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What does social media do for us, anyway?

I have been one of those beleaguered folks looking for meaningful KPI’s to show senior management that things like The Twitter had a viable business purpose. Those of us in “softer” marketing disciplines (PR, brand, community, events, social media) have buy cheap instagram followers traditionally had a very difficult time quantifying our efforts to prove out what we’re doing to higher-ups accustomed to the cut-and-dried metrics of direct marketing disciplines (SEM, direct mail, display). Traditional PR and socially-driven program measurements like “ad value” and “impressions” are guesses that media outlets have applied to their real estate in order to provide numerical value to earned media, and these metrics can cause a raised eyebrow among C-level execs who want clear, quantifiable social marketing ROI. (For more on this, check out this article on vanity metrics.)Now, established brands can indeed use social media channels for quick, direct sales: Clif Bar, for example, once used Twitter to sell an overage of bars at a reduced price. But this effort was a direct marketing campaign that happened to be on a social channel, not a social marketing initiative – and that’s another article (and it’s covered in this social channel strategy overview). For the purposes of this article we’re going to talk about the fuzzier side of marketing, which is to say the relationship marketing discipline. Social marketing is, at its core, about building relationships.A typical sales funnel starts with awareness and ends in purchase, but an ideal customer journey ends in advocacy. Relationship marketing disciplines like social marketing typically touch the customer at the top and bottom of this funnel.

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Nostalgia and Authenticity

I submit that we have chosen to create and view faux-vintage photos because they seem more authentic and real. One does not need to be consciously aware of this when choosing the filter, hitting the “like” button where to buy instagram followers on Facebook or reblogging on Tumblr. We have associated authenticity with the style of a vintage photo because, previously, vintage photos were actually vintage. They stood the test of time, they described a world past, and, as such, they earned a sense of importance.People are quite aware of the power of vintage and retro as carriers of authenticity. Sharon Zukin’s book Naked City expertly describes the recent gentrification of inner cities as the quest for authenticity, often in the form of grit and decay. For those born in the plastic, inauthentic world of suburban Disneyfied and McDonaldized America, there has been a cultural obsession with decay (“decay porn”) and a search for authentic reality in our simulated world (as Jean Baudrillard might say).The faux-vintage photos populating our social media streams share a similar quality with the inner-city Brooklyn neighborhood rich with authentic grit: they conjure authenticity and real-ness in the age of simulation and the vast proliferation of digital images. And, in this way, the Hipstamatic photo places yourself and your present into the context of the past, the authentic, the important and the real.

Is Microsoft Building an Outlook Chat App?

Apple, under Steve Jobs leadership, was known for its secrecy — very little was known about the iPhone, for example, before it was officially unveiled.Microsoft, under Satya Nadella’s leadership, may go down in history buy more instagram followers for its propensity to leak information. There was the acquisition of calendar app Sunrise that TechCrunch uncovered a week before it was announced, the not-so-secret purchase of e-mail app Accompli and ever popular leaks about SharePoint 2016.Now it seems Microsoft is building something called Flow, a chat app that works with Outlook.By appearance, Flow looks like it will initially be an iPhone app that promises to help users “focus on what’s important” by limiting it to conversations that are started in the app.The description says that it will facilitate “fast, fluid, natural conversations, without the hassles of subject lines, salutations or signatures” and that it was designed to avoid the formality of traditional emails or the hassle.The only step you’d need to take to contact someone is to enter their Outlook address, similarly to how it’s done in existing messaging services. Some of those who have heard of “Flow” liken it to the lightweight video chat client introduced for Skype last year.Because of Flow’s attachment to Outlook, which is the defacto email vehicle at many companies, it looks as if it is aimed at the enterprise.

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