Archive for the 'conversation' Category

2011 social media predictions?

January 10, 2011

What do I think will happen in the social media space in 2011?  Hmmmm.

  1. Increasing use of mobile devices to download content and increasing awareness of this by larger corporates. A global website is no longer just the ticket. It needs to be personalised, accessible, fast to download and fit on whatever device’s screen I am using. if it won’t work on my iPad because of flash restrictions, work it out.
  2. More story telling by companies (not just B2C but also B2B) seeking to personalise their journey with their customers and create engagement and loyalty.
  3. More CEOs blogging and using twitter as part of their role as the face of the company
  4. More companies banning social media usage as part of an employee’s terms of employment (and the corresponding backlash against this as well). Why will they ban this?  Fear.
  5. A changing emphasis from push marketing – corporates pushing out marketing speak – to one where companies really ask themselves, besides delivering my product or services, what else can I offer my customers?
  6. More effort will be spent identifying influencers and monitoring online conversation.
  7. Leave your wallet at home. Your phone will become your wallet.
  8. Increased tie-in with spending and peers. You will receive more recommendations from friends on what they have purchased and these recommendations or purchases will trigger your own purchases.
  9. Reduced TV advertising spend. Why bother? I am only going to fast forward through them anyway.
  10. Better privacy settings on Facebook and a corresponding and competing growth of niche sites which will have better privacy settings.
  11. Alternatively, there will be evene more users on Facebook and better integration of social media sites through one efficient stream. You won’t need to separate social media streams. There will be better ways for you to monitor everything from one central point.
  12. Employees which have client facing roles will be encouraged to use social media to engage with customers. HR staff, Client Relationship staff and so on will learn to use these tools as part of their job.
  13. Less focus on trade sector publications as a tool for corporate promotion – these are a dying promotional tool unless they can step up and re-define themselves.
  14. Video conferencing over phones and smart tablets.  The next generation of mobile devices will encourage this.
  15. More focus on a return on engagement and less on traditional return on investment. Quantifying Facebook fans and foursquare check-ins is just too hard. All you should care about is the fact that you are engaging with those who have a desire to engage with your company.
  16. Groupon, Cudos, Spreets etc will tie in with your specific location not just your city to make suggestions and encourage purchasing decisions.
  17. Flash mob purchasing. Why not? Pushed to your mobile device. The first 100 people to sign up or purchase something get XXX.
  18. Greater acknowledgment that communication is no longer a two-way street – it’s a roundabout  – with inputs and exits and crashes. Get used to it.
  19. Increasing numbers of small businesses leveraging social media tools, and showing the big guys how it is done. Big business will throw money at these tools but small business will continue to think laterally and creatively and, as a consequence, give some of the big companies a run for their money.
  20. Increasing user-generated content – and increasing niche specialities.
  21. Embracing of location-based marketing in wider circles eg B2B. Virtual sign posting and specials.
  22. Decreasing use of email as a one-off  communication tool. Talk to me on my page ..wherever my page is located.

Hmmmm. Will think of more and add them as I can.

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To delete or not?

January 10, 2011

Recently, I had a situation where the company that I work for (Company A) asked me to delete a Facebook posting on their corporate Facebook page .  The posting in question promoted another company’s expertise (Company B). Would you delete this? Have you ever been in this situation yourself?

The reasons for deleting the posting were that the Facebook page was to showcase Company A, not Company B’s expertise. Company A is very new in social media and was uncomfortable with any possibility of criticism expecially from higher-ups internally. Would the CEO or CFO see the posting and scream for it to be taken down? Would Company A get their knuckles wrapped for letting it be posted?

On the other hand, this was an opportunity to showcase engagement. We could have posted back something saying “Well done to Company B. Did you know Company A does similar work as well?”  Or something of the sort.

What would you do?

Decision making

January 10, 2011

When you make a decision to buy a product, or engage with a company, your decision is not purely a financial and logical decision and too many companies assume that it is.  Emotion plays a role and whether that emotion is articulated (through a response to a pitch or a sales person), or subliminated (through a reaction to an advertisment or a brand image) there is still a need to engage emotionally with your target audience.

Are you doing that?

Is social media burnout inevitable?

August 16, 2010

Social media is a no-brainer

July 1, 2010

You would think that companies here in Australia would be completely jumping on the bandwagon as far as social media is concerned but after consulting across a whole range of sectors – energy, mining, infrastructure, financial services, legal, charity, consumer goods and so on it is apparent that there is a complete reluctance to move into this space.

“We have always done things this way… our customers don’t use these tools…we can’t see a benefit.”

Of course you can’t see a benefit if you don’t know what the tools are. You need to do the research first before you make the decision. Once you have the information, you can leverage off your knowledge.

Isn’t that a no-brainer?

Which ways are your chairs facing?

June 30, 2010

I like a recent post by the master of social media – Chris Brogan about which way the chairs are facing. To you, the business, are your chairs facing your customers?  Building a community requires your chairs to be facing each other.  Perhaps in a circle. But if you are simply presenting or giving a speech, then the chairs will face a podium.

Which way does your company’s chairs face?

Social media – Common Mistakes

June 29, 2010

A lot of new people coming into the social media space make errors that are preventable and avoidable.  If you want to avoid these errors, you need to think about a few things before you move into this space.

  1. Why are you doing this in the first place? Is it for a logical reason? It doesn’t matter whether you want to learn about the tools that are around or whether you want to increase your customer/client base but just understand why you are here, and what your plan is, because different end goals will require different strategies.
  2. If you are a company, create social media policies to protect your brand. You need to know that staff understand what you expect of them if they reference you in an online forum. This is not to say that they can’t refer to the company, but they need to adhere to certain guidelines and not make commerically sensitive announcements, reveal client confidentialities and so on.
  3. Ensure that any people acting on your behalf (or the company’s behalf), understand the importance of acting in a transparent manner. Ethical online behaviour is critical.
  4. Don’t defer your social media campaigns to young staff members just because they are young. Social media is a media and communications related function, and should not be handed to either the IT guys (because they know what some of these toosl are), or to the young 20 year old who just started (because she is young she must know about Facebook). No. Don’t do it. Keep it in comms.
  5. Don’t use tools if they are inappropriate to your brand. LinkedIn may work for you – Facebook may not.
  6. Answer and respond. Remember it is not just about gathering 10,000 twitter followers. This means nothing when you have a tickertape parade of tweets cascading throughyour Tweetdeck. What you are looking for is a relationship, a dialogue. To correct errors, provide info and create a channel of communication that may be of value. Its not just about lip-service.
  7. Don’t tweet marketing speak corporate messages – I don’t care and I won’t follow. Help me, engage with me. Provide me with something of value.
  8. 140 characters can backfire on you if you are a jerk. See point 4 above – remember you are in a public space and act accordingly.
  9. It’s not just about the money – although that may follow. Its about the people – your customers – and what they need or want from you. If you push sales drivel, I will unfollow, unlike or disconnect.
  10. If you aren’t in this space, you WILL become a dinosaur.  New tools are constantly coming down the line and you need to know how to use them. If you don’t learn web 2.0, how will you cope with web 3.0?

Haul vloggers?

March 11, 2010

This new phenomenon makes my skin crawl. Young women showcasing their stash of mall purchases…ugh.

Presentation Skills 101

May 16, 2009

I recently attended a regional function hosted by the Institute of Directors and, after being a member for quite a few years, I have to say that the standard of presentation is exceptionally poor.  New members have the opportunity of speaking for three or four minutes (before the main speaker is introduced)  and tell the audience about themselves – what they do – it’s an opportunity to do a sales pitch. An opportunity to possible create new brand awareness, gain new customers and encourage people who don’t use your company to convert.

But the presentations …. OMG!

Whizzing power point presentations with words flying haphazardly over a screen. Densely typed presentations which are read out loud in a monotone voice.

Why don’t they realize that this is about engaging with a new audience.  Your audience are not necessarily au fait with all the acronyms that you take for granted. They need to know what you do and why they should care.

What’s in it for them?

It’s all about the salesmanship.

Hunch

March 29, 2009

Just heard of a new application being developed by the co-founder of Flickr.  Apparently it is based on decision-trees and helps people to reach a decision based on the answers that are given to a series of questions.

It sounds like something my son and I have engaged in.  As a young boy, he tended to focus more on immediate gratification rather than thinking about the consequences of his actions.

“Cool. A swimming pool. I think I’ll jump in.”

“Cool. A naught boy at school. I think I’ll stand beside him and see what he does.”

I couldn’t work out how to teach him the way that adults think compared to children so we sat down with a sheet of cardboard and I plotted out the next three steps of each action.

If you do this, then this could happen and then this might occur.

It made it very visual and very clear and, at school, when the teacher asked him a question his repsonse was to say:

“I need to draw a decision-tree before i give you that answer!”

Classic. Now if only I had a hunch at the time to make that into an app I’d be laughing.

I never had that hunch.