Google+ page vs Facebook page – the battle has just begun…


The first smoke has died down. But the war has just begun. Page vs Page. Facebook vs Google. Two Superpowers against each others.

In the first place these social networks giants was created for people to connect with people. Or “friends and family” as Facebook use to call it. With their “profiles” as a basis for the communication within the network.

Then the time came for the companies to engage with their target audience. With their “pages” as a basis for their communication. And I guess the battle has just begun.

As far as I can see and understand both of these giants have just ended up into a massive clash! Where the value proposition for their users (as companies, brands, and others) is very much the same.

Of course they both have advantages and disadvantages. The SiliconIndia says for an example:

The greatest benefit of branding products in Google plus will be the link up with search engine. The search engine will track the brands on Google plus pages easily and will bring them to the top list in the search engine. Just typing “+Google” will take the user directly to the company’s profile page.
Facebook has again got something that will affect their market. The like button of Facebook is similar to the +1 button on Google plus. The hangout button is simpler to use when compared to video chat in Facebook with Skype. Now Google plus also going corporate will be a tough completion to Facebook pages.

Well – as I said – the battle has just begun… and I’ll will follow this war with great interest.

Now – I’ve just created my own “Google+ page” and I’m looking forward to see yours, and follow your point of view in this matter. Mashable show you how to get started.

“Engagement” – what everyone’s talking about but no one shows


What struck me during this year’s PRSA International Conference in Orlando was that almost none of the 100+ pr practitioners that I met, did what everyone was talking about. Almost none of the sponsors of the conference, who’s offering pr-tools, really offered what the speakers was talking about. Almost none of the speakers, I heard, recommended the pr-tools that the sponsor offered. Isn’t that a great paradox? Or/and just a shift?

So what was everyone talking about? “Engagement” of course. Engage with the people that matters. Find them, listen to them, understand their needs, serve them and treat them as humans, because they are humans, like everybody else. Not once in a while. But continuously – 24/7.

They were talking about engagement with influential people. Particularly about people with more influence than others. Some of them are (still) journalists. But these day, many of them are thought leaders, customers, industry spokesmen, blogers, and others, or a mix of these as well.

Words and phrases like “conversation”, “social media”, “share”, “followers”, “trust”, “transparency” and others, all of them intimately connected with the concept of “engagement”, were on everyone’s lips as well as on banners, magazines, give aways.

I think Pitchengine’s ad, in the program sheet, described the situation pretty well:

“I have listened to the same social media presentation over and over again. I have heard the word “engagement” 27 times today. What I need is the real thing.”

Unfortunately – I think Pitchengine stumbled at the finish line when the company claimed to deliver the entire solution as “the real thing”. Because they don’t. Maybe they  should have written: “What I need is to show engagement”, and also offer that kind of platform?

But Pitchengine offers a sharing platform for content. Maybe one of the hottest on the market right now. And invites their audience to “create your own media empire”. Great! But where’s the real engagement thing?

Marketwire, Businesswire, Cision, PRNewswire, Vocus, Meltwater Press, Mymediainfo – they’re all stucked in their solutions in terms of mediadatabases and distributionslists. Some of them, like Meltwater Press and Cision (Cision Influence), have added (or will add) value to the profiles of the targets, in form av their social preferences and previous works. And that’s great, as well! But – still – where’s the real engagement?

As a matter of fact, all of these companies (still) offer their clients “management tools” with which they can organize and manage their “target groups”. Most of them are offering monitoring services to let their clients get an idea of what’s going on out there. Some of them are brilliant, like Traackr, which let their customers to find their most powerful influencers.

But – then again – what happens with the real engagement, in terms of understand and serve this VIP’s, based on what they’re saying and eventually asking for?

As far as I can see and understand, the real engagement take place in communities and networks, not in or as a result of “management tools”?

Chris Brogan – one of the key speakers at the conference, and the author of “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust” recommend his audience to use Google Reader to build their “listening stations”. Exactly what Eric Schwartzman, co-author of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer”, did during his Social Media Boot Camp work shop.

Chris Brogan says in his book:

“Once you have determined where your community is on the web, or perhaps after you’ve built your own online presence as  a meeting place for a group that doesn’t yet have a place to belong, the next step is to engage a community.
This community may be a loosely joined group of people with individual minds and opinions who share some common interests or passions via their own unique perspective.

Here are five steps to help you reach into your community and learn:

  1. Listen comes first. Pay attention to where people (that matters to you) interact.
  2. Measure the conversations.
  3. Take small steps. The first actions you make shouldn’t be intrusive. You just want the community to know you’re there and you’re friendly. Create opportunities for small, memorable exchanges. Build you profile as someone know by being around and monitoring conversations, recognizing who’s a regular and who makes decisions.
  4. Lead a new initiative. When the time is right and you’re a bit better known, try making a move to bring your self more into the center of things.
  5. Profit! Okay, we’re kidding. But seriously, small, daily action helps. And being inside the right community is a great way to build business, glean insider knowledge, and get an edge in your niche.”

So why do PR practioners insist to organize and manage their fellows rather than engage with them? I just don’t get it.

PRSA Facts:
Chartered in 1947, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest and foremost organization for public relations professionals. PRSA is responsible for representing, educating, setting standards of excellence, and upholding principles of ethics for its members and, in principle, the $4 billion U.S. public relations profession.

The PRSA International Conferences are one of the largest and most renowned in the U.S PR industry.

Social Web continue to grow – the companies follows – without beeing social?


Check out the new stats and infographic from Search Enginge Journal. The web is getting more and more social. Rapidly. No wonder… after all we’re human beings who are pretty much social, right? Numbers of users and contributors are just booming. And companies are following.

But what’s their socializing status? Really? God knows.

71% of the companies (which?) are using Facebook, 59% are using Twitter, and 39% are using blogs in their “marketing”.

My experience though is that many of the companies are still using social media as another channel for their content. Take a look at their Facebook pages for an example. Some of the companies are just pushing their stories out, without listen, and then they’re counting the numbers of “likes” without answer the questions: Am I really committed to my audience? Am I engaged? Who is really engaged? If the likers never comment the companies updates or never contribute with anything to the wall. And vice versa… what’s left of the social part?

Let me refer to what Kevin Roberts, CEO World wide, Saatchi & Saatchi, says in his book “Lovemarks“:

“Forget the information Economy. Human attention has become our principal currency. Job number one for any marketer these days is competing for attention. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. But once you’ve captured that attention, you’ve got to show you deserve it.

The process really only has two steps – so why does everyone find it so hard? I think I’ts all because we obsess over the attention part and forget about why we need that attention in the first place…. We need the relationships.

Emotional connections with consumers have to be att the foundation of all our cool marketing moves and innovative tactics.So it’s time to stop racing after every new fad and focus on making consistent, emotional connections with customer and stakeholders. If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.

The great journey from products to trademarks and from trademarks to brands is over. Trademarks are tablestakes. Brand are tablestakes. Both are useful in the quest for differentation and vital to survival, BUT they’re not winning game-breakers.

Today the stakes have reached a new high. The social fabric is spread more thinly than ever. People are looking for new, emotional connections. They’re looking for what they can love.”

The company’s social graph – and how to benefit from it


I had a inspiring session during the Sweden Social Web Camp (SSWC) at Tjärö a few weeks ago. We were ca 50 social media evangelists that did discuss what ever a company has a social graph or not? And if it does exist; how does it look like, and how can the company use it?

At least my conclusion was that I don’t think the company itself nor the brand itself has a social graph. Because a brand is not a human being. Anyone may be connected to, and even have relations with brands but not social relations. Because you got to be human to socialize. But your brand is a social object and your products as well. Because people are talking about them. Some are more engaged than others, and some more angry than others. But people are sharing their thoughts about your brand. And I guess the sum of these people, that have your company (and/or your brand) as a social object, are the same thing as the company’s social graph, or at least the sum of the parts of their social graphs that are related or relevant to the company and/or their brand. We’re talking about the company’s employees, customers, stakeholders, and others.

Further on – if that’s the case – I do think the company can use and cultivate that kind of a social graph – with an extreme outcome. I’ll tell you why and how further down in this post. But first – let’s take it from the beginning:

We’re all human beings, right? We’re people. And people are social. We group ourselves into social networks, and talking to each other about different kind of social objects, and engage ourselves in communities.

It doesn’t matter if we’re consumers, suppliers, communicators or journalists. We all got to understand how we socialize, which is “the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies through conversations, behaviors, practices, rituals and education”…. that “provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society”.

A network is just elements connected to each other. But social network is individuals connected to each other.

And the Social Object is “the node” in these social networks. The Social Object is the reason why two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else.

And a group of individuals that have these social objects in common and share these interests with each other – are members of a community. Everyone on this planet is a member of a community, I guess?

Then Mark Zuckerberg took a part of this social environment to the web, and more or less invented the term “Social Graph” which describes the relationships between individuals online. Frankly it’s the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related.

My experiences are that companies and their marketing staff intellectually do understand the situation, and are in some sort of consideration phase, but that they are truly stressed about this “social graph” and the relationship-humbo-jumbo talk.

But if we do agree that “the sum of the people, that have your company (and/or your brand) as a social object, are the same thing as the company’s social graph, or at least the sum of the parts of their social graphs that are related or relevant to the company and/or their brand”. Then it wouldn’t be to hard for the company to benefit from this social environment. Let me give you a few examples what you as a communicator can do:

  1. Identify who’s connected to your brand.
  2. Find out if your brand is a social object (with sub subjects), and if that might have resulted in different kind of communities.
  3. Find out how these communities look like.
    1. Who are members.
    2. What exactly are they talking about.
  4. Become a member by yourself and serve the other members in these communities.
  5. Inspire those who are only connected to your brand but not talking about it, to become members and engage, the company’s employees in particular.
  6. Help these communities to grow and flourish as a whole.

I think for an example these guys (and organizations) might be connected to your brand, among many others:

  • Employees (and former employees)
  • Members of the Board
  • Owners
  • Customers (and former customers)
  • Supppliers
  • Retailers
  • Partners
  • Industry spokesmen and thought leaders
  • Industry colleagues
  • Competitors
  • Ambassadors
  • Journalists

They know your company. And they are all connected. And they all are important to you. But that doesn’t mean they are talking to each other nor with you or your staff about your brand. They might only be connected. They might be connected to your brand and talking to each other about it, but not with you and your staff. They might be connected to your brand, yourself and your staff as well, but not talking about it with anyone. Or they might be both connected to your brand, yourself and your staff, and talking about it with everyone.

These ones who are talking about your brand, have for sure different kind of needs and wants. And they probably talking about that specific angle of your brand in different kind of forum, in different sub communities.

No matter what group they belong, they all can be a member of these communities that talking about your brand.

Can your company own a such communities? Probably not. You can’t own a social object. You can’t even own your brand as a social object. They all are parts of the social environment!

But you can help an existing community to grow and flourish. Especially the ones who are connected to your brand.

You can be a proud member of the existing ones. You can invite other peoples to the existing ones. You can also set up “your own” (another) forum for an existing community to help it grow. And you can call that “your community” if you like. Just because that’s the community you’re involved in, or created a new forum for (as the owner / administrator).

But a community is boundless. Some of the members can easily pop up somewhere else, and the rest of the members will follow.

If you’re interested in this topic, please read “Your company has a social graph” as well.

People 2.0 shot Mubarak down


I had a speech yesterday for Svenska PR-företagen in Stockholm, Sweden. I talked about the ever-changing media landscape and what that means for the PR industry. I told the audience it’s not about web 2.0, it’s all about people 2.0, which is a powerful combination of the the social web and people. Exactly what we now see in #Egypt.

“Yesterday, after 17 days of protests, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak gave a speech to the Egyptian government that made it seem like he would not be stepping down.” says Techcrunch. And like Alexia Tsotsis, I do think the fall of Mubarak was the combination of these to factors; people and the social web.

Alexia Tsotsis, Techcrunch, says:

“Pulling a country of 82 million people, around 17 million Internet users, 60 million cellphone subscribers, 7 million home phones, and 5 million Facebook users offline essentially created the largest flashmob ever, with around 8 million protesters in the streets across Egypt today according to reports. Says Zohairy, “Shutting down the Internet was the most stupid move this regime has taken. It gave the revolution huge media attention that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.””

But, indeed, most of all it’s about people and their call to action. As Devin Coldewey wrote in Techcrunch aswell:

“Twitter and Facebook are indeed useful tools, but they are not tools of revolution — at least, no more than Paul Revere’s horse was. People are the tools of revolution, whether their dissent is spread by whisper, by letter, by Facebook, or by some means we haven’t yet imagined.”

But unlike Devin, I do think that the social web is a tool of revolution, even if tons of revolutions did appear without that, for an example the fall of the Berlin wall in German.

Take a few minutes to take part of that moment of history and compare that to what happened with Mubarak:

36% använder social media inför köp av resa


Webben med alla dess tjänster har helt och hållet förändrat många konsumenters köpprocess. Nu får vi löpande indikationer på att det förändrade beteendet successivt börjar nå “massan”.

Av rapporten “World Travel Market 2010 Industry Report” framgår det bl a att 36% av alla engelska resenärer använde social media för att planera sin semester resa sommaren 2010.

Och att över hälften av dem kommer, eller troligtvis kommer, att använda social media vid nästa års planering.

Av rapporten framgår även att industrin inte heller låter sig vänta. 40% av turistnäringen ser social media som en stor möjlighet att möta sin marknad på under nästkommande fem år. 20% anser att social media är den enskilt bästa möjligheten under samma tidsperiod.

Jag kom ihåg att Patrik von Bergen från konsultfirman Streamson alltid talade vitt och brett om hur han ansåg sig ha “svart bälte i försäljning”, som han uttryckte det. Men en dag för några år sen kom han till mig, blek om nosen, med en bedrövad min. Han sa: “Inget av det jag lärt mig fungerar längre. Från att ha varit bäst på försäljning, är jag nu nybörjare igen.” Vi snackade om web 2.0, om de nya konsumenterna och den nya köpprocessen. En tid senare kom han tillbaka mer entusiastisk, starkare och med bättre självförtroende än någonsin. Han hade tagit fram “Von Bergens 5 lagar om Sälj 2.0“.

Patrik menar bl a att processen att förstå ett problem och hitta en lösning sällan börjar där säljaren börjar sin process att sälja. Och uppmanar företagen och dess säljare att inte försöka kontrollera köpprocessen, utan istället stödja den. Patrik anser att “säljarens informationsövertag från tiden före 2005 är borta. Köparen letar på nätet för att hitta information på alla tänkbara lösningar, inklusive dina konkurrenters”. Där Google sök ledde det första paradigmskiftet.

1997 ville jag och ett par kollegor på Spray göra det möjligt för resenärer att enkelt kunna söka och boka sina resor på webben. Alltid till lägst pris. Det låter inte så märkvärdigt idag. Men då var det sensationellt. Tyska “Travel Information Software Systems” lade grunden till bokningsmotorn och Mrjet.com lanserades.

Gissa om det blev succé?! NOT.

Efter ett halvår av idog marknadsföring hade vi inte sålt en ända resa (bortsett från alla de resor Spray “stödköpte” för eget bruk). Men efter några år av konstgjord andning lossnade det äntligen. Och paradigmskiftet för reseindustrin blev ett faktum. Sen dess har ett batteri av innovationer förändrat branschen. Idag ser köpprocessen ut som Patrik beskriver den, med tillägget att konsumenternas egna och andra relevanta nätverk får allt större betydelse för köpbesluten.

Av de 36% som använde social media när de planerade sin sommarresa valde 58% att ändra något köpbeslut knutet till den som ett direkt resultat av att ha använt social media. Hela 74% av kvinnorna fick sina intryck av Tripadvisor – världens största resetjänster som till stor del bygger på tips och idéer från användarna själva, d v s andra resenärer.

“Social Media is getting serious. In 2011, you need to be finding opportunities to promote your brand in this new arena”, säger Paul Richer, Senior Partner, Genesys (travel technology consultancy), i rapporten.

Men ingen bransch slipper undan. Kolla in på det sätt den här killen köper en hårddisk (tips från @hyttfors:

Bli lika (a)social som Telia på 20 min


Huruvida ett företag har en blogg, finns på twitter och Facebook säger inte ett mycket om hur bra de är på att bygga goda relationer med sin marknad och målgrupp. Det ger möjligtvis en indikation på att ambitioner finns men inte mer än så. Det är snarare hur väl företagen och dess målgrupp lyckas kommunicera via dessa tjänster, som kan ge indikationer hur bra de är på PR. Därför blir jag återigen så förvånad när jag ser tendenser på att folk i branschen fortfarande tror man plötsligt blir social bara för att man “finns på” Twitter.

Jag syftar på Episervers undersökning av sammanlagt 40 svenska företags hemsidor där de flesta företagen inte kunde svara “ja” på fler än max fyra av nedanstående 13 frågor. En av “vinnarna” var Telia som kunde “ticka av” (som Telias kommunikationschef uttryckte det) nio av ovan nämnda 13 kriterier.

  1. Finns blogg?
  2. Finns forum/community?
  3. Finns ”Följ oss på twitter”?
  4. Finns ”Detta sägs om oss på twitter”?
  5. Finns ”Följ oss på Facebook”?
  6. Finns ”Detta sägs om oss på Facebook”?
  7. Kan man dela innehåll via flera kanaler?
  8. Kan man betygsätta innehåll?
  9. Kan man ange favorit (gilla)?
  10. Finns film/webb-tv?
  11. Finns chat/automatiserad chat/webbrobot?
  12. Kan man maila via mailformulär alternativt mailadress/er?
  13. Finns telefonnummer

Kommunikationschef, LG Wallmark, var därefter snabb att utse Telia som vinnare i kundrelation på sin egen blogg med rubriken “Telia bäst i Sverige att använda sociala medier för kundmötet på webb”. Om jag inte hade känt LG en smula, och vetat att Telia faktiskt är rätt bra på att hålla en hyfsad kontakt med sin målgrupp på några av webbens mer sociala plattformar, så hade jag bara fnyst åt uttalandet. Men jag tycker trots allt att rubriceringen är en smula förhastad. För – som sagt – inget av ovan nämnda kriterier säger hur bra ett företag är på “att använda sociala medier för kundmötet på webben”.

Värt att nämna är att MyNewsdesk i dagarna har skapat förutsättningar för vilket företag som helst att inom loppet av 20 minuter bygga upp ett “social media newsroom” som uppfyller majoriteten av ovan nämnda kriterier, till en mycket blygsam kostnad.

Och – nej – det gör dem inte heller särskilt sociala – hux flux. Därför är rubriken på detta inlägg lika förhastat fel som LG’s. Men förutsättningarna att bli duktig på att skapa relation med sin målgrupp har aldrig varit så bra som nu. Upp till bevis.