Brilliant Reads: the future of business, Facebook, Twitter and writing.

Welcome to a future-focused Brilliant Reads. This week we’re looking at the future of business, Facebook, Twitter and writing.

The future of business is digital (Forrester) 

In this blog post, Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick writes that business leaders need to accept that the future of business is digital.

A new Forrester report has found that 74% of business executives say their company has a digital strategy, but only 15% believe they have the skills to execute it. Nigel writes that some will face extinction as a result of this approach.

The companies that face extinction tend to see digital as a bolt-on, or in a piecemeal way. Instead, they must think of their company as part of a dynamic ecosystem of value. The ecosystem connects digital resources inside and outside the company, creating value for customers.

Companies must harness the digital technologies within the ecosystem to deliver a superior customer experience and to drive the agility and operational efficiency needed to stay competitive.

The future for brands on Facebook (Olivier Blanchard) 

Olivier Blanchard looks at the implications of Facebook’s decision to dramatically cut the organic reach of brand pages and push them towards paid media.

He writes that ‘if you treat earned media like paid media long enough, you will teach it to act like paid media’ and argues that that is exactly what brands have done. They have used their Facebook pages as push-only marketing channels, rather than places for engagement and conversations. And naturally Facebook now wants to be paid for providing this advertising platform.

For big brands, this won’t make a huge difference to their approach to Facebook, beyond making it a little more expensive. For smaller businesses, it’ll have a dramatic impact. It will make it near-impossible for them to stay in touch with the communities they have worked hard to build, without spending a lot of money. It’s this issue that Olivier argues Facebook needs to address.

Image credit: Sean MacEntee

The future of Twitter (Quartz)

John McDuling from Quartz takes a look at what Twitter has planned for the future.

One of the most significant problems Twitter faces is user growth. It has an estimated 965 million registered accounts, but only 241 million monthly active users. Twitter is also growing more slowly than its peers.

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo has talked at length about the importance of re-engaging with lapsed users. Users tend to let their Twitter account lapse because they can’t find the content they want, feel overloaded with information, or that they don’t have enough followers.

In response to this, Twitter has rolled out and is testing new features. These include push notifications, better user tagging, breaking news alerts, multiple timelines on Tweetdeck to make filtering easier, and ways to organise content by topic as well as chronologically.

One area where Twitter is making serious progress, is on monetising its user base. It has seen a 75% YOY increase per user, compared to 44% at Facebook. TV is another. Twitter has cemented its position as the pre-eminent “second screen” app, and its Amplify service is helping advertisers to target users that have seen their ads on television.

More news is being written by robots than you think (Singularity Hub)

Robots are writing a growing number of news stories, thanks to advanced algorithms that mean they can tackle formulaic reporting.

Improve your copy with Hemingway (FastCo)

For those of us still writing our own copy rather than outsourcing to robots, Hemingway is a great app. It improves your writing by highlighting hard to read sentences and common errors. It’s gone down a storm at Brilliant Noise.