Monday, May 4, 2009

April 29: Weekly Content/Social Marketing Links

As I mentioned in our first Weekly Content/Social Marketing Links post, I've asked the Powered marketing, business development and product teams to pick one news article, blog post or research report a week that "speaks" to them. With that article, they need to come to our weekly staff meeting prepared to give a 120 second update on what the article was about and why they found it useful.

My goal is to share this content on a weekly basis. Here's what our fourth week netted:

Beth Lopez (Marketing)
Paying homage to Twitter this week since I am making a concerted effort to tweet more and become more educated on best ways to utilize it both professionally and personally…couple of interesting articles:

7 tips for the Perfect Twitter Profile
Love these tips as most on twitter don't follow them (I've found)….
1. Use your real name (hard to find you if I don't know your 'handle')
2. Use a real picture (see the avatars all the time)
3. Think SEO when writing your bio
4. Include a URL
5. Consider a custom background
6. Don't protect your updates
7. Take it slow

Twitter Confesses: Most Users Don't Return
This is a very short article, but thought it very compelling. I can see why folks would not go back after using Twitter for the first time, but there is a lot of debate out there on these numbers and why people defect after the first time, so take it FWIW.
Twitter continues to grow at a rapid pace, and yet new research from Nielsen Online indicates the microblogging phenomenon faces an uphill battle in maintaining consistent use by millions of its users.

The research firm found that more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month. During the past year, Twitter has only maintained a 30 percent retention rate. In other words, the mass of new users isn't large enough to make up for the large group that is defecting or losing interest.

For good measure, Nielsen compared Twitter's early days to that of MySpace and Facebook. Even when those two social networking sites were just emerging, their retention rates were twice as high as Twitter's, according to Nielsen data. Both Facebook and MySpace now enjoy a retention rate of 70 percent today.

DP Rabalais (Marketing)
My article of the week is not mind-blowing, but definitely relevant to our Targeted Sales Strategy. Short article on how the Big 3 US Automakers are embracing Social Media.

Doug Wick (Business Development)
This is a good article from Greg Verdino where he discusses the developing language among marketers that are referring to social media as “earned media” vs. the more traditional “paid media.” He illustrates how we aren’t really going far enough in just talking about different types of media – because media as a word still has the connotation that the message is controlled by the marketer. Greg talks about how we should be seeking “earned attention” – and that focusing on anything else as a marketer within the social web is taking your eye off of the ball.

Bill Fanning (Business Development)
This week’s article is titled, How to Breathe Life into your Loyalty Program, written by Robert Manning (VP of client services for Schematic).

As I was reading this article, I was pleased to hear him basically repeating Powered's philosophy of “give before you get”. His premise is that an effective loyalty program is good at building real relationships with people by giving them value. Not just following up with folks 9 months after purchase to try to sell them something else, but really listening to the customer, understanding the individual and providing a means for them to share their experience with your brand.

While the idea of hard rewards are nice, that will not build a strong relationship by itself…often times that builds a desire to get more points, not necessarily brand affinity. Case and point, I do everything I can to get AA miles so I can save money on personal travel (by the way, that’s getting harder and harder these days) while the fact of the matter is, I'm not a huge fan of the brand!

Don Sedota (Product Management)
There was a lot of press yesterday (and some internal conversations on Yammer) about the new Facebook Open Stream API which will allow developers to pull in Facebook’s activity streams for use within their own 3rd party applications. This article on Mashable does a good job of summarizing the announcement.

While Facebook Connect essentially allows 3rd party apps to push out their site content to the Facebook news feeds, thus enabling communities to extend its site content reach and facilitate word-of-mouth marketing (i.e., demand generation), the Open Stream API allows the consumption of Facebook content within a 3rd party site.
As a result, we could strategically leverage the Open Stream API (in concert with Facebook Connect) within our client communities.

Specifically, the OS API allows the 3rd party site to filter out comments, "likes" and stories on a per application basis. If I'm not mistaken, this means that we could track "likes" and comments that are generated from the content stories posted from the Facebook Connect facilities on our sites and could also track comments, "likes" and stories generated from the brand application on the Facebook side. In the context of our current offerings, this would allow us to keep track of Facebook conversations that occur around community content that was pushed out via Facebook story feeds.

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