« June 2010 | Main | August 2010 »

4 posts from July 2010

July 28, 2010

Can anything "pre-meditated" truly be called social?

Or is it an oxymoron?

Social media - the art of sharing. This is nothing new, arguably social media has been with us for tens of thousands of years. The media might have changed but the reason stands.

The difference today, primarily, is the web.

My point is this:  Social media from an individual is, by default, sharing and, therefore, justifiably comes under the correct heading "social media". It is done with intent to share and make someone else's life richer in knowledge. The individual who "receives" this information will do with it what they want.

They may be influenced in a purchase, or in thought, etc but point of fact,  they have had their lives enriched by content.

But the action remains the same, sharing without intent other than.


 However, can this be the same if you are a business/ Question: If it's pre-meditated can it be called social media?

I don't think so. I think companies can use the social web (and there is nothing wrong with this) but if there is pre-meditated intent behind it then it can't be called social media as what they're doing is not sharing unconditionally.  They ultimately have a commercial agenda.  Again, nothing wrong in that.

If this reason is to get business, gain mindshare, gather PR, gather live R&D then, by default, what they are doing is "piping the social web" - not engaging in social media.

Now if we can separate the two methods then we have two methods. Moreover, these two methods dictate a completely different process that we must bring to bear, whether that might be as an individual or as a company that has intent.

This would make life easier as we can "pigeon-hole" method.

To conclude: Social media is an action that is the sole domain of an individual for the practise of "unconditional" sharing - there are no rules here as it's 1. social and 2. personal.

Piping the social web is an action that a company participates in with the ultimate intent to pipe consumers to a "call to action" - there are rules here for successful action. 1. relevant volume (otherwise no one will find you - in which case why bother?) 2. A full understanding of the companies entire web strategy from top to bottom (starting a "pipe" on the social web means there can be no "blockage" due to a part of the companies web that has been overlooked.)

Social media is a convenient term.  It has achieved what it needed. Now we must "break down" the nuances of the action.

For companies to interact on the social web without this "break down" and understanding,  they may cause themselves and their brand more harm in the long term.


July 27, 2010

Marketers beware - 74% of consumers are being influenced by the social web.

This is not really new information, but it does consolidate the method of the web.

The firm Gartner have just released figures that suggest one fifth of the population are influencing over 74% of consumers!

These "influencers" only succeed due to a particular method.  Why?  Because they don't use the web as a channel.

They have nothing to gain from "influencing" and, therefore, apply a different method other that one who does. This, in turn, dictates method and that method can only be relevant delivery of information coupled with delivery that is social in nature i.e sharing.


This does not mean that those with "product/service" cannot utilise the web, only that they must utilise it in a different method than has been used traditionally.  This would appear to be "alien" to a lot of companies as it goes against "business" method.

But "business method" only works when you can "map" intent to purchase.  This is easy off-line as consumers can be easily "mapped" by looking at a "high street" - i.e those that are walking up a high street are more than likely there with the intent to buy (otherwise why would they be there?).

But there is no High Street on the web other that shopping portals such as Amazon (which is more semantic than social).

Until that point of purchase consumers are being influenced by those that have a passion for a particular product and report on it, which in turn influences the 74% that are in question.

This is not wholly new information.  Word of mouth has always been the preferred method of recommendation as it involves trusting the person who has made the endorsement. However, the web delivers constant relevance, therefore, dictating it to be more important than traditional methods/channels.  As such, a business approach has to be less about selling and more about adopting a sharing attitude and creating customer experiences that will, in turn, influence buying decisions indirectly.

Question: Are you one of the 1/5 of the population that are considered influential enough to get through to the 74% of consumers that want to know about your product?

If not, then your web method needs adjusting.  The social web can be mapped and can be influenced, and is not the whole domain of social media.


July 09, 2010

What is a business card now we have Google?

A physical token of us having met.

That's what a business card is now - isn't it?


Things aren't the way they used to be, but they're still there - they just have a different meaning.

Take the humble business card.  Really what does it represent? You? Maybe it does, but in the world of the web if I want to find you, I mean really want to find you, I can and I will and with better detail by Googling your name.

Business cards are just one thing.

The Times (newspapers in general), is/are that/they another? I mean before the internet or the web newspapers were the norm for getting a message across. Anything from marketing to general information. In other words the newspapers contained the "call to action" - they were the final point before "interaction". If you had something to sell you put an advert in the newspaper which prompted the user to pick up the phone or visit the shop.

However, with the advent of the web, newspapers are now secondary to the final "call to action". The power of the web is changing the nature of the way we act, react, interact and it would seem that what we took for granted before the web is now playing a secondary role or has an alternate meaning.

Question therefore: What else is playing a secondary role/having an alternate meaning?

Marketing? Piping intent?


July 01, 2010

We've reached saturation point - content is not king.

Bearing in mind that we're only just inside the "mainstream" section of the bell curve (when it comes to Social media).

Question: Is content King?

A certain amount of content is needed, and good content to, but, based on the fact that  content does not stay original for long the argument that "content is king" will not sustain a good "followship" comes into question. The omnipresent nature of the web dictates choice, and with that it may not sustain people "coming back for more".

So we're aware that SM is not going away and we know that social intent can be mapped, we're also aware that it's only going to get "busier" as and when new tech is released - arguably led by iPhone and iPad.

Ubiquity is getting lost!


Question: Bearing all this in mind how do we retain a "fellowship" (given that the user does not need to stay on our site/s)? How do we get "stickiness"?

I would argue that the answer is already here and has been for a while, just not on the web in it's entirety. 

User experience, however, may work.


If we look at Madonna. She is now not signed to a record label but to a promoter.

Her business model has changed. Instead of trying to fight a battle in an arena that is ubiquitous by nature, she has  taken control of her content by delivering a better consumer experience. Concerts.

So she has good content, her stuff is everywhere, BUT she controls the experience.

This can be achieved on the web by any company.

Mapping social intent, delivering good content BUT overall delivering a great user experience will retain a "fellowship". 

The web is delivering fantastic app's that make the web fun, not only fun but relevant and it will become overwhelming for the consumer - therefore, user experience will be key.

What do you think?