Will Meerkat be a long term play or just a flash in the pan?  We will see how this all plays out but I can tell you that the idea of democratized streaming media is going to be a big thing.  A really big thing.  Whether it is Meerkat or the yet to be launched Periscope we will have to wait and see but the real initial winner is going to be Twitter who will see the benefit of this real time sharing and engaging event.  But keep following me here at Whidbey Ventures to get the latest.

     VS     

Why is Live Streaming for the People a Winner?

Because it works, it is simple and it is off devices that we all have in our pockets. As well as access to great amounts of bandwidth.  And humans love site, sound and motion mixed in with a little voyeurism / velvet rope.  Intimate access and connection with others is a very powerful human condition and video makes is one more step to truly being there.

Who is doing this?

I have had the app for a couple days and really excited about its potential for breaking news, brand events, corporate intimate webinars, and just fun stuff.  I have watch Mark Suster do his Meerkats with Chamillionaire.

And if you missed Jimmy Fallon preview his monologue today, it was great.

Both of these streams drew over 2000 simultaneous views.  That is great and much larger than the capacity of most movie theaters.

And the Press?

Of course they want to talk about the controversy.

http://www.businessinsider.com/twitters-acquisition-of-periscope-and-what-it-means-for-meerkat-2015-3

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/17/meerkat-and-twitter-the-weasel-and-the-woodpecker/

But the winner is going to be you and me and live streaming video.

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Three Things You Should Absolutely Be Doing In Your Social Media Marketing.  If you aren’t doing these three things, you should rethink your social marketing.  And extra credit, Rallyverse helps you do this and much much more.

 

 

 
 
 
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Being aware of the context of your content is very important.  I am sure the Social Media team had all the right intentions but failed to grasp the broader context.  

I mean – what do you think? Brand Appropriate 

 Bud Light’s St. Patrick’s Day tweet has users seeing red instead of green mashable.com  

 
 
And this is my favorite response tweet. 

 
 
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When we came up with the idea for Rallyverse – a leading platform in Content Marketing – we knew that a transformation was happening in Marketing. That the Content we as brands and businesses create – blog posts, tweets, status updates, Linkedin Posts – are the new Ads. The Content is the Ad. We felt deeply that this fundamental shift would cause a massive transformation to the marketing ecosystem and the marketing organization. 

And it has. Marketers need to create more content today than ever before. This has resulted in new organizational designs, new team members and roles such as the social media manager, community manager, the brand editor to name just a few. But doing this content creation is really really hard. And just putting more marketers and editors at the problem doesn’t help the brand scale to its content creation needs. In fact it is so hard we wrote a slideshare and a blog post about it where we give you “5 Reasons Why Social is So Hard“.

One of the big 5 reasons is making sure you are consistent in your voice, brand and message to your audience. This helps your audience know what they are going to be getting from you. Just like your brand, product or service, your audiences will want consistency and quality from your content creation. To deliver that consistency and quality in a seamless way, Curation can really help you. It can help with bringing together the best ideas and thoughts and content on a topics from around the web or around your world. It helps provide the context for your real time content creation. So check out our slideshare and delve into the details of Content Curation.

 

Of course doing curation is hard and it is tedious. Luckily for you Rallyverse can help. We have the industry leading patented relevancy and curation platform that is fully customized for you. You set the rules for your brand and business and Rallyverse does the rest. Discovering and curating the best content that is mapped to real time interest signals and personalized for your brand. Want to learn more about how we do it, sign up for a demo.

 
 

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 
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Great tips on keeping it simple when it comes to software development and deployment.  

So invest the 30 minutes and watch this video.

 

 
Rallydeck
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Social Selling and Employee Advocacy is all the rage but you need to get the details.  

Rallyverse has them.  Check out these 9 articles that will give you the definative list of what is what in social selling.  

 

Tuesday #SocialSelling Tip: Make it Succeed w/ these 3 Tips http://rlyv.se/v5aT

Your social selling program should serve two goals: (1) to help your sales team to connect with clients and prospects and (2) to scale your brand’s content and messaging via one-on-one conversation…
rallyverse.com
 
 

Tuesday #SocialSelling Tip: Add context and tags to your content http://rlyv.se/v5aU

It’s been a big week for email at Rallyverse: in addition to new email formats, we’ve also added the ability to include extra comments on individual posts and show each item’s tags in our social se…
rallyverse.com
 
 

YES! @Rallyverse has the fastest search tools for #contentmarketing http://rlyv.se/v5aV ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

With search everywhere, you’ll be able to find a lot more content from a lot more places a whole lot faster. Here’s how: In addition to instantly filtering your recommended content by whatever search term you enter or select from Your Keywords or Trending Topics, we’re now searching our entire content index (2,099,620 documents and counting when I sat down to type this up) for relevant items that match your search.
rallyverse.com
 
 

Tuesday #SocialSelling tip: Scale Content Marketing thru Sales http://rlyv.se/v5aW

How do you amplify your voice on social media? How do you create new advocates and ambassadors and multiply the impact of your content marketing…without jus
 
slideshare.net
 
 

Talk about Enterprise Control – @Rallyverse lets you take full control of your content recomendations http://rlyv.se/v5aX Check out

Good news: we’ve just released a new set of controls to let you fine-tune your Rallyverse content recommendations. While a limited set of ranking controls were previously available to admin users, all users now have access to a much deeper set of controls. This means that you can decide how you’d like our ranking algorithms to evaluate and surface content in Rallyverse.
rallyverse.com
 
 

YES! Rallyverse delivers the most powerful discovery tools out there for content marketers. And they just got better w/ ‘Search Everywhere’ http://rlyv.se/v5aY

With search everywhere, you’ll be able to find a lot more content from a lot more places a whole lot faster. Here’s how: In addition to instantly filtering your recommended content by whatever search term you enter or select from Your Keywords or Trending Topics, we’re now searching our entire content index (2,099,620 documents and counting when I sat down to type this up) for relevant items that match your search.
rallyverse.com
 
 

How to Mix Owned, #Curated and Promotional Content? @Rallyverse has a new #infographic http://rlyv.se/v5aZ

How do marketers mix their owned, curated and promotional content? We looked at this topic last summer and are now circling back with fresh data from Q4 of 2014, in a handy infographic.
rallyverse.com
 
 

Social Selling is tough – Rallyverse makes it easy. And now you can add context to your engaging content so the sellers know why this content matters for your audience. http://rlyv.se/v5a0

We’ve added the ability to include extra comments on individual posts and show each item’s tags in our social selling emails.
rallyverse.com
 
 

Sellers need context to make #SocialSelling work http://rlyv.se/v5a1 @Rallyverse makes it easy

We’ve added the ability to include extra comments on individual posts and show each item’s tags in our social selling emails.
rallyverse.com
 
 
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When you have content marketing winners, you need to keep promoting and pumping them up.  The same is true in content marketing, if you have content that is rocking, you need to keep pushing that winner and the topics that surround it.  

So what has been rocking the week ending March 11th?  This has…

 

#SocialSelling is tough, @Rallyverse makes it easy. Content in context that drives buyer engagement http://rlyv.se/vxAH

We’ve added the ability to include extra comments on individual posts and show each item’s tags in our social selling emails.
rallyverse.com
 
 

Friday #ContentMarketing Tip: 5 Things Your Sales Team Is Telling You http://rlyv.se/vxA7 #socialselling

Content marketers take note; your sales team needs you. Given that 90% of the decision makers that they are trying to engage never respond to cold outreach, sales teams must engage
 
marketing.linkedin.com
 
 

Let’s get atomic when it comes to native ads http://rlyv.se/vvLJ #nativeads #socialmedia

Everyone thinks that all these different communication platforms and social networks are *so* unique and require different native ads / posts / messages for each.
rallyverse.com
 
 

I swore I would not tweet #AppleWatch but these are too good not to http://rlyv.se/v8gH my fav

If you think today is really about anything else other than Apple, think again. (Sorry if today’s your birthday.) The new Game of Thrones trailer! Open source medical records! The sexier, sleeker MacBook Air, which begs the question: Why only 24 percent thinner and not 25? Slackers!And, of course, the main event, the Apple Watch, aka, the new international geek-tagging system! Here are the funniest tweets about the Apple event we found so far.Special kudos to theGuardian Tech’s tweets. Gotta lov
GeekWire
 
 

Need the best content discovery engine in any content marketing platform: @Rallyverse http://rlyv.se/v6JG

With search everywhere, you’ll be able to find a lot more content from a lot more places a whole lot faster. Here’s how: In addition to instantly filtering your recommended content by whatever search term you enter or select from Your Keywords or Trending Topics, we’re now searching our entire content index (2,099,620 documents and counting when I sat down to type this up) for relevant items that match your search.
rallyverse.com
 
 
 
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There’s been a lot of recent discussion about the costs of doing social media. Orginally sparked by the decision by P&G to lay off 1,600 employees and “moderate” their ad budgets because of the decreased costs of Facebook and social marketing, many folks in the industry are left to wonder if the rise of social media marketing really has created an opportunity to capture a previously unthinkable amount of “free” media via social channels. In addition to the blog discussions, we heard this issue debated a number of times last week at various panels at Social Media Week in New York as well.

While we can’t speak to the precise costs of doing social media for every marketer and organization, we do have a framework for how marketers and agencies can compare the costs of social media to other digital marketing channels. Our framework considers (a) Set-Up Costs, (b) Media Costs, and (c) the costs of Ongoing Management.

With Paid Search marketing, most of your costs are variable media costs. Creative is relatively cheap to develop (your set-up costs), and the ongoing management (either through an SEM vendor or your own hard work) is real, but is not overwhelming. Most of your search budget will go to the search engine (somewhere, Google is smiling).

In Display Media, you’ll spend a bit more on creative development, but again, most of your budget is consumed by the variable costs of media. Sure you’ll again pay a fee for the media buying and optimization, but it’s a small part of the overall budget. While you’ll spend more on creative in display than in search, the costs are still fairly limited and the costs of the media can be captured easily — making it fairly simple to pencil out a ROI or ROAS metric depending on your goals.  

E-mail Marketing takes a fixed cost investment in technology (SAAS platform or E-mail Service Provider) as well as a coordinated effort to build/ buy your e-mail list. The fixed costs of building the list are high, but once you have that list built, you can monetize that list very effectively. With e-mail, you basically buy an annuity that keeps traffic coming to your site and sales flowing through. Most people try to ignore the costs of the initial list building when calculating ROI on e-mail since some is organic and some was a one time list purchase. With e-mail, once you have the e-mail list built, your varible costs of e-mail delivery is next to zero. Your costs are really your monthly ESP fee and the cost of your e-mail marketing people doing the creative development — pretty cheap and scaled.   

Social Media Marketing has a similar characteristic to e-mail where you need to build up a community but the costs of that community development is unknown or is highly variable.  The organic or owned posts on your own wall seem like “free impressions” but the cost of consistently developing new and relevant content is expensive (in terms of both people and creative burnout). And the media seems cheap on a variable basis on Facebook and Twitter since it’s performance priced, but the cost and effort to effectively manage and optimize it is very high. So to summarize, social has high fixed entry costs, relatively cheap media costs and high maintenence costs.

Summary chart:

Of course, there’s one column missing from that chart: Impact. With social media marketing, the impact and engagement you build with your customers is Massive and includes Network Effects.  The ability to create a network effect among a known group on opt-in hand-raisers — turning one loyal advocate into 20 or 30 is a massive return. When you consider that additional level of impact, the investment in social media looks even more cost-effective. 

As we recommend with all our clients, you need to understand your real costs both variable and fixed in starting to invest in social media marketing.  You also need to understand the outcomes you want to achieve.  And I will promise you that the returns will come with your hard work and focus.  This is what we recommend to our clients:  

Investments

  • Tools And People for Content/ Creative Production (can we suggest Rallyverse?)
  • Jump Start Your Community via Paid Social Media. You need to get your community to a minimum level so it can feed your business. This can be 50,000 fans or 10 million — it depends on your size and type of business.  Ask Rallyverse, we can help you figure it out.
  • Media And Buying Agent for Paid Social Media. You want to amplfy your owned participation in social media to get new fans. You want to get your message about promotions and sales out to people. You want to acquire e-mails or drive traffic to your e-commerce site — social ads are great for this woth the right partner (can we suggest Rallyverse?).

Return (where does the value flow back to me)

  • Daily or Weekly Transfers to where you make money (your website or merchandising opportunities in the social network)
  • Daily/ Weekly Brand Engagement: views, clicks, shares, mentions of your brand
  • Growth of Your Community (drives increased value to both of the above points)
  • List or e-mail acquisition: better yet, match your e-mails acquired on social to your customers and watch that overlap grow  

Social media isn’t free — far from it — but if you invest appropriately and understand the costs, the returns can be substantial.

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Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

On Friday, John Battelle published a thoughtful post on Twitter and the challenges that it faces at this point in its evolution:

Can Twitter solve its signal to noise problem? Many observers have commented on how noisy Twitter is: That once you follow more than about fifty or so folks, your feed becomes unmanageable. If you follow hundreds, like I do, it’s simply impossible to extract value from your stream in any structured or consistent fashion (see image from my stream at left). Twitter’s answers to this issue has been anemic….On average, my feed gets a few hundred new tweets every ten minutes. No way can I make sense of that unassisted. But I know there’s great stuff in there, if only the service could surface it in a way that made sense to me. You know – in a way that feels magic, the way Google was the first time I used it.

Twitter’s curation problem — and the fact that they’ve created an ad product to address it — is something we’ve covered here before. Still, Battelle’s post brings up some interesting questions about the sort of challenges that Twitter must address for both consumers and marketers. For consumers, the challenge is simple: Twitter must help us all to easily find what’s most interesting in the stream — without all of us having to manually curate lists. For marketers, the challenge is a bit more subtle, but potentially very lucrative: how to help marketers surround the right moments in conversations with relevant and valuable ad opportunities.

It’s clear that Twitter has some work to do for both consumers and marketers; the bigger question then becomes, as Twitter, which do you tackle first? And, by implication, which are you more willing to cede to partners and the larger ecosystem to solve?

From my perspective, the priority for Twitter has to be the consumer scenario. Yes, as of March, Twitter was seeing 140 million Tweets run through its service each day. But at the same time, a much smaller percentage of users (7%) interact with Twitter every day, especially when compared to Facebook (just under half of all US internet users). The folks who like Twitter like it a lot; the challenge is making Twitter a more easily consumed mainstream product. And while Twitter does need to focus on building revenue-generating advertising products, the bigger priority needs to be making sure there’s a scaled audience available for advertisers to buy.

That is, Twitter should focus on building the best product possible for consumers right now — without that product, the concerns about ad products and revenue models just aren’t as meaningful.

In the meantime, they can be sure that more and more ecosystem partners will take the opportunity to drive innovation for marketers against the Twitter platform. This will take a number of forms — from ads that surround the stream to better tools to help marketers drive additional clicks from their participation in Twitter to using real-time data to inform better ad placement decisions outside the social stream.

For marketers and other partners, this will mean a ton of opportunity and a lot of experimentation — and it should make for a lot of excitement in and around the industry. We’re certainly looking forward to it.

Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

Tout is hiring and we’re looking for people with the passion and talent to help us build innovative products for social media marketing. We’re marketers and technologists who are excited about solving big problems with big data sets — all at the speed of the social web.

See below for some interesting opportunities with our company.  Send us a note at info @ livetout dot com if you are interested. When contacting us, please e-mail your resume, blog, portfolio, Linkedin profile, Twitter, links to your work, etc. — any digital resume is a big plus in our book.

Senior Web Developer @ Social Media Start Up – Ruby, Python, Mongo, C#, .NET
Technology forward Social media start up looking for a very early web development technologist.  Be one of the very early team members building a revolutionary technology in a technology-led company. Set the future of our core user experience. We are looking for a Senior Web Developer who will be a central member of a kick-ass technology team.  The senior web developer should be comfortable managing several ongoing projects across a wide set of disciplines.
Position Requirements:

  • At least 3 years experience in web development (proven experience for building n-tier website applications in .NET)
  • Proficiency and experience in using server side scripting (similar to JSP, ASP, PHP) languages, as well as HTML, CSS, JavaScript (AJAX/JSON)
  • Proficiency in ASP.NET and C#, XML, XSL, SQL, mySQL (Mongo DB – a plus)
  • Proficiency in Open source web development tools and technology stack a plus
  • 3 years of experience in web page scripting languages (preferred javascript)
  • 1 year experience in building reporting services on top of SQL/MySQL/Mongo
  • Experience building web services on top of real-time APIs a plus
  • Widget & iPhone/iPad app development or experience – a plus
  • Development & Programming experience in flash, silverlight or AJAX – a plus

Lead Social Data Scientist @ Social Media Startup
Technology-forward social media startup looking for a very early technology staff. Be the first to apply & develop technologies that create actionable insight out of real-time data that drives business impact.  Chance to work with massive amounts of data and be a industry leader in its management and applicability.  
We are looking for a Lead Scientist who will be the primary researcher working on real-time social web data and the foundations of proprietary algorithms.  This is an ideal position for experienced researchers interested in working on real-time web data or recent CS/Advanced Mathematics graduate students.
Position Requirements:

  • Proven experience with text mining, semantic and sentiment analysis, and machine learning (supervised and un-supervised) of large data sets
  • Proven experience with Information Retrieval algorithms (text classification, SVM)
  • Operational experience dealing with large scale unstructured / structured data sets
  • Experienced with building statistical models
  • Programming experience in any of the common languages – C, C++, C#, Java, Python (language is not as important as the experience).  
  • CS or Mathematics graduate educational background

Senior Software Developer @ Social Media Startup
Technology-forward Social media start up looking for a very skilled senior software developer.  Be one of the very early team members building a revolutionary technology in a technology-led company.  Be a lead contributor in creating actionable insight out of real-time data. We are looking for a Senior Software Developer who will be the lead engineer building a next-generation web service that creates actionable insights out of the real-time social web.  This position will be a key contributor to our broad IP base.  This is an ideal position for an entrepreneurial & experienced engineers that wants to work with big data, solve real-world customer problems and work in a technology centric-organization.  Experience in working in or around algorithmic search, advertising systems, social media ecosystem, real-time data services is all a plus but not required.  
Position Requirements:

  • Proven experience with text mining and machine learning algorithms (lexical analysis with training data)
  • Proven experience with Information Retrieval algorithms (text classification, SVM)
  • Operational experience dealing with large scale unstructured / structured data sets
  • Experienced with building statistical models
  • Programming experience in any of the common languages – C, C++, C#, Java, Python.   Language is not as important as the experience.  
  • Experience with cloud computing technologies and infrastructures a plus
  • Proficiency in Open source web development tools and technology stack a plus
  • CS or Mathematics educational background

Client Service Manager @ Social Media Startup
Technology forward & market leading social marketing start up is looking for its first client service manager.  Be one of the early team of seasoned entrepreneurs in the advertising and social media space building out a revolutionary social marketing technology platform.  Lead the development of our client service team and our offering.  Lead the engagement with our community of clients and stakeholders.  This position will be a key contributor in our entrepreneurial team. This is an ideal position for an entrepreneurial & experienced client service or community managers that want to grow into a bigger role.  If you like to work in a fast paced environment focused on solving real-world customer problems in a technology-centric organization that focuses on customers and performance, we are for you.  Experience working in a marketing services and/ or adverting workflow system and/ or social media ecosystem is all a huge plus.  

Position Requirements

  • Proven experience as a client service position in a marketing services or advertising technology company
  • Proven experience as a community manager for active brand or company with experience in managing broad content production, management and promotional systems especially social media & networks — includes working knowledge of tools and analytics systems.
  • Great customer-facing communication and interpersonal skills
  • Great problem-solving skills

Stop Eating Social Media Junk Food

On August 10, 2011, in Marketing, Rallyverse, Social Media, by Joe Doran

Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

candy

When it comes to social media, is your brand eating nutritiously, or are you addicted to junk food?

By social media junk food, we mean social media marketing that tastes good and maybe gives you a quick sugar high, but ultimately isn’t very filling or nutritious. In social media, this means Facebook posts or Tweets that you know will earn you quick responses, but don’t necessarily line up with your brand or campaign goals. Think polls. Think contests. Think broadly posed questions.

Top Pot Doughnuts

Yes, you know that if you ask a question or pull together a poll, you’ll likely get a response from your followers and fans — maybe even a lot of responses. And if you’re measuring the performance of your social media marketing solely based on social engagement metrics (mentions, comments, replies), well, the lure of the questions and polls might be overwhelming.

When you’re looking for mentions or comments, polls and broad questions will probably perform — but what’s really the value of that performance? Does the poll or question or contest build your brand’s message? Does it introduce your audience to a new or important aspect of your product? Does it lead them to engage with your brand’s content? Does it move purchase intent?

radish greens salad

If you’ve been gorging on junk food for too long, it might be time for a healthier choice — but one that doesn’t skimp on flavor. You need social media marketing that tastes delicious (is engaging for users) but is also nutritious (amplifies your brand’s message and brings customers closer to you and your product).

Nothing is healthier for your brand in social than your own content. Your blog posts, your videos, your white papers, your infographics — they’re all ideal for engaging your customers in social media, driving emotive responses, and helping you to meet your brand and business goals. Show your customers that you have something meaningful for them to consume, something that addresses their needs at the same time that it moves you closer to your business goals. Measure your performance not just in terms of engagement metrics, but also clicks, video views, downloads, and, ultimately, conversions.

As we all know, a little junk food is fine — in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something sweet and delicious every so often; you don’t need to eliminate the polls and questions completely, especially if you can tie them to your brand and business goals. But if that’s all you’re eating, well, you might end up with a bellyache.

Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

Today’s post is short, sweet and to the point: if you market your content through Social channels, here are our top-five must-do recommendations for success.

#1 Create a Strategy & Objectives: Strategy equals what you are doing, why you are doing it and for whom you’re doing it.  Objectives equal how you are going to measure success.  Both your strategy and objectives should be centered around the sort of content (how-to videos, highly emotive content, lighthearted content — whichever) your customers want to hear.

#2 Create an Editorial Calendar: you need to understand how your customers experience your brand, and what matters to them at different points on the calendar — at the yearly level, the weekly level, even the daily level. November content may be different than May content. Monday morning content may be different than Thursday afternoon content. 10 am content may be different than 9 pm content. You need to be in touch with those differences and factor them into your planning.

#3 Create all types of content: when it comes to content formats, anything goes. Blog post, product sheets, webinars, customer testimonials, white papers, industry chats, et al — they’re all in play. Create similarly themed content in all formats (text, image, audio and video) and make sure your message can find its way into all the styles and media that matter to your customers.

#4 Big Distribution Footprint: get your content off your servers on out on the web. Put content on your blog, Youtube, Flickr, Facebook, other bloggers websites — anywhere that will take your content.  It is ok for your content to be promiscuous. The greater your distribution footprint the higher likelihood it will be found.

#5 Promotion: this is most important. Actively promote your content. Everyday if not twice or three times a day. Get it out on twitter, Facebook, Google+, on your website. Your content is great — be proud of it. Promote it…Someone out there is looking for it. If you promote it they will more likely find it. And just because you wrote something great two months ago doesn’t mean that you can’t promote it again today (especially if it’s relevant to your customers today).

Bonus Round: Get others to create and promote content for you. Get your fans and followers to produce content for you. Have them share success stories, positive reviews, how they use your service, etc. Then promote their content and them.  People love recognition and rewards…don’t be stingy with them!

Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

When we talk to social media professionals about the challenges they face, and the role of technology in addressing those challenges, one of the more common bits of feedback we hear is that social media is inherently about people connecting with people — and that you shouldn’t shoehorn an algorithm between those person-to-person connections.

No one is going to dispute the fact that for social media to really work for your business, it needs to be authentic to your brand or company’s voice, and should amplify your relationships with partners and customers. No one wants an army of spamming software pushing tone-deaf content or offers to their fans and followers — certainly not if you want to keep those fans and followers.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that there’s actually quite of bit of technology and algorithms moderating and curating our social conversations today. Facebook uses EdgeRank to decide what shows up in each of our news feeds; consumers are increasingly curating and consuming their streams through apps like Flipboard and sites like Paper.li.

Why the need for these sorts of curation tools? Because the social stream is already too big and messy and complex to sift through without some help. Users are looking for tools to help them sort through the content on the social web and find and share the items that matter most to them.

That is, there’s already a ton of technology involved in social media — it’s deciding what we see and read every day. And in that context, if you’re looking to maximize the reach and engagement of the content you share on Twitter and Facebook, why wouldn’t you want to augment (rather than replace) your human efforts with technology? Especially if that technology could help you decide which of your content was most relevant to your followers right now?

Anything else is akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight. Against robots.

(Image via I Watch Stuff.)

In Social, The Content is the Ad

On July 22, 2011, in Marketing, Rallyverse, Social Media, by Joe Doran

Originally Posted on Rallyverse (blog.rallyverse.com)

When I am surfing my favorite social networks, I am consistently amazed by how bad the ads are surrounding the social experience.  Maybe you go through banner blindness and tune them out, but being an ad guy, I notice them — and then critique them.

The biggest error I see in social advertising is that marketers are shipping the same ads from search or display text ads into the social channels. Big Mistake!

Why?

First: I don’t want your offer. That is not why I am in social environments. I am there to be informed or entertained or connect. To BE SOCIAL!

Second: your precision targeting, while very cool, doesn’t overcome the awkwardness of a sales-y message I don’t want to see or hear. Remember the first point — I am in Social to be informed or to be entertained or to connect with people I know.

Third: offers or standard ads aren’t aligned with your overall brand social strategy.   You need to think about what are you trying to accomplish in Social and how you are trying to accomplish that? How is the ad integrated into the rest of your social communications? Does it feel like it’s disconnected from the rest of your social presence? If so, how can you expect your consumers to engage with it?

My answer to all the brands out there is that in Social, the Ad is not the Ad. The Content is the Ad. Or said differently, treat the Ad as Social Content.

Mark Zuckerberg has said that Social needs to be baked into everything.  In social environments, Social needs to be baked into the ads.  Facebook and Twitter have done a good job of bringing tools to make the ads more social but too often advertisers haven’t taken the hint, and have instead focused on what’s worked for them in traditional search and display advertising: asking consumers to Buy Now.

In social, consumers are looking for great content that they can engage with and share. That means great utility content that educates, informs or emotive content that entertains or aspires us. A lot of great marketing is happening on the wall or in the stream, we just have to take that same great content to the ad.

Our recommendation? Stop putting standard “sell” or “offer” ads in social environments. Start putting great sharable content and brand experiences in your ads. You will see engagement rates, likes, comments, follows just accelerate.  And then you will see the impact on your brand around awareness, preference of just simple prospects and buyers!

So remember that In Social, The Content is the Ad!