Brad Little looks at the value of social media | Social Collective

All too often businesses are attending conferences like this and come away thinking they need to ‘do’ social media. Which to them means a Facebook page or Twitter profile. 6 months down the line they normally start asking where the ROI is. This is when they come to Brad and ask him to ‘measure’ social meda. This is the wrong way round.

Brad cited: 26% of online discussion mentions brands. Every one of those mentions is a media impression. Just because you didn’t pay for them or generate them, they exist and they should be measured and reported. These mentions can influence how people think about your brand or product. He showed a case study on TV Buzz which, from 20,000 buzz mentions created 10 million unique views and resulted in great reach for the brand. His point: buzz does equal reach.

This is a very nice piece about the value of social media. Today for some reason I’ve been reading a lot about how everyone is going to want social media even more next year, but that they still don’t know why. Measurement is absolutely key to the ‘why’. If you can identify what to measure, and how that ploughs value back into the business, then this informs how you use social media.

In particular, I love the way Brad says he is often asked to validate existing campaigns and that this is the wrong way around. I have been asked to perform similar miracles, such as “We’ve created a blog, what can we do with it?” Well, short of coming up with reasons for what you just did, I’d say you should have thought of this before you did it!

Anyway, read it. It lays out the issues nicely and shows how we’re still dealing with models that can be measured, and that can affect the bottom line. They’re just different models.

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This is really quite good. For me, it’s always been a frustration that I couldn’t integrate YouTube, Twitter etc into Facebook. No doubt Facebook stopped me doing that on purpose but since it’s starting to open up, it looks like clever companies such as Involver are figuring out ways to do this. So, host your videos on YouTube and your images on Flickr, but make them available on Facebook. Voila – you just increased your chances of being found by distributing your content across three platforms rather than keeping them on just one. Nice.

Twitter is releasing a real time analytics solution in Q4 « Official Webtrends Company Blog

I’m a big fan of analytics. I cannot get enough of them. This is why I’m also a big fan of Netvibes because it enables me to bring together feeds and analytics in one place.

So I’m jumping up and down like an excited child at the prospect of Twitter producing a dashboard.

There are already decent Twitter dashboards out there. My favourite is Klout because it gives you figures without necessarily ‘an index’. I don’t like indexes because I don’t understand the calculations behind them. How can you compare, say, Barack Obama with millions of followers, with someone who only has a few thousand?

I digress. I’m looking forward to the Twitter development but I still think there’s scope for someone, somewhere, to totally blow everyone else out of the water with a real social media analytics dashboard. In fact, I’ve been saying this for years now.

The closest I can see right now is SocialMention whic has some quite nice features. Only problem with SocialMention is that it doesn’t really present itself as a dashboard, or offer customisation options. Oh, and it’s slow. Really really slow. And its phrasal search doesn’t work properly. Apart from that, it’s perfect.

My bet is on Google. I have a theory that Google like to cut off market avenues by offering something that is better than any other offering and making it free. Google Analytics is just one example. So, extend the Analytics concept to cover social media, and you’re off. I await the day.

social media – Topsy Experts

Check out this website I found at topsy.com

“When you search for something on Topsy, such as “spaceX“, it finds snippets of conversations that match what you’re looking for. Topsy results are the things people link to, when they’re talking about your search terms. Topsy ranks results based on how well they match your search terms, and the influence of the people talking about them.”

So, another search engine. But this one does have quite a neat feature: check out the experts section. Now, as is often the case, it’s not easy to figure out what they class as an expert, and that’s why directories such as WeFollow can offer a better alternative (ie it’s people voted for by people). But, it’s still another quick way to identify influencers for a specific subject area.

Tippex and bears. Who’d have thought, eh?

The Tippex Bear YouTube channel is brilliant.

I can’t remember how I came across it yesterday. I did notice something ‘strange’ about the YouTube page but thought it was just because it would be a custom-built page. When the guy reached out of the video, I nearly freaked. And then, the pièce de résistance, the ability to type in your own choices and see the video response. Amazing.

I really like this for several reasons:

  • It’s utterly viral. That is, it’s video – which often works because it’s a rich experience that people can easily share through just one link – it’s funny, it’s clever, and it’s pretty cool. I’ve written about viral before - what makes a good viral, and what is not viral. However, it also enables you to participate, which makes it almost totally viral in that you can change it, play with it, then pass it on. The closest I’ve seen to this is the Obama ‘What happens if you don’t vote’ video which I still love, but I wonder whether the Tippex viral tops it?
  • It’s joined-up. I guess the insight behind it is that you can make small changes that have a big impact. This is good, much better than ‘You can erase things and change them with Tippex.’ And so they go from the insight to the execution. I mean, who’d have thought about bears? Creativity abounds.
  • It has long legs. There’s huge scope for this to go on and on. Personally I’d like to see them invite people to create their own small videos for the terms that aren’t there. For example, I notice they don’t include ‘Tweets a bear’ which is probably quite a big miss. So, invite people to submit their own, and you get the audiences not just engaged, but activated.

I just wish I could have worked on this one. It must have been so exciting to come up with an idea you knew would work, then make it happen, and to take the client along with you. Whoever is behind this must be feeling pretty good about themselves today.

And I’ve noticed that it’s slow to load now. This is because it’s everywhere. How much more viral can you get? Let’s see how it pans out shall we? The chart below shows trends data for searches on the term ‘Tippex’. Let’s see if it starts to go up on the back of this.

Anyway, as the guy keeps saying to me: “Come on! Write something up there!” Top tip: give ‘tickles’ a go. It’s cute.

Look, I just want to be paid please

Last month I was treeeeeemendously busy. This wasn’t just work work. It was admin work. That is, when you work a lot, you have to keep track of it.

It took me about half a day to sort out the invoices alone, plus, given recent scares, chasing accounts departments for assurances that monies will be paid before the end of the month. As Yul Brinner would have said “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

So, imagine my surprise and delight when the end of the month comes and goes and no one pays me?

Thing is, it’s a tough old time for everyone but I have a strong feeling larger companies are more able to absorb non-payments than freelancers. For me, it’s fairly simple: I borrow money off a mortgage lender so that I can live in my house; I work for people who pay me; I pay the mortgage lender back so that I don’t get thrown out of said house.

You can probably spot the difficulty here. If the people I work for don’t pay me, I can’t pay the mortgage lender, and I get thrown out of my house. I think the same sort of thing happened to a lot of banks, albeit on a slightly larger scale and with less accountability.

So if you have a freelancer on your books, here’s some advice in nice, easily digested bullet points:

  • If the freelancer asks for a commitment to a pay date, and you give that commitment, you need to keep it because the freelancer needs to as well. That’s why it’s called a commitment.
  • If your accounts person ‘only comes in on a Tuesday’ or ‘just got back from holiday’ – or indeed, has ‘just gone on holiday’ – this is not an excuse, especially if you’ve been copied several times on correspondence.
  • If you ‘forgot’ to forward invoices to the accounts department then you deserve to be the middle section of the Human Centipede. Talk about easily digested. Yuk.

Finally, if you think ‘it’s just us’, think again. I have just been let down by three clients and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. So I guess the fourth point should be:

  • If you forget to pay a freelancer, it’s entirely possible other clients have too. OK so it’s not a conspiracy but the net effects are similar.

Part of me wants to get even and list the clients’ names publicly on this site, particularly the miscreant who has now let me down twice in a row. But that would be foolish in the extreme. Or would it? Comments and/or large sums of money here please.