I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.
I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.
Web Strategy Summary
Deployment of social networking technology in verticals such as military, vets, and the Philipines continues to occur. Soon to e president Obama to publish weekly YouTube videos. Expect to see an increase in social networks adoption around politics and government. Jerry Yang removed from CEO role.
Funding: Social Network Multiply Raises $5 Million
Florida-based Multiply, which boasts 10 million users (not sure how many are active), has raised funding through equity investment, and seeks to take on the Filipino market.
OpenSocial: Social Networks vie for Developers
Platforms continue to seek developers to build on their containers and platforms (aka social networks that can have apps built on it), from Bebo, Hi5, MySpace, and Facebook. Google inserts themselves right in the middle by trying to be the open protocol. Also, continued adoption occurs for the OpenSocial protocol after 1 year of launch.
Partnership: Facebook and SalesForce team up
It’s key to watch how businesses will be impacted by social networks, and this announcement, to enable games and productivity to work together. Expect to see a new category of applications to be built that meet both these needs.
Growth: Twitter’s rapid growth
Comscore tracks an increase of 25% more tweets in twitter due to political debates, as well as as ‘hockey stick’ curve of growth.
Facebook bans racists
Launch: Liveworld launches light edition
Reaching the mass markets, LiveWorld launches a lighter version of their product, although the price is indicated in their press release, I’ll find out from Bryan and team.
Future: Social Networks to predict your buying behavior
Perhaps the holy grail for retailers, the ability to predict consumer buying behavior based on demographics, psychographics, technographics and social network behavior.
I received a tweet from Monika pointing to this animation that was created by VizEdu, they created an animation showing how I used my blog to create a vendor product catalog for the white label/community platform space (its still a top viewed page). I started this list before I joined Forrester, as I saw a trend, and now I’m covering this space as an analyst.
I find blogs more effective in creating my many lists, as I can filter the comments and look for quality –sometimes wikis get jumbled with vendor pitches and not everyone treats quality the same way. Do note that I only use social media for some aspects of research, the majority of it leans on the proven methodologies put in place before me.
For those wondering where the Wave report is on this space, I’ve submitted my draft to my editor, it’s a long process, and we’re still plugging away, thanks for your patience.
Oh and funny how some of the spam comments showed up, I’ve since removed them, but like the song about the cat, they keep coming back, the very next day.
While brand backlash (one example of a Groundswell) from social media tools are certainly an impact to the reputation of companies and how their consumers react, there are many different levels of severity from each.
To help gauge the differences, I’ve constructed these categories of brand backlash storms (leaning on the Hurricane categorization)
Category 1: Consumer revolt and use social media tools (Twitter, Blogs, YouTube) to tell their story, the brand doesn’t flinch, and there is no mainstream media coverage. Examples: A weekly, if not a daily occurance.
Category 2: The backlash extends beyond just social media tools (Twitter, blogs, YouTube), the brand makes changes based on consumer feedback, and coverage extends to mainstream media and press. Examples: Louis Vuitton brandjacked, Exxon Mobile’s Twitter experience.
Category 3: Consumers use social media tools to spread backlash and there is considerable mentions from mainstream press. the backlash is more severe resulting in significant changes from the brand (hiring, firing, processes, policies or new teams put in place). This becomes a case study for social media books and is often discussed in social media culture. Examples: Dell Hell, Comcast Cares, Kryptonite Locks, Wholefoods CEO.
Category 4: Number three plus short term financial impacts to the brand resulting in reduction of sales, revenue, increased costs, or impact to stock price less than 30 days. Examples: Apple Stock temporarily sinks from blog rumors.
Category 5: Number three plus brand backlash from social media tools resulting in long term financial impacts to the brand including reduction in sales, revenue, increased costs, and most importantly, stock price lasting over 30 days. In the most extreme cases, it causes closure of the business or bankruptcy. Examples: None.
I hope this puts things into context when we see brand backlash incidents occur.
If you weren’t following what was happening online this weekend (yes, yes, ok you’ve got a life) there was a Groundswell against Motrin’s latest viral advertisement that was rejected by mothers in Twitter, spread to blogs, and YouTube. I’m not a mom, so at first glance I didn’t understand the offense, but apparently, it was condescending to moms who perceived wearing babies in a sling as ‘fashionable’ accessory, and who didn’t wanted to be labeled as an ‘official mom’. The original video, which was trying to lean on the light side, took to many generalizations with mothers and resulted in a revolt capped by this backlash video.
As much as I’m interested in what folks are saying, allow me to provide an aspect that most others aren’t: short term numerical numbers. (it’s the analyst in me)
The Motrin Moms Backlash by the Numbers
I watch the twitter storm start on Saturday (thanks zsazsa), and watched it carry on through the weekend, I’ve taken snapshots of various analytics and social media tools now on Monday morning.
Above Screentshot: Twitter stats indicate bump in mentions of “motrin” and “motrinmoms”
Above Screentshot: Twitscoop’s Twitter Analytics shows peak for “motrin” notice there’s no mention before the ad.
Above Screentshot: Twitscoop’s Twitter Analytics shows peak for “motrinmoms”
Above Screenshot: The Motrin.com site is back up on Monday 11am PST, after being down for a few hours, with the public apology –which I think is handled well
Conclusion: It’s not as bad as it looks…yet
In summary, there were some major blips in social networking tools like Twitter, (it was the top trending topic over the weekend, meaning many saw it that weren’t directly involved) however it’s not likely to cause enough of impact search engine results for “motrin”, be a mainstream press story, or cause damage to stock price.
Overtime, these search results may fade away, depending on how Motrin reacts, and how mothers decide to press the situation.
Although brand backlash certainly wasn’t intention, I’m sure that some at advertising firm who created the campaign will chalk this up as a success (it got influencers talking about the brand –who previously weren’t), although the PR group certainly has been dealing with this firestorm all weekend.
Always test your campaign with a small segment first
Always have staff on hand to be prepared to respond during the weekend
Don’t launch a campaign right before the weekend unless you’re prepared to respond
The participants have the power, so participate
For better or for worse, more influencers are talking about Motrin than ever before
I’d love to hear your comments on the fiasco, what short term and long term impacts does this have to the brand? Update: more stats from Freshtakes
Obama has declared he’ll be using YouTube to provide weekly addresses to the nation and the world, I want to start taking snapshots of the analytics in order to understand the changes that are happening to our world. Each generation has it’s medium, and this one is the web –let’s see how our leadership grasps this.
The following is the most subscribed channels of all time. I use this as a primary measure as if someone subscribes it means they’re asking for updates whenever new content is published, preference. The following is a snapshot of numbers of the most Subscribed (All Time) YouTube Channels.
YouTube’s Top 5 Most Subscribed Channels of all Time:
This skit act from a very hyperactive spaz who had too many moutain dew and twizzlers publishes ‘burst’ style videos featuring non stop high-pitched clips stringed along designed to keep the attention of pre-teens, teens, and the occasional web strategist. Fred is now the star of the New TV conference. Notice the few amount of videos Fred has produced and high viewership.
Joined: October 01, 2005
Videos Watched: 16,203
Channel Views: 19,314,418
The only ‘mainstream’ media channel to make it to the list, this shows TV clips and shows as a secondary medium to the TV screen. They’ve published a whopping 8k videos, a scattershot strategy, far beyond any of the other top 5.
Joined: August 23, 2006
Channel Views: 18,214,102
The only mainstream music group to make the top 5, the Jonas Brothers Music publish vids, behind the scenes videos and tour updates.
Joined: May 11, 2007
Videos Watched: 1,474
Channel Views: 18,845,718
The reason I’m posting these channel numbers is because I’m watching carefully the changes that will happen from Obama’s promise to be a YouTube president. He plans on publishing weekly videos from the white house to provide a human face as well as accepting feedback in a conversational way. Let’s stop and think about mediums used by past Presidents. Franklin D Roosevelt understood the power of the radio (during an economic crises), and was able to reach millions of Americans in ear shot, John F Kennedy harnessed TV, used makeup to keep his cool over his sweaty opponent and beat out and reached millions of American homes to beat out Nixon by 100,000 votes. Now, Obama is using the internet to reach millions around the globe, all at no additional cost of publishing than Fred. Here’s Obama’s stats on his official channel:
Obama used social media tools for awareness, fundraising and word of mouth marketing. He has committed to doing weekly YouTube videos and publishing on Youtube and Change.gov to the nation and the world, here’s the first video.
Joined: September 05, 2006
Channel Views: 19,705,785
Change Dot Gov
Also, this channel has just been created this past week, and is just getting started…
Joined: November 05, 2008
Channel Views: 29,779
Fred vs Obama
Although Fred has almost the same number of Channel Views (both 19million) as the next president, Fred has 640k subscribers, 4.6 times more than Obama’s 137k subscribers. Of course, Fred’s preteen target audience is more likely to be regular YouTube users with registered accounts, they’ve all opted in for his videos.
I’ll be tracking Obama’s YouTube stats as we move through the next four years, in the meantime, here’s the first of his weekly YouTube video.
Saturday, November 15, 2008 06:00am EST, at the time of this embed, there are only 3,858 views.
This blog is focused on web professionals, and to be that, I’d like for you all to have jobs. Given the state of the economy there are three tips I want you to start on immediately, regardless of your rank, industry, or location.
There are actually great opportunities for those during a recession for professionals, restrained resources and competition will force you to become excellent in whatever you do. You’ll be forced to learn new skills and be more efficient than you’ve ever before. Some layoffs will leave opportunities for vertical growth and leadership opportunities.
You’re going to need a leg up in the market whether it be in your company, outside of your company, or to win new clients. You should start this process now, a simple three letter acronym that you should repeat during your day to yourself. Ready?
Growing your Career: Do at GUT Check:
G: Grow Your Network Before You Need Them
Nothing is more sad that seeing someone getting layed off and groveling to their non-qualified friends and family the need for a job. After this, they’ll go to their professional network to help and network with others, but the look of desperation is evident –no one wants to be hired out of pity. Be prepared.
Therefore you should always be building your professional network, espicially when your job feels secured. There’s really no excuse as many real world networking events are free, but if you’re in Juno, err Juneau Alaska, you can heavily lean on the digital tools, they’re also free. You should start by building your online profile in social network sites, finding the communities most tied to your industry, then reading, then answering some of the questions in forums. The trick here is to add value, not just ask for help, demonstrate your expertise by answering questions in an intelligent way and helping others. If you’re a web professional, start with my Facebook group, or if you’re a social media professional, I created this one for you. I’m not scalable –but networks are– so you’ll have to connect with others around us to grow.
U: Uncomfortness Leads to Growth
When you look at a candidates resume, and you see (esp in web industry) they’ve not grown in the last 3-5 years with their skillsets (not skillets), you ought to be worried. In a tough market, employers and clients want self-starters, those that go beyond the regular call of just doing the minimum requirements. Being Uncomfortable means trying something new, and eventually growing.
When I was an intern right out of college, I made a promise to myself to bug everyone in the IT department to teach me a new skill or task. You’d be surprised how thankful they were that someone so young wanted to learn from them. Each day, you should do the same, find someone and ask them to show you something or teach you something new in your career. What am I doing? I spend two hours each morning reading and blogging before I look at email, and I just started Guy’s latest book, Reality Check.
T: Tout Your Successes
Getting found online is part of the game, recruiters are going to do web searches before they purchase time on my job board, so you want to easily make yourself found. By this time if you’re a web professional and you don’t have your own personal domain I’m concerned for you, what are you waiting for, it’s only 10 dollars to register and 5 a month to host at some places.
If you’re worried about looking like you’re trying to find a new job, you can use your initials and just list the industry that you’re working in to protect your identity. If you’re still concerned, rather than post your resume on your own website, keep your LinkedIn profile updated with the higlights.
At industry parties and events I always ask folks: “What do you do” it’s surprising how folks are unable to articulate what they do, they beat around the bush, are self-deprecating, or try to avoid the topic all together. Instead, develop a single sentence describing what you do, practice your delivery, and learn how to ask an open ended question to trigger a conversation.
One caveat, this does not give you the right to be a raging egomaniac on your blog or website (sorta how I fear I come off sometimes) but is the chance for you to list what you’re capable of doing, what you’ve done, and what you can do for others.
Everyday I want you to do a GUT check, practice these skills, build your arsenal, don’t hesitate but do it now. Are you an HR professional, career development expert, or just learned a helpful tip along the way?? Now’s your time to leave a comment here with some other tips to demonstrate your own tips. Leave a comment or suggestion to help others.