The secrets of success to building a digital newsroom, the secrets of bureaucracy-free content marketing, Sina Weibo was slow to evolve, Quebec loves Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ are gaining on Facebook, what to do with marketing data and more, it's This Week in Social Media.
Each week, I compose a newsletter for our team that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, social media, mobile, communications and marketing in order to keep our wider team up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in their jobs. These are those links.
If you have additional links, sources or ideas that might be helpful, I'd encourage you to add some via a comment below or tag me in Google+. And if you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links in the This Week in Social Media Magazine, which is now available on the Web.
- The History of Social Networking takes us on a journey that begins in the days of the Bulletin Board System. It's a good retrospective that may offer hints as to where things are leading.
- There are new restrictions from Google on native advertising, and PR must abide by and overcome them.
- On the heels of the Omnicom - Publicis merger, it may be worth noting that there are ways that disparate agencies need to start working together.
- Believe it or not, there are still people who watch television ads. Why? The short answer: not because the ads are entertaining; because viewers are lazy.
- Sina Weibo waited too long to implement a Facebook login option to make the service available outside of China. A similar danger could be lurking for other Chinese companies who fail to account for the world outside of China.
- China is the top maker of iOS devices. Despite that, a recent survey shows that 65% of the 261 million active smartphones and tablets in China are Android devices.
- With the exception of Twitter, French speaking Quebecers are less likely to participate in every social channel, which may be due in part to the lack of French language content on those sites.
- Nothing completely surprising here, but the numbers are telling: younger adults in the UK are driving the growth of mobile social networking.
- With Facebook's quarterly earnings report revealing an increase in mobile users and ad revenue, Ad Age takes a look at how Facebook mastered mobile ads (and publishers can too).
- Facebook has introduced embedded posts - a plugin that allows users to easily add public posts from Facebook to a blog or website, from which other users can like, comment on or share it directly from the website. Currently limited to a handful of news publishers, the feature will be rolled out more broadly soon.
- Also from Facebook this week is the news that they've created Facebook Mobile Games Publishing - a program designed to help small and medium developers take their mobile games global.
- Those hashtags that Facebook rolled out? Turns out they have little to no effect on engagement.
- Pinterest and Google are gaining on Facebook for social sharing.
- SlideShare (a LinkedIn company) has introduced an infographics player, designed to help optimize visuals and the analytics around them, as well as create an environment to find more of them.
- New research shows that businesses are turning to Twitter more than Facebook for real-time social content.
- Everlapse is a new photo sharing app with a community aspect, from the creators of CoTweet.
Metrics / Measurement / Big Data
- Altimeter Group says that with an average of 178 owned social media accounts and 13 different departments – from Marketing to Customer Support to Legal and HR – actively engaged in social, it's time to get smart about social data intelligence.
- Yes, there are many conversations happening online at any given moment and we have the ability to listen in on them. That doesn't mean a brand has to jump in. The key is listening for the right reason - as laid out in Duct Tape Marketing's post Shut Up and Listen.
- In the 1967 film The Graduate, Mr. Robinson counseled Benjamin with one word: Plastics. In the age of marketing data, CMOs and CIOs need to focus on this single word: Integration.
Legal / HR
- Two gems from the world of HR and social media, reminding us that if we have jobs that put us in the public light, we need to use some common sense:
- A reporter was fired from her job at WAAY in Alabama for a blog post in which she revealed a little too much about her techniques, thoughts and ethics. One might say she went waay too far.
- And an employee of a grilled cheese sandwich truck (yes, really) was terminated after he publicly mocked a company whose employees failed to tip him.
- Some tips on what you should know about creating good social content include having a great angle, being informative/entertaining/different, relevant to the brand and well packaged.
- Some information from the Content Marketing Institute on the secrets of bureaucracy-free content marketing in order to produce timely, high-quality and relevant content. Hint: your lawyers have a point, but at the same time, "anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."
- As brands begin to build digital newsrooms, here are some of the things they need to succeed, according to Poynter:
- Structure. The Verge has a real-time newswire team, a reports team and a magazine-style features team. Setups will vary, but having a structure that reflects a variety of purpose is essential.
- Great talent and a strong, unified voice. Hire people that understand how to tell stories and who can see the bigger picture.
- Technology. Some of the fastest-growing media companies have invested heavily in technology. Automate as much a possible the repetitive and arduous tasks.
- Data - with a side of intuition. Strike a balance between monitoring results and trusting years of publishing experience to predict what people will be interested in.
- Centralization? Actually, it's not essential. With freelancers and on-site content gatherers and creators, there's a distributed model that can work along with a central model.
- Quality first. Don't make the mistake of stressing speed over quality.
- Strong alignment with the business. Consideration for all stakeholders, with a good understanding of every layer of the business.
- Iteration. Know what works and what doesn't, and keep iterating.
- Involve the laywers; or not. Have content that doesn't need to be reviewed by the legal department. But recognize legal's place at the table.
- Create original material. Resist the temptation to constantly news-jack. Make content that fills a void and creates value.
- Patience. Newsrooms take time to build; it's not an ad campaign - it's a cultural change within the organization. You need to invest in people, processes and technology.
Bookmarks / Read-Watch-Listen Later
- How often should you post? And at what times? What kind of content gets attention (Text? Images? Video?)? The experts would be happy to give you charts and guides, but the bottom line is: conventional wisdom is not always right. Shel Holtz explains how to find the balance that's right for your brand.
CommentaryHow companies use social media needs to move beyond pushing messages out and monitoring for brand references. With the push toward brand newsrooms, there are some great lessons and parallels that can be taken from media companies. Case in point: Arianna Huffington recently shared the approach at HuffPo when she spoke at Win the Moment at Twitter headquarters.
It may be easy to dismiss Twitter, with its capricious hashtags (#BieberFever and all) and endless in-jokes, but Huffington makes it clear that "the value of Twitter, especially for a news organization, goes well beyond the instantaneousness commonly associated with Twitter." During a breaking news situation, she says Twitter is better than television, as it is "the place to be because of its ability to both bring in and then instantly disseminate relevant information."
Put that into the context of a brand newsroom and it means that we need do to more than monitor and post. It's an opportunity to have a conversation - to get your fans and customers to engage. Even news organizations like HuffPo have changed, as Huffington notes: "The news experience has moved from presentation to participation, and so we try to make everything we do a vehicle for engagement."
"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe." - Isaac Asimov
With Twitter embedded into its legendary content management system, it becomes ingrained in the creation, dissemination, engagement and feedback loop of every single piece of content. Plus, their content teams are all active on Twitter, both in terms of monitoring as well as having conversations with followers. Media organizations around the world have their reporters, anchors and producers deployed and active on Twitter, and as the world around us changes, our systems need to change with the times.
Image credit: telli negotrópica (Flickr)