Did you know? By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide.
A Regular Roundup of Social Media Musings by Anna Gerz & Mike WiltThis month’s collection of all things Social Media speaks to when the biz’s big names break, the B2B marketing version of Terminator and a unique approach to targeting you and I as B2B professionals.Itsy Bitsy Bit of B2B Social Networking Regular followers may have caught on, but what we try to do in this regular post is find B2B relevance in the wild, wild world of social media. What fits that mold better than a B2B specific Social Media site? Enter: Bitsy. Though still in Beta, the site is a fascinating mix of the typical social media tools with a marketplace and business listing overlay. Generating revenue through advertising (nothing new here) a premium membership platform also allows users to leverage the marketplace features of the service. Billed as the “friendliest B2B marketplace on the web,” the community and blog features of the site (which are free) may provide the most value to interested members. With a slant towards offering advice and business networking opportunities the site files a niche that more “everything to everyone” platforms cannot achieve efficiently. Members may contribute to the sites blog offering their industry expertise or interact with other members through the site or integrated Twitter features. Given the typically consumer-centric slant of most startups we feature it is exciting to interact with like-minded professionals in the B2B environment. After all, isn’t likeminded-ness the real catalyst of social network participation? Making Lemonade out of Whales. By now we all should be familiar with the Fail Whale. And creative 404 messages offer a bit of relief from a failed web experience. But beyond the creativity and realized brand messaging opportunities a more important question looms. What happens when these services we have come to rely so heavily on let us down? Google is recovering from a mysterious resetting of hundreds of accounts while Twitter has periodically succumb to its own international popularity. Even partners and developers are not immune from the carpet being pulled out from under them. Though not personally affected by these recent lapses in service I have to imagine the feeling is akin to, and exponentially more frustrating than the spreadsheet you spend the last 2 hours formatting magically closing and not saving your work. But these things happen. Inevitably, technology will fail and challenge the effectiveness of the message you have spend to many careful hours planning. The takeaway from the outages we saw this month should be twofold. First, be mindful of “eggs on one basket” scenarios. More importantly, communicate. The Fail Whale lets us know something is up. Users trying to access your Twitter profile don’t blame you for the site being down. They know the platform is experiencing problems. The same approach can be taken on a campaign or channel level. Keep in front of the audience. Overly communicate and let the people who cared enough to engage in the conversation know what is going on. Every message is a branding message. Even in social media. And even failures and outages. Are you smarter than a computer? As a dedicated Jeopardy! fan, I was thrilled to hear that two of the greatest players in the history of the game would be returning for a special tournament, taking on Watson, an IBM computer. And as millions of Americans tuned in for the ultimate Jeopardy! showdown, I found myself more intrigued in the brilliant marketing campaign unfolding before my eyes than the game itself. Many have already heralded Watson as one of the greatest B2B marketing campaigns of all time, and I’m not here to disagree. As someone who lives and breathes social media, I was blown away by the integrated strategies that helped convert consumers into IBM stakeholders. IBM leveraged many aspects of a typical social media campaign – leveraging a microsite, Facebook, twitter and YouTube pages, in addition to a live blog – but they were so successful because they were able to allow Watson to connect with the audience on a human level. Social media is deeply-rooted in embracing and fostering relationships, and thanks to the diligent work of IBM, Watson is connected with over 7,000 twitter users and more than 19,000 Facebook fans. B2B social marketers can look to Watson as a great example of how to connect B2B products and services with consumers. We’re also keeping a Social Media-minded eye on these developments:
While “The King’s Speech” took home the big awards at the Oscars a few weeks ago, the social network has still been busy making news. In February, we saw many updates and upgrades to Facebook, including:
Ditto - An interesting location-based service that, with the early March release of FourSquare 3.0, may have already seen its 15 minutes.
What has caught your social-savvy eye this month?