Revolutionary Measures

Facebook+

Quel ricco sfondato di Mark Zuckerberg, founde...

Image via Wikipedia

Your biggest competitor is launching a new product that attacks your dominant market leader head-on. What do you do? You don’t want to look desperate but equally you can’t ignore it.

If you are Facebook responding to the launch of Google+ the answer is simple – infiltrate it. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg allegedly joined the fledgling social network on launch and is now the most popular user, with more followers than Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Of course, the account may be fake but I’d like to hope not given this is a brilliant PR tactic that means Facebook wins whatever happens. If Google had blocked Zuckerberg he could have complained to the media about a lack of openness. And as they’ve let him in he can ensure Facebook is central to the story. I’d imagine that Google execs are frantically drumming up followers for Brin and Page to unseat Zuckerberg from the Google+ throne as I write………..

 

 

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July 7, 2011 Posted by | PR, Social Media | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Waving goodbye and Crossing the Chasm

Image representing Google Wave as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

The news that Google is canning its Wave product has the online world in a bit of a tizzy. In my opinion it suffered as people weren’t really sure what it did (email? Instant messaging? Document collaboration? All of the above?) and it was launched by invitation – hardly the way of building a mass audience quickly

So, if the likes of Google can’t convince us to use new tools, have we reached the end of the road for social media innovation?

I think not, but as social media moves more mainstream new services need to convince people (not just early adopters) to invest time and effort in trying something new.

Let’s go back to marketing science. Social media has crossed Geoffrey Moore’s famous chasm, so to gain interest new services have to appeal to the early majority, rather than just visionaries and early adopters. It doesn’t matter that social media tools tend to be free – what costs (and puts people off) is the amount of time they need to invest in learning them and the potential payback.

The early majority aren’t interested in tech for tech’s sake, they want something that will solve a problem or replace a tried and tested solution. And it has to be easy to use and not take up too much of their time to set-up. Wave failed on pretty much all of these points, meaning it was always destined to be a niche technology. So rather than a big bang launch Google would have done better to define what it did, build a community of early adopters and then go mainstream.

Given the number of products Google launches the death of Wave isn’t a crisis, but is the perfect illustration that marketing strategy applies equally to social media as any other sector.

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August 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments