Pay a Blogger Day – How to reward a blogger's work?

Have you ever paid a blogger? Paid for your content love? I mean not for writing some good PR for your business. Just for them being bloggers, sharing valueble content, thoughts, ideas, and providing new food for thought. In some days you can do that. The “Pay a Blogger Day” is here to come. Some thoughts that came to my mind with it…

Some months ago, Flattr started their outreach program to bloggers. And some months ago, they were on their way to revolutionize the monetization of blogs. Those days, the Flattr button went live on my blog, and in every post. I rewarded blog posts, and got some rewards. Just the way Flattr works. They had the idea for the “Pay a Blogger Day”.

On Flattr Cents pass from bloggers to bloggers to… Well. Companies never paid anything. They have the biggest budget pockets though. And I asked myself if bloggers want companies to engage in the monetization process, or if reputation is of higher value for them. And why should companies pay a blogger for something they produce for free. Still trying to figure that out…

Some blog posts generated some Cents immediately through Flattr, never enough for some nice ice-cream in a week though. Somehow the activity to “donate” for a well-written piece of thought or idea felt like an act of charity. Some Cents felt like a pat on the shoulder. Sometimes, I discussed with bloggers if that is encouraging, or frustrating? Every blogger argued differently about this gesture. Many were not convinced. I have seen not many buttons on blogs since.

And often when I wanted to spend some Cents, those bloggers did not use Flattr. So, my reward for them often ended in a Retweet. Maybe Retweets are the killer of positive blog comments

The main problem many bloggers saw in Flattr was that it will be challenging to get attention for this payment theory outside the bloggosphere. Sounded like: “Bloggers will pay themselves and thus reward their work within an inner circle of the blogging community.” One of the reasons why I finally decided to remove the button from my blog.

Now, Flattr starts -in cooperation with Bambuser, Twingly and Posterous– the “Pay a Blogger Day!” on November, 29th. They intend to start a movement with the mission “Give something back to bloggers!” A good idea…

How to reward a blogger’s work?
If I may inspire you -companies, marketers and managers- with reward opportunities for bloggers, then maybe you want to read this…

a) Companies that have used shared knowledge to improve their business could write a reference quote for the blogger why and how they benefit from reading a blog. It could be a comment, tweet or a blog post on their blog. Just be creative…!

b) Managers that have used shared knowledge for their career purposes could send a present when they think the blogger has deserved it (does not need to be on the “Pay a blogger day!”). A flower (digital or real), a freebie of your products or an invite to a paid for workshop about corporate blogging. And hey, chances are high, bloggers might write about it. Just be clever…!

c) Marketers that have used shared knowledge for their campaign ideas could start thinking about whether they shovel money into a print grave, rely on TV reach or hope for radio commercial payback. Maybe they want to start sponsor a blogger who is worth it as they act like brandvangelist, testimonial or brand advocate for a brand or company. And why are not many marketers trying to make use of bloggers in the offline world? Just be curious…!

d) Followers, fans, “plusers” and bloggers that have used shared knowledge could start discussing the monetization of their work in an authentic collaborative manner. Do you want banners ads, text links, affiliate programs, brand advocate prgrams, or…? What is authentic blog monetization? Or is it reputation only? In short: money, products or reputation currency like Floout.me?

Here is how Flattr wants to inspire you to reward a blogger…

Think about the thoughts and then start acting! I am sure, bloggers know how to say “Thank you” and all bloggers would love to see some of these rewarding opportunities. Right…?

National Geographic makes Augmented Reality go live…

The opportunities to attract peoples’ attention are increasing with the use of Augmented reality. Appshaker recently launched a fantastic way for people to interact with the world of National Geographic Channel’s content from around the globe. The set-up obviously took some budget. With the use of augmented reality, people could virtually interact with different scenes in which they were able to get in touch with dolphins, leopards, the space landings, dinosaurs and more.

The result..
1000s of people interacted with the National Geographic Channel brand in the process as it toured Hungary, with 1000s more people sharing snapshots and video on Facebook as a result.

Live Augmented Reality for National Geographic Channel / UPC from Appshaker Ltd on Vimeo.

Active or passive? Don't forget the "Social" in Social Media!

The last two weeks I have been on the road in Germany, Austria and Italy, and it was great being in the offline world. Speaking engagements and panel moderations with real people, virtuals aside most of the time. Sometimes I went online in the breaks but did not know what to post or what value I could share with my social graph. Sometimes as there just was nothing exciting. Sometimes as time did not allow it. And to be honest, I did not even have the creative spirit between webinars and seminars for my quality standards. Productivity had to come to a rest.

I just preferred being quiet. And guess what: It does not hurt! Probably nobody missed me. My messages. My input. My sharing.

Often I just reacted. Saying “Happy One!” to my friends or business partners. Giving quick feedback on questions I was not even personally addressed. People liked it though. And I realized how great it is to work with teams that appreciate the ideas and thoughts you give just them without sharing every joke or funny story straight away. I found that approach of doing conversation and being productive quite “social” last week.

Stimulation instead of penetration.

At some stage I wanted to participate and be more active in the conversations with my social graph again. So I checked Twitter what’s up. In the first five tweets I found the video below which was a perfect kick-off for the training I had the pleasure to do. A big insurance company had offered me the chance to train their coaches and internal personal (executive) consultants on Social Media strategy.

I started off with the video below and I can assure you: We came back to the message of the video, the tactical ingredients and the strategy topics at least 25 times in two days. And I told them again and again… “Don’t forget the “Social” in Social Media! Let’s be honest: How often do we forget it?

Profiling the social customer (infographic)

If marketers are looking to understand the profile of a social consumers, they need to have deep insights into their souls and needs. Beyond Digital has asked 3,000 US and UK consumers about the two products and services they had most recently researched online and which steps take them through the purchase process.

Apart from showing gender differences, sharing becomes the main element of strategy. The social consumer is a two-faced personality: First, they can either be categorized as a high or low sharer. A human being that utilizes differtent digital channels in a different manner, depending on whether he or she is researching and interacting with high or low involvement products. Those with a high sharer profile are the most valuable for brands. They recommend products 3x more often and influence others’ purchases…

How students see the future workplace (infographic)

Foreseeing the future workplace might be a challenge. Especially, if you think of the digital native generation (millenials) some IT decision maker will get grey hair, in terms of policies and mobility aspects.

Most people in the UK (58%) say, the traditional office will be extinct by 2021. In their Technology Report Cisco was asking 2.800 college students how they see the future workplace and what they expect from it. 69% of students don’t see the necessity of an office in the future – an increase by 60% compared to last year.

Study: Users „like“ brands for deals, discounts and coupons

Harald Wanetschka / pixelio.de

While Vitrue just found out how to get more “Likes” and engagement on mobiles, another new study by Nielsen/McKinsey’s NM Incite shows what the real value of “Likes” is. Although many brand marketers are working on the ROI, most companies still try to find some more value in the social engagement of consumers.

The Nielsen/McKinsey’s NM Incite global online consumers’ research states that the main reason for following or liking a brand or company on social networks is to receive discounts and special offers.
“While some may argue that consumers’ interest in discounts has faded, Nielsen data shows the desire for deals is still strong worldwide,” concluded NM Incite.

The results correspond with the study by ExactTarget and CoTweet from last year. The former study made clear that 40% of brand fans like a page predominantly for their doscounts and promotions.

The new NM Incite finds even higher figures. Almost 60% of US social media users visit social networks to receive coupons or promotions. And even more, 23% do this on a weekly basis. 45% of North American consumers had the strongest interest in using social media for deals, followed by consumers in Asia-Pacific (34%) and Latin America (33%).

Social deals hunters “Like” at home and at workplace
For most people it does not matter whether they are at home or at their workplace when using the benefits of the Social Web. A sample of ten major markets shows that nearly 40% of active Web users check coupons and rewards sites such as Groupon, Coupons.com and Living Social from home and work computers in September. However, there are respondents -under the age of 20 and 55- to-59-year-olds- who were less likely to follow brands for discounts. Here friends’ recommendations are the drivers for social engagement.

Spot On!
“Social deal hunters” are obviously also visitors of social networks and blogs. NM Incite found a strong overlap. In their test phase in September, 43% of visitors to social networks and blogs also visited a coupons or rewards site. And, 44% of Facebook’s audience and 63% of Twitter’s audience visited these deal sites. The study concludes that Facebook becomes a key source of traffic to Groupon and Living Social. Groupon’s and Living Social’s visitors came directly from Facebook. This also shows the link between deals and social networking sites, and how companies can motivate consumers to deals.

Study: Text and image-based posts are best performers for Facebook mobile pages

With over 350 million active mobile users across 475 wireless operators worldwide on Facebook’s mobile sites, marketers wonder which tactics they should be using to generate higher engagement levels. But also Facebook’s new iPad app and their mobile site shows that also Facebook knows about the value mobile offers to their business.

A new study by Vitrue shows how people are using Facebook on their mobile devices. It also explains how they are interacting with brand. The study finds that text and image-based posts on Facebook brand pages in mobile generate the highest engagement levels (21.5% and 20.4% of “Likes”).

Video, applications and Flash animation are following the leading types of posts in performance. The traditional site tend to generate higher interaction rates for video, apps and Flash. The reason might be the larger screen and better bandwidth.

The study concludes that shorter posts are better for mobile Facebook pages. Short posts of not more than 70 characters received more Likes and comments than longer ones. Likes increased 4.3% on shorter posts, and comments even jumped up to 31%.

Commenting and liking on Facebook seems to be growing these days. In general, mobile Likes as a proportion of all Facebook Likes increased from 18% to 24% during the three-month period while mobile comments rose from 9% to 20% of all comments.

Thursday through Sunday were best times for Facebook marketers in mobile. The later part of the week and the weekend were the best times for brands to increase Likes on mobile Facebook pages. Thursday and Saturday peaked on „Likes“ and Tuesday reached a low. Friday achieved highest rate of comments.

Liking in hourly mobile spikes between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. EST was the best time, and then the afternoon hours. Comments were quite similar with peak activity at three specific times: 1 a.m., 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Spot on!
Mobile keeps us up to date on and with Social Media. And the buzz effect seems to be working on mobile alongside the growth of your audience. Vitrue separated brand pages in two groups: Those with more than 100,000 fans and those with more than 1 million fans. The group with 1 million fans was driving higher engagement rates. Large fan pages saw a higher percentage of comments from mobile than less popular ones (4.51% vs. 3.23%).

Innovation study: Is culture or strategy the key to success?

Obviously, the headline question is not easy to answer. Both elements have their impact on business success. At this years IBM JamCamp, we could hear many presentations why “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, and how to turn your business into a social business (i.e. Sandy Carter’s speech) that will drive innovation to new dimensions (and here is some hint how companies might get huge investments for social business realization).

A new study by Strategy& also shows that spending more on R&D won’t drive results. The results from the study illustrate that the most crucial factors are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation. The study surveyed almost 600 innovation leaders in companies around the world, large and small, in every major industry sector.

So what makes a truly innovative company? For sure, a focused innovation strategy, a compelling business strategy, deep customer insight, intelligent networking, as well as a splendid set of bright tactics. These are all elements that help giving your company an innovation boost. Still, the study states that corporate culture ties everything together — the organization’s self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing.

Still, the results of this year’s Global Innovation 1000 study make clear that only about half of all companies say their corporate culture robustly supports their innovation strategy. Moreover, about the same proportion say their innovation strategy is inadequately aligned with their overall corporate strategy. And although entire industries, such as pharmaceuticals, continue to devote relatively large shares of their resources to innovation, the results are much less successful than they and their stakeholders might hope for.

What I like about this study is that it supports my assumptions and thoughts of the Community Centric Strategy model. Across the board respondents identified “superior product performance” and “superior product quality” as their top strategic goals. And their two most important cultural attributes were “strong identification with the consumer/customer experience” and a “passion/pride in products”.

Statements like the following from the study could be taken as a proof for the future development towards a more cultural business attitude that puts the consumer in the middle of your innovation efforts…

“Our goal is to include the voice of the customer at the basic research level and throughout the product development cycle, to enable our technical people to actually see how their technologies work in various market conditions.” Fred Palensky, Executive Vice President of R&D and CTO, 3M Company

In my presentation at the IBM JamCamp 2011 I made clear that companies and brands need to close the perception gap between consumer’s demand and company goals. If companies don’t respect the 5 C engines of the Community Centric Strategy these two expectations cannot be aligned. We will continue to talk of target-groups instead of consumers that are grouping together in “community centers”. This is more of a cultural development companies need to go through than definable strategic capabillities by companies to drive innovations. By closing both the strategic alignment and culture gaps, companies and brands will better realize their goals and attributes.

Spot On!
The study results show that companies and brands should rethink the way they drive their innovation strategy. It suggests that the ways R&D managers and corporate decision makers think about their new products and services are critical for success. This includes all aspects how they feel about intangibles such as risk, creativity, openness, and collaboration. When nearly 20% of companies said they didn’t have a well-defined innovation strategy at all, it offers the chance to start anew and with the right approach. The Community Centric Strategy might be one solution for companies to evaluate culture as one of the main drivers to achieve your strategic goals in a modern way of doing business.