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Apr. 27th, 2012 // The “I don ... April 28, 2012  //  0 comments

Apr. 27th, 2012 // The “I don’t Need Social Media” Myth

Posted in // The Social Customer

Posted by // Jennifer Roberts

Guest post by Jessica Goulding -- With social media on the rise the past few years, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding its existence, effectiveness and lifespan. When websites like Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube first started coming around, some users were skeptical. Why would people put what they were doing or how they were feeling online? Who was really going to read it and what purpose did it serve? A few years later, users became more inclined to share data and their lives online, yet it was still seen as a “young person thing” to be on these networks and participating. We now see people of all ages utilizing these networks and sharing multiple times throughout the day.

First myth, “My customers aren’t on these networks, so that’s worthless to me.” To limit your brand to a certain demographic that may not be using social media is skipping out on an opportunity to capture vital information. Why not grow your brand and allow consumers to interact with you? You can only gain knowledge and further insight into how you are seen by your customers.

Another myth, “I can’t measure ROI on this, why should I use it?” While it is challenging to measure the exact worth of your brand being in social media; you are gaining access to a large amount of information that you would’ve had to pay for in the past. You now have access to customer habits outside of your brand, and the opportunity to establish a connection you couldn’t have done before outside of social media. Essentially all that traditional Market Research that had to happen in the past is now available if you just pay attention and interact with your consumers online.

Consumers have a heightened awareness of how companies interact with their customers and becoming increasingly selective of who gets their business. Truth be told, there are a lot more than these two myths out there that companies tell themselves. If you aren’t allowing your customers to interact with you on these platforms, you’re constricting your opportunity for growth. Every company should be utilizing what tools they have available to them in this current space. This is the age of knowledge and sharing and it’s time to get on board.

Read the entire post in The Social Customer posted by Jennifer Roberts.

See the Original Article by Jennifer Roberts Posted in Collective Intellect
Jennifer Roberts is Marketing & Content Strategist at Collective Intellect - She's the Marketing & Content strategist for Collective Intellect. Collective Intellect is a social media and text analytics company; they use semantic technology to surface customer intent, sentiment and demographics from social media conversations.

Apr. 25th, 2012 // The Secret to ... April 26, 2012  //  0 comments

Apr. 25th, 2012 // The Secret to Becoming A Social Influencer: Private Networks

Posted in // Social Media Today

Posted by // Kim Donlan

Defining a social influencer is an interesting concept and one ripe for continued evaluation and exploration as we, the marketers, try to connect with those who will embrace the stories and move the brands we represent. The measurement of influence keeps shifting as social media matures but it is the detangling of the meaning of influence that warrants attention.

There are benchmark measurements - the number of comments, followers, tweets, linked-in connections, pins or circles. Companies like Klout provide an influence score based on the social activity across multiple networks. And our conversations and attributions are calculated with Dachis Group’s Social Business Index (see The Challenge of Measuring Social Influence with Big Data by Rohn Jay Miller). These quantitative measurements calculate only one world: the social realm and help marketers examine the online conversation – an important and valuable endeavor. But it fails to include or reflect the true world of influence – our private networks.

Influence is the ability to cause action and action is clearly the ability to act within and across social and private networks. The people we influence the most are our friends and acquaintances in our private networks: family, friends, neighbors, classmates, congregations and club members. These connections are not currently reflected in our social media profile or score and, without this information, we are calculating an incomplete equation.

In the highly acclaimed book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg provides insight on social habits and how finding the right influencer can create change. In one case study, he walks through the civil rights movement and, in particular, how Rosa Parks sparked a movement. Duhigg states, “In general, sociologist say, most of us have friends who are like us. We might have a few close acquaintances who are richer, a few who are poorer and a few of different races – but on the whole, our deepest relationships tend to be with people who look like us, earn about the same amount of money, and come from similar backgrounds…Rosa Parks transcended the social stratifications…she was friends with field hands and college professors. And the power of those friendships became apparent as soon as Parks landed in jail.”

The combination of our private and social networks allows us to do what Rosa Parks did – transcend social stratification. When we look at both social and private networks, we begin to see a holistic representation of our social selves. For influence to be more accurately measured, it must honor those with deep, highly personal social relationships and include a calculation of the potential reach, participation and actions in private networks. By broadening the social influencer score to include and reward those who act as bridges between the social and private networks, we get closer to finding the true influencers and away from measuring glorified popularity.

There are two key questions. First: “What if there was a way to rate how well a person is connected to social and private networks?” Second: “Can we apply a score to those most likely to access the right combination of networks (private, social or combination) to initiate real action?”

At first glance, there seems to be three primary categories that define an influencer with related variations within each category: networks, content, relationships. Brian Solis provided a solid framework that supports this in his article, Exploring and Defining Influence. The survey he did had a majority of respondents from corporations and marketer/agencies, 42% of which were operating at revenue less than $1M. One of the compelling outcomes was the following:

  • 60% of respondents said the “quality or focus of the network was most important”
  • 55% forced a tie between “quality of content” AND the “capacity to cause measurable outcomes”
  • 40% ranked “depth of relationship” as their top choice.

In network, content and relationships, the focus, depth and measurable result were alone and in combination, the best indicator of an influencer. In particular, it was the emphasis on quality of the network, content and relationships that was the most important finding.

The framework for the quality of the network, content and relationships could include two sets of data: one for social networks and one for private reach. We each have disparate collections of connections. Our business selves use Twitter, our personal selves use Facebook, our parent selves communicate via class and PTO distribution lists, our athletic selves are connected to club Google groups or mobile sports communities. Our sphere of influence within these micro-collections is significantly higher for the simple reason that they are our friends and support the strong social ties between acquaintances.

What deserves re-thinking is the habit of

  1. Scan
  2. Click
  3. Read
  4. Comment
  5. Retweet
  6. Follow

The social media habit of sharing quality content is restricted to the people currently engaged in our social networks. We need to expand the idea of followers to include our private networks – the place where we can truly add value and trigger action.

To change social influence, three things need to happen:

  • Bring social media content to the private networks
  • Use access and connections to private networks as another factor in social influence rating
  • Adopt social media as our mainstream social fabric

Bring social media content to your private networks

It stands to reason that those who know you in context of shared, common interests are most likely to pay attention. By re-publishing social content into the private networks we:

  • draw personal connections into our social media worlds
  • share relevant content with a highly impressionable group
  • expand our followers with relevant, deep relationships

Private Networks as Another Factor of Social Influence Rating

Think of membership in private networks as being a node connecting two networks. Nodes can be powerful connecters that can be activated to inspire action. Adding and rewarding the number of nodes and the willingness to activate them should be part of a person’s social influence rating.

Just as we currently add our activities and specialties to our social profiles, providing a list of private networks gives a more accurate picture of the number of followers and potential followers within our social and private networks.

Together, we could adopt a system by which our collection of networks is indicated on our public profile and our transactions between the social network and private network are tracked. For example, a person reads a great article on teamwork and posts a RT on Twitter to their following and also posts the link to the article on their Boston Running email distribution list of 400+ members. From a marketing and social media perspective, that behavior makes that person slightly more influential especially if he makes it a habit. We need to explore the possibility of a RP (for re-post) indication that rewards the interconnection of the social network to a highly targeted, impressionable group.

Increasing the social influencer rating will require building a new habit for including the private networks of our social media sharing.

The New Social Influencer Habit:

  1. Scan
  2. Click
  3. Read
  4. Comment
  5. RePost to Private Network
  6. Retweet
  7. Follow

Adopt Social Media as Part of our Mainstream Social Fabric

Like it or not, personal branding and the responsibility and power of social media is played out in middle school. For those growing up on social networks, the line between public and private is a blurred one. The concept of communicating one to many is not a learned skill. It is who these students are and how their brains are wired. The seamlessness with which a conversation begins at school, jumps onto a social network, transitions to a ‘shared hub’ that is then augmented by text-based comments is simply how it is done.

In a world where awareness of connections and degrees of separation are openly discussed, where networks are consciously cultivated and nurtured, we have a chance to re-define the social influencer as the people taking the responsibility to connect us to the networks, content and relationships. Those who change their social habits to include the private networks will be and should be seen for what they are – those who have the true power to listen, to act and to change us.

Read the entire post in Social Media Today posted by Kim Donlan.
KimRDonlan is Brand Strategist, Social Media Therapist, Marketing Consultant
"I see the beauty of exquisitely connecting. I believe completely in the right message with the right words and images and have dedicated my life to seeking them for myself and my clients. I have been a senior marketing executive, business developer and networking guru launching brands and companies mostly at the start-up stage with VC-funded technology or new divisions within large corporation. I am best when I can build brands and marketing processes in environments where there is pressure to have a lot of good things happen in a very short time frame. I have worked on the agency and corporate side. Because I focus on branding, messaging, go-to-market strategy and digital / interactive execution, clients can and do run the gamut from Nickelodeon, ESPN, Scholastic, Harvard Business School to Beyonce, Demandware and Rolm and Haas. I am currently pursuing media psychology and the impact social media has on how we define user persona and profiles to better help us all understand what the hell all this means."
Apr. 24th, 2012 // Why Do We Twe ... April 25, 2012  //  0 comments

Apr. 24th, 2012 // Why Do We Tweet on Facebook? Crossing the Streams of Social Media

Posted in // Social Media Today

Posted by // Vakho Vakhtangishvili

It's a universally acknowledged hypothesis that we tweet to make up for our lack of identity, while Facebook exists to satisfy our need for belonging and self-representation. Why we are tempted to fuse these entirely different streams of consciousness, even in the face of total protonic reversal of the benefits of separation?

Facebook Timeline organizes our spontaneous ramblings into a colorful canvas of our web personality, thus bulk of the content we have dared to generate or share is available for public scrutiny. Majority of the activities we used to engage in the privacy of distinct spheres of interaction – scouring videos, music, books, photos, and articles – have gained an additional pan-social dimension accompanied by a peculiar audience of Facebook friends. In this light, integration complements our Facebook persona and serves to validate our attention-craving egos.

As norms and practices of social media vehicles vary, integration presents fascinating challenges. Official Twitter solution for Facebook treats tweets as status updates, and attempts to bypass the possible confusion caused by @s and retweets by omitting them. This way Twitter feed is directly interwoven within idiosyncratic fabric of Facebook, blurring the line between the two sources of self-expression, and providing a convenient method of increasing reach for witty remarks and offhand observations. Moreover, there are a number of apps that allow users to filter (Selective tweets) or optimize the stream with a Twitter client (e.g.: TweetDeck)

Tumblr, Pinterest, Foursquare and a growing number of pioneers attest that Open graph platform offers new possibilities for calibrating the story our Facebook profile tells. In the same vein, an unofficial app, Twittus, provides a designated box for all Twitter activity on timeline. The app morphs the chaotic tweets into a solid comprehensive voice, focusing the scattered ruins of Twitter from all over the Facebook timeline. Additionally, it creates a log of Twitter activity that can be browsed according to the time tweets were published. While new tweets still show up in the live ticker, Twittus reinstates the schism and effectively caters for the motivation of belonging and self-assertion.

Evidently, there is a deep evolutionary force driving our tweets into the Facebook realm, molding rogue pieces of our web identities into a singular vessel of representation. If there is something strange on your Facebook timeline, who ya gonna tweet to?

Read the entire post in Social Media Today posted by Vakho Vakhtangishvili.

Apr. 23rd, 2012 // The Third Ind ... April 24, 2012  //  0 comments

Apr. 23rd, 2012 // The Third Industrial Revolution: What Should Social Media Become?

Posted in // Social Media Today

Posted by // Miquel Garcia

Over the last three centuries manufacturing has changed radically. We went from small cotton farms to large textile factories, from specialized shops to huge assembly lines. Just in the past several decades we have seen the emergence of things like 3D printing and synthetic biology that will allow the creation of things in unprecedented ways and change the way we live and work forever.

When a larger account of this story is told we will find ourselves at the beginning of the timeline. It will be noted as a period of great flux, an ever changing world filled with visionaries that established new industries, and the people that were experimenting with their creations.

A recent article in The Economist describes this Third Industrial Revolution as a time when manufacturing is going digital. It includes web-based services as having a large impact, but surprisingly it mentions nothing specific about social media. You'll find the same in many other reputable publications that talk about future developments and mention more about self-driving cars, living buildings, renewable energies, and nanotechnology than the future of social media.

Few people today would ever call their car an automobile but that's what people called it when the first versions were coming out. The same applies to airplanes which were simply know as flying machines when the Wright Brothers first had a go at flying. Both of those inventions have now become many things to many people and the same will happen to social media.

It will not disappear but its connotation will change and rightfully so. Social media is currently scratching the surface when you think about all the capabilities that these amazing tools should one day have. Just think how business and government will change when their services become integrated into social networks, how the world around us will look when social media is just a conglomeration of different services available to us wherever we go, and how our relationships will be augmented by the information people share in the real world, as we walk around our cities. This is already happening, but not always in the best of ways.

Social media should become an integration of everyday living and working processes. When it reaches a critical mass we will simply stop thinking of it as a concept or industry that stands on its own. Instead it will be something we expect in all our appliances, homes, cars, schools, neighborhoods, shops, workplaces, governments, cities, streets, and everything in between. Every one of these things and places will create a new kind of social media adapted to its specific use and the will of its people, while still being integrated enough so you can jump comfortably from place to place. It may all look very similar, to make access simple, but should be constructed in a way that really answers the issues that matter most to its users. One type of social network won't do and we should stray away from giving that much power to any one company.

I'm not simply advocating more technology or more access to different social networks. I believe that social media and social networks will serve their purpose best when more people are actually interacting and collaborating in the real world. When its power helps us save time and discover new things so that we can spend what time we have left in more valuable endeavors alongside more valuable relationships. Social media should beg us to go and check what's around the corner and entice us to meet people who share our interests, yet lie outside of our immediate circles or groups. It should make our working life better and thus, life itself better.

Call me idealistic. It's the aiming for perfection that makes things great, not the hitting of a target.

Read the entire post in Social Media Today posted by Miquel Garcia.
Miguel Garcia is Customer Success Manager at Yammer.

Born in Texas. Raised in Mexico. Currently traveling the world. Having lived on the border for half of my life I know the best and worst of both worlds. A valuable upbringing for anyone hoping to understand the world. Studied politics and international relations, regard myself as a technological cosmopolitan trying to use the power of tech and social media to build valuable offline connections and promote real world activism. Developing philosophy/school of thought known as "The Cosmoholotech Approach" which seeks to address the failures of our current systems while augmenting their good. Currently living and working in London. Seeking to become a serious entrepreneur building products that address broken systems.