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The Great Social Media Metrics Race

July 27, 2009

Hitting a hole-in-one, winning an Oscar, pitching a perfect game, these are all things that many legendary people strive for, but may never reach in their lifetime, no matter how much they put into it. These are the elusive white whales of the particular professions. Right now, the world of marketing has a white whale that it is chasing: Social Media Metrics. And it is a race as to who can not only accurately track the value of online conversation, but apply and monetize it to traditional media as well. Whoever is able to do this will hold a huge advantage, although it may be outlived, because it will open the floodgates for different models.

But this is a white whale that we may actually be able to catch. Recently it has felt like people may be throwing no hitters, just coming up a walk and an error short of the perfect game. But as an industry, we are getting closer. A few studies of late have not been horribly insightful, but show that major players are making the shift to incorporate these metrics in offline media. Social media firm Keller Fay is actively working with CNN and ESPN to track what topics their viewers most often talked about on a daily basis (details here in this article on AdAge). The tracking is being done of all conversations, and is a bold attempt by the Disney Corp to factor in word of mouth to how it attracts advertisers.

This is a very important step in the right direction, because if companies like Disney are pouring money into this, it won’t be long before everyone is making a concerted effort to track down this white whale. When this does happen, it will also open up the question, will social media be “cool” anymore, because it certainly will no longer be trendy? But that is a topic for another post on another day.

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The Lost Art of the @ Reply

June 15, 2009

When Twitter first started becoming even somewhat popular, every blogger worth his salt wrote at LEAST one post about Twitter edict. And one of the most important points that everyone made about Twitter use was reciprocity! Don’t just post links and little quips; interact, and engage your followers. No matter how excellent the content you post is, you need to join the conversation. And for a long time, most tweeple seemed to follow this, and if they didn’t they never gained a big following. Tweeters with @the_real_shaq have shown us that no matter how many followers you get, it is still important to interact with your followers.

This being said, a new breed of Tweeters have emerged that do not follow this golden rule of engagement. They have large followings (I will not name names of course though!), and do not ever @ reply anyone!? I may be confused, but Twitter is a social network, and social implies interaction, and even though many of these tweeple do provide excellent content, I just really don’t think they are going to discover their ‘twitter potential” as it were.

This has been bothering me for a while and was hoping for reactions from other people on this….

#Followfriday Has Become a #Followfraud

June 5, 2009

#followfriday taught me what a hashtag was, and the power it can hold back when I was much more of a Twitter-newb. I have come to love the idea of trending hashtags and hashtag events.  They let Tweeters find others interested in topics in a way they never could, and that is the whole purpose of Twitter! 

While the hasgtag can be an incredibly useful tool, it also has the potential of being easily abused. #followfriday is the perfect example of this. For a long time Friday was my favorite day on Twitter for a few reasons. First, it allowed me to track how many people found my tweets worthwhile enough to take the time to #followfriday me. Secondly, I was able to find a large number of new interesting tweeple to follow by paying attention to people’s #followfridays that I trusted. Both of these points have become moot of late though, because of the popularity it has gained. Now many people don’t just #followfriday tweeple they value, but as many people as possible. I was even #followfriday’ed last week by a person who wasn’t following me!

Now all #followfriday means to me is a day where tweeters try to get as many tweets out with handles in them with the hopes of getting more followers (basically spamming). 

@AndyCronin summed up my feelings well when he tweeted me this: “I wish followfriday would act like it was originally intended, and not continue to b a way to increase spam to followers.”

This is why I propose that people should point out #followfraud on Friday’s (the people who are clearly using #followfriday as a way to spam, and not to contribute to the original idea of the hashtag)

There’s No “Chromance” In Google’s Chrome Campaign

May 5, 2009
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For those who are not familiar with it, Google Chrome is a browser that can be downloaded for free from Google (but only for PC’s at the moment). Ever since I discovered gave Google Chrome a try a month or so ago, I can’t get enough of it. It makes pages load faster, you can easily pull tabs into new windows and pull them back, it aggregates your top 9 most visited sites into a pretty format (shown below), and BEST of all, it has NO cluttered toolbars on top!  Chrome

All this being said, I would think marketing Google Chrome would be easy, just tell the people what it is! All that would have been needed to sell me was a quick virtual tour of how to do basic features, but here Google goes and gets all artsy on us with an animates short. I am not knocking the ad, because its kind of entertaining, but it does not really sell you on Chrome at all. The tagline is good, “A new way to get online,” because it is true, it creates a different browser experience, but you don’t know that from the ad! Instead there is a cute little…bunny? type thing who Googles a question and is sucked into the world of Chrome, where he flies around a bunch of odd images. I believe Chrome could become a VERY popular browser because Google, like always, has come out with a simple, but very usable product. I just wish they would advertise in a way that actually showed what Chrome could do!

I recommend all PC’ers out there to get Chrome and give it a try

#TheNameGame

April 30, 2009

So, @Max_e_Silver and I (@Mike_Shea) have had some trouble naming our new agency. We have spent the past school year building a social media marketing agency, and we plan to launch rather soon, but there is one problem, we can’t decide on a name!!

We started with Agency At Large (hence the URL), we then went to Ignite Interactive (hence the header), but we lost interest in AAL, and Ignite is already being used by a similar agency. 

So we are asking for your help! We want the power of Twitter to help us decide a name for our new agency. It’s easy, either post a possible name in the comment box under this post (include your Twitter handle, please), or go on Twitter and use the hashtag #TheNameGame. The top 5 names will be picked by next Friday, then we will hold a vote to decide the ultimate winner, and there will be some sort of prize. Everyone loves prizes!!!!! Please help, and ask your beloved followers to help as well! Get creative with it!!

Content is King

April 30, 2009

I have been doing a lot of tweeting, facebooking, blogging, social mediaing in practice, as well as theory lately between the two companies I work with for my social media class, and my two mainly social media internships.  And one thing that has really jumped out at me is how often people make the mistake of neglecting content, and I don’t mean infrequently updating their different platforms. There are so many different options of people to follow and read on the Web now, that distinguishing yourself can be a chore, and you cannot do this by only taking into account what interests you. It is important to take a look at your audience, or your desired audience and ask yourself, “what is interesting to them”. This is not always easy, and I know I’m often guilty of tweeting about going to the gym, or out to dinner, which is of no interest to anyone but my close friends. These simple things can become worthwhile though if you add a little something extra. Instead of just saying, I just went to dinner at Fiore, add something like The mushroom ravioli at Fiore is excellent, definitely a worthwhile  spot in the North End. Just by adding some little detail of commentary it becomes a useful, and interesting message to others because they now have been given a piece of information to use in the future.

If you take away one thing from this…….CONTENT IS KING. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, no amount of cool graphics or even humor can make up for giving your readers truly useful content.

Downfall of TV Ads = The Rise Of The Infomercial

February 20, 2009

I don’t have to explain to you that television ads have seen a decline in numbers, and quality as a result of the economy, you only have to had followed the news covering the difficulties of the Super Bowl to fill all its slots as an example. With the major auto makers especially, the sharp decline in TV ads has left a lot of openings for other companies to come in and advertise.

And who has stepped up to take up the place of the auto makers? Infomercials…that’s right, the annoying call to action ads that always have deals that are so amazing that you know they are too good to be true. While this may seem odd that these ads are able to not only survive unlike major corporations, but thrive, it really makes good sense. In a time of financial frugality, companies that offer unbelievably cheap deals appeal to a lot of people who normally would not have given them a second look. Also, they don’t need the budget that most advertisements do, all they need is a camera, a set and someone to speak.

It was never more apparent that infomercials have become more relevant recently then the popularity of Cash4Gold ads that went big time with a Super Bowl ad featuring Ed McMahon and MC Hammer. I didn’t even know that infomercial ads were allowed during the Super Bowl!? Not only have the infomercials stepped up into more primetime slots, but they have developed a bonafide advertisement star; Billy Mays. In a time when the infomercials have began to climb in popularity, having a star like Mays makes perfect sense, and will create a fight over trying to get the one man everyone recognizes.

You may not recognize the name, but you certainly will recognize the voice (‘ol yeller as The New York Times dubbed him recently in an article). His rise to fame began with OrangeGlo, but he has done nearly 100 different products, and you can rarely see an infomercial without his face in it. His celebrity even brought him work for ESPN, and ESPN360 in which they parody his hyped up style. Don’t be suprised to see him (or more likely hear him) a lot more soon, even during primetime tv viewing time.