Blog,Internet

Another great article from my favourite Social Media blog – Mashable.

I have to say that I think it’s a negative change on Facebook’s part that you can no longer set privacy settings for lists of people. Your friends lists are now visible to all friends – so beware of “friends” who add you just to get to your friends list.

Why Facebook’s Privacy Changes are Detrimental to Users

facebook privacy imageThough Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that public is the new “social norm,” many members who use the social network for professional and business reasons have lost the ability to conduct certain actions privately as a result of changes made to the settings.

And despite this being a reflection and a catalyst of our social activities becoming more public through the likes of Twitter and other sites, not having the option to control certain aspects in some ways is detrimental to the way we use the site and has the potential to deter users from using the site freely.


Public Activity, Pages, Friend Lists Without Control


Changes to Facebook’s privacy settings mean that you can no longer hide your name, profile picture, networks, friends list, current city, and perhaps more importantly, the Pages that you are a “fan” of from being broadcast on your wall. The changes also include your activity (liking or commenting, becoming friends, writing on a wall, etc.). In some ways this is great for Facebook and can be beneficial to users — for example, being able to see all the activity of those you’re connected to can potentially make it easier to find new friends.

However, there are many reasons why you might not want others to see your activity. One of the biggest reasons is that it could be taken out of context by friends, co-workers, or business partners. You might think twice about your engagement on other profiles knowing it will appear on your wall.


Broadcasting Without Context


The fact that this information is being displayed is not just a problem because it removes the ability to control the privacy of your engagement with users and Pages, but also because it is being broadcast without context. Someone that stumbles onto your wall only sees the record of the action without knowing the reasoning behind it.

For example, as a journalist that uses the network for reporting, I have joined Facebook Pages or groups to gain contacts for reporting. With the previous settings, I was able to hide my joining the group from being broadcast to my network. However, now it gets posted onto my wall automatically and could easily be taken out of context. If I join a political or advocacy group strictly because I am trying to find sources, it might appear to my friends and colleagues that I joined the group because I support the cause.

We simply might not want to broadcast these certain activities, in both our personal and professional lives. In some ways, we may now be discouraged to friend certain people because we don’t want our boss to think we’re crossing the line with a source, or your wife to think that you’re flirting with an old friend by commenting on her wall.


Conclusion


Facebook is pushing itself to become more public than ever, and that has a lot of potential upsides. However, they should continue to keep users in mind by giving them options to control the information being broadcast.

It’s hard to tell what impact this will have on users, but it has the potential to decrease activity rather than increase it. Sure, people aren’t forced to use the platform, but Facebook has become part of our everyday lives. Longtime users accustomed to previous privacy options are being alienated when those choices are taken away.




Blog,Internet

Found another great article on Mashable that I thought I’d pass along. It’s common sense but I’ve found recently that just hosting contests and giving away free items isn’t really a great way to retain customers. It’s nice to know that thinking outside of the box and providing them with exclusives they can’t get anywhere else than by following us and participating with us on social media is a better way to go.

online shopping image


There are many times or reasons that a small business will receive an influx of new customers — such as around the holidays for retail stores, during a new product or service launch or after a local advertising campaign. While new customers are great, returning customers are even better. Social media offers a number of opportunities to turn your new and existing customers into repeat customers and fans.


Hook New Customers on Social Media


The first thing you should do is direct new customers to your social media accounts. A good way to do that is to incentivize that act of becoming your friend, fan, or follower. Offer those who have just made a purchase a discount on future business in the form of a coupon, but tie it to your social media presence. For example, retailers could let customers know at point of sale that if they become a fan of your business on Facebook, they’ll receive exclusive offers for discounts on future purchases. Or customers could be given instructions to tweet out a special hashtag with a message about your store after they follow your Twitter account, and once that’s done you could send them a direct message with a special offer.

This is not unlike the common practice of taking down e-mail or mailing addresses for mailing lists, but social media puts the user more in control since, when properly used, it is a two-way medium. That’s actually an advantage to small business owners because active, engaged customers will be more likely to give you their attention.


Concentrate on Building a Community


online community imageOnce you have users signed up to follow you on social media sites, the trick to retaining them as customers is to keep them wanting to come back. That means constantly engaging them with new content, exclusive offers and information they can’t get elsewhere. The best way to grow your community is to consistently offer them quality content. That means forgoing the sales pitch most of the time.

Customers join communities because of the quality of information and because they want to be privy to news about sales, coupons, deals, new products, or changes to your business (e.g., new hours, changed location or updated menu items). But that doesn’t mean they want to receive constant sales come-ons. Delivering quality, helpful tips and information to your customers will make them more likely to want to do business with you and help build your online community.

Restaurants could share recipes or tips for properly reheating leftovers, for example, while plumbers could offer instructions for simple home fixes. Retailers could offer honest reviews of new products, and doctors could offer alerts about the latest medical research or health care policy updates. Get creative — what sorts of information can you provide your customer community? This type of content will help to build your social media community and turn new buyers into return customers.


Play Favorites


Social media is a great place to promote your general sales and events, but you should also consider offering your social media fans exclusive deals that cannot be had elsewhere. Online-only offers will keep fans returning for more and it will help to build a community around your store, service or brand, which is what social media is all about.

It’s certainly true that you should treat all of your customers well, but it doesn’t mean you should treat them all the same. Those customers that have taken the time to sign up as your fan, friend or follower have shown a heightened interest in your brand that should be recognized. By plying your social media followers with occasional exclusive deals or discounts, you can help turn customers into fans that will evangelize your business to others. That way, you can turn new customers into return customers, who in turn attract more new customers for you. That’s the type of cycle that social media, when put to work properly, can help you create.




Blog,Internet

Found this great article on Mashable and thought I’d pass it along. It’s an interesting read – particularly for anyone pitching to the media.

strategy

It’s clear that the public relations landscape is changing. No longer does emailing a journalist a press release always result in coverage on major news channels (there are exceptions, naturally, but the average business doesn’t get on Oprah). These days, journalists (and yes, bloggers too) are inundated with press releases. It’s easy to hit delete and move on.

How do you get your pitch heard above the din? Conversation. Engagement. Interaction.


Social Media is Key in Your Pitch


Why? Because that’s where your media contacts are hanging out these days, and that’s where they look for story ideas. But be forewarned: there is a lot of bad social media pitching going on already.

Pamela Johnston of PJ Inc. Public Relations says she avoids doing certain things on Twitter that are looked upon negatively, like:

• pimping client news

• straight out traditional pitching

• sending random things to people/journalists she doesn’t know

I like that she doesn’t use traditional methods of pitching on social media. You can’t apply the same methods you used 10 years ago to Twitter. It’s impossible. Instead, you must find new ways to reach media contacts.

The world is small these days. Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Kirtsy, Digg, blogs, video and web sites are quickly becoming integrated. It’s fairly easy to connect with someone and keep up with what they’re doing. Journalists and bloggers are no different.


Social Media as a Learning Tool


I always like to learn about the journalist I’m targeting before I contact them. I start on the media website and read her bio. I then search for her on Google. 8 times out of 10 I find her Twitter profile, Facebook profile and maybe even a personal blog. I study all these sources and connect where I can. Sometimes I find that this isn’t really the right journalist to be pitching.

I make notes in my contact database with links to all her sources. I then make a plan to interact with the journalist in her own space. I comment on posts I like. I retweet her content on Twitter. I send a brief note on Facebook (not pitching a story, but sharing one of her posts I liked and asking to connect). This way, by the time I’m ready to pitch her, I’m already on her radar.

Pitching a media contact is a process. It’s not something that will happen overnight. Plan ahead and work for several weeks to get to know a journalist or blogger for best results.


Be A Resource


According to Nick Lawhead of Desautel Hege Communications, he connects with media types on Twitter when they’re looking for topics where he can provide experts:

It is quite common for reporters, news producers and anchors to post something along the lines of “looking for interesting stories about ______ to discuss today.” Being part of an agency, it is critical for me to capitalize on those opportunities for my clients. Often times, this doesn’t require a “pitch” as much as connecting a reporter with a resource (hopefully my client).

This goes back to monitoring social media. Your best successes might not come from a pitch at all, but rather the reward of being a good listener and paying attention to the journalists you can help. Journalists like being helped better than they like being pitched.


How to Pitch Properly


If you haven’t found that opportunity to help a reporter out, move on to pitching. Keep in mind, if you’re using Twitter to pitch, you have 140 characters to get it right. Assuming you’ve been following a journalist or blogger and know that your pitch is right up their alley, start by sending a tweet (not a DM) saying something like:

pitch-tweet

Lori MacGregor, who works with the natural skin care line, LATHER, tries the soft pitch approach. She uses social media as a way to keep up with beauty editors she knows, as well as to get to know the ever-increasing number of beauty bloggers out there.

Twitter has let me learn who the key players are, keep up with their content, and reach out to them in a way that makes sense. Because LATHER is a small company, many of them have never heard of us, so we’ve gotten coverage from outlets we never would have before. I think it also helps that I don’t look at every pitch as an immediate placement opportunity; rather, I view it as an opportunity to build a relationship with these writers who I might otherwise not have a chance to meet.


Forming Your Overall Strategy


The key to using social media in your pitch plan is to not make it your entire plan. Use different tools, like press releases, article marketing sites, blogs and social networking sites to create a well-rounded strategy.

Chris Martin, of Chris Martin Public Relations, uses a multifaceted approach to help his clients get exposure. He developed a Facebook Page to launch a survey about texting in the dental chair. From this, he got his client, Chicago Dental Society, featured on several local news and radio stations.

He’s also successfully pitched a blogger and landed a radio interview for the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association and he has developed new relationships using #journchat, an ongoing conversation among journalists, bloggers and PR professionals via Twitter.

If you’re not currently using social media in your pitch plan, make some changes. You’ll soon appreciate the interaction you get with social media versus the black hole where you once sent a press release. And don’t be afraid to try new things! Every day, PR professionals are finding better ways to get heard.




Blog,Internet

From Mashable: We talk a lot about how big brands are embracing social media as a mechanism to connect directly with customers. Still, it’s much easier to talk about integrating social media into your brand than it is to actually do it.

That’s why IKEA’s recent Facebook campaign is so awesome. The Swedish furniture company opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden and rather than spread the word the old-fashioned way, they decided to go directly to the people using Facebook.

This video describes the campaign in detail:

An account was created for the store manager at the Malmo store. Over a two-week period, showroom images were uploaded to his Facebook photo album. Using the all-popular “tagging” feature, customers were able to locate items in the pictures and put their name on it. The first person to tag an object got to take it home.

The word spread through Facebook and users started embedding links and images in their own profiles and across news feeds. In turn, thousands and thousands of users willingly promoted IKEA and its new store to others, creating a big win for IKEA.

[via CNET]




Advertising,Blog,Internet

Being the online marketing guru and social media enthusiast that I am, I’m really looking forward to Monday and Tuesday because it is the nextMEDIA conference in Toronto! I’m looking over the schedule and making my picks of what to attend and there are so many interesting things!

Some highlights for me are:

Making Whuffie

Speaker
Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer – Open Text

Online communities are changing culture, business and the environment of Web 2.0. Join Tara Hunt, a true pioneer in online marketing, blogger at horsepigcow.com and the renowned author of The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business, a breakthrough book on community marketing. More recently, Fast Company magazine named Tara Hunt one of 2009’s Most Influential Women in Technology. Find out how to master community marketing, avoid alienating newly emerging sensibilities and succeed in the participatory web economy.

Tara Hunt
Hunt

Speaker
Tara Hunt, Author – The Whuffie Factor

Casale Media Workshop
The Transition from Content Producer to Breadwinner – Using Advertising to Monetize Your Content Online

Casale Media In Partnership with:
Casale Media

You had an idea. You turned that idea into content. You put that content up on a website. Now what? How will you translate your up front production efforts into a sustainable business model? How will you finance the everyday operations involved in managing and building on your content base? With advertising, of course! In this workshop, Casale Media’s Alex Gardner will provide you with an introduction to the most widely adopted methods of ad-based online content monetization (including a checklist for assessing your site’s advertiser appeal) and arm you with practical strategies for selecting an ad network best suited to your needs.

    • What are my options for building an advertising-based monetization strategy?
    • How do I assess the advertising revenue potential of my website?
    • What is an ad network and how do I differentiate between the options?
    • How do ad networks work with content producers?
    • What are the benefits and challenges of working with an ad network?

Book this session.

Alex Gardner
Gardner

Speaker
Alex Gardner, Director of Publisher Relations – Casale Media

Keynote
Stop Advertising and Start Socializing

First Maximilian Associates In Partnership with:
First Maximilian Associates

A consumer demanding more for less, buying value and values, and leveraging their social network to make decisions, a retail infrastructure consolidating its power base, looking to their own labels for differentiation, and in turn setting an ever increasing access tax for National Brands, and a media landscape that is cluttered, fragmented and lacking scale presents the perfect storm for organizations. To survive organizations will need to adapt their marketing process, and how they are structured to deploy it. They will move from spending to investing marketing dollars and will need a model that is actionable, measurable and accountable. Marketing budgets will no longer be capped but instead be deployed continuously until they stop generating a return on investment. Our guest speaker, Tony Chapman will delve into such question as:

    • Will Canadian marketing offices survive in this flight to efficiency and global consolidation?
    • Is social media the flavor of the month, or will it become the definitive channel for communication?
    • How will organizations and their agencies have to reorganize to adapt to a faster, better and more efficient model?
    • What role will mobility play in how consumer’s perceptions are shaped, and behavior is motivated?
    • Do you think mass media can survive? If so which ones?
Tony Chapman
Chapman

Speaker
Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO – Capital C

Trendsetting: Digital Youth Uncut

It’s no secret that today’s youth presents a significant opportunity to savvy content producers who understand the lay of this new land. Young people’s use of digital media, from their appetite for free online content to the popularity of videogames, continues to redefine what it means to ‘watch television.’ This presentation will examine the core digital life and media trends in this demographic including an in-depth look at the Millennials, their growing appetite for mobile programming, online video, bite size programming and what this means for content producers. Consider such questions as:

    • Who are the Millenials?
    • What are their content expectations?
    • How do they use different platforms to create their custom content menus?
Kaan Yigit
Yigit

Speaker
Kaan Yigit, Founder and President – Solutions Research Group

TV Reframed
Who Said TV is Anti-Social?

Banff World Television Festival In Partnership with:
Banff World Television Festival

The shared TV experience is returning, in a new form. The typical family room is being replaced by online virtual communities accessed through personal devices. These communities continue to amass millions of more members each week, and as the Internet finally comes to our living rooms with a new generation of devices like Boxee, it’s only a matter of time before television becomes social and social. This workshop will assess the partnership of social media and TV: will social media interactivity bring unique value to TV users?

    • How can you connect TV channels and shows with Facebook, Twitter and Google to engage today’s masses?
    • Will social media interactivity bring unique value for TV users?
    • What does the social media sector offer the TV industry?
    • What social TV apps are available for Integration?
    • Are social networks the new entrant to the video market? Will social networks be a platform for future TV content delivery?
    • What opportunity does this present for targeted advertising and bespoke TV programming?
    • Who will benefit from the parasitical relationship of social media and TV?

Book this session.

Maggie Fox
Fox
Michael Scissons
Scissons
Elmer Sotto
Sotto
Amber MacArthur
MacArthur

Moderator
Amber MacArthur, New Media Journalist – Webnation for DiscoveryChannel.ca and CP24

Speaker
Maggie Fox, Founder and CEO – Social Media Group
Michael Scissons, President & Chief Executive Officer – Syncapse
Elmer Sotto, Head of Growth – Facebook Canada

PWC Workshop
$ Who’s Spending, Who Isn’t – The Next 5 Years in Entertainment and Media

PricewaterhouseCoopers In Partnership with:
PricewaterhouseCoopers

The nextMEDIA master class series includes interactive discussion and hands-on tutorials, uncovering key skills needed by 21st century digital executives. In collaboration with PWC, Michael Paterson will discuss the 2009- 2013 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ independent forecast of spending for the next five years in 12 entertainment and media industry segments. In this data rich presentation you’ll understand how unprecedented economic conditions and technological change will significantly impact prospects in the near term for media companies and may expose long term weaknesses in some traditional media sectors. Book this session.

Michael Paterson
Paterson

Speaker
Michael Paterson, Partner, Canadian Entertainment & Media Practice – PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

NEW! On Radar…..Companies & Change Agents

Ontario College of Art & Design In Partnership with:
Ontario College of Art & Design

Partner Introduction: Sara Diamond, President

Welcome to nextMEDIA’s On Radar sessions, featuring the companies, gizmos and gadgets that need to be on your radar.

Avner Ronen, CEO & Co-Founder, Boxee
Named one of Rolling Stone’s “Agents of Change” for 2009, Ronen’s Boxee is software that is revolutionizing the way we entertain ourselves online.
Brian Nilles, CEO, Darwin Dimensions
Evolver.com has enabled the world’s population to become Visual Effects Artists and create stunningly beautiful 3D Avatars for use in high growth markets including Social Media, Virtual Worlds, Online Games, others.
Ori Inbar, Co-Founder, Ogmento
Prepare to have your reality reinvented! Ogmento is the driving force behind ground-breaking Augmented Reality (AR) and is already bringing revenue. Learn what AR is and how it’s done.
Chul Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Thoora
Thoora helps people discover the news attracting the most attention within social and traditional media by exploring the entire blogosphere, Twitter and thousands of traditional media sources.
Peter Sweeney, Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Primal Fusion Inc.
Primal Fusion is in the business of blowing minds! Just what is Thought Networking and how is it changing the face of social media?

Brian Nilles
Nilles
Jason Roks
Roks
Ori Inbar
Inbar
Avner Ronen
Ronen
Peter Sweeney
Sweeney

Moderator
Jason Roks, Founder – Zero In Inc.

Participants
Ori Inbar, Co-Founder & CEO – Ogmento
Brian Nilles, CEO – Darwin Dimensions Inc.
Avner Ronen, CEO and Co-Founder – Boxee
Peter Sweeney, Founder & Chief Technology Officer – Primal Fusion Inc.

Keynote
Creating Conversations

Kijiji Canada In Partnership with:
Kijiji Canada

Partner Introduction: Eric Pierni, Head of Advertising

Companies still struggle to understand online marketing as a new generation of digital opportunities unfolds. Consumers have never been so powerful, nor have they ever been so connected. Mitch Joel unravels the fascinating world of New Media. Learn how these marketing touch points are creating conversations in which the results are staggering and loyalty is off the charts. Words like Social Media and Web 2.0 control every boardroom discussion in relation to growing market shares and new marketing opportunities. Learn how to take part in these communities and conversations.

Mitch Joel
Joel

Speaker
Mitch Joel, President – Twist Image

Keynote
Digital Media and the Next Generation Social Web

Canadian Innovation Exchange In Partnership with:
Canadian Innovation Exchange

Partner Introduction: Robert Montgomery, CEO – Achilles Media Ltd. and First Maximilian Associates Inc.

As the Internet evolves, changing consumer behavior is having a direct impact on the types of systems and processes that media and marketing organizations must put in place to successfully reach target audiences. Tape-based workflows are being superseded by file-based workflows. Creative artifacts once deemed extraneous and left unmanaged are becoming critical intellectual property assets. Social networks and modern engagement styles are setting the bar higher for more compelling, immersive user experiences. Non-linear, digital distribution will ultimately characterize the manner in which a majority of media content is disseminated. A population with increasingly-sophisticated mobile devices will connect to a range of media-centric Cloud services, challenging and eventually leading to the obsolescence of many traditional services. Join us as we explore these trends, their implications for media and marketing organizations in the future, and the implied opportunity for digital media.

Tom Jenkins
Jenkins

I’m also looking forward to meeting all of the other people who work in the industry and are working in similar positions to me.




Blog,Internet

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last wrote an entry! Where did the time go? Things have been so busy at work with preparing for all of our end of the year releases that I haven’t had a chance to spare. I’ve even been getting up in the morning to use the gym instead of waiting until the end of the day when I get home and am exhausted from so much work. So much has happened but one thing I can say is that I’m really excited for the release of New Moon. We’ve all been working so hard to make this movie release a success and after finally seeing the film I’m excited to say that it’s awesome! I can’t wait for everyone to see it and give their feedback!

Check back soon! I’ll write more as soon as I can and will try to write more often. 🙂




Blog,Internet

Social Media Marketing Meets Huge Growth
‘Digital word of mouth’ changing the face of business

By Cindy Chan
Epoch Times Staff Oct 14, 2009

Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, at the Twitter Conference in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2009. The free social networking and micro-blogging service allows users to post messages of 140 characters or less, known as ‘tweets.’ It has attracted tens of millions of users since its launch in August 2006. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

As the digital age offers burgeoning choices for people to network online, businesses are increasingly turning to social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to do their advertising and marketing.

Combined with or as an alternative to traditional print, radio, and television, social media marketing is “a market that’s in huge growth right now,” said Dan Martell, an award-winning entrepreneur in the field of social networking innovations.

“We call it ‘digital word of mouth,’ because with social media, if you have a compelling message, with the new tools it allows people to share and essentially create a ‘word of quick marketing’ using digital online as a platform.”

Mr. Martell’s expertise has helped his brother’s company in “an industry that’s very old and archaic” thrive in leaps and bounds.

Pierre Martell owns Martell Home Builders, a construction company in Moncton, New Brunswick, that specializes in the promise that it can build a new home in 99 days.

The company is on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; runs a blog; and lets buyers follow their home construction progress online, get pictures, and post comments.

“Not only has [Pierre] seen amazing results in his ability to engage with his customers in the market, he’s also seen that translate into real dollars and cents where he’s one of the fastest growing homebuilders in Canada right now,” said Mr. Martell.

Social media is changing the way business is done, he said.

Beyond providing one-way information to the public, “it’s created an opportunity for companies that have the right culture and right brand to build a culture of transparency, and communicate at a frequency that’s never been seen before.”

Companies can have personal dialogues with contacts, resolve problems in real time, and improve their services all around.

“It allows people to know, like, and trust them at a faster pace,” he said.

Find the best fit and plan it out

Chris Burdge agrees. The president of BWEST, a Victoria, B.C.-based consulting firm that helps companies market their business using social media, email, and emerging web technology, Mr. Burdge said that for best results, companies must plan their entry into social media carefully, build a strategy, and then dedicate the resources.

“It’s like any other marketing vehicle. You want to figure out ‘who are we talking to,’ ‘where we are best going to reach them,’ ‘how it’s going to be most effective,’ and plan it out.”

While social media is free, an investment of time—and lots of it—is necessary if it’s going to be used as a marketing channel, Mr. Burdge said.

With the vast range of social networking tools and sites available, which one is the most effective?

“You really need to figure out what social platform is best for the characteristic of that person or that business owner,” said Mr. Martell.

He suggests Facebook for people who like to share information about themselves and things that interest them. For example, customers can follow a company’s fan page as it provides daily updates about its business and ways that people can save time and money in that industry.

YouTube would be a good option for those who like to be in front of a camera, he said. Companies can post corporate videos, everything from executive presentations and event highlights to segments for marketing, training, and customer self-help.

Those who like to write may consider setting up a blog or going on Twitter, which allows people to write short messages of up to 140 characters.

Companies can also post audio and video podcasts on their blogs and have updates instantly delivered to subscribers, Mr. Burdge said.

Among the numerous social media networks out there, LinkedIn has been around the longest, he noted. Over 45 million people worldwide use LinkedIn to make business contacts, according to its website.

And with a service called Ning.com, people can create their own Facebook-like social networks for their own business, hobby, or other interests, said Mr. Burdge.

Businesses of all sizes on board

While Canadians are the heaviest users of Facebook per capita, “there’s no more time investment for [someone] to communicate with one customer who is following him on Facebook, or 10,000,” Mr. Martell said.

To incorporate all this information into a company’s or an individual’s knowledge base, Flowtown, a firm that Mr. Martell co-founded, has built a tool for analyzing the emails of contacts so that connections can be automated and relationships further developed.

Last year, at age 28, he was among 12 winners of the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Young Entrepreneur Awards during its annual Small Business Week. This year’s Small Business Week takes place October 18 to 24.

But social media marketing is not only flourishing among small and medium-sized businesses. Big brands and established companies are also using it, such as Dell, General Mills, Ford, Cirque du Soleil, UPS, Home Depot, Coca Cola, Virgin America, and others, offering special deals as well as forums and other channels to interact with their communities.

U.K.-based comScore did a study in May 2009 on the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older in 40 countries who accessed the Internet from a home or work location.

It found that two-thirds visited at least one social networking site that month, and ranked Canada as the third most engaged social networking audience, following Russia and Brazil, with visitors each spending an average of 5.6 hours and viewing 649 pages per month.




Blog,Internet,Music
I found this excellent article on Mashable that I thought I’d share. I found it especially relevant after reading the book “Appetite for Self Destruction” about the crash of the Music Industry in the Digital Age.

newspaper-keyboard

What the news industry is experiencing now, the music industry started dealing with 10 years ago – falling revenue and a migration to digital. Ten years on, the music industry is still coming to grips with the changes. A new force – iTunes – has emerged and with it, the iPod, the MP3 and a shift in consumption that has resulted in 95% of music downloads resulting in no payment to the creators, at least according to IFPI data.

As the news industry faces up to the digital challenge, it’s worth looking at the music industry’s last decade to understand what the news business has coming. Its future success will depend on:

– Its approach to the notion of ‘free’ content.
– Its ability to adapt not just its own process, but that of the ecosystem surrounding it.
– Its willingness to embrace new technology, to experiment and innovate and its openness to the needs of consumers.

What follows is a list of four things the news industry can learn from the music industry’s last decade.


1. Rumors of your death will be greatly exaggerated


The ‘death’ of the music industry has been playing out now for a decade. And yet, millions of people still buy CDs. Even though they’re freely available on P2P networks and cheaper in a digital format, physical CDs still matter to people. Even vinyl still matters to people. It’s safe to say then, that there will be fewer newspapers sold in ten years, but there will not be none.

The music industry exists because people love music. Some businesses in that industry might be less profitable now, but people still love music as much as they ever did. The newspaper business exists because people need news. Profitability is wilting, but in a world overloaded with messaging from all manner of sources, the need for original, exclusive, highly relevant and genuinely useful content has never been greater.

Lesson: Just like people still want music, people still need news. The news industry isn’t dying, but it must evolve to avoid stagnating.


2. The print industry’s brand will suffer


The music industry has copped a beating over the last decade — much of it has been deserved. There are countless examples of insanely disproportionate lawsuits that have outraged reasonable music consumers. Combine this with the lingering notion that major record labels are suit-filled factories with a taste for vulnerable, indie blood and you can start to see why the music industry gets blamed for all of music’s ills.

The print industry might have the same coming. Earlier this year, the Associated Press board voted to “pursue legal and legislative actions” against those using content without permission. Aggregators will be the first targets of these actions. The AP has also committed to a remarkable plan which will see it charge up to $2.50 per word for use of its articles.

statesman-link

Rather than embracing the notion of “do what you do best and link to the rest” and maximizing the value of the link economy, the AP appears to be choosing the litigious route. When the music industry stared down Napster and BitTorrent, it too chose the path of litigation. And while litigation effectively throttled Napster (and a number of subsequent players) it did little to slow the spread of illegal downloads and nothing to engage a generation of consumers embracing a new form of consumption.

The legality of aggregators who reprint an excerpt of text and link to it is a gray area. As the argument over the nature of copyright for print online develops, expect the boundaries of ‘fair use’ to be tested. If we learn from the music industry’s experience, we can expect any fallout from the testing to splash on to the news industry at large.

Lesson: Learn from the mistakes that the music industry has made. The news industry’s brand might suffer, but the decline in public perception can be mitigated by embracing new forms of content distribution.


3. The ecosystem is the problem


Music industry people see the digital opportunity. However, seeing an opportunity and making the most of it are two different things. One of the major issues for the music industry in the last decade has been evolving the music ecosystem away from making, selling and distributing physical CDs and towards new digital distribution models.

Artists, managers, labels, publishers, press, distributors, packagers and producers are all still to some extent entrenched in traditional ways of thinking about the music industry. Innovation has to overcome the combined inertia of all these forces to see the light of day.

newspaper-boxes

The news industry will have the same problem. Anyone who makes a living off the process of supplying, writing, editing, printing and distributing printed piles of paper all over the country will have to be transformed if the news industry is to embrace the digital opportunity. Most importantly, consumers will always prefer free. Regardless of whether its music or news, it’s hard to convince people to pay for something they’re accustomed to getting for free.

There are plenty of smart people in the news business with smart ideas about how to evolve. News Limited’s Australian CEO John Hartigan had this to say:

“How many journalists … have written a story recently that was original, exclusive, highly relevant and genuinely useful to [their] audience? … Fewer papers are being sold and in my view it’s because many of them are largely boring and irrelevant to their readership. Their content is ubiquitous rather than unique.”

Hartigan understands the problem and sees the opportunity to embrace new ideas. But ideas and insight aren’t the issue, execution is.

Lesson: The news industry has great ideas, but execution will remain a problem until it learns to let go of old models of reporting, distribution, and consumption and evolve.


4. This is the end of one-size fits all


It used to be that music fans had one main way to consume musical products – the CD. What the music industry is now learning is that music fans come in all shapes and sizes and are willing to consume all types of musical products, from free to outrageously premium.

News (news) is no different. It’s no longer about one paper for all people. It’s about news distilled from many different sources, delivered many different ways on a range of platforms.

monocle

People have shown they will pay for premium products in specific niches. The success of publications like Monocle is testament to that. Best described as the Economist of lifestyle magazines, Monocle isn’t just a magazine, but a multi-platform brand encompassing the magazine, a physical store with Monocle branded merchandise, and a web presence that publishes text, audio and video content. Consumers engaging with Monocle can buy the magazine in stores, they can access content for free online, they can pay to engage online more deeply or they can go to a Monocle store and buy Monocle products.

The news industry is going to have to develop a similar model that matches multiple products, at multiple price points, through the right channels to the right consumer. This is starting to happen, but there’s a long way to travel before people understand that a stand-alone, general news website isn’t a sustainable business model.

Lesson: Independent music artists have found a way to make money by developing new, innovative value-add models — the news industry must follow suit.

A decade ago, the record industry was blindsided by the shift to digital. Analyzing the impact of that change is a worthwhile exercise for anyone with a stake in the future of news. Where do you think the news industry should be heading? Leave your thoughts in the comments.




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I recently found a couple of online articles and presentations that I found really interesting and wanted to share them. The first is a look at Online Marketing in the Energy Industry and the second is a look at Social Media in the Arts Industry.

Both present very well rounded approaches to Online Marketing that can be applied to almost any project and both also do an excellent job of weeding through the online landscape to reach the end goal.


Can Social Media Save the Art Industry?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, The Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, the list just keeps going…but what’s wrong with this sequence?

With a recession raining down upon us, not many individuals have the time or money to invest in a $20 museum ticket. Cultural past times, such as museums and art centers have taken a massive blow to their internal egos. Around the world, state and government municipalities have sliced budgets, cut staff, and some museums could soon be closing because of a lack of money, interest and more importantly, visitors.

In an effort to revive itself, the arts industry, and most notably, museums, are turning to social media to help boost their fundraising & increase revenue.

Most recently, The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, launched a new website that completely reconstructs how you take part in art online. The site now offers a variety of social media tools, such as MoMA communities on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes U, and Flickr. The MoMA is even allowing people to upload their photos they have taken to the MoMA’s Flickr group, which is then featured in a special section on the MoMA.org website, with your name attached to it! All of these community-sharing ideas allow users to take part in the art experience with their friends and more importantly, share it online.

And one of the most notable social features on the new website allows visitors to setup an account online and save or share favorite works of art with others; from paintings, exhibitions, films, and other pieces of the museum. This ‘social bar’, which now rests at the bottom of the page, when clicked, expands to show images and other information that users can ‘collect’ and share. A user then can take those photos and send them to their friends.

The museum never had an ongoing blog, but by using this new approach to the information age by discovering ways to attract and share information with art lovers who may never get to enter the doors of the MoMA – it represents a key tactic in reviving the arts industry.

Artful Thinking…

In a time where social media has become more than just a second thought in many CMO’s plans, social networking, blogs, photo sharing, social bookmarking, videos, and more have allowed online communities to become a much more integral part in a museum’s marketing plan. Places like the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Brooklyn Museum, all artfully utilize social media in effective and engaging ways.

When it comes to representing a community online, Facebook presents a company with an opportunity to package an idea, and quickly disseminate it among the community for multiple reactions. Creating social channels within the museum’s online environment offers a new means to communicate interactively with an audience and build membership and visitors to a museum.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Fan Page on Facebook has over 60,000 members, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Fan Page has over 56,000 loyalists – the evidence exists. Museums can utilize their networks through email, wall posts, news feeds, and other interactive elements within the platform – in turn, allowing visitors to respond via comments and wall posts.

Facebook has done the unimaginable, and broken geographical boundaries, creating relationships for people who might have not have met otherwise. The same can be said for businesses that push forth and also take part in the online phenomenon. Some even say it has come to the point where not being on Facebook is similar to being phone-less.

For an artist or even a culture center, such as a museum, creating a social platform enables this connection to exist between artists, museums, critics, and fans so that they can communicate with each other directly, and increase the engagement level between the museum and the fan.

Simply said, creating and marketing this platform properly could create the lasting connection the arts industry is looking to enable, and not only lead to increased engagement digitally, but also lead to something more important – another $20 in the door.




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I had the pleasure of attending WWE RAW last Monday night at the Air Canada Centre. Of all of the events I’ve attended in my lifetime I have to give credit to WWE for their massive stage productions, larger than life sound and lights and for their ability to engage the audience in all of their events.

I’ve followed WWE for many years (including back in the days when they were still known at the WWF with stars like Hulk Hogan, Jake The Snake Roberts, The Hart Foundation, and others), but I always enjoy going to their live events. They are always so much fun and it’s entertaining to watch the fans get so into every match.

The WWE have set the bar high as far as their online marketing initiatives are concerned. Their web-site is ranked 553 in the world and is accompanied by a very busy WWE youtube channel and their own social network – WWE Fan Nation. They employ about 560 employees and bring in almost $400 million a year in revenue. They’ve reached into TV, Film, Music, Pay Per View Programming, DVD and Video sales, digital, the internet, mobile, video games, advertising, merchandise and more!

At this particular RAW event they included a Toronto angle by bringing back Trish Stratus to not only host but wrestle! She definitely has star power and it was interesting to hear some of the things that she’s been doing since leave the WWE like opening a yoga studio and staring in her own travel tv show!

I took some pretty awesome videos and pics from the show Monday night. Here they are… Enjoy!




AUTHOR

  • profileLisa Bassett is a Digital Marketing and Social Media professional from Toronto, Canada.