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Archive for December, 2009

Eurostar and the Blame Game

December 21, 2009 1 comment

So, Friday night was a bad bad night for anyone using the channel tunnel. Hours spent trapped under sea would in most cases be fatal, but in this case it resulted in a plethora of seriously vexed travelers and Eurostar facing a backlash of epic proportions about their communications throughout the debacle.

There has been various comments across the web not only kicking Eurostar’s arse (which is fully deserved) but also their social media agency – We Are Social, which I feel in this case is harsh. Yes, Eurostar are their client, but everyone seems to have jumped about 5 steps ahead and assumed Eurostar were paying them for a full monitoring, response package. Which according to Robin Grant, they weren’t . social media monitoring and response services come with a cost and it looks like in this case, despite We are Social’s best efforts, Eurostar hadn’t signed up to that, so what do you do? Well, a couple of things could have been done in my humble opinion:-

  1. They should 100% have secured ALL social domains for such a big client – even if they hadn’t asked for it. It should be policy.
  2. If they had hooked the client on the benefits of using Twitter to flog cheap deals and push marketing messages (update: the first link is now being used to answer and inform, which it wasn’t before) then they should have first concentrated on the ‘real’ benefits of social media – I am sure Robin Grant and his team did this and didn’t want to lose a client by being too pushy…but it would have helped the client in the long run. Right?

Kudos to We Are Social for diving into the problem and going, seemingly, above and beyond their pay cheque to help the client…but it would be pretty weak of them to simply say “not our problem, we told you so and you wouldn’t listen”. So I think they win points for not being crap on that one! Plus I doubt they are doing the disaster recovery services free of charge.

This will certainly become an example of a brand self-harming by not seeing the benefit of having as many open communication channels as possible. Especially the ones in the service industry. Doubtless there were many corportate and legal meetings scheduled for 2010 to decide how Eurostar should use these funny little geeky tools to spread their corporate message…now I am guessing they will have been moved forward and the tone of the meetings will be different.

Happy Christmas!

Is the social media ‘deadpool’ going to get crowded in 2010?

December 15, 2009 4 comments

My post last week on Google’s announcement of real time search    focused on what impact it may have on the incumbent social media monitoring vendors. Bing (with greater FB reach) and Yahoo have also waded in. Today, we have the announcement from Twitter that they will be rolling out business accounts and Google and Facebook are introducing url shortners. While, I can see how the Twitter business apps like CoTweet and Hootsuite can benefit from the ‘contributors’ feature, I think any new entrants looking to build sCRM tools on Twitter will now have their work cut out. If Twitter business accounts provide excellent multi user functionality and they whack in some serious analytics behind it plus CRM, then I can’t see how the other guys can compete in the long term.

In the monitoring space, I don’t think we will see the major players  (Radian6, Techrigy, VisibleTechnologies, BuzzMetrics etc) going south, but the smaller guys and new entrants will be sleeping with one or maybe both eyes open for the next few months.

Bit.ly are well established and I am not sure how the Google / Facebook url shortners will affect them in the short term. They have announced new analytics and measurement features so that should keep them in front well into 2010 plus we will have to see how much users care about the url shortners in FB and Google.

Maybe some acquisitions will come in to play in 2010. Who knows? Its going to be an interesting year…

Google real time search – The start of a game changer?

December 8, 2009 3 comments

I think this is a big one! Google announced yesterday that they will   launch real-time search within days. They will integrate the full   Twitter firehose feed, as first mentioned by Mashable back in October, Myspace , Yahoo Answers, Jaiku and the plethora of blogs they already crawl. They will also have public pages from Facebook. There is a question over exactly how much access they will have here  and it is safe to assume they won’t get the same love that Microsoft will, given their investment in Facebook back in 2007.

Many in the industry saw this one coming. At the MSM09 Conference last month, there was talk of Google buying one of the incumbent vendors (I was one of the talkers) and I guess it may have come down to price – cheaper to do a deal with the data sources than to buy a Radian6? Not sure, but it certainly throws up some interesting questions for the many, many players in the realtime / social media monitoring space:-

When will the data be plugged into Google Analytics?

How much will Google charge?

Will Google produce a sentiment engine to accompany the data streams?

Are we screwed?

I also think this is good news for agencies, consultants and coaches who have been struggling to get their prospective clients to see the benefit or need to be involved in social media, to join the conversation. This should make it easier! Get them to watch the video below and then ask again if they think they should be involved.