Tag Archives: Working The Crowd

Twitter now sells access to your old Tweets


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


Extended marketing: Gaining 3rd Party reach


Now this is cool.  My publisher at the BCS has just sent me this image, snapped from his phone at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) stand at the Marketing Week Exhibition at Olympia in London.

My book, Working The Crowd got a great write up the other day on the CIM site and a positive email review went out to all of their members too.

Here’s what they said about the book:

For those still stumbling around in the dark, Working the Crowd helps shed light on the game-changing nature of social media, its tremendous opportunities and the many dangers that await those who insist nothing has changed and it is just another route to market.
Social media guru Eileen Brown provides vital information and advice on every aspect of social media marketing, including:

  • Specific sites for various types of networking and engagement.
  • Blogs and microblogs.
  • Brand perception and reputation.
  • Legal issues.
  • The global audience.
  • How different age groups interact online.
  • Viral marketing.
  • Creating brand advocates.

Make sure this highly acclaimed title is the social media marketing book you keep to hand this year.

This example of extended marketing demonstrates how a key influencer – (the BCS) can influence one of their value connections (the CIM) to spread the message on their behalf. 

The message must still have value to the 2nd tier connection otherwise the message will not be propagated. 

By extending the message across different disciplines help you reach a new and wider audience.  This concept of mapping your connections and taking advantage of the weak ties in your social graph can bring you value in your social media outreach activities. 

Utilising the power of your weak ties can bring you significant benefits 

Its good to see that the value extends beyond my traditional geeky arena and onto the broader world of marketing.  It’s nice to see the topic crossing boundaries like this.

“Highly acclaimed”,”help sheds light on the game changing nature of social media”, “the social media marketing book”  All good strong comments in their review.  It’s great to see such a positive review of my work from a large credible organisation like the CIM.  I’m delighted.

I notice that the CIM say I’m a guru too.. surely this means I can buy more shoes?  Well, I reckon any reason at all is a good enough excuse to buy shoes… Now I’m off to the shops to hunt for some high heels…Smile

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant 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.

Realising the ROI from your social media activities


Image credit: Flickr

Social media Return on Investment (ROI) is something that all companies want. But ROI is a very difficult thing to measure through something as intangible as a social media campaign, a blogging strategy or web competition. Case studies are examples of your success in the corporate world, and also a key indicator of sentiment and success in the social media space.

In these difficult times, when companies have no budget, social media tools must deliver a positive ROI. If you run a project, you need to prove the ROI and demonstrate its’ worth.

Old Spice had an innovative way to persuade women to buy Old Spice in the US. They launched an online video campaign called ‘the man your man can smell like’. The campaign was launched during super bowl week and it targeted TV programs where viewers would likely watch together. In the first 3 months of 2010, mentions of the Old Spice brand captured 75% of all conversations with half of the conversations initiated by women. Other videos started to appear parodying the Old Spice advert and style of conversation, and TV presenters like Oprah mentioned the brand on her show.

The agency then hit upon a great way to capture the real time messages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It recorded over 40 responses to online messages: proposals of marriage, answers to questions and replies to users who had posted questions. This follow on campaign had an amazing response and a huge knock on effect on the Old Spice Twitter and Facebook pages. The old Spice website had a 300% increase in site visits and became the most popular channel on YouTube. Financially this campaign has made a difference too with sales of Old Spice body wash up by 27% in 6 months since campaign launch. A great return on investment from a YouTube video campaign.

Dell wants to drive repeat business, drive visitors to their site and lower their costs. Their http://ideastorm.com site is full of user generated content and ideas for future product development. As social media impacts every part of Marketing, Dell sees a correlation between customers visiting their social and tech centre sites, discussing and purchasing of products.

Social media should be an integral part of brand building and activities done on social media, impacts the brand, the products and the way that Dell interact with customers and consumers. Social media impacts everything that social media can do from product development with idea storm – to graduate recruitment. The way that people talk about your brand is very different from the way that you talk about your brand. Go and engage with them where they are. Tools embedded in Facebook can bring value to the overall experience. Ratings on content means that you can add value to the user generated content. You get credibility for the content – and this leads to sales.

So how do you realise ROI for your social media activities? Here are some tips:

· Measure your success in your activities. 34% of B2B firms don’t currently do this. Find your baseline and measures to make sure that you can grow your figures and improve upon.

· Be credible. Get a blog. Demonstrate your credibility. The company will want to see positive PR and visibility. Employee blogs will add to these column inches as your presence increases.

· Get case studies. Find recent stories that are relevant to your organisation. Position them to the budget holders who want to see ROI, not the amount of fans, page views or ‘Likes’. They want to see revenue. The Old Spice campaign worked. It led to an uptick in sales. Sales matter. Numbers matter.

· Listen to the customer. Dell has a 24 x 7 Command centre. They listen to the conversations taking place about the company around the world. Credible insiders get a better response to their conversations than a Marketing or PR person.

· Have different strategies for your brand. Be prepared to change direction quickly if your strategy isn’t getting any traction. That way, you’ll be able to see which strategy generates the best ROI. ROI is what the executives understand.

· You need a social media policy. Your social media policy needs to be good, it needs to be flexible. It needs to be followed and it needs to be monitored. For this, you need to ask the key questions of your organisation. What the business wants, what the employees are permitted to do, and what the interaction with the community will be.

· Get sales from your efforts. Budget holders want to see a positive ROI or they will not commit. You’ll get a much better level of interaction if you can add your customer’s social media profile to your customer database. You’ll be able to engage with them at a whole new level. Think about which sites to focus on.

· Get staff to execute on your social media plan. You need to position this carefully as this is a cost to the business. 60% of businesses don’t have staff dedicated to social media. Without staff to engage or without time to engage you will not have success.

If the board doesn’t get the value of social media, remind them that 50% of your competitors are using social media and will be quite happy to have the conversation with your customers instead

And if they’re still not convinced, I’ll talk to them about the business value of social media and why they can get business success by following some simple guidelines in my book. J


Eileen Brown is a social media consultant who helps companies with their social media strategy. Her book, Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business, is available at http://bcs.org/books/workcrowd

My book is in the Top 10.

Oh my word.  My book is listed at number 2 in the bestsellers in Advertising books on Amazon.co.uk.  Yay.  I’m delighted…


…in Advertising too.  Well well,  I’m also ranked at number 5 in the top 10 books for Legal and E-commerce.  yay again…


But I still have quite a way to go before I get into the top 100 books… I can dream can’t I?

I’m now going to add Advertising onto my LinkedIn profile and see what sort of work that brings meOpen-mouthed smile


Working The Crowd interview

Working the Crowd Layout:Layout 1I did an interview for Interviewfest the other week and my comments have just been published on their site in the Technology section.  They asked me some fantastic questions which really made me think, so I’ve copied the interview here.  Many thanks to Jennie and Sabrina for finding me and putting these interview questions together.

Working the Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business highlights the obvious to doing business today, is there any crucial information one can overlook when looking through the book?

All social media activities take an investment in time which can sometimes swamp staff who have demanding job roles. Often this is overlooked when planning social media implementations and one member of the implementation team can quickly become overloaded with work. The tasks should be spread amongst several people in the group

What sparked your interest to writing the book?

I wanted to create a practical handbook with steps you through the tasks required to create your social media strategy and implement it successfully and achieve a measurable Return on Investment (ROI) . I also wanted to include social media examples from brands that exists outside of the US, giving the book an appeal to international companies. The book is full of examples from large multinational businesses, small companies and individuals who have used social media to grow their brand and improve perception about their company. There are also a few examples of companies who have got things rather wrong

What are some of the strategies a small business can implement to increase traffic and social equity?

Keep it fresh. You don’t fish in stagnant water. You won’t get business with a stagnant web site. Adding social feeds onto a website, will keep the content fresh and keep the site high up in search engine rankings. It’s not just about SEO any more. With search engines following social feeds, keeping active on social networks can greatly improve your position in the rankings.

Top five Eileen Rules to networking

  • Follow up. If you make a connection at a business meeting – send an email the next day to initiate the connection electronically. Then the other person has you in their address book. If you don’t get a response – throw the business card away
  • Don’t cruise the room collecting as many business cards as possible – which are probably less relevant. Take time to make a good connection
  • Use the power of the referral network. Often your best business won’t come from your initial meeting – but because someone has referred you
  • Be genuinely interested in the other person. They will know if you’re not sincere and will mentally mark you out as someone who isn’t interested in them. You will have lost a potentially good connection
  • Follow up. Yes, I know I’ve said this, but it shows you are genuinely interested in the connection and the potential value it can bring to you both. My best long term referrers are from connections I’ve taken the time to keep in touch with on a social basis…

Why do you think when someone reads your book not all the outcomes are of the positive expectations?

Like any activity, engaging in social media activities is not always positive. Being prepared for things that can go one, and things that can damage your reputation – and having a workable strategy to minimise the effects of a PR disaster can go a long way in minimizing the effects of an error. Things often go wrong, but having an effective engagement strategy in place to deal with issues will really help

What is next for you?

We are at an inflection point in social media. It is still in its infancy and, contrary to perception, has not had broad adoption across many companies and institutions. These are very exciting times, with new tools and technologies coming out each week that have the ability to change the way we work and interact with each other. I’m fascinated by this evolution of interactivity and the way that the current tools have been adopted in creative and innovative ways by large and small companies. My next book will focus on this step change and how companies have evolved to survive in this people powered, connected world