Category Archives: Social Media

Trends from Randi Zuckerberg, Former Director of Marketing at Facebook

Randi Zuckerberg, former Marketing Director at FacebookLast month I had the opportunity to meet and hear Randi Zuckerberg speak at Meredith College. Randi was visiting the campus to receive the President’s Award and deliver the 2012 Woman of Achievement Lecture. Prior to the event I was able to attend the VIP reception thanks to my wife (@mcdezigns) who won the Meredith Facebook contest.

Randi Zuckerberg is the former head of marketing at Facebook and brother to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and the next american billionaire. She left her advertising agency job to work with Mark when he was at Harvard to help him launch Facebook and was with the company until last fall. During her tenure she was able to see the development of Facebook and help with the launch of several of the platforms features.

Randi stated that she changes her presentation based on current trends and that it can change on a monthly basis. The top trends she discussed were:

  • The sharing economy: social media has created a more caring community that shares resources instead of hoarding them.
  • People as platforms: the ability for individuals to generate a fan followiong rapidly.
  • Gamification of health and fitness: apps like Gym-Pact reward healthy behavior.
  • Crowdsourcing: Kickstart is funding more projects than the NEA. Logos and corporate identity are being generated by sites like 99 Designs.
  • Cover photos are making statements: people and brands are having fun with photos and creating a billboard type impression on Facebook. Examples include Girl Scout Cookies and Obama’s campaign pages.
  • Mobile first: new technology is being designed only for use as a mobile app without a formal website. These new apps are building one use case really well versus a whole site.
  • Curation is creating experts from individuals that never write, paint or create unique content. Sites like Pinterest allow users to create a strong following based off their taste not their own content.
  • Creating social moments: what if you could recreate the Home Shopping Network within Facebook with real time stats on friends purchases?
  • The opportunity to create more social moments via live blogging (which I wish I had known that there was WiFi at the event, I would have live blogged this post!).
  • Philanthropy is offering brands the opportunity to dip their toes into social media by matching contributions or having contests. Target asked its fans to pick which charity they would give their annual donation to by voting on Facebook.

Overall I was very impressed with Randi both on a personal and professional level. She was very approachable when I had the opportunity to meet her before the event and I enjoyed discussing strategy with her. After seeing her speak to the crowd you could tell that she was a savvy marketing professional that understood that technology is cool but you need to provide value. Technology for wow factor fades fast.

I would like to thank Meredith College for bringing Randi to the Triangle as the event was free to the public.

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How Social Is Your TV?

At the February Triangle Social Media Club event I had my eyes opened to the world of “social TV.”  The speakers were Gregory Ng (@gregoryng), Tim Arthur (@timarthur), Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the MC was Ryan Boyles (@therab).  The panel showed what their entertainment centers consisted of, their top 5 shows and one guilty pleasure as well as shared insights, wants and desires of social TV.

Social TV integrates social networks and television, movie and music habitsThe rise of digital enabled devices has allowed for greater integration of social networks and websites with our TVs.  All four on the panel had a gaming device such as Wii or Xbox to stream video but the setups were different in other areas.  For instance Damond’s strategy was to reduce his monthly entertainment expense while allowing everyone in his household to have their own streaming device.  While Greg preferred to subscribe to Direct TV for sports as well as the ability to watch live events as they happen.

The presentation embedded at the end of this post gives a great view into the different setups.  The panel also listed their favorite shows and guilty pleasures.  All four panelists picked “The Walking Dead” as one of their top 5 shows.  While I’m not a fan of Zombie genre, I was interested to learn why they were enthusiastic.  The show had a big following and even the largest cable debut of the season.  Combined with fan chats, celebrity after show appearances; The Walking Dead created a community of fans and a forum.

That’s where social TV has real potential.  It’s one thing to check in to a show and share that on Twitter and Facebook.  This can lead to shared interests among your social circle.  But where it takes off is creating a true fan community that works similar to bulletin board forums of the early 90s.  Ryan explained how super fans create private blogs on Tumblr with their own language and rely heavily on aliases.  Most best practices posts will tell you to be authentic, but in the world of social TV DISQUS did research that showed that alias communities had greater interaction and participation.

What does all of this mean to marketing and advertising folk like me? It represents a new opportunity to build relationships with fans in a new way.  While Ryan recanted GaryVee’s mantra of “marketing ruins everything” it does not have to.  The panel discussed how media companies can build respect and report with users versus just selling to them.  For instance, what if a social TV app could provide live channel notifications and share that among friends?  The idea that sharing old school living room experience allows for more intimate content and engagement with a global audience is truly unique.

Tonight the Oscars is being broadcast and I’ve already seen hype around the fact that this will be the most social and interactive award show to date.  That’s an easy claim if the majority of last year’s activity was Twitter and Facebook chatter.  But as social TV develops there is opportunity to engage fans and talent in real time.

I want to thank Ryan for hosting the panel and sharing the presentation on his SlideShare space as well as the other panelists for sharing their frank and honest views on the tools, technology and changing landscape of social TV!  Plus Greg’s guilty pleasure of “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” was classic!  Also I was finally able to meet Tim Arthur in person after several months of chatting on Twitter and blogs and found out that we have many similar interests including Breaking Bad and Californication, two of my favorite shows!  Also thanks to WNCN NBC 17 for hosting the event and studio tour from Kim Green @producingk.

Blog Talk Radio Interview | Digital Marketing

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the Room 3026 crew on Blog Talk Radio about Digital Marketing.  I’ve known Damond for a few years now and was excited to be a guest on his show.  My interview starts around the 24 minute mark.  Thanks again for Damond Nollan for inviting me to be a guest.

Click here to listen to the episode.