Facebook Fail – The social network doesn’t always get it right

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

It’s easy to think of Facebook as this powerhouse that churns out update after update to socially addicted users. Sure, people might complain about the latest change, but we tend to get used to it all fairly quickly, right?

Well no, not really. Several of Facebook’s launches have crashed and burned. Remember Facebook Gifts? Facebook Places, their attempt to rival FourSquare? Facebook Lite? These are all ventures Facebook has invested in, and later closed down.

The new iPad app has had a decidedly quiet reception too. Perhaps the company waited too long, with apps like MyPad and Friendly dominating the market for a while. The infographic below suggests that the app’s lack of interesting new features worked against it too.

I’m sure Google is feeling quietly smug about the slow take-up of Facebook Messages, which was touted as the Gmail killer. Although Google’s not really in a position to be complacent really, considering its current problems with a downturn in activity on Google+….

Source: Mashable

The weirdest use of QR codes yet?

Example of Micro QR

Image via Wikipedia

QR codes are everywhere right now. Recently, we looked at many ways in which QR codes can be used for business and personal reasons. But I think we’ve found the weirdest one yet: adding a QR code to your tombstone.

That’s right, your memory can live on through a webpage, image or, worst of all, video created and set before you pass on.

This service, provided by a company in Seattle, means people can find out more about a deceased person simply by scanning their head stone.

Creepy, no?

Of course, this could be a huge time-saver for historians. After all, why would you spend hours researching a person’s past, when all you have to do is click a button on your phone? It’s like a time capsule for the twenty-first century.

What do you think? Creepy or clever?

Source: The Next Web

Versace takes a hit on Facebook

Versace has run into trouble on Facebook,  hit by activists.

This does not look cool. Another great brand looks clumsy in the new world of communications.

Who is advising them?! Versace – you know where we are!

Or why not sign up to the Social Media Leadership Forum and learn from your peers?

Changing the way you think

Looking for a smart quote to support your business case for change for the better?

How about this:

‘Holding back technology to preserve broken business models is like allowing blacksmiths to veto the internal combustion engine in order to protect their horseshoes.’

I found it in by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

Are Apple’s Best Days Over?

Counter culture view on Apple….

Three of the best social & mail desktop apps

Got an email account? Perhaps a few? How about your social media accounts? Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of everything going on in the social world, without suffering information overload. So it’s nice to see a new wave of desktop applications that bring together everything in one place.

Here are three of the best:

  • Digsby: Digsby looks like MSN Messenger, but gives access to all your email and social media accounts, while also allowing you to use various other messaging services. It sits unobtrusively in your toolbar, alerting you to new emails and updates.

  • Inbox2: If you’re dealing with numerous email accounts, Inbox2 will collect them in one column, and your social media accounts will be streamed alongside.

  • Zimbra: Zimbra is a collaborative desktop app that brings together emails, calenders, social media accounts and documents in one place.

What do you use to keep control of your online activities?

Corona Light aims to become the ‘most liked’ light beer through social media

Corona Light-ing (reflector)
Image by Kyle May via Flickr

have created a brand new Facebook initiative with one ambitious aim: To become the “” on Facebook.

The beer brand has dedicated their advertising methods to increase their Facebook fans. Their campaign involves adverts on Break.com and NFL.com, along with a huge social media and page span display ad campaign.

The campaign hopes to tempt fans to the page with the opportunity to have their photo projected on the Time Square digital billboard, if they upload them on to their page. It’s not just limited to New Yorkers either. Images of the projection will be added to the Facebook page, so the featured fans can share them with their friends.

At the moment, Corona Light ranks eighth among light beers. Considering our recent post on Facebook fans who recommend a product to their friends, it makes sense for Corona Light to concentrate their promotional efforts on the social network. In fact, Corona Light has seen sales increase by 1% in early August, since the campaign started, when competitors are seeing falling sales.

In the meantime, Corona Light have further plans for the campaign, branching out to other media channels. Could we be in for a video campaign, similar to those from Old Spice and Tippex?

What do you think about Corona Light’s campaign? Bold or dangerous?

Source: MediaPost

Social Flow helps companies analyse the realtime web

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of social media is the sheer speed at which the conversation changes. In the realtime flow of social media, it is increasingly difficult for companies stay abreast of the conversational context – and in turn, to know when and how to make meaningful contributions.

A new start up, based in New York, takes an innovative approach to the speed/context conundrum. Directed at brand marketers, Social Flow is an automated data mining tool that generates contextually relevant contributions by analysing a company’s Twitter account. For example, the tool follows a company’s Twitter feed, determines which followers are online, what the followers are talking about and what keywords they tend to be using during their conversations.

In the words of Om Malik: “Once the system determines that you (the publisher) has something interesting to offer, it tweets out a link that’s contextual to the conversation. The right link at the right time, theoretically speaking, translates to more effective responses and higher click throughs. Social Flow in many ways is a start up built for the new, data-rich, real-time web with the concept of serendipity as its driving principle”.

The underlying approach taken by Social Flow is similar to contextual search advertising: rather than matching keywords with searches, it matches realtime conversations with brands. However, Social Flow also points to a more powerful approach: by automatically mining the social web, companies have the potential to connect with their followers in a more proactive and relevant fashion.

A word of warning though. An application such as Social Flow ultimately needs to be part of a much wider arsenal of tools and skills. An effective social media strategy ultimately depends on the vision and collective experience of a communications team – regardless of the speed at which any software can analyse conversations.

Control and Social Media

Quite a few leading communications professionals I meet are nervous about losing control when they engage with social media and what they would do if their responses triggered an avalanche of replies on different topics.

Communications professionals do not need to be technologists. But they cannot be afraid of technology. Every communications professional needs a set of skills as a user of social media. Twitter, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc, are all technology trends that are boosting communications power in the marketplace. Add to that the power of technology on new mobile devices and you have great opportunities to gain competitive advantages in the way you leverage the technology to expand your customer base.

You need to make sure you are prepared when you try out these new methods of communications. But you don’t want to be one of those ‘who doesn’t get it’.

The new world of social media is happening now. Don’t be left behind or be playing catch up. The numbers and uses of social media today are compelling and continue to grow, especially globally. The key challenge is not control but to determine when and how you use these powerful new tools.