42 posts categorized "Social Media"

May 18, 2010

Blogging: What's it all about then?

It is my humble opinion that blogging is the cornerstone of a nutritious social web diet.  It is the backbone of everything you do and that you are on-line.   My reason for saying this is such:  Only 14% of people trust advertising whereas 78% of people trust community, peer, or friend review.  These reviews and recommendations are coming from, among other places, the humble blog.

Question:  Are you being found, talked about, and shared into other people's networks?  Because that is where the real magic of the social web happens!

Below is my guide to best practice.

1. How to guides.

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photo courtesy of jempp.com


Think about the web and how we use it (consumers). We put a search term in Google and "bang" up come thousands of results!  Which ones do we rely on though? How do we disseminate between all the results?  Which ones do we trust?  What would you do as a consumer?

Bear this in mind as a supplier of the information. How are you going to get consumers to trust you?

You will get found, that is for  sure, but with all the thousands of unique posts out there - Question: Are you producing the goods?

Answer: Give yourself the maximum opportunity by cultivating your posts to include - great visuals, reliable content, simple steps, working examples, downloadable content. Moreover, become the "go to" person within your industry and you'll get more reaction on your blog.

2. Problems.

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Photo courtesy of Zazzle.com 


Lots of people write about problems, we're all good at that. But a structured approach to solving the problem without causing another one could be in the minority and as such becomes valuable.

Can you see problems within your industry? If so what solutions can you bring to bear? Remember the subject does not have to be related as long as it's relative.

3. Feedback.

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Photo courtesy of reach.gov 


Ask for it - no really, ask for it.

Get as much feedback as you can, engage in debate. You'll find that people will engage  when they have a different angle on the same subject and that's good!   This gives you the ability to "stretch yourself" and engage in an intellectual debate.

4. Give stuff away.

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Photo courtesy of boingpoumtchak.com 


Why not? It does not mean that you have to give all away, just the stuff that helps the consumer, stuff that makes their day better. Doing this gets them to talk about you and your blog, they will direct more people to your blog and some of them will engage with you.

The web is there to help people organise themselves and if you are part of this help, it will work wonders for you.

5. Review/s.

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Photo courtesy of zwcadclub.com


Tell people about what you read, what phone your prefer, let them know about your experience with consumer goods that you have consumed - good and bad. Remember people are looking for this information and they will find you.

The social web is about people, it's about conversation - let people engage with you.

6. Latest stories.

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Photo courtesy of boorama.files.wordpress.com 


Have an opinion.

You have to be fast with this, keeping up to date with world opinion will get you found and fast. Remember that there are "Real Time" feeds that can catapult you into the limelight of "groundswell" - meaning the ability to create content that swarms of people will aggregate for you.

7. Lessons from life.

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Photo courtesy of grief.com


Stuff happens that will all can learn from, and an excercise in humility can go along way.

Life lessons appeal to all. With respect we all can be accused of voyeurism, it guides us through what is happening in our own lives.

Sharing these experiences can go along way, you will make more "friends" and allies. In turn these people will help you aggregate your blog.

8. Comparables.

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Photo courtesy of csmanagement.files.wordpress.com 


With the multitude of content out there, improvement and change is always easy to see and report on. Within your industry change is inevitable and favorable - Question: Can you see it?

If so then write about it as some other people will miss it, and they need to know.  This helps you be perceived as a "thought leader".

9. Share.

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Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk 


Share what other people do.

Your blog can be stimulated by sharing other views, events, writing etc - never plagerise -  just report.

Example: If you attend many events, then why not write about them? Sometimes this does not take the form of "writing" i.e a blog post. It could be in the form of pictures or video.

10. Use the platforms.

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Photo courtesy of communitywealth.com 


Blogging. Let's understand it.

It's means getting you "stuff" onto the web.  This does not mean that it has to take the form of words, it can also mean picture and/or video as well as audio.

There are many different sites and methods of using theses sites most of them are free and remember not all consumers consume from the same bowl!

We all need to accept the info in different formats.

Conclusion:

Blogging should not be a chore, it also should not solely take the format of words. The real treasure in blogging and the real value that blogging can bring is to look at it from the point of view of the consumer. By understanding this it will give you  direction as a producer.

One thing we can guarantee is that people are looking for "stuff" on the web. We know there are over 62 billion searches per month on Google alone that 10 years ago did not exist! Having a computer in your pocket (aka iPhone/Android) will only add to these searches.

Becoming an industry leader within your field means being relevant and being found - and you can't be found without being published. This does not mean published in the traditional format of a book (although this will help) but published in the realms of find-ability on the web.

The web is changing all we do and are as a society.  It is changing the fundamental structure of society.   Trust is the key and the currency of the social web so you can only get trust by engaging with the web - Share yourself with people, let people see who you really are, let them know your opinion, let them know why and how, let them get under your skin - above all, let them trust you.

May 11, 2010

Coming to a town near you! Social Media Speaker Tour - Summer 2010

As we are all aware, we are living in an "attention" economy. We cannot pay for eyeballs or attention, we have to earn it.

The great thing about social media is that is allows us to express ourselves in many different and creative ways.

Vanessa and I have looked to our rock n' roll background for inspiration of how to present our U.K. speaker tour dates.

I hope this inspires you to think creatively how you can express yourself on-line, create a powerful on-line brand, and stand out from the crowd.

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Guildford Grow Business Exhibition - 12th May



Now in its third year, this has been a hugely successful business exhibition for business owners in and around Surrey. We are delighted to have been asked to speak there on our favourite subject of social media.


Our presentation: "Leveraging the power of the social web for business exposure"


Where: Guildford Spectrum, Guildford, Surrey

When: Wednesday 12th May
On-stage: 10a.m until 11a.m (exhibition opens from 9.30am)

Click
here for more information: 
 


Croydon Females in Business - 20th May


Now in its second year, this is a special event for women to benefit from attending dynamic workshops on creating a profitable presence on the web. You will also enjoy networking over a delicious buffet. Plus attend the exhibition to meet potential suppliers. Penny Power is also a keynote speaker at this event.


Our presentation: "Why a portfolio of web content is as valuable as a portfolio of property".


Where: Jury's Inn, Croydon

When: Thursday 20th May
On-stage: 1.30 pm to 2.30pm (exhibition opens from 9.30am)

Click
here for more information:


 
Surrey Social Media Tribes - 27th May




At our
Surrey Social Media Tribes networking meeting on 27th May in Guildford, we will be explaining more about Twitter and showing you how to build a targeted following.

Using strategies I have developed for ourselves, we will reveal how to "mine" other people's followings, how to search on Twitter, and how gain traction on Twitter quickly. Bring your laptop and have some hands-on practice with us to guide you. Great networking and education for just £10.00 entry fee means this is a worthy investment of your time.


Our presentation: "How to double your twitter following with targeted connections".


Where: Holiday Inn, Egerton Road, Guildford

When: 27th May 2010
What time: 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Click
here to book your seat.
Places are limited, so please BOOK NOW to secure your seat.
 


Social Media training day at the races at Brighton Racecourse - 28th May


Join us for a day of learning, networking and playing at Brighton Racecourse. There's a half day of social media training, followed by lunch and watching the racing!


Our presentation: "Introduction to how to optimise the social web"


Where: Brighton Racecourse

When: 28th May 2010
What time: 9.00 a.m to 5.30 p.m

Click
here for further details and to book your place.
 


Milton Keynes "How to implement a social media strategy for your business" - training day - 5th June


With our last three training days having sold out, we've booked another one to meet the demand! Does what it says on the tin. The U.K.'s premier introductory social media training course, delivered in bite-sized and easy to digest chunks with strategies to put into action straight away.


Where: DeVere Harben House, Newport Pagnall, Milton Keynes

When: 5th June 2010
What time: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Click
here for further details and to book your place.
 


Yorkshire Property Tribe inaugural networking meeting - 16th June


Vanessa and Nick head 'Oppp North' to speak at the inaugural Yorkshire Property Tribe networking event, founded by Property Tribe member Rob Hubbard.


Our presentation: "How to leverage the power of the social web in your property business"


Where: The Bridge Inn Hotel, Altofts Lane, Whitwood, Castleford, WF10 5PZ

When: 16th June 2010
What time: 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Click
here for further details and to book your place.
 


Leicester Social Media Mum - Social Media optimisation coffee morning - 22nd June


Back due to popular demand! Vanessa and Nick join the Social Media Mum, Zoe Newcombe, for a two hour presentation and coffee morning on how to optimise the social web. Specially devised for mum-preneurs and small business owners, this presentation discusses how to create massive business exposure using free web tools.


Our presentation: "Optimising the social web for business exposure"


Where: David Lloyd, Carlton Park, Narborough, Leicester, LE19

When: 22nd June 2010
What time: 11.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

Please click
here for full details and to register.
 




We hope to meet you in person somewhere down the speaker trail!

May 06, 2010

Why BT will find it hard to survive. (@BTcare @BTbusiness)


They don't want to - or so it seems. (Below I have run some social media monitoring software to illustrate what the web digs up nowadays, and the metrics we can draw from them.)

But first my reason for spot-lighting BT in this blog.

Logo bt

Yet again I am suffering at the hands of BT and their lack of basic understanding of what and how customer services should run.

This is the second time in 1 year that I have suffered. Completely different reasons but the method they execute remains!

Firstly, it took 9 months to get the right engineer round my house to fix the broadband. At this point I'd had 5 engineers around and each time I got promised the next one would solve the problem, but the next one never came. So I phoned up the charming customer services people (5 attempts per try to get o the right person) to get another engineer round only to be told the same thing because he did not know why he was there!

In the end (9 months later) I forced them to send the correct engineer round - it took him 5 minutes to fix the problem.

This should have been fixed 9 months prior, but no one was listening. All they wanted  to do was tell everyone they were doing something even though what they were doing was not working.

They might have got away with this in times gone by. But now, in these times of web 2.0 and transparency, they cannot get away with it ... and if they understood the social web, they wouldn't even attempt to.  We, the people, the web, the customer are far more powerful than them.  We have a voice and platforms and we're not afraid to use them!

Yesterday I woke up with a dread.  I had to phone BT again.

This time I wanted to know when my business mobile contract was coming to an end.  A simple request you would have thought. I want to change because of the bad service.

It took me 6 phone calls just to get the right number, at which point I spent 45 minutes on hold (I twit pic'd the photo just to prove it whilst 31 mins in)    At this point I was getting a bit fed up so I started talking about them on twitter. Within 30 minutes I had about 15 people expressing their distain and another 20 or so on facebook - but nothing from BT.

4 hours later @btbusiness started to engage me.  I told them they were too late, i had done the work (woefully late) but all they said is "they were there to help me" in parrot fashion. The trouble is if they were there to help me, where were they when I needed the help?

I even got  a tweet or two from one of their managers @iain_mac who insisted they were there to help, even though no one was there when I needed them!!!

What?

And to make matters worse, one whole day later I get a tweet from @BTcare - BTCare, now there's irony for you.

If only they would use the systems correctly - the clue is in the title "customer service" and don't use twitter unless you know how to optimise it.

Below is some metrics I have run for BT. It will show demographics, share of voice and sentiment. With interest is the sentiment: there's a lot of negative sentiment about BT and as I drilled down into it they are not fixing the problem, so the sentiment remains the same.

On the other hand there is positive sentiment about BT.  However, after closer scrutiny it would appear to be a robot from BT saying how wonderful they are!!!

This is not good.

NOTE TO BT: You can't fake the web, or manipulate it, or try to control you.   It (and we) will catch you out.

Dear BT - the difference in getting it right and getting it wrong is actually quite small.  Alas, you are getting it wrong.  You need to change your method, otherwise, you are just causing yourself even more problems ... this blog and all the tweets yesterday are just some of them.   The social media metrics below illustrates this point.

N

(search pattern was taken over the last 3 months)

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April 24, 2010

Social media metrics for the Africa Gathering, Washington - #agdc #omidyar

The Africa Gathering - Washington DC 23-4-10

OK so here's some metrics from last night 23-4-10 between 6pm-9.30pm (Washington DC).

There are some very "deep" metrics I can draw from, but to keep it simple the pics below should illustrate the good effort from all the participant/s last night.

At one point we we're approaching 200k media impressions - that's brilliant. Now those impressions are there in perpetuity, they can be found and that, in turn, will give connected-ness - the vital link in all this.

We're seeing connections coming from Africa and around the world joining in the conversation, but we need to see more.

The reason we're seeing this increase is due to your effort/s last night - your voice is being heard, your message is been engaged - connections now have a chance of happening.

Lets have another good day today.

And for all of you reading this that are not part of The Africa Gathering, you can help. You can help us raise the bar by sharing all the tweets and blogs and v-logs coming out of Washington today.

Thank you.

N

Map overlay 23-4-10

Demographics 23-4-10

Share of voice 23-4-10

Share of voice 2 23-4-10

Regards N          

April 12, 2010

99% of your competitors are not aware this capability exists ... yet ... (@foursquare)

I have a confession to make.

I've become rather addicted to
FourSquare lately.

FourSquare is a recent addition to a number of social sites that facilitate "life streaming", or, as I like to call it, "lifestyle web impressions".

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Wiki describes it as thus: "Foursquare is a location-based social networking website, software for mobile devices, and game. Users "check-in" at venues using text messaging or a device specific application.  They are then awarded points and sometimes "badges."

However, having played around with FourSquare I see it as much more than just a game. It has the potential to become a serious business tool.

Mark Krynsky, in his
recent LifeStream blog, shared this important insight:

"The act of performing a "checkin" is an important gesture that is a universal action that will we be applied to many services over the next few years. Location is a piece of data that when applied to other objects has become a very valuable way to add context and other functionality to a piece of media.

By providing location data to photographs we added great value to that media. We can now visit sites like Google Maps and Flickr and other services that use location as a data point to search and view photos. The act of the checkin now ads the gesture of saying "I'm here" paired up with location and time. This will also offer a similar valuable piece of context across many platforms in the future".


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Vanessa and I have already seen a business application for FourSquare with regards to our holiday lets.

We've tagged them on FourSquare so that they will be visible to anyone who "checks in" to the area. FourSquare allows you to comment on the location (or share a tip) and I have therefore added a brief description to the tag, describing the cottage, number it sleeps, and phone number to call to book it etc.

I will also encourage our guests to write testimonials on FourSquare, which can be viewed by anyone in the area.

FourSquare shows you everyone who has been in the area, and you can connect with them via Twitter and FaceBook (if they have shared that data). This is a free and quick way to connect with people who have visited, and therefore have an interest in the location. A targeted database that you can leverage and use to make some powerful and relevant connections.

Thinking laterally:

If you are a restaurant owner, you can see who has visited your restaurant and connect with them via Twitter/Facebook (if the customer has shared this information on their profile). Foursquare can tell you how many times a customer has been to your venue or the frequency of their visits. Many venues are now using this data to reward their most loyal customers with freebies or discounts and drive more traffic to their business.

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If a Foursquare user is at your bar/restaurant, FS offer a JV programme allowing you tell them what they have to do to unlock a free snack or discounted drink. If they happen to be across the street or two blocks away from your venue, FS will let them know that your business gives special treatment to foursquare users and that they should swing by for a visit, again driving more traffic to your business.

FourSquare are currently developing some analytic tools to help businesses get the most out of the application.

Another example:

If you are an interior designer, how about writing a short appraisal on FS of the interior design of the premises you visit? The business owner may well see it, but so will everyone else in the area. A simple way to get visibility for the service you provide.

Or you may be a business coach. How about writing a short summary of the business experience you encountered during your visit to that business? Again, the business owner may see it, not to mention all the people using FS in the area.

Every time you check-in or create a FourSquare comment/tip, you can tweet this out on Twitter and FB, thereby providing easy content generation to keep your feeds fresh and share your experience of that venue/business. Another "lifestyle web impression" that is as individual as you are.

I see so many opportunities with this tool in the leisure, travel, hotel, entertainment, and services industries. It's a global site with highly localised relevance.

It's all about leaving a "lifestyle" imprint on the web that will give you enhanced visibility and facilitate deeper insights and greater context to what you (and/or your business) are all about. It's another way of making easy and targeted connections. It's another way to leverage those all-important user generated media impressions.

Your customers will generate your social media for you. You and/or your business can generate more lifestyle imprints to enhance your own visibility.

It will tell your customers what they want to know, when they want to know it, sometimes it might even be so targetted, that it tells them before they even realise they want to know it!

A bit like you didn't know you wanted a Versace tie until you came across it while searching for something else on E-Bay!

99% of your competitors are not even aware of this capability ... yet.

Do you see opportunity here?

I do. I see this site becoming the user-generated "Yellow Pages" of the social web.

Having the right knowledge at the right time determines how successfully you play the business game.

Might this be another way of leveraging FREE web tools to build a highly successful business by pre-empting your customers' needs, without resorting to pushy sales techniques or needing a large marketing budget?

Certainly seems that way to me.

I hope you have found this blog thought-provoking?

These are the kind of insights we share and discuss at our
Surrey Social Media Tribes networking events.

None of us is as smart as all of us ... so come and join us at THIS month's event.

Date: Thursday, 15th April 2010

Venue: Club Suite, The Holiday Inn, Egerton Road, Guildford.

Time: 18.30 to 21.30.

Parking: Ample and free

This month's subject: How to use free web tools and new highly sophisticated software to "listen" on the social web.

Price: £10.00 in advance or £15.00 on the door on the night.

Please click >>>
here to register and pay....

And don't forget to log-in via FourSquare when you arrive!

However, if you have already seen the light with regards to social media and you're ready to get going with it, then check out my "
How to implement a social media strategy for your business" training day, taking place near Milton Keynes on the 17th April. There are a few places left on this ground-breaking course and your first customer generated by social media engagement will pay back the £149.00 including VAT course fee.

We are so confident in the quality and value of our training that we happily offer a 100% money back guarantee that your course fee will be refunded in full if you do not feel it was value for money or that social media is not for you. So you have no risk and nothing whatsoever to lose ... but everything to gain.

Please click >>>
here for full details.

Regards N     

April 02, 2010

Surrey Social Media Tribes – Social media Monitoring

 

Social Media Monitoring.

We are at the cusp of a change in society. As we speak, we are moving away from the "Industrial age" and into "The Information age".

The method of "communication" is moving towards "web systems" and with the advent of web 2.0 (i.e you and me being able to up-load words, video, audio and pictures) there is an ever growing database of information, opinion and action on the web.

Consumers are influencing consumers.  Consumers are influencing the web!

So with the volume of noise there is, how do we get to understand it? Listen to it? Deal with it? Use it?

There are answers coming.

One of them is here.  It's called social media monitoring, and in particular some software from a company called Alterian.

At April's Surrey Social Media Tribes meeting we will discussing this software and I'll be showcasing it for you.

Social Media Monitoring can:

  • Improve Your SEO
  • Increase Your Sales
  • Customer Service & Support
  • New Markets & Product Development
  • Industry/Competitive Insight
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Building Brand Visibility
  • Brand Audits & General Listening
  • Public Relations & Crisis Management
  • Human Resources


See you there!

Date: 15th April 2010

Venue: Club Suite, Holiday Inn, Egerton Road, Guildford, Surrey.  GU2 7XZ

18.30 to 19.00   Registration/networking

19.00 to 20.00   Social Media Monitoring Presentation: Nick Tadd

20.00 to 21.00   Business Challenge and networking

21.00                   End.
 
Parking: Ample and free

Refreshments: Available to buy in the hotel.

Entry:  £10.00 in advance.  Please click the button below to pay.

            £15.00 on the door on the night.

PLEASE PAY BELOW:  £10.00.




Regards
N
 

March 30, 2010

Why understanding the Semantic web is far more important than Social Media.

It is my humble opinion that you can't have a social media expert. Social media is a personal action, done by an individual.  It is essentially "the act of sharing". It's thousands of years old and nothing new. So the only expert there can be is YOU, as it's you that's sharing.  It's a bit like breathing, a little hard to out-source. Yes, you could strap on a tank and do scuba (social media agency), but only for short periods.  At some point you need to own it.

Using a platform such as facebook or twitter for the purposes of sharing on the semantic web (see footnotes) - that's an altogether another scenario,  and yes, you can have "practitioners" in these fields and in the short term they might have their place. (NOTE: I said practitioners, not experts.  The web is ever evolving so you can never be at the top of the tree as the top keeps moving.  They may be experienced practitioners but that's who they are).

But the question is not one of "social media" as the answer.  The question is social media on the web as an answer and why - i.e. why are you doing it and why are you doing it on the web?

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If we look at it this way we can only surmise that there must be a reason.  I assume this reason is to get found - in which case what you want to do has gone beyond social media.  What you are doing is getting involved in the semantic web which, at the moment, is being led by what we can call the "searching" - see below for footnotes on Semantics.

Social media is an action, not the "sum of". Social media is what a user does by sharing, i.e an "upload" of information, thought, media, social interaction, debate (words, video, audio, pictures) etc but the fact is it's an "up-load".

How about this: there is another action that the web provides to us that is not social media - it's called listening. You might want to call it "social media monitoring" but what that translates to is a listening action to everyone else's social media action.

Why are you spending so much time on the web? Why are you "being social" on the web - is there a reason? If the answer is yes, then I would suggest that based on the above, your understanding of the "social web" needs to be pointed at "the semantic web" not at "social media" as a total action.

The web is an incredible place.   It's now taking the world away from the "industrial age" and into "the information age".

What are you going to do with the information? What are you going to do with the "noise"? You've gone beyond "how to use twitter" or you will shortly - what are you going to do now?

Just over a year ago I started raving about software products that listen to the "noise". Last summer I stared "playing" with some of the systems. This year I stared introducing them to "blue chips" - the result was/were outstanding.

Now I am advising companies how to listen - in return they get:

•    PR (both negative and positive. The former they can use to great effect, the latter the can use to solve problems).

•    Live R&D (the customer is telling them what to sell).

•    Find influencers that can drive "User Generated Media Impressions" (i.e. get the web generating imprints on the web for you).

•    It can tell you where you need to put your effort in during the year, what sites, when, by who, what age, what sex, what country, what town.

•    It can tell you what language, what SEO words you should be using.

•    It will tell you why your product web impression is not working in one country but it is working in another.

It will tell you a lot. And this software has been born out of the ever evolving web. So you can see now why the word "Semantics" comes into it.

Social media, on the web, has been "banded about" as the "cure all" for many years now, whereas its use has evolved somewhat - and I would argue that these new developments are the ones that need attention and debate. 

No one can be an expert on something so new that meaning is being questioned - and I have little respect for "I don't share your view" as an answer.

Learn about social media monitoring here.

If you want to know more about Social Media Monitoring you might want to consider coming along to our next event at Surrey Social Media Tribes on the 15th April - click here - I'll be going through what the system can do and how to best use it. Moreover, it may help you better understand why you are using the systems and which ones are best suited to your business - no one size fits all.

Footnotes: Semantics[1] is the study of meaning, usually in language. The word "semantics" itself denotes a range of ideas, from the popular to the highly technical. It is often used in ordinary language to denote a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation.

Regards N  

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March 10, 2010

Nightclub ...




I grew up in a small town in Surrey.

On the main road into town, there was a night club set back from the road, with a large car park in front of it.

No matter what time of night or day of the week that I drove past the club, the car park was almost always virtually empty. I wondered how the club could stay in business and, sure enough, it came to the point where it was decided to close the club down.

I had a birthday coming up, so I decided to hire the club for my celebrations.

On the night of my birthday party, the car park was full with all my friends cars.

Something interesting happened.

I kept getting called to the door by the bouncers to verify whether someone was a guest of mine or not!

As the party was in full swing, the majority of the late-comers weren't my friends, but they all said the same thing:

"We saw that there was a party going on here, the car park was full, so we wanted to see if we could get in".



I'd like to use this story to present a different view for on-line "noise".

I believe that, without noise, there is no party going on! Therefore, in my book, noise is good.

"The abundance upon which the network economy is built is one of opportunity". ~ Kevin Kelly

If someone stops by your forum and sees that there is very little action on it (very little up-dating of posts), they will move on.

If someone stops by your blog and sees that no-one comments on it, then they will move along.

If someone checks out your twitter account and sees that you very rarely tweet and you have few followers, they will possibly think twice about following you. You are not very engaged in the party.

... and if you yourself don't drive past the carpark, you will never know where the party is.

You see, in the on-line world, success breeds success.

People like to herd, they like to go to the hottest place in town, the place where all the noise is. That is no different to the off-line world.

To quote the American thought leader, Kevin Kelly:

"The first thing the network economy reforms is our identity.

The vital distinction between the self (us) and the nonself (them)—once exemplified by the fierce loyalty of the organization man in the industrial era—becomes less meaningful in a network economy. The only "inside" now is whether you are on the network or off.

Individual allegiance moves away from firms and toward networks and network platforms.

Social communications are still in their infancy. Isn't that an incredible opportunity for you to start your own party?

Or are you going to be one of the "late-comers" who turns up when the party is in full swing?

The secret is to understand how to get the first 40 cars into your carpark - metaphorically speaking. smile

Hint: Feed the web first.

Hint: Is it easy to find the way to your nightclub?

Hint: Is your nightclub free to enter and, as the host, are you accessible and easy to connect with? Are you in the conversation?

Hint: Don't cull the people trying to get through the door.

Once you have got the first few cars (advocates) into your car park, your on-line party will gain momentum and take care of itself.

Understand: this has nothing to do with social media. Too many people get too hung up that social media is the answer. It's not. Social media is opening the bar in the nightclub, but you have to have a nightclub in the first place, and you have to "pipe" the traffic to your club. What we are talking about here is much bigger than social media. We are talking about piping the 31 billion searches on google every month and directing them to where you want them to go.

If you want to get your party together, then you need to stop focussing on social media, and start focussing on how to "pipe" the social web. There's no point building a fantastic nightclub in the middle of the Gobi desert. The web is people, not technology.

Find your own space, and create your own party ... and don't forget to invite me!

Thank you for stopping by my party. If you would like to leverage the many years that I have particpated in building on-line community for your business, then please consider my "How to implement a social media strategy for your business" training day. I have a few places left on my training day which is happening this Friday in Guildford. Click >>> here for details.

Every ecademist who books on will also receive a bonus - one hour of complimentary Twitter mentoring with my Twitter-holic wife, Vanessa! She will show you her strategies for building a targetted Twitter following and leveraging the power of Twitter in a social manner to create visibility and credibility. Business will be a by-product of that.

On the 24th March, I am also running the inaugural Surrey Social Media Tribes event, for those of you looking to get the best out of LinkedIn. Full details >>> here.

I have another party going on on my Property Tribes forum. Everyone with an interest in property is very welcome over there.

Regards
N
 
 

March 09, 2010

The reason why I am leaving Twitter ....



I just deleted my Twitter account. It had over 25,000 followers. Here's why...

About a year ago, I really loved Twitter. It was a lot of fun and it was great for communicating with people and for getting into all sorts of discussions. But as Twitter has grown, it's become full of NOISE. Even, though, my follower count has risen, the response to my tweets has been on a steady decline. The reason is simple...

There's just more and more noise on Twitter.

People are following so many people that single tweets are easily missed in someone's timeline.

* I've confirmed this decline with many other Twitter users. And it's only going to get worse.

Now I know there are many people that are going to DISAGREE with me on this. And that's okay.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But let me explain further why I made this decision...

Certainly I could have just kept the account and only checked it every few days or so. Heck, I could have had one of my employees manage it for me. But I didn't want to do that. And I came to recognize that no matter how little I may have used Twitter, it would still be robbing my focus. I'd still always wonder if someone had "@" messaged me to ask me something or if something else needed my attention. And THAT is what would have kept me constantly checking it multiple times a day like I had been.

For me, I feel like my time is much better spent not using Twitter. It's my opinion, and again just my opinion, that Twitter has become an overhyped FAD. I think it's only going to become more and more of a time-waster for people, and it's going to become harder and harder to keep up with all the noise on it. Like I said, many will be sure to disagree with me.

There are many that believe "All things Social Media" are the greatest things since slice bread.

For me, however, I think time and energy is much better spent on fundamental areas of marketing -- like communicating with your list (which I plan on doing more of) and creating great content for your audience. Who knows, maybe one day I'll return to Twitter. But for now, it's goodbye.

Frankly, it's only been a few minutes since I deleted my account and I already feel this sense of RELIEF. Just knowing that it will no longer rob my focus throughout the day makes me feel good in knowing I'll better focus on things I want to get done with my time. I once had great hopes for Twitter. I even stated I thought Twitter would be more valuable than Facebook. But now I really believe the opposite is true... ".

_______________________________________________________________________________


Okay, I'll come clean! smile These are not my words. They are the words of American marketeer, John Reese.

I thought they would prompt an interesting discussion! smile

Here is my response:

What this guy has said is the same as going into London and saying "isn't it noisy!". Yes, it is!

But it is where all the action is happening, where all the movers and shakers hang out, where deals are done, where people are connecting, where people are talking about you, your product or service. On that basis, I would want to be there.



Twitter is no different. There is a lot of noise. If someone sends you a spammy tweet, then simply unfollow them. Simples! You have a choice of the messages that you are exposed to. (Isn't that one of the beauties of social communications?)

For larger numbers, use a twitter client to manage your following - I recommend Seesmic.

If you went to a party, you wouldn't expect to hear every single conversation at that party. Twitter is no different. You dip in and out.

Another analogy: if the streets of London get too noisy, you walk into a club where other people are interested in the same topic as you.

Twitter allows you the same virtual action. If you want to listen to specific conversations or topics, there are various methods of searching on them and monitoring them. You can niche the conversations down to those that are most relevant to you, again, filtering the noise.

However, and most significantly, Twitter is real-time, which is becoming an increasingly important focus of social communications. It is the way communications are going, so we need to learn and understand how to adapt to this constant input. Twitter is coaching us for the future.

Increasingly, the most up-to-date information is going to be the most relevant to the community. Contributing to Twitter puts you high up in the relevancy stakes, especially now google is indexing real-time searches.

As for me, I continue to get massive value from being on Twitter. I make new connections, learn new stuff, get inspired on a daily basis.

I go there to be social and I am learning to filter the "noise".

I personally think Twitter is far from being a fad. It will evolve. New tools and apps will appear all the time to help people leverage it. It's where the party is.

Personally, I want to be there.

Look out for the guy with the funny haircut and the loud tie.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. If leveraging the power of social communications and media is of interest to you, and you want to get started in the most efficient manner possible, but you are unsure of how to move forwards, then please consider how to implement a social media strategy for your business. I have a few places left on my training day which is happening this Friday in Guildford. Click >>> here for details.

Every ecademist who books on will also receive a bonus - one hour of complimentary Twitter mentoring with my Twitter-holic wife, Vanessa! She will show you her strategies for building a targetted Twitter following and leveraging the power of Twitter in a social manner to create visibility and credibility. Business will be a by-product of that.

Thank you to Ian Hunter on my Property Tribes forum for inspiring this post and drawing my attention to John Reese's email.

Regards
N
 
  

March 08, 2010

Social Media Misconceptions 6: Revolution not evolution ...

This is the sixth in my series of blogs dealing with Social Media Misconceptions.

Today's is titled: Revolution not evolution.

Is social media revolution not evolution then?

No.

Why should it be?

If we break down the term "social media", it is the act of sharing in a social manner. As stated in a previous blog, we can trace this back 14,000 years to when early man shared advice on how to bring down wild game by painting on a cave wall.



A group or tribe of people discussing this was called a social network.

Question: what happened?

What happened to this action that has been known about for so many thousands of years and been an innate part of our evolution, that it is now so misunderstood in the contemporary world we live in?

Where did it go wrong?

I mean, for thousands of years we have happily shared ideas, helping, teaching, nurturing, and supporting each other - yet it would appear that, in the not too distant past, we have lost the ability to share freely.

As many of you probably know, part of my daily routine is strategically placing companies on the social web. However, it is increasingly becoming obvious, that, prior to getting them to the level to where I can get them deployed on-line, and getting them to "pipe" the torrent of search patterns on the web, I have to go through an explanation of what being "social" on the web means!

Increasingly, my answer is simply this: just use your common sense.

We do it every single day. I am doing it right now. You are going to do it dozens of times today. You will share information without even realising it. You will share the football results from the weekend, you will share your thoughts on the new book that you just finished, you will share a new restaurant that you went to, you will share a joke you heard in the pub. You will share your opinion on the car that you drive with someone who is considering buying the same model. You will put your arms around someone and take time to listen to them when they need a shoulder to cry on. You will show somebody your photographs, you will lend someone a DVD, you will cut a clipping out of a magazine because you know your friend will be interested in it. You will give someone a lift to the train station, you will recommend a good plumber, you will introduce one friend to another, you will see a lonely person at a party and invite them into your conversation/group. You will introduce a work colleague to your golf club. You will tell everyone about the film you went to see.



All of this makes you feel good, because you are thinking of others, you are making things happen for others, and making someone else feel noticed and special. It is natural to want to share something, or someone, that we ourselves got value from.

In that action, you are making your friend feel noticed, you are making your work colleague feel noticed, you are making your prospect feel noticed, you are making your client feel noticed. You are making your future client who you have never yet met feel noticed. You are sharing yourself and people will share you and your information with others! It shows you care. We know this to be true.

But, it seems that when it comes to the web, you ask the question "why?". Or you say, "I don't have time" ... or "Yet another thing to cram into my already hectic day" ... or "it's not real or tangible business".

And the $64 billion dollar question ... "What is the ROI on social media?".

Yet, for thousands of years, no one has ever asked what the ROI on sharing is! They have just got on with it.

Those proclaiming social media as a fad have no problem in sharing that opinion around off-line, and, ironically, often on-line!

Having said all this, I think I am wrong. I think I have made a grave error. I am sure that I don't know what I am talking about at all. Or do I?!

Is social media really a revolution? Is it that hard to work out how to incorporate it into business/life in general? Or is it simply evolution and you are doing it already unconsciously, but not in an efficient manner using contemporary methods, which, at the moment, is via the web?

You have a choice: say it once with your vocal chords to one person or a million times to a million people with your fingertips (via your keyboard). Either way it is the same effort.

This should be seen as a revelation, not a revolution!



In my infinite ignorance I would say that 150 years ago the Industrial Revolution was born. And in this industrial revolution, corporations were born. Birth, school, work, death. From between the ages of 5 and 20-is we went to school and we were taught how we were going to be when we left school and entered the corporations. From the age of 20-ish to 65-ish we exchanged time for money. So for the best part of 60 years, we have had it ingrained into our psyche that we have to exchange something for money and this has gone on for several hundreds of years. I would argue that society had a hiccough. It lost its ability to care. I believe that the individual wants to care, but society as a whole, has lost this. I think this is why, in the work that I do, I increasingly have to explain what to do what is, in fact, the obvious. And what is in fact natural to us.

So why, when it comes to the web, is it so difficult for us to transfer ourselves from off-line to on-line sharing?

It would appear that society as a whole tends to kick against revolution. In certain eyes, the web is seen as a revolution, and naturally change is something that is feared by most.

Whereas in reality, the web is actually evolution. A natural progression. A continuation of what has gone on before.

Note: I believe what I said above is true, however, I do equally understand that the web world that we live in is in its infancy. In reality, it has only been in the mainstream for the last decade. (I know it is older, but I am talking about the "mainstream"). The web moves in dog years, so what is on paper 10 years old today, is, in reality, 70 years old. So it is hardly surprising that it can appear to be daunting. But with a modecrum of guidance and a little bit of strategy and a good sharp dose of common sense, the web can be your friend.

Thank you for reading my blog. If the web is of interest to you, you want to get started in the most efficient manner possible, but you unsure of how to move forwards, then you might like to consider how to implement a social media strategy for your business. I have a few places left on my training day which is happening this Friday in Guildford. Click >>> here for details.

You can read my previous Social Media Misconceptions blogs >>> here.


Regards
N
 
  

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