Thursday, 28 October 2010

MySpace Launch New Site: Will it save them?

Well here it is… The new MySpace launches today and will begin rolling out globally over the coming month. But, the big question is, can this actually save them? Or is it just too late?
This is probably their first and last chance to claw back some market share from Facebook or risk continuing on the slide of death into oblivion. So, as you’d expect, this is a seriouly punchy revamp, in that the new site not only features a completely new interface, but it’ actually creating a fundamental shift in the entire MySpace direction from “A Place For Friends” to focusing soley on Gen Y (18-35) with a new vision to be “The leading entertainment destination that is socially powered by the passions of fans and curators”… or in English, they want to own social entertainment.
The biggest thing you’ll notice is the interface. They’ve moved to what is becoming a very trendy visual grid layout mixing imagery, video and topography. But really, the entire site has changed with everything from the home page right through to the profile / topic pages. Word is, they’ll have a seriously cool mobile experiencing launching in November too…
So, what do you guys think? Will this be enough to lure back GEN Y or is MySpace just too late?

Courtesy of Digital Buzz Blog - The Best in Social Business

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

GM Has Social Business Wins...How?

I recently met Christopher Barger (Director of Global Social Media for General Motors) via a comment on my blog post about social media marketing.
The article was titled “Who Is Winning At Social Media Marketing: Ford or General Motors?“, where I made some statements and observations that he didn’t agree with, (you can read the article and the comment here .. Christopher’s comment is the second from the top).
He also mentioned that they were about to embark on a social media marketing campaign which involved the Chevy brand and was titled “Chevrolet’s SXSW Road Trip Challenge” and I wrote about this in an article with the headline “General Motors Gets Into Gear With A Social Media Competition” which is described by the website as follows:
“Starting the week of March 8 (the week before SXSW), eight  teams of social media folks from across the United States will embark on a combination  road trip/scavenger hunt competition from their hometowns to Austin behind the wheel of some of Chevy’s newest products. Along the way they’ll need to complete 50 “challenges” in order to determine the winner. The winning team will be the one that not only has completed the most challenges, but has done the most interacting with their community on Twitter and their own sites”
One of the clever strategies was the selection of socially vibrant participants in the social media competition.
You can watch the following video to hear Stephen Clark from WXYZ “TV” describe how the competition would play out.
Christopher also offered to update me and my readers on the status of the competition and its results, so after a DM (Direct Message) requesting an update, he replied with the following response via email which provides a great insight into how General Motors is indeed “getting into gear with social media“.
So here is Christopher Barger’s update on the Chevy Social Media Marketing Competition:
“Hi Jeff — sorry it took so long to get these to you (he is obviously busy, which is a good sign.. my comment). Before you look them over, I want to add this caveat:  these are only short-term measurements of success, in my/our eyes. The numbers are great — I’m thrilled with the initial results and increased visibility and connection for Chevrolet.  But for our SXSW program to truly be considered a success, I will be looking months down the line…
If I look at things in the fourth quarter, for example,
  • How many of the people who began interacting with us during SXSW are still connected to and connecting with Chevrolet?
  • Do we see more RTs or see the messages/info we put out becoming more pervasive across Twitter or other networks?
  • Do we see more people watching our video content on FB, or embedding the YouTube videos?
  • How many of the people we met or started talking to during SXSW are coming to local Tweetups when we organize them?
  • Will any of them have asked for information on new Chevy vehicles or if we know if their local dealer is engaged in social networks?
  • Could we offer codes or something that allows us to measure whether anyone who started following us during this activation is actually buying a vehicle?
He goes on to say
If we don’t see continued engagement long-term — and it’s on *us* to make sure we do strong follow-ups and continue the relationships we started, continue to do both online and real-world interaction with our new friends — then this was a nine day marketing campaign that worked really well.  I would consider that a lost opportunity to go well beyond.
I think that by any measure we succeeded in improving Chevrolet’s reputation and perception in the digital/social world… it even bled into the traditional marketing world, with AdAge noting that we were largely seen as the festival’s marketing winner. But in the end, we’re all in business to do business… so I’ll be watching to see how the consideration and sales numbers play out too. That said, here are the short-term measurements:
Here are The 9 Reasons For Christopher and General Motors To Smile
  1. 61.1 Million social web impressions from March 8 to 21 (with overwhelmingly well above 98% of those being positive, as far as the reports and measurements that I saw) with
  2. 15,924 online mentions including
  3. 13,440 Tweets (this is more than double the number of tweets about Chevy in Jan-Feb)
  4. 1,216 blog posts
  5. 1,268 other posts (including comments, photos and videos)
  6. 33,500 page views through Facebook and
  7. More than 300 pieces of positive user-generated content posted to (including 250+ videos)
  8. Chevrolet added 8,764 fans to its Facebook page (up 12.7% in 3 weeks);
  9. @Chevrolet Twitter followers were up +68% in the month of our SXSW activation
Social web influencers like Guy KawasakiRobert ScobleJason FallsLeo LaPorteChris HeuerJoseph JaffeDom SagollaC.C. Chapman and others drove and posted positively about  the Chevy Volt, reaching hundreds of thousands more people than we could have reached on our own.”
On the traditional marketing side of the Chevy marketing campaign: Christopher said:
“More than 250 “traditional media” placements generated more than 80 million impressions; included USA Today, C/Net, AdAge, AdWeek, BrandWeek, Charlotte Observer, Detroit Free Press, WXYZ-TV, the Austin American-Statesman, and others. In some cases the road trip teams took it upon themselves to pitch media to generate coverage for the road trip *on our behalf,* without being asked to do so.
I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far — but please remember that to us it’s just a start.  I’m reserving final judgment on the program’s long-term success until I see how we do with the follow-up and long-term interaction.”
Christopher Barger
Director, Global Social Media, General Motors
If you want to tweet Christopher his Twitter address is @Cbarger
What I have enjoyed about the discussion on this topic is that the Americans love their cars and will defend their preferred car brand with a passion and the tweets and the comments about the topic have certainly displayed that.
So what do you think about the success of the Chevy social media marketing competition?

Courtesy of Jeff Bullas - The Best in Social Business

Sunday, 24 October 2010

John Cleese on Being Creative

Some very interesting thoughts from John Cleese on what he believes it takes to have a creative mind. - The Best in Social Business

Friday, 22 October 2010

What's the Difference Between Social Business and Social Media?

There's plenty (in fact 100's of 1000's) of blogs, groups, pages, twitter profiles and conferences every day around the world on social media.  Fact.

But what, for you is the clear difference for YOU between social media and social business?

Are they the same?
Are you confused?
Is it all about the ROI?
Does Social Business just sound less 'fluffy'

Let's open this up and get some answers - leave your comments below.. - The Best in Social Business

Here’s the First Startup Getting Money from sFund

And the money goes to… CafeBots, a friend relationship management company that will be receiving $5 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as part of sFund, a $250 million fund to back social innovation that was announced earlier this afternoon at Facebook’s headquarters.
CafeBots was founded by a group of folks from Stanford and purports to be the first company dedicated to “Friend Relationship Management.” We’re not exactly sure what that means yet, but we’re interested to find out.
FacebookFacebook, Zynga, Amazon, Comcast, Liberty Media and Allen & Company are all contributing to sFund, in addition to KPCB. “This investment from such a luminary in tech investing is an outstanding vote of confidence for our young company,” says Yoav Shoham, CEO and founder of CafeBots in a statement. “Social is the new search, and it’s a category ripe for innovation. Kleiners’ new S Fund will be a great launch pad for companies like ours that want to bring groundbreaking innovation to the social media space.”

Courtesy of Mashable - The Best in Social Business

Thursday, 21 October 2010

First Look: Starbucks Digital Network Is Here

Beginning Wednesday, Starbucks customers who use the free Wi-Fiat more than 6,800 U.S. company-operated stores will be greeted with the Starbucks Digital Network (SDN) — an exclusive content network curated by the company and designed to enhance the customer’s in-store experience.
Starbucks has been teasing SDN for months, but now that the network is about to go live we have a much clearer idea about the type of content provided and the purpose behind the digital endeavor.
Starbucks’s Vice President of Digital Ventures Adam Brotman sat down with Mashable in advance of the October 20 launch day for a complete tour.
“The vision,” he says, “is for Starbucks Digital Network to be a digital version of the community cork board that’s in all of our stores.”

SDN Content, Channels and Partners

We’ve known for some time that SDN would offer unfettered access to The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and USA Today, but that’s just scratching the surface. Starbucks has manufactured a rich experience around each of its six channels: News, Entertainment, Wellness, Business and Careers, My Neighborhood and the customer-personalized Starbucks channel.
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of each channel:
News: This section of SDN is comprised of Starbucks media partners offering premium or exclusive content to customers. The New York Times has opened up access to its Reader 2.0 subscription-based service for free, all content from the The Wall Street Journal is available minus the paywall and the exact replica of theUSA Today newspaper is accessible to users on the network. Newly signed content partner GOOD is providing early access to its infographics, so Starbucks customers can view them before anyone else.
Entertainment: Starbucks has populated the entertainment portion of its network with music, apps and books from Apple’s iTunes, full access to a selection of books picked by Starbucks and provided by the Bookish Reading Club (via an HTML5 reader), business e-books courtesy of New Word City, a kid-rich experience powered by Nick Jr. Boost and handpicked documentary films provided by SnagFilms.
Wellness: Health and fitness publisher Rodale is the primary content provider for this SDN channel. Customers have access to specialized content — not available to anyone other than Starbucks customers — from Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Prevention, Organic Gardening and Eat This, Not That!, along with a custom built “Map my Ride, Map my Run” application.
Business and Careers: Professional social networking site LinkedIn is making exclusive video and blog content available to Wi-Fi users in this channel. The network also provides LinkedIn job search and suggestions, and offers users a 30-day free trial for the premium account.
My Neighborhood: Starbucks is adamant about creating a localized experience to connect customers with the community around the store. The company delivers on this objective by serving up content to users based on the exact whereabouts of the store where the user is accessing the free Wi-Fi. Community fare includes local news from Patch and a look at nearby classroom projects that could benefit from small contributions. Foursquare users can check in via the web from Starbucks stores, andZagat makes available full ratings for restaurants in the surrounding area for free.
Starbucks: This channel provides a personalized customer experience for Starbucks account/card management and also amasses all of Starbucks social (Twitter/Facebook/MyStarbucksIdea) and digital properties under one umbrella.
We may be kicking a gift horse in the mouth, but one thing that struck us about SDN is that there’s almost too much content to go around. In some aspects the experience seems saturated and overwhelming, so customer’s may not know where to start and partners providing premium content may find some of it gets overlooked.
We broached the subject with Brotman who explained that Starbucks will be tracking user activity via web analytics to get a sense of what users respond to. The network is designed to feel fresh each time you come back and the three promo tiles on the home page rotate to engineer more than 40 unique experiences.
It’s a priority for Starbucks to ensure that customers have easy access to content, and “that all the content partners are feeling like they have an equal shot,” Brotman says.

A Premium Mobile Experience

SDN certainly packs in a variety of content that makes for interesting material to explore on a laptop, but the network was also designed with the mobile user in mind.
Users accessing the network via mobile devices and tablets will benefit from the HTML5 smartphone-optimized network. SDN for mobile is also touchscreen-friendly, offering a hands-on, swipe-able experience.
More than 50% of users logging on to the free Wi-Fi are doing so from mobile devices, so the company was motivated by usage behaviors to build a mobile web experience just as good, if not better than, the standard web experience. Content was also designed to be “snackable,” so the mobile user can get value even while waiting in line, says Brotman.

Where Yahoo Fits In

While SDN is cloaked in the Starbucks brand name, Yahoo actually plays a pivotal role in the behind-the-scenes network experience. Yahoo is the coffee retailer’s technology partner on the initiative, so it not only developed the site at Starbucks’s behest, but it’s hosting the network, powering the search experience and providing content as well.
Yahoo will also serve as a promotional partner for SDN and market SDN on its site in the form of banner ads.
The two partners hooked up after Starbucks approached Yahoo about the initiative. “They’re so strong in the three areas we knew we needed help with — technology, content and search,” says Brotman, “so we came to them … and they were eager.”
“They seemed excited by the local and unique nature of the Starbucks Digital Network,” explains Brotman on why Yahoo was eager to work with the trendy coffee retailer.

The Bottom Line is Choice

One would assume, correctly so, that Starbucks has not gone to trouble of providing free Wi-Fi and a premium digital network without thinking about how it could profit by these pricey additions. If we didn’t know better, we’d presume that Starbucks was charging its partners for placement. Instead, as we’ve disclosed before, there’s no money changing hands — unless SDN users make purchases from partners, in which case there is a revenue share.
What it comes down is a matter of choice. Coffee and tea drinkers have a myriad of options, so for Starbucks it’s about motivating the customer to choose its stores and its digital network content partners by association.
SDN is designed with two key objectives in mind, says Brotman: enhancing the customer’s experience and better engaging customers while they’re in the store.
“Tens of millions of customers are coming in to our stores and logging in to our Wi-Fi on a monthly basis anyways. They’re coming in because we provide this great experience — good music overhead, quality food and coffee and the opportunity to connect with your friends or the baristas … What we hope is that this is a nice complement to that experience.”
The engagement piece is centered around what Starbucks can do with location and perhaps reveals a bit more about Yahoo’s motivation to participate. “We’re really excited about the fact that we can leverage the location-based nature of the site to connect our customers with the communities around the stores,” he says.

Friday, 15 October 2010

25 Great Examples of UK based Facebook Pages

A few weeks back I wrote a blog post that detailed a few tips surrounding building and maintaining pages for brand and companies within Facebook, a post motivated by a blog post I saw on AppStorm. In the meantime the guys from eConsultancy have also written a detailed blog post surrounding some brilliant examples of Facebook pages that have been created by brands. But its not just these two though, there are hundreds of blog posts that cover the same topic – but there’s a problem - all of them predominantly cover either pages that have been created for US or Global markets.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that these posts are really useful as they provide useful insight into the direction and the technical limits in which you can take your Facebook page, but whats happening in the UK? Are we that far behind? With the UK being such prolific users of social media I can’t believe that this is entirely the case.
With this in mind I’ve created a list of 25 great facebook pages that have been designed and are maintained to specifically cater for the UK market – lets not underestimate them – collectively they have an audience of over 4 million! It’ll be really interesting to see how these pages, and other top brands such asMcCainBritish Airways and Amazon that are less developed within facebook develop there offering, evolve over time and importantly create a strong UK focused network within facebook.
AutoTrader – 19,889 Fans
Avon Cosmetics - 40,902 Fans
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade – 80,621 Fans
Blackberry – 163,068 Fans
Budweiser – 36,279 Fans
Burger King - 15,964 Fans
Citroen – 17,094 Fans
Cornetto – 20,228 Fans
Dominos Pizza – 47,409 Fans
Dr Pepper – 231,643 Fans
Esprit – 145,668 Fans
Estee Lauder – 13,672 Fans
Honda – 8,558 Fans
iTunes – 673,340 Fans
Kit Kat – 149,277 Fans
Malibu – 50,297 Fans
Nokia - 35,599 Fans
Pizza Hut – 82,070 Fans
Save the Children – 12,142 Fans
Skinny Cow – 49,200 Fans
Sony Ericsson – 20,128 Fans
Starbucks – 348,148 Fans
The X Factor – 1,587,237 Fans
Toy Story 3 – 361,544 Fans
xBox – 100,154 Fans - The Best in Social Business