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.
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Web Strategy Summary
This was a very busy week, so focus on this summary to get the highlights: Facebook connect extends, Google friend connect in hot pursuit. Bebo relaunches with new design encouraging social sharing, promises upgrades in near future. Ning removes adult content from website, leaving opportunities for others. The big trend? many systems are connecting to each other, data, and influence spread
Mobile: MySpace launches live streaming video
Just a week after Google announced it’s live streaming video features for mobile devices, enabling users to access shows on demand from their mobile devices
Trends: Is Social Networking Sinking?
This contrary view is an important one to revenues, layoffs and valuations, social networks may be waning. The other key measurement to look at should be adoption and usage –I expect them to increase during a recession.
Contest: HiveLive’s contests to help Tigers
This promotional contest, is a great way to tell the world about HiveLive’s flexible platform, and to do some good in the world. The winner for this contest is going to help Conservation International build a community site to benefit Tigers.
Security: Risks of Social Networks
This very long PDF discloses the risks of the social networking space, with a slight legal bent. I read as much as I could, it’s a bit dense. Takeaway: most don’t realize the personal, financial, legal risks involved as social networks intersect business, personal, and family lives. On a similar note, this very scary post demonstrates how easy it is to create a fake account and dupe people.
Redesign: Bebo’s Redesign Encourages social sharing
Much akin to the trend of newsfeed designs that were initially lead by Facebook, Bebo ads new features in their overhaul, perhaps most importantly is that they made promises to improve the major features, applications, and to integrate with AOL.
Vision: Where is Facebook headed?
In a classic Techcrunch style, Arrington interviews Mark Zuckerberg on his vision for products, revenue, developers, and valuation (oh and profile pics). With Facebook focused on so many different areas, this leaves questions in the minds of brands –as they are unsure where to focus.
Products: Physical Meets Virtual
At some conferences in Amsterdam, a new physical tool called a ‘Poken‘ has emerged that allows people to connect and trade information. What ever happened to Palm Pilot beaming?
Security: Facebook Virus Tears Through Network
The virus that we saw last week was apparently a strain of a previous one, I received one of the messages and am now very cautious about what to click on.
Predictions: What if Facebook Connect and Amazon were tied
Shiv Singh from Razorfish demonstrates what could happen if social networks tied with eCommerce and other websites in order to make web experiences social.
Connect: Pluck connects with Facebook
Facebook Connect allows third party sites to become social, and Pluck (of Demand Media) has initiated this with SFGate and other sites. This means leaving a comment on SFGate can now show on your Facebook news page, if you choose to do so. Understand what this means for Corporate Websites in the future.
Case Study: Failed Social Networks
This list gives the losers of the social networking space, starting with Wal-Mart’s the hub. Expect this list to grow during the recession as revenues dry up.
Identity: Facebook Connect Across the Web
Mark blogs about Facebook connect, which is designed to connect websites with their social graph on Facebook, the impacts to brands are astounding –corporate websites can now be social. Of course, the competition between Google and Facebook will rage over your friendships. Need more info? Watch this video to learn more.
Ning to remove porn for networks
I met with the Ning folks yesterday, which they briefly discusses removing adult content from their network, rSitez moves in for the pluckings and offers migration options.
Culture: Drunken Photos Cost Women her College Degree
This poor soul made a bad choice in uploading photos and patronizing her teacher –resulting in her loosing her college degree. Takeaway? Use permissions, realize that uploading is publishing and don’t be an idiot.
If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.
Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, then share it with others as I continue to update it.
Today, I’m going to play doctor, in fact, I’m a specialist: A corporate blog doctor. Most corporate blogs aren’t trusted, and here’s a very simple heuristic health check to gauge whether your corporate blog is going to be trusted by your readers.
This is a quick and dirty scorecard, if I was going one for a real Forrester report, it would be far more conclusive, weighted , detailed, quantitative, and scientific, but today, this is just a quick example, to illustrate a point we already know, let’s get to it, please, turn your head and cough:
Health Check: How Trusted Is Your Corporate Blog?
1. Writing style:
How you write indicates how real you can truly be
Great: Blog is written in a human voice
Bad: Content looks vetted by corp comm
Horrible: Rehashed press release
What does the blog talk about? does it matter to marketing –or customers?
Great: Discusses the lifestyle (or workstyle) of actual customers
Good: Discusses the wider industry topics
Horrible: The corporate blog exclusively talks about the company
Perhaps one of the most important attributes, how human and real is this blog, or is it giving lip service?
Great: Admits when wrong and discusses in open the short comings of the company and product and demonstrates in public how it will be improved
Good: Admits shortcomings but combats and defends the criticism, also known as spin
Bad: Only discusses the company in the best possible light, and may link, but not take on critics
Horrible: Never discuss the short comings of the company on the blog
4. Linking Behavior:
Links are the currency of the blogosphere, it indicates you respect someone else’s opinion so much that you’re willing to send them away from you.
Great: Links out to other sources, even competitors or critics as well as the next listed
Good: Links out to other sources, where other discussions are occurring
Bad: Primarily links to corporate created content 25% of the time
Horrible: Primarily links to corporate created content over 50% of the time
5. Customer Inclusion:
Do corporate blogs allow their customers to partake? or are they only second class citizens
Good: Allows for customers to guest blog, or includes snippets of their experiences
Bad: Content is only published by employees
Allowing for feedback can instill more trust
Great: Comments enabled and published instantly
Good: Comments enabled but reviewed causing time delay
Bad: Trackbacks only
Horrible: No comments allowed
7. Comment Moderation:
Blogs that allow for disagreeing comments are more real –and interesting.
Great: Comments (other than spam or off topic) are allowed, including direct disagreements
Bad: Negative comments are censored or altered
Horrible: No negative comments allowed
While more isn’t always better, having a steady rhythm of content is important
Good: A steady publication rate of posts appropriate to the speed of that market
Bad: Posts appear at a random rate, often starting off with apologies for not posting
Horrible: Posts appear to either promote the company during an announcement –or to combat a competitor
What’s missing? leave a comment
What other categories do you think should be criteria? Leave a comment and I’ll add it in, and credit you.
Update: Joe Wilcox from Microsoft Watch suggests that ‘story telling‘ be an attribute to consider. He makes a good point, but I could add that under the content, or writing style. Not all blogs need to tell stories, some are blogs for product updates, or even support, but I get his point, thanks Joe.
The Doctor’s Diagnosis:
Strong specimen, keep at it: If you’re tallying up your corporate blog (you should ask your readers to help, so you’re a bit more unbiased) and you find that your blog is receiving many good or great scores, in fact over 75%+ of them, you’re on the way to be one of the 16% of trusted bloggers.
On the way, but go back to the gym: If you’re getting borderline at 50-75% , with only about half the criteria being good or great, you’ve got some improvements to make.
Minor Illness –but needs treatment: If you’re getting 25%-50% of the scores in good or great, you really need to evaluate your efforts and think if your corporate cultures is right for this, or if you even have the right bloggers on staff.
Terminally Ill: Lastly, if less than 25% of your criteria is good or great, you really need to consider shutting it down –you’re not getting it and your culture, strategy, or team should focus elsewhere. Giving you the advice to take two in the morning ain’t going to cut it, it’s time for euthanasia.
If this were a report, I would construct a scoring mechanism to help provide a sense of direction for this heuristic evaluation, or even more accurate, I would poll the actual readers of the blog to find out their opinions, but for the most part, the writing is literally on the wall.
Physician heal thyself: I guess I should also ask, how trusted do you think my web strategy blog is?
Left: This is the same graphic I discussed yesterday, “How much do you trust the following information sources?”
Yesterday, we highlighted the findings from Forrester’s latest report on consumer trust. Although there has been quite a bit of discussion on Twitter, on Josh’s comments (read former colleague Peter Kim’s comments) there’s been a mixed bag or reviews from Read Write Web and eWeek. So it’s out in the open: most corporate blogs are trusted, and the reasons are very obvious.
Let’s examine the graphic that was provided:
First, review this graphic in a separate window, let’s start at the bottom and move our way up. Right above corporate blogs, consumers nearly equally don’t trust social networking site profiles from a company or brand, no surprise, it’s often the equivalent of a corporate blog. Strange that consumers don’t trust personal blogs? We actually saw other findings from data that supports that blogs are not trusted. Then, moving up the graphic, we start to see an increase in trust from mainstream mediums like email from a company or brand, Wikis, radio, mainstream news websites, and print magazines. Finally, you start to see an uptake from social networking profiles of people you know, print newspapers, and then the yellow pages.
So, Who Do Consumers Trust?
Perhaps what’s most interesting is that the top three are: Email from people you know, consumer product ratings and review,and search engines.
77% trust email form someone they know. Makes sense, people we know in our truly intimate of circles are those who we keep closest. Websites that have a “Share this via” email may be a good start, using the vendor ShareThis is a good start. Also, this suggests that marketers should start to think about letting other types of content be easily shared from email address to email. We’ve always known that email was the first digital social network that mattered.
60% trust consumer product ratings and reviews: I find both logical but we’ve some ways to go. Right now, we’re leaning on reviews from individuals that may not be in our trust circle. So as the social graph and eCommerce engines start to tie, we’ll soon have access to reviews of products from our direct network of folks we really know. Razorfish has eloquently helped to visualize this concept with this presentation.
50%: Say they trust portals/search engines: In Google We Trust, is that Charlene Li frequently used to tell me, and it still holds true. When you look closely, the search engine results in Google are really social recommendations. How so? The Google algorithm (while I’m over simplifying) puts a great deal of weight on how humans organize, link, and create content.
So in summary, when you look closely, people trust each other. If you’re not up to date on Forrester’s POST methodology, now is the time to learn, I ensure each of my clients knows it on my daily inquiry calls. For the most part, this methodology is available in public and has been published on blogs and in slideshare, what’s key is that we understand the common framework of terms, particularly the five objectives: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing
As Josh alluded to in his comments, it’s time to focus on energizing (word of mouth), and maybe supporting (customers helping each other) –rather than talking (brands telling consumers)
Click the above image to advance to Josh’s full post
While in the back of our minds, we all knew this was true. Corporate blogs, like Jonathan Schwartz Blog and Bob Lutz of GM frequently talk about one thing –they’re companies and their products. In fact, some would argue corporate blogs don’t live up to the dream of naked transparency as we saw from Robert Scoble way back in 2006. Instead, many corporate blogs have become a rehash of press releases written in more of a human tone, yet fail to address the real conversation that’s happening in the marketplace.
In the above graphic, Josh Bernoff has conducted research and found that consumers said they trusted corporate blogs very little. How little?
“Not only do blogs rank below newspapers and portals, they rank below wikis, direct mail, company email, and message board posts”
–in fact, a mere 16%
While I certainly discussed the findings with Josh before the report was published, he has far more details on the report, and answer what you should (and survey methodology) do from his post.
For what it’s worth, I spearheaded the corporate blogging program at Hitachi Data Systems, helped my two recent CEOs start blogging, and am an active ‘corporate’ blogger myself. Love to hear your thoughts on this, were you surprised?
Update: The Blog Council (a third party organization) has addressed the data, and has listed out many of their trusted blogs, I think most are part of their council. I wonder what the Blog Business Summit, Shel Israel, Dave Taylor will say –did corporations follow their instructions –doesn’t look like it.
Update: You can download the report for free, after your register on the Forrester site.
Some companies are wary of personal brands
Last week, I spoke to a social media strategist as a very large consumer packaged goods company, he expressed to me over this client call (called an inquiry) that he was concerned about employees getting too popular due to their personal brands and as a result, getting pulled right out of the company.
[Despite that social technologies can improve customer relationships, the risks may be too great for some companies to bear, as a result, some corporations will shy away from allowing employees to have personal brands]
Personal brands can bring trust to monolithic corporations
In the age of transparency and conversation, brands know they need to join customers where they are, and that often means in social sites where real people are having real conversations –it’s about building trust. As a result, social media marketing continues to be adopted by brands; I help them daily.
Examining the risks of personal brands
Personal brands are indeed a powerful tool, for one, it’s helped me get my current and previous job, and it will likely be a factor for my next, however there are a few risks to brands:
Risk 1: The personal brand is a cost to the company: Why let employees build their own brand on the dime of the company or leveraging the brand of the employer?
Risk 2: The now popular employee is likely to get poached: Perhaps a common concern I hear is that competitors can easily identify the stars, and hire away these folks along with their market reputation and google juice.
Risk 3: Employee exits leaving a chasm to fill: In the modern workforce, we hear less of lifetime employees seeking pension than we do of job migrants, or career gypsies that move from company to company every few years. As a result, after they’ve built up trust with the market using social tools, they leave the company, and a gap is left that the brand can’t fill.
How companies respond
Brands respond to these risks in a number of ways, I’ve categorized them based on level of sophistication.
First Reaction: Keep marketing faceless: Lean on traditional marketing, avoid human voices to come through.
Second Reaction: Approach with team or hybrid approach: Rather than encourage personal brands, you may instead see corporate team blogs that have an equal weighting to employees. Another example is with Dell and Oracle employees who fuse their name with their employer –it’s both personal and professional.
Third Reaction: Let the customers be the product face: Perhaps the most sophisticated way to market a product isn’t to put your employees on the product blog, but instead, your customers. I don’t see too many examples of this currently, but you can expect this to be an approach in the future.
Fourth Reaction: Allow personal brands to proliferate: Some companies allow for employees to create their own blogs, generate revenue on their blogs, and be who and what they want.
Portable brands desirable in the age of career gypsies and job migrants
It’s rare to hear of the life long employee who retires after 40 years of service with a fat pension, in fact many workers today move from job to job –even more frequently in the tech industry. In the end, personal brands within the enterprise are inevitable, just ask Dan Schawbel if anyone wants to track new talent, or hire Generation Y, they’ll have to accept that individuals will have personal brands and they are portable. In fact, recruiters are often seeking on forums, blogs, and social networks to seek out talent.
Personal brands here to stay, with increase in adoption during recession
In my recent post, I pointed out that no matter how hard you work, or how smart you are, you can still get layed off. As a result, expect an increase in professionals to be on social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, and using conversational tools like blogs and twitter to promote their offerings. The savvy career gypsy will build this up before they need a job.
Now that I’ve put all the options and variations out there, I’d love to hear what you think corporations should do to protect their resources (brand, talent, and time), as well as build trusting relationships with customers?
Left: The famed HP Labs think tank in Palo Alto.
A few months ago, I spent an entire day with the HP Labs group in Palo Alto, they’re responsible for the R&D and innovation that goes into their thousands of technology products on the market. I was pleased to see this deep dive scientific research on Twitter by Bernardo A. Huberman, Daniel M. Romero and Fang Wu.
You can read the free Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope (PDF). Written in an academic style, it’s a bit dense for the casual reader. I write for a business audience and I’ll strip out the most important findings, and add my own insight to what I think matters. As always you’re welcome to chime in the comments.
Understanding HP Lab’s Twitter Research:
If you just need a summary, I wrote this in a way that you can just read the bolded elements to get a sense of the report. I hope this saved you some time.
Most users have a smaller inner circle they communicate with: Within a social network, it was found that most only frequently communicate with a small segment of users –even if one has a large community. Makes sense, everyone has an ‘inner circle’. Finding the true network that an individual has (even if they have thousands of “friends”) is what’s really important. Although Scoble solicits imput from thousands of contacts, he leans on a smaller subset of folks to trust above all others.
HP Labs Sample Size is @ 6% of the Twittersphere: HP Labs took a random sample set of Twitter users, for a base of number of 309,740 users. According to my social network stats tracking page, Twitter’s total universe is somewhere between 4-5 million (still very small). I’ll value the network on the 5 mil side, so that’s sample size of about 6%, which is pretty healthy.
On average, most had 85 followers: They found that the average user has 85 followers in their network, this number seems reasonable when averaged out across the network.
On average, most had 80 friends: Most users followed back 80 others, which is close to the actual follower number. Perhaps some weren’t following spam bots, or people that follow everyone. James Governor has been discussing asymmetrical networks, but it appears that on the average, most are symmetrical.
Tweet Frequency? About one a day: On average, these users had posted 255 tweets, and since the average users has been around for nearly 7 months, thats about 36 tweets per month, or little bit over one a day.
68%: are active users Social networking stats are almost always flawed, as the vendors don’t disclose how many are truly active. I define active user base as logged in and completed an activity in the last 30 days. Among the 309,740 users only 211,024 posted. It’s unknown if this filtered out spam tweets, although nearly 2/3rds of users have returned (site stickyness. That’s a pretty good return to site rate.
Most members have been on twitter nearly 7 months: The research showed that the average person (from first to last post) was active for 206 days. This means that June 2008 (report written in Dec) has become somewhat of a trigger point, perhaps where a growth curve started to point upwards. I noticed an influx of users on April 2008, two months before HPs findings, see comment #579
A quarter of tweets (@) are directed at other users: The report showed that Around 25.4% of all posts are directed, by using the “@user” which is responding to others. This could suggest that the other 75% of tweets are updating their network of what users think is interesting or discussing ‘what they are doing’
The more followers, the more they tweet –up until a point: Figure 1 indicates frequently in posting the more followers they have, right up until about 500 followers where the frequency starts to level out (if the graph were smoothed). The data around number of friends suggests a similar graph, although there’s no saturation point (see figure 2). I’ll suggest the more connections a user has, the more value they have, and therefore are more active.
Despite having large networks, a smaller circle is maintained: For users with a high number of followers, they actually only still communicate with a smaller subset of users. This rule remains constant see figure 4.
Where’s the value? within the hidden network: To find out the real value of a twitter user and their network, finding out their true network of folks they communicate with on a regular basis will show their trusted network. Finding out who the Scobles’ communicate with the most will determine will help find out how he is influenced.
Business Opportunity for Measurement Vendors
If you’re a social media measurement company, and can find out the true influence model of who people really trust above all other users by looking at actual “@” behavior and follow behavior, be sure to leave a comment below showing how you can do this. Then, conducting this by topic, will find out the true influencers by market segment within the Twitterpshere.
As we know, traditional advertising doesn’t work well in social networks, ‘carpet bombing’ isn’t effective. However, conversational marketing is also costly, as you have to spend great resources on labor to communicate with influencers. Therefore brands who want to be effective with their resources should find out who is an influencer in their market and focus their conversational marketing primarily on them.
Thanks to the HP labs team who did a great report and really helped to further understanding Twitter better, when you have time, invite me over for lunch, I’m in the area.
I made a promise to be transparent with the mysterious industry analyst job, in fact, I didn’t completely understand all aspects of what the job entailed until being here for a few months. I realize that the public usually doesn’t understand the research industry business model, or how we help our clients make decisions. So in an attempt to explain what I do (read other posts tagged analyst to learn of other aspects) to understand one important part of my job: advisory.
Make Leaders Successful
Last week, I wrapped up another project with a technology client where we helped them develop a social media strategy based on actual research –a powerful way to ensure your efforts will be successful. Although Forrester has a consulting arm, I really consider our services as ‘advisory’ where we help clients understand the different choices they can make, make a decision based on research and data, and then suggest the appropriate course of action.
Project: Social Media Strategy
In this project, we helped a technology company enhance and expand their existing social media strategy. They had read the Groundswell book and understood the POST methodology, they understood how important it was know their customers before choosing social technologies. We kicked off with scoping discussions, understanding the needs of the business, and learned about their marketplace and customer base. Next, we then created a survey which was fielded to their market of influencers and decision makers where we asked questions about their: Demographics (who are they) Psychographics (what do they care about) Media Consumption (What do they read, and from where) and Technographics (how do they use social technologies.
Assembling the Team
Scientific surveys are a tricky beast, so we lean on our data experts like Cynthia Pflaum who helped to design, field, process and analyze the data from the survey. We have folks from traditional consulting backgrounds, and if you work with me you’ll likely meet consultant Nicole Belanger, who ensures we’re meeting the needs of the client, and we stay on target. My role as the subject matter expert is to make specific, make sense of the data, make specific recommendations, and provide a clear course of action for the client. To be quite honest, making recommendations becomes very easy once you have all the information in front of you –research is a very powerful tool.
Research Helps Reduces Risk and Increases Success
We had several meetings with the client, to share initial findings, discussion the different paths, and ended things off this past week with a presentation to the entire marketing team. Nothing pleases me more than to see the impacts I’m making with clients, in this case I learned that the client had already started with some of the newer recommendations based off the research. In some cases, clients are seeking clarification for their existing plans, so in addition to directional guidelines, we also help our clients with best practices (the report on community best practices, is very popular) and vendor selection, that’s why the upcoming Wave report on community platforms will really change buying behavior.
Full Circle: Client Feedback
Of course this story is incomplete, it doesn’t include the feedback from the client themselves! I know they are readers of this blog, so they’re welcome to review this project process in a transparent manner, either as a guest post, either anonymously or disclosed, or they don’t have to disclose at all. Perhaps more importantly, we’ll revisit their social media activities in a few months to track progress, I certainly hope the data and recommendations sets them up for success.
Fail Fast: I make mistakes too
In the spirit of transparency, things don’t always go well with clients, about once a quarter I stumble with a client engagement, or a client complains about my performance. I’ve learned where I’m challenged, such as: freaking out when I’m overwhelmed, making sure I’m prepared, checking my ego, and setting expectations with clients, I can’t say I’ve mastered all these, I’ve still got a lot to learn, but like everyone else, I stumble too. The key thing I’ve learned from making mistakes is to fail fast, and try to quickly get back up after licking my wounds. We all must grow.
Over one year ago, we defined the Social Graph as an online representation of our relationships. These graphs define our personal, family, or business communities on social networking websites.
Razorfish, an Interactive Firm owned by Microsoft serves the largest brands in the world. When I first met with them earlier this year, they were just growing their practice, primarily lead by Shiv Singh. In fact, their CEO told me that social at the time, was just one component (a small one at that) for their agency. Things are starting to change, since we met a few weeks ago in SF, they told me that social media practice has extended to many of their accounts and will likely increase during the coming year. You can visit their blog Going Social Now, to learn more about their focus on the social web.
The above presentation helps to visualize how social technologies change business, ecommerce, and corporate websites. When I heard Mark Zuckerberg tell us how Facebook connect would be linked with different websites, I had a feeling of how dramatic this would change the web –and wrote this piece What ‘Facebook Connect’ Means for Corporate Websites.
The social graph, when linked with traditional websites will radically change how we find, research, purchase, and support products.
Reviews, ratings, and critiques about products will become more relevant as you can start to get information from your own network.
Soon, social technologies will be pervasive and will impact every website –even if they choose not to participate
Brands, and their interactive marketing agencies, are starting to include social elements in all aspects of their marketing efforts.
Things are going to get worse before they get better
It’s official, we’re in a recession, say economists. Four quarters since Q4 2007 indicate this economic change and Bloomberg reports that “The U.S. economy may be headed for its deepest and longest recession since World War II”.
Things look even more grim as the, Associated Press reports that employers cut 533K jobs in Nov., most in 34 years”, of course this impacts personal lives as LA Times shows that 10% of homeowners are in or are nearing foreclosure status. My job is to listen to the marketplace, and I didn’t hear anyone talking about this until Sept 2008, it’s as if US, and the world were taken by surprise.
Perhaps the scariest thing for most, is that no matter how hard you work, you could get layed off. Your division, your budget, or your role could get eliminated.
Five Ways Web Professionals Should Be Proactive In a Recession
I’m not all doom and gloom, here’s how you can be proactive, even if you work at a Fortune 100, you are after all, a company of one, so respect yourself and be proactive:
Learn How to Adjust at Your Day Job
I survived 10 rounds of layoffs and was the final 12.5% of Exodus before I went to work at World Savings, what did I do learn? The trick is to stay flexible and demonstrate you can adapt, increase revenues, or use your skills in a scalable and efficient way. You’ll also need to properly internal market your abilities within your corporation or with your clients to demonstrate why you and your services give greater return out the end. Fortunately, the web can be such a tool –if you know how to do it right.
Understand How Social Media is a Risk and Opportunity
Social media has an opportunity in a recession, these tools are cheap, some marketing campaigns range from 10-50k on the low end, far less expensive than any traditional marketing. Of course, with comes great risk: doing it wrong can result in a punking, not doing anything at all could leave you exposed, and most brands overlook the amount of labor required to develop these programs. As a result, I’m working on an upcoming report, and we’re surveying social media marketers to find out if they’re going to increase –or decrease –their social media resources during a downturn. In fact, we’re re jigging some of my research agenda to meet the needs of the market and client –so stay tuned.
Use Online Networking Tools to Connect
If you’re a web professional, or are involved with social media in your career, I want you to network with others in my Web Strategy Facebook Group (there are over 9000 folks there), or within the Community Manager Facebook Group (over 2000 folks). You should also be updating your LinkedIn Profile (doing so triggers updates to others) and connect and reconnect with folks you need to synch up with.
Attend Real World Events
The need to connect in person (yes, real life) is the core essence of what makes us social animals, and as a result, I’ve organized a free networking event called a Tweetup in Silicon Valley this coming Thursday, and 81 intent to come, and 62 others are interested. I found this list of things to do before you get layed off very helpful. If you’re in the area, come out to the event, bring your clients, meet clients, network with others, now is the time to link in with others, build your network before you need them.
Always Be Looking For Opportunities
Even if your work for a corporation you’re a company of one, you have control over your destiny, therefore you must always have your ear to the rail, listening and meeting folks that could potentially help you. I’ve made friends with some of the top recruiters in the web industry, and I’ve been helping them when the economy was good –think ahead. If you recently were layed off, or are looking to move up, Forrester is hiring a social media analyst (email your resume to jowyang at forrester dot com), and you can peruse the Web Strategy Job Board or learn who has recently been hired and on the move.
Stay close to this blog, those who are readers benefit not just from the content on the blog, but more importantly the community that surrounds this blog. I’m only as successful as those around me, so it’s in my best interest to help you –we can do this together.
There’s a few things I can do to be proactive, and they include:
I’m here for the long haul, I knew the internet was my calling, been through dot bomb, and will be here after this dip.
In my day job as an Industry Analyst, I will conduct research to find out what marketing efforts work –and don’t– in a recession.
I’ll continue to post on this blog, and gear content that doesn’t just talk about the economic changes, but gives some suggestions to improve.
Offer online community resources that allow my network to benefit directly from each other, like Facebook networking.
Highlight who’s hiring, who got hired, and why. Discuss what skills are needed in the future to be successful.
Continue to organize free community events (like Tweetups) for those to meet, connect, and grow as a group.
Got other tips for web professionals bracing for an economic downturn? leave a comment.
This slideshare presentation by French consulting firm faberNovel dissects Google’s business model, analyzes strength and weakness in each of the markets they are involved with and brings clarity to how some services are loss leaders and how monetization happens from it’s connected product suite. Do take time to look at the page rank formula.