Beware of Twankernomics!

A very tongue and cheek response to last year’s Socialnomics video. Very amusing!

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How Do I Choose The Right Social Media Channel?

The growing list of online social media sites makes choosing the right channel complicated. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and beyond, which social media outposts will net the most bang for the buck in terms of customer communication, brand exposure, traffic, and SEO?

The CMO’s Guide To The Social Media Landscape is a great guide to print and pin up! It helps to identify the right channels to use. Great work!


A CMO’s Guide To The Social Media Landscape

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Content Matters

 

I love this presentation from Barbra Gago. A timely reminder on why creating good content truly matters. The presentation looks at how it can be shared with your customers, how it adds value, and some main do’s & don’ts to think about. Genius.


Are You Ready For The Social Tool Invasion?

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One of the challenging areas of social media is understanding how “social tools” can be effectively used within the business. Today, companies such as Dell have made Twitter a core part of their toolset, not only in providing brand awareness, but also a key revenue generator for the company. However, how will social tools evolve in the future? What will these tools look like within five years? Should organisations invest time now in social media adoption, or simply ignore as it as a passing fad?

Gartner, released their social media predictions for 2010 and their insights provide an interesting vision, on how social tools may interact with the way employees choose to work in the future.

Here are Gartner’s five best practice predictions for social software:

1. By 2014, social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.

2. By 2012, over 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging, but stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration.

3. Through 2012, over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail.

4. Within five years, 70 percent of collaboration and communications applications designed on PCs will be modelled after user experience lessons from smartphone collaboration applications.

5. Through 2015, only 25 percent of enterprises will routinely utilise social network analysis to improve performance and productivity.

Social networking replacing email within four years sounds outrageous! But how many organisations are ready to embrace social technologies within the Enterprise? Technology is one thing, but certain members of staff will also need training to get them up to speed. “Digital natives” who enter the workforce may indeed be the ones that push companies to adopt social tools beyond the firewall.

Microblogging applications such as Twitter are being used more and by companies all over the web. However, to address privacy issues, start-ups such as Yammer have produced Twitter clones that are able to broadcast updates that can only be seen within the organisation. Gartner certainly sees this trend taking off yet further.

70% of IT-dominated social media initiatives may indeed fail. Why? Because many IT departments have traditionally failed to understand the needs of the business. Typically, they have built vast networks that are locked down. For social tool adoption to succeed, these big structures will need to be redesigned. A job easier said than done!

Smartphones are becoming more and powerful. But also the User Interface (UI) is becoming easier to use too. Widgets and small apps, now replace complex programs and connect to a variety of cloud based services. People are not only social, data is also going that way too.

Changing existing IT policies, educating the workforce and allowing the use of social tools within the Enterprise takes time. There is no silver bullet for deployment and effective use. However, early adopters are likely to see increased collaboration and agile working practices. Whereas, in some sectors such as regulatory bodies, the changes will be less profound.

But what do you think? As social tools open up and evolve, will we one day replace corporate mail with Facebook Mail?

You can read Gartner’s full press release here.


Are you Linking In?

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Are you looking for a great way to raise your profile or that of your business? Well, LinkedIn offers a great way to share your business experience in a more professional way. If you’ve never used LinkedIn, but have heard of others using it and aren’t sure what it is, Common Craft’s excellent video will provide a great overview.

Inspired? Excellent! I have been using LinkedIn for many years and have found it to be an excellent tool. It can help you build your professional network and market your services.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, don’t worry. I’ve included a LinkedIn starter guide to help you begin. Take a look below:

 

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Learn and Earn with the Gift of Collaboration

Microsoft’s Mel Carson and all round good guy, has released an excellent Social Media White Paper this week.

Mel works within Microsoft’s Advertising Community Team, which has been engaging with online advertisers through social media since 2006. The document entitled, “Learn and Earn” tells the story of how the Advertising team embraced social media to connect with the advertising community. Well worth reading.

During my time at Microsoft, I modelled the MVP Award Program Facebook Fan Page on the Microsoft Advertising Fan Page! So thank you Mel and team for the inspiration!

Read the document in full below.


Learn and Earn – Social Media White Paper – Microsoft Advertising

Reflections from Social Media in the Enterprise Talk

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Welcome to Social Media Week! This week, conferences are taking place simultaneously in New York City, Berlin, London, San Francisco, Toronto and São Paulo. The overall goal of Social Media Week is to advance the use and understanding of social media and the impact it has on culture, business communications and society. Also, it is a great opportunity to meet other bloggers, tweeters and thought leaders in the social media space.

I attended a talk entitled “Social Media in the Enterprise” at Cass Business School earlier this week. Each speaker had 10 minutes to present their thoughts to the assembled collective of approximately 40 people. The remainder of this post are the notes I made from listening to each of the speakers. I hope you find it interesting.

Alan Patrick from Broadsight, kicked off the event with the challenges social media faces when looked upon by Enterprise. He looked at three areas where it can present a Return On Investment. These include:

  • Innovation (Crowd sourcing and buzz catching)
  • Operational Value (Sales, and reducing operating costs)
  • Speed to Respond (Business agility, JIT and the speed to react to market changes)
    Alan’s presentation can be seen below:

Umair Haque presented an enlightening talk on how organisations can be improved. He argued that today’s Enterprises are built around an outdated structure of rigid hierarchies – this structure is no longer efficient. Creativity is stunted and thus these organisations can be termed “Peak Organisations.”  A new dynamic structure could be the answer. Today’s social media tools allow the most skilled individuals to lead, not just the the hierarchal manager. Gifted leaders emerge organically. Therefore, do we need leadership at all? Social tools allow us to connect to people with the knowledge to help us make decisions that maximise value

Benjamin Ellis’s talk focused on how people are the key component in business. However, most Enterprises are scared of going social. (They associate social as a term relating to a “lack of control.” They prefer using email, as it is the quickest method to get your point across in the shortest time. He went on to state that businesses also spend a lot of time examining ROI. However, in the businesses that Benjamin has worked with, ROI actually meant Randomly Oriented Integers! :-).   Social Media, (if not used with caution) can cause more problems than solve answers. Knowledge and access to information could be withheld. For social media to succeed, the tools have to be simpler than using email.

Mat Morrison delivered a presentation detailing the research that he has carried out within organisations. An interesting insight from his research showed that, if an organisation grows organically, a few people within the company are actually the most connected to other parts of the organisation. If they are removed, the network fails. Therefore, some level of design planning is required to ensure that everyone within the network is “properly” connected to everyone else. Therefore, if some people are removed, the rest of the network does not suffer. Mat also juxtaposed market norms versus social norms. Employee social capital is good for the business, especially if they tweet about the company and products. However, it is difficult to account for all the positive benefits that it can bring to the balance sheet.

Mat’s presentation can be seen below:

Dr Sue Black described her live case study on how she used social media to raise awareness and funding to save Bletchley Park. Since the war, the historic site has fallen into disrepair. Through an adhoc Twitter campaign, Sue managed to get support from London Twitter users to raise awareness. Twitter also proved to be a disintermediary.  She managed to reach out to Stephen Fry, without the need to go through PR agents or other traditional “blockers”. Fry, visited Bletchley Park and used his public image to further spread the message. Sue’s (part time) campaigning, saw her blog traffic jump to over 8,000 visitors! Her success was due to her passion, and her ability to use Twitter to find and connect with people who were equally likeminded about the cause, and were able to help.

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Flickr Credit: Benjamin Ellis  Dr Black and I talk to J G Rae at the event

Adriana Lukas’s talk looked at how social media can act as catalyst for business. However, she pointed out that transforming companies from within is going to be difficult. Not everyone is convinced at how social tools can help the business. Some departments may not understand them and therefore may support the use of them. Thus, she suggested it may be an idea to deploy the use of social media tools secretly and completely independent of the IT department as a “skunkworks” project. Build a successful pilot, before proving the worth of it to others in the business. (This scares me). The idea here is that the creativity and “openess” that social media brings, does  not affect existing business processes.  A classic line from her presentation read “Wave good-bye to business cases, say hello to case studies.” Those who want to change are not the ones building the barricades!”

Finally, David Terrar presented an opposing view to Adriana’s talk. Rather than deploy an “under the radar” approach. David, discussed that the way forward was to get management buy-in, before deploying social tools. His overarching point, social tools MUST work together with existing business processes. Over time, the social tools will help to modify existing business processes as their value is demonstrated. He went on to show examples of how social tools have been successfully applied to large businesses such as Cisco, Swiss Re, and ICAEW. 

Overall, it was a very stimulating evening of discussion surrounding Social Media, and how people view it both internally and externally to the Enterprise.

A big thanks to all of the speakers and especially Alan and Patrick for putting on the event.