Things I’ve Learned from Lately #34

“Things I’ve Learned from Lately” is a regular compilation of articles that have made me a smarter social media marketer. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

LinkedIn’s Innovation Cycle – Derrick Harris of GIGAOM shares an inside look into how LinkedIn has grown and where it’s going. The LinkedIn we have today is nothing short of an architecture overhaul that updates in real-time as users build connections and interact, but the team hasn’t stopped. It continues working and refining the work they’ve done to date.

Key Takeaway: Pushing for innovation is a business decision. LinkedIn and other leading companies use the rallying cry of innovation to retain talent and maintain their culture.

Darn Kids and Their Social Networks MailOnline’s James Nye points out the Facebook has come to a startling conclusion: teenagers aren’t spending as much time with Facebook as they would like. Instead, they’re opting for other products and services, including Instagram. The concern is that teen behavior often points to future trends.

Key Takeaway: Facebook has gotten complicated. It came out my freshmen year of college, and it’s shocking to see how cumbersome it’s become. More niche social networks are much simpler, and they’re where teens can go to connect away from observing adults. Does this mean Facebook will go away? No, but teens will likely have a much more diversified social networking behavior than many adults today, which maintain a limited amount of social profiles. Teens will usher in an era social network fragmentation.

Twitter is Not Representative of Public Opinion – Twitter has been used by businesses and the media to do a quick temperature check on what people think on a given topic or issue, but as Pew Research points out, it might not be as accurate as it’s often portrayed.

Key Takeaway: Social media research and insights are fascinating and have proven to be a reliable driving force behind some of the best ideas in the industry. Marketers should still consider it an extension of other research, not a replacement. Brands won’t get all the information they need just by listening to online conversations.

Consumers Don’t Necessarily Want a Response – eMarketer shared consumer perceptions of brands listening to social conversations and how they feel when marketers respond to them online. Most consumers agree that brands should only respond when they’re directly addressed, not in casual conversations between friends.

Key Takeaway: It’s not surprising that people don’t want to feel like they’re being watched or responded to by someone (or some brand) not invited to the conversation, but there are certainly times in which a brand should respond. That time is when ‘yes’ is the answer to the question: Is what we say going to benefit this person? If it’s able to help and add value, then a brand should be there to serve the customer, but they should be aware that they’re walking a fine line. If what they say isn’t really valuable, they might regret responding.

Facebook’s Developing a Relationship-Building Framework – Ben Elowitz points out that Facebook has brought two important components of marketing together: brand and direct advertising. Facebook’s offering has evolved to include both relationship marketing with the ability to deliver high-targeted ads to consumers. While Google excels in the targeted ads area, it does not excel when it comes to building and maintaining relationships.

Key Takeaway: Ever since Facebook’s IPO, it’s been building up its advertising offering at an impressive pace. Its ad targeting capabilities have gotten far more sophisticated. Now, marketers can deliver content and value over the long-term while leveraging highly-targeted ads to drive action in the short-term.