If you said "social media" to a marketer 18 months ago, chances are they'd have thought exclusively of social networks. No more. We're seeing social capabilities incorporated into virtually every digital experience. This has brought opportunities and dilemmas for marketers. I say dilemmas because lots of brands got online by pounding to fit a broadcast-shaped peg into an interactive-shaped hole. They developed one-way websites, banners, and search programs. Social media analytics tools are showing us that this model had many flaws.
But as more and more brands embrace social for the two-way offering it is, it's important that we keep abreast of major news in the segment.
This article is designed to give marketers some highlights of what new initiatives, offerings, and companies appear to have traction. It's not for the social "expert." Rather it's geared to the generalist who wants a survey of some of the more important and interesting developments.
Without further ado, check out this summary of social developments divided into four "buckets":
Facebook Open Graph and the socializing of content sites
Facebook's new Open Graph (OG) initiative is a means of adding value for its members across the web while simultaneously enabling content publishers to offer social features. In OG's launch week, more than 50,000 sites incorporated OG components. Many of those implementations were small, such as adding a "like" button embedded in content. But here are some of the ways it's being used on a grander scale:
Pandora is leveraging Open Graph to facilitate the sharing of music and discoveries between friends. Capabilities include:
- See a list of friends who use Pandora
- See which artists and songs are "liked" by friends
- Import Facebook pic into your Pandora profile
- Listen to friends' stations
- Get music suggestions based upon music you "liked"
The Huffington Post has socialized its content by offering a "Hot on Facebook" module, a "what your friends are reading" module, and a "like" button on most stories.
Newspaper sites are incorporating a sort of "your news" box that lists the latest "news" you have received on Facebook. Here's the version on The Washington Post's website.
Yes, Facebook's hit some roadblocks and hurdles over privacy. Assuming it gets past those, Open Graph will make profound changes in how we consume content.
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