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Almost but Not Quite. KLM Must See Map, no App.

KLM has been a big participant in promotional marketing campaigns grounded in social media for sometime. The video below shows the latest from the Dutch airline. The “Must See Map” is built on suggestions of things to do, and places to see from friends responses to a social media query. It asks the traveler to simply ask friends in their social network where they have been and what they have done, then gathers all of this information into a single source.

What is great about this campaign is the fact that KLM will send you a print on demand high-res physical map. What I don’t like is the fact that the map will take 3 weeks to arrive, and there is no dedicated smartphone app. The free online site does a great job of integrating with all of the major social network players, allowing the traveler to gather vast amounts of tips but offers no dedicated smartphone app.

While the physical map is a cool souvenir for your trip, and ties to all the places your socially networked friends tell you to go; it is quite surprising that KLM didn’t take this one step further. A dedicated app is much easier to carry and use than a physical printed map. A dedicated app allows for recommendations to come to you long after the map is printed. A dedicated app allows the traveler to post feedback on friends recommendations. A dedicated app, takes the concept to a whole new level, and extends use far beyond the interaction of the website.

KLM

This is a great concept, and I hope that KLM goes a little further with it. KLM currently has 10 apps that they have developed for the iPhone, so I could see them taking this to a whole new level. When they do, “Must See Map” will be a home run.

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People Come, and People Go, on the Facebook.

Facebook_logoI used to be an avid Facebook user. Like most people a few years ago I was posting all sorts of things I found on my wall, plus photos, snarky quips, comments and other assorted digital ephemera. Over the last couple of years though my interest in Facebook has waned, and while I still check it, it’s not nearly as often as it used to be. For some time now I haven’t felt alone. It feels as though many of my friends have cooled on Facebook as well, and it turns out my feelings might have been right.

Pew Research released a research report this morning that noted 61% Facebook users have begun to take a break of at least several weeks from Facebook for a variety of reasons, an onslaught of gossip, over-sharing, quality of people’s posts, worthless information, advertising, privacy etc.

This doesn’t mean that the social network giant is losing steam. At least not in the good old USA. 67% of American’s have a Facebook account, as compared to only 16% using Twitter. By its own count, Facebook Inc. has 1.06 billion users worldwide who check in at least once a month. (This number does include millions of duplicate and fake accounts.) Out of that 1.6 billion more than 150 million users are in the U.S.

What the Pew study does suggest is people are using Facebook less. The study determined that 7% of all internet users used to participate on Facebook and now no longer have accounts at all. Another 20% said that they were simply too busy with their own lives to follow the constant stream of status updates, quotes and photos posted by others or to post them themselves.

Now with all that said, here are some other interesting finds from the study:

  • 59 percent of Facebook users said the site is about as important to them as it was a year ago.
  • 12 percent said Facebook is more important to them than it was a year ago and 28 percent said it has become less important.
  • 8 percent said they took a break from Facebook because they were spending too much time using it.
  • 69 percent said they plan to spend the same amount of time on Facebook in the coming year. Twenty-seven percent plan to spend less time on the site and 3 percent, more time.

In response to the Pew study Facebook said that its growth and user engagement remains strong. “As we announced last week, Facebook has grown daily active users across all regions, ending the year with more than 1 billion monthly active users, 618 million daily active users and 680 million people accessing Facebook from mobile devices,” according to a company statement. “Our announcement came on the heels of independent analyst reports which concluded that Facebook is the most downloaded mobile app in the U.S., and that time spent on Facebook accounts for over 20 percent of all time spent on mobile apps in the US.” and I’m sure it is. My question is, does this indicate the beginning of a shift in social networking habits?

In internet terms, Facebook is now old. It has been around for more than five years and as we all know, internet user attention spans are short. Even though it has become a ubiquitous part of many people’s lives, I can see where people are getting tired of it, and are looking for the latest flavor of the month.

The next year or so should be an interesting one for Facebook and company. They purchased the next big thing in social networking, “Instagram”, but with the controversy surrounding changes to Instagram’s privacy settings many longtime users jumped ship.  Other emerging social platforms are nipping away at Facebook, but will probably have little impact on them. So I wonder will Facebook fade, or be eclipsed by some yet unknown platform created in a dorm-room by a 20 something soon to be college drop out?

 

A Social Media Promotion Dilema.

There is a looming problem for companies and brands that use Facebook as an exclusive way to promote themselves. There are people like myself that absolutely loath the idea of having to use Facebook or any other social media as an entry vehicle to what ever they are promoting. In other words, I don’t want to spam the Facebook timeline with crap that other people might not be interested in. The other issue is there are people who don’t have, and won’t ever have a Facebook account. So why would a brand only offer the ability to engage with a high-profile promotion via a Facebook with no other alternatives? Case in point furniture store Room&Board’s new Look Book promotion and sweepstakes.

fbooked

This afternoon I received an email asking if I’d like to enter a sweepstakes with a prize of $10,000. This is part of a campaign to promote the redesign of the new printed look book and catalog, plus the room&board website. The problem is you can only enter by going through Facebook. There is absolutely no other way to do it. The embedded link in the email takes you to Facebook, so does the link on the home page. I’m not sure how many people they are failing to connect with because of this, but I am going to assume quite a few. I can’t be the only person in the world that doesn’t want to use Facebook for everything.

In fine print at the bottom of the Facebook page there is this disclaimer; This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Room & Board and not to Facebook.” OK I get it, but I had to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this, and like most people I almost backed out of the promotion as soon as I saw it land on Facebook page. For me this is marketing fail. If Room&Board really wanted to promote the new site and Look Book, they really should have offered an alternate route for those people like myself that refuse to use Facebook for anything advertising related.

I know that Room&Board is simply using Facebook as the point to collect your information. The thing is, this just gives me a bad feeling overall. Even if Room&Board says I am only providing the information to them and not to Facebook. I might have a better feeling about participating if there was a non Facebook location that I could actually go to and engage with the brand.

Unfortunately this is a trend that continues to grow, and one that is going create a social divide between those of that won’t participate in Facebook hosted events/promotions, and those that will.

Fly Delta for the iPad.

As more and more companies try to invent ways of being a more relevant brand experience for their customer base, many are looking to lifestyle branding as a solution. 10 years ago Delta Airlines would have leveraged itself as a “services” brand highlighting things like the least amount of delays, on time record, more cities than any other airline, etc. With the launch of the new iPad Fly Delta app, it seems fairly apparent they want to be seen as a lifestyle brand by connecting with you, the savvy travel before, during, and after your trip.

The new app not only helps you book your flight and check in, it also makes suggestions for entertainment, dining, and shopping. It connects all of the top social networks and makes intelligent recommendations for you based on your posts, checkins, and what your friends are saying and doing. The app itself looks pretty good, although I’m not sure it will change that many peoples brand perception of Delta.

One big question is, how do you use it on the flight if your plane doesn’t have WiFi?

More Things You Need to Know About Social Media.

Whats a new year without a tasty infographic about Social Media statistics? Boring thats what. The folks over at iStrategyLabs have put together an interesting little infographic that has some surprisingly good facts. Things like

80 percent of Pins on Pinterest are repins which means 20 percent of Pinterest users are the ones actually finding cool stuff.

5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily.

Google adds 625 thousand Google plus users a day. Who would have guessed that?

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The Big Shift to Visual Social Media

Over the last five years there has been a massive shift in the way we communicate online, especially with Social Media. And as 2012 wraps up, it’s fairly apparent that most of us are using Visual Social Media to share our message.

What began almost two decades ago as websites, shifted to dynamic websites which led to the blog explosion of the early 2000’s. blogs eventually led to social interaction through comments, community building, and linking between like minded writers. With the average blog coming in around 500 to 1000 words per post, things began to shrink. Posts got shorter, and then with the introduction of micro blogging through Facebook and Twitter, online social interaction compressed, and exploded about 5 years ago.

Now we are making a new shift, from “Tell” to “Show” as services like Instagram, Pintrest, YouTube, and Vimeo become social networks of choice. Easy of use, bandwidth, and always on access via smartphones are helping to propel this shift toward multimedia micro blogging offering a rapid, dynamic way to share rich media in entertaining formats.

So at the end of 2012, we are witnessing the inevitable shift to a point where image based social networks are taking the lead. No wonder why Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year. They see it too. Look at the infographic by SociallySorted below and you’ll understand. Social Networks like Instagram and Pinterest have grown at an outstanding rate in the last 12 months with no sign of slowing down. 2013 should be a very interesting year for social media.

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The Never Ending Growing Impact of Social Media.

Most of the information in the image below isn’t really new, or ground breaking. If you don’t know the impact that social media has had on the internet/mobile world in the last 8 years you must have been living on a deserted island. None the less, since an image is worth a thousand words, feast your eyes upon this infographic and behold Americans’ increasing obsession with social media. One interesting little nugget is the increasing use of tablet based internet usage while watching TV.

The-Growing-Impact-of-Social-Media