Monday, June 27, 2011

The Top ten cliches in Social Media Presentations

This post is dedicated to George Parker, because it's full of piss and vinegar, like him!

10. Any mentions of the long tail, differences between traditional and new media, one-to-one v one-to-many
That Chris Anderson Long Tail article was written in 2004, 7 years ago!! And it came from something Clay Shirky wrote in 2003 (source). If you haven't worked out by now how to apply coherent new media thinking to a business, talking about differences in traditional and new media, or dabbling in that idea that there are so many conversation exchanges going on, these topic points aren't going to help you get there any quicker!

9. Earned v Paid v Owned media
This is a valid statement, there are benefits to understanding how the different types of media get different rewards. I'm just getting tired of hearing it. Especially when it creates this idea that they live in isolation. Bottom line - you need to invest paid media to help you drive to the owned.

8. Using that image of all the social media platforms.
You know the one I'm talking about. Half of them have disappeared. Don't use it.

I can't remember where I got this image from. If you know, let me know

7. Traditional media is losing the dominance it once had.
No shit sherlock.

6. Digital lives forever
It might, but with more proliferation (see point 5) the increasing volume and Google ranking algorithms will make it hard to find these content items buried deep in the content abyss. The value from everlasting content is minimal, so don't hang your hat on it.

5. What was then. What is now. The clutter, all that clutter.
Yep, proliferation. Lots of it. Web 1.0 v web 2.0 (even I'm guilty of that chestnut). The increasing volumes of content- you know YouTube has doubled since last year? Flickr is 13 times bigger than the Library of Congress (source). H.O.L.Y.C.R.A.P. All this stat info doesn't help me make a strategy or sell my product.

4. We no longer have control
I actually heavily contest this. If you get into the new media space, you must be prepared and anticipate potential risk points. Be prepared with what could happen in a positive and even more so, a negative sense, and know how to turn it back into a positive. It's not about losing control, it's about opening conversation in a managed fashion which brings benefit to a brand.

3. "Social media guru?! Don't call me that. I have no idea what I'm talking about"
Seriously?! Trying to sell yourself and you actually sell yourself short. New media isn't that new any more. You're either inexperienced, or you're covering your ass for an impending failure.

2. If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they'd punch you in the face.
Thanks Hugh MacLeod and that vast gaping void. If I see your little cartoon one more time, the next time I see you, I might punch you in the face.

1. If you build it they will come
When Web 2.0 reconnected with the Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams classic, cliche extroadinaire was born. With 62,700,000 results on Goolge for "if you build it they will come social media" we have a clear winner for the worst, bucket worthy cliche in social media.
But, if you build it, they won't come. There's lots of hard work required to get people to know you exist amongst the clutter of content (see point 5).

Feel free to add your own to the list!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is an influential blogger’s life finite? Does using bloggers as influencers have a use by date?

Social media is in its prime. There’s even a well established formula for activation and it includes finding influential bloggers within the selected category or topic of interest and then engaging said blogger to pimp your wares.
It’s so formulated that whilst writing this post I heard the news that a talent agency has been set up for Mummy bloggers. It’s great to have a filtering system but, and there are a few big buts:

There are only so many influential bloggers that you can use.
Only a few rise to the top and only a few become like the “Arianna Huffington” within their sphere of influence. If you’re outside the US, making sure your blogger hits your geographic target is another headache which limits the pool

That handful of bloggers is going to get stale.
Say there are 10 competitors in your category and there are only 6 blogs from which you can really choose to engage with- 6 that you really get a decent ROI from. Those 6 blogs are going to be tapped out for marketing endorsements pretty quick. And once you do one campaign what happens next? The idea of new media is to foster and grow relationships, but campaign based efforts don’t really cater to that. Plus, bloggers will continue to chase that dollar, they don’t care about establishing relationships with marketers over a long period of time, they want the cash that allows them to give up their day job.

As certain blogs grow in popularity, will it allow for new competitor bloggers to enter that same space?
This is tricky, but I think only a few new entrants will gain a spot in the top rankings. First to market and Google rankings in the digital era are pretty tough to beat. Liken blogs to the magazine industry and it’s very hard to find holes that new magazines can fill. The trick here will be for blogs to continually innovate and find new ways of presenting what they have to say. This will be the only way for new entrants to take some of the shine away from the bigger, more established blogs.

We’re facing an inherent problem and it’s going to get worse. We’re increasingly seeing consumers get bored of whatever it is that’s on offer in a new media sense. They just want to see the new thing and it has to be quick. Think about how quickly you get tired of failblog or damnyouautocorrect. Unless readers have an ongoing, invested relationships with their bloggers of interest, their revisits will eventually begin to wane.

So the question I ask is what happens next? Because I know I’m already sick of the whole blogger endorsement thing, various blogs only hold my interest for so long and we’re already seeing Facebook numbers decreasing, and they already came from a now defunct mySpace, which indicates jumping the shark is a given in new media.