Fast Company’s Influence Project Can’t Track Influence

The proliferation of social media has discombobulated all traditional forms of measuring influence. PR practitioners are among the first to realize this, because suddenly, their jobs are radically more complicated. Instead of just mainstream media journalists and producers, suddenly there are renegade bloggers, YouTube video creators, and Tweeters that all can drive people to action.

The old forms of PR don’t work in this context: a Rolodex of a few hundred people (and yes, there are still some dinosaurs that have Rolodexes) is not going to cut it against millions of influential Facebook accounts.

The world has shifted, but the tools have not kept pace. Klout is perhaps the most robust service for measuring influence yet, and that only looks at one outpost: Twitter.

So, the come on I received in my inbox recently was enticing: “How influential are you online? Click to find out!”

The possibilities are exciting. Perhaps there was some new algorithm to analyze social media presences. I wondered if a new site would use cookies to see which recommendations I left across the web were influencing purchase decisions.

So, I clicked. Continue reading “Fast Company’s Influence Project Can’t Track Influence”

My New Content Curation Article Is Up on Social Media Examiner

I wrote a piece that reviews several important social media content curation tools that went live on Social Media Examiner today. You can check it out here.

If you’ve visited my site from Social Media Examiner, welcome! I hope you poke around and take a look at some of the other content I’ve written about using social media for content curation.

I’ve written about all of the ways that people are curating social media content; why social media curators are not “just filters” (as some ego-driven, threatened museum folks have declared), how to build resonance with new Twitter marketing tactics, and another curation tool that I can highly recommend.

I have some more content coming about the emerging toolset for content curation, so stick around or subscribe via RSS.

Why the Future of Music is Brighter Than Ever

Many hands have been wrung about the future of music. The music industry has seen year over year of increasingly steep declines for a decade. Think about that for a minute: in 2001, the business fell by 3%. In 2002, it fell another 11%. In 2003, it recovered slightly. But the dead cat bounce was confirmed in the subsequent years. The industry has posted double digit declines in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In 1999, the industry was $14.3 billion. In 2009, it was less than half – $6.3 billion.

Can you hear the clanging death bells? Music will surely die! This fate has been proclaimed everywhere, but, of course, misses the point completely. If we learned nothing else from the housing bust, let us at least remember that more isn’t always better – sometimes it’s just more. Continue reading “Why the Future of Music is Brighter Than Ever”

What Now? Resetting the Economy for the Next 50 Years

In The Great Reset, Richard Florida asks the question that all policy makers should be asking: what happens after a Depression?

This shockingly simple question opens the door to look at history as a guide for what is to come for the U.S. economy. Florida reviews two different  economic slowdowns in American history, the Long Recession of the 1870s, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, and compares those to our most recent financial meltdown of 2007-present.

While there are a number of accounts of what went wrong, and whose fault it was that the economy tanked (Big greedy banks! The dollar-hungry, exchange-rate fixing Chinese! Government’s insatiable quest for higher levels of home ownership! Homeowners’ binge-spending, house-as-ATM profligacy!), Florida largely leaves the causes of the crisis aside. This is really for the better. Florida is a metropolitan sociologist – primarily concerned with what makes cities, and what makes them better.

But, Florida hits on a larger theme that has so far been ignored by most Great Recession books: what now? Continue reading “What Now? Resetting the Economy for the Next 50 Years”

Is Your Marketing Program Threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder?

In 2006, bees started disappearing at an unprecedented scale. Entire hives would suddenly be abandoned by all of the worker bees.

The phenomena was so dramatic, and so startling, it was dubbed “colony collapse disorder.”

Since 2006, scientists have studied colony collapse disorder to determine why hives that were thriving suddenly started failing. The condition spread to hives in Europe, and possibly in Asia.

If you run marketing programs, you may see the similarities between bees and your own work. For long stretches, marketing programs can run in a pretty predictable way. Inputs of campaigns, media buys, research and targeting produce predictable results in terms of leads, sales, or brand awareness. Inputs lead to outputs. Just like bees use pollen to create honey.

But sometimes, suddenly, and for no obvious reason, marketing programs fail. This is “marketing collapse disorder.” And it’s happening now at an alarming rate. Continue reading “Is Your Marketing Program Threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder?”

As E-Commerce Growth Flatlines, Video Differentiates

E-commerce is hitting a wall. The growth in e-commerce is slowing, and it’s slowing fast (yes, that is a pun). From 2008 to 2013, the rate of e-commerce growth is projected to slow from 13% to 8%. Now, please don’t think me a Chicken Little. I’m not sounding a death knell. Obviously, growth is still growth.

But, if you work in the e-commerce sector, you are in for a bumpy ride. Until recently, the sector has seen 20%+ growth rates for years, which has made most e-tailer’s jobs pretty easy. The criteria has been pretty simple: have compelling product; have a trustworthy website;  offer good deals and service. Pretty simple formula for 20%+ growth.

But, Americans’ buying habits have largely shifted, and the incremental shifts that are still to come reflect the fact that the halcyon days are behind us. From now on, e-commerce teams will have to eke out gains just like everyone else. Continue reading “As E-Commerce Growth Flatlines, Video Differentiates”

How to Never Get That First Dollar from the Customer

What do you expect for a dollar?

If you think your standards are low, think again. What’s the ratio of free apps on your iPhone, to 99 cent apps? How many albums have you streamed, vs. digital downloads you have bought?

Consumers expect more than ever – regardless of price point. Two factors contribute to this continual bar-raising in the consumer’s mind: Continue reading “How to Never Get That First Dollar from the Customer”