Is social digital?

In my last post where I said I was interested in everything digital which to me was everything, I had a friend ask me if social was digital.

I think social is digital.  To me social is the core of communicating with technology to build relationships. It’s online. Through a computer. Actually through a smart phone (not mobile because they are more often not mobile). Through analytics, insights.

The most valuable part of being digital is being personal and social builds personal into digital.

Predictions of a social media backlash?

In the flurry of New Year’s predictions, I have heard some murmurings of a coming backlash against social media especially from the professional marketing world.

A good roundup of these criticisms comes from a column from a Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Michael Silence. The prediction is based on two assumptions. First, that everyone is tiring of all the noise generated from social media. Second, that corporations are not seeing any return on social media  and will pull the plug on social media spending.

From reading his column, I don’t think Silence is endorsing these views, but I disagree with both points.

First the noise claims – The idea goes social media creates more noise and shortens attention spans making it harder to be heard. Basically the attention span claim is a typical old media vs. new media argument (or the I hate change argument). It’s been applied to radio, television, music videos, web sites and now text messaging and social media. The argument is correct  that people pay less attention to social media than a newspaper column. The growth of social media creates less of an appetite for long form media, but that doesn’t make social media evil or the effects of it wrong. It’s just different, meaning communication techniques have to evolve to communicate effectively.

Second the return on social media investment –  Many companies jumped on the social media bandwagon to just be in the game and not be left behind and they ended up being left behind because they didn’t look, listen and planned before they acted. They jumped into social media without any knowledge of what it meant to be engaged with their community not mention any  goals, no plans to measure what they did. Companies that have a social media plan, that have engaged their community have seen enormous returns on social media. In fact a lot of companies that went into social media with goals and a plan are now investing more into social media because they have seen a great return on their investment. This is true for companies large and small.

Social media’s use in Senate elections

Mike Allen shares in interesting report in this morning’s Politico Playbook from the Emerging Media Research Council analyzing social media usage in US Senate elections specifically looking at the Florida Senate race. The draft report outlines three winning social media strategies (which seem pretty much like common sense to me).

  • Facebook – “Candidates who update their profile page regularly give fans a reason to return more frequently, resulting
    in higher rates of interaction and larger fan communities.”
  • Twitter – “High rates of messaging result in greater absolute numbers of followers and a greater level of follower engagement.”
  • YouTube – “The most popular political videos are campaign advertisements and position statements crafted specifically for the Web.”

Big Brother IS watching: the feds in social media

First we had Please Rob Me outlining the best time to burgle your friend’s house from foursquare information.  Now we have the IRS and the Justice Department training their agents on how to use social media to collect useful information about you.

I know this sounds conspiracy theorist, but it’s not. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has actually collected training documents from the feds detailing procedures.

Also, I know that the feds aren’t the only governmental body using what you publish on the Internet against you. I personally know someone who was audited by the Arkansas Department of Revenue because of the professionalism of their web site (I guess we all know who is next after this post).