Social Media Fallacies – What To Know If You’re Thinking of Social Media

Here is a great post by Jason Baer on the fallacies of social media. Social media is the email marketing of our web 2.0 everyone will do it but how is the question.  I’ve been doing it for years and I agree with this post.  I’ve added some of my comments in { } below.  Thanks Jason for a great post.

1. Social Media is Inexpensive

False. Done correctly, social media – even a simple reputation monitoring program – is a time intensive proposition that requires daily vigilance.

2. Social Media is Fast

False. Social media is by definition slow. Done correctly, social media is about developing meaningful relationships with customers and prospective customers in their natural habitat. You have to create content, be part of many communities, and proceed incrementally. Many successful social media programs take months (or even more than a year) to really germinate.

3. Social Media is “Viral Marketing”

False, in the same way that a square is also a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. Can a social media program go viral? Absolutely. But if you’re engaged in a social media program in an effort to go “viral” you’re not really engaged in social media at all. You’re engaged in an advertising and marketing campaign that uses the Web as its distribution platform.

{I will agree but add something here to Jason’s post:  the conversation is the advertising campaign and the social result of the conversation if done correctly is the definitive word on the topic – hence an ad-like message or effect}

4. Social Media results can’t be measured

False. Especially in comparison to many other communication programs like traditional PR, TV advertising, outdoor advertising and others, social media actually offers pretty solid metrics.  Can those results be tied back directly to sales, and therefore ROI? Probably not yet, but other than search and email (and maybe banners) where CAN you do that?

{I will add that the metrics are not online and this is the opportunity to bridge both offline and online experiences and benefits to users}

5. Social Media is optional

It doesn’t matter what the demographics of your customers are. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Your customers and prospects are talking about you online. Your company needs to be part of that conversation. Today. Online is where many people do their talking, so that’s where you need to be.

6. Social media is hard

False. It’s not hard, it’s complicated.  It’s about having a strategy for making your company or organization more like a person and less like a machine. It’s about humanization.

If your customers and prospects feel like your company is more human and actually cares about them, they’ll want to be part of it….use technology to be yourself, and don’t overthink it.

Update: Thanks to Ben Smithson for point out the mistake in the title..

Look At This Social Media Advertising Done Right – Vertical Advertising Is The Model

For those who follow my blog know that I’ve been a big proponent of social media, but the problem is results and measurement.  Airforce is doing something innovative with their agency and Volomedia.  I really like this announcement from G4 and Volomedia.  Volomedia has signed up a big publisher and a big advertiser to insert ads in portable media and video.  The best part is that it work on ITunes and the Iphone.  I’ve talked about this before around how iTunes (and IPhone) now has a business (revenue) model.

Comcast’s G4 cable television network and Web site G4tv.com have begun working with VoloMedia to insert ads into the 300 podcast videos distributed monthly through about 23 feeds. The ad network began placing ads for the media giant last month, targeting young gamers.The U.S. Air Force placed the first ads in G4’s podcasts: Attack of the Show, X-Play, and Game Trailers. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based VoloMedia’s new vertical business, Video Game Podcast, supported the ad campaign created by GSD&M Idea City, the advertising agency for the Air Force.

What Does This Mean?  Why is this important?

Vertical media works.  The trend is away from individual sites or blogs but instead to ‘blanket the vertical’  with brand messaging.  In turn effective reach in a vertical hits enough critical mass that brand equity translates.  Said another way the most effective way to leverage things like blogs and podcasts is to ‘buy’ the vertical.  The dynamics of social networking and social media create an opportunity to hit alot of people in the affinity group.  What’s even cooler about this announcement is not only reach but measurement. This is a good move by the Airforce to get a vertical – here it’s gaming as the ‘contextual’ proxy for audience affinity.  It’s a no brainer that gamers are their target audience, but instead of going for silo’d conversion, Airforce is going for blanket coverage in the vertical or affinity group.

I predict this is the way the world will go very quickly.  Vertical media advertising.  This is a great program for brand advertising, and it has measurement.  I am sure it will be a success.

Web 2.0 Revenue Models ?? Drama 2.0 Weights In

Web critic blog – Drama 2.0 has a post about the realities of Web 2.0. Not  to toot my own horm but if you’re interested in Web 2.0 business models just read my posts from the past 2 years – the monetization answers are there.

Here’s the conclusion that Drama 2.0 came up with – pretty right on.

As we head into 2009 facing one of the toughest economic environments in decades knowing that the fun and games are over, it’s time to face the reality: the Web 2.0 we have today is not the Web 2.0 we envisioned a few short years ago.

The most popular Web 2.0 creations have not been cheap to grow and operate. They’re still struggling to find revenue models that will serve as the foundations of self-sustaining businesses and even those startups that generate significant revenue in absolute terms (namely Facebook) cannot justify the valuations they’ve been given. And profitability is still largely a pipe dream.

While it’s possible that Web 2.0 stars like Facebook, Digg and Twitter will turn things around, it’s quite clear that these companies are not like many of their hot Web 1.0 counterparts, which, despite having to battle challenges of their own, were able to develop viable revenue models and turn a profit relatively early on.

Given all this, for Web 2.0 proponents who continue to make the same asinine argument, “Don’t treat Web 2.0 like Web 1.0!”, it’s 2009 and I concede defeat. Web 2.0 is not like Web 1.0. It’s in a special (ed) class of its own.

Clay Shirky Media Business Market – His Forecast for 2009 – Look For The Deeper Meaning Within His Words

I’m a big fan of Clay Shirky and his research. His latest book “Here Comes Everyone” is awesome. He makes some great points that it’s worth posting his forecast here as well from the Guardian. Many of my opinions and analysis of media and social media align with Clay’s. I suggest if you’re interested in Social Media or “media 2.0” that you follow Clay’s work.

Clay Shirky predicts further gloom for traditional media: “2009 is going to be a bloodbath.” Yet he foresees that a recession may produce greater industry clarity by forcing radical action, which he explains as a boss saying to staff: “‘Bonfire, this is Hail Mary time!’, instead of: ‘This year we made as much money as last year but we’re still restructuring dramatically.'”

Much of the success of Shirky’s recent book, Here Comes Everybody, about internet technologies and the effects of mass democratisation of the web, came from its simplicity and the absence of jargon. “As with the printing press, the loss of professional control will be bad for many of society’s core institutions,” he writes. In conversation he is just as plain-speaking, saying, for example, that “Management has a hard time destroying parts of its business unless the alternative, obvious to everyone, is that there is no choice.” Based in the unlikely environs of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, a stone’s throw from a fusty independent bookstore in downtown Manhattan, rather than Silicon Valley, Shirky, 44, is unburdened by traditional media ties. After Yale, he worked as a painter and theatre director before becoming ensnared by the web in the early 90s thanks to his mother, a research librarian. He has consulted at News International and lists the BBC as a current client. “The advantage I had over people in the traditional media industry is precisely what I didn’t know,” he says. “I was a pretty unlikely early adopter.”

No one, of course, can know what a future media landscape will look like. But, given that Shirky was among the few to have forecast 15 years ago that classified advertising would be sold online rather than via a newspaper ad, his crystal ball is more estimable than most others. This is his forecast:

Newspapers

The great misfortune of newspapers in this era is that they were such a good idea for such a long time that people felt the newspaper business model was part of a deep truth about the world, rather than just the way things happened to be. It’s like the fall of communism, where a lot of the eastern European satellite states had an easier time because there were still people alive who remembered life before the Soviet Union – nobody in Russia remembered it. Newspaper people are like Russians, in a way.

Jeff Jarvis said it beautifully: “If you can’t imagine anyone linking to what you’re about to write, don’t write it.” The things that the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast have are good storytelling and low costs. Newspapers are going to get more elitist and less elitist. The elitist argument is: “Be the Economist or New Yorker, a small, niche publication that says: ‘We’re only opening our mouths when what we say is demonstrably superior to anything else on the subject.'” The populist model is: “We’re going to take all the news pieces we get and have an enormous amount of commentary. It’s whatever readers want to talk about.” Finding the working business model between them in that expanded range is the new challenge.

Why pay for it at all? The steady loss of advertising revenue, accelerated by the recession, has normalised the idea that it’s acceptable to move to the web. Even if we have the shallowest recession and advertising comes back as it inevitably does, more of it will go to the web. I think that’s it for newspapers. What we saw happen to the Christian Science Monitor [the international paper shifted its daily news operation online] is going to happen three or four dozen times (globally) in the next year. The 500-year-old accident of economics occasioned by the printing press – high upfront cost and filtering happening at the source of publication – is over. But will the New York Times still exist on paper? Of course, because people will hit the print button.

Books and magazines

If you pick a magazine at random, it will not interest you. For people who care about quality, it’s easier to find it online. If it’s a highly qualified niche magazine, something aimed at surgeons or firefighters, it’s going online. There’s no reason those things should exist.

The great advantage magazines have is glossy pictures. It’s better to read on paper than on the web but it’s much better to look at pictures on paper than on the net. Brides magazine is going to be the last one standing.

The book world is more secure. I think the big revolution is going to be print on demand. Imagine only having one browsing copy of every book in a bookstore. You could say “Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers looks good”, and out pops a brand new copy. Why does a bookstore or a publisher have to be in the shipping and warehousing business?

TV

The big fight will be between passion and mass appeal but I don’t think it’s a question of who will win. It’s not a transition from A to B, it’s one to many. The question is who figures out the business model that says it’s better to have 6 million passionate fans than 7 million bored ones? That is going to be the transformation because what you see with these user groups, whether it’s for reality TV or science fiction, is that people love the conversation around the shows. The renaissance of quality television is an indicator of what an increased number of distribution channels can do. It is no accident that this started with cable.

And the BBC iPlayer? That’s a debacle. The digital rights management thing …let’s just pretend that it was a dream like on Dallas and start from scratch. The iPlayer is a back-to-the-future business model. It’s a total subversion of Reithian values in favour of trying to create what had been an accidental monopoly as a kind of robust business model. The idea that the old geographical segmenting of terrestrial broadcasts is recreatable is a fantasy and a waste of time.

What does the next decade hold? Mobile tools will certainly change the landscape, open spectrum will unleash the kind of creativity we’ve seen on the wired internet, and of course there will be many more YouTube/Facebook-class applications. But the underlying change was the basic tools of the internet. The job of the next decade is mostly going to be taking the raw revolutionary capability that’s now apparent and really seeing what we can do with it.

Online Video – Trends Content Models Advertising Models At NewTeeVee Live Event

I will be moderating a panel that is sponsored by Volomedia at NewTeeVee Live. It will be a workshop on content monetization at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco this Thursday, November 13 at 3pm.

The panel is titled “Pennies Today, Dollars Tomorrow: Learn How To Make Money In The Media Transition As Television Moves To The Internet“.

Pennies today, Dollars tomorrow. Learn how make money in the media transition as Television moves to the Internet.

As content moves from controlled programming to a decentralized, multi-platform distribution model, solutions are required to engage, measure and ultimately monetize this audience. The session will explore this cross-over from television to online and devices, and discuss opportunities while maintaining control of your digital distribution for the anywhere, anytime audience.

Moderator:

  • John Furrier, Founder, Furrier.org

Panelists:

  • George Ruiz, Head of New Media and SVP Business Affairs, International Creative Management
  • Susan Bratton, CEO and Co-Founder, Personal Life Media; Vice Chairman, Association for Downloadable Media
  • Murgesh Navar, Founder, VoloMedia
  • David Smith, Founder and CEO, Mediasmith

I hope to get to address the following types of questions

Trends
•    Environment:  real-time verses asynchronous, social network, web sites, blogs, podcasts, ..etc
•    Distribution:  reach, metrics
•    User:  Online content viewer, preferred method of consumption, how do you define good content?
•    Advertiser:  social media, engagement, loyalty, conversion?
•    Other:  iPhone, downloadable, streaming, content development, distribution systems, content franchises, affiliate models

Content Model
Value proposition of content online?  What is an example of a successful content franchise?

Value of content or value of brand?

Success models of content deployments

Content formula:  Speed and Control;
Speed:  (slow verses fast) and Control (high vs low)

Open distribution:  sampling verses giving away the ‘store’
Tasting (sampling) ?  SNL verses Olympics

Concept of a viewer?  Is it the same as broadcast?  Does the notion of a “viewer” matter online?

Is there risk in being open or is risk overstated?

Is there a ‘holy grail’ metric for content publishers?  Engagement, viewers/listeners, loyalty, commerce, ..etc ?

Content models:  ad supported verses subscription – are there any other kinds?

Business model:  is it just promotion or is there a “there there”?


Advertising Model

Are ad networks working?

What are advertisers looking for in the new tee vee environment?

Role of brands?  Is it about the brand?

Role of the agency?

What works what doesn’t work?

Audience engagement – what does it mean?  Benefits to advertisers?

When does an advertiser know when it’s working?  Are there identifiable tipping points out there?

How do they plan for future campaigns?

Budgeting and media buying of the future?

Here is a video of George Ruiz – Taken by Tim Street in LA. George is an agent and talent king and has been a successful film studio exec and negotiator.

Mzinga Has New CMO

Mzinga ( http://www.mzinga.com/pr/), the leader in enterprise social media and learning solutions for the workplace, marketplace, and extended enterprise, today announced that Patrick Moran has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

In his new role, Moran is responsible for leading Mzinga’s overall marketing strategy, and will oversee corporate communications, brand development, demand generation, and social media marketing to support corporate growth and new customer acquisition.
Moran brings more than 15 years of marketing and entrepreneurial experience to Mzinga, having founded and held key roles at some of the most innovative and successful technology companies. Moran joins Mzinga from Cisco, where he served as Senior Director of Marketing for the Collaboration Software Group and was responsible for worldwide customer, Web, product, brand, and partner marketing.
“I have known Patrick for many years and he is one of the most skilled marketing professionals that I have ever worked with,” said Rick Faulk, CEO, Mzinga. “He brings a strong track record of implementing creative strategies that deliver results, and understands the value of enterprise social media in that process. His leadership will be an asset in extending Mzinga’s market presence and momentum.”
Prior to Cisco, Moran was senior director of marketing at WebEx and Intranets.com, a leading SaaS (software as a service) provider. In those positions, he was instrumental in elevating brand awareness, improving customer retention and loyalty, and managing global marketing teams. Moran also founded Essential.com, an energy and telecommunications marketplace for consumers and businesses, where he raised over $100 million in venture capital and grew the customer base to more than 250,000.
“Mzinga is a market leader in enterprise social media and learning, and has significant growth opportunities on the horizon,” said Patrick Moran, CMO at Mzinga. “I look forward to helping the company take advantage of those opportunities by extending our market reach and increasing awareness of our solutions around the globe.”

Here is Josh from Forrester with Mzinga – This video is a good overview of Mzinga’s value proposition

Social Media Snake Oil or Value Add – Social Media Spending Being Cut

I loved this post not only for the title but the blogger Jennifer Leggio goes into what is the core issue. To many people bullshitting their way around social media. I agree and have been banging on this drum for months now about social media here and here (corporate blogging is failing)

Here is my view – I guess that I’m anti PR on how social media will roll out.

Anyway she nails it on the market. As we slide deeper and deeper into the recession social media is being cut left and right. Social media until it scales will continue to be cut.

What’s the future for all social media strategists and practitioners – apply social media to the business processes on how to improve business results. The business process improvement aspect of social media – the impact to organizations in how they organize, talk to prospects, and customers. More importantly how companies compete.. words like ROI, finacial impact, leverage, revenue per employee, benchmarking, customer service, and business intelligence will trump words like engagement, conversations, storytelling, blogs, podcasting, viral branding.

My favorite line from Jennifer’s post – “A business strategy should not be altered to fit social media; the social media approach needs to be altered to fit the business strategy.”