As we've just had Social Media Week, I’ve been thinking about the unnatural relationship between the commercial considerations of brands and the social motivations of their customers.
If we admit it’s ludicrous to create a formula for making friends in the real world, then it’s also difficult to preach to brands on a definitive way to engage fans online. That’s because social media to a lot of people is considered respite from advertising.
The only way to advertise is to make sure your content is engaging enough to be considered not content. If you can do that, your adverts will be shared, my son.
With 100 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, your brand has to understand the alchemy of boredom. Thankfully, Unruly Media has been taking steps to bring some sanity to sharing.
Don't look now but Google+ may not be dead on arrival after all.
Quietly, it has attracted some 150m active monthly users and Google's social network scored higher than Facebook in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report.
On the brand side of things, Google continues to push forward in trying to build an attractive ecosystem. The latest example of that: a new set of Page Management APIs are coming soon.
So, Pinterest is still the buzzword of the industry and something that looks like it might stick around a little while longer.
It’s also something that Econsultancy’s explored from various different angles, but we’ve not actually gone into too much detail about the companies using it.
There’s a handful of extremely comprehensive lists floating around the web, but I thought it might be interesting to see if a full A-Z list of brands and organisations could be compiled.
Surprisingly, it turns out you (almost) can, which is quite something, considering for how little time the platform has been around...
Marketers and content makers have been conditioned over time to believe that online video needs to be short and punchy.
This is based on the presumption that people have limited attention spans, and therefore longer-form content would be wasted - particularly on the multi-tasking Gen Y consumer.
But is duration really a key factor of successful adoption? And how about social sharing? Is the length of a branded video likely to affect people's willingness to share it?
In the space of 1,000 or more words, I can't promise to deal with all the answers, but hopefully you'll agree these questions merit further consideration before setting your content or advertising strategy.
We've heard from Google, YouTube and eBay, even Facebook a few weeks back, but now it's the turn of AddThis to reveal its 'most shared' social networks, devices and topics.
Probably the best known of the 'sharing button' services, AddThis' infographic is based on over 11m downloads, 1.2bn users and spans 350 different services.
Twitter may not have as many users as Facebook, but when it comes to social sharing, it is arguably the king for many publishers.
And for good reason: Twitter's structure makes it the perfect platform for sharing links.
But are publishers using Twitter to drive traffic to their websites underestimating just how much traffic the social media hub is generating? According to social analytics provider awe.sm, the answer to that question is 'yes!'.
Just how big a part of the link economy is content sharing? According to a study which looked at behavior across some 300m who share content monthly using the ShareThis button, sharing now accounts for approximately 10% of all traffic on the internet.
And when it comes to the source of this sharing, one site stands out above all others: Facebook.
Few search experts doubt that social media will have some impact on the SERPs in the future, but up until now, it hasn't been very clear that search engines like Google and Bing quite know the best way to integrate social content and signals into their algorithms and UIs.
But if several changes spotted in the wild on Google News results are any indication, they're increasing their rates of experimentation.
Back when social media first burst into the mainstream in a big way and
popular Web 2.0 services like Digg and Flickr were the subject of
articles touting phrases such as "the wisdom of crowds" and buzzwords
like "democratization," it might have seemed that the web was truly
changing the fundamental dynamics of information distribution.
But a new CNN study hints that some of the hype around this notion has been overblown.
Digg may have been a Web 2.0 pioneer, but out of all the mature startups loosely grouped into the 'social media' category, it's one of the companies some might argue is well past its prime. While other upstarts born around mid-decade, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to rise, Digg seems to be treading water.
That, of course, is not to say that Digg isn't very popular. It is. And that's not to say that it can't do wonderful things for publishers who hit the front page. It can.
But for both consumers and publishers alike, the Facebook and Twitters of the world have largely become more important when it comes to sharing and discovering interesting content on the web.