In September 2008 at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, I shared something that many, to this day, believe to the contrary, “There is no such thing as viral marketing.”
The declaration was empathetic in its direction to those marketers who have been on the receiving end of directives instructing them to create and unleash viral content. In parallel, the statement was aimed at those decision makers who assign such projects.
The argument is strong on either side of the case: do social networks increase or decrease productivity on the job?
It’s a landmark case where the decision will ultimately determine the fate of business within respective online communities of influence. Perhaps however, it’s also a decision that we may never realize.
On one side, the focus of employees and the output of their time and energy, is essential to the livelihood of the company that employs them. Unregulated distractions, especially those of an addictive nature such as real-time consumption and interaction on the Web, are potentially disruptive.
Good friend JD Lasica asked me to answer some fantastic questions for a post he published in celebration of Engage. I poured so much of myself into the responses, that I felt it was worth sharing here with you as well.
In 2007 Charlene Li, then at Forrester Research, now running the Altimeter Group, along with Forrester ‘s Josh Bernoff, Remy Fiorentino, and Sarah Glass released a report that introduced us to Social Technographics. Forrester’s research segmented participation behavior on the social web into six categories, visualized through a ladder metaphor with the rungs at the high end of the ladder indicating a greater level of participation.
Six years ago I had the opportunity to work on an ambitious social project that set out to socialize the living room. Keep in mind, this was before the popularization of social networking as it exists today. In almost every way, this system predicted what would ultimately transform your experience on PCs as well as everything else. It was rooted in the realization that the Web was an isolated and lonely experience and that in order for online and terrestrial content to connect with audiences in the future, a new hybrid was required – one that fused social, consumption, and participation in the overall experience.
Following a special and unforgettable debut at SXSW Interactive, I’m excited and thankful to announce that Engage! is available at bookstores near you.
When you invest so much into something that you believe will change the way people think, you can’t wait to tell the world.
This book is written for you…
Social networks share a common ingredient in design and intent, the connection of people and the facilitation of conversations, sharing, and discovery. What they do not share however, are culture, behavior, and prevailing demographics. Each network is unique in its genetic and cultural composition and it is for that reason that we benefit by becoming digital anthropologists in addition to new media marketers.
What follows is the complete version of my recent post on Mashable, “Why Brands are Becoming Media.“
One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create. When blueprinting social architecture and the engineering that connects people to other people strategically, enthusiasm and support typically derail when examining the resources and the commitment required to rhythmically produce, distribute, and support content.
Perhaps the most difficult aspects of Social Media to embrace are the changes in our behavior and overall philosophy it necessitates in order to earn relevance and ultimately prominence in consumer hearts, minds, and markets.
Simply put, Social Media makes us vulnerable and officially ends an era of perceived control threaded by the illusion of invincibility.
As we’ve learned time and time again, there is no “I” in team. Instead of focusing exclusively on “what’s in it for me,” we’re encouraged to contribute to the greater collective of groups in order to accomplish wonderful things – those usually unattainable by any one person.
Of course, this headline is a play on those words, but it also opens the door to an interesting conversation – one that explores a global network of connections weaved from both relations and relationships and bound through action and reaction.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.