social networks

Slideshare – Social Amplification Blows Up the Good, Bad, and Ugly

“Before you do ‘trial-and-error’ social media marketing, you’d better plan ahead and be ready for it to blow up – good OR bad. The opportunity for marketers is to leverage social amplification instead of sticking ads in social media sites.” – Augustine Fou
Social Amplification Blows Up the Good, Bad, and Ugly
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The Power of Social Media Illustrated Has Over 50,000 Views in 4 Days on Slideshare

Power of Social Media Illustrated – the power of consumers expressed through social media caused swift action by big companies.

March 2012 – Starbucks Frap Flap, using ground up bugs to color strawberry frappucinos

March 2012 – Kroger and Safeway pulled all “pink slime” beef products from shelves

power of social media to change companies' actions




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Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )



Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results


















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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments


People Look At Google+ And Facebook The Same WayAn eye tracking study of 54 users under the age of 34 shows that Facebook users and Google+ users read their homepage in the same way.

Both Facebook and Google+ users begin by examining the main column where all the content is located. They then jump around from the left, right and top columns as they scan the less important parts of the page. The amount of time spent reading each section is almost identical between the two social networks as well.

So either Google designed its homepage to match Facebook or all you geeky Google+ users are more like your Facebook friends than you think. [AllThingsD]

You can keep up with Kelly Hodgkins, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google + or Facebook.

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Friday, August 12th, 2011 social networks No Comments

Fbishing is the new phishing

fbishing facebook phishing


Turns out the US Government did this too!
Jan 20, 2015 – UPDATEDOJ Will Pay $134k for Catfishing Drug Dealers With Stolen Facebook Pics

In case snooping wasn’t enough, the U.S. government is also neck-deep in creeptastic digital impersonation schemes. The Justice Department has agreed to pay a woman $134,000 for stealing her personal information to set up a fake Facebook profile in her name so that DEA agents could catfish drug dealers

ORIGINAL POST – August 12, 2011
Beware of fake Facebook profiles asking to be friends with you. This is the new “phishing” that I am dubbing “fbishing” (pronounced “fuh-bishing”)Clues to look out for are- you dont know who it is

– they have no friends

– they have no posts, photos or other activity

– their favorites, music, etc. look like a promotional page for a company’s product or services,

– it is in a foreign language,

– the photo is of a hot girl (or guy) in a bikini

– the face in the photo is not showing,

– they have no friends in common with you

– they have hundreds of friends in common with you, but you dont know any of those either

– the only activity in their stream is friending other people

– they have fake names like “dokter nikki”

– they have thousands of friends

– the profile photo is NSFW

– their photo looks like a prison mug shot

– they use a picture of Garfield for their profile, have no picture, or a cartoonified photo

Once they are your friend, even your tight Facebook privacy settings like “friends only” wont stop them from seeing your entire list of friends (who become the next round of fbishing attempts).

Consider yourself warned. No more casual “friend accepting” and always practice safe facebooking.

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Friday, August 12th, 2011 social networks No Comments

FREE Customer Research and Why You SHOULD Run Ideas By Your Audience First

free research on twitter – twitter ROI

what CNN should have done before they launched their radical new design (which apparently they themselves thought was really cool, but their readers and others, not so much)

RT @bmorrisssey

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 social networks 1 Comment

Why your brand MUST have a presence on social networks

At first glance, I said false when I read “Brand Presence on Social Networks Trusted Almost As Much As Peer Advice” — but when I looked more closely, it read “most credible source for information about a brand.”  This is significant because a “brand itself” SHOULD be the most credible source of accurate and up-to-date information. Even consumers are not always the best source or always have the latest information. And further notice that “a marketer” is next to the last on the bottom. Consumers want accurate and up to date info but they do not want to be sold to.

Consumers are good for “subjective” input on the quality and value of a brand’s products or services. A brand must be responsible for the accuracy of its own objective information. Formerly a brand’s own website was the best place to house objective information such as technical specs, nutrition information, etc. While third party sites like reviews sites are the best place to house subjective information like customer reviews, etc. Today, since most customers frequent social networks and seldom visit brand’s websites (they never did much anyway) the place to put objective information is on brand pages on social networks. Note that this does not mean a marketing page designed to “sell.” It means place “credible information about a brand.”

Brands Vie for Credibility on Social Networks

APRIL 2, 2010

Asked what source was most believable when it came to information found about brands on social networking sites, Internet users were most likely to favor their peers. But “the brand itself” came in a close second, far ahead of journalists, considered traditionally to be an objective source. Notably, users were much less trusting of marketers—a separate response from brands—and didn’t put much faith in a brand’s competitors either.


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Monday, April 5th, 2010 Branding, social networks 1 Comment

How to make a viral video – a 5-step guide

1. select a product that is a low consideration product (e.g. a song) whose primary missing link is awareness

2. create a funny and entertaining video that features that product or a key attribute of the product

3. [ contact us for the “secret sauce” of step 3 ]

4. continue to build the momentum and build further social amplification by real people (won’t happen if the content is not funny, entertaining, useful, or unexpected)

5. use analytics to determine how to further optimize the content itself to match what characteristics actually went viral (based on how people talked about it when they passed it along)

Examples of videos whose viral effects were successfully manufactured over time. Obama Girl; Lonelygirl15 Brea Olson; Notice the shape of the stats curve of the more recent lonelygirl15 video from 2008. It is much flatter, which is a characteristic of non-viral videos. This is after they revealed that the original lonelygirl15 was a fake; now they have to support the view count through traditional paid media and continuous PR to accumulate the views.




How the JKWedding Viral Video was A Manufactured Success

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 SEO, social networks 2 Comments

Social “media” is created – the total quantity, reach, frequency, and intensity are not pre-known

Social “media” is created – the total quantity, reach, frequency, and intensity are not pre-known. The “media” that is generated can be positive or negative or both. Extremity or “extreme-ness” is usually a necessary ingredient. Extremely positive, extremely entertaining, extremely negative, etc.

Oprah Winfrey KFC Grilled Chicken disaster, coupon debacle. Her reputation may have been permanently tarnished because she was found out to have been paid by KFC to promote the coupon tied to the launch of KFC grilled chicken.


Dominos was on the hot seat when 2 employees shot a video of them sticking mozzarella cheese up their nose and then putting it into the pizza.


Motrin offended the sensibilities of moms when they implied that a baby was a cool “accessory.”  The blogosphere and twitter lit up with people taking exception to that.


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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 social networks No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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