Are you wow blind?

Kevin asked me: “Do ‘great ideas’ possess universally some sort of Wow Factor?”

The problems with this question: What does ‘great’ mean? And who decides what ‘wow’ is?

The challenge is this: lots of people think they know what both words mean in their area of endeavor, and many of them are wrong.

Consider the case of web 2.0 companies. People like Brad Feld and Fred Wilson are brilliant at understanding what wow means from the point of view of an investor. They have great taste about what’s going to pay off. They have a sense for which teams and which ideas will actually turn into great businesses.

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Social Goes Mobile

Mobile is becoming a dominant vehicle for social networking.

More than 250 million people already access Facebook from their mobile phones and the company points out that the mobile users are twice as active as non-mobile users.

One of the facilitators of the move to more mobile activity is the increase in the number of smartphone owners, now estimated by Nielsen to be 37 percent of US mobile phone owners on the way to half by the end of the year.

And the increase in social interaction via mobile is substantial.

In 2010, 28 percent of social media users used a mobile phone to interact with social media, and that number increased to 40 percent this year, based on new research. That’s an increase from 54 million people last year to 80 million this year.

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When Social Falls Short

This post is for anyone who has had to ask (or been on the receiving end of the query) where did our social media marketing strategy go wrong?

The answer may be two-fold.

It is possible that things began to go awry when the primary focus of social media marketing shifted to numbers; that is, when the accumulation of fans, friends, followers and connections became the be-all-end-all measure of success.

Especially when compared to conventional media, social media affords such great opportunities, not the least of which is placing the world at the proverbial doorstep of any enterprise…without respect to budget.  But the instant that bolstering numbers becomes the objective, the real strength of SM has been diminished.  From the beginning, social has been about community; its dynamic growth is directly linked to the market’s desire to connect, to experience relationship, to be part of something; its lifeblood is dialogue.  Go for numbers in lieu of relationships and sacrifice results.

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The Power of the Brand? Ask Their Customers!

Looking to travel from the east to the west coast recently, I decided to take a look outside my normal coast-to-coast airlines United and American Airlines.

Jet Blue, with great seats and video selections, wasn’t flying around the times I needed but noticed that Virgin America was.

Having taken Virgin Atlantic for some Boston-London flights in the past, I pondered whether Virgin America was the same, or as good as (or worse than) Virgin Atlantic.

So I turned to Twitter to ask the gang if they had any thoughts. This was my Tweet:

“Thinking of taking Virgin America Boston-San Fran, any thoughts? (Have flown Virgin Atlantic, but not America)”

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Will Facebook Be Effective For B2B Marketing?

One of the most common questions about B2B social media is whether or not (and how) Facebook fits into the mix. There really isn’t a simple answer and it’s best to think of it in macro vs. micro terms. There are hundreds of variables to consider, but starting with these three important b2b social media questions should help.

That said, some of the best expertise on the subject of Facebook for B2B comes from’s co-founders Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen. At MarketingProfs B2B Forum , Jeffrey, along with Deirdre Walsh, and Susan Solomon, presented on the topic: Facebook for Effective B2B Marketing.

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Research shows Facebook emotional boost is like marriage

Do social media technologies isolate people and promote false relationships? Or are there important benefits associated with being connected to others in this way?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine these questions in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.

Among the many interesting findings, Pew reports that the social relationship “boost” received by Facebook users is equivalent to about half the total support that the average American receives as a result of being married.

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There’s Hearing, Then There’s Listening

We were all probably taught the difference between listening and hearing when we were children. “I hear you,” you say. No doubt you’ve uttered that or had it uttered to you. But is it enough?

We all have a fundamental need to be heard; that implies that we’re acknowledged, certainly. Technically, hearing is simply the process of sound being transmitted and received. Telling someone that you’ve heard them is a good first step, and while that’s an easy way to make a customer feel appreciated by a major brand, there are times when it needs to go beyond hearing and to truly listen: to take to heart what they’ve said and take a harder look at a business practice or service.

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Looming Talent Crunch in Social CRM

Talk to senior or middle level executives in Marketing or IT about Social Media or Enterprise 2.0 and you will see their face light up immediately with excitement from perceived opportunity and with fear from perceived threat – all at once. Most executives will tell you that they want to leverage Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 tools and technology for engaging their customers and employees but don’t know what to do or how to go about it. There is real shortage of “talented” people who understand both – Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 AND existing marketing and IT systems/processes like CRM and ERP.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that there is a shortage of Social Media consultants or self proclaimed “experts”. They are dime a dozen (or should I say tweet a dozen). What I am saying is that we have a shortage of people who really understand the power and potential of Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 tools AND can relate these tools to existing marketing/IT processes.

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Gary Vaynerchuk: being social is about word of mouth, not platforms

If you don’t already know about Gary Vaynerchuk, you’re in for a treat. Back in February 2006 the New Jersey-based entrepreneur set up Wine Library TV, an outspoken, down to earth, idiosyncratic video blog and online community hub for wine enthusiasts. It now attracts over 80,000 viewers a day, and its founder has become a New York Times bestselling author, one of the top 100 people followed on Twitter and a SXSW headliner.

Vaynerchuk is a notoriously provocative and inspiring speaker (the video of his ‘follow your passion’ speech for Web 2.0 Expo NY is a must-watch). And in his most recent keynote at this week’s Digital Summit Atlanta 2011 the so-called ‘King of Social Media’ has been making waves by declaring that “word of mouth is the currency” of social media and businesses need to stop focusing on the tools, start opening their eyes and ears, and focus on people’s behaviours, motivations and interactions.

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