I'm sitting at the 140 Conference in L.A. and have just finished listening to the CMO of Kodak and the VP of marketing for Virgin America talk about the value of their Twitter and social media usage. Kodak's Jeffrey Hayzlett explained how Kodak was able to name its new product based on suggestions from Twitter. Virgin America's Porter Gale shared several stories of how her company's social media usage helped retain existing customers. There's something missing, though: ROI.
Here's something you don't see very often: the Social Media Insider staring at a blinking cursor, with no freakin' clue as to what the column should be about, five hours into the work day. I've trolled all of the usual sources looking for something to write about. But you know and I know that my lack of a topic was generated by something else: the information overload engine.
Microsoft is expected to announce that tweets and Facebook status updates will be searchable via Bing, expanding what we all perceived to be the potential audience for the inania that makes up our daily lives. Better yet, the deal is nonexclusive, which means, at any second, Google will be sifting through your boring life, too!.
Bacardi recently launched its latest campaign, called "Islands," which is poised to make a splash (pun intended) in the world of social media -- but in the end, what is the company trying to accomplish? Like any successful marketing campaign, a social media push should do two things: build the brand and sell more rum. The real question social marketers want to know is, how does Bacardi go about dropping a good amount of marketing money in social media and drive sales?
And, do big, consumer-facing businesses have even the slightest idea of how to synthesize the "information" provided to them by all of these newly empowered whiners? The answer to the first question is "yes." And to the second? No.
If self-regulating were entirely up to advertisers, that would be one thing - I'm normally a supporter of self-regulation. But in social media, as we've learned time and time again, the message is essentially out of advertisers' control.
Have you heard the one about the hare and the owl, or the watering hole, or the Hall of Wonders? These are no ordinary tales. In fact, they're of an entirely new genre: folktales for social media marketers.
Per usual, I wasn't invited. In this case, I wasn't invited to test out Google Wave, the new communication and collaboration tool (with the badly timed name) that Google dispersed to 100,000 developers and invitees yesterday. I did, however, look at the video of most of the one-hour-and-20-minute presentation Google gave to developers back in May It got me thinking about how Google Wave further flattens the distinctions between email and IMing, blogging and collaborating, while also expanding the definition of social media, and media itself. Whether this particular platform catches on isn't exactly the point. It's a significant step ...