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Posts Tagged 'Hashtagsocialmedia.com'

Social networks are redefining what a friend or a relationship really is

This is a post where I am right but so is Brian…

So yesterday I was talking via Twitter with Brian Dresher, the manager of  social media at USA Today. The discussion brought on by this tweet/thought:

Brian followed that thought up with mentioning that “following” someone pre-Twitter meant something more akin to stalking than it did to something more related to complimentary. You got that right.

There was a bit more to the conversation but here’s the point that I want to get across- and I’m fairly certain that you would agree with me. If you don’t, that’s OK, these thoughts are my own.

Like it or not, Social networking is redefining terms of “social endearment.”

It’s forever changing the etymology of commonly used words; and I would say easily within a few years it will completely alter their understanding and perception as younger generations continue to evolve as digitals’  new natives.

Here are the prime and most glaring examples.

  • Friend-Means absolutely nothing anymore. All it means is that we have allowed the other into our networks, or vice-versa. Soon we will have to qualify what kind of friend you or they actually are.
  • Follow-At its core, to follow would mean to come or go after; proceed behind; go in a straight or obvious course. There is nothing in the social networking world that resembles that definition. But as it stands now, if I were to tell you that I follow him or her-there still might be a pregnant pause. That too will soon change.
  • Like-I don’t even know where to begin.
  • Relationship-the definition of the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship would seem to closely align itself with today’s social networks. However, some now think that relationships can be built on the thinnest of determinants. Which lead to this next tweet from me:

It took Brian’s next tweet to add the proper context to all of this.

He’s right. I didn’t know Brian before all this social networking “stuff” started and now we have a casual business relationship because of it. It has become enhanced because of it. We have met and talked at a conference, and later this summer he is going to host a Social Media Tweetchat for us. Thanks to the power of social networks.

Is there a fallout to all of this? No not really. We’re just adding layers to the complexity that is online communication.  In order to get to or take a relationship to the next level, They’ll still have to be consummated at some point offline. Right? Maybe not? Maybe these new layers allow for less physical/face to face interactions?

Maybe not.

*I know there were a ton of other “social” words that don’t mean the same thing as they used to that I did not mention. I’ll leave that up to you guys. Anyone want to start a wiki?

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This week’s #Socialmedia Tweetchat Topic: Social and the New Model For Market Segmentation #sm48

So you know by now that we attempt to shake things up a bit and challenge people to think differently about topics and their impact on business.  Our topic this week is no exception and with the skills of our moderator, we are going to test those limits.  This week’s discussion is around market segmentation and how social can change how we approach it.

Market segmentation is more than what markers do with homogeneous products before deciding which actress to use in the commercial to best reach a desired consumer group.  Market segmentation is defined by Wikipedia as:

“A market segment is a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations sharing one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services based on qualities of those products such as price or function.”

This is a good start as a definition, however this does not even begin to scratch the surface.  How do we take this to the next level?  To explore ways by which to re-imagine consumer grouping, we must get past the traditional segmenting like demographics, geography, income, even behavioral.  For many marketers, they look at data models that break out behavioral with layers of demo and geographics mashed in.  This modeling then determines a budgeted ad spend for a period in time like 3 or 6 months where the messaging is developed, pricing assigned and commercial created.  The problem is that by the time the ads hit, the data models have shifted and the intended groups have moved on.  Now with peer reviews and endless product content the real-time web is heavily influencing consumer preferences  that continue to change with increased velocity.

Savvy marketers have been using insights for more than just marketing also.  Savvy marketers use segmentation for product development, pricing, marketing channel, and even customer retention.  Using the last example, customer retention, the segmenting considers factors like profitability, strategic fit, product version and longevity.  Can you service your customers differently with better targeting for profitability or would you be more proactive with customers who were ripe for renewal or upgrades?  Now consider going beyond your internal gates and imagine the results if you combined internal factors along with external or social listening capabilities.  Maybe that customer who is really loud socially is a drain on your profitability.

So what this means is that the social web is having a profound affect on preferences, therefore insights that are not derived in near-real time are simply missing the mark.  If we open our research and insights departments to the social web, how can they can they use these tools that have never been considered before?  Every company will find different value in different social instances, however there are some great new possibilities that are emerging:

  • What if you titled the buckets of your listening tools with Underserved, Disenfranchised and Contemplators?  Could you use that insight to build better products or price more according to near real-time inputs?
  • What if you targeted people who played Mafia Wars on Facebook or joined relevant fan pages.  Could you use those applications for consumers to self segment themselves and find commonalities?
  • What if you targeted people who used certain hashtags (#) on Twitter or similar platforms.  Could you infer commonalities from everyone who tweeted #farm, #beer or #sweets?

Understanding and using social segmentation is challenging.  The pace at which social moves and the pace by which people flutter around digitally are simply exhausting.  Marketers like General Mills and Coke are early adopters of social segmentation and blazing a trail for others to follow.    This week’s moderator Ken Burbary is going to help us sort out this topic.  Ken manages the social media duties for Ernst & Young where he develops these types of solutions for their respective clients.  The topic this week is:

TOPIC: Social and the New Model For Market Segmentation

Q1) Is traditional market segmentation still relevant?

Q2) What should be more important for Brands: social segmentation or engagement?

Q3) How are you segmenting your customers with Social Media?

Please join us Tuesday 2/23 at noon EST by using #sm48 on Twitter or follow our LIVE page

This weeks #SocialMedia Tweetchat Topic: Fear Factor: Understanding the Value of Adding Social Media to the Mix

FUDFUD! (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) is typically used by sales and marketing types to position themselves against competitors.  IBM used to be renown for using this tactic and now it’s being used in a different way.  Executives are turning FUD around and using it on their own organizations with regards to the use of social media.  While companies widely accept that social media is transforming the business landscape, executives are still reluctant to approve anything more than small tests or pilot programs.

This reluctance by executives is being translated by many to simply infer that they are scared.  Looking at it from an executive point of view however might shed a different light on the use of social media.  Companies have spent decades building out their networks of consumers, partners, suppliers, employees, and special interests.  So why does management shudder whenever you begin to put a “social” in front of the network?  Consider, today’s business models are developed with layers of hierarchy and managed very linearly.  By this, I refer to the typical order of developing product, inserting the supply chain, managing distribution, creating point of sale campaigns and attracting consumers.  There is a very linear process for managing corporate messaging, customer service, measuring consumer sentiment, channel partner alignment and so on.  What social media does is dis-intermediates most linear processes and connects disparate networks in ways that enterprises have not yet created “management” solutions for.  Like the classic management book implies, we have moved the proverbial manager’s cheese.   So what does this mean to social media champions inside companies?

In order to make decisions, executives need clear objectives, relative impact on short term and long term business and data points to back it all up…not theory.  Introducing a company’s employees to be social is one way to start (a good post by Rachael Happewill help identify ways to get started).  This helps to build confidence, trust and develop skills for those tactical purposes.  What is still missing though is the bigger issues surrounding change management and working procedurally in a non-linear environment.  For instance, at its most basic, what happens when corporate messaging is spread by consumer reviews not Corp Comms department?  What happens when consumers demand (or request) product features instead of market research?  Take it a step further now and consider what might happen if your consumers could connect directly with your suppliers and eliminate your company’s role in assembly?  Now it moves beyond ratty little conversationalists to a complete dis-intermediation of non-essential middlemen and your company is no longer relevant (think newspaper business).

In order for companies to consider adopting social across an enterprise, social media strategists need to move beyond campaigns and tactics and begin considering corporate lineages.  A research study commissioned by Cisco contained keen observations for agencies and strategists to consider.

“Only one in seven of the companies that participated in the research noted a formal process associated with adopting consumer-based social networking tools for business purposes, indicating that the potential risks associated with these tools in the enterprise are either overlooked or not well understood.”

This is only one of the findings that was pointed out.  The entire excerpt was reported by CNN Money here.

How do we ease executive’s minds and begin socially infusing companies?  Our moderator this week is tasked with helping connect those dots.   Helping us out this week, B.L. Ochman will provide her years of insight and success at convincing executives to get past dipping their toes in the water.  Our topic and questions follow:

Topic: Fear Factor: Understanding the Value of Adding Social Media to the Mix

Q1) Why do executives still doubt social media?

Q2) Do companies have time for social media?

Q3) Are there quick tactics that can be used to build company enthusiasm around SMM?

The twitter based chat will take place on Tuesday 02/02/2010 at noon EST.  To participate follow #sm45 on your favorite Twitter client or on our live site.

10 Killer Social Media and Web 2.0 Links

What people say about a brand or a company is equal, if not superior, to what the brand or company says about itself.-Me

I told you I was tapped out creatively on Twitter, but here are the 10 links I promised you.

Prezi

BuzzGrader

Skip1

Blue Fuego

Slick Plan

Peer Set

The 8 Irresistible Principles of Fun

Top 10 Social Media Presentations

10 Social Media Strategies From Top Brands

Attention

Lastly…

True Social CRM should be invisible for the vendor and transparent to the customer-Me again


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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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