Sword and the Script

Dark Social Enlightens Marketing Vanity Metrics



Dark Social Enlightens Vanity Metrics

The blog posts weren’t especially compelling, in fact these were a little heavy with sales messages; case studies that had been re-purposed.

However instead of the classic problem-solution-format, they featured little vignettes showcasing minor customer victories. The posts were accented with liberal subheads, short paragraphs, and spotted with lots of bulleted lists – classic web writing if such a thing exists.

These were however, solid blog posts, but just not of the epic variety…or so we thought.  While the social share counts were quite low the web analytics were displaying sizable volume of traffic.  It caused us to ask – where was the interest coming from? Read More…

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Symphony of Gates and a Healthy Debate Over Gated Content



Should We Gate Our Content

It’s a question as old as the web – should you gate your content?

It appears that most marketers do and reported gating “80% of their major content marketing assets” according to a survey vetted by MarketingProfs.  The same study points out there’s some content – infographics for example – is rarely gated.

There are credible – and often very passionate – arguments on both sides of the debate but the answer that’s right for an organization probably varies. It depends on the goals across the content marketing spectrum – is the content intended to attract, convert or retain customers? Read More…

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Study: Big Companies Lag at Blogging, Social Media



Study Big Companies Lag at Blogging Social Media

I’ll beg Dr. Barnes to forgive me the editorial liberty I’ve taken with this headline, but that’s my takeaway after finally reading the UMASS Dartmouth Study: The 2014 Fortune 500 and Social Media: LinkedIn Dominates As Use of Newer Tools Explodes.

My interpretation of the results are completely different than those of the researchers who concluded:

“The 2014 Fortune 500 has now fully embraced new communications tools that have taken so many other sectors by storm.”

“These giant corporations are demonstrating an interest in experimenting with new tools.”

“This is a group that now seems comfortable and even excited with its newfound ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began.”

With apologies to Dr. Barnes again, I just don’t see that in the data. I see tepid interest in small pockets of consumer oriented businesses among the Fortune 500. My frame of reference is in knowing what is possible, as compared to what is demonstrated. Read More…

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Super Original Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook



Super Radical Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook

Market research, social engineering and a little bit of luck seemed to produce a spate of so-called “boy bands” in the late 1990s. It was a radical, if not unpalatable idea, that hit artists could be fabricated rather than discovered.

It became a formula that underscores how much closer the entertainment community is to social science than it is to art.  It wasn’t a new concept, but it was the one that turned heads the most, since a time when Levitttown first placed that oh, so perfect tree.

The Truman Show, Minority Report, the Matrix – take your pick, or perhaps take your pill, but this is our world online.  It’s given to us in the name of relevancy because your friends that liked this post, also liked this post. Read More…

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As Google Authorship Ends, Finger Pointing Begins



As Google Authorship Ends Finger Pointing Begins

Googler John Muller announced in a Google+ update that Google was ending its Authorship project. There was the usual, perhaps deserved, criticism of the search company – because it seems to dabble in products, gets users hooked and then dumps them both.

“After over two years of Google encouraging webmasters to add authorship to their pages, Google drops the feature cold,” read the subhead a Marketing Land article about the announcement.

Suffice to say, the web community, particularly digital marketers, ought to be well used to this by now.  Google has killed more than 3,000 projects according to Slate, though not all of them have had the fanfare of Wave, Buzz or Reader. Questions remain open about the viability of existing popular products including Google+, Feedburner and Blogger. Read More…

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Infographic: A Short History of the Selfie



by Frank Strong

Short History of the Selfie

On a recent flight to visit family, I gave my 3-year-old my iPhone for entertainment.  She’s got a page on the phone devoted specifically to apps and games just for her (I highly recommend the PBS app).  She’s been able to navigate her way around the phone since she became strong enough to hold it.

She didn’t play games however and I was surprised to discover she had learned a new skill:  The art of the selfie. Instead of navigating to her game page, she turned the camera on and snapped about 50 photos just like this one in just a minute or two. Read More…

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Is LinkedIn Becoming a Spam Paradise?



by Frank Strong

reelSEO linkedin

When Grant Crowell received four LinkedIn messages in a single week pitching Mark Robertson’s ReelSEO video summit, he was fed up.

It was the same message sent four different times, from three different people, including Greg Jarboe, co-founder of the marketing firm SEO-PR.

“LinkedIn is about making real connections,” he said in a message complaining to ReelSEO posted to Twitter.

The response to that complaint from the official ReelSEO Twitter handle was dismissive, “Opt out – it’s that simple.” Read More…

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Infographic: Navigating Facebook Organic Reach



by Frank Strong

facebook organic reach header
For every hundred fans a brand page has earned, just two will see status updates organically. Organic means those views that come naturally through the new stream, without paying Facebook to advertise content posted to a brand page.  What’s clear is there is a decline in Facebook organic reach.

For many brands, Facebook’s aggressive moves to generate advertising revenue, has reduced the value of Facebook as a platform and they feel as if it’s a bait and switch.  Jim Tobin might agree – and his company Ignite Social Media represents many large brands.

“The large corporations I talk to are very frustrated with Facebook and are re-evaluating their investments,” he noted in an “Off Topic” series interview for this blog. “It was very valuable when you had organic exposure that could be boosted with paid. As the organic evaporates, the value prop changes.” Read More…

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Infographic: Social Media Short Hand for the un-Social CMO



by Frank Strong

Social Media CMO

So much for the Social CMO. A recent study by IBM indicates just one-fifth of CMOs incorporate social media in digital marketing.

This suggests to me that social media is either completely useless, or it still presents and enormous and latent opportunity. My money is on the latter.

Perhaps seizing on an opportunity, Adobe which also runs CMO.com, published an infographic, we first spotted on Visual.ly titled: The CMO’s Guide to 2014 Social Media Landscape. Read More…

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13 Statistics from an Inc. 500 Social Media Study



by Frank Strong

social-media-study-Inc500
UMASS Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research is out with new research as part of its long standing study of business and its relationship with social media. The Center has been publishing research focused on either the Inc. 500 or the Fortune 500 since 2006.

I’m partial to the Center’s research because it includes some academic rigor – that is more or less absent an agenda. The current study focuses on the Inc. 500 and is a two-step methodology of reviewing use-cases and later conducting surveys by random sampling.

Key findings from the UMASS study Read More…

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