Inspirations from the ClueTrain Manifesto

cluetrain-2Published in 2000, The Cluetrain Manifesto is one of the key works which explains the rise of social media. It made quite an impact on me when I first read it. You can read it for free here.

Here are six lessons which the Cluetrain Manifesto teaches in its 95 theses:

1 Markets are conversations

2 Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors

3 Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice

4 Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments, or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived

5 People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.

6 The internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media


New stats: 88% of marketers use social media

stelzner-reportHere’s a new report that contains some interesting stats about the use of social marketing by companies. It’s by author Michael Stelzner, an expert on white papers who describes himself as a ‘fellow social media marketing traveller’.

Stelzner polled 900 marketers and found that:

– 88% are including social media in their marketing strategy
– 72% are relatively new to social media
– 64% use social media for 5 hours or more each week
– 39% use it for 10 hours a week
– 81% say the main benefit is generating exposure (followed by increasing traffic and building new business relationships)
– Over half experience higher search engine rankings as a result of using social media

Stelzner also lists the questions that companies have about how to use social media:

1. What are the best tactics
2. How do I measure the effectiveness of social media
3. Where do I start?
4. How do I manage the social balance?
5. What are the best sites and tools out there?
6. How do I make the most of my available time?
7. How do I find and focus my efforts on my target audience?
8. How do I convert my social media marketing efforts into tangible results?
9. How do I cohesively tie different social media efforts together?
10. Does social media marketing work, and if so, how effective is it?

Stelzner discusses all these points in a bit of detail.¬† The report is free to download, and is well worth a look. It’s available here, and there’s also a video in which he talks you through it.


Twitter attacting working adults

A lot of people assume that social media is for young people. But the facts do not always support this assumption.

Research from Nielsen suggests that Twitter, for example, is most popular among 35-49 year olds. It is not as popular among the young as some might have thought. I don’t buy the argument that social media is only for young people anyway. Why should it be? Technology does not discriminate on the basis of age.

Social media is for everyone and is becoming more and more ingrained  into all of our lives and in doing so it challenges the assumptions of many traditional business communications models. Especially those that are based on securing access to a limited number of so called experts.

Everyone can talk about your brand and business now. It is time to use social media to treat all of your customers in the same way as you would treat one FT reporter.


Twitter in schools

children-computersSurprisingly little reaction so far to the news that a government report will recommend that subjects like modern history be downgraded in the primary school curriculum and that children be taught how to use Twitter and Wikipedia for source material.

I have to say, this baffled me. So I checked to see whether it was April 1, and was puzzled to find it wasn’t. As all parents surely know, the one thing children don’t need help with is the use of electronic media. For them it’s as natural as breathing and eating sweets. Next thing, schools will be holding lessons on how to play video games.

It’s easy to mock, and to be fair, this is a leak from a draft of a report commissioned by the Schools Secretary Ed Balls that’s not due to be published until next month, so better wait and see what it really says. But if the powers that be are actively encouraging young children to use social media for source material it’s a powerful indication of just how mainstream it’s becoming.