Posts Tagged 'Myspace'

You have 11 months to step up your social media game

What are you looking for when you read the latest link bait blog title? I’m always looking for the new tool. I’m looking for what I haven’t found yet, We all are. It’s why new diet books keep popping up on book shelves. Because people keep buying them. Because what worked before just doesn’t seem to be doing it now. We’re all constantly looking for a new approach, a new way to do things. Social media is no exception. We just have a different name for it, it’s called social media obsolescence.

Here’s an example:

You see as a society we’re just not satisfied. This extends to the social networks that we use. Yes, we all are using Facebook, and they are truly the exception to the rule. They are the immovable force. But other sites just die on the vine but for no other reason than it has reached it’s point of critical mass. It’s now in decline for the simple reason that we are looking for, no craving more than what that site delivered to us flawlessly.

To that end, I often find myself pondering whether I could possibly write something that hasn’t been said already. What will satisfy this rabid audience of social media consumers looking for the brass ring or the uber answer? Well the answer is, every day there is another great batch of great posts from some really smart people that I’m pleased to know professionally. Each with a new twist, a different angle, a fresh thought. Which tells us that indeed we are in the nascent stages of this monolith that we call social media.

So what’s there left to do?

What is left is for you and even me, to take all of these thoughts and processes and put them to good use and into action. Then you, my dear readers must pay it forward. No more selfish consuming.

You need to become the next legion of social media foot soldiers. We still have so many people that are completely perplexed and yet those of you that have been playing in the sandbox now for say the last year, know so much more than 75% of the population. That’s you! Start sharing what you know and what you have read. Don’t keep it to yourself.  Be a creator, as well as a conversationalist. Push the envelope in 2010, you have 11 months to get it done!

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Social Media Thought for the Day #3 Social Obsolescence

I’m struck by what Geoff Livingston titled his book from 2007. “Now is Gone”. It almost seems prescient. Content is content just for a day and almost seems irrelevant if it is from last week. Social sites are only as good as the purpose they serve right now. Fame is fleeting, personal brands last only as long as your last Google update and social networks continue to evolve.

What does this mean? When a social site no longer serves the needs of the people that participate, those people move on. Though there might not be a thing wrong with it. The site has become obsolete.

We need social media mentors not evangelists

mentor

Be a mentor.  this thought occurred to me while watching  a vid on Todd Adrilik’s blog titled, The dumbest generation, don’t trust anyone under 30. While it was a compelling piece about how anyone under 30 might be more inclined to be lazy and check on their social networks and do nothing else- I would like to think that there is a tremendous opportunity not only for them to lead us even further into the digital age but also for us, as digital marketers, to do the same. Lead them, and show them now, how to do it right.

You see, at some point all of that digital knowledge you have, those social media experiences in your head, needs to be transferred to others. Just telling people about how great it is, is one thing, but showing them, and taking people under your wing to guide and mentor, and to teach and explain, is something completely different and much more valuable.

Ok, so for those of us in the social media bubble, we get it. Now go out and instead of telling people how great social media is, show them how great it can be.

Put your social media mentor hat on and make an even bigger difference.

5 huge tech trends that you can’t ignore.

That’s it. Just 5. But why just 5? Because these 5 are rockin’ our world now and will continue to do so for the next 10 years. Do you remember the Gartner Hype Cycle? I blogged about it awhile back in regards to certain things we can be excited about over the next 5 years. Take a look at it real quick.

Ok Now look at this next slide real quick:

 

Ok, one more and I will let you off the hook.

 

 

So the hype cycle pretty much lets you know where certain “things” are in their growth development. It’s a great point of reference and doesn’t take a long time to figure out. Samw with the next slide, what does it tell you? It tells you that music is important to us. Always has, always will be. Here’s a quick 1 question quiz: What does the MySpace business model revolve around? Music and social networking. Ok So there’s 2 trends that will not be dipping anytime soon. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the top 44 music related social networks and to this day it still pulls traffic. I recently tweeted a question as to what brick and mortar industry has completely dried up but thrived online-answer: music

Trend #1 Music will continue to thrive online and you cannot ignore it.

According to Comscore  In August 2008, Americans conducted 11.7 billion core searches, virtually unchanged from July, as Google Sites extended its lead in core search market share by 1.1 percentage points.

Search is, the gateway to everything that we do online. You may see some play in regards to trying to refine search into more of a niche based environment, but the bottom line is search will alway be the mainstay of any internet based activity.

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

Americans conducted 11.7 billion searches at the core search engines, nearly identical to the number of core searches conducted in July. Google Sites handled 7.4 billion core searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion and Microsoft Sites with 977 million.

In the comScore August 2008 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led with 10.2 billion searches, a 2-percent increase versus July.  That’s billion! Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.4 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites with 1 billion and AOL LLC with 839 million.

Trend #2 Search ain’t going nowhere.

According to Hitwise, MySpace.com received 67.54 percent of the market share of U.S. visits in August 2008 among a custom category of 56 of the leading social networking websites.  The market share of U.S. visits to the social networking site decreased 2 percent in August 2008 to 6.40 percent of all U.S. visits compared to July 2008. Visits to the category decreased 17 percent year-over-year. But check out the chart below:

What do those numbers mean to you? It means that MySpace had 66 million visits in one month and Facebook had 28 million. The fact of the matter is that social media and social networks are interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. I know, it’s not like it’s earth shattering, it’s just not a fad anymore. It’s legit. It will continue to evolve and the potential will always be there for someone to do something different and exciting and unique with the social media application. Could that be you? I hope so.

Trend #3 Social networks will continue to evolve and grow larger and gain in importance.

A recently released UN study indicates that by the end of 2008 mobile phone use worldwide will reach 50% of the earth’s population for the first time in history. Although the percentage of mobile phones in North America, Western Europe and most of Asia is much higher than 50%, in developing countries, a mobile phone is still considered a luxury.

Mobile phone ownership rates have been rising significantly, almost at an exponential rate. Countries like  India, Brazil, and China are seeing crazy growth in the number of people owning a cell phone. In fact, China had an estimated one billion cell phone subscribers in 2007. At the current rate of growth, there will be over 3.3 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of 2008.

So there’s no escaping the fact that cell phones are now-another essential part of our daily lives. Grab the keys, grab the wallet, the purse, the backpack and the cell phone. Ok so we get that. But now, pay attention.

According to a recent online survey conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.

So what are these consumers doing when they access their mobile social network? They’re checking for comments and messages from their friends, with both of these features registering above 50% for mobile social network users. Posting status updates also has proven popular, with over 45% of mobile social users letting others what they are up to via their phone.
What we are seeing is a melding of 2 functions into one via the hub of the cell phone. Or is it the hub of the social network?  There’s no doubt that a social network is increasingly becoming a central hub for communication across online and mobile domains for a lot of people. Because it’s  allowing them to consolidate activities or processes. From text, to email, to chat, to phone calls, to exchanging of data, uploading images and downloading songs. The phone and the social net. allow thesee things to occur almost seamlessly. As a trend, the centralization of a consumer’s cell phone activities combined with their increased social network usage is only going to make adoption of mobile social networking more inevitable as we move forward.
Trend #4 The growth of the mobile social network will be steady and exponential.

Here is trend 4a for you as well:   comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8  million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers  accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively.  The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent.  That’s right, Mobile Search.

Ok last one-And it’s a no-brainer. Check out the slide below. It’s from December 2007, but the message is loud and clear.

Google Sites  ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6  percent share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4 percent) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3 percent).

In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million. So if you don’t already know it online video consumption is growing at a sick-ass rate.

Trend #5 Online video consumption will evolve into an acceptable replacement for a TV.

In conclusion, here’s the most interesting aspect of them all. The hub for all of the above trends can and will be centered on one thing, Your cell phone.

12 sites to check out and a MySpace story.

Sometimes I just want to effin rant about stuff going on in my life, but one of my mottos has always been to keep an even keel. I know, try keeping an even keel with all of the bullshit going on right now, right?. So with all of that noise, here are some sites and blogs that you should check out and or bookmark:

Crazy Egg is a site that provides visual representations of customer data and web traffic.

Keeping the theme of the egg, VideoEgg is a video ad network for online communities that connects brands to consumers with video and rich media across a network of more than 200 leading video and gaming sites, social networks and applications.

I was in NYC recently and relied heavily on this. I thought HopStop was invaluable.

Trendrr tracks the popularity and awareness of trends across a variety of inputs, ranging from social networks, to blog buzz and video views downloads, all in real time.

View and create user flows here @ Product Planner which is a product from Kissmetrics

Thinking of turning that white paper or ebook into something more? Check out Lulu, which I plan on taking advantage of.

Here’s a cool Linkedin app called social minder, though I haven’t tried it out yet, but it is on my to-do list.

Paul O’Brien provides the The Definitive Online Marketing Conferences List which is a nice list for all of us. Thanks Paul.

You will love Usernamecheck, this is very cool. Its very self-explanatory.

If you have not seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote from Web 2.0 expo in NYC. Then here you go, it’s pretty damn good.

icharts listened and read my TechCrunch50 blogpost and got back to me, so I’m getting ready to take it for a test drive.

Lastly, let me tell you about the conversation I had with a MySpace sales rep named Jason Steingold this past week. He has been historically relentless in trying to get me to buy advertising for one of our products. Relentless to the extent that even though I have told him “no” half a dozen times. He’ll send an email to me stating to “just let him know when I’m ready”. and “we have some really good deals right now”. Oh Ok Fast Eddie, I’m on it.

He’s hammered me on the quality of the demographic for the one product we market, pitched me on specials,  seasonal deals, you name it. So I sent him an email back this last time that said that his price point was too high. My exact words were, “your price points are wayyy to effin high”. Ok my mistake, I should have been more professional.

That email I sent him was more conversational than most of the emails that I send him, at least to the extent that I said more than “no thanks”, but I figured I’d be semi-nice and congenial this time. Big Mistake-I’ve now engaged him and he immediately fires back an email saying the wrong thing or definitely taking the wrong tone and tact with me in implying my naivity, my stupidity and their massive size.

At a $.45 CPM?  What other social network that houses such a large amt of your demographic can you receive targeted inventory at a $.45 CPM? 

 

So I come back with, “yea but you have a minimum spend of what?”

He responds with… drum roll please…

200k minimum for the month….but you’d get a 72 hr out clause…..

 

 

 

Oh ok, cool, so I get the 72 hour out clause on a 200k minimum spend. Damn that’s a sweet deal. Spend $200,000 to make what? So here’s how the rest of the conversation via email went down.

Me: there’s your price point mah brutha

Him: 72 hr out clause?  That’s a great deal….you guys must not be in the business of making money….just trying to help you out, times is rough son.

Nice sales tchnique there, don’t ya think?

Me: Let me digress. Our typical customer for this product does not use social media. Just because you have data that shows 10 million users that “might” use this product doesn’t mean it’s our customer. Looked at broadly, we could say that everyone is a potential customer, and I could see why you thought or think that. Your comment about us not being in the business of making money-  you might wanna work on those closing techniques and avoid using that in the future.

Him: Who’s your typical customer exactly?  1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace….pretty much encompasses people from every walk of life….

Me: Thanks Jason

Him: You’re welcome! 

Moral of the story: No wonder sales people have such a hard time communicating, articulating and understanding their customers. They don’t listen. They push and force the message. He engaged me and he had me listening and did not handle an initial skeptical rejection well.

 

4 reasons to be excited about the next 5 years

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle, they have identified 27 emerging technologies to keep an eye on. They have also predicted that 8 of them will have a major transformational business impact. For that reason,  those 8 should be strongly considered for adoption by technology planners in the next 10 years. Of these 8, there are 4 that have caught my eye and thus have a particular interest to me.

The first of the 4 is Web 2.0. Although if you look at the below diagram, Web 2.0 is currently in Gartners “Trough of Disillusionment”. Though it almost sounds like some type of business purgatory, it will emerge within two years to have a transformational impact, as companies steadily gain more experience and success with both the technologies and the cultural implications-according to Gartner. If you cannot get excited about how Web 2.0 is transforming the web and the way we utilize it, then you just might not be geeky enough. That’s ok though, there are enough of us out there that truly are “giddy” about the direction we’re heading.

The next area that Gartner feels is about to explode is Social computing platforms — you’d have to be living in a cave on the island of Fiji to not suspect that consumer-oriented social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, are causing companies of all sizes to evaluate the role that these sites, or various components of these sites, including their enterprise sized brethren, might do to transform and elevate the way that they currently communicate and do business. What’s more, the individual components and their ilk are forcing people to re-think what it means to be social, to re-evaluate what communities are all about, and how all of this can change the way we might interact with each other in the future.

If it hasn’t been obvious to this point what would be on Gartner list, its Microblogging— Thanks to Twitter specifically, and Plurk and Friendfeed to a lesser degree, microblogging is the new kid on the block in the world of social networking. But if microblogging is the new kid, it’s the new kid who can hit the ball out of the ballpark the first time he picks up a bat. The potential has already been leveraged by some pockets of the online community such as social media marketers and PR people, but it is also slowly being adopted by some forward thinking leading-edge companies who are using it to communicate with its customers, and employees. It’s becoming and will become another viable tool in a companies quest to engage it’s customer, communicate with the customer and brand their products more effectively.

Lastly, I’m going to lump 2 together. Corporate Blogging and Social Network Analysis I think that corporations, because of the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and the emergence of social networks and their niches, are starting to realize the importance of communicating like they never have before. We throw around the word transparency and I think it has never been more self evident what the upside can be to these organizations. As soon as Corporations can get a handle on the how’s and the why’s of blogging, they will be well served to incorporate it into their marketing mix. My suggestion would be to start with the book Naked Conversations.

Social Network Analysis is a natural extension of Web 2.0,  social computing platforms and microblogging. Because we are in the realtive infancy of these aformentioned technologies, the measurement of these is still as well, in it’s early stages. Analyzing the impact, the ROI, the level of engagement, the depth, the reach, the frequency, the conversations, the numbers- of social networks is something we talk about every day. An example of a company that does monitors social media would be Radian 6. As social networks continue to mature, look for this aspect as well to become robust and very vertical and very in demand.

So take a look at the diagram below, which ones get you excited to be in this space?

Social Media slides you can relate to

For the sake of virgin ears, the actual title of this slide presentation is “What the F**K is Social Media”? and I wish I could have taken credit for this but it came from alisa leonard hansen’s blog site titled Socialized or thewebissocial,  which came from Marta Kagan take your pick. Subscribe to both their sites, they both have a good take on whats up. Though I am down with Marta’s genius. Per this, it’s amazing as you work through the slides how large the numbers are and yet how they ( social networks and social media per se) have not even scatched the surface.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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