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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.

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The Social Ecosystem (via John Moore’s Weblog)


John  Moore’s recent article (The Social Ecosystem) is of great interest to all of us at The Periscope Group. Is a concept such as a “social ecosystem”  ready for prime time? In our opinion the answer is yes. Here’s an excerpt from John’s article:

“Organizations of all types have struggled to come to grips with terms like Government 2.0, Social Business, Social Media, and a long list of others that are floating around book stores, universities, and blogs.

I have spent a lot of time speaking with businesses and government agencies, exploring what is working, what is failing, and seeking to understand where confusion and hype are preventing these organizations from achieving full value from their efforts. The Social Ecosystem is the result of these efforts and is meant to reduce confusion and offer guidance for organizations across the world.

Lofty goals? Perhaps, but the Social Ecosystem is not being defined in a vacuum, it will fully leverage many ideas that are already available and will evolve, as needed, as we continue to learn more.

For this post I will discuss, at a high level, the major components of the Social Ecosystem as well as some key definitions. Over time I plan to create a table of contents, a section for terms, and break this down into a book-like format. Please be patient as it will take time and we’ll all work through this together.”  Read More

John, thank you for getting the conversation rolling. We very much like the “social ecosystem” concept and the 3 key components. Over the last 2 years we’ve talked to a lot of leaders in private and public sectors. To a person they have asked for clarification and some sort of threaded language to wrap their heads (and strategies and budgets) around. Trying to explain things in an unthreaded system was and continues to be very difficult. It steals cycles that need to be focused on development. A “social ecosystem” would have made a huge difference in achieving clarity of purpose, alignment of strategies and ultimately allocation of resources. We’re looking forward to the evolution of these conversations and the “social ecosystem.” We will bring several people who are building a “system of management” into this conversation as well. Ultimately, that system and this ecosystem will be closely tied together.

via The Social Ecosystem

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Is It A Winning Combination?!


Beware the shiny object. The appeal of the bright new toy is impossible to resist.

Managers have longed searched for that one thing they need to do that will engage their people, transforming the business and creating the ultimate sustainable competitive advantage. We’ve all read the endless stream of books and through them dreamed of a better way. Who hasn’t tried process improvement, scorecards, lean, six sigma, teamwork, personality styles testing, change management and, of course, the power of the new twist on leadership? Well executed, all of these ideas contribute to better performance. With the plethora of information available, our successes in the world of management and leadership should be clear. Right?

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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


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We Are Syndicating Our Posts With John Moore!


We are very pleased to let you know that we will be syndicating our blog with John Moore and we invite you to subscribe to “Random Thoughts of a Boston-based CTO”, John Moore’s Weblog. John’s passion for social media, customer experience and business results is refreshing and pragmatic. We’ve been talking to John for some time now. He is an inspiration to us and we believe you will enjoy his weblog. We are honored to be able to collaborate with John.

Here is a brief overview from John regarding his blog and focus:

Random Thoughts of a Boston-based CTO: John Moore’s Weblog is dedicated to providing information based upon the views of John Moore who is currently the CTO and SVP of Engineering of Swimfish, Inc. The weblog focuses on topics including Social Media, CRM, Social Support Communities, SharePoint, Management Best Practices, and Engineering Processes.

For the last decade I have worked as a senior engineering manager for SAAS applications built upon the Microsoft technology stack. This has allowed me to have an exciting day job focused on delivering real customer value in the form of products, services, and social conversations. When I am not wearing the CTO/CIO hat I continue to engage in co-creation of value with customers, partners, and vendors and I enjoy writing this blog, engaging in conversations in real-life and twitter. If you want to learn more about CRM, Social Business Strategies, or any other topic I am likely to have an opinion on, stop by and leave me a note.”

So, stay tuned for more on this interesting relationship. We are very excited about the possibilities as is John.

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Moving Towards Change


The movement towards change is a difficult course to navigate for many companies.  Emerging technologies, such as Social Media have thrust change onto many of us like it or not.  Accepting that the environment is changing is the first step.  The size of your company is not always the issue.  I have seen many large organizations (500+) adopt and still stay nimble.  Here are three key ways these companies have  guided their ship though the treachous waters of change:

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Social Media, Sales and a Contact Sport


A good friend of mine, Aaron Howard, asked me to write some thoughts down on Sales and Sale Management.  I have known Aaron for some 20 years and have to say it’s never boring around him. I owe him a lot.

For the past 25 years I have been in sales.  Mostly helping small businesses (companies with annual revenue under $25 million) with financing their operations. As a sales person, on the line, and later as a sale manager, the goal has always been to contact more prospects and close more deals!  As some like to say, “Sales is a contact sport!” and they would be correct.

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Millennials Are Changing the Rules


Millennials now entering or preparing to enter the workforce, 75 million strong, are reshaping expectations as customers and as employees. Millennials grew up multi-tasking, instant messaging, and adapting to rapid change.  They expect to work in organizations that engage employees, that redefine themselves continually, and that generate and use real-time data to stay relevant in a world of constant change.  Traditional management are incapable of enabling and sustaining this level of agility.

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