The 5 Superior Social Media Posts in April!

The changes to and evolution of the online world never stops…..hence the usual flood of news and tips available. So, for April, here are the articles that really caught my attention!

Facebook 20 percent rule

Look! No Text!

  • Facebook’s 20% Rule – Gone, Not Gone :: Everyone who has ever slammed their head against the desk after submitting their boost or ad for approval on Facebook, only to have it rejected due the dreaded “20% Rule”, cheers this change! However, you need to read the new standard VERY CLOSELY to see what it has morphed into so you don’t get caught in the turbulence.

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New Facebook Data: A Powerful Challenge to Fundamentals

Queen of Hearts

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What you knew yesterday may not apply today….

I hate that….you probably do to. In the land of social media and digital marketing it really is like what the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”  Drives me crazy…

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How Can All The Personalization Opportunities Possibly Scale!?

I recently attended a half day of training focused on the roles and nuances within the business networking group I belong to. While extremely enlightening and really useful as I work to get a grip on my new role as president in my chapter, I’m struck afresh by the spectrum of differences that we each have as humans.  In the case of the discussions I had, they focused on personality types and learning styles as they pertain to the other members of the group. Extend those classifications to digital marketing, especially as an entrepreneur, and you can begin to feel overwhelmed. It’s one thing to write, say, a message for an email campaign in four different ways to accommodate four personality types, but take the personalization further to learning styles, cultural and generational differences, best channel for communication, etc. and you just might feel that going back to a broadcast “one-size-fits-all” style is just easier, and it used to work OK, so just go for it.  Or maybe walking around wearing a sandwich board!

Not a great idea, although the sandwich board might be pretty good exercise…

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How Do You Set the Table for Unparalleled Awesomeness?

Can you remember the single best dining out experience you’ve ever had? Whether it was the best steak ever, stir-fry to die for, or that anniversary dinner at the Killer Italian Place, do you remember what it was that made the meal memorable? The company probably had a lot to do with it, but the context and environment had a BIG part in the whole thing, too.

This same principle holds for your content and whether it is share-worthy or not. If that serving of shrimp linguine had arrived in a Styrofoam container with a packet of generic grated cheese and a plastic fork, the night might have been memorable for entirely different reasons! You expect premium content to look like premium content, too.

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Words Are Actually Too Hard! Can You Picture This?

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You have a different way of learning than I do. There are a lot of terms like “Cognitive Styles” and “Learning Strategies” that describe this, but it’s really pretty basic. Still, there are some commonalities across the various Styles. Read a piece of information and 3 days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Simply add a picture and you’ll remember 65%! I also benefit from the inclusion of samples, stories and examples or templates that help me to fill in the mental construct. You probably have other things that help you, too.

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How To Be More Contagious

Consuming and sharing content normally creates an emotional benefit, not a financial one. Hence the obstacle: companies try to use content to create financial benefits for themselves instead of emotional benefits for their readers. This completely overturns the traditional business view of what content should accomplish.

Studies show we’re hard-wired to talk about ourselves. Around 50% of what people talk about on social is ‘me‘ focused, and it’s not just vanity (although there are an ENORMOUS number of selfies and/or pictures of the food in front of you out there, but I digress…). Harvard neuroscientists Jason Mitchell and Diana Tamir discovered that disclosing information about ourselves is intrinsically rewarding. They found that sharing personal opinions activates the same brain circuits that respond to rewards like food and money. So how do you climb aboard those conversations?

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Content Shock and the Search for Impact

So now you’ve done a bit of research and found that not only is your market saturated with content, but you’re up against some “heavy hitters”. Competition seems hopeless and you don’t see how you can make any real headway. Well, there are three tactics you can use that can provide you some leverage and opportunity. Continue reading

Content Shock, Saturation and Niche Research

Content Saturation

Unless you have a existing niche service or product, you’re heading face-first into a highly competitive environment in this content arms race….and the status quo will not work. How do you differentiate yourself and your business? How do you finish the sentence, “Only we….”? For example, I regularly hear any number of small business owners tout their customer service, but, frankly, everyone does that. Unless you deliver your customers’ products to their homes via a Rolls Royce driven by a billionaire, hand carried by an A-list Hollywood star in a diamond-crusted case and installed by a sparkling robot, with an instant, full money, no questions asked returns policy after a lifetime of use, excellent customer service is what everyone expects. It’s not a differentiator, it’s a given.
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Slice and dice

I am in love...

Image by abbyladybug via Flickr
If you follow my blog at all you already know that I have become a fan and follower of Seth Godin (one of my first readings every morning is his blog).  One of the ways he has inspired me is that he has helped me realize that my writing isn’t likely to be, shall we say, a modern masterpiece with every post.
I wish, but seriously, no.
But I am learning that’s OK.  I’m also trying to wrap my head around what this means for other projects, both my own and those at work.

The other shoe drops – The Amazon Kindle SDK

Kindle DX and Kindle 2

Image via Wikipedia

Last week Amazon announced a Software Development Kit (SDK) for their Kindle e-reader.  They are calling it the Kindle Development Kit (KDK). According to Ian Freed, Vice President of the Kindle group, “We’ve heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle.  The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities–we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.” (full press release can be read here)

The KDK will be initially released in a limited beta.  The revenue split will be 70% to the developer and 30%, with an additional scheme for application delivery fees and ongoing delivery of any dynamic content or data.  Three pricing options have been announced (from the KDK page):

  • Free – Active content applications that are smaller than 1MB and use less than 100KB/user/month of wireless data may be offered at no charge to customers. Amazon will pay the wireless costs associated with delivery and maintenance.
  • One-time Purchase – Customers will be charged once when purchasing active content. Content must have nominal (less than 100KB/user/month) ongoing wireless usage.
  • Monthly Subscription – Customers will be charged once per month for active content.There are a few other restrictions/guidelines outlined on the KDK page as well.

    So what does this mean?  It means altering your perception of the Kindle.  If the creativity of the developers of mobile applications on other platforms is any indication (e.g.- Apple, Palm, Google, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Nokia, etc.), in the next year you will be able to do WAY more on your Kindle than read today’s New York Times and items from your Kindle library.  Kindle becomes an already accepted wireless mobile platform with a well-recognized name.  It is priced under the bulk of netbooks and many smartphones (admittedly, it also does NOT have touch or color, but I don’t think the designers at Amazon are standing still on those fronts…).

    This comes as a frontal challenge to the highly anticipated Apple tablet (side thought: if e-readers were THE gadget at CES this year, are tablets likely to be the hot item next year?).  As of today (January 25, 2010), it is not public just what the focus and capabilities of the Apple device will be.  Apple changed the whole idea of phone as mobile platform and enabled the developers for that device to stretch it and innovate in ways no one foresaw at the beginning (I’m reminded a little of the market for third party add-ons and ActiveX controls to Microsoft Visual Basic and early web development).  Apple’s good at drawing its established customer base into the “next big thing/flashy object” and expanding it.  I expect to see good sales of their device initially.  However, Kindle is likely to remain at a price advantage, even if the Kindle v.next has touch and color capabilities.  Apple has NEVER been afraid to charge top dollar for its products, and apparently a large portion of the consuming public is willing to pay.  However, the growing fuzziness over devices in this area (overlap in function, price, purpose, available applications, etc. for netbooks, e-readers, smartphones and all the ‘tweener’ devices….) may take some time to shake out.  Kindle has the advantage of being in the hands of a large number users today, and Amazon is just opening up the device to be enabled in other ways.  It’s shaping up to be a very interesting competition.

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