Tags: Google, New Years Predictions, RIM, Sports Picks
Prediction #1: Google Plus is Here to Stay
There were a lot of doom sayers when G+ launched this year and I still caution my clients and anyone willing to listen to wait before launching a Brand Page on G+. That may change in 2012…
It was instantly billed as a Facebook vs. G+ “battle”. Which is not a fair fight or the reality of the situation. As I see it (along with many others) the big difference maker with G+ is its impact to search. Up to 70% of website referrals come from search queries (Googling). This really means something for the small to medium-sized business. If that uptake continues, and more people begin to use G+, sports brands will be well advised to join the party here.
Prediction #2: RIM will Re-Emerge
2011 was not a good year for RIM. But I predict that the Blackberry maker and smart phone giant in serious trouble has a bounce back year in 2012. It may be through its own internal revolution, or perhaps the time is right for RIM to be snapped up by Google… who knows, but I’m going on the line to say that a comeback is in the works.
Prediction #3: Sports Picks
- Superbowl: Green Bay attains perfection
- Stanley Cup: Chicago Blackhawks are back on top
- NBA Championship: Miami Heat get it done this year
- World Series: Toronto Blue Jays surprise everyone
Dec 18/11 Update: KC beat the Packers today… sooo that’s one down…
Tags: G+, Google, Google Plus, Googleplus, Sports Marketing
When G+ came along last summer, I was admittedly excited (with a dash of GoogleWave skepticism). It was fun trying to get and then giving out invites and there was a lot of anticipation about what the platform would offer. Then we all got on and played around with it. Posts and conversations soon focused on “Is there anything happening here?”, and then people maybe checked back once a week or so – if that.
Behind the scenes, G+ wasn’t ready for brands and shut down any Profiles that were brands. It was a bit of a gong show, but it did build anticipation for what the Brand Page experience would be like.
So – here’s my take on sports teams on G+…
First off, I would have (and recommend) to hold off for now. There’s no rush here.
Don’t get me wrong – a big part of me is excited to get teams busy here and the tech-side of me is keen to do it. But remember – this is a Marketing initiative. Why are teams on Facebook? Because their fans are on Facebook. I’m not sure the same is true of G+ with numerous articles (here’s a good one) that have my wonder if G+ is really the right market at this point in time.
Yes, building a G+ Page is cool – but is it smart marketing?
Another big factor with G+ is how it affects search. It seems obvious that Brands with a G+ page will rank higher in Google searches. But consider that from a sports team perspective – is ranking your team site, which has corporate partners invested in it, lower than a social networking site really a good idea?
Given the heavy load of content production, customer service and good old engagement required from a small digital staff, is layering on another social network from the ground up a wise investment of time?
I see less and less of teams actually using social media in a social way. There is increasingly less interaction with the Brand. Teams need to think fans first with Facebook and respond to their comments, answer questions, thank them for their photos. Teams on Twitter should be spending as much as 2/3rds of their tweets on @replys to fans.
Simply using social channels to drop links to your team site is not the point here. These are social networks.
Don’t forget how we got here in the first place.
Tags: Entities, Google, Google Plus, Sports Brands
The long answer is a set of questions/thinking designed to get you to “Yes”. Here’s how I see it:
First things first – The Brand profile (called “Entities”) for G+ has not been openly released yet so we don’t know what the Brand experience entails. It’s tough to say how much this will matter to teams in the NHL, NFL, and NBA (should there be a 2011/12 season). MLB will have the luxury of seeing how other leagues and teams tackle Google+ first.
At the very least, G+ matters because of it’s size – 3 weeks after launch, it reached 20M+ users. It took Facebook and Twitter well over 700 days to do that (more details by clicking here); therefore, your fans are already there – they are likely eager to see what kinds of things you have in store on G+ for them. I’d think the path forward would entail a pretty rapid uptake on most sports brands in terms of “Fans, Followers or Likers”. This brings another question - is this a redundant market? Are these your same fans from Facebook? Hmm – probably a lot of them… so what does that mean?
- Do you have resources/bandwidth available to take on the task?
- Do you have a strong presence in other social media platforms?
- Can you provide original content to make the experience worthwhile?
- Can you determine what Google+ does for you that Facebook doesn’t?
- Do you want to be viewed as “innovative” or are you really innovative?
What do you think? Is Google+ on your agenda?
It should be, even if you don’t intend to be there – you need to determine exactly what you are passing up.
P.S. Here is my G+ profile.
Tags: Feedback, Google, Poll
OK – it’s been about a month… What’s your feedback on Google+?
Tags: Google, Sports Marketing, WolframAlpha
Here is What You Need to Know About It…
Have a look for yourself by clicking right here; the link is to a search on Sports.
You’ll notice how WolframAlpha presents information. Not links to websites like Google does, but information and context about your query. WolframAlpha can do things that Google can’t – and that means that the rest of the world can access information about you and your brand in ways they haven’t before.
Now, these are the very early days for WolframAlpha – it’s pretty good with some things, like the NFL or MLB teams – but it doesn’t know what to do with “Chicago Bulls” (it displays the distance bewteen Chicago, IL and Bulls - a location in New Zealand), but it will be getting smarter in the days ahead.
WolframAlpha is a “computational knowledge engine” and represents the shift in focus of the current Internet (web2.0) to the semantic web (web3.0). Exactly how WolframAlpha will impact the business of sports remains to be seen. But now teams and fans alike have a new tool to drill down on information. It can provide statistical info, comparisons, analysis – a new set of tools to open doors.
Whatever WolframAlpha doesn’t know now is just a matter of time until it does. When it does encounter something new, it displays the icon on the right and informs the user “Development of this topic is under investigation…”
Start by searching on your brand or your team now. And keep looking back…
Tags: Common Craft, CRM, Google, Salesforce.com, web2.0
I wanted to share the video, not only because I’m a Common Craft fan, but to request your feedback on the Google/Salesforce.com partnership.
What do you think about CRM and web2.0 continuing to merge?
Are you a Salesforce user? Let me know what you think…