How Video Goes Viral…Cool Infographic

This cool infographic, shared on Mashable today.

Mashable Video Goes Viral

Cool Infographic on How Video Goes Viral

Qwiki is Amazing

Qwiki is an amazing new multi-media search engine that creates a narrated mini-movie of your search query on the fly. Assuming this takes off like it’s trending in interest (and it’s still in alpha) this will be an important new signal for brands to understand and leverage.

TechCrunch Disrupt Winner Qwiki Hits No. 1 On Google Trends ‘Hot Searches’ In The U.S..

Social Networks: Harnessing the Power of Groups to Change Society

The internet is now deeply embedded in group and organizational life in America, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Researchers found  75% of all American adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization and internet users are more likely than others to be active group participant, with participation highest among users of social networks.

According to the study 80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. And social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants.

This isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Just in the past week, the dictator of Tunisia was  toppled by an uprising that started with a man who set himself on fire in protest to this rulers injustice, which was then recorded, posted, blogged about and spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, the Arab world is showing tremendous interest and concern in the event because they’re worried such uprisings, fueled by the social web, could spread to their nations.

What we’re witnessing is not just the power of social networks, it’s the power of Reeds Law , which describes the ability of large networks, particularly social networks, to scale exponentially, thereby serving has a conduit for almost instantaneous information transfer to the masses. Add mobile phones in this mix and you have a powerful channel for revolution. The established top-down command and control hierarchy’s in society are tremendously  threatened by this ability we now have to connect directly with one another…and they should be. Look what happened in Tunisia? This is not an isolated incident.

If the social web has the ability to impact governments and nations this way, what hope does a brand stand…other than to embrace change and become a part of the conversation?

6 Critically Undervalued Social Media Success Metrics | social media ROI | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert

I thought this was a really useful post from Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert blog on some simple social media metrics you can put into place right now.

I was particularly interested in Jay’s simple tutorial on how to create a Share of Voice report and the ready-to-go tools he made available to create a Share of Voice report. I intend to immediately incorporate this into our content marketing service delivery.

Thanks Jay for practicing what you preach. Another great example of how creating content creates fans that convert into customers.

 

Infographic: Most Content Sharing Occurs on Facebook

Mashable posted this cool infographic this morning based on research from the sharing widget AddThis. In 2010 Facebook grew as the number one destination on the web for sharing content, outpacing all other sites and sharing vehicles. Still, there’s lots of sharing going on, with a variety of tools used.

 

Infographic Showing How/Where Content is Being Shared

 

 

 

Social Media: Past, Present and Future

Been meaning to post this for a couple weeks but the holidays just seem like such an appropriate time to blog about the ghost of social media past, present and future, don’t they. I thought this was a pretty compelling presentation by entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist Mark Suster, presented at the Caltech MIT Enterprise Forum in October.

His presentation is a pithy take on where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re headed with the social web. His main takeaway, at least from my read, is that the rise of massive social networks such as Facebook and Twitter inevitably means that fragmentation is on it’s way. The social web is already starting to splinter into more vertically aligned interest groups (i.e. the Birds of a Feather” effect).

This fragmentation of the social web, he finally points out, is why Mark Zuckerberg remains paranoid (after all, where is AOL or even Yahoo! two titans of the early internet today?) and why right now is one of the greatest times since the last wave of digital innovation to work hard and innovate. Great, inspiring stuff.

SocialPastPresentFuture

Mobile Virtual Goods Generate 4X More Revenue Than Ads

There’s gold in them ‘thar hills of virtual stuff. According to data from analytics firm Flurry, mobile virtual goods are hot. So hot, in fact, they’re far surpassing the revenue generated from mobile advertising.

The study, conducted using data collected from leading iOS social networking and social gaming apps, shows that in September of ’09, out of close to every $2 of mobile revenue… either advertising or virtual goods…over 2/3rds went to advertising. Just one year later, not only has the amount of revenue grown significantly, the amount going to virtual goods…swords, gold coins, respect points or plum trees for farm plots…has shifted dramatically to where virtual goods now account for $8 of every $9 in revenue. And, because Google’s Android Market does not yet support in-app purchases or micro-transactions, the data doesn’t include users from this rapidly expanding platform.

Virtual goods sales were already going gang busters on social sites like Facebook. Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan Securities video game analyst, reports that social gaming revenue has grown from approximately $600 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2009. Further, he forecasts that social gaming will generate nearly $1.6 billion this year, and grow to more than $4 billion by 2013. That’s a lot of quarters for plum trees on your Farmville farm.

The convergence of social and games will continue to expand their reach into our lives. In fact, social gaming is reaching a tipping point and with Wal-Mart and Verizon now selling iPads, the size of social gaming’s audience will quickly surpass prime time television viewership.

For marketers, this sweeping technology, entertainment and behavioral change represents tremendous opportunity to create highly engaging content built around the core premise of your brand, then invite consumers into a branded experience that extends far beyond your physical product or service. In fact, maybe it’s time to start thinking beyond the five “P’s” when it comes to marketing. Maybe it’s time to add a “V”. Seems plausible doesn’t it…the brand manager of the new realities has to think about Product, Price, Place, Promotion and Virtual. Can you imagine what a virtual version of your brand or brand experience would be, could be? If not, you should start dreaming. There’s money to be made for the imaginative mind.

Social Network Content Creation Has Plateaued

Forrester, the research company that some claim started to whole social media marketing frenzy a couple years ago with the publication of “Groundswell” and their social technographics profiling research and tool, just released their 2010 social technographic global tracking data. This post from Mashable summarizes the $500 research report.

The social technographic profile research categorizes online behaviors into seven activities, none of which are mutually exclusive: Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives. Based on their most recent findings, although social network joining continues to grow in the U.S. and globally, the number of people actually creating content has plateaued. No real surprise here.

There’s always been far more people willing to stand in line for the Saturday night movie than to actually script, film, edit, score and distribute it. Or write a book. Or an article. Or, you name it.

Face it, it takes a lot of work to create content and ultimately, you have to have a passion driving you or you’re just going to give up to the path of least resistance. So, although digital tools and distribution have eliminated the cost and professional training requirements once inherent in content production and the internet has made distribution free, there’s still that matter of time and talent.

At the end of the day, time is the one thing that’s perishable. You can always make more money. You cannot make more time. And, while if you don’t possess the talent, there’s a certain truth to being able to fake it til you make it, that only goes so far. Look at Paris Hilton. She doesn’t really possess any discernible talent and her shine for just being famous is wearing thin.

Ultimately, the talent pool is not just limited on the creation side of the equation. It’s also limited on the attention side.  This is why there has always been and always will be a limit on the number of Steven Spielbergs, Stephen Kings, John Mayers, Tom Hanks and other creative talents the world can pay attention to.  While there may be many talented performing artists and content creators in the world, we can only give so many individuals our undivided attention for so long.

Top 5 Emerging Brand Trends on Facebook

This was an excellent and comprehensive Mashable overview of the five major trends brands are using to connect, transact and serve customers on Facebook. There’s some very impressive innovation going on in the space, lead by some very big brands like Ford and Nike. What have you seen brands doing on Facebook that impresses you?

Study: Unhappy Customers Prefer Apologies To Cash

Here’s some interesting research you can put to work in your customer service efforts. According to a recent article on Inc.com what customers want when they have a bad customer experience is…a good, old fashioned apology. Researchers worked with a large eBay seller (10,000+ sales a month) and offered different customers who left negative feedback one of two exclusive options to reconsider their complaint:

1. $4 to $8 to retract

2. An apology

Forty-five percent of participants offered an apology withdrew their complaint while only 23% of participants offered cash withdrew their complaint.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind, it’s not just what you do that matters. It’s also HOW you do it. An automated “robo apology” is not going to cut it. Their suggestions?

  • Reach out and touch someone…use the phone when possible.
  • If you have to use email, sign it from a real person, with a title and real email address they can respond back to.
  • Don’t use a form letter. Make the reply real, short and sincere.

The bottom line is, people expect an automated response and a useless excuse when complaining to a giant company. You stand out from the crowd when you treat your customers like people instead of numbers and costs.

And, remember, each of your customers has a Facebook or Twitter account, a blog, a mobile phone with plenty of social connected apps. Unlike past eras, when customers fumed in silence, today if they don’t like something, they have the power to broadcast their displeasure to the world, which also can show up every time someone searches on your company or brand. Try to put the impact of negative brand equity on your balance sheet.