Posts filed under ‘social media trends’
I’ve encountered a few people recently for whom Confidence is so much not a problem…that it actually is.
pic from here
I think overconfidence is a trait we don’t consider enough. Because it can lead to all kinds of problems. It’s the ‘how hard can it be?’ attitude that leads people to have accidents. Or just embarrass themselves. You only have to watch ten minutes of The Apprentice to see just what a pickle overconfidence can get you into.
Brands can be just as guilty. Like Moleskine, who couldn’t understand why the design community wouldn’t want to participate in a spec design competition. Or Nestle. Or Quantas. These are all Social Media Epic Fails, caused partly, I suspect, by a ‘how hard can it be?’ approach to social engagement.
But the consumers/public/users/rest-of-the-world have got rather confident too. After all, you can become a writer by setting up a blog, a designer with your own copy of photoshop and a lobbyist with facebook and an online petition. Thanks to social media you can contact brands or business to publically thank, criticise or humiliate them – and expect a response. Everyone’s a writer, broadcaster, journalist and consumer rights campaigner now.
It’s just that as I said earlier, some people are so confident in their limited abilities that they’re a blumin liability to themselves and others. But how can brands tell incompetents to push off?
It’s tricky. In becoming more communicative Pandora’s Box may have been opened on both sides.
I got a press release from Lemsip’s digital agency the other day, rather belatedly letting me know about their ‘It’s a Man’s Flu’ facebook campaign. I dutifully headed over there to have a look…but you couldn’t have a play with it unless you ‘liked’ the page first
It’s not just Lemsip, they’re all at it. The new Justin Timberlake film In Time, Yeo Valley, Heinz baked beans, Innocent Drinks, BMW and so on all require a Like for access.
Brand manager’s (and sometimes their digital agency’s) obsession with racking up as many Likes as possible doesn’t seem to be abating, but now they’re increasingly using clicking Like as the price of entry to interact with their content or receive special offers.
But I thought social media was all about having conversations? And the last time I checked, I didn’t have to offer a public endorsement of someone I’d recently met before we could start having a chat. After all, I might need the chat to know if they’re the kind of person I’d like to be friends with anyway.
It feels like brands want consumers to pay for access with Likes. Which means that there will be higher expectations of this ‘paid’ content and a relationship that has been wrong footed from the start.
In fact recent research suggests that over half of US facebook users expect to gain access to exclusive content, events or sales after “liking” a company, while a similar amount also expect to receive discounts or promotions. In the same piece of data, a quarter of users disagreed that marketers should interpret “like” to even mean they are a fan or advocate of the company.
As I’ve posted before, I only feel a real connection with maybe a dozen or so brands – and therefore don’t feel the need to Like everything in my wardrobe, kitchen and medicine cupboard.
You could of course argue that putting this content behind a wall is a way of rewarding brand advocates. But it doesn’t do much for those other consumers that the brand should really be wooing to eventually perhaps win a coveted space in their list of Likes.
There are an awful lot of businesses and brands out there doing the whole Social Media thing rather badly.
Getting Marketing Wrong isn’t a new phenomenon, I only have to look at the dross which drops though my letterbox from Indian takeaways, landscape gardeners and cleaning services to see that there are a lot of smaller businesses out there Doing Their Own Marketing who need help (like that dress shop I blogged about before).
But social media is so accessible, affordable and easy to get started with that the entry requirements rule out almost no-one. Which means that the over-confident wade in without a clue of How To Do It.
Take my local horse rug washing company. They have a facebook page which I happily liked. Then the founder (met her once, spoke on the phone twice) sent me a friend request on facebook. She obviously hadn’t twigged the public/semi private differentiation between pages and people.
The fab transcription service I always use seems to see twitter as some kind of occasional use broadcast tool for sales messages and still has an egg as their avatar.
And then there’s the frankly worrying number of marketing agencies (who really should know better) out there with a blog that hasn’t been updated in months – perhaps one of those cobbler’s-children-having-no-shoes situations?
It’s just so easy to set up a twitter account, blog or facebook page that I suspect some of those happily doing so are doing their brands or businesses more harm than good.
I know I’ve said the same in the past about facebook and twitter and subsequently done a major about-turn, but its not only that I can’t really see the value in participating, this time I have personal safety issues.
As a single girl, I don’t think broadcasting where I am, where I’ve been and (by implication) where I’m not (hello, local burglars) is a very good idea. In fact I’ve taken it as far as going into facebook’s privacy settings to make sure my online friends can’t check me in either (thanks for the heads up Roo).
If I’m at an industry event, I’ll probably be sporting a fetching name badge, so checking-in then to announce my attendance seems a bit pointless too.
It also occurs to me that mass adoption of check-in services is going to result in a lot of extra noise on news feeds for services like twitter and facebook. I haven’t worked out yet why I should care that my uni friend at the other end of the country has just checked into a bar.
I’m very googlable and fairly open online, but this kind of sharing feels like a step too far in several directions for me. Am I missing something?
I’ve perhaps been guilty of overdoing the ‘oh-my-god-its-still-snowing’ posts on the blog recently (the white stuff lasted 4 ½ weeks in the end) and I can’t imagine that anyone outside the snow-bound UK would have found them particularly interesting.
But what I have found invaluable as I’ve tried to make the decision in recent weeks whether to risk the journey into work has been traffic and weather updates (complete with photos) from my friends on twitter and facebook. It’s been like a (private) public service. Ice on the A65? Traffic jams in Horsforth? Someone will kindly let me know.
Although the local radio stations were busy collating traffic and snow news, with listeners phoning in live reports, the bit of the online world focused on the UK didn’t seem to have found a way to crowd source on the ground information in this way.
In North America, their National Weather Service has just launched a Twitter-based program to monitor tweets about severe weather (tweets are tagged #wxreport), but we don’t seem to have a UK equivalent. Time to sort it out before the next cold snap?
Just in case you were under the impression that everyone in the UK with a degree and an internet connection must surely ‘get’ social media, I had a very enlightening conversation with a bunch of (normal, female, early thirties) accountants at a dinner party last Saturday night.
They asked me to explain what ‘blogging’ was, what did a ‘blog’ look like and what was twitter? Was twitter the same as a blog?
I did my best, but it was a real wakeup call. On the basis of this (admittedly small) sample, social technologies have NOT gone mainstream properly yet.
On Forrester’s Social Techographics Ladder these ladies would be classed as ‘joiners’ as they use facebook – but they’re really ‘inactives’ – not only do they don’t know about blogging, twittering and uploading, they don’t care much either.
Late last Friday night I wasted a good half hour of my life I could have better spent sleeping having a major Clothes Crisis.
The crisis was in response to my sister’s Hen Do the following day, but it wasn’t the event itself that meant half my wardrobe was flung across my bedroom – it was the thought of the avalanche of photos on facebook that would inevitably follow.
It used to be that you could rock up to a party having a bad hair/ clothes/ skin day and the only evidence would be a blurry 4×6 photo kept in its Snappy Snaps envelope, never to see that light of day again.
But what with mobile cameraphones complete with flash and zoom, digital cameras, flickr and facebook, no social event goes unrecorded for posterity. That particularly unflattering camera angle, slightly too revealing top or ill advised snog can be easily viewed by friends, relatives, colleagues, prospective employers and blind dates.
I’m starting to feel empathy towards the celebrities who can’t step out of their front door without getting papped. At least I know that I only have to watch out for the tell tale flash at social events, not when putting the bins out too.
Perhaps soon every wedding invitation will carry a polite note asking guests to leave their cameras at home – not because some magazine has bought the photo rights, but that the poor bride wants to control the quality and quantity of pictures recording her big day for eternity.
In this example of Bad Facebook Picture Syndrome, it would have probably helped if any of us had actually been looking at the person taking the picture…
I’ve been thinking about the whole online sphere of influence thing recently. I contributed a chart on the subject a while back to Neil Perkin’s crowdsourced presentation about online communities:
But I now think that it’s actually more complex than that. There’s a great scene in Studio 60 where the network boss tells the exec producer “you can lose five regular consumers, replace them with one Alpha Consumer and I can charge the same ad rates”.
Like any communications channel, you can have niche blogs with limited reach that are really important if you want to access their particular specialist niche target audience (like digital pathologists). And then there are other blogs that might also not have a very impressive reach but their audience is made up almost entirely of influential Alpha Consumers, “the first to know, the first to try and the first to buy” (© Aaron Sorkin).
Which means that analysing the reach of campaigns that rely on blogger relations is going to be problematic unless someone out there can find a way to weight the ‘value’ of every single blog and their readers.
I came across a great phrase the other day – Time Vampires. Which seems to be commonly defined as distractions or events that take you away from your working day.
So hello, Twitter. And hi there to facebook and just about every other social networking site and blogging platform. It’s very tempting when inspiration is failing to strike to click over to bloglines and see what’s new or to have a quick look at BrandRepublic.
To be fair, I regularly find blog posts via my RSS feeds that are hugely relevant to whatever I’m working on at the moment. I just have to spend a lot of time wading through baby pictures, technology reviews and bitching to get to them.
I know some people who are really virtuous and only check their RSS feeds once a day. I don’t have that kind of self control but having just moved desks to one where my laptop screen can be seen by at least twenty people at least there’s a bit more of an incentive to stay productive.
Aligned to what I see as a future move towards more discerning social networking (only using the networks that really work for you), maybe we’ll see a Second Life style growth in inactive accounts on Twitter as the world remembers that they really do have to get that report finished.
I’ve changed my mind and signed up to facebook. Not because I was desperate to connect to everyone I worked with in 1998 or did my GCSEs with, but because I couldn’t get to all the brand facebook pages, plannery things and blogs without signing up.
So thats a dormant facebook account to add to the dormant myspace, second life, vox, plannersphere and god knows what else that I’ve forgotten about. I keep forgetting to twitter and then there is the three email adresses, this blog and my flickr that I actually manage to keep up to date with.
Surely someone is going to have to come up with a better way of accessing and monitoring all this social networking malarky? Or the entire economy is going to grind to a halt. How about an RSS-style single page that pulls all your social networking sites together? Has anyone heard of one? Please?