Is this Future Shock?

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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office – social media experts?

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I’ve just remotely attended a really interesting presentation in London [OK, I attended remotely], by Media Snackers who talked about engaging with the young, through social media and so on.

Couple of things:

The world’s changed, and it’s not turning back

used to be their strapline – but they’re now emphasising

cheaper, quicker, sexier

as what the social media stuff can do. Look at their site to see what they are about.
A couple of the points they raised struck me – the takeup of social media amongst the young is astonishing; they highlighted a Forrester report which segment the social media area into

  • Creators
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators
  • Inactives

and this is segmented by age – with the creatives and critics highly represented in 16-24, with spectators and inactives being preponderantly 50+ (like me!)

perhaps nothing too new for some of us – although there are scary figures about the change in media consumption, but something he said struck a chord. More or less:

… a lot of people seem to be getting into the space; I mean, look at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – they’re a lot of suits, but they’re on Flickr, on YouTube, on Twitter, they blog… where are you? I mean, c’mon guys…

I thought, that can’t be right, can it?
Hmm…
So, I had a brief look, and found a Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blog platform presence for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. It may not be exciting, but it looks like they do have a coherent social media strategy.

What are you doing?

If someone looks for you on Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter – what will they find? If they search for a blog presence or social media involvement – what will they see?

If you’re not taking part in the conversation… it will go right on. Without you.

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Written by SteveEllwood

February 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

@SouthwestAir responds to questions to La Guardia

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I’ve posted about corporate use of Twitter before. I like the way it can build a brand’s position and personality.

I really liked this use of a response to a question from Jaunted by the Twitter face of @SouthwestAir (Christi) – and of course, she tweeted about it. Now, that’s a great way to use your Twitter account. They get it.

read more | digg story

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Written by SteveEllwood

January 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Social Media, Twitter, Web 2.0

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Will your social media engagement scale?

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gig audience

Do you listen to your customer?

We do … that’s what we all say. It’s what we all want to do. Sometimes, particularly in a big corporate, it gets to be a bit difficult to hear what they’re all shouting to you.

Sometimes, it might be “Thanks”; sometimes, “Can you do it tomorrow?”; it might even be “I want to complain”. We want to hear all of those. We want our customers to know we’ve heard them.

How do they talk to you

Ideally, how they want to. They can ring you, email you – hey, even write to you.

What if they use Twitter?

@SouthwestAir and @ComcastCares are examples where corporates engage with an audience – they look for who’s tweeting at them, and talk back to them or help them.

@stephenfry is an extreme example of an individual – some 63k people follow him and he follows back about 32k. He can’t hope to see everything that comes through [replies virtually every 5-10 seconds], but he does engage with his audience. [You can find me at @steveellwood, but I only have 203 followers – but I follow 234 people!]

What if they use Facebook

What groups are being set up around or about your brand? Are they positive? Are they YourFirmSucks? How are you going to deal with it? If you don’t, what’s the message you’re giving? Not saying anything, is making a statement – whether you mean it or not.

Should you engage with your customers via social media

If you start to, and more customers pile in, will it scale?
Chris Brogan (surprisingly enough @chrisbrogan) says in Are you Important to me?

No. No, it will not scale. You cannot … maintain a 1:1 relationship with every single person who interacts … I think the same is true of using these tools within an organization. Only, the beauty is this: inside an organization, you can spread the connections out a bit. Not everyone has to talk with Tony Hsieh at Zappos. They might want to, but they will find that there are plenty of other great folks there.

Ditto Comcast. Ditto Dell. Ditto every brand that’s trying to figure out these tools and this space.

It will not scale, but if you want the bottom line return on investment value, you’d best remember to remind people that they’re important to you. And that’s what these tools do best.

What are you doing to engage with your customers in social media? I’d be interested to hear.

Image Credit:svenwerk

Written by SteveEllwood

January 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Keep up with your social network as the crunch comes

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Everyone needs friends and contacts

While we find our way through the next year or two, there are going to be many changes. Orders get cancelled, expenditure is cut, and jobs will go.

If your circumstances change

Change brings opportunity, so accept it is inevitable, and look forward to what it will bring.

Your network is key to finding opportunities, so keep up with your network.

If you stay as you are

You’ll be fortunate, and unusual, but your friends and contacts will need you.

You may be key to them finding opportunity, so keep up with your network.

Change brings uncertainty

In the midst of change, people look for stability. Your tweet, blog post, IM or phone call might be the touch of normality people look for. Don’t stop being a social creature. Keep up with your network.

I was so tempted to have as the previous paragraph:

“Uncertainty brings doubt.
Doubt brings fear
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate . Hate leads to suffering.”

but I thought leading with Yoda

might be a bit much.

Image Credits: Litandmore &
bbaltimore

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Written by SteveEllwood

October 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Social Networking fixed my heating!

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I started to write this post in the summer, when someone asked me about social networking. As the weather turned cold, and the heating came on, it’s given me the impetus to publish it.

They were quite dismissive.
“I haven’t time for all that nonsense. What on earth do you waste your time with that for?”

Occasionally, I have trouble articulating what I like about social networking, but on this occasion I came up with a couple of examples.

  • As a homeworker, it replaces the chat over the desk, or round the watercooler/coffee machine.
  • As an inquisitive guy, it opens windows on new things to learn – from some really bright people in a range of industries… including in my own company.

I then had the bright idea of saying “Of course, it was social networking that fixed my heating…”.

When asked, I said I was leaving the pub after a pint, when I met my neighbour. We were chatting about how things were going, and I said my biggest problem was finding a central heating engineer who could cope with an old solid fuel system. He asked the symptoms, and said he was a boiler technician. I expected a punt for a job, but he said “Ach, it’s no your heating. It’s a jammed radiator valve or two; that’s easy to fix”. We had another beer, and I thought no more about it.

The following day, I was in the garden, fixing a light, and he asked if he could pop in. Less than 10 minutes later, he’d fixed what I thought was a heating problem. No, I didn’t pay for the advice; yes, I did buy him another beer.

Social networking isn’t about the tools or technologies. It’s about the connections you make, and what you do with them.

Remember your real world social networking, too…

Image Credit: Coreyu

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Written by SteveEllwood

October 8, 2008 at 10:06 am

Social Media reading

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piles of books

You mean like – books?

Yes, I do mean books. Since I’ve started playing with the what social networking/social media might mean to me, I’ve bought more non-fiction books in the last 3 months than fiction.

Some of this has been catch-up – I’d heard of the long tail, I’d hear mavens mentioned…

Some have been as the result of my own research – looking for social capital I’d hear about Bowling Alone…

Shirky’s book was as a result of seeing Bill Barnett (@bb42) tweeting about some of Clay Shirky’s writings and me saying, “Wow, what should I start with?”

I love playing with the toys, but I think it’s even more important to try and get an understanding of how this area is formed and where it’s moving…

… and for me, that’s largely by reading what others have written.

Recent reading

This is my current list, most recent first – the first two still being read.

  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams
  • The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few by James Surowiecki
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Long Tail: How Endless Choice Is Creating Unlimited Demand by Chris Anderson
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam

What are you reading?

I’d really like to know your reading suggestions – mainly printed word, as I think RSS feeds are a matter for another post…

… which might be next week.

Picture Credit gadl

Written by SteveEllwood

April 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Social Media