Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Social Network for women only? We certainly wouldn’t talk about men..

I wonder whether Luluvise will be successful. Luluvise is a social network for women only. 

Women only.  it’s an odd concept…

I agree that women sometimes want to tell things to other women only.  Perhaps sharing privately on Facebook has got too challenging since the new Timeline feature rolled out. Perhaps women want to network with other women and share things that they perhaps wouldn’t want to share on a more public (mixed sex) forum.

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The first thing that I saw on joining the site, was men.  Luluvise uses Facebook authentication to harvest the list of men in my Facebook friends list.  It then gives me an opportunity to rate them.

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Oh dear.  Fail Luluvise. Not everyone on my Facebook friends list is a potential lover.  Some of these are colleagues, customers, and just friends of mine.

I’m not necessarily a fan of theirs, nor an ‘Ex’  They’re just friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

I’d like to have different types of conversations with my girlfriends than just weighing up the datability quotient of my Facebook male friends.  I’d like to talk about careers, share stories to inspire other women, or read their stories of success.

It’s not enough that I can chat to my girlfriends.  I can create a list in Facebook and do that.  I want more than you can offer

As Belinda says, Women are calling for more varied methods of participating with friends than current networks provide.

Sorry, Luluvise, until you get more established and get some credible content on the site that appeals to the woman with a brain, a career and a social life, I won’t be back.

…Unless I want to bitch about my male colleagues in a female only environment.

But I can do that in a wine bar with my friends….

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

7 other uses for Twitter if ‘social’ isn’t your thing

imageJack Dorsey, creator of Twitter doesn’t think that Twitter is ‘social’

Well if he does, he missed it from his speech at the conference in Munich yesterday.  The three words he used were ‘public’, real-time’ and ‘simplicity’ according to Business Insider.

We definitely see social as just one part of what people do on Twitter,” Dorsey said. “We think of it as an information utility and a communications network.”

I think he might be right.

Even though ‘social’ is just one aspect of Twitter, there are many more ways that people use the site.

Trend setting: Discover trends and themes bubbling up from the stream at a local, national and global level.  When news breaks it starts out slowly and gets passed around by more and more people.  What can seem initially insignificant, can become a trend

Data gathering: people chat about their interests, watch TV and comment on news.  This brings valuable insights to the TV companies, brands and influencers.  A million people discussing the change in chocolate taste for a brand might seem boring but to the data mining analysts its gold dust.

Bookmarking: Interesting information can be saved using favourites for later review and reporting.  I use favourites to link similar posts together when I’m creating a blog post and want to see opinions of those I follow.  I also like to mine the favourites list of influencers to see what influences them

Link-sharing: Passing along information and news to friends and followers.  This could be information from your own blog – or other interesting articles, blog posts and links.  However, in a study conducted in 2010, 50% of all links were forwarded by only 20,000 users. Wow.

Selling: Time-limited offers can work well if marketed properly on Twitter. Remember that you’re dealing in a global market so order fulfilment should be taken into account before embarking on an offer. Using promoted tweets you can ensure that your tweet is at the top of the list when someone searches for a phrase or a brand name.  Paid for, promoted Tweets get your noticed.

Influencer identification: Tracking who influences news.Tech journalists, fashion bloggers, foodies, political leaders, rumour mongers brands and Educators are all influencers in their own right.  Knowing who your influencers are will help you with your strategy.

Fan following:Track celebrity activities without resorting to newspapers or other sources.  They don’t need to follow you back either.  They might just retweet your message – or respond to you.

 

So perhaps Twitter isn’t just ‘social’.  it’s a heck of a lot more than that

Image credit: sylvrilyn

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Twitter call for help results in backlash over depression at work

A simple Tweet goes viral.  Sounds familiar?  Last year, it was the message that broke the news of the raid on Bin Laden.  This is on a much smaller scale, but the message still got to the right people.

Roy has depression.  He asked for time off from work to attend counselling.  His boss told him she may need to fire him.  He put the news on Twitter.

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He then posted a copy of the dismissal letter from his boss and explained about his depression.  his boss said that there was no room for passengers.

Ow.  Hurtful.  But not surprising in a small business which might be struggling to make enough money to survive this recession

The tweet went viral.  It was picked up by the telegraph and responded to by MP for Northamptonshire Louise Mensch

Roy’s followers leapt from 850 to over 3000.  He got legal advice and went shopping for clothes.

There are several comments under the telegraph article.  The comments seem to be 50:50 split in support of his plight and vilifying him for causing undue stress on a small business.  A small business would find it incredibly hard to cope with an employee who was off work for an extended period of time.  Their absence would impact them financially and impact their productivity.

I’m sure that there are a lot of people who have been stressed by their job, have been intimidated by bullying bosses, or felt anxious about their work or tasks. Poor work practices can make people dread going into work. Large and small businesses can make unreasonable demands on their employees which results in sickness.

Until you have had depression, It’s really hard to understand how it feels. 

It’s distressing to watch a colleague slide down into despair, and know that the best solution would be to totally change their situation at work.

It’s hard as a boss, asking the remainder of your team to take on extra work whilst you support the person who is away from work.

It’s hard as a friend not to offer advice and well-meant help

It’s also hard, not to ask your friends on Twitter to give you some support and make you feel better when you’re feeling down, because your job isn’t turning out the way you want it to.

But on balance, will the message on Twitter, really bring you the long term results you wanted?

Often not.  Unfortunately…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Social Media Law–copyright and disclosure

This infographic from the socially aware blog is certainly worth a look – especially if you need to consider legislation at your organisation.  It’s US focused – but there are ramifications for everyone thinking about copyright, social media and disclosure..

Certainly worth a look…

Has the Internet made journalism better or worse?

The Economist has posted an interesting video.  It argues the case for, and against the Internet making Journalism better or worse..

 

I’m in the ‘for’ camp.

I think the Internet brings much greater interaction with brands.  It forces brands to be more transparent and amplifies mess ups and exposes inaccuracies.

However, it has unleashed a new wave of cyber bullies who have the power to say what they want to about a brand.  Trip advisor hotels are subjected to awful attacks by consumers with power.  Everyone with a blog can publish rants about others if they choose.  Openness and transparency can be replaced by vitriol and spite.

What do you think?  Has the Internet made journalism better?  Or is the propagation of rumours, half-truths and gossip destroying the validity of news?

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Does Facebook peer influence really work?

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Is Facebook really the be all and end all of social marketing? 

Is peer influence all that it’s cracked up to be?

Is interaction and friendship forming about learning about things that really don’t interest us?  Is it a numbers game about getting likes, followers and +1’s.  Peer influence tends to move along channels of similar interest.  You are more likely to buy some wine if you know that the person you follow or are friends with, is also interested and knowledgeable on wine.

If you write boring stuff, you will get unfriended.

If you spam your users with useless posts, you’ll get unfriended.

If you lurk silently and don’t contribute to the conversation, you’ll get unfriended..

You are less likely to be influenced by people with different interests to you – no matter what they say on Facebook.  Peer influencers want to have an emotional connection to the brands they follow

As a brand, you will need to create influencer programs, and offer incentives to your influencers. You need to find your social network influencers and you need to scale your online network in other ways than just on Facebook. 

It’s not about Google+ either. Or Twitter. Or YouTube. It’s not about brands either. It’s about people. People want to interact with people, with the same interests and same goals as them.

If you can achieve this – you’re an influencer- whatever your job title may be.  And you’ll be an influencer on whatever social platform you happen to use…

Image credit: Tambako

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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One hour of YouTube videos get uploaded every second

Wow.

That’s a heck of a lot of videos…

Some other interesting facts about how many minutes of YouTube video uploads versus men on the moon, babies born, ascending Everest.  have a look at One hour per second for some fun facts and data…

 

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18% of brands don’t listen to their social customers

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42% of social media users talk to brands

… and 35% of users post information about a brand on social media sites.

There’s a lot of engagement. 

But all this engagement is totally wasted if you don’t know what is being said about you.  Do you care about what is happening online?  Do you have a listening strategy?  No? well, you’re not alone.

If you’re one of the 18% of brands that doesn’t have a brand monitoring strategy in place.  What should you do? 

70% of marketers have little idea about that people are saying about their brands or their clients brands.  They don’t have an idea how many free and paid for tools are available.  I’ve put together a list of  a few free, paid and crowdsourcing tools which you can use to listen to the conversation:

Free

Paid

Crowdsourcing

Backtype Alterian Crowdspring
How Sensible Hootsuite Pro Fold It
Social Mention Lithium Threadless
Tinker Meltwater buzz Mechanical Turk
Thinkup Onalytica Mob4hire
Who is Talking Peerindex WeArehunted
  PeopleBrowsr  
  Radian6  
  Sysomos  

There are many more tools, with new tools evolving and disappearing each month so this list is not exhaustive.

But having a list of tools is not enough.  You also need to have a listening plan that deals with the appropriate actions to take when brand mentions occur.  And if you have a listening plan, you also need an engagement framework in place to deal with the data:

Discovery: Blog post, Tweet, News article

Evaluation: Positive, Neutral, Critical, Anger

Assessment: General enquiry, Dissatisfaction, Criticism, Rage

Response: Success story, correction, Facts

Considerations: Timeliness, Tone and Manner, Acknowledgement

When brands listen actions happen.  Brands shouldn’t wait until a social crisis occurs before they respond.  They need to respond promptly and they need to listen to the customer.

Otherwise, their messages will fall on deaf ears…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: ky olsen

Crisis communication: Twitter and the Queensland floods

A year after the floods that devastated Queensland Australia, a report has been released by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (CCI).  The report discusses the impact that Twitter had in enabling efficient crisis communication during the floodins episode..

There are some interesting call outs about Twitter and the use of hashtags in the top line points from the report:

The hashtag, #qldfloods became the central coordinating mechanism for floods-related user activity on Twitter.

50-60% of #qldfloods messages were retweets

30-40% of messages contained links to further information

Twitter users amplified emergency information and thereby increased its reach.

Twitter became a source for mainstream media to report on the flooding.

Users uploaded and distributed flood photographs taken on their smartphones and digital cameras to sites such as Twitpic.

Retweeting of messages focussed especially on tweets with immediate relevance to the crisis at hand

Over 35,000 tweets containing the #qldfloods hashtag were sent during the period of 10-16 January

More than 15,500 Twitter users used the hashtag #qldfloods.

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Source: CCI Australia flood report

The report also shows how much we share images – especially related to disasters, with those not in the immediate area of the flooding participating in sharing the images and broadcasting links which were picked up by media and shared on Facebook.

There are pointers for emergency services to consider coordinating a crisis response using social tools such as Twitter and Facebook:

An established presence on Twitter is important, and on-going monitoring of Twitter activities is valuable.

The community is willing to support and assist the work of emergency services

Emergency services should develop comprehensive, flexible strategies for using social media in times of Crisis

Emergency services staff should be trained

Emergency organisations should engage with and respond to messages received from the general public.

If Emergency services and official organisations use social media effectively, then it is easy to get the right information spreading rapidly. False information is quickly suppressed as the report shows,whilst information about help is propagated to rebuild communities after disaster strikes.

Used correctly, Twitter and other forms of social media have valuable parts to play in crisis situations.

Unfortunately, there are still many organisations that don’t yet have the correct procedures in place.  But with the actions of people in the community, help and information gets to those who need it most.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.