• Quick: Who's The LinkedIn Of Facebook?
    According to Lou Kerner, Vice President of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities, it's a new platform called BranchOut, which helps people network professionally via Facebook. But you better hurry up, because at the rate things are going, someone will likely be the BranchOut of LinkedIn. That's how fast things are changing in the social media industry, Kerner said during a conversation at OMMA Global in San Francisco. To illustrate that point, Kerner said he called up the founder of BranchOut recently to congratulate him on its success. "'Thank for the congratulations,'" Kerner recalled the BranchOut founder telling him. …
  • personal connections are top influence -- but don't get spend
    Recommendations from family and friends are the strongest source of influence regarding purchase decisions, according to CEO Optimedia Antony Young -- but why don't this translate into increased spending on social networks, relative to mass media like TV? Part of the problem is that social media still isn't scalable enough, especially for big mainstream brands. As a result, media agencies resort to a mix of mass media and social media, hoping to drive social media activity with mass media messaging.
  • social media is for venting
    "People who have a negative experience with a brand tell four times the number of people [on social media] as people who have a positive experience with a brand," according to Optimedia CEO Antony Young.  This seems entirely plausible, especially when customer relations is lacking: basically complaining (bashing a brand) provides a psychological release which the consumer is denied elsewhere when they can't get their problem addressed.
  • social media metrics still lacking
    The kind of metrics which are available for social media, including "number of fans, or number of likes" is still "barely enough to convince a big media agency to buy," according to Young. This gets back to the whole issue of metrics and ROI -- the 800-pound gorilla for media planning, which is notable by its absence in social media.
  • the clarion call for communications planning
    While media are clearly proliferating, advertising budgets aren't expanding appreciably -- and this makes the job of allocating dollars to various media  more difficult, according to Antony Young, CEO of Optimedia, who's talking with MediaPost editor-in-chief Joe Mandese about the growing need for communications planning. "We're dealing with large sums of money, usually not enough," Young notes, and that means that "when you put dollars in one area -- say, social media -- you have to take it away from somewhere else." What thismeans is that media planners need a more sophisticated understanding of the way multiple media work in …
  • User-Generated Weather
    Given the progression of smart phone technology, that could well happen. Well, users won't exactly be creating the weather. But they may be creating weather-related content. That's what The Weather Channel CEO Mike Kelly suggested might be the next generation of mobile technology, which he said would give smart phone users the ability to report their barometric pressure, and maybe even things like local temperature, and even wind speed. "Can we turn every person with a cell phone into a weather forecaster or observer," Kelly asked OMMA Global attendees, answer himself: "Possibly?"
  • What's The Killer Mobile App? The Weather
    That sure seems to be the case based on what Mike Kelly, president-CEO of The Weather Channel is saying during his afternoon keynote at OMMA Global in San Francisco. To illustrate how popular weather is as a mobile app, Kelly showed the trend in TWC's mobile download apps. It went from 200,000 in 2008 to 4 million in 2009 and 30 million in 2010. Through February, Kelly said TWC has already downloaded 35 million mobile apps to date. What's driving it? Well, the weather. Kelly showed research indicating that weather is the No. 1 source of information on …
  • what is smartphone penetration anyway?
    61 million Americans now own a smartphone, equalling 20% of the population, according to various online sources
  • when does a tech exec get a manicure?
    when he has to demo a smartphone app on the big screen at an industry conference. For the record, Steve Horowitz of Coupons.com appears to have lovely fingers with healthy skin and clean, well-cared-for nails.  Great work Steve!
  • the wifi is working at OMMA Global!
    hallelujah!  And thanks to SocialVibeAds for sponsoring the free wifi.
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