Archive for May, 2009


What Brands Want From A Twitter Client

39

After chatting with Loic today of Seesmic, we discussed what brands may want from Twitter.  It’s true, I’m getting more client calls from the world’s top brands about how to use tools like Twitter as a collective team. Based upon my discussions with them, here’s what I see are some key needs in:


What Brands Want In a Twitter Client:

Listening:

  • Ability to quickly scan what is being said about the brand, products, services, employees and competitors. Although difficult expect sentiment tools to appear that help brands with thousands of mentions manage the discussion.
  • Ability to understand who is saying what, and understand their influence.

Management:

  • Manage multiple accounts (Dell has about 35 seperate accounts) from a central team.
  • Enable employees to tweet from their account: BestBuy created a custom CMS systems that allows approved employees to tweet to the main BestBuy account with a specific hashtag

Workflow:

  • Triage incoming requests and topics to the appropriate teams for followup, much like a CRM system
  • Tag and flag these requests, denote and track who responded to what, when and what are the end results.

Integration:

  • These point solutions should integrate with other system such as brand monitoring, CRM systems
  • The savvy companies will aggregate the discussion in Twitter about their products on their corporate website, making them more relevant.  Zappos was an early adopter, yet Skittles went too far.

Conversing:

  • Enable multiple employees to post to single Twitter accounts (like a CMS system) some may have approval systems.
  • Keep track of which employee tweeted and when, build in workflow as global teams will need to work together to respond to customers.
  • Update: A few folks in the comments have requested a publishing timer, where folks could preschedule tweets.

Reporting:

  • Brands must be accountable of corporate resources, every resource is an investment and reports about time-to response, number of followers, number of mentions and sentiment will matter.
  • Be able to benchmark all of the above and deliver time based reports.

There’s a few companies that are emerging that can do bits and pieces of this, but I’ve yet to see anyone vendor meet this.  From the brand monitoring side, Radian 6 and to some degree Scoutlabs can do listening and workflow.  CoTweet and Hootsuite are often discussed in the corporate context, yet many personal usage is tied between Tweetdeck, Seesmic Desktop (formerly Twirl) and Peoplebrowser.

 Want more business case studies, I’ve read the proof of Twiterville by Shel Israel, it’s loaded with business case studies and written in a great story telling format, it’s going to be a desktop reference for me once it publishes. 

Although it’s Sunday, I’m on way up to San Francisco to the Twtrcon conference on the closing debate panel, where I’ll be arguing a contrarian position in Kara Swisher’s panel, I’ll make the case that Twitter doesn’t matter: instead we should focus on trends, and that Twitter is overhyped, I said the same thing at my 140TC keynote last week, Joe has the details.  Should be fun. 

Are you managing a corporate Twitter account? Leave a comment
Enough from me, what features to corporations want in Twitter clients, please leave your thoughts and needs below.

If this post was helpful, please copy and paste this into Twitter:

What Brands Want From A Twitter Client http://bit.ly/FWd7T

Video: The Future of Facebook, an Interview on Bloomberg TV

9

Left: To watch this 5 minute video, click on image, then click on “Video” tab then the “Watch” icon.

This week, Facebook raised $200 million injection of capital from a relatively unknown Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which has a few related properties. This investment is an exchange for preferred stock, representing a 1.96 percent equity stake at a $10 billion valuation, according to a Facebook press release.

I often get asked how Facebook could monetize, my take is that they are first focused on global growth they have aprox 200 million registered users (keep in mind that’s not the same as active) and need to perhaps double that amount to reach the population of larger websites (stats here).

I went to the SF Bloomberg TV studios for a live 5:45am pacific broadcast to accommodate the east coast market, to discuss my take, which you can watch. To watch the video, click to this page (or on the image above), then go to “Video” tab then the “Watch” icon.

Although I’ve been on many video podcast, this was my first interview on life TV, and as you can tell, I’m a bit awkward and very nervous. Being in a TV studio is so different than doing an in person interview as there’s no one in the room, I can hear the anchor via a small earpiece, there’s a very slight delay, I can’t read her body language, I didn’t know what she looked like till I saw the replay at home, and the only thing I can see is a little red dot engulfed by bright white lights. To overcome my nervousness, I wrote down my talking points the night before and rehearsed many times, a few awkward sentence here and there, but hey, it was a good experience, and I hope to do it again.

Back to the topic: Facebook’s future. I’d love to hear from you, what do you think they’ll do with this new funding, and how do you think Facebook will ultimately monetize?

People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: May 30, 2009

1

onthemove

Submissions for On the Move have reduced since the global recession. I’ve started this series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • Bob Pearson who used to head Dell’s social media activities joins President, Blog Council & SVP, Communities at GasPedal, becomes a Partner at Common Sense Media Group.
  • I spoke to Adam Weinroth former Marketing head at Pluck, who has relocated from Austin and is now in L.A. heading marketing for parent company Demand Media. Find Adam on Twitter
  • Clint Schaff is now the New Media Director at Roll International after working in it’s in-house advertising agency Fire Station Agency, you can find Clint on Twitter.
  • John Yamasaki joined Seesmic team as a Community Evangelist, in San Francisco, you can find him on Twitter.
  • Matt Miller has been named the Social Media Manager for Mpix.com, a division of Miller’s, Inc. Miller’s is a print lab in the United States.
  • Fred Alberti has been promoted to Director of Social Media for Salem Web Network.

  • How to connect with others (or get a job):
    Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how:

    Submit an announcement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email. Please include a link to your announcement, and ensure you’re really living and breathing in the social media world –this is not a small aspect of your role.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

    List of Enterprise Social Media Professionals
    This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals.

  • See Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, these affiliate fees pay for my hosting)
  • Read Write Web also has job announcements in Jobwire, although at a broader scope than my announcements
  • Connect with others in the community manager group in Facebook
  • Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Altimeter Group’s list of social media consultants and agencies
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it)

    I’m seeking folks that are related to full time hands on social media strategy and community managers, to be on this list, so let me know if you see these folks, and please submit them –try to include links to announcements on blogs or on the wire. Also, I probably will not include executive management changes on this list at social media companies, as the list would go on and on, but you can feel free to express yourself in the comments!

    As Social Technologies Become Pervasive, Prepare Your Company

    13

    When I started this job a year and a half ago, my coverage was simply over social networks and community platform vendors. On occasion I would speak to brand monitoring companies, and of course pure play social media sites (blogging software, microblogging, etc)

    But now, I spend talking to companies from a variety of spaces as social technologies creep into their space. It’s increasingly difficult to monitor as it spreads, but expected as the era of social colonization takes hold.  Social technologies become pervasive and spread throughout the entire company.


    Vendors that are currently ramping into the social space:

    • CMS vendors are gearing up and offering social features, much to the chagrin of the community platform players.
    • Customer support departments are quickly moving outside their defined support domain to where customers are supporting each other.
    • CRM vendors are connecting to social networks, serving up social content in their dashboard. We’re discussing how far this will reach.
    • Web Analytics firms are starting to scan social sites and partner with others, they know influence has spread beyond server analytics alone.
    • Customer reference programs recognize that unfiltered customer opinions are happening beyond their control.
    • Agencies of all sorts.

    Vendors that will become increasingly important in the social space:

    • Affiliate marketing will become an increasingly important as more brands start to act on word of mouth programs.
    • Email marketers are starting to recognize that the social network inbox is where eyeballs have shifted to.  Given Google’s evolved email platform looks more like a social network or operating system than an email ‘inbox’.
    • Advertisers want to think beyond banner and IAB ads to more engaging or social ads.
    • Large consulting firms are preparing to offer million dollar packages to enterprises for change management and social integration systems.

    Companies as a whole –beyond marketing– must prepare as social cascades the enterprise
    Social technologies are creeping into nearly every aspect of business, making this incredibly difficult for brands to manage as so many systems –and therefore stakeholders– are looped in willing or not. Having spoken to some brands that are tackling this change, here’s some practical advice that I learned the top firms are doing:

    • 1) Recognize the trend that social technologies are crossing over to all aspects of the business: If you’re responsible for social media leadership in your company, recognize that this technology is pervasive beyond corp comm and marketing as we saw in the last few years.
    • 2) Yet, as things start to get complicated, simplify: Rather than focus on the all of the distinct arenas that social crosses, focus on the trend that customers and their opinions will be part of nearly every aspect of your business –even if you don’t choose for them to be present.
    • 3) Start the culture change now with internal education: The internal culture change is the biggest hurdle for companies. I spoke to a traditional media company yesterday that is quickly migrating away from print to online, and is conducting internal ’show and tell brown bag sessions’ across the enterprises where people can come from any department.
    • 4) Rather than build a strategy focused on technologies, build around customers and employees: Above all, don’t focus on the technologies themselves, start to train yourself to start and end a discussion with customers (and/or employees) rather than “Twitter”.
    • 5) Organize your company for social: There’s an innovation curve here that your company must jump, but to be successful, you’ll need to change not technology (only 20%) but culture, strategy, process, roles, and how you measure (the other 80%). I’ll be publishing a report in the near future (with data from a recent survey to brands) that discusses how companies are organizing for social technologies, and what some best practices are in the near future.

    There’s a lot of social media strategists that are reading this blog, and vendors who support them, I’d love to hear from you the changes in the last 12 months we’ve seen, as well as some practical advice to brands to be prepared.

    Google Wave To Bring Web 2.0 Lifestyle to Work

    17

    In the spirit of collaboration (like Google Wave), I’ve obtained insight from Forrester analyst colleagues Ray Wang and Rob Koplowitz. Update: I just chatted with colleague Ted Schadler who also posted his thoughts: Google Wave: Surfing The Future Of Collaboration.

    Google launches a Collaboration Platform
    Google announced the Wave product, a next generation collaboration platform yesterday at their developer conference, in hopes of getting third parties to build modules on it, the product won’t be released till later this year.

    I just spend over an hour watching the Google Wave video, don’t bother watching it,  as I’ll summarize. Essentially, Google wows a room full of developers (aka clapping technoheads) at their conference and win them over for 30 minutes of collaboration technologies. I’m not impressed by the collaboration features themselves, I’ve seen pieces from other collaboration vendors and community platform vendors that have elements of this, or similar features that can accomplish the meet the needs of the same use case.

    What it Means: Technologies are boring, what they do is what matters:

    • After discussing with Forrester’s enterprise software analyst Ray Wang,  we both agree the Google Wave is about bringing together the Web 2.0 lifestyle to become a workstyle.
    • Google’s apporach is  signicant because it will enter the workforce without having to go through IT management. This undercuts players like Microsoft, IBM,  Oracle, and SAP as it grows from the groundup –another groundswell like google docs and yammer.
    • After speaking with  Rob Koplowitz, Forrester analyst who focuses on enterprise 2.0 he suggests this also impacts Cisco, Webex and Webex connect who is also trying to try new delivery models to the enterprise.   Expect the Webex developers to take repurpose success on Google Wave platform.
    • Existing smaller collaboration vendors and community platform vendors with enterprise focus to be part of the developer ecosystem, they can now extend their features to the Wave platform.
    • Google is pushing real time collaboration, and traditional email is asynchronous, yet don’t expect everyone to be interacting in real time, all the time.
    • What matters is that the developer ecosystem developing on the platform, (Thank you Steve) where third party developers will do the innovation.
    • This is a missed opportunity for LinkedIn who launched their platform but has not exploited as they’ve only hand selected a few partners.

    These are just my initial reactions, I’ll update this post as I learn more.

    Social Colonization on the Web Strategy Blog with Facebook Connect

    29

    Thanks to Mitch, my web designer, we’ve added the ability for you to login using your Facebook account and leave comments with your verified ID.

    This means in the comments you don’t have to fill out the usual “name, email, URL” in the comments (otherwise known as the irrelevant web form), and if you’re already logged into Facebook it’s two click connect: one to say you want to connect with FB, the second to confirm the action.

    Once in a while, I get spam, off topic, or an anonymous nasty comment, and it manually requires me to remove it. In the future, I can rely on verified IDs which can reduce this. We can basically rely on the identify confirming systems that Facebook is working hard on, leveraging their hard work.

    To be clear, this is not a complete example of social colonization, I should enable a feature that would let you quickly share your comment, or my blog post with your community with Facebook. Secondly, logins in the future won’t just be limited to Facebook, but any social network that you’re part of: Twitter, LinkedIn, Hyves, MySpace, Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft Live. Lastly, I don’t have any way of gleaning data (that I know of) from folks that are logged into my site with their FB identity, but it would be nice to get a report of who’s coming, or the type of people that are coming, and how often. Likely, a great deal of this metadata will be housed within Facebook.

    I had a conversation with Bob Pearson yesterday, the former executive at Dell who ran the social program, we were talking about how social networks can become destination hubs, and how Facebook could eventually bypass Google for search. To me, the web as a destination is an old model, Facebook will be more powerful if it’s not a destination but a type of overlay across the entire web –including impacting search engine results on every search site.

    We’re in this era of social colonization now, so if you’re a web strategist at a brand or agency, you should be experimenting to find out how these things work. I won’t say I have all the answers to how to best harness this era, but I’m going to experiment to find out and will share along the way.