A Social Media Engagement Strategy Starts with Content

In order to truly drive conversation, engage with influencers to amplify your message, and cultivate a dialogue within your online community there are a couple core elements that have to be in place:

  1. You have to be able to set expectations for the conversation – If the tone and parameters of dialogue are not clearly defined in a community, whether that be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. it immediately squashes the conversation. This isn’t any different than how interaction is influenced in real life either. Have you ever noticed how conversation dies a quick and awkward death the moment you step into an elevator? Have you noticed that the safe environment that facilitates lively debate in your marketing meeting sharply contrasts with the uncomfortable silence that fills the room during your all-hands meetings? It’s because those norms were set early on, and thus the parameters for engagement were locked-in.  Continue reading

Tag, QR, NFC and the Future of Mobile Experiences Through a Physical Trigger


Where does Tag stack up in the future of mobile triggers?

There is a lot of debate out there about which 2D barcode will end up dominating the space.  Most of the time the conversation boils down to a debate between Microsoft Tag, QR Codes.

Unfortunately, when it comes to marketers and advertisers too much of this debate centers around the physical code. The arguments go something like this:

“Tag offers more flexibility visually”

“QR Codes are more easily recognizable because they have a bigger share of the market”

And so on…

The questions that marketers should really be asking is:

“How can we drive the best, most measurable experience for consumers”

That’s where the real value of 2D barcodes is. Being able to connect a persons physical environment to a digital experience enables immediate gratification for the consumer, lowers barriers for engagement, and meets an intention to purchase or discover with the opportunity to fulfill that need.

When you’re researching 2D barcodes, look into the backend capabilities. In my opinion, Tag’s Device ID technology and Real Time Location allows marketers and agencies to deliver a targeted, unique experience for each audience member.

Whether the trigger is Near Field Communication (NFC), 2D barcodes, voice commands, or something else, it’s just technology for the sake of technology if the resulting experience doesn’t add real value.

Where Google+ Fits Into The Social Fold

Google+ Adoption Relative to Facebook and Twitter

What does Google+ mean for business and brands?

If you pay attention to the social media world you know about Google+. Now that brands and businesses are beginning to understand the benefit of a well-run social media presence decision makers want to know if they should consider building a presence on Google+ when it opens up to more businesses.

Despite the incredible trajectory Google+ is on, it’s still going to be a while until it makes sense for brands -if it ever does. But that might be a good thing because in my opinion, if it does get to the scale and diversity in users that it would need to broadly appeal to businesses we will need a thoughtfull approach to engaging in the network.

New features refocus on UX and Privacy

Google has built a platform that focuses on privacy and making a social network personal again.

  •  A core element of that approach is Circles. This feature allows users to easily create groups of friends around topics, activities, or relationship type. This means that brands won’t have the luxury of being embedded into the same newsfeed as a person’s friends and family. Rather, it’s likely that if a person does decide to connect with a brand, they will be slotted into a “companies I like” circle. If the content you (and possible brands in your group) don’t offer really compelling value (either in the form of a rich engagement or special deals) your audience won’t bother seeing what you have to say.
  • Video chat and real-time communication are important features for the a richer, more personal experience on the platform. If people take advantage of these features, it will define the norms of engagement. It is difficult for many brands to create a personal feel on their social media assets. Being able to make another big step and do that in the form of video chat or real time conversation will be an added challenge.
  • One factor of “Facebook fatigue” is attributed to the presence of brands on the platform. Many early adopters of Google+ see it as a an opportunity for a social media refresh much like Facebook was for a diluted Myspace experience (yes Myspace still exists.. kind of). This will make people less likely to accept brands on the platform if they feel it will threaten the integrity of the new network they want to build.
Should I start planning my Google+ presence now to get ahead of the curve?
To put it simply… neh. Maybe I should put an asterisk next to that overly confident “neh”. Google+ won’t usurp Facebook given it sticks with the present capabilities and features. Although there has been a big influx of tech forward early adopters, it doesn’t change the game enough to gain broader adoption unless it has something else up its sleeve. Facebook is still where the largest audience is. Despite the 750 Million people on Facebook, the network has changed enough times that norms for sharing in the network are always shifting. Start thinking about Google+ when it comes out with offerings for brands IF that’s where your audience is. Otherwise, your investment will reap bigger returns elsewhere.

KSWISS Campaign Taps Mobile

If you never caught wind of the KSWISS campaign for Tubes you have to check it out. In terms of creativity and offering entertaining content as a marketing asset, they were spot on. Maybe I’m just the target audience for this, but you have to give 72 and Sunny as well as KSWISS credit for rolling out such a bold campaign.

In a world of one-liners this video is chock-full of them. They’re partnering with Microsoft Tag to translate the viral success of their campaign to drive store traffic.

Obama Learns Valuable Twitter Lesson

Although congress was able to dodge a bullet and lift the debt ceiling we can let out a sigh of relief… at least for now. There are dozens of lessons we can learn on what not to do from the debacle in D.C. and one of those lessons actually relates to social media!

Twitter #Fail

The usually social-media savvy Obama administration attempted to channel the public’s frustration through Twitter to lawmakers in every state on the GOP side of the aisle. If it would have worked it would have been a powerful message. Ideally, the #compromise hashtag would have been strongly trending on Twitter with thousands of Americans pleading with congress to institute some reason on behalf of the country’s interests.

Unfortunately, the administration made a Twitter Faux Pas that took the air out of the effort like a punch to the gut. The mistake the usually social media savvy group made was individually tweeting each congress-person’s Twitter handle to the entire following. The response? Mashable has assembled a nice cross-section of reactions. My personal favorite:

“Dear @Twitter, I’d like to report a SPAM account —->@BarackObama”

Most of these people that expressed annoyance with the tactic were assumed to be supporters of Obama which makes it even more alarming that such a large backlash took place. While the idea was a good one, the execution was awful.

Lesson to be learned

Instead of individually Tweeting each handle, the administration should have Tweeted a link to a landing page with each lawmakers Twitter handle. A few additional tweets to make the message more powerful would have been fine to help drive uptake for the effort, but that’s where the line should be drawn. The very people that lashed out against the Tweet fatigue from Obama’s twitter handle probably would have been the biggest influencers for enabling the hashtag to resonate and receive some uptake. Instead, the crucial nodes that could have amplified the message were immediately turned off by the effort and transformed something positive into a message that reinforced an underlying belief that the government is out of touch with it’s citizens.

I have full faith that Obama and his administration will take this lesson in stride and do something great next time. But for now, consider this as a lesson learned for any attempts you make on Twitter with your brand.

Google Adds New Search Tool for Chrome

Google is coming out with a new tool that makes suggestions that relates to content you’re already viewing. Business Insider has a nice writeup on it here.

Social media continues to put the last nail in the coffin for the destination web, Google’s new toy hedges the bet for Google + vs Facebook. Larger and larger percentage of content is viewed somewhere other than it’s original source, context is as powerful as content when it comes to search.

By throwing out a product that piggybacks on user’s newly adopted behavior of discovering news and content through social networks (The most recent stat I heard was that over 70% of young adults get their news via Facebook) Google’s suggestions can blend social and search without making users… well… search.

It’s unclear if there are plans to later integrate ads into the suggestions, much like they have done with their search engine. In any case, this seems to be the right step… We’ll see if it catches on.