As 2013 draws to a close, and the Social Media Insider unleashes below the first in a two-part series of predictions, what strikes me about social media is how established it is. It certainly doesn't feel new anymore. Maybe a better word for how it feels is -- embedded.
Before you take your holiday break, here's a statistic you might want to drown in a healthy serving of eggnog: The most shared ad of the year, Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches," was shared 4.24 million times and viewed 60 million times on Dove's U.S. YouTube channel. At the end of the day, even viral hits aren't all that spectacular.
When determining how a brand should interact with users on social platforms, it's often helpful to look at the life stage of the platform. These life stages mirror the human life stages, giving a frame a reference to an oft-ambiguous opportunity. Those life stages can be thought of as toddler, teen, young adult, adult and senior. However, the important point here is that these are the life stages of the BRANDS on the social platform, not the platform itself.
Let me just admit it: The story that most intrigued me in digital last week doesn't have that much to do with social. Instead, it's the native advertising workshop held by the Federal Trade Commission down in Washington last Wednesday. As if stealing a line from my recent column on Chris Paul going to Edelman -- a line, which I, in turn, stole from Robin Thicke -- the FTC called its workshop: "Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content?" and set out, I gather, to start figuring out what is OK, and what's not, when it comes to so-called native advertising. It …
It's safe to assume that nearly every company now has some type of social media strategy. But while one could argue that social media has become part of today's business DNA, it's important to remember we're still in the early stages of its evolution. Even the savviest brands still hold misconceptions keeping them from increasing the business impact of their social programs. Here are five common beliefs about social media that don't stack up to reality and need to be dispelled.