Social media is about social science not technology.

A Pivot study conducted in 2011, asked brand managers and marketers if they had a clear picture of who their Social Consumer is. An astounding 77 percent said yes.

When asked specifically if respondent organizations asked Social Consumers what they expect from engagement, most responded, “No.” This is intriguing because we have 77 percent of organizations who say they know what their Social Consumers want, but 53 percent haven’t really asked. They do not—cannot—really know how to deliver value in social and mobile networks. On the other hand, 35 percent did note that they asked Social Consumers about their expectations.

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What where the top strategic priorities for social media marketing in 2011

A study recently released by Marketing Sherpa polling CMOs (Chief Marketing officers) reveals the top strategic priorities for social media marketing in 2011

  • Recruiting interdepartmental staff to perform social marketing activities 8%
  • Improving the quality and cost efficiency of customer support programs 9%
  • Integrating social media monitoring and analytics into a single dashboard 11%
  • Integrating social marketing data with CRM and other marketing systems 21%
  • Achieving or increasing measureable lead generation from social marketing 43%
  • Achieving or increasing measureable ROI from social marketing programs 46%
  • Improving search engine ranking positions 50%
  • Developing an effective and methodical social marketing strategy 53%
  • Converting social media members, followers, etc.into paying customers 63%
  • Improving brand awareness or reputation 66%
  • Increasing website traffic through social media integration 71%


The days of low cost marketing on Facebook may be counted

It’s not a coincidence that Facebook first half profits doubled to $1.6B and the trend will likely accelerate.   Over the past few years Facebook has been slowly but steadily paving  the way for increased profitability

For the past three or so years, most of the changes Facebook has implemented have made it made it increasingly difficult for organization and brands to put their content in front of their “Fans” or as Facebook now calls them “Likes”

It started with the structure of the wall on profiles.  We first saw the wall being segregated in two sets of posts with the default view to what Facebook deemed most important to users to the last change in the past month.

The latest little known or noticed change in Facebook “Pages” has big implications.  As of September 30, 2011, Facebook stopped allowing pages to communicate to their “Fans” or as Facebook calls them “Likes” via messaging.

The feature that allowed page owners or administrators to send targeted messages into users’ inboxes has been removed, officially to , and i quote : ” connect with your audience in the most effective ways possible” which is through public communication on the wall.

So Facebook says.  In reality, it’s been a slow and calculated approach to remove free means of communications between pages and their followers and quoting facebook again, “using targeted Facebook Ads or Sponsored Stories to help grow and highlight your message within the Facebook experience“.

If the past is any indication, we can expect that Facebook will find more ways to curtail free interactions between pages and users as an incentive to use paid Facebook advertising, coming around full circle, back to traditional advertising, only this time with a captive audience…. of advertisers.

Social Media 001: Page or Profile? That is the question

As more organizations get on the social media bandwagon, it becomes more and more obvious that there is some serious confusion as to what type of page they should use for their online presence.

Whether on LinkedIn or Facebook (Google has only allowed a few organization to test the Google + business accounts and is seriously enforcing their policy of not allowing businesses and organizations using personal accounts), users are confused, misinformed or uninformed about the differences between profiles and pages.

Few users read the TOSs and who can blame them, pages after pages of boring legal mumbo jumbo that would put to sleep a toddler on a sugar high.

Not knowing the differences can have costly repercussions.

Before going public, LinkedIn was notorious for enforcing its TOS, especially when it comes to organizations using personal profiles.  Facebook was enforcing as well, but with the vastly higher number of users, enforcement was spottier.

One can expect that enforcement will become stricter again in the future as the companies start focusing again on quality versus quantity.

What is the big deal? You might ask.

The big deal is choosing the wrong format can be costly in many ways.  Imagine logging on to your page only to find out that your account has been suspended and there is nowhere to turn to have it restored.  Imagine having to do the work all over again, rebuild your network of followers, your content, earning comments and ratings.

What figure can you put on rebuilding your social media presence?  What is the cost in term of time wasted, lost goodwill, lost followers?

The rule:

Generally speaking (most social media platforms use the same basic principle)

  • A “profile” is a “personal profile”, a live individual, not an organization, not a company.
  • A “page” in the Facebook lingo is for an organization, company, brand.  Public personalities, artists, athletes… when using the account for business purpose should use the “page” versus “profile” for one good reason, they are usually doing it to promote their brand. LinkedIn has its own version of the “page”

Using the wrong format will also limit what you can do.

Due to their original design, pages and profiles have different built in tools and using a profile for a business entity can seriously limit your reach in term of communication, exposure, engagement, measurement and visibility and that’s the subject of an upcoming post.





LinkedIn reports earnings, base growing to 116M

LinkedIn reported its first earning since going public in May.  The company reported a $4.5M profit for the second quarter (2c a share) on $121M revenue, a 50% increase over last year.

Don’t get too excited on the earning side, at least in the short term, the company  declared that they were willing to sacrifice short term earnings to invest in new technology and product development.

On the user side, LinkedIn announced 116M users, a 61% increase over the same time last year.

The user numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt though.  Over the last year, we have seen spammers creating massive numbers of fake profiles to spam discussion groups and infiltrate personal networks.

LinkedIn has been notorious for their lack of action against spam and spammers, one might argue, to ring up higher number of “users”, it will be interesting to see if they will change course in the future and tackle that growing issue before it has an impact on their real base.

Let’s hope for us users that some of the investment in technology and new product will address that growing problem.