Recently, I’ve watched this short interview with Brian Solis about the future of social networks. The interesting point has been made about privacy – Brian argues that due to the different social graphs and increasing social importance of the updates (status) social networks of the future will have to tailor the content to context – the right content to the right audiences at the right time – it’s kind of the new J-I-T communication system concept and tools will have to be developed. While I agree with these suggestions I also see some different trends which may reduce the need for such tools.
Everyone who likes you will listen
Social media has started from the idea of opines and transparency. The first bloggers wanted to share their personal experience with the whole world on their web dairies or journals. The innovators were driven by the idea that the world can be the audience not only of the big media companies but of common personalities. At those days bloggers ceternaly didn’t hide much and privacy concern was the last thing to worry about. So what have changed now? Social media has become a norm and instead of planed few international friends the certain messages of bloggers and other social media citizens has reached millions, including their friends, families, employees. Why it’s a bad thing? I think it’s not and that’s my main point – it’s not bad to reach the mass audiences with a single update / everyone who are willing to listen will listen , who are not will not. The problem is that we are afraid of ourselves to transmit the same messages to everyone and can’t figure it out how to make people listen to what we have to say. Simply put I think it is not a senders worry what messages the receiver gets (as he will setup filters in order to get the right messages anyway), but how to make him want to listen to your messages at all. Read the full story
Was watching this new inspiring TED talk by Seth Godin and remembered my earlier researchabout tribes and brand communities which are so important in analysing the post-modern consumer behaviour . Here are some of the main concepts of tribes and brand communities reviewed in the research:
“In the post-modernity period which encourages a move away from individualism towards a search for more social bonds, these communities tend to reorganize themselves into neo-tribes, networks of people gathering homogeneously together for social interaction, often around consumption and brands (Simmons, 2008).From the marketers perspective it is very important to consider tribal relationships as it may be a powerful tool in building loyalty and trust among the consumers. Even though neo-tribes and brand communities are two different concepts they share very similar features and often are very related to each other. According to Cova and Cova (2002) the main differences are that the brand communities are explicitly commercial whereas tribes are not, furthermore, brand communities are concerned about relationship between brand and consumer, whereas tribes – relationship between consumers. Muniz and O’Guinn (2001) (citied in Ouwersloot and Odekerken-Schroeder, 2008) describes a brand community as a specialized, non-geographically bound community that is based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand. Mairinger (2008) suggests that:
The brand community is not just formed around a brand; it creates the brand.
The brand community is not just formed around a product; it is part of the product.
Therefore, the creation and development of brand communities is one of the most important tasks of the marketer as it can guarantee the company success in the long term. According to Mairinger (2008) brand communities can add real experiences and emotion to the brand, reach the long tail, address both individualism and collectivity needs and replace the celebrity endorsers with community brand advocates. Considering that 49 % of people made a purchase based on friends recommendations on social media property (Razorfish, 2008), social media can be viewed as an important channel and tool to interact, manage and enable these brand communities.”
Augmented reality is clearly the buzz word of 2010. There were not too many bloggers who hadn’t identified augmented reality as a top subject in their trend lists of 2010 and there is a simple reason for it – it is (or will be) the world-changing trend.
I’ve been browsing through the case studies and examples of augmented reality and it looks really amazing – bands playing live on you PC screen, journals and even buildings interacting with you (fool list at the end of the article). I completely agree with Adam Broitman that at the moment augmented reality is all about having fun trying the new technology, but it will be so much more in the future. If the technology like LED Contact Lens will take off it just hard to imagine what can be done, literally, the sky is the limit. It will simplify our lives and will facilitate decision making process process by reducing the time dedicated to information search or looking for alternatives. It will completely change our personal lives as eventually this technology will become as the second brain where all the information will be stored in your personal server about the important objects from your everyday lives.. i.e. can you imagine wearing your Led lenses, you just take a quick look at you refrigerator and you already know what is in it without even opening it or browsing through the shop and not only getting additional information about the products but comparing the prices in the real time? Sound’s quite exciting and the best part of it that the technology is almost there. It just takes my breath away how much I’m going to love the world we will live in that I’m jealous for myself already. But what will it mean for marketers?
Brand communities and augmented reality
It will definitely be a game changer – Google’s is already trying to integrate real time ads on its “Street view” which will replace the old ads on the system. But at the moment, speaking about the subject we are concentrating on the technological development of augmented reality not thinking enough about social aspects of the technology, which I believe will be the key for branded communications. Almost 5 years ago, I came across this concept called branded learning which have never gained much popularity because the media channels couldn’t deliver the social experience and messages as well as they can now (mainly because of the social media power ) But the augmented reality is about to change that. The art of connecting your brand with your brand community through augmented reality can be the next big communication challenge for your company. Augmented reality will create great opportunities for story telling, socializing and even greater personalization of the brand by providing that additional information in the real time and connecting your brand with your consumers through learning can be the one of the answers for you. Social media will facilitate this process enormously. How? Imagine this: You are traveling around the Europe and you’re visiting some famous building which you are not really familiar with, you just point your phone at it and here you go you have all the info you need plus you can see the other people who are visiting the place by reading their tweets, reviews or recommendations what else you should visit in the town. Even better example would be going to the shopping mall and getting real time recommendations from the customers, information about sales and trending products or competing for discounts in live promotions with other brand community members.
When you really embrace the idea of augmented reality, it’s just seems so clear what amazing opportunities it can bring on to the table: I was thinking about my last client 77diamonds.com (the diamond’s e-shop) and imagine that you could create the technology that you could embed some sort of really small code into engagement ring and whenever you feel lonely you just point it to your camera and you can see your engagement video or your wedding pictures on your phone, TV or PC screen , wouldn’t it be cool? I guess what I’m really saying is that this technology can carry not only additional information but an emotion with it and it can really make the things even more personal and that’s where all the branding begins – creating and building emotions. We will see, won’t we?
If you are really interested in augmented reality and want to find out what it is all about here is the list of TOP recent articles and videos related to the subject:
Welcome to my new series of posts “Social Media Strategies” where I will try to clear up some taboos about social media strategies, tools and other buzz words of our social life which sometimes unnecessary confuse us in this industry. Today I will discuss the content strategy and the changing role of content strategist.
I think it is always a good idea to look from the consumer’s perspective and answer the questions which drive the strategy. I’ve been browsing through my daily reads and thinking why I am reading the posts I am reading and I came up with a very simple answer: I am reading it because:
The content adds knowledge (adds value) or entertains me;
The content is supplied by trusted source;
The content is accessible to me.
Adding value and the art of Curating
In order to add value the content strategist has to think like a scientist:
Has to recognise the problem why he/she is doing the project and foresee the possible outcomes in order to monitor them. The content strategist has to understand the target audience and analyse what are the main objectives of the brand (provide knowledge or entertainment) and how does the company want to affect this target audience (stimulate action or spread brand awareness).
Has to do the research and find a gap in the market. It is one of the most challenging tasks today – finding something new, interesting and engaging to write about and that is a problem that the most bloggers face at some point if they haven’t got a clear content strategy, but that’s Read the full story
Social media is maturing. As many companies have successfully integrated social media in their communication/business strategies and as many more are planning to do so in very near future, it is no longer perceived as the risky investment but more as a necessity in order to keep a competitive edge in the market and maintain the dialogue with consumers. It actually seems that social media adoption is becoming a quality standard of a transparent, customer centric and accessible company. Actually, just like adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies has been representing very similar values for over 30 years now. It is quite interesting to compare these two trends and possibly build on the existing knowledge of CSR management when planning social media strategies as they ultimately both are driven by very similar ideas of building competitive advantage through transparency, advocacy, stakeholder’s engagement, adding value to the communities and the empowerment of communities.
A lot of large corporations have been enjoying the benefits of CSR strategy, but that’s the problem of CSR as it is often perceived as concept suitable only for larger organizations, because of the extra costs attached to these activities. Social media is changing this situation. It has reduced the cost of communication and provided an opportunity to every company to manage/address its stakeholders more efficiently. Read the full story
The world of social media is maturing. People have adopted the new means of communication, companies are experimenting with the new business tools, but how the heart of the media industry is adopting to a new social landscape? Well it is quite strange, but not so well. I will try briefly to overview what I found in my research analysing social media adoption in 10 Top Media Agencies and some of the best practises.
Ok probably it’s not only about social media, but digital world in general. I just get sick and tired of people comparing online and offline worlds as completely two different entities. Now listen carefully there is no two worlds, there is one world and it’s called the planet Earth. Internet is not a world on its own it just technological extension of our normal lives. I just can’t believe that in over 20 years of adoption, we still can’t figure it out. “You” online is not a different “You” – it’s the same person just in different environment. Your actions come not from some weird guy by the computer, they are done by you, so don’t try to tell me that there is someone else responsible for your actions online. That’s my view about privacy.
The irritation about products and services online – lets face that quite a few digital services became a big part of our lives, we like to shop on the internet , we like search via internet, we like to chat on the internet. Ok maybe these are not commodities, but well let’s be honest with ourselves we use them everyday like bread and butter, so why should we classify them as being different and from another world? There is a lot of buzz going on about online currencies, social commerce, augmented reality and how they will change our world. And what I don’t really like that people still asking the wrong questions – “Do we need it?” instead of “How to adopt it?”. Ok I have to agree, that probably it doesn’t apply to everything what’s digital, as there is plenty of rubbish out there, so you have to question some of the new inventions, but there is plenty of Chinese toys out there as well..(sorry about Chinese comment, I don’t really judge the people by the country they are from). So just let them be and time will show if we can put these new inventions to work for us.
Recently, I followed the interesting discussion on Trey Pennington’s Facebook Wall about this Guardian article which depicts Social Media as evil in people’s relationships and it just makes me cry when some very clever people like the author of the article (Paul Harris) still can’t get it. Why we are still researching the comparison between so called online and offline worlds when it’s clearly both which influence us and it’s completely overlapping so much, that results just can be right.
Ok now about people being different online and offline – so let’s face it like mentioned in the begging of this rant, they are not different people, they are just people in the different environment. I don’t really care if they are better or worse in that environment, maybe its a problem of our society that we cannot accept that some people are just better in online world that in the “real world”. Personally, I don’t care, if I like the person it means I like the person and not the environment we communicate in.
From the marketing perspective, I think marketers have to think carefully before simply dividing people in these two segments as the buying habits are of course different between online and offline shops, but the reasons why people are buying is still the same and personally I believe this fact is a bit more important than the environment they are performing the action.
So what’s your opinion about these two different worlds?