Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

SMX Scottsdale Day 2 Recap

SMX Social Media Scottsdale Day 2

…and following up my Day 1 recap of SMX Scottsdale 2011, here are my takeaways for Day 2:

  • Viral Content – appeal to the emotions of your audience. People share content because it reflects their personality or stirs their emotions. Emotions don’t have to be limited to funny content – it can reflect a person’s beliefs, altruism, or things that make them happy.
  • E-cards, Infographics & Videos – they (still) work. eBay creates really stunning infographics on a global basis, but Parenting Magazine keeps it simple with “E-Cards” which are just a nice image with a funny joke or tagline within the image. Find a way to present visual content to your audience within your resources & assets.
  • SoLoMo – mobile usage, and mobile search in particular, are extremely locally driven. Most folks on mobile search just want to call a business (62%) or Maps/Directions (24%) according to BIA/Kelsey. Mobile continues to advance in local social sharing & local deals. Facebook gets the most traffic via mobile (by a longshot), but don’t ignore Foursquare either.
  • On Social Media ROI – If you’re wondering what the ROI is of using social media, just consider what the ROI is if your not using it. (via @Mary_Callahan). Social Media isn’t a cost, it’s an investment (@TyDowning).
  • Forget automation – it’s about engagement. If content is king, engagement is queen (via @TyDowning). You are a social media tool, and you’re the best one you have.
  • Embrace a cause – partnering with a cause or charity can help you connect with your audience better and increase interaction. Build longevity into that partnership/cause and gains are realized over time.

Also, here are some social media tools mentioned throughout the two days that I jotted down to try later…I probably missed some, so feel free to chime in with those I missed in the comments section or via twitter (@NickRoshon) and I’ll add ’em in.

  • Aggregation/Feeds: Summify.com, Storify.com, Delicious
  • Timing/Scheduling/Syndication:  Tweriod, Buffer, SocialFlow.com, CrowdBooster, EdgeRank Checker, IFTTT.com, Timeu.se, SayItSocial.com, Roost.com, Hootsuite
  • Tracking: Radian6, Position2, Google Analytics, custom URL shorteners, Involver
  • Community Building: Twitter lists, Social Bro, FollowerWonk.com, Social Mention, uberVU, http://bit.ly/gplusweapon
  • Post Ideas: Did-you-knows.com, Google (“funny quotes”), Image Search, Ubersuggest, Trending Topics (Twitter, Yahoo, Google+), Q&A sites (Yahoo Questions, Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook), Google Discussions (advanced search option in left sidebar)

Thanks to all the speakers & SMX staff for putting on an awesome show!

Image credit: SearchMarketingExpo.com

SMX Scottsdale Day 1 Recap

SMX Social Media Scottsdale Day 1

SMX Social Media in Scottsdale has been awesome. Rather than trying to cover each session individually, which could easily be done as each was jam packed full of tips, stories & insights, here are the high level themes I noticed across the various presentations and presenters to guide your overall social media strategy:

  1. Be different – doing the obvious will produce mediocre results. Think big, do things different, and see what works and what doesn’t. Social Media isn’t where you want to be conservative and stick to the book.
  2. Understand your customers – personas and demographics data is critical, and can save you money in Facebook Ads and Twitter Promoted Ads, as well as greatly increase interactions.
  3. Understand your metrics – You’ll have a variety of KPIs for Twitter & Facebook depending on your goals and audience. From harvesting email addresses to branding, understanding what your KPIs are is crucial to developing even the most rudimentary SMM strategy.
  4. Make your ads count – for Twitter, your promoted tweets should kick ass – use an infographic, or otherwise awesome content, rather than a salesy page. For Facebook – use contrasting images and leverage highly targeted copy based on the targeting settings for that campaign.
  5. Make room for Google+ – now is the time to join, get in there and start experimenting & expanding your reach. Be sure to tightly segment your followers into circles so you segment your messaging accordingly. From Google’s perspective, it’s a play for data. Your social circle + search history = more effective personalization. This is what Google wants (h/t to @DanaNotman).
  6. Tools Matter, but Strategy is King – all marketers used a handful of tools (free & paid) for each channel, but the focus was never on the tool. The tool was a means to an end, not an end itself.
  7. Get feedback and adapt – whether you ask for it directly (how are we doing? what do you want to hear from us?) or your feedback comes in the form of angry tweets or facebook posts, listen to your feedback and adjust. Data is important, but equally important is listening to overall sentiment and comments.
  8. Twitter can be a good testing ground for what you want to post to other networks (blogs, Facebook, etc). In Twitter it’s okay to post more, and even repost content (aka the second chance tweet), so it’s a good “lab” for you to test various content types & strategies to apply to your broader social ecosystem.
  9. All social networks should be treated differently (amen!). If you’re syncing Facebook & Twitter, stop it right now (amen x2!). Beyond that, figure out your audiences (see above) and what they are looking for, and have separate content strategies per network. Timing & Frequency matter, too. All panelists had data & thoughts on when & how often to update your various networks, and they definitely vary by network…
  10. Advocate Outreach is critical – and it can be leveraged for all social media channels, and has the potential to both help your stories/posts spread further, as well as defend you/your brand when an irate customer bashes you. Identify your advocates and make them feel welcomed.
There was a ton of amazing information dropped, but to me, these were the sticking points. Regardless, the speakers all kicked ass, and it was awesome to be part of it. Thanks Danny Sullivan and the rest of the Search Engine Land/Marketing Land/Third Door Media group for putting on a awesome show!
Update: Be sure to also check out my SMX Social Media Day 2 Recap.

Counterpoint: Google+ Is a Plus Size Flop Compared to Facebook

Google+ has launched to much fan-fare and hype. I think it’s just that – hype – and is destined to be another one of Google’s failed attempts at social media. While I’m intentionally being provocative here, and obviously can’t predict the future, I’m fairly confident in making such a bold claim. Here’s why:

Google+ has some neat features, which have been examined thoroughly by many people much smarter than I. Many marketers, such as my good friend Richard Melick, have great excitement for Google+ to change the face of social media marketing. Surely, features such as Circles & Hangouts are pretty slick. But other than a few bells & whistles, it’s fundamentally no different than the core purpose & functionality of Facebook – to share updates, pictures, videos & more with your friends. The major differences are just the location (facebook.com versus google.com) and the nomenclature (groups versus circles).

With so little differentiating the two, I don’t think Google+ has a chance at ever being a “Facebook Killer”

Here’s why I think Google+ is a flop:

Read more

Facebook’s EdgeRank and How to Stop it from Filtering Friends’ News & Updates

Update Feb. 2011: Facebook has changed the filtering options, and now provides an option to show posts from “All of your friends and pages.” This is exactly what I was asking for in my original post, which is awesome to see. Either someone was listening, or someone at Facebook arrived at the same conclusion as myself, but regardless of how it was done, it is much appreciated. Check this setting now!

Original Post: Have you ever looked at the Facebook app on your mobile phone and noticed updates from Friends or Pages that don’t appear in your feed when you log in the normal way through Facebook.com? Even if you click on the Most Recent tab, which is supposed to be a “Live Feed” of all status updates, you’ll notice some are being filtered out, despite you never telling Facebook to hide those friends or pages.

This may be partly due to EdgeRank, an algorithm Facebook uses to determine what News items you would find most interesting to display in your Top News feed. This algorithm ranks status updates according to how close you are to the person who posted the update by looking at how often you interact with the person (e.g. do you send them lots of messages, likes, and pokes?) and when the last time you interacted with that person was (if you used to message & poke a lot, but now don’t, say for an ex-girlfriend, then those interactions will be devalued since they happened so long ago). More on EdgeRank can be read at TechCrunch. But this post isn’t about Top News or EdgeRank, per say…

My gripe is that “Most Recent” doesn’t contain all of the status updates posted from my friends and Pages I like. For whatever reason, some are still being filtered out, even though the Most Recent tab is supposed to be a live feed. My theory is that either EdgeRank is being used to filter out those items that score very low – e.g. items from friends or Pages I’ve rarely interacted with, or some kind of different filtering mechanism that is being used to filter out those items Facebook thinks I wouldn’t be interested in. When I compare the Most Recent feed on Facebook.com and the unfiltered feed on my mobile or TweetDeck, it seems to be plausible that items that would have the lowest EdgeRank are being filtered out, as those items are generally from people I haven’t interacted with in a long time. However I can’t confirm the filtering is done using EdgeRank, and it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this article – what I can confirm is that items are being filtered out of “Most Recent” in one way or another.

I can see some merit to filtering out items from the Most Recent view, vis-a-vis the classic “Twitter is just people posting what they had for Breakfast” argument, and Facebook not wanting to be viewed as location of worthless status updates of distant friend’s breakfast menus.

My issue (and plea) is that I wish there was some option to display ALL status updates from all friends and pages with no filtering applied, be it a third option (e.g. Top News, Most Recent, View All) or a setting I can opt into in my Account Preferences section.

Part of what I do like about Facebook is the ability to keep in touch with a large number of people spread out across the world in many different stages of their life. The variety and mix of age, gender, sexual preferences, political affiliations and philosphies is good for getting a well rounded view of what people think, and I find opposing opinions interesting, even if I don’t always agree with them. By filtering out those people I don’t interact with often, or maybe those who I fell out of touch with, I don’t have an opportunity to get back in touch with them, or discover a mutual interest that we both share (perhaps even a breakfast item, but I digress…).

Another argument for an option to remove all filters and truly display ALL status updates is to satisfy those that are on Facebook A LOT, and have already read all of the “Most Recent” updates. You can call these people “Power Users” as they’re on Facebook constantly and reading every status update (or you could also call them people with too much time on their hands…). These “Power Users” would spend even more time on Facebook if they had more content to consume, such as adding an option to view ALL updates with no filtering applied. However these Power Users are better off using a third party client like Tweetdeck to view updates, as you’ll see in my tips below, than viewing status updates on Facebook.com.

Here are some tips if you are a “Power User” and want to view ALL updates with no filtering:

  1. Use the mobile application (e.g. Facebook for iPhone or Facebook for Android) – in my experience, there is no filtering here whatsoever, including no option for Top News
  2. Use a desktop client – TweetDeck, HootSuite and other 3rd party desktop clients will pull in your News Feed via an API, and again, as far as I can tell, no filtering is applied, and no semblence of EdgeRank or Top News is present.
  3. Edit your feed settings – At the bottom of your news feed click “edit options” in the right corner and a box pops up that says “number of friends.” Make sure that is set to a number larger than the total number of friends you have (I put in 1,000 as an arbitrary number) – hat tip to @AbbyGilmore for the tip!
  4. Interact more frequently with distant friends, or at least those friends that you want to ensure stay in your feed as much as possible. Perhaps the suggestion Facebook gives you to “reach out to Jane Smith and say hello” in the right sidebar is less of a suggestion, and more of a subtle warning that if you don’t reach out, Facebook will start filtering him or her out as you haven’t interacted with them in a while
  5. Encourage friends to interact with you – If you run a Facebook Page for your business or personal organization, try to encourage your fans to interact with your page as much as possible, or you may start to get filtered. Likewise your personal account will be getting filtered from distant friends’ “Most Recent” feed, which may or may not be a concern to you.
  6. View Individual Profile Pages – If you really want to know how a friend is doing, you can view the updates by going to their Profile Page – this isn’t feasible if you have hundreds of friends, but it is a work-around

Facebook is a rapidly changing platform and user feedback is frequently incorporated into future iterations and changes. I hope that those out in Facebook land hear this request and take it as constructive criticism. In fact, I’m such a Facebook super-fan I carved a pumpkin this Halloween to demonstrate how much I “like” their platform & service:

Facebook Pumpkin

I am a Certified Social Media Maven*

Great post at DotCult: Having 1000 Twitter Followers Doesn’t Make You a Social Media Guru

The core of the argument:

Engagement is what matters. How many of your followers actually reply to you? How many of them comment on your posts? What percentage click on links that you tweet? Go ahead and ask your social media person – I bet they don’t have any answers for you.

On a related side note, I’ve recently had a twitter epiphany. My former strategy was to follow people back and just ignore them, using tweetdeck lists to pay attention to those I deem worthy, while maybe occasionally skimming those not on a list, as explained here.

This was a horrible strategy. Not only was a promoting/helping spam-bots that were auto-following anyone and everyone, but it made the web feed (and more importantly, mobile phone feed) less useful. Even with the new lists feature, I was getting a lot of noise.

In the past week, I’ve unfollowed over 400 people. I’m now following less than 800, and plan to keep defollowing people as I see noise in my twitter feed. I’ve also lost ~100 or so followers, and I expect that number to keep dropping as I unfollow people – I’m guessing their software can detect when they’re not being followed back, or they’re using a service like friendorfollow (awesome, btw) to determine who isn’t following them back anymore.

Here are some other posts on “Social Media Experts” – as ranting about social media has been a consistent theme in this blog 🙂

Have a nice weekend!

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Blog & Tweet to #BeatCancer

I’m helping to raise funds to
#beatcancer, by blogging, tweeting
and posting Facebook status
updates.

Click here to join me!

MillerCoors & eBay/PayPal is donating 1 cent per tweet, facebook update, or blog post containing #beatcancer. Use it. More info at the official website: http://beatcancereverywhere.com/

While we’re on the topic of ways to #beatcancer, early detection is critical. This is why it’s important to maintain affordable health coverage in order to keep up on regular office visits. Low Insurance provides a way to compare insurance quotes for health insurance online.

Check out my dad’s websites for more information on cancer care in North Central Ohio.

North Coast Cancer Care: Northern Ohio’s Premier Oncology & Hematology Center, now in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility and one of the only cancer centers in the US offering RapidArc  technology, speeding up treatment and improving accuracy in radiology treatments. You can also check out my dad’s bio here.

North Coast Cancer Foundation: Working to provide payment support, education, and complimentary programs for cancer patients ranging from Art Therapy to healing gardens to improve the quality of life and treatment for patients at North Coast Cancer Care. Another goal of the foundation is research, including holding a breast cancer conference every year, which happens to be this weekend at the Kalahari resort in Sandusky, OH. You can donate here: http://www.northcoastcancerfoundation.org/giving.html

New iCrossing iPhone App – Say What?

iCrossing, a global digital marketing company, has announced the release of an-all new, free iPhone app called “Say What?” which allows users to search the web for a keyword, brand, or other terms you’d want to monitor, and then returns the results broken into four separate categories: Twitter, Digg, Forums, and Blogs.

While I don’t have an iPhone, I was able to borrow a collegue’s phone to test it out – and I was impressed (bias alert: I work for iCrossing, although I had nothing to do with the development or conceptualization of this app). A quick search for my name, nick roshon, returned some pretty neat results and I really liked how they were organized by network type and you could easily drill down for more information.

A quick tip: if you are searching for a phrase, put it in quotes (also works for normal web searches). The query: nick roshon had some good results but also returned a few results for Nick Jonas and Roshon Feegan hanging out (apparently they are teenage Disney stars…). Put the query in quotes: “nick roshon” and the teenie-bopper results were weeded out.

All in all, a neat little app that would be a great tool for marketers and brand managers who want to know what people are saying about a place, brand, company or product from the convenience of their smartphone…and its free.

Download it here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=330893554

Read more about the App from Rachel Pasqua, responsible for the development of this app and the Director of Mobile for iCrossing: http://greatfinds.icrossing.com/say-what/

Viral Video Friday Part Deux: The Social Media Guru

Reminds me of the spirit of my previous post, “Social Media Experts” Are Really Only Experts at Cliche.

I have an internet blog and everything. In laymen’s terms, that mean’s I’m super fucking awesome.

Word bro, I know the feeling 😉

Liz Feldman: Twitter with Seniors

Best part: After you twitter, what do you say? I twattered?

Posterous + Facebook = Smooth Integration

I’m still not crazy about Posterous, mostly because of its lack of features like a blog roll, Adsense integration, and more customization (although the recent rollout of Posterous theming is a step in the right direction), but one thing I really do like about is how nice the Facebook integration looks:

Posterous2Facebook

It links to my latest Posterous entry twice and really seems to encourage click-throughs, and it doesn’t look spammy or automated (even though it is, haha). WordPress will still be my blog platform of choice, but Posterous is carving out a nice little niche, IMO.

Joe Wilson Learns The Power of the Viral Web – Epic Fundraising Fail

keyboard_fail_m

President Obama’s ability to leverage the web and social media to build his 2008 Presidential campaign and rake in mega campaign cash was unprecedented in success, and will stand as the benchmark for future political campaigns.

But this wasn’t a one-time phenomenon – and it doesn’t always work to a candidates advantage. Case in point – Joe Wilson.

At yesterday’s joint Congressional Address on Health Care Reform, an immature 10 year old boy Joe Wilson started heckling the President, yelling “You lie!” Historically, Joint Congressional Addresses are a time when the President is allowed to speak, and Congress is supposed to listen. This kind of behavior is unusual and shameful, and Mr. Wilson has been widely lambasted for it. But that’s not what is noteworthy – look further into the web and you’ll see.

Exhibit A: Microsites like http://www.joewilsonisyourpreexistingcondition.com/ have been sprouting up all over the place, a Public Relations embarassment to the Representative and calling viewers to donate to his 2010 challenger, Rob Miller.

Exhibit B: Liberal power-house “Act Blue” has seen many grass-roots campaigns to raise money for Rob Miller to challenge Joe Wilson, with names such as “Defeating the man who yelled “liar” at Obama: Goodbye Rep Joe Wilson” to “Californians against Joe “The Jerk” Wilson” (note he is a Rep. of South Carolina…). On ActBlue alone, Rob Miller has raked in over $200,000 and counting in donations IN THE PAST 24 HOURS!

Exhibit C: The influx in traffic and attention has caused Joe Wilson’s House of Representatives website to crash and his followers on Twitter to triple (note the conspicious lack of updates since the event).

The viral web continues to spread, experiencing compounding network effects through Twitter (a trending topic for the past 12 hours!), press coverage of Rob Miller’s fundraising abilites on major networks like CNN, and now e-mail blasts from MoveOn.Org and other liberal PACs. While still to be determined how much of this momentum will be translated into fund raising for Joe Wilson’s opponents, the early numbers are already in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and likely to increase for the next few days.

Mr. Joe Wilson is learning just how powerful the web can be for fundraising…just not in the direction he’d prefer.

Further testament to the power of the viral web, and in my opinion, a healthy landscape for Democracy to florish – with greater accountability for politicians who do the right thing, or sometimes those that don’t…

Note: Although my political preferences may be clear from the tone of the article above, I respect the Right and don’t find it characteristic of the party as a whole. This post is merely about how an inappropriate outburst can go viral and cause deterimental damage to a Politicians career, literally overnight. It could and has happened to Democrats (i.e. Blagojevich, Spitzer, etc.) or Independents as well.

Bing! Goes the Internet Goes Viral (with Lyrics)

So Bing had a contest to see which fan could create the catchiest Jingle for their search engine, and the winner was just announced via their YouTube channel today. Catch it in it’s full glory below:

Lyrics to Bing Goes The Internet:
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet,
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet,
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing Goes the Internet…
If you’re looking to learn how to dance like me – Bing goes the Internet
If you want to find some pants like me – Bing goes the Internet
If you’re looking for answers to all of life’s questions – Bing goes the Internet
If you’re looking for fixes to all of life’s messes – Bing goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet
Bing Goes the Internet…

While dorky and a little strange (in all fairness, it is about a search engine), I do find the video pretty funny, catchy, and “viral” enough for Microsoft to choose it as the winner and generate some buzz (which it is succeeding in). A video doesn’t have to be high-quality and incredibly thoughtful to go viral, it needs to be something original & noteworthy – sometimes being awful will give it a better chance of it going viral than the opposite (for instance, had this video been sung by Kelly Clarkson with professional dancers…yawn)

MG Siegler of TechCrunch wrote a scathing review of the jingle, and I quote:

“Catchy” is one word for it. Another is “awful.”

Sure, the song will get stuck in your head, but so does the sound of seals barking, or cows dying, if you listen to them for long enough.

But as bad as the jingle is, the video is much, much worse. It’s some guy in pajama pants doing really bad interpretive dance nonsense with awful effects and a Bing backdrop. The entire time I’m watching this, I’m thinking: So this is what hell looks/sounds like.

Mashable posts a more favorable review of the song, describing it as:

And we have one word for the well-produced Jonathan Mann video: creepy. It’s actually polished – probably because this guy records a song every single day on YouTube, which alone is a weird shtick…The entire contest was a bit weird to us, but you know, most good viral marketing campaigns are a bit odd. And this barely cost Bing anything to do.

The entire time I’m reading this, I’m thinking:

  1. This TechCrunch review is awesome. MG Siegler would have moved up a notch on my list of deliciously witty & sarcastic bloggers if I kept one.
  2. This is an intentionally goofy/odd video, which the TechCrunch review didn’t seem to pick up on, but Mashable surely did (which blows my mind, I usually can’t stand Mashable due to their inability to ever be insightful).
  3. It is fueling the fire for this contest, Bing itself, and particularly for Jonathan Mann, as this review is picking up steam and being passed around twitter. Consider it officially viral.

The author of the song fires back to the TechCrunch review, which you can check out here:

The bottom line is this: Microsoft paid $500 to the winner, and in return got millions of views between the buzz the competition generated and the resulting viral spread of the video. Now that is an awesome campaign, and I do believe that Microsoft was probably insightful enough to know this video was just awful yet goofy enough to do the trick.

When people ask how do you “make something go viral”, this is how you do it… (Editor’s Note: you can’t make something go viral or not…the content is either viral worthy or not, and there is little you can do either way)

Here’s one more from Jonathan Mann, where he was featured on the Rachel Maddow show a few months back for his song Hey Paul Krugman (A song, A plea):