Monthly Archives: January 2012

McDonald’s Twitter Campaign Goes Horribly Wrong

#McDStories

A twitter campaign by McDonald’s backfired when people started sharing
the wrong kind of #McDStories (via @bored2tears).McDonald’s kicked things
off on Thursday with the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, in a campaign meant to
draw attention to the brand’s guarantee of fresh produce.

Later in the day, however, the burger company used a dangerously vague
hashtag: “When u make something w/ pride, people can taste
it,” McD potato supplier #McDstoriesPeople took this hashtag
and started talking trash. The Daily Mail gathered some of the best:

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UPDATE: Here’s an emailed statement from McDonald’s social media director
Rick Wion:Last Thursday, we planned to use two different hashtags during a
promoted trend – #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories.While #meetthefarmers
was used for the majority of the day and successful in raising awareness of the
Supplier Stories campaign, #mcdstories did not go as planned.

We quickly pulled #mcdstories and it was promoted for less than two hours.
Within an hour of pulling #McDStories the number of conversations about it
fell off from a peak of 1600 to a few dozen.

It is also important to keep those numbers in perspective. There were 72,788
mentions of McDonald’s overallthat day so the traction of #McDStories was a
tiny percentage (2%) of that.

With all social media campaigns, we include contingency plans should the
conversation not go as planned. The ability to change midstream helped this
small blip from becoming something larger.


Study shows Facebook created 232,000 European jobs in 2011

Facebook created 232,000 European jobs in 2011 (study)

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Summary: Deloitte has released a new Facebook-funded report that finds the company enabled an economic impact of €15.3 billion, supporting 232,000 jobs, across the EU and Switzerland in 2011.

Facebook isn’t just having an impact on the job market in the U.S. Across the EU and Switzerland, Facebook enabled an economic impact of €15.3 billion in 2011, supporting 232,000 jobs, according to a recent study.

Those numbers might be a bit overestimated, however, as the social networking giant paid for the study. Facebook commissioned Deloitte to assess its economic contribution across the EU27 with a focus on United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. The 47-page study, titled “Measuring Facebook’s economic impact in Europe”  was conducted between November 2011 and January 2012.

The report examines Facebook’s economic impact through narrow effects (day-to-day activities within Europe), which includes the company’s economic contribution proportionate to the level of employment generated in 2011 (direct effects). It also includes the impact felt in associated supply-chain industries who supply to Facebook (indirect effects) and consumer spending by staff (induced effects). On top of that, it also looks at broad effects, which are related to value from third parties as a result of the Facebook ecosystem.

Here are some of the report’s highlights:

  • Facebook supports €1.37 billion in ‘business participation effects’ in the UK as businesses use Facebook’s pages to promote their brand, raise awareness, advertise and generate new business. In particular, small businesses benefit from such a developed customer relations management system at no cost. ‘Business participation’ enabled by Facebook supports 18,400 jobs in the UK.
  • When widened to the whole of the EU, Facebook enables €7.3 billion of broad economic impacts through Business Participation supporting 111,000 jobs.
  • Through ‘Platform effects’, notably the app economy servicing the Facebook platform and social activities, Facebook has enabled €561m of economic activity. Facebook generates value by giving software developers a platform to develop apps for users, generating revenue, and stimulating innovation. It also creates value by making it easier for users to organise events and invite larger numbers of attendees, which in turn can lead to greater expenditure than would not have been the case otherwise. This activity generates 7,500 jobs in the UK. When widened to the whole of the EU, Facebook enables €2.2billion of broad economic impacts through Platform effects supporting 33,000 jobs.
  • Facebook has supported increased technology sales through increased demand for devices and broadband connections, supporting €659 million in technology sales and 8,800 jobs in the UK. Across the whole of the EU, Facebook enables €5.5billion in technology sales, with 85,300 associated jobs.

“Today’s report shows that Facebook is about a lot more than sharing pictures or keeping up with friends; increasingly social media means growth and jobs,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement. “As the Deloitte study highlights, social media is proving particularly valuable for small and medium sized businesses, which form the backbone of the European economy. The impact of social media is a bright spot in challenging times, but growth won’t happen on its own. We need to make sure that we invest in the right education, training, technology and networks so that social media can continue to drive innovation and economic growth.”

“Facebook embodies a new generation of social media organisations that have significant global impact and create economic value through enabling ecosystems of businesses to flourish,” Chris Williams, Deloitte Economic Consulting partner, said in a statement. “Traditional narrow measures of economic impact are limited and it is critical to consider the broader impact of Facebook in allowing other parties to create value across the economy.”


Google+ Finally Allows Pseudonyms

The Google+ Common Name policy will never be the same. Google promised it would take a close look at the requirement that only real names and identities reside on its seven-month-old social network, and now the search giant has reversed course, allowing both nicknames and full-fledged pseudonyms on Google+.

Google VP of Product Bradley Horowitz acknowledged that “the stakes around this have always been very high” and called these changed an “important step in a long journey … We’re talking with our users around the expression of identity.” The change, which begins rolling out to users Monday, is “a big step for the system,” said Horowitz, and one that will likely be welcomed by fierce common name critics like the Electronics Frontiers Foundation and popular blogger and Google+ early adopter and champion Robert Scoble. The ever voluble Scoble, who often goes by the handle “Scobleizer” online, pressed Google’s Senior Vice President, Engineering Vic Gundotra on the topic last summer after Google began deleting Google+ accounts that violated the Common Names rules.

More than 99% of those who sign up for Google+ “sail through” the account naming process, but these changes address the, according to Google, less than 0.1% that now end up in appeal. Among that small number are companies (roughly 20%) that Google+ now steers to Google+ Pages, which allows brands to set up destinations on the social network. Another 20%, Google told Mashable “would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another seemingly unconventional name.” The majority of the 0.1% just want to add a nickname.

Adding a nickname to your account is quite simple. There’s a new field under your Profile/About page. Enter the nickname and it appears either in the middle of your actual name (Lance “Lancealot” Ulanoff) or at the end in parenthesis. Though there is no option to show only your nickname, Horowitz did not rule out the possibility in a future iteration of the service. “We don’t consider ourselves finished here,” he said.

The use of actual pseudonyms is a little more complex. All pseudonym requests will require some kind of evidence, which could range from a URL to your scanned driver’s license. Google+ is not, however, accepting new pseudonyms. This is designed for “established ones.” Horowitz explained that the new account naming option is intended for “people who have earned credit in other social systems and want to redeem that credit in Google+ … We will swing the doors open and welcome them to our system.” Google will destroy all documentation you send them once the account verification process is complete.

Google+ profile updates also support “alternate names,” “maiden names,” and “names in other scripts.”

While Google+’s late embrace of nicknames and pseudonyms is an indication that Google heard its critics, that doesn’t mean it necessarily agreed with those criticisms. “It’s not an awakening,” said Horowitz. “This has always been part of the plan.”

Google execs also know that this is not a perfect or final profile naming solution.

“We care about identify and people being authentic on our service. We realize that what we have now is not the final destination either. This is a journey,” added Horowitz who is also outlining the Google+ changes in a Google+ post.

Ultimately this change means that those who know you by nicknames can find that appellation as part of your Google Profile and, more importantly, if you’ve branded yourself as “Master of Social Media” and are recognized as such on other services, you can proudly wear that label on Google+, too.


Moving From Content Marketing to Social Commerce

Great content can drive customer engagement, but it also can drive transactions. Is your content optimized for both?

 

The formula for successful social media marketing starts with the right mix of content, then establishing connections (with your audience), and getting this audience to tell your story via word of mouth. But this is just a starting point. How do we move beyond individual campaigns to use our full range of content assets to foster and build sustainable communities? And how do we tap these communities to sell more stuff and drive multichannel social commerce?

To answer the first question, we need to consider how social networks and communities often developed. In the case of Facebook, many initial members joined because they wanted to reconnect with old classmates or share everyday experiences. But over time the most popular activity has become uploading (more than 250 million per day), sharing, and commenting on photos, which in turn attracts new members with their own updates and photos, and so on. So growth was a function of both personal connections andsharable content.

Beyond photos, sharable content can take many other forms, like news articles, videos, and consumer reviews, or even apps or tools. I recently started using Spiceworks, a business-oriented social network for IT professionals with more than 1.5 million members worldwide. Spiceworks launched with free network management and IT productivity tools for SMB IT pros, expanded to include user forums, and now offers social commerce, as well. Just like Facebook, people initially came for the content, but they stayed for the community.


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