Category Archives: Blog

That “most used words” Facebook Quiz is a Privacy Nightmare

That “most used words” Facebook Quiz is a Privacy Nightmare
By Paul Bischoff

Over 16 million people have agreed to give up almost every private detail about themselves to a company they likely know nothing about just to play a quiz.


Lately, you’ve probably seen a couple of your Facebook friends post the results of a quiz app that figures out your most used words in statuses. Or maybe you posted it yourself. It looks something like this:


The “quiz,” created by a company called, has risen to over 16 million shares in a matter of days. It’s been written about in the Independent, Cosmopolitan, and EliteDaily. Sounds fun, right?

Wrong. That’s over 16 million people who agreed to give up almost every private detail about themselves to a company they likely know nothing about.

“Oh! If i click here and auth in with facebook it’ll scan my entire year of posts, store the data and tell my most used words. sign me up!”

— Saved You A Click (@SavedYouAClick) November 19, 2015

The app, like many Facebook quiz apps, is a privacy nightmare. Here’s a list of the information quiz players have to disclose to

  • -Name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public info
  • -Entire friend list
  • -Everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline
  • -All of your photos and photos you’re tagged in
  • -Education history
  • -Hometown and current city
  • -Everything you’ve ever liked
  • -IP address
  • -Info about the device you’re using including browser and language

The Oxymoronic Privacy Policy

Even if you take the “I have nothing to hide” approach to privacy, the app also collects a fair bit of information about your friends. Vonvon’s privacy policy leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s walk through it to see why you should steer clear of this quiz or any of the dozens more on Vonvon’s site. First off, for those who have already played the quiz, there’s no take backs:

[…] you acknowledge and agree that We may continue to use any non-personally-identifying information in accordance with this Privacy Policy (e.g., for the purpose of analysis, statistics and the like) also after the termination of your membership to this WebSite and\or use of our services, for any reason whatsoever.

Your information could be stored anywhere in the world, including countries without strong privacy laws. A Whois search reveals was registered in Korea, but it operates under several languages including English, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Korean:

Vonvon processes Personal Information on its servers in many countries around the world. Such information may be stored on any of our servers, at any location.

Vonvon is free to sell your data to whomever it pleases, for a profit. Vonvon says it will not share personal information with third parties without permission, but just by playing the quiz you’ve technically given it permission because it assumes you’re a responsible person who reads the privacy policy. Of course, most people who play the quiz are not that responsible.

[…] We do not share your Personal Information with third parties unless We have received your permission to do so, or given you notice thereof (such as by telling you about it in this Privacy Policy) […]

Yes, it actually says that. Worst of all, Vonvon skirts responsibility after it has sold your data to third parties, who can do whatever the hell they want with it:

[…] this Privacy Policy does not apply to the practices of entities Vonvon does not own or control, or to individuals whom Vonvon does not employ or manage, including any third parties to whom Vonvon may disclose Personal Information […]

Companies who you have never met can now access your entire Facebook profile, friends, photos, statuses and all, and use them in ways you never directly agreed to. By the way, if you edit the permissions before authenticating the app with Facebook, Vonvon won’t allow you to play the quiz.

Abstinence Is The Best Privacy Policy

We’ve singled out Vonvon because it recently went viral, but it’s far from the only shady data dealer to masquerade behind a viral quiz mill. Facebook is a haven for a large number of these companies and, frankly, hasn’t done enough to educate or warn users about the risks. Social Sweethearts, a similar company based in Germany, creates quiz apps that are so bold as to collect your email address. Hope you like spam.

So how can you protect yourself? The easiest way is to avoid online quizzes that require Facebook authentication altogether. Go to the apps section of your Facebook profile, where these data miners often reside, and remove anything you don’t 100 percent trust. Many of them can even hijack your Facebook and post on your behalf. Stick to quizzes that just let you share the results without logging in with your Facebook account, such as the ones on Buzzfeed.

If you insist on authenticating a Facebook quiz app, be sure to check the permissions and read the privacy policy or terms of use.

Paul Bischoff is a freelance writer and journalist.


5 B2B Social Metrics That Aren’t Helping You Find ROI

5 B2B Social Metrics That Aren’t Helping You Find ROI
By Emily Rugaber

At its beginning, social media packed more “cool factor” than marketing impact, especially for B2B marketers. In the CMO Survey of 2009, one of the “Key Questions” CMOs raised was “What metrics are used to measure ROI for social media?” In the same survey this year, 45% of marketers couldn’t show the impact of social media at all, and another 41.8% could only show this “qualitatively.” Clearly B2B marketers are still unsure of how to glean true ROI from their social media data, even if they’re no longer asking for help.
With all of the pressure on marketers to prove the worth of their activities, this lack of quantitative insight into social media performance across paid, owned, and earned channels cannot stand. Yet the social “metrics” we all know, likes, followers and impressions, can be specific to the network, buried in a silo separate from marketing KPIs. And if certain social stats can’t be tied to other marketing initiatives, it will be nearly impossible to link them to ROI or organizational goals. It may be time to upgrade your social measurement from these metrics…to something a little deeper.

  1. 1) Followers

Followers is a well known vanity metric that has diminishing returns once you’ve built a core audience. That’s why some social media experts have suggested that it might even be more important to have a smaller, engaged audience than targeting the uninterested masses for followership.

  1. 2) Viewers and Views

King Pageview reigns no more. Although it’s nice to see views on unmanaged feeds like Twitter and Instagram, organic reach on some platforms is almost dead. On Facebook, for instance, only 0.07% of Facebook fans interacted with brand posts, according to a recent Forrester study. If your fans are seeing your post and not interacting, how truly aware and engaged are they with your brand?

  1. 3) Uniques

Although Facebook and LinkedIn both allow you to view “uniques”, individual users who have viewed your post, it can be difficult to get a full picture of this metric. The faulty switch in the unique machine? The timeframe. Although social networks like LinkedIn allow you to see the unique users who viewed your updates, it can be difficult to compare these uniques by timeframe, and to view repeat viewers.

  1. 4) Engagement Rate

Engagement rate seems like a simple metric, but it packs a secret punch. When marketers refer to “engagement rate,” they could define it two ways:

  • -Number of engagements per post. (# of engagements / # of posts)
  • -Number of engagements per impression. (# of engagements / # of impressions)

Even if your organization has agreed on a common definition of “engagement rate,” this metric isn’t useful unless you move from data to action. This rate can be helpful to inform your team on what content is performing well on each channel, but unless you use it to optimize your content, it won’t do anything for your social strategy.

  1. 5) Cost-Per-Impression (CPM)

Spray-and-pray is long gone. Now is the time for social ad optimization, and to map your social media advertising to deeper marketing and business goals. Instead of paying for impressions, decide what the designed actions and objectives for your campaign should be, then map your paid actions to that plan.

Emily Rugaber is the Director of Best Practices at GoodData responsible for providing thought leadership to prospects, customers and internal teams in common and strategic use cases.

The Second Screen Phenomenon: How Smartphones Changed TV

The Second Screen Phenomenon: How Smartphones Changed TV

Advertising on television has always been a difficult endeavor. Advertisers used to contend with everything from bathroom breaks to trips to the kitchen. If they didn’t make commercials that were captivating enough to keep viewers glued to their chairs, then they weren’t selling products.

Today, those advertisers have even more difficult jobs. This new difficulty comes from second screens. Second screens can include practically any device that people use while watching TV. If you use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop while watching TV, then you are a second screen user. You’re definitely not alone. About 40 percent of adults say they look at second screens while watching TV programs.

What are those people doing? About 65 percent are surfing the Web. In other words, they’re entertaining themselves while watching TV shows and during commercial breaks. A TV commercial can hardly compete with the whole Internet. The rest are looking up information that’s relevant to the shows they’re watching. They’re reading about the actors, related projects, and similar subjects. When you have a reliable network and a top rated smartphone like the iPhone 6S, you can access all of that information within seconds, so there’s no reason to feel bored by a commercial.

Some advertisers have found ways to get around this problem. The smartest ones are now advertising on the sites people use when reading about the shows on TV. Let’s say you’re watching a broadcast of American Horror Story. Advertisers know that a lot of people do not pay attention to the commercial breaks. Instead, they might put an ad on a site like TV Guide. That way, you see their advertisement even though you are looking at your second screen. It’s a savvy approach that proves advertisers are doing hard work to keep up with the evolving habits of TV viewers. Keep on reading for more facts about second screen users.


New Survey Finds 51% of Cocktail Drinkers Post Their Drink Photos To Social Media

New Survey Finds 51% of Cocktail Drinkers Post Their Drink Photos To Social Media

“Don’t sip – let me take a pic!”

Social sharing has become an essential element to the overall cocktail experience, according to a recent survey conducted by Sauza® Tequila, the world’s #2 premium tequila.  More than half (51 percent) of cocktail fans in America who are active on social media are eager to snap photos of their drinks and share them with friends and family. Sauza polled more than 950 Americans 21 and older to crack the code on sharing and engaging with cocktail photos on social media.

image1Photo by Michelle Yam

With such fervor for sharing, it’s no wonder that cocktail fans will go to great lengths to make sure their drinks are picture perfect. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of cocktail paparazzi have played the role of “photo editor” by rearranging the table setting or lighting, forbidding friends to take a sip or ordering garnishes to make the drink look more appealing.

“The rise in social media and photo sharing apps has led to a fundamental shift in the way our fans are engaging and sharing memories with family and friends,” said Claire Richards, senior director of tequilas at Beam Suntory. “We’re joining in on the fun and connecting with our fans by offering tips on taking the best cocktail photos for social media. Sauza delivers the perfect cocktails that not only tastes delicious but also makes the perfect cameo in social media shots.”

image2Photo by Michelle Yam

Here’s What’s Trending:

The margarita takes the cake: Margaritas are the most popular cocktails to order in pitcher form with friends (80 percent). The popular drink also reigns supreme on social—almost two in three social media users (65 percent) are more likely to share a photo of a margarita than any other cocktail.

Don’t be jealous of a good time: People are far more likely to share a cocktail photo to record or celebrate an occasion (63 percent) than to make others jealous (14 percent); however, more than twice as many men as women (20 percent vs. 9 percent) admit their motivation is to evoke envy amongst their friends or followers.

Share the love: Nearly three times as many respondents say they post cocktail photos to recommend the drink to their friends or followers (39 percent) rather than show off (14 percent).

A picture’s worth a thousand words: Americans are most likely to “favorite” or “like” a cocktail photo on social media because it looks appetizing (29 percent) or is being enjoyed by the people in the picture (22 percent), rather than if the description sounds appealing (10 percent).

“Pitcher Perfect Picture” Campaign

To further craft “likable” photos – and cocktails – Sauza is partnering with lifestyle photographer, Michelle Yam, for a campaign titled “Pitcher Perfect Picture”—a social media effort that celebrates the art of taking crave-worthy cocktail photos. Sauza has enlisted Michelle to share her tips on taking the perfect photo, evaluating angles, shadows, filters and more.

As part of the “Pitcher Perfect Picture” campaign, Sauza is encouraging consumers to join in on the fun and share their cocktail pitcher photos on social media, using the #SauzaPitcherPics hashtag. Photos should include a pitcher of cocktails and a bottle of Sauza Tequila. Whether it’s enjoying a pitcher of margaritas poolside with friends or during a family dinner, consumers are encouraged to share their summertime memories.

With an extensive background in food, travel and lifestyle photography, Michelle Yam knows what it takes to create pitcher perfect pictures on social. To make the most of your photos on Instagram, Michelle recommends:

Play with focus. Landscape photos have a larger depth of field than close-up images—the background isn’t the focal point, but provides great visual depth. To play with depths, use the tilt shift function on the Instagram toolbar to blur out your surroundings with ease.

The view from above: While the overall cocktail certainly makes for a crave worthy photo, sometimes the beauty is in the details. To highlight, play with distance when taking your picture—an aerial close-up of your garnishes or glassware can often be more striking than a straight-on view.

The journey is just as beautiful as the destination: From pouring the bottle to slicing the garnishes, action shots of the cocktail prep can be just as interesting as the finished product. Embrace prep materials, including the shaker and garnishes—they add different textures and colors to your shot.

Embrace color: When your environment is as beautiful as a poolside locale, experiment with different shots to incorporate the various colors. Use the ground or ledge as a neutral backdrop.

To see Michelle’s photos and learn more of her photography tips, follow @SauzaTequila and @MichelleYam on Instagram.


What Do You Do When Employees Bypass Your Social Media Policy?

What Do You Do When Employees Bypass Your Social Media Policy?
By Roisin Patton

If you have not yet read the New York Times article on Amazon as a workplace and the subsequent impassioned response from Nick Ciubotariu, Amazon’s Head of Infrastructure Development, you should.

The New York Times article and its negative depiction of Amazon as a place to work has stirred up lots of debate about work cultures. But what interests me, as an employment lawyer, is the reaction of Nick Ciubotariu.

Mr. Ciubotariu felt the need, as an ‘Amazonian’, to take to the internet at home, at the weekend, to defend the Amazon brand. He makes it clear on LinkedIn that these are his views and not the company’s and admits that he produced and published his response to the article without consulting Amazon or its PR team: “Someone internal actually emailed me this morning, and asked if I had contacted PR ahead of time, and if I had seen the Social Media guidelines (the answers were no, and yes).”


While the reaction to his post has been largely positive, it does raise important questions over social media policies and who should respond to negative PR directed at the brand. What would the consequences be if one your organization’s senior employees did the same?

In his attempts to rebuke the claims of the New York Times article, Ciubotariu discusses the internal policies and procedures of the brand at length and he discloses what some may consider being confidential or commercially sensitive information on how Amazon operates as an organization. Although well meaning, and intended to be positive about his employer, should his spontaneous response be treated any differently to a disgruntled employee using social media to let off steam about their workplace? You have to ask yourself, is a social media policy there for everyone, or can management “do their own thing”?

The statement that followed by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, took a different approach. He brings it back to Amazon employees and invites them to contact him directly if they have experienced workplace bullying at Amazon or if there is anything about working practices that makes them unhappy, stating:

“The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day. But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly. Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”

While he acknowledges Ciubotariu’s response and encourages Amazon employees to read it, I do question how his response was received by the PR team and how it fits with their planned brand messaging and what the internal response to his post was.

This is another reminder to employers and HR professionals to examine social media policies and most importantly, provide training across the workforce, even at the most senior level. As an additional measure I would also recommend that businesses have whistle blowing policies in place to create a culture where employees will raise issues internally as and when they arise, without fear of repercussions. If the first you are aware of your employee complaints is when reading the broadsheets, it’s definitely too late.

Roisin Patton is a senior associate in the employment team of Square One Law. Roisin has a wealth of experience in advising clients on all aspects of employment law including complex matters such as industrial action, trade union recognition, final salary pension scheme restructures and closures as well as the application of TUPE.


Conversion Impact Score:
What is it? And why do you need to know yours?

Conversion Impact Score: What is it? And why do you need to know yours?
By Tammy Everts

From a user experience perspective, in an ideal world every page would load in less than a second, we’d zip through a transaction in moments, and boom, we’d be done.

But as I’ve written about in the past, not all web pages are created equal. People react differently to slowdowns on different pages in the conversion funnel, which means you need to approach each page differently. While it would be wonderful if we could optimize every single page of our websites, most site owners have only a finite amount of optimization resources. You need to focus those resources on optimizing the pages that matter most to your bottom line.

In this post, I’m going to explain how to determine which pages you should focus on optimizing in order to increase conversions and, ultimately, deliver the fastest ROI.

First: What does “conversion” mean?

There’s a widely held belief that the only people who need to care about conversions are people in sales and business development. Wrong. Conversions are the lifeblood of your business. If you touch your company’s website in any way — be it design, marketing, or development — then your actions have an impact on conversions. You need to understand what that impact is.

But first, I have a tendency to drop terms like “conversion” and “conversion rate” without explaining what they mean, so let me slow down for a minute to offer some definitions.

Conversion = What happens when a person who’s browsing a site converts to being a user or buyer of the service or product that site offers.

So if you’re a SaaS vendor, a conversion happens when a person signs up to use your service. Or if you’re an ecommerce shop, when a person buys something. Conversions can also include actions like signing up for a newsletter or making a donation. You get the idea.

Conversion funnel = The start-to-finish path that a person takes when they convert from browsing to buying/downloading/etc.

A conversion funnel for an ecommerce site might look something like this (note that percentages are arbitrary):


Conversion rate: The percentage of total visits to a site that result in a conversion.

In the conversion funnel graphic above, the conversion rate is the number of people who completed a purchase: 10%. Note that 10% would be a wildly successful conversion rate. More typically, conversion rates are in the 2-4% range. Anything higher than that is amazing. For a site that does hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of transactions in a day, even tiny changes in conversion rate — such as increasing from 2.1% to 2.2% — can have a huge impact on revenue.

Performance slowdowns affect conversions differently on different pages

When pages get slower, conversion rates suffer. But some types of pages suffer more than others.

A while back, we looked at real-life performance data for one of our ecommerce customers who uses mPulse for real-user monitoring. We found that, while slower load times correlated to fewer conversions, the impact was most dramatic when pages in the “browsing” part of the conversion funnel were slower.

Here you can see that the conversion rate shrinks by about 50% when the load time for “browse” pages increases from 1 to 6 seconds:


Looking at the same set of user data, you can see that the impact on conversion rate is much less when checkout pages degrade in speed:


Looking at these two graphs side by side, you could be tempted to deduce that, because conversions were hurt more by slow “browse” pages than by slow “checkout” pages, the site owner should focus energy on optimizing the browse pages. This might be true — but it might not be true, too. This is where the Conversion Impact Score comes in.

What is the Conversion Impact Score?

The long definition:

The Conversion Impact Score (CIS) is a relative score that ranks page groups by their propensity to negatively impact conversions due to high load times. For each page group, the Conversion Impact Score is calculated using the proportion of overall requests that are associated with that group, along with the Spearman Ranked Correlation between its load times and number of conversions. The Conversion Impact Score will always be a number between -1 and 1, though scores much greater than zero should be very rare. The more negative the score, the more detrimental to conversions that high load times for that page group are, relative to the other page groups.

The TL;DR definition:

The Conversion Impact Score answers this question: 

How much impact does the performance of this page have on conversions?

Case study: How to use Conversion Impact Scoring to prioritize performance optimization

Now let’s walk through how to use the Conversion Impact Score to make decisions about optimizing your pages.

In the graph below (which represents anonymized data from one of our mPulse customers), you can see the Conversion Impact Scores and load times for a set of pages on a site. The blue bars represent the Conversion Impact Score for each page, and the green line represents the median page load time for each page.

The pages are ranked from those with the highest Conversion Impact Scores (such as product and category pages; in other words, pages viewed in the “browse” phase of the conversion funnel) to pages with the lowest scores (such as sign-in and account pages).


Some quick observations:

  • -The three fastest pages — Coupons, Pricing, and Circulars and Catalogs — all have relatively low Conversion Impact Scores, despite being very fast. This means that page speed isn’t a significant factor in how well these pages convert.
  • -The pages with the best Conversion Impact Scores — such as Product and Category pages — have okay load times in the 4-second range.
  • -The slowest page is the Order Billing page (in other words, a checkout page), followed by the Home page, Shopping Bag, and Order Review pages.

Without knowing the Conversion Impact Scores for these pages, you might focus on optimizing pages according to how slow they load.

Looking at load time, this is the order in which you’d prioritize fixing these pages:

  1. 1. Order Billing
  2. 2. Home
  3. 3. Shopping Bag
  4. 4. Product
  5. 5. Category

Now here’s how these assumptions are incorrect:

Mistake #1: Prioritizing the Order Billing page because it’s the slowest

If you looked only at page load times, you might believe that you need to prioritize the Order Billing page because its performance is dramatically poorer than the other pages. But if you knew its Conversion Impact Score, you’d realize that page speed doesn’t have much impact on conversion rate either way, so making this page faster wouldn’t be the best use of your limited optimization resources.

Mistake #2: Tackling the Shopping Bag and Home pages next

Also, if you were to look exclusively at load times, you might believe that when you’re done with optimizing the Order Billing page, you should focus next on addressing performance issues on the Shopping Bag and Home pages. While these pages have a high enough Conversion Impact Score that they merit addressing, they shouldn’t rank high up on your list.

Mistake #3: Not worrying about the Product and Category pages because they seem relatively fast

Still looking solely at load times, you might also guess that, because the Product and Category pages look fairly speedy, you don’t need to worry about them. This is where you’d make your biggest mistake. Because these pages have the highest Conversion Impact Scores, they have the potential to deliver the most benefit to you if you make them faster.


So, knowing the Conversion Impact Scores for this set of pages, this is the order in which you might actually want to prioritize their optimization to give you the best ROI:

  1. 1. Product
  2. 2. Category
  3. 3. Shopping Bag
  4. 4. Home
  5. 5. Order Billing (This is debatable. While improving the performance of this very slow page might not have much impact on conversions due to its low Conversion Impact Score, it would definitely improve the user experience at the tail end of the transaction — which is when people are most impressionable about their perception of an experience. Improving the final stage of the transaction could result in a higher degree of customer satisfaction, which could improve customer retention and word of mouth. This is all somewhat theoretical, but it has its basis in other research around performance and user experience.)


Knowing your pages’ load times is just one piece of the optimization puzzle. You need to correlate load time with other metrics, such as conversions or bounce rate, that are meaningful to your business, and you need to develop a tool — such as the Conversion Impact Score — that can weight your results so that you know what pages to tackle first to get the best ROI for your optimization efforts.

Tammy Everts has spent the past two decades obsessed with the many factors that go into creating the best possible user experience. As a senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, she researches the technical, business, and human aspects of web/application performance shares her findings via countless blog posts, presentations, case studies, articles, and reports.

Journalists Dissatisfied With Lack of Quality Materials and Multimedia Content for Stories

Journalists Dissatisfied With Lack of Quality Materials and Multimedia Content for Stories

68% of journalists unhappy, overworked,
and producing more output than 5 years ago despite inadequate resources.

According to a recent survey, an overwhelming number of journalists and media professionals are unhappy with how they are approached by corporate communications, resulting in working longer hours and increased frustration.  The survey conducted by ISEBOX, a PR technology company that helps distribute multimedia content, revealed that journalists are having to work harder and produce more than ever to make a living but their needs are not being met by most PR professionals.

According to the survey of North American journalists and media professionals released, 68% of journalists feel that their job has become more difficult in the last 5 years. This is in stark contrast to the recent technology advancements that were intended to accelerate workflows. Of these new technologies, few have been developed to facilitate mass distribution of content in a way that is easily accessible and centralized for media professionals, resulting in scattered and often inaccessible story-related content.  In spite of these obstacles, survey results show that 52% of journalists are producing at least 5 articles per week, with almost 20% producing over 11 articles per week.  Of the articles published, 75% include multimedia content. Of the more than 20 pitches the majority of journalists receive each week, most do not include multimedia content, resulting in  journalists spending additional time to source or produce for their coverage..

“There seems to be a massive gap between what journalists need, and how corporate communications are catering to these needs.” says Salvatore Salpietro, CTO of “There is increasing pressure to gain earned media coverage by corporate communications and public relations teams, yet they are still making the process very difficult for media to access content and put together a story by using tools like FTP, email, locked-down websites, and manual requests; all of these are enthusiasm-killers.”

Regarding delivery of multimedia content to journalists, the most popular method is still via e-mail in spite of commonplace restrictions on file size attachments, followed by Dropbox and actual physical mailing of digital media, such as USB keys and hard drives. When gathering and collecting content, 80% of reporters expressed frustration in needing to spend more than 30 minutes doing so. Nonetheless, 80% of journalists feel including photos, infographics, or video is very important to creating effective and engaging content.

“If a pitch doesn’t contain graphics I can include with my article, it’s hard for me to take it on. Even better if there is a video. I am under strict deadlines to produce at least 5-7 articles a day, and visual content is always required. Wasting hours sourcing and editing a company’s logo or media content to accompany a post is something I literally cannot afford. When a pitch comes with everything attached, no cumbersome downloads, I want to hug that PR rep. And I’m more likely to pick up on the next release from them too. ” says Karen Fratti, freelance writer and frequent contributor for Mediabistro and Huffington Post.


Journalists Unhappy, Ovverworked, 2015 Survey by

Time To Radically Redesign Social Media

Time To Radically Redesign Social Media
By Yves Salama

“Reengineering the Corporation” by Hammer and Champy was published in 1993.  The subtitle was more energetic — A Manifesto for Business Revolution.  It called for the “radical redesign and reorganization” of processes within the company to do things better, faster, cheaper.

Now that computers are around we can change how work is done.  We can work in parallel or reduce the number of people and number of handoffs. Work itself has changed.

Hammer and Champy listed key rules to improve performance:

  • -Capture data at the source.
  • -Organize for results, not tasks.
  • -Make IT integral to the real work.
  • -Organize IT over silos and regions.
  • -Embed control in the workflow.

redesign_logo_squareIt was a breakthrough. We continue to improve and re-engineer our processes with radical improvements and cost reduction.  Our cars, computers and TV’s are more complex, more attractive, more robust, and far cheaper than before.

But with social media, we are designing new processes with gaps. Here are a few examples:

  • -An agency manages Facebook for a major retail chain. They meet with the client once a month to discuss strategy and review their plans. Gaps: Not integrated with marketing. No local flavor (umbrellas in Miami, snow shovels in Chicago). Not sensitive to day-to-day.
  • -Social media manager organizes ambassadors from different departments and locations to gather content ideas and learn about events. They meet every Monday morning and review and approve each post during the week. Gaps: Low participation rate (some ambassadors are less active than others).  Not responsive.  Slow to approve.
  • -Social media strategist is hired to rationalize the different contributors across the organization.  She implements a consistent look and feel, develops a playbook to promote a consistent voice and adopts several analytical tools.  Gaps: Few use the playbook. Participation drops (fail to check with the playbook).
  • -Social media manager develops a shadow organization of designated specialists in every sector. Gaps: Departments find the role a distraction because it’s intrusive and interruptive.

A radical redesign would complement traditional communications with social media. It allows the marketing front-lines (marketing, advertising, PR, sales, product management), and offices and locations to contribute directly to social media and circumvent many of these gaps.

The first challenge is to clearly spell out the goals of social media without sinking into the quicksand of newspeak: followers, likes, shares, comments, retweets, CTR, ROI, KPI, conversions, traffic, metrics, etc.  And let’s be mindful of other competing trends: Should we look at ROI or on RoR (return on relationship), or human2human.

Early successes provided a corporate footing for social media. Technology also evolved and generated more data to slice and dice. The infrastructure quickly evolved along with job titles:

Social Media Coordinator, social media strategist, monitor, advocate, analytics, brand champion, social interactions, client engagement, search optimizer, community manager, content strategist, content editor, producer, etc.

Was social media pursuing a different audience in a different way? Briefly, yes, there was a different audience (young, tech savvy) who chose to congregate in social media. This is no longer true.  The market is morphing and changing.  Customers become aware of a brand on social media, look at the website, find a store to touch and feel the product, then buy on Amazon.

Companies already know how to market to prospects and customers. There are departments organized to attract, sell, and manage customers. They are the marketing front-lines: marketing, advertising, PR, sales, product management, customer support, offices, and locations, etc.

When social media engaged prospects already under the radar of the marketing front-lines, it became necessary to coordinate the two camps.  Departments and people were tripping over each other. Meetings were long and drawn out as each camp tried to protect their turf and teach how they could do it better, cheaper, faster. That’s where the opportunity to redesign social media comes up.

If social media complements marketing, re-engineering the social media process is not complicated.

  • -Develop a social media strategy to align the overall social media effort with marketing (i.e.: prevent lone wolves, make sure messaging is consistent, allow departments to establish their voice, identify different market segments, select which channels to use, develop corporate policies and procedures, …)
  • -Integrate social media into the marketing front lines by providing / allowing each department to use it. Physically include a social media expert in each group, train groups and departments.

Bringing different departments on board means they will speak to their segment in the own voice with appropriate content. That’s one big step in the right direction.

Integrating social media back with marketing improves both.  The social media specialists can improve how they support the sales funnel and the marketing specialist will learn how to communicate and engage with new tools. The goal is to work hand-in-hand.

Yves Salama is CEO of Teem’d, a collaboration tool that allows everybody in the organization to contribute to the social media conversation. Local groups can work together to tailor the message for their local audiences. The platform crowd-sources oversight and the sharing of prepared content. Link to and @Teemd_social.


5 Offbeat Mobile Marketing Techniques That Will Increase Sales

5 Offbeat Mobile Marketing Techniques That Will Increase Sales
By Sophorn Chhay

You got into mobile marketing because you know your target audience is spending more and more time on their mobile phones and away from their desktops. But, investing in mobile marketing is not just for fun. You want to increase your bottom line, not just meet all of your mobile customers. Prospects and customers who access the Internet via mobile phones are generally busy people, going from work to home, or school to work while picking up email and other messages in between. How can you grab their attention and keep them engaged enough to convert into buying customers? The first step is getting to know your customer base very well, and creating a persona or personas for your target audience. Once you have completed this step, what techniques can you use to increase your sales? Here are five offbeat suggestions to try with your customers.


1. Create a Music Video

There is no question that videos reign supreme on mobile devices. People love to share videos with friends, and they go from YouTube to Facebook to email. Marketo used this idea for a marketing campaign of theirs, and created a music video to introduce a marketing tool, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation. Obviously, this topic is not usually set to music, but this method of marketing is a great way to add humor to what is normally a serious topic, and get your customers and prospects to remember you. If nothing else, you will have fun making it and it can be used for brand marketing on all your marketing channels. Even your staff will love this idea for in-house marketing. What is unique about this example is that it is a B2B company.

2. Create a Quirky Slideshow

Marketing Profs used this marketing method to gain attention for their brand. The slideshow, 15 Marketing Buzzwords to Stop Using, uses a hand-drawn style to reach out to customers in a humorous fashion. This method is similar to the music video in that it is a brilliant way to stand out and be remembered. While the topic is funny, the content shows off the company’s ability to create something different. And who wouldn’t want to know the buzzwords? This can be shared easily using mobile via texting or through social media channels.

3. Instagram-Only Campaigns

Instagram is a mobile-only app. You can access the site on a desktop for account settings and viewing only. All interaction is done on mobile. This app is used primarily by people aged 35 and younger, with an almost equal division between men and women. One of the most original ideas used on Instagram by Shinichi Mine (@smine27) is creating short videos talking directly into the camera. He is a food blogger and uses Instagram to get personal with his followers. It is a perfect venue for a virtual one-on-one.

4. Send Followers on a Treasure Hunt

If you are a retailer or restaurateur with more than one location, you can send your mobile customers on a treasure hunt with a real reward for completion. You can have followers take a picture at each location they visit for entries into a sweepstakes or for coupon rewards. Another possibility is to have them use QR codes to register.

5. Create Highly Shareable Content for a Wider Community

Sometimes you need to market to a wider community than your target audience to get noticed. One company, AutoCAD WS, used this idea to promote their B2B engineering app. They asked users to create funny content that appealed to more than just engineers to market their brand.

Sophorn Chhay is an Inbound Marketing Specialist specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generated sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS and marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Trumpia is offering a† free Mobile Marketing Success Kit so don’t forget to grab your free copy.

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