Evolve CommunicationsSocial Media

Posts Categorized: Social Media

It’s not all social media!

It’s true, social media is the marketing darling of the moment. But let’s remember four facts:

  • By nature, the web has always been social.
  • Online marketing has been around as long as the internet has been public.
  • There is always more than one solution to a problem.
  • When all you have is a hammer (social media), everything is a nail (social media programming).

Social Media HammerIt’s essential to remember that what clients want is to win. But in a game whose rules are only limited by the imagination, it can be difficult to define what winning is. And with social media taking the spotlight, it might be easy to see how that is the solution to a marketing problem.

Yes, it’s also true that social media is changing how we interact with each other, and how businesses interact with its stakeholders (be they customers, stock holders, vendors, etc.). That doesn’t mean every marketing challenge has a social solution. Instead, social media may be a single tactic in an array of tactics meant to work together.

And, lastly, it’s quite common for businesses to believe they need to be on Facebook and Twitter in order to do social media. Smart consultants would argue that’s putting the cart before the horse. Remember, blogs can be social, too (remember when they were the hottest thing several years back?). Videos are clearly social vehicles. Bookmarking, like blogs, have been eclipsed by social networks, they are still social, and when combined with blogging can be powerful traffic drivers.

The key, of course, is to understand how these tools and tactics work together, and to apply that knowledge creatively. That will ultimately net the biggest benefit to the client.


Three Reasons Foursqaure is NOT the New Twitter

Note: This was originally posted on January 23, 2010, on DanielWaldman.com.

Earlier this week, Mashable.com declared that Foursquare is the new Twitter. While I love the game aspects of the popular iPhone app, and I definitely see the benefit for venues and other organizations, I am highly suspect of Foursquare’s ability to reach into the mainstream the way Facebook and Twitter have. Here’s why:

The size of your network doesn’t matter.

While we like to think that social media is more about quantity than quality, the size of a network can greatly affect the usefulness of that network. In other words, the more people that are part of your network, in theory, the more resources you have. It’s true that networks like Twitter can get overwhelming after your network reaches a certain size, yet tools such as clients and groups can help you focus on what’s most important to you. At this time, having more connections on Foursquare does not improve the quality of your network and in fact can make it less useful (think about a busy Saturday night where people are checking in left and right; and if you’re competing for points, well, you just have more people to compete against). Additionally, there’s no point in expanding your network beyond people you personally know.

Communication is a one-way street.

Clearly, one of the most powerful aspects of FB and Twitter are the ability to communicate with people both publicly and privately. Two-way communication is what makes them powerful PR tools for businesses, and allows people to engage each other. At this time, no such functionality exists for Foursquare. Maybe it’s coming in the future, and it’s great if it is. For now, if a friend checks in somewhere and I want to say something to them, I cannot do it via Foursquare. I can if they broadcast it on Twitter also, but that means I have to actually find their tweet to respond.

What happens when the game gets old?

O.k. so collecting badges and mayorships is kinda fun. There’s a bit of a thrill when you get one, as well as when you get extra points for adding a new location. I don’t know about others, but this gets kind of old after a while. Granted, I’m not a bar-hopping socialite, so maybe my experience is quite different than others’ experiences. That said, what happens when users get tired of competing with their friends who do go out constantly?

I may be being a Debbie Downer here, but as a social network, Foursquare has some major holes in it. I’m sure Foursquare is developing a lot of groovy features that add value not just for venues, but also for users. And until then, Foursquare will remain a game that people like to play, but may wear out after a time.


Redefining a Housing Fair

Picture this:

The real estate market has suffered major volatility for 18 months. People are uneasy about buying a home. And even if they want to buy one, the financial industry has been racked with scandals over high-risk mortgages and collateralized debt obligations, leaving the entire U.S. economy in shambles.

How, then, do you convince people to attend a housing fair–especially one in a county that Forbes magazine called the 3rd wealthiest in the nation?

One way is to make the housing fair more accessible than ever.

Using a combination of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and good old-fashioned media relations, Evolve Communications worked with Howard County Housing’s marketing agency to drive traffic to the Come Home to Howard County Housing Fair, making it one of the most successful fairs ever.