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Social Media, Social Engagement News & Guidance

Facebook's Mind Experiments: Just Media As Usual

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Yes, "furor erupted" over Facebook's massive psychological experiment to control user emotions by changing the configuration of posts.

How naive are we, really? Of course Facebook wants to control your thoughts — that's the whole point of media.

Emotional manipulation in the media is nothing new. That's why we have Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps Facebook's experiment was more disturbing because of its scale, and the fact that it failed to alert or gain the consent of its users.

But anybody thinking that the trend of media companies using real time user data to control reactions of its audience is something new is mistaken. 

Why Sitecore Invested in Danish Social Media Marketing Platform

Sitecore took a large minority investment into a Danish social media marketing platform two years ago.

It still likes it.

The San Francisco-based customer experience and digital marketing provider announced today it has acquired a majority stake in Komfo, the Danish social media marketing and community engagement application provider. Sitecore's investment, officials say, will extend Komfo's presence in global markets and forms the basis of Sitecore's social media product roadmap through a product called Sitecore Social Powered by KomfoTM.

Smoke, Fire and American Apparel: Avoiding Social Mistakes

2014-07-July-house-on-fire.jpgThe scariest words an executive can hear just might be "Your brand is trending on Twitter."

Absent a viral video, strategically planned marketing campaign or the spontaneous heroism of an employee, a global cacophony of disturbing tweets can mean only one thing. 

Somebody screwed up.

Somebody said or wrote or posted something racist, sexist, ageist, insensitive, political incorrect or, perhaps worst of all, simply stupid. 

And you have to look hard to find an example of greater stupidity than American Apparel's latest mistake — confusing an image of a space disaster that took seven lives with a fireworks display.

5 Things Marketers Can Learn on the Fourth of July

2014-4-July-fireworks-in-Hobokan-NJ.jpgIndependence Day is an uniquely American holiday, replete with examples of exactly what happens when you give freedom to a rag-tag group of descendants of fanatics, misfits, debtors, dreamers and people relocated against their will.

There's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at the fast food restaurant's original location on New York City's Coney Island every year since about 1972. The world hot dog eating record is held by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., who ate 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — a feat that at best can be considered bewildering.

News Bites: Salesforce Mobile Reports, Sitecore Partnership, More

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Heading into July, the news keeps flowing. This week: Salesforce introduces mobile reports while Useful Social Media and Millennial Media issue free reports.

Braindigit launches SageCMS, Sitecore and ADAM join forces, text donations grow up and Shufflrr releases its PowerPoint tool.

Separating Fact from Fiction in Social Comments

Yelp, Angie's List, Amazon -- these companies and many others offer user reviews of local businesses. But the authenticity of many of those reviews is questionable, which is why an Israel-based company is offering a new service that it claims provides "honest, authentic referrals."

The company, WhoDoYou, uses machine learning and natural language processing to collect and sort public conversations -- mostly from Facebook, and mostly positive recommendations -- about painters, lawn services, restaurants and the like.

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

2014-26-June-Goal.jpgI have a lot of conversations with B2B marketers. And you know what? They’re all struggling to figure out what the right goals are for social media.

I’m not saying they don’t know what they hope to achieve (hint: leads). It’s just that these smart marketers seem unsure of themselves when it comes to setting measurable goals for social media. No wonder there’s still confusion about Social ROI!

So what’s going on?

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

This Tiny Restaurant Knows More than You About Customer Experience

Thumbnail image for 2014-18-june-Joe's-HomemadeIf you want to learn about customer experience, forget the next overhyped, overcrowded, tech-focused conference. Just eat at Joe's in Savannah, Ga.

Joe's Homemade Café, Catering and Bakery is the best of 750 restaurants in Savannah, at least according to TripAdvisor, a travel site that offers "trusted advice from real travelers." The 510-square foot gem of a restaurant is known for its sandwiches, salads, desserts and exceptionally warm and friendly service.

And while the food is delicious, it begs a customer to ask a question: "How did this tiny space with eight employees in a city of landmarked, exotic restaurants win the hearts of more travelers than any other?"

Don Holland, shown left, who co-owns the business with Ted Paskevich, shown right, doesn't have to think long when asked. "We believe that a strong commitment and delivery of quality food and exceptional service makes us appreciated by our customers," he said.

Oh, and one other thing. "We're big believers in social media."

Acquiring Customers Amid the Social Babble #SDLInnovate

You don't need to listen to 56 billion social conversations to build your business. You just need to hear the ones that matter.

That was the landscape  Liz High, vice president for global insights and analytics at SDL, explored at her company's Innovate event in San Francisco. More specifically, the workshop was titled: "Social Intelligence: Drive Customer Acquisition While Increasing Customer Spend." 

"When you think of social media, it's the most brilliant data set in the world," said High. "The whole way we think of social media is getting to the data that matters."

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rabbi's Use of Social Media

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Think "religious leader" — and you probably do not think "social media" in the same breath.

But then you haven't met Laura Baum, a founding rabbi and the chief operating officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. She challenges assumptions about the nature of Jewish identity, community and religious ideas.

Through OurJewishCommunity.org — named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations — Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology.

You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious at all to learn from her expertise in social media. "If we can revolutionize a 3,000-year-old product, I’m pretty sure almost any product or service can be re-imagined," she said.

Dig into Your Data to Delight Your Customers #SDLInnovate

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When preaching the gospel of customer experience management, it helps if a CEO has transformed his own company as Mark Lancaster has changed SDL.

Lancaster opened his company's conference in San Francisco today -- the third in a series of five global events -- with a sermon on the importance of analyzing data to better understand and serve customers.

He began by noting he led SDL's own  "reinvention" in that area last year, building a company that now competes with a suite of products in analytics, social, documentation, campaign management, e-commerce, web, mobile and other areas.

Yep, Brands Talk Like 5th Graders on Facebook

A majority of Facebook posts by brands -- 67.3 percent of them, to be exact -- are written at an elementary school level — with 1st grade being the grade level most frequently targeted. That's the not so surprising results of a study by Track Maven, a competitive intelligence company.

Grade level is determined using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which analyzes passages and rates them on a scale from 0 to 100 according to difficulty. Passages suitable for 11-year-olds —  most of what is apparently on Facebook — score between 90 and 100. 

Does a Swedish Company Know the Secret of Intranet Security?

Is there room in the American market for another enterprise social intranet — especially one that could be more secure? Sweden-based Incentive Corp. thinks so.

Incentive claims its network, which can be used on-premises or within the cloud, provides data security within a suite of social collaboration tools.

"Incentive is installed behind the firewall, which means that a company can choose its level of security and privacy," CEO Rickard Hansson told CMSWire. "Incentive doesn't change where you can store documents, [but] just ensures that the communication about those documents and changes made to them remains private."

Companies "know where their data is" when using Incentive, he said, because they don't have to use a public cloud.

How to Make Your Branded Content as Likeable as a Kitten

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Think you have top-quality content? Maybe you do. But that isn't enough, according to Jonah Peretti.

"Quality helps, but quality isn't enough," the BuzzFeed  founder and CEO told more than 600 marketers at Lithium's recent LiNC conference in San Francisco. "Making shareable content is an art and a science."

And Peretti's got the numbers to prove it. At a time when most media organizations are struggling, Buzzfeed reaches 130 million people a month, putting it in the same league and MTV and CNN. And where do those people come from? The vast majority come from links on social networks.

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