Visual Guide For Setting Your Social Media Direction

Posted on January 17, 2011. Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sir Walter Scott’s famous line “Oh what a tangled web we weave,” doesn’t refer to the World Wide Web, but you know, it could.

The online web is intricate. That goes double when you factor in social networks, which by design expand as they interconnect.

When you consider how social networks are just a subset of a much larger Web 2.0 system, things get really complicated.

To begin the Web 2.0 journey you have to start somewhere

The scope of Web 2.0 is wide and ever-growing. It can be daunting to know where to begin. Yet you have to start somewhere.  It’s like another famous saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

If you want to wind up at a specified end-point, it helps to get oriented before beginning those many steps. For a real-life trip, you’d use a map or a GPS device for guidance. The byways of Web 2.0 are less cut and dry — the optimal route is determined by your particular goals, strategies and resources.

Still, there are some excellent instruments for overall guidance, including the infographic you see below, created by A-list blogger, best selling author and new media business strategy consultant Brian Solis, and JESS3, a creative agency that specializes in data visualization.

Social Media Compass graphic

Big picture view of the social ecosystem

In his recent post, The Social Compass is the GPS for Adaptive Business, Brian notes this infographic “points a brand in a physical and experiential direction to genuinely and effectively connect with customers, peers, and influencers, where they interact and seek guidance online.”

The Social Compass enables you to see how various components relate to one another in a big picture kind of way. If you’re not quite sure what it all means, read Brain’s post, where he explains all the labels and how they entwine.

Take a sentimental journey to social media success

Of course, the bottom line is, even when used for business purposes, social media is about people engaging with one another. The tools and technology are important, but if you are not establishing personal and emotional connections, you’re missing the point.

So pay special attention to the outer ring of the Social Compass. Notice how it’s got words like empathy, empowerment, honesty, sincerity, reciprocation and reward. By living up to these sentiments you build genuine affinity and devotion to your brand. You’re creating meaningful relationships and goodwill that people will want to share with others. When you walk that talk, your social media activities are headed in the right direction.

– Deni Kasrel

What’s YOUR view of the Social Compass? Comments welcome.

Advertisement
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Facebook Privacy Policy: Beware Changes In The Fine Print

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Facebook | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You’ve heard it’s important to read the fine print of a contract, right?

That’s where there’s a bunch of exceptions and other terms required in the interest of full disclosure, but you likely wouldn’t sign the contract if you read and understood them in full, hence the small print treatment.

It’s only when you have a problem you find out, whoops, there’s something in the fine print about that; and odds are, what it says is not in your favor.

More fine print to Facebook’s privacy policy

Recent revisions to the Facebook privacy policy, announced March 26, 2010, on the Facebook blog in the article Another Step In Open Site Governance, are of similar ilk.

The post’s title implies they’re being transparent. However, if the revised policy is written so that it’s difficult for users to determine the true implications, then it’s the digital equivalent of fine print.

A CYA tactic

The post begins by saying Facebook wants to publicize “all proposed changes to our governing documents before they go into effect and solicit feedback on these proposals from the people who use Facebook.”

FYI, they’re not doing this just to be nice. It’s to avoid another fiasco as happened with the site’s now-deceased Beacon system, which inspired angry member backlash, bad publicity and a lawsuit. In other words, it’s to protect their derrières.

The new policy is to share general data with “select” third parties

There are numerous proposed changes to the Facebook privacy policy, however, one that sticks out as, an “Uh oh, better take note of this” pertains to applications and third-party websites. It would appear Facebook, in language that is not exactly simple and/or direct, wants to share members’ general information — you and your friend’s names, connections, pictures, gender and any content where a privacy setting for sharing is “everyone” — with other websites.

Facebook says the change is being made “to offer a more personalized experience at the moment you visit the site.”

So no worries, it’s for your own good.

The changes are automatic opt-in. Should you prefer to keep general info private, you must make the effort to opt-out.

Member discontent over policy change

Based on comments to the blog post, it looks like this new policy is going over like a lead balloon.

That’s not surprising and is another reason the site is telling everyone what’s going to happen. It’s a common tactic: Let people vent so they can feel like they’re heard, and make the change anyway.

If the true beneficiaries of this revised policy are Facebook and its advertisers — well, that’s just how it goes. Facebook is free. If we don’t like it we can just leave, right?

Are the words privacy and web mutually exclusive?

Perhaps this is just another turn along the inevitable path leading to the point where the words privacy and web are mutually exclusive.

Maybe so, but we’re not quite there yet.

And even if it doesn’t ultimately change the outcome, should you care to voice an opinion on the matter to Facebook, feel free to add to the 2,000+ comments already left on the blog post announcing these impending changes.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think? Are Facebook’s latest privacy changes really the equivalent of fine print? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

2009’s Word of the Year Is…

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Can you guess what word in the English language was used more than any other in 2009?

Hint: It begins with “T” and ends with “R.”

Figured it out?

Yep: Twitter wins this year’s word popularity contest.

So says The Global Language Monitor, which recently declared that Twitter rose to the top of the most-favored word heap, where also-rans include Obama, stimulus, 2.0, deficit, healthcare, transparency and foreclosure.

Making the most of strict limitation

In an announcement about this finding, GLS President Paul Payack is quoted as saying:

“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words.  Twitter represents a new form of social interaction, where all communication is reduced to 140 characters. Being limited to strict formats did wonders for the sonnet and haiku.  One wonders where this highly impractical word-limit will lead as the future unfolds.”

Impractical, eh? Tell that to the reputed 44.5 million people who use Twitter to send an estimated 27.3 million messages per day.

Less is more

There are times when I might like to have more characters per tweet (and in fact there are services that enable you to send longer messages via Twitter). However, there is something to be said for the ingenuity required to craft a compelling message constrained to 140 characters. It can be challenging to construct such a brief missive that grabs attention. You have to be sharp. Concise. Precise.

There’s an art to writing an effective tweet. And there are even books to help you acquire this special skill; such as 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla.  The self-described Elements of Style for social media messaging, claims to be the “first writing guide specifically dedicated to communicating with the succinctness and clarity that the Internet age demands.”

Back when I went to school, it was imperative to learn how to write essays. Nowadays, it’s critical to understand how to pick and choose a few well-chosen words for effective articulate communication.

If not a sonnet or haiku a Tweet may perchance be considered Shakespearean. After all, the great Bard of Avon wrote, “brevity is the soul of wit.”

FYI, in Shakespeare’s day, wit primarily referred to intelligence — as in getting by on one’s wits.

So here’s to Twitter, 2009’s Word Of The Year and a new barometer for the essence of acumen.

– Deni Kasrel

What are your thoughts on Twitter being named 2009 Word Of The Year? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Expand Your Network With Xing, The European LinkedIn

Posted on November 13, 2009. Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Xing logoIf you want to expand your network and gain global contacts, here’s a tip: join Xing.

Like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, it’s a social network for business professionals.

The European LinkedIn

According to the corporate overview on its investor relations page (it’s a publicly traded company), Xing has in excess of 8.3 million members and the platform enables communications in 16 languages. Now that’s taking a worldwide web perspective.

Xing has free and premium memberships. The freebie version lets you post your work experience, make connections, join groups, search for jobs and businesses as well as add applications. With the premium package you can send messages to anyone in the network and post jobs.

All that’s close to what LinkedIn does; however, you get a strong Euro slant with Xing.

Gain global perspective

I recently joined Xing at the invitation of Urs E. Gattiker, an enterprising gent currently situated in Switzerland, whom I have come to know through LinkedIn and Twitter. Urs heads up My.ComMetrics.com a tool for tracking blog performance. He’s a super networker and a savvy entrepreneur.

Urs has me co-moderating a new Xing group he started called Social Media Monitoring. Topics include analytics, benchmarking, monitoring tools and ROI as pertain to social media usage. It’s got a nice international membership, which will no doubt help flavor the discussions.

There are plenty more groups to join, and I look forward to gaining an even broader perspective on my chosen field of strategic communications. Mobile marketing, for instance, is more advanced in Europe than here in the States.

Though I am admittedly new to this platform it does look to be a good networking tool.

If you too want to connect with more people and companies, it’s easy – just get into the Xing of things.

– Deni Kasrel

What do you think of Xing? Are you already a member of this social network? If so, how are you using it?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Recommended Reading: Six Pixels of Separation

Posted on November 7, 2009. Filed under: Books, Business Strategy, Communications Strategy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Six Pixels of Separation (book cover) In Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. Mitch Joel recounts the tale of how in the 1500s the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez captained 11 ships carrying more than 500 soldiers to Mexico on a mission to conquer the Aztecs. Many fell ill along the way and others were intimidated while in foreign surroundings. When worried soldiers asked their leader about his plan for returning home Cortez responded by burning the ships. There was no going back.

New channels, new ways

Today, entrepreneurs and business marketers must contend with foreign territory, in the form of new channels, new platforms and new audiences that are upending old ways. Mitch Joel believes you can either cling to the past (a surefire route to eventual failure) or you can burn the ships and learn how survive in the new world.

There is no going back

YouTube, Twitter, podcasts, blogs, user reviews and other online options enable anyone to create content that can be seen by everyone.

The challenge is for marketers to connect with consumers in these channels in ways that are honest and meaningful and that enable businesses to monetize their efforts.

Losing control is a good thing

Change occurs so rapidly in the digital era we can’t know where it’s all headed.

While uncertainty unnerves some, Joel adopts a seize-the-day attitude.

He believes a world where anyone can say whatever they want about your brand or business is a good thing. After all, he declares, “You will see and hear the types of insights and comments you never normally have access to.”

Convert consumers into marketers (for your brand)

Brands have many options for building communities and Joel stresses that in the end it’s the quality not the quantity of the relationships that matter. Focus on creating an engaged community rather than simply going for heavy traffic.

Successful communities instigate word-of-mouth that builds exponentially through the power of networks. This scares executives who are afraid of losing control of their brand.

Joel argues that while you can’t control the conversation “You can control whether or not you take part. You can control whether you will encourage your consumers to be so passionate they actually start marketing your company for you.”

Dare to be bold: Open up your brand assets

One of Joel’s suggestions for how to instill passion in consumers is sure to raise eyebrows from old-school brand managers — he advises to openly provide “the tools they need to change your brand.” This includes access to logos, text, audio and video.

The old way is to control all those assets. It’s dangerous to let consumers have at your brand willy-nilly. Joel reckons consumers are going to do whatever they want with your brand anyway, so you might as well be a part of the process. By freely giving your assets you send a message that you stand behind your brand.

Mitch Joel walks the talk

New market dynamics shift communications from mass media to mass content. Joel’s view on how to create effective content that clicks with consumers is spot on.

That’s no surprise considering he writes a successful blog and has a popular podcast series, both of which are also titled Six Pixels of Separation (and of which I am a fan).

With those digital avenues, and with this book, Joel is an astute observer of human behavior. He understands how people think and react and knows how you can connect and contribute in order to get people to care about the same things you do.

Joel also runs a marketing agency called Twist Image. He’s an enterprising entrepreneur and a fair portion of his book offers insights into how self-starters can become their own media channel; and not just in the obvious ways, like starting a blog (though he does cover that). He explains how to create a credible personal brand, and how you can make that brand come alive in the real world by leading offline activities, like a PodCamp, a kind of self-organizing “unconference.”

Engage with a spirit of adventure

Six Pixels of Separation helps you recognize how moving from mass media to mass content is like exploring a new world rife with opportunity. It helps you gain the confidence to evolve with a spirit of adventure.

It’s inspiring, and yes, contagious.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of the ideas presented in Six Pixels of Separation? Do you agree with Joel’s burn the ships attitude? Maybe you have your own example of how you created a successful community and/or a personal brand. Please share. Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How To Fire Up Your New Product Launch

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

match on fire (bigstockphoto)How do you ensure a product still in development catches fire come launch-time?

Keep things largely under wraps, while simultaneously spilling a bunch of the beans.

A neat trick that takes finesse to pull off; one recent example is the rollout of Google Wave.

Limiting who gets to test drive

Not quite ready for prime time, there’s already gobs of chatter about the Wave, which is in limited preview. You must be asked to give it a test drive.

Invitees include developers and influentials — tech writers and bloggers being a big block here — who are in turn allowed to ask 20 additional individuals to join the fold.

Google’s tactic of limiting who gets a preliminary trial ensures invitees are quick to spread the word. To clue people in on the Wave, of course, but also, it’s an opportunity to infer, without really saying so, “I’m one of the chosen people.”  It’s a status symbol.

Anyone can peek under the hood

You can get a gander of the product by visiting the About Google Wave web site.

Google Wave logoThe site includes a long (80 minute) video presentation, originally given to developers, about this new collaborative communications platform that appears to be a souped-up combination of email, chat, photo sharing and other social media tools, with considerable real-time capability.

FYI, you don’t need to watch the video all the way through. The first part has demos and explanations in plain English. The rest is for developers who may want to build apps and other tools to work with the Wave.

If you’re not into tech talk stop after the first segment: You’ll still see what the ruckus is about.

Buzz builds

Meanwhile, buzz about Google Wave continues to build.

Mashable and TechCrunch have guides to the product. Lots of journalists and bloggers, including Mr. Web 2.0 himself, Tim O’Reilly, are getting the word out.

Computerworld claims the Wave is indeed innovative, but wonders if it’s truly useful in the real world.

As yet another tantalizer, you can request an invitation to Google Wave.

Follow the leader

Few businesses have a footprint as big a Google, where this kind of rollout has such immense impact.

No matter, you can still follow the leader. Here are the basic steps.

  • Unveil your upcoming product to select influentials. This group includes members of the media (both traditional and social media), prominent existing and/or potential customers, people who will eventually market your product, and others who communicate to audiences that can derive benefit from your product.
  • Inform invitees of their exclusive status.
  • Tell the general public you are giving pre-launch test drives to invited individuals (to elevate the status factor even more).
  • Post limited information about your new product, that anyone can view, showing how it works. The “you can look but not touch” approach creates anticipation and desire.
  • Tell invited influentials you are not simply looking for free PR, but want authentic feedback on how they perceive the product.
  • Listen to and absorb the feedback, both positive and negative.
  • Dangle a carrot to the uninvited indicating that you might let them take the product for a spin.
  • Gradually increase the number of invitees.
  • Launch product and watch the sparks fly.

Time will tell if Google Wave is a tsunami (or not).

Until then, the fire lighting up public interest continues to burn.

– Deni Kasrel

Have you heard about Google Wave? Are you one of the chosen few who gets to test the Wave? What do you think about Goggle’s limited preview? Can you see it working for other products? Please offer your thoughts. Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    About

    This blog contains strategies, tactics, news, advice, opinions and the occassional random thought

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...