Tag Archives: friendfeed

Google’s Social Circle & The Trust Network

Social search… interesting development. Or is it.  Google have been including social web results in search results for a number of months now. Google’s next development seems (as explained in the above slightly creepy and uber conservative video – count the amount of mentions of security related words) is to use the content from the social sites that you have added to your Google profile into your main web search results.

This creates some level of helpfulness in cross referencing friends, comments and answers to questions across social platforms.  Meaning that if I look up details about where to go on honeymoon I will get trip advisor, expedia and the gang, but also results from my friend Tim’s blog about where he went on holiday last week – a result that would never usually hit page 1 of a search result list. All of this is nice enough and interesting in a slightly geeky, if you’re into that stuff, kind of way.

However what is interesting is the greater trend that has prompted this technology from Google – personal networks of trust. We have known for a long time now that word-of-mouth from friends and contacts is the most trusted source of information to us. The entire public relations industry thrives on this single fact, we trust those who we know more than those who we don’t. Therefore it is logical that when I want honeymoon ideas, or where to rent a Tux for my wedding (which is in June by the way – presents welcome, gift list link to come!) I can use Social Search to check what my contacts and friends across my social circles (the Google terminology for our networks of trust) think about the topics I am searching for.

Of course this has significant ramifications for brands who interact in the social web. The default of most web users when looking for information is to jump into the lap of Google, whether looking for a good deal on a TV or life insurance, and according to HitWise “The proportion of traffic that online retailers receive from social networking websites – such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube – increased from 5.2% in March 2008 to 7.1% in March 2009.”

Brands who don’t currently interact in the social web, or have poor SEO of the content that they currently produce are going to come a-cropper if Social Search moves towards a default. Clearly, if we begin to see the opinions of our contacts displayed right alongside carefully SEO’d content and Paid Search, competition for our attention heightens, and our default will be to go with what we trust – our contacts.

Monday Mocha Musings: Edition 1 – The Art of Acknowledging a Subscriber

Welcome to Monday Mocha Musings:

Welcome to the first in our ongoing series of Monday Mocha Musings. Each monday afternoon we will endeavour to bring you a little tit-bit to chew over on the way home, or for the rest of the week from a guest writer.

This week we kick off with a ditte on the dangers of auto-tweeting, tweetbacks and auto-following on twitter, friendfeed and beyond, from Nurhafihz (@hafihz). A true marketing professional and a forward thinker in many realms on digital PR. Check him out here – http://www.hafihz.com/ or tweet him up.

Now… On with the post!


MMM Edition 1 – The Art of Acknowledging a Subscriber

By NurHafihz

This is what happens when cheap tactics, a lack of proper fundamentals in marketing education and having read a “marketing tip” all mash up:

Personalization becomes Frankensteinish.

I’m talking about replies to subscription, submission, followups. Take for example the Twitter subscription. If you’re like me, and your twitter community is quite a size, you might have noticed this strange phenomenon when you’ve subscribe to some people. You know something is going on when 9 out 10 that you have subscribed reply to you with this template:

Auto-Follow - Killing The fUN?

Auto-Follow - Killing The fUN?

Hello there! Thank you for subscribing! I appreciate your time. Why not follow me at….

What the? I have followed you. Don’t push your luck by asking me to follow your site too. And you might have been remarkable if only you thanked me in that manner. If you used a standard algorithmic auto-reply, shame on you. If that was really you typing, here’s my alternative template for you:

Good <insert time of day he subscribed> , thanks for your support <insert twitter’s name>. I noticed you’re an expert in <insert twitter’s pitch>. What do you think of <insert question> ?

The Meaning: Personalization is a shorter door to bulding trust than frequency in communication. Don’t misuse it.

Thanks to NurHafihz for this week’s Monday Mocha Musing: This post can be found also at @hafihz‘s website – http://www.hafihz.com/school-of-marketing/the-art-of-acknowledging-a-subscriber/

Get Involved:

Would you like to write a Monday Mocha Musing for us? Let @jamespoulter know! or see the About page for more details.

Next Week – @lewiswebb guest writes a MMM – Check It Out Next Monday