Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

The new Facebook: Like or Unlike?

May 15, 2010

I was just starting to enjoy Facebook and really explore the marketing possibilities, and then it changed. Now I’m not so sure where I stand; because at this point, I feel that I distinctly “unlike” the direction. Previously, I was glad to post a good chunk of my profile for public consumption: schools attended, where I work, favorite TV shows, movies and books. Now I cannot seem to show this information unless I agree to like/link to sites picked by Facebook. This may be OK, I’m just not sure, so I’m mulling it over.

Maybe I’m just becoming a curmudgeon. After all, I have been actively viewing (and participating on) Twitter for over 6 months, yet I really don’t have a normal presence there either. First, I have a relatively small following. I’d like to think that most of the people who do follow me get some enjoyment out of the experience, but I don’t posture or pander to gain followers. I post what I like – Quotes on philosophy, world events and humor; retweets from people I follow, and occasional original thoughts – but I really haven’t developed a “persona”. I’m just another guy on Twitter.

Also unlike many others (excepting celebrities), I don’t tend to follow a lot of people. I typically have about 40 or so more people who I follow than follow me, but that’s OK. I am inclined to find people whose tweets I like most of the time, so there is a certain comfort level in opening up my page. (I should point out that you will not like all the tweets you find all of the time, it’s just the nature of the media. Some are flat, some are insider conversations, some are replies to messages you never see. But it’s easy to overlook, as scanning for nuggets is also part of the game.) I want to go to Twitter for entertainment and education, so for me it’s pretty casual.


In having digressed to Twitter, it would be remiss of me to not call out one of my favorite follows: Adams Consulting Group. Diana Adams is a moderately prolific poster, and also a writer for, among other sites, BitRebel (which can be accessed from her site). The posts there are typically a good combination of written word and interesting topical photography. The point seems to be mainly to highlight the joy of what we can communicate in a digital world. I hope you check it out.


All the News that’s fit to Tweet…

March 20, 2010

A recent article appearing on Mashable is further confirmation that many modern consumers interact with their world, and pick up knowledge of events, products, and happenings (beyond friends and acquaintances) via the web, and more specifically social networking sites. According to the study, 23% of all iPhone users primarily receive their morning news on either Twitter or Facebook.

I think this brings out two important implications:

1) This certainly highlights yet again the issue of trustworthiness of news sources, and what represents journalism in today’s world.

2) Of even more importance to marketers lies in how to best reach targeted segments if members of your audience are iPhone users. But this is just the surface: iPhone behavior is measured because it is such a large phenomenon, however, is this also true of Droid users? What about Blackberry users? The answer is likely a resounding YES!

Marketers need to learn to engage consumers on terms appropriate to the media being used. Social media users receiving 97 random tweets or hits a day to their Facebook site or Twitter account will soon turn you off. But being prepared to send meaningful announcements and respond to inquiries via these platforms is an important competency to develop.

Appropriateness of message may be the easiest threshold to hit. But the issues of frequency and timing are still works in progress. Overall, 32% of respondents of all ages (49% of those under age 25) don’t mind being interrupted by a notification of a message during a meal (telemarketers take note…). But it better be worthwhile, or you may just have lost a fan or follower.

Facebook Measures Up

March 9, 2010

Everybody loves Facebook, right? Or at least almost 440 million active users, as of the latest stats available. That is, except big time professional advertising entities…

Until now.

Just this past week, Facebook and Omniture announced that they would soon be working together. This announcement created relatively little press fanfare as most of us do not know who the heck Omniture is. However, marketing professionals, particularly those involved with major companies placing advertising in the new media, recognize that this is a quite a big deal and are salivating over the actual launch of this partnership.

According to their site, Omniture “is a leader in online business optimization service software”. They provide software that:

  • Measures customer behavior
  • Compiles this behavior for real time stats and also for trend reporting
  • Automates online processes

This company also offers services that provide even more capability, but the above are the big three. The company serves top tier corporate and service provider clients, and is now owned by Adobe. This is a big, big deal!

According to the Associated Press, as reported on “Using Omniture’s products, companies will be able to measure how effective their ads are on Facebook. They will also be able to use Omniture’s search engine marketing management tool to buy Facebook ads. And they will be able to compare how well their ad campaigns do on Facebook compared with other outlets.”

Suddenly, Facebook won’t be for experimenting and testing anymore, as far as big companies and their agencies are concerned. All the objections and reservations that had to be explained to someone’s boss suddenly go away. Automated buying and measurement: Ease of placement and analytics. What more could any Fortune 100 marketer want?

It is my expectation that this one move will noticeably change the face and pace of Facebook. Is this for the better? I await your opinion.

Are We Preaching to the Choir?

March 7, 2010

In the past week or so, I have come across two blog posts highlighting successful executions of social media campaigns. The first (Emerging Media in our Lives) puts the spotlight on Starbuck’s  and their ongoing efforts to build community and retain the “neighborhood hangout joint” feel even as they grow into a geographically pervasive brand. The second (Merritt 111’s Blog) outlines the efforts of Proctor and Gamble to reposition and strengthen a household brand: Old Spice.

Both of these posts are insightful and written extremely well, and I strongly suggest that those of you interested in the new marketing click on the links and read through these articles.  I also feel that both of these campaigns, on the face of it, have been extremely well executed, even though I have no real affinity for either brand.

That said, I also feel that both campaigns potentially face limitations.


I would think from Starbuck’s perspective, the biggest danger would be in becoming myopic.  The information collected in this effort will only be from people who are comfortable with mobile and have a least a semi warm spot for Starbucks. This is not all a bad thing, but in looking at Starbuck’s Facebook page (and Twitter postings), most of the feedback they are getting is rather sanitized. Where will the new advances come from, and where do they gather in the negative feedback?


Old Spice

The pervasiveness of this campaign is amazing, and could only be carried out by a heavyweight such as P&G. In addition to the internet presence, this campaign seems to be everywhere: TV, radio, print. Today’s paper had coupons available for this product line. So A+ goes to the company for covering all of the bases. The campaign is obviously popular on Facebook.

However, I do have questions:

  • Have they changed attitude toward this brand
  • Have they gain additional adherents
  • Are they driving more sales

I certainly recognize that one of the major goals of an integrated marketing campaign is customer retention. This is highly desirable and ultimately less expensive that attracting new acolytes to the fold. But a mass market company ultimately cannot survive just preaching to the choir.

Toyota: Tweeters, not Twits

March 6, 2010

Anyone living in the US, who has not been living in a deprivation chamber for the past few weeks, is likely aware that Toyota has had its problems the past few weeks. Toyota, a company known for fanatical customers, and ultra reliable automobiles has had to deal with issues related to several models that still seem not to be completely resolved. And this following on the heels of the floor mat debacle…. 

Looks nice sitting in your driveway...

So how does a modern day company defend their actions and reputation against an unrelenting news media, the US Congress, and late night talk show hosts? Toyota apparently thinks the answer is Twitter. 

Well, I certainly give them points for trying. 

Use of the venue, in conjunction with TweetMeme has social media apostles all over the world drooling with joy. I’m not so sure. First off on TweetMeme. Toyota is tracking comments related to Toyota on Twitter: Good! It has also been alleged (TechCrunch and others) that Toyota has sanitized the postings and/or is only tuning into the more favorable comments: Bad! This is not the time to place your head in the sand and tune out the negative. 

My second concern with this media is that Twitter, until you have a tremendous following, can only be largely reactive. You just can’t tweet to people who don’t follow you, and Toyota only has 17,753 followers as of this writing. Not nearly enough to launch a retaliatory response to overwhelming negativity. 

In fairness, Toyota also has a Facebook page, with 80,000 plus fans (I wonder if this has grown recently) where they post videos (from their YouTube page) about Toyota safety issues, and link to their recall site (Toyota Recall ), and provide a toll free number. They have posts from fans, that are both positive and negative on the FB site, but don’t host a discussion page. 

The time has come for Toyota to wade into these waters and weigh in a little more prominently.

When “Eighty percent of success is showing up” just doesn’t work

March 4, 2010

This quote from Woody Allen’s movie Life and Death may be true of many of the things that happen to us in life.

Woody Allen

We have all seen many times that people or companies are able to achieve a certain amount of success just by being somewhere and having the fortitude to hang around. Unfortunately, I am quickly coming of the opinion that this is a life strategy that does not work for marketing in today’s emerging media environment.

Events move too quickly for the mediocre to wade in and hang around hoping for success. Events move too quickly to take on the role of dilettante. Companies that have been around for awhile and have a well established market presence have often taken this approach. While you may be able to muddle through today, you need to muddle quickly and with purpose!

I recently wrote a critique of a well known company’s social media strategy, a strategy that has a corporate Facebook page as the keystone. This company’s foray into the social media scene was well thought out from an approach point of view. They had the all the correct components in place, and even tied it to their newly minted corporate YouTube page and their Twitter account. This level of coverage (along with RSS feeds to such sites as delicious and digg) puts them in front of many, many consumer facing companies. Plus all of these efforts tie back to their corporate web site.

My issue with their presence comes in with their apparent execution. Dare I use another movie cliché in the same post? Well, here goes: The philosophy of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work in social media. They apparent treat these properties with benign neglect. Posts made by the company are largely impersonal; reader and “fan” posts go largely ignored, at least on Facebook. They may respond behind the scenes. It’s possible, as they use their Twitter account largely for customer service notifications.

The real point to take away here is that social media is meant to be just that: social! If you choose not to be social, you may well be served to devote your energies elsewhere.