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It has been a tough week for Apple. The world's preeminent tech company, which could once do no wrong, finds itself on the defensive amidst a PR nightmare the likes of which it has arguably never experienced before. For that, it can largely blame Consumer Reports.
Although discussion about iPhone 4 reception problems have been ongoing, and class action lawsuits have already been filed against Apple, Consumer Reports' refusal to give the iPhone 4 "recommended" status, its claim that the problems are indeed caused by a hardware issue, and its argument that Apple needs to solve the problem for customers, have clearly forced Apple into a corner from which it must now try to extricate itself.
Increasingly, marketers are attempting to engage bloggers as part of their campaigns for internet dominance. Anyone who’s dabbled in SEO knows the value of a decent web of retweets and linkbacks, so getting people talking about your product or services is an important engagement.
However, there’s still a tendency to google your subject and contact the first twenty bloggers who appear.
If they rank highly in search, they must be good right?
Possibly. But because of a disparity in the way most of us operate our feeds there’s a fairly high possibility that you’re contacting the wrong people.
Just 34% of brands feature a community on their website, while less than one in five advertise their social media presence prominently on their homepages, according to a new study.
The Engaged Web Study (registration required) by Episerver finds that many brands are not making the most of online opportunities to engage customers and visitors.
The report looked at ten companies from eight vertical sectors: Telecoms, Charity, Retail, Sport, Travel, Public Sector, Finance and Utilities, and then scored them against a range of engagement criteria.
Here are some highlights from the report...
One of the big fears about social media is that it provides a platform for consumers to make lots of bad noise about brands. This is what most senior marketing folk are afraid of, if they have reservations about the impact of Facebook and Twitter.
When the customer experience falls short of expectations people can easily complain about it in public, and if the network effect takes hold then the brand concerned could be in for a rough ride.
At that stage the brand needs to figure out what to do, and fast. Any social media ‘expert’ will tell you that transparency, honesty, responding in public and a hands-up-we-screwed-up approach to taking the blame all matter, in terms of how you react.
But hold on a moment: let’s not believe that stupid mantra about the customer always being right! What happens if the customer is wrong? Or worse, what happens when one of your competitors teams up with the aggrieved customer to stick it to your brand / product / service?
Dyson has found out the hard way...
Social media is here to stay, and despite the fact that questions still linger over the role of SM and its ROI, major corporations, many which are often slowest to adopt new technologies, are increasingly embracing a more social internet.
But that doesn't mean that the world's largest companies are ready to promote their social media efforts on their homepage. According to an AdAge article by B.L. Ochman, six in ten Fortune 50 companies aren't promoting their social media accounts on their homepages.
The link between retail and publishing has always been strong. A product promoted in print sells products that are available online or in store.
Thanks to online, the link is getting stronger, and now the lines are becoming blurred, as retailers become publishers and publishers begin to move into retail.
Late last week, it was reported that Forrester Research had implemented a policy under which analysts with personal blogs related to the technology markets they cover at Forrester would be required to ditch them and instead publish their blogs on Forrester.com.
The move raised eyebrows since some of Forrester's analysts and former analysts are well-known bloggers in the markets they cover.
The rise of social media has posed a challenge to the well-known. That challenge: working social media without being forced to work too hard on social media. After all, if you're rich and/or famous, blogging and tweeting is more likely to seem like a burden on your lifestyle than, say, a pastime.
An obvious solution: hire a ghostwriter. Which is precisely what many business executives, media personalities, professional athletes and celebrities have done. The February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine goes behind the scenes and profiles some of the 'ghostbloggers' who blog and tweet for well-known clients.
Talk to many displaced old media types and hear an earful about blogs: they lack standards, don't deliver quality content and they pay their writers far less than what they're worth.
But as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, it looks like bloggers may have a go at crying rivers. Thanks to the rise of companies like Demand Media, which specialize what some argue is large-scale 'content farming', bloggers are now leveling some of the same charges that have been leveled at them.
It's a blogger's world and print publications just live in it. Thanks to the power of internet self-publishing, mini media empires have been built by small companies and passionate individuals working from their homes. Increasingly, these online mini media empires have complicated the picture for print publications whose online presences have been forced to compete on less favorable terms for a more fragmented online audience.
In an effort to stay relevant, print publications are trying to sup up their internet efforts. The latest example of that: Time's new tech/geek blog, Techland.
Paid links are something I've written about lately as the possibility of Twitter data being incorporated into the Google and Bing search indexes has raised the spectre of a much more complicated situation vis-à-vis paid links.
In the case of Google, the rules are clear: paid links are bad. If you get caught buying or selling them, you could find yourself in a world of hurt. But just how good is Google at detecting paid links? If the example I'm about to give is any indication, it's not good at all.
I received an email the other day, which caused me some significant concern. It was a request, which came out of the blue, asking me to consider to be paid for featuring certain content on my personal blog.
For me, this is a very unwanted and somewhat scandalous approach and I sincerely hope other bloggers feel the same way. If you think about it, it is a very seedy means to encourage independent people who take the time to blog about subjects they care about, to succumb to the incentive of money.