People get far too hung up on the media versus the social part of ‘social media’. A brand has to be interesting enough for people to want to spend time with it and most brands don’t have a clear social purpose – they may have a commercial proposition, but not a cultural, human purpose. Brands need to have compelling mission that is interesting to people. You have to start by saying “We need to build a brand about this,” then the media channel approach falls out of that rather than the other way around. The idea has to drive the behavior. Digital can play an increasingly big role because it lets you do things that other media can’t do. It creates better, more interesting spaces.
—Gareth Kay, Brand Building in A Digital Age via Think with Google
Fascinating. In about a two-year period Instagram has nearly matched Foursquare in users, and Pinterest is closing in on the halfway mark.
Three years ago Gowalla’s journey began when I took a photograph of Lake Tahoe on my iPhone. I had just finished a phone call with my dad, and I wanted nothing more than to share that photo and place with him. Not just in a text message or status update sort of way, but with a bit of weight..
I’ve been a fan of these guys since they were known as Alamofire, and developed Packrat, (IMHO) one of the first truly social games on Facebook. Congrats guys. I see great things ahead of you.
Detractors don’t realize one very important point: Google does not see Google+ as a separate product; to the company, Google+ is the product.
Sure, Google hopes to build a social network that competes with Facebook, Twitter and other social services, but that is not the main reason the company has put so many resources behind Google+. Instead, Google+ is a social layer that has always been intended to sit on top of the company’s flagship product: search.
Proclaiming that Google+ won’t survive is like saying that the Apple mobile iOS operating system will die, but the iPhone and iPad will live on. They are one and the same, just as Google and Google+ will be.
You can already see how Google+ is being integrated into the company’s entire product line. The +1 button is visible on every YouTube video and search results page, and it is even on single images from the site’s visual search. Earlier this week, Google began offering Google+ pages for businesses, too. It’s only a matter of time before these pages are ranked in search results.
The genius of Steve Jobs and Apple was in seeing beyond this limited notion of how computers could fit into our lives. It was through the Mac — and later, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad — that we discovered computers could be tools for creativity and personal expression. The discovery that a computer or phone could unleash your inner artist, channel your creative voice, or even evoke love: if you can remember the extraordinary moment you first felt that potential, the odds are good that you felt it while using a device created by Steve Jobs.
The social media revolution rests on this discovery of the creative, expressive, and emotional potential of digital technology. From the videos we create on YouTube to the haiku we post on Twitter, from the birth announcements we post on Facebook to the eulogies now pouring forth across the blogosphere, we live our creative and emotional lives online because somebody thought to give us a computer that suggested there might be something more important than a spreadsheet. Somebody gave us GarageBand and an iPod that acknowledged music as something to create and share as well as package and buy. Somebody gave us an iPhone and an iPad that showed us a digital world beyond our desks, and an offline world with a connection to our online relationships.
Happy Little Checkins
The Real Cost (& Benefits) of Social Media from a Brand Marketer’s perspective. Interesting look at the value of a Facebook Fan and Twitter Follower.
The Demographics of Social Media
Think about how back in the day we used to have our local dry cleaner who everyone in the family knew and who knew everyone in the family, the convenience store clerk who you talked to about your problems at work while he made your favorite cup of coffee, and the homely waitress at the local diner who knew how to get your eggs just right. Those were the days that were less about profit and transactions and were more about creating genuine, personal relationships. Businesses now, through Social Media, are working to reverse the effects time has had on the personal customer experience by engaging users to create more loyalty. It’s not unusual to get an @reply from a company saying thanks for sharing a neat tweet or even engaging in an intellectual or simply fun exchange with you.
—From The Next Web’s “How Social Media Has Helped to Reshape Marketing”
Effective social marketing is about putting something directly into the hands of your audience. It’s not telling people what to think or trying to make branded small talk. It’s about giving people something to do and encouraging them to engage with your client’s brand between purchases…
[A]gencies and brands that will eventually win in social media will be the ones that understand and embrace the platforms enough to develop ideas that drive social interaction and produce engaging and portable content to bring the idea to life in an interesting and entertaining way.
“[O]ur conclusion that word-of-mouth information spreads via many small cascades, mostly triggered by ordinary individuals, is also likely to apply generally… Marketers, planners and other change agents interested in harnessing word-of-mouth influence could therefore benefit 1) by adopting more precise metrics of influence; 2) by collecting more and better data about potential influencers over extended intervals of time; and 3), by potentially exploiting ordinary influencers..