Monthly Archives: February 2012

Worldwide events for International Women’s Day

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International women’s day has been growing in momentum for years and the cause has very much been taken up by female technologists and geeks to try to inspire and encourage women to consider a career in technology.

So here’s a round up of some of the things that are happening on March 8th to inspire and energise you. Other events can be found on the IWD website so go along and get inspired…

 

BCSWomen Poster Competition for International Women’s Day

Encourage and promote a career for women in IT and you could win a Special Prize.
BCSWomen’s poster competition invites every BCSWoman to design an A5 or A4 poster to be used mainly in schools (secondary or primary), to promote and encourage girls to consider computing as a career.
The poster should portray the benefits of working in IT, by including the use of photos, for example the skills used, the exciting places that you could visit for your organisation as part of your job, and/or maybe the interesting hobbies or sports that you do outside your job. More details and the rules for the poster competition can be found on the BCS website:

 

Join me on the Bridge 2012

Throughout the world hundreds of thousands of women are living with the physical and emotional scars inflicted by war. Join me on the Bridge is a chance for people to stand in solidarity with these women on International Women’s Day (March 8th), and join their fight for peace and equality.

Bag Storm

From Aberdeen to Zimbabwe, Aerobics to Zumba, Asda to Waitrose – show us what you’re doing with your BCSWomen bags. Send us a picture of you & your BCSWomen bag to bcswomen.bags@gmail.com and we’ll put together a montage of fabulous old bags. We’ll be doing this in time for International Women’s Day – so get snapping, and email us photos by March 7th.   There is a BCSWomen Bag Storm facebook event and you can upload your photos there too.

WIE Symposium event – the Hospital club London – tickets: £150 per person

Subjects to be addressed at the conference include Tools for the Entrepreneur, Women and Leadership, Women in Media, The Luxury Industry and Financial Tools for Success. Additionally the Symposium will launch the WIE Mentorship Scheme – a program designed to provide long term support and advice from leading businesswomen to young women about to embark on their careers.

Diamond Lashes Ladies Network – International Womens Day £35.00 per person

Every woman is a role model so why not join us for drinks and canapés and meet some fabulous women in London. An inspirational evening of wonderful women coming together to celebrate style and substance.

07/03/12-12/03/12 – Women of the World Festival 2012 | Southbank Centre
Katy B, Annie Lennox, Jess Mills and Emeli Sandé confirm for the annual festival to promote, recognise and celebrate women Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 March 2012, Southbank Centre.  Katy B, Jess Mills and Emeli Sandé will perform on stage with host Annie Lennox at a one-off awareness raising concert in association with gender [...] 
08/03/12 – Funny Women Charity Challenge- Tickets £65 per person

Celebrating INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY THURSDAY MARCH 8 2012, 7.00pm Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, City of London. Please join us in the luxurious surroundings of the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in the City of London to celebrate Funny Women’s 10th Anniversary and International Women’s Day 2012. 10 high profile and inspirational women from the

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.

Credit: woodleywonderworks

Twitter now sells access to your old Tweets

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Over on my ZDNet column, I wrote about the privacy implications now that Twitter has allowed access to historical data in its partnership with Datasift

since I published the post, I’ve been thinking more and more about how you will feel about Twitter gaining access to your personal Twitter streams.

We search for information on Twitter using the hashtags, and we have a limited time window to search out tweets from others.  We then use the data to our advantage, finding out what our customers think about us.

As a user, are you happy that customers have access to all this data?  After all, what you tweet is a social data gold mine for businesses.  It gives brands the opportunity to find out more about you to target their marketing more effectively.

But we do tend to forget that we’re not having a 1:1 conversation with our friends.  Twitter data is public.  The data isn’t private, ever.  Even if we send Direct messages to each other, then Twitter could be requested to expose the data if called on by the US government invoking the patriot act.

In my book, Working the Crowd I try to hammer home the point that you should ‘Never say anything online that you don’t want to have quoted back to you in a court of law’.

And now with the Datasift: Twitter partnership, this advice is even more valid for us all…

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.

Credit: hyku

Social Business, Social Media for businesses

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I often get asked what the term Social Business really means.  Is it the new name for social media?  Is it something else entirely?

Here are the main differences as it applies to business.  I’ve broken the main points down into the top line bullet points and highlighted the main differences between the two.

Social Business

Breaks down organisational silos.  In the social business collaboration enables virtual teams to work together efficiently on projects without the need to send attachments round, keep multiple copies of the same document that gets out of date.

Democratises data.  Project and workflow information is available to everyone in the team that needs the information.  Enterprise search enables documents to be discovered, permissions ensure that the right documents can be seen by the right person.

Anywhere, Anytime working.  Project teams can work remotely. Conferencing tools enable sharing of information, virtual face to face meetings, and synchronous work streams and engagement.

Flattens hierarchies.  In the social business, internal communications tools means that you can communicate with the right person in the company without navigating the hierarchical layers of management.  Work with the person in the organisation that has the skills you need.

Social Data. Keeps communication flowing and knowledge sharing inside the business

Social Media

The earphones of the brand. Listen to what your customers are saying about you, engage them in dialogue, build relationships and solve problems.  Discover nascent brand issues before they magnify to major problems.

The brand microphone. Use your brand advocates to tell your message on your behalf.  With appropriate advocacy programs and incentives schemes in place, your brand advocates will become an extension to your business.

Community Engagement.  Have a relationship with your customers and partners that goes beyond the sales cycle.  Build enduring feedback loops, gain innovation, ideas and change sentiment.

Competitive credibility.  With thought leadership papers and leadership posts you can show your expertise in the marketplace against your competitors.

Search visibility.  With updated, fresh and engaging content, you will be easily discovered and visible in search rankings.

Social Connections.  Keeps two way conversation flowing between the business and its customers and partners

Both social media and social business conversations enable a rich dialogue inside and outside of the organisation.  To be successful in your social media activities externally, you need to have a ‘joined up’ business internally.

Good business practices will deliver excellent customer charters, customer service and customer satisfaction.

It all starts from within.  Is your business a social business yet?

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: jasminejennyjen

5 reasons to put blogging at the heart of your content marketing strategy

Do you blog at your company?  If not why not?

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Blogging – even though it’s considered ‘old’ amongst all of the other new shiny tools is still the best way to win hearts and minds amongst your audience.  Blogging is not dead. You can demonstrate your credibility, showcase your skills and experience and really connect with your customers.

If your organisation supports social media communication, and is open to community conversations then you should be blogging on behalf of the company.  You can have great conversations with your readers which will help you develop the next version of the product, streamline customer processes and change perception about the brand.

Why?  Here are some stats…

Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors

Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines

Companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links than others

37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing

Blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links

Blogging should be a key part of your content strategy. The top 3 reasons why people follow brands on social media is to down to interesting content. Blogging gives you the vehicle to write compelling and interesting content for your audience.  As 70% of consumers say that they prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads, blogging seems a natural choice.

60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.  It’s hard for them to feel more positive about you if all they have to go on is your standard site with dated web pages.

It helps with your marketing efforts too. 63% of companies said that posting content on social media has increased their marketing effectiveness.  They have gone beyond the campaign with conversational content. 

If you’re still not sure, have a look at the most social companies report from Netprospex.  all of these companies have a great presence online,  Most of them blog (in fact the New York Times has dramatically changed its business model as it recognised the shift to online activities.

Blogging works.  Honestly.  You need to be a good blogger, remembering to post your blogging update at the right time of day.  you need to have the ability to tell great stories.  If you’re stuck for content there are many ways to avoid bloggers block.

As a company, you need to encourage your employees to blog, either to benefit other staff by blogging on the intranet.  Give your employees time to blog

If you want a better way to engage your fans, then blogging should be top of your content strategy plan…

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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Credit: Annie Mole

Advertising to women only in ultra targeted ad campaign

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I’m not sure whether this is a really effective PR stunt or whether it’s real.

There is a billboard on Oxford street that uses facial recognition to show its ad to women only. if men approach the display they only see a URL according to business insider

It’s part of the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign from Plan UK

Plan UK have a big agenda to cover.

At least 75 million girls around the world are not in school. This isn’t fair. Ignoring it isn’t smart.

Investing in a girl’s education is vital – it helps her to know she has rights, exercise them when she needs to and achieve her potential.

It is also central to unlocking the cycle of poverty.

  • An educated girl is less likely to marry and to have children whilst she is still a child.
  • An educated girl is more likely to be literate, healthy and survive into adulthood, as are her children.
  • An educated girl is more likely to reinvest her income back into her family, community and country.

Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to ensure girls in the world’s poorest countries can access a quality education. This will in turn move people from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.

Everyone has a role to play, including boys and men.

Clear Channel, who created the ad reports that:

"Incorporating sophisticated multi-touch, a wide-angle HD camera and 3D depth sensor, it’s like a giant iPad crossed with an XBox Kinect. Using the screen, brands can encourage consumers to view, browse, create, share and download HD content, connect to social media, interact via the touch screen or gesture, and even star in the ads using augmented reality. Good advertising can raise awareness of social issues and Plan’s campaign does this well."

The device uses a high definition camera to scan passers by and guess their gender, showing the ad only to women.  It’s 90% accurate at detecting the correct gender according to the the Independent.

Is it weird to show ultra targeted ads?  Older folks get age specific ads, young mums get parent type ads, kids get age appropriate ads.  It’s a great way of determining who will actually get to see your advert.

But is this type of advertising going a little bit too far?

We currently ignore lost of online adverts we see on web pages Facebook and blogs.  We sidestep billboards, and don’t see banners in front of our face.

But something such as this which discriminates against segments of the population, might just be taking things a little bit too far…

Or should I be delighted that the ad agencies know so much about me, that they can sell me things I didn’t even know I wanted yet.

Perhaps I will one day… but I certainly don’t want it right now..

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.

Credit: Sukanto Debnath

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Will Dropmark be the Dropbox killer?

Dropmark looks like it’s going to be a nice evolution in the move to cloud storage. It has similar features to Dropbox in as much you can Drag and drop files for synchronisation to the web.  You can collaborate with others in file sharing projects.  But the visual enhancements make it look so much nicer.  have a look at this video..

Custom playlists and podcasts, photo slideshows.  Shared collections.  It recognises content from Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube.  you can even upload your iTunes up there.  There’s an RSS feed for notifications when new content is added.

It looks so much nicer than either Dropbox, or the more clunkier skydrive.   I’ll be playing with it to see if it’s as good as the video suggests.

If it is, then I think that Dropbox will start to lose traction unless it re-invents itself with some extra features.  Dropmark appears to have just about everything already…

You can get an early preview if you use this invite code or you can wait till March 1st to get your own.

Let me know what you think Smile

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.

Domino’s uses crowdsourcing to find innovation and ideas

Domino’s has empowered its user community to steer the direction of the brand by launching its new crowdsourcing app, ‘Think Oven’ on Facebook

Think Oven has 2 parts,’Projects’ and ‘Idea box’

The Project area encourages comments and suggestions around a current project – at the moment its around the Domino’s uniforms.  The Idea box is a place for suggestions – that might turn into future projects.

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The idea mirrors the My Starbucks Idea project that has been running for some time now.  Although we celebrate community collaboration like this, Crowdsourced ideas are not new.

Back in the ‘olden days’ the company suggestions box had the potential to turn up some innovation. Now everything is done online. With voting, comments and suggestions enabled in the Domino’s app the brand can get a really good idea about what its fans really want.

Using the army of Facebook fans to garner ideas is a good move for Domino’s.  We are used to interacting on Facebook, we are much more likely to interact with the brand in this way.

Hopefully Domino’s will implement some of the better ideas and report on its success.. Perhaps more brands will take up the initiative and work towards getting better customer service levels, new products and a re-energised business…

Meanwhile, Domino’s… I have an idea… Smile

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.