Archive for Uwe Hook

Social Media is not the aspirin for your marketing headaches

Posted by Uwe Hook on October 14th, 2011 at 10:36 am

Many brands feel the need to be on Social Media. Competitors do it. Other successful enterprises do it. Everybody does it. Whenever I meet with brands, they tend to think they HAVE to be on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. They should have a blog and start developing ideas for Google+.
An armada of consultants and agencies tap into the culture of fear: If you’re not part of the Social Web, you’ll be forgotten soon. Why wouldn’t you be on Facebook, the third biggest country in the world? Is there a reason you don’t think about Google+, the platform with the fastest adoption rate of new across all social platforms? Or better: If you’re not on Twitter, you don’t have a business. If you don’t have a blog and create content, you’re not alive.
Don’t make it about numbers. Make it about your audience.

It makes sense why consultants peddle Social Media stats: It builds an impressive case for Social Media. However, it builds an impressive case for generic Social Media. Sure, Google+ has millions of users and Facebook will reach 1 billion customers soon.
The problem is: your customers are not stats or pure number. They are individuals.
The case for individuals.

It’s... Read more

What's next for organizations? Social Leadership.

Posted by Uwe Hook on October 7th, 2011 at 10:26 am

The majority of companies involved in the Social Web are listening to their communities, some are participating but almost no one is providing the necessary leadership to cultivate, nurture and shape the community engagement over a long period of time.
You can’t leave community leadership to community managers
A key skill companies need to develop over time is a deep comprehension and experience how to lead communities. Without this key skill, brands won’t be successful in the long term with any social strategies. Well-run companies have the skills and knowledge base to lead communities because an enterprise is an internal community with leadership. However, internal communities and corporate have explicit rules and rewards to shape the enterprise and reward behavior.
Leading an external community requires a different skill set
More importantly, social business leaders need to understand what shapes an external community culture. The main shortfall of brands engaging on the Social Web is their view of social platforms as a homogenous culture. Each platform has a different culture, different rules, different ways to engage successfully. What works on Twitter, won’t work on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Each social platform has unique community culture, which means in plain English: “This is how we do... Read more

Facebook, Act II: Create your own eulogy

Posted by Uwe Hook on October 3rd, 2011 at 11:13 am

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to share life stories. Just don’t expect diaries. Get ready for your photoshopped self.

A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed: “The heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up.” And, he added: “Timeline is the story of your life.”
My jogging maps, the books I read , the movies I watched, the pictures I took – Is that really the story of my life?
Data aggregation as the expression of a human dream.

Facebook is not the only platform that satisfies a basic human dream. We’re archiving what we see, hear, read, eat, where we are traveling and how it takes us to run 5 miles for one reason and one reason only: We don’t want to die.
Or better: Since we all have to die at one point, we don’t want to just disappear, be forgotten.
Most eulogies leave out the “He was a bastard” part or the “She was a meanie” piece. The new Facebook timeline will become an idealized archive of your digital self,  defying mortality with every “like”. A permanent monument to yourself, conveniently leaving out the depressed moments, the embarrassing stories, the dark secrets, the big failures that made you who... Read more

Media buying agencies – the end is near. Or, is it?

Posted by Uwe Hook on September 29th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Yahoo!, the last traditional media company, is in deep trouble. Just like AOL, MSN and Forbes.com – dinosaurs founded in a time where media agencies had to manage scarcity. The Yahoo! Homepage used to be part of a digital media plan just like buying commercials during the NFL season for beer brands. Two things changed: ad networks, DSP’s and ad exchanges changed the focus of media agencies from placement buying to audience buying. And, more importantly, people are less interested in reading professional content and pay more attention to content created by their friends.
What is Yahoo’s response to a changed marketplace and customer behavior?

More content, more video, more, more, more. I wonder if Albert Einstein’s “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” has become Yahoo’s mission statement. More is not the answer. Traditional media companies will never be able to compete with the amount of content created on Social Networks, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Blogs, sites, Tumblr, etc. I’m not predicting the death of Yahoo!, nothing ever dies. VCR’s are still flashing “12:00” in millions of households, papers are being delivered to millions of door steps each morning and millions of faxes are... Read more

10 ways to make your customers disappear

Posted by Uwe Hook on September 27th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Let’s be honest here: Customers suck. They always want more, demand things you never thought about and expect too much. And it gets even worse: Those silly customers now have tools to connect with us directly. They expect you to explain flight delays of 2 minutes, share with their friends that the coffee they ordered was 2 degrees hotter than expected or just create sites that bitch about your hard work. Life would be so much better without any customers, wouldn’t it? No complain letters, no legal threats – just doing your job.
Your dream just came true: I’ll show you ways customers will hate you. And leave you for good.
No, it’s not a pipe dream, not some fantasy. Below are ways to make sure you never have to deal with customers again. Let’s get going, I want to make sure your dream comes true as soon as you desire.
1. When you develop communication for your company, make sure to include images like this.

It communicates clearly that you’re lying. You don’t respect the intelligence of your customers. Listen, we all know meetings like that never happen. But you claim your company is that haven of collaboration, creativity and empathy. Communicating to... Read more