Conversational Marketing in the Age of Social Media
With so much to keep up with in social media and technology these days we asked Weber Media Partner, Jackie Mosher, to tell us what she’s learned about some of the newer kids on the block–Google’s web browser, Chrome, and their social media venture, Buzz, and Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.
DH: What are your impressions of Google’s new browser, Chrome?
JM: Fast! Based on my experience, it is markedly faster than Internet Explorer.
DH: Are you able to do everything that you can with other browsers?
JM: Chrome isn’t able to run all web applications. For example, with Chrome I can run a Blackboard program and flash programs like Hulu’s video player. However, I can’t view a Webex meeting or log into a demo program.
DH: What do you think about Chrome’s approach as a cloud computing operating system?
JM: There are a lot of network effects that will make this transition hard for people since most workplaces rely on Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel, and as a result they can’t unilaterally make the decision to switch over to Google’s free cloud versions of these programs. That being said, Chrome’s cloud computing OS is a key signal of where Google wants to go this decade, and there’s a lot of potential for cloud-based computing. It’s much faster, and much cheaper!
DH: Are there particular features you like about Chrome?
JM: I like what you can do with tabs. You can drag a tab away from the current window and into a new window which is something Internet Explorer and Firefox can’t do. Also when you open a new tab in Chrome it shows a thumbnail or list view of your most visited sites. You can customize themes, similar to Gmail and iGoogle’s homepage. This allows users to show off their individuality. and it can be changed as often as you change a Facebook profile picture, Twitter background or ringtone.
DH: What are your immediate impressions of Buzz?
JM: Buzz is integrated with Gmail and I like that you can get to it easily from the left-hand navigation whenever you’re logged in to your email account.
DH: How flexible is Buzz in terms of integrating with Twitter and Facebook?
JM: You can connect Buzz to your Twitter feed easily, but even though it only takes a few steps, I’ve noticed that my tweets don’t instantaneously appear in my Buzz feed. In one instance, there was a five hour delay. I’ve found connecting it to your Facebook status to be much harder.
Chris Brogan is the quintessential trust agent for social media. If you’ve already read Trust Agents, the book he co-authored with Julien Smith, you’re well-versed in the characteristics—people who humanize the Web, understand the systems and how to make their own game, and who connect and build fluid relationships.
Chris Brogan’s new book, Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online*, is a collection of posts that originally appeared on his blog, which he has since updated and edited. I can attest to the fact that having it in a nicely bound book with the new additions will serve you well (and besides it has such a cool cover!) What he accomplishes so perfectly in this book is tackling the discussions about social media tools and social networking, and coming at them from multiple directions. As you read the book, you’ll undoubtably entrust Chris Brogan with taking you on a social media journey, and as a result, you’ll feel more confident about the tools you’re currently using and the ones you decide to pursue.
Social Media 101, goes well beyond the usual discussions of Facebook, Twitter, blogs. LinkedIn. MySpace, Flickr and Digg. Brogan explores rich media–audio, video, video hosting, and live video, browsers, internet , social bookmarking, IM aggregator applications, blogging platforms–home base blogs and mobile blogging, listening tools, shared documents, collaboration, and screencasts.
Many of the pieces are literally chock-full of useful information and tips e.g. 50 ways, 100 tactics, 5 moves, 50 steps. He references and includes links to bloggers and websites you may never come across on your own, but you’ll be happy you took the time (as I am) to stop and visit those sites.
Scott Snyder author of The New World of Wireless: How to Compete in the 4G Revolution knows that many of us are still getting up to speed on our 3G phones but since technology is continuing to move at rapid speed he suggests that we shouldn’t get too complacent—as he says, “Buzz is already starting to develop around 4G wireless.”
What’s the difference between 3G and 4G? According to Snyder, “3G networks were really about better technology to deliver more of the same, 4G networks are about new technology coupled with a transformation in how people use wireless, moving control to the user.” Scott calls this the “Digital Swarm.”
In order to succeed in the Digital Swarm he identifies 10 common success factors which can help your business adapt and win:
Marketing Sherpa reports in their recent chart, Social Marketers Preparing for the Challenges Ahead, that key performance indicators such as ROI and conversions have become increasingly more important challenges for marketers.
Sergio Balegno, Marketing Sherpa Research Director, writes, “Two years ago, a popular marketing myth was that ROI for social media programs could not be easily measured. Marketers have dispelled this myth…the return on social marketing invest is exceptionally high.”
He further suggests that marketers are learning that social media programs are more effective when they are strategically integrated into the marketing mix versus approaching them as standalone tactics.
Apple wasn’t the only company who held my attention last week. I was reading Ken Auletta’s book, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, and was intrigued by the innumerable ways Google has been (and continues to be) a “wave maker.” As Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, says, “The Internet makes information available. Google makes information accessible.”
Auletta provides a great overview of how the company has evolved over the years. You probably know yourself that somewhere along the way Google slipped into your lexicon. Ultimately it became such a frequently used verb that it was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2006 and to the Merrian-Webster Collegiate Dictionary one month later.
Google is creating new ways for us to access information every day. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep up with the myriad of changes is to read their official blog and checking the posts on the many other blogs they publish regularly. In fact, if you haven’t checked out Google’s options lately to see what else they’ve been up to it’s a good page to visit from time to time so you don’t miss all that they’re up to.
Here are a few recent activities of Google’s I learned about by reading their blogs:
1. In the past few weeks, Google’s Geo Team has done some great work helping with the relief efforts in Haiti using their mapping tools and publishing updated satellite imagery in Google Earth and Google Maps.
2. Google worked with PicApp to add 10 million high quality stock images from stock imagery repositories such as Getty Images. The service and use of the images is free.
3. Google added click to call phone numbers in mobile ads.
You may also enjoy the video below which provides a great history of the company.
How has Google caught your attention over the years or more recently?
J.J. McCorvey writes in “How to Use Social Networking Sites to Drive Business,” Inc. Magazine January 25, 2010 issue, “Marketing through social networks isn’t as much about selling your product, as it is about engaging your followers.”
How do you know if you’re engaging your social network fans and followers? The facts. Nothing but the facts!
Last week I listened to a National Public Radio On Point segment called Where the Web Went Wrong, about the impact of social media on relationships, individuality and communication skills and a new book by Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.
The show covered many issues, but the one I can most resonate with is the deterioration of manners, interpersonal communication and good judgment. A 28-year old man who called in to the radio program complained that in person meetings were always interrupted by friends distracted by their devices, checking what’s going on elsewhere. Complaints abound about the lack of manners in public places, of the lack of live personal attention. The endorphins we get from hearing a new text message come in are beating out our real, in person conversations.
This fall I watched a prominent panel of business experts talk and noticed that all but one were in wrinkled street clothes, despite the role they had at a major business conference. The moderator wore a baseball cap which concealed his face, and the presentation started with the showing of a video was predominately expletives. I was interested in what this panel had to say, but I was also offended. Maybe I am old school, but I still think that manners are important, and, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it, that counts.
With all of the useless content one must wade through to get to the valuable insight, don’t complicate the already muddy waters with time-wasting drivel, or worse yet, offensive and glib presentations. If we take our roles as ambassadors of our brand (personal or corporate) seriously, we should respect our audience and be useful and polite.
That means, don’t clutter the email boxes of others with chain letters, don’t post mundane irrelevant updates on Twitter. Remember that you are communicating with people, not computers. The quality of your communicate (or the lack there of) is equal to your image, your personal brand.
These tools are not going away. While the way we communicate evolves, we should always bring along the basic manners we were taught before they came along.
If you’ve thought that having a working knowledge of YouTube covered your video bases, you’ll be in for a wonderful treat by reading Steve Garfield’s new book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business—which lets you in on some of the best kept secrets out there.
I was completely engrossed in Steve’s book which I read in one day, only stopping to try out many of the things he references. Within a short period of time, I found myself streaming video from my iPhone on qik, creating blog posts on posterous, developing unique videos on animoto, researching mics for iPhones, checking-out vimeo, blip.tv, how to create a playlist of our videos on youtube, making a screencast on jing.
By half-way through the book I was convinced how no social media marketing campaign will be complete without video.
While high-end video cameras and experienced videographers are certainly one way to go, Steve demonstrates how by having an interest in shooting video and a wide range of tools to choose from, video is within every business’ reach regardless of your budget. Above all, Steve demonstrates how interest and passion will be your ticket.
Steve is right here to tell you about his book himself (in his video, of course!) And after viewing, keep reading our exclusive interview.
Before you begin it’s always a good idea to plan your pages in advance and gather the company information, usernames, profile images and other assets you will need.
For one thing the number of characters in usernames differ from network to network, the size of profile images are different dimensions, and some pages are more forgiving in terms of editing than others. Below are some guidelines for pages as well as a list of helpful resources.
The years 2000-2009 have been amass with great changes in our technological landscape. Today I went searching for timelines and found an excellent one on PoynterOnline where David Shedden has been keeping track of the history of new media and online journalism from 1969 to 2009. If you have the time to read through the entire timeline you’ll be amazed by where we’ve come in 40 years. It’s striking to see what changes have evolved in this past decade, and even within the past 3-4 years. The growth and changes are truly remarkable.
I don’t think anyone could have accurately predicted in December of 1999 where this past decade would have taken us technologically. I won’t even venture to guess what changes we’ll see in the years ahead, and I have no doubt that they will be awe-inspiring and continue to change the way we communicate.
Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year, and here’s to looking ahead for a new decade filled with new and exciting technological advances!