Social Media Archives - Klaxon

What I Learned today about Sharing & Social Business

Today I chaired a panel session on social business with some seriously smart people.

Sharing Economy Throwdown Panel about Social Business

The event was part of Social Media Week London and was called the Sharing Economy Throwdown.  Since I have no idea what a ‘throwdown’ is I’ll focus on the ‘sharing economy’ side of the story, which in my mind is the very same story as social business.

The crew I was charged with moderating included (from right to left above):

> Luis Suarez, Lead Social Business Enabler, IBM
> Gareth Davies, Head of UK at Studio D (Waggener Edstrom’s digital arm)
> Doug Shaw, Consultant, What Goes Around Comes Around
> David Keene, Head of Enterprise Marketing, Google UK

The idea of the session was to take a look at the new ways of working following the recent and massive shift in the technology landscape. Not just with advances in social media i.e. facebook, twitter, YouTube etc, but how these consumer style applications and platforms have transformed our working lives.

Not only how we work but what this means to the very industries we operate in. People are increasingly bypassing organisations to buy from their peers e.g. AirBnB and liftshare, or skipping traditional contracts to buy up idol inventory on assets such as office space e.g. neardesk. Make no mistake, the world in which we live and work is changing and sharing is a huge contributory factor.

What’s driving all this sharing? Advances in technology sure, but societal needs and economic factors too. The global population is ever increasing and yet our resources are ever dwindling. We are coming through (at least in some parts of the western world) one of the worst recessions in history, which has led to a lot of belt tightening and new business models being created.

We have the perfect storm for an explosion in sharing and it’s happening. We are all going to need to learn to share more.

In preparing for the session I couldn’t help but to read plenty of Jeremiah Owyang’s writing on the subject. His views are pretty clear on this, organisations need to evolve or die. I very much like his pyramid model where products evolve to services, services evolve to market places and market places to products.

It is well worth reading Jeremiah’s blog, or at the very least listening to his useful discussion with Mitch Joel from Six Pixels of Separation. Ow Yeah…

I started the conversation today with Jeremiah / Altimiter Group’s definition of the sharing economy:

an economic model that means shared ownership and shared access between startups, organisations and people”

This got us started. Luis jumped on the idea of sharing from the outset: as humans we are built to share. Helping other people is a fundamental function of why we exist as humans. It’s ingrained. But sadly the companies we work for have driven this behaviour out of every day working life. Why? To satisfy that oldest of ideas: ‘knowledge is power’.

It seems in the sharing economy, knowledge is no longer power, collaboration and sharing are.

Sadly the decision makers in the top echelons of global industry are still remunerated on the knowledge is power model. This is a key reason why you rarely see the CEO of a FTSE 100 company, or many board members, openly embracing social media or social technologies. The knowledge is power mind set is far too well engrained.

Later on in the discussion it was even suggested that corporate executives are rewarded for not sharing. Their compensation structures prevent them from being open, actually quite toxic within organisations when you think about it. I really wasn’t expecting executive remuneration to be a topic that surfaced in a discussion about social business and the sharing economy, but it’s an interesting perspective none-the-less.

Gareth quickly jumped on the idea that sharing exists at multiple levels. Not everything has to be public; you might have a different presence for friends, family and the workplace. This evolved into the work-life continuum debate: “if you’re a knowledge worker you’re on all the time” said David from Google.

Doug illustrated this point with a story of how his use of the middle finger was shared via a photo online and which later prompted an interesting response from an elder colleague. The new rules of how we work and communicate are changing, is it really possible to share all of the time, or indeed necessary? Is there a work-life balance to be had any more?

I could go on, but the discussion was quite wide ranging and frankly, as chair, I probably missed half of the most illuminating points as I tried to keep the conversation moving. Thankfully the event sponsors (Herman Miller) have facilitated the session being recorded and it will shortly be available as a podcast on the Sharing Economy Radio.

In the mean time I wanted to share with you a handful of the other gems I jotted down in my notebook:

> Data overload is a symptom of sharing too much.

Could this be the impact of a deluge of good, bad and ugly content marketing? Do we all need to get better at sharing the right things?

> It’s all about behaviours.

Sharing is not new, it’s just back in fashion perhaps.  Is this a result of those three core drivers: economic factors, societal factors and the rapid evolution of technology.

> The rise of consumer style devices in the workplace has shifted how we perceive work.

I very much agree with this point. We now expect facebook style apps to be ever present in how we communicate, both inside and outside work. It’s no longer acceptable to most employees to be working on quicker laptops and smarter devices at home then the clunky old PC with proprietary software available at their office.

> Sharing and advertising are not the same thing.

Absolutely. In fact we hardly scratched the surface on what social business means outside of marketing and communications. For example how we collaborate with our competitors to create new products, or share our logistics network to ship goods and services at a fraction of the cost of the postal service. We certainly need to revisit this area in another session.

> The corporate firewall will be abolished.

I’ll believe this when I see it. Perhaps for this change to happen a lot of senior people are going to have to retire. The notion that the control of information is power came across again and again. People at the top of organisations require control of knowledge to retain their cosy remuneration.

I thoroughly enjoyed chairing the panel and my thanks go to Bernie Mitchell from the Sharing Economy Radio for inviting me to take part and for the permission to use his image above. This is the second year we have run this discussion during Social Media Week and I greatly look forward to advancing the topic again, either in a year’s time, or perhaps a little more frequently.

Social Media Week is Upon Us

Social Media Week LondonOnce again it is Social Media Week in London and there is an awful lot going on, with plenty of spaces free still too. We’re both organising, attending and speaking at a host of different events during the week.

You can catch up with us here:

Monday 24th September

Dell B2B Social Media Huddle

This regular event is a must attend if you are in B2B marketing. Hosted by Kerry Bridge, Neville Hobson and Simon Hughes, there will be a mix of keynotes and ‘unconference’ sessions which always make for an engaging event. If you miss out, you can catch the keynotes again on the For Immediate Release podcast.

Also, if you can’t make it during the day head to the Tweetup in the evening. The venue is TBC, but likely somewhere around Microsoft’s offices in Victoria (as that’s where the Huddle is taking place.)

Follow @b2bhuddle on twitter for more clues.

Tuesday 25th September

Social Media for Property Professionals

I’m speaking on a panel session at this event, where we’ll be trying to answer questions for property folks such as:

  • What is the best way to promote storage on social media to landlords and tenants?
  • What are the benefits of the various platforms?
  • How to use Facebook better for Estate Agency?

If you are in the world of property and construction, this just might be a good place for you to pick up some hints and tips and to learn from the experiences of the speakers. I’m parrticularly interested to hear Melanie Simon from James Pendleton Estate Agents.

Advertising Research

Strictly speaking, this one isn’t part of Social Media Week, but it is a conference we have produced for a client that’s taking place on Tuesday so where better to shout about it. There’s a stellar line-up of speakers and if you want to learn more about how to make advertising more effective, there is still time to book a ticket.

Wednesday 26th September

Being an OG – The Facebook Open Graph Workshop

If you are interested in finding out how to really use the power of facebook’s open graph (we’re talking more than a company page here, or striving for likes) then this workshop is for you. It’s all about how you as a marketer or developer can use every aspect of a person’s activity on facebook, across multiple apps, to create a new experience; a new level of engagement.

It’s probably the one I’m looking forward to the most, not just because of the content, but also the format: presentations followed by a hands on workshop too.

London Bloggers Meetup – The Video Edition

This is the next edition of the regular London Bloggers Meetup events we organise. This time we’ll be looking at video and how to use it to ramp up the impact of a blog. We’ve got guest speakers from professional video producers, to smartphone warriors, vloggers and some research from event hosts Unruly Media too.

This one should be a cracker – not least because Unruly Media are paying for all of the beer.

Thursday 27th September

The Sharing Economony – Commercial Reality Throw-down

I’m co-hosting this event with Bernie Mitchell from The People Who Share. It’s being held at Google Campus and is all about how to achieve robust economic advantages through social collaborations i.e. how designing our businesses as ‘social businesses’ will enable us to grow more sustainably in both B2B and B2C markets.

I’m hugely looking forward to this one.

Friday 28th September

Day Off.

It will be needed by then after all these events and of course keeping on top of our clients too.

There are literally hundreds of events taking place during the week. You can find out more here. Get involved. There will not be another chance to see so many high quality events about social media in London again until September 2013!

Resources for B2B Social Media Marketers

Thanks to all those who joined us for the B2B Social Media Workshop this week. We covered an awful lot of ground in the first session. In case you missed anything here are links to the platforms, tools and resources we mentioned (and some others) you should look out for:

Social platforms to start using everyday:
Twitter – the largest micro blogging platform
Google+ – for those serious about social media marketing
Linkedin – so much more than a tool to find a new job
Delicious – the king of social bookmarking

There are of course many more e.g. facebook, but that’s enough to get you started with for a B2B perspective.

Other platforms to use for clients:

Content curation:
Paper.li – creating newspapers based around content on twitter
Scoop.it – for creating custom news feeds with content from multiple social platforms
Storify – similar to scoop it, great for wrapping up social activity around events or campaigns

Content led marketing:
Slideshare – for sharing presentations after an event or generally as part of a content plan
Tumblr – an easy yet effective blogging platform
WordPress – the most used and customisable blogging platform
Vimeo – hands down the best value video hosting website for businesses
YouTube – needs no introduction, often cited as the world’s second largest search engine
Flickr – elegant, effective and easy to use photo sharing
Quora – for demonstrating knowledge and owning a topic area on the social web
BrightTalk – a solid webinar platform with good links to social media

Social bookmarking:
Delicious – mentioned twice because of the search engine optimisation value
Stumbleupon – for finding and sharing content
Reddit – similar to stumbleupon, but includes powerful community based voting

Tools to help with influencer identification:
SocialMention – cheap, easy, quick and very friendly
Klout – shows you roughly how influential you are online
Kred – another measure of online influence
PeerIndex – same again, but with a slightly different scoring framework
NodeXL – the Excel plugin for establishing network connections

Social Monitoring tools (more expensive and much more accurate options)
Radian6 – part of salesforce.com and the industry leader, but it’s not cheap.
Brandwatch – a Brighton based monitoring outfit well worth talking to
Sysomos – another very find monitoring platform
Nod3x – the newest kid on the block with some powerful features

Tools to use for tracking and measuring:
Bit.ly – shortening links and more importantly, tracking click volumes for basic measurement
Google Analytics – a fantastic free resource for tracking and analysing web traffic across a website
Google URL Builder – for creating those all important tracking URLs to use for measuring the impact of your campaigns
Crazy Egg – if you want to see where on your site people are looking and clicking, look no further

For event marketers:
Lanyrd – to promote your event socially and connect with online communities
Plancast – another social promotion tool

For the uber keen, here’s some additional reading and resources too:
B2B Social Media Marketing Linkedin group
B2B Marketing Magazine’s knowledge bank
Mark Shaefer’s Social Media Measurement Smackdown
Dell’s Social Media Policy
Chris Barger’s Social Media Report blog on Forbes
The importance of social bookmarking from the Social Amateur blog
Michael Brenner’s Top 9 Social Networks for Business
Review Mashable’s Top 15 Corporate blogs for some inspiration
Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor is always worth reading for digital marketers

Engaging Journalists through Social Media

I spotted this fantastic inforgraphic from PR Agency Text100 about how to engage with journalists using social media. It’s based on a fairly small sample (72 UK journalists) but it highlights the importance of social media to the modern public relations professional.

Pleasing to see the relevance of blogs in the mix along with wikipedia, but look at google+ only scoring a 37% in terms of relevance. Interesting.

engaging jounralists infographic

Social Media Monitoring & Analysis

We’ve been doing some social media monitoring and analysis recently around the topic of flexible working. We wanted to identify where there were conversations occurring for a prospective client to help inform their comms planning.

With the findings we are able to make some pretty interesting recommendations for our client. I can’t share all of our findings, but a handful for your reference are below, along with some ideas for how to use this information.

If you’d like to know more about social media monitoring, how to apply this to your marketing and communications and even how to link social media to actual sales ROI, get in touch.

Location / Geography

Social media monitoring map

From the map you can clearly see where there is conversation going on by the size of the yellow dots – the bigger the dot, the more conversation. Incidentally the colour of the doto also shows the sentiment, with yellow being neutral.

The black areas show where there is no conversation at all on the topic area. Interesting if you have a global communications challenge: either the topic area is of no interest, or there’s an opportunity to lead the conversation for your brand.

Could this information be useful when you are thinking of entering a new market place. You bet. What about if you want to asses potential market value, or test some messaging?

Platforms & Sentiment

Sentiment analysis

This chart shows the platforms where conversations are taking place, along with the sentiment of those conversations. You can see flexible working is a big topic in forums, along with blogs and twitter, but on facebook, video and G+ the volume is limited.

This gives you an idea of where you need to start investing your time, particularly if there is a high percentage of red i.e. negative sentiment for each channel. On this example you can see the most negativity as a percentage of the overall conversation around the topic is on twitter. Perhaps you should address this platform first.

Imagine what you could do with this information if it was specifically related to your brand, or a particular product line or campaign.

Source & Sentiment

Social media source

This last chart shows which sites are talking about flexible working and with what sentiment i.e. positive, neutral, negative. Think how powerful it is to know who and where your product, brand or campaign is being discussed. Identifying the detractors and working those out with your comms or customer service team might just be the starting point.

What about building bridges with those more influential sites (or bloggers, or tweeps etc) and making sure they remain positive, or even providing early feedback for new product development. How about assessing the performance of a campaign to see if the overall market sentiment has changed as a result of your marketing? The potential here is endless.

We’ve barely scratched the surface here with what’s possible if you take a proactive stance to social media monitoring. Get in touch if you’d like to take your business closer to social media.

Small Business Advertising on Twitter

I signed up for a trial of Promoted Products on Twitter – the twitter equivalent of Google PPC – but sadly as I don’t have a US billing address I can only watch from the sidelines. But for those smaller businesses on the other side of the pond, it’s worth thinking about advertising on Twitter.

You can see in the short video below what your options are, but in summary:

1. Promoted Accounts

Twitter matches your interests, with the interests of potential followers. It then recommends you to those potential followers. Simple. If your objective is to grow your following, this is the best option for  you.

2. Promoted Tweets

Twitter automatically promotes your best performing tweets to people who match your interests. If you want engagement and click throughs, this is the option for you.

For both you only pay per action.

In others you only pay when you gain a new follower, or when someone engages with your tweet. You set a daily budget limit and away you go.

Sounds good to me. Now we just need it to be live for small businesses in the UK too. (By the way, thanks American Express for promoting that offer to UK Cardholders who aren’t eligible).

B2B Marketing Buyersphere Survey

If you work in B2B marketing and haven’t seen this webinar yet, shut everything off for 60 minutes and watch this – it will be invaluable for your marketing strategy planning in the next 12 months and beyond.

Some of the core highlights we’ve picked up are:

  • In the age bracket of 41+, only 25% of business buyers use social media to inform a purchase decision. Compare this to the age group of upto 30 where the figure is 75%. This has to point to an ever increasing use of social media for business buyers as generation Y takes over. It also highlights the importance of knowing your audience demographics when planning your communications channels.
  • There is an increasing trend for buyers to search for information on the web, but this is largely on supplier websites, web search and word of mouth, not social media. In fact trends show between 2011 and 2012 a falling use of Linkedin, Facebook and other social media platforms in B2B.
  • People are using social media more for conversation and engagement and not for static content. Does your social media strategy account for this or are you using social to broadcast marketing messages?
  • At different stages of the buying cycle people use different sources of information to make informed decisions. At the early stages of need recognition white papers lead the way, but as you get closer to the point of purchase, twitter and other word of mouth marketing platforms are more impactful.
  • 85% of buyers work from a PC or laptop, but 13% now view online content on a smartphone of tablet computer. This is a trend we can only see increasing and all new websites must be designed with this in mind.

I’m sure if you watch this excellent webinar you will pick up some real nuggets for your own marketing planning too.

Content Marketing Supply Chain

smwdna brand

Listening to a McKinsey podcast today I picked up the term ‘content supply chain‘. It relates to content marketing and the need to ensure you have a supply of content to populate your marketing channels.

It’s a great term because it implies that content production is really a central part of marketing in the digital age. Much like a solid supply chain for getting parts into a manufacturing plant, you must have a well defined approach to content production to drive the modern marketing machine.

If you’re wondering what that content might look like, here’s a handful of ideas to get you started:

  1. Customer case study
  2. White paper
  3. Technical specifications
  4. Blog post
  5. Analyst opinion piece
  6. Book or eBook
  7. Audio or video interview
  8. Event
  9. Slides shared online
  10. Facebook page
  11. Photos shared online
  12. Wiki
  13. Quora entry
  14. Podcast
  15. Twitter feed
  16. Newsletter
  17. Email campaign

The list goes on. The key is to ensure your content is valuable, engaging and interactive. Your goal is to help customers to build a relationship with your brand and not to simply broadcast marketing messages i.e. marketing 1.0.

Thoughts from Making Social Part of Your DNA

You’ve probably seen a lot on the blog here of late about our Social Media Week conference Making Social Part of Your DNA. I’m pleased to say it was a spectacular day all around, with a lively audience, great speakers and crucially lots of talk and debate. It couldn’t have gone any better and I congratulate the crowd sourced team who pulled it together.

If you  are interested in watching any of the presentations you can see the full set here. Otherwise check out a video with highlights of the day below or view some great photos here.

You should also read some pretty strong write ups from Simone Schuurer in the Microsoft Advertising community blog, Girish Balachandran on the B2B Marketing magazine blog and a quick summary from one of our speakers, Neville Hobson.

For me the three sessions that stood out were JP Rangaswami from Salesforce.com, Fergus Boyd from Virgin Atlantic and the agency panel session on who owns social. JP painted a picture of the connected consumer who lives in the present and future tense and how this will impact the way in which brands manage the customer relationship. How do you capture data on expressions of interest i.e. the future tense, and use that data to make decisions on how to address your customers needs? Marketing just shifted up a gear right.

Fergus talked about how social must wash it’s face, i.e. its time for social media marketing to grow up and prove it’s worth through solid ROI. After all, business is a commercial enterprise right.

The agency panel debate didn’t really draw any conclusions. The predicted fight between the agencies didn’t happen. Instead a general consensus seemed to appear in which the PR, marketing and Ad agency predicted a blended approach was best for clients and predictably the digital shop – We Are Social – confidently stated this was the only way to go.

The best insight for me from this session was the general move away from agencies providing execution services for their client (incidentally a great quote on this came up during the day from Jeremy Waite of Phones4U “why would I outsource my tone of voice”) to strategy and creative services. Clients are increasingly taking community management and engagement in house which depending on the resources available may be a very smart move.

Overall a very enjoyable and valuable day and we raised approx £3,450 for our chosen charities too.

Making Social Part of your DNA Podcasts

As we run up to the start of social media week I’m pleased to share two podcasts we have created to introduce our keynote conference: Making Social Part of your DNA.

The first is an interview with Su Butcher of Justpractising.com. Our hosts Bernie & Emily talk to Su about the importance of getting a social strategy in place based on adding value, rather than broadcasting marketing messages. Su describes her interesting work helping architects to market their businesses and also how to market to architects too.

The second podcast is with Ann Hawkins mentor, speaker, creator of Inspired MasterMind Groups and presenter of A-Z of Business Success on The Business Hub. Hear Ann talk about what makes people tick, businesses work and the importance of social media. I love the ‘tweet before you meet’ idea Ann.