Archive for “January, 2010”

Social Media Roundup for January 29, 2010

Apparently Apple released a product Wednesday

Is it just me or did the iPad feel like old news before it was 30 minutes old? The advance rumours were (in some cases) so accurate this time and so far ahead of the actual announcement that it was hard not to feel a bit let down by reality. The perennial Apple Fanboy Vs. Hater debate aside, the new iPad device tries to fill a gap between the portability of a smart phone and the bulkiness of a laptop or netbook, all with Steve Jobs trademark flair for the stylish. Buried in all the hoopla is that Jobs said when you consider MacBooks as “mobile” devices, Apple generates more revenue from mobile hardware than any other company in the world. (via John Gruber’s Daring Fireball)

New Social Media Use Stats

Neilsen released some new statistics on usage of social media showing that Facebook is continuing to eat MySpace‘s lunch, Twitter use has exploded and the global audience spending 82% more time on social media platforms than they did last year. Mashable summarizes the results and offers up fresher month-over-month stats that show Twitter use in decline.

CBC Charges for Article Embeds

The publishing industry continues to struggle with a profitable online news model, focusing particular attention on the wide gulf between outright piracy and fair use of their copyrighted content . The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) among other news organizations have been using the iCopyright system to help monetize their content. The Torontoist breaks down how it is being used.

An Incovenient PR Truth

According to a video by RealWire (an online news distribution service), irrelevance is to the PR industry what pollution is to the environment. Breathe in that irrelevance, baby.

Social Media Week Toronto: An Event at SMG T.O.

Social Media Week is fast approaching –February 1-5, 2010- and we’re doing a little prep. In fact, the prep isn’t little at all unless you’re a superhero. It involves moving all of the furniture around in our Toronto office so that we can host you for a nifty little presentation and networking event.

We recently released the first ever Social Media RFP template to help  companies that are looking to add Social Media to their mix ask the right questions to find the right partner. On February 4th from 4pm-7pm, our executive team will be unpacking that template and explaining exactly how to use it. Of course, as a bonus you’ll have a chance to meet like minded professionals who are  also looking for great social media partners or have done fabulous work in social media themselves.

Refreshments will be on offer and the presentation will be complete with just enough time to get you home for supper- that is if you didn’t over do it on the snacks. You can get more information and register at Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming. The tickets are free and we’d love to meet you- the whole SMG team will be there!

There are also a number of other events being hosted as part of Social Media Week that will be worth checking out. Doing homework for you, BlogTO has done a nice job of summarizing the week’s events including descriptions, dates, times and locations. You should probably reserve your tickets now. I’m guessing they’ll go like hotcakes since some events already have waiting lists. Hope to see you there!

Social Media Round Up for January 22, 2010

Rung added to Social Technographics Ladder

Remember Forrester’s Social Technographics ladder from back in 2007? Well things have changed since then and surprise, surprise all, the active categories are growing, showing that we are all doing more with social media. Most notably though, the ladder has received a much needed new rung for those of us considered “conversationalists”.

Bill Gates joins Twitter

The world’s wealthiest man now has a twitter account and likely has the highest ratio of followers to tweets (currently approaching 300k followers with only 9 tweets). It appears that he is using Twitter to help launch his new web site which features an inside look at his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Kids and Media consumption

USAToday summarizes  a Kaiser Family Foundation study which has kids spending an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes consuming media, much of which is taking place on mobile devices (perhaps it would be even higher with improved battery life 😉 A friend told me an interesting story that her son was spending so much time organizing social plans via text on a weekend night that in some cases it was too late to go out by the time they had finished the discussion.

Apple’s Tablet

The masters of Anti-social media are at it again, with no official details released of the expected Apple tablet, the rumor mills are churning away before the expected announcement on January 27. One note-worthy point from the WSJ (according to AppleInsider) is that the device is intended to be shared by multiple family members, which if the device is successful could again shift how we consume electronic media. Until the facts are revealed we can enjoy a favourite parody of Apple’s publicity machine from MadTV.

Social Media Roundup for January 15, 2010

The Social Media Roundup – building great ideas one 4×2 brick at a time.

Online LEGO Maniacs Unite!
LEGO has launched their new social media hub this week, curating and aggregating content produced by LEGO Maniacs worldwide.  The slick site features a playful block-based layout with a constantly updating tower of content, all of which is shareable and sortable.  As a recovering maniac, I feel a relapse coming on.

Facebook Doesn’t Care About Privacy, Probably, Maybe-ish.
Late last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sat down for a chat with Michael Arrington and blew up the Internet.  The big Z implied that the future of Facebook was public, not private and it touched off a flurry of viewpoints on what is evidently still a touchy subject.

I’m with COCO
In what could be cynically construed as a massive social media campaign, NBC’s latest night folks have been the other online buzz of the week.  Conan seems to be the clear online winner (and NBC itself clearly the loser), with a groundswell of support on the major social media platforms, blogs, and of course Craigslist.   Time will tell what part the social media aspect will ultimately play, but the more pressing question is – what would Carson do?

A More Social Google?
This week, GigaOm published an interview with Google’s David Glazer about the Goog’s plans for world domination the social web in 2010.  The crux – connecting everything Google knows about you (Social Search, Latitude, etc) with open community-driven standards like OpenSocial, Friend Connect, and a raft of others to create a “distributed, open social ubiquitous web.”

Social Media RFP: Ask the Right Questions, Find the Right Partner

More companies, brands and organizations are seeking social media counsel, services and campaigns than ever before. More agencies, practitioners and so-called social media gurus (see below) are positioning themselves as experts with all the answers. Cutting through the clutter and finding the right partner is tough, so we’ve created an RFP template for anyone who is looking to identify the social media company that’s right for them.

Writing a Request for Proposal (RFP) is a daunting task as best, but writing an RFP for social media services without a detailed knowledge of the space can be a nightmare for both the issuer and the recipients. To set the relationship up for success you need to ask the right questions to find the right partner.

So, in an effort to improve communications between clients and prospective social media agencies, and to help clients ask the most critical questions of their potential vendor, we’re pleased to share SMG’s Social Media RFP Template with anyone who’d like to use it. The document is freely available to all and can be changed or modified as needed without restriction.

The SMRFP covers what we feel are the most important questions to ask a potential vendor across a wide variety of potential service offerings and scenarios. You’ll see that the section on measurement is particularly detailed as we can all be a more disciplined in how we approach tactics. To make the most of the document, please modify it and remove what doesn’t make sense for you.

We expect to revise the Social Media RFP Template as offerings, services and best practices change and evolve. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think about it, so please leave a comment with your feedback.

The full text of the template is available on our Social Media RFP Template page. If you want a formatted Word version, please register and we’ll follow up to get your feedback and announce subsequent releases.

Finally, don’t miss the upcoming webinar on “How to choose a Social Media Vendor” on Wednesday January 21st via our friends at Social Media Today. The webinar will feature Maggie Fox (CEO of Social Media Group) and Scott Monty (head of social media with Ford Motor Company). You can register here.

Social Media Roundup for January 8, 2010

Plumber? Telegram? Flowers?  No, it’s the Social Media Roundup.

…or a dolphin.


New TXT From GreatWhite32 – OMNOMNOMNOM
Lifeguards along Australia’s Perth coastline will soon be receiving notifications from 74 different great white sharks by text message.  The GPS-tagged fish will each send out a text message when they are within range of public beaches.  An interesting initiative, but I can’t help wondering if Twitter might not have been a better tool for greater public awareness.

I Just Became The Mayor of Random Truckstop (Middle of Nowhere)!
Frequent flyers and local watering hole regulars rejoice!  Social game upstart Foursquare this week opened up its list of check-in locations to anywhere and everywhere you might want to visit.  While I can’t wait to become mayor of my local Tim Horton’s, I’m awaiting the inevitable check-in from atop Everest to claim mayorship of the world.

Nobody Has a Million Twitter Followers
Anil Dash has written a great post on what his addition to Twitter’s “Suggested users list” has meant in terms of actual response and interaction with his followers.  SPOILER ALERT: not a damn thing.  Anil says that his response rate has seen no real change after a more than 15-fold increase in followers, and cites examples from other big names in the same boat, including the Today Show and Starbucks.

What Have YOUR Fans Done For You Lately?
Well, if you happen to be Nine Inch Nails, they’ve produced a free, professional-grade concert video.  NIN offered up their raw footage to their fanbase, and after 12 months, they’ve got a slick production available for download in pretty much any format you could hope for (sorry, laserdisc fans).  Or, if you’re C-Mon & Kypski, they’re helping to create your latest video, one frame at a time.  If you’re Pearl Jam, they’re tweeting like mad for a free single.  If you’re none of these bands, sorry about your luck.

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Phones and Gadgetry
The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was in full swing this week, and Gizmodo’s got a day-by-day play-by-play of the whole shebang.  I guess that whole “banned for life” thing was just a phase.  Among the highlights from Giz and elsewhere: Skype is coming to your televisionSo are widgetsand Ford lets you tweet and drive [client].

The 2010 Longterm Forecast

Happy New Year from all of us at Social Media Group!

A new year ’round here means new speaking engagements- and we’re excited! If you’re in a city, town or county near; Greensboro, Waterloo, San Francisco or Tampa come on out and introduce yourself to Ms. Maggie Fox! Calgary? Say hello to Leona Hobbs!

And in case you want to hit the road with us here is the detailed long term forecast- okay, mostly January and pretty much just until March. And there is sure to be a few more dates posted soon. Please bare with us and stay tuned! You can check out the events section of our website for regular updates to speaking engagements.

January 13th, 2010
Greensboro, North Carolina
Maggie Fox, Keynote
WithIt Technology Symposium; Corporate Strategy, Integration & Investment in Digital & Social Media Technologies
In a practical, hands-on workshop style discussion, Maggie will talk social media planning and strategy, running participants through a five step Social Media plan using a few real world examples from our client work. Your ultimate deliverable? The steps you need to take to get to forward thinking, long term strategies and plans.

January 15th, 2010
Waterloo, Ontario
Maggie Fox, Keynote
Epcon; Social Media
Epcon is a technology conference in RIM’s hometown so you know it’s going to be big. Maggie will be giving a keynote on Flock Behaviour and Social Media. Leaders lead and followers follow, right? Not always. Researchers in bird behaviour have identified that a few well-placed, coordinated “followers” can shift the direction of a flock of hundreds. Maggie will discuss the implications of that for business and online communities undergoing change while entertaining the question “can followers lead”? Other companies speaking are Google, IBM, EA, Cisco, Rogers and Infusion. The conference promises to bring together North America’s leading tech guru’s to tell you where technology’s going next and it has tech competitions called ‘Elympics’. While the torch is still being run to Vancouver, why not get in the games?

January 19th, 2010
Toronto, Ontario
Maggie Fox, Featured Speaker
Wired Woman Event: Managing Your Digital Career Lifecycle
Social media requires you to act as curator, cultivator and manager of your personal branding message. This session will highlight the fundamental strategies necessary to protect your online reputation and will underscore techniques to monitor your business and personal web presence. Know where you are in your digital career lifecycle and make the most of it.
Register here.

January 26th, 2010
San Francisco, California
Maggie Fox, Moderator
OMMA Social; Brand as Media Company: Building Out Powerful Distribution Channels in Social Media
In the city that techies are born in or flock to, Maggie will moderate a discussion on building distribution channels using social media an exploring how advertisers can act more like broadcasters in building their social media channels. The panelists for the discussion are: Jonathan Anastas, VP, Head of Marketing, Atari, Dave Armon, VP, Strategic Accounts, Context Optional, Ido Leffler, Co-Founder, Yes To Inc, David Shearer, SVP, Executive Creative Director, MRM Worldwide, San Francisco.

February 8th, 2010
Tampa, Florida
Maggie Fox, Keynote
Social Fresh
Maggie will be giving a talk here along with these other cool cats. Stay tuned for more details but start packing your sunscreen.

March 9th-10th, 2010
Calgary, Alberta
Leona Hobbs, Keynote
The Canadian Institute; Managing Social Media: Practical Solutions and Legal Strategies for Maximizing Success and Minimizing Risk
If you didn’t get the tickets you put on your wish list, there’s still time. In this talk Leona will cover proactive approaches to handling crises online so your ‘OH NO’ is more like, ‘oh no, good thing we got this covered’. She’ll also talk about correcting inaccurate or misleading statements about your brand online, using social media to protect your brand and defend your business and using social media to be a part of customer conversations rather than a passive bystander. More details here.

And that’s all for now folks. 2010 is looking good and I can promise a heavier speaking schedule is to come.

Will 2010 Be the Watershed Year for Media and Advertisers?

Just before the holiday, Pepsi dropped a bombshell: they are cutting their Superbowl ads, instead spending $20 million on something called the Pepsi Refresh Project, a “social media” campaign that will hand out tens of millions of dollars to people who want to “refresh” their communities via good works.


Of course, the social media universe was all a-Twitter about Pepsi shifting their money from mass to conversation-based media (Pepsi spends $20 million on social media!) but we need to not overstate this – from where SMG sits (working with some of the biggest companies in the world on major social media programs), it would be nearly impossible to spend $20 million on social media alone; in fact, the $20 million figure in this case refers to the grant funding available, not just the cost of execution. The largest initiatives that we’ve seen – year-long campaigns involving hundreds of people, programs and tech, have cost less than half that (hard costs included). It’s great PR for Pepsi (and guaranteed to make Coke nervous), but Pepsi is not spending $20 million on social media – they’re simply shifting from traditional to non-traditional, and my money is that it will be a fully integrated campaign involving both paid and earned media, digital and otherwise.

So, now that we have that out of the way – let me tell you why I think it’s such a big damn deal. It’s not what Pepsi is doing it’s what they’re not doing: they’re not spending $20 million on television advertising during the Superbowl. This doesn’t just hit the bottom line for the networks that share the revenue (now busily making noises that Pepsi has left the door open for Coke) but it also creates tension between Pepsi and their rivals. Pepsi is aggressively innovating, and whether Coke jumps into the breach and grabs the now-available Superbowl inventory or not, Pepsi has a leg up on experimentation with a new model for integrating paid and earned media. This is not something that the competition can ignore – and it could very well lead to a dramatic cascade in 2010; away from traditional media to experimental combinations of paid and earned.

So, if I have to make a prediction for 2010? It will be that this is the year in which we see the manifestation of significant and precipitous erosion in advertiser confidence in the effectiveness and necessity of mass media. And lots and lots of experimentation.