Friday, January 29, 2016

This Week in EID - Episode 90

We covered some really important topics on EID this week.  Here are some of the highlights:

On Monday, we talked about a social media strategy for counteracting ISIS’ well-performing strategy that has been attracting recruits from around the world.

On Tuesday we shared a new app that can help parents overcome their math and science anxiety and help their kids learn better.

On Wednesday we shared about a simple way to improve communication in domains where there is a power hierarchy: parents and children, doctors and patients, teachers and students, and so on.

And we closed on Thursday with a discussion of how to get people to comply more with socially beneficial behavior.

Enjoy – and have a great weekend.

Trump's Veterans Event

Taking a step back and looking at this as an image marketing strategy:
  1. The Republicans as a whole have been using the notion that other countries have been walking all over President Obama. China, Russia, Iran, the TPP trade agreement, the Paris climate change agreement – he keeps giving in because he and Secretary Kerry are bad negotiators.
  2. One of the primary messages Donald Trump is using to establish his brand identity as a presidential candidate is that he is a tough negotiator and can get his way when others fail.  This is a direct response to the GOP message and is attractive to potential GOP primary voters.
  3. By holding his Wounded Warriors event instead of participating in the GOP debate, he got to say “I wanted to be at the debate. But I am the kind of person who will take a stand for what I believe in. And I won this round because their viewership and advertising rates have gone way down without me [which isn’t actually true, but that has not stopped him before]. I will do the same as President.”
  4. Because of the scandal of his competing event, all of the news media covered his event and mentioned this quote several times.
  5. If GOP primary voters want a candidate who will stand up for our (Americans) rights and interests and he has shown that this is his raison d’etre, they should all vote for him. Here is all the proof they need.  No other candidate held their own competing event to a debate. News media coverage of the quote proves it is true.
Brilliant as an image marketing strategy.  He got tons of free media without spending a dime on commercials. Funding for the event, since it was for Wounded Warriors rather than his campaign, could be provided without campaign finance limitations and was probably tax deductible for the donors (accountants out there can let us know).

I will leave it up to you to decide on your voting choice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Future of Twitter

The news that Twitter has lost many of its senior executives has been cited as a sign of the company’s demise.  I have heard predictions that Twitter will either be bought out by the likes of Google, become a niche service, or be relegated to the annals of history.

Their problem is that they have tried to be many different things to many different kinds of people. It seems to me that Twitter has a very unique and valuable service to provide.  But it is not social networking among friends to have conversations. 

I see their primary value as a linear, 140-character per post feed where you can follow anyone without asking their permission and they don’t have to follow you back.  And a reasonable insertion of sponsored posts as their revenue source – the more customized and personalized the better for both the marketer and the user.

Here is what I mean:

  • I am a practitioner of content marketing strategy. There are a few experts in this area that read a lot about it from industry publications. They post links to the best of what they read on Twitter.  I can follow these experts, trust their judgment, and read the articles that they share. I save a ton of time having to search for good articles myself.
  • My career depends on knowing everything about user experience design. I can follow the hashtags #UX and #userexperience and get updates, recommended articles, and all kinds of content from every source in the domain. Since there are hundreds of experts posting their recommended articles on UX using these hashtags, it is likely that I won’t miss much and probably nothing that is important.
  • I am a fan of the Michigan Wolverines football team. I can follow the team’s feed and get real time updates about player status, game scores, and links to general news articles. This is more specific than what I can get at ESPN and has the unapologetic pro-Michigan bias that I prefer. 
  • I am a supporter of Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. I can follow him and find out if he is going to be doing any radio or TV interviews, making public appearances, releasing policy statements, or asking for my support on something. I can be a better supporter in less time and stay informed, all in one place.

Notice that none of these involve shares, likes, retweets, replies, or conversations. They don’t require anyone to follow me. If I am considered worth following by others I can use the Like or Retweet functions to show my followers what I thought was the best out of the best that I follow. But my followers would be taking their chances because I could be Liking something from content marketing, UX, Michigan sports, or Charlie Baker. If one of my friends wants to follow me to show their friendship, it could be just to show their affinity and they might ignore anything I do.

None of the other social media services does this very well.  Not Facebook, not Instagram, not Linked In, not . . . .  But Twitter does it very well. If they focused on doing this extremely well, I think they have a strong future ahead of them.  If they keep trying to do it all, I vote for the “annals of history” option.