I’m quite a fanatic about ‘Meet Ups’ in London. I keep my ear to the ground for the most relevant and interesting groups online and meet them in the real world. Tweet me if I’m missing any out!
About Social Media London
#SMLondon hosts a meeting for Social fiends once a month. It initially began as a free hang out session to unwind and chat with other obsessives but as their presenters have grown in reputation so has the entrance fee.
Was it worth it:
Last week was absolutely worth paying a minimal £10 to see Jennifer Yorke, Account Services Manger, from Hootsuite. She was a very friendly and chatty Canadian who has a strong background working for proactive start ups like Hub Spot. Jennifer had a mountain of reference points when discussing how social can be harnessed to support knowledge sharing within a business.
At most of these meetings you have a quiet yet focused audiences but a buzz of activity on Twitter with a few back handed compliments and a flock of peanut gallery attacks. This meeting was turned on its head with question after question fired from the audience. To be fair, Jen asked for it. The questions were useful to direct attention but became tiresome when the level of understanding was highly varied among novice to masters within the room.
What I learned:
1. Businesses cannot rely on young ‘social gurus’ from their graduate schemes to lead social activity within the business or for their clients.
2. Improving social culture within your organisation not only allows the company to grow their social expertise but also allow for knowledge sharing within the business. Quickly and precisely.
3. Making social part of your current organisational structure is more efficient than making it an extra activity all together.
4. Focus on one area of the business and then branch out. Education followed by support leads to growth.
Best quote of the night:
"Try everything. Don’t make assumptions. Follow the data."
by Jennifer Yorke
If a company continues to fear the risk of social. Then they will never be social. And I question whether they will ever move forward.
I already feel like an old timer when I say things like “when I was a kid all I wanted to do was ride my bike and explore the outdoors”. I have younger siblings who grew up with a bit more technology than I did, and just a few years difference made their childhood a different experience. I cannot imagine what it must be like to grow up now when technology is part of the family dynamic. Interesting times.
Worth holding on to data like this - as a marketer it’s so important to keep up with consumers lifestyle.
I don't think it is entirely right to say peerindex and other influence measures are about community. For example Obama and Bieber massive influence is not a community factor but a mass event over a large number of communities and community segments. Technically it is about the odds over time that someone someone does will influence someone else. In Twitter this could be action upon a huge mass users who have no shared community
Hi Rhooker - you actually raise a very valid point which I have failed to address. The Twitter-verse can sometimes be confused with a community when in fact it is more of a nation of diverse cultures and interests, isn’t it.
I do however believe that understanding influence - by topic - as suggested by influence platforms much like Peer Influence, Kred or Klout that we are able to find a door into desired communities for ourselves or the brands you or I so diligently work on.
Hi Jenita, Glad to see that you'll be attending the London Bloggers Meetup next week! We're very excited to be the sponsor and I'm sure the speakers and discussion about the 'Death of Prose' will be very interesting. I hope you'll take the time to visit our website and download 'NuffnangX' before the event as I and my colleagues, Jean-Luc, Kelly and Ming, would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in person. Look forward to meeting you and have a good week, Arya (arya@nuffnangx)
Hiya Arya - thanks for getting in touch. I do love attending the #SMLondon Meet Ups and I’m certain that ‘Death of Prose’ will be another debated topic for the twitter-audience to have fun with.
Will add your download to my ‘Pocket’ and I look forward to meeting you and your team in person. Jenita
Whoever shouts the loudest - does not get more influence.
Last night I attended another of the Link HumansSocial Media London Meet Up which aims to bring together obsessive social media nerds like myself. Each month there is a different speaker who is influential in their field of social expertise. In this instance the topic was social influence itself. This is a tough concept to articulate and who better to do it than a social influence indexing platform like Peer Index.
If you followed the #smlondon tag you would have seen several aggressive tactics used by those attending. Don’t look at me - I did my usual tweets to cover the event but it soon became a grilling session which I had not prepared myself for.
The analyst expert on the algorithms behind Peer Index @craig_hughes_ and @fhuszar attempted to define influence in a way that it is not.
My tweet sparked many questions in the room on Twitter but not out loud - at first. Trust was the main concern. Does trust define social influence? I think it plays a part however behind the social handles on Twitter, how much do you really know about those that you follow? Are they really experts because they mention #specific tags in all their tweets? I think not. You take what you agree or disagree with and run with it. It’s only fair that a tool like Peer Index measures ‘popularity’ of tweets and associate them in topic groups.
I put my twitter handle in Peer Index and found it interesting that social media was only second on the list. I’m more influential in news and media because it’s those tweets which receive the most attention and reach. The case is that we are all influential but in different areas because we enter different conversations. Instead of squabbling about how to define influence, I wanted to understand my influence better - more importantly how I enhance it.
The key point brought up by @fhuszar was that it’s about altering opinions.
But what does this mean for brands? How do you become influential in a desired topic… on purpose? In all cases ‘social’ I believe it’s understanding the system of measurement - data can give you real insight, but if you understand how your data is measured then it is a lot more useful to you. Once you understand how an influential topic works you can surely exploit it by mimicking its behaviour. In this instance it would be understanding desired communities’ conversation - but having something real to contribute to the conversation.
The power goes back to the community. They decide whether or not to amplify your content. If you have the community on board with what you are doing and saying (be it true or not) then you can achieve social influence.
A prime but painful example at #SMLondon was when @craig_hughes_ brought up the not so distant Starbucks Tax evasion scandal. The problem arose when an innocent viewer decided to speak up instead of Tweet his views about the power of media - not social media. The newspapers, magazines and news on the television did bring the Starbucks tax… loophole to light but what really powered up this debate was the social conversation around it. This was one of those situations where you realise you cannot doubt the power of social - as much as you doubt it at times. Unfortunately this particular discussion got ramped over by those who were getting finicky about tax laws and not social influence of the example in question.
Despite the several tweeters on my tail that night, I did enjoy myself. Fair enough I think the @Kred marketing tweets were a cheap shot - but I sure did have fun really playing with the concept of influence and what it means. And now I endeavor to get cracking at improving mine!
There is a mountain of information available if you go looking for it. Now more than ever we can support our gut feeling with some facts. Personally I’m one of those people who are irked by swooping generalisations… but only because I know that if you care about something enough, you will go looking for it.
Think with Google is like a library but with modern books. Everything you need to equip yourself with valuable insights to make informed decisions.
Today I read some thoughts by a decorated art director, Andrew Keller, about branding in the digital age. I think a lot of people see it as a separate thing, when really it’s all part of the same patchwork quilt. Consumers can access information faster and want a more personalised connection. Has the consumer ever been wrong ;)
"Consumer expectations for engagement are 24/7, so if you aren’t talking, you’re either out of business or hiding something."
And everyone rushes to create a Facebook page that is beautiful, inspiring blah blah blah and then what? Everyone is in such a rush to be part of it, the digital age, but then they panic. Everything in life makes a lot more sense if you think about it first, plan and then execute. Sure you need to have the ability to be reactive, but more importantly you need to have an angle, otherwise you’ll fall short of a personality. First ask yourself, is your brand ready to be a real person.
Less than a week since I ended my long term relationship and obsession with Apple for the bigger and more dynamic Samsung Galaxy S3, the little brother is announced. Oh I knew it was coming but not as soon as November. Seriously! Can’t I be happy for two minutes before you tell me my phone is… chubby… or is it big boned or perhaps full figured. I guess not. I think I surprised a few people by selecting the rather large phone but the main points were:
# I hated that Apple went narrow. I like bigger screens and I cannot lie and you other brothers can’t deny… you get the point.
# Samsung proved to be more innovative than Apple for a change. NFC technology and the fact that I can customise my experience.
# I hated that Apple gave Google the ‘finger’ mostly by chucking Google Maps for a fancy map system that does not work.
So I did it. I chose the S3. Am I happy. Yes. The only thing I can be negative about is that the S3 is a little too big. There I said it. I admit it. I am a tiny bit annoyed that I missed
out on the ‘little brother’ but I do realise it’s really two kids fighting on the playground.
I’m just happy to be on Android and NOT Blackberry.
Arriving home we are all welcomed by a different picture, but most would include dinner and / or a television. More recently this includes, referred to at this years Mobile Engage conference in London as the, ‘third screen’. Simply speaking i’m referring to a Smartphone or a Tablet device, which has become increasingly part of our ‘chill out’ time after a long day at the office.
My housemate, a TV news journalist, is more addicted to her tablet than her Smartphone. Her conversations don’t end when she gets home. They continue over her tablet. It’s like she never left the office and joins the population with her discussions over Twitter / Facebook etc.
You can find discussions about almost every single channel or program on television. One Saturday morning I tested this while watching Saturday Kitchen on the BBC channel. In this instance I was keeping an eye on Twitter, and it was overwhelming to see the amount of discussions generated over scrambled eggs. The same can be said for a lot of other topics, programs and interests. There is a conversation for everyone.
Marketers and Brands have become aware of these conversations that are happening with them, without them, against them, for them and around them. Some are immediately reacting and others are asking questions. Can we become part of that conversation. Are we interrupting that conversation. Can we add value to that conversation. Can we measure this conversation. Can we learn from this conversation.
These re all very valid questions. What are you going to do about it?
Twitter makes it really simple for brands and marketers alike to communicate with fans without asking for anything. Their open API has made it a pleasure to imagine and activate innovative real time campaigns that can be instantly measured with strong insights. This is not a comparison between Twitter and… erm… other social channels, however the recent announcement about changes to this open API has given developers, marketers and their clients a little scare. Many of the apps that we know and love to activate, measure or enhance our marketing campaigns may be at risk.
Calm down to a panic. Defined changes include the following:
required authentication on every API endpoint
a new per-endpoint rate-limiting methodology
changes to our Developer Rules of the Road, especially around applications that are traditional Twitter clients.
To read more visit: https://dev.twitter.com/blog/changes-coming-to-twitter-api
Their decision to change the way they do things will affect a lot of developers and has caused an online uproar using #OccupyTwitter hashtag in protest. Developers are demanding that Twitter keep the ecosystem open, work with developers and not against them and let the community use the Twitter API as they want to. Maybe Twitter have been too light handed in the use of their API in the past, and they’ve finally decided to take back what is theirs. Good for them.
They’ve eloquently illustrated what they’re comfortable with (quadrants on the left and bottom right) and not comfortable with (top right) in this diagram.
Essentially the argument that Twitter holds is that they want to prevent third party apps replicating their service in a different form. Apps like ‘Tweetbot' and 'Ecofon' have been named and shamed in this instance.
Is Twitter starting something that will eventually make it impossible for marketers to run campaigns, similar to Facebook and their necessity to Facebook app everything? Or is Twitter just clamping down on the Twitter wanna-bees? Time will tell.
Since entering the World of INITIALS I’ve had various exciting experiences with the interesting characters who live here. When whispers began about an illusive summer party, my ears pricked up with interest, and I began the hunt for information. The indulgently self proclaimed ‘Social Committee’ were tight lipped and did not let any information slip, no matter the amount of pints and cocktails consumed.
As the date came nearer we received multiple spammers, ahem, I mean informative emails, which hinted at class trips, canteen breakfasts and a school bus. Unfortunately the weather in this country is unreliable to say the least and the weather chose to mess with the minds of the ‘social committee’. They were quite savvy and immediately activated plan B – the wet plan!
When I entered INITIALS HQ on the 11th of July there was a distinct buzz, possibly because the office looked like the candy version of Willy Wonka’s factory. After detaching eye balls and limbs from laptops and tablets we managed to get everyone en route to All Star Lanes in Brick Lane. We quickly weeded out the bowling weaklings and made them pose in grotesque adolecent versions of themselves as the rest battled it out intensively showing us their skills proving they should stick to what they know.
The funniest part of the evening was watching everyone attempt the feat of speaking intelligbly about marketing best practices under the influence of a selection of colourful cocktail concoctions.
If you really want to see it all including other ‘Social Committee endeavours’… you have been warned… visit our Facebook page.
This man knows what he is talking about. Currently I can only find this video on Facebook on the #FacebookStudio brand page. This is not the first Video I’ve seen from this Irishman and it’s not the first time he’s blown me away with his thoughts and insights.
In this video he covers some amazing trends or mental shifts in Marketing:
1. The web is being rebuilt around people.
2. The amount of information we can access is increasing exponentially.
3. All this information will be everywhere.
Something Paul Adams continues to address in his talks is how we build relationships. He believes that we process relationships with people and brands in the same way.
What really resonates with me is that we build relationships, very slowly, through many lightweight interactions.
I think about this every time I work on a project where people just want to say what they need to say, instead of thinking about how to say it. Do we just want to interrupt people rudely with this sponsored message, or do we want to build relationships and connect with people.
These kinds of concepts should not just be nodded at in approval, but embraced in what we do everyday as marketers.
Social business promotes the collaboration of the internal workforce to benefit and connect with their customers.
A large majority of a company’s workforce has a lot of expertise and value to offer their clients. The problem is connecting the customer who would benefit from this base of expertise.
Not so long ago I saw several frantic posts about companies crafting social media policies to help lock down the use of social networks during office hours.
Stuart McRae from IBM presented their case study and explained how they generated social community guidelines as well as promoted the use of social media, particularly blogging. They made a conscience decision to make their business social and encourage expertise to go through the right channels. This has grown to a point where internal staff is able to crowd source their expertise and collaborate no matter where they are based or where they are on the corporate ladder.
What this did was not only enable their internal work force to learn from each other, but make use of the social channels to build their online presence within their area of expertise. How was this effective? When customers were looking for information, they found this socially active work force / community directly accessible.
The question raised during this keynote presentation was the concern of brand protection. I wish I had the exact quoted response from Lee Bryan (Dachis Group Europe) because it was quite comedic, but he illustrated a strong logical point. A businesses already trusts their employees when it comes to dealing with their clients either on the phone, email or during those long lunch meetings outside the office that you are not privy to. That and the fact that you can’t control employees thoughts, actions or… erm… body parts. Point taken. It’s takes a little trust.
Social or digital media should be seen for what it is, a marketing channel or tool available to assist internal and external marketing strategies.
Recently I’ve attended several events all offering social and digital media gems portrayed as trade secrets. The truth is that if you work in this ever changing and growing industry, you probably already have a firm understanding of how this rodeo runs. So why do I go? Because I think that you never stop learning, and you get great insights of how others understand and use digital platforms for brands.
I thought that to benefit my friends, colleagues and other like-minded digital souls I’d outline some key findings from these recent expeditions.
Due to continuous commitments it has taken me some time to get my act together and put some relevant posts together to share the interesting insights I found. What I hope to cover in my next posts are:
REALLY?!?! This made me cringe! The ‘Muffvember’ concept is bit forced and the association with the support of the ‘Movember’ cause is a little thin.
The creators claim that the ‘Muffvember’ concept was in reaction to ‘Movember’; men growing big dirty moustaches for the month of November in aid of prostate cancer and general awareness for men’s health . They consider ‘Muffvember’ the female version of ‘Movember’ and a ‘fun’ way to get involved without being a passive supporter.
With creepy skin crawling and slightly in your face names for the ‘Muff’ like the bearded clam, the hedge, the cooch, the beaver, foo foo, flower… the Muff is starting to make me a little too liberal and girl powered up! I agree that its always good to get involved, bring in the feminine side, give us a voice all that jazz… but sometimes it’s better left alone.
Not to mention the bills incurred to maintain a ‘rising sun’ or a ‘tear drop’ would be counter effective with regards to funds. Should money go to the charities / the beauticians? Unless you are some sort of contortionist or a super star with painful wax strips.
Let the boys have their fun and I’m sure the girls can think of something just as interesting, if not better, in aid of bread cancer which normally occurs in October.
This is something that really caught my attention - because this is digital art reaching the art communities. Will these ametuer fancies be accepted? I cannot say. I really do believe that the two can come together and that we’ll be able to ‘find’ more talent in our midst!
Instagram, the fun mobile app that lets users create stunning retro-looking photos with ease, is moving to the world of high art. From 22-23 October, London’s East Gallery at Brick Lane will be hosting the first ever UK exhibit of Instagram photos. Dubbed “My World Shared”, the exhibit is org…