Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Facebook’s Q2 earnings show mobile growth, U.S. customers love to complain on Twitter, Flipboard makes users’ magazines available on the Web, the CIPR issues guidance on social media measurement, the mix of journalism and marketing needed in brand newsrooms, the royal fuss over real-time marketing 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.


  • Cross-channel marketing is rampant, but an attribution model has yet to emerge.
  • Social media is a hot topic, from defining its role, senior management support and how to organize for success.
  • Most companies focus on customer acquisition and not conversion or retention.
  • Few companies are strategic about content planning and development.


  • In its second quarter earnings report, Facebook showed some impressive gains:
    • A 51 percent increase in monthly active mobile users to 819 million monthly users.
    • 1.15 billion monthly users as of June 30.
    • A 61 percent increase in advertising revenue - 41 percent of which was from mobile advertising.
    • 100 million monthly users for the Facebook standard cell phone app (non-smartphone).

Metrics/Measurement/Big Data


  • The Digital Advertising Alliance, representing the nation's largest media and marketing associations, announced mobile principles for behaviorally targeting advertising, the first major step in offering consumers a way to opt-out of targeted ads the same way consumers can now opt-out of online ads.


  • Transparency engenders trust, and McDonald's could use more trust. Their Canada operations have embarked on a bold approach, by answering questions with great candor and even producing videos bringing people behind the scenes. Reputation gains are already apparent: the "curious skeptic" audience segment showed a 21% increase in marks for "good quality ingredients," and other areas such as "being genuine," "improving nutritional content" and "food I feel good about eating" also saw increases.
  • Corporate media (or brand journalism or company newsroom) is a growing trend among brands. Here, Jonathan Wickmann, Maersk's head of social media takes a look at what it takes to pull it off successfully, including hiring journalists - not marketers - for the roles.
  • Slate and GE Capital partnered for a branded content effort that combined three topics - job creation, advanced manufacturing and competitiveness - with geographic stops across the country to look at middle market businesses that are often overlooked, but key economic drivers.
  • For Immediate Release #713 (beginning at 15:48) discusses an article in The Guardian's Media Network section titled "The lessons brands can learn from today's newsrooms" in which Matt Andrews makes some crucial points about the complexity of taking on such an assignment. Some of them include:
    • To a large degree, brands are still stuck in the old "newspaper" world, planning rigid campaigns many months out.
    • The brand newsroom needs to be able to distribute the brand story unbundled in many formats with different perspectives personalised to particular audiences.
    • The brand story is a story told by many in a myriad of ways; the marketer is only one of these many voices, but like the journalist is in a position to shape and craft the story.
    • Relying on the product alone is not enough to sustain an ongoing story.
    • Perhaps now, brands will directly fund quality journalism and journalists in order to provide a continuously sustained brand story.

Bookmarks/Read-Watch-Listen Later


The excitement over real-time engagement and cutesy content based on trends seems to be waning (The Atlantic Wire: "That Was Fast: Twitter Is Over Your Real-Time Royal Baby Marketing"). Or at least patience is wearing thin. This week's #RoyalBaby birth was seized by no less than a dozen brands, who went out of their way to ensure they got to be part of the attention. The debate raged, but some decided that the efforts were downright cringeworthy.

The point with so-called "real-time marketing" is not to say something clever quickly, but to find an intersection between ongoing cultural trends and your brand. The reason the Oreo Super Bowl image keeps getting hyped is because Oreo had already built up expertise in the area based on their previous summer's activities, taking place over 100 days. It takes more than a wise crack and Photoshop to do that well. As an example of a brand that did it right, Shinola responded to the Detroit bankruptcy filing with it's "we give you the birdy" ad this week.

The temptation to try to insert your brand into the trend of the moment is strong, and we've seen it play out from the Academy Awards to the royal baby craze. But these events are not about your brand. Building a newsroom and real-time marketing efforts require an understanding of journalism, marketing, analytics, research, cultural anthropology and probably a half dozen other things. It's a complex process, which is why such shortcuts are tempting. But ultimately, efforts should be tied to strategy, business goals and what outcome you're looking to achieve - always with an eye toward the value you're creating for the consumer.
Frank Eliason, SVP of social for Citi summed it up thusly: "Companies have to remember that being in social media is being part of a community, not trying to be the center of it."

Image credit: drew domkus (Flickr)