Why Apple Radio will crush Pandora in the next 12 months.

Apple radio is cool. It is as good as Spotify, Deezer, Pandora or any other music service out there. But that is not why it will be the dominant music service within 12 month. Over the next year it will crush Spotify and Pandora. Apple radio will have 300 million people using Apple radio within 12 months. 

Pandora (NYSE:P) has about 200 million users right now. Just this month they were bragging about a better integration into iPad. Why did they spend millions integrating into iPad and trying to make it smoother? People want a frictionless experience. Apple Radio is the slickest.  It is the WD40 of online radio and being the king of frictionless is the key to adoption.Apple radio social media

With iOS 7 you can ask Siri to launch Apple radio and your phone will play all the music you are in the mood for from your Genius or by  selected channel. It all happens in the background and all you have to do is ask Siri to do it.  It’s the one thing she actually doesn’t completely screw up. 

The important lesson to take from this, especially for people designing experiential marketing for events, is that if you make an experience frictionless and take away barriers to usage then adoption rates will soar. Frictionless social media – autoamted photo posting – has proven this axiom. I believe that adding a frictionless user experience into any aspect of life is they key to adoption even if the features are not the best in the industry. Apple radio will prove me right. 

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Yelp! costs concierges their jobs

I’m at the Denver Hyatt for the night on business. I picked the hotel thanks to Yelp! – I wanted a nice place with a real gym. I got it to a T. I wanted a good steak last night for dinner again I turned to Yelp! I ended up at Elway’s with a succulent buffalo ribeye washed down with a classy pinot noir. Two great recommendations thanks to Yelp

This morning after my great workout I sauntered down to the front desk, sweaty and hungry.  I was looking for the best palace to  grab breakfast. Of course they suggested the hotel restaurant and when I pushed they mentioned a diner they couldn’t give me directions to. I’m back up in my room looking on Yelp!  Without a doubt the company has become my personal concierge service. Yelp using dwinQ technology facebook & RFID

Yelp! will cost hotel concierges everywhere their job in the next 12 months. In fact, if I owned a hotel I would work out a partnership deal to put Yelp! kiosks where the concierge stands used to be. Add a social media operating system and you could automate some cool pictures, and great user-generated content, too.

Yelp! is one example of how social media is radically changing the way we live. Smart marketers have to recognize this revolution or perish.

We live in a Yelp!, Instagram, Vine, Facebook and (the good old standby) Twitter world. If brands aren’t figuring out frictionless and meaningful ways to engage social media and make guest experiences better int he real world,  they will be in the unemployment line talking to the guy in the funny hat and pants with the stripe down the side talking about the “good old days” when everyone needed a concierge. 

By the way feel free to follow me on Yelp! and connect with me there, too: pjsweeney.yelp.com

I also own Yelp stock.

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Lexus automates viral videos for ride & drive events

This is an awesome use of a social media operating system to connect guests to their social channel.

Each guest invited to the ride & drive received a VIP card with an RFID chip in it. They waved the VIP card inside the car which activated two cameras – one facing the driver one out capturing the course. In the dwinQ cloud four critical bits of magic happened:

1. Superimposed the drivers face video as a picture int he main picture of the course
2. Added Lexus logo and branding to the video
3. Instantly updated the video to YouTube
4. Collected user data and demographics

The result was a ride and drive event that had 3.7x the ROI of other ride and drives, and created an awesome user experience because they were able to share the moment in real time. dwinQ’s social media operating system can connect RFID cards and Facebook in real time, or YouTube, Twitter an other social channels.

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Facebook allows marketers to embed – what’s the big deal?

Yesterday Facebook revealed a new capability to their Facebook PMD Strategic Partners – the embedded post. This social plug-in allows users to easily embed public Facebook posts onto blogs, news sites and pages. Embedded Posts are a way to put public posts (by either a page or a person on Facebook) on your web site or web page.

The embedded post will show any type of media attached to it (hyperlinks, videos, pictures, etc) and it will show the number of likes, shares, and comments that the post has. Embedding posts will let people using your web site see the same user generated content that is  on Facebook.com, but directly on your site where it may be relevant to the conversation.  Embedded posts will also allow readers to follow or like content authors or Pages directly from the embed.

There are a few critical things to know about his capability:
– Only public posts from Pages and Facebook users can be embedded.
– They are launching Embedded Posts with CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People Magazine and Mashable, with broader availability coming soon.
– Embedded Posts display just like they do on Facebook, with the ability to show pictures, videos, hashtags, and other content.
– People can interact with Embedded Posts by liking or sharing them, liking or following their authors, or visiting their related comments on Facebook.

Facebook Embedded Post

What this means for marketers is a chance to comment on things in the news and start a conversation around that topic. The burden on brands who wish to participate with Facebook using the embedded post is that they will need a resource (similar to Twitter marketing) to be the voice of the brand. However being engaged with consumers in a genuine way is fantastic opportunity to learn, participate and show the face of you brand to the consumers.

Facebook has not created a dedicated API but you can talk with your Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) provider and get more information.

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Two types of Tweeters – which are you?

Do you tell a secret or rock a megaphone?

Twitter is an interesting social media channel for businesses. Currently, there are two very popular uses for Twitter in business marketplace – usually Twitter is used for customer service and often people set up automated search to respond to someone looking for or complaining about something.

In both of those instances it is an intimate conversation – usually the people engaging are specifically responding to an @ Someone. They are whisperers. Whisperers want to pull someone aside in a crowded bar and look in their eye and ask them what they need. It’s as intimate an engagement as 140 characters allow – and as you might expect they have a lot less followers.

The next type of person is the bullhorn. This is the guy at the starting line of your local 10K race who is yelling about where the water stations are, what to do when you finish and how long to the start. He is using Twitter as in the old form of advertising and that is broadcasting one to many. Not a lot of interaction

The bullhorn is characterized by one specific characteristic – they retweet a lot of links. Nearly 300 times more than a typical Whisperer. So if you want more followers – get a megaphone and start finding interesting content. You can’t tweet too much either. On average the most followed brands tweet twice an hour during the work day.

Big Tip: The final big tip of the blog comes from Dan Zarrella who has a new book out called the Science of Marketing. He looked at millions of tweets and sorted them by number of times the Tweeter self-referenced (used “I, me, mine, etc” ) and found, not surprisingly, the more someone talks about themselves the les followers they have. Dale Carnegie said years ago – be like a puppy always happy to see someone else and really concerned about having fun with them! Always remember: The key to social media marketing is user generated content. Here’s the graph:

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Independence from 20% rule – Happy 4th of July

Yearning to put a pithy message on your Facebook cover photo? Now is the time. Facebook has thrown the 20% rule overboard like tea on an old wooden ship.

But before you jump ahead and start plastering your cover with prose consider these three quick times from SocialBlockers:

1. A picture speaks louder than words

Just because you are allowed to include as many words as you like, it may not always be a good idea. A good rule of thumb to live by when marketing on Facebook is to remember the power of the picture. Facebook fans interact with images more often than any other post type, which means they like to be visually engaged. If your photo is memorable, it’ll speak for itself. If in features user generated content it is gold!

2. Ain’t nobody got time for that

A cover photo that is cluttered with too much text is not only unattractive, the chances are that nobody is going to take the time to read your carefully crafted prose. Think in terms of a headline rather than Hemmingway. Make sure that you strategically place your text, keep it organized, catchy, and relevant to your message.

3. Skip involved product pitches

Recently, Facebook lifted its ban on call-to-action texts on cover photos. So, brands have free range to promote deals, entice fans with give aways, and hold contests through their cover photos. Though, however tempting it is to cram your photo full of products and offers, remember that Facebook is a ‘social network’ for you to engage with your fans, not hard sell to them. Cover photos are the first thing Facebook users see when visiting your Page, so why not leave them something more memorable than a sales pitch?

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User generated content just increased in value thanks to Facebook

A policy change can change the value of many things. This time its what appears on individual’s walls on Facebook – the prime real estate int eh world’s largest word-of-mouth network. 

Facebook just announced several changes that are going to take place in October of this year. One of the big ones for marketing and digital agencies is that no longer will an API be allowed to share on friend’s wall. 

The official word from Facebook:

“We have found that posting content via API (stream.publish) on a friend’s wall lead to a high incidence of user dissatisfaction (hiding content, blocking the app). After the migration period, posting content to friends’ timelines via stream.publish will no longer be allowed. Please use the Feed Dialog for posting.”

What does this mean to marketers and brands?

If you follow the new KPIs of Social Media and Events one of your key efforts is likely around viral engagement and earned impressions on Facebook. This used to be enabled automatically by API that allowed sharing on a connections wall. Now you will have to rely on solid user generated content to get virality and impressions.

I’ve said numerous times on this blog that the way to get user generated content that is highly effective is to catch people at the time when they are having fun doing a very unique event or activity and post for them so all the friction is removed. From the Olympics to the Stanley Cup Play-offs user generated content has ruled the social sphere. Now that you can’t use an API to post to another wall you have to be smart and figure out how to get others to do it for your brand and become social media brand champions

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