Information Maven: Greg Meyer

Marketing Strategy, Product Thoughts, Social Networking, Sports

Who won Super Bowl 49 on Social Media?

Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/parksjd/16393969066
Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/parksjd/16393969066

Who won Super Bowl 49 on Social Media?

We all know it now — in Super Bowl 49, The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots left their bodies on the field as they battled for the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy. While all of metro Seattle is still smarting from the loss, and New England continues to celebrate, I thought it would get my mind off of the game to take a look at the results from the Super Advertising that took place during the Super Game.

$4.4 million was the going rate for this year’s Big Game, so clearly the biggest winner was NBC — the owner of all of that valuable advertising time. And many of the brands that advertised during the game generated a lot of engagement on social media — so I thought it would be interesting to compare the Battle for Super Bowl Attention across a number of different channels for all of the Super Bowl 49 advertisers.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Media Mind, Social Networking

Keep Twitter Weird

https://twitter.com/Laser_Cat

Twitter is the best open social media network there is. Unlike Facebook – which openly states that they control your newsfeed – the basic idea of Twitter is that you follow and find the news, content, and people you want to see. That’s changing – partly because Twitter is a chaotic mess – and partly because it’s easier to consume “channels” of pre-packaged content rather than to find the curated ideas or hashtags that make Twitter great.

Twitter is weird. It is a place where you can find almost any interest represented. Twitter contains bots, it contains parody accounts, weather forecasters, pundits, celebrities, and regular people. And for the most part they all use Twitter in similar fashion – because they have to. Limiting posts to 140 characters remains a brilliant idea because it forces people to be creative and focused. Recent ways that people have changed the form of Twitter have been to use photos to increase the visibility of tweets and to use longer form “Tweetstorms” to express their ideas, stringing together 140-character ideas into longer proto-essays.

Twitter is also free. The combination of free and weird is not likely to produce the predictable revenue stream justifying billions of dollars of valuation. (Although you might look at some of the political movements that have expressed themselves on Twitter and rightfully conclude that there is a billions of dollars of societal motivation happening on Twitter, and that it’s just not monetizable yet.) So what would help Twitter to make money while keeping the service quirky and weird?

In the spirit of a Tweetstorm (where this idea started), here are a few ideas that might help to keep Twitter more open and less like the Walled Garden of Facebook.

1/ #KeepTwitterOpen by reminding #Twitter that in-stream purchase ads > controlling tweets that we see

One of the best ways to #KeepTwitterOpen is to remind Twitter that most people would prefer to be able to buy things from Twitter advertisers to pay for things rather than having the timeline that we either meticulously (or not so carefully) created get selected for us. It’s neat to have an area called “Trending” because that’s a way for people to learn about unexpected things. It’s not so neat to have promoted Tweets for things you don’t care about show up in your tweetstream.

If I follow a brand, I might want to buy things from them right from Twitter. And if there’s another brand out there who would like to engage with me, I’d rather that they start a conversation with an @ reply rather than serving me a promoted tweet or an ad.

2/ #KeepTwitterOpen by creating paid/advertorial curated streams (the Best of Twitter)

It would be nice if Twitter lists worked well. They’re a pain to read and to use unless you use a client that specifically makes this easy. I for one would rather have “advertorial” curated streams – something akin to a sponsored list – to show the best items on a topic. What, you say? #Hashtags are the way to do this – they are organic expressions of people’s tweets on the same topic. And hashtags sometimes also get spammed – it’s hard to know what you’re reading and whether someone is an active participant or just a troll.

Curated streams on a topic or an event are the future of social media – Twitter should figure out how to do this well and then charge a small event fee or a monthly subscription for the “best of” feed.

3/ #KeepTwitterOpen by creating reports on the way people use Twitter and selling those

Analytics are cool. Learning more about the way that people use social media is really compelling. If Twitter isn’t already creating specialized reports for individuals and companies based on the way that people use the service, they are missing out. These reports would be most useful when categorized by “People Like You” or “People in Your City” and would be less interesting to find out “things your friends favorited” since you might already be seeing this sort of content anyway.

4/ #keepTwitterOpen by reminding networks and publishers that many people voluntarily spend time on this network

Twitter has great engagement from the people who use it. Publishers who try to tell Twitter “what to be” and make “experiences” using the network are missing the point that social networks are … well … social. They consist of conversations with people and brands using this unusual format. Twitter has a private and public conversations happening at the same time. It has Tweets and SubTweets. And Twitter is confusing and wonderful and horrible and great. It’s a picture of human nature. Please keep Twitter weird.

Social Networking

Can you spare 5 bucks to fight Diabetes?

Fearless Riders

There are lots of things you can do with a fiver.

Please donate a fiver (one day’s coffee, a bus ride, a sandwich) to support research to fight Diabetes.

Fight Diabetes.

Diabetes runs in my family. We can eradicate this disease in our lifetime. I’m doing my part by riding in the Seattle Tour de Cure on May 11. I would really appreciate it if you can give what you can to help. Over the last several Tour De Cure events, I’ve raised over $5,000 for Diabetes Research, and I’d like to make that number a lot higher this year.

Please go here and give what you can today.

—————————-

Update #1 on 4/8 – $1739 raised toward the $2500 goal! This is great progress and I am looking forward to doing even better – if you haven’t already chipped in I would love your support.

Customer Development, Life Hacks, Social Networking

As a community manager, how should you be using Twitter?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/2761252333/
photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/

Imagine you are a community manager and today is your first day promoting the brand. How should you use Twitter? You might be overwhelmed with the river of information and wonder what are the “right” answers to questions like these:

  • How often should you tweet? And should you retweet?
  • How do you decide to follow people on Twitter? And should you unfollow?
  • Should you care about your follower to following ratio?
  • Will people share and discuss your content?

The Best Twitter Strategy (doesn’t exist)

I think the best Twitter strategy (and really, the best content strategy overall) for a community uses metrics like these and doesn’t live by them either. It’s important to measure your activity, and you should explain why you are participating in a channel.

Here are three core beliefs I think are important to build community on any channel:

  1. That you should share relevant, interesting content with your community and your industry;
  2. That the best content is sharable by nature because it teaches and informs;
  3. And that you build an ongoing community by writing and sharing that content.

Community=Actions + Beliefs

You can’t build a community on beliefs alone, so here are some tactics that are useful to consider when you are engaging on Twitter and elsewhere. The act of engaging in conversation means that you should do more than just share your own posts or your own news. You should ask questions. You should always respond to conversations, even when they feel difficult to start or to continue. And you should understand that Twitter is a fluid, changing medium.

The “rules” for engagement are changing constantly as well. Here are some ideas to consider to help you build the kind of community you want. Post as much as you want to – and understand that this may drive some people away. Follow as much as you want to do – and understand that the dynamics of Twitter favor a high follower to following ratio. For your next 10 posts, tweet 1 about yourself, 2 about your firm, 4 about your industry, and 1 just for fun.

Be A Human.

When you reinforce your brand message in the style and tone of the communication channel, people come back. And they talk to you. You should talk back to them and engage in real conversation.

So are all of those metrics up top important? Yes, and they are not the only thing you should consider. You should build real relationships offline with people whom you meet online when you building a community on Twitter or elsewhere. That interaction at a conference or an event brings a community to life. In the meantime, share great content and make sure you talk to the people around you (offline and online.)

Marketing Strategy, Media Mind, Social Networking

Why #Brandbowl Matters Just as Much as the Superbowl

photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhjohnston/
photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhjohnston/

Today, people around the world will be communicating on social media and sharing their ideas, snark, and observations about (arguably) the world’s most important day for advertising spend. Of course, we’re talking about the Advertisements shared during the Super Bowl. The fourth #brandbowl might be one of the best places to observe this phenomenon as it plays out in real time. The event, originated by Boston agency Mullen and now hosted by Boston.com, invites Twitter participants to share their thoughts about the $4 million spots that will be shown during the commercial breaks of the Super Bowl.

Why #brandbowl matters

There are two main things happening on Super Bowl Sunday: there’s a football game to determine the Championship of the National Football League and there will be many simultaneous parties happening where the largest single audience outside of the Olympics will be gathered to celebrate America’s unofficial national holiday over Wings and Beer. And there is a separate competition for bragging rights over the most striking advertising of the year, as agencies attempt to one up each other with sentiment, spectacle, and humor. (And there will probably be the usual smattering of movie trailers, in-house local ads, and “we couldn’t figure out what to do, so we ran an old ad” punts).

The Biggest Audience, so what should you show?

The Brand Bowl matters because it’s the biggest single mass audience any brand is likely to get in the age of the Internet. It’s the opportunity to break out and create a memorable national event on the order of Apple’s famous 1984 ad.

Except that most of the time, the ads shown in the Super Bowl are so strident (either in their interruption, their “edginess”, the quest to have an ad so sexy or violent that it’s “banned”, or just their general stupidity) or bland in their attempt to reach a mass audience that they are easily forgotten and don’t even trigger a memory of the brand at hand. The amount of money spent is staggering, when you consider that the $4m to get your ad on the air is just table stakes.

The Value of Real-time Conversation

So #Brandbowl is an amazing real-time narrative of that process to go along with the “official” Superbowl Ad result articles that will be paraded around in the coming days (and this year, many of the ads were released early so that they could be reviewed, and potentially build additional buzz even before the event.) It’s also the only place where you can get people trash-talking about commercials in real time. It’s entertaining, funny, and sometimes even sublime. I look forward to seeing you there today.

Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Mobile, Product Thoughts, Social Networking

Why Vine and Other Short-Form Video is Important

Redvines Punning with Vine - a New Form of Ad?
Redvines Punning with Vine – a New Form of Ad?

Video is not just for Cats

When Twitter announced the Vine product that allows you to share 6 second videos with friends, you may have thought as I did that the whole genre of app development was getting a little too specific. “Why would anyone want to share a short video with friends?” was admittedly my first thought, and oh was I wrong. In the last week I have seen some amazing content on Vine that included: a stop-action movie of a “magic 6 ball,” a visual postcard from India, and some other very clever uses of video that caught my attention, made me think about short video as an art form, and challenged me to reassess my original ideas about Vine.

Why does Video Matter?

Short-form video is important because

  • The sound and movement gets your attention
  • It doesn’t take long to download
  • It can be personal, broadcast, or just something entirely new (a serial told in 6 second chapters?)

The first reason short-form video is vitally important (especially in this format) is that Vine was designed from the beginning to be social and mobile. Video is inherently interruptive in nature — both in the combined use of audio and video that commands your view — and the visual dopamine hit you can get from seeing something novel and interesting (and no, not talking about Vine’s porn problem here, as I think that will fade in view over time) is fulfilled very very quickly by Vine. The fact that you can fill a few seconds of your time with interesting content is a great sign for Vine.

We Communicate Visually

Short-form video is also important because it’s an evolution in the way that we communicate with each other (both on a one to one and on a multicast basis.) Because Vine is owned by Twitter, it’s reasonable to assume that the Vine features will percolate into Twitter over time, and the idea of making both a video for an individual person or for an audience will develop. My first impressions of this medium are that it’s compelling because it’s novel and also because it’s not too much work to discover some amazing, creative work.

Where will short-form video go from here? We’re in the early days, and short-term video seems well suited to survive (and thrive) as a third screen. If the tablet is the de facto second screen to the computer or Television, then the mobile-only video will have a place as well. I’m looking forward to seeing visual content that moves back and forth across these different visual modalities like a gigantic visual treasure hunt. And Vine would be a great way (if you could geofence it) to provide visual clues to a scavenger that only pop up when you’re within 50 meters of the target. The possibilities are intriguing, particularly for brands that want customers to engage via mobile.

What’s Next for Short-form Video?

Short-form video is here to stay, and Vine is an interesting first step in moving the animated gif into the mobile age. Because of the distribution that already exists in the Twitter ecosystem, I’m certain that Sponsored Vines are only a few clicks away – and by the way Twitter, if you can target these ads to me based on the people or brands with which I follow and engage, that will make those Vines more interesting to watch. You can find me on Vine – I’d love to see what you’re doing there – and in the absence of profile pages, watch this 6 second video of my dog

Agile Marketing, Customer Development, Customer Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Social Networking

How do you quantify the value of an online community?

Online Communities are similar to and different from their physical counterparts
photo courtesy of http://flickr.com/photos/portland_mike

What’s the value of community?

How can you define both the idea of a community and the value of that community for a marketer?

A physical community can be hard to describe, and hard to grasp, as Phil Bartle suggests,

“we can not see a whole community, we can not touch it, and we can not directly experience it….Like the words “hill” or “snowflake,” a community may come in one of many shapes, sizes, colours and locations, no two of which are alike.”

An online community is a strange thing – it’s a hybrid of an idea (a shared space that people experience through their computers, tablets, and phones) and a thing – the interaction of that community in many channels (both online and offline.)

I propose a simple definition for the kind of community that marketers care about – a community is a place where people talk about and to the makers of your product. One of these communities happens online (we’re not not talking about channels – we’re talking about relationships with people)

Communities provide a place where you can have a conversation about the meaning and purpose of your brand, promote new ideas and products, and learn more about how people feel when they interact with you and your team. They are also places where you can guide the conversation, and not control it.

And by the way, how can you evaluate that?

Once you’ve defined the idea of a community, you need to find out who’s participating there. And establishing some hard and soft measurements of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will help you measure your progress so that you can know (both directionally and absolutely) whether anything is changing in your community and who’s talking about and to you.

One of the first things you need to do for your community is to learn more about the people who are already there. Who are the existing influencers? Where are they talking now? To whom are they talking, and how often do you engage with them? There are lots of tools and services that can help with this process, and if you stay focused on the idea of activating your 1000 true fans or identifying the 1% of web visitors who contribute the most content.

Ok, so get talking. But that’s really just the beginning. Continue reading