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A recent study by Netpop Research serves to only further assert the fact that social media is rapidly changing the way brands operate, due to the increase of consumer control.
The report is purely US-based, but it certainly seems fair to suggest that this trend can be applied globally, as there is an ever-growing permeation of social media into daily consumer life. The study concludes that there is a shift in consumer internet usage from entertainment towards communication, and it's being driven by social media and networking sites.
It's hard to say that Rupert Murdoch's $550m acquisition of MySpace in 2005 wasn't a savvy move. Last year alone, despite missing revenue targets, MySpace pulled in more revenue than Murdoch paid to acquire the popular social network.
But all does not appear to be well at the world's second-largest social network. Despite the fact that under News Corp., MySpace has become the best-monetized social network, it has lost significant ground amongst consumers. Last year Facebook surpassed it as the world's largest social network and it's poised to become the largest social network in the United States as well, a country that MySpace had previously dominated.
Greg Jackson is Executive director and responsible for online strategy for Tangent PLC, whose recent clients have included Borders and the Labour Party.
Tangent has recently been working with the Labour Party, revamping its website, and developing LabourList, a blog / social media site, as well as promoting the party via sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I have been talking to Greg about Labour's use of social media, as well as the company's work launching Borders' first e-commerce site in the UK...
One lazy Friday a few weeks ago we rolled out an experiment by displaying all mentions of ‘Econsultancy’ on Twitter onto our homepage. It received a lot of attention, and some people thought we were nuts.
Now Skittles.com has gone one better by turning its entire site into a massive social media experiment. It is possibly the bravest move I have yet seen, in terms of a global brand getting into bed with social media and social networks.
Matthew Yeomans is the founder of Custom Communications and has worked in journalism for the last fifteen years. He is currently Managing Director at social media agency Radar DDB.
I have been talking to Matthew about the difficulties involved in social media measurement, and social media in general...
Take one publisher, one widget, Twitter, a sponsor, and a dash of censorship, blend well, and...you've got yourself an ad model!
At least. Glam did during last night's Oscar telecast. The company plunked a widget on its home page during the Academy Awards broadcast last night so its users could share their thoughts on the telecast. Aveeno's logo graced the bottom of the app.
But unlike the live Twitter feed gracing our fair homepage, Glam editors made plenty of calls: who was allowed to tweet, as well as redlining inappropriate comments, to make the environment more advertiser-amenable.
According to a report in Venturebeat, Glam intends to continue the experiment, but isn't married to Twitter. Facebook and Friendfeed could supply the user-generated content in future endeavors in a product it has dubbed "gWire".
Glam experimented with the feature during New York's Fashion Week last week to enthusiastic participation. The company says it's creating a pool of freelance contributors it can trust to feed teh stream with less supervision and accordingly, lower editorial overhead.
The more I use Twitter, the more I've noticed an annoying phenomenon: the autotweet.
What are 'autotweets'? They're tweets sent in an automated fashion, usually through websites connected to Twitter via the Twitter API. The purpose of autotweets: to alert followers to new content posted on the Twitter user's website.
Twitter's all the rage right now. In social media and digital marketing circles, Twitter seems to be taking over the world.
I have a different perspective: it's not. For all of Twitter's growth, I believe it has yet to achieve what it needs to achieve to become a viable marketing platform for businesses.
Social and viral media expert Dan Zarella has posted the results of a fascinating study: the numbers and semantics behind getting Twitter followers to ReTweet tweets, thereby amplifying and expanding upon messaging by using Twitter's built-in viral aspects.
Few marketers will be surprised by the fact that a simple call-to-action matters. A lot. Simply adding the phrase "please retweet" just plain works much of the time.
Zarella's semantic analysis of what gets ReTweeted reveals the following:
- Timely content is often ReTweeted
- Freebies are popular
- Tweeting about Twitter is effective
- So are lists
- People like to ReTweet blog posts (he doesn't specify if this refers the original tweeter's own blog, but irregardless - Twitter users are also highly active in the blogosphere.)
Oh, and don't forget to mind your manners. Requesting a Retweent politely and remembering to say "please" ups the ReTweeting odds by nearly a 6X factor.
Brand managers are paid handsome salaries largely to optimise and protect their brands. This means raising the key brand metrics (reach, awareness, favourability, etc) and avoiding brand damage.
In today's multichannel environment I argue that brands need to be monitored, represented and protected online. I wrote an article last week that generated some interesting discussion around whether or not companies should be climbing onboard the Twitter train. Some argue that there's no point ('it isn't big enough' / 'how would you use it?') and others think that it is ripe for engagement.
My own argument can be boiled down to this: even if you don't actively use these sites today, you might as well make sure that you're in a position to use them tomorrow.
This means owning the brand names...