In the fast-evolving world of social media marketing, there are many terms found sprinkled liberally throughout most industry whitepapers and thought pieces. “Advocates,” “influencers” and “engagement” are a few of my favorites. They are used frequently because they represent important and powerful concepts, but all too often they end up simply as buzzwords.
Such things may be easy to say, but they’re not trivial components of a successful marketing program. If a brand wants to generate engagement with its best advocates and most important influencers, how does it go about doing so? Many firms, vendors and consultants claim experience in this area, with the ability to spot advocates and influencers from 1,000 miles away and then expertly engage with them.
As with most things, not all of these claims are grounded in reality. There are too many different solutions and variables to make broad generalizations, but I believe the organizations that can effectively deliver have something in common — they have access to, and mastery of, large quantities of a necessary and very valuable resource: social data.
We call it social data because it is made up primarily of information about people interacting with each other and with brands. It is important to note, however, that it is much more than simply data mined from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There are multiple ways to categorize such data, but I believe there are four main components to an effective set of social data.
To find out more about social data, including some key concepts for successfully dealing with it, read the rest of the original article posted here.
Social media has become an indisputable force in the marketing world, but it is evolving rapidly and often difficult to master. While many marketers have quickly become experts in the field, there are some for whom the term ‘Social Media Marketing’ evokes only thoughts of Facebook ads and promoted Tweets. If that sounds familiar, may I humbly suggest that you are doing it wrong.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend the Social Media Insider Summit, sponsored by Media Post. Over the course of three days, attendees were given the opportunity to hear from experts in the industry, including representatives from prominent brands, agencies, and technology providers. In addition to formal presentations, a series of roundtable discussions provided for dynamic and open conversations around a variety of topics. The conference covered a lot of ground, but three high level concepts stood out for brands that want to get the most out of social media: Listen, Engage & Measure.
Facebook Open (Social) Graph
Facebook recently unveiled the beta version of their next generation Open Graph API at the f8 conference in San Francisco. Originally debuted in 2010, the Open Graph Protocol was an attempt to organize large swaths of the internet via meta tags, enabling Facebook to better contextualize the content that people share and connect with (http://ogp.me).
While a very interesting concept, OGP didn’t necessarily take hold the way that Facebook would have liked. However, with this most recent iteration of the platform and API, Open Graph could be positioned to gain explosive adoption and usher in a new generation of Facebook Apps. At its core, this change enables developers to easily design and implement rich, social interactions with an unlimited set of objects, bounded only by the imagination. Read more…
Building a Web Site in the Dark Ages
Back in the 1990′s, the World Wide Web experienced an explosive period of growth; it was a renaissance age that helped shape the Internet as we know it today. However, as we look back now, that period was also akin to medieval times, in terms of the tools and technologies that people had to work with. In those formative days, it required a full-fledged, hardcore techie to set up a web site with basic content (and not just becuase of all the annoying animated images). If you wanted to build a fully functional e-commerce site to sell seven varieties of pet rock, you were looking at a major investment. That kind of project required a team of people with experience in a wide range of skills, including alien disciplines such as Perl, CGI and UNIX .
Of course, back then the term e-commerce site had not yet come into usage. People were still talking about the information superhighway, and you could only access it through primitive devices that prevented you from talking on the phone. No one had ever heard of blogs or social media, even though early forms of both already existed. There was certainly no Google to help you google, no Twitter to tweet with, and no Facebook to offer you endless diversion. Read more…
As I have started to embrace the world of social media from both a professional and personal perspective, people have asked me: “Do you think social media is for real? Is it a lasting phenomenon, or just a bandwagon fad that we have hyped to an extreme?“ Not everyone asks it that way, but is a very common theme.
I have asked myself the same question, more than once. There are some easy, dismissive responses to that question, such as “it has been around for over 20 years already” or “750 million Facebook users can’t be wrong“. Fine, you got me! We can agree that it has been a long evolving trend, and that Facebook, Twitter, and social media in general are wildly popular right now. Does that prove that it is here to stay? Not necessarily, but the current explosive growth and sheer scale of adoption make it difficult to believe otherwise. But for me, that isn’t quite satisfying, because it doesn’t tell us much about why social media has become so successful. Read more…