Archive for April, 2012

Major Sports Team Revolutionizes Social Media Experience for Fans

The title is my dream Mashable Social Media Headline this summer. I’m a huge baseball fan.

More likely:

dwinQ CEO falls asleep at ballgame and finds himself transported to a BBC social media  documentary.

Despite travelling about 150,000 miles a year, I have season tickets to the Red Sox. Red Sox fans know that the nation’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, just celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday. It was an awesome day, but very frustrating at the same time because fans couldn’t share their experiences on Facebook in real-time. The mobile phone trick to upload photos to Facebook was slow and painful. I couldn’t even check-in for the first three innings because mobile phone coverage was so bad with all those people in one place.

Imagine an ambient social media expereince (provided by dwinQ, of course) that would update your Facebook page frictionlessly in real time. Automated photo booths and roving photographers could post very cool pictures for you in real time. And brands could sponsor the shots!

Here’s what it would look like if the BBC did an expose on social media marketing at a major league baseball stadium (let’s hope MLB makes this happen for fans everywhere!):

If you run any kind of a league or venue you could create an amazing consumer expereince and significant revenue stream by adopting a social media expereince.

cta1_221x221px_dwinq_b2 //

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The title is my dream Mashable Social Media Headline this summer. I’m a huge baseball fan.

More likely:

dwinQ CEO falls asleep at ballgame and finds himself transported into a BBC documentary on social media.

Despite travelling about 150,000 miles a year, I have season tickets to the Red Sox. Red Sox fans know that the nation’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, just celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday. It was an awesome day, but very frustrating at the same time because fans couldn’t share their experiences on Facebook in real-time. The mobile phone trick to upload photos to Facebook was slow and painful. I couldn’t even check-in for the first three innings because mobile phone coverage was so bad with all those people in one place.

Imagine an ambient social media expereince (provided by dwinQ, of course) that would update your Facebook page frictionlessly in real time. Automated photo booths and roving photographers could post very cool pictures for you in real time. And brands could sponsor the shots!

Here’s what it would look like if the BBC did an expose on social media marketing at a major league baseball stadium (let’s hope MLB makes this happen for fans everywhere!):

If you run any kind of a league or venue you could create an amazing consumer expereince and significant revenue stream by adopting a social media expereince.

cta1_221x221px_dwinq_b2 //

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Driving Social Media Growth – the secret is in your events

For the past eighteen months companies have been setting up Facebook pages, collecting fans and spending money on consultants. Why? Because their competition is – not necessarily because they had a goal in mind. Smart brands are wising up and are setting the goal where it should be – on revenue. Today I’ll give you some insight into best practices for companies making the most of social media to drive revenue.

Focus on Engagement not Building Facebook Fans

Look at two very different Facebook pages – check out GoPro and then look at Red Bull. Both brands target the exact same demographic, with very similar lifestyle. Red Bull has significantly higher Fans on Facebook than GoPro – in fact Red Bull’s 28 million fans is more than thirteen times more than GoPro’s 2.1 million. But as Bill James figured out in Baseball (see: Moneyball the movie or book) batting average doesn’t really matter – it’s how often you get on base that wins game. Similarly Facebook Fans don’t matter, it’s how often they engage with your brand that drives revenue.

The Brand Audience Rate of Engagement (BARE) is the best way to measure social media success and likelihood of driving revenue from your social media efforts. BARE measures how many people Like, Comment, or Share your content on Facebook. In other words how engaged people are with our brand in an on-going way. Red Bull’s BARE is less than 1% (.92% to be exact). Compare that to GoPro with over 6.7% BARE Score.

GoPro interacts with fans 600% better than Red Bull.

Social Media Driving Revenue

The higher the BARE, the more people are interacting with your brand. This means you can drive a more active and consistent message. You can glean feedback, increase brand equity and most importantly create a call to action that people will heed – such as a sales offer.

One aspect of Facebook that is a mystery to many people is the EdgeRank algorithm. This is the highly secretive formula that determines what makes it to a person’s newsfeed or timeline. The one-shot offers to convince people to be a Fan of a corporate page are just the start to social media marketing. Once you have them you have to engage them consistently, with high quality content and do it in a timely manner. There is one way to do this that is better than anything else – and it ensures your brand will get high engagement in front of your targeted audience.

Events are the key to Facebook success.

If you run marekting for a Fortune 500 company chances are your brand is already spending millions on real world events. Do you sponsor sporting events? Co-host concerts? Have naming right at an arena? Your goal is probably to get impressions and brand recognition thourgh those people at the event or with those covering the event in the press. With the new digital word-of-mouth that is social media you can now reach on average 200 other people for every person at your event who is on Facebook. You just have to make it frictionless and make sure your brand is associated with it.Unobtainable photos from dwinQ posted to Facebook

Combine RFID as a single sign on to social media so your attendees don’t have to use a phone and create photos that are not obtainable anywhere else. Mount cameras on the bow of your ships, at the top of your Jumbotrons, on the Green Monsta! You get the idea – then use dwinQ’s social media software to automatically update the images, tag them and then post to Facebook in real time– with your logo superimposed on the photo. It will increase your event ROI by 10-50 times what you were getting before. Read more about it by downloading our free whitepaper on social media at events.

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Social Media and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of any closed systemalways tends to increase, and thus the nature of any given system is always changing even as efforts attempt to maintain the original form. It is forever changing – even if you try to keep it the same.  Sound like Facebook or Google+?

Social media change and predictions

Social Media is changing like a melting ice cube

This second law of thermodynamics was adapted successfully to air-to-air combat and later used to maneuver warfare by one of the most brilliant military strategists of all time, USAF Col John Boyd – a modern day Sun Tzu. And I’ve adopted it to social media.

For the past 18 months, I have been overlaying Boyd’s principles on social media, (for more information join our Boyd LinkedIn group here). When Google first came out with Google+, Facebook introduced the Timeline, just after LinkedIn started updates, it got me thinking that no matter what people like (no pun intended) social media must keep changing – it has to follow the 2nd Law.  If you want to understand the future it helps to follow Boyd’s theories.

It’s important for companies to bet accurately where and when social media changes, and make moves based upon predictions before competitors do. As the CEO of one of the fastest growing social media companies, I’ve got a great seat at the show, which gives me an unfair advantage in my “orientation” (Part of Boyd’s OODA Loop) toward the subject. It’s only fair I should share.

 

 

Here are my best guesses as to where social media is going:

  1. Most obviously will be the removal of friction when sharing highly engaging activities. No more fumbling with mobile phones. dwinQ is obviously on the forefront of this. RFID, NFC and other wireless communications are just scratching the surface for social media; in two years new methods will amaze users.
  2. There will be one or two major winners and many “boutique” social media plays. Facebook, RenRen and Google+ will far eclipse other networks but there will be an important place for Foursquare, Tumblr, Pinterest, Salesforce.com, etc. I call this the Doghnut theory – Dunkin Donuts sells way more chocolate frosted and jelly than anything else – but some people like colored sprinkles, others want a long crueller to dip in coffee, my son always amps up on double chocolate with chocolate jimmies. Same with social media. If I like taking pictures and showing my travel, Instagram is great, if I want to talk about the book I read over the weekend Wattpad might be my favorite.
  3. A private social network will emerge for which people pay to subscribe. It might be Google or Facebook who create this offering, but there is a set of people who don’t want their pictures, data, or location known to every analyst and marketer in the world. They will gladly pay $19.95 a month for a trusted private social network, and greater flexibility in formatting their information.
  4. Most workplaces will have a private internal social network. This will take the place of group emails for things like healthcare announcements, 401k information, congratulations/promotions, softball team updates, Fantasy Baseball Leagues, etc. Smart companies who put a premium on company ethos will do this first because it will help perpetuate a company culture.
  5. Social Media will become real time and influence immediate decision making. Already Thumb is helping people answer questions in real time, but no one trusts important questions to Thumb because they don’t know the people answering, it’s not their self-created network. Add the instant capability to ask your friends in real time a question – from the cost of a parking ticket on Yawkey Way to the best place to stay in Barcelona and you can get instant and trusted feedback to help you make better decision (BTW – a parking ticket right next to Jillian’s is $40 the same the guys a mile a way charge to park during Red Sox game day).

When I hit 80% on my predictions come back in two years give the praise to a great unsung American – Col John Boyd and realize he’s got some amazing lessons to teach us if we’d listen and apply them. The second law of thermodynamics is one of the more obvious he applies to warfare, and I’m applying to social media.

If removing the friction from social media is something you want to do for your fans you can read dwinQ’s short whitepaper on social media in the real world that can give you some of the details as to how you go about doing just that.

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