Cut outs #7: Time for a social network shake-up?

New social tools pop up all the time, and long may that continue.

A few stories I’ve spotted recently though suggest a bit of shake-up is happening amongst the popular social platforms.

Emarketer has noted a declining trend in the use of Facebook by teenagers in the UK and US.

And the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Myspace is still alive and well, carving out a tidy nice for itself as a community for music lovers.

No doubt Facebook will be working hard on innovation to stay fresh and relevant to new generations who want something different to the people who arrived on the network 10 years ago.

But with developments in technology making it easier and cheaper to launch new networks, and more sophisticated data collection and analysis enabling better customer segmentation and marketing, the potential for more platforms and tools to emerge and establish business models that will enable them to flourish seems to be growing.

The business sector too is showing some real movement. At IBM 65% of CIOs tell us that collaboration is their major investment priority (IBM CXO survey). While today, Slack’s CEO said today that interest in the business message app is growing off the scale.

Everybody likes to find their own space to play.

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Cut outs #6: New business models

In August last year Ello burst on to the scene, promising an ad-free social networking experience and later establishing itself as a “public benefit corporation“, as a way to seal that promise.

Meanwhile in the music industry, platforms like weeSPIN are applying Big Data technologies to solve the artist royalties and industry revenues conundrum by enabling brands to partner with artists in a form of content marketing.

Now 8 has appeared: a new video-sharing platform promising greater content ownership for producers and control over advertising revenues.

 

 

My prediction for 2015

Source: visitlondon.com

Source: visitlondon.com

This is less of a prediction and more of a hope.

And for brevity’s sake I’m restricting myself to one because after all; there are enough lists of 2015 predictions out there already without me adding to the stack.

2014 has seen some fantastic examples of social media marketing, but despite the wealth of creativity and increasingly keen measurement on display, brands and organisations are still only scratching the surface of what’s possible in social.

The decline (or demise) of organic reach in Facebook and the potential for the same thing to happen on other platforms has been a big topic of conversation this year.

It’s certainly a significant development and it should prompt much more creativity in content strategy and I hope more considered customer segmentation too, but in 2015 I’d like to see organisations think beyond content marketing and brand promotion, and get a grasp of what social means for other business functions like customer service; innovation; customer relationship management and partner collaboration.

I’m being a bit harsh here (maybe it’s the Christmas fatigue setting in) – there are some great examples out there of organisations approaching social in a truly strategic way, but they are still the exception rather than the rule and in 2015 I’d love to see more organisations taking determined steps forward.

And that’s not just to keep me in a job…I genuinely want to see something new!

I talk to plenty of people in organisations of all sizes who recognise the potential social has to offer, but struggle to make a change due to the lack of internal will or direction in the places where they work.

This year I’d like to see more leaders recognise the opportunity to gain some competitive advantage and deliver more value to customers by thinking strategically about how they can harness the social character of their organisations.

I’d also like to see more people at lower levels in organisations applying their initiative to make positive, constructive changes.

After all, that’s often where the best ideas come from.

This obviously takes a bit of gumption from workers, but also the culture change, systems and technology to support them.

Top-down change and more creative impetus from the grassroots could make for an exciting combination.

The technology and cultural potential is there, I hope more organisations have the will to harness it.