Sitting in the downstairs conference room of the gorgeous Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, I would ordinarily be staring out the window at the crashing surf except that Martin Stoll, the brilliant and understated founder of social media consultancy Sparkloft Media, is talking about SM trends we can use.
Instead of daydreaming, I’m typing notes into Evernote as quickly as I can. I’m trying to understand and capture the three social media trends Martin is discussing. Specifically, 1. Social Narcissism, 2. Digital Snacking, and 3. Complaintvertising.
1. Social Narcissism. Did you know that the vacation you take is only as good as what you can show others? Showing off the incredibly romantic sunset you’re visiting proves that you have a better life than the people who aren’t there. As we said just a couple of weeks ago, social media is the 21st century version of the old riddle about a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it: If something great happens to you and you can’t post it on Facebook, did it really happen?
So how do you take advantage of this social media trend? Simply by making it as easy as possible for your readers, followers, and customers to share your visible assets. By giving them ample opportunities to upload and repost their thoughts and images. And by taking what they post and turning it into highly attractive content snippets for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media outlets.
At a recent presentation, Beth Zeisnes showed us a few simple online tools such as Tagxedo, Mozaikr, ReciteThis, and Quozio that make this as easy as possible. Simply enter your morsel, and these apps will create beautiful little pieces of art you can upload to your favorite social media sites that generate much more interest and reposting than simple text files.
2. Digital Snacking. The New York Times (NYT) has had 60 people working for over a year to figure out the future of the newspaper. One of their observations was that even though the NYT is incredibly skilled at uncovering and creating information, social media intense sites such as The Huffington Post attracts more readership for an article that the NYT created and posted in the first place. Because of this, the Times has determined that its competition is not papers such as The Wall Street Journal, but information aggregation sites such as The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.
The NYT study illustrates Stoll’s trend of Digital Snacking, where people are looking for quick, funny, interesting, pretty, shocking, engaging snippets of data that they can digest quickly and easily. Martin calls it, “The One Thumb Rule.” That is, information you can find on social media with one click of your thumb on your mobile device. If you can’t get to the interesting piece with one click while you’re waiting for elevator or sitting at a red light, you’ll go somewhere else for your ‘fix.’
3. Complaintvertising. Finally, Martin told us about Complaintvertising. His example was the traveler who felt so mistreated by British Airways that he spent $1,000 on Twitter to send a negative tweet to people who follow the airline that told readers not to fly BA because “their customer service is horrendous.” BA’s response? They wrote back to say that their Twitter feed is managed from 9 AM to 5 PM, Greenwich Mean Time.
Complaintvertising means that the days of worrying about what people say about you on Trip Advisor or Yelp is over. With those sites, at least your potential customers have to go look up what people have said about you. But with complaintvertising, negative messages will be sent to the interested parties without them even asking for it. Imagine how this will change your digital social media strategy.
All three of these new social media trends are just little speed bumps in the advertising world’s mad dash into the brave new world of online marketing. But they’re indicative of what you should be paying attention to as you build your business online and off.