Sunday, August 15

Decoding Data: Fresh Content Project

Fresh Content ProjectSomething happened in between social media being considered a fad and full adoption. When companies asked people to prove social media worked, they obliged by providing any number of measures. It didn't matter what these measures were. Most of them include anything with numbers.

Never mind that numbers lie. It seemed to be what executives wanted to hear. All five of these fresh pick posts poke holes in most commonly accepted beliefs. If you think that the number of retweets conveys trust and/or transaction, that social media is different from strategic communication, that free platforms don't carry risk, that B2B and social media doesn't mix, or that Facebook is isolated from the Internet, then please read on.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of July 30

• New Experiments Question The Power of Social Proof On The Web.
While one of my passions has been to debunk "reach" on social networks, I'm not the only one conducting experiments. Dan Zarrella recently ran an experiment of sorts on Twitter. In one experiment, a post showing "0" tweets was clicked on more than one showing "776" tweets. In another, "15" tweets earned just as much traffic as "776" tweets. In yet another, he tested subscribers, discovering no significant difference between "0" and "62,172" subscribers. When you add it all up, the measures most marketers look at nowadays are extremely poor indicators of success.

7 Common Business Pitfalls that Impact Social Media Strategy.
Valeria Maltoni offers up seven excellent ideas to help keep social media programs on track. Rather than look at raw numbers, she suggests you consider everything much like you would any marketplace: changes in the competitive landscape, customer attrition rates, focus, vision, product problems, goal misalignments, and channel issues. The point, of course, is that any number of factors cold be outstripping your performance on a day-to-day basis. And often times, it might not even be what you think it might be.

The Sharecroppers Are Revolting.
Becoming too reliant on one network or platform without a backup plan is always a bad idea. Ike Pigott, with his flair for analogy, sized the issue up as something akin to sharecropping. There are many different forms of sharecropping, ranging from people who build their social presence on networks to those who utilize platforms with extensions (Typepad, Wordpress, etc.). He's right and, personally, I wish he would have been right years ago. I've personally lost three content assets: one when a network closed; one when a network shredded data; and one where YouTube didn't realize a production company owned the rights to its own clips.

The Case for Social Media in B2B.
Every time I read about B2B excuses for not engaging in social media, I always shake my head. First and foremost, I shake it because the people who tell me this read my blog (marketing/communication is B2B). But even more bothersome, I always envision some account executive telling a prospect in a restaurant that he can't talk business in a restaurant. In a much more eloquent fashion, Valeria Maltoni outlines her thoughts on B2B social media, after sharing projections that B2B online marketing spending could reach $54 million by 2014.

6 Facebook Search Engine & Data Visualization Tools.
After Lee Odden noted a significant increase in referring traffic from Facebook to Web pages over the past 6 months, he decided to pull together a list of six Facebook tools that could prove useful. All of them rely on Facebook search functions and range from fully functional to visually interesting without any other substance. One of the most interesting ones, in my opinion as well as Odden's opinion, is Touchgraph Facebook Browser. It reorganizes your friends and fans to display what might be mini niche networks on their own. It lined up mine perfectly. Check out the other ones too.

Want to review more Fresh Content picks? Click on the Fresh Content label or join the Fresh Content Project on Facebook.

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