Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oops. Be very careful what you post on Facebook

Oh dear.  I’m convinced that people think that they are talking to their best friends when they chat on Facebook.  They forget that some of their ‘friends’ have screen grab software such as the Snipping tool, to take a screenshot of their foolishness.

And people just can’t be that dumb can they??

The Buzzfeed important lessons learned post has some howlers – and there’s more from the Failblog….  

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Oops.  Things are never as secure as you think they are.  Facebook is NOT private.  just don’t say anything that you don’t want to have quoted back to you in a court of law…

 

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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How NOT to do marketing communications

Oh dear, or dear.  An email which annoyed me in the first sentence.  This poorly formatted email is about ad tech London, the conference for the online marketing and advertising community….

ad:tech is the only event in Europe to focus entirely on digital media & marketing.  I expect that the outbound comms would be up to the standard for a digital marketing conference.

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A few minutes later another email arrives.  They do know my name after all…

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Fundamental rules of engagement:

    • Get the recipients name right. Put SOMETHING in the merge field.  Even, Sir/Madam would have been better than Example First Name…
    • Test the newsletter. Send it out to different email accounts you have set up.  Check formatting across HTML and text.
    • Test sending the newsletter again. Send it to a group of people in the office before you send it out to a huge mailing list.
    • Check it reads well in different email clients.  Not everyone is running Outlook
    • Check, Check and check again. There is no excuse for being sloppy – especially if digital communications is your specialist business area. 

I was going to attend the event – and I even considered applying to speak at the event.  My skills and knowledge complement the existing speaker line-up rather nicely.

But not now.  One sloppy slip-up has changed the way I perceive the event.  And I’m not sure I’ll even attend now.  But I do wonder how many ‘Example First Name’ attendees will be there…

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.

 

Stop tolerating the bad stuff and start living!

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I’m a lot more tolerant than I used to be.  I’m much more calm and relaxed than I was 20 years ago.  i’ve learned to let things go.  I’ve learned to be authentic, I’ve learned to be me.

 

So several points on this blog post by Mark and Angel really resonated with me.  In being more authentic, I tolerate less destructive things in my life.  If you want to read the original post, the link is above – but here are my factors to succeed…

People who bring you down. – Don’t spend time dealing with people who are like emotional vacuum cleaners.  They suck energy out of you and grind you down until you are as miserable as they are.  Rise above it and keep calm

A work environment or career field you hate. – You’re at work a long time.  Surround yourself with people and leaders you respect.  Do work you enjoy and love.  Don’t get embroiled in politics, back biting or bitching.  It’s ok to say no.  Do not let yourself get bullied.  It is your job – not your life…

Your own negativity. – You have the power to change the way you feel.  Every new day can be a fresh start.  Celebrate the beauty of the new day, the drizzle, the crisp cold mornings, the fresh wind.  Enjoy nature.  Find something small to enjoy and turn around the cycle of negativity you’ve got into

Unnecessary miscommunication. – If you don’t know what someone wants ask them.  Ask for feedback.  Be kind with feedback.  Make someone happy, not frustrated with you.  Try to diffuse anger

A disorganized living and working space. – Tidy desk tidy mind.  Spend some time doing your life laundry and clearing out things you no longer need. Physical clutter often relates to emotional clutter.  See how much better you feel when everything is in its place

Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Be your own person.  Try not to get talked into things you really don’t want to do.  It’s easy to say no – and very satisfying when you have done it.

Fear of change. –Feel the fear and do it anyway.  You might love the new way of doing things.  Do something every day that scares you – you might find that you’ve found something new you love

Being unprepared. – You will avoid the terror of getting things wrong and the humiliation afterwards.  If you’re prepared for anything, then you can conquer the world..

Inaction. –There are three types of people.  Those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened.  Be one of the folks that makes things happen…

But most of all – be yourself.  You’re the best at it, and there is no one that can take your place…

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: Noah Sussman

Reasons to implement your Engagement strategy

Does your online strategy show how much you care about your customers?  Do you engage regularly with your audience, giving them value from your interactions with them? In this connected world, can you afford not to communicate with your customers?  Do you know what your ROI on your social activities is?  Do you even measure your ROI?

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There are some staggering numbers of people online these days, and there’s also an expectation that brands will have good workable social strategies.  Take a look at these facts:

  • Over 2 billion people online are now.  There are only 7 billion people in the world.  Lots of them are still too young to read.  You can engage with 28.5% of the entire population of the world 
  • There are 1 billion accounts on Facebook.  If you have a Facebook page, potentially huge numbers of your fans can see it.  Starbucks has 30 million fans, Coca Cola has 41 million fans and lady Gaga has 50 million fans.
  • 85% of customers expect that businesses should be active in social media.  Where is your social brand?
  • Business is built on relationships.  Are you passionate about your customers>  Does your online engagement and social activity demonstrate how much you care about your customers? Customers believe that 80% of brands are not passionate about their customers
  • Do you blog?  If you do, you’ll get about 55% more visitors to your web site ad 67% more leads than if you don’t blog.  Demonstrate your credibility.  Blog regularly, be credible.  Keep up the conversation. Put blogging at the heart of your content marketing strategy
  • 77% of customers will read status updates from the brand.  They probably wont comment – but at least they are listening to you.
  • 17% of your fans will comment on your messaging.  Perhaps they will share your story amongst their friends.  That is if you are communicating with them in the first instance.
  • 51% of Facebook fans say that they are likely to buy from you if you have a Facebook page.
  • 68% of subscribers to your email newsletter are likely to buy your services.  You need to have a strong call to action to encourage them to purchase
  • Brands don’t always have a good listening strategy.  30% of customer questions and feedback do not get replied to. 
  • On Twitter the listening strategy is poor.  over 71% of complaints on Twitter are not responded to.  implement a listening framework across channels and respond to feedback, good and bad.
  • 43% of social media users talk to brands, but brands don’t listen to their social customers

Further information and facts can be found in the infographic from BitRebels.  Avoid this at your peril.  Engage or be left behind commercially.  You need to have an engagement strategy and make it work with your audience and customers.

 

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: Keoni Cabral

 

LinkedIn users love groups and people they may know

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Here are some interesting facts about LinkedIn uncovered and made into an infographic by Wayne Breitbarth.  He surveyed 300 people in the US over a month and came up with a great infographic…

 

-90.9% of those surveyed use the free version of LinkedIn

- 51.6% of respondents had 200 or less contacts whilst 5.1% of participants had over 1000 connections on LinkedIn

-48.1% of profiles are incomplete – so they are missing out on being found in search results and taking advantage of some of LinkedIn’s advanced features

54.7% of respondents were members of 10 or more groups

- 10.5% of people were spending more than 8 hours a week on LinkedIn.

How much time do you invest in LinkedIn?

76.9% found it helpful for research about companies and people

- 68.6% commented that it was helpful to reconnect with people

- 49.7% stated that it helped them build new relationships with people who may influence new customers

- 44.5% said it helped them be more effective in face to face networking

- and 38.3% said LinkedIn helped them uncover potential opportunities.

Favourite Features?

- 79% love Groups

– 70.6% searching for people

- 66.6% people you may know suggestions

In todays turbulent job market, we move roles regularly. LinkedIn keeps you in contact with the person – no matter how many new work email addresses and mobile phone numbers they happen to have.  For this, as well as being able to keep in touch with connections through sharing and status updates are what makes it an imperative business tool for the professional worker.  It’s much more than an online repository for your CV.  Its now a vital business tool to keep you connected.

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: TheSeafarer

20 Pinterest features–good and bad…

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Pinterest.  You might be wondering what all the fuss about.  I’ve put together a few points about Pinterest, how you can use it for marketing and personal use…

Growth:

  • It is a visually driven social network with 12 million users.  Not bad for a community that started in 2012
  • Users create pinboards with web images.  You can put a button onto your browser and click to pin images that interest you
  • Pinboards are organised into categories.  You can name your category anything you like
  • over 90% are female – 10% male – Marketers need to be aware of this.  Fortunately, females often like the same things that males do
  • Ages range in the main from 25 – 54 – in the main.  This will change as awareness of the site grows

Uses:

  • Collect images that are useful to you and pin them to the site.  You can pin them in the default pin boards or create your own each time you pin
  • Repin articles and images that you find.  If you see something interesting then you can pin it to your own board
  • Build collections of pinned objects such as buildings, animals, technology etc.  Comment on other pins to interact with who has originally shared the image
  • Build a following – just like any other social network – and grow your own following too
  • Broadcast your pins to your followers
  • Great for viral marketing – if used correctly

Brand promotion

  • Images often are marketing materials for brands.  if used wisely, brands can draw traffic to their web site
  • It drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined
  • 26.4% of referral traffic comes from Facebook – having a good presence there can be advantageous
  • Brands use it to post products and projects
  • Don’t over do it and spam – you will lose followers and traffic

Challenges:

  • Copyright issues.  Pinterest puts the burden of copyright on you… Here are a couple of snippets from the site:
  • Certain areas of the Site and Application (and your access to or use of certain Services or Site Content) may have different terms and conditions posted or may require you to agree with and accept additional terms and conditions.
  • You may not Post, upload, publish, submit, provide access to or transmit any Content that: (i) infringes, misappropriates or violates a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy;
  • “YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU.”

So be careful of the pins you are sharing – they might be copyright – and you might get yourself into hot water…

 

It will be interesting to see how Pinterest fares moving forward. Can it get over the legal and copyright issues?  Do we actually care what images we are sharing – or stealing.  Is copyright a big enough issue to prevent you having Pin boards?  Or are you not worried about your images being used across the web by others?

 

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.

 

Data from the MGAdvertising infographic and images and information from Pinterest itself

Is your leader fake–or authentic?

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There are a lot of managers who just ‘talk the talk’, pretending to be authentic, pretending to be a good leader. 

You suspect that they are frauds – but you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what it is that makes you uneasy.

The Eblin group have hit the nail on the head here with this post about authentic leaders and how to spot the fake.  Just like spotting the social media snake oil salesman, there are several tell tale signs that show who is the real deal…

Clichés:  Buzz words are used in every office.  Paradigm Shift, Outside the box, Heads Up, leverage, Pushing the Envelope.  There are hundreds and hundreds of buzz words and clichés.  The intelligent leader doesn’t need to use these buzz words, but explains himself clearly and succinctly

Transparency:  Does your leader share his/her vision?  Do you exist in a ‘need to know workplace or do you feel an integral part of the company?  Obviously certain things do need to be kept quiet – such as financial information in advance of public listing etc. – but leaders that are open, honest and transparent get more loyalty than leaders who keep everything to themselves and expect everyone to follow blindly

Honesty:  If things are bad, say so. If things are good, share the information.  Workers will appreciate your candour and will work together to help where they can.

Authority: Do other leader respect your leader?  Are they a respected member of the community or are they talked about in a negative way.  If you hear less than complimentary comments about your leader, then they might not be leading lights in the business community.

If your leader is not all that you expected, and you no longer have faith in their leadership then there are a couple of things you can do.

If your organisation has an anonymous poll once per year then you can give your feedback on the poll feedback.

You might be brave enough to talk to your manager and express your concerns about the leadership of your company..

Or you could move onwards to another company that values your contribution, where the leader is the right sort of leader for you…

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: HikingArtist.com

 

Ladies, would you consider a career in the US Marines after looking at this site?

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Update/addition below:

I received a press release the other day asking me to blog about a new set of social resources that has just been launched for the US Marines web site.

The image above shows a small arms repair technician fixing an M32 grenade launcher, the other shows a woman attending to an RQ-7B Shadow. Perhaps the photos are of the same woman.  Both images sow the woman with clean hands and nails.

These women appear to be accessories to the main task force.  The site and the press release is filled with male specific gender terms like ‘Best’, ‘tough’ and ‘elite’.

I took a tour around the site.  Almost all of the images I could find were of men.  I found the site really off putting.  The images, language, the bullishness, all seemed to be aimed at men.  I certainly wouldn’t want to apply for a role there.

I was a pioneer in achieving in a male environment, working as an officer on oil tankers for 10 years.  I did not feel as discouraged to join the Merchant Navy as I do now browsing this site 35 years later.

It’s such a shame, that investment to create a great website such as this is wasted on half the population of job seekers,,

The website is interactive and contains social objects.  the Facebook page highlights a special incentive for men to enrol (or do women play American football these days? The Female Engagement team is hardly mentioned – but hidden in a post on Facebook

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It’s really sad that in 2012, we still get stories that don’t showcase diversity in all of its forms.  There are serving women in the forces all over the world, and yet the main focus for this revamped website is again on men.

Even on International Women’s Day, as we celebrate the achievements of half the human race, it appears that we still have a long way to go…

Update:

Since I posted this, I’ve been pointed to this report of a lawsuit posted 2 days ago: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46637869/ns/today-today_people/t/lawsuit-claims-rape-misconduct-dc-marine-barracks/

Read and decide for yourself…

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.

Cloud collaboration enables the social sustainable business

What does it take to make your business more social?

Flexibility, Mobility, Accessibility and Portability.  That’s difficult if you are desk bound, and can’t do anything else…

But with access to your information from anywhere, any device, you can work anywhere.  Cisco have released a video which shows this concept rather well..

 

The social business works without organisational boundaries. It empowers workers making them more flexible in where and when they want to work

Access from any device, at any time, any location.  Get the information you need, on the form factor you need, in the way you need.  Collaborate in the way you want to, on the phone, face to face, via email or video.  The opportunities are endless.

Clouds work for small businesses  — that don’t want the overhead of managing the infrastructure.  The cloud also works for large businesses too.  MyStarbucksidea runs in the cloud on Salesforce.com.

The flexibility in working where you want to means that travel budgets can be managed effectively.  There is no overhead in time lost commuting, nor any extra resources used.

Make your business more social – move your infrastructure to the cloud.  Any cloud.  The Amazon cloud, the Google cloud, the Cisco cloud, the Microsoft cloud.

You’ll save server resources, improve agility, and be able to access your data anywhere…

Hat tip to Gareth for the original collaboration post

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.

 

Is social media driving open journalism?

I saw a compelling advert the other evening  at the cinema.  It’s the story of the Three Little Pigs.  This story however, is told against the glare of the continuing social media conversation going on around us.

Have a look at the Guardian video…

Makes you think doesn’t it?

It raises a few questions for how journalists use social media to get information on stories – and how the voice of the people have the power to influence the way that large organisations work.

Twitter highlighted the feelings of the people about Tesco employing job seekers in ‘slave labour claims’.  The Arab spring in Egypt used Facebook to rally and mobilise ordinary people. YouTube shows examples of atrocities directed towards local citizens in Syria.

Information and images, not normally visible to us, are now shared in the world arena and giving journalists extra context to write their stories.

But does it make journalism more ‘open’?  Does it make it more compelling?

For me it’s all about choice.  Choice of what information to take in and which to discard.

  • Extra information allows me to weed through the trash, rumours and speculation (remember the announcement of Obama’s death last year?).  I can get the sentiment of the story, find out whether the information I have is an isolated outburst, or a more general change in perception.
  • Citizen journalism is becoming more accurate.  After all we all have a story to tell. We can be there as the story breaks.  We have our devices, we can live blog and tweet as things happen.  Our narrative helps to tell the story as it unfolds.
  • Perhaps we might need to brush up on our narrative, tidy up a few grammar mistakes, sort out our spelling, but the story is there. We need to be accurate and careful about how we report news and be aware of just how far the story might reach.

Check that the information is accurate. Wait a few hours to talk about a story.  If it’s fake, it will soon be exposed.  You don’t need to be first to report the news, leave that for live TV

Step back and get a more balanced view.  Don’t wade in with your opinions until you have considered all the facts.  make a reasoned judgement, take some time to work our the pros and cons of the story. 

By taking a high level view, you can often see the whole picture, analyse what is really going on, and offering your opinion. 

You might go against the public outcry.  You might be right.

With the full facts you can decide for yourself whether the wolf was really to blame for blowing the houses down – or did the social media hysteria around his huff and puff get the better of him…

This is a great video Guardian.  Great for opening our eyes…

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.