Category Archives: 2.0

Twitter Teaches Facebook How To Brand

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

This weekend a Phishing scam erupted around Facebook and Twitter. For those fortunate enough to have not been introduced, Phishing is the act of acquiring someone’s information by misrepresentation as a trusted entity. In this case people received email messages from their friends’ Twitter or Facebook accounts who had been duped by the scam, clicked to a site that looked like your Facebook or Twitter login page and entered their name and passwords. Then all their friends got direct-messaged and solicited and so on. If it got you, don’t feel too badly; even some of the most experienced get scammed sometimes.

Quickly Twitter engineers and operations teams responded to defend their service integrity and community. They also alerted their friends at Facebook about the scam. And they whipped up a quick blog postfor reference/search benefits. Then a new slug of text appeared between the Twitter enter form and a user’s Twitterstream: “HEY!If you get an email masquerading as a DM with a link, it could be Phishing.”

Did they have to go to these lengths for their community? These issues come and go so quickly most people wouldn’t notice. To this point, the message was gone a couple of hours later. And, think about what it takes to make a change on your corporate website. Now consider what it takes to change the User Interface of a webservices application. Nothing changes that doesn’t absolutely have to. So to answer the question above, Twitter clearly felt they needed to do something for their community and brand.

I thought it was interesting that the community was also helping out on Twitter–and therefore in Facebook for those that update their Facebook Status with Twitter–by warning others of the threat. In a way, Twitter can counter viral activity because its citizens wish to keep it pure. In a way, it’s the “diseconomy” or “deviralization” of a person or issue at work. There are those that believe Multi-Level Marketers can better exploit a platform like Twitter, but I disagree. The community will gang up against exploitive behavior faster than it can regenerate.

Protip: If you think something’s not right on Twitter you can also “Follow” @spam to direct-message them with suspicious activities or accounts. They’re great at removing the weeds and debris from their garden and rely on the crowd to help with vigilance.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

Meanwhile, the silence at Facebook was telling. By my count and without altering their current message carriers Facebook could have warned its community in half a dozen intuitive ways. In its socialgraph, inbox, activity notification bar, status feeds, profile alerts and even in its ad space it could have notified users of the emerging issue. Instead, it acted more like a large, traditional institution that either can’t marshall the resources and authorizations to react in real-time or won’t as a matter of policy.

I’d say for this round, Twitter acted more like the Real Brand and served a good lesson in brand-as-service for its larger SocialMedia bretheren. Here’s a good link if you want to take your own precautions against Phish feeding, courtesy of Twitter.

Update: CNET’s Rafe Needleman reports that this Phish situation is ongoing. Seen many tweets requesting to be notified “if you get a DM from me.”

Update: Brittany Spears gets hacked on Twitter by the Physhing scam.

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Ben and Jerry’s Killer Facebook Ad Integration

Facebook Election '08 Application/PageCheck out this page. It’s content right? This is the Election ’08 page on Facebook.

It’s got your voting booth location mash-up powered by Google Maps, some info graphics and even a gift/badge for you to wear your colors–Red or Blue. It showed volumes in real-time as people clicked the “I voted” link on their Facebook profile page after visiting the polls. I tweeted about the page in the morning of election day when 1.1 million people had already been counted and watched the numbers swell each hour until the polls closed. Nearly 5.5 million acted making it one of the highest daily-use apps to date (think about how few YouTube videos get that much play in a single day, let alone month for comparison).

The genius is in the Ben & Jerry’s map/application integration. This is content, but it’s also a delivery mechanism for the advertising sponsorship by Ben & Jerry. Simple. Natural (as in additive and not interruptive). Brilliant.

In this case you were able to find the local Ben & Jerry’s store to get the free icecream cone they were offering for those that voted IRL and in the integrated link you could also send a “vote cone” virtual gift to your friends in Facebook.

For Ben & Jerry’s it’s a win across the board. The association is perfect for a brand that has in its roots social change and political activision. That future analysis will likely attribute SocialMedia and Facebook’s influence on 14mm new young voters heavily skewed to Obama as a determing factor in the race can’t hurt the brand. And the message was party-neutral regardless of the results. These are the kind of brand-fit filters every connection planner should find: Content, Context and mission.

As a campaign tracking mechanism, free cone redemptions will be an easy metric. Virtual gift talleys will also be telling as will traffic to the Election ’08 page. Without a doubt, Buzzmetrics and other influence trackers will be tallying total blog mentions and related viewership. And, I’d love to see the total impressions this campaign earned from the SocialGraph as well. We’ll reach out to Facebook, the brand and related agencies to see if we can get the numbers. And, if you’re related to the brand and know, feel free to share below.

Ben & Jerry’s won big on this campaign–even before all the numbers are in–by hitting the right tone of placement and pitch. I learned about new retail locations in a relevant way. I also didn’t feel like they were selling me. In fact, they were offering a number of value-exchanges I couldn’t get without them entering my social interactions on Facebook. Consider how different this is from the “Market Stall” approach of fast and casual food retail where the strategy based on ad spend (shout louder, sooner and with a better offer than your competitors) dominates their consumer communications. The Market Stall has 90%+ of ad spend concentrated on TV and traditional media in a cluttered, interruptive market place. Ben & Jerry’s essentially opened a new market away from the noise, clutter and lack of relevance of the traditional approach.

Every brand marketer should be asking themselves and their agencies: What’s our occasion(s) that should be so integrated with Facebook? And then buy the date to lock out your competition and outplay them.

Added: was reminded that I previously posted about Lee LeFever’s Common Craft show,  “SocialMedia in Plain English” and it was the metaphor told via Ice Cream retail. Fun conincidence. All our SM Answers Haz Ice Cream.


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SocialMedia with Obama As President

Ellen McGirt of Fast Company asked a couple of questions about the new administration and SocialMedia which she summarized in a moving, personal post that combined fresh reactions to the President-elect and perspective from a wide range of respondents. The two questions and my quickly prepared response follow: Continue reading

How Do You Do Digital Focus Groups?

Digital Focus Group research is a subject we’d really like to hear your thoughts and input on. Occasionally we commission unique Focus Groups to vet our digital content and distribution strategies. Usually digital is tested along with all other media in larger Focus Groups covering multiple cities and target segments. There are pros and cons to both.

Without delving into the merits or demerits of the Focus Group format, we find them beneficial and additive to our thinking on the whole. There’s always a gem or two of Insight that we can synthesize from participant attitudes and comments. And we expect to get a thematic “zinger” comment that flavors our understanding of the target or our proposition. An example of this is when exploring attitudes about where we could take a certain beverage category a few years back, one participant called it a “chick drink” in less polite terms and that moniker flavored our consumer understanding and marketing approach.

One of the challenges we face in digital is that many Focus Group facilitators, while comfortable with the advertising creative and media of traditional media–a familiarity developed over 60 years of representative experience–simply can not successfully moderate around digital and emerging platforms. We’ve consistently seen digital thinking represented in the “Integrated Media Focus Group” as flats or print campaign equivalents. Or, even in animated form, presented as a website and not as an element in a holistic digital marketing approach. It’s challenging to take the armada of activity around which we go to market and have most moderators–let alone consumers–be informed about various digital media and interpret feedback on digital. Without good interpretation, it’s difficult to get a feedback loop that drives to the most insightful places.

The reason we do less focus group research in digital is because we have the laboratory of real time data, A/B testing, instant SocialNetwork surveys, campaign qualitative research and search as a proxy for intention and needs. At the same time, we’ve yet to find a better substitute for a client to participate “behind the glass” with our team hearing directly from consumer groups what they think, what informs their opinions and how they’re willing to behave around a variety propositions.

So, here’s the request and challenge to you: Who are the best at directing in-person Focus Groups for Digital and/or what other alternatives to you use? Let’s use the comment section below to create our compendium of resources.

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Somethings About Influence

I’m going to try something different for “Share of Voice” based on my previous post about spending more screen time on other social media tools besides the blog. Periodically I am going to post an edited and organized bundle of links around a related topic. There are some heavy bloggers who can’t stand re-link population and I respect their perspective for the most part, although I think it’s a wee bit elite and assumes the masses follow the firehose of information they consume daily.  Bless them for their original links; as you’ll see below it’s why they become “Super Influencers.” I think I’ve changed these enough with context and commentary to justify this different form. If these links get used it will show up in my log-files and confirm their value. Consider this a beta-post format for me.

So let’s get this started. The link-theme today is Influence.

The Power of a Good Referral-Social Influence

Digg CEO, Jay Adelson, talks Facebook Connect & Collaborative Filtering

Good article from TechCrunch, great developments and quality video presentation at the end of this article. When you’re done reviewing, think about the game-changing implications this can mean at an enterprise and community level. Digg or similar service can essentially become our digital editorial staff. With the network effect, it could also be one of the largest unpaid distribution/traffic-driver. This is big.

Super Influence

Universal McCann’s Take on The Groundswell (16mb pdf file will open in new window)

Key takeaways about “influencer economies,” super-influencers and the democratization of influence. Titled, “When did we start trusting strangers?” this multi-country, multi-age longitudinal study supports a lot of what we already know about Web2.0 and the SocialWeb with a few new areas of focus. I like the super-influencer target and can imagine a future study that can assign volumetrics or “valuemetrics” to these brand movers.

Collective Influence

Check out this directory of presentations from last week’s Web2.0 expo in NY; it’s a great collection of people who consistently influence and inform my views on digital. Some gems in here. Some of my favorites:

  • Clay Shirky’s “it’s not about information overload it’s filter failure”
  • David Armano, “Micro-Internactions,  how brands can influence consumer behavior in a 2.0 world”
  • Mike Lazerow, “Why Brand Advertisers Will Be the Biggest Beneficiaries of Social Media and How You Can Participate”
  • Jay Adelman, “Social Collaborative Filtering”

Reactions? Do you like these collections? Comment below or contact me directly via twitter, facebook or any number of other social/direct paths.


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Radiohead Recognition for Art, Innovation

Radiohead has received a lot of attention and press as a result of their forward-thinking approach to consumer engagement, marketing and sales in the digital channel and age. Last year, the band gave away their music for a limited time with mixed results based on who you heard it from. Clearly these guys aren’t one-hit-wonders in music or in marketing innovation. In a “make tech cool in a popular culture sense” move, Radiohead and Google are partnering on data visualizationas you can see in the House of Cards video below. Data geeks can download the inputs, create their own versions and post to the Radiohead YouTube site. The partnership also includes an iGoogle homepage themeand embeddable gadget for the video. Pretty simple, but effective stuff, especially when backed by the distribution of Google. This video has already earned over 2mm views as of this posting.

How can this approach work for digital marketers in other product categories? Consider the ways innovation can create a halo effect for your brand and seek out those innovations that tie closest to your brand values. Many brands require repositioning or reappraisal, and your marketing message and approach can be as talkable as any singular message crafted. In this case, the marketing is the message.

Share your thoughts or ways you’ve used marketing innovation to earn reconsideration below.

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Social Bookmarking from CommonCraft

For some reason, Social Bookmarking inquiries have been on the rise from clients lately. Not so much a demand for custom applications/marketing programs, but more “how does it work?” For some it’s a basic question of relevance and benefit. For others it’s a big-think question about its role in the armada of Social Media activity with which they engage, recognize, reward and participate in social spaces around their core values and brand attributes. Here’s a little three and a half-minute primer from Lee LeFeever from The CommonCraft show.

Done viewing? Good. The video is a good beginner primer for context. There are significant benefits to the micro-content generated from bookmarking beyond what Lee and company laid out here awhile ago. Micro-content formats include tags, descriptors, titles, date/times and more. Some bookmarking includes rating to qualify the quality of the content and its relevance. Any and all of these micro “events” can be captured as data exhaust to the benefit of a larger communication program.

As with much of Web 2.0/Social Media, a small percent of the community using these tools create a disproportionate amount of the value. Many of these creators see it as their mission to improve the taxonomy in their ecosystem. Others use it as a simple syndication/publishing tool, as Lee and team propose.

Killer app for collaboration: I’ve set up an account for my wife and I to co-index content around Celiac, which act as reference from our phones for dietary allowances and restrictions. That way, when we’re out shopping and reading package ingredient labels at retail or looking for a place to dine we have reference articles, blog posts and user reviews at our fingertips.

You can also view or subscribe to my bookmarks and find them in the sidebar of this blog or in my Friend Feed stream.

How do you use bookmarking? Please comment below.

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Salesforce+Goole Apps Integration cont’d

In a follow-up to my April 8 post about the Google/Salesforce combination–the best example of many we’ll soon see–Paul Helmick tweeted a link to this video today:

Enjoy and discuss below.

Flash+Search+Embed=Influence, Amplification

The big news around the Real Branding water coolers and wikis is Adobe and Google’s announcement about searchable Flash. The subhead is that all text within your Flash files will now be read by Search–it doesn’t currently include images, flash videos or fed content such as xml files, but may soon enough. I don’t use this space often to geek out about platform applications, but this is huge news.

For years we’ve had to manually insert tactics to inform the search cloud what we were doing in our Flash engagements and elements to prove relevance and earn natural placement. Think of Search like army ants scouring the land for food, devouring all living organisms in its path. To the search ants, Flash was pretty much dead, at best something to explore on its surface.

When you combine the richness of Flash communications with the reference ability of search and the sharing influence of widgets and applications to be shared you change the potential reach of your message.

We’ll watch closely to see how Search absorbs and prioritizes all this new content and different behaviors. We may be closer to a concrete engagement measure than ever to evaluate the benefit of engagement on desired actions and goals. I think we’ll find both influence and amplification for services, brands and entertainment the outcome of these announcements. To learn more about what’s in and out in Google’s crawling activity, check out this Q&A with their software engineers.

Inspired Thinking

There are more resources surfacing inspired thinking thanks to Web 2.0. YouTube videos catch like wildfire thanks to ratings, sharing, embedding and bookmarking. The Flickr stream–even the one in the right column of this blog–has uncovered beauty and provocations. Digg gets inspiration voted to the surface. And in my daily twitter stream–also displayed in the right column if their service isn’t down–offers posts from those I follow that never fail to inspire. In a previous post I applauded those that take the common and infuses it with inspiration. Today, there’s no lack of sources of inspiration nor ways to find it.

Here are a couple of inspired snacks, courtesy of Dave McClure:

 Jan Von Holleben, Flying

And 37 Signals:

Thanks to Rodney Rumford for tweeting the BMW Gina vid/post. Awesome inspiration about thinking around a challenge.