Archive for August, 2009

Boosting our financial social media team

We are increasingly being approached by financial companies or organisations who are interested in how they can use social media as part of their financial communications messaging.

One of the services we offer in this area is social media audits to carry out research into the conversations that are taking place around companies, and to identify the issues that could impact upon their reputation and standing in the markets. Audits, for example, can be used pre and post AGMs; in the run up to and after key results announcements and as a way of keeping in touch with how influencers in the market are reacting to an organisation’s business developments. Audits help communications professionals to understand how they can use social networks and social tools to understand and engage with key stakeholders, fans and critics before others take ownership of the conversation.

Phil Davis, who used to be a staff journalist for The Financial Times will be helping us assess the data we unearth during specific social media audits. Phil now freelances for the FT and the Economist Group and also writes for the British Airways First Class magazine. He will help us test the credibility of blogs and other social network sites  which are commenting on the activities of a company, and will provide his own insights based on the conversations taking place.

We believe that audit research tools require the involvement of social media experts and industry experts in order to deliver real value to the companies who are keen to understand more about how they and their brands are being affected by social media. If you are interested to know more about our social media audits please get in touch to see how we could help you.

Climate change blog entered for Forrester Groundswell awards

The David Hone climate change blog - which we are working on with our partners, Headshift, has been entered for a  2009 Forrester Groundswell Award. David  Hone serves as the senior climate change advisor for Shell and is vice chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association.

To date, David Hone’s blog has covered a broad range of topics ranging from electric cars to global carbon trading. The blog has featured a wide variety of content, including a video interview with high profile environmental authors such as James Lovelock — author of The Vanishing Face of Gaia, and a personal diary sharing stunning photographs of a recent trip to the Antarctic. The content has so far been syndicated on about 14 other climate change blogs, contributing to debates and online conversations.

From the outset, David Hone’s blog has focused clearly on the practical side of implementing climate change policies. The blog is lightly moderated and all contributors are informed of the house policy. It has attracted a range of comments and is taking Shell into a more open and personal conversation with its key online audiences.

Read more about our entry here.

If you would like to read David Hone’s blog, please go here.

How EMC re-built and re-branded using social media

Here’s an interesting case study/interview with EMC about how they have used social media to grow the business. They have even used career fairs at Second Life – and they work!

Full interview/case study is here.

Social Media Revolution

Any doubts about whether or not social media is a trend or a permanent shift? I recommend you watch this short video which is packed with useful statistics.

Social Media is for B2B too!

Some companies are still wondering if social media works in a B2B context. It does.  Social media does not positively discriminate for or against any particular audience.  These new tools are available to all audiences.

For a good example of how B2B communications can be supported with social media, take a look at how IBM used social media to energise customers for a conference held earlier this year. IBM used twitter, blogs, video and linked in to generate a buzz around the conference and to get people participating.

Enjoying social media

Mark White, who works for us as a blogging and Twitter consultant, has written an interesting post about how social media is profoundly affecting what we do and how we interact. He makes the point that there are still companies who seem to believe they can ignore or avoid it.

‘Well, they can certainly elect not to actively participate, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be involved,’ he writes.

Quite rightly Mark is encouraging companies to embrace social media rather than fight it. And he highlights the fact that the experience of being involved with social media can be enjoyable.

I would strongly agree. Social media is an opportunity to express yourself, be creative, share knowledge, be part of wider communities, be respected and  be recognised as an expert.

You can read the full post here. Enjoy it!

The shortcomings of charging for online content

Jeff Jarvis has written an excellent article about  the mistaken strategy of charging for online news. He argues that pinning hopes for the survival of news on charging for it is not only futile but possibly also suicidal.

Jarvis writes:

‘Charging for content brings marketing and customer-service costs. Online, it reduces audience and the advertising they justify. Putting content behind a wall cuts it off from search and links; they cut off your Googlejuice. When publishers build those walls, they open the door for free competitors, who can now enter the content business with virtually no barrier to entry. Publishers who fool themselves into thinking pay will save the day only further forestall the innovation and experimentation that is the only possible path to success online.’

By remaining open to the web, through not charging, you give yourself more opportunities to enter into conversations and to spread the influence and build the reputation of your brand. Companies as well as newspapers can benefit from being as open as possible in order to participate fully in the social web.

Companies revolt against Nielsen measurement

It is interesting to see that companies are no longer satisfied with the old models of measurement and are actively challenging Nielsen.

In old media, the view was that everyone saw your advertisement. But now advertisers want to know that their ads are relevant and are reaching the audience they are targeting. It is much easier to measure activities on the web; and companies are realising too that size of audience is not the only thing that matters. Niche audiences have real influence too.

This development further underlines how many established industry organisations are struggling to retain their relevance in the new social media age.

New Twitter location service

Twitter has launched a new service which will enable people to reveal the location of where their ‘tweets’ are coming from. You can read more about the introduction of the new service here.

This development clearly has implications for organisations who are interested to know where their customers are based who are using Twitter. In theory, it will be possible to build up Twitter followers in specific cities and countries, and send direct messages to them.

If you are interested to know more about this Twitter development, or if you would simply like to know more about how you can use Twitter to gain attention and manage your reputation, then please get in contact with us directly.

Beware employee defamation

We spend a lot of time reminding clients that content posted online has the same legal status as something that appears in print.

This story from the US backs up this advice. A blogger using Google’s blogger.com network used defamatory language about a New York fashion model. The model’s attorney demanded that the blogger’s anonimity was lifted in order for a defamation suit to be pursued. A judge has ruled in favour of the model and Google have been forced to reveal the blogger’s identity.

This situation could easily repeat itself if employees from your organisation are commenting online in an uncontrolled manner. A set of employee social media guidelines, highlighting the pitfalls and of course the vast opportunities that social media presents, is now a must for any organisation.