Things I’ve Learned from Lately #24

“Things I’ve Learned from Lately” is a regular compilation of articles that have made me a smarter social media marketer. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

The Siloed Web Is Inevitable – Last week Instagram revoked support for Twitter Cards, making Instagram photos unoptimized for Twitter. ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Lyons explains that the Web2.0 business model requires this kind of line drawing between companies because social networks need to keep users within a walled garden to monetize them.

Key Takeaway: The social web is full of ebbs and flows. Today, we seem to be in a period of consolidation. Ultimately, users will determine whether or not that’s okay because inevitably, new platforms will arise with the promise of being more open, continuing the cycle.

Customer Service as a POD – A new study has found that many of the world’s biggest brands are failing when it comes to customer support (on Twitter at least).

Key Takeaway: Customer service seems to be at premium, and while big businesses often have big budgets, smaller businesses have an opportunity to showcase their value using social media channels to deliver solid customer service. This requires a plan of action, permission to bring solutions to customers and an infrastructure to support such an initiative, and that investment may very well be worth it.

Looking Back at 2012 – This week Facebook, Twitter and Google released their yearend reviews of what people were talking about and thinking about in 2012.

Key Takeaway: These are essentially PR pieces for the platforms, but they do include some fascinating insights in terms of what people were sharing as a social web. Marketers should look at the reviews (even for fun). There may be potential insights for their brands.

Who Are You Trying to Impress Anyways? – Christopher Penn uses magicians to illustrate two different paths marketers can take: focusing on impressing other magicians with complicated tricks and skills or using more basic tricks that are more appealing to a mass audience mostly unfamiliar with magic. If you choose the second path (the path that leads to more money), you need to focus on your showmanship.

Key Takeaway: Marketers are often thinking about how they can show-up a competitor or jump on top of the latest trend, but at the end of the day, it’s about the customer. More often than not, basic techniques with “great showmanship” bring brands success where it matters most—with their customers.