The interwebs were abuzz this past week over a newly released Forrester study that paints a grim picture of Facebook's potential as an eCommerce platform. According to Research Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, eBusiness professionals in retail collectively report little direct or indirect benefit from Facebook, and social networks overall trail far behind other customer acquisition and retention tactics such as paid search and email in generating a return on investment. Wait, how can this be?
Few are naive enough to think that Taco Bell is authentic Mexican cuisine. But diners were recently surprised to discover that the restaurant chain's “seasoned beef” actually consists of only 35% beef, technically classifying it as something known as “taco meat filling.” Not sure what that means? No one is. In response to the massive social media outcry stirred up by the class-action lawsuit that brought the disqualified beef to light, Taco Bell started to “think outside the bun” itself, actually giving away the secret recipe. Bon appétit!
In-flight magazines are designed to educate and excite captive readers (stuck in their uncomfortable little seats as they are) about a wide world of luxury travel possibilities. Behind the glossy pages lies the axiom that we don't live to travel — we travel to live. This necessarily means side-stepping the hardships associated with schlepping around the world, from security lines to a dearth of leg room. If these mags don't want to highlight the hassles of traveling, they most certainly don't want to highlight the brutal realities of the developing world. But what about when the country an airline serves is war-torn and exclusively offers living conditions that are are less than five-star? One tack to take: tell the truth.
In September, The Huffington Post surpassed the Washington Post in terms of unique visitors. "The Huff Post was up 26% year-over-year to 9.4 million uniques, while uniques at the Washingtonpost.com dropped almost 30% to 9.2 million," reports Jennifer Saba at Editor & Publisher. Look out, media giants. You are never safe.
So much has changed since the advent of social media. Many of us now long for better days without the incessant flood of updates, requests and other digital annoyances. A chief complain I've heard from social media sourpusses was echoed by Elizabeth Bernstein, who explained in the Wall Street Journal how Facebook can have destructive consequences on real life relationships (wait, what are those again?). (An extreme example would be the case of Brian Lewis, who murdered his partner, claiming she spent "too much time on Facebook.")
We’ve all heard that “traditional advertising is dead” and we all know it isn’t. It’s still alive even though it doesn’t work very well, is increasingly ignored, irritates people and isn’t really measurable. So when will it really die? The incontrovertible axiom of the post-advertising age is that traditional, interruptive commercials will disappear completely (i.e., die) when there are no more traditional media to interrupt with ads. That explains why a recent obsessive focus of post-advertising.com is the lethal illness now afflicting traditional media — an illness that combines the virus of global economic collapse, the ongoing fragmentation of TV and the viral growth of digital.