The Social Egosystem

This article by Brian Solis, paints a fascinating picture.

He echos much of what I have written about here previously in relation to our ‘me’ brands and the narcissism of today’s consumers.

What’s clear is the need for brands to identify their biggest potential influencers. It’s summed up best by this quote “Brands seeking reach, presence, and connectivity must look beyond popularity and focus on aligning with the influential beacons who serve as the hubs for contextual networks or nicheworks.”
But what really permeates throughout this article is the firm belief, which I share, that actions by brands, via social tools, can indeed be measured and deliver an ROI that brands will expect in the future.

I know from my own experience, when an agency sits and squirms at the suggestion that their funky viral project should carry an element of measurement, it’s the first sign you should run away. And when they say that a calculation of  ROI cannot even be attempted, show them the door.

The refinement of Twitter will, allowing better profiling based on keywords, history and other variables means that this microblog could well become the dominant force of the social web. The launch of new Twitter indicates that they are developing more ways to keep users on the Twitter site itself and away from various third paty ‘clients’. Combine this with their growing ability to analyse user data and in turn what that means they can offer advertisers and you can see where this is going.

I’ve read recently more and more complaints about Facebook and its user interface. The constant changes are becoming an annoyance. When people become more familiar with new Twitter’s ability to show images, video and sound, the reasons we have for spending time on Facebook may decline

In the week that “The Social Network” is released, Zuckerberg surely needs to get his team to raise their game back at the ranch and avoid the red carpet?

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “The Social Egosystem

  1. This may be slightly off topic – but with regards to brands and social networking, is e-mail dead or dying? Is it going the way of land mail?
    A lot of people bought a home PC because they wanted to do the things at home they could do at work. People kept in touch by e-mail – to them it was the only way they thought computers could communicate – it wasn’t, but it became the universal way of sending messages. Now more and more people use social networks – they can post a thought; announce something to all their friends via facebook, twitter, my space (who uses that old dinosaur now? How old do I sound?). All this by sending one copy of a message – whereas e-mail send the same message to however many recipients are sent the message whether they want it or not.
    With modern devices such as smartphones (not just iPhones and iPads) people do not need their large PC in the home anymore – there will always be exceptions – but use social networking “on the go”. As such, why use e-mail? Once social networking allows easy grouping of friends, so you can post a message to a group of your friends, there will be no need to send e-mails to groups. A lot of people effectively censor who they send messages to by e-mail by only sending to selective groups – whether it be a sick joke, a message on how ill they feel or arranging a surprise party for a loved one.
    E-mail still has its place, but like land mail will be used for specific purposes to ensure that a message send has actually been delivered. The only land mail I get now is bills, Christmas and Birthday cards or items I’ve bought from Amazon or E-Bay and of course bulk “junk” mail. E-mail is for business and for elderly relatives who have progressed from land mail to e-mail and think it’s the latest technology. They’ll just get into social networking, just as that dies out.

    1. Watch ‘The Social Network’, out soon and you’ll see that Zuck won’t be giving you a sniff of anything!

      One great quote from Zuckerberg to the Winklevoss twins (watch them row for the US in London 2012 btw!):

      “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

  2. Interesting article, and one I don’t disagree with!

    My issue with measuring social media purely in terms of ROI is that I think it can ignore some important trends. That said, I’m speaking in terms of a company with a smaller presence on facebook for instance, which would perhaps have different aims to a company such as starbucks.

    Measuring a project or specific strategy is essential – but the best way to do that depends on lots of variables. A nice and vague comment there, but overall I believe that each project has a specific set of needs and criteria and how you measure the success of that should vary accordingly.

    That said, it can take a lot of time and experience to get to that stage so by all means measure ROI – just don’t always place a huge amount of importance on it unless it makes sense to.

    1. Thanks Carla. So I guess what I was saying is this: Many marketers I’ve met since returning to the UK fall back into their safety zone by saying “Ah, but what’s the ROI?” when discussing their companies social media plans. Thinking that it can’t be as clearly measured as an ad campaign for example. And that’s true.

      Kevin Roberts, in his great work – Lovemarks, sought to redefine ROI as Return On Involvement, and he was definitely onto something.

      But I’m a die hard direct marketer and measurement is in my blood – I can’t help it. If you’re a hotel group and you identify someone on Twitter looking for accommodation in your city, you reach out to them with an offer and they buy, you should measure that. If you’re testing new product ideas on the social web and then roll these ideas out and they rock, you should measure that.

      Essentially I believe ROI should always be measured – in the new world it means reassessing what measurement means.

      See – there’s nothing wrong with vague comments!

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