Things I’ve Learned from Lately #40

“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.

Be Local – JD Rucker writes that even though social platforms like Facebook have huge user bases, local businesses should focus on being local. He has the data to back it up.

Key Takeaway: A community should be made up of those who care about your brand most, not just anyone. People who care organized into a community are an asset a brand can leverage. A community made up of people who don’t care is just a number on the computer screen.

Hiding from Advertisers The New York Times’ Somini Sengupta writes about a new startup called Disconnect that helps users track advertisers tracking them online and block those companies from accessing their data, which means tech-savvy Internet users can avoid retargeting.

Key Takeaway: Marketers have burned users, and users, particularly tech-savvy ones, are fighting back with tools to protect their data. This behavior may be niche at this time, but as technology continues to become mainstream, the behavior will follow.

This is still interesting behavior given the fact that people are visiting websites like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google and more, which all track their data. So while users seem to be concerned about their data, they understand there’s a value exchange with some of the services they want to use.

Desktop Was So Last Year – CNET shares the Experian findings that time spent on social networks with desktops has declined from 2011 to 2012. Other activities like shopping have taken its place. The report doesn’t get into why this shift is taking place, but it is a behavior worth noticing.

Key Takeaway: This report does not say consumers are switching from desktop to mobile for social media, but we do know social media takes a significant amount of time spent with mobile devices. This may mean consumers are getting their social fulfillment through mobile. Brands should consider if their social experiences are mobile-ready.

A Future of Engagement - AdWeek interviewed Nick Moore, Chair of CLIO’s Direct & Engagement category jury. Moore points out that, while it’s still early days, engagement may be the future of advertising, while direct is really a one-shot. A successful engagement strategy starts with a great idea, involving consumers as participants and being flexible. The customer leads.

Key Takeaway: Moore points out that the world of advertising is undergoing a fundamental shift. We’re in a time of experimentation with new rules being applied to advertising, while traditional methods still hold true. A lot has changed in a short period of time, and the future, even the near future, will look very different.

Everyone is Consumer-Centric – Brad Power writes in Harvard Business Review that having a consumer-focused attitude across an organization is more important than ever, but that comes with a great deal of challenges. We have more information about consumers than ever, but it takes an entire organization to understand data and act on it.

Key Takeaway: We’ve never been able to have a deeper understanding of consumers than we can today, but the ability to act on that requires collaboration and new approaches to day-to-day operations.