Monthly Archives: November 2011

Do you have a Twitter addiction and tweet your meal before you eat?

I get a lot of images of food on my Twitter stream from the people I follow – it seems to be de rigeur to take a photo of your food before you eat it.  So this infographic from the Googly gooeys made me smile.  I wonder how many of my Twitter followers are addicted to Twitter?

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I think that number 6 on this list has been missed out.  It has got to be: You have an unhealthy obsession with your Klout score and agonise over minute rises and falls every day…

How many more signs are there that you’re addicted to Twitter?

 

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Followers and Fans: Why Quality, not quantity matters

Do you follow people who follow thousands of people on Twitter and claim to be Twitter gurus? Do you wonder why celebrities and other ‘famous’ people never respond to your comments?

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This screen shot is an example of someone I follow who’s profile says “You follow me, I’ll follow you back”.  Can you really have an intelligent conversation on Twitter if you follow this many people?  Even if you have carefully sorted people you follow into meaningful columns on Tweetdeck, you’re going to miss something.  Twitter is a sliding window of information, if you follow this many people, you’re bound to regularly miss messages intended for you.  Information will be flowing too quickly for you to keep up..

Can you really be classified as an influencer because you have this many followers?  Do people REALLY listen when you talk to them?  Can you influence people without following thousands? The Dalai Lama offers wise words and inspirational messages and yet he doesn’t follow anyone at all. Bill Gates follows a few but influences many, and the Queen only follows updates from Clarence House – presumably to see what her offspring are up to.

How would you feel if you know that Bill Gates Read your posts?  Michael Dell?  Barak Obama?

Its not about the value of your Klout score, it’s not about your score on peer index. It’s not about the quantity of your followers, its about the quality of your interaction with your connections.

And if one of your connections turns into a happy customer, a customer that give you on-going business and talks about you to all their connections, then you have achieved your goal.  That’s a much better result than buying followers which is a heck of a lot better than trying to communicate with people who are following thousands of people – and who will give you no quality of interaction at all…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

Pointless babble on Twitter: The Social Data goldmine

We tend to think of Twitter as trivia and pointless random outbursts.  The people we follow flood our Twitter stream with useless phrases filled with their seemingly pointless activities.  But these random Tweets can have great value to data analysts.  For example, in 2008, bacon was more popular than sausages, Well people were tweeting about bacon much more.  We also tweet about feeling better in the morning than we do for the rest of the day.   Don’t worry if you’re an evening person, our moods seem to rally before we go to bed too.  We’re happier when it’s sunny, and when it’s the weekend.  Obviously..

These flippant top line results are the results of massive amounts of data gathering.  Cornelll University looked at over 500 million Tweets during research carried out over 2 years. (You can read the full report and supporting information here)

But what if you’re just curious and would like to take a pulse of what’s going on and you’re not interested in sleep or moods?

Have a look at Time Use which lets you play about with topics and find out how popular they are at different times of the day.  You might have wondered what people do all day, and now here’s your chance to find out what they tweet about.  Now I know that many more kebabs are eaten in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning than during the rest of the week.  This, just happens to correlate exactly with my experience of eating kebabs when I was at college

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And now I also know that chips are far more popular than either curry or kebabs – especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

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So, next time you’re wondering why your colleague is Tweeting about the trivia of their daily lives, they might be adding to some vital bit of data analysis – which could affect kebab production rates across the Twitterverse at weekends.

So keep tweeting that trivia.  Someone thinks its of value… Open-mouthed smile

PS – Huge shout out to Allister, The Digital Marketer who reminded me of Time Use…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

Facebook Page changes: Encouraging engagement and page impact

There are some interesting things happening to Facebook pages that might affect you if you administer any Pages for others or for your own business:

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Here’s a summary of some of the key additions and removals from Facebook Pages coming this quarter:

People talking about this.  This is a new number  for insights which is is a total of your Reach comments and shares, displayed for everyone to see when they visit the page..

Longer shelf life for posts.  If you post an update on your business page, and someone with 150 friends comments on it 3 days later you’re in luck.  Their comment will appear on their personal profile ticker – and all 150 friends could see your original post.  Great for longevity.  Try to get fans to comment to ensure your posts last longer..

Reach:  Your friends and their friends – which is your potential reach metrics if you can provide compelling content.  It’s a bit like the 2nd degree connection in LinkedIn.  You can get some idea of their ages and sex so you can target them more effectively

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Facebook is removing:

Notes.  If you;re syndicating your blog posts onto your business page using the import feature in Notes, then you’ll need to find another way to do this.

FBML (Facebook Markup Language).  It’s now ok to use ordinary HTML now – and use a secure server to host the HTML pages onto…

Reviews: Discontinued in October

Hat tip to the Pagemodo blog for the reminder…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

 

John Lewis Christmas advert tugs at heartstrings and connects with customers

Some adverts really resonate with their audience, some adverts slip by un notices.  once in a while an advert appears to get people talking about it and this advert has certainly done that.  This years John Lewis advert differs from the bright jingly, synthetic jovial Christmas adverts and tugs at our emotions.  have a look:

7 year old Lewis McGowan in his first acting part steals the show with his facial expressions and anticipation of the arrival of Christmas morning.  He makes you smile wistfully, and wish that your own kids behave like that on Christmas morning.  The production, it’s more than just an advert cost the company £6 million to create – but according to John Lewis, they get back in sales £4 for every £1 spent.  That’s a great return on investment for a combined channel media campaign (it was released on YouTube before it was aired on TV and quickly became a trending topic on Twitter). 

But the real measure of it’s success must be the spoof videos and imitations that have sprung up since the video was released, one with music from the Shining, another from the film Seven.  Spawning imitations this quickly after the authentic video brings more and more views of the real advert as people search for the source and share it.

Of course some people hate it.  After all, it’s just a way to get you to purchase things online, or from in the store.  But for every detractor, there are fans who love it and want to share it with their network.  This is where social sharing has a large part to play too.  The YouTube statistics are impressive enough with massive amounts of referrals from both Twitter and Facebook kick starting the campaign ..

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Friends have shared this over 202,637 times by the end of last week according to Campaign which demonstrates how effective good virals can be.

And if this years advert turns out to be as successful as previous returns on advertising revenue, then John Lewis will be smiling all the way to the bank…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

 

Facebook frictionless sharing: Peeking into private lives

Is Facebook ruining our sharing experience or enhancing it by its use of frictionless sharing?

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Frictionless sharing, where anything that you read online could potentially be shared with everyone in your time line whether or not you explicitly share it sits uneasily with many of us.  Sometimes we don’t want to know too much about what goes on in our friends lives.  When my friend was involved in a horrendous accident last year, I took over the running of her life, bills, accounts, everything.  I had to deal with documents and papers belonging to someone else that you don’t usually have to deal with unless they are dead.

I didn’t like knowing the minute details of someone else’s life.

But by putting barriers in the way of sharing freely might prevent someone from sharing that item.  If it’s too complex, then people might just turn away. Sharing is key to effective social networking so it stands to reason that if it’s easy to share things then things will get shared more readily. 

Our open graph, the things we do on Facebook, will be shared by everyone we’re connected to.  Everyone.  Whether we like it or not..

Sometimes Facebook gives us more information than we would like.  We see flirty exchanges by friends and in-jokes between them and their friends.  Sometimes we feel like we’re prying.  Sometimes, we’re peeping into others’ private lives.  And apps such as the Washington post and the Guardian app, are great for distilling content that we might have missed but our friends in similar circles have read and shared. It’s having an impact on the news too as every piece of content can now be reused and shared.

I’m starting to feel  as uncomfortable as Sue T above does.  I’m torn between finding some gem of an article and feeling I’m digging to deeply into the private lives of the people I’m connected to.

It’s a fine line.  And one that will get more difficult to keep on the right side of as more and more apps invoke Frictionless sharing and track our every move.

Perhaps clicking that “Share” icon is the only way to share.  Share knowingly

 

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

The power of changing one just word in Tech. Women

This post is for women.  And for men that hire women and who work in the technology industry. 

The gender imbalance is still huge and the gap doesn’t seem to be narrowing.  Programs such as Microsoft’s Digigirlz and e-skills Computer Clubs for girls are targeted at school and college girls. 

Not women.

Girl geek clubs, networks and events run across the world and are key to giving female technologists a network that they can use to find like minded geeks across the industry.  There aren’t many.  Corporate networks, like the network that I founded, recognise that there’s a need for change. 

There’s a really simple way to address this issue and it’s covered within the first 59 seconds of this video

 

 

There’s a lot of rebranding that needs to be effected across the industry, the social connections, the networks and the language before we can truly address the gender imbalance – and get businesses to avoid the unconscious bias that exists across the workplace. The Royal Navy don’t have gender specific names and have promoted a Lieutenant Commander to take command of a frigate.  The fact that this Officer is a woman is of no consequence to the Navy..

So why do we still persist with stereotypical, power sapping naming of our female technologists?  Why do we complain about the gender imbalance and do nothing to fix it?  Why are we allowing this to happen?

Changing one word will make all the difference… Come on women, its time to grow up and assume command – just like Sarah West.

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

Can marketing for the social business deliver ROI?

Can social media actually deliver ROI?  It’s one of the first things that a CEO thinks about when the budget proposal to implement social media channels lands on his desk.

It’s hard to succeed financially at the moment.  No matter how large or small your business is, you’ve noticed the downturn in sales.  Its hard to buck the downward trend and increase your margins without slashing costs and reducing the workforce.  Budgets for non essential line items are reduced as companies try to stay afloat.  Marketers are focused on improving

Companies want to increase traffic to their website.  They want to achieve this through social media integration.   segmentation and targeting and integrating their existing activities into social channels to leverage social data.  These are top objectives for marketers according to the Marketing Sherpa social marketing benchmark survey report for 2011

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CMO’s plan to increase their use of social media over the next 3-5 years increasing their technology investment, customer analytics and CRM.  Using social media as a key engagement channel and using the data gathered to improve customer intelligence is a good strategic point which will enhance brand advocacy

Technology that CMOs Worldwide Plan to Increase Use of in the Next 3-5 Years, June 2011 (% of respondents).

 

The challenge is finding suitably knowledgeable staff to be able to implement social media communications channels, mine data and interpret the results effectively.  It’s important to realise the ROI from your social media activities and making sure you have an effective way to measure your results.

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

Unified communications and the sustainable business

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I like working from home.  I’m where I want to be, I’m more productive, I’m happy.  I’m close to the coffee machine, close to the garden.

Unified communications technology means I can keep in touch with everyone I need to from my home office. 

Tools like Citrix GoTo Meeting, Microsoft Lync, and Cisco WebEx  means I’m close to any of my clients who want to send me an instant message, start a web chat or invite me to a conference call.

So why are so many workers still making the commute into work? 

This doesn’t demonstrate commitment to the socially optimised business, nor does it improve employee productivity.  Employees that spend hours and hours on the road travelling to work every day, tend to be less productive than those who work from home.

Commuting is hell.  When I worked for Microsoft, i lived 130 miles away.  On the days I went into the office, I could expect a 5 or 6 hour round trip.  Travelling into London from where I live is an hour on the train – and then there’s the journey on the underground to contend with before I get to my destination. 

There are many jobs that lend themselves perfectly to the working from home model. Programming, any type of writing /editing / blogging, and call centre work can all be done remotely.  And workers are proud to work from home too, praising the company attitude to working from home and the commitment to the environment.  Working from home is not without its challenges though, but the benefits are far reaching.

The University of Oxford cited teleworking as a key factor in reducing carbon emissions with almost 10% of the working population in the UK now working from home:

Teleworking has been linked with lower absenteeism, improved recruitment and retention, higher productivity, good work-life balance and good quality of life. Teleworkers tend to work longer hours than non teleworkers, and identify this as one reason for their improved performance, but see reduced stress and better concentration as more important factors.

The World Wildlife fund Workplace to anyplace report ties virtual meetings and telecommuting to a decreased ecological footprint and higher quality of life: 

Managers no longer have to keep an eye on someone sitting at a desk which is a pretty out-dated and ineffectual means of optimising productivity and effectiveness

In addition to organisations enforcing  no travel days for their staff to keep the environmental budget down, companies might consider implementing work from home Friday – not only to save the cost of the commute, but save the cost of the building facilities, heating, air conditioning and lighting.

That’s definitely worth considering a conference call instead of a face to face meeting… Smile

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.

Agencies squabble over Catvertising viral video

Cats were searched for on Google more often than Jesus throughout 2010.  Everyday on Facebook or Twitter I see links to images and videos of cats.  It’s not a problem.  I like cats. 

I also like viral advertising that works.  Great viral ads like Blendtecs YouTube campaign, Will it blend had a real uplift for the company business. Sales increased by 500% in the first year of their campaign and they are still growing their workforce and their manufacturing plant.  Its a real success story – especially in difficult economical times like these.

It’s hard to get a campaign to go viral, so perhaps including a very popular search term might just get you noticed.  And this is what creative agency John St did with their “Catvertising” video:

 

Using a subject as popular as cats seem to be ensures a lot of awareness about the brand, bringing new eyeballs to the web site.  It also brought criticism from the makers of  the ‘Kittywood’ video who claimed that John St copied their cat video idea.

This tiff has brought even more awareness for the brand, and will probably bring it further success with its customer base.  Sometimes it pays to be disruptive when you’re chasing recognition, awareness and revenue…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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.