Forget about those big robots throwing each other against Chicago skyscrapers in the new-and-improved “Transformers 3.” The real battle of the giants this July is happening in social media marketing land thanks to Google and Facebook.
Following last week’s announcement of Google +, along with the insane demand for beta invites that forced the search company to close the invitations after little more than a day, Facebook started letting people know that it would be having a Wednesday press conference this week to announce “something awesome,” in the words of company CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Clearly Facebook wants the media spotlight back on where it thinks it belongs – on itself, rather than Google’s latest attempt to get knee-deep into the social media waters while hopefully helping everybody to forget about Googles Buzz and Wave. Considering the consensus among social media observers in the blogosphere, Facebook may have good reason to trumpet its Wednesday announcement.
“Even though the Google + team had to temporarily shut down its own invitation machine last week due to heavy demand, most of the initial reaction to the new social media experiment has been positive,” Social Media Marketing Magazine co-publisher Kent Huffman told Splash Media. “So far, the most popular feature is Circles, which lets users group their contacts by type of relationships using an animated drag-and-drop interface.”
Along with Circles, Google +’s video conferencing and mobile features have obvious social media marketing implications. But the fact that the invites had to be shut down so soon highlights its work-in-progress nature, and Google can be forgiven in wanting to make sure it avoids the kind of bad p.r. that accompanied the rollout of Buzz and Wave. “Among the negatives (of Google +) are some issues related to privacy settings and information security that Google has already acknowledged,” Huffman added.
The educated guesses on Facebook’s announcement includes possible new mobile and multi-media features, including an iPad-centric application.
The Splash Media blog is not only digging deeper into Google + this week; we will be watching the Facebook announcement Wednesday and will deliver some instant reaction on whether Zuckerberg’s news does indeed qualify as “awesome” from a social media marketing perspective. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on Google + and speculate to your heart’s content about Facebook in our Comments section.
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A viewer of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV recently used the station”s Twitter feed to complain about what so many of us gripe about every now and then regarding local TV: the abundance of bad news. The viewer suggested that WXYZ should not only cover more “good news” stories, but should create them as well.
Fast-forward to June 25th, when more than a hundred volunteers – station employees and members of the community – partnered with a local non-profit to clean up areas of Detroit that were in disrepair, including a playground. The station helped organize the event, and then covered it on their newscasts that night.
All of this was put together via a Twitter hashtag, #backchannel, set up by a WXYZ anchor to close the conversation gap between viewers and the station. Most of the time #backchannel is used to let the public help with breaking news stories, but in this case it helped set up something positive for everyone involved. (You can read more about it here on Lost Remote, a blog dedicated to the intersection of television and social media.)
It seems appropriate casino uk that on this July Fourth weekend, when we celebrate the building of a nation that was stitched together for the purpose of establishing freedom, that we also point out things like social media that can bring people together for a common cause – not necessarily to make money, but to connect individuals and organizations, and maybe in the process generate some smiles.
If you know of any other instances of social media being used for the greater good, please share them in the Comments section below. And while you”re at it, check out these stories from the past week:
Google A Lot Of People = No More Invitations
Bloomberg reports on Google”s latest attempt at creating a social network, Google , and how so many people tried to crash its party that it had to close the doors. (The Splash Media blog will be taking a closer look next week at the search giant”s efforts to unseat Facebook.)
Some Very Social Ways To Create Customer Evangelists
Tricia Smith of Smart Blog On Social Media highlights the top takeaways from a recent webinar hosted by Altimeter Group”s Jeremiah Owyang on how to keep customers involved with your brand..after they become customers.
How B2B Companies Can Start Down The Social Media Path
GlobalSpec”s Chris Charlton wrote a great post for the Marketing Profs blog on how industrial, engineering and manufacturing companies, which have the lowest social media adoption rates, can ease themselves into this marketing strategy.
Please have a safe and happy July Fourth holiday, and we”ll see you back here Tuesday!
Splash Media is now in the software business – sort of.
Splash has developed SplashCube, a social media management tool that we are using in-house. But as Splash Media chief learning officer Paul Slack tells host Renay San Miguel in this latest SplashCast, small and mid-size businesses may soon get a chance to use the application as a way to keep up with their social media agendas and listen to what’s being said about their companies online.
Cisco Systems has launched The Network, a technology news website. Like Intel’s Free Press – covered in the Splash Media blog here – the company is covering any and all developments in its particular arena of the tech industry, whether or not it has anything to do with Cisco. The focus is on an editorial style that wouldn’t be out of place in a newspaper or on a journalistic tech news site.
As expected, the networking giant is featuring its resident geniuses and highlighting new products and services, while also providing lots of videos on general trends and themes that impact its business (video, data storage, etc.). But when warranted, it’s also isn’t shying away from mentions of competing products and companies in its coverage.
Unlike Intel Free Press, The Network is using contributions from tech journalists who used to write for outlets like the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Industry Standard. A recent story by former BusinessWeek columnist Steve Wildstrom that examines trends in data analytics doesn’t mention Cisco at all.
Yes, the mainstream media has abdicated serious technology coverage to a growing host of bloggers and specialty websites, and used all that as an excuse to jettison experienced journalists. But Cisco director of social media John Earnhardt told me that’s not the reason Cisco started The Network.
“It isn’t a reaction to traditional media, but the recognition that there are a lot of technology stories that we can tell that we think can be additive to the conversations we want to start and participate in on the topics we care most about,” Earnhardt said in an email. “Our focus is squarely on data center, core networking (including mobility and security), collaboration and video. We want to use The Network to share stories about the impact of these technologies on business and everyday life.”
Splash Media quizzed Earnhardt for a SplashCast earlier this year – you can view that here – so we’re not surprised that the company’s Facebook, Twitter and Flickr feeds and comment streams are integrated well in the Network offering.
“Social media is critical to the success of The Network,” Earnhardt said. “We track how many times a piece has been viewed, but also how many times it has been shared. Social media is about sharing. We find sharing (or commenting) is the ultimate measure of success. As I said in my introductory blog post, a piece of content that is shared with a friend or friends or followers or the world is the ultimate measurement of its success. That person is validating that the piece of content they are sharing was valuable enough, interesting enough or topical enough to share with one or with many.”
This news just in: companies don’t have to be tech giants like Cisco to position themselves as information resources and thought-leaders in their specific industries. Give them compelling content, be transparent about those times when they do include their own company’s offerings in their coverage, and listen to their audiences, and like any good news outlet, small and mid-size businesses can scoop the competition and earn their customers’ trust.
The temperatures get warmer, the days get longer and the kids get louder: must be summer in America. And while that usually means vacations and relaxation, it can also give local businesses that have wanted to experiment with social media a good excuse to start getting busy.
More young people on the loose with smartphones in malls means more chances to connect with them via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Families hitting the road to popular vacation destinations can be tempted with incentives and discounts for nearby restaurants, hotels and shops. The summer’s pop culture news can turn into prime opportunities to strike up social media-based conversations with customers: Who should win NBC’s “The Voice?” How do you feel about the end of the “Harry Potter” film saga? How ’bout them Dallas Mavericks?
The dog days of summer don’t have to translate into a slowdown in creative thinking on the part of companies trying to keep the cash flowing in this economy. Summer is the time for taking chances; kids look at the high diving board at their neighborhood pool and wonder if they have in them to give it a try. Businesses should summon the same courage to take that first plunge into the social media waters.
Some help, guidance and (hopefully) valuable information to help business do just that may be found in the following stories:
Live, From (Your Business Here), It’s…A Live Event!
Duct Tape Marketing founder John Jantsch blogs in American Express Open Forum about the various tools available to help businesses and organizations add some social juice to grand openings, conference workshops or other live gatherings.
Reason No. 2.19 Billion For Why It’s Now Facebook’s World
Digital research firm eMarketer has the scoop on U.S. display ad revenue estimates, and Facebook beats Yahoo! in the firm’s projections for who will be on top this year. (Splash Media chief learning officer Paul Slack will talk more about this point in an upcoming SplashCast.)
What Big Companies Can Do, Smaller Ones Can Do..Better?
Here’s a summer homework reading assignment for small businesses: check out Ogilvy executive Rohit Bhargava’s Influential Marketing Blog post on the recent Corporate Social Media Summit, and see which examples and lessons from big-name brands can be applied to the SMB side of the business spectrum. We’re partial to Southwest Airlines’ takeaway: “Have fun and be human.”
In that spirit, we would enjoy reading your fun, human posts in our Comments section regarding other stories involving social media marketing from the week. Have a great weekend – and if your vacation is about to start, then have a relaxing time. We’ll be here when you get back!