Archive for the ‘software companies’ tag
As the heat around the “Facebook Phone” story gets higher, our thoughts turn to the days a couple of years ago when it emerged Facebook had been thinking about developing an actual phone. Back then, it transpired that Facebook was working with INQ Mobile on a smartphone. The phone duly emerged – the INQ1 – and did indeed have great Facebook integration. Even if it hasn’t exactly been a smash hit, it’s faired well enough.
Indeed, HTC has also released their own “Facebook” phone, such HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa respectively. INQ’s runs on Google’s Android operating system, but with deeper Facebook integration.
When asked about the INQ phone back in 2010, Zuckerberg said it wasn’t “some massive big thing”. But quite clearly, a phone is now firmly on the agenda.
And with Facebook bringing in $16 billion from its IPO it could in theory buy Research in Motion (around $6 billion) or the ailing HTC (around $11.8 billion).
However, an even cheaper option would be buy the aforementioned INQ from its holding company Hutchison Whampoa. Because it’s not the operating system Facebook needs – that can be developed – but the hardware engineering experience that INQ mobile has.
INQ is already spread across the UK, San Francisco, Europe and Asia.
And as a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa it has a lot of experience dealing with big software companies, creating the original Skypephone prior to the INQ1 and integrating Spotify and Foursquare into its handsets.
Admittedly, Facebook needs to make a phone that doesn’t suck. By grabbing INQ is might just have that chance.
The truth is, many marketing professionals do not know what this software can do, much less what specific companies’ versions can do. And the software companies themselves make it worse by not being specific about their capabilities and areas of focus.
There are five specific categories of social media software, and lumping them all under “social media management” does us all a disservice. I’ll clarify the categories below…, but first please take this little quiz, and see if you can match the software to its benefits messaging (taken from the website home pages of the companies listed).
Hard to figure out who does what, right? Everyone in this industry needs to sharpen their messaging and be more specific about what they do. Let’s at least try to sort out the categories of software that exist.
The 5 Categories of Social Media Software
First, let me reiterate that all of this is more about the wizard than the wand. I don’t care which of this software you procure, if you don’t know why you need it, and how to use it, it will turn into a pit of despair and social media dream killer faster than you can say “Lebron chokes in the playoffs.”
Consequently, I’ve organized 5 categories of social media software not based on company size, or pricing, or platform, or niftiness of logo, but based on your needs. The questions you need answered will (and should) guide you to the right type of software.
Important notes on this taxonomy:
- This list is not exhaustive. There are WAY more companies than this. If I’ve overlooked your favorite, please leave a comment.
- In practice, these categories aren’t quite as tidy as I’ve made them, as many of these software companies are trying to play in multiple categories. This is especially true of the marketing management guys like Buddy, Involver, Vitrue, Wildfire, et al who all hope to be end-to-end solutions. Further, every company has analytics at some level. So, you may not need five different software packages (thankfully), but it’s entirely possible that you’ll need more than one.
- For purposes of this segmentation, I have listed companies in the category where I believe they are best-of-breed, or where they originally focused their efforts.
- There are other types of social media software, such as social sign-in, social advertising, etc. But these five are the categories needed by the broadest array of businesses.
Your Needs Determine the Category of Software
“I need to know what’s being said about my company, our competitors, and our category in social media. What words are used in association with our brand? Where is this chatter occurring?”
You need Social Listening Software (AKA Social Media Monitoring Software).
“I need to efficiently respond to questions posed to our company in social media, and find real-time opportunities to provide assistance. Ideally, I could assign conversation opportunities to various people in the company.”
You need Social Conversation Software (AKA Social Media Engagement Software, Social Media Management Software).
“I need to create custom Facebook apps, launch and administer promotions, and manage creative assets on YouTube and beyond. Ideally, multiple people can create with workflow and approvals.”
You need Social Marketing Software (AKA Social Media Management Software and a bunch of gibberish labels).
“I need to know how effective my social media efforts are, both on specific platforms and (ideally) overall, and whether all of this is worth the effort.”
You need Social Analytics Software.
I need to find social media participants that are disproportionately interested in, or influential about, a particular topic. I need to understand their passions and spheres of influence.
You need Social Influencer Software.
About the Jay Baer: Jay Baer is a hype-free social media strategist & speaker, tequila guy, and co-author of The NOW Revolution. Jay is the founder of http://convinceandconvert.com and host of the Social Pros podcast.
If you joined DJ Waldow and me today for our 22-minute webinar on five secrets to email marketing, you learned that one of the secrets was that he and I have written a book. I’m proud to tell all of you that The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will be in your local book stores late this summer.
This is my second book (thanks to all of you who have supported No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing) but DJ’s first. And if you know both me and DJ, you know he’s truly the subject matter expert on email marketing. But we wanted to work on this together and, well, I know a couple things here or there that might be helpful.
Who’s A Rebel?
This book is for anyone who wants to be excellent at email marketing, but that also knows best practices are only applicable to you and your organization if you test, measure and prove them. Your brand, audience, market, industry and more are unique. So listening to the “rules” from software companies or even industry thought leaders is like choosing to eat chocolate ice cream because it’s the most popular flavor, not because you like it. We’ve broken email marketing down to help you understand its usefulness, the necessary technical elements for the business owner or marketer, how social media and email marketing work together to form a more perfect marketing union and then we break down all those pesky “rules” and show you why and how you can break them and be successful.
Preorder the book now. You’ll learn something good and have fun reading it, for sure.
Why The Rebellion?
As you could tell from No Bullshit Social Media, I’m not a fan of rules. Yet everywhere DJ and I turned to discover information and advice on email marketing, that’s all we saw. “You must do it this way!” “You shouldn’t do it that way!” We wanted to poke holes in the rules and show people that you can do the unthinkable (using ALL CAPS in subject lines, using one big image rather than text, etc.) and still kick ass with your email marketing efforts.
Plus there just hasn’t been a lot of updated information for the non-web-centric reader on email marketing in a while. With the advent of social media, the advancements in email marketing software and more, the book world was ripe for a book that included a fresh look at email marketing and what companies can do to use it successfully.
Here’s more from both of us … we’re excited!
How You Can Help The Rebellion
Well, yeah, you can preorder the book. But we also need help making sure more people know they don’t have to follow the lemmings off the email marketing cliff! If you have a blog, magazine, newsletter or similar and would like one of us to contribute to it in the form of an interview or perhaps a guest post on email marketing, let us know. We’ll do our very best to accomodate those requests.
If you are involved with a local professional organization that would like to talk about improving email marketing as a monthly topic, we can both provide virtual content (live interviews, webinars, Q&A sessions via Skype or similar). Both of us have limited availability for coming to your community to talk about email marketing as well. We only ask that your organization or its sponsors purchase a minimum of 100 books and cover our travel expenses. Just fill out our contact form and let us know the details. We won’t be able to do visit every one, everywhere, but both DJ and I love getting out and networking socially rather than just social networking online.
And, of course, if you know of an organization that is doing a poor or no job with email marketing, buy them a copy or several copies. Or introduce us to them. Maybe we can help correct that by showing them The Rebel’s Guide.
Here We Go
Writing a book is a project and a process. It’s been a fun one to work on with DJ, who is enthusiasm incarnate. The book is useful, fun and even a little irreverent. And it doesn’t have a swear word in the title, so it’s coffee table safe. Heh. You’ll soon read and hear more about the book as we get closer to the publishing date, but rest assured, it’s going to be a good primer for those who don’t quite know email marketing well and a useful reminder and refresher for those that do.
We’re going to have a lot of fun talking about email marketing in the coming months. Thanks for supporting us in this.
So go ahead: Preorder The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing now. I guarantee that with or without the leather jacket and shades, you’ll immediately be more cool.
CIOs get pitched on “the cloud” more than the rest of us, but when it comes to dealing with legacy vendors — the big boys like Dell, HP and IBM — they might hear a lot more cloudwashing and a lot more fear, uncertainty and doubt (a.k.a. FUD) than the rest of us, too.
At the CloudBeat conference today, we sat down with Scott Bils, a partner at Everest Group, a consultancy with an eye on the cloud. Bils told quite a bit about the wool that vendors sometimes try to pull over executives’ eyes — and he gives some choice advice for CIOs considering new cloud technologies, too.
Stay tuned for more from CloudBeat today and tomorrow.
Software companies optimize themselves to operate with as few humans as possible and many of them seek to replace functions that humans once performed. The net loss seems irreplaceable to me, even if everyone in the world knew how to write code. I’m no economist and I hope I’m wrong for lots of reasons, but I’ve been unable to find an answer in my head or in my conversations with others that satisfies me.
Since that time we haven’t seen much of an improvement as far as the economy or jobs numbers go and it looks like some other folks are asking the same questions I am (or, more likely, I’m asking the same questions they are). TechCrunch has a nice roundup of the conversation (via Henrik), including a link to an Economist blog post that argues the rate of jobs being destroyed by software is simply faster than the rate of jobs being created:
Another implication is that technology is no longer creating new jobs at a rate that replaces old ones made obsolete elsewhere in the economy. All told, Mr Ford has identified over 50m jobs in America—nearly 40% of all employment—which, to a greater or lesser extent, could be performed by a piece of software running on a computer. Within a decade, many of them are likely to vanish. “The bar which technology needs to hurdle in order to displace many of us in the workplace,” the author notes, “is much lower than we really imagine.”
Again, I’m not an economist and certainly hate to think I might be on the side of the luddite fallacy, but what if this time is different?