Facebook needs to make available. Why? Because it behooves FB to help Company Z understand their value as a marketing platform by merchandising the Multiplicity Effect of their ecosystem.

Note-- I agree that the CPM model is dying, that we are needing to meausure in terms of engagement and interactivity. However, baby steps. Teach them (brands) to walk before they run. Many an online marketing director will still want to see CPM numbers, but if you can contextualize those numbers with an ME and begin to illustrate the bigger picture of social media marketing, then we can begin to shift the focus to more meaningful engagement metrics.

Social Media: Opportunity & Challenge

Increasingly, I believe that, as of now, a dive into social media marketing works more as a high level brand initiative than it does a specific marketing initiative seeking solid ROI (with all the right data of course this will change). My question for a company is always-- why social media? What is the brand's objective for dipping the toe? My old boss HATED this question-- saying never to ask the client but to tell them what the objectives are. I totally disagree with this premise, because as I see it, companies may drink the Kool-Aid for a while, digg around in the social media sandbox, then after a while get bored and say, "well that was fun" because they never really understood why, as a brand, they were there in the first place.

Truly, social media is the chance for brands to take part in the online lives of its consumers, to be useful (vital) and relevant (important), and build better "relationships" (read: brand image & resonance). Sounds so vague, right? Well, right now it is somewhat. As it stands now, what we can demonstrate are results from a social media WOM outreach program which can increase conversations, shift tonal sentiment, impact natural search, and create lift. But not every company wants episodic WOM outreach campaigns in social media. (I qualify WOM with "outreach" because it can be argued that all of social media programs are WOM; "outreach" in social media is more akin to a new form of PR, not necessarily a holistic new approach to marketing).

Like advertising, there is no strong direct correlation between social media programs (be it WOM/outreach; community build/integration; digital content integration/distribution; content & platform SMO) and sales.

The opportunity
is to build brand resonance by being (again) useful (vital) and relevant (important) to consumers' extended lives online, establishing reciprocity with and gaining insight from consumers, and extending influence through relationship-building, thus influencing affinity and eventually sales.

The challenge
is that brands don't like sharing control or risking a presence in which shares control with consumers and/or other brands & influences. Secondly, the most important challenge is measuring this relationship-building, resonance, and influence (and its results on sales). Not too hard, eh?


Social Computing Utopia: Ubitquity

For some reason there is debate around the merits of data portability, and more specifically the Data Portability Workgroup. But really, data portability is merely a step in a further abstraction from the present structure of the Web-- contained sites to a "pageless web" that is an open, fluid, ever ubiquitous form of computing. The promise of a web that is at once networked, liquid, social, and semantic. Data portability nay-sayers, in my opinion, lack the vision to see that DP is simply one of the first elements in many iterations in the progression towards a seemless, social web. We are evlolving from lock-in "sites" and "social networks" even now (to creating microformats and the promise of data storage in the decentralized "Cloud" of virtual servers). It seems we are only at the tip of the iceberg...if we step back and think of computing as a series of abstractions, each iteration enabling a higher degree of connectivity, ease of use, decentralization and seemlessness-- we may begin to see that a fluid, connected, "portable" web experience (even a VRM) is not far flung. I say "portable" because eventually "portability" would in theory disolve into simply "ubiquity."

The Now Infamous Sarah Lacy/Zuck SXSW Interview & A Few Notes on FB

I don't need to throw my two cents in here about what a crappy interview(?) Sarah conducted here: but I do want to take the chance to point out some oddities to Facebook that as a marketer I just don't understand.

Its not a mystery that FB is struggling to figure out how to monetize, to somehow merit its infamous valuation--when the answer is right below the surface. Literally. (Its the data, d'oh!)

Take their Business Pages, for example. The whole spiel behind the BP's is that it gives companies a free presence from which to community build, leveraging its already aggregated crowd. From FB's perspective this is the carrot that gets the companies in the door-- to then upsell them on SocialAds or the targetd "self-serve" ads. Thats about as far as the vision goes (it seems).

And on Zuck's "Organic" Monetizing Goals:

I'm all for it, Zuck. Yes, monetization in social networks WILL need to be "organic" or authentic if you will. Integrating brands seemlessly into the ongoing conversation rather than through explicit advertising (we're all aware of the dying CPM). With that objective for monetizing, what FB needs is to do is better merchandise themselves by better merchandising the rich user behavioral data teeming beneath its skin. This is the data marketers want-- and will spend through the nose to get. Also, FB, beef up your customer support, if you're wanting to upsell to paid media, you have to help your businesses to appreciate the value of a Page, making simple things like specific URLs and searchability more readily available. Also, try allowing trial runs of SocialAds for those early companies brave enough to dip their toe in social media. Help marketers help you by sharing the data they need to satisfy their clients and encourage ongoing business relationships. Eck, brain just went out.

PS-- one more thing about Lacy-- when he was speaking about their monetization strategies, she had no idea what to do with that-- but what he was saying is exactly what social media marketers want to hear. Now, we just have to get FB to better achieve that monetization goal.

Social Media: One-to-Many-to-Many-to-One

I see a lot of people trying to explain "social media" to companies. The verbage of choice has become a WOM favorite: "authentic one-to-one communication." Seems reasonable, right? I'm not so sure anymore. Much of social media-- the social technologies we use to create and distribute content and the content itself-- is a one-to-many conversation. Take Twitter or even Facebook's feeds, these are one-to-many conversations in which a user's explicit or implicit actions are broadcast to an affinity community of networked users.

I started thinking about the fallacy of the "one-to-one" concept when discussing Twitter one night (at Teany, I believe?) with @fimoculous. He was fascinated by the conversational broadcasting of Twitter (this is NOT a Twitter post, promise)...and yada yada...this dialogue made me realize its true. Social media is not me conversing with you, its me conversing with You. Its been said that "social media is predicated on a system of sharing content authentically, one-to-one." Not true! Its a system predicated on sharing content one-to-many in an exponential fashion.

I have often said that the beauty of social media marketing is that it creates a Multiplicity Effect. WOM becomes exponentialized and tangential when distributed through a social techno-ecosystem. You can reach both top tier "influencers," and tap into the long tail of consumers in disparate communities and niches across the internet.

One-to-many, however, in social media is not the same as the one-to-many model of traditional media (television, print); there of course is a reciprocity in social media. So, with that in mind, it may be best to view social interactivity as One-to-Many-to-Many-to-One!


A DialogueBetween Social Media Marketers & IT

So I'm totally calling myself out with this one heh heh...