Happy Friday to my 46 friends who read my blog from time to time. I am very greatful to know that my thoughts are not just going out into the ether. But even if they were, I’m finding writing this blog very rewarding as I’m learning a lot of myself, my interests and my digital expertise as I write. I find areas that are new to me that I thought I had down pat and I find that areas that are emerging and I think are quite foreign, still follow the same marketing principles as the channels that came before them. Similar tactics and strategies will work, they just need to be tailored for the audience and the medium.

Today I want to share the opinions of others.

Jye Smith has moved from traditional PR to the digital world

I follow @jyesmith on twitter, I don’t interact with many people but I dig this guy and even more so after reading his blog post about his perspective on himself and how his professional skills have evolved in so many more ways than he expected when he made the move into the digital realm.

I love that he sees how digital can broaden your skills rather than narrow them to make you a ‘niche specialist’. This is how I feel about being a digital marketer. I am always having to sell the benefits of digital and technology and in my current job I have found myself as the physical infrastructure expert and advocate for integrated systems and processes. That says more about the organisation I’m working for than me, but I definitely see myself as a marketer first and a digital professional second. However often the ‘traditional’ marketers don’t label us digital folk the same way.

Jye says his professional skillset in the “discipline of communications” has grown exponentially to include “Audience insights, conversation analysis, creative strategy, workplace leadership and channel planning. These are all skills that I’ve found myself stocking up on as part of a broader toolkit of communications skills over the past couple of years because of my transition from traditional to digital communications.”

Read his blog post about becoming digital – it’s inspiring and eloquent and a whole lot of other adjectives but you can decide for yourself.

Facebook launches its SEND button

Facebook seems to evolve at the speed of light, and in my opinion, they grow and change and optimise their user experience a little too much.  I am not alone in this opinion, it seems many facebook users complain about the constant changes to their privacy, their settings, the profile layout etc. To be honest, I love what facebook offers, but I find their lack of customer awareness arrogant and I might have made my own personal boycott if it weren’t the means of communication for the masses now. So I see the usefulness of facebook, but I don’t always like, what I perceive as, their company philosophy and culture.

Facebook releases its SEND button to allow users to SHARE with a subset of friends

Facebook SEND button

Anyway, I was telling you about facebook’s new SEND button. Not dissimilar to the LIKE button, which has become a phenomenon in social search and measuring sentiment, but as Tom Albright says, “social signals are only democratic. They’re don’t reflect quality, just popularity … Social signals only represent the views of those who are motivated to share,  who may not be representative.”

Facebook’s SEND button operates like this: You’re on a web page. There is a share widget somewhere along the top or top right of the article/ page. Click on athe Send button integrated, and you’ll be prompted to share it. You can share with any of your Facebook Groups, your Facebook friends, or any standard email address. In my opinion, the Like button is designed to let users across the world wide web know that X amount of people cared enough to click a button to show some sentiment that they thought this webpage or article was worth sharing. But we all click a million buttons and links every day, to be this is laziness. If we really thought something worth sharing, we usually copy the URL into an email and share with the people we think it is relevant to, OR we bother to log into our facebook or twitter or linkedin accounts and share it there. Again with the audience we think it is most relevant to.

The facebook SEND button (which I think should be called the SHARE button but I guess the share widgets are already crowded) allows you to quickly share content with a subset of your friends, so basically, it’s just like the “email this to a friend” button. WOW, groundbreaking stuff (yes, I’m being sarcastic).

What it does do, is keep facebook relevant within the social search sphere and gives the impression that the Facebook SEND button is mandatory on every page. For me, I think if you’re going to go to the trouble of adding the facebook LIKE button, you may as well add the SEND button as well. But don’t forget about other social widgets, email is still definitely relevant, it aint gonna disappear but micro blogging definitely has made a dent in its share of time.

WOW, that was a long rant.

ROI can come in some interesting ways when using social media

Beverley Macy has definitely found a unique point of view in how to measure the effectiveness of Twitter and facebook in delivery ROI for an individual (if not a company).

Basically, here’s the summary of the article. Beverley was tweeting about her dissatisfaction with the dealership that serviced her car, one of her dealership’s competitors was watching this public conversation (great use of #hashtags and @mentions) and offered her a loaner car. So, not only is Beverley’s problem solved (in the short term) but this experience has probably deepened her unhappiness with the brand she has an existing relationship with and has greatly increased her perception of this new brand who has used a very innovative approach to contact her, find our what her needs are and possibly poach her as a customer.

Well done!

So the moral of this story is, at the very least, you have to be listening and watching social media ALL THE TIME if you’re going to do it well. And, you need to be watching your competitors as well, especially the cheeky, innovative ones who have no problem blurring the lines of … I’m not sure what. And of course, this shows those of you who need to prove that social is relevant to your business, twitter and facebook can be very useful customer service and customer retention tools.

That’s it for me kids, I’m off to work. Have a fantastic day, I think its gonna be amazing!