Category Archives: news

The Social Media Revolution 2015: what to now for marketing?

Were you aware that over half of the world’s population is under 30 years old, and that 96% of Millenials have joined a social network? Did you know that, if Facebook were a nation, it would be the third largest in the world? Well, now you do.

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Yes, Apple Is In Discussions With Cable Operators, And Everyone Has Known This For Months belgium france

 

August Journalism, anyone? Just because some outlets have a short memory, let’s get this out of the way right up front: Yes, Apple is in discussions with cable operators, and has been for months. Of course, just because Apple’s strategy hasn’t actually changed recently won’t stop some other sites from acting like the heavens have opened up and Steve Jobs himself is negotiating these deals.*

Anyway, just to bring everyone up to speed about why I’m even writing this today: The latest non-news in the Apple TV saga comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Apple is “is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. cable operators” about getting them to deliver live TV through one of its products — maybe a next-generation set-top box or even (gasp!) a TV.

Well, that’s great except Bloomberg reported that Apple was talking to carriers like AT&T and Verizon about some sort of TV back in February. Oh yeah, and the Globe and Mail reported Apple was pursuing partnerships with Canadian operators Rogers and BCE around the same time.

Apparently the news here is that the companies Apple is talking to are really fucking big. After all, AT&T and Verizon are relative newcomers on the TV market, compared to industry stalwarts like Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

Or maybe it’s that Apple is offering up one of its own devices as a set-top box replacement? If true, it’s not that revolutionary of an idea, and it’s not that surprising. After all, Apple has pay TV providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV, Dish Network, etc. are all already building iPad apps… So why not get them on board with apps that would take their live and on-demand video streams over the top and put them on their subscribers’ TV, without needing a second or third set-top box? (Microsoft’s Xbox already allows cable operators to do this, and they seem just fine with that.)

So there are plenty of reasons why this isn’t news, and isn’t particularly earth-shattering, but here’s why it would make sense:

  • Cable companies know that users are already buying Apple products like iPads and the Apple TV anyway, so why not build apps for devices that they already own, or may want to.
  • The current generation of set-top boxes sucks, and they could most likely build a better user interface on an Apple device with an open SDK, and update and iterate on it more quickly than some legacy piece of shit from Cisco or Motorola.
  • Cable companies would rather have the consumers bring their own devices, rather than having to pay for crappy set-top boxes themselves and leasing them out to subscribers.

Maybe the reason we’re all talking about this is that it finally sort of shuts the door on Apple’s long-rumored plans to build its own over-the-top TV service. Or maybe it’s because the mythical iTV, whichGene Munster has been saying will come any day now, looks like it’s not coming by the end of the year after all?

Or maybe, well, maybe it’s just because it’s August and there’s nothing else going on.

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* Seriously, Business Insider? What the fuck?

 

Company:Apple
Website:apple.com
Launch Date:April 1, 1976
IPO:NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the…

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5 Critical Mistakes Businesses Make with Social Media belgique france

 

1: We know you are a business, but please don’t remind us

The biggest mistake businesses make with social media is constantly posting about their company, products or services. Anybody that receives the messages you post have actively ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ your brand; not because they want to read a company newsletter every time they logon to Facebook or Twitter but because they want to get personal with your brand.

A real-world example of over-the-top promotion is when you are in a supermarket and there is that slightly annoying noise in the background… the tannoy. Broadcasting self-promotion messages that none of us really listen to. Should stores not just play music, or nothing and occasionaly burst into life with a store announcement that really grabs the attention of the shoppers?

The brands that succeed through social media are those that post about a variety of topics, as well as their company. A good example is Barmade Ltd who strike the right balance between business and non-business related posts.

As you can see Barmade Ltd made the most of Google’s Olympic themed doodles and posted about them regularly, with occasional business related posts. This causes people that have liked the page to interact with the brand more than if they only posted about their business, thus when the page does post – about anything – it is more likely to be read as people know it is a brand they interact with.

2: Not engaging with your ‘fans’ and ‘followers’

You post. People post. When you post content to your social media presence your customers and online ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ will respond. Most of the time you need not respond but occassionaly you will be asked a question that if left unanswered could lose a potential or current customer. You should check your social media presence every day; at least twice.

We conducted a short experiment and posted a comment on WWE’s Facebook presence. We asked them whether they respond to messages from customers. We even tagged them in the comment so that they were more likely to see it.

As you can see. No response.

25 minutes passed…

11 hours passed…

Customers will not expect a small or medium local business to reply within half hour, but a multi-million dollar company? Of course they do. You should really check your social media presence every two hours at the least to ensure that anybody that has asked a question has received an answer. Checking your social media presence should not take more than a couple of minutes each time, plus any time spent answering questions etc. especially if you use a free service such as Hootsuitewhich brings all of your social media profiles together in one place.

Dealing with Complaints

Every business receives complaints, and customers know that – so do not hide away from them online. Many businesses delete complaints and (we assume) follow them up directly with the customer. Not a good idea as many people will see the complaint before it is deleted, they know it was made but never see any resolution.

If the complaint is of a general nature you could answer it directly or if it is of a personal or confidential nature you could inform the customer directly that they should send an email via your website, or phone your company etc. This shows to other users of your social media presence that you have taken the complaint seriously and provides a resolution for the person complaining.

Moderating Comments

The F word. Not Facebook, the other one! Sometimes you will need to moderate comments made on your social media presence and need to ensure you do this in a professional manner. If you do not want to allow swearing simply delete the comment and post a message saying something along the lines of “Swearing will not be tolerated on our page as we want to maintain a friendly environment for all of our customers”. With most social media platforms you can ban users who continually post unwanted material to your page, however the amount of ‘strikes’ you give them is at your discretion but remember you work hard to get ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ so you do not want to end up banning them all; making the rules clearer and reiterating them from time to time should be sufficient.

3: Market Research

Yep, those two words that drive all business owners mad when they are writing a business plan for the bank manager!

If your target market is not using social media, why would you. There is no point in building a social media presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tout, YouTube and more if your customers are not using it.

Saga Car Insurance is targeted at the 50+ market while their life insurance product is targeted at a wider audience. As the image above shows, they only promote their life insurance product through social media.

4: Not being personal

You would be surprised how much using “we” instead of your company name can improve the relationship between you and your customers online. If you constantly answer questions with “Company name thinks this” or “Company name thinks that” rather than saying “We think this” your ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ do not have the chance to feel your brand is being personal.

5: Thinking you will have a billion ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ in a week

North is North tells all attendees to our workshops that they need to invest into their social media presence for at least 6 months before they begin to see the benefits. You will need to inform current customers that you are now using social media, as they interact with your brand their online friends will see this and are more likely to be converted into your customers. This cause and effect continues and you will soon have a successful social media presence, but not in a day, week or month.

Salesforce’s Answer To Facebook? Communities: A Private Social Network For You And Your Customers

 

Salesforce has officially closed its acquisition of Buddy Media, but it looks like it is far from closing the door on what it intends to do in the space of enterprise and social communication. Today the company announced Social Communities, a private social networking service where users can engage with customers and partners using some of the features that have largely become commonplace in this era of social media. These include user profiles, real-time feeds, trending topics, recommendations and influence measurement. The platform also incorporates the cloud-based business processes and database services that form the core of Salesforce’s business today. Set for a limited pilot in the autumn 2012, the service will be available generally in the second half of 2013.

The move looks like a clear salvo from Salesforce to competitors that are also converging on the nexus of social tools and enterprise services. They include Microsoft — which already has Sharepoint and is upping the ante now with Yammer; as well as smaller companies like Huddle and Hootsuite, which respectively offer cloud-based collaboration platforms and social media dashboards to serve the two sides of enterprises’ social media needs.

It is also another step in the increasing consumerization of enterprise services. Salesforce notes that nearly a quarter of all time spent online is spent on social networks like Facebook and that people access the Internet more from mobile devices than from desktops.

And what it also does is potentially extend out the kinds of customers that Salesforce can target with its services: if the comany’s ethos started as a cloud-based database for people to track and reach out to sales leads, this product shows how Saleforce could potentially use its platform for significantly more.

“Today, more than ever, companies need to put customers at the heart of their business,” said Doug Bewsher, senior vice president, Salesforce Chatter, in a statement. “With Salesforce Communities, enterprises will be able to break the boundaries of their companies, connecting them much closer to their customers and partners.”

The move is part of Salesforce’s push to capitalize on that surge in interest in social media services, both as a way for people to collaborate with each other, but in the sales and marketing world, as a way of monitoring how well a campaign or brand is resonating with consumers. In that sense, Salesforce Communities looks like an all-things-to-all-people product: not only is it a social network for users to interact with each other, but it can be used as a place for people to research and mine social information that is relevant to their sales and marketing goals. Buddy Media and Saleforce’s other holdings are not mentioned in the release, but this IP will presumably also be included in the mix. Among the features:

– the ability to create “customer service communities” as well as ad-hoc marketing communities for particular campaigns

– networks for companies to serve their partners, suppliers and distributors, “to drive more sales through seamless deal registration, access to proven sales tools and collaboration with the right experts.”

– creating social networks for specific functions, such as retailers ”delivering custom shopping experiences” and universities creating alumni networks.

There is even an element of Facebook Groups to Communities: One customer that is using it, GE Capital, noted that it had used the platform to deploy “more than 50 custom communities,” between the firm and its partner companies. ”Our goal was to build deeper relationships with our mid-size business partners across the world, and be seen as builders, not just bankers,” said Ian Forrest, vice president, Global Marketing, GE Capital, in a statement.

 

Company:Salesforce
Launch Date:1999
IPO:February 7, 2004, NYSE:CRM

Salesforce is an enterprise cloud computing company that provides business software on a subscription basis. The company is best known for its on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Salesforce was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, and went public in June 2004. Salesforce has been a pioneer in developing enterprise platforms through its innovative AppExchange directory of on-demand applications, and its Force.com “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) API for extending Salesforce.

Lockup Expirations Dip Facebook Stock To $19.87, Lowest Closing Price Yet

 

Facebook Closing Price

Early investors finally had the opportunity to sell their Facebook shares today, the company’s stock (NASDAQ:FB) sunk to its lowest price yet at $19.69 before closing down 6.23% to $19.87, its smallest closing price to date. Those are not milestones you want to see.

Facebook warned the market yesterday that there would be a downturn today. Today marks the first lockup expiration of Facebook’s gradual release of shares. Accel reportedly distributed a big portion of its stake to limited partners who then sold, and Facebook still has to endure the November expiration when long-time employees gain the freedom to sell.

About 271 million shares became eligible today from investors such as Microsoft, Accel Partners, Tiger Global Management, Goldman Sachs and Peter Thiel.

Back in May, its shares opened at just over $42. Since then, it has been a roller coaster ride for the share, with more downward slopes than expected.

The share price already dropped below $20 two weeks ago prompting some to ask whether it was cheap enough to start buying. But it still has far to potentially fall. As noted by WSJ’s Dennis K Berman, if it traded at Google’s same 14.7x earnings multiple on future earnings, $FB would be at $7.97.

So what should Facebook do? Read Josh Constine’s thoughts: Stay The Course, Facebook. Even If Your Share Price Crashes

Company:Facebook
Website:facebook.com
Launch Date:February 1, 2004
IPO:NASDAQ:FB

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 845 million monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original…

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Why Does Jack Dorsey Want To Be Just Like Steve Jobs?

 

There isn’t a CEO in the world who wouldn’t do well to try and emulate the late Steve Jobs in some way, shape or form. He was a visionary, and took Apple from a relatively low point to being one of the most successful companies in the history of the world. But trying to be him, or just like him, would be a vain endeavor.

An hilarious tipster brought to our attention that Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder and Square founder and CEO, may be attempting the latter. In fact, the tipster was gracious enough to bundle up all the evidence in a cute little Tumblr.

EXHIBIT A: ON GETTING FIRED

In 1987, Jobs was fired from Apple, from which he went on to work with NeXT and Pixar, later returning to be the CEO of Apple. But when he was asked to leave the company he had helped build, he told Playboy the following:

I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach.

Dorsey suffered through a similar situation, wherein he was made chairman of Twitter but no longer an employee. He told Vanity Fair:

It was like being punched in the stomach.

EXHIBIT B: “THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE”

Steve Jobs was a part of many unprecedented changes. The iPod changed the music industry. The iPad changed the computing industry. The iPhone? The iPhone changed everything.

But Jack Dorsey is a pioneer in his own right. He built a massive social network that has changed the way news travels. He is totally disrupting the credit card industry. So it only makes sense that the two would have the same feelings on their accomplishments. But apparently, they also have the same exact wording to describe it.

Jobs in 2010 at the D8 Conference:

Dorsey speaking with Kara Swisher in May 2011:

EXHIBIT C: “PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVEN’T DONE”

In 2008, Jobs explained that part of what makes Apple so successful, moreso than other tech companies, is that they’ve managed to turn such a huge profit on so few devices. He said to CNN Money:

I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. The clearest example was when we were pressured for years to do a PDA, and I realized one day that 90% of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don’t put information into it. Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market’s going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won’t really be sustainable. So we decided not to get into it. If we had gotten into it, we wouldn’t have had the resources to do the iPod. We probably wouldn’t have seen it coming.

In February of this year, Dorsey had this to say in celebration of Square’s 3rd anniversary:

EXHIBIT D: SURPRISE AND DELIGHT

“Surprise and delight” is an incredibly common phrase in the tech world. Companies are always looking to please customers. In fact, “delight” is a word I hear a lot out of Microsoft executives. But lo and behold, it’s yet another thing that Mr. Jobs and Mr. Dorsey have in common.

Jobs at a 2010 Apple press conference:

Dorsey in 2011:

EXHIBIT E: THE BEATLES

Both Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey have a fondness for The Beatles. Jobs even went so far as to use the iconic four-man band as an example of how to manage and be a part of a team:

Dorsey also makes The Beatles a regular part of his work life:

EXHIBIT F: “PUT IT ON THE SHELF” PHILOSOPHY

As has been made perfectly clear, Apple is all about focus. Rather than releasing hundreds of products a year, the company spends months and years developing a single product, perfecting it as much as possible. In any production environment with these standards, timing becomes very important. Sometimes, you must simply “put it on the shelf” and return another day.

Not surprisingly, Dorsey feels the same way:

Our tipster has a whole page full of examples, so I encourage you to head over to the Tumblr Steve Jobs Spirit and check it out. We’ll close with a word from the blog itself.

Stop trying to be me. Stop trying to be the next me. Be the first Jack Dorsey.

Spotify Gets Hit With A Patent Suit From Nonend, A Dutch Peer-To-Peer IP Holder

 

The neverending patent wars keep on raging, and Spotify is the latest to get targeted in the social media skirmishes. The popular music streaming company is getting sued by Nonend Inventions, a Dutch company, which claims Spotify is infringing on five of its U.S. patents covering streaming media, peer-to-peer search, and retrieval and playback techniques. Nonend says altogether it holds more than 40 issued patents and patent applications in the areas of peer-to-peer networking and streaming technology. This is the first suit it has filed in defense of these.

The complaint, which we have embedded below, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, against Spotify Limited and affiliated companies, today. Nonend is demanding a jury trial in the case.

Nonend says it is targeting Spotify and not Pandora or others because Spotify is built on a P2P architecture, meaning that users actually get very little of Spotify’s music from Spotify’s servers (8.8% Nonend claims); relying instead a distributed model using other subscribers on the network.

“This feature makes the Spotify service faster, more efficient, and less costly to operate, and uses the technology at the heart of the Nonend Patents,” the complaint says. Spotify, it notes, has three million U.S. subscribers who have shared over 27 million songs, and listened to over 13 billion songs. Spotify has been reportedly valued at $4 billion.

We have asked Nonend’s legal counsel if it plans to file suit against other P2P streaming companies as well. Nonend’s counsel, Richard C. Vasquez of Vasquez Benisek & Lindgren LLP, notes that Nonend has not yet, but would be willing, to license the technology.

This is not the first time that Spotify has been sued over patents. Just two weeks after it launched in the U.S. in 2011 it was sued by PacketVideo, which alleges that Spotify’s cloud-based music distribution architecture infringed on one of its patents. Spotify said at the time it would strongly contest that allegation. Spotify itself currently appears to have five patent applications with the USPTO but holds no assigned patents.

The is the latest in a series of social media patent suits. Facebook and Yahoo famously sparred over patents covering different features in Facebook until they finally reached an amicable settlement. Facebook itself has purchased and licensed dozens of patents for these features. Facebook is currently suing Mitel Networks, and Mitel is suing Facebook, over different features on the social network, so some of these newly acquired patents are coming into play.

Nonend Inventions describes itself as a “P2P and streaming technology innovator” but it doesn’t appear to have productized any of those innovations itself. Vasquez notes that when the technology was first created and the patents filed in 2000 and 2001, the company did have the “goal of becoming a streaming Internet radio company.”

Nonend’s website is very brief on what its current activities are: “Due to business developments this website is limited,” reads the homepage. It appears that all the patents in question at the moment (the exact phrase in the complaint is “include, but are not limited to”) have been created or co-created by Marc van Oldenborgh, who describes himself as the owner/inventor at Nonend on his LinkedIn profile.

The specific patents cited in the suit are U.S. Patent No. 7,587,508 (“Multiple Source Receiver-Driven Streaming of Content Between Peers”), U.S. Patent No. 7,590,752 (“Playing Media Content on a Media Player while Streaming the Retrieved Parts of the Media Content to Other Devices”), U.S. Patent No.7,779,138 (“Streaming Content Between Media Players Configured to Locate Each Other”), U.S. Patent No. 8,090,862 (“Initiating an Alternative Communication Channel for Receiving Streaming Content”), and U.S. Patent No. 8,099,513 (“Streaming Content from One or More Production Nodes or Media Player Systems”).

“The Nonend Patents have been recognized as state-of-the-art, cited as prior art in at least twelve (12) U.S. patents issued to the likes of IBM, Samsung, and Sony,” the complaint notes.

Financial damages are not specified in the complaint.

Facebook Now Gives You Privacy Control Over Each Of Your Old Profile Photos

 

Profile Pic Privacy

Facebook used to only let you set a single privacy setting for all your old profile photos, but now there’s a privacy widget on every past profile photo. This puts your Profile Photos album in a special category alongside Mobile Uploads that Facebook tells me “gives people more granular control” over photos you upload one at a time. More controls may translate into more willingness to upload photos.

Your current profile photo and cover photo are still public, though, so you might want to keep the beer and cleavage out of those.

All your other albums beyond Profile Photos and Mobile Uploads will only have a cross-album privacy setting that applies to every photo inside. The “Edit Album Privacy” button seen below was how the Profile Photos album previously functioned as well.

To make sure people undersand their newfound control, Facebook will be doing some education in the form of sidebar ads explaining the change and leading to the Help Center

It’s a big day for Facebook photo privacy, considering this morning it confirmed with Ars Technicathat after years of criticism from privacy groups and blog, its new server system completely erases photos users click the “delete” button on.

With these new controls, users may be more willing to share shots of themselves because they know they’ll always be able to control their visibility individually, and they can nuke them if need be.

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