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Time to stop coddling social media consumers

Posted January 7th, 2014 in social media, social network and tagged , , by Alton Drew

Author Bernard Marr today posted an article on Linkedin (NYSE: LNKD)discussing a class action suit filed against social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).  The plaintiffs allegedly have taken issue with, you guessed it, Facebook’s privacy policy, specifically, Facebook’s practice of reviewing content posted or shared by users in order to create user profiles that can then be provided to advertisers.  The plaintiffs want the social media giant to provide consumers with more transparency as to how their content is being used.

We’ve heard this song and seen this dance before.  Social media consumers believe that they “own” these companies simply because they use the companies’ services.  Profiling a social media consumer based on content they post or write is an important part of a social media company’s business model. Expanding a consumer’s ability to say yes or no to how they are profiled increases operational expense and reduces the firm’s revenues.  If the consumer doesn’t like the firm’s management practice, then the consumer should step.

Breaking up with a social media platform can be hard to do for some consumers.  Deleting photos, the names of friends, addresses, etc., is time consuming.  What social media companies should do to make the consumer’s exit as pain free as possible is totally and completely erase the exiting consumer’s profile, including any data stored on the consumer and ensuring that nothing on the exiting consumer is shared with entities that want to purchase consumer data.

Forcing more transparency, increasing the amount of consumer coddling, however, is not the answer.  Such an approach tramples on entrepreneurial freedom and a firm’s business judgment.  Let the check on a firm’s behavior occur on its bottom line with an organic reduction in demand for its services.

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Americans for Prosperity getting older Americans interested in social media

For the past two days I’ve been enjoying the dry heat of Orlando, Florida. It’s always good to come back to my adopted home state and got the chance to visit with my law school chums as well as witness another type of heat here in Florida: The Seventh Annual Defending the American Dream Summit. Besides the occasional bashing of President Barack Obama’s health care and economic policies, their were panels on how to use social media as a platform for getting their political advocacy messages out. This is pretty standard fare until you appreciate who made up the majority of the audience: older Americans.

You couldn’t help but notice. This group definitely dominated the Summits demographics and presented another reason for broadband adoption: the demand for further democratization on the part of our graying population and another source of energy for individuals who have seen a lot and have plenty to say, not letting a little thing like age take them out of the discussion.

Listening to the questions these citizens were asking about social media while they incorporated their observations about the nation’s political climate in their comments tells me that they were interested in a little more than how to get their kittens down out of a tree.

Look out young Twitter and Facebook users. Grandma and grandpa are coming.

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Is Social Media Just a Fad?

Posted June 21st, 2012 in Broadband, Facebook, Internet, social media and tagged by Alton Drew

The New York Times recently posted a debate about the importance of social media. Keith Hampton, a professor of communications at Rutgers, made the following point in his post:

“Only a small number of social media are used by a majority of Americans (i.e., Facebook), but many others have obtained a critical mass with niche populations. The biggest threat to discontinuance does not rest with the possibility that social media are a fad, but with their proprietary nature. The failure of a single telephone company does not undermine the value of the telephone. However, because social media are both brands and channels of communication, a significant strategic or technological failure is the most likely impetus to mass abandonment.”

Social media is not a fad. It will, like telephone networks, reach critical mass, and I guess, based on his analysis, stay on that plateau until the next big thing. I guess at critical mass, social media becomes a utility, like its traditional media kin …. at least until the next Facebook.

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Mittens is not a Social Media Shot Caller, Baller Like POTUS. Not Yet Anyway.

Seems like presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Willard M. Romney has a ways to go to catch up with incumbent Barack H. Obama in terms of a social media presence, according to Mr. Romney allegedly has 251,000 followers on the micro-blog platform, Twitter. On the social networking behemoth, Facebook, Mr. Romney has 1.6 million “friends”.

Mr. Obama is doing better on both platforms. Mr. Obama has allegedly 14.6 million disciples on Twitter while his Facebook acquaintances number approximately 26 million.

It’s not surprising that Mr. Obama would have a commanding lead in the social media world. He has shown his preference for connectivity via technology ever since entering the White House and making arrangements for a special Blackberry that would allow him to stay connected while keeping people with ill will at bay.

Also given Mr. Obama’s relative youth and being a member of a minority demographic that makes disproportionate use of cellphones and Twitter, not only should we find Mr. Obama to be a proponent of social media use, but we should also expect him to exploit it to its fullest.

It’s not to say that Mittens can’t catch up. At this juncture it’s about how you leverage those social media resources versus how many Twitter followers are making you feel like Jesus.

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So, Honey. What’s Your Klout Score?

Posted March 28th, 2012 in Broadband, Klout, social media and tagged , , by Alton Drew

I don’t think we are at the point yet where on your first date someone pops that question, but we may be getting their sooner than you think. Marketers are using Klout scores to identify social media users that are passionate advocates for services and products. Who better to push Starbucks coffee than a friend in your social network that actually drinks the stuff versus some sexy model actress that we know probably drinks mostly water, Propel, and Crystal Light (yuck).

I’m usually harping broadband as a means for production, but broadband can also provide access to how social media is being leveraged by the Madison Avenue side of American business. Broadband can make you an influencer and provide you access to a lot of perks from marketers.

It’s the 21st century. Let’s get with the program. And if you must know, my kind of lady has a Klout score no lower than 40.