Nathan T. Wright is the Founder of Lava Row, a Des Moines-based digital media strategy / education firm. He can be found on Twitter at @nathantwright.
My job description: I answer questions about the Internet.
In 2002, I sold my soul on eBay. Here it is in a jar.
Arriving at the new owner’s doorstep in Los Angeles.
My soul getting a check-up by the doctor.
My soul soaking up the L.A. sun.
My soul on the Prime Meridian. I tell this story because it was my first wake up call that, wow, these digital and social media platforms can sure give a story (or message) velocity. This story started on eBay as a prank and ended up on NPR, NBC Nightly News, and all sorts of strange global media.
Challenge #1 is the speed of information. The “news cycle” as we once knew it has collapsed. This is one of the most famous media images of 2009, taken by a citizen with his iPhone only minutes after the U.S. Airways jet landed in the Hudson River. Mainstream media outlets took 40 minutes to start breaking the news. Meanwhile, the story had been breaking on Twitter and social networks the whole time.
Beyonce’s “baby bump” announcement at the MTV VMAs set a TPS (tweets per second) record – 8,968 tweets per second. Runners-up are 7,196 tweets per second during the USA vs. Japan women’s soccer final, and 5,500 TPS during the D.C. earthquake.
More evidence of the speed of information: An entire stadium of 40,000 fans at the Phillies / Mets game became aware of Osama Bin Laden’s death via connectivity to social networks on their mobile devices – within mere minutes. Players on the field (with no devices) were unaware of why fans were chanting “USA!”
This graphic shows the ever-shifting landscape of media, as well as the dominance individual forms of media once had. Illustrates how people receive media as constantly changing.
This graphic from The Altimeter Group illustrates where companies are formalizing their social media efforts – the top three departments being Marketing, Corp Comm/PR and Web/Digital. How does your company compare to this? We see the next big opportunity in customer support departments and the front lines: field (11%) and franchise owners (1%). Silos – these departments need to be sharing information efficiently.
An example of as-it-happens engagement on Twitter. U.S. Airways actually used a non-official spokesperson (@USAirwaysGirl – shown top right – who had just quit her job at the company two weeks previous) because they saw they could filter information through her faster to the public than through traditional news media.
Free: Leverage volunteers, fans, or interns Integrated: Review and prioritized tasks in existing job descriptions and make room for social media tasks Staffed: This can be quarter, half, or full-time
Facebook is the largest social network with 750 million+ active users (soon to be one billion). 50% of users log in every day, the average # of friends is 130, and 700 billions minutes are spent on the network each day. If it had land mass, it would be our third-largest country. In a huge shift, as of Feb 2010 Facebook was driving more traffic to key websites (CNET, WSJ types) than Google (via Compete.com).
George Costanza was paranoid about his separate worlds (girlfriend’s friends mixing with his close friends) colliding. This was almost a prediction of the struggle we have with Facebook – filtering all the updates, relationships and information overload. Facebook just launched “Smart Lists” to help us filter our lives better. This will affect brands and companies – favoring the ones with good content and strong relationships with their audience
Twitter has reached 100 millions users. 40% log in to see what others are saying (listeners and lurkers, if you will). 50 million log in each day. There are 230 million daily tweets, and 55% of users access Twitter via mobile devices.
Oops! You are what you tweet, so use common sense. In this instance, a rep for Chrysler accidentally posted this to the company account instead of his own personal (private) feed. He was fired immediately.
LinkedIn is a professional social network, with 100 million users. The audience there is affluent and well-educated.
Because humans are nomadic with their careers these days, a rolodex full of email addresses isn’t the most effective way to stay in touch with people anymore. Your rolodex can be augmented by connecting with your customers and prospects on LinkedIn. When they change jobs, you’ll still be connected.
A bit of QR history: Created by a Toyota subsidiary in 1994 . Initially used for tracking vehicle parts. Frequently used in Japan , Netherlands and South Korea. Slower adoption in US and UK.
QR codes are currently in “betamax” mode, but they’re the beginning of something really cool. Today, marketers + QR codes = a lack of strategy, “me too” marketing, technology / behavioral barriers to entry and a lack of aesthetic. The good news … it’s early.
Marketers should worry less about QR vs. Microsoft Snap Tags (that will solve itself in time) and focus more on the core concept of “hardlinking” – connecting our physical communications with the digital experience. This is something we’ve been trying to achieve since we started putting website URLs on brochures and it’s just now evolving thanks to sophisticated mobile devices.
Video: http://youtu.be/9arFEBpTJUM The Oxfam Curiosity Shop, a pop-up shop this past sprint within London’s Selfridges department store added a digital twist to a store in London — one to make high-end fashion stores envious. Take a smartphone picture of the QR codes attached to the tags on Oxfam’s items, and you’ll see videos of celebrities telling the stories behind their former pieces that were on sale. Proceeds from the sales go toward supporting Oxfam‘s charitable efforts. Big-name celebrities including Annie Lennox, Colin Firth, Helen Mirren and Kate Moss, donated pretty impressive clothing. How It Worked: The shop paired with tech company Tales of Things to attach QR codes to every item. Potential buyers could scan the codes with their phones or with an RFID reader in the store. After scanning, a short video launched of a star explaining what the article of clothing means to them or where the money will go.
New Yorkers can scan the QR Codes to learn details about ongoing projects, read complaints and violations related to the location, or click on a link to easily make complaints of their own.
QR codes don ’t have to look ugly. QR codes have a 30% tolerance in readability … meaning you can get a little creative with colors and shapes.
99 PROBLEMS Today’s social media challenges: Catching up to the speed of information. Organizational silos. Lack of structure/process. No commitment to training and education. Not enough human beings. Lots of platforms.
100 million users 40% log in to see what others are saying 50 million log in each day 230 million daily tweets 55% access Twitter via mobile devices http://blog.twitter.com/2011/09/one-hundred-million-voices.html Photo: victoriapeckham via flickr
100 million users 54% male / 46% female Average age: 43 51% earn more than $100k annually 23% earn more than $150k annually Over 77% have a college degree 32% are middle management or above Source: Nielsen Online @Plan, Summer 2009 Photo: nanpalmero via flickr
How’s your rolodex? Average person will hold down 7-8 different careers in their lifetime. - U.S. Department of Labor Average person has 3 email addresses. - Direct Marketing Association Email addresses change at a rate of 31% per year. - Direct Marketing Association photo via lisa_yarost flickr.com