Tag Archives: Google+

Dollars to Donuts: It’s Time to Update the Internet’s Most Famous List

We’re all familiar with the funny image that goes by various names, but is basically “Social media explained with donuts.” As a reminder, here’s the full list

Social Media Explained With DonutsCompanies, including my own, use the “Donut List” to simplify the major social sites to novices. But as these sites add features and move to our mobile devices, the differences aren’t all that clear.

Take YouTube, indisputably the king of internet video. But Facebook also hosts videos; they play right in your timeline. Google Plus, which owns YouTube, easily integrates with its sister company. Pinterest lets users pin videos and even the business-minded LinkedIn allows companies to post videos, if they upgrade to the premium packages.

Yes, virtually all the videos being watched on these different sites are coming from YouTube. But does the average user care? And what if you find that your brand’s videos are being watched more through a Facebook timeline than on YouTube.com?

Another reason to update the Donut List is that Pinterest has evolved. It started out with a mostly female audience, no brand presence, and a large amount of recipe pins. But now the site has moved away from text and consists almost entirely of images. Brands are showing off their products, couples are building wedding registries, and just about everyone is sharing infographics. So what’s all this about recipes?

And then there’s Google Plus. When the Donut List was first published, the social network was seen as a poor attempt to compete with Facebook. The Wall Street Journal called it a “virtual ghost town.” Hence the joke that only Google employees used the site. But Google integrated many of its other products into G+, including YouTube and Gmail, encouraging (some might say demanding) that users create a profile. Less controversial are the popular Google Hangouts, live G+ video chats on with celebrities, thought leaders – even astronauts on the International Space Station. Today, Google Plus is the second-most popular social network in the world, behind Facebook. So now the joke’s on the Donut List.

Astronaut Google Hangout

I have a few other quibbles with the Donut List. For example, Instagram may be known for its “vintage” filters, but people and brands are posting plenty of “unfiltered” images there, making it a competitor to Pinterest. And I’m not sure that image-hosting site Imgur will ever become a true social network, especially as Instagram and Pinterest become more popular.

In conclusion, the Donut List is funny and insightful, but is no longer accurate. Social media is always changing and so should the Donut List. How would you describe these social sites? Would you add any? Delete any? Let me know. And if the evolving social landscape has you confused, Brandemix will be happy to help.

Until then, I’m grabbing a donut.

Sometimes It’s All Hands On Deck

Telecommuting has been all over the news this week. First, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer changed the company’s policy that allowed employees to work (sometimes entirely) from home. Yahoo tried to put the story in perspective with a press release that said, “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”

Just a few days later, Best Buy announced that it would eliminate its renowned Results-Only Work Environment, a program that allowed corporate employees to work when and were they chose, as long as the quality of the work met the company’s standards. Like Yahoo’s change, it’s not a total ban, but corporate employees are now expected to work 40 hours a week and to come into the office “as much as possible.” Best Buy spokesperson Matt Furman said, “Bottom line, it’s ‘all hands on deck’ at Best Buy and that means having employees in the office as much as possible to collaborate and connect on ways to improve our business.”

So, are Yahoo and Best Buy doing the right thing? As a consultant to major brands on culture and employer branding, I think they are.

Working from home -- a lost luxury?

Working from home — a lost luxury?

Both these companies are engaged in turnarounds. Smart companies react to changing situations with their own changes, so I see these moves as responsive to business needs. It’s also reflective of the companies’ faith in their talent to help them steer the ship out of the storm.

Mayer and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly know that they need the collective brainpower of their employees to come up with great and wonderful ideas. It takes a village, after all. In fact, Marissa Mayer was brought to Yahoo to make the company more like Google – and neither Google nor Facebook, both of whom have made it so easy for us to connect with people virtually, allows unlimited telecommuting.

Bloomberg, a hugely successful digital company, was a pioneer in seeing the value of instant, in-office, business exchanges in real-time. Their buildings famously have no offices, only shared spaces. It’s even part of their employer branding: “Our wide-open workspaces encourage collaboration.”

Bloomberg's share workspaces. Photo by Willie Jeung

Bloomberg’s share workspaces. Photo by Willie Jeung

Many other companies limit or ban working from home. In fact, 15 of Forbes 100 Best Companies to Work For have no telecommuting program. 

Talent management professionals have long known that it’s a business imperative to have the right talent for the right jobs at the right time. Now we coming to recognize that they need to be in the right place too.

Need help changing your culture? Email me and we’ll talk.

Social Media DON’Ts

I’ve told you about Social Media Superstars and various best practices – but what about worst practices? What are some tactics to completely avoid?

Here are some of my personal pet peeves for each major social network. Think of them as social media don’ts.

Twitter
Ignoring questions and comments. Twitter, like all social media, is supposed to be a dialogue – that’s the “social” part. Only broadcasting and never replying is almost like shouting continuously. Everyone can see that your Twitter stream has no @mentions or retweets and they’ll know it’s pointless to communicate with you before they even try.

Facebook
Not using all the features. Believe it or not, some brands post only text and links. The Photos tab is empty, or maybe has their logo as a default. And don’t forget that Facebook allows you post videos, as well. In fact, you can have 10 custom Facebook tabs. Use them! Tabs can be used for posting jobs, holding contests, or creating interactive experiences. Look what Coca-Cola offers, for example.

Coca-Cola's Facebook Tabs

Coca-Cola’s Facebook Tabs

YouTube
We make a lot of videos here at Brandemix, so my pet peeves are production-based. Bad lighting and bad sound absolutely ruin videos for me. So are videos that stretch three minutes of content into ten minutes of agony. And some people don’t understand the concept of a second take, stammering their way through a presentation. Take the time to do videos right or else they may go viral for all the wrong reasons.

LinkedIn
If you’re in a LinkedIn Group, please add to the conversation and comment on others’ posts before posting a blatant advertisement for your services. Yes, we’re all on LinkedIn for business purposes, but that doesn’t mean civility and etiquette don’t apply.

Don't be like this person on LinkedIn.

Don’t be like this person on LinkedIn.

Pinterest
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a fan of Pinterest accounts that only repin others’ pins. To me, it’s like only retweeting on Twitter and never posting something original. You don’t have to be an artist or designer to have access to some kind of visual collateral. Post photos of your office, or your employees, or your neighborhood. Do you have a pet? One category that never fails for me: 
dogs wearing sweaters.

Those are the worst offenders for each of the major social networks. Google Plus suffers from the same problem as Facebook, and Instagram abounds with the same poor production quality as YouTube.

What are your social media pet peeves? Have any examples? We’d love to see them.

And, of course, if you’re having trouble achieving social media best practices, we’re happy to help.