Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Tech Company Valuations

May 26, 2011

Eyeballs and ears apparently equal value.

Social Media Company Valuations

Social Media Company Valuations


Friends of Friends: What Are They Worth On Social Networks?

June 22, 2010

A client is considering a social marketing campaign to increase their friend count on Facebook by offering existing “friends” and “fans” a prize to the person who refers the most new friends.

My questions regarding this type of social marketing plan are as follows:

1. What are friends of friends worth on social networks – now or later – something or nothing?

2. Do friends of friends have potential value to the business vis-a-vis direct future sales or not?

3. If so,  how do you know?

4. Or does the addition of friends of friends in the friend or fan network in and of itself – whether now or later – produce value to the business and its brand?

5. If so, how is the “value” to the business calculated?

While there are obvious reasons for being widely known, at some point adding friends of friends via social networks must surely yield produce diminished returns.

State Of Inbound Marketing: Report

April 27, 2010

I read the following headline regarding a report on the state of “inbound marketing’ –

Major Social Media Channels Provide Leads to 4 in 10 Companies

Then comes the paragraph below:

More than four in 10 companies overall have acquired a customer from four major social media channels. Forty-one percent of companies have acquired a customer from both Twitter and LinkedIn. That figure rises to 44% for Facebook and 46% for a company blog.

Whether by design or oversight, the following three simple words explicitly sum up the value proposition of social media as a marketing channel:

“…acquired a customer”

Notice how their study doesn’t say social media channels predictably acquire customers, it says “acquired a customer”… yep just one customer.

Until social media channels can predictably acquire customers, social media should change its name to social messengers.

When the majority of social channel users can predictably acquire more than just one customer social channels can then call themselves media.

Until then, the social channel will remain just another type of digital salesman.

Marketing Budget Changes: Where’s Social Media’s ROI?

March 13, 2010

More from eMarketer about Marketing Budget allocation shifts:

…even though marketers are on board with the idea that social is key to their overall strategy, many are sick of hearing about it. In addition to being one of the most important buzzwords, social media was considered the most annoying, with nearly 30% of executives tired of it. Twitter, specifically, got on the nerves of nearly 15% of respondents, and social networking rounded out the top three trends marketers were most tired of hearing about.

Regardless, social spending will increase. A separate survey of US marketing execs by Ad-ology indicated social tactics were the most likely to increase in 2010.

Marketing Budgets

Marketing Budgets

Surely executives growing tired of hearing about social media, social networking and the Twitter brand specifically doesn’t bode well for the nascent space or the Twitter brand’s monetization potential.

How can social media reconcile itself with the fact that marketing executives’ chief concern is Marketing ROI while social media and social networking have yet been able to deliver consistent measurable ROI to marketers?

I wonder how many executives have grown tired of hearing about Google and search engine marketing results?

Advice to Client Regarding Social Media and Online Display Advertising

September 14, 2009

The following is my response to a request from a client regarding my opinion on social media and online display advertising.

There seems to have been an uptick in the number of recommendations suggesting businesses begin or increase their budgets for social media and online display advertising campaigns.

Dear Client,

The efficacy rhetoric of both social network and display advertising  is increasingly on the rise as Microsoft/Yahoo and Facebook/Twitter attempt to attract more display brand advertising dollars from traditional media who are losing the war for the consumer’s attention.

The social / display advertising camps wouldn’t have to be selling their merits – if their results did their speaking for them.

The reason the former don’t is because their product produces inferior results while the latter has yet to yield any results if any results at all.

These are some of the reasons why the Yahoo/Facebook/Twitter market cap / value is 1/8 Google’s $150 Billion.

However, as with everything else – there are exceptions.

I have had a small percentage of deals convert with display while others have not.

Testing is the only way to prove or disprove whether or not display advertising will work for a particular business.

Display ads can be geo-targeted but its not as precise because it relies on other publishers data and it can have placement, targeting and measurement issues.

The first thing to do is to test whether text ads convert in their display network first. If so, then try image / display ads.

Unless of course a testing supports and fulfills a brand’s impression objectives in target markets and isn’t held to the same level of results performance as search.

If a display advertising test meets its objectives, then launch trials with Yahoo / MSN publishing partners.

Interactive Marketing Spend Annual Growth Rates

July 27, 2009

Forrester Interactive Advertising Models predicts compound annual growth rates for Interactive Marketing spend in the US through 2014.

Interactive Media Spend

Interactive Media Spend

Forrester classifies Mobile Marketing, Social media, Email marketing, Display advertising and Search Marketing as Interactive Marketing.

Interestingly – combined all other forms of Interactive Marketing spend remains half of what is spent on Search Marketing annually both in the present and future.

If the other forms of Interactive Marketing were more effective than Search Marketing, it would seem their spend would exceed the investment made in search by marketers.

Don’t Forrester’s spend predictions confirm all other forms of Interactive Marketing are less effective than Search?

Social Media’s Return on Investment?

June 17, 2009

I was fishing in the Tweet stream yesterday when I caught the following job posting for a social media coordinator.

Social Media Coordinator

Social Media Coordinator

Several attributes of this job description struck me as odd if not misinformed.

The job description sounds more like a wish list composed by someone in Human Resources rather than by someone who actually knew what they were requesting.

The idea that the future Social Media Coordinator position holder has to report to the “Manager – Interactive Projects” runs counter to the list of skills the job description requires.

Any individual who has experience performing the following “social media” laundry list of tasks   including the non-social media related disciplines of search engine optimization and web analytics while generating a return on investment would by definition already be a Manager – Interactive Projects – if not considerably more.

Responsibilities of the position will include the support of Interactive initiatives regarding online Social Media (SM), web analytics/research, news distribution and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).   In addition, responsibilities of this role will include:

·         Strategy, planning and direction to content managers and maintenance of Social Media initiatives including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube and others

·         Educating consultants regarding new technology and the Social Media environment

·         Utilizing technology to research and measure company Social Media status and ROI

·         Interaction with corporate and regional company representatives to promote news and activities of the company

·         Management of all company related Social Media registrations

·         Providing regular reports of web site traffic analytics

·         Interaction with company Studio Team to manage and promote a variety of news and activity videos/broadcasts

The position’s “Utilizing technology to research and measure company Social Media status and ROI” requirement indirectly poses a valid question yet one few if any company’s understand or can let alone quantify – “What is the Return on Investment in Social Media?”

Any search engine marketer or SEO worth their salt can answer the Return on Investment question, I doubt a majority of the new breed of social media marketers can.

How Not To Market on Twitter

February 21, 2009

I received the following email from a Twitterer today which in turn has prompted this post: How Not to Market.

Twitter Follower Notification

Twitter Follower Notification

How Not to Market?

First set up a Twitter account under a sexy sounding girls name and then grab an image of the hottest looking girl you can find (preferrably a stock image you don’t have to pay for) Actually image ownership rights of the girl won’t matter because your site won’t be visited by anyone other than those you follow.

How Not To Market On Twitter

How Not To Market On Twitter

Next, get an affiliate account id for some spammy product that purportedly sells well with possibly your own domain pointing to the spammy affiliate page and then post your new prized domain on your Twitter profile page under your Web address.

Begin search for Tweets about Twitter or other generic non specific terms in Twitter Search.

Compile a list of recent Tweets and their authors to first stalk and then follow in the hopes their Twitter accounts will automatically follow you. If “stalkees” don’t automatically follow you back,  your hot girl picture should at least do the trick to get the followed to at least click through to your web address to learn more about what it is that you do.

This assumes the followed aren’t suspicious about your single update which upon reading sounds like the introductory sales script from a telemarketer’s cold call.

Then – PRAY! – those who you followed actually eyeball your spammy affiliate web site are also in the market for whatever it is your affiliate site is selling.

Twitter Web Address

Twitter Web Address

Increase click-throughs to your site and hedge your bets by making the biggest promise of all –  that your giving away endless quantities of cash – just like the latest Twitter spammer above who followed me did.

The problem with this “social media marketing model” is if anyone of the followed actually visit your website – they will do so only once and then they will probably be mad they were tricked into visiting your website to begin with.

If the new / social media marketer is lucky, they may even get a special  blog post written about just how special their social medai marketing  “user experience” was.

Linkedin Plus Twitter Equals Who Knows What?

November 1, 2008

I just added my Twitter account into my Linkedin account profile after noticing Owen Frager had added it to his “what he is working on” Linkedin updates.

Twitter TimCohn

Twitter TimCohn

Pretty cool Owen…

Linkedin TimCohn

Linkedin TimCohn

I had been meaning for some time to write about the importance of “owning and controlling your brand” whether personal or corporate in the most promising emerging social platforms for both offensive and defensive purposes

Appropriately, I first became acquainted with Owen after having posted on Domain King Rick Schwartz’ blog

about how I missed the first offensive opportunity to control “my personal brand” – albeit my not so unique name – on that newfangled social platform called the world wide web way back in 1996.

Tim Cohn

Tim Cohn

Granted, its hard to gauge in advance which social platforms will have the largest audience and reach after filtering out all their noise.

However, not registering your “brand” in their databases early on can lead to remorse later on.

If you haven’t done so already, register your own / and create accounts for the same names in MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr – if you can…

The same holds true for individuals.

Sign up for a Linkedin account under your personal brand: your name.

Don’t be disappointed though if you can’t. If yours is a common name – it surely has long since been registered.

Registering your brands with these sites may not make you any money in the short term, but if and when social media platforms ever figure out how to make money for themselves let alone for their advertisers and users, wouldn’t it be better for you to control your brand name(s) on the most successful social media sites instead of someone else?