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I don’t know what’s your actual behavior and consumption of TV, but we can all say there’s probably the biggest revolution since Internet. We used to consider TV as « a whole set, environment of entertainment, emotion and information for the family.

Despite different revolutions like new consumption (VOD, OTT, catchup TV…), new wirings (DSL, DTH, DTT…), new quality (HD, 3D), TV remains a matter of contents. Believe me, as I worked for more than 10 years, in pay TV environments.

And, yes, it is still a question of content. To inform, entertain or turn upside down. It’s always contents that drive audience and make the money business. But since users started to generate contents (UGC) with social tools, the power between broadcasters, content producers and audience has been completely blended, from a steady flow, one at a time, to multi-producing anytime, anywhere, any device. And guess where we focus most of our time now?

Not on old TV formats, but the web. Web audience boosted since few years now, and consumption of any contents on mobile screens overtook the old devices.

The next big thing is this incredible second screen concept that shapes the exact new relation between:

  • audience, e.g. who becomes active/reactive and participating
  • content producers, e.g. who try to produce high potential contents and sustainable rights to engage in a longer lifetime, that is, more revenues
  • advertisers and brands (here there’s no change but the increasing need to hold revenues and efficiency, anytime!
  • broadcasters, e.g. whose job is keeping the light on overnight and increase revenue due to more audience from advertisers.

Fair game isn’t it? I’m probably writing a piece of this article on my laptop, while watching TV, sending twits
to engage with the actual TV show. And it’s not a question of the Y generation or being a millennial, as I’m neither.

 

SocialTV_ecoS

 

The fact is that, socialize relations, sectors, or industries, means tumble down the easy flow of former
relations because:

  • You won’t be able to know how many times and how long, the former viewer is now, while he can zap, play, change the content – with one finger
  • You won’t be able to value advertising and the guarantee for brands to invest in big channels, another effect of the long tail, created with the web
  • You probably will be obliged to change, quick and dirty, programming because of twitter #attacks, ongoing, throwing away all your programming strategy
  • The whole investments you do in long term programs is turned into a short formats of videos, soaps, viewed, reviewed, cached, and screened wherever but the TV

Think about how it’s changing the whole chain: skills, training, actors, eye-catching snaps, promotion, the relevance of a whole programming guide.

Where the web brought freedom and creativity, television lost traction moreover in youngest generation who nearly were born, without TV addiction. Many years ago, most of us believed that social TV was nothing more than bringing the web on TV screens and bloomed many connected TVs with new interfaces and web browsing.

Social means individualism because the essence of participating is the collaboration and the addition of multiple individual shares, talks, and debates. Soon (or already now?), you’ll be able to have an individual end for your favorite soap. The one you’ll choose, the one you’ll have, your end.

In some way, where technologies brought us the ubiquity of TV everywhere (DTH, Cable, xG Mobile, DTT, etc.), social brought us our network that awakes us more, engages us to participate, and allows us to be more aware of what’s going on.

In some way, we’re more actors than we think. We create the new content experience we finally want to see. What is more important in marketing than to have the choice to buy something we REALLY want?

Social TV is our choice, our experience, our chance to be more engaged than ever and keep the little flame for creation. Let’s light on.

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I stare at something said to be “new”, the new social timeline called “Pheed”, that is supposed to meet a facebook cross social link with a multimedia timeline (Twitter+Youtube+G+…). Big deal or not?

The previous innovation like “paying walls”, standing in a premium model for contents as “pay-per-view” principle is really risky, while there is so much piracy and virality, around the world in a few seconds, sweeping copyrights, patents and barriers in few clics. They bet today on a special private teasing, with celebrities, somewhat like the music world has been tumbled down with piracy and search for another revenue source, playing with “fans attraction” considering they will be able to pay for such private and exclusive contents. In this case, whatever our beliefs, what’s the deal and the size of the potential threat to other timelines?

Balancing his audience from place to place is somewhat dangerous, even if you’re a rock star…Lots of celebrities who opened a private space should ask themselves: how many of them will follow their tracks to Pheed, and the deepest needs they will follow then? But we must not throw the idea too early, because, while twitter and facebook are late in their ability to make real “money”, Pheed is so straight forward in its expectations, that we see clearly where the value is: celebrities. Where twitter created “certified accounts” but didn’t value them, Pheed seems decided to make these “stars” bankable, with a clear model: subscribing or “per view” access to exclusive contents. Fair enough, it gives what fans wait for.

Talking about design and interface, the user experience targets younger audiences of  “fans”, allowing them to request for more “exclusive contents” from their favourite stars. It’s quite a “multimedia” console, “twitter-like”, with easier access to any media you want to push: text, audio, video, picture, RSS. Talking about contents, so called provided by premium stars, we could doubt an instant on the ability of “trust” and reliance for these contents: another huge machine for promotion by majors’ marketing teams. So there’s probably teens or even younger targets, who could pay to be addicted to more relevant contents for their idols, but who pays in fact? Parents. And where’s the limit they would cross to satisfy their children?

In fact, do we still have to call Pheed another “social network/platform”, where any content is probably driven by money and influence of large marketing machines? Social means “hey, I spent more money than you with ‘idol’ one” account…Big deal so far but who cares? Another teen toy, to addict them to brand, star life and virtual world…Is it the kind of education we want for our children, where’s the lesson for life that Pheed is supposed to “display” to this catcha target?

1millionUBut beyond all, it could become a targeted cash machine, another “content channel” dedicated to closer relations between fans and stars. Where you see Youtube launching several thematical channels, you can understand social platforms as more than twits and chats, building their whole environment, like old loyalty programs with physical cards. Lead into this environment, fans may consume lots of things, including contents but goodies and more stuff from the brand. There’s no such way to link Pheed to Facebook’s fans pages…And make it the cash machine for focused and premium content? But so far, Stars’ facebook official pages and published contents are free right now…? So is there a chance it could become successful on Pheed?

I don’t finally know where is the frontier between “social” which is the way we share and chat about “things, subjects and passions”) and “paying shop” where the final goal is simply “buy” something rare and exclusive. Can it be something sustainable enough to make and keep audience, in a long period, to create a huge database that stands for anything else than “making money”?

If Pheed becomes the “twitter that likes cash”, it may find the way to revenue faster, but more targeted. Is it then a big picture or will stay a fashion fever surfing on social passion? Future will tell us…

One thing is sure: “No need for Pheed, but some will greed”

More ideas at:

http://frenchweb.fr/social-media-pourquoi-pheed-ne-sera-pas-un-succes/84388 (in French)

http://www.techwyse.com/blog/social-media-marketing/new-social-network-pheed-is-it-really-just-for-teenagers

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Social media focused all attention since now several years, with a huge democratization, brought by customers, audience and employees, with brands staring at the sky for angels to come…But that’s not because bulk and masses get the tool on board that it’s correctly addressed and used with relevance. Failures inside may be hard to digest, while they bring new ideas to the table, we’d rather take a look at, very patiently.

What we can consider is that, social media is nothing about “steadily going on with business as usual”. As the cluetrain manifesto, many years ago already said “the end of business of usual” in fact. Companies who try to consider social media movement as another mainstream leverage go facing several troubles, soon. Why? Social media is a deep revolution, where everybody in any job or responsibility is impacted. It’s nothing to see with “only PR, marketing or communication”. It’s about people. It’s about conversations. It’s about truth, transparency and human breath, throughout companies and people. Anyone not prepared to pay attention, price and vision to such a tremendous wave will lose and miss all the essence and opportunities to transform its business and relationship system. And it’s about such values like: discipline, intuition, new ways to see/think “out of the box”, deliver authentic experiences with real and personalized voice, stick to values, get core with innovation. Yes it’s all about that, and the ability to transform a whole process/mindset. Not adding another “tool”.

What we can draw so far, is staring at some recent experiences with brands that tried to include social media, as leverages (they thought it was) to solve, jump or save their business. These were missing far from the basic rules of social media, as:

  • Be true, transparent and unique
  • Engage for a long time for rich conversations
  • Be inspired with those you inspire yourself
  • Be remarkable and build personality: people don’t look for mainstream or boring relations
  • Bring experience, content and storytelling: people need dreams to become their simple life
  • Hold and sustain the relation in good and bad times: that’s life!
  • Be ready to throw your strongest beliefs in the garbage: we never saw this before. The new stuff in town, and the sheriff may be shot down!
  • Talk about real things, with real words, to real people, with authentic voice: there’s only one way to be trustable, the first time
  • Don’t consider transactional as an obligation or an end: it’s probable, not sure, and in between there’s a conversation need. Put your efforts there…
  • Join the conversation as a real person with a name, a point of view, an authentic voice, passion and…a sense of humour!

Fail

As far as these rules can be nurtured, they must be strictly employed, first for the customer, and not obviously to do business first, but to spread some conversation between people. If not, the wake-up could be hard to live. See how some found rocks on their way and lose some energy and even money…

Let’s stare at Summer’s Eve, womens’ products for private hygenia, who tried to mix some humour and the opportunity to get a professional lift, including tips that made some trouble in the audience…Link raise with hygenia? Mmm bad idea for that, and a real downside effect for all the community

Be careful too with twitter accounts as it can be hacked and polluted twits can become disasters, as anyone can RT it as quick as possible around the globe. Prepare your best sense of humour, imagine it can arrive to you and be ready for a relevant reaction if so. But beyond all: respect and be seriously involved if it occurs, and take time to a gradual response to embrace community.

“Don’t fake with the audience, or be ready to live in a fake loyalty”: that could be the result after fake’s insurance company buzz with Mark and Audrey false love story, built on the social web, to prevent and sell insurance concepts…Don’t play with the emotion of people, as emotion is simulated. It’s a real late cannonball for unpredictable damages…

Fear of a bear? Seems arrived to Philips in Singapore when they simulate a wild bear in the streets to spread the buzz…That turned into a fantasy for fear and a huge hunt in a residential area! “We should have been more obvious with the stuntman inside to do something weird and funny, more than hold the role too tight”, Philips spoke…Next time you see a bear, don’t shoot too fast, it may be a man inside!

Last time you dreamt of a puppet? Ford did it, believing that Doug, its new ambassador for Focus models overcame the brand itself. People never saw the Focus, while they “liked” the Puppet so much that they gave it life and story. Spokespuppet Doug introduced close and funny values, but people in fact never thought about the Focus. Too real, too friendly, too “human”: Is there any footprint or lesson for the brand tomorrow? Think Ford has been really troubled with this tremendous success, till “killing” it: now, Doug’s story came to an end, because it’s the destiny for a “temporary character” to go there: RIP so, Doug…

“Fail yes, fail harder so, but always try. That’s the essence of entrepreneurship and the guarantee that we are still alive”. Let social media always reminds us this principle…But the worst fails are those you never heard of…And it’s the opposite of social media effect, that means buzz is all around!

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Here it goes, here it is. The power of business is so important now, that the way we drive “relations” is no really efficient confronted with private efforts, taking markets, shares and business stakes. Long is sometimes the road for public diplomacy but the real angels now are more blue boss than politic icons. When you stare for example at Indian area and the crossroad to complicated relations with Pakistant, Russia and China in the same zone, we saw the importance of the last first trade exposition, focused with the influence of business private sector in the tough situation in stranger policy. More and more, economy and trade lead the diplomatic relationship in this area, and drive the international scene. Why?

The enforced moves with several organization (world trade, trade chambers, huge world companies with stakes strategy…) generate an interesting return on “investment”, more efficient than slow diplomatic shifts. the development of local markets, even if local represents in these areas, very important zones and high potential. Because trade shows real issues and useful outcomes to people, companies and organization while politic swamp into long and whispered relations, that bring on difficulty to advance safe, with no backtricks.

We can reinstall the famous quote “think global BUT act local”. Any fair and peaceful matter is now a kind few local acts of smart trade improvements that makes the wheel turning. And the most influencer as a ministry may be the trade minister of any regular and democratic country. Average class of citizen is growing fast in any corner of the world and is hungry for consumption, modernity and innovation. They in fact lead the growth and make the things happen: buy, share thoughts and opinions faster than any politic entity. The more we believe in our faith to local innovation and the fewest trade act, the more we step forward in a kind of silent diplomacy, finding its path to more exchange and democracy. Fair trade has been created as a volontee movement to go fairest and create fast, cheap and useful trade places in local, where politics never went anymore. Forget about stocks, think deals and moreover, connections between people, things and fair currency. And when polls comes in, be careful of “useful poll”, the one that creates employment and justice throughout the world.

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The global revolution about social platforms, from uses to communication changes is rising far and far, dealing with reputation,

techs inputs, buzz and new handlings. Citizens, politics, economics through all sectors have been troubled with the hidden movement no one guessed.

Surfing with fear, doubts but also huge opportunities, the subjects dealt with several conferences all around the world. And we can see how information now flows in a few seconds on the planet, information shaped sometimes with “leaks”, keeping us alive about democracy, transparency but bearing in mind, dangers around: fake, hoax, unverified…the best and the worst indeed, as we face the impacts of e-democracy, shouted by so many citizens in the Arab spring, but fooled when buzzing a false rumor about French notation.

Today, “passive consumption” is out of fashion: we need trust, advice, experience. Sharing, comments and branding reputation. We’ll never be the same again, because “technology changes expectations”. It shapes itself, our deepest desires and the way we express them.

Everybody can now give advice, exploring the core of marketing outside companies, but collaborating and shaping the next product taste.

We need expression. To be heard, consulted, another status than “a number in an anonymous society”. Social media is as the term “a media” and markets are conversations now (Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999).

Considering these obvious situations, I was wondering what could be just next, to take the best of this whole revolution, and leave the rest, keeping barriers to “control” somewhat (is this possible, in the spirit of “WWW”?). We can’t stay in a passive state, where “canaries in coalmines” are the only indicators to draw the future…

So, what’s next: bright development or mistrust and go back to old behaviors?

Let’s stare at some important shifts that took place, these past years…:

  • More transparency, democracy and ability to participate in debates, reactions and sharing
  • More leisure, plays, networking, but much wasted time
  • More interactivity between all parts: brands, citizens, consumers, politics, communities, education, corporate, government…
  • Important changes, I think in a longer term, even physiological behavior: physical writing training, memory loss, information access…
  • Huge pollution in information with a real fence in journalist jobs and the way we consume information but also how we report it

First hypothesis: if we believe in a huge development and growth of social tools, we may spend some attention to keys to do it. Keys which still now, are unachieved but are core to get the essence of the global phenomena. We could talk about:

  • Organize and optimize content, curation and filtering to value information on social platforms
  • Raise professional platforms as references to build « social enterprise » as a global project
  • Build schools, education and knowhow, as a real job and sustainable competence in the future
  • Create official “label” to guarantee content verification and reliance
  • Promote new organization of collaborative working in companies

But in fact, writing this means to me an attempt to more “classical” and normalization of WWW, that is a real touchy subject, where is such freedom, in the initial goals of the internet. And then, the question: is it really possible to “norm”, “control”, the social web?

Until now, I don’t’ really think so. But I think more clear resources and building recipes would improve the game.

We face today high titles like « the end of the internet » or « the end of social », but need to decrypt what could be the next steps with it. A PoSo (Post Social) status, at this point could mean:

  • A next wave with social opportunities
  • A rich and growing professional market for “social” (from now, I’m still doubtful)
  • The new social platform: Apps/Internet (fall of browsing and PC)
  • And an evolved form of “socializing”, more organized, valuable and targeted (fall of gaming, entertainment and wasting time on Facebook so long)

Guidelines, education, strong beliefs and resources to guide the whole topic might be the points to bear in mind for this new wave. In a single quote “consolidate social media tactics to put it into a operational guideline, into the actual ecosocial system”.

Second hypothesis: fed up with too much information, the mistrust feedback could generate a threat that must be studied. All efforts could be wasted, in a two crowded environment. The fact comes with the significant figures where we see the incredible traffic and noise generated by the audience. We would have a reverse revolution where people would start to doubt, stop sharing and participating: an incredible danger for social enhancement…

  • Recovering and taking back to old schemas
  • Increasing costs in communication: old media/traditional ones
  • Mistrust in sourcing information
  • Changes in tech: network, availability, service levels, privacy enforcement…
  • No more credit to online reputation

We can have a real risk, a total burnout for social platforms, with the increase of too much information, links, nodes, RT,…noise. The recent wave for curation (scoop-it, Pearltrees…) leads a path to more standardization of content. But in the same way, how do we measure and value the real impact and relevance of so much information? How do we handle secret, confidential R&D, ideas in a whole opened world for social and collaborative exchanges? Which value considered, as information is free, for everyone and anytime? How long will we trust social signals: real big pictures or sparkling fashion?

We’re now seeing the great dangers of going back to old methods, even if new uses are coming: social tv for example has still to be invented, not in tech but for which features?

We must keep the several joys and opportunities of social media, because they are in their complete shape, all the components for a better world: community, respect, collaborative building, sharing and keeping balanced relations. In a word, far beyond simple pleasure and entertainment: Links.

Why links are the future is because there’s with social media one world, only one world, and in this point of view, no need to argue and prove about origins, culture or personal goals: only one language to hold welfare in networks, as a guarantee of sustainable world.

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