At Facebook HQ today, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new and improved search engine tool “Graph Search” for Facebook. This tool allows you to search for particular information within your social graphs.
The main goal of Graph Search is to return an answer, not list a bunch of links in the form of a web search. In the initial version of Graph Search there will be four main areas of focus: People, Photo, Places and Interests. Bing has teamed up with Facebook to make Graph Search a unique and useful tool.
The improvements to the search engine will optimize the way we search for information on Facebook. If you are in Chicago and want to find friends who live in the area to make plans, you can ask a question such as “Which of my friends live in Chicago?” It will then pull up your friends listed in the area. The search engine tool is also able to rank your friends based on the interaction you have had with them, so the more interaction you have with your friends, the higher they will rank.
You are also able to search for things that your friends like. For example, you can search “My friends who like Smash and The Bachelor” to pull up a list of friends who have similar interests. It works the same way for the people search (which definitely will come in handy the next time you meet a really cute guy at Stacy’s party but cannot remember his last name). All you would do is search “People named Joe who are friends with Stacy”.
If you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant, you are able to view everyone who has been to that restaurant. However, it would even better if you could also rank the quality of your experience – like you can on Yelp. This way if a friend on Facebook can’t decide between two places to go, they can just check out the ranking as well on Facebook. Maybe this feature is coming in the future?
This update will most likely be a more resourceful tool for marketers than everyday users because; it will make it easier to find out the likes and interests of their target audience. This can then help make advertisements appear more personal and targeted toward the fans. On the upside for everyday users, it will make “Facebook stalking” much easier.
After testing out Graph Search I’ve noticed that the update is much more direct and saves time as opposed to the old search on Facebook. Want to try it for yourself? The Graph Search Beta is currently limited but you can join the wait list to be one of the first users to test it out.
What do you think about the new Graph Search? Is it a helpful, useful tool for Facebook users and marketers alike?
Well, the Olympics have come to an end (sigh). The closing ceremonies are over and have successfully spiced up my life. But the completion of the games have left a void in my nightly television routine I have gotten quite accustomed to over the past two weeks. I’ve now had some time to reflect on the proud moments, the incredible athletes, and, of course, the tear jerking Olympic commercials that oftentimes deserve gold metals.
What struck me the most was the huge role social media played in this year’s games. The New York Times even referred to it as the “Socialympics”. There have been some highlights (following the athletes as on their road to Olympic stardom was inspiring), but there have also been some social media mishaps.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned that can be applied to your business or brand’s social media so that you don’t accidentally commit “social suicide”:
Greek Olympic triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, was ousted from the games and was ineligible to compete after tweeting racially hurtful comments about fellow African athletes. Not only did she get the boot, but she put a rather large dent in her personal brand.
Dick Raman, CEO of BrandReact, says, “the lesson here is think before you tweet. Because social media is instant, people sometimes don’t realize that things written in the heat of the moment have a lasting effect even in the Twitterverse.” Remember: social media is instant and permanent. This also validates that age old adage: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Photographs by Stanley Chou/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Images.
Here’s another example: Olympic Soccer player Hope Solo and Brandi Chastain got in a twitter cat fight over Brandi’s guest commentating during a match. Their back and forth was more painful to watch than the final seconds of swimming.
The lesson here may be obvious, but it’s vital: don’t talk smack about your competition. You’re better off letting your brand, products or services speak for themselves than bashing your competitors. Keep it classy.
I’m already looking forward to the next round of Olympic Games and all of the glory and controversy it is sure to bring. Until then, I’ll be keeping an eye on my social media and carefully monitoring my twitter posts.
Memorial Hermann will be doing more than putting pins in patients today. They will be pinning a live brain tumor resection. Brain surgery on Pinterest? Yep. I'm not sure if it's the right social platform - it's not where I'd go to get up to speed on leading brain surgery centers - but it's certainly innovative. As is the hospital's social media machine.
This Texas hospital performed the world's first live-tweeted open heart surgery a few weeks back. When this reaped 125 million views via Twitter, Storify and media coverage, they decided to go for it again. Adding in Pinterest.
Today's brain surgery will be performed by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon who operated on former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. While surgeries have been tweeted in the past, this will be the first to share the feed from the surgeon's fiber optic microscope. Real time pics and videos will be posted on Twitter, YouTube and Storify.
According to Nielson @Plan, homemakers index 204 on Pinterest, meaning they are 104 times more likely to be on this site. So Pinterest definitely reaches the female healthcare decisionmaker. But will she want to look at photos of brain surgery while hunting for recipes and fashion tips?
(Image from IdeaStream.com)
Time will tell. I think one thing's for sure. Memorial Hermann is living up to its themeline of "100 Years of Patient-Centered Care and Innovation." Not only with its team of expert docs, but its team of social media experts.
What do you think of surgeries on Pinterest? Is it over the top? Or is this hospital ahead of the curve?
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. That means for the next twenty-four hours, buildings and monuments around the world will be bathed in blue light. Among the places “lighting it up blue” are the Empire State Building, the Paris Stock Exchange, The Sydney Opera House . . . and the historic Peabody Mansion in Birmingham, Michigan, which is the home of Brogan & Partners.
I’m so proud that our firm will be a part of this amazing day, when so many people will be focusing on autism. Maybe the blue lights will inspire more people to volunteer on behalf of those with autism. Or to donate money for autism research. Maybe those who live with autism on a daily basis will choose this day to reach out and educate others about the disorder.
Photo by Mike Lord
There are so many ways to learn and help. The blue lights are there to remind us that autism is all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism’s prevalence has now risen to one in 88 children. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a personal connection to this disorder.
That's why we are supporting Michigan's Lt. Governor, Brian Calley, in his effort to implement autism insurance reform in Michigan--to make sure that the 15,000 people living with autism in Michigan get the treatment they need to live a bright and productive future.
That’s why I (as well as Brogan & Partners) am a longtime supporter of Friendship Circle of Michigan, which provides services to kids with special needs, including those with autism.
It’s why I contribute to Camp Kids All Together, which helps autistic kids go to an inclusive day camp along with children of all abilities.
And it’s why my husband, Jon, has just joined the board of The Bear Hug Foundation, which helps kids with special needs go to overnight camp.
As many of you know, we bathe the Peabody Mansion in a pink glow every October to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the first time we’ve shined our light on a new issue. I hope it gets people talking. I hope it prompts a flood of donations.
And I hope it means that some day, that one in 88 statistic will be a distant memory.
As one of the digital thought leaders at Brogan & Partners, I was excited to attend this year's SXSW conference and see where the future of digital design was heading. Often, I feel like the "usability police" and for years I have been making sure our web sites, rich media and social media designs where intuitive so the user knows where to click and what they'll get. But with Touch UI gaining momentum, it begs the question: Is Touch UI the Click UI killer? After all, video killed the radio star...
During my week of Interactive sessions at SXSW, I realized that the focus of conventional Click UI was pretty much obsolete. If anything, it was only mentioned in passing. And I also didn't hear the word "usability" mentioned at all. It was all about the touch or gesture experience.
I joke that my kids don't know what a mouse is, but it's true. Their first experience and exposure to computers were a laptop, iPhone, and iPad. None of these devices uses a mouse or has to be clicked. We do have desktop computers around, but it's avoided because there's a feeling of entrapment compare to our mobile devices. Our expectations of how we experience the web has gone way beyond just the conventional and intuitive navigations.
Whether we believe conventional Click UI is a passing phase or not, it is paramount to consider the visual interface as part of the brand. As designers, we'll need to build an easy and memorable experience for our users. And to stay on top of our competitors, those experiences will need to be unique. This is what Nike Myers described in his "The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand" session at SXSW. Where do you think the user interface is heading?
Here's a little taste of things to come when the visual is the interface.
Never underestimate the power of a good idea. It will stick in your head for years. It will push itself to the forefront among other ideas. And when the right people see it and believe in its potential, they will jump on your bandwagon. I came up with the idea for “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose”, 17 years ago working on the Michigan Department of Community Health account at Brogan.
At the time, we were doing some TV spots, so radio wasn’t in the budget and YouTube did not exist. But the tune, “Secondhand Rose,” (which is in public domain) and my rewrite of the words had a sticking factor. And the tune stuck in my head for years. So recently when I heard MDCH needed a radio spot about secondhand smoke for parents of young children, I remembered that idea from long ago. Of course, the original script was gone, considering it was written on one of the first Macs! But I recreated it. And I couldn’t have scripted what happened next better. Our wonderful clients at MDCH, Kelly Niebel and Jason Holben, let us produce it as both a radio spot and a YouTube video (the latter has over 4,000 hits just after a couple weeks). Serendipitously, we found the perfect talent shooting another spot for STEM awareness. We called in favors to make it amazing and stay in budget. But the icing on the cake: powerful results. The calls to the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line were so dramatic, one of our clients exclaimed she “almost fell out of my chair.” So that great idea you have, it can happen. It just may need a little longer incubation period. What do you think of our “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose” spot for the Michigan Department of Community Health? I'm glad it stuck in my head all those years!
South by Southwest or better known as SXSW, is an interactive, music and film festival. A few of us, Broganites, set off on our travels to take part in the interactive portion of the festival. In particular, I was a SXSW virgin. However, I was excited to lose my v-card and participate in networking events, panel discussions and other social activities surrounding tech innovations.
My first thought was that it all was extremely overwhelming. There were probably over 50 events or sessions you could choose from per day. And there were always going to be 1 or 2 that you could tell would be a waste of time once you sat in them for the first 10 minutes. But overall, the tech leaders that made up the panel discussions and sessions were really insightful. They made you think. After a session you would feel more empowered, more knowledgeable and maybe even invincible. There was also the feeling of: When I get home I am going to be the first one in my office to know about the next great tech idea!
I had a few favorite sessions and here’s what I learned from them:
I Used Data Analytics to Game Online Dating – I was under the assumption that this solo speaker, Amy Webb, was using the title as a metaphor. I thought I was going to a session about social media analytics. Boy was I wrong! It really was about her dating life. This woman created an algorithm to find her husband on an online dating platform. It was even considered rated “R” according to the SXSW organizers – only because she used colorful, raunchy-ish language. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, I really found it very entertaining and humorous. And I may even buy Webb’s book, Data: A Love Story, once it is released in 2013.
What’s So [Bleeping] Hard About Social ROI? – There isn’t one! Or at least there isn’t a universal social media ROI. The panel from this session discussed that you shouldn’t use sales as a goal for social media. Social media is about building relationships directly with the consumer. For those folks who have created their own ROI for social – your formula should be used as a benchmark. However, it’s not an absolute science or equation. My favorite quote from this panel was “What’s the ROI in not doing social?” from Craig Daitch a Social Media Manager for Ford Motor Company.
Social Media Is a Bubble and SXSW Is a Fad – This panel of 5 had lots to say. It was a combination of humor and opinions. All but one of the panelists agreed that social media was a bubble. They were preaching that the social community should figure out how to manage the bubble once it bursts. How do we create value from the burst? I think the creative talent that comes out of this burst will need to be placed in new companies. However, this could be good because they will bring new and fresh ideas to wherever they land. This was by far my favorite, because these people who are looked at as social leaders were being realistic and having a real conversation about the social phenomenon. It is here to stay; the question is when will it become just another medium? After the bubble bursts?
So there you have it, those were my favorite sessions from SXSW. And I can now say…I am no longer a virgin, and it was mind blowing! If you were in Austin last week, what would you say was your favorite session? If you weren’t in Austin last week, does this sound like something you would want to be a part of next year?
Did you know that March 25th is the kickoff date for Michigan STEM Awareness Week? You’re probably wondering what is STEM and what does it have to do with me? Well, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It turns out that STEM occupations are the highest paying, fastest growing, most influential jobs of the future to drive economic growth and innovation. Which we all know is important for the State of Michigan. Michigan STEM Awareness Week is being sponsored by the STEM Alliance of Michigan (SAM).
I had the pleasure of working with these forward thinking folks on a TV spot to promote STEM education awareness. Working with the kids featured in the spot was too much fun, they were spontaneous, charming and hilarious. It’s times like this that I love my job. A job I couldn’t do without my MAC and technology. So learn more about the good stuff going on during Michigan STEM Awareness Week, March 25-31. How will you build STEM awareness? Start by sharing the spot with your family, friends and social networks. I did.
Every once in a while, a big retail chain reinvents itself, and I always find it fun to watch. Remember, for instance, when Abercrombie & Fitch was a place for great, white hunters to shop? Or when Banana Republic was all about safari chic?
The latest store to do a big switcheroo is JCPenney. This reboot isn’t a simple case of hipping up the middle-American staple and shortening its name to JCP (though of course, they have shortened the name to JCP).
According to this piece in the Wall Street Journal, JCP’s new CEO, Ron Johnson, is trying to turn the whole concept of a department store on its ear. The store’s main floor is no longer a sea of cosmetic counters. Now, it’s a wide-open “town square,” surrounded by dozens of tiny specialty shops. The ubiquitous .99 has been lopped off of price tags. And instead of pricing items high, then holding sale after sale after sale, all merchandise will now be offered at lower prices from the get-go, and there will be regular sales two Fridays/month. (For a full breakdown of JCP’s new pricing structure, check out this great blog.
All of these changes seem made for busy women who can’t exactly plan for spontaneous sales, and don’t like to be toyed with when it comes to pricing. Considering that a majority of department store shoppers are women, this seems like a smart move.
My favorite part of the new JCP is its marketing. Ellen Degeneres, whom I adore, has been hired as spokesperson. She and the company were both the picture of grace in the face of a recent anti-gay protest by the group One Million Moms. And Ellen’s JCP commercials were one of the only entertaining parts of the recent Oscar broadcast!
In addition to advertising the store’s new game—which includes no coupons and no receipt necessary for returns—Ellen’s commercials introduce the chain’s new motto: “Fair and Square.”
I love the cleverness of this phrase. Not only does it refer to the classic community gathering place that is the small town square, it also pokes a bit of fun at JCP’s old image—which was definitely square. Such sweet, self-deprecating marketing is winning, and I hope it works. Next time I’m at the mall, I plan to check out the new JCP. I’ll also be curious to see if their rebrand impacts other department stores, which are all suffering in this economy. Johnson is the genius behind the futuristic Apple Store, so the odds are in his favor.
However it goes, I admire JCP for shaking things up, and for following through with some great marketing to women.
Have you been to the new JCP yet? What do you think?
Yesterday was Leap Day, but it will always be remembered as a revolutionary day in the world of social media. Facebook took a huge leap forward with the inaugural Facebook Marketing Conference. The six-hour, invitation-only event packed the American Museum of Natural History in New York, marking a day in history of its own. If you didn’t happen to make the conference, or your invitation somehow got lost in the mail, never fear. Here’s a recap of what you missed:
Applications – These will now appear as rich applications just below and to the right of the cover photo. These applications will engage customers and encourage them to click more often. Starbucks has also been in beta for Timeline and has made great use of the new apps feature.
Pinned Posts, Starred Posts, Backdated Posts – You can “pin” posts (like Red Bull) that you’d like to feature as a “post of the week”. These will stay at the top of your timeline, appearing as the most recent post.
New Ads for Brand Pages: