July 30, 2012

reddit is the elephant in the room of social media marketing

This is the first of two parts. Also see:
Don’t mess with Texas (or reddit)

Chris Abrahamreddit is the 800 pound Gorilla in the room and has been for years. No one talks about the powerful and direct influence that this quirky, impenetrable, and oddly still-underground this social sharing site is. While people are writing post-after-post about Pinterest, So.cl, Google+, Facebook, Instamatic, and Twitter, reddit’s eating everyone’s lunch – at least when it comes to authentic bottom-up self-organization. Continue reading

July 17, 2012

How Flipboard is changing everything

Chris AbrahamI first told you that Pinterest redefined social media from being mostly text to being mostly photos, illustrations, graphics, and infographics.

Now, illustrating your content is not just preferable, it’s mandatory. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have become much better at following links and automagically populating your shares with photos, videos, titles, and teasers (instead of just making your Bit.ly links hot); aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post and link-share and social bookmarking sites also spider the link, proffering a selection of images to choose from to be associated with each submission.

If your goal is to be shared or read and you’re participating in social media in order to further your personal or corporate brand, then blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumbl, and Posterous without illustrating that content with a photo, chart, illustration, pull-quote, logo, portrait, or infographic at your own peril.

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July 11, 2012

Don’t bring your social media completely in-house

Zappos!Chris AbrahamI really believe it’s bad advice to recommend that companies fire their social media consultants, experts and agencies only to bring everything in house.

While “everyone” is on Facebook, social media is no longer a land of tinkerers; it’s a land of consumers. If you fill a room of potential brand ambassadors you harvest from your own ranks, I guarantee that only 1% to 10% of those people are active participants, and the rest are passive folks who are mostly lurkers. And when people bring up Zappos as the corporate exemplar, I always remind them that Zappos is exceptional and that’s why they’re the only company anyone can think of who does it as well internally. Plus, Zappos is a dyed-in-the-wool customer-service-centric company with an aggressive, visionary founder — someone who has completely rebuilt itself to over-serve its communities. Kudos, but seriously a truly exceptional example.

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June 28, 2012

Your social media plan needs to shut up and start listening

http://chrisabraham.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20120531-crmbpiya7x7bam93ci7un1p72s.jpgChris AbrahamI know you. You’re spending all of your social media marketing budget on promoting your brand, products, and services; that’s fine except you’ve either forgotten — or never knew — that social media is a two-way street. It is.

And, something you also didn’t know: social media is two-thirds defense and monitoring — listening — and only one-third promotion and publicity — speaking. Most marketing folks not only don’t get PR but they revile it; sadly, this is what social media is, no matter what you call it: public relations, all aspects of it: publicity, of course, but also crisis management! Continue reading

June 27, 2012

Blogger outreach is earned media not paid, right?

Chris AbrahamMy definition of blogger outreach has always been about acquiring earned media coverage from bloggers and online influencers.

My definition–and my assumption–has always been that blogger outreach is public relations and not paid media. I may well be mistaken.

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June 13, 2012

Facebook will remain king, but social pure plays will fade


Facebook collage by Jennifer Daniel

Look for the rise of sites with deep social features

This is second of a three-part series on Facebook as an investment. Also see:
Facebook’s biggest barrier to enormous wealth? Trust
Brands: How to cut your exposure to Facebook business risk

Christopher RollysonFacebook will remain the dominant popular social network in many markets for many years, and it won’t have to worry about being “displaced” by another social network the way that it displaced MySpace. In the near term, this lack of competition will give the company some breathing room, but a more daunting threat awaits: the waning of social network pure plays’ influence by 2017. Nonetheless, the fate of pure plays should be top of mind for serious Facebook investors: to produce the fabulous returns that current investors expect, Facebook will have to move far beyond adverts.

In part one of this series, I argued that Facebook had a significant trust gap with users that would inhibit its ability to monetize its most unique and valuable assets, and that the trust gap was recently compounded by its “IPO irregularities.” Below I’ll take a different tack and analyze the investment prospects of Facebook the platform.

Social networks’ disappointing investment results

Pure play social networks (Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn) have not lived up to investors’ ROI aspirations, despite the fact that people (‘users”) have loved the networks and lavished mind-boggling amounts of time on them. The Web 1.0 logic behind investor expectations held that the more time people spent on the sites, the more ads they would see and the more they would click. #fail

In retrospect, it is understandable that pure plays’ management and investors didn’t appreciate social networks’ social context. It turns out that very few people understand the intricacies of “sociality,” much less how to wire it into a value proposition or a business ROI. Continue reading