Tag Archives: Internet

Notes for GHATA Speech

17 May

Social Networking Speech

We’re witnessing the early stages of the convergence of the two main Internet channels into a single entity — Facebook and the Internet.

Facebook has over 400 Million Users, half of which log in every day. The average user has 109 friends and belongs to about 60 groups.

No, we all understand the differenence between being a fan and a friend, correct?

Yes, let’s acknowledge there are tons of sites out there that offer endless social networking opportunities and many are really cool. We’ll include some links on our notes section Foursquare, Bebo, Mog, Yelp

But for now let’s not stray too far from the central point. Facebook has the largest market share by far. And recent advances at the company are trying to change the way users use the internet.

The biggest difference is the like buttons that will be on millions of web site. Similar click the button and your entire community will see the link in their newsfeed. For many people, this is going to become their primary means of consuming media and news.

Great Article in CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/04/21/facebook.changes.users/index.html

Facebook is constantly being optimized for web content. Sites like Pandora and Yelp are being tailored to match your Facebook experience, and vice versa.

When you’re logged into Pandora, not only will it customize its recommendations based on your preferences in Facebooks — those boxes where you write your favorite bands and movies — it will also tell you what music your friends have listened too. On Ticketing sites, we’re not far from recommending concerts based on your iTunes playlist, and what other friends have recommended. Sites like iLike, concert application for the iPhone are extremely close

Now, what does that mean exactly? You might have seen news clips that Facebook is having to answer questions about privacy concerns.

One of this biggest issues is that users don’t have to have logged into Facebook for as much as 14 days for the sites to connect with your Facebook profile and recognize you.

Privacy groups have complained about this, and several U.S. Senators have started asking questions. There’s even an investigation ongoing at the FTC. And the company announced Friday that they were making some changes to improve privacy.

But is this anything new? Not really.

Google, with annual revenues of $24 billion, has been using search data for years to market products to you. Same with Yahoo. Do you have an internet email account? Do you use Google maps? How about calendar services? They have that info and they spend millions of dollars designing “free” applications to collect that information.

Why. Because search is king. Unlike Television where you’re bombarded with messages, search messages are optimized to what you’re looking for.

Is this something to worry about? Personally, it’s not something I spend a lot of time worrying about, but my general concerns about my personal privacy aren’t really paramount. You might feel differently, and that’s fine — but that’s not the point of this speech.

We’re here to discuss how Facebook and the Internet are becoming one, and that’s what I’m here to talk about.

When it comes to social networking, I deploy two basic philosophies.

The first we’ve already touched upon. Facebook and the Internet are the two largest platforms on the web. Right now, we’re experiencing the early stages of convergence.

Our first principle states this – The complete integration between your Facebook page and your website represents the highest state of sophistication possible in social networking.

The website is your primary e-commerce solution, fully optimized to generate revenue for the venue. Your Facebook page is your primary marketing vehicle where you maintain and interact with your audience.

Your Facebook page drives traffic to your website, and your web site locks in the sale.

Yes there’s email marketing and traditional marketing, but that actually ties in with Facebook as well, and we can discuss that during Q&A if you like.

In the meantime, here’s a good article to read:

http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/BlogDetail.aspx?BlogID=1325

Can you do this on your own? Not likely. Besides the time and financial resources involved, it often takes programmers and marketing experts to achieve this level of Nirvana.

Which brings us to our second philosophical point regarding Facebook.

The complete integration of Facebook and your website/e-commerce solution, utilizing and much of your well-directed resources as possible, is the highest point of sophsitication you can reach on the social networking spectrum

Are you at this level? I doubt it, because I’ve never seen it before. That’s the beauty of creating your own theory. You can set the rules.

Instead, your social networking strategy likely exists somewhere between doing absolutely nothing and achieving Zen-like perfection.

Where are you on the Facebook spectrum?

Have a Facebook page for your orgazation and you have someone identified to manage the site and they are clear about their available resources.

Start Building a Following Online and Growing Your Fanbase

Are you regularly posting unique content on your site? – AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT LATER

Are you analyzing your traffic data?

Are you advertising on Facebook?

Do you have Facebook buttons on your site that make it easier to navigate?

Can fans easily update fans when they purchase tickets on Facebook? – Ticketweb

THERE’S ALSO A HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION – AT WHAT POINT DO YOU BRANCH INTO NEW TECHNOLOGIES?

This can be as simple as listing your Facebook page with Skype and IM information

Do you actively use Twitter?

Do you use geo-tracking services like Four Square – time for an explanation on how Four Square Works

How about developing an iPhone/iPad app? How about building your own social network?

Augmented reality project

Let’s discuss some of the best integration that I have seen.

Toyota Center – Just shy of 5,000 fans

http://www.facebook.com/venuestoday#!/HoustonToyotaCenter?ref=ts

Great example of using Facebook page to drive people to the ticketing application; clean design and side columns

The site could use more fans and find new ways to share information.

Coachella – 97,000 followers

http://www.facebook.com/venuestoday#!/coachella?ref=ts

Great example of brand loyalty, communication hub, information sharing, fan interaction

Six months before Coachella, the site simply typed “Hola” in Spanish

When they posted hola, they got 20,000 responses

The posting of their lost and found pictures was a major web event and pulled in traffic from dozens of sites

The site could use additional status updates

Rupp Arena

http://www.facebook.com/venuestoday#!/rupparena?ref=ts

Uses contests to engage fans and hold contests. When they hide tickets for events, people will come running in within seconds of it hitting Facebook. Use comments section to give away Taylor Swift banner

WWE Presale Information.

Convey basic information to users about purchasing WWE tickets, and fans use the forum to ask up to date questions. It’s almost like it’s an Frequently Asked Questions portal, although it’s not very searchable.

The Roxy

http://www.facebook.com/venuestoday#!/theroxy?ref=ts

Pros: Has original content it can play on FB page. Works with various Internet teams to discuss

Pros: Name drops their friends and try to promote each other – the key moment on the strip was when the Roxy decided to retweet the Viper Room

Everything depends on how many followers you have

How do you get more followers? – Word of Mouth 2.0 is the most valuable form of advertising, but there’s also just…advertising.

Facebook currently leads the pool in advertising

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Facebook-Leads-Yahoo-Microsoft-in-Display-Ad-Market-with-176B-Impressions-294755/

And Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the most customabizable applications in the world.

Demonstration

Twitter Ad Platform Could Be Game Changer For Events Marketing

17 Apr

After much speculation, Twitter took its first step toward monetization Tuesday with the announcement of a new advertising platform for a handful of national companies.

The social networking site has become a hit for a group of early-adopters in the venue industry, who use Twitter to announce shows, build buzz and gain feedback from their customers. Twitter’s announcement that advertisers can pay for prioritized tweets and appear at the top of search results leave many wondering whether the new paradigm will fundamentally change Twitter, and whether venues and event promoters will buy in.

“To me, the whole premise is that you build a personal connection on Twitter, which is missing from a lot of the other sites,” said Iain Bluett with regional ticketing firm TicketAlternative, a frequent user of Twitter. His posts for @iainbluett covers everything from Atlanta buzz bands to iPhone replacement parts.

“I think this community will push back on spam and ads more than any other medium,” Bluett said. “Especially the hardcore, dedicated Twitter followers.”

Street cred aside, Bluett admits the advertising possibilities for a promoter, especially a national firm like Live Nation or AEG Live, are endless. Searches for artists like Madonna on Twitter could pull up links to ticketing sites. Trade shows, music festivals, county fairs and other large events have begun to organize group Tweets using hashtags. Search #Coachella2010 and dozens of returns will pull up for each day, as fans discuss the upcoming festival, which launches Friday in Indio, Calif. By the time the show opens, thousands of fans will be using the Coachella hashtag. That could be a popular audience for an advertiser wanting to delve into the music space.

“The conversation is still the most important part of social media,” said Tonya Hall, CEO and Founder of social networking agency Barzhini. “On Twitter, even the ads will need to be informational, or users will ignore the content.”

Twitter’s new advertising platform allows buyers to purchase key search terms, and then return the results with their brand at the top of the list. Search “coffee” on Twitter, and Starbucks will appear as the first search result, with a denotation that the listing is a paid advertisement, or Promoted Tweet as the social network is calling it. Best Buy and Virgin Airlines are also piloting the system.

“I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Imagine the possibilities for a venue if someone typed in ‘Nine Inch Nails’ and we were hosting one of their concerts,” said Matt Johnson, webmaster for Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.

Johnson and his Social Media Specialist Paul Hooper said the real test will come when Twitter utilizes location-based analytics for targeting ads.

“It really depends on how detailed they allow you to get,” Hooper said. “Facebook allows you to get into specific details, pick cities and even pick a radius around the city. You can pick how many people you’re hitting, their age groups and what they have on their profile. If we’re allowed to target certain audiences on Twitter, it could be good for us.”

Johnson and Hooper said they’re impressed with the small amount of money they’ve invested into Facebook advertising. Johnson said his campus spent about $500 on a Facebook ad for a recent five-show run of Avenue Q and he’s convinced that the 150 walk-up tickets sold were a result of social network marketing.

“Typically our walkup business for a musical is five to 10 tickets,” per show, Johnson said.

But for the promotion to work on Twitter, Johnson said he would want to target users who either identified themselves as living near Lexington, or the GPS-feature in their smart phone shows they’re near the University of Kentucky campus.

That type of innovation is only weeks, if not days away. Today, Twitter’s Evan William announced that Twitter users will have the option of geo-tagging their posts and see nearby users also posting to Twitter, possibly on a real-time map.

“It’s a shot across the bow for companies like Four Square,” said Alf Lamont of The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, Calif. “For venues in particular, (location-based software) is where it’s at.”

Lamont said his club gives free tickets to anyone who “checks in” to Four Square, a social networking site, when they arrive at the Comedy Store. Four Square uses the GPS in a user’s smart phone to broadcast a user’s location to his followers on Facebook and Twitter.

“So if you’re telling your entire network that you’re at the Comedy Store, that’s the best type of advertising possible and we will reward you with free tickets,” said Lamont.

As for blowback from Twitter users against the new advertising platform, Lamont said most early adopters understand that Twitter needs to make money to continue to exist.

“And regardless how much you pay Twitter for positioning, a retweet by someone with one million followers is worth more than an ad that hits 500 people,” he said.

Interviewed for this article: Iain Bluett, (404) 394-3446; Tonya Hall, (719) 210-9507; Matt Johnson and Paul Hooper, (859) 233-4567; Alf Lamont, (323) 650-0150