— blending the mix


Thanks to my eternally trustworthy pal Paul Gailey, I was made aware that one of my favourite analytics tools Post Rank, has tonight announced it has been acquired by Google. And I don’t think its wise to underestimate how important this will be for the world of search and social media.

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So here is my first Marketing Profs blog post whch looks at the way in which marketers might evaluate on which horse they need to put their money. Facebook with its 600m users and smart targeting or established world leader Groupon. Which horse would you back and why?

Did Groupon miss out on a glorious opportunity a few months ago to become billionaires and worry about what was oming next to someone else? OK, so that’s probably a bit of a dramatic statement to make so early into the social couponing game, but with the introduction this week of Facebook Deals, it certainly has to be top of its agenda right now.

The problem is not another couponing entrant into the market (frugaloo in the United Kingdom for example does exactly what Groupon is doing with an arguably more local focus to its deals), but the fact that Groupon relies upon a clunky pass-along process to raise awareness of the deals. If you aren’t subscribed to Groupon deals, it’s only a passed-along email or incentivised posted link to Facebook or Twitter that interrupts your online experience. This is a major Groupon Achilles’ heel but a major benefit to Facebook.

That’s why the recommendation fee is so fantastic—£6 (about $9) earnings per deal (more often than not on some pretty low-value deals) in the world of affiliate marketing is pretty good money, but how else can Groupon motivate this kind of pass-along?

This is where Facebook Deals has the killer ingredient: built-in virality. Let’s look at how Deals usurps Groupon on this front:

  • Home Page link—Users can click on deals at any time during their normal Facebook user experience.
  • Deals Page—Don’t like the first deal? Other nearby location deals are right next door to them.
  • Sponsored Deals—Deals will be visible alongside targeted ads on the right hand side of the page. (I anticipate a time when deals become so popular in any given location that deals will become targeted and served based entirely upon your social graph.)
  • Personal message, wall posts and news feeds—OK, so not very different to Groupon’s process and heck, at least even Groupon gives you incentives to do this, but shared deals become wall/news feed content and as such, highly visible.
  • Onsite notifications—Whenever a friend interacts with a deal you have also liked, you get notified, too. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a travel experience with a friend
  • Facebook Pages—A deal can be displayed on the right hand side of a deal page. Looking at a cinema deal? Also be attracted to click on the accompanying restaurant deal on the right for example.
  • Email—Not the killer tool it once was given that this is Groupon’s main MO, but the email notifications of your and your friends’ interactions with deals and daily updates alongside poking notifications, messages, and wall post notifications for example puts deals at the heart of the social experience.

So, to go back to the title of this piece, it is not the particular local or hyperlocal deal agreements that Facebook have lined up that have the potential to end Groupon’s reign, but the built-in virality of interactions with the deals themselves.

What Groupon has to motivate users to do, Facebook makes happen organically—and that is where true social shopping takes place.


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There’s so man people writing about what 2011 means for social media, it’s almost not worth listening to any of it – the echo chamber is in FULL effect. But the clock is ticking:
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An utterly genius idea, mush along the lines of Rampenfest, but even simpler.

Tele2 Meteorite from Inspired on Vimeo.

The stats are amazing…

Story was front-of-news for a month.

93% campaign awareness

99% target audience awareness

10% of respondents would switch mobile operator to Tele2

Stores were swamped

Some stores even ran out of sim cards.

Media cost of 0.

Nuff said.

Thanks David.

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So, as you can see below, I am giving about.me a crack and seeing what it gives me that other “CV”-related sites like linked.in or plaxo don’t.

At this stage, as you can see, it is not much more than a pretty looking CV…kind of like an elongated, more attractive “Info” section that one might find on Facebook. The customisation is pretty nice (reminds me of Posterous in this regard), and behind the scenes it has a really attractive looking dashboard of stats…which I am guessing may become more effective once more traffic arrives…assuming it will!

For Joe Public who needs a way to point potential future employers to non-career-threatening social channels, this could be a really, really nice utility. Do send me links in the comment section to your own profiles. I’d be really keen to see what you make of it!

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For various reasons, I’ve been trying to clarify my thinking on the structure of social media – where it fits into various client’s demands and how an agency (and in fact client) can gear themselves up for the multi-front challenges that social media presents. I think the agency that can manage this correctly i.e. properly integrate the principles into their “normal” working practice will really set itself apart from all the “me-too” pretenders, none of whom can properly support each of the specific areas they need to.

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I caught wind of this the tonight and think it is an interesting addition to the ongoing debates of both real time news as well as Twitter.

As Friendfeed is managing to do, Facebook is attempting to do and numerous other sites fail to do, the real-time web (largely driven by Twitter) is moving closer and closer, but the very nature of it – news created by amateurs experiencing the news themselves is somewhat sketchy at best, blatantly false at worst.

At the other end of the scale we have the aggregators who collate news based on the number of links a particulr piece of news has. The more popular it is, the higher it will appear in the aggregator (Yahoo/Google News for example).

But, does the most popular news have the same value to users as breaking news? I would argue not. The problem is, breaking news takes a while to attract links and build up a head of steam to become massively mainstream breaking news, yet Twitter lacks the depth of detail to add detail to the story.

Along comes Vik’s Tweet News – a Yahoo BOSS/Twitter mash-up which compares the emerging news stories on Twitter and compares the to the stories in Yahoo News. If there is something in both Yahoo News and Twitter, chances are its breaking news but with some meat to it – rather than a collection of brief, 140 character messages.

The end result is a tool that tracks breaking news stories ranked by the hyper-time-sensitive results on Twitter, arguably offering faster updates, better relevance and more in-depth coverage than either source by itself.

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Greg picked this one up and sent ot through to me the other day. I really like it. Normally, I find that anything with such a dramatic title (and containing lots of scatty images and poorly-cropped screengrabs) is a load of old tosh, but there are some really interesting elements to this presentation.


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I’d like your help. Well, I actually think you need my help. What the hell, we need each other’s help.

My last big post prompted a previously unseen numbers of comments, all pretty much saying the same thing:

“uk business doesn’t get social media, but what can we do to help it get social media”

The one overriding problem was, and will remain for some time, the difficulty in measuring the effectiveness of a social media campaign. Metrics aside, I don’t think that you can in fact standardise social media measurement, but that is another post 😉

So, whilst the issue over metrics remains unanswered (at the moment anyway), the only solution is to prove that other brands are doing what our clients SHOULD be doing and that social media is here and now in the uk and that there is significant value in embracing a social media strategy.

As there are plenty of social media bods, online buddies, friends and other interested people in the same boat, I decided that it might be a good idea to create an online resource where we could all add our own war stories, case studies, relevant ebooks etc. to enable us to quickly and easily pull together some convincing ammunition to persuade our lovely clients that social media works (when done properly, which of course, is what we all do anyway….isn’t it?!)

UK Social Media Case Study Wiki

So, do please visit the wiki, contribute, send me an email paul (dot) fabretti at gmail (dot) com and let’s see of we can’t make something of value from which we can all benefit. Put whatever you like up, within reason, as long as you think that it helps us promote social media.

Link Love to the following people who I think could/should/might like to help:

Chris (aka The Don)
David H
David K
Steve D

I look forward to hearing from you!

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