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Keys for Facebook in 2010

January 13, 2010

They Keys for Facebook in 2010

In continuing our “Keys in 2010” series, today’s entry will be for the social media goliath, Facebook.  In case you missed the first entry in the series, read about Twitter’s Keys in 2010.

Yes we all know that Facebook is king of the world and yes it’s the most popular website on the internet.

But, when analyzing Facebook it is important to remember the rise and fall of Friendster.  In 2002 and 2003 Friendster was the darling of the industry.  They were today’s Facebook.  They quickly gained 115 million followers and were the talk of the internet.  Their founders were all over magazines, tv, and talk shows.  They were the king of the mountain, until the mass exodus.

Friendster grew too quickly, too fast and their network couldn’t handle the traffic.  Load times sometimes took minutes and as quickly as everyone joined Friendster, they left.  It is important to remember that social networking’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.  The web of influence can draw many people quickly somewhere, but once people start leaving, that same web can cause many people to leave even faster.  It is important to remember that all social media sites need to keep their users happy, because there aren’t a shortage of alternatives.

So enough of my rant, Facebook needs to accomplish some things to keep their dominance of the market in 2010.

  1. Listen to their users – As long as Facebook does a good job of listening to their users they can keep them happy and keep it growing.  Lets be honest, Facebook monitors all their users, so lets hope that they are listening and making adjustments to what the masses wants.  The important issue regarding this is listening to what Facebook’s users want in their privacy policy.  The past few years has seen an uproar caused by various changes to their policy.  Nothing will cause users to leave faster than doubting their privacy and online safety (right MySpace?).
  2. Keep Facebook, Facebook – Part of the downfall of MySpace (besides the massive hacking, lack of safety, and spamming) was that MySpace tried too hard to be like Facebook.  This alienated their main user base and made others think “well if it’s like Facebook, why not move on to the safer Facebook”.  Facebook may have had a slight panic earlier in 2009 when they revamped their homepage which had a much more Twitter-like feel.  Was this a coincidence they did this when Twitter was in its boom stage?  I think not.  Facebook needs to focus on the fact that they are Facebook.  They aren’t Twitter, they aren’t Google, they are Facebook.  Facebook needs to focus on making updates that are unique to them and that separate them from other sites, not make them more similar.
  3. Show me the money – Much like Twitter, Facebook has a monetization problem.  Yes they are the most popular site on the internet but I believe last quarter was Facebook’s first in the black (pretty crazy eh?).  Facebook needs to find a better way to make money.  The obvious thing would be to increase the effectiveness of their ad space.  Facebook ads have a click through rate which is historically lower than that of the traditional banner ad (which is <1%).  If Facebook can find a way for ads to be more effective, users will be more likely to click through and they will receive more revenue.

So the moral of the story for Facebook in 2010 is don’t get greedy and take your users for granted, and give them what they want (Facebook).  As long as Facebook keeps doing these two things, they’ll be in good shape going into 2011.  Oh yea, and make some money.

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Keys for Twitter in 2010

January 11, 2010
Twitters Keys to Success in 2010

What does Twitter need to accomplish in 2010?

In 2009 was there a more used buzzword than “Twitter”?

In every day conversation, traditional media and on the internet,  Twitter dominated conversation in 2009.  This hype is part of the reason Twitter’s users skyrocketed in the past year.  Twitter clearly is a popular and widely used technology that has helped change the media and communication as we know it.  Twitter made big strides in 2009 but what do they need to do in 2010 to keep their momentum?

  1. Keep the hype going – Nothing was better for Twitter’s exposure than EVERYONE talking about it ALL THE TIME.  Traditional media brought it up so much that Twitter’s awareness levels skyrocketed.  Twitter needs to facilitate the hype by keeping their current format and outlook.  The only way that Twitter will keep growing is if the public keeps talking about it and using it – don’t let it die in the mind of the masses.
  2. Jump the chasm – Twitter is widely used by social media/technology mavens.  These “innovators” have built Twitter’s popularity. It is important to remember that the massive popularity (and profits) in technology are from the early/late majority adopters.  Twitter needs to actively make sure that Twitter is trickling down to those in the masses.  If it doesn’t, it will eventually die like all other “un-adopted” technologies.
  3. Figure out the whole money thing – There have been many rumors about how Twitter will end up making money.  As much as we all like to think that Twitter is doing this because they are nice people and just want to facilitate communication; we know that eventually Twitter needs to start bringing in revenue and sooner rather than later.  If Twitter doesn’t figure out their main revenue strategy in 2010, in the least Twitter needs to come up with an alternate revenue source.  Not only will this bring in money to the company, but will more importantly will show the outside world that Twitter can make money.
  4. Show its true value – Although awareness for Twitter is extremely high, knowledge is extremely low.  The majority of the public has no real understanding of Twitter’s value and advantages.  The idea of “I’m sitting on the couch” is a waste of time to most people (as it should be).  Those who use Twitter know that Twitter really doesn’t ask “What’s happening?” but it asks “What do you know/What do you want to know?”.  If Twitter was more clear in presenting their true value, I suspect they would have many more dedicated users.
  5. To Geo or not to Geo – The talk about Twitter has been, geo-targeting and location-based Tweeting.  This idea sounds great, but lets see if this can be a legitimate feature which people widely use.  I’m not personally sold on it yet, but I also understand that it needs to be fully developed.  It will be interesting to see how this comes about in the next year.

If Twitter can carry out these five things, they will have a very successful 2010 and will hopefully prove to critics that it isn’t another flash in the pan.  Maybe in showing their true value, Twitter will convert critics to supporters.

What do you think Twitter needs to do in 2010?  Leave it in the comments.

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Keys for 2010

January 10, 2010

This week we here are going post a series of posts looking into the potential of the next year.  2009 brought many changes and innovations and 2010 is a very exciting and crucial year for many industries, companies and technologies.  Tomorrow, we will start with Twitter’s keys in 2010 and will continue with Facebook, social media, and maybe a couple of surprises here and there.  Hope you all enjoy our new series, first part which will launch tomorrow – Keys for Twitter in 2010.

NBA Jam Making a Comeback!

January 5, 2010
NBA Jam coming to Wii

EA Sports next game to be NBA Jam for Wii??

Some of the best news I have heard in a while. Gen Y rejoice!  One of your favorite childhood video games is making a comeback.

In news leaked early, EA Sports is going to announce that they are going to make a new version of NBA Jam that will play exclusively on the Wii.  Now I don’t have a Wii, but honestly depending on how the new version looks, I might have to go out and get one.

For all of you that don’t know or remember NBA Jam the phrase “He’s on Fire!” doesn’t have much meaning to you.  For those like me, who played it non-stop on my Game Gear that phrase activates a giddy side in me.  Those who played it remember the non-stop fun of a perfect video game which broke the mold of all games that came before it.

NBA Jam was a 2 on 2 arcade style basketball game which allowed players to dunk from basically every location on the court and made the “turbo button” what it is today.  It was a game of full court three-point shots (which were literally on fire) and hidden characters like Bill Clinton who could mix it up with the other NBA greats.

So what does the new version of NBA Jam have in store?  Who knows.

Am I excited?  Hell Yes

What new tweaks could we see to the franchise.  I honestly am not even excited about the Wii’s added options for the game, I want to see what new set of hidden characters and changes they will make to have the game still be the same NBA Jam we know and love.

So everyone, what new features do you want this time around?

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Is Kim Kardashian really worth $10,000 per Tweet?

December 28, 2009

Would you pay her $10,000 per Tweet?

$10,000 is A LOT of money, but from a marketing standpoint is it worth it?

I think it could be.

Kim Kardashian is a part of the network which pays Twitter users to name drop products.  Kim is the highest paid Twitterer at just under $10,000 per mention.  Another important thing to note is that says they limit their “publishers” to one Tweet a day.

So should a marketer pay someone like Kim Kardashian $10,000 for a Tweet about their product? 

Well, if you’re a big company with a massive budget, why not?  Kim Kardashian has 2.7 million Twitter followers.  2.7 million people is a huge potential reach when sending one Tweet.  The Re-Tweet potential of 2.7 million people is also extremely high.  The Tweet could spread in the classic “virus” model and soon millions could be exposed to the message.

Another advantage to Twitter links is the direct linkability.  If a Tweet contains a twitter profile (for example @ToddLiss) and a url ( those can be easily tracked and measured in real time.  It is harder to measure multiple medium campaigns (a tv spot driving consumers to a web site) because of the different mediums and delayed effects.  The Twitter link is easily tracked instantly and is a major advantage.

Viral success is all about finding “hubs” or “influentials” to help spread information.  Instead of working countless hours to reach one, why not just throw down some money and have all the work done for you?  Not a bad idea.

So what do you all think, is Kim Kardashian worth $10,000 per Tweet?  If you’re Coke, do you pay that?  What about if you’re a LA boutique?

Oh yea, in case you were wondering, I’d be happy to send out a Tweet or two for $10,000 – just let me know.

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Merry X-Mas from wwwwY

December 25, 2009

We just want to wish a Merry Christmas to all of our devoted readers.  We hope that Santa brings you everything that you asked for.   Thanks so much for your devotion, comments and feedback.  We write this blog for you.

And a Happy Festivus for the Rest-of-us


wwwwY Staff

What All Businesses Can Learn from the Campaign of the Year

December 23, 2009

My previous post (found here) was about AdWeekMedia named Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign the best of the decade.  They cited Apple’s ability to humanize their brand and show the difference between them and Microsoft in a relatable way as the main reasons for its effectiveness and crowning of the title.  After a day or so of thinking, I realized this campaign is a great learning tool for all business owners who want improve their marketing.

The first basic idea of marketing is gain awareness.  This is the pond where most small businesses tend to tread.  Too many times you see an ad for a dry cleaners with just the name and a coupon, or a restaurant ad with the type of food and a slogan/logo.  These types of ads (which are by far the most popular) are satisfied with just getting their name out to the masses, and hoping for the best.  A business can accomplish much more than just awareness with an ad.

As you move to advanced marketing strategy, differentiating your business becomes extrememly important.  All businesses need to do this by presenting rational and emotional benfits that set them apart from their competition.    This is where Apple has had major success (these ads just being one example). 

In order to be a better marketer of your business, think like Apple.

As a consumer, why should I care about YOUR dry cleaners? Or YOUR gift shop?  When coming up with your next campaign, instead of telling me what you are, show me what you can do for me.  If you just tell me your services offered; I could find a hundred substitutes for services just like yours.  Tell me the unique benefits that your establishment will give me.

Apple did this perfectly.  Instead of talking about specs, or computers even, they talked about everyday advantages of the Mac, and common problems with PCs.  Apple wasn’t selling computers, they were selling a more reliable and stress free way to compute.  A message that obviously resonated with consumers.

Instead of communicating “we have gifts for everyone on your list”; try something like “Our specially trained staff will take the stress out of present buying”.  Now you’re not just a gift store, you’re a store which I can look to for help with my shopping. 

If you have a dry cleaners don’t tell me “In by 9, out by 5”, show me the benefits of using YOUR service: “We know you don’t like doing your laundry, so let us do it!”  Now you aren’t a commoditized service anymore, you offer a product with a unique benefit.  (Hmmm, I hate doing my laundry; maybe I should look into it)

To sum this marketing tip in a wwwwY phrase: Show (benefits) don’t tell (services). 

If you do this correctly, you will connect with potential customers on a much deeper level and your sales will thank you. 

So small businesses: SHOW ME SOMETHING!!

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And the Campaign of the Decade is…

December 21, 2009

Last week AdweekMedia announced their “best of the decade list”.  First, I need to give AdWeekMedia credit; they actually made a “best of list” that I liked.  Most “best of” lists are quickly put together, and not well-thought out.  AdWeekMedia’s is not the case.  They did a very complete job, you all should go look at their Best of Section here.

Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign was voted best of the decade

They named Apple’s Campaign “Get a Mac” the campaign of the decade.  Adweekmedia feels that the campaign of over 60 spots did a great job personalizing the rivalry (even the heads of the Cos.) and showing the difference between the two companies.  In the description they said:

For Apple, the campaign managed the neat trick of making the brand look laid back and cool while it mercilessly skewered its rival. —Barbara Lippert

This campaign wouldn’t be my first choice, but I like that the people of AdWeekMedia thought outside the box and gave it to a technology company who was thinking outside the box.  It was a very influential campaign.   The commercials are quite entertaining, do a good job of personalizing the difference between the two computer companies and played a big role in making the Mac such a strong brand.

I have to say, this is not my pick of campaign of the decade.  Off the top of my head I can think of 2 others, and AdWeekMedia gave me an idea of a third for my top three.  Here are my nominees for Campaign of the year:

  • iPod – “Silhouette dancing” – This commercial made the iPod more than a MP3 player.  This campaign made music a part of everyday life.  Their portrayal of happiness/fun for all users was both entertaining and effective.  Their use of diverse music types  and colors made everyone in the target market for an iPod.  Who wouldn’t want that kind of fun in your life.  In my opinion, this campaign is much more influential than “Buy a Mac”.
  • Carl’s Junior – “If it Doesn’t get all over the place… It doesn’t belong in your face” – Great campaign which revitalized Carl’s Junior as a fast food destination and most importantly did a great job showcasing their food.  We all knew it was just fast food, but they sure made it look better than that.
  • Truth Ads – Did a great job of combining advertising and publicity by SHOWING (and not telling) the public the shady things that the tobacco companies have done.  A great way to present the shocking information, these commercials had people talking.

So there are my top 3 campaigns (I can think of now).  I know as soon as I post this, about 10 others will pop into my head.  What was your favorite campaign of the decade?

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Zach Braff – Facebook Proved I was alive

December 12, 2009

So Zach Braff, star of Scrubs was on Conan last night.  I am not a Scrubs fan, or really much of a Zach Braff fan, but he dropped a gem last night.  Conan and Braff were talking about the fake death rumors that were circulating the internet about Braff earlier this year. Conan asked him how you clear up something like that?  Braff responded with:

I went on Facebook…You know… You can quickly be like, hey I’m alive!

This was hilarious.  He then went on to talk about how he and Co-Stars of scrubs had a little fun with proving his vitality on the internet.

Comedy aside, Braff is absolutely right.  Facebook is a great medium to communicate with fans and the “real world”.  Whether it’s interacting with fans, or proving that you haven’t committed suicide, Facebook and social media in general is a tool that all stars should adapt to connect with their fans.

So, well-played Zach, happy to still have you here.

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Sports Marketing Update: Tiger Woods

December 7, 2009

Like everyone else, I am getting tired of hearing about the Tiger Woods saga.  But, I feel like I owe it to our readers to write a follow-up to my previous post found here.  Earlier, I talked about how Tiger needed to come out and say something asap.  It turns out he waited because he knew what was going to be revealed.  I still think that Tiger should have come out earlier, to say something and potentially calm the future blaze.  Who knows what would have happened had he talked to police right away and made a public statement saying he had a little car accident.  That’s all in the past now.  But, now that he has said his piece, I do think it is time to leave him alone.

He made some very solid points while addressing the media about our society, and I agree with him.  He came out, said what he wanted to say, and that should be good enough.  It is sad that a private family matter has to also include constant press releases and press conferences by everyone that has ever had a conversation with Tiger Woods.  Tiger and his family now should have a right to privacy so they can handle their personal issues and not have to worry about keeping the press and American public happy.  But hey, this is the price you pay for celebrity, we all know that.

1 billion dollars and no privacy, or your current income and current privacy?  It’s an interesting debate.

On to the marketing side.  When all the rumors first came out, Tiger’s sponsors said they would stick by him.  This was the right thing to do. Now that’s he’s “guilty” to something, how should they react?

I see dropping Tiger Woods as an endorser as a big mistake for any company.  Yes, Tiger plays a sport which is based on integrity and honesty; but let’s face it, the only Integrity and honesty that truly matter are on the course.  Every year we see five or so big named celebrities either cheat on their spouses (recently Shaq allegedly)  or get in trouble with the law (Charles Barkley, Michael Vick).  These celebrities and more specifically athletes, always recover.  America is the land of second chances… and third chances… and fourth chances…

Here’s Tiger’s formula for a reputation fix (and potentially more wealth than he has now):

  • Lay low and stay out of the spotlight  for a while
  • Slowly work his way back into the public eye, showing a new focus and devotion to his family
  • Come back and play golf like he does, and win.  This will all be forgotten by this time next year.  I mean come on, this is America WIN BABY!
  • In 12-18 months have an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters or Johnny Miller (interesting duo huh?) explaining your “previous immaturity and personal growth you have achieved and voila! Image cleared

This happens regularly and as long as you stay out of trouble, and you win it is amazing how quickly everyone forgets (see Kobe Bryant).  Tiger even has the potential to have even more publicity upside than before. He can now triumph off the course as well as on the course.  The public loves improvement.

Tiger’s sponsors should and probably will stick with him through this.  Tiger is a once in a lifetime athlete who transcends time and geography and is followed by so many worldwide.  You may have to phase him out for a while, but he will come blazing back with vengeance.

What will be interesting is when it becomes negotiation time for Tiger and his sponsors.  Historically, after a PR flub like Tiger’s, sponsors will use it against them at the bargaining table hoping for a cheeper contract.  Just think sponsors, you can hang around now, stand behind Tiger during his rough time and potentially save millions of dollars when you renegotiate his contract.  Sounds like a good idea to me.

So Tiger… Just win baby! and it will all be fine.

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