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Social Media Update – March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011

Good morning. Unlike many newer tech companies Groupon thinks the personal touch with customer service will take them further than a self service model. Facebook and Google have invested heavily in self service tools, but companies like Zappos have gone the completely opposite route by providing real people to assist customers at their every whim. While that makes sense for Zappos because they are an online retailer, it’s a bold move for Groupon. Traditionally tech companies aren’t so hands on with customers, and it will be interesting to see if this allows them to amass a client base faster than rival social coupon sites. They may just set a new standard for social tech companies everywhere. Millionaires are being born from YouTube’s new partnership program where producers agree to split ad revenue with YouTube in return for allowing the ads on their videos. YouTube’s partner program is still fairly new, so expect this to grow in the coming years as the site gains more users and better content. Groupon may set the new standard for customer service, but their Super Bowl ads landed them in the hot seat a few weeks back. Not only did they have to pull the ads, but they apologized publicly for offending viewers. As if that weren’t enough the Nielsen ratings came in and the spot only increased traffic to their site by 3%. The follies from a young, ambitious digital company are always interesting to watch, but this was just painful. In some lighter news, Charlie Sheen joined Twitter last night and he’s amassed quite a following in less than 24 hours. His bio reads, Born Small… Now Huge… Winning… Bring it..! (unemployed winner…). If you have a second today and need a laugh look him up at @CharlieSheen. Enjoy.

I. Groupon Primes Itself to Become Next Zappos, adage.com, March 1, 2011
II. Making millions off of YouTube Videos, cnnmoney.com, March 1, 2011
III. Fumble: Groupon’s Super Bowl Spots Boost Traffic a Paltry 3%, fastcompany.com, March 1, 2011
IV. Charlie Sheen enters the Twittersphere with a bang, cnn.com, March 1, 2011
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I. Groupon Primes Itself to Become Next Zappos, adage.com, March 1, 2011
http://adage.com/article/digital/groupon-primes-zappos/149141/
Two years ago, Joe Harrow’s most impressive management experience was a job as camp director for two summers. Today, he leads Groupon’s 300-person customer-service department and is responsible for disseminating the Groupon gospel to 700 additional customer-service employees across the world. “My closest thing to customer-service experience was working at a coffee shop in college,” he told me. But 29-year-old Mr. Harrow has been with Groupon from the beginning. He knew the product well and when customers started calling, he picked up the phone. When there were too many calls for him to answer alone, he started hiring.

II. Making millions off of YouTube Videos, cnnmoney.com, March 1, 2011
Video here: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/03/01/n_youtube_millionaires.cnnmoney/

III. Fumble: Groupon’s Super Bowl Spots Boost Traffic a Paltry 3%, fastcompany.com, March 1, 2011
http://www.fastcompany.com/1733259/why-groupon-lost-big-on-super-bowl-ads-traffic-rose-only-3
Daily discount service Groupon spent millions of dollars on a couple controversial Super Bowl spots–before almost immediately apologizing for the commercials and pulling them from the airwaves.
But if CEO Andrew Mason’s candid response–“We hate that we offended people, and we’re sorry that we did it”–wasn’t evidence enough that these ads were poorly executed, a new report from Nielsen leaves nothing to the imagination.

IV. Charlie Sheen enters the Twittersphere with a bang, cnn.com, March 1, 2011
http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/01/charlie-sheen-enters-the-twittersphere-with-a-bang/?hpt=T2
It’s official: Charlie Sheen has entered the Twittersphere, and people want to hear what he has to say. The actor turned “unemployed winner” had amassed more than 150,000 followers (and counting) on Twitter before he posted his first tweet Tuesday night, less than two hours after joining. Check out this chart on “The Atlantic” to get an idea of what that kind of growth looks like.

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