Archive for “July, 2010”

Social Media Roundup for July 30, 2010

Are you ready for your 15 minutes?

This week YouTube announced that it has changed it’s video upload limit from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. This is good news for users who enjoy posting their lengthy video feedback responses to the newest episode of Jersey Shore.

YouTube says that since it now has a tight handle on dealing with copyrighted content, users who upload large chunks of TV shows and movies are less of a concern and therefore longer videos can be permitted.

Groupon introduces personalization

We’ve all heard of the Daily Me phenomenon, but what about the Daily Deal phenomenon? I remember that exciting time of week when all the retail sales flyers would arrive in the mailbox and the whole family would scour over the week’s door crashers. Now, daily deals are arriving in inboxes instead of mailboxes, courtesy of websites like Groupon and RedFlagDeals.

This week Groupon introduced it’s Personalization feature which will send users one deal a day based on their preferences, purchase history and overall profile putting an end to scrolling through dozens of tire and mattress sales and cutting straight through to the good stuff.

Celebrities are also jumping on the band wagon to promote these daily deals websites. Lindsay Lohan is reportedly being paid by shopping club website Beyond The Rack to tweet about designer sales.

Speaking of celebs and Twitter…

The man who once said ““Everything that Twitter offers, I need less of” has now joined the ranks of Twitter. Kanye West, not one to do things quietly, ended his boycott against Twitter this week and celebrated his new account with a live appearance at the Twitter head office in San Francisco. Kanye makes up part of the 0.4% of celebrity Twitter users and has already attracted 306,105 followers – that’s 1,000 times as many as the average Joe.

Check out Kanye’s Twitter performance below.

Enterprise 2.0: What if sales lived in the “cloud”?

I’ve attended the Enterprise 2.0 conference every year for the last three years. I’ve met good friends there for the first time, put faces to old friends I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting IRL and I always look forward to catching up with many of the brilliant people I am lucky enough to be acquainted with. Ultimately, however, it’s not the sessions and speakers that really get me going intellectually. It’s the hallway convos and debates over drinks. This year was no different. In fact, I heard from many attendees that it is now official: the sessions are not the draw at E20 – the lobby is.

So what did I take away this year? A number of things, but one thought in particular I have been chewing on for some time, especially because it aligns with our Enterprise Services practice, which is all about change management. I shared it Andy McAfee just before the social media panel I participated in on the second day (and which was very sparsely attended – social media being the red-headed stepchild of E20), and it goes a little something like this:

1. There is a dramatic proliferation of touchpoints between the enterprise and the market. Two-way conversations used to happen via your 1-800 number, your reception desk and your sales and PR teams. Now hundreds, even thousands of employees across the company can be communicating with the entire market via dozens of social channels in real time (no surprise here).

2. Consumers perceive brands/companies/institutions as speaking with one big voice. They don’t care if it’s CRM, sales or marcom. These artificial divisions may mean a lot inside the org, but outside, no one cares. You’re Company X. End of story.

3. Internal integration across these silos is critical to avoid missed opportunity and potentially generate solid ROI – the communications person will be encountering CRM issues, the CRM person bumping up against sales opportunities, etc.

4. It’s within that last point that I find a most compelling question. How does the sales function integrate with a company’s social media activities? How does it become nimble and horizontally integrated in order to take full advantage of the opportunities presented at all of these different touchpoints? How and when does it engage effectively?

5. What if your sales org could become something that lives in “the cloud” (please see below for a great video that answers the question, “What is Cloud Computing?”), meaning it is accessible from any point within the organization and any time in the sales cycle, rather than being a linear process that starts with a suspect at the top of the funnel and ends in a sale at the bottom? (Colin Douma, a brilliant guy who is now the VP of social at an agency in Toronto, had some interesting thoughts about what the sales funnel actually looks like in the age of social media, and Joe Jaffe recently wrote a booked called Flip the Funnel, so I’m not alone in thinking about this).

The end state? If sales is now horizontally integrated across the org, living in a kind of “process cloud”, when someone in customer service or communications or research identifies a prospect with an itch their product can scratch, they can feed that lead right into the appropriate node in the sales pipeline. Opportunity seized.

This is of course both a technology and a workflow challenge, but one I suspect will increasingly become an issue as engagement matures and a return on all of our socializing must be demonstrated. A spurned prospect is also more that just a lost opportunity – it’s someone who’s likely pissed off, since no one enjoys being ignored.

[full disclosure: I attended E20 2010 on a complimentary press pass]

Social Media Roundup for July 23, 2010

Are you hooked to “The Book”?

Facebook officially hit the 500 million users mark this week. Hitting this milestone can only mean one thing – people are hooked to “The Book” more than ever.

However, even though users are actively on Facebook, a recent poll conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that Facebook ranks in the bottom 5% when it comes to customer satisfaction among private companies. Facebook’s low score is not overly surprising when you consider the recent upsets users have experienced with privacy and interface changes. Although the ranking puts Facebook in the same category as airlines and cable companies – two industries that are notorious for their poor customer service – it shows no sign of slowing down.

Google Image Search gets a lift


Google Images got a pretty sweet makeover this week with Google revealing a very sleek new interface on Tuesday. The new image search lets you scroll through 1,000 images at once, making it easier and faster to find the picture you’re looking for. Google has also ditched the text that used to appear under images (you can still find the meta data for most pictures when you hover over the image) making for a much cleaner look.

If you’re still seeing the old image search, don’t worry – Google is gradually rolling out the new tool this week. And if you’re the boss and reading this, you know how much we love you Maggie.

1945-1998 video highlights nuclear history

This video by Isao Hashimoto is a pretty amazing representation of every nuclear explosion that took place between 1945 and 1998. Hashimoto has scaled down a month of time into one second, with each blinking light and sound representing an experiment. While the subject matter is a bit of a downer, the video breaks down the history of this issue in a digestible way. Plus 10 for this amazing communication about a very serious topic.

Emotional spell check tool hits the Internet

Are you guilty of sending emails in the heat of the moment? Do you hit the send button without checking to ensure you haven’t inadvertently told someone off? If so, you may want to give ToneCheck a try. ToneCheck claims it can help you avoid situations that come out of misinterpreted textual communication by identifying the emotional definition of words and phrases. According to studies quoted on ToneCheck, emails are misinterpreted 50% of the time so it may be worth giving this tool a spin. We’ve spent some time with the ToneCheck guys, and must admit that it is good to see our friends from New Brunswick getting so much buzz.

Social Media Roundup for July 16, 2010

The Man your Man Could Smell Like

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you’ve probably heard of (and maybe even developed a slight crush on) The Old Spice Guy. Old Spice released its first ad with the attractive fellow named Isaiah Mustafa in February at the Superbowl. A few weeks ago he was back with a new ad, and this week he was on the scene making personalized videos for random people and famous folks alike.

The campaign is being touted as one of the most successful viral campaigns in recent history. The 180+ custom videos made this week have garnered 5.9 million views and 22,500 comments.

More people using social media at work

Social media use at work is on the rise (from 19% to 24%) but it’s still not clear if its being used to advance business objectives or if employees are just wasting company time and money. The study conducted by Trend Micro looked at the Internet habits of 1,600 workers and concluded that employees working at larger companies were less likely to use social networks at the office than those working at a smaller company.

iPhone 4 troubles? Apple wants to give you a free case

Apple held a much anticipated news conference today to address concerns about the iPhone 4 antenna issue. Apple assured customers that providing quality products is a priority and they’re working to fix the current issues. Here’s what they said they’re going to do:

  • Release a software update that will fix the error in the signal calculation algorithm
  • Free bumper or refund for existing bumpers
  • If customers still aren’t satisfied, Apple will provide iPhone 4 owners with a full refund

Interestingly enough, Apple also mentioned that the return rate on the iPhone 3GS at AT&T stores was 6% whereas the return rate of the iPhone 4 was only 1.7%.

Joining the Social Media Today Board!

SMT logo
I’m extremely pleased to announce that I will be joining the Social Media Today Blogger Board. After joining the Social Media Collective in 2007 (which later morphed into the SMT community), it’s been amazing and gratifying to watch this conversation and industry grow. When I first started Social Media Group, I was able to keep up with everything that happened in the social media space on a weekly basis. As adoption has exploded over the last few years, it’s almost unimaginable that this was once possible, and it’s also increasingly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. That’s where SMT comes in, providing enormous value by curating the best and the brightest from amongst all the noise – bringing leading voices and cutting edge thinking to those interested in learning more about the social web.

John Byrne describes the SMT community well, calling it:

“A nonstop seminar in new media for anyone who sees social networks as the technical articulation of the front porch on a summer night, the place where people set the community agenda for both the personal and the profound.”

A special thanks to SMT CEO Robin Fray Carey for the ask. It is indeed an honour to join my esteemed and respected colleagues John A. Byrne, Brian Solis, Jonathan Salem Baskin, Rachel Happe, Vanessa DiMauro and J.D. Lasica on the Social Media Today Board. I look forward to what’s next for the SMT community!

On Influence and Social Circles

Whilst Fast Company is busy mistaking pyramid schemes for influence in a noisy and much discussed way, quietly making the rounds has been a fascinating presentation by Paul Adams, User Experience Research at Google, in which real world social network and the influence within is examined.

The truth is we do behave differently offline than on, where we have loose collections of networks with tenuous ties. The concept of ‘friends’ as presented by Facebook is a broken experience and the notion of ‘influence’ is far more complex an issue than simply who can push the most people to click a link. What it all means is that we are nowhere near an end game in terms of social media marketing. If the changes and opportunities seen to date seemed to come fast and furious, hold on tight because this particular roller coaster hasn’t even left the station.