Social Media Marketing: For Commerce or Community?

Social Media Marketing: For Commerce or Community? | KnowledgeVisionWhy doesn’t social commerce work? Theories abound. Among the most popular are “People use social sites to communicate, not to shop,” and “People don’t want to use their credit cards on a social network.”

I’d have to say I agree with these assessments, and I understand the fear of a new concept. It’s primarily about behavior. When social media users visit their favorite sites, it’s to share jokes, keep their friends notified about what they are doing, no matter how mundane, and to see what other people are up to.

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11 Things to REALLY Never, Ever Say on Facebook

Facebook is great for sharing embarrassing pictures of friends, jokes that aren’t all that funny, memes that quickly run their course, and links to stupid articles like this one. But there are many types of status updates and links that you should never, ever post. I’ll go through some of them here (and maybe you can think of others):

The Death Threat

The worst thing to find in your news feed on a Monday (besides all those OMG It’s Monday again! posts) is a note from a friend promising to kill you. It’s kind of a reverse happy-birthday post, where instead of somebody copying and pasting a false platitude to recognize your special day, they threaten to ensure you never see another one.

11-things-to-never-post-facebook-death-threatWhether or not you want to warn someone about their impending death at your hands, or fill them in on the gory details, there really are better ways to get someone’s attention. You could use the “Poke” feature, for instance; Facebook created it to avoid people like you constantly posting angry screeds declaring your vicious hatred and your plans to act on it. Plus, it can keep you out of jail.

Instead of sending death threats, find a nice kitten photo to share. It might help you calm down a bit.

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Why I still think Google+ SUCKS

Why I still think Google+ SUCKS compared to Facebook.A couple years ago, when I started a Facebook account, it was really good at prompting me to add friends. The “People you may know” tool was based on some magic algorithm that actually showed me people I knew. Lots of them. I was able to build something like 200 friends who were actually friends in some capacity.

I never went much beyond that, mostly because the tool is no longer highly visible in Facebook. It’s hidden among all the other stuff that has adhered like barnacles to the right side of the screen. Or maybe it’s only in the feed view and not my account view, or whatever.

The people appearing there nowadays are further from my friend window. Maybe people I know from business, friends of friends, wives of friends, bandmates of friends. For the business peeps, there’s LinkedIn, and for everyone else, let’s call it NothingBook.

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What’s Wrong With Pinterest?

I suddenly realized I’m not a thirty-something woman from the midwest.

I first heard about Pinterest only a few weeks ago. Apparently it’s the latest fad in social media. But what the hell is it? I wondered. I went to the site and saw a massive array of gorgeous photos of stuff that looked a bit too upper-class for my taste.

“It’s a pinboard!” I was told. Now, pinboard was a brand new word to me. Yes, I’m 40, and I got all this way without ever hearing about pinboards. Now here’s Pinterest, supposed to be this big public ‘pinboard’, and not only was I totally in the dark about the site, but the idea it was based on.

I asked my wife. “You know, it’s a board you pin stuff to, like the one in the kitchen,” she said. She meant the corkboard where we stuck calendars and notices from the public school.

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Which Social Platform is for you? A Neat Flowchart

So now that you’ve used MySpace, Friendster, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Foursquare, Google+, Yahoo! Groups, LinkedIn, and about a thousand other social sites you’ll never remember, it’s time to make the prognosis: Some of these platforms won’t be here in a few years. Of those that do, they will attract the users who have best figured them out.

For learning to use one of these sites, it’s not really a matter of how, since they’re all pretty easy. They may have their own set of normal practices, and you may look like a terminal noob if you don’t adhere to them, but how much you care about that is driven by your own practices. You either think and act like Google+ or you don’t. If you do, you’ll focus your efforts on that site. If you don’t, you’ll drift away.

Within the next year, I think the shakeout will begin in earnest. When the dust clears, we won’t all be using every tool in a way that is ravenous toward some and pathetic toward others. I’d make the soft drink metaphor but it’s been done.

So it’s time to lay down the cards. Which is best for you?

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Deconstructing the #McDStories blunder: What could they have done?

mcdonalds #mcdstories social media failYou know how a lot of teary downer movies come out in January, in an effort to capture the mantle of “Best Movie of the Year” before anyone else? On January 18, it seems the McDonalds chain used that approach in their attempt to win the award for “Biggest Social Media Blunder of 2012” with the #McDStories hashtag.

Why do social media marketing ideas sometimes fail so grotesquely? Sometimes the idea is truly idiotic, or malformed, or naive. #McDStories is different. It actually seemed like a good idea for a well-known brand like McDonalds, which trades on convenience, cost, speed and a chipper all-American wholesomeness. The problem is that McDonalds is well-known to different people for different reasons.

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The New SEO: Social Sharing and Sentiment Matter More Than Ever

The New SEO: Social Sharing and Sentiment MatterBy now you’ve heard of Google+, right?

When Google announced its very own social platform earlier in 2011, the theories abounded: First, there was “It’s a competitor to Facebook and Twitter.”


Then we heard “It’s for the geeks who use all of Google’s unique applications.”

Not quite, unless Google really wants to hang its future on all three of those folks.

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What #OWS Teaches Us About Branding

What #OWS Teaches Us About BrandingIrony. That’s what it is.

By that I mean the questions that are being asked of those who support the Occupy Wall Street movement (as I do). We are asked “What is your message?” “What are your ideas?” “What are your demands?” “What is Occupy Wall Street about?”

The implication is clear: #OWS does not have a mission statement or a vision, and therefore cannot be legitimate. That’s irony.

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Facebook Wants You To Try Google+

Facebook Wants You To Try Google+Is there any other explanation?

Just in the past month or so, Facebook rolled out new features such as Subscriptions, granular sharing, and the mini feed on the right. They have also eliminated items like the Top News/Recent News selector and Add Link (you could just include it in your status update for awhile now). None of these changes are very intrusive, but they range from annoying to inconsequential.

This morning, many sat down to see their Facebook page changed pretty drastically. The News Feed Top/Recent selector (which was obnoxious when it was first introduced) is gone. In its place is their Top Stories feature. Now Facebook will simply deliver the feed depending on how often you visit or log in. (And everybody logs out when they leave Facebook, right? Right? Otherwise you get status-jacked by your so-called ‘friends’.)

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