Hits of the Week: Early July 2010

Welcome to a new feature of this blog. “Hits of the Week” (which we hope to offer weekly) will provide “linky goodness” i.e. valuable links posted to our ComBridges company Facebook page and Twitter feed. Here, we gather, in one place for your convenience, bunches of links to free PDF’s, articles and other resources. Please let us know if you find this service to be valuable. Thanks!

A Professional Research Perspective of Brand Engagement via Social Media
Highly recommended, Engagementdb is a very interesting resource, even for smaller companies who are interested in social media brand engagement. I especially recommend their excellent FREE PDF Report. It’s nice to see “engagement” made measureable at the highest level. Clearly, relationship/engagement is at least as important (and probably more important) than simply the gross number of “eyeballs”/visitors. The focus on these kinds of results is shifting appropriately from volume or quantity of “hits” to quality of engagement (at minimum, some kind of “conversion”). Are you tuned in to your organization’s quality of engagement? Click here to check it out.

Fast-paced Video Illuminating ROI for Social Media
Despite the annoying music, this video offers useful content if you still doubt the business-savvy economic value–in the vernacular, ROI (return on investment)–available from investing your time INTELLIGENTLY in social media.

A Peak Behind the Curtain of a Major Brand’s Social Media Command Center (VIDEO)
More mainstream social media… pretty cool music VIDEO too promoting Gatorade’s social media team, er, I mean “COMMAND CENTER”! Can your sports drink do this? Visit Gatorade’s Command Center to see more.

“It’s about the PEOPLE, silly.”
Via Seth Godin. As a business owner, I know that there is nothing more important than the highly capable, talented members of my team. Read valuable insights & perspective.

“Every company is now a media company.”
A great reminder, via Adam Ostrow & John Battelle

Great Graphics, Visual View of Social Media Today
You gotta love good Infographics. Especially when they tell a story. In this case, big companies are adopting social media. More are using Facebook and Twitter than blogs, but it’s a big majority who are involved. See what these charts tell you.

Influence vs Fame
I’d call it “Influence vs Eyeballs” but being clear about what it means to develop influence in today’s social media world makes this short ProBlogger piece well worth reading, IMHO. And in a related short blog post, Seth Godin reminds us that “If all you are doing is increasing number of digital spectators, you are unlikely to earn the conversion that you deserve.” Read more about “Fans, Participants and Spectators.”

Stay tuned and please comment and send feedback. Thanks!

When Old Media Companies Don’t “Get It”

copyright

U need 2 know about your digital rights

As illuminated in this Wednesday, June 2nd’s New Media New Marketing commentary (starting at 1:58) on TheTVNews.tv, the news article linked right below this paragraph makes me a bit crazy regarding the many broadcasters and entertainment companies that still “don’t get it” about engaged consumers, mash ups and extraordinary value of free, viral (word-of-mouth) promotions.

CNET: Yahoo, Facebook (and EBay) side with Google (YouTube) against Viacom

Of course, Yahoo and Facebook are normally rivals of Google/YouTube. Leave it to Viacom to use a $1 billion copyright lawsuit to give them all a reason to bond… leaving Viacom out in the virtual cold. Perhaps Viacom doesn’t think Google has deep enough pockets to defend itself? Right!

This reminds me of a rant that I wrote in Videography magazine almost 10 years ago when then CEO of Universal, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (now CEO of the Warner Music Group) “declared war” on Napster. Old media company histrionics are repeating themselves.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, Bronfman has somewhat changed his tune. In fact, the Wikipedia entry says, “In 2008, The New York Times reported that Warner Music’s Atlantic Records became the first major record label to generate more than half of its music sales in the U.S. from digital products.”

If you have any interest whatsoever in the subject of digital rights, I want to HIGHLY RECOMMEND one of my favorite books on this subject, Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity. It’s written by now Harvard, formerly Stanford Law professor and Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig. It gives a brilliant, must read (IMHO) historical overview of the evolution of digital rights and how we’ve been through all of this before including but not limited to the birth of the VCR, cassette tapes and FM radio. Cultural & creative freedom are well worth being well-educated about, as well as defending; and this is the book that will help you do that. Trust me. This book is definitely worth the read.

Finally, if you are not familiar with my mention in TheTVNews commentary of the Hitler/Constantin Film (a German film production/distribution company) and their idiotic removal of the “Downfall” video clips with Hitler getting upset over mundane things like the leak of the new iPhone, here’s your historical reference via TechCrunch.

Mind those digital rights, please! And if you’re working for a big media company, please play nice with the other kids. We live in a new era of cooperation. Your customers are your friends! Get it?

Conan O’Brien Gets “The World Has Completely Changed.” Do You?

(Note: Read & scroll down please. Two [2] cool video clips below…)

I gotta love the fact that social media has become so powerful that a TV comedian like Conan O’Brien is having very tangible personal experiences that not only wake him up to the fact that “the world” as he says, “has completely changed.” But, as he illuminates in the video clip below from an interview at Google, his social media realization is in stark contrast to how far the execs at NBC apparently are from understanding how social media works (i.e. the audience has new powers). Duh. 😉

Of course, this is just one example of the fact that dramatic changes that are upon us due to the explosion of social media.  More video “evidence” is detailed in the 2nd video clip below.

Also, please note that when you click “play” on the Conan YouTube clip below, it is set up to play starting at the segment at 15:27 where he describes what happened to him because of Twitter (about 3+ minutes total) in the aftermath of his fall out with NBC when they gave “The Tonight Show” back to Jay Leno (“the other gentleman”). At some point, you may want to watch the whole 48-minute clip. It’s quite funny.

Now… especially if you are still wondering about the importance of social media—but probably, in any case— I highly recommend the following visually dynamic and informative YouTube video, “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)” from the authors of the book, “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.” This video is a freshingly-updated version of video that’s been around for a while. It’s packed with eye-opening statistics and relevant perspective, including, for example:

“Social Media is not a fad, but a fundamental shift in how we communicate.”
— Erik Qualman

Yes, the changes are that big.

Do you “get it” or are you still sitting on the edge of the social media “pool” thinking about jumping in?

Online marketing & advertising illuminated via a visit to ad:tech SF

As discussed in this Tuesday’s New Media New Marketing report on TheTVNews.tv (video immediately below), I took advantage of a press pass last week to spend a day at the very alive and vibrant ad:tech SF online advertising conference. It was very stimulating as well as a bit overwhelming, as most good conferences are. (Note: Examples and references are linked below.)

Bottom line, the conference was healthy and online advertising in general appears to be growing at a robust rate. This was evidenced in an announcement unrelated to the conference, as I was getting ready to go, I learned that global package goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was doubling their annual online advertising budget to $40 million.

In addition, [added 4/30] eMarker’s CEO says Online Video Advertising to Increase 35 Precent in 2010 (video interview via Beet.tv).

One educational note was revealed as I first entered the press room. Their sign read, “Press, Bloggers & Twerps.” I commented that I had not seen twerps get press credentials previously. At this point, I was told apologetically that the sign was an error. It should have said, “Tweeps.” We are all learning. And, apparently there were only three tweeps deemed influential enough to get a press pass, but this was a “first” none the less.

Loic Le Meur

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - http://www.thelettertwo.com

A highlight for me was the keynote by French entrepreneur, Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic.com, who now lives in San Francisco. Loic accurately positioned social media as the third major wave of internet marketing. The first major wave, as he described it, was just having a website. The second wave was being savvy enough to be found on Google (search engine optimization or SEO). And, the third is now the ability to “earn” interactions via social media. He emphasized that social media is not about “campaigns.” It’s for listening and engaging.

Along these lines, I also appreciated comments by Larry Weintraub of word-of-mouth marketing agency, Fanscape, who explained that engaging in social media marketing has many more benefits than old world marketing. All with enormous value. Without embellishment, the four solid reasons to go social are:

  1. Marketing (another speaker said that “advertising” is now morphing into “marketing”)
  2. Market Research
  3. Customer Service
  4. Public Relations

In my opinion, none of these benefits should be under-rated.

You can watch Loic’s keynote via this link. The Hitler video which Loic included (amongst the dozens of other Hitler parodies based on the Constantin Films movie that I mention in the video above) can be viewed here, if it’s still up. It’s very funny if you are geeky enough to imagine Hitler expressing Steve Jobs displeasure over the loss of that famous iPhone G4 prototype.

Here are other examples of advertisers’ money moving to online video, as well as other links mentioned in my video report above:

BONUS #1: TWITTER ADVERTISING
Amongst the MANY smaller businesses exhibiting at ad:tech SF, I was interested to learn that Twitter is now not only being used for social media engagement; but beyond Twitter’s own advertising expansion (the potential of which Andrew Goodman calls “huge”), there is also now a Twitter-specific “contextual, targeted” independently-run Twitter advertising platform called 140 Proof.

BONUS #2: BRANDS AS PUBLISHERS a.k.a. Content Marketing
Here’s a link to a great set of links that further illuminate the “brand-led online video” trend which is also called “Brands as Publishers” by this page’s author, thought-leader, publisher, John Battelle, and “Content Marketing” by others. Checkout It’s All About Publishing, a.k.a. it’s all about content. 😉

And, as I’m sure you know, there’s “more to come.” Including an inside track on branded YouTube channels that I’ll be covering in a new blog post and video report soon. I met with Google/YouTube at ad:tech and an announcement regarding this development is expected in, roughly, mid-May.

(Request: If you watch the video above on YouTube or Facebook, please comment etc. And while you’re here, I would appreciate any comments and/or feedback that you may have. I’d love to hear from you.)

Thanks for reading!

Super Bowl Ads Still Lack Social Media Marketing Success (Mostly)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our live, interactive Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party in partnership with TheTVNews.tv, the TV industry’s only daily video newscast. (Watch this space and TheTVNews.tv for details on our Oscars Party.)

Reprise Media Search Marketing Scorecard on Super BowlBy way of follow up, Jeff and I did a segment on tomorrow, Wednesday 2/10’s show (my New Media / New Marketing starts at 2:50) discussing my view of the winner and loser Super Bowl advertisers in terms of social media marketing. We referenced Reprise Media’s Search Marketing Scorecard on the Super Bowl (a free PDF download) which points out a surprising fact: While 93% of the advertisers—who shelled out a reported average of $2.6 million for each spot—do have an official Facebook profile, (get this) only 5% promoted their social profiles in order to leverage or take better advantage of their massive investment (a.k.a. marketing expense).

The single biggest social media marketing loser was Denny’s. Here’s the link to Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion author, Gary Vaynerchuk’s rant about how Denny’s missed the boat with their multi-million dollar expense. Gary is totally right. Why not use an incentive like a free breakfast to capture customer information and build a platform for better engagement? Duh!

The viral marketing buzz winner was the Audi Green Police spot below which got the most Twitter buzz according to Trendrr (via a chart referenced in the Repris Media report):

Bonus Category: My “nominee” for the Super Bowl TV spot with “Best Script,” at least the script that hit closest to home for me had to be this creative “Man’s Last Stand” spot for Dodge Charger:

Too bad I don’t relate better to the product. 😉

Bonus Just for Fun Video Link: Business Insider’s 10 Best Tech Super Bowl Ads Ever

Bonus Link #2: USA Today’s Super Bowl “Ad Meter” (pretty slick, including green screen video intro)

As always, your comments, suggestions, rants, and any other insights you care to offer are welcome via the comments space below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Major Trend Alert: Shared Links Can Trump SEO for Internet Marketing

NYTimes "share this" imageLink sharing inspired by social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn is nothing new. But fresh data published in Sunday’s New York Times by Brad Stone in his article, “Share The Moment And Spread the Wealth” reinforces the fact that this trend is continuing to gather momentum. It is doing so even to the extent that it has become equally important and now sits side-by-side with SEO (the historically dominant technique for building website traffic via Google) as a strategy for increasing the visibility for your website.

This underscores the powerful points made by some of my favorite thought leaders. Whether you call it building your “Tribe” as Seth Godin does or creating a “World Wide Rave” as David Meerman Scott articulates the opportunity, I have to say that whether you are a marketer or just a business owner, social networking has now crossed a major trend line. If you didn’t consider it essential before, now there is no doubt (at least in my mind) that social networking that encourages link sharing must now be considered a mission critical component of every company’s marketing plan.

For this reason, ComBridges’ is increasingly offering more social media marketing services in a variety of formats, including contract, consulting and even mentoring/coaching. Click here to request a free consultation.

FYI, I’m also very excited to let you know that I will be covering social media marketing and related topics in our upcoming EBiz Express Teleseminar series. Be sure to subscribe to our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter if you want to be invited. The guests/co-presenters will be awesome, and we are keeping this educational series very affordable.