Does it matter where your news show up?

People continues to find and read your news all over; not just on your “newsroom”. People does not visit “your website” directly, as they used to do. A trend that has been going on for a while, but is now more clear than ever before. Does it matter? It depends who you talk to. 

Last year Jeff Bullas asked himself: “Is Facebook Killing Off The Company Website?

“While Facebook is becoming the biggest relationship marketing tool for brands, it seems like that instead of increasing traffic to the company website, Facebook is actually absorbing it. Marketers across the globe are wondering whether their brand websites will disappear and if there will still be a need for an official website in five years.”

He asked himself: “Will the users still visit the company websites or will they only use Facebook and apps to check the news and offers?”

He refers to a study by Webtrends that reveals that a majority of the the Fortune 100 websites (68% in fact) have been experiencing negative growth over the past 12 months with a 24% average decrease in unique visitors.

He mentioned Coca Cola as an example. A company which had 22 millions fans on Facebook by then, and whose website traffic was down more than 40% in just 12 months at the same time.

Does it bother Coca Cola, do you think?

I don’t think so really. I believe they “integrate and optimize their digital online assets whether that be on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blog, Flickr, YouTube and including their search engine optimized website”.

I guess Content Marketer, PR pro’s and Story tellers do create a lots of great news about their organizations to show their audience what it’s all about. To inform them, maybe to entertain them and to engage them. In order to capture interest and get some attention. In order to create great relationships with them. In order to get buzz and publicity. In order to solve your customers problems, and satisfy their needs, with your solutions, one day or another.

It doesn’t really matters where it all happens.

I believe that’s what’s happening IRL (in real life) as well. For an example; I guess the reason to why you’re represented in an exhibition, is to meet your audience, where it’s looking for solutions and inspiration. And I guess you strive to serve your visitors with information, interact and engage with them on place, without necessarily the purpose to drag them to your headquarter nor your shop, that particularly day, right? But you do keep their business cards, to be able to keep in touch, maybe over phone, Twitter, Linkedin, or somewhere else.

It doesn’t matter because your news and your newsroom is all about PR.

But when it comes to traditional newsrooms and its news organizations it does matter a lot, because it’s not only about PR.

The fact is that fewer and fewer people visit their newsroom directly. Nieman Journalism Lab wrote recently that “more people enter news sites sideways, via search engines, links they see in emails, or via Facebook and Twitter. And “newsrooms are finding their homepages aren’t the starting points they once were”.

Does it bother them?

No, not really, as long as it’s a part of your PR/Marketing strategy: PR for what you’re selling; the full length stories and advertising.
But what’s happening when NYTimes readers, do like Coca Cola’s fans? When they choose to stay on NYtimes social media pages, like Twitter and Facebook, instead of move on to NYtimes homepages/newsrooms? For an example it seems that NYTimes +6 million Twitter followers don’t move on to NYtimes newsroom?

According to the Pew Research Center’s annual report on american journalism: “The State of the News Media 2012“ only 9% of digital news consumers follow news recommendations from Facebook or from Twitter.

And that does bother Rupert Murdoch, who doesn’t like when other “media” steal his stories, to such an extent that he once did plan to hide his sites from Google. As far as I know he didn’t do it, after all.

Do you remember this interview a few years ago?

He says in a Mashable article: “…it’s better to have quality audience, willing to pay for their news, than having just everyone coming to their sites, by which he refers to people finding articles on one of his sites via search engines such as Google”.

To be continued…

Posted in journalistik, kommunikation, Marketing, Media, Newsroom, PR 2.0, Social media, Social media newsroom, Social network, Uncategorized. Tagged with , , , , , , , . Comments: Leave a comment

Goodbye advertisers – you will never be a part of the community

I recently read a great post by Mathew Ingram at Gigaom, where he asks himself “What happens to advertising in a world of streams?

He wonders “as we consume more and more content via real-time streams that come to us through Twitter and Facebook and newer platforms, how does that affect advertising? Everyone wants their ads to look like just another form of content, but that’s a lot harder than it sounds. As appealing as these kinds of services are for users, however, they still have to be paid for somehow, which raises the question: What happens to advertising in a world made of streams?”

I can tell you, Mathew: Really bad things already has happened! As a matter of fact, bad things for everyone who’s involved. Bad things for the users/visitors because they never asked for it, and mostly they don’t want it. Bad things for the advertisers because they don’t get as much attention and click through they want, and the conversion rates of these very few clicks, are too bad. And not at least bad things for the media, because none of their stakeholders nor customers are really happy anymore. And the media do suffer, big time.

And that’s not just in the new world of streams, that’s what has happened in a world of all kind of media, at least the ones that people doesn’t pay for; the media which gets their revenue from ads. And that’s the great majority of all media. Social or not social.

Recently, I had a lunch with the Editior in Chief for Aftonbladet, the biggest newspaper in Sweden. He said that social media is not a threat to his web media outlets, when it comes to traffic. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite; they’ve never got as much traffic to their digital outlets like these days, some of it from social media. But he totally confirmed that the business model for  his web media are completely broken. And that’s a huge problem.

“Advertising has lost its power”, he said. And social media is not an exception. Giants like Twitter and Facebook seems to be quite desperate as we speak. As far as I can understand, they’ve tried different kind of advertising models since the very beginning, without success.

Lara O’Reilly wrote in MarketingWeek that “this week both Facebook and Twitter have announced the roll out of new services and guidelines to boost their appeal to advertisers, which could come at the cost of alienating their users. Facebook is currently testing a new ad format to appear in the newsfeed that will see brands’ page posts appear regardless of whether that user or their friends are fans of the advertiser’s page or not.”

Brittany Darewell, InsideFacebook, says: “This ad unit will look just like a post from a page that a user is a fan of, except it will include a “Like Page” button in the top right corner and the word “sponsored” at the bottom, according to a screenshot provided by Facebook. Previously, a page could only advertise in News Feed if users already Liked it or if they had a friend who did. This latest test, along with the mobile app ad unit announced last week, show Facebook is no longer limiting News Feed inventory to entities that users have already connected to.”

“Meanwhile, Twitter is clamping down on third party developer use of its API as it looks to encourage users to use its official apps rather than services like Echofon and Tweetbot. Twitter wants developers to focus on creating analytics apps instead as it looks to boost its appeal to advertisers”, says Lara O’Reilly.

Mark McGrath, Technorati, says: “What started as friendly advice towards independent developers six months ago has turned into a clear-cut formal decision to exclude the involvement of third-party apps. Looking to follow in the gold-coated steps of Facebook, Twitter is trying to establish itself as a social media powerhouse that can be sustained by ongoing advertising revenues.”

And most of the people did condemn these social media immediately. The unofficial Facebook blog “AllFacebook” listed some of the opinions in its post: “What Others Are Saying About Facebook’s News Feed Ad Testing

Dan Seitz, Uproxx, says: “Oh, please. We know what’s going to happen: Users will hate it, and Facebook will roll it out anyway, because that’s what Facebook does. If this sounds desperate, that’s because it is. Common stockholders have very little control over Facebook directly, but they can do one thing to make Zuckerberg listen: Sell.”

Luke Brynley-Jones, Our Social Times: “Facebook and Twitter are both pushing users to the limit of what’s deemed socially acceptable — for one obvious reason: Each incremental incursion into your privacy represents a potentially lucrative new income stream. What’s interesting is that they are doing this under the radar. Even large, unwieldy corporates learn from their mistakes.”

But some of them are quite optimistic after all, like Josh Wolford, WebProNews: “Of course, this is just a test, and Facebook runs hundreds of tests every month. But something tells me this one will stick. It’s a clever way for Facebook to expand ad revenue and an improved way for businesses to expand their reach on the network.”

But in the end he says: “But of course, it’s also Facebook getting one step closer to selling straight-up advertising on the site.” And we all know what “straight-up advertising” means, right? FAIL.

What if they did choose a subscription based funding instead? Jonathan Slonhum wrote for JeffBullas.com where he asks himself: “Should You Invest in LinkedIn and Forget Facebook?

He says: “Marketers everywhere are trying to discover how to monetize social media. But some social media sites can’t even make money from their own users. Facebook has been in the news recently for failing to live up to its business promise. LinkedIn, however, has performed remarkably well in the same difficult sector.”

And furthermore: “…ad revenue alone will not be enough to power the company going forward. Facebook needs a new and effective business plan if it is going to avoid failure. Originally, LinkedIn made most of its money through advertising and $9.00 premium subscriptions. However, the last two years have seen the company shift to a focus on monetizing the massive data they’ve collected. With information on thousands of workers and job seekers, they provide corporate recruiters with one of the best recruiting tools on the market.”

The latest talk of the town when it comes to microblogging social networks is App.net: “…a real-time social feed without the ads” wich “puts users first”.

SFGate’s Benny Evangelista says: “Twitter and Facebook, the two giants of social networking, have stepped up efforts to generate more advertising revenue to prove to investors that they can be profitable. But what if there was an alternative, ad-free social network that relied on other revenue streams, such as charging access to app developers or becoming a for-pay service? That’s a question a fledging social network called App.net hopes to answer.”

The App.net founder Dalton Caldwell, replies: “I have no idea if this is going to work, but it is something I care about passionately,” and adds: “I think there is a market for it.”

Maybe, Dalton, maybe, you’re right. At least, I did pay the $50 fee for the first year. And at least, I believe media which can’t charge users for what they consume, should think twice… But I guess, that’s not the answer Mathew looking for when he asks: “What happens to advertising in a world of streams?” And I’ve already told you, bad things has happened.

But also good things. Because some of the former “advertisers” are now starting to act like good citizens. They do socialize with people that matters, in a way that people use to do. They’re now part of communities. They’re now listening to and learning from their buddies or at least their connections. Yes, they’ve got their own opinions and purposes. But they’re also influenced by their community. And as a part of the community, they’re using the same communications tools like the rest of the members of the community, and as members they contribute with stories and services that really make sense to their network. Like all members. And that’s a hell of a difference compared to what traditional advertisers do. Because these advertisers will never ever be a part of the community.

Comments?

Posted in Ads, facebook, Marketing, New media, PR, Reklam, Social ads, Social media, Social network, Twitter, Uncategorized. Comments: 1 Comment

Engage and die?

A new study shows customers don’t want a relationship with your brand, and journalists are the same.

When Brian Solis recently launched his book Engage he urged marketers to “engage or die”, because “social media has democratised influence, forever changing the way businesses communicate with customers and the way customers affect the decisions of their peers.” Solis said: “without engagement in these communities, we miss major opportunities to shape our marketing messages.”

I completely agree, but marketers and communicators need to tread carefully.

“It’s just a brand, not a member of my family”

I recently read a great blog post “Three Myths about What Customers Want” by Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird in Harvard Business Review, and think these myths are highly relevant for PR practitioners as well, when it comes to their efforts to create relationship with influencers.

The authors say in the introduction that most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” ie interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. But it turns out that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, they found that companies often have mistaken ideas about how best to engage with customers.

Myth #1 is that most consumers want to have relationships with brands. In actual fact, they don’t. Only 23% of consumers in the study say they have a relationship with a brand. The majority of respondents who don’t want to engage or have a close relationship with brands say: “It’s just a brand, not a member of my family”.

The authors say marketers need to better understand who wants a relationship and who doesn’t, then apply different expectations to these two groups and market differently to each. Or at least stop bombarding consumers who don’t want a relationship with endless emails or complex loyalty programmes.

I’m pretty sure that this applies to journalists and other influencers as well. I think the majority of them don’t want a relationship with PR practitioners at all. At least not the kind of relationship that involves as much contact as possible.

Most of the journalists I know use organisations’ representatives as a source. Usually they don’t want to enter into a relationship.

Seek a higher purpose

Myth #2, according to the authors, is that “interactions build relationships”. The truth is: “Shared values build relationships. A shared value is a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand’s higher purpose or broad philosophy.”

64% of the consumers who said they have a brand relationship, said that having shared values is the primary reason. Meanwhile only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for having a relationship.

I think one of the ways companies can achieve a great relationship with their customers is to “clean their backyard”. And they need to do their homework when it comes to Jim Collins “Visionary Framwork” – based on 1) “core ideology” including “core values” and “core purpose” and 2) “envisioned future” based on “10-30-year Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)” and a “vivid description of what it will be like when the organisation achieves the BHAG”.

The authors say that visionary frameworks feel authentic to consumers, and provide a credible basis for shared values and relationship building. This calls for marketers to begin a relationship by clearly communicating the brand’s philosophy or higher purpose.

When it comes to PR and the desire to foster a good relationship with journalists, bloggers and other influencers, we all know that a transparent and authentic approach is key to building a fruitful long-term relationship. It’s not what you say you are, but what you do that matters. Don’t bullshit.

It’s all too much

Myth #3: The more interaction the better. According to the authors’ study, there is no correlation between the number of interactions with a customer and the relationship with them. Yet many marketers act like there is.

In fact, the correlation seems to be the other way round: the more you contact your consumers the less likely they are to enter into a deeper relationship with you. A previous article in HBR says that companies “have ramped up their messaging, expecting that the more interaction and information they provide, the better the chances of holding on to these increasingly distracted and disloyal customers. But for many consumers, the rising volume of marketing messages isn’t empowering—it’s overwhelming. Rather than pulling customers into the fold, marketers are pushing them away with relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage.”

Journalists often face the same problem. They are drowning in irrelevant and uninteresting information. It’s not the number of phone calls or news releases that matters, but the rare nuggets of gold – the genuine stories. And I think these authors are spot on when they write: “Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious.”

 

 

Posted in kommunikation, Marketing, PR, PR 2.0, Social media, Social network. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , . Comments: Leave a comment

“The Newsroom” next big drama since “The Social Network”

The Social Network” the movie gave us all an interesting and deeper insight into how Mark Zuckerberg took his “social network business” from a dorm room project to become one of the largest companies in the world, within a few years. A truly amazing and breathtaking story, but sometimes a bit scary as well.

Now we’re all looking forward to enjoy Aaron Sorkin’s next big drama – The Newsroom – which is an upcoming American HBO drama television series, premiere June 24th.

Very few have been written about the series, so far. HBO describes this upcoming production very much undramatic only in a few sentences on their web site:

“From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball,  comes The Newsroom, a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on a network anchor (played by Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements.”

But I do think this is only the calm before the storm. The trailer gives us some indications that the film will portray an old fashioned newsroom which is struggling in crisis, where the audience escapes from traditional media for the benefit of user-generated stuff on social media, and leaves a news anchor in some kind of nervous breakdown.

And it seems that Huffington post share this point of view when they write:

“Jeff Daniels is shaking up “The Newsroom” this summer. The trailer for the Aaaron Sorkin’s HBO series has just been released, and Daniels stirs up some serious drama in this mere two-minute video of what promises to be an action-packed show.”

However, I guess, for us who’s working in this industry, this will be a smashing hit, and another lesson, what’s going on.

Posted in Media, New media, Newsroom, Social media, Social network, TV. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , . Comments: Leave a comment

The business of influence is broken

I get such a headache of all this influence bull shit talk. Long ago became inspired and influenced of Phil Sheldrake when he gave a lecture in “Influence – The bullshit, best practice and promise”. He said already by then that “the business of influence is broken” and began his speech by telling what “influence” isn’t:

“Influence is not some quantity invented by a PR firm, analytics provider, or measurement and evaluation company that rolls up a number of indices and measures into some relatively arbitrary compound formula that makes any appreciation of the underlying approach, variables and mathematics completely opaque to the end-user thereby radically attenuating any little use it may have been but in such a way that it can be branded nicely and sold as “unique”.

He says:

“You have been influenced when you think in a way you wouldn’t otherwise have thought, or do something you wouldn’t otherwise have done.”

And furthermore that:

“We are more influenced by the 150 nearest to us than by the other six or so billion combined”.

That’s why you lose respect for anyone who ostentatiously goes out and say that they know who the most influential.

Like Aitellu did a few days ago, when they wrote “Jonas Gardell (Swedish artist) and 299 of the most influential on Twitter in Sweden – the whole list.”
Laughable or/and tragic? Yes – they had a methodology for that, of course. If you can read Swedish, you’ll find a post about it here and the list here. But it seams to be as many influence methodologies as there are companies creating them.

When Aitellu published there “story” about the most influential people on Twitter in Sweden, one of our (Mynewsdesk’s) developer, Ingemar Edsborn, react immediately and wrote a email to me:

“I couldn’t let it be, so I just wrote a script that run through all the accounts, checked up their Peerindex and Klout scores, and then ranked all of them, based on these scores. Guess what? The result was really different from that Aitellu came up with! I’ve shared the document with you! Do something fun of it …”

And, here I am, but fun? No, it’s not funny. It’s just laughable. I’ve got full respect for most of the companies like Peerindex, Klout among others, that are trying to map and understand the influence business, as long as they show some humility and don’t claim to know what influence is and who’s got it with 100% certainty.

Keep up the good work!

Posted in Influence, internet, kommunikation, Tools. Tagged with , , , , , , , . Comments: 4 Comments