The killer social media app of 2015? Solving post office zero

There’s a small fortune to be made for any startup or company out there willing to put the work into it. The product is, or will be, the killer app of 2015 and years to come if it’s done well.

What is it? It’s the solution to this problem:

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Every single new messaging and social app is its own inbox. Instead of inbox zero, we’re now chasing post office zero.

We’ve got social media management down reasonably well, at least on the big networks. You can use tools like Buffer to publish and Hootsuite to listen, and they do a good job, especially for the price you pay. They’re as close to a social inbox as you can get.

But then the world changed again. Now, all of the social media management tools are lagging behind severely, and everyone from individuals like you and me to the biggest corporations are once again having multiple inboxes to check, just to keep up with messaging volume. The irony is that messaging apps were designed to reduce other forms of messaging. Instead, they’ve merely diffused the message stream across many more platforms.

So the killer app for 2015? Give individuals and companies a way to consolidate all of these inboxes, something like Google’s Inbox, but for everything (or everything that matters):

Inbox_–_cspenn_gmail_com

Does anyone know of a tool that puts Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Viber, WeChat, Line, Kik, etc. all in one consolidated stream of messages? If so, leave a note in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @cspenn and I’ll gladly take a look. If it’s capable of solving post office zero for real, I’ll promote the heck out of it, especially if it’s affordable for the individual, like Hootsuite and Buffer are.


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How to analyze all your 2014 tweets

Twitter’s Analytics tool has never been super forthcoming about all it can do. From its lackluster announcement of a stellar feature to non-obvious ways of getting at your data, it’s a goldmine without a map. As you start looking at the year’s marketing data, you might logically say, hey, can we analyze how we did on Twitter? From the default Analytics interface, the answer might appear to be no. Luckily, there’s a trick to get the answer you need.

First, log into Twitter Analytics by going to ads.twitter.com or analytics.twitter.com, depending on what your account is set up for (if you don’t see anything in one, try the other). Next, go to the Tweet Activity section:

Campaign_overview_-_Twitter_Ads

What you’ll see is the last 28 days of activity and some defaults to choose by month. We want none of that! Instead, use the calendar selector to manually go back to January 1, 2014:

Tweet_Activity_analytics_for_cspenn

You’ll likely see a screen with a few hazy charts and no tweets listed. Don’t worry. Hit the Export Data button:

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Wait for a bit as Twitter thinks about it, then spits out a CSV file. Suddenly, instead of having just the last 28 days of data to work with, you have all of calendar year 2014 and then some:

tweet_activity_metrics__1__csv

According to Twitter’s analytics team head, @buster, Twitter now spits out the last 3,000 or so tweets you’ve made and the stats on them:

Now go apply any of the data analysis methods you’ve learned to the data, mix and mash it up with your web analytics, with your retail point of sale data, with anything else you want. You’re now in the driver’s seat when it comes to your 2014 Twitter data. For example, I did a very quick graph of impressions and saw this, a classic Pareto/powerlaw curve:

Screenshot_11_26_14__7_39_AM

I also checked and found that the median number of times a tweet of mine is seen is roughly 2,000. That sounds like a lot until you consider that I have 78,000 followers, and suddenly it means the average reach of my tweets is about 2.5% of my total audience. Still better than my Facebook Page by an order of magnitude, but put in context, my email newsletter crushes any form of social media. If I was running my personal life and accounts like a business, I’d double down on email instead.

Give this hidden feature on Twitter a try with your own data and see how your 2014 went.


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Avoiding being blindsided in marketing

When it comes to things that are going to impede your ability to be an effective marketer, there are three broad categories, made most famous by Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (hat tip to Tom Webster for continued reminders of the quote):

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“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Despite winning the dubious Foot in Mouth award from the Plain English Campaign, Rumsfeld’s quote is actually useful, particularly for marketers who are worried about the future.

You know what you know. You know the things that are going to affect your marketing, such as Google SEO algorithms, email open rates, etc.

You know what you don’t know. If Google’s newest algorithm has hit the Internet, you may not know its impact, but you can read up on it and learn what you don’t know.

It’s the last category of things you don’t know and aren’t aware of that are the problem, because this creates a massive blind spot. Think about something as primal as the martial arts. If you step into a boxing ring, you know what you know, your skills. You know what you don’t know, which is what the opponent is going to do, but you have ways of handling that. Finally, there isn’t a whole lot that you don’t know and you aren’t aware of. It’s unlikely that there will be a sniper in the stands or that the opponent has secretly put lead shot in his gloves. Thus, you have an environment which is predictable. On the other hand, if those other things could happen, and you didn’t know that the rules had changed, you’d have a very short boxing match.

In marketing the danger isn’t competitors per se. They are known for the most part. The danger is what we don’t know. We didn’t know how mobile would change behavior, but more importantly we didn’t know that we didn’t know mobile was going to fundamentally change human behavior. We just thought mobile was a miniature desktop computer.

So the next question is how to learn what we don’t know that we don’t know. What is it and where do we go to even start learning about it?

For me, that begins with having a strong social network that is highly diverse. People from all kinds of social and economic backgrounds, people all across the technological adoption curve are going to be the sources from which you’ll first catch wind of something new. Your network will naturally surface new trends if you listen carefully. If you don’t have that network, you won’t have the advanced notice you need to prevent being blindsided.


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