Social Concepts

I’m not too fond of this Charlie Sheen guy. I never watched Two & a Half Men before; and now that FX is playing it daily to generate more money on the repeats, I decided to give it a shot.

It’s not funny. At least, not as funny as the extremely loud laugh track mistakes it to be. And Charlie Sheen has the same smug look on his face in a number of episodes. It gets kind of old.

But outside of his poor acting capabilities, Sheen sure knows how to stir up some controversy. And I don’t know how de did it, but when he finally decided to take the reins of social media (my guess being that his publicist resigned when he went off the deep end), he took the world by storm.

This guy got 50,000 followers in one day. And I’m not sure if he’s composing ALL of his tweets, but they’re actually good tweets.

I mean…he’s borderline funny.

So what the heck is it that he’s doing right? Besides his famous name, why can’t I even get 1,000 followers just after hitting “join”?

Picking apart his timeline, I found that his forthright, brutal honesty laced with some jokes is a recipe for an interesting form of entertainment. So I suppose that he deserves the attention, at least the superficial type online, that he’s getting.

I mean, he’s branded the whole #winning hashtag, and uses trending topics with ease. He uploads photos that represent his boundary-pushing lifestyle. He’s like a parody account, seriously. Here, you won’t find any tweets about him going to the store. Or going to sleep. Or some other mundane task that needs no tweet.

The best part is that he’s looking for a social media intern. (Let’s all take a pause and laugh).

Ok, I’ve composed myself. Charlie Sheen is looking for an intern who possesses ALL the tiger blood in the world. But in reality, that’s not a bad look. If this potential intern can turn his social media world into a small empire, and recreate his image, just imagine where they’ll go from their brief stint working with him. That’s a MAJOR resume booster. And it’ll be a good learning environment, allowing this individual to take over Charlie Sheen’s presence on social media. It’ll allow them to evaluate how he’s doing right now, and then set his own benchmarks to take Sheen to the next level. This intern will be doing it all.

So we can hate on Charlie Sheen all we want. And we can laugh at the future intern he hires. But if they are able to recreate this guy’s image while simultaneously creating a sound presence for him on the web, then they’re in great shape.


Location based services are really making an impact on the social world today. They’re slowly generating public interest, but they’re increasingly carving out a place in the market and making our lives easier.

Take Foursquare, for instance. Any time I need a place to go for the evening, I just look at what’s nearby, based on my location. It’ll show me which of my friends are checked-in nearby, and what places are popular for that moment. It’ll give me user tips so I can determine for myself if this is the kind of scene I want to enter for the night. It’s extremely helpful.

Unfortunately, people still think location based services will have a short life span. But Microsoft just proved that theory false.

They’re recent report shows that out of 1,500 different people nationally, about half are familiar with location-based services. Oddly enough; Pew Research Center found that only 7 percent of U.S. adults use the service regularly. Weird.

Microsoft found that location based services are slowly growing popular as the benefits become apparent. Typically, people use it for weather, navigation, traffic, and just plain fun.

Moreover, businesses are now starting to benefit from these services. (See my last post about Corcoran and Foursquare, for instance).

There’s clearly a market in location-based services, and although it’s slow to take off, it WILL turn into a big hit.


No really, do you? Well, you’re in for a rude awakening. Because although I write, tweet, and post news on Facebook every day; I’m no more of a social media expert than you.

What frustrates me is that there is an emerging market for social media “experts” for each industry. The government is willing to pay a starting salary of about $50k just for someone to handle its content management systems for social media. Businesses are looking for smaller companies to handle their social media compliance, teaching individuals how not to end up getting fired for a reckless tweet.

These jobs pay, and they pay well. So now EVERYONE wants to call themselves a social media expert, even though clearly, they aren’t.

An interesting post from about two years ago, way before these jobs started taking off, does a great job at addressing the faults of people who claim they’re social media expert. It gives us a tool for evaluating these individuals to determine whether or not they really are experts. Essentially, it helps us sort through the noise.

Some interesting points it makes:

  • An “expert” should be blogging and writing for more than a year. They should know what’s trending in this market.
  • They should be able to accurately answer just WHAT social media is, without naming sites.
  • They should know what a campaign is.
  • They should know just what ROI is, and how to evaluate it effectively.
  • They should constantly be learning about social media. It doesn’t stop once they’re granted a job.

Give it a read, and think about how you determine who’s really an expert and who’s just trying to get a gig.


Here’s our blank stare news of the day: Consumers are not interested in following businesses on social media sites.

Ok, that’s not entirely true, I know. I mean, it’s fun following your favorite brand on twitter to learn about new products and to get discounts every once in a while. But when EVERY tweet or EVERY single Facebook post becomes a blatant advertisement, you have no choice but to shudder and hit the unfollow button.

It’s not a fun experience. Your timeline is full of friends and coworkers being social, sharing information about their days, uploading hilarious photos, or introducing you to some amazing story of the day from the New York Times. But then somewhere in the timeline, you feel like you’re getting spammed.

Ok, I admit, I did this once. It was a brief stint in real estate where I served as a sales agent, and as the newest to staff with no money to place ads in newspapers or on Craigslist, I capitalized on the success of Twitter and Facebook, and a few other free social marketplaces. But all of my tweets were pretty much the same thing in the span of one to two hours.

“GORGEOUS apt back on the market. You won’t find this ANYWHERE!!!”

“Lovely 2bd. It’s a steal!”

“Want to live in Bed Stuy for cheap? Take this $1300 3bd off my hands!”

Needless to say, I didn’t get a response off Twitter. I did get a few from Facebook, but those never closed.

Now that I’m studying social media, I realized that I made a HUGE mistake last year. One of the cardinal rules for the real estate industry being on social media is that individuals should NOT use their twitter handle as lists serve. It’s so much more than that – you have to engage with your audience, lend advice, and pit yourself as an expert or neighborhood guru! Corcoran’s got it right.

Corcoran group has a wonderful iPhone app that brings together a nearby feature, offering neighborhood tips and advice along with their listings wherever users check-in (with foursquare). Their twitter account is fun, lighthearted, and gives new bounds of information about New York City’s social scene. Their Tumblr account dives into the history of some of these neighborhood trends. So this is one of the few brands that people don’t mind following.


I just read an article the other day, and it gave some interesting statistics about the usefulness of businesses being on social media, thanks to research from Shoppercentric. Only nine percent of consumers are following brands on these sites, while only six percent actually make a purchase. 37 percent of the individuals polled said they didn’t see any point in brand using social media.

Clearly, these individuals have had horrible spamming experiences with the brands they followed, and that’s completely understandable. Because I’m verging on never wanting to follow an agent to prepare for my July move-in. But now that these industries are recognizing their faults, they may have some promise in their future. Who knows?

There’s nothing better than trying new exotic foods, considering I’m such a huge foodie myself. There are plenty of unique restaurants to try in and around D.C., but you can’t take an hour-long break from the office every day to get a taste of a new culture. And sometimes, you just don’t have the funds to sit down in an expensive restaurant to tip your waiter.

Enter D.C.’s newest trend to blossom this year that’s causing a stir – food trucks. It’s causing a massive explosion and is forecasted as an increasing trend throughout 2011, and for well reason, too.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast notes that consumers are fleeting to parked trucks because social media is sparking the trend.

Because what’s better than actually trying new food? Being on the hunt for it.

Plenty of food trucks around the district are on the move, and the only way to find them is through their Twitter accounts.

With no set location and at least three different trucks out, the Sauca truck sells delicious Mediterranean food for under $10. Their customers get a rush of excitement (myself included) when they find out that the Sauca truck is coming to an intersection near them. For consumers, it’s all about the price and the convenience of getting a hot delicious plate of food outside rather than waiting in a stuffy line.

Eight out of 10 restaurateurs polled by the restaurant association are well aware of the impact social media has on their brand, noting that it’ll be an exemplary force in marketing their menus. Out of the consumers polled, 47 percent said they’d flock to a food truck especially if their favorite restaurant spearheaded it.

This pop up restaurant trend is taking the world by storm, and I sure hope you’re all ready for it; I sure am!

I absolutely LOVE this girl. She has a fresh outlook on life, even though she’s still young. Check out her YouTube channel, as it’s a compilation of some incredibly funny stuff. She offers her opinions about pop culture, and is not afraid to be her complete self (no matter how foolish she looks sometimes lol).

I follow her on Twitter, and she shines, as she’s not your typical pop culture guru with similar interests as everyone else in the world. She enjoys Japanese culture, Anime, Glee….

Her Vlog is pretty successful, with 56 videos, more than 2,000 subscribers, and about 1.5 million views. It’s largely due to her personality, and her opinions resonate well with everyone else. She addresses some of the ethic concerns of what these pop stars get into (like long talked about Chris Brown/Rihanna incident, for example).

I really hope she goes far and is able to get the same treatment as other Vloggers on YouTube. I’ve only seen one ad on her channel, and she’s very much capable of acquiring some more.

Watch some of her work here and let me know what you think!


The power of the Super Bowl.

I’m not really a football fan, in fact I actually have no interest in it. But you have to admit; the best part about pretending to watch the game, besides the endless snacks and plates of food, are the hilarious commercials in between each play.

Super Bowl ads have been a long time staple with this game, and it’s perhaps the only set of commercials that consumers will actually appreciate, & sit and watch with no complaints. But now, with our technological advances and YouTube maintaing a firm stake in the online/social market, we can watch our favorite ads away from the TV screen and replay them as often as we’d like– for free!

And you never really wonder how much of a game changer that is for major retailers and big brand names. Shelling out millions of dollars for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl is one thing– but now being able to place that same ad on YouTube to garner even more views at no additional price is a feat in itself. An easy one considering how simple it is nowadays to upload content online, but still a feat.

Consider the Volkswagen commercial featuring the miniature Darth Vader. It started circulating between shows last week, but immediately had a following after it premiered during the Super Bowl. The commercial’s success is evident in their 16 million views on YouTube.

“While other ads might have seen bigger search spikes on YouTube right after the game, there’s one ad that has clearly drawn the most views and seen big popularity not just in the United States, but around the world,” YouTube wrote in their trends blog.

YouTube’s AdBlitz channel made specifically for the Super Bowl ads has reached 14,546,432 views, alone (and counting). It includes all of the ads in case you missed them, and encourages viewers to vote for their favorite. It’s currently the 11th most subscribed channel on YouTube for sponsors, of all time.

It’s a great way to spend an hour, sorting through all of these Super Bowl ads. Here’s one of my favorites:

The punchline never gets old! And it perfectly wraps up just how quick our technology is moving.

Check out YouTube’s channel and have fun viewing 30 seconds of pure hilarity. Which commercial is your fave?


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  • Odochi Ibe: The Super Bowl is like the Holy Grail for commercials. Companies will spend millions trying to get the coveted spot to showcase their most clever com
  • Odochi Ibe: I love Vloggers! I could spend hours surfing YouTube just to see what the ones I subscribe to have to say. I give these people a lot of credit for ha
  • Odochi Ibe: "Effervescent oompa-loompa orange glow," priceless. I admit I was not a fan of Jersey Shore, I thought it was annoying and stupid, but after the cont