Just Picking Grapes or…Harvesting Our Next Occasion?

We came up with this title after viewing two very different YouTube videos, from two very different winemakers, showcasing their most recent harvest. Although both showed grapes being picked, they each told a very different story.

One video from Benziger Family Winery, was simple and shot in the vineyard. It was authentic, and captured the heartfelt excitement and enthusiasm of a new harvest. It highlighted happy family members, to include a new granddaughter. It highlighted happy workers, as well as people proud to be taking part in this exhilarating, meaningful and most important process.

The other video from another well known winery, was edited together in an editing room and appeared as a theater quality production. It may have even contained credits. It showed people picking grapes, but it looked more like a job, rather than an occasion.

Can you guess which one of these videos created an emotional connection? When buying a bottle of Benziger wine, you feel like you are donating to the cause, not just adding to a company’s bottom line.

A brand’s smart use of social media platforms can create and nurture sustainable emotional connections. Through authentic and non-intrusive interaction, a simple engagement between brand and individual can develop into a lasting connection.

“Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”

WineTwits, a Twitter-powered community that brings wine enthusiasts together, is taking a very interactive approach. Through Tweets, and interaction via their website, WineTwits is able to guide immersive experiences, connecting brands with people. An upcoming event, Beaujolais #NouveauDay, will feature an interactive wine tasting,with an expected global and witty participation via Twitter. In a recent conversation with Steve Gilberg, founder of DrinkTwits Media (parent company of WineTwits), Steve offered these thoughts: “It is a huge mistake to not use social media”. Steve also observed: “Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”. Using these ideas along with authentic non-intrusive interaction, he has been able to significantly raise his brand’s awareness. Speaking for not only his brand, Steve says: “For brands, someone internally needs to take ownership of the social media”. He also believes that “Used properly, Twitter is one of the greatest lead generation tools he has ever seen.”

Sustainable social media connections require: Authenticity, Conviction and Flexibility

As we noted within our recent report, people are keen to define and build trusted resources, as they are soon to become important elements of true influence for purchase decisions.  For brands, authentic content and messages are the first step. Engagement alone does not create influence or a likeliness to share…Influence and involvement arise from nurtured interaction in the age of all-of-us.

So, are you just picking grapes? Or, are you harvesting our next occasion? As you make social media decisions (what platform, what channel, who will handle social media, etc.), remember: Be authentic and make your message lead to an occasion!

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la Spagoguida 2011…Now with Google+

2Spaghi is one of the case studies in our just released 2011 Emerging Global Trends Report. They are the biggest social network in Italy sharing authentic reviews about restaurants and hotels. Recently, 2Spaghi added Google+ to each of the restaurant pages making it even more a part of the social graph.  2Spaghi’s Facebook page already has almost 7,000 followers and has proved a fertile environment for ideas and discussion.

The idea of influence grew organically leading to lasting connections, accountability and even fun disagreements Continue reading

I Watched the News Last Night…On Twitter

That’s right…On Twitter! What better way is there to keep up on the Breaking News about the Boehner Plan Vote in Congress? Up to the minute tweets detailing the back room meetings, pizza parties, calling Representatives in for closed door meetings, and the like.

Our “filtered” news channel of choice on Twitter is @LukeRussert. He embraces social media as a tool for reporting the news. His tweets are accurate (not sensationalized), to the point, honest and delivered with a sense of humor when appropriate. It doesn’t hurt that he is a Buffalo Bills fan also, but that’s just an added bonus.

Twitter, as well as other social media platforms, are becoming the preferred devices for delivering the news. They are NOW…when we want them. With Twitter pushing ads to user timelines, it looks like they see it coming too. News can now be delivered on your device of preference, at your location of preference. No more being held captive by a television news channel…ranting a network’s version of the news…at the time that they decide you want to hear it. Now it is news when you want it…where you want it…how you want it!

Tonight give it a try. Turn off your television…tune in to Twitter…and watch the news!

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Inside The “Everything Is Changing” Room

In the age of Groups, Lists, Hashtags and Circles; the immense level of comparative information is tremendous. The idea of segments must not only be contextually rich, but also allow for continuous change. This information must be carefully extracted,  filtered and then acted on… in real-time.

Traditional advertising was designed to disrupt…stop us in our tracks…force us to pay attention to an all-inspiring message that marketers “KNEW” we would want to hear.  Offering products brand managers “KNEW” we would want to buy…at least “they” thought so.

People have digitally matured!  We not only filter our personal information stream, but separate our business/brand streams as well. We want to consume and digest information that we want to consume, not what “they” want us to consume.

Brands have to keep up with people, ALWAYS listen, and never disrupt our course. In some ways the process is much easier. Brands now have the advantage, the ability to KNOW what we are really saying and experience, first hand, how brands fit in our lives.

Brands new role…service, resource provider and enabler…

Aspire to be “My” branded connection to…..?

As a trusted resource, we will invite brands to tag-a-long in life; perhaps even rely on brands within discontinuous spaces.

Social media and engagement are more than just a data point…

Always listen.  We are saying and sharing, sometimes even shouting, what we want.

  • Change and adapt…Now that you really KNOW what we need
  • The new war room is a corporate “everything is changing” room

Yes, these insights are unstructured and rightly so. It would be impossible to try and fit enormous levels of unstructured data into pre-determined buckets.  But, understanding that filters can play a role in making sense of ever-evolving insight offers direction and a real solution.

Remain flexible within thinking about how and what to filter.

Effectively integrating social media within a traditional marketing strategy requires an understanding of the value of social connections.

Engagement within social media is only the first step. The difference between engagement and true connections lives within how you prepare, respond and adapt

More: Social Media Moving from Engaged to Connected

From the very smart - Erik Qualman

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A look at Social Media Engagement with @Visibli

An insightful look at Facebook and the real meaning of Likes / Comments.

A Study of Fan Engagement on Facebook Pages  – Visibli

This study  explains the importance of people-to-people and the need for brands to pay attention.   Associating oneself with others “like-me”  creates a level of comfort and sets-in-motion a natural process of connection that should not be disrupted. Continue reading

Facebook, A Platform for Real-Time Co-Creation

Not to worry…innovation is by nature…tremulous!



Facebook continues to challenge traditional assumptions for innovation.

The idea of real-time prototype design and live testing incites fear in the minds of those conditional to the art of salient experimentation before release of services.  Even beta is only accepted under the close supervision of those most familiar with the products or services.   But, who is most familiar with Facebook?  Everyone!  And, everyone’s experience with Facebook is different.

The Social – CNET News shares ideas for “Understanding Facebook’s privacy aftershocks”.  We agree, the road ahead is unsteady, yet it has to be.  Imagine the time it would take to introduce, develop and perfect a service for more than 400 million people using a traditional approach.

Facebook Facts:

People:

More than 400 million active users

50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day

Average user has 130 friends

People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook

Activity:

There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events)

Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events

Global:

More than 70 translations available on the site

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Platform:

More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries

Mobile:

There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile device

Source: Facebook Statistics

Not to worry| We’ll get used to it…mobile innovation will be  far more unpredictable and Gratifying!


Mobile technology will bring about even greater numbers, diversity of adopters, stronger use of mobile devices and the most extreme situations for innovation.  An expression of concern, for tremulous growth…will probably not be heard.

Coming October 2010:

Springer will launch our new book, Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation