Thursday, 8 April 2010


Note:  These predictions are by Freddie Laker, Director of Digital Strategy at SapientNitro.

SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2012 - Ultimately, share of voice, point of view and community influence will be more important than brand ownership — and marketers will need to get over it if they want to stay relevant in 2012.

1. Privacy expectations will (have to) change
There will be a cultural shift, whereby people will begin to find it increasingly more acceptable to expose more and more of their personal details on different forms of social media. Sharing your likes, dislikes, opinions, photos, videos and other forms of personal information will be the norm and people will become more accepting of personalized experiences, both corporate and personal, that are reacting to this dearth of personal information.
2. Complete decentralization of social networks
The concept of a friend network will be a portable experience. You’ll find most digital experiences will be able to leverage the power of your social networks in a way that leverages your readily available personal information and the relationships you’ve established. We’re already seeing the beginnings of this with Facebook Connect and Google’s FriendConnect.
3. Our interaction with search engines will be different
Real-time information in Google search, e.g. from Twitter, blog results and user reviews, will be more prominent. Google’s Social Search will change the way we interact with search engines by pushing relevant content from our personal networks to the front of search results, making them more personalized. The importance of digital-influencer marketing will increase significantly.
4. Rise of the content aggregators
The amount of content online is growing at an exponential rate, and most online users have at least three online profiles from social networks to micro-blogging to social news sites. Our ability to manage this influx is challenging, and content aggregators will be the new demi-gods, bringing method to madness (and make a killing). Filtering and managing content will be big business for those who can get it right and provide easy-to-use services.
5. Social media augmented reality
Openly accessible information from the social-media space will be used to enhance everyday experiences. For example: the contacts book in your phone links to Facebook and Twitter to show real-time updates on what the contact is doing before you put in the call, real-time reviews from friends and associates will appear in GPS-based mapping services as a standard feature, and socially enabled CRM will change the way companies manage business relationships forever.
6. Influencer marketing will be redefined
As social media continues to permeate more and more aspects of not only the way we interact with digital media but also other channels such as digital outdoor, commerce or online TV, we will see the significance of influencer marketing grow dramatically. As a basic example, the inclusion of Twitter in Google search results or Google’s soon-to-be-released Social Search will permeate search results with content that will not be managed by Google’s infamous PageRank but by social influence and relevance to your social network. Discovering people that can help you to reach your desired consumer will become exponentially more effective and important.
7. Ratings everywhere
In today’s world, having a commerce site that doesn’t have user ratings could actually prove to be a detriment to sales. In the near future, brands and businesses will more frequently place user ratings and accept open feedback on their actual websites. User ratings will become so common that marketers should expect to find them woven into most digital experiences.
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Note: There is also a complete Slideshare narrated presentation available.
See the full article at AdvertisingAge

The Cult of “ME” - Narcissism and Social Media

Freud and others believed a reasonable amount of healthy narcissism allowed an individual's perception of his needs to be balanced in relation to others.  Marked by the rise of celebrity culture, the destruction of tradition, the devaluation of ordinary skills and families in our modern society - advertisers today know that consumers (i.e. “YOU”) obsessively focus on “the realization of the self".  

This cult of “me” is ironically fueled by "personalization." Web 2.0 personalizes culture so that it reflects ourselves rather than the world around us. Blogs personalize media content so that all we read are our own thoughts. Online stores personalize our preferences, thus feeding back to us our own taste.  Google personalizes searches so that all we see are advertisements for products and services we already use.  Whether Yahoo’s "It's y!ou", to “mySAP” to the “iPad” to T-Mobile’s “myTouch’s - 100% you," --it seems like you’re getting "you-ed" everywhere today. 

The shear irony therefore in multiple advertisers attempting to target millions of people with messages about their individuality, makes you realize just how uninspired we all must be.   Society itself seems to have used up its store of constructive ideas.  Moreover, we seem to have lost both the capacity and the will to
confront the difficulties that threaten to overwhelm us.  Today we are commentators and pedestrians in a state of somnambulism – seemingly oblivious to the fact that we have become both politically and intellectually bankrupt.

Isn’t it time we rediscovered our sense of civic obligation?  

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


We get the same question over and over again from clients and prospects alike.  "What if we get involved in Social Media and people say bad things about us?"  For those brands or companies not yet engaging with customers using social media tools, this is a worst-case scenario.

Your customers are already talking about you. So why not get involved in the conversation? People are increasingly using social media websites and tools to vent their anger about products or receiving poor service, according to a survey.  Anyone upset enough to go to your Facebook page for example and tell you what they don't like is upset enough to tell their friends and followers in your absence.   Staying off social media doesn't stop the problem; it merely removes the discomfort of having to deal with it. Being on social media at least gives you the chance to respond. Social Media will therefore impact your business and decision making whether you like it or not.

As to how about engaging with your constituents and building credibility – we offer the following.  Always act with integrity and don’t try and be something you’re not. Integrity is about being consistent and living up to the brand promise.  Where companies typically get in trouble is when they pretend to be something they're not.   Also, admit your mistakes - you’re only human like the rest of us, so if you make a mistake, admit it quickly and take any/all steps necessary to correct the situation.  Then move on. 

Still not sold?  Find out more about how Social Media Affects Buying Behavior.


Digital Agency Razorfish has developed recommendation’s to help marketers take control of their brands on Twitter and establish a successful social presence:
  1. Become familiar with Twitter by reviewing, or following, the activities of successful brands such as Dell (, Zappos ( and Comcast (
  2. Listen to what is already being said on Twitter about your brand.
  3. Identify initial objectives for using Twitter, including what would qualify as a Twitter success story for your brand.
  4. Look into competitive activities and potential legal considerations, especially if there is already a Twitter account that uses your brand’s name or other intellectual property associated with it.
  5. Use the findings to decide on the appropriate opportunity — such as offers or community building, tone of voice and method of engagement — that may be right for your brand.
  6. Since Twitter is an ongoing activity — even if your company is only listening in — dedicate a resource to monitor the conversations and competitors.
  7. Map out a plan for the content you will share, including valuable initial content to pique user interest.
  8. Integrate your Twitter account throughout your marketing experience, by embedding it as a feed on the company Web site, including its URL in communications and so forth.
  9. Maintain momentum by following everyone who follows you, responding to queries and joining in conversations without being too marketing oriented.
  10. Provide ongoing direct value through your tweets by continuing to listen, learn and fine- tune your Twitter activities.
The importance of points five, six and seven cannot be stressed enough. Brands that create an account but do not respond to followers’ posts have found their reputation tarnished for not using Twitter in the 
best way.  On the flip side, brands that have entered into Twitter with the right attitude are reaping the
rewards. For example, Dell used one of its Twitter feeds to promote discounts and generated more than 
$2 million from Twitter followers.