John Bell has a very interesting blog entry on what should come next after being present in Facebook.
He talks about the fast growth - and then slowdown - of Facebook adoption in the US, a trend that most people (including techwatchers and stock/financial market analysts interested in the Facebook IPO) thought was the beginning of the end of Facebook (and its billion-dollar valuation).
Bell differs - and I agree with him: something cannot keep on growing forever, specially if there is a 'built-in braking system' in its growth trajectory. Sooner or later, everyone is going to have one Facebook account - until we reach that point where there's no one else to recruit into the Facebook population.
Instead of questioning whether this is the end of Facebook, the question marketeers and communication strategists need to answer is "now what?"
Bell offers several thoughts:
1. Integrating Facebook as part of an overall customer/fan relationship management solution 2. Figuring out how to make social commerce work for the brand 3. More data about the brands' followers and fans (as soon as Facebook unlocks the data-vaults) 4. Creating new ways to engage and entertain and delight audiences and brand fans and loyalists through Facebook's unique platform (and other social media's) 5. Integration of Facebook into CRM legacy systems
I will add a few more to Mr. Bell's thoughts:
1. Having a clear role for Facebook and other social-media platforms, both digital and non-digital, in the marketing communications mix and in the customer engagement strategy of a firm
2. Identifying the real returns in financial value of activities in Facebook, other digital social-media platforms, and other "traditional, non-digital" social-media platforms, using metrics and currencies that are comparable to how we measure returns for TV, press, magazines, outdoor, and radio
3. Going beyond using Facebook and other digital social media platforms as "crisis portenders" or "PR-nightmare forerunners" - but using these and other non-digital platforms as "sources of brand/product and communication innovations".
What do you think? How else can Facebook be used in building your brands and your brands' businesses? How can it be a part of a profit improvement program for a company?
Nothing excites me more than research studies that give me information and real insights about the world that we live in. (And that's why I work mostly in research and believe that numbers have a story and the "why's" provide greater value than knowing the "what's".)
This is one study that falls in that category.
Conducted by McCann Worldgroup, this study looks into the 'why's' behind the emergence of digital social media across several cultures. I particularly liked the section on why the Youth are very much into digital social media:
1. The need to commune - to connect, to relate, to be a part of a community, to be a part of something bigger than one is
2. The need to right what seems wrong - by influencing others that they may see the light
3. The need to be authentic - the search for truth, for meaning, for what's real (beyond the reality-TV phenomenon).
One thing hit me, really: When making decisions about work or career or even life, there is only one question worth answering honestly: "Is it worth the risk?"
The question is not "Will it work?" or "Will I succeed?".
When I was offered a job to go back to my home country several months ago and help manage a very big client, the question in my head was not "Will I succeed?", but "Is it worth the risk?"
I didn't know if I was going to succeed; to know whether I was going to succeed or not would be akin to looking into a crystal ball and eliminate all uncertainties and risks.
But I did think it was going to be worth it:
1. Great clients known for their critical thinking skills 2. Great team known for their business acumen and creativity 3. A handpicked, young team who were from a different, younger generation and who were mostly 'first-jobbers' and fresh from university 4. An opportunity to learn about how the Philippine industry has changed from 1999 (when I left) 5. An opportunity to infuse some new thoughts and ideas ... ... ...
In the end, I decided it was worth the risk.
Had I asked and waivered in answering the 'wrong' question, "will it work?", I would probably not have taken the leap.
It's all about taking calculated risks - and being open to failure.
People who think that failure is not an option are either soulless (or heartless) or simply scared - both of failing and of succeeding.
The Comprehensive R Archive Network I am a believer in making data analytics more accessible to the masses. R is a significant alternative to SPSS, SAS, and other stat software that cost an arm and a leg.