TV or Not TV??

watchingtv1When I see my teenage daughters watching TV while Social Networking with frinds on their laptop I wonder where we are heading. 

What wiill the merging of  TV and the Net deliver?

Some new research from Parks Associates shows that Gen Y viewers are clearly ready for that merging .

There are 4  key areas of interest :

1. MultiPlayer Games  

2. Chatting with others watching the same program

3. Ability to access and then watch programs on the most watched list

4. Recommend programs to friends, family (and followers) and receive recommendations from them.

All make lots of sense and will certainly result in a shift in TV as we now know it sooner rather than later!

Consumers know….. Companies don’t!

blogging1Two in every five Aussies on the net posted a commentt about a brand in the last year!

More than 86% of the same people read comments about brands!

More that  6.5Million Australians now belong to at least one online Social Network!

All of this comes from very recent Nielsen Online research into consumer generated media in Australia.

So if the consumer is into it why don’t the companies/brands get it …. yet?

After all this is word of mouth advertising and most people say that’s the best form and certainly most say its the form they trust most. So its cvertainly time for companies to be at least listened while they plan to become actively involved.

Its not that hard to make a video and post it on YouTube…. 57% of consumer said they watched online videos to help them make purchasing decisions.

Facebook usage up from 37% to 69% in the last year…. YouTube up to 75% from 64% a year ago…. so consumers are moving ….  

Whats more the research most consumers want companies to find new ways to interact with them.

So Social  Media is not only popular but trusted by consumers and for companies/brands its a communication medium that is easy to access and cheap to leverage.

So why dont they get it why are most ignoring it and some going so far as to ban their staff accessing in the office.

Is it just change … is that many of the decison makers see them as too old  to bother with this “fad”?

I was staggered this week when a senior lecturer in Marketing at a prominent University told me he gets lots of invites to join LinkedIn, Twitter etc …. but he doesnt have the tme!!!

What he cleary means is he doest know – why, what and probably how.  

When I suggested to a CEO of a prospective client he should be blogging he told me …”I only have time for insights and not communicating with people”

My answer is then you are a perfect blogger write your insights in blogs and let the world do the communicating for you.

Has Email had its day????

socialnetworks2Having been hooked on email in one form or another for more than 25 years some recent research has been thought provoking.

I started using it on a large Corporate IBM Mainframe on the other side of the world when I worked for a large Software Multi National in the eighties. And then the 90s saw it as the vehicle that took the Internet from the geeks (like me in those days) to the world at large.

But now Neilson and Co., a member of the Dun and Bradsteet group who gave access to email all those years ago,  tell me that Email is on its way out.

A recently released report shows that Social Networking and Blogging are now more popular than using email. Whilst the research didnt cover Busainess email…  I think the trend is very significant.

While email has been great for one to one or one to many communicationSocial Networks/Blogging encourage Collaboration and Knowledge Transfer.

It is the potential efficiency of communication and collaboration that will see various forms of Social Networks emerge and overtake the role of email.  Whilst many businesses look at Facebook etc as a time waster they should be looking at how to harness the power insted.

Perhaps with tools like Blellow ….  Blellow is a fascinating collaboration tool a bit like Yammer but Blellow allows you to create groups based on projects – a bit like Twitter meets LinkedIn and beyond!

With Social Networking being a global phenomenon, the reach is virtually limitless too. In Brazil 23% of time spent on the Net is spent on Social Networks and Blogs, while in Germany it has gone from 39% at the end of 2007 to 51%  at the end of last year.

Email has been a great one to one medium where the new tools are all about building communities and connecting with people you know.

Are websites dead?

skittles I recently read a post from a blog by a website development company – 50 reasons why you need a website.

As I read it I realised that now all the reasons can be addressed by social networking and social media tools, widgets,  micro-sites etc..

For quite some time aI have told my clients they need to have a Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn etc presence as they can act like Yellow Pages in attracting interest from people outside their sphere of influence.

More recently we redesigned our website to look more like a blog… and then asked ourselves why do we need a site perhaps we should just focus on our blogs and other tools.

A couple of weeks ago US Giant Candy Company – Skittles – created quite a stir when they took this approach and turned their corporate site around dramatically .  As Michelle Wohl – VP Marketing at Sprout said “By removing all the junk we think a website needs and simply linking to the brands social media pages, Skittles is sending a powerful message:  Customers thoughts and opinions shape the brand”.

There is no doubt in my mind that companies need a very active Social Media strategy …. but is very strong doubt about the need for the corporate website to tell everyone how honest, reliable, hard working and ethical we are ……any more.

In line with our company mantra   “We don’t talk about organisations ….. we talk about the benefits we bring to people …. preferably told by those people.”.   … we are constantly trying to make websites conversational but should we just use the tools and tactics that are out there and stop wasting time and money on something we don’t really need but have been told we have to have?

But generally when a company decides they they need one they cant find the genuine and authentic words to describe who they are and what they do so just resort to marketing babble… because that’s what they think people want to see …. when in fact they would never read that sort of thing on another company’s site!!

So stop preaching, start actively listening, comprehending … and engaging in conversations with consumers.

Tweet and ReTweet

twitterToday I thought I would do a little experimenting with Twitter and do my self a favour.

So I headed to Twitter and Tweeted

looking for a young Social Media Marketing & PR Guru to work part time for our company in Adelaide, South Australia… majoring in Wellness

Within 20 minutes I was being followed by 2 like mind individuals in Adelaide…. one of whom had already retweeted to his 2000 plus followers.

Plus I had two suitbale candidates.

Within minutes I had checked them out on LinkedIn and Facebook…. including their reco menders.

Is this what they call the power of  Social Networks?