Weekend Wrap: Social Media Buzz Edition

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As much as we are prone to segregate our Social lives from “Real Life”, or at least view them as separate segments of our ‘social life,’ when big issues are being tackled in Real Life society, the social world serves as a sounding board and debate club for those issues.

This week the Supreme Court’s hearing of the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had the social networks  blowing up.  Red Equal signs showed up on all platforms, and although there were some debates, it appears that the social media world was overwhelmingly for overturning DOMA and legalizing gay marriage.

Heavy users of social tend to be a socially progressive lot.

Personally I welcome the arena social networks provide to debate Real Life Social Images – it brings more people into the conversation.  Let’s face it, it takes a lot more energy to protest in public than it does to weigh in via your keyboard.

There were, of course, many other major happenings in social business this week.  Here’s our somewhat lengthy Wrap Up that will keep you in the loop:

Real Life Social Issues Blow Up Facebook

If you were under a rock and somehow missed the Red Equal Sign all over the networks this week in support of the overturning of DOMA, this post by the International Business Times explains its origins and how it became viral last Tuesday.

Our favorite mix of business and social issues comes from one of my top 3 business heroes, the inimitable Howard Schultz of Starbucks.  His outspoken support of gay marriage is seen as bold by many, and it certainly shows that America, or at least big chunks of it, is changing.

The debate over DOMA distracted somewhat from another startling event this week: the outing of 2 developers by  Adria Richards for their risque jokes as they sat behind her at Pycon.  Her outing caused their firing, but also inflamed a passionate debate as to whether she did the right thing, and whether the pair deserved the firing.

The controversy took on an entirely more serious note when Richards began receiving threats of physical violence and even rape.  If you missed the entire discussion, we think it’s an important one to review; the social sphere, although maturing, is still very new. These issues and the voice Social Media lends to all of us means that those of us using the channels have a very serious responsibility.

Read about the entire incident here on Venture Beat’s thorough review.  They cover Adria Richards attempts to ‘stay safe’ as well.

Big Data Understood?

Howard Schultz also caught our eye with his refreshingly honest admission that he doesn’t have a “head for data.” That does not mean he doesn’t value it; Ad Age’s post on Schultz’s reluctance to analyze all of that information himself makes it clear that Starbucks has teams of analysts processing data.

What we found most interesting was Joe LaCugna’s statement that Starbucks has huge amounts of social media data, they ” … haven’t figured out what exactly to do with it yet.”

Of course statements like this give us a great sense of job security, but they also show how much potential is still out there for companies that do understand how to analyze and process  information collected via social media to really take the lead in their own industries.

Our favorite Data post of the week was found over at ReadWrite.com; where Matt Assay writes about the most famous statistician of our time, Nate Silver, and his explanation of how data should and should not be utilized.

If you don’t know who Nate Silver is, he’s the guy who publicly stated weeks prior to the US Presidential election exactly how it would pan out. He was spot on.  That wasn’t his only statistical success, but basically, he’s always right because he is a master of analyzing statistics.

Here’s our favorite Silver quote of the post

Data-driven predictions can succeed–and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise. Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves….Unless we work actively to become aware of the biases we introduce, the returns to additional information may be minimal–or diminishing.

Social Media Geeks Corner

All of us at ArCompany ended up here because, in our heart of hearts, we’re Social Geeks.  Although we become extremely frustrated at times with the lack of understanding, the misuse, and the lack of professional discipline we come across on the social networks, we are passionate about the potential that social business intelligence and communication provides.

Here are the changes that caught our eyes this week.

Danny Brown, our Chief Technologist may be our general wizard of social business but he also knows his stuff about the importance of content and how to use it strategically. He penned this post outlining how Google Analytics added  a Trackbacks section to their Social Analytics data.

Read the post to see why Danny thought this was very big news.

I was lucky enough to attend Heckler’s Hangout this past Thursday where the brilliant Olivier Blanchard was the guest.

With smart social marketers like Jure Klepic on the call, it was inevitable that we once again tackle the question of Social Media Marketing ROI. We do believe that you need to be able to measure your social media ROI; there isn’t a marketing tactic on this planet that deserves to not be held accountable.

However, social marketing is unlike any traditional marketing that went before it, and it therefore requires a different type of measurement tool.

You will find countless posts about the subject, but this week we like this post from The Drum about  Social ROI skeptics.  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section here.

Other  news that may have gone under your radar  is the fact that Facebook is using external data about its users to target them with ads.

We’ve been watching the battle for ultimate dominance between Google and Facebook for years; how often have you read that Social will eventually kill Search?  We’re skeptical about that, but we do think that Facebook’s ability to present very finely tuned ads to advertisers is a very big deal.

Somini Sengupta’s post in the NY Times will inform you of the changes.

Other Facebook news on the Horizon is that the social giant is considering, some say actually planning, on using Hashtags to make it easier to search the network.  Any Twitter addict knows how closely that hashtag is associated with that platform; so what does Facebook’s pending adoption of the symbol mean?

You can read about the Pros here on Small Business Trend’s post, and the interesting and opposing view here on the Nieman Journalism Lab’s site.

Still Not Mobile Ready?  Better Move Quick

We are regularly surprised by how many businesses have not optimized their website for mobile consumption; of course at some point we should cease being surprised, right?  Wrong.

We just can’t, not when we know what some brands don’t understand: mobile web consumption is rapidly increasing.   If you’re still not convinced, check out this post from Deloitte.

Believe us, the time for waiting to make your website compatible with tablets, smart phones etc. is yesterday, but if you missed that deadline, do it now.

Other News Reverberating in Social Media

If you’re on Facebook you will have run into the oddly uncomfortable Facebook announcement of Tiger Woods’ and Lindsey Vonn’s relationship.  Why they decided to make such an announcement is up for debate, but it is obvious that Tiger wants the world to know that he has moved on.

His victories on the golf course are all the statement I feel he needed to make, and it seems that Nike would have been better suited to have left Tiger’s play make the statement as well.  The athletics company is taking a bashing over its “Winning changes everything” ads.

If you want to catch up on the bumbling ad and the reaction to it, Media post covers it right here.

Just for Fun Social Stuff

With all of that heavy thinking on a weekend, we’re sure you could use a good laugh, or cry.  Ad Age gave us a great review of the year’s viral videos that can provide both.

We hope that catches you up on all things social business related; see you next weekend!

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