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Are These Social Media Trends of 2011 Part of Your Strategy?

Here’s an article we just had to repost from Marina Arnaout. Marina comes from a marketing communications background with expertise in variety of mediums ranging from TV to out-of-home advertising. Finding her niche in the digital realm, she is a frequent contributor to industry publications often covering social marketing and media trends. For more, follow Marina on Twitter @marinarn.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”– Erik Qualman.

So, how well do you do it? It’s important to keep tabs on emerging social media technologies to make sure you are investing in the right areas even if some areas are not relevant immediately.

Here are some trends for 2011 that will help keep your business ahead.

1. Online video. Everywhere.

Online video is not a new phenomenon; however, what’s new about this avenue is that it is increasingly everywhere. The bar has been set high for the level of consumer interaction and this must include valuable interactive video. Video engagement is continuously increasing and in October alone, 5.4 billion videos were viewed –  2 billion of which were on Facebook. Brands and consumers rely on video to provide information that is not present elsewhere in social media, making it a critical component in shaping people’s perception about companies and each other.

2. Mobile Marketing.

In 2010 infrastructure, technology and design finally intersected in the mobile world and for the first time smartphone sales overpowered the sales of desktops and laptops. Companies need an iphone application to keep up with their consumers and to be available when consumers need them. In 2010, iPhone and iPad applications were downloaded more than 7 billion times and that serves as a great indicator that consumers are willing to engage.  In 2011, mobile users will interact with content, companies and the Web more on their phones and iPads than on their computers. From shopping on the go, to paperless transactions, to watching (and creating) videos – mobile media is instant, portable and personalized.

3. Location.

Although location falls into the mobile marketing avenue, it deserves its own mention. Advertisers are able to take advantage of mobile platforms that let them reach consumers at critical points (eg. moments just before they make an in-store purchase). Being able to reach a customer on the go or near the point of sale can be a very powerful mechanism for brands looking to connect with potential audience. Location will increase in popularity as people get more comfortable checking in to a business and when brands offer more enticing offers. Again, you must offer value to your consumers so that they feel comfortable enough to associate themselves with your brand through their social media profiles. This includes in depth analysis of market trends, monitoring behavior and coming up with creative ways in establishing that connection. This “mobile meets loyalty” approach enhances the social experiences, and inspires new audiences.

4. Deal Hunting

As consumer expectations rise, you must be able to offer them something different while still making a profit. Services like Groupon provide an instant ability to share deals. Expect this to continue over the next couple of years with copy cat services and the big players rolling in to more territories and rolling out better and more extensive deals. This yet again serves as an opportunity to both reward your most loyal customers as well as attract new clientele who may discover you through a daily deal. Expect to see special sales, tickets, and discounts as well as combinations of promotions with similar services (dinner and a movie anyone?). However, if you do decide to go down the deal hunting avenue, make sure you don’t over exhaust the consumer.

5. Monitoring conversations

The internet breaks barriers between brands and people, as well as people and people. It is a fact that 78% of consumers trust peer reviews and only 14% trust advertisements this is why it’s crucial to be involved in your community and have a good reputation. What are people saying about your brand? About 25% of search results for the top 20 brands linked to user generated content – the control you have over what people say saying is limited so it is up to you to nourish these relationships. The number one way to get people saying positive things is through over delivering on your product or service. However, you must also encourage the conversation through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, industry publications and media. Monitor the conversation, join in on the conversation, help and show your customers that you care. In return, this will only increase loyalty.

The social media trends that arise are unlimited and we as people influence their success and failures. So while everyone is waiting for Twitter to monetize, Google to fail with another platform, or for an explanation of what augmented reality really does – we need to ask ourselves what enables our success, jeopardizes our performance and how we want to shape the years to come.


UberVU – Your Social Conversations Monitor (via Blonde2.0)

A couple of weeks ago I read this on Blonde2.0, a blog I always enjoy reading by a truly talented founder and CEO of a consultancy firm “helping brands use social media tools such as social networks, the blogosphere, and social software, most effectively in order to create brand awareness, an online buzz, recruit employees or achieve any other goal online.” This article features UberVU a novel and simple way to monitor social conversations. Let us know what you think and be sure to pop over to Blonde2.0!

As a social media agency, it’s important for us to always be up to date on what people are saying on the Web regarding the brands we represent. I was introduced to UberVU at SeedCamp Paris last year, by their founder Vladimir Oane. UberVU collects all the conversations happening around your brand from blogging platforms, microblogging, social news sites, forums and social networks, and makes music by stringing it all together in a highly intuitive interface. Some of the sites that UberVU covers:

UberVU includes simple graphic indicators in their insights to give you an overall view of the kind of buzz or “the sentiment” your brand is generating in the social sphere. Basically you now have the tools to determine at a glance whether people love you; find you about as pleasant as a bad rash; or somewhere in-between. The question remains whether UberVU can pick up on the subtleties of syntax – meaning, do they understand sarcasm, metaphors, short hand and the like. Especially in the communist world of 140 characters for all twitterers regardless of class or station, the ability, or lack thereof, to pick up on such things can make a big difference in the size of the discrepancy between assumed public brand sentiment and reality. This is why UberVU wants to get smarter and is now asking users to help train its sentiment meter. If you ever find a mention in your stream which was incorrectly assessed by their sentiment measurement feature, you can now “teach” it otherwise.

UberVU’s services are divided into a few categories:

Data Collection

The way UberVU works is very easy. You just pick your search term and voila, you will receive all this information either by going to the site or signing up for email alerts. You can decide how often you’ll receive alerts regarding new mentions about your search term/s.

And now look out James Bond, I believe we have ourselves a corporate espionage feature. UberVU allows you to keep track of  the sentiment around your competitors and see exactly how it compares to your own; where are they stronger; where are their weak points – Perhaps the 3.0 version will feature an ejector seat where you can launch the competition out of their desk chair and into the roof of their startup garage, if you get the urge.


You will receive all the reports and charts that you ever dreamed of. The uberVU charts are interactive – you can drill down to specific days or zoom out as much as you want. You can filter information by platform (i.e. twitter, Facebook), language, location and even sentiment.


You can reply to people’s comments right from UberVU. UberVU also offers translations for mentions because not all mentions will be in your native language. All mentions can be translated into your language of choice, or even filtered to arrive directly in your own language, allowing you to respond to tweets, posts and comments immediately without having to cut and paste to a third party translator. The significance? You can now have conversations with foreigners. Not correspondence, conversations.

Exporting Data

UberVU also includes seamless report making features for charts, PDF’s and the like. Reports like this can really come in handy when you want to show others in your company some of these beautiful analytics.

UberVu recently unveiled three new features; Geolocation, Share Of Voice (SOV) and the Daily Sentiment Breakdown:

Geolocation allows you to see exactly where in the world people are talking about your brand and provides you with a very cool visual heat map:

SOV shows you specifically on which platforms your brand is being talked about the most (i.e Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc).

Daily Sentiment Breakdown is really an add-on of UberVU’s core sentiment feature, only now the results can be broken down across a 24 hour period. What this allows for is the tracking of specific daily initiatives so that users can make incremental adjustments to the tone and direction of campaign strategy – slowly turning that frown upside-down.

In a world that’s trying to assess social media’s ROI, there is no specific platform yet which provides a complete, comprehensive measurement tool. However, I have to say that UberVU is one of the best tools out there right now. For anyone managing a social media campaign, both third party and in-house, there are a couple of social media conversation monitoring services – the most expensive of them being Radian6 and the cheapest of them being Google Alerts, which is free. There’s also an Israeli solution called Tracx. However, for the relatively small price UberVU costs, it is able to provide as comprehensive and insightful a solution as you’ll find out there at the moment.  Stay tuned for more cool features coming from them soon.

This post was originally published onThe Next Web on September 8th.


Is it SPAM or just smart marketing?

I would urge all of us to take a look at John Moore’s latest article, “Is it SPAM or just smart marketing?” What is your opinion? The following is my response to John’s weblog. Do you agree or have I missed the point?

John, thanks for framing this issue which goes well beyond this one person, book, DM etc. I have very little issue with the specific incident given the mechanics of Twitter. I do believe it was poor marketing for the simple reason that there was no apparent “connection with intent to engage.” Stated directly, it was useless. Over the years we have all learned that marketing, promotion and sales work best when engagement sets in. Engagement requires some value to be present. In this case there was no value (although had he sent a free copy that would have been value!). In the end, it all seems like a waste of effort that probably generates a few sales “by the numbers” and not much more. Aaron