Archives For Social Studies

Facebook’s Data Scandal: This week you couldn’t avoid hearing about Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Mark Zuckerberg now says he’s ‘open’ to testifying to Congress, which isn’t exactly optional when you’re subpoenaed. What’s the impact on brands? Continued scrutiny on how they collect and use consumer information and less trusted use of Facebook. We’re anticipating further fallout, quick and long-term damage control and privacy fixes from Facebook, and more people opting out of Facebook (with more people saying they will leave, but not following through) but still keeping Instagram and WhatsApp (both owned by Facebook). This podcast from NYT’s The Daily summarizes the state of Facebook and data very well. (LINK)

Netflix Sans: Netflix has developed a new bespoke font called Netflix Sans that is clean, functional, and subtly inspired by the brand’s famous logo. Why make their own font? In the era of impression-based licensing for their typefaces in digital advertising spaces, font licensing can get quite expensive. RIP Gotham. This isn’t a new trend, but we’re seeing more adoption of this strategy in the future. And how about that “t”? (LINK)

netflix-sans-8.jpg

Instagram Testing Regram: This week it was revealed Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you share other people’s posts as part of your own Story, alongside your own captions and commentary. Users will see a new button appear below public, permanent posts. Tapping it lets them embed that post in their own Story. Before posting the update, they can move and resize the quoted update, and add stickers, emoji and comments. It’s essentially a more creative version of quote-retweeting. This is just a test, but we expect it will role out to the public in the coming months. (LINK)

instagram-stories_reshare-techcrunch.jpg

eBay AR a Great Use for AR: eBay is launcing a new feature for sellers to easily find the right box to fit their products using their mobile app — just aim your smartphone camera at the surface around the product to map the area; then try various USPS package sizes to find the right box. Available on Android devices this week, we’re excited seeing Google’s ARCore software leverage this emerging tech to solve real-world problems for their customers.  (LINK)

ar ebay.jpg

Bento the synth-playing Keyboard Cat Died: This week we paused our newsfeeds for a moment of silence in memory of Keyboard Cat, who passed away. The internet exploded in mourning, while others pointed out this was actually the second keyboard cat — the original kitty, and the one most famous in the viral YouTube video from 2007, Fatso, died way back in 1987. But there will always be a place in our social hearts for Bento. Watch this tribute video and pour out some kibble.

 

Advertisements

Greg Swan WCCO space150

We all have friends who have announced, unceremoniously and often emotionally, that they are taking a break from or quitting social media.

Especially in this post-election spin cycle, more people than ever before are considering taking a break from the always-on newsfeed.

Why is it hard to let go? 

For starters, it’s important to remember that modern social media is more than 10 years old. It’s no longer a nice-to-have distraction, and instead it’s often our 1) primary connection to others, primary source of news and entertainment, and 3) our opportunity to have our voice heard. And thanks to the anytime mobile web and our smart phones, we have 24/7 access.

But the truth is that we share less personal information on surface (public) social than ever before. Personal social sharing on Facebook is down 15% this year over last year, which means a lot of the content you’re seeing in social media isn’t about your friends. It’s more often comfort content click-bait or political-fueled news.Much like how we used to get our news primarily from late night shows or The Daily Show, now it’s more from social media headlines that inform our notion of what’s happening in the world. And of course, fake news sites have contributed to the burnout, especially if the people in your network aren’t thinking critically about what they’re sharing.

So what should we do about social media fatigue?

For starters, please don’t declare you’re taking time away from social media like you’re going to be missed. Just do it.

Greg Swan space150 WCCO tv

Here are three ideas:

  1. Turn off notifications on your phone — lesson the constant reminders and distractions
  2. Delete social networking apps on your phone — check via desktop only
  3. Take a digital detox. I personally take an unplugged week every single year. You should, too.

I was interviewed by our local CBS affiliate this week on the topic. Here’s the story…

FROM WCCO-CBS-TV:

Over the past few months, you may have heard friends declare, “I’m done with social media.”

Then they post again the following day.

So, why is it so hard to quit?

Our feelings about social media can span a range of emotions. Some may feel it is too political, too negative or too polarizing — while at the same time see how well it allows for connection and access to information.

“First, we have to think about the benefits of social media,” says Greg Swan, a vice president of public relations and brand Innovation at Minneapolis advertising agency space150. “Why do we want to be on social media?”

He points out three major benefits: connections with other people, a way to share your voice and a popular vehicle for getting the news.

We are sharing fewer cute kid photos every year. Personal social sharing is down 15 percent year over year, making way for more news and commentary online.

Sixty-two percent of people now say they get their news from social media.

“You think about why you can’t quit social media? That’s where you get your news in 2016,” Swan said.

Cornell researchers looked at some of the reasons people who quit Facebook were drawn back in. They studied surveys of people who chose to take in the “99 Days of Freedom” Facebook challenge by stepping away from the social media site. Not everyone could stay off Facebook the entire 99 days.

They found four major reasons for returning back to the site. First, people who think it is addictive are more likely to fall back into the habit.

Second, people who use Facebook to influence how other people think of them had a better chance of not completing the challenge.

Third, good moods kept people off the site for longer compared to bad moods.

And fourth, people were more likely to stay away if they still took part in other social media platforms.

Swan says the ubiquity of our smartphones also plays a role.

“There’s more technology in this phone than what sent the first person to space. It’s no wonder we can’t put it down,” Swan said. “That said, it doesn’t take a lot to set them down and walk away.”

He suggests taking a social media break if you think you need it by unfollowing people or groups you believe to be toxic, deleting the apps from your phone or stopping for a short period of time.

He locks his phone in a safe for one week every year.

Watch the segment here:
WCCO Why Is it So Hard to Quit Social Media?

greg swan wcco disposable social media snapchat facebook poke

Weber Shandwick’s VP of Interactive Greg Swan tracks social media trends. Even he can’t predict where kids will end up next, but he says parents should still try. It should be not to spy, but to understand the issues their kids face as new apps keep emerging.

“There are definitely some apps parents are not going to find any reward in: poking each other or sending snap shot pictures of each other, but I encourage them to try it and figure it out,” said Swan.

That may be the key to security in this new media world: focusless on backseat driving, and more on teaching the rules of the road….

Swan added that he actually likes this new wave of disposable media because unless somebody saves a screen shot, those stupid pictures kids may be tempted to post won’t stay around to haunt them in the future.

Watch the piece here.

Cross-posted from Social Studies

I’m here at BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Los Angeles ignoring the beautiful palm trees and weather in favor of sitting inside and listening to compelling speakers present on the latest digital, social and interactive marketing trends.

Tom #1: Data-Driven Insights
I was impressed by the opening Social Media Business Summit keynote from Tom Webster at Edison Research, who leads exit-polling for elections, among other things. Tom’s focus was on ways to sort through sheer amounts of data, research, studies and trends.

Tom says social media is great for casual listening but isn’t quantitatively effective in driving research and insights. Essentially, social media is great for asking questions but isn’t the best at ascertaining answers.

Tom has found that reframing issues and questions allows for brands to achieve better answers. Rather than asking, “What do you want,” he suggests asking “How can XX make your life better?” Then brands can track those answers and map out a strategy. Notice, this doesn’t say rely on broad trends or generic studies.

While it’s fine to acknowledge the latest eMarketer hype, Tom says all the data coming out about the best time of day to tweet, publish a blog post, or the best place to place a link in an article makes him cringe. He says these types of question assumes that there is obviously a best time or a best place.

But what if it is an incorrect assumption these can or should have obvious results? Instead, Tom recommends conducting scientific studies to confirm or disconfirm these assumptions.

Data for “content creation” is inherently incurious, he says. It takes time and disconfirming things to find the right answer. And Tom uses the word “incurious” as a vulgarity!

For example, a study came out that showed press releases distributed at 1 a.m. were the most effective. This study spread like wildfire across the social web and quickly became folklore and accepted as fact. But this study made an assumption that there actually is a best time to distribute a press release, and (according to Tom) the people sharing the results of this study were relying upon flawed “science.”

Instead, Tom recommends marketers “do their own work.” Rather than align strategy with another organization’s research or logic, he suggests analyzing where one’s customers are, determining what motivates them and driving your own research.

Tom #2: Mo-Money, Mo-Mobile

Another compelling session was Tom Hayden’s session on mobile engagement. Yes, another Tom. My schedule picking strategy was to only attend presentations from guys named Tom (or Thomas or Tommy), and I succeeded.

This Tom says marketers should focus on mobile behavior and not mobile technology. When you think of mobile behavior, consider what we do, how we live and why we use mobile in our lives.

Tom says humans are not designed to sit for long periods of time, to stare at screens full of synthetic illumination and host prolonged conversations through text. Mobile allows users to more natively incorporate brand integration into our normal lives.

Mobile integration is evolving to the tipping point (50 percent of users will have smart phones by January 2012). But when a new user acquires a smart phone for the first time, they aren’t installing FourSquare and Instagram. Rather, they are using it for what they are familiar with from their “desktop past” — email, web surfing and possibly chat.

And that web surfing? It’s mostly search. Tom says 70 percent of mobile search ends up in an offline action within two to three hours. Again, this goes back to mobile behavior, not the technology. Desktop surfing is rarely integrated with an offline action. This was a key takeaway for me as I consider mobile strategy for clients.

Below is Tom’s outline of mobile friendly sites and mobile ready sites:

What is mobile friendly?

  • Condensed content (4-10x reduction of desktop site)
  • Navigation limited to 2-3 actions beyond the landing page
  • Quick load time (you have less than 30 seconds)

What is mobile ready?

  • Responsive design (device detection and customized content based on user)
  • Data feed (API – location, device, A-B testing, time/date) with CRM and/or profiling platform)
  • Cross-platform tested (iOS, Android, RIM, Windows, Palm and across multiple years and OS updates)

Another variable to consider when planning mobile programs is that fact that humans are not only staring at screens less, they are typing less. Touch screens are harder to type but easy to facilitate face to face (e.g., FaceTime, Skype, facilitating an IRL meet-up). So we’re moving back to a preference of face to face while lessening our focus on the written word.

Of note, this is why people put “sorry for typos” on their mobile signature. Tom says we’re apologizing for bad technology and subconsciously will shift to avoid it. I know personally I have significant issues typing on my iPhone and iPad, and that’s why I’m actually typing this post on a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad.

Tom showed Forrester data that illustrates barcode scanners are the fastest growing app right now — beating weather, games, navigation and music apps. As native QR apps come out in operating systems, this is a technology that is happening and won’t go away anytime soon.

Humans are comfortable with the cameras on their phones and will understand how to scan a QR code as that technology grows. However, it’s important to include multiple mediums to reach the masses (URL, SMS, QR, etc.). Tom recommends including opportunities to scan, text and click in communications with potential or current customers, then keep good track of the metrics to adapt campaigns.

I asked a question about mobile commerce and its adoption. Tom says that even though Google Wallet and other start-ups have pioneered the space, there are technological barriers PLUS human behavior barriers that will delay widespread adoption of using your phone to purchase goods on a consistent basis.

Specifically, retail stores have one kind of credit card scanner that can scan every single brand of credit card, but the acquisition of unique technology for mobile commerce is complex and expensive. I personally think barcode technology will be a good stop-gap — allowing anyone with smart phone to scan and buy something, billed back to their phone plan. I guess we’ll see!

What’s your strategy for navigating data overload and trend-based laziness? How are you rethinking mobile strategy for a changing culture?

Leave comments over at Social Studies

This post original appeared on Social Studies. Please leave comments on the original post there.

I’ve been totally geeking out over Marco Tempest’s blend of technology and magic lately, and I keep thinking I need to make it to a Twin Cities Maker event.

The idea of partnering physical and digital (phygital, as my friends at Momentum would say) is truly inspiring.

I keep thinking if I get a breath at work I’m going to order an Arduino and figure out how to make a website ring a doorbell. Perhaps in 2012.

Here are two of Marco’s TED presentations that you absolutely must see…

Of the handful of MIMA Summit sessions I attended, I made certain to sit in on The Digital-Physical Connection: From Nike Chalkbot to Prius Roller Coaster with Eamae Mirkin from Deeplocal.

Deeplocal is known for employing creative engineers who use science and technology to build experiences, stunts and engagement opportunities to help a brand reach their audiences.

These guys cut up cars and make roller coasters and solar powered bio-tents out of the parts. They built the famous chalk-bot, which has now spun off its own company. They mounted millions of LED lights on a skyscraper in Africa and let the Internet write headlines. They built an entire miniature city and let users on the web pilot a camera-mounted train through the cityscapes seeking hidden artifacts.

Unfortunately the iOS 5 update on my iPad 2 completely wiped the notes I took on his session, but luckily Eamae let Deeplocal’s video case studies do most of the talking. And thus, so will I…

What do you think? How would you blend technology and the everyday if time, knowledge and budget weren’t an issue?

A collection of posts from my fifth year at South By Southwest as posted at the Social Studies blog. Be sure to come find me!

My new post on Social Studies:

This was my third year at BlogWorld New Media Expo, and it just gets better and better.

Sure, there are plenty of cewebrities, blogerati and scenesters, but BlogWorld continues to bring out some of the best in social media and social marketing thought leadership.

Congrats to the show promoters, the speakers and attendees who got my brain running and thinking about new and exciting possibilities in social marketing.

My biggest takewaways from the conference (via notes I took in 140 characters or less):

  • Even the best businesses have negative customer comments. Don’t be the boy who cried “FAIL”
  • Humans don’t scale. We only have so much bandwidth. Humility and honesty go a long way in biz/personal
  • “By the end of the year, we’re going to talk about Twitter lists, not follower numbers.” -@scobleizer
  • Social isn’t just about marketing/PR. This is a cultural shift. It’s about people and relationships.
  • Twitter lists has mega-implications for PR/journalist relationships. @scobleizer already on 211 lists.
  • Kids are creating multiple MySpace profiles for friends and other ones for their “real” friends
  • Google Profiles, Sidewiki, Wave are part of a stealth social network. It’s not a destination. It’s a zen attack.
  • Corporate sites should be the hub of a robust Web strategy that goes to where the conversations are outside .com.
  • Develop active listening program AND THEN empower a customer advocacy program to tell your story, defend you, etc
  • PR is curating disparate SM monitoring databases that should be connected to corporate CRM for customer support
  • Five years from now URLs won’t matter. Information will come together in a new way we can’t yet fathom. -@jowyang
  • Entire crowd is focused/stuck on SM ROI, and you can sense the aggregate frustration at the implicit vagaries.

I want to touch on that last tweet. In Jeremiah Owyang‘s “The Future of Social Media and Business” presentation (great breakdown here), the audience asked many questions about legal, ROI, lead-generation and the culture of fear that surrounds investing in new technologies and strategies without a guaranteed pay-off. Mr. Owyang didn’t have answers beyond his analysis, partly because the answers people were seeking aren’t easily answered in a large forum. The future of social media, by its very nature, will not and does not mirror traditional advertising strategies nor the metrics that fuel them.

Companies who today are seen as innovators in the social media space — whether it’s micro-media customer support, humanistic corporate blogs or social network engagement — didn’t get where they are by betting on a sure thing. Social media has changed the game. Even if Nielsen says X millions watched a primetime show last night, we know a key percentage had a laptop open at the same time. And although I can back up that assertion by pointing to the top Twitter trends on any given evening, most companies cannot quantify that “buzz” directly into sales to the point they can justify a spend with guaranteed results.

Rather, an online conversation is just as valuable — possibly more valuable — than a point of sale impulse display or a print and broadcast advertising buy with guaranteed impressions. The reason Mr. Owyang couldn’t give us the 1-2-punch for selling in social media is that 1) it doesn’t exist, and 2) even if it did, it would change tomorrow.

What can we do in the interim?

  1. Innovate
  2. Set measurable objectives
  3. Benchmark
  4. Evaluate and adjust
We must change this perception of fear into a lens of opportunity. The control isn’t coming back, and neither is the sure thing.
BlogWorld has me pumped and even more passionate about the possibilities. I’m not waiting around for the sure thing; are you?

Comments locked. Please leave comments over at Social Studies.