Jan 19 2010

Tweeters Get Rung on The Social Technographics® Ladder


by Andrew DiFiore

When Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff — co-authors of Groundswell and analysts for Forrester Research — created The Social Technographics Ladder as a tool for analyzing social technologies, they apparently didn’t anticipate the explosive growth of micro-blogging. There was no rung on their “social ladder” for people who regularly participate on Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, or FriendFeed; people whom they’ve dubbed conversationalists. That is, no rung until today.

forrester_conversationalists

So, one third of the US (adult) online population are having “conversations” at least once a week via sites like Twitter and Facebook. According to Forrester they’re most likely to be female (56%), hold a college degree, young (70% are 30+), and earning about $2,100 more than the average online user.

It will be interesting to see how this group evolves over the next 12 months as the US economy and unemployment rate shift.


Jan 12 2010

Twitter 101 for Business


by Andrew DiFiore

What?
Dell Outlet sold over $3 million worth of computers through Twitter!
Really?
How?
I would love to see the case study on that one.

Okay, here it is.

In fact, Twitter has just launched Twitter 101 for Business showcasing its own case studies for brands like Dell, JetBlue, Levi, Pepsi, and Naked Pizza. These companies have had (and continue to have) huge success leveraging their brands through the SMS-based channel; using social contests, exclusive coupons, or just plain old-fashion PR.

twitter101As Twitter evolves so do the ways to use it as an effective marketing channel. Thankfully, Twitter keeps an update of Best Practices. If you are new to Twitter then you might want to check out Mashable’s The Twitter Guide Book.


Aug 11 2009

So Your Social Media Sucks… Don’t Blame the Technology!


by Andrew DiFiore

It is easy to get caught up in the hype of Social Media and desperate times begets desperate actions. But don’t do Social Media if your reasoning includes:

  • It’s so cheap
  • Everybody else is doing it
  • I’m afraid of missing the boat
  • I heard one Tweet and all your dreams come true!
  • I have an account on Facebook and it feels like magic

Don’t kid yourself (or let anyone else kid you), Social Media takes time, strategy, and yes, money.

Now, I’m not talking about creating an account on Twitter or Plaxo (most social networks are free to join).  Social Media marketing is so much more than having a Facebook fan page or leaving a comment on Scobleizer. It is about participating in and contributing to the conversations. And there ain’t no room for introverts if you’re looking to affect change.

For marketers who want to use Social Media to advocate their brands, this means bringing something of value to the table; not just a sales pitch but rather something about your brand story worth telling, in a way that is unique and easy to retell. Most people in these communities don’t really mind that you are there with an ulterior motive as long as it is in line with what the conversation is about. Furthermore, most don’t mind telling you exactly what they think of your product or service.

All too often, companies assume they can “control” the message like in traditional media (e.g. newspapers, television, radio) but they can’t; nor should they try. The Social Web is a multi-channel, interactive medium with the power to spread ideas quickly, exponentially. You can track and direct the message but once it is out there, it is out there. If this concept scares you then stay away from Social Media.

In order for a Social Media marketing campaign to be successful you must have something good to sell and then have an engaging way of selling it. I’ll assume the first is a given. The second is where you must get creative. There is no substitute for great ideas regardless of the medium. At the end of the day this is really why clients hire us. Sure, we may be “masters of technology” but it is the power of our ideas that separate the good from the great!

Never Compromise the Effectiveness of a Campaign!

This is the #1 reason why Social Media campaigns fail.

No doubt, we have all been there. Months in the planning, doing the research, coordinating the creative and technical teams, building up your online social capital. The landing page has been optimized. The behavioral metrics are in place. And then the unthinkable happens: client gets cold feet. Thinks the campaign is too risky. Maybe a funny YouTube video would be better. Ugh!

This is the no-win situation. If the vision of the campaign cannot be realized then the best thing to do is not to do it. I know we may not have this luxury. Unfortunately, if the effectiveness of the campaign has been compromised then it will most certainly fail. And with its failure comes the inevitable assumption it failed because Social Media doesn’t work.

Alas, this may be a self-fulling prophecy for some. The Social Media road is littered with the corpses of failed campaigns (half-baked in the sun). But there are a few bright examples of companies who didn’t compromise, who marched forward with courage and conviction, and were richly rewarded.