Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

The Attention Economy is Distracting Me

distract

Twitter has the RT button and the favorite button. Linkedin has an endorse button, Facebook has a like button and G+ has the plus.  I know you “get” what they all do, at least you should, but I have a question for you.  Aren’t all of those social buttons just surface level engagement triggers that require little or no engagement by the user and the recipient? Yes? No?

Of course they are, and I’m OK with it  and you should be too. Let me explain. I’ll keep it brief.  :)

When you notice or have been notified that you have been liked or favorited or endorsed, what changes for you? How do you react? Do you feel that you now must reciprocate? Do you like the attention you just received? Was it your goal to get attention? Do you care? Do you feel anything or do you just move on? It all depends on who it is, right? For me, I try to take time to understand the why behind the why. Why did that person do what they just did? What were they trying to elicit from me? Why me? But maybe I’m looking too deeply into the action than the action itself really deserves? I think I am.

You see, because of the volume of content that one is subjected to each and every day, at least from my standpoint, the ability to give that content or source, all of the needed attention it made greatly deserve, is greatly diminished. The best you might get from me as I race past your stuff at 100 mph, is the virtual equivalent of a nod.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to read your stuff, it’s just that the best you can get from me right now is a like or a star or a favorite.

The only slight little problem with that “action,” is that by allowing people to click a like or favorite button, we unknowingly might be reducing true engagement and the possibility of an actual, ok semi-actual, conversation.

The irony though, is that we (marketers) still look at that piece of user/consumer data as being really valuable; and don’t get me wrong, it does have a use and value. It’s just that we’re so desperate for good social data, that we’re willing to create, support and proactively use a somewhat worthy and somewhat hollow metric that is The Like, The RT, The Endorse and The Favorite.

What those buttons really measure is a modicum of attention, a flicker of action and the “hope” of engagement.  So why are we suckers for clicking on them?  For the majority of users, NOT clicking the button means that they might NOT get something for their time and effort. For the rest of us, clicking is the least (or maybe the most) that can we do in this always on, multi-channel, multi-device world.

I do want to read your stuff, I really do. I just don’t have an answer for you yet on how I can add your content to the 32 tabs I have open, Besides, I’m too busy looking at someone’s profile who I don’t know, endorsing me for a skill I don’t have on Linkedin. :).

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Four Areas that Digital Marketers Need to Continue to Focus On

Should we be amazed anymore at how fast digital is moving? Honestly no. But what should we be thinking about as we watch it go by? When I was a kid and I would see a train go by, I always wanted to be on that train. I didn’t really care where it was going, I just wanted to be on it. With a little foresight and hindsight you can be on that train that we’re calling digital right now-and know where it came from and where it’s going. We sort of know where it came from, but here’s 4 stops on that journey.

  1. Figure out Big Data- Mark it down. Big data is going to be big business. It makes sense though, you have these large organizations collecting terabytes of customer data but not knowing how or what to do with it. Enter the age of Big Data and marketers finally doing something with that data.. IDC predicts that the market for Big Data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015 up from $3.2 billion in 2010.
  2. Focus on the Customer. If you think you’re doing enough with your customers, then chances are, you are not.  Some recent Accenture research reveals that retailers can respond with mobile capabilities designed to create value for both customers and themselves  if they understand who is shopping in their stores, how they shop, and how mobile influences their shopping behaviors.
  3. Go Get a Tablet- It’s hard to ignore the mobile and tablet markets. If you don’t own a tablet, you probably have it on your wish list of things to get. That’s a good decision. Why? It’s where your customers, clients and colleagues are going. Need the data to prove it?  After less than two years, U.S. mobile subscribers were using almost 40 million tablets, according to ComScore. In contrast, it took smartphones seven years to reach that level of adoption.
  4. Twitter ain’t going anywhere-From cars that tweet, to marketers figuring out newfound ways to leverage the power of microblogging and actually driving awareness and making money-Twitter is hitting some good times. Need more proof? Twitter didn’t buy Posterous just to spend money and collect a toy. They have plans. Big one’s.

We could have added more, but the point here is not to inundate you with all the things that occur every day in the tech world, it’s too much and can be overwhelming. The point is to help you focus on the areas that continue to mature and evolve-For marketers large and small, we need to learn how can we adapt and adopt to things that will be around in 6 months to a year. We have to get away from our fixation on the new and shiny and focus on the smart and profitable.

15 Things I’ve Learned from 138 Social Media Tweetchats

More than 2 years ago Jason Breed and I decided to create a Tweetchat.  The format was pretty simple, we would find a killer, compelling host in the social space, like a Beth Harte who was our very first host, and we’d pick a killer, topical, compelling, subject. After we settled on the topic, we  would collaborate on 3 questions and off we would go to promote it for the following Tuesday. We also decided to create a killer, award winning, website thanks to developer Terry Mckyton that would captures all of the conversations in real time and even allows you to tweet from the site, but other than that, we were ready to go have Tweetchats. Boom.

When Jason first called me, he was looking for ways to  brand  his previous company. At the time, the Tweetchat, “Journchat“, was on fire and that was our inspiration. In the course of about a 1 minute conversation, Hashtagsocialmedia was born.  We had no idea that 2 years and 138 tweetchats later, “Hashtag” as we call it would still be chugging along.

So what have I learned?

1) Tweetchat’s don’t work w/o participation. From having great hosts to having great participants, you need both to succeed.

2) The content comes from the crowd. The gold is in the conversations.

3) Trolls can easily be exposed and don’t last long, but contrarians can bring balance and perspective.

4) There is always a retweetable soundbite that can sum up the discussion. Always.

5) There is never a shortage of topics though some seem to be more popular than others.

6) Passion is never on short supply.

7) Smart people are everywhere.

8. The generosity of the hosts has always surprised me and yet doesn’t.

9) The value of the conversations lasts longer than the Tweetchat

10) We can always learn and takeaway something even from sub-par Tweetchats

11) Every Tweetchat will be different. No two are the same.

12) There is a ton of room for growth for all Tweetchats.

13) There needs to be a next gen level of Tweetchats

14) Businesses, brands and companies should incorporate tweetchats into their marketing mix

15) People actually learn from tweetchats.

I could easily come up with 123 more “things” I have learned, because I have learned something from each and every one of them, but the point is, there is always a takeaway. In fact, not only have I grown from these Tweetchats, but also from the half dozen others that I pop in to from time to time. The bottom line is that Tweetchats are a tremendous opportunity to network, grow and expand your user, knowledge and friend base to the nth degree.

I’m better because of our Tweetchat, I’m better because of the people I’ve met from them, and I know it brings value to others and that makes me feel pretty damn good. Tweetchats work. So tell me, have you participated in our or any Tweetchat? What has been your experience?

Talk to people like you would talk to people-It works

I was just looking at recent tweet from someone I follow and was initially going to unfollow him because I thought he tweeted too much about himself. Until I realized after I had looked at a few of his previous tweets, why I followed him in the first place. It wasn’t who he worked for, or that he might be able to help me one day, as a primary reason of why I initially followed him. What it was, was that 1) he had a personality 2) he wasn’t pushing a product and 3) he actually provided some value from time to time. Lastly,  the tweets had a flavor to them, a no holds barred flavor to them. I think I might have forgotten about that.

Brands could learn something from this

There are 2 lines from a piece in Forbes about the why in social marketing that sum up what I’m trying to get to here…

“The mainstream of communications is now controlled by users, not distributors.”  and “You can’t just show up at social conversations with your bullet points and promotional offers. You need to be able to talk to people like, well, like you would talk to people.”

We have or I have talked about and written about these 2 points in the past, but I guess when you read in in Forbes it resonates a bit more. But it hit home when I started to think about the why I follow someone on Twitter. The why of why I engage. It’s not because I want something, well yea I do want something but its not a product or a service, or a gift or a coupon or lastly your ego.

What I want is to talk to someone, to connect with them and be able to call them a friend and a colleague maybe at some point down the line. Nothing really more than that. Whatever happens beyond that is a bonus for both of us. Brings back memories of the line, “Don’t try and make out with me before you’ve even learned my name.”

Brands are you listening? SMB’s are you listening?

There’s a reason Maslow had “belonging” right in the middle of his hierarchy pyramid..We want to connect with people, and with what make them unique. That doesn’t mean we have to force it. We are looking for personalities and their similarities to ours. We’re looking for people we have something in common with and yes the fact of the matter is… We do want to find our tribes.

Who’s making the rules in social media?

I know it sounds like I’m bucking the system right? Or I’m challenging authority. Or I’m that guy who says, why are we doing it this way on his first day on the job…  But here is where my head is at.  Back in the Oh so heady dot com bubble days I became part of a very large team working on a startup. I remember thinking I had died and gone to heaven-I mean it was a dot com, I was going to be able to retire by the time I was 35. I came into the project mid-stream and yet the product had essentially been built. And I remember that very first day that I got a look at the site that it wasn’t right.

The reason?  Simply put, a bunch of software engineers and developers built a system in which they assumed they knew what the user wanted without really asking. There was zero intuitiveness to it and I remember asking anyone willing to listen-How do they know the users will want this? Blink…Blink…

Let’s fast forward 11 years. I’m in a meeting in which I was talking to a bunch of department heads about the major social platforms, I alluded to Twitter in particular and how it has changed. The interface has not really changed and the “way” you’re supposed to use it functionally speaking has not changed-but the way in which we actually use it has-Dramatically. You see, when Twitter was first created it was meant to be a way to update people on what you were doing quickly right? Remember this comment from the naysayers? “Why do I care what someone had for lunch?” For the most part, the way it was built and the way it was intended to be used held fast. But…

What has changed is that we the users have redefined how we use Twitter. We have decided that Twitter is a great way to share links, to share content and to consume content. Sure you can have those short staccato like conversations, but we have chosen to use it in another way that suits are needs and desires. It is now purely a content consumption and content push platform. That’s not to say that Twitter is not good for conversations any longer, but obviously what Twitter has done for us, for them and for the Google+’s and the Facebook’s of the world, is that it has defined a new action that has been woven into the fabric of our social lives. The action of sharing a piece of digital content in the form of a link. Pure and simple.

In the evolution of social, we might say that first it was blogs in which the written word was used in long form, then Twitter in short form, followed quickly by Facebook who then realized that Twitter was onto something so they borrowed the Twitter stream idea… The underlying theme in all of this is that we, the users have determined what we want from our social networks and how we will use them-and not the engineers. Although I still have a problem with the narrowness of defining what the social actions must look like or be called, i.e. “likes”, “friending”, and “follows”-We still have the power to really define them in the ways that we want to treat them.

The biggest mystery however lies with marketers trying to get inside the heads of the users to determine how they can turn them into loyal brand advocates. Stay tuned.

What Twitter could learn from Facebook Deals

I know that the comparisons between Facebook and Twitter are not justified. Facebook is really about developing deeper relationships with friends and family whereas Twitter is more about sharing and consuming information with people in a quick and easy fashion. There are other similarities but the fact is they are different. Their UI’s are pretty different.

But in 2012 you cannot mention social media without a reference to 1) Facebook and 2) Twitter. But if we’re to compare the adaptive growth of the two over the last few years, Twitter came out of the blocks fast and Facebook has been consistently building major momentum as of late.

Here’s the rub though…

Twitter has appeared to have stalled with it’s growth, it’s user adoption and new features, while Facebook continues to enhance it’s feature set at a rapid rate.

The latest case in point: Facebook Deals Facebook Deals has been designed to let the site’s 600 million plus users easily share their shopping experiences with one another. The deals may show up on a users’ news feed, or in ads on the dashboard on the left. Users can buy the deal with a credit card, or share it or like it.

The new service is Facebook’s latest  attempt to tap into the multibillion-dollar market for daily deals online and additionally adds the element of commerce  as well as further keeping their users “in network” on Facebook. 

This latest addition to Facebook further amplifies Facebook’s  proactive moves in regards to what it sees in the social media space. When Facebook sees what users “like and do” in social networks, they quickly incorporate those features into it’s own network. Remember when Facebook changed it’s wall into a virtual Twitter feed of your Friend’s activities?  Why did Facebook create Places? To adress and fold in what Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and others had accomplished. And now Facebook has created Deals

What has Twitter done? Dialed down the API from third party developers, changed their UI and have added features that Facebook has. I realize that Twitter and Facebook are different but Twitter had had just as much of an opportunity to change the lanscape of social platforms and communications as Facebook has.

HeyTwitter, don’t you know the first tenet of social media is to listen and monitor your customers and competition and then turn that into actionable outcomes?

You know what Twitter needs to Fix?

I know, it’s a loaded question but it’s simple really. It’s the one area that needs attention and really hasn’t received much of it. See if you can figure out. I apologize for using my page as the example.

The Bio section. If we’ve been saying that numbers don’t matter and that it’s all about quality and not quantity, then that notion pretty much renders alot of what you see on the bio section as useless. Right?.  Here’s a really quick suggestion. Since we have the ability to publish content across multiple social platforms at once, perhaps we should see what networks one is a part of. Twitter needs to empower it’s users and allow them to take advantage of a new bio design that leverages more of who they are and not their “personal numbers”. The current bio section was cool when Twitter first launched 5 years ago. Right now it only serves to answer the most rudimentary of questions-that most frown on anyways.

What do you think?


The Deets

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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