I loved this recent post from Paul Isakson. There’s a big danger for businesses of all sizes to look for “shortcuts” into the world of Social Media. Here is some gentle advice for businesses of all sizes:
- Quit trying to "join the conversation."
- Stop trying to be everyone’s friend.
- Don’t shove your marketing messages at people.
- Just listen to what people are saying about your product or service and apply what you learn to making it better. (Feedback is King)
- The same goes for your marketing.
- Make your message worth talking about.
Focus on your key messages and less on jumping on the bandwagon!
What is the future of Social Media?
I think the future of social media is mass adoption by the masses. In recent weeks we have seen UK users jump on the Twitter bandwagon following celebrities such as @wossy and @stephenfry. I see this trend continuing. However, as the number of followers/friends increase for everyone, I see a dynamic shift.
Traditional principles of networking and word of mouth become energised once again. Real people – Real Recommendations – Real Time. I see a future where crowdsourcing becomes the norm, we won’t rely on search engines such as Google, rather we will rely on the ‘wisdom of the network’. This won’t be a single network but a complex social graph of people we know and people we don’t know.
A focus on technology will be less – devices and services will just work, connect and fade into the background. Just as we carry our phone numbers and emails today on our mobiles. In the future, we will capture ‘conversations’ and take them everywhere.
With just under 24 hours to go till the American Presidential Campaign, I thought it apt to review how Barack Obama’s campaign has been using social media technologies to raise funds and to engage with younger voters.
Obama has taken grassroots campaigning into the digital age by embracing Web 2.0 and using it as a central platform of his presidential campaign. From YouTube to social networking, Obama has navigated Web 2.0 and turned it into a major force within his campaign.
Obama and Social Media
The first rule of social media marketing is to put yourself “out there”. This can be achieved by becoming an active blogger, establishing a presence on the major social networks, and embracing new forms of communication. Obama has done just that. From social networking to his blog to his Fight the Smears campaign, Obama has made his Web 2.0 presence known. Obama is using a number of tools including Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter
At the time of writing, Jeremiah Owyang compares Obama’s social media presence with that of John McCain. The statistics make interesting reading.
Obama: 2,379,102 supporters
McCain: 620,359 supporters
Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain
Obama: Friends: 833,161
McCain: Friends: 217,811
Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain
Obama: 1792 videos uploaded since Nov 2006, Subscribers: 114,559 (uploads about 4 a day), Channel Views: 18,413,110
McCain: 329 videos uploaded since Feb 2007 (uploads about 2 a day), Subscribers: 28,419, Channel Views: 2,032,993
Obama has 403% more subscribers than McCain
Obama has 905% more viewers than McCain
Obama: @barackobama has 112,474 followers
McCain: @JohnMcCain (is it real?) 4,603 followers
Obama has 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain
This personal activity in social networks allows Obama to quickly get the word out across multiple platforms.
It’s clear that Obama is dominating the social media activity, this could because of two reasons: 1) Obama campaign moved quicker to social networking and social media, McCain only recently launched his own social network with KickApps. 2) The Social Technographics (behaviours to adopt social media) skew heavier towards demographics, yet these percentages are far greater than the margins shown in technographics.
Obama and YouTube
Barack Obama has done an amazing job of making sure his speeches sound as good on YouTube as they do on the evening news. Obama’s campaign has also gambled on YouTube’s audience by creating a strong presence on the website. Historically, younger voters have been high on enthusiasm but low on voter turnout. But Obama has been able to utilise the power of social media to challenge that trend.
The popularity of YouTube gives a global audience access to the entire speech, not just a brief segment chosen by the news editors. This allows the full power of the entire speech to resonate with the audience.
Obama and Social Networking
Obama’s social networking success can be attributed to Chris Hughes. Hughes, was one of the founders of Facebook and with Mark Zuckerberg. Hughes has the knowledge and the experience of building social networks and may prove to be a major factor in Obama’s Presidential success.
Obama is not the first to politician to use social networking. Presidential contender, Howard Dean used Meetup.com to become a serious contender for his party’s nomination in 2004. However, Obama also decided to build his own social network. which was simple to use, rally supporters and proved vital in fundraising. The jewel in the crown is My.BarackObama.Com
As a fully fledged social network, My.BarackObama allows users to create their own profiles, friend lists and the ability to write their own personal blog. They can also join groups, participate in fund raising, and arrange events all from an interface that is both easy to use and familiar to any Facebook or MySpace user.
FightTheSmears.com is Obama’s initiative to address the many rumours that circulate the internet about him.
Here’s an example:
If Obama continued to let these rumours spread and grow, they would become facts in the eyes of the voting public. By hosting the conversation, the campaign can respond to rumours on individual blogs and forums.
Obama and the iPhone
Obama’s campaign also released a free application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows the user to organise contacts by key battleground states, and measures statistics to see how the user is doing compared to other leading callers.
The application provides information about the campaign via text messages and e-mail, offers coverage of national and local campaign news. The application also helps the user to find local events, share information by e-mail, view campaign videos and pictures.
Win or lose, there is absolutely no doubt that Barack Obama has changed the face of politics in America today. Now it’s up to the voters to decide if he will win the election.
Obama on the Web
- My Barack Obama
- Fight the Smears
- Obama on Twitter
- Obama on Facebook
- Obama on MySpace
- Obama on YouTube
12 Viral Videos from the 2008 Campaign
Some more wise words from Gary Vaynerchuk. For people starting out in social media, trying to build their online brand. Time, is a valuable resource. You’ve read the books, heard the success stories from others and now you want to harness the power of social media for yourself.
The problem is time. When can I find the time do this ‘stuff’? As Gary points out, many people in business suffer from a lack of patience. Building an online brand takes time.
Gary, does go on a bit in the above video. However, the key message in building your online social capital is two-fold:
- Everything is better than zero
Short and to the point.
Take a look at the Virgin Eye, as mentioned by Alex Hunter at Fuel. The Virgin Eye scans the Internet looking for news, pictures and stories from the Virgin Empire.
The Virgin Group are taking Social Media technologies VERY seriously.
A solid Social Media compendium from Chris Brogan and Alexa Scordato, which I have reproduced below. This is a great collection of Chris’s insights into social-media and is worthy of being a reference for you to return to when you are tracking down any related materials or seeking answers.
Check out Chris Brogan.com for some other great insights. I’m adding the blog to my Google Reader. I think you should too!
- Understanding Community Development Strategies
- Ways to Disrupt a Community
- Why Do Community Development
- Should Your Small Business Use Community Tools
- The Long Tail of Community
- If Communitites Are Just Marketing Pools
- The Magic of Including People
- Meeting People at Events
- The Community Play
- The Community Ecosystem
- How Blogs Improve Customer Service and Product Development
- Three Things LinkedIN Does Better than Facebook
- How I Use Facebook
- Things To Do on Facebook
- Facebook – Let Me See My Friends
- Fix Your Facebook Profile Now
- Facebook and the Social Graph – Who Benefits
- Five Things to Do on LinkedIN
- Considering Social Etiquette
- Social Networks are Your Local Pub
- Why Join Another Social Network
- Marketers in a Social Network World
- Real Live Human Social Networking
- Social in Real Space vs. Social Networking
- Making Social Networks Work
- Improve Your Social Network
- The Importance of a Human Social Network
- Three Untapped Values of Social Networks
- Five Things to Do at a Social Networking Meetup
- Social Media Starter Pack
- A Basic Social Media Strategy
- My Social Media Toolkit
- A Sample Social Media Toolkit
- Participation- The Key to Social Media
- Social Media – Talk is Cheap for Businesses
- How Big Companies could Use Social Media
- Social Media Inside the Firewall
- Social Media Power Secret – Listening
- Small Businesses And Social Media
- Social Media is a Set Not a Part
- Social Media for Your Career
- Help Someone Understand Social Media
- Social Media as Personal Power
- Snake Oil in Social Media
- Using Social Media to Meet People
- Social Media Starter Moves for Entertainers
- Social Media Starter Moves for Real Estate
- Social Media Starter Moves for Freelancers
- How I Use Twitter
- Deeper Twitter – Tuning Twitter for Value
- Newbies Guide to Twitter
- Twitter as Directors Commentary
- Twitter as an Advisory Board
- The Power of Personal Leadership
- Slicing Time in a Face to Face Environment
- Brand Stories
- Some Quick Branding Tips for Individuals
- The foundations of Your Power
- Personal Scalability
- Personal Branding and Social Media
- Passion Drives Personal Brand
- Elements of a Personal Brand
- Challenges of Social Media Types in the Workplace
- The Value of Networks
- Scaling Yourself
- Why Create Personal Media
- Whats Your Social Media Strategy
- Media Makers Next Steps
- Blogging Advice for the Next Level
- Expand Your Audience
- The Future of Microcontent and Hperlocal Media
- Why Bother Blogging Podcasting and Using Social Networks
- Consider Your Media-as-Business Strategy
- Marketing Media Means Moments That Matter
- Using Social Sharing to Extend Your Message
- Performance and Your Audience – Blogging Tips
- Advice for Traditional and Local News Media
- Tagging and Metadata and Why Bother
- A Sunday Newspaper Strategy for Traditional Companies
- Promoting Your Media
- The Power of Links
- 20 Blogging Projects for You
- Succeeding in Independent Online Media
- Seven Blog Improvements You Can Make Today
- Keeping the Blogging Fires Burning
- 100 Blog topics I hope YOU Write
- 100 PodCamp Topics for You to Cover
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