Is this for real?

March 31, 2009

Honda new ad is…. well astonishing to say the less. At first look it seemed boring then I started to understand what I was seeing. I’m wondering if they really did it manually or had the light controlled by a computer. Any hint?


Having the longer…. tail, in social media

March 31, 2009

It seems most social media (SM) tools are twisted by some users in the following ways: they build collections of “friends” . They compete and rank themselves in term of who has the biggest number of friends or follower or subscribers. To be fair, most SM tools rank users based on the number of “friends” or followers they have which kind of tend to grow the tendancy.

So what’s is the benefit?

Long tail blue bird

Obviously no one can really read and answer to 300+ followers tweets nor know and discuss with 1000+ contacts. It’s not anymore about sharing content and about being interested in knowing others. So, again, what’s the benefit?

Well there is a real benefit in being the first to apply successfully a tool for business. This success become the reference and your name makes it to the board of fame – not mentioning reward might be even more substantial. The idea is to be talked about, to get famous, to be the buzz Guru. Once you are there, you have super power, no one will question your vision, everyone wants to be in direct contact with you and your network reach exponential grow, the social media nirvana.

What are the protections?

Not that many. Twitter has an internal protection system consisting in temporary disabling an account receiving too many followers as describde in this post from Social POPStars (the name says it…). They call it “blewing” their account… and do so out of pure popular virality! But not all users with big number of followers are genuine.

How to spot fake follower count?

In a post name “How to spot a twitter user with a fake follower count” Amnesiablog.com reports of experiences made  to artificially grow one’s follower count and gives a method to spot a “faker” through nice & easy graphical analysis.

How to check identity and behavior?

Well, as Amnesiablog is proposing, by following for a time, checking content and unfollowing. That’s all there is for now.

Seems blacklisting is also coming soon. Amnesiablog talks about www.socialtoo.com building such a blacklist.The first know blacklist made out of goodwill, twitterblacklist.com, has been closed by its creator due to a brutal loss of confidence in Twitter. What is the next solution to counter Twitter spam? When will there be an internal rating or badrating available to users?

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[Video] Comment ça marche Twitter ? Part 1

March 27, 2009

Pour les francophones curieux de mieux comprendre Twitter, excellente vidéo de Fadhila Brahimi: [Video] Comment ça marche Twitter ? Part 1

(Pour voter pour cette video c’est ici sur VodPod et ici sur YouTube)


Giving a shot at comparing SM tools buzz – Twitter, Facebook, Linked In & MySpace

March 26, 2009

For some reason I have missed the launch of a very interesting tool: Google Trends. Discovering a graph in a blog gave me the idea to compare if not measure the buzz-race between the main social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Myspace.

Here is the result obtained today:

Social Media Buzz Trends

Social Media Buzz Trends

Google Trends is measuring:

  • the number of searchs done on the keywords,
  • the number of time the keywords appeared in Google News.

The above graph gives interesting insights:

  • comparing interest in Facebook and Myspace over time,
  • measuring current interest in Facebook and in Twitter – first graph shows very few search for Twitter, second graph shows a lot of News published on Twitter about the same amount being published on Facebook.

The above confirms Twitter is not yet known on a large scale, that the buzz is growing fast among Web-versed people (press, bloggers….).

Do you know how google-friendly are the Twitter pages? Do they build mostly Twitter’s visibility or the page owner’s brand?

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Why are corporate blogging?

March 25, 2009

Below are a few notes made while listening to Chris Brogan video cast  posted on his blog titled “What should corporations do with their blogs”.  Chris asked several company – AMD, GM, Pepsico, BestBuy, … – how they are using their blog to talk about important issues with their customers.

[This is not a transcript – please listen to the video as it is fully loaded with high value content].

Corporations are blogging to engage the customer, get feedback, build a conversation and establish a link. Promoting the product is not enough to establish and maintain the link. Real content and personal relationship is needed.

Three predicates to corporate blogging

Now in order to engage real conversation with customers, corporate needs to believe in three predicates:

  • consider social media as a real tool – not entertainment,
  • realize that customer are intelligent and as a group are able to figure out what they want.
  • be willing to act transparently and discuss what is of real interest to customers – be it product evolution or crisis situations.

If one is missing, it’s likely the blogging communication will fail. Now assuming, these three beliefs are fully accepted, then real blogging can happen.

Why do corporate blog?

The whole idea behind corporate blogging is to be able to get feedback information from customer at a faster rate.Yes, learn from customers to improve product, services, communication, identify new market niches: in the end it’s all about competitiveness and being faster than competition and prepare for your future.

In addition to identifying future product evolutions, blogging can also be used to handle crisis situation.

How to blog?

It’s just human interaction, you are here to help customers. It’s a person to person relationship. Like in the real life, you build connections on your personality.

How important is the man behind the brand?

Most of the speakers gathered by Chris are Big brands, so the question was intended to clarify if blogging was doable for small companies with small or no budget.

The question was rephrased as follow “How important is the group behind the man blogging for the brand?“. Blogging or social media activity might  be a one man work but this man needs to have the ability to get support from the rest of the company or needs to be able to bend the company strategy when getting important feedback.

Do not be afraid as a company to try, to test social media. Do not be afraid to talk with people hating your brand. This might be your one opportunity to discuss with them, to clarify something maybe to turn them into your brand champion.

What advices do you give to a social evangelist?

  • do not be afraid at taking a risk while blogging, it’s easier to make a mistake as a human than it is to do one as a corporation. Mistakes and excuses from a human help building a link,
  • if looking for a job in this space, take the job because you see a future in social media,
  • keep your social media activity honest, have integrity, have transparency – the whole system is based on trust.
  • while blogging, inject personality – it’s all about people -the brand is not enough.
  • does not matter the size of the company. You need to learn about fast fails: try and learn from it.
  • you’ll find internal resistance against blogging and social media – keep up the work, this is the future, resistance will disappear.

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Salesforce.com offers Twitter as a monitoring & support service

March 24, 2009

Here we are…One of the first business application for Twitter:  the micro-blogging service is now integrated into Salesforce.com. The service helps monitoring what is  “Twitted” on a brand, monitoring the solutions given by a user to another one and do direct on on one or one to the mass customer support.

Salesforce is not directly making money out of this but the service does add value to its customers – definitely more for the price – Is Twitter making money out of this?

What do you think?

Links:


Is Twitter really the right tool for PR?

March 23, 2009

In a former post – What’s in for B2B marketing in Twitter? – I was making a reference to Matt Rhodes listing 8 ways to use Twitter for PR in its post “How to use Twitter for PR“:

  1. Tracking
  2. Monitoring
  3. Live-reporting
  4. Journalism
  5. Activism
  6. Public Relations
  7. Political
  8. Communications
  9. Crisis Communications.

If, I do agree on the first two and the last one, I’m skeptic as of the others.

  • Live reporting and Journalism: well 140 characters might be a little short to do this. It’s barely headlines -just like the one scrolling at the bottom of TV News show –  that is all title effect and no much meet to feed on.
  • Activism and Political use of Twitter: I guess recent use of Twitter by the democrats is a good sample of Activism. To me it is more an application of a communication to early-adopters and a project communication to a group, that is focused, short term, rooted in time. I’m not sure the link with the large-scale group can really survive the project. The link to the early adopter group will likely stay.
  • Communication and Crisis management: understanding communication as basic way to send messages then yes, Twitter is one way to route short messages.. Crisis management seems to have happened lately a few time. Same use as SMS here but with wider audience and Web relaying.

It’s pretty basic to say so as it is always the case in marketing, but with Twitter, one needs to know the group being targeted and it’s interest in order to send the right short messages and maintain the link. But this is not enough: Twitter is a new tool and as reported by Marketing & Innovation Blog in this post (french content) – Twitter, un outil à manier avec précautions… Cas pratique ! – there are really two main profiles in Twitter’s followers:

  • fierce Twitter users: they are early adopters, well versed in Twitter etiquette and requiring real personal content,
  • occasional users: they twitt from time to time in addition to email and other social media tools, mainly testing it.

In this post, Marketing & Innovation Blog is giving real feedback on a communication campaign having used Twitter as one of the tools to promote a buzz. In this campaign, including the Twitter fierce users in the target revealed to be a bad move. They perceived the communication as SPAM, not following the rules and reacted to it strongly. This category of Twitters users being versed in Web tools, the net reacted as a soundboard and amplified the negative feedback.  Targeting error lead to missed operation. – See at the end of Marketing & Innovation ‘s post their suggestion for avoiding this type of mistakes.

So bottom line, I think Twitter is really interesting in monitoring a brand, in testing an idea, in maintaining a link with early adopters (testing an idea, beta testing) and also for time limited and project oriented short reporting. In my opinion, Twitter is not the right tool for PR in term of reaching an open-wide audience and real time must always be handled with care.

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