November 23, 2012

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Digital Digest #103: Oh, the Humanity

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir(d),  Alison FlemingShannon Morton, Rob Clark and Sarah Shelest.

The thought of our friends in the U.S. sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, spending time with face-to-face with friends and family. Behind the football games, food, minor family squabbles, second-helpings of food, drinks and dessert food lies one of the fundamental aspects of social interaction: shared humanity.

This humanity is important for brands who want to engage consumers. To build successful online engagement, brands can’t engage with consumers as faceless monoliths. When people Like our brands, we want it to help them really like them. Someone can Like a drink on Facebook, but how do we turn that into the kind of connection that we can make with a person? Humanizing brands and organization is a task that is one of the cornerstones of successful social media engagement. In this week’s edition of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest, we explore the ways that brands are finding their voice, providing relevant content and connecting with people in very human ways.

Weekly Tech Update:

  • Foursquare added a “recently opened” section to the app
  • Pinterest has launched website verification
  • Facebook is launching a numberless social calling service (Orange, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client)
  • TV loyalty and engagement company Viggle acquired second screen app GetGlue (Best Buy, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client)
  • Mozilla is bringing Facebook into Firefox in toolbar form
  • Twitter is giving away $1 million in promoted tweets to small businesses

The best defense? Still, a good offense

To say transparency in digital is paramount has now become a cliché; digital garners its power from its ability to speak more colloquially on behalf of a brand than ever before. This proved beneficial to two newspapers this past week, when the social realm tried to run away with legal intervention with the satirical Twitter account @NYTOnIt and an editorial criticising the historical inaccuracy of a video game. Both The New York Times and The Globe and Mail stepped out in front of the stories, acknowledging the issues, and, most powerfully, demonstrating that they were “in on the joke”. Moral of the story? Make them laugh with you, not at you. The New York Times / The Globe and Mail (Ubisoft, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client)

Forget elevator pitches: it’s all about the tweet

No matter what side of an RFP we’re on, we’re all familiar with how it works, and what the challenges are: as an agency, how do you make yourself stand out? And as a company, how do you make sure you’re getting the best agency for the job? Starwood’s Aloft hotel chain decided to shake things up by putting out an RFP for a new PR firm on Twitter, using the hashtag #RFTweet. While the jury’s still out on the success of the campaign, it’s an interesting idea, and one that ultimately distils what can often be a complex, detailed process down to a single 140-character message that connects directly – on a 1:1 level – with the intended audience. AdAge (Starwood Hotels, mentioned in this article, is a competitor to Edelman client Hilton)

Search differently

In an attempt to make Twitter search more relevant and more visual, Twitter has announced a few changes to the way it delivers search results. Users will now see a grid of photos and video above search results and thumbnail previews of media in in the results steam on mobile devices. Additionally, search results will be more transparent about why specific content ranks in search results by showing users the context of who drove the result by favoriting or retweeting the post. Twitter

So you Like that, huh?

In the wake of reactions and speculation to September’s change to the algorithm, Facebook’s product manager for the news feed provides some clarity as to how and why posts from Pages are displayed in the news feed.  The platform will serve to users the content they prefer to see, based on predictions from their past actions.  Liked photos a lot?  Liked WidgetCo’s Page?  Expect to see more photos from WidgetCo. TechCrunch

Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest is a weekly bundle of links, served up on Edelman Canada’s Our Ideas blog on Fridays. It’s also available by email. If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list, have any questions or just want to share some thoughts on anything you read here, email me. Let’s get a conversation going.

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