Archive for May, 2011

Where should video feature as part of your content strategy?

At a recent Social Media Leadership Forum event, Bruce Daisley of YouTube shared his thoughts on what role online video can play in your company’s social media strategy.

More and more as the recession continues to bite, consumers planning to make considered purchases are active on a variety of digital channels as they make their way through a purchase funnel.

The media usage habits and preferences of intended audiences must inform marketeers’ decisions on how and where to target them, and whether a social media strategy makes sense for their brand.

One of the most interesting things is that this thought process is going on at every level of business – from T Mobile’s (21 million viewers) Royal Wedding spoof to, perhaps even more pertinently at the very other end of the scale, a convincing brand building video for a small Yorkshire based bed company by the name of Somnus. The company has relaunched their website using rich media such as video to underscore their premium brand values.

Not only is this a highly effective way of driving home the quality and craftsmanship of the brand, pushing the features and benefits of the company’s products and removing buying objections, but at the same time, since Google purchased YouTube in 2006 and re-weighted the search algorithms to favour websites that included video content, it means that  they are very effectively virally marketing their company and product.

You can watch the simple but effective Somnus Video here.

Twitpics updates its terms of service…and upsets its users

Twitpic is one of the most popular photo sharing applications for Twitter users. With one click, you can take a picture and upload it to your stream. But a recent update to their terms of service has caused an outrage…even if the facts are a little different to those reported.

Last week, a link was retweeted warning Twitpic users that the company could now profit from photos by selling them onwards. They quoted this section of the new terms of service:

“…you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of…” and “…after you remove or delete your media from the Service provided that any sub-license by Twitpic to use, reproduce or distribute the Content prior to such termination may be perpetual and irrevocable.”

However, Twitpic founder Noah Everett has been quick to defend the move, with a blog post explaining what the Twitpic update would actually mean.

He explained:

“To clarify our ToS regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content. Our terms state by uploading content to Twitpic you allow us to distribute that content on twitpic.com and our affiliated partners. This is standard among most user-generated content sites (including Twitter). If you delete a photo or video from Twitpic, that content is no longer viewable.”

Essentially, it’s a similar set of terms to what Facebook asks its users to sign.

So, do you think Twitpic made the right move with their terms of service update?

UK courts ban Twitter and Facebook users from discussing court case.

Gavel & Stryker

Image by KeithBurtis via Flickr

Last week, we looked at how the spate of super-injunction revelations on Twitter would affect the long-term future of the social network. This week, a UK court has issued an injunction that covers all media – TV, radio, print and social media.

The case, centred on a family divided on whether a brain-damaged woman should be taken off life support, means that UK Tweeters and Facebook users are banned from reporting about it.

The injunction also means that the media is banned from contacting 65 people involved or connected with the case. If this injunction is successful, it could change the way all future injunctions are created.

The major flaw is that this doesn’t cover anywhere outside the UK. So anyone who lives outside the UK can tweet, Facebook or report on the case. Which means news will probably filter through anyway.

Additionally, there’s still the possibility that someone can release the details through an anonymous account.

While it’s unlikely that the name and details would be revealed in this case, due to the nature of it, future celebrity cases might be different.

Do you think an injunction like this can work across social media sites?

Source: Guardian

Giving the net generation a voice

We get a lot of inquiries from people who want to know more about the Social Media Leadership Forum. When we first came up with the idea two years ago we thought it would be helpful for companies to have a place where they could meet with each other and learn about all the changes going on around them and how best to respond to them. No company is change-resistant! And we are really pleased by the responses we are getting.

Frequently we get inquiries from young members of leading companies who are usually very enthusiastic and want to get involved straight away. They understand how the Social Web is changing the way we work and live and they want to be in the vanguard of these new changes. What can be disappointing is that they then have to go to their senior managers who are often from a different generation.

Some managers are exceptionally supportive and encourage their colleagues to sign up straight away. However there are some who don’t respect the opinions of the young members of their teams and don’t take their views seriously. This is a great shame. For businesses to grow and prosper, they need to fully embrace social media and often that can mean making the time to listen to the views of young members of your team, who, afterall, are the ones who are going to shape our future.

Re-thinking business processes for the Age of the New Web

If you want to get a good understanding of the future of the web, and its impact on business, then I recommended you spend a bit of time watching these short presentations by Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics and Macrowikinomics.

Don argues that the industrial economy is running out of gas, giving way to a new age where knowledge contained in the brains of everyone can be interconnected. With new Web-enabled technologies, individuals inside and outside traditional organizational structures can collaborate like never before, a development that is changing the deep structures and architecture of corporations and requiring businesses to rethink how they innovate, create goods and services, and engage with the world.

Don asks, how will knowledge work and business process change as a result of more streamlined Web-enabled collaboration? How can companies find the leadership for this rethinking of their modus operandi?

If you enjoy the videos, you might like to know that Don Tapscott will be speaking to members of the collaborative Social Media Leadership Forum later in the year.

Defining channels

Some people like to refer to social media as ‘another channel’, which I think is misleading.

I’m reading a book by Andrew McAfee on Enterprise 2.0, and he refers to email, phone texting and some types of instant messaging as channels, as they essentially keep communications private. Information sent via channels, in this context, is not widely visible or searchable.

The alternative to a channel, McAfee says, is what he calls a platform. He argues that platforms are simply collections of digital content where contributions are globally visible and persistent. Although he adds that platforms can be restricted to an R&D team, for example. He goes on to explain that every web site, intranet, extranet – and the internet itself – are all platforms.

This, I think, helps to clarifying thinking, and supports the view that increasingly the internet is becoming the new platform for the economy and for companies, as it becames ever more pervasive in our physical lives.

What would the world be like without Twitter?

Ah, how would we cope without Twitter? Where would we post all our witty commentaries, follow our favourite celebrities and track the latest news stories?

We’ve already discussed in a previous post what the world was like before the web. Personally, I’m not sure Britain’s Got Talent would be quite as funny without the background noise of Twitter. It’s also been wonderfully entertaining for long train journeys home, as well as interesting and informative when it comes to more serious issues.

This infographic from HubSpot rather brilliantly sums up how the world would be without Twitter.

Source: Social Media Today

How will the super injunction debate impact on Twitter users?

Andrew Marr Super Injunction

Image by ssoosay via Flickr

Over the last couple of years, a number of celebrities have taken out super injunctions to stop the press not only publishing details of a situation they don’t want made public, but also of the injunction itself.

Unfortunately for these celebrities who have spent thousands on keeping their secrets out of the papers, Twitter users are not covered by this injunction. One Twitter user in particular has made it their quest to reveal all the secrets protected by the injunction (although it’s argued by some that more than a few of the claims are in fact false).

So, while the front page might be clear of the actual indiscretions, a simple keyword search on Twitter will unveil all anyway.

This situation highlights the current legal system’s lack of reach when it comes to online services like Twitter, which has remained a haven for free-speech. While Twitter does remove offensive and spammy content, it doesn’t usually get involved in personal disputes. But this might all be about to change.

The PCC (Press Complaints Commission) is assessing whether the Twitter accounts of newspapers and journalists should be monitored, and whether a journalist’s tweets are in fact an extension of their employer’s editorial content. This could lead to journalists facing legal action, even if they’re tweeting from their own personal account.

Whether this will eventually lead to censorship throughout the social network remains to be seen. I doubt it’s an option though, for so many reasons. What body could undertake such a large task? What about anonymous accounts? Would people stay if a monitoring body took over?

What impact do you think the super injunction will have on Twitter users?

Is Facebook eclipsing TV?

Think we’re a nation of couch potatoes? Well, you’re partly right. The Brits might spend a daily average of two hours a day parked in front of the TV but the infographic below, from an Expansys survey of 3,000 people, suggest we spend more time on Facebook, averaging two and a half hours a day on the social network.

So we’re more likely to sit on the sofa surfing the photos of our friends on Facebook, than watching an episode of Friends.

In fact, 24% of us spend three and a half hours on Facebook per day, and we check Facebook on our smartphones 7.52 times a day. Compare that to statistics suggesting that only one in four of us now watches TV on a traditional set, and 73% of Brits admitting they’d rather be on Facebook than watching the box, and there appears to be a strong argument towards the ever-growing importance of Facebook as a promotional tool.

Part of the reason for the decline in traditional TV usage could be down to the increase in opportunities to watch TV online, as well as watching content on sites like You Tube. Additionally, smartphones make it so much easier to check Facebook.

Whatever the reason, the move by Brits to spend more time on Facebook would suggest that marketing budgets would be better spent on social media activities and advertising, than the more traditional advertising methods.

Source: We Are Social

Storify – Create a social story

Earlier this week, I discovered Storify. It’s a clever concept that allows you to create a storyline using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and through adding your own images, text and links.

I’ve been playing around with it to document the recent news about Delicious being acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

I like how easy it is to search for and embed content, and I can see this being used by sites that use live commentary, to give readers/viewers a visual overview of the basic facts.

Additionally, it’s a great way for companies and PRs to group together positive and negative social media content based on their brand.

Have a look below at the example.

It’s certainly a neat little service, but would you ever use it?