Google Plus Engagement Leaves Big Data Experts Nonplussed

Today’s selection …

Is this piece in Adweek about Gigya’s insights regarding Google+ and the fact that, although it is said to be the second biggest social network in terms of users, engagement on Google’s social platform is still low and even at its lowest. I have been very critical of Google’s efforts to mimic Facebook over the years and even though some of these efforts haven’t paid off I, as an amateur photographer, am beginning to witness changes in engagement in G+ as I am shoving more and more of my pictures into “communities”. And bingo! it works. It’s true that engagement is low in profile pages and posts, but communities, and mostly photographers’ communities like “landscape photography” or “street photographers” is now clinching it. It has taken its time but maybe Google+ has found its niche… Yet, those guys from Gigya are less than extactic:

image

depending on what pictures I choose, I can get up to 30 or more +’s and a few shares on individual photos; not bad for an individual I’d say and better than most platforms (including Facebook)

Google Plus Shares Least Among Social Networks | Adweek

It’s the second most popular social network by some measures, but when it comes to sharing, Google+ has the least reach compared to its rivals, according to the latest data from the social media tech firm Gigya.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all incite more sharing on their networks than Google+, per Gigya, which claims to measure how 1.5 billion Web users share content each month.

In fact, Gigya manages the sharing functionality for more than 700 partners online. According to its data, just 3 percent of all social sharing went to Google+ from July to September.

By comparison, 41 percent of users shared content on Facebook; 20 percent shared on Twitter; 20 percent posted to Pinterest; and 4 percent to LinkedIn. Google+ counts more users than all of these platforms except Facebook because any user of Google services has a corresponding Plus account.

via Google Plus Shares Least Among Social Networks | Adweek.

“Social Media is evolving into Social Mass Media” – Hootsuite video

eye-large_thumb.gifA few days ago, I received an e-mail message from Canadian ISV Hootsuite telling me that my video was  online. Then I was swamped with a flurry of tweets and mentions about some of the insights I had delivered in that video. I am very grateful to Hootsuite for shooting such a beautiful testimonial and giving me an opportunity to share my views on social media and how it is evolving. We (Herve Kabla, our publisher and I) are currently working hard on the adaptation of our latest  “Managing Digital Marketing Like A Boss” opus which should be made available for Christmas, if all goes well. Many thanks to Sam Milbraith for writing up such a great story. I have always loved Hootsuite, I think it’s a great product and  I am a great supporter of theirs. Keep up the good work guys!

  Social Insights from European Thought Leader, Yann Gourvennec – HootSuite Social Media Management

Meet Yann Gourvennec.

He is a Paris-based European expert on social business and the rise of the social enterprise. With over 25 years of international experience in marketing, sales and information systems, he has been perfecting and sharing his wealth of insight on the transformations taking place in the industry since the advent of the internet. At Orange telecommunications corporation, Yann managed the Orange.com corporate website and microsites and built their digital media strategy and social media presence worldwide – from the ground up. He has been a member of socialmedia.org since 2008 and co-founded Media Aces, the French Association for enterprises and social media.

INPI-couverture_V3_com_digiAs a “serial intrapreneur,” Yann challenges the status quo of businesses from the inside out. “You find intrapreneurs in large firms or complex organisations where they bring innovation through their change management skills,” says Yann Gourvennec. “To me, being an intrapreneur means a great deal in terms of philosophy, the way I see things, the way I work with colleagues and the way that I drive projects forward and implement innovation from within a business.”

“Managing Digital Marketing Like a Boss”

Yann Gourvennec’s first book “Social Media Taught To My Boss,” became the most influential digital book of 2012 in France. Since then, he and his colleague Hervé Kabla have released its sequel in French in Paris, broadening the scope to tackle digital marketing at large – not just social media (hence the working title, “Managing Digital Marketing Like a Boss”).

“To Hervé Kabla and I, social media is now part of the digital communications mix,” says Yann. “It’s no longer about whether or not to be present on social media. We’ve moved beyond that, with regard to how you make sense of it all, hone your objectives, polish your strategies, develop your presence and structure your governance. The issue of return on investment is no longer an option either. Social media is part of the mix, a broader issue that has to be grasped by each and everyone in the company, not just by the digital team.”

“If there is one takeaway from our books, it is that we are going through a paradox: digital media is ubiquitous, everybody has to and wants to join in. It looks simple, but it isn’t. It is a proper discipline that requires skills and experience. After all, would you follow through with a surgery done by a surgeon reading “surgery for dummies?” So why would you want your organisation’s entire digital strategy owned by a 2-follower Twitter account owner? While there is an urgent need for the widespread inclusion of all employees to be present online, employing seasoned, skilled professionals in digital media and social media strategy is equally as important.”

via Social Insights from European Thought Leader, Yann Gourvennec – HootSuite Social Media Management.

Synthesio report on Social Media Week 2013 puts me (and Nigeria) on the map #SMW13

eye-large_thumb.gifIt’s very flattering that my name appears on the list of “influencers” who took part in the social media week events of last week. Synthesio has put together this report which is very interesting and shows some of the countries and cities which are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of twittering and social media usage. Strangely enough though, Italy shows up on top of the list, above France and… even more surprisingly, England. Even more strange, we see Nigeria in the list of the most important countries of that social media week. I would have thought that people in Lagos had far too many fishes to fry at this very moment in order to become Twitteratis . Or is it that there is a glitch in the report? Identifying and measuring “influence” is definitely a very difficult and risky sport which contrasts with its apparent obviousness.

Social Media Week is a worldwide event connecting people and organizations globally, through collaboration, learning and sharing ideas. This week, 10 cities around the world celebrate the tremendous social, cultural and economic impact of social media.

Social Media Week has become an incredible platform and community that has grown to more than 100k members – this year, SMW celebrates its fifth birthday and marks this milestone with a unifying global theme that represents the connectedness and openness of the collaborative, digital world. This global theme is evident when examining overwhelming buzz around the event all across the map.

At Synthesio, we eagerly jump on the opportunity to track global conversations around an event of this magnitude with such a web frenzy surrounding it, so we decided to take a sip from our Twitter Firehose and track all Twitter conversations surrounding Social Media Week 2013, to provide you with engaging insights into the overall reach of the event, trending topics, and finally, our list of top influencers driving the conversations.

So, now it’s halftime for SMW13 and we invite you to stand up, stretch, grab a drink, and enjoy the Synthesio SMW Halftime Report. Congrats to the top influencers in the U.S., France, UK and Singapore, and don’t forget to check back for the full Post-Game Analysis!

via Social Media Week 2013 – Halftime Report – Synthesio #SMW13.

socialmediaweekinfluencers2013

Why Facebook will NOT be “Yahooed”

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This is my second contribution to the innovation generation blogs, an initiative sponsored by Alcatel. Here is my second piece entitled: Facebook, The Good, Bad and Ugly.

No one knows exactly where the social network is going, but it’s certainly going somewhere. Last September, I organised the San Francisco blogger bus tour on behalf of Orange, a unique experience, in which 14 bloggers from all over the world roamed the Valley in search of evidence that innovation wasn’t stifled by Facebook and other social media giants, as some wanted us to believe.

Yet, all along our visits, we heard claims that “Facebook was passé” and even that “Facebook would be ‘Yahooed’.” Four months later, the news that we are getting about social media is so contradictory that it is very hard to tell what’s going to happen. Yet, marketers from all over the world have invested massively in Facebook.

[photo : antimuseum.com]

The question is, will it prove useless, or will Facebook on the contrary, be the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy? And why does it matter for service providers?

The good

Facebook’s footprint is humongous and there are nos signs of “Facebook fatigue”. So many have moaned that after the one billionth user, things would start to deteriorate. Well, it didn’t happen. Socialbakers’ numbers aren’t showing evidence of that. Even though the recurring purges of fake users trigger falls in numbers, penetration rates can still go up (with less than 50 percent of the UK population, and less than 40 percent in France, there is room for improvement).

When Timeline was implemented in 2012, it was heavily criticized and doomsayers predicted users would leave the platform. They didn’t, they just got used to it, that’s all.

The bad

Facebook and Instagram have a track record for playing tricks with data privacy on the back of users. Yet, despite the recent rumors about users leaving Instagram for this reason, the news has been denied by Facebook itself. Instagram, according to Mark Zuckerberg’s firm, is even gaining users.

Zuckerberg himself admitted that privacy doesn’t matter anymore. A belief which isn’t shared by all and especially in German-speaking countries, where culturally speaking, data ownership is crucial. Max Schrems even founded a group entitled Europeans versus Facebook, which is filing legal action against Facebook.

Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, there is something wrong with the way the world’s largest social network is considering its users. So much so that might one rightfully wonder, like Dalton Caldwell, whether this is what social media was supposed to be, whereas it was meant to “change the world” to use one of Mr Zuckerberg’s famous quotes.

And the ugly

Very recently, LinkedIn’s Mario Sundar pointed out the lack of style in the company’s PR. This isn’t conducive to believing that marketing has changed forever like Tara Hunt had predicted.

Besides, a few months ago, Facebook decided to tweak its secret Edge Rank algorithm so that fewer users in your communities are exposed to your messages. This is no big deal for users, but for brands, it means that they are now offered to pay for “promoted posts” to reach more users. Wait a minute; what if your average TV network was offering your business advertising space and was asking for more money so that viewers are actually presented with your message? You would naturally be angry.

Yet, with Facebook, nothing has happened. Do advertisers have any other credible alternative to Facebook? As I heard one of my counterparts say at a recent advertisers’ meeting: “I know all this stuff about Google+, but Facebook is where all the users are!”

The future

What does the future hold? I’m not certain social media sells soap; what is true though is that there are a lot of similarities with the period that we are going through and the early 2000’s. Back then, everyone argued there wasn’t a business model for the Web. Yet, more than 10 years later, European e-commerce is delivering nearly as much revenue than Telecommunications companies.

Similarly, those who said there wasn’t a business model for online advertising are those who praise Google Adwords now. Multinationals spend up to several dozens of millions of euros on search engine marketing (SEM), including service providers. This is no small business.

Social media and Facebook, in particular, are no different from those early web trailblazers. The world, and service providers in particular, should stop sneering at those shaky business models. Internet business is a self-fulfilling prophecy; it has always been the case. This is high tech innovation for you, no one knows for sure where it’s going, but it certainly is going somewhere.

As a consequence, there are chances that we might have to put up with Facebook’s freaky way of handling privacy for a lot longer; that is to say as long as brands are ready to pay for advertising on Facebook and experiment on the popular social network.

The love-hate relationship of Governments with “cyberspace”

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A few weeks ago I started contributing to the innovation generation blogs, an initiative sponsored by Alcatel. Here is my first piece entitled: Governments Ease Into Cyberspace.

In October 2012 I took part in the Conference on Cyberspace, an event put together by the Hungarian government on behalf of the international community. The conference hall was packed with ministers, dignitaries, and ambassadors, as well as a few business people like myself. My pitch was about the importance of the digital economy, and I learned that approaches can differ greatly depending on countries.

The conference title is eye opening. I hadn’t heard the term “cyberspace” since the beginning of the 1990s. Today, 81 percent of the UK population is using the Internet; we all spend our days in cyberspace, so it doesn’t need to be called that anymore. My hunch is that governments still perceive the digital economy as something on the side that they need to embrace — maybe reluctantly. I also know of too many businesses that still see the Internet in that manner. They are the ones that won’t be there in a few years.

[the digital economy and the public sector are, sometimes, worlds apart]

Developing markets are where things will happen and are already happening. Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, India, and even Albania are among those showing the most progress. The effort Albania is putting into digitizing schools and government institutions and procedures is amazing. The country went from nothing in 2005 to a situation where “all possible government services are pushed online” in the words of Genc Pollo, its innovation and ICT minister.

Similarly, India’s conference representative showed determination and poise. In India, information technology and the Internet are clearly seen as big opportunities, not just for business, but also for national development. Yet I couldn’t get the same feeling of passion from the more developed countries’ presentations. Western economies have a lot to worry about at a time when industrialization is faltering and the digital economy already weighs so much.

My peers on the panel about the digital economy and growth agreed with me that there is a serious disconnect between politicians and business people. This is not a matter of scorn or disregard. What it means is that we are not on the same wavelength. Most policy makers wish to foster growth and seduce innovators and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, the language they use is often incomprehensible to the business community.

Living and breathing open data
Governments speak of open data as a goal, but we have lived and breathed open data for years (more than a decade, in fact, for many of us on that panel). Sharing information has always been a staple of Internet marketing. Our Websites must contain what Vincent Flanders calls “addictive content.”

The European journal ePractice said in a 2011 report that governments are coming to grips with this, but too often the rubber doesn’t meet the road, due to “the closed culture within government, which is caused by a general fear of the disclosure of government failures.” Not only can citizens benefit from open data, but businesses can, too, by proposing services and applications based on such data.

Control and ownership is probably one of the most difficult issues for government authorities. All governments want to embrace the openness of the Web and its promise of a porous global economy. At the same time, an unfiltered democracy in which all expressions are allowed is a serious challenge. There was a precedent for that debate with the eG8 forum that took place in Paris in 2011.

It’s hard to tell whether the Conference on Cyberspace will change the way governments and their citizens use the Internet or if our efforts to promote the digital economy will prove successful. It also seems that the Web grew organically from day one. Then citizens, governments, and businessmen embraced it and broke a few laws en passant. Then regulations were put in place, and all moved to the next thing. This chaotic yet pragmatic way of enforcing innovation has proven very efficient. I’m certain it will remain the case.