Archive for July, 2010

Face book dislike buttonIs the hype over? Obviously it will not be over that fast and Facebook will very likely continue to face growth rates but these new stats tell me that they might be losing a key target group to build up into a lifelong customer.  Another new study shows that customers are becoming increasing dissatisfied with the social network due to their recent privacy issues,   click here to read more from Meghan Keane on the Econsultancy blog.

If Facebook loses a key audience how will they recover? Is it likely that us as grandparents will be telling each other via Facebook who passed away and who got new grand children? Personally I doubt that but there is silver surfer potential.  Maybe Facebook will need new features that our tech savvy youth will pick up again?  Or they will look to concentrate on a new target audience with features focused at higher income brackets?

We’re all well aware that they are still flying, as more than ever log into Facebook on a daily basis and membership is now exceeding 500million.  But the Facebook Executives can’t fail to notice that something needs to be done – and fast – if they’re to get themselves out of the bottom 5% in the customer satisfaction survey.

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Hand coming out of the computer with mail.I’m a massive advocate of Linkedin. What a great way to connect with relevant communities, self promote and check out the merits of potential clients, recruits and colleagues. As a ‘social media’ platform, it’s by far my favourite. Want to gauge the health of a competitor or industry? You can find out by checking employee turnover on Linkedin. Need someone who knows about printing? Up pop two or three colleagues of old who now work in printing. Need a professional network but too shy to invest in a £60k MBA or 5 years at Oxbridge? Join Linkedin. The list goes on, and I haven’t even got started on the nosey factor! Matt Owen from Econsultancy looks at businesses attempting to drive engagement across social networks like Linkedin in this blog post Who owns your social media?

Embracing this amazing new business tool, like many I duly signed up, filled in my profile (100% no less) and even got a few ‘would recommend him in a heartbeat’ recommendations, in exchange for a few ‘what an amazing guy’ recommendations from myself. “No you’re the best, No you are …!”

Believing my latest recommendation to be entirely true, and not being the type to feel like he’s missing out I also signed up to a few of those ‘must connect’ groups, calculating that anything with ‘email’ or ‘lead generation’ in the title is probably a good place to start, and for investigative purposes only selected the top ten busiest looking groups relevant to me. I ascertained that this way I will be better informed who the industry movers and shakers are, what the topics of conversation are and best of all forever be seen as on the pulse of my industry. Ergo, I am therefore a progressive, game changing industry mover and shaker and will have to request more recommendations from my new found industry connections first thing tomorrow.

It did seem a bit too good to be true, and somewhat unsurprisingly, I arrived the following morning to an overloaded Linkedin group folder in my outlook. That’s ok (tolerance threshold mildly irritated), I signed up to a few after all. But to my dismay (tolerance now blown), following 20 minutes of spam sifting in that oh-so-familiar way seen with the establishment of email, Linkedin has become a haven for unsolicited trash being sent without proper control or respect for recipients. The vast majority of email alerts I checked within groups took the form of;

  • I’m selling some product or service
  • I’m spamming you in an indirect effort to sell some product or service
  • I’m writing to enter discussion whilst thinly disguising my product or service, which I’m actually selling in an unsolicited, spammy way

None of these were what I signed up for, which led to a sinking feeling of déjà vous. This then led to the dejected conclusion that it was highly unlikely that anyone was actually engaging in discussion for the benefit of the groups as I’d hoped. In fact, silly me, with the inevitability that night follows day, this form of communication has followed much the same path we’ve seen with many online media channels. The gold rush of an exciting new media platform created by a few early winners, snowballs into the subsequent come-one-come-all mushroom of exuberance, leading to the eventual incessant dilution of any value to all save the most spam tolerant. A new channel is a fertile ground for all players and what follows is the painful process of learning how to harness healthy practises fuelled by diminishing protagonist value and the backlash of the brow-beaten exploited.

So although I still remain a fan of social media platforms like Linkedin, this exercise re-emphasised the cyclical effects seen in all media channels, the extremes of which are no better illustrated than in digital media. Just as in the email industry, natural selection hastens the removal of poor contributors either through legislation/cultural rejection (also seen recently in Twitter where self promoters are increasingly snubbed) allowing for the emergence of better practices which are more palatable to the consumer. As we have seen within email, consumer acceptance re-emerges when the trust is rebuilt and the unscrupulous are shackled.  This is what we should all be focusing on take Stephanie Miller tips on how to connect email, social and eCRM. So email marketing can be the template for Social media platforms like Linkedin to follow. Ben and Jerry’s take note.

Stephanie Miller highlights how to connect Email, Social and eCRM

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Email working with social.I’ve written recently on a variety of sites about the life that is still left in email marketing – (see for example Social Penguin). With the variety of marketing channels that marketers have to contend with to reach the customer’s ear, are we missing a trick with the importance of the email address?

J-P De Clerk talks about email being his ‘interaction hub’. ”Skype sends me a mail when I missed a call or when someone left a message. Twitter does when someone sent me a DM. Facebook sends me emails when I received an invitation to be “friends” or a mail. LinkedIn friendship requests and group updates: it’s all in the inbox. FriendFeed connections: inbox. StumbleUpon messages, Digg friends, YouTube subscribers, Delicious, comments on my blogs, statistics, social media engagement data: it’s all coming via email. No wonder my email client is my RSS reader as well.”

A Clickz article talks about how the inbox is destined to become the personal dashboard of many

”The integration of social, mobile and e-mail has already begun to settle inside the inbox. Gmail lets me update my status on Facebook, send a tweet, update my blog, and write an e-mail to my mom – all from the same interface. Yahoo integrates with IM and its “What’s New” tab shows status updates from a wide variety of services. Even a beta version of Outlook 2010 integrates social networking. Facebook and MySpace have announced plans to provide primary inboxes as part of their communities. All of this is now accessible everywhere from PCs to iPads to smartphones.”

Even my own blog and Twitter accounts supply me with news about individuals interested in my thoughts.

Jonathan Macdonald of This Fluid World spoke with great engagement at the eCircle conference in Munich about the focus on the individual or citizen as he put it and that focus does need to include an understanding how they lives around using the technology of today

It seems that we are witnessing a real opportunity for the email address to be the key to the many disparate and yet connected channels that today’s consumer (for want of a better word because being a consumer is just one of the mind sets individuals can be in at any one time) logs in and out of repeatedly and frequently during their day (and indeed night).

Client marketers or their communications agencies can create a master key to each of these channels, and use that in conjunction of a better understanding of a ‘consumer’s’ mind set and the channel they are using at that point to ensure that not only the right message is sent at the right time, but also though the right medium.

Of course there are many challenges on the way – such as multiple email addresses, privacy issue and obviously understanding our customers or potential customers better.

But then Rome wasn’t built in a day

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