The past year and some at EMC saw me doing a lot of social media strategy work. My official title was “Social Media Engagement, Campaigns and Outreach,” which had me working with our campaign marketing teams to integrate social media into their efforts and, on a larger level, to enable employees within the company to embrace and use social media. This was largely an internally-facing, strategic, high-level, advisory-type role.
At Focus, I’ll get to apply everything I’ve learned about social media strategy and about the tech industry and apply it to an external-facing position. I’ll get a chance to use the social media channels I spend so much time talking about — I’ll ask questions, host roundtables, attend local industry conferences, and work directly with an engaged, super-intelligent user population.
I’ve always been fascinated by the position of community manager — as amorphous a role as it is, it’s one that combines customer support, social media outreach, marketing, and so many other components into a bundle of awesomeness. It’s challenging, it’s hands-on, and it’s a big change for me. But it’s one that I’m very ready and excited for.
To all of my colleagues over at EMC: I’ll miss you! It’s been so great getting to know you all and learn from you in my time here. You gave me a chance, you inspired me, helped me, taught me… so thank you! Please keep in touch….
…. and wish me the best of luck.
What I’m finally realizing — and what so many people have said over and over in the past year, but I’ve never quite comprehended is this: the web is moving. Fast. Companies like Facebook, Google+, and Apple are trying to step up their game and do what they think is necessary to win over the minds of fickle consumers with short attention spans, little patience, and little enduring brand loyalty.
Facebook is doing this at a super fast-paced, breakneck speed that seems to cater to partners, developers, and engineers rather than the end user. And G+ is coping by pumping out core features and heading down the consumerization route with games and brand pages. Apple is doing what it needs to add pizzazz, social tie-ins, and extra functionality to its product (assuming Robert Scoble and others are right, and this new announcement does incorporate Facebook) and to attempt to take down Android.
So many of these changes, enhancements, and announcements are entirely reactive rather than proactive. These three titan companies — Apple, Google, and Facebook — are competing in a neck-to-neck battle for our love in the social realm (and, indeed in many other aspects as well), though their core businesses are entirely different. Nonetheless, there’s tension, competition, and more feature and product releases than we can honestly keep up with.
And, to me at least, everything seems to center around Facebook. Apple is the odd one riding the social wave here, from its attempts at Twitter integration to the impending Facebook partnership tomorrow. And G+? Unless it can find a way to make itself entirely relevant to a mainstream audience, I predict it’s headed back to the attic. It’s as though Facebook has already won, but no-one’s ready to go down without a fight, including Facebook.
As much a fan as I am of healthy competition, I worry that the end user experience from these battles might be getting kind of crazy. Chris Taylor from Mashable writes that Facebook is Getting Too Damn Complicated, and I have to agree. Yes, new features are great and all. But are they still great when they’re pumped out at hurtling speed to compete with another company or product, rather than keeping the user in mind?
My 2 cents: Breathe, you guys. And don’t forget about your users.
Update: I was wrong, too. Sorry, guys!
Bigger update: Wow
You will be missed, Steve.
As Techcrunch valiantly reports, Netflix’s quick (errr… qwik?) claiming of the “Qwikster” name resulted in them failing to nab the associated Twitter account. Now poor (for now) Jason Castillo is getting the spotlight while people try to buy off his Twitter account.
I find this to be a fascinating example of how one inspiring little guy nurtures his personal brand through a period of internet-celebrity; I think we could all learn a thing or two from Jason.
Really. Because aren’t we all just ganja-smokin’ teens, oppressed by the man, looking for that one moment of internet fame-dom?
Join me as I guide you on a chronological journey through Jason’s inspiring tweets and the wisdom we can glean from them about maintaining a stellar online presence.
Lesson 1: Be consistent. In the early days, Jason (@qwikster) differentiates himself online by coining a token phrase, “______ as shyt,” and uses it like a pro. Jason’s SEO rankings in the “as shyt” category were clearly rising back then, but no one had noticed…. yet.
Lesson 2: Be generous. Eyes are turned upon Jason as the Netflix -> Qwikster announcement unfolds, and he begins tweeting about what’s going on.
But what’s this?! Awwwww… a philanthropic tweet to get his bro more followers. Always be generous, folks. Stave off that $1,000 offer while you can still help the little guys.
Lesson 3: Make yourself AWESOME. It’s great to make sure you get lots of new followers for your bro, but you should never forget about you and your own personal brand. Tweeting about benching makes men want to be you and women want to be with you, and writing about “stuff” falling from the shower implies that you have some sort of extraordinary, totally non-mundane life. Being awesome will totally get you lots of followers.
Lesson 4: Protect your brand. Netflix may not be doing much of this lately, but Jason sure is.
Um, and now for the most important the lesson of the day: claim your company’s Twitter account before taking your name public.
Just something to think about.