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Social media “experts”, translated

Rudely excerpted, by me, from:

7 Things Your Social Media Consultant Should Tell You

BY ANJALI MULLANY | AUGUST 8, 2012

Full story (an excellent read):

http://www.fastcompany.com/3000052/7-things-your-social-media-consultant-should-tell-you

The Experts, Translated

How well do brands really understand social? We heard a lot of buzzwords–and a lot of uncertainty.

WHAT THEY SAID

"We like to listen."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We hired a 24-year-old to stand in front of a firehose of complaints."

WHAT THEY SAID

"That data isn’t available yet."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"That data is embarrassing."

WHAT THEY SAID

"We’re inspired by Coca-Cola’s social media strategy."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"Everyone taks about Coca-Cola’s social media strategy. By referencing it, we sound informed."

WHAT THEY SAID

"Our strategy is in line with our values."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We talk about ourselves."

WHAT THEY SAID

"We’re doing something very different."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We’re doing something very different from what we were doing in 1980."

WHAT THEY SAID

"We’re building community."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We promoted a hashtag once, and it was a little scary but seemed to work out fine."

WHAT THEY SAID

"We’re being authentic."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We’re extremely on-message."

WHAT THEY SAID

"We’re meeting customers where they’re comfortable."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"Nobody visits our corporate website."

WHAT THEY SAID

"Social media allows us to understand the pulse of the customer."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"We all get into a room and freak out."

WHAT THEY SAID

"This is all very new and exciting."

WHAT THEY MEANT

"Do you have any advice? We could really use some advice."

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Nokia calls Apple’s free stuff bluff… not.

Apple’s iTunes store has sold some 10 BILLION songs, currently at a rate of over a billion songs a year. Apple reports iTunes revenues as follows:

2006 : $895 million
2007 : $1.20 billion
2008 : $1.59 billion
2009 : $1.80 billion

Apple has insisted for many years that this is just a break even scenario, and that it doesn’t make any profit on this, and that it uses iTunes to sell more iPods/iPhones/iPads. Soooo, hard to believe, but a really smart bluff nevertheless. You’d really want to distract your competitors into sinking resources into a similar system without expecting any profit, or possibly even making a loss.

Enter Nokia. Remember, Apple’s true competition is not Microsoft, as many people believe. The fight is no longer about PCs; it’s about the pocket PC, the mobile phone. Apple’s biggest competitor is actually Nokia who is by orders of magnitude the biggest phone maker in the world (and the biggest camera and GPS maker). Despite all the hype, Apple’s phone sales are completely insignificant compared to Nokia’s… a fraction of a percent at best.

In Africa, the biggest growth market in the world, Nokia controls 40% of the phone market. Apple controls less than 0.5%. Today Nokia gave out some impressive stats around the uptake of its iTunes-like service, called Ovi. This online store includes neat maps and navigation tools, and a deep-and-wide music and application store.

Here’s what works: if you want to sell applications on to phones, forget about the iTunes store. For local and global  reach you really, really want to be in the Ovi store. Nokia straddles the globe as a runaway market leader in almost every phone market worldwide. Apple? Barely represented in most emerging markets, where all future growth is coming from.  Especially true in Africa, where Nokia  is the market share leader in almost every single country.

Here’s the clincher. In South Africa, Nokia  hands 70% of the money generated back to the application developer and Voda/MTN/CellC  takes pretty much all the rest. So Nokia is either running the Ovi store at a loss, or certainly without any possible profit. Nevertheless, Ovi user stats are climbing steadily upwards, which is the desired effect, I guess.

Rumours have never quite gone away about possible Apple iTunes profits.  Some are now guesstimating that up to 15% of iTunes $1.80 billion may be pure profit. It’s not just that Apple has managed to hide this revenue source, of course. A far bigger coup is that they may have mislead their biggest competitor, Nokia, into a building a massive, worldwide shop front and to give stuff away for free in a bid to compete with the phone minnow that is Apple.

Internet doyen and my reluctant mentor, Irwin Manoim, always knew content would be king. His analogy was with television. The first mega TV companies were RCA and Magnavox who made the hardware. Today the hardware companies have been wiped out and TV turned into disposable, generic products. What remains are the networks, the content creators.

Thing is, I reckon the smart people at both Apple and Nokia know this, and they’re looking to own the virtual, global hypermarket where you’re going to buy all your content in the future. I think the non-profit play that is iTunes and Ovi today is simply a clever ruse.

Six years ago I saw a prototype CELLPHONE in Korea which had a digital TV receiver,  100GB storage and tiny projector mechanism built-in. Which all fits in your pocket. The revolution will indeed not be televised. It will be downloaded. From a media hypermarket.

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Look up to see what’s coming down

Amazing how you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees, neh? While I was dragging my feet and mentally muttering about what exciting marketing projects I’d rather be working on, and what kinds of clients I aspired to having, I didn’t see gems forming right in front of me.

One client has merged their business with another and now we’re working on a digital re-branding campaign with new digital extensions.

Another is launching a line of exotic, but beautifully crafted, hard wood furniture, and we’re working out a new marketing mix for that.

Another is porting their static web site into a funky and dynamic WordPress environment we’re building for them, and we’re building them a contact databse that I thik is going to dramatically improve their business outcomes.

I love graphs, data and infographics, and I’ve spent the last 3 weeks researching the social networking market in 7 African countries for a corporate client. Amazing stuff.

The latest is working out an extremely edgy, guerilla campaign for an eatery with the most fanatically loyal customers and best word-of-mouth, viral marketing that most brands would kill for.

Geez, it’s all happening. It’s… happening! And i’m in the middle of the vortex of colourful brainstorms, tough judgement calls, testy but ultimately loyal clients etc. etc.

Yup, its definitely a glass-half-full kinda day! Bring it!

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Unleash Your Inner Guerrilla Marketer – Social Media Success Tips – Entrepreneur.com

Via Unleash Your Inner Guerrilla Marketer – Social Media Success Tips – Entrepreneur.com

Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term “guerrilla marketing” in the 1980s, defining it as an approach for “achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”

Follows an excellent article explaining in simple, practical terms how to use Facebook and WordPress effectively, and how it actually all works. The take away for me: spend one hour a day doing something constructive and business-related on social media platform of choice.

No problem.

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Digital IMConsolidated

In South Africa ad spend has moved online at an nerve-wrackingly slow pace and, despite the professed mandate of marketing executives to “get into something new” with their ad budgets, the tsunami of online ad spend just never arrived. It continues to edge nervously towards the digital realm.

Might not be such a bad thing. Banner and button ads, including those horrible Flash popovers and gimmicks, are a very poor bang for buck. Likewise Google Adwords. With fractions of a percent clicking through, and numerous studies demonstrating how efficiently netizens overlook online ads, companies are getting fleeced by so-called “specialist digital agencies”.

It appears that social media will be an easier sell for ad agencies. So now money that went into building overly elaborate and suitably ego-sized web sites will be diverted (at least partly) into guerilla social media campaigns, self-consciously hip digital branding campaigns and the like.

Hooray, the ad agencies and marketing directors can get right back into their comfort zones and go right on doing what they always wanted to do… and that’s IMC, the Integrated Marketing and Communications stuff that they milked for the last three decades.

I, for one, welcome the return to these kinds of core strategies because that is what digital marketing needs most desperately: the reconstitution of a marketing practice that got slowly torn apart by companies trying to ride each new Internet fad, which consistently delivered half-assed results. Good thing, then, that it only cost a fraction of a single TV spot.

So I welcome the re-emergence of old-school integrated marketing and communications strategies. I believe that this may finally unlock the true potential of digital marketing where the company’s Facebook, Twitter and video blog endeavours make it more accessible and accountable to it’s customers, which should drive traffic to it’s now much-improved user-centric web site, which should be populated with genuinely useful information and even some spicy opinion blogging, and offer links to it’s newsletter which it should cleverly use for market research, which its high-level people should openly discuss on unmoderated public networks etc.

The return of the IMC. One ring fence to rule them all. Shock! Horror! Turns out everything new in Internet marketing is not better. Or new. And maybe the revolution of corporate marketing will not be televised. Will not be televised.

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Save money with social media marketing

Here’s a piece of common-sense journalism about how difficult it is to account for time spent on social media in the workplace. In Social Media Is Not Free: Here’s Why , writer Dave Evans suggests that it is very hard to measure the value created for the company by people blogging, Tweeting and updating Facebook, even if is about the company and its products. It’s somehow easier to measure the hours of productive time “lost” to social media with managers posting blog entries and workers responding to customers through social networks or even by email.

Evans’ advice:

1. Schedule the social media inputs which makes it much easier to account for the time spent.

2. Don’t get into personal stuff during office time, even though the line between personal and work-related might be very fine indeed.

3. Get lots of people involved so it doesn’t all come down to one or other person. Spread the load.

4. Take it seriously. Don’t attempt to de-prioritise it as a discretionary part of your work activities. If you do, it will be the first to suffer when the going gets tough, but it could be the very thing that helps you build new business.

My advice:

There’s plenty of evidence that people involved in social networks trust the opinions and advice of others in the network, even if they barely know them. This might be related to a chronic, but not misguided, mistrust of traditional advertising/marketing/branding messages and corporate communications. Many don’t trust the opinions of so-called experts who often have some hidden agenda, or even the media itself who is rightly seen to be less than impartial and is often caught out sucking up its advertising clients. As a result the massive global spend on adverts and other promotional activities is becoming less and less effective in driving sales or brand equity.

The smart move would be to divert both financial and human resources away from those increasingly ineffective marketing channels, and plough them into progressive and sustainable social media campaigns. And that is how you count the cost of your social media campaigns, by offsetting it with the massive savings of a single print or TV which didn’t run to lukewarm response.

Seen this way you’ve just saved a whole lot of money by moving to social media!

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B your business

Apple and beeI live in a pretty “green” part of the world, so when a swarm of bees moved into our neighbours garden, talk was not so much about getting rid of them as about relocating them. The Bee Man came to get them. There was no fee for relocating the bees because of his clever business model…

  1. He collects the bees which he uses to re-stock his own hives. So it’s a boon to his business. Free stock? Yes, thanks.
  2. He then collects and sells the honey.
  3. In the summer he rents the hives to apple farms where the farmers host the bees to pollinate their orchards, in between making more honey.
  4. Apparently apples produced from bee pollination taste better than other methods, so the farmer expects to get a superior crop, which he sells at a premium.
  5. We eat a lot of apples in our house. You?
  6. At the end of the apple season the bee man takes his hives back home and continues honey production, restocking the hives with swarms that settle in gardens around our neighbourhood.

Neat.


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