Of the SoLoMo team, Location hasn’t really gone mainstream unlike Social and Mobile. Privacy concerns not withstanding, when you get aggregate data like this, i start to wonder if we could use this location data for urban planning. Of course brands are only interested on traffic and consumption patterns, but there’s still a lot to explore once we get to learn on how to live in public and share our data for good purposes.
“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice.”
A free and open web depends on taking a stand against governments who try to filter and censor content.
And maybe the people you elected are using a closed-door meeting to regulate the Internet, where regulators try to change one of the most remarkable inventions of humanity.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) only listens to governments, with no place for engineers, companies, and people like you to have a saying on the future of the web. A secretive and bureaucratic organization were we, the users, are not welcomed.
Tim Nolan over at BBH Labs, discussed this week how despite brands wanting to be more human, they seldom are mean or call bluff on consumers because “the customer is always right” cliché. From trolling or just plain dumbness, i’ve witnessed my share of idiocy directed at brands by consumers, and you just want to send them to that place.
But sometimes, brands have the courage to do something brave. Kudos to Bodyform for having the courage to answer back.
There’s a silent David vs Goliath battle going on the past few months. It’s something that was given as a fact to many brand managers on local markets, and few voices have spoken about.
With Facebook reaching 1 billion, some brands took notice of the audience available when adding all the numbers from local markets , deciding it was best to migrate these local presences into one big global one. Examples include Heineken or Martini, that recently consolidated their Facebook presence.
Usually this process a brand representative with a large media budget negotiating with Facebook for a gradual migration of fans that previously followed the local brand Page (e.g. Heineken UK or Lâncome Brasil).
Migration is usually smooth with fans unaware of it, which if I find not very transparent and trustworthy. If someone follows a local Page, they should be allowed to know of the change and whether they would like to keep the affiliation on a global level.
Before the migration happens, local teams (clients and agencies) are usually trained on a social media management service that allows them to localize content for their countries. Popular enterprise solutions include BuddyMedia (recently acquired by Salesforce), Vitrue (recently acquired by Oracle), Syncapse, Lithium, Shoutlet or Adobe Social (formerly Context Optional).
Which bring us to the big question: is a global presence better than a local one?
Local beats global
Being from a small country, I could advocate for global presence if resources and experience actually became available going global. Which almost never happens. It often happens that local markets are much more advanced in regards to content production and community management, and even if local teams are briefed initially on social media best practices and guidelines, it’s rather superficial and condescending. Global has perhaps more resources (or deeper pockets) in analytics or social business, but that’s not what we’re really discussing here, is it?
It’s not even for debate if community management should be done globally (can you picture the cultural clash of someone who doesn’t live the culture of the country daily), as the social media management solutions at least allow wall publishing, localized per country.
These are harsh criticisms, but I’m not alone. Brian Solis previously adressed the subject, claiming that “in 2012 and over the next few years, going local will only improve engagement, resonance, and ultimately commerce in the last mile”, after looking at the data from T-Index that shows how the US will no longer be the center of the social media world, or at least English is not necessarily the language of a global presence.
The relevance of local pages is even more striking through the lens of community management. As Sarah Hansson of Dannish agency Mindjumpers states, “for international brands, tactics should include to leverage local community management in order to connect and engage local markets with authenticity.”
And it’s not only opinion, but also data showing that staying local pays off:
Hearsay Social reports “five times more reach and eight times more engagement per fan reached ” on a local level.
Leading Facebook Analytics service Socialbakers reports often on how Local Pages excel in Engagement metrics. Examples include Nike, BMW and the already engaging Starbucks.
Disclaimer: Fullsix is a SocialBakers Trusted Agency Partner. Which actually makes it much harder to ignore the data.
Federated Or Distributed
Currently, we have two major models of managing a Facebook presences globally, which I caracterize as Federated and Distributed.
I) Federated or Global
Local markets are managed from a single global presence, using geolocated wall posts on Facebook, respecting global social media guidelines.
Global content can sometimes be reviewed by local markets, with vendor solutions providing editorial roles for local markets and corresponding publishing permissions.
Examples include Heineken or Martini.
Local markets have their own presences, with access to complete set of Facebook features, respecting global social media guidelines.
Global content can be distributed to local markets with vendor solution, with local review and translation, published on scheduled date by global.
Examples include Ben&Jerry’s (disclaimer: client) and Starbucks.
From my experience of managing over 30 brand pages in Portugal, I’ve found some serious problems when using a Federated approach:
a) Reduced scope of native Facebook features: Album, notes and event creation not possible but only wall posts.
b) Rollback not possible: one cannot decouple after going global
c) Customer service hell: if someone comments in portuguese on a global post, local markets can’t reply.
d) Severe limitations regarding the use of Facebook Platform: tabs are usually limited by country (if even possible), with reduced visibility and usually confusing users
e) Economies of scale don’t work on people: Resources and setup for coordination between global and local markets actually increase
If you’re trying to convince global headquarters to stay local, if showing the problems above is not enough, there’s still Facebook. The rumours of Facebook testing the feature to keep local pages, while aggregating the fan count and insights and management on a global level, might just save brands that kept local presences.
Lâncome was the only presence I could find that indicates this is going forward (drop a comment if you know more), showing that brands that took the risky dive of merging all the local markets, no longer have the chance to rollback. Those who were keen to see the value of local markets can now benefit the best from both worlds: globally aware but locally engaged.
Recognizing this problem is one thing, more difficult is to actually try to find a solution that solves the current situation. From loss aversion to the invested resources, there’s not much interest on changing things as they are, but we can at least could avoid doing the same mistakes on brands that haven’t decided yet to take the leap to global social media management.
For those lucky ones, there’s hope on what we learned so far:
- Start by organizing globally but gathering feedback from the more advanced markets. They have a lot to contribute and a more tactical approach that usually provides valuable feedback on practical problems.
- Build a global content hub. Not mandatory, but rather based on assets legally approved and with localized permissions (e.g. accessing marketing materials for products that aren’t available in local markets)
- Keep content and creative local. It shows when you just craft global content that means nothing to local markets. This is specially relevant for sponsored posts and Facebook ads, which are the least practical thing to do globally, except for worldwide events such as the Olympics.
- Facilitate knowledge sharing, either formally (wiki or intranet) or informally (email). Global management can audit and analyze best practices, sharing them to all markets.
This discussion should involve clients and agencies, and not so much vendors that are keen to push their solutions despite having no control over the platforms where brands are. Watching their recent rush on being acquired, I’m rather suspicious if their commercial interests are in line with what brands really need. In the end, brands and agencies should be having this discussion with Facebook, finding solutions that would benefit both parties.
One of my core beliefs in social media marketing is “making your customers feel awesome”. I see no evidence of how having a global presence managed with a social media service helps me do it better. Discuss.
“Share this chair if you think 1 billion people are on Facebook.”
It’s the kind of update one gets used to when you’re dealing with Facebook for a while.
The social network celebrated 1 billion members with this video, and while it some find it inspiring, the chair metaphor has a more depressing feeling for me, as it represents the state of conformity, of not moving on and being satisfied with the current state of social media.
Because you can be one amongst one billion that uses the cognitive surplus only to share kittens or you can be a part of other forms of participatory culture by writing your own blog, being an editor on Wikipedia or remixing from the Creative Commons.
Stand up from the chair, leave the walled garden, and find all the other things that are much better than Facebook at connecting people.
From the Queen’s Jubilee to the 2012 Olympics, London is getting a big share of attention, with lots of people visiting the city.
BBC Knowledge Australia and R&B Creative developed this great mashup using Google Styled Maps, invinting people to explore London. There’s also a challenge where you get to answer questions and get special codes for a chance to enter the draw and win a $4000 travel voucher and a brand new iPad.
If you aren’t lucky on unlocking your codes, you can always check their Facebook page for more tips.
Besides the marketing lingo, there’s one part that interested me the most: Liquid Content, or how content can be apart but share the same molecular brand DNA. Liquid content assumes the brand acts as a catalyst for play and takes risks in a culture of creativity.
On the same presentation, Coke shared their 70/20/10 principles of Liquid Content, where 70% of investiment is dedicated to low risk content, 20% to innovation and 10% to high risk / prepare to fail content.
No surprise then that Coke is launching simple initiatives such as Falling Dominoes, with a Coke Bottle on a digital Rube Goldberg animation.
One of the best examples i’ve seen that fully understands the importance of exclusive content on Facebook (specially on the new Timeline).
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
ECDs: Eric Quennoy, Mark Bernath
Creatives: Daniel Maxwell, Nacho Guijarro, Ivan Cash
Digital production: Random, Amsterdam
Great idea (and partnership with Facebook) by print-on-demand service Moo.com, using the new Timeline view to create business cards.
Using your Cover Photo, Timeline layout and typography, Moo’s application can turn your Timeline into a pack of business card with your primary details using Facebook’s API. On the back, you can add your own quotation or sentence about yourself.
To make your own Facebook cards just go to your http://www.facebook.com/yourfacebookusername/info and hover on the business card on your contact info – the first 50000 ones get printed for free
via Ana Mendes
I’ve been trying to pitch a Google Street View interactive campaign for a while, so it’s with mixed feelings — happy for the great use of technology, sad that i wasn’t hunca life convincing enough to make it real before – that i’m sharing this playful approach of Google Shoot View by Dutch agency Pool (who previously did Muppets Voices for TomTom).
As you can see from the teaser trailer, it all boils down to using your assault rifle on Google’s Street View scenery.
Not sure if the PG18+ is against Google’s terms of service (which got shorter), but from Columbine to the Tower of London, there’s plenty to choose from.