Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sina Weibo beats Twitter Olympic tweet numbers

We talk about Twitter and its dominance in microblogging.  We often forget that other, non-English speaking countries might have an even larger share of the conversation.


The next web reported that Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter smashed all of Twitter’s records during the Olympics.

Twitter reported that around 150 million tweets were sent during the games. 116 million tweets per minute happened during the closing ceremony. Sina Weibo however reported in an infographic that 119 million messages were sent during the opening ceremony and 393 messages throughout the Games itself.

With the Paralympics underway and twitter lighting up – it will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up again – especially with China once again dominating the medals table so far…

Credit: bfishadow, itsjusthugo

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.


Avoiding team meeting malaise

Have you ever sat around in a team meeting, trying to brainstorm and wondering why things just aren’t going very well?  Well it could be one of several factors contributing to the poor dynamics of the group. It could be the way that the group works together and how each of the individuals in the group produces their best work.


The New York Times reckons that creativity comes from groupthink and that introverts that prefer to work alone are main catalysts for innovation.  But how do you mix the two?

If being on our own makes us more productive, then how can we encourage creativity in teams.  Many meetings are wasted with large teams, together in a room trying to think creatively.

Some folks work better alone, some work better with others.  Often the loudest voice does not have the best ideas. Sometimes the failure could be down to the meeting, other fails might be down to the dynamics of the meeting. 

So how do you get the best out of meetings, and the personalities in the team?

No Goals. Without a goal, the ideas won’t start to flow.  Attendees won’t know what they are trying to achieve by the brainstorm.

Poor preparation. Giving attendees time to think about what the meeting will be about and how you want to progress the meeting giving them time to come up with something on their own that they can add to the mix.  A coffee break before the brainstorming session usually works wonders.

Game the brainstorming session. Turn the brainstorm into a competition with a token gift for the team member that produces the most number of unique  and workable ideas. giving teams a challenge usually adds an extra dynamic into the game.

Split the whole team into smaller sub groups. The brainstorming as a whole will be more productive than everyone sitting round in a large group looking for ideas.  Generate several lists from each sub group and discuss the results, choosing the best sub group idea back with the main group.

Stay uncomfortable. If people get too comfortable with each other they will relax and devolve attention and responsibility onto others. Shake up your group think by changing your sub groups round regularly.

It is possible for Intraverts to thrive in extravert environments but more important to give your teams the tools they need to do their best work.  If they are introverts, then leave them to brainstorm alone, others can work as a group.  Forcing introverts to work with others will stifle their creativity not enhance it.

Letting your team work in they way that each individual needs to work will avoid the team meeting malaise and energise the group as a whole..

Credit: JD Hancock

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 questions to ask your social media expert before you hire


There are a lot of social media ‘experts’ out there. almost everywhere you turn, there are people that tout themselves as experts in social media, and who are ready to help you get online, enhance your presence, configure your profile.  you name it, an ‘expert’ is ready to help you with your online challenges. 

They baffle you with acronyms, have the latest devices, hardware and terminology.  They live on LinkedIn, talk on Twitter and frequent Facebook far more than you think you will ever be.

So what questions do you ask them before you hire them so you can spot the social media snake oil salesman.

Here are some strategic questions to ask.

  • What influencer programs have you had success with?  Influencers are the core of a successful business relationship with the community.  There are several ways of discovering, organising and managing influencers.  Good social media companies should be able to highlight several success stories for managing influencers.
  • What are our objectives?  A consultant should have spent time listening to you and should understand your business goals and objectives. Unless the social media company understands your business, it will not be able to work well with you.
  • How will you measure ROI?  Success is tied to sales for companies.  I know social media is all about engagement and relationships but spending hard earned money needs to provide a positive return.  Scorecards measure sales.  The other stuff is just a ‘nice to have’
  • Who will be doing the work? Will it be a junior member of staff, social media savvy but not business savvy? Will it be someone with good business knowledge who can deal appropriately with any crisis that might happen?  Choosing the wrong member of the team to deliver the outbound communications can rebound badly.
  • What components should be need in our social media strategy?  The key thing here is to focus on frameworks instead of tools. Beware of someone who talks about Twitter or Facebook all the time.  Often your strategy will be multi layered, multi-channel, with several approaches
  • How will you measure our performance? Good social media companies will use a selection of reporting tools and add a manual component into each of their analysis reports. Often the hunch gives extra measurement insight to a bland set of reports
  • How do you  manage content?  Successful companies will tie content into a specific content calendar to align with your product development cycle, marketing or business plans. It always needs to be organised and structured and in line with the organisational needs and strategy. Ensure that the marketing communications plan is also included in the content strategy.

Credit: wildxplorer

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.

10 tips to avoid the Monday morning blues

imageIt is often hard to get going on a Monday morning. The commute might have been hell with over running road works or delays on your train.  You might be tired, have a hangover, or you might have had the best weekend ever and are suffering from post weekend blues.

But don’t take it our on your colleagues at work. Try these 10 tips to make Mondays better for yourself, and your colleagues:

  • Listen to energising music on the way in to work. Choose music that lifts your spirits and makes you feel great. Don’t turn the volume up too high if you’re in a train though. You may ruin someone else’s day
  • Wave and smile thanks to others.  if someone lets you in at a traffic queue, smile and wave your appreciation.  Even if you don’t feel like it, smile. You will lift your own spirits with your fake smile, as well as others.
  • Be positive.  Say a cheery good morning to folks as you go into the office.  Ask how they are. If someone asks how you are, don’t just say ok.  Try to think of something cheery to say in response. You might lift their spirits too
  • Ignore negativity.  Don’t let someone else’s bad day become your own. Remember, it is not your problem. Stay cheery and ignore the grumps.
  • Do your most productive tasks first. You’ll do them quicker and the day’s jobs will seem less onerous.  Do the jobs you like and you will be in a better mood to do the jobs you don’t like.
  • Remember why you are there.  You work to achieve your financial goals, security, to go on better holidays, to change the world in some way or to help people out.  Whatever your drive is, do it with gusto and remember, your work helps you achieve what you really want from life.
  • Don’t work too long at work.  Working all hours of the day or night tires you out and makes you miserable. You’re home life will suffer and your productivity will go down.  Work can get along just fine without you. You are not indispensible.
  • Keep things in perspective. A problem at work is not your problem entirely, no matter how much a grumpy boss tries to tell you it is.
  • Remember it is your job, not your life. Try to keep a balance between the two and don’t let work get you down.
  • Enjoy yourself. the day will go faster and it will be Tuesday before you know it!

Credit: Flickr

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.

Automatic and Manual retweets on Twitter: The differences

Jillian emailed me with an issue she had after attending my Introduction to Twitter workshop the other week:

If I press the retweet button I can’t edit anything so presumably I have to copy and paste it into another tweet.  But then the link doesn’t go with it.  for instance I wanted to retweet your fibre optics post and say where does she keep the rechargeable batteries, but the link doesn’t go over and so when I go back into your tweet to pick up the link the RT has gone too!  Spend far more than half hour each day on this as I go all round the houses. 

Twitter uses the automatic retweet button for its own analytics. It can tell how many times a Tweet has been rebroadcast


Clicking on the Retweet link brings up a dialogue box.  you can not edit the link, but reproduce it entirely.


If the automatic Retweet button is used, then Twitter can tell exactly how many times this has been retweeted.  See the example below which must have appealed to a lot of people as it has been retweeted 11,659 times so far:


It is much easier to edit retweets if you use one of Twitters clients.  Here’s an example of using the edit and retweet button on Tweetdeck


Choosing ‘Edit then Retweet’ appends RT to the start of the tweet.

Other clients use “Quote tweet” as a way of copying the original tweet into a new tweet window, allowing you to edit the tweet and credit the originator of the tweet..

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.

6 tips on Setting your goals and sticking to them

File:Basketball Goal.jpg


Setting your goals is easy, sticking to them and achieving them is much harder.  So why do some people fail and others succeed?

We have different motivations for setting goals.  to get fit, lose weight, get the project finished, run faster, further, for longer, become more organised, less cluttered, more healthy, less anxious.

So what differentiates success from failure?  I think it falls into 6 main points for success.  Follow these 6 points and see how you get on:

  • Self awareness: Monitoring how well you are doing on a regular basis such as tracking your run or your weight loss with an app that tracks your progress.
  • Understanding: Finding out as much as you can about the project, chance of success and failure.  Knowledge brings understanding and clarity in goal setting.
  • Belief:  How determined are you to succeed in your goal?  Do you really believe that you can succeed or is there a nagging doubt lurking in the back of your mind stopping you from believing yourself?
  • Uniqueness: Are you the only one to have achieved this goal? The first one to climb the mountain, or the highest, deepest, farthest. Setting a goal that is unique in some way may spur you on. Of course, if you have never ran before, or lost weight, then this could be your own unique goal
  • Gaming: is your goal part of a team goal? Are you an integral part of the team and your success leads to the whole teams success.  Often working together to achieve your goals can spur you on.
  • Visualisation: What does success loo like to you? Can you see it?  Imagine yourself completing your goal and remember the feeling.  It will spur you onwards.

When you get to your goal, celebrate your success.  Try not to set another goal more difficult than before. Take some time to bask in your success and revel in your achievement before setting your next milestone. Enjoy your success…

Credit: Prettybea

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.

US leads the world in terms of Twitter users

Semiocast has been analysing which countries use Twitter the most. the US leads by a very long way with over 140 million users.

In June 2012 Semiocast listened to over a billion Tweets and worked out the location of users based on fields such as user profile, language, time zone and GPS co-ordinates.

The US now represents over 27 per cent of all Twitter users.  These users produced almost 26 per cent of the Twitter traffic.

Interesting that certain cities come out well individually. London is 3rd in the world by numbers of posted tweets. With 32.2 million user accounts, the UK is 4th in the worldwide table.

These numbers are not a true representation of all of the microblogging that happens in the world as Twitter, although world wide, is not the platform of choice in all countries.

In Taiwan, the preferred platform is plurk, with 37 per cent of all plurks coming from Taiwan. Qaiku is popular in Finland. Tebncent Weibo is popular in China (although Sina Weibo is the most popular site in china with over 30 per cent of internet users). Fafou is another Twitter clone.  Me2day is popular in South Korea.

But as the leader in Microblogging platforms – by a long stretch, Twitter is doing well with half a billion users. it won’t be long before it catches up with Facebook as it tries to reach a billion accounts in 2012.

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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