Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Review: 2012 - The Year of the Social Image

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube were all big in 2012
2012 saw big developments for platforms sharing images
The year 2012 in social media will be remembered for a lot of things, but the No. 1 thing? It was…

The Year of the Social Image

Pinterest: It’s rapid growth began late in 2011 and rocketed through 2012. In many months it experienced 400 percent growth month-over-month. The site that features images of cute cats and delicious cakes became a huge time-suck for millions. The final seal of approval? The White House joined Pinterest in December.

Instagram vs. Twitter: Facebook bought Instagram and it was probably only a matter of time until Facebook/Instagram wanted nothing to do with rival Twitter. In early December the relationship was over: Why Instagram pulled its photos from Twitter. Then Twitter launched its own set of photo filters

Facebook: The world’s largest social network introduced automatic photo syncing which was a worry for some (Facebook automatic photo sync: 3 reasons to say "No thanks") and no real cause for concern for others (Relax, Facebook’s Photo Sync is an opt-in feature).

Viral videos: We couldn’t get enough of some videos this year and YouTube was the beneficiary. From South Korean entertainer Psy and his 'Gangnam Style' to 'KONY 2012' it seemed video sharing just got more popular by the month. For a good wrap up of the year’s top viral videos see CNN's top viral videos list.

Snapchat icon
Snapchat: This mobile social network is where friends share images (snaps) that disappear forever (its icon is a ghost ... get it?) after just seconds. In a world of perfectly controlled social presences this idea sounds crazy, but it is catching on. It’s now used at least 30 million times a day according to Forbes: Snapchat: The Biggest No-Revenue Mobile App Since Instagram. But a growing concern in late 2012 was that although the images disappear from Snapchat there is no stopping anyone from grabbing a screenshot and sharing that … forever (See: “Snapchat Sluts Hit the Internet on New Website”).

Other 2012 social media developments



Hurricane Sandy proved how helpful social media can be: From self-organized clean-up crews organizing around social media sites to social media make helping personal it was clear that the super storm had created a deluge of social media responses. The good that came from this included government agencies realizing that they can now listen in real time to the needs of citizens and weather forecasters realizing that in social media they can find out what’s happening on the ground.

More generally it became clear that government agencies and entities of all sorts can no longer ignore social media, according to Elaine Pittman at the site Government Technology: 2012 was the year that using social media to reach citizens became business as usual.

The growth of social media continues to be staggering. For a good wrap up on social media in 2012 see Brian Honigan’s piece on the Huffington Post: 100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures From 2012.

So what big social media events and happenings are missing here? What other social media news from 2012 will you remember?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How I spent my summer at @ButlerTill agency [video]

Mike Johansson, Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology

Over this past summer I was lucky enough to spend some time at a Rochester, N.Y. agency Butler/Till seeing how they manage an enormous volume of advertising work while still staying sane.

My visit was part of a new Academic-In-Residence (AIR) program devised by myself and company president Peter Infante with the blessing of Butler/Till’s principals Sue Butler and Tracy Till (both of whom, I have to say, are fun people to work with).

For fellow college professors and instructors I can’t recommend this type of program too highly.

Where else can you spend several days being a fly on the wall and gaining a true understanding of current challenges and how agency types are meeting them?

How else can you chat with people on all strata of the business about what they are doing and what skills they find they use every day or not at all?

It also helped that Butler/Till is a fun and creative place to be with spontaneous games breaking out, pets visiting the office and (the week I was there) the bosses at the grills cooking out for all the staff.

At the end of my time there video wiz Alex Weiser interviewed me about my experience at Butler/Till.

Here are five excerpts and what each is about:

So, thanks again to Butler/Till for the opportunity and I hope the program continues for many years to come.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

10 More Social Marketing Experts Offer Key Advice

Social marketing experts: Top, from left: David Amerland, Tamara Littleton, Lisa Grimm, Jason Falls, Sandra Zoratti; Bottom, from left: Ted Rubin, Neal Schaffer, Peggy Fitzpatrick, Kent Huffman, Aaron Lee
Social media marketing is a new and growing field of study. Facing the prospect of teaching social marketing basics in a rapidly changing business environment to college students I have turned to experts to ask them three questions.

I’ve now asked these questions of 30 experts. Their answers always impressed me and were always informative.

Today, in case you've missed any of the posts, I recap highlights from the most recent 10 experts who talked to me (links to previous posts are below while new posts in the series will begin later this week):

The Third 10 Social Marketing Experts:

Don’t focus too heavily on the technology, said David Amerland, author of several books including The Social Media Mind, SEO Help, Online Marketing Help and Brilliant SEO. "The technology moves so fast that focusing your skillsets around specific platforms (like Facebook or G+, for example) is self-defeating and will only help you feel dated and out of touch faster,” he said.

"Create a personality for your company on social media that resonates with your audiences,", advised Tamara Littleton, founder and CEO of eModeration a social media management agency with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. "I think some marketers are afraid of showing a human side when they approach social media and that’s a big mistake," she said. "No-one wants to talk to an anonymous logo."

Being passionate about connecting people and being curious are keys to social marketing success , said Lisa Grimm, Senior Manager, Social Strategy at Imagination, for whom she works onsite at General Mills leading social presence, social strategy development and brand/product integration for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Eat Better America and Tablespoon. "If you're inquisitive and passionate about how mass communication tools can connect people, you should make a fine social marketer," she said.

"Gotta be able to communicate well", said Jason Falls, the man behind Social Media Explorer, a strategic services agency and an information products company focusing on social media marketing and digital marketing, and co-author of No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing. "Clarity in communication is probably the top skill you need for any job, but this world is all about connecting audiences with messages and vice-versa," he said.

Converse, don't broadcast, was the advice of Sandra Zoratti , Vice President, Global Marketing for Ricoh and co-author of Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance. "Consumer conversations, not marketing messages, increasingly determine what gets attention and what gets ignored," she said.

Be yourself, get to know who people are, said Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias, inventor of the term ROR: Return on Relationship and the Most-Followed CMO on Twitter. "Show sincere interest in others," he said. "Listen, but most important ... hear. Look at your own behaviors and ask yourself, 'Would I want to be my friend?'"

Social media marketing requires three distinct kinds of thinking, opined Neal Schaffer, president of Windmills Marketing, a social media strategic consultancy, speaker, author of the books Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing and Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn. Analytical thinking, creative thinking and "analogue social thinking." "Social marketing is not rocket science, but it requires a different mindset," he said. "I believe that traditional marketing and business skills are still important in social marketing, but social media marketing definitely requires that you are strong in these areas."

Engaging with your community is very important, said Peggy Fitzpatrick, Director of Marketing and Social Media Manager for Kreussler Inc., the Brand Sparker at re:DESIGN and a writer and Managing Partner at 12 Most. "If you don't enjoy being social with people, this is not the venue for you," she said. "I genuinely love hearing from people who follow me or that I follow, they brighten my day."

Listening to and understanding what’s happening on social media are the keys, said Kent Huffman, the Chief Marketing Officer at BearCom Wireless, Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine, and author of the new book, 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success. Important things are "planning carefully, developing relationships, establishing trust, demonstrating leadership, building community and ensuring value," he said.

Passion is the key to social marketing success, according to Aaron Lee, an entrepreneur based in Malaysia, who is the Social Media Marketing Director for Binkd, a social media contest campaign platform provider, and who blogs at Ask Aaron Lee. "Passion is what separates every successful person from others," he said. "You can feel it in what they do and how passionate they are to help others be successful as well."

So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?

Previous posts:
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
10 More Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Utility leads to success, says Google’s Avinash Kaushik
Social Marketing: Being passionate is the key to success, says marketer @AskAaronLee
Social Marketing: Don’t be timid, says Ford’s Scott Monty