| Social Media Today
Sign up | Login with →

Comments by Richard Stacy Subscribe

On Is Privacy Over? Is That Question Cliched?

It is not a cliched question - it is an incredibly important issue.  What we are really talking about here is not so much old fashioned surveillance, it is about how data and algorithms can be used to shape society.  I think the algorithm is the most powerful tool for social control invented since the sword.  The fact that we tend to look at the Googles and the Facebooks and their use of data and algorithms primarily to target marketing messages is really a distraction.  The real issue is what can happen as a consequence of information we generate which we don't necessarily want to keep private, or even which is generated on our behalf be the objects we interact with (Internet of Things etc).



November 29, 2013    View Comment    

On 5 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media

Like the idea that any road looks good when you don't know where you are going!

I think the broader problem is not just lack of roadmap - it is trying to get to the wrong detsination.  It is easy to see the social space as simply an extension of the traditional marketing space - which is all about channel and message, reach and frequency.  Social media is a behaviour identification and response challenge - it is completely different. 

Social media is a low reach space (at any moment in time) so therefore the levels of engagement you need to create have to be very high - and the sort of engagement most organisations are creating - no matter how impressive the metrics might seem - is the wrong type of engagement.  It is engagement that looks at how consumers engage with what brands are doing, not how brands understand and are 'engaged with' what consumers are doing.

So you are absolutely right - we have got the wrong metrics - but shifting from likes to more sophisticated measures won't solve the problem.  It is still measuring the wrong type of engagement.


September 30, 2013    View Comment    

On The 3% Rule: Why Social Media is No Good for Reaching 97% of Your Audience


It is all very well to get an audience involved - but at some point you have to realise that all you are doing via Facebook (and most other forms of social media) is getting a series of individuals involved - not an audience.  And therefore just getting them to like you, access your coupons or even recommend you is never enough.  Social media does not have scale built into it, whereas scale is the principal function of traditional media.  Social only delivers scale when something goes viral - which hardly ever happens.

The new business you talk about would do much better promoting its Facebook page as a place where people can go to talk to them and tell them what they think about their new product or service. 

I have just written a column for Digital Age (in Turkey) which looks more specifically at scale and Facebook.  It is not out in print yet - so I shouldn't really publish it on my blog, but here is a hidden link to it (just don't tell anyone else about it! Its OK - I can say that because I am in social media therefore I know very few people are going to see this)


You might also be interested in this:



April 11, 2013    View Comment    

On The Erosion of Privacy and the Rise of Publicness...And Why It's a Good Thing

I think you are right to call for people to take control of their digital identities and explore the benefits that can flow from the socialisation of our digital personalities. 

However, there is a dark monster that lurks in the woods alongside the sunny glades of publicness - and this monster is the algorithm.  Algorithms don't really care about our whole, rounded, digital personality, instead they sieze upon the data from within our digital identities and use it draw highly judgemental conclusions about us - conclusions far more judgemental or damaging than that which may be formed by individuals.  You could say that algorithms are guilty of the serial rape of our digital personalities and trample upon all of the basic principles of data protection and privacy. 
If we are to create the sort of benefits both you and Jeff Jarvis talk about, we have to first put the safeguards in place that protect the sanctity of our digital spaces.  At the moment these safeguards are not there - largely because to do so would dent the business models of some quite powerful vested interests, as well as because insufficient attention and 'publicity' is being given to the serious consequences of sharing inconsequential data.


February 12, 2013    View Comment    

On After a PR Gaffe, Should Ryanair Eschew Social Media?


The best, and probably only, reason a brand should use social media is to understand its customers or consumers.  This does not mean trying to target their customers through social media or maximise 'engagement' - although this is how most brands, including Cocal Cola, are trying to use it. 

Every brand will have at least some people who either have a passion for it, or want to talk to it (often to register a complaint or comment).  These will only ever be a very small number of people at any given time - but a brand can create a very great deal of value by listening, and responding, to these people in the right way.

Very few brands have worked out how to do this yet - which is why you are correct to identify that much of what the likes of Coca Cola is doing is a waste of time.




February 1, 2013    View Comment    

On The Future of Facebook Graph Search (and Google)


Here is another link to the piece http://richardstacy.com/2013/01/21/facebook-graph-search-why-this-could-be-so-important-to-the-future-of-big-data/

Re trust, I guess the issue is the subject.  If I want an opinion on an area where I don't have a friend with relevant experience, then I need to turn to people I don't know, and want a process that will allow me to trust that person.  For example, I am looking for a new chainsaw.  I don't have any friends who know much about chainsaws - I may trust them as people, but I don't trust their opinions on chainsaws.  Think also Wikipedia.  I trust Wikipedia, in-so-far as I trust Wikipedia's process - but I don't know the people behind the articles.  So yes - we will always trust friends more than strangers, but we don't have enough friends to allow this to be useful - we have to access the knowledge of strangers.  And the great, transformative, thing about social media is that it allows us to do this.


January 22, 2013    View Comment    

On The Future of Facebook Graph Search (and Google)

As you say - I think this is an important move in terms of who owns the way humans merge their physical and virtual worlds - but I don't see this as a battle between Facebook and Google - I see it as a battle between humans and Googlebook.  http://socialmediatoday.com/richardstacy/1175396/facebook-graph-search-why-could-be-so-important-future-big-data

There is also another issue here with this whole idea of recommendation by friends (i.e the social layar).  This is that you will never have enough friends to make this layer very useful.  Your friends can't visit all the restaurants you may want to visit - but plenty of other people can, albeit you won't know them.  What social does very well is allow you to trust strangers - it is this sort of social layer that is important. http://richardstacy.com/2012/08/07/people-trust-strangers-more-than-they-trust-friends/.  The social layar only becomes useful when it gets pushed out way beyond your friends.


January 21, 2013    View Comment    

On The Critical Importance of Time When Understanding Influence

Interesting analysis.  As you say, time is very important - conversations are not fixed points.  But could it also be that conversations are not fixed things?  We tend to talk about The Conversation that marketers need to influence and from this progress to the assumption that we need to identify certain individuals who play a role in influencing this conversation (Idea Starters, Amplifiers, Curators etc.).  Could it be that conversation is only ever a process, not a thing? There may be conversations about a brand, but there is no such thing as The Conversation about a brand.  This is just something marketing directors want to believe exists, because it becomes something tangible (like an ad) that they can then seek to understand, influence and measure.

I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ways we are trying to analyse conversations and ascribe roles to certain types of people in order to construct targeting or influence models.  Perhaps it would be more useful to understand Idea Starting, for example, as a function, rather than a person.  It is a bit like digital influence - it lives within a process rather than being vested within people who can be termed digital influencers. http://richardstacy.com/2012/05/15/are-digital-influencers-actually-that...

July 16, 2012    View Comment    

On The future of TV is more than social, it’s a multi-screen experience that needs design.

Up until this point we have always understood content through the lens of the distribution channel it sat within.  The channel, in fact, gave its name to the content (TV is a form of distribution but we think of it as a form of content) - or, as per your reference to McLuhan, "the medium was the message".  The social media revolution is all about the liberation of content from its means of distribution and we therefore need to stop using distribution (TV, Twitter, Mobile) words to define and imprison what is simply video content. Does this also mean that the message is also the medium as you say?  I am not sure, it seems more a case of the medium simply becoming irrelevant.

In the future there will be many types of video content - and the content itself will find the distribution channels most appropriate to it, rather than being defined by dependence on a particular channel.  What we currently call TV content won't be defined by sitting in a TV channel, but will instead be defined entirely on account of its context - real-time, interactive content, whose relevance depends on it being seen by lots of people all at the same time (sports, news, interactive entertainment such as Pop Idol / X Factor).  The requirement to be seen by lots of people in real-time will define the channels it get's delivered by.

Is this Social TV?  I don't know - but I think we should drop the TV word or else accept that TV simply becomes a label that is attached to one form of video content.  Or else recognise that TV is neither content or distribution, but simply a business model.  I prefer to think about this whole issue in terms of Social Video.

May 21, 2012    View Comment    

On Facebook just isn’t working for Brands

Why the assumption that the objective for successful use of Facebook is engaging lots of people (i.e. a significant proportion of the whole audience)?  That is an assumption pulled through from old-fashioned traditional media.  I tell organisations to forget Facebook as a platfrom for trying to engage lots of people - focus instead on its ability to have discussions with very small numbers of people.  I believe that the best indicator of a successful Facebook page is not the number of likes, but the presence of a healthy discussion section.  Social media is not about reaching lots of people, but about reaching exactly the right people at exactly the right time (see also http://richardstacy.com/2011/09/19/stop-wasting-money-on-social-media-an...)

September 23, 2011    View Comment    

On 13 Questions Answered with Facebook Fan Page Analytics

This is all good stuff ... except that this type of analystics is what you need if you think Facebook is like your website - i.e. a place to drive people to and broadcast content at them.  Its not (despite the fact that many organisations, encouraged by Facebook, are reconstructing their websites in Facebook).  If you think you need these sort of analytics for your Facebook page, you are using Facebook the wrong way.

September 16, 2011    View Comment    

On Getting the Google Plus Conversation Right

Is it really just about building an audience and getting more traffic though? 

August 22, 2011    View Comment