Tag Archives: conversation

Facebook Pages: Social Media Mafia

Things move rapidly in the big ole Internet and over this bank holiday weekend I checked out Facebook “pages” again and launched the Social Media Mafia “fan” page.

But we have the FB Group, don’t we?

Yes, there is a Facebook group which we have used to date to recruit interested parties, but I’ve noticed that FB pages provide far more useful features, namely:

Facebook Statistics

180 page views on the first day is not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination but at least I know how many, as well as other countable features.

Export Facebook Statistics

Pretty neat, handy for dumping into some of your other data.

Facebook Social Advertisement

Note, you’ll see another advert I used in the passed right after they launched the service, not a good click-thru rate, but the ad was merely text, and a bad one too.

(very handy for future events, and pulling new people in, don’t you think?).

Facebook Targeting

This is an excellent feature, something many of us have used on other platforms for years. As an example for a Social Media Mafia event in Italy only why would I want to send an update to people in China?

Lastly of course this page is public and not stuck behind a “walled garden”.

There are other bits ‘n’ bobs about Facebook Pages which make sense, though with this small example you can see the benefits are numerous and make the FB Group redundant on many levels.

So, now you should pop on over and become a fan right?

Chinwag Measuring Social Media

Yesterday I attended the Chinwag.com event “measuring social media” chaired by Jim Sterne of Web Analytics Association with a panel comprising of:

Alex Burmaster – European Internet Analyst, Nielsen Online

Alex did a fair amount of pitching to begin with, and to be frank didn’t really give too much insight into what Social Media actually is. He enthused a great deal on how Nielsen has tools for measuring online conversations but lacked any real solutions for the crowd, he warmed up towards the end.

Robin Grant – Client Services Director, 1000heads

Robin started reasonably well and enthused on the power of Social Media although again didn’t really give any big insights to what it actually is and how you can use it. Little too much assuming I thought, although certainly a fan of Social Media.

Will McInnes – MD, Nixon McInnes

Will was the “gem” on the panel for me, he told it straight by stating “humans are slow and computers are dumb” (or was it the other way around?). Anyway he was basically stating that we cannot measure conversations, you cannot apply numbers to people’s emotions and cannot readily understand a conversation with a metric. I have to agree to some extent. Read more on his blog

Ankur Shah – Co-founder, Techlightenment

This guy was also enthusing well and was also “bigging up” the use of their Socialistics programme, based on collection of data for analysis.

I’ll state up front that I didn’t learn anything new from this event, ok sure it was great to network and meet new people, and some old friends, but in terms of the panel content I learnt nothing.

Why is this?

I think this is two-fold, firstly I am neck-deep in Social Media myself, much of that stems from running a virtual company for 8 years, I have had to build virtual communities and use social tools to engage with that community. Therefore I know first-hand what is needed, what talents and skills are appropriate and what works or doesn’t work. I’d say I was just as knowledgeable as anyone on the panel, certainly in terms of experience.

Secondly, the panel assumed that everyone in the audience knew what Social Media is, how it operates, what you need to do to get it to work for you. However, given that the majority of the audience were in fact PR agencies, I can tell you I am convinced that not a great deal of people do actually know what Social Media is, or more specifically how it can operate and work. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant, or expert-like, I’m just saying this is not new to mew.

One of most poignant questions of the evening was put by the Chair who asked “if you were given the job of Social Media Marketing Manager for Vauxhall, what’s the first thing you need to do?”. I immediately twittered this question and got the following answers:

@audio – Hi Chris, my first tool would be ears to listen. :)
Samantha_Grant at 18-02-2008 20:15

@audio demographics on target market and their media habits.
injenuity at 18-02-2008 20:07

@audio a thick skin?
GJD at 18-02-2008 20:02

@audio a super-high speed internet connection and great computer?
TamK at 18-02-2008 20:00

I like a lot of those tweets, and thank you for them because you proved my point. My answer to the question was simply “build a community and call them to action”.

It sounds simple when you look at it in print, but not one person mentioned that very important fact, in fact the very cornerstone of Social Media. Now regarding how to derive a metric from your community, I’m not sure about. Perhaps a call to action on a vote, an act, will in fact yield a metric. For example if 25% of my Social Media community act on a call to action, I do in fact have a metric, numbers, something for the CEO to consider. I know that’s not measuring engagement, connection, depth of experience, blah blah … but it is a number which CEOs “get”.

The dialogue went onto asking if we need an open source form of social media metrics, some kind of industry standard that we can all work towards, personally I’m not convinced of that either, but I could be persuaded.

I think to sum-up Social Media is currently a buzz-phrase, I’ve been socialising with my prospects for years, it’s not suddenly something new to me, though I understand it is for the traditional advertisers of this world. I also think that the strength of Social Media in terms of advertising will be the ability to extract highly detailed profiles of people in “the community”. Taking Facebook as an example, if the platform is sexy enough people will tell you “everything” about themselves.

Once we have highly detailed profiles of prospects we will be able to sell that data to be used to target individuals with specific information we know they will be pleased to hear about. This goes back to my argument around the Android Pocket Spy.

Of course the further we delve into asking our community to put forward detailed information about themselves the further down the privacy road we stumble.

Will you mind being profiled so deeply? Will you enjoy receiving targeted SMS notes about products in you geo area? It will come, believe me.

Social Media Mafia “sit down” #1 Summary

The first Social Media Mafia “sit down” took place in the East End of London in a swanky Asian restaurant known as the Scarlet Dot, a term which pays homage to the Hindu Bindi.

The food was great and the company even better, where new people were introduced to new people who were introduced to new people. There was a healthy blend of geeks present from a very wide spectrum of careers, with of course a common theme of Social Media interest between us all.

Within 5 minutes of introductions business cards and deals were being struck, clearly people needed to meet people, but meet people with an endorsement, a kind of fast-tracking of talent, and that concept is one that I love which is part of the point of this new project.

The conversation was vibrant and I list here the main theme or points I extracted from the “sit down”.

1. Corporate Social Capital – this seems to be more related to large organisations, let’s say a University, for example, whereby the members of the organisation are engaging with Web2.0 technologies and conversing about the organisation itself. If you took a University as an example where there may be thousands of students using a Facebook Group or an organisation network there exists a large collection of Corporate Social Capital. How this capital is to be used/garnered/marketed or otherwise is a question still to be addressed. How can an organisation utilise such capital? And what type of talent is needed by an organisation to foster appropriate dialogue in that space?

2. Human Resource Privacy – it was noted that some HR departments are known to be checking out their employees online activities and in some cases actually holding them to court over it. The general consensus was that this is unacceptable and exactly what an employer does or does not do outside of the office is in fact not the business of the company. This is a tricky grey area considering that most companies do not have written policy on the topic as well as being ill-informed of the benefits of using such systems too.

3. Human Resource Talent Sourcing – this conversation was concerning the potential of Web.2.0 spaces for finding and recruiting talent. Personally I have found that I do get recruitment agencies asking me to help in sourcing talent, this is mainly a product of my LinkedIn presence. It was also discussed what other types of networks and methods are appropriate for finding talent, is an non-formal environment such as Facebook appropriate for example?

Concluding

Number three in my list above is something I would urge you to think about with some depth, because through our informal Social Media Mafia “sit down” we managed to secure two jobs for two talented people, and correspondingly two professionals can now move ahead with their projects, proof that these “sit downs” are far more than a couple of beers.

The next Social Media Mafia “sit down” is taking place 7pm in London on March 1st.
FB Event or Upcoming

You should try to get to it.

What stops you from making a comment on a blog

I must admit today I read a blog post concerning some feedback surrounding a recent advertising campaign taking place here in UK, and I gathered some quick thoughts, added them into the comments box, and then paused…. …. ….

I paused for a time and thought, “hmmm actually I won’t post this comment”, and I still do not know why I stopped.

My comments were around the idea of “yes, that’s a great campaign, I love it, but how about extending the conversation now?” I had tons of ideas for how this campaign could be a massive viral hit, and I mean a lot, but I didn’t post.

I wonder if it was because I am soon to be operating in some of these waters myself and not yet part of that specific community I was reading, I wondered if I should introduce myself in a slightly different way first, albeit virtually, before being the guy with shit-loads of ideas, I’m sensitive to cultures it seems?

Why do you not post comments, are you mean with your link-love, are you mean with your associations, let’s say you are considered an influencer, do you stop and not comment due to not wanting to attract attention?

Are you starting out, do you feel each and every one of your words might be jumped on, pulled apart, or do you feel shy, do you feel not worthy?

What stops you from commenting on a blog post?

What is a Community Developer

What is the key approach to effectively market our products in Web2.0?

As I was sitting passively in a company meeting today, (yes not often), I was very impressed to hear various company staff voices bubbling with enthusiasm and knowledge for change. I was very impressed that these voices had an outlet, and a channel for open dialogue, and the approach needs commending for allowing this to take place, in an environment where this type of dialogue had not been common place.

Large corporations the world over are struggling with traditional forms of advertising, it is no surprise to find the branding and marketing conversation rampant in the online world, where large organisations are having to employ, consult, embrace, the currency of trust, which is of course transparency and Mr Penn stated some time ago.

Marketing is now a dialogue, a conversation, the product has to be engaged with from the point of view of the prospect, and there is now a NEED, an absolute requirement to have interaction with the prospects.

Web 2.0 is here to stay, and those who embrace it will win, those who ignore it will fall, without a shadow of doubt.

So what’s needed?

A few things…

1. SELL TO YOUR STAFF – senior management need to engage with their staff transparently, and lead the transparent and open dialogue, effectively leading by example and encouraging participation, (fuelling the conversation). Old school management cascades are typically one way, very old school, the conversation stops, immediately!

2. ENCOURAGE STAFF TO SELL FOR YOU– here this is where you actively support and promote the soldiers to champion and engage in representing the company in the online space, they sell for you, and you need to provide them with full authorisation to publish their views about the company, to open conversation in THEIR channels.

3. COMMUNITY TOOLS – you need tools in place which promote the above to take place, including, blogs, podcasts, videocasts, wikis, social networks, and not only, and methods for sharing how it works, a person, a motivator, don’t force it, let them want it.

4. COMMUNITY DEVELOPER – you need someone full-time working in and around the community (the staff), who not only brings people together with all of this technology, but more importantly documents, showcases, makes aware of all the wonderful activities going on and spreading that externally within the important spaces where the prospects are. You need this person popping in board meetings, nipping into workshops, R&D, filming activity and pumping it out on a channel to the internal and external community.


It’s no secret I have been community developing with my online businesses for some time and have always relished the environment of connecting people and extending the conversation. The point is as my friend Doug Haslam says, how to move mountains, how to mobilise a community to act and engage with the product.

What do you think, what have I missed, what needs adding to here?