Friday, 27 March 2009

Fast growing Zimbio

I heard that this thing called Zimbio was one of, if not the, fastest growing social network, after twitter. I must admit I'd never heard of it.

I had a quick look, and first impressions are that it's a celeb news/gossip site with some social networking functionality. As a member, you can submit articles or a blog. It doesn't seem to have the ability to establish a presence for brands like you can on Facebook etc, but again, I haven't checked it out properly yet. You can advertise on it though.

If anyone is a member and uses it, then it would be great to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Twitter starts to monetise

Interesting post by Jeremiah O on an initiative by Microsoft, Twitter and Federated Media on how Twitter is trying something called Sponsored Aggregation to monetise the service.

As I understand it, Twitter conversations by a group of Execs are aggregated into a site called Exectweets. My assumption is that it is brought to you by Microsoft, rather than Microsoft having editorial control over what conversations are shown. The Microsoft branding is very light - just the slogan 'Because it's everybody's business'. I actually didn't know it was Microsoft until I clicked through.

Jeremiah explains that ExecTweets is featured on the Twitter home page - although it hasn't reached mine yet - which I guess is the best way to get it in front of people

I am really chuffed that Twitter is finding a way to monetise as it means that it will be around for the long run. Plus, I actually find ExecTweet useful in its own right. Namely, the browse function when it comes to researching what the leading figures of different industries are talking about.

My only slight niggle is that myself and most people are know use Twitter through a third party app such as Twitterific or Tweetdeck. This means that you won't actually see the Aggregated Conversations.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Social networks overtake country population

Came across this post on Royal Pingdom that equates the size of social networks to country populations. For example, Facebook is larger than Russia and QZone in China is more members than Brazil has citizens.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Synchronised sheep stunt

This is genius from Samsung. V light on branding, but so entertaining you can't help liking the brand for doing something so cool.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Facebook now No.1 for engagement

I read an interesting post from Compete on how Facebook has over taken Yahoo and MySpace in terms of engagement. 

It makes sense. Facebook is set up to connect people online i.e. talk to each other, share stuff that's going on in their lives. This means people have to engage more with the platform. It's not just a matter of watching a video or reading a profile. It's that, plus loads more.

I think the change in fortune of MySpace and Facebook could be indicative of changes in our society. OK, so I'm no psychologist [unless watching Cracker counts as training], but MySpace is all about broadcasting yourself, showing off and telling everyone stuff about you. Very 'ego' [getting the hang of this]. Facebook is about sharing your life with people you care about [is that the 'super-ego' bit?]. 

As the shit hits fan economy wise around the world, maybe we care less about self expression and more about 'talking' to the people that are important to us. Which would explain the rise of Facebook. Or maybe it's just that on Facebook you can do more stuff, the UI is much neater and that it's much more of a utility than a showcase.

IMHO what this means for brands on Facebook [and other social networks I guess] is that they can't do the whole showcase thang and just talk about stuff they are doing. They need to think very carefully about how they will engage with people i.e. do the whole 'be useful to people' and 'two way conversation' thang. OK, that may be a 'sucking eggs' thing to say, but sometimes I like to remind myself.

Monday, 16 March 2009

New Facebook = more control over your info

Interesting announcement from Facebook on the new privacy settings.
As I understand it, you can now have more control over who sees what. You can make certain elements of your profile accessible to everyone if you want. For example, you could make your work info available to everyone, but keep your personal details or status updates just for your friends. Which is quite handy for pimping your expertise.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Things to measure in social media

As the butterflies already start to set in on the run up to speaking at the Don't Panic Social Media Conference [quick plug here], I've started thinking/worrying about what my stance will be on 'measuring social media'.

From what I've seen in the last few years and my many sessions at the Social Media Measurement Camp, there doesn't seem to be an industry standard way of measuring campaigns that run in social media, in the way the TV industry has TVRs etc. [It's unlikely there will be one IMHO]

So, I thought I would draw upon my recent experiences of presenting social media campaigns to clients and try and boil things down into those things that worked. When I say worked, I mean 'those things' that the clients understood and thought were useful things to measure from their point of view. [Which I guess is the most important thing.]

I've used a similar structure to traditional PR campaign measurement and the handful of times I've used this approach, it seemed to have made sense to the people in the room. You measure three basic elements that have a cause and effect relationship:

1. Conversation Triggers
These are the things that you do to start conversations. For example:
  • Blog posts
  • Facebook Page updates
  • Tweets
  • Videos uploaded
These go on to start conversations, which is the second element.

2. Conversations Started
As you might have guessed, you measure the amount of conversations created by the Triggers. For example:
  • Third party blog posts
  • Facebook Page comments/discussions
  • Replies to tweets and Re-tweets
  • Comments on videos uploaded
3. People Engaged in Conversations
Once the conversations have started, then you can look at how many and who are the people joining in the conversations. For example:
  • Comments on blogs posts [your blog and other blogs]
  • Fans of your Facebook Page
  • Friends on MySpace
  • Channel viewers on YouTube
  • Followers on twitter
The fourth stage would then to look at the Business Impact of the conversations. 
OK, so I still can't put a value on any of these, but I'm working on that with Econometric modeling team at McCann. I know it's not the 'unifying theory' but it's a start.
Any thoughts, better ideas, criticisms etc greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Fun twitter tool

My colleague Jim found this fun little tool called TwitterSheep. It basically creates a word cloud of your twitter followers, based on the info in their bios.

Nice tool and I'm trying hard to think how I can use it in monitoring or analysis.