Getting Things Done with Social Media

Recently an app called Field Agent was released which connects clients (people in need of information) with field agents (people who are positioned to retrieve it).  A client posts a job to a site, for example “how much are my competitors charging for X service at Y store.”  The client also posts the reward, typically between 2 and 8 dollars.  A field agent (anyone who has downloaded the app) can then accept the job and will have a certain amount of time to deliver.  On delivery they receive the reward, and feedback on their performance by way of a scoring system.

Missions could be anything: recording a street musician’s performance, taking a photo of a competitor’s billboard, seeing how the sushi bar across town presents their California Rolls, staking out your favorite celebrities’ favorite coffee shop so you can ‘bump’ into them, or getting your lunch delivered to you at the office.  Any other ideas? Post to comments.

This is a great example of how social media can be used to network people who fulfill each others needs.  I foresee this as being the first of many services that create profitable relationships between people who were previously strangers.

How Social Media Changed Comcast

Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast discusses how its use of social media, especially twitter, changed its culture as a company.

Fortune 100 Social Media Practices

The power of social media is undeniable.  The major challenge entrepreneurs are faced is with answering the question: what constitutes effective social media use?  It’s easy to assume that the attention invested doesn’t have a tangible on the bottom line.  While social media doesn’t necessarily generate revenue, it does link people together.  You can get yourself, your product, and your message out there and connect with other like minded business people and potential customers.  This is the true power of social media.  Building connections.  When it comes down to it, that’s what good business is about: how well you connect with people.  Ethan Bloch of Flowtown.com recently created an info graphic showing how effective businesses, in this case the Fortune 100, use social media to connect to the world:

Ever wonder how big businesses are leveraging social media? Burson-Martseller recently released a report highlighting the Fortune Global 100 companies and how they were using social platforms including: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We have complied a graphic illustrating the most interesting of their findings:

Read more at Flowtown

Connect with Flowtown on Facebook, Twitter

Social Media Meets Personal Finance with Blippy

Blippy.com is an idea spawned by Ashvin Kumar, Chris Estreich, and Philip J. Kaplan that is being called “The Twitter of Personal Finance.”  The site posts the purchases you make to a live feed, which other users can then comment on and ask questions about.  Potential applications are limitless, but a few that come to mind are: finding the best deals on consumer electronics, finding out about new wines friends are purchasing, getting movie recommendations based on member’s Netflix activity, and finding new music based on friend’s iTunes purchases.  Critics say that the site exposes too much personal information.  What’s your opinion?

OpenForum.com on Blippy in their article
The 5 Most Innovative New Online Business Models in 2010:

If you don’t live your life in social media, the idea behind Blippy will likely confuse you. It is a social site that lets people automatically share the latest things they have purchased (and how much they paid for them) by linking the site to a single credit card. This level of transparency and sharing may seem crazy to many people, but the site represents a social experiment that points to an interesting opportunity for businesses whose customers may be used to sharing every small detail of their lives. It may be an outlier in this list of business models as they admittedly don’t have a revenue model for the site as yet – but the shift in what people are willing to share online is the real trend worth watching.

Social Media Analytics 101: 4 Articles, 1 Service

Social Media can be a nebulous mistress.  As entrepreneurs continue to use social media to connect with customers and collaborators, a new question has come into being: what are effective social media practices?  The fact is no one knows for certain, but there is a way to measure what is effective and what isn’t: social media analytics.  SM (Social Media) can be frustrating to manage without information helping get into your client’s heads.  Here We’ve compiled a review of the top four How To articles, plus one paid service that will take care of the headache for you.  Enjoy!

HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics, Mashable.com ♥♥♥♥♥ Five Heart Rating

This is a great starting point.  Its simple, quick to read, and provides lots of leads for those who want to deepen their understanding of analytics in a short time.  Topics include: understanding what you want to track,optimizing your existing analytics software, adding new analytics tools, aggregating your analytics, analyzing and engaging visitors, and further resources.

How to Measure and Track Social Media Activity, SEOROI.com ♥♥♥♥ Four Heart Rating

An orientation into the world of Social Media Analytics, this article uses the practices of people like Guy Kawasaki to get you started down the SM path.  Great list of resources at the end.

Social Media Analytics, webanalysis.blogspot.com ♥♥ Two Heart Rating

This guide differs from the others in that it explicitly defines the measurable elements involved in social media, as well as providing vision examples of analytics tools in action.  Another list of resources at the end.

Dear Avinash: Search / SEO Metrics & Analytics Questions + Answers, kaushik.net ♥♥♥♥♥ Five Heart Rating

Avinash Kaushik provides great, thoughful, high impact answers to various questions.  This is a great place to gain a basic understanding of SM analytics, as well as learn some advanced tricks.  For more advanced information be sure to check out  Five Sweet Web Analytics Resolutions To Kick It Up A Notch, another great article.  Kaushik has a great sense of humor, and uses off the wall visuals to keep things exciting.

Want to outsource you SM Analytics? Use ViralHeat.com

Viral Heat has monitoring plans starting at only $9.99 per month.  This will keep you up to date on the popularity and efficacy of you social media campaigns.  Visit the site, or watch the video to learn more.

I hope this provides you with a toe-hold to begin in the Social Media Analytics world.  Who knows, maybe you’re the next Kevin Rose?

Have a question?  Post it to comments, I’ll do my best to answer.

Social Media Can Affect Your Credit. Seriously!?

Recently Personal Finance Expert turned Reporter Erica Sandberg released a shocking article about the latest social media practices in the credit and finance Industry.  Here’s a brief summary in her own words:

What’s going on: In hopes of identifying good credit customers, some financial institutions are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal online. The idea is that the friends you keep and data you disclose may help them make more accurate business decisions.

Who is doing it: Companies such as Rapleaf hunt and gather social networking transmissions, turning the conversations you have in your network into consumer profiles. These profiles provide banks with insight into your behavior patterns – what you like and dislike, want and don’t want, do well and do poorly.

How it’s being used: There are a couple of ways this information may be applied. It can help creditors promote certain products, cutting down on marketing waste. Why sent pre-approval letters to people not interested, right?

Lowering lending risk is another reason. Creditors can see if people in your network have accounts with them, and are free to look at how they are handling those accounts. The presumption is that if those in your network are responsible cardholders, there is a better chance you will be too. So, if a bank is on the fence about whether to extend you credit, you may become eligible if those in your network are good credit customers.

Having a robust online social network can also expedite loan acceptance. If you’re connected to a lot of people who are great credit risks, it can speed you through the process. Amazing, isn’t it?

What you can do. While financial institutions and companies that gather your online data are emphatic that the idea is to increase the odds of a person getting credit, what you reveal online can have unintended consequences. Therefore, if you want to opt out, turn all of your settings to private. Other best practices:

- Don’t accept invitations to your social networking site from people until you check their profiles out first.

- Be acutely aware of what you write. Don’t make public anything you don’t want public.

- Take an annual inventory of all your social networking sites and delete people and information that can potentially damage you in the eyes of a creditor or employer.

Or
Read the Full Article

Can Social Media Rebuild Detroit?

What are the top five largest countries in the world by population? USA? Indonesia? China? India? Facebook?!? According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has acquired over 200 million users who are updating their online status, posting news, and connecting with friends and brands of interest. You’d think that every industry would be tripping over themselves to harness the opportunities offered by Facebook, Twitter and other social media communities. Yet, acccording to JD Rucker, the auto industry seems slow to cash in.

By maintaining a social media presence car manufacturers could interact with potential buyers before they head down to the auto showroom.  They could use search.twitter.com to find folks who tweeted about going car shopping or someone who tweeted about their car breaking down and offer to solve their problem by offering a new car alternative.

Sears uses this tactic with appliances. Recently my cousin’s dishwasher broke.  A Sears repairman came to fix it.  Later that same day, the dishwasher broke again.  After tweeting about it, she discovered a message from someone at Sears who was embarrassed by the repairman and offered to solve her problem by giving her a new dishwasher for free!  That is a terrific example of how brands are using Twitter to maintain customer satisfaction. Imagine the possibilities for auto industry!

Implementation strategies for social media use in both car sales and manufacturing can be found in JD Rucker’s post in FastCompany.com’s blog: Why Going Social Can Make or Break the Automotive Industry. In it he explores the potential for dealer and manufacturer impact on client relations using social media.

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What is Social Media Optimization?

From ESB Journal

Social media optimization or SMO is yet another method for search engine optimization of your site.

As the name implies, you optimize your site by advertising it through the social media sites, online communities and community websites such as blog sites, message boards, podcasts, wikis and blogs.

The methods for social media optimization involve the use of RSS feeds, social bookmarking, video and photo sharing, social news buttons and blogging etc. The basic idea is to drive traffic to your site without spending money on search engine advertising.

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The Web Analytics Headache

From eMarketer:

Understanding and integrating data

To prove the success of their campaigns, marketers need analytics. But many report frustration with understanding and using the Web analytics tools necessary to prove their success to management, according to “The Web Analytics War Reader Survey” by Unica.

The biggest challenge for marketers was integrating Web analytics with other marketing solutions, cited by 46% of respondents. Verifying the accuracy of data was a problem for 41% of marketers, while 32% reported trouble with analytics that were not comprehensive and 29% complained of budgets that were too small.

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The Five Biggest Mistakes in Measuring Social Media

In his ClickZ post, Gary Stein examines five ways people go wrong when measuring social media.

Big Mistake No. 1: Assuming Your Fans/Followers Will See a Post

Big Mistake No. 2: Failing to Account for Overlap Across Networks

Big Mistake No. 3: Failing to Count Clicks

Big Mistake No. 4: Disregarding Search

Big Mistake No. 5: Focusing on Followers

Stein: “The bottom line with social media measurement: we’re in some really early stages and there are plenty of bright lights to distract us. The biggest mistake of all, of course, is not to measure. With the effort you’re putting into social media, it’s like that famous bumper sticker: “If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention.”

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