Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Designing a SMART Customer Experience

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The digital world has disrupted our marketing worlds and changed the way business communicates with its customer. Social media has opened the door to two-way conversations, data gives us a better understanding of our market and mobile makes our message more accessible to the general consumer.

Over the past few years we have placed much focus on developing digital channels to make the most of social media, mobile and data collection, however we believe that this focus has swung business to the opposite end of the pendulum. Focusing too much on digital channels and not the consumer themselves.

Digital highlighted a primary shift that consumers wanted business to make. To become more relevant, personal, useful and thoughtful. To design products and experiences that are actually useful and exciting.

SMART-Customer-ExperiencesIn considering this challenge we have found that we need to redesign our customer experiences with these shifts in mind while still considering the person at the end of the experience. To find a balance between the physical and digital experience, to blend the two experiences into one serendipitous occasion that excites and intrigues customers.

SMART Customer Experience” is a framework that TomorrowToday has developed after research into a number of customer experience frameworks. It speaks to the technologies that matter and the need to find the right application in your experience. A simple acronym in SMART – Social, Mobile, Agile, Researched, Transforming. I would like to share three of these these briefly for you to consider in your customer experience design.

Social 

Behind social media lies the consumer insight that customers want to connect with people, brands and business. They want to be able to share in a conversation, to be heard, to listen and add value. This is evident in successful programmes like My Starbucks and Idea Storm where customers can add ideas to a network and watch them come to life as the companies interact with their customers to develop new products together.

When designing an experience that is social we need to focus on the customer need to connect, share and contribute rather than just the platforms available.

Mobile

The power of mobile is evident in how many people own a mobile phone. As wearable tech like The Dash , Google Glass, Pebble watches, Fitbit come onto the market we need to understand the fundamental reason why mobile is so important in our customer experiences.

The power is in context. Mobile devices (any mobile device) helps us create contextual messaging, immersive experiences and accessible information.

In designing SMART Customer Experiences we need to ask ourselves how we can create connections with customers that are more meaningful and that speak to them at the right time, in the right way with the right message.

Transformation

When a customer decides to purchase a product or service they are choosing to adapt their lives to include that product or service. Some adaptions are easy and others are harder. Customer experience designers need to look carefully at how they can help customers change their lifestyles to accommodate their new purchase.

A great example of how this transformation is implemented into a customer experience is found in the book Smart Change  by Art Markman. He describes how  Procter & Gamble helped increase sales of the air refresher Febreze by redesigning a bottle that originally looked like a window cleaner bottle (and cried out to be stored in a cabinet beneath the sink) to one that was rounded and decorative (and could easily be left out on a counter in a visible spot).

Agile and Researched

While Socal, Mobile and Transformation speak to the design of a customer experience, agility looks at how business needs to alter internal processes to respond better to customers. Ultimately becoming a more customer centric organisation. While researched looks at the power of collecting the right data to build quality information about our customers that highlights strong insights that drive our customer experience design.

Need to dive into this in more detail?

Contact us to find out our availability to run a SMART Customer Experience workshop with your product design and marketing team.

Top 7 Trends for Social Media in 2014

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Going into 2014 I have spent some time looking into the predicted trends and have highlighted a few that I believe will take place in 2014.

Image based content will increase

This is a no-brainer but should be said. Image based content is becoming a high priority in social network content strategies to gain better traction. In addition, brand will start to explore branded content in social channels to establish a stinger and deeper brand connection.

Social marketing will combine real world and online world 

Top Trends in Social Media 2014Designing a social campaign means to provide the key elements of personalisation, consumer voice and community. It will become a key success for marketers to focus on designing combined physical and digital experiences in order to create moments of serendipity for the clients and consumers. A fantastic example of this Coca Cola and Carling Black Label.

Rise of Short Video

People hate wasting time. I find myself, like many others, looking at the length of the video before deciding to watch it. Anything more than three minutes and I am not usually interested.

Short video is making waves in the marketing world with popular networks like Vine building around the concept. Instagram’s video upload has added popularity to this trends and brands are already experimenting with video to share brand experiences. Check out the Yuppie Chef Instagram profile to see how they are using video to let customers into the everyday life of their business.

A great educational youtube channel Minute Physics  shares physics lessons in one minute. With a little over 2 million views its proving a very successful education channel.

B2B will find more success through education rather than conversation

In the past B2C (business to consumer) companies have had success in social media channels by creating conversation and inviting the consumers to join them. B2B (business to business) organisations saw this success and decided to adopt the same strategy.

Over the past few years B2B organisations are maturing in their understanding of their social analytics and are realising that conversation is possible in their industries but not necessarily the most valuable marketing component.

In 2014 we will see more B2B organisation move towards education strategies instead of conversation strategies. Educating customers on the value and potential of their services.

Content Marketing becomes more targeted

recent article by Forrester analyst Ryan Skinner revealed how distribution, and specifically earned media, is a core component to successful content marketing.

The basic truth is that marketers are asking the wrong question. Marketers want to know how to create better content, the question should be “how do I get my content in front of the right people?”

“As organizations continue to focus on using paid, owned and earned media to increase branded content distribution, social media can be used as a support mechanism to enhance distribution to relevant audiences on social media. Brands that enhance paid and earned media campaigns by distributing this content to relevant audiences on social networks can develop an edge in their respective industries.” says Ryan Skinner

Internal Social networks will find their place

Over the past few years we have been exploring the potential in using internal social networks for better business efficiencies. We have found that ESN (enterprise social networks) provide opportunities to improves employee productivity, decrease operational costs, collect human capital data and provide an intuitive knowledge centre in the business.

Microsoft and IBM have both launched and implemented ESN products into their client projects and businesses are moving beyond the experimental stage providing case studies that can be used for new organisations exploring ESN potential.

Social Media data collection will come under scrutiny

Many social media campaigns focus on the collection and use of personal data. In South Africa the POPI Act (Protection of Personal Information) will come into play in 2014 and change the way in which this data can be used and reused. In the same light as developed economies, business in developing economies who process personal information will be highlighted and scrutinised.

Social Media Bootcamps – Joburg Dates

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The Social Media Boot Camp is a crash course in Social Media and Web 2.0 with a specific focus on using it strategically for business.

According to the Friendship 2.0 report published by MWEB, Social Media has become the main reason that South Africans access the internet. These people have already embraced the use of social media and are talking about the things that matter most to them. The question is “Do you matter to them?”

A successful social media campaign will encourage positive word of mouth rather than simply promoting your message. In other words, your customers will build your brand for you

Workshop Outcomes

  • the world of social media is opened up and explained
  • answers your basic social media questions
  • awareness of  the different socsial media platforms ,ie Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Buzz, Search engines….
  • an understanding of how the different social media platforms can work together
  • an introduction to blogging
  • an introduction to inbound marketing strategy
  • an introduction of how to get started with your own SM campaign

TomorrowToday are proud to host our most popular Social Media Presentation, “The Social Media Boot Camp”  presented by Mike Saunders.

Event Details

Johannesburg Bootcamp

Dates:  19th April

15th August

8 November 2012

Time: 7.30am for 8am start – 12pm

Location: Protea Hotel, Wanderers

Price: R1 300.00 ex vat per person

Email  info@tomorrowtoday.co.za to make a booking or visit our events page for dates when we’ll be running these Bootcamps in  Durban and Cape Town.

‘Just want to say thank you so much for the most interesting and invigorating course. It gave me a whole new lease on life and made me realise that there is a whole world out there that I am not part of!!’  ( Margaret Hirsch)

“Your social media training with us has been invaluable. Thank you – Ruth Paulsen (Head of Marketing – IHS)

Mike Saunders ranks in the top 50 of South African Twitterers according to Twitterholic and is the resident social media writer for the popular entrepreneurial blog www.ideate.co.za. His most prominent clients include Advtech, Southern Sun, Three Cities, The International Hotel School and the South African Presidency, which he has assisted in exploring how social media could impact its marketing and business strategies.

Social Media Bootcamp – Durban

Posted on: February 15th, 2012 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The Social Media Boot Camp is a crash course in Social Media and Web 2.0 with a specific focus on using it strategically for business.

According to the Friendship 2.0 report published by MWEB, Social Media has become the main reason that South Africans access the internet. These people have already embraced the use of social media and are talking about the things that matter most to them. The question is “Do you matter to them?”

A successful social media campaign will encourage positive word of mouth rather than simply promoting your message. In other words, your customers will build your brand for you

Workshop Outcomes

  • the world of social media is opened up and explained
  • answers your basic social media questions
  • awareness of  the different socsial media platforms ,ie Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Buzz, Search engines….
  • an understanding of how the different social media platforms can work together
  • an introduction to blogging
  • an introduction to inbound marketing strategy
  • an introduction of how to get started with your own SM campaign

TomorrowToday are proud to host our most popular Social Media Presentation, “The Social Media Boot Camp” in  Durban, 24th May, presented by Mike Saunders.

Event Details

Durban Bootcamp

Dates:  24th May 2012

Time: 8am for 8.30am start – 12.30pm

Location: Cafe Jiran, 151 Snell Parade, Durban

Price: R1 300.00 ex vat per person

Email  info@tomorrowtoday.co.za to make a booking or visit our events page for dates when we’ll be running these bootcamps in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

‘Just want to say thank you so much for the most interesting and invigorating course. It gave me a whole new lease on life and made me realise that there is a whole world out there that I am not part of!!’  ( Margaret Hirsch)

“Your social media training with us has been invaluable. Thank you – Ruth Paulsen (Head of Marketing – IHS)

Mike Saunders ranks in the top 50 of South African Twitterers according to Twitterholic and is the resident social media writer for the popular entrepreneurial blog www.ideate.co.za. His most prominent clients include Advtech, Bidvest, KPMB, Southern Sun, Three Cities, The International Hotel School and the South African Presidency, which he has assisted in exploring how social media could impact its marketing and business strategies.

Does your brand need to get a little more social?

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

We all know that social media is by no means new, however it’s astounding how many businesses have failed to recognise it as a powerful marketing tool. It’s changed the way brands and consumers communicate and is something companies can no longer afford to ignore. True Story.

In her role of social media strategist at DigitLab, and in connection with TomorrowToday, Megan Bernstein will be managing the Cape Town leg of our Social Media Bootcamps.

Fast track your brand

These workshops have proven to be a very successful and affordable means to fast track your brand into the digital social media environment.

The new age way of communicating is no longer just via cell or email. People now communicate to the world by tweeting, updating their status (often quite arbitrarily), uploading photos, writing on walls, the odd poke or letting you know when they check into the latest hotspot.

According to a study by TNS Surveys, social media has become the main reason that people access the internet. 80% of South Africans online have a Facebook account and on average they visit it twice a day. Over one million South Africans are on Twitter and YouTube ranks among the top 5 most visited websites in South Africa.

Power shift to the consumer

As a result, brands no longer have control over their image. As the power shift has moved towards the consumer, their opinions and experiences become the basis of how brands are perceived when consumers share their thoughts and feelings in a public space.

As such, brands needs to take the initiative to create positive online experiences for their customers and employees or risk losing touch with them. I think focusing on employees is extremely pertinent, especially in the social media space, and often something businesses miss out on completely.

So, if you or your company think that you might not be hitting the nail of the social media head quite as well as you could be, why not come to the first Cape Town Social Media Bootcamp taking place on 28 March, with the next one taking place on 17 April. Surely that’s enough time for the Cape Town folk to set some time aside in our busy schedules!

The workshop is a morning session, generally from 8:30am – 12pm. A variety of topics will be covered and presented by Mike Saunders – the CEO of DigitLab and Keynote Speaker and Social Media Coach at TomorrowToday.

The workshop covers the following key topics:

  • An overview of Web 2.0: Explains everything from Facebook to podcasting and the mobile internet. How it fits together and what its uses are.
  • Inbound marketing: The process of inviting people to your website and turning those people into business leads
  • Advertising Online: Why online advertising works and how to use if effectively
  • Measuring online statistics: How do you measure the value of your online communications strategy
  • Dealing with social media overload: Described as the point where all your time is spent online but with no business return, we discuss methods of combating social media overload.

Outcomes you can expect:

  • A stronger understanding of how the internet works
  • A blogging plan
  • Tools to measure you success
  • A strategic approach to online communications.

Experience has shown us that some businesses, or brands,  may want their own custom-made presentations which focus on specific needs, objectives, or areas of interest. Some additional areas to consider include:

  • Industry related Case Studies:  Looking into and discussing South African and International social media examples within a specific business sector.
  • Social Learning:  Focusing on the opportunities that exist for using social media as a leadership development tool within your business and its staff. Emphasis will be placed on improving training and leadership development, empowering employees to use Social Media as an extension of their marketing activities.
  • Online Profiling:  This section will focus on the importance of employees being able to use their own personal profiles to tap into prospective business, marketing or recruitment opportunities by leveraging the reach of their social networks.

Social Media Bootcamps

If you’re still skeptical, and possibly one of the last companies left still using a fax machine as your main means of sending information ask yourself this – with the growth and development with the new age way of communicating, can my company really afford to be left in the dark ages? Didn’t think so. Get Social. Do it!

The Social Media Bootcamp is a quick, affordable way to get you, your brand, or your employees and brand teams up to speed and get people within your organisation thinking socially.

The first workshop will be held in Cape Town on 28 March, followed by the next one on 17 April, costing R1200.00 per person.

If you or one of your employees would like to attend, please contact Megan.

Visit our events page for dates when we’ll be running Social Media Bootcamps in Johannesburg and Durban

So what business benefit does Twitter offer its users?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Twit!

A few years ago this word would have described someone slightly lower on the food chain who annoys us. Today it has evolved into a term of endearment for those people using Twitter to communicate. Yes, it’s true. These people sitting on Twitter all day long are Twits, or Twerps or Tweeps.  Tweeps have found that by using Twitter, they enhance their social life and their ability to learn. They use Twitter as a place to find out and share news, thoughts, insight and opinion about anything they want at any given time.

Twitter is defined as an information network with a social slant. The well-known micro-blogging website started out with the aim to create a portal of the latest information on any topic – an information stream of the latest and current news.

Twitter in BusinessEvan Williams (Wikipedia) puts it best –  “What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it’s not a social network, but it’s an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.”

The term micro-blogging means to share information in short bite-size pieces. In Twitter, these bite-size pieces are 140 characters and often contain links to the more in-depth article posted on a blog somewhere on the internet. These short bite-size pieces of information are known as tweets. Tweets are the voice of people, or tweep’s, on twitter.

Twitter in South Africa is growing rapidly as we have seen the website move from the seventh most visited website in South Africa in 2010, to sixth position in 2011. This growth shows an increased usage of the network. On a personal note, I have also been noticing an increase in South African users. Currently I have about 6100 followers (twitter.com/mikeasaunders) and 60.2% of them are South African users. I also find that the South African users are the most engaging with each other. Maybe that just because South Africans are fairly patriotic and like to stick together.

That brings me to the next question: What is a follower?

In Twitter you can follow anyone you feel like. Following someone means that you will see what they tweet when you login to your Twitter account. This is different to Facebook. In Facebook you need to request a friendship and that person must accept your friend request before you can see their updates.

On Twitter you follow anyone who adds value to your life by tweeting ‘the good stuff’! You can even follow celebrities if you care about what they are doing on Tuesday afternoon at 1:43pm. I prefer to follow business experts, leadership experts, social media guru’s, marketing mavens and anyone else that can help me grow as an individual.

Acquiring a mass of followers amplifies your voice in the twittersphere and increases your chances of acquiring new followers because your current followers will retweet (echo) your tweets to their followers. Of course your followers will only retweet  the really good stuff. So if you want to build a following, make sure your tweets add value to people’s lives and you should be well on your way to building a great following.

So what business benefit does Twitter offer its users? I would suggest that there are three primary benefits that can be gleaned from Twitter.

    • As a promotional tool
    • As a networking tool
    • As a research tool.

A promotional tool

Looking at Twitter with a business mindset shows us that Twitter becomes a promotional tool. A way to promote the way we think, what and who we find interesting, our blog and our services. The offline equivalent to this would be writing an article for a newspaper or magazine. People who buy the magazine are promoted to through your article.

In the same way, your followers on Twitter are the equivalent of magazine subscribers. Posting tweets then allows you to profile yourself as a professional in your industry by posting original articles, links to interesting websites/articles, service offerings and anything else you may choose.

A networking tool

People on Twitter are very open to networking, especially with people who they respect. Respect on Twitter is primarily attributed to people who produce good quality tweets.

In my personal experience, I have found this to be one of the most valuable aspects of Twitter.  I use Twitter to promote my blog by posting links to articles that I’ve written. In addition I also tweet links to other articles on social media and internet marketing. This creates a useful Twitter profile (www.twitter.com/mikeasaunders) that people interested in internet marketing and social media can follow.

The people following me are interested in social media and internet marketing, meaning that the potential is high that I may have followers that would be interested in hiring me. What I’ve done is create a Twitter account that will attract potential clients as well as industry peers, competitors and business partners.

When people retweet my content, it often opens up an opportunity for conversation and insight otherwise unavailable to me. I always use the opportunity to connect with these people because their interest in my content on Twitter shows a common interest. This often ends up in a physical meetings over coffee if the Twitter conversation proves valuable to both parties.

So, by producing engaging blog content that I promote on Twitter, I find people who are interested in the industry that I operate in. When these people engage with my content (retweeting or replying to tweets), I use the opportunity to engage them further and get to know them better.

A research tool

Twitter search has become a very popular tool to search for specific topics inside Twitter. These search results are continually updated with the latest tweets which means that you can literally find out what someone is saying about you, your company, a competitor or a world event this very minute.

Looking to find out more about Social Media? Why not look into inviting Mike Saunders to your next conference  to present Social Media and it’s uses with in the business context.

The need for Social Reinvention

Posted on: October 27th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 4 Comments

When you drop a mentos mint into a bottle of Diet Coke the rough edges of the Mentos are filled with Diet Coke and a chemical reaction takes place producing CO2 . The CO2 causes the Diet Coke to fizz more than usual and the liquid is forced through the funnel shape at the top of the bottle. The funnel then creates additional pressure and the liquid explodes out of the spout of the Diet Coke bottle.

The end result? A huge mess!!

Social ReinventionThe interesting thing is that two scientists/entertainers have found a way to harness the power of Diet Coke and Mentos to create a Rocket Car powered only by Diet Coke and Mentos.

Granted the car only went 222 feet but this is still a remarkable transition from a ‘mess’ to a form of ‘transportation’.

I want to use this illustration to draw a parallel between social media and business.

Think about replacing the Mentos with social media and the Diet Coke is the industry that you operate in.

Social media has already been ‘dropped’ into your industry. This has created cases for concern as well as opportunities that never existed before.

It seems that some businesses that adopt social media seem to end in a mess. We think about examples like Nestle’s PR nightmare, GAP’s rebranding and Woolworths decision to remove Christian magazines from their shelves. These business adopted the use of social media without a clear understanding of how social media and more specifically the new business communication shift affects their industry and consumers.

These businesses have learnt the hard way that social media represents a communication shift that expects their business practices to involve the customer more, take the customer seriously and respond to external customer pressure with a clear and direct message. In essence these businesses are learning to deal with a new and more transparent communication style that holds business accountable to the customer by the customer.

There are plenty of examples out their where businesses have leveraged the power of social media to affect good change in their industry and win the vote of the customer.

Pepsi successfully leveraged social media to it’s advantage during the 2010 World Cup, and South Africa were branded a vibrant, joyous and courful nation as it’s visitors kicked up a social media storm about the #vuvuzela! Pepsi’s example was more calculated and strategic than the South Africa example but the positive impact was felt around the world. In these cases, social media and business were able to combine it’s forces and build a rocket car of success.

However, social media success is going beyond marketing to consumers and is starting to show more value in new industries. In each industry, social media technology open up the opportunity to create new competitive advantages and change the way that the industry operates.

A few new competitive advantages that have been sighted by at TomorrowToday are:

1) Social Media allows recruitment industries to actively headhunt new talent. The new competitive advantage will be for agencies to harness social media to allow them to find and approach hot new talent. This is a sharp comparison to the current competitive advantage of building databases through the internet and other technologies of a wide variety of talent.

2) coupled with the recruitment industry shift, career management is changing. The new competitive advantage will be to have a current and active social media presence that promotes your value as an employee. This type of personal branding will become imperative for career management as agencies shift towards their new competitive advantage.

3) project management will experience shifts towards harnessing crowd sourcing technologies both internally and externally to solve problems, manage projects, get things done and manage people.

4) training and leadership development will shift towards online systems that bring social interaction into the online learning environment. People will be able to engage each other in conversation, both in their own time and in real time engagements. They will be able to argue their stand points and grapple with the subject content they are learning. This type of social interaction always helps people come to grips with their learning in a more tangible manner. Social learning platforms can also adopt standard social technology practices that pay toward peoples personal brand and ego. Using ramification techniques will help to create a competitive environment online which works well to increase participation and improve results.

At TomorrowToday we believe that social reinvention is an important part of future-proofing your business. It has become an imperative that business executive and department heads start to seriously consider the impact that social media and digital technology will have on their business.

If you would like to raise this topic at your next conference please contact us to book Mike Saunders and his presentation Social Reinvention.

What Social Learning will add to your Online Training Programme

Posted on: October 12th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

I spent the day yesterday with one of South Africa’s favourite brands. We were looking into the implementation strategy of a new Social Learning platform that would add an entirely new dynamic to their training and development programme. What was very interesting to see was the way that the delegates immediately saw the benefits of Social Learning.

Social Learning becomes a useful tool in less rigid learning environments where discussion and culture shifting is necessary to complete the learning cycle. I have found three primary benefits to a Social Learning platform that will add depth to your Online Training Programme.

Social Learning improves IP Retention

I have found that social learning programmes have great benefit when they engage consultants to take part in the conversations online. The consultants role become sharing new ideas and engaging delegates in conversation. These conversations become valuable, documented engagements that IP (Intellectual Property) is presented and challenged.

In normal consulting environments the consultants shares their IP with a few people in the organisation and the IP struggles to sift through the organisation. This is simply because we do not have the infrastructures in place to disseminate the conversations in the consultation to the greater audience within the organisation.

Social Learning engagements are different because they are stored in the platform and the engagements are organised into Forum Discussions, Blog posts and Conversation threads.

Over a few months and years this collective IP could become one of your most valuable learning assets you own.

Social Learning allows learners to go deeper

As you can imagine the depth of the collective IP held within a Social Learning platform is immense. This IP is available to any participant who takes part in the programme and allows them to go deeper into topics. Often our personal interactions in training and teaching are limited due to time.

People who wish to take topics learnt in presentations, workshops and mentoring sessions further can do so by researching the collective IP that resides within the system.

This puts additional information in the hands of your top learners who want to improve their learning experience and are willing to take responsibility for their personal development.

Social Learning is more productive

We all have “pockets of time.” These are the moments that we use to check Facebook, read an article, update Twitter or Linkedin and often these pockets are lost in our quest to be more productive. As workplaces sift to a more flexi-time approach these “pockets of time” have potential to get longer as people fit work and personal engagements alongside another.

Social Learning allows people to fit the learning and engagements in when it suits them. Morning people can interact in the morning and evening people in the evening. This means that it is not always necessary to get people in a room to encourage and facilitate learning. A huge benefit, especially in the development of leaders inside your organisation.

 

 

Linkedin in South Africa has grown by 83%

Posted on: September 14th, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Over the past few months I havebeen looking extensively at the topic of Social Reinvention. This is the process of reinventing our business to incorporate social media and social technology. I have come to believe that this is imperative for business to adopt in order to claim a competitive advantage in the future.

Whilst doing this research I created this infographic to show the impact if Linkedin in South Africa. I think it shows very clearly that business people and organisations need to start networking this very popular business social network.



Linkedin in South Africa
Infographic created by DigitLab the social media agency

What does Social Media mean to you?

Posted on: August 18th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

if you’re amongst the many people that are totally overwhelmed by Social Media, who may love and use Facebook for your personal networking or connecting with school friends but haven’t seen or understood the value of using this tool for business; if you think Twitter is for people who have too much time on their hands and can’t even begin to fathom how something like a 140 character conversation  can add value; or whether Linkedin is a tool you’ve signed up for, but aren’t quite sure what to do with the connections you’ve made – Join the club, I was there as well!

it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype of smart phones, social media communication and all the energy surrounding these tools.
I often hear comments like “it’s the new thing” or “I cant be bothered to hear which celebrity goes shopping where.”

Is Social Media a fad or is is it the biggest shift in B2B communication and marketing, sales and recruitment?

Maybe the first question you should ask is Why? Why is it making waves like never seen before?

Let’s allow the stats to speak for themselves. These stats were quoted by Jason Buss – Talent HQ in March 2011

  • Facebook: the number one viewed website – 500+million members
  • Twitter: 200+million users – 140 million tweets daily
  • YouTube: 2 Billion videos viewed daily
  • Linked In: 100+million members – 1.2 Million comments or posts weekly

Now the question you need to be asking yourself is – Can I afford to be left behind?

Mike Saunders runs an excellent workshop that can get one up and running immediately. I found he answered many of the questions I had running through my mind, like  “How do I even get started”, and “how  it all fit together?”

The topics that were covered in the workshop I attended cleared up so many clouded areas and made so much sense when it was all explained.

Some of the topics that were covered were:

  • What is Social Media or Social Networking?
  • An introduction  to the various networks, like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, as well as blogging. How they work and whats makes then so effective when used together.
  • Advertising online
  • Marketing strategy; Inbound marketing; building your own strategy, and managing and measuring your strategy.

My question to you now is not Why – but When will you get started?

Details of our next Social Media Bootcamp in Durban this September:

The Social Media Boot Camp is a crash course in Social Media and Web 2.0 with a specific focus on using it strategically for business

Date: 20 September  2011

Time: 8am for  8.30am start – 12.30pm

Location: Cafe Jiran, Belaire Hotel

North Beach, Durban

Price: R950.00 ex vat per person

Email Vicky Coats or info@tomorrowtoday.co.za to make a booking

‘Just want to say thank you so much for the most interesting and invigorating course. It gave me a whole new lease on life and made me realise that there is a whole world out there that I am not part of!!’  ( Margaret Hirsch)

“Your social media training with us has been invaluable. Thank you – Ruth Paulsen (Head of Marketing – IHS)

Mike Saunders ranks in the top 50 of South African Twitterers according to Twitterholic and is the resident social media writer for the popular entrepreneurial blog www.ideate.co.za. His most prominent clients include Advtech, Southern Sun, Three Cities, The International Hotel School and the South African Presidency, which he has assisted in exploring how social media could impact its marketing and business strategies.

My Top Three Social Media Lessons for Business

Posted on: August 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

I have been involved in social media for the past few years and enjoy looking at new ways that social media can be adopted in business. I am a bit of a dabbler and over the past few months I have been researching a few ideas and wanted to share the outcomes with you.

1) Real life events are social media’s best friend

We have been running a number of social media campaigns this year for a number of different size companies and brands. In most of these campaigns we are using competitions to create energy around the brand and introduce the brand to new consumers online.

What has been interesting though has been how effective it has been to couple social media platforms alongside real life events. These events are enhanced by a competition or journalism of the event. Almost like the energy that a good MC brings to an event.

We have found that when executed correctly and energetically the company or brand profiles gain in numbers of followers and the level of interaction with fans.

An example of this was when I attended the Social Media World Forum a few months ago. I endeavored to blog throughout the event to tell my readers and the event guests what was taking place at the event and my opinion on it. I also made a point to tweet frequently throughout the 2 day event and became very visible in the twittersphere over the Social Media World Forum.

The end result is shown in the graph below:

twittercounter.chart

 

An increase in over 100 followers at an event that only had about 300 people attending. On top of this I experienced record traffic to my blog and my twitter following continued to grow substantially over the next week by an additional 100 followers while my new followers started to retweet my content to their communities and followers.

 2) First person communication trumps third person every time

Social media is a conversational environment. Third person communication tends to alienate your fan base and create a bigger gap between them and you. Third person communications also creates an element of pride and either a feeling of being spoken down to or spoken at.

First person conversational type communications does so much towards engaging your audience better:

  • It eliminates heirarchy the engagement
  • It highlights the fan instead of the brand or company
  • It invites a response
  • It breaks down the “brick and mortar” barriers between your customer and the team inside your company

3) Organisations need a “change agent” in order to adopt social media effectively

Jim Collins, in his book “How the Mighty Fall”, writes about how organisations has fly wheels. These are processes and ways of doing things that take time to put in place and sometimes to even see the benefits from the fly wheel. These fly wheels become the way that business makes money, research and designs products, looks after employees and a host of other elements that make large organisations successful.

I believe that Social Technology (the ideal’s and processes of communication that forms the foundation of social media) is the next fly wheel for business. Businesses should be looking at how they can transition their business organisation into a social business. Businesses of the future need to look at what it means to become social in order to gain the right competitive in the future.

Social businesses are not companies that have Facebook addicted staff and where productivity levels are lower than ever before. In fact, a social business is one that understands the economy of the new social internet and how to harness this economy to:

  • improve product development
  • engage generation y employees more effectively
  • market the company to prospective top talent in the marketplace
  • use the power of crowds to sell, buy and create products and services
  • train leadership more effectively
  • create strong business networks
  • protect your company image
  • market your business
  • speak to your customers (CRM)
  • increase sales

Change agents are people dedicated to getting the Social Business Fly Wheel moving in your business. They will highlight the areas for change in your business, implement the strategies and training for those changes to take place, lay the foundations for successful transition into a social business and finally provide guidance, expertise and energy to turn the fly wheel into a profitable venture.

So there you have it, my top three social media lessons for business so far in 2011. If you would like to discuss these in more detail please feel free to comment below.

I also have a coaching program to help equip change agents and a few presentations that speak into Social Media for Business that you could use at you next conference if you would like to start this discussion in your company.

Social Media Bubble

Posted on: June 9th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

There is a great deal of conversation around the social media bubble at the moment. If you have not heard already, the social media bubble is a topical debate about whether social media websites like Facebook, Groupon, Linkedin and Twitter a actually worth the values that they have been estimated at. The values are outlined in this infographic.

The concern is that if they are overvalued then we may be repeating history when we experienced the technology bubble with many start-ups going bust after securing large start-up investment deals. Is this a valid concern or are we just getting into another stream of hype?

I think there is definitely going to be a “show-down” in the social media world soon. This will be the point at which social media platforms that cannot realise strong return on investment will lose their hold on the market and more importantly the investors.

Facebook for example makes most of its money from advertising and although this is a tried and tested business model it may not survive in the long run. Facebook advertising is much like billboard advertising, eventually Facebook users won’t see the adverts and this will result in lower click-through and thus lower revenue.

I believe that the best revenue models will come from innovation in the social media space and not the replica’s of traditional media and PPC/CPM technology.

I am very interested in the move the Facebook is making at the moment with the integration of Facebook places (a foursquare replica) and Facebook Deals (a Groupon replica). Creating a social platform that combines geolocation data and sales specials could be a great innovation towards a viable business model. Facebook also has the opportunity to include psychographic and demographic data into this model which is not available to Foursquare and Groupon.

Back to the bubble. The effect of the social media bubble will only be felt by those social media companies that fail to find new revenue streams that leverage their large databases of consumer data. At the end of the day this is why they are getting the investment in the first place – consumer data that is so rich it is not available in any other industry, medium or channel.

Technology’s influence on our performance in the new world of work – part 1

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The illiterate if the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn Alvin Toffler

I think Toffler’s words are insightful and profound; and I agree with him.

According to Donald Tapscott,author of Growing Up Digital: the Rise of the Net-Generation

today marks the first time in history that children are outpacing and overtaking adults on the technology track; parents, teachers, and other adults are looking to children for help with computers and computing. In Finland, for example, the government has chosen 5,000 N-Geners to teach the country’s educators how to use computers! Tapscott contends that the “N-Gen is transforming the new media from a cult enclave to a cacophonous cauldron of millions. Through their massive demographic muscle and unconstrained minds, N-Geners are creating a new world”. This world is one in which any idea, regardless of how threatening it may be to the contemporary social order, has voice and can spur radical views on such topics as business and the process of democratic governance.

Tapscott believes that N-Geners will soon want power in every domain and will take it. Using data from Internet discussions with approximately 300 youngsters between the ages of 4 and 20, he examines the characteristics of N-Geners as well as their role in the “new” world; he then discusses the implications of technology and the N-Gen on our changing culture. How will non-N-Geners fare in the future? Will they be able to share power? Will they have the courage to accept the N-Gen and its culture and media? Tapscott delves into these issues as he examines what it is like to grow up digital.

According to Tapscott, N-Gen kids think, learn, work, play, communicate, shop, and create in fundamentally different ways than their baby boomer parents. He identifies the following ten characteristics of N-Gen culture and advises educators to take each into account as they rethink teaching and learning:

  • Fierce independence: a strong sense of autonomy derived from active roles as information seekers rather than passive information recipients;
  • Emotional and intellectual openness: a priority for those with Web pages and chat rooms through which they explore and expose who they really are;
  • Inclusion: evidenced in the way children from different cultures meet, collaborate, and accept each other as never before;
  • Free expression and strong views: the result of access to a wide range of ideas, opinions, and arguments;
  • Innovation: encouraged by constant exposure to ways of doing things differently and better;
  • Preoccupation with maturity: the need to be taken seriously based on ideas and capability rather than age;
  • Investigation: a strong ethos of curiosity and empowerment to change things;
  • Immediacy: the expectation that things will happen quickly (because in the N-Gen world, they do);
  • Sensitivity to corporate interest: the awareness and avoidance of controlling and exploitative businesses; and
  • Authentication and trust: the continual questioning of the veracity of what is on the Web.

“Kids look at computers the same way boomers look at TV. This shift from a broadcast medium (television) to an interactive medium (the Net) signals a ‘generation lap’ in which the N-Gen is lapping its parents on the ‘info-track.’ We don’t marvel at the technology or wonder how television transfers video and audio through thin air, we simply watch the screen. TV is a fact of life. So it is with kids and computers”. What does this mean when we consider the larger context of how we prepare kids in school and what they need to learn to become contributing members of society? When and how should children interact with technology both at school and at home?

The current delivery system is designed around the broadcast model, in which lecture, text, and homework assignments are centralized, delivered unilaterally, and based on pre-designed structures that work best for a mass audience. Tapscott believes that learning should be customized, student-centered, and non-linear, with teachers acting as motivators and facilitators of learning rather than transmitters of information. In such an interactive environment, construction and discovery replace traditional instruction and learning becomes a lifelong endeavor. Tapscott states that the “new media enable—and the N-Gen needs for learning demand—a shift from broadcast learning to what I call Interactive Learning”

In response to questions posed regarding the impact of technology, most notably social media, I think about where this is all going and what it is going to look like in say 10 years time. I also wonder what kind of divide technology and social media is going to further create between developed and under-developed brains, which will be dependent on accessibility. But most importantly I wonder what kind of impact this is going to have on:

  1. developmental skills and abilities in infants
  2. education and learning
  3. socialization
  4. physical health

The four topics above shall be the headings for my next four blogs. These are big questions that will have an impact on performance and productivity of talent in the new world of work in to the future.

I just want to make it clear that I am pro progression, change, evolution, technology; and social media, I am just interested in where it is all leading us and it’s best to be informed.

 

 


Technology's influence on our performance in the new world of work – part 1

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The illiterate if the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn Alvin Toffler

I think Toffler’s words are insightful and profound; and I agree with him.

According to Donald Tapscott,author of Growing Up Digital: the Rise of the Net-Generation

today marks the first time in history that children are outpacing and overtaking adults on the technology track; parents, teachers, and other adults are looking to children for help with computers and computing. In Finland, for example, the government has chosen 5,000 N-Geners to teach the country’s educators how to use computers! Tapscott contends that the “N-Gen is transforming the new media from a cult enclave to a cacophonous cauldron of millions. Through their massive demographic muscle and unconstrained minds, N-Geners are creating a new world”. This world is one in which any idea, regardless of how threatening it may be to the contemporary social order, has voice and can spur radical views on such topics as business and the process of democratic governance.

Tapscott believes that N-Geners will soon want power in every domain and will take it. Using data from Internet discussions with approximately 300 youngsters between the ages of 4 and 20, he examines the characteristics of N-Geners as well as their role in the “new” world; he then discusses the implications of technology and the N-Gen on our changing culture. How will non-N-Geners fare in the future? Will they be able to share power? Will they have the courage to accept the N-Gen and its culture and media? Tapscott delves into these issues as he examines what it is like to grow up digital.

According to Tapscott, N-Gen kids think, learn, work, play, communicate, shop, and create in fundamentally different ways than their baby boomer parents. He identifies the following ten characteristics of N-Gen culture and advises educators to take each into account as they rethink teaching and learning:

  • Fierce independence: a strong sense of autonomy derived from active roles as information seekers rather than passive information recipients;
  • Emotional and intellectual openness: a priority for those with Web pages and chat rooms through which they explore and expose who they really are;
  • Inclusion: evidenced in the way children from different cultures meet, collaborate, and accept each other as never before;
  • Free expression and strong views: the result of access to a wide range of ideas, opinions, and arguments;
  • Innovation: encouraged by constant exposure to ways of doing things differently and better;
  • Preoccupation with maturity: the need to be taken seriously based on ideas and capability rather than age;
  • Investigation: a strong ethos of curiosity and empowerment to change things;
  • Immediacy: the expectation that things will happen quickly (because in the N-Gen world, they do);
  • Sensitivity to corporate interest: the awareness and avoidance of controlling and exploitative businesses; and
  • Authentication and trust: the continual questioning of the veracity of what is on the Web.

“Kids look at computers the same way boomers look at TV. This shift from a broadcast medium (television) to an interactive medium (the Net) signals a ‘generation lap’ in which the N-Gen is lapping its parents on the ‘info-track.’ We don’t marvel at the technology or wonder how television transfers video and audio through thin air, we simply watch the screen. TV is a fact of life. So it is with kids and computers”. What does this mean when we consider the larger context of how we prepare kids in school and what they need to learn to become contributing members of society? When and how should children interact with technology both at school and at home?

The current delivery system is designed around the broadcast model, in which lecture, text, and homework assignments are centralized, delivered unilaterally, and based on pre-designed structures that work best for a mass audience. Tapscott believes that learning should be customized, student-centered, and non-linear, with teachers acting as motivators and facilitators of learning rather than transmitters of information. In such an interactive environment, construction and discovery replace traditional instruction and learning becomes a lifelong endeavor. Tapscott states that the “new media enable—and the N-Gen needs for learning demand—a shift from broadcast learning to what I call Interactive Learning”

In response to questions posed regarding the impact of technology, most notably social media, I think about where this is all going and what it is going to look like in say 10 years time. I also wonder what kind of divide technology and social media is going to further create between developed and under-developed brains, which will be dependent on accessibility. But most importantly I wonder what kind of impact this is going to have on:

  1. developmental skills and abilities in infants
  2. education and learning
  3. socialization
  4. physical health

The four topics above shall be the headings for my next four blogs. These are big questions that will have an impact on performance and productivity of talent in the new world of work in to the future.

I just want to make it clear that I am pro progression, change, evolution, technology; and social media, I am just interested in where it is all leading us and it’s best to be informed.

 

 


Highlights from the Social Media World Forum

Posted on: June 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

I am lucky enough to be at the Social Media World Forum today and I have been blogging about the conference in detail.

The are the highlights of day one as we looked into brands, online reputation monitoring and crisis management.

First Impressions

The biggest technical detail at the conference is the tweet wall. You can check it out here. Basically the tweet wall, sponsored by Nokia, is an aggregation of all thing twitter related at #SMWF. A very cool tool that helps people track those worth following at the conference. I think the concept is a brilliant addition to conference networking.

Read more…

Social media crisis management

This fear is one of the main reasons why companies don’t get in social media. Companies are worried that if they enter the social media space they will generate bad PR. The problem is that this bad PR, if it exists, is on those social media channels already. In other words, the conversation is already happening, you may as well join it.

Yoav Tchelet, from AVIS, had the following suggestions to be ready to handle a crisis in your social media channels. Read more…

The biggest benefit to monitoring online reputation and sentiment

Standard Bank did a detailed presentation around their listening strategies online. The presentation was very interesting and went into detail about crunching the stats in such a way to get valuable, workable results. Now for a few of the key points. Read more…

Five steps to successful social media monitoring

Quite simply, monitoring social media allows you to track what the public is saying about you, analyse the comments and then identify opportunities to engage the public better with your products and services.

Here are Meltwaters “Five steps to successful social media monitoring” Read more…

Can social media attract customers and have they changed

Listening to the first panel at the Social Media World Forum bought up a few interesting insights in the role of social media in marketing plans.

The panel consisted of:

Moderator: Michelle Atagana, Editor, memeburn
Garth Rhoda, General Manager Media, Habari Media Group
Siphelele Sixaso, Head of Marketing, SAfm
Bellinder Carreira, Senior Manager Digital and Direct Marketing, Standard Bank

As you can see this is a great panel of experts so the insight gathered in the should carry some clout. There were two main insights that were gleamed from the discussion. Read more…

If you would like to read more about the conference click here.

Social Business Shifts in Recruitment

Posted on: May 11th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

 

As the Internet makes a bigger impact on the recruitment industry we are starting to see recruitment agencies enter into a second state of disruption in South Africa.

The first state of disruption that the recruitment industry experienced due to the internet lead to the creation of Job’s Boards and career websites like Career Junction. Some campaniles struggled, and still struggle, to make this transition in business as their industry started to take on a very digital approach.

The second state of disruption facing the recruitment industry comes in the form of social technology. Recruitment agencies now find themselves in a stage of their digital evolution that forces them to harness social media websites and online head-hunting strategies to find new candidates.

I believe that the biggest shift between these two states is the role that digital technology plays in each stage.

Social Business in Recruitment

Finding and Processing Applicants

In the first state digital technology allowed recruitment agencies to manage their influx of applications for jobs they had on the market. A strong digital presence would also have increased the number of applications for each job. This data was then processed and matched to the job specification criteria. Once the match was made consultants often took the candidate into the interview stages of the recruitment process.

The biggest challenge in this state was the management of MORE. Job boards and the likes, created huge volumes of online applications and instead of more quality, the truth was was that the value often stopped at quantity of candidates. The second state of disruption offers agencies the opportunity to take the recruitment process further.

Head-hunting and Career Management

Social media channels have opened up the landscape for websites like Linkedin to operate. In South Africa, Linkedin users has almost doubled between 2010 and 2011. Currently sitting of just over 1 million South African users Linkedin seems poised to make a huge impact on the South African Recruitment Industry.

Social media website allow companies, agencies and entrepreneurs to head-hunt people online to find the right candidate. Today’s candidate are using websites link Linkedin to manage their business networking, personal branding and career planning. They understand by putting their best step forward (creating great online CV’s, collecting recommendations and networking with new potential business connections) they can set the stage for companies to approach them instead of the other way around. In other words social media, if used correctly by the candidate, could create a more powerful negotiation tool.

The Up’s and Down’s

The plus side for companies and recruitment agencies is that they can research potential candidates from a pool of high quality candidates.

The downside for recruitment agencies, and one of the most important disruptions to address, is that these resources are available directly to your clients. In South Africa I have already started to hear of big business investing into social media websites to improves recruitment practices. In other words, if not dealt with carefully, this new disruption in the recruitment industry could start taking money out of the recruitment industry.

Recruitment Trend Shifts in South Africa

Posted on: April 19th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

The recruitment industry in South Africa looks like it is on the rise for the first time in two and a half years. Human Resources South Africa reported “employment grew by 5.6% during March.”

As business slowly starts to find its feet again after a rough few years in the global economy recruiters are looking for good people to take their companies forward. “The aim and challenges of recruitment in South Africa is to put the right person, at the right place, at the right time in the organisation. By doing this the company should hopefully improve their organisational performance and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the company ” (Human Resources South Africa)

Social Media RecruitmentWhat are the trends being used that are shifting the way the recruitment industry works? There are two obvious and high impact trends that have risen out of social media and online technology that are worth looking at:

Move Towards Headhunting

Wall Street Journal makes an interesting observation that social media has made headhunting easier and cheaper. Networking websites like Linkedin have opened the door to finding people based on expertise, experience and CV. We are able to see immediate recommendations of people we are thinking about hiring and can make more comprehensive decisions about people before starting the interview process.

On a global scale we see business looking to decrease their job board subscriptions and move towards using social technology like Facebook and Linkedin to find great employees. The general consensus being that jobs boards create too many unqualified leads that waste HR time. Social Media channels however, allow recruiter to check out potential candidates before the invitation is sent. Leaving the power of selection in the hands of the recruiter and not with the job seeker.

Search Tools vs Career Portals

Search based jobs websites

Google has successfully created a search culture. When we need something we search for it – usually in Google. The same happens in recruitment. We find that candidates will turn to Google before they turn to job and career portals, simply because thats what they know.

Search works differently to portals. Portals let people browse though positions and candidates available in the network. Search allows you to scour the internet for exactly what you are looking for without bias to a particular website. This is where Indeed comes in. A South African Jobs Search Engine that searches all job sites, classified and any other source it can find to produce a search result for exactly the job you are looking for, allowing you to apply for the position of your dreams quickly and easily.

The impact of search based tools vs directory tools online to find employment may very well change the way we promote our job openings. An easy example would be that we need to start considering our the Search Engine Optimisation of every single job post and there may even be opportunity in using advertising vehicles like Google Adwords to promote top positions.

Career Portals need to integrate with social technology

Jobs.co.za have recently started using the Linkedin API allowing candidates to update their profiles directly from their Linkedin Profile. They have also opened up the possibility “or its members to register, search for jobs, create job alerts, see who’s hiring and find useful career advice all directly from the Facebook page.” (Bizcommunity) All of this social media integration is simply in aid of making it simpler and easier to recruiters to find candidates.

This level of social media integration is the only way, I believe, that Jobs and Career portals can remain relevant in the recruitment industry. Although we are not seeing these portals opening up headhunting opportunities like Linkedin, this is still a step in the right direction.

 

Short Study: Generation Y in South Africa

Posted on: March 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey 8 Comments

Over the last month Mike Saunders and a few associates ran a small study on Generation Y in South Africa. We interviewed 144 students with an average age of 18 years old. The gender split was 60% female and 40% male.

Generation-Y-in-South-AfricaThe findings were quite interesting and echoed many generalizations about generation Y.

In South Africa, Generation Y uses digital platforms for communication and prefer Facebook and BBM over any other communication tool. Email continues to lose its effectiveness as a communication vehicle with this generation.

Google is starting to lose search market share to Facebook as 50% of Gen Y chooses to use Facebook as a search engine over Google.

Although MXit is popular it’s loyalty is much lower (less than one hour a day) than Facebook (up to five hours per day).

When given the choice Gen Y chose the internet over magazines, their cellphone over the internet and tertiary education over their cell phone. They are also a healthy bunch of individuals choosing healthy food over junk food, restaurants over fast food and bottled water over fizzy drinks.

Click Here for a complete list of some of our findings

It’s not information overload – it’s filture failure

Posted on: February 16th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

The digital world is always inventing a new way for you to connect with people and for people to connect with you. To add to all this the information on the internet is becoming more and more complex to manage and organise information.

This does not seem to worry younger generations and digital influencers. These people just seem to have a handle on how to deal with all this information. They naturally organise and distrubute information into the digital and physical space without to much concern. However most of us need to get a handle on managing digital communication (email, cellphones, social media, instant messaging, skype and SMS.)

Managing Information Overload

Digital communication ALWAYS seems urgent to us. Something happens inside us when we get an email that compells us to stop what we’re doing and answer the email right away. Leading to a very unproductive lifestyle that is dictated to by email. Add to this all the other digital communication options and soon your life is over-run with ‘urgent’ requests from everyone everywhere. We lose control of our To Do lists, project management, personal time, and so much more.Filture Failure for managing information

I wrote about managing information overload on my blog a few weeks ago and got a few comment that may prove helpful to people looking to manage the influx of information and communication. To kick off here is a except from the blog post:

I don’t think that I have all the answers by any means but here are a few principles/technologies that I use to manage/filter the information that I am expected to consume each day.

  1. I use Google Reader to keep track of the blog I like reading – This saves me time because I am not distracted by advertising and additional ‘interesting’ articles by visiting the actual website. Google Reader allows me to subscribe to blogs and consume their content without wasting time on being distracted/redirected to other content
  2. I don’t push any email or social media updates to my phone - By constantly being interrupted by email and social media alerts I find I am always in a state of urgency to reply even thought the people on the other end do not expect an immediate reply. I find mobile email user amusing when they reply to my emails telling me that they received my email and will reply later as they are in a meeting. No one actually needs to be on their email 24hrs a day. They only need to ensure that they answer all their email. There is a difference!
  3. I use a content filter - There is a dark side to the internet and I got tired of bumping into it. Yes I know I am over 18 and can consume that sort of media but I just don’t want to. Pornography and violence don’t add anything good into my life and therefore I opted in for a content filter that would warn me of “the dark side.” Keeping my internet experience more enjoyable.
  4. Unsubscribe from facebook emails - you don’t need an email every time someone tags you in a photo. When you login to Facebook again you will be notified that someone tagged/poked/emailed or posted to a message. Fit your social media life on your schedule.

I recieved a comment from Elenor that adds a great tip on email management:

“Something I find very helpful is email filters. I apply rules, and auto-post out of my Inbox to folders for certain email addresses, and diarise a time when I will look at the contents of those folders. That way I always get to the emails, but at a date and time that I choose. (Eleanor)”

There are quite a few way to take control over your digital communication and information. My advice to to take control of it before it takes control of you.

Share your thoughts!

So in the spirit of sharing, have you got any information or communication management tips that you can share with us? We would love to hear from you.

Great customer service will help you avoid this social media disaster

Posted on: February 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Dave Carroll wrote the infamous ‘united breaks guitars’ YouTube hit. The video received several million views and started a huge uproar against the customer service at United Airlines. This video single handedly created one of the online world’s biggest customer service headaches.

United were applauded with how they handled the situation. They approached Dave directly and dealt with his issue, even changing a few internal policies to ensure this never happened again. David later added a video to the popular video sharing website that thanks United Airlines for the way they responded.

So all is well that ends well?

Not so in this example. The biggest problem here is what took place before the YouTube hit. Dave Carroll received months of bad customer service that resulted in Carroll turning to YouTube to vent his frustrations.

The video may have never existed if United had they right customer service processes in place.

The common denominator with this case study was that employees within United were not empowered to make customer service decisions. Instead they had to follow a very rigid set of guidelines that kept them from actually solving the clients problem.

I would advise all companies who are getting into social media to ensure that they are ready to look at their organisation on a whole. Make sure that as you enter the transparent world of Social Media that you are ready to be transparent and open to the public. Social media is a fantastic tool to engage with people and this is good news. However the best way to ensure that your social media experience is a good one is to ensure that you customer experience and product quality are great.

Better to avoid the “brand destroying YouTube video” than to have a great social media response plan take action. So far David’s video has been viewed 9, 896, 546 times!

How social media sold me a seafood platter

Posted on: January 26th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Last week we looked into the importance of using clear communication when selling through social media channels. Today I wanted to share an experience that ended very well for me (the buyer) and the seller.

I am busy doing some work on a wednesday morning last week when an email pops into my inbox from a friend:

Hi Guys

Check this out. I just got a voucher for a R500 seafood platter for R99.

http://www.twangoo.co.za/invite/b74a5ebf

Selling Sefood with Social MediaNormally I would mark this as spam but considering the source of the email I decided to follow the link. To my surprise I had stumbled into a “crowdsourcing” sales exercise. These sales exercises work on the premise that if enough buyers club together they can  sell a product for cheaper due to the economies of scale that start to take place.

I decided to treat my mother to a seafood dish, considering that my wife would rather die than be subjected to the smell of fish all night. I paid for the special on my credit card and then started to spread the word. You see the special is only “unlocked” once the total number of units had been sold. In this case the resturant needed to sell 100 platters before they could “unlock” the special. I was still hearing my friends talk about the special I posted to facebook and twitter for days afterwards.

Once the special was unlocked I phoned the resturant to make a booking. I told the person on the phone that I wanted to make a booking and that I had one of “these R99 vouchers” (I was half expecting another Global Wrapps saga). She simply laughed and asked which day I would like to book for. The curiosity in me decided to find out why she laughed and she replied that she had been inundated with request for bookings due to this special.

Why does this work?

The resturant did not use their facebook page or twitter profile to promote a special but rather posted a great special (great products do well online) onto a website called Twangoo (recently bought by Groupon). Thanks to a great advertising ethos from Twangoo the word got out fast and within a few days the resturant had sold 103 seafood platters.

I love this type of sales approach inside social media. It appeals to the Aspirers, Communicators and Influencers on the internet and communicates its message using technologies in a way that each digital lifestyle can appreciate.

Mobile technology influence on Social Media

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

After the article from Barrie Bramley on the influence of the smart phone I thought it would be a good idea to show you this infographic that outlines the effect of the mobile phone on social media.

 how-are-mobile-phones-changing-social-media_50290a6e052fa

What’s your digital lifestyle?

Posted on: December 1st, 2010 by admin-kablooey 6 Comments

I am a firm believer that every person hasa certian level of digital integration in their lifestyle. The is something in almost all of us that uses the digital landscape in someway or another. This is what excites me about digital media – its different for everyone.

Each person experiences the digital landscape in their own way, from their own vantage point and with their own personal agenda. This is the Consumer 2.0 I have spoken about before. I go into this in more detail in our presentation but I wanted to share a bit of insight into a study by TNS Surveys which outlines six digital lifestyles. These are:

INFLUENCERS

The internet is an integral part of my life. I’m young and a big mobile Internet user and generally access everywhere, all of the time. I’m a blogger, a passionate social networker with many social network friends. I’m also a big online shopper, even via my mobile. I want to make sure as many people as possible hear my online voice.

COMMUNICATORS

I just love talking and expressing myself, whether that’s face to face, on a fixed line, mobile or on social networking sites, instant messaging or just emailing people. I really want to express myself in the online world in the way that I can’t in the offline one. I tend to be a smart phone user and I’m connecting online from my mobile, at home, at work or at college.

KNOWLEDGE-SEEKERS

I use the internet to gain knowledge, information and to educate myself about the world. I’m not very interested in social networking but I do want to hear from like-minded people especially to help me make purchase decisions. I’m very interested in the latest thing.

NETWORKERS

The internet is important for me to establish and maintain relationships. I have a busy life whether it’s my profession or managing the home. I use things like social networking to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t have time to otherwise. I’m a big home internet home user and I’m very open to talking to brands and looking for promotions. That said I’m not really the kind of person to voice my opinions online.

ASPIRERS

I’m looking to create a personal space online. I’m very new to the Internet and I’m accessing via mobile and internet cafes but mostly from home. I’m not doing a great deal at the moment online but I’m desperate to do more of everything, especially from a mobile device.

FUNCTIONALS

The internet is a functional tool, I don’t want to express myself online. I like emailing, checking the news, sport & weather but also online shopping. I’m really not interested in anything new (like social networking )and I am worried about data privacy and security. I am older and have been using the internet for a long time.

Which one are you?

I would love to hear your comments on which digital lifestyle most described you. Feel free to comment. Thank you

Is your company website your best business to business marketing tool?

Posted on: November 24th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Business to Business need lead generation focused websites

Business leaders, in a recent study, cited company websites as the main source of information when looking at a business to business purchase. Company websites were used more than trade magazines, search engines and social media.

The business decision makers are telling us the story that with big purchases they are definitely interested in browsing through a website to find out more about the product they are looking at purchasing. In business to business environments a company website has great potential to add to the sales leads and referrals for your sales team by ensuring that it utilises a strong lead generation strategy.

Interestingly enough, although the decision makers use company websites the most to gather information the decision maker is mainly influenced by word of mouth and social media channels. (more…)

Can losing control online actually benefit your business?

Posted on: November 17th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Social media guru’s the world over will tell you that if you want to get into social media do your best not to own your content. This is a difficult concept to understand. Control is all we know. How can something benefit me if I don’t make sure it does?

Well this video from TED shows us just how Greenpeace fought the control battle and lost. They lost the control battle but won the battle that really mattered – SAVING THE WHALES!! (more…)

South African Linkedin Research Report

Posted on: November 3rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Linkedin is a great network to take part in. It aids business relationship building, employee recruitment, and idea sharing. I have found that being a part of this network has opened up opportunities to profile myself in a professional manner online and start networking with like minded people in my field of work.

I have since done some research on the usership of Linkedin by South Africans and found 600 000 South Africans were registered, 94 000 users are in management positions with 50 000 company directors and presidents. The site also has over 75 000 business owners registered along with 26 000 consultants. So to make things easier I have put a few of the statistics into a presentation (below) and a PDF Download. Please bear in mind that the pdf download is the most detailed.

In the presentation there is mention of our latest presentation called WOZA Linkedin which is designed to explain how Linkedin works and how to use it yourself. The presentation can be done in one-on-one session’s and in team training environments. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin by visiting http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeasaunders

What the Chilean miners’ rescue tells us about online media consumption

Posted on: October 20th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 4 Comments

Wednesday October 13th, most of the world were watching with baited breath as the rescue mission started for thirty three Chilean miners trapped about 700 meters below the ground. All thirty three men are doing well and it seems that their only cause for concern would be dealing with the new found fame.

The media is always a good reflection of how an event captures the heart of people and this was no different. In fact this event caused a few social media records to break as people watched, followed and tweeted their support for the famous miners.

Chilean Rescue almost as popular as the Obama Election

Shortly after rescue operations announced they would start the rescue the next day (5pm on Tuesday the 12th October) traffic to online news websites surged to record the 5th largest spike in global news traffic since 2005.

online media consumption

Chilean miner rescue creates 5th largest global news traffic spike

One of the largest success factors to the increase in online media consumption has been the new technologies in streaming video of the event to online viewers. Essentially allowing CNN to broadcast 4.6 million live streams of the event. In addition this translated into 82.5 million page views on the website.

What was the social media impact?

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An Open Letter To Boomer Bosses Everywhere:

Posted on: October 20th, 2010 by Keith Coats 2 Comments

Dear Wally, (if the name fits or even if it doesn’t…)

I need to speak to you on an important issue.  For some time I have been watching a tsunami looming large on the horizon and it seems that the majority of corporate leaders I get to engage with remain oblivious to the impending danger.  It seems that they continue to believe that the impressive sand castles they have been building on the beach will remain untouched by this looming threat. They won’t.

May I suggest that, regardless of whatever name you go by, that for now you consider ‘Wally’ to be the name that fits best – and I will do the same. Whilst I don’t regard myself as some sort of contemporary Paul Revere, his mission certainly comes to mind as I write to you. Thankfully my means of getting the message out is not dependent on a horse (in his case several horses), my riding skills and ability to navigate the route. Yet, with the same urgency and earnestness of Mr. Revere I write to warn you of an impending danger to the way you live your business. And like Paul Revere, I hope that this too might contribute to a tipping point of awareness that saves the day!

For some time, many have peddled the attraction and retention of  ‘Talent’ as the most significant corporate strategic challenge. The ‘war for talent’, as originally framed by McKinsey’s, was as recently as last year verified as the number one challenge by a global survey and research project done by the Boston Consultancy Group. Of course, this agenda item has played out in different ways and forms depending on where exactly in the world Wally finds himself. This undoubtedly remains a significant strategic challenge and is fuelled by a generational demographic shift that needs to be understood if the threat is to be countered.

But it is not this challenge that I wish to warn you about, although the new threat is not entirely unrelated to the generational shift that is taking place. (more…)

As Google Wave dies, here’s what Foursquare does NOT understand about social media

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 14 Comments

Google officially axed the underutilised (and overhyped) Google Wave project last week (read Fast Company’s obituary here). I have a fear that my favourite geo-tagging program, Foursquare, will go the same way.

Foursquare allows you to use your mobile phone’s GPS capability to “check in” at various venues (read an intro slideshow here if you need to know more). But they are missing a few tricks by not understanding some basics of what makes social networks work, and also by misunderstanding some basic human psychology. I hope they sort this out soon, because I’d love to see geotagging really take off.

Here is my list of reasons why Foursquare is unlikely to grow further, and will ultimately die:

  • They have failed completely to discuss and engage with users on the issue of security. I personally don’t have a problem checking in and letting my friends know where I am, but many people do fear the openness of letting others know their physical movements. Foursquare needs to actively engage in debate and social values shaping conversations.
  • Their iPhone app provides no information from Foursquare. On a few occasions, Foursquare has shut down in order to do upgrades. But all that happens on their App and website is that nothing works. No messages, no interactions, no connection…
  • When you move from one city to another, you start all over again. It treats each city entirely independently. For what reason?
  • It provides no connections with my friends. Why is there no “friends nearby” feature? And why are there no features to challenge friends, connect with friends, chat to friends? This surely is the key to social media success: that you create connections between people, and enable them to connect with each other. Foursquare doesn’t do this.
  • It does not provide “near things”. The only “near here” type functions are paid for adverts called “specials nearby”. But what about “places your friends frequent” or “places your friends have written tips about” or “most visited place near here”?
  • It doesn’t do competition well. I have an ongoing battle with “Kay A.” for the mayorship of Raynes Park train station. But, there is very little way for me to interact with Kay. More importantly, neither of us know where we are in the competition stakes. The system doesn’t let me know how many check ins I need in order to become mayor, or how close other people are behind me in the race. Each venue needs a “leader board” type function to raise the stakes of competition. Otherwise, it loses its lustre very quickly.
  • What’s the point? Badges are too hard to earn. I can leave tips at venues, but there is no incentive to do so. Companies are given no incentive to interact with regular attenders. And so on… Incentives are required.
  • Finally, providing feedback to the system (especially, for example, indicating duplicate venues) is a really long and complicated procedure (and is not a feature of the iPhone app – why not?). This functionality also needs to be delegated down to “editors” in local areas (think of how Wikipedia manages content).

If you’re a Foursquare user, what do you think? Have I missed anything?

In summary, then, Foursquare has the potential to be brilliant. But only if it learns the lessons of other social media success stories. Connect us, and enable us to connect! Speak to us, and enable us to speak to you. Enable us to contribute to the development of the system.

Foursquare, I hope you’re listening, because I don’t want you to go the way of Google Wave. But if even the mighty Google can get it so wrong, then no-one is safe.

Simba’s inclusive social media taste strategy – clever

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Social media is a very new platform to play on, no matter what country you find yourself in. Certainly some have played harder, risked more and invested more money, but I’m not certain there are very many who can claim to have ‘got it right’?

From my vantage point it makes for a very very exciting ‘playground’ to watch. Lots of clever people doing some very clever things. And with all the play, we get to observe, experience and participate in the amazing and absolutely terrible : )

Simba (the South African chip/crisp company) are currently engaged in a really interesting project. They’re running a competition to invent a new flavour. And it’s not in the traditional form. They don’t have their marketing gurus working long hours to come up with their next (hopefully) big flavour. They’re using citizen you and me to do it.

This competition received over 187 000 entries and some very original and exciting flavour suggestions were put forward via SMS, MMS, mail and the website www.lekkerflavour.co.za. It stands to reason that with so many entries received that there would be duplicate flavour submissions. The majority of entries were representative of some of the foods that South Africans are fond of such as Bobotie, Oxtail, Fish & Chips, Pap & Wors, Snoek, Prawns and of course, Biltong!

Currently the competition is down to the 4 final flavours.

The top four flavours in the “What’s Your Lekker Flavour?” competition have been announced! They are Masala Steak Gatsby, Vetkoek & Polony, Snoek & Atchar and Walkie Talkie Chicken. All four flavours will go on sale at the beginning of June and will be available at all leading retailers.

And well done to ‘us’. We’ve shown that our creativity is worth every cent they’re throwing at us, and more. There’s R100 000 up for grabs to 4 lucky people who vote for the winning flavour. And here’s what the winning flavour inventor receives:

The winning flavour will see one South African receive fame and fortune in the form of R200 000 in cash, and 1% of sales of the winning flavour. This could mean that the winner will received up to R500 000 per year for as long as the flavour is on sale.

I really hope this competition succeeds for them, because it’s good for all of us. It lifts the social media profile, it’s captured the attention of at least 187 000 people who had a voice for a few seconds, it’s fun, and it hopefully opens the door to more money, energy and time being invested in developing all the possibilities social media presents.

I voted for Vetkoek and Polony, even though Walkie Talkie Chicken has my attention in terms of what might be in it?

Simba's inclusive social media taste strategy – clever

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Social media is a very new platform to play on, no matter what country you find yourself in. Certainly some have played harder, risked more and invested more money, but I’m not certain there are very many who can claim to have ‘got it right’?

From my vantage point it makes for a very very exciting ‘playground’ to watch. Lots of clever people doing some very clever things. And with all the play, we get to observe, experience and participate in the amazing and absolutely terrible : )

Simba (the South African chip/crisp company) are currently engaged in a really interesting project. They’re running a competition to invent a new flavour. And it’s not in the traditional form. They don’t have their marketing gurus working long hours to come up with their next (hopefully) big flavour. They’re using citizen you and me to do it.

This competition received over 187 000 entries and some very original and exciting flavour suggestions were put forward via SMS, MMS, mail and the website www.lekkerflavour.co.za. It stands to reason that with so many entries received that there would be duplicate flavour submissions. The majority of entries were representative of some of the foods that South Africans are fond of such as Bobotie, Oxtail, Fish & Chips, Pap & Wors, Snoek, Prawns and of course, Biltong!

Currently the competition is down to the 4 final flavours.

The top four flavours in the “What’s Your Lekker Flavour?” competition have been announced! They are Masala Steak Gatsby, Vetkoek & Polony, Snoek & Atchar and Walkie Talkie Chicken. All four flavours will go on sale at the beginning of June and will be available at all leading retailers.

And well done to ‘us’. We’ve shown that our creativity is worth every cent they’re throwing at us, and more. There’s R100 000 up for grabs to 4 lucky people who vote for the winning flavour. And here’s what the winning flavour inventor receives:

The winning flavour will see one South African receive fame and fortune in the form of R200 000 in cash, and 1% of sales of the winning flavour. This could mean that the winner will received up to R500 000 per year for as long as the flavour is on sale.

I really hope this competition succeeds for them, because it’s good for all of us. It lifts the social media profile, it’s captured the attention of at least 187 000 people who had a voice for a few seconds, it’s fun, and it hopefully opens the door to more money, energy and time being invested in developing all the possibilities social media presents.

I voted for Vetkoek and Polony, even though Walkie Talkie Chicken has my attention in terms of what might be in it?

PODCAST – Mike Saunders on Social Media trends and shifts

Posted on: June 14th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

We’ve just added a new PodCast to the TomorrowToday feed.

Mike Saunders (a social media expert) is thinking about the next wave of social media and the next evolution of the Internet. We talked to him about how important research is in connecting to your market.

If you’d like to listen to this audio track please click on the following:

Where do you find your music? There’s a game for that!

Posted on: June 11th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington No Comments

We all know that the music industry is in huge trouble. Their fight against the music “pirates” is only going to end in tears – they need to work on new strategies. Luckily, some of the players in the industry are starting to do just that.

One clever idea that caught my eye is a new game that is all about finding new music. It is the Music Pets app for Facebook, and the goal is to entertain a virtual pet by training it to like the music you like, then using points to send the pet out to find more music to add to your collection. The app has had just short of a million users sign up since launching in March 2010.

The idea is to replicate how we actually choose new music in the “real world”. We hear something we like, we listen to our friend’s music, we ask for recommendations. Then we try it out ourselves, build a collection, and finally start sharing it with our friends.

Read more about it in the Wired magazine here. Music is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed. Maybe the virtual world is how this can best be done in the future.

Now if we can just get some of the world’s governments to start understanding this, and the music industry to wake up, maybe they’d unban the app in the UK!

Where do you find your music? There's a game for that!

Posted on: June 11th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington No Comments

We all know that the music industry is in huge trouble. Their fight against the music “pirates” is only going to end in tears – they need to work on new strategies. Luckily, some of the players in the industry are starting to do just that.

One clever idea that caught my eye is a new game that is all about finding new music. It is the Music Pets app for Facebook, and the goal is to entertain a virtual pet by training it to like the music you like, then using points to send the pet out to find more music to add to your collection. The app has had just short of a million users sign up since launching in March 2010.

The idea is to replicate how we actually choose new music in the “real world”. We hear something we like, we listen to our friend’s music, we ask for recommendations. Then we try it out ourselves, build a collection, and finally start sharing it with our friends.

Read more about it in the Wired magazine here. Music is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed. Maybe the virtual world is how this can best be done in the future.

Now if we can just get some of the world’s governments to start understanding this, and the music industry to wake up, maybe they’d unban the app in the UK!

When social media grows up… it will change everything

Posted on: March 4th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 32 Comments

Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team – we call that “Beyond the Hype“. Contact our UK or South African offices to find out how.


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PS – make sure you read the comments below this blog entry – we’re continually adding new case studies and examples, and there is some amazing stuff to see. Take your time – the future starts here.

Twitter recently hosted it’s billionth Tweet and Facebook had over 500 million users by the end of 2009, continuing its trend of doubling every nine months or so. It is difficult to continue to argue that social media is nothing more than a fad, and an increasing number of companies are starting to make use of these technologies.

But most of these companies are merely using social networks as a means to communicate (mainly with customers, but sometimes with staff as well) or to market their products and services. These are simple – and obvious – applications, and soon you’ll just be another voice in cacophony of online noise. Unfortunately, most “social media experts” focus only on these aspects of online social networking, and are overhyping the benefits and underemphasising the cultural shifts required for companies to truly benefit. They are missing a really important trend with huge implications for every organisation in every industry and sector.

The reason that social media has taken off so quickly is that it is more than a fad. It is, in fact, merely the technological expression of a values shift that has been taking place for a number of years. It will therefore be a shaping force in the world over the next decade. It might not be the answer to all your problems as many social media pundits are predicting. But it will definitely change everything, and more and more companies are starting to see the benefits it offers. A revolution awaits us.

You can hardly turn on a TV news channel or read a business magazine these days without being overwhelmed by requests to “follow my tweets”, “check out our blog” or “send us your videos”. Social media has gone mainstream. But most business users and organisations are treating it like a gimmick, and only gaining a fraction of the value they could. If they understood the true nature of what is happening, they’d know that social media is merely an expression of a deeper trend that has the potential to change everything. And they’d realise that the first companies to grasp this will have the opportunity to gain phenomenal competitive advantage in their industry. In fact, some companies have already started to do so.

Social Media 101

If you’ve missed this trend and are not sure what I’m talking about, here’s a quick primer: social media are the tools you can use to do social networking on the Internet. This involves connecting with other people, and sharing information with them digitally (yes, it’s just networking and connecting with others online). The most used tools are:

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A breakup, bowiechick, webcams and Logitech’s increased sales

Posted on: February 4th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 3 Comments

I am currently at the F-Secure partners conference in Vienna, Austria, and have been listening to Richard Gatarski speak about a passion for social media. One incredible story illustrates the power that new social media forms have to influence brands, and how little many established companies (even those who sell products and services that are designed for this new world) know about this.

In March 2006, Melody, a teenager better known by her YouTube name, “Bowiechick”, was feeling pretty depressed. She had just broken up with her boyfriend. So, she decided to record a vlog (a video blog entry). In order to cheer herself up, she experimented with some cool software that came with her webcam. By the end of the 75 second video, she had had a bit of fun and was feeling better. She posted the result at YouTube (see it here). This clip has now been viewed nearly 2 million times!

As you could anticipate, a few of her friends saw it, and wrote notes to her, encouraging her to cheer up and move on. But then people started asking her about the software she used to make the video itself. More and more people asked, so she created a little video to explain how her Logitech webcam and software worked. This 2 minute video has been viewed over 3 million times. Watch it here.

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The Twitter interview

Posted on: November 2nd, 2009 by Graeme Codrington No Comments

I was recently interviewed by a journalist on the issue of Twitter and social media, and how it might impact traditional media. It was a fairly focused interview – not broad ranging – but you might be interested in some of the thoughts that emerged.

Q1. How has Twitter changed the landscape of social networking?

A1. No, I don’t think so. Twitter is to online communication what text messages (SMSs) did to email. Because you’re only allowed 140 characters, you’re forced to be short, sharp and to the point (or, in many people’s cases: vague, confusing and silly). I think Twitter has added to an already growing trend towards social networking.

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