A Brief Overview of 3.0 Marketing

27 Jul

As you may or may not be aware of the web has been undergoing a transformation over the past year or so and that all encompassing term, “web 2.0” is now passe. The pillars that made web 2.0 popular are still important: great content, connectivity, and user interaction; however, a there has been a general acceptance that it is no longer necessary for every website to have its own social community and there is no need to write code from scratch if the functionality exists and is popular elsewhere. In short the open API has made web 2.0 obsolete. And as you might guess, this has major implications when it comes to marketing.

The traditional idea of the website fell squarely under, “if you make it – they will come.” By the time web 2.0 came about it was clear that this wasn’t the case. Marketing was still trying to mimic the physical world by dominating pages with banner ads and pop-up billboards. And while this may have worked for a select few, I think most would agree that the efforts did not equal the return and oftentimes were counterproductive in creating brand loyalty. Forums, on-site commenting, and micro-social-communities brought consumers closer to web site owners in the land of 2.0 but as facebook and twitter became dominating giants in the land of communication it became harder and harder to get users to participate in any type of interactivity on another website. This is where social marketing was born and what eventually led to 3.0 marketing.

3.0 Marketing is in fact just the natural progression of the social marketing that has been happening over the past couple of years. The real distinction is in the ultimate goal of marketing. Previously marketing efforts were based on the idea that everyone wanted to drive traffic back to their site and into their sales funnel. If a company only has that ONE way of making sales then I guess that is a good goal; however, most companies sell in multiple ways (online, in stores, through 3rd party retailers) this is true for almost all industries. And for many companies the main goal – that key sales funnel is simply the first contact with a new lead – there is no reason that this needs to happen on their website. An initial contact on twitter is every bit as valuable an initial contact from your contact us form.

What does all of this means to the average business owner? Well it results in two things; first, companies will have to accept that developing customer relationships online will take just as much time and skill as it does in person; second, companies need to let go of control and participate as an equal with their consumers. 3.0 Marketing is a bit of a paradigm shift from even the current social marketing, it involves thinking of web, mobile and real-life relationship building as ubiquitous, but when its handled correctly can create wonderful results for both companies and consumers.


Reflections on a Blogging Journey

23 May

Most of this blog has been in correlation with a course on social media and journalism. Many prior attempts had been made at creating a blog in the past but not until the peer pressure of a class was upon me was I able to stick with it and really give the blog all I had to give. These past months have provided me with a great amount of blog insight that no amount of reading or advising of others had given me before. I consider this blog to still be in its early stages and the longevity of it may still be uncertain but the lessons taken from the experience will apply themselves both to the future of this blog and to other ventures.

You Can Never Do Too Much Prep

Obviously some platforms call for more prep than others (there is only so much thinking you can do on a 160 character message) but regardless of your target its important to take time to think, draft and revise what you’re going to write/say. In the case of a blog or a news article this can be days and days worth of work collecting resources and growing the content into something new and exciting.

Engagement Is Queen

The common wisdom is that content is king. If this is true than engagement definitely plays the part of the queen. The game might be over if you kill the content but you’ll be sorely hurt and recovery is hard if you lose your queen. Developing a social media persona isn’t about just writing lots of content, publishing links to it and waiting for people to read. The real objective is to create a platform in which the topics you write about can be discussed, where the ideas that you share gain traction and grow. The only way to have this happen is by engaging with other people in meaningful ways.

Its Important To Be Appropriate

Appropriateness on the internet is a little different than in person. The content of your media doesn’t need to be rated G by any means and in fact the internet is a very good medium for discussion topics that might not be accessible in print or regular television. The importance of appropriateness on the internet has to do with how you use the mediums. Standards are in place which make technology platforms work well for everyone, use hash-tags when you create a tweet, tag people in facebook posts if you mention their name, when writing an article please use meta-data. These small things are there so that everyone can access content in a level playing field without having to search for pages and pages.

Goals Matter

While the internet is full of people that are otherwise board and haven’t yet realized they can go outside, chances are most of them you’re interested in communicating with feel their time is valuable. It can be fun to be a chatty Cathy and share each and every tidbit that comes to mind but when doing this keep in mind why you’re publishing social media. If your goal is to having meaningful relationships with followers that result in an engaged community then it might be better to keep some thoughts private. There are lots of things worth sharing but not all of them help you in your goals.

Around Communication in 80 Years

23 May

Mom, Aunt Honey and I on our way to the Dance Along Nutcracker - 2009

I recently sat down with my Great-Aunt Honora and had a discussion about the present state of communication and her perspective on how things have changed over the past many decades. Aunt Honey, as we call her, is a very fun character – in her early 80’s she is full of vibrancy with a passion for parties. While she may not be much of one for computers, her interest in them stopped once she learned how to create fliers, she is incredibly up to date on the latest news from the tech and media worlds.

What do you see as the big change in the way people communicate now, as opposed to when you were in your 20’s?

I think there is a big difference in the composure of a conversation that is being had when your at home and seated and very intentionally taking or making a phone call versus if you are on a call-on-the-go or if you’re texting someone. I think people are more likely to say things which are informal and might be regrettable even when they are using an impersonal medium like texting, whereas if your really concentrated on making a call, as apposed to concentrated on driving or walking, then you think about what you say more carefully.

Have you played with any social networks yourself?

No, I have a lot of friends that keep asking me to join facebook; they tell me they’ve uploaded pictures and want to share them with me but I’d rather just visit someone then talk to them over the computer. I might join someday but for now I don’t see the big draw of it.

How do you feel about privacy and social networking?

I have concerns about privacy when I buy things online but as far as photos of me being online? Who cares? People have always been able to share photos. I used to have tons of photos taken of costumes I wore at camp and rarely did I ever see them until years later when they’d show up in a newsletter or something. Its a photo – if you’re doing something you don’t want shared then don’t do it in front of a camera.

Would you be interested in participating in social media if it was geared more towards seniors?

Eh, maybe. I don’t really think we all have similar interests or anything. Now, if the computer was easier to see and simple to use that might provoke me to spend more time with it but I don’t think more senior geared content would be helpful.

How do you think social media could be improved to help bridge the gap between in person and online communications?

Well I think a major problem is people using cell phones and texting while their driving and walking. I make a real effort to pull over when I get a call or wait to answer the phone until I’m stopped. Overall people need to remember that most of the time the call or text can wait 10 minutes. I also think there is a real downside to everyone being connected all the time. Everywhere you go there are people on their cell phones and standing right next to one another but not making any conversation. Its really kind of sad – the conversations you can have while standing in line can be very fun but few people engage in that type of thing now.

One Platform to Rule Them All

23 May

Maybe rule is the incorrect term but how can anyone resist the chance to use a Tolken reference in a title? Shortly after the Sept. 11th attached, over a decade ago, it became clear to everyone that the way we communicate during disasters was, well, disastrous. Here in our own Bay Area a special group was quickly put together and charged with the mission of finding a way of making communication between emergency responders connected across agencies. In a possibly illegal, and likely unethical, turn of events Motorola was assigned this rather daunting task.

The new broadband network system would help first responders talk to each other on the same radio band during major disasters and terrorist attacks. That is a big achievement for police and fire who work with a hodgepodge of different radio frequencies. – ABC News

Some advances on this project have been made; however, the last report placed the project years away from completion and considerably over budget.

…it turned out that the $67 million budget would not cover all of the costs. Local governments could also face an estimated $37 million bill for maintenance and operations. The network is scheduled for completion in 2013. –  The Bay Citizen

In the meanwhile other communication options have arisen as key tools in creating an open and thriving network to assist during disasters.

…During times of disaster, social networks like Twitter and Facebook have proven to be major assets–not just for the public, but also for emergency officials.

One of the big hurdles for emergency managers during (and even after) major storm events is communication.

The problem often times is being able to quickly deliver crucial information to as many people as possible. – RSWFlorida

Here in Alameda County social media is being used as a primary communication tool among emergency releafe organizations, with a drill for this use occuring tomorrow.

CARD provides emergency preparedness and disaster response resources for nonprofits, faith organizations and community agencies serving some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

It wants to harness the power of social media as a way to communicate with staff members, volunteers, community partners and the general public.  – SanLorenzoPatch

Another advantage that has been found in the use of social media is the ability to aggregate citizens around smaller causes and groups. In the last 24 hours a number of small facebook pages and twitter tags have been created with the purpose of sharing personal, local information about victims of the tornado in Joplin, MO with other community members.

• Joplin Tornado Info is a Facebook page where those on the ground are posting photos, updates and information about missing and found individuals.

• Joplin People Accounted for After the Storm is another Facebook effort where people are sharing information about those who have been found.

Information is also available via Twitter by searching the hashtags #Joplin and #KSStorms. – Wichita Business Journal

As progress slowly continues at the state and federal level on a one size fits all solution to emergency communications, the public and concerned local governments will be working with the technologies already in place that have been used successfully and are accessible to great numbers of people, even in dire situations and disasters.

An Adventure in Storyify

22 May

Storify was in private beta when I first signed up for this exciting new web app, the idea was simple and elegant. Take timely tidbits from across social networks clip them all together and add some narrative in between. You provide some context for a limitless amount of primary source materials which all result in a news story. A few months went by before I felt ready to give it a go myself but recently I published my first storify article.


Social Media News

6 May

Social Media has taken a front-seat on the news-mobile. The slow death of printed news sources has been replaced by the fast rise of social media to take its place. As with all change there is good and bad which can happen.

Social media has provided an outlet that is considerably more timely than printed news without the inconvenience of audio that comes with televised news.

The downside of this system is that the trust which we all put into the editorial process of print papers is largely missing from social media. Whether its because of the lack of financial structures for the system or the rise of citizen journalism, there is a large margin of error when it comes to news via social media.

Some older news sources exist in symbiosis with social media, NPR is a good example. But many have allowed themselves to simply become obsolete and remind us of the saying, “video killed the radio star.”

It Starts and Ends with A Call

5 May

It was almost poetic when I received news of the death of Osama Bin Laden. My mother rang at almost 9pm, which is much later than I normally answer the phone but on a whim I decided to risk waking the sleeping babies and pick up. Her immediate words were, “have you heard?” She then went into a quick synapsis of the situation, explaining that there had been a raid adn Osama had been killed. She went on to say that she read about it on facebook and then turned on the tv and was watching the news coverage. She called us because she new we didn’t have a tv, and with the babies and work computer use for enjoyment purposes (like social networking) is limited at best.

I quickly went to reading updates on twitter, NPR and facebook of the event’s news as it poured in. I thought it was an interesting note that while my husband and I may be the most tech-attached people I know yet our first line of news came via telephone. After further reflection I remembered that it was the same method in which I learned of the Sept. 11th attacks 9 years previous. Early in the morning I was getting ready for school and received a call from my best friend asking me, “have you heard?” as she sobbed.

There is something to be taken away from this connection of events and spread of the first news. Maybe news isn’t about just the immediate sharing of facts, maybe when it comes to word of events that have profound impact on our world there is a more personal connection that should come with it. A facebook posting may provide all the facts that you need to feel informed about a story but the sound in another human beings voice when they deliver that story says a lot that words in print leave out.