Archive for April, 2010

Looking to the future: Anne Lise Kjaer

This video showcasing the thoughts and ideas of Anne Lise Kjaer ring true with how we think about the future of business here at ItsOpen.

Social media is about empowering people to create the businesses that will suit our changing lifestyles. In many cases that means waving goodbye to the workplace of the male-dominated 21st century and starting new and more flexible entities.

Will women be the driving force behind the businesses of the future? If we believe Anne Lise, yes. She holds this to be the case while she believes women think and care about work in a more inclusive and emphatic way then men do.

Hopefully men will catch up with what’s really important before it’s too late. We believe so. Enjoy the video and get ready for the future, or as Anne Lise says: “You create the future.” So get cracking.

One-way traffic

Some interesting research from New Media Age today on how top brands are using social media. Unsurprisingly, most are well plugged in, with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  But the survey also showed up a big inconsistency in their approach.

Although 44% have a sharing facility, relatively few incorporate social media links in their site, with a mere 15% displaying Facebook and Twitter buttons. That suggests a limited understanding of how to harness these platforms. The traffic is mainly one way: far more people are following the brands than are being followed by them.

The implication is that brands see social media as a way to attract large audiences to their sites, but are less savvy about its benefits for promoting a two-way dialogue.

Details here.

Build and they won’t come to you

If you hear anyone in your digital team saying we need to build a site and then they will come to us, they are speaking rubbish. That thinking is culturally irrelevant now. You can no longer expect anyone to automatically come to your site. Not in the social media age.

Most people’s homepage is Google or Twitter. The most successful organisations on the web are the ones that distribute themselves most effectively so they are on relevant blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, video etc.

People have been empowered to go where they want to go. And there is now so much content on the web. Vast amounts. Organisations need something really interesting and different and relevant to say otherwise how are they going to get anyone’s attention? There are so many other competing interests.

The days of the passive monolithic audience are over. It is time to experiment. It is time to reach out and connect with people in different ways by listening to them and providing them with what they want wherever they are – and that’s probably not going to be on your web site.

Also the days of simply pumping out the same tired old PR content are over. Putting the dreary corporate brochure on the web is not going to help anyone. No one is going to listen if what you are putting out is irrelevant to them or dull. Stakeholders want to hear from real people, with real opinions, with real expertise. They want to be entertained, they want to learn something, they want to receive something genuinely interesting, they want to be inspired and excited.  Find out where your stakeholders are, listen to them and connect to them in different ways and link to relevant content on your site which you think could help them, but don’t expect them to  come to you – however much you are advertising.

Like, what’s not to like?

Facebook’s new ‘like’ button has been attracting a lot of attention since it was announced at the site’s F8 conference in San Francisco last week. Essentially, a ‘recommend’ link, it’s the centrepiece of the Open Graph program, by which aims to open up more of its user activity to other sites.

Great for advertisers, seems to be the general verdict: massive amounts of social data will now be spread all around the Internet, offering all kinds of possibilities for brands to reach potential customers. If a company includes the like button on its own web pages, visitors will be able to post the information directly to their Facebook page, where all their friends will see it.

Not so great for people who cherish their privacy, and worry about there being just too much personal information flying around.

However no one’s in the least doubt that this initiative will catch on. Since Facebook’s Beacon content sharing platform flopped three years ago, the site has grown from 50 million to 450 million users, and is rapidly overtaking Google as the Internet’s dominant presence.

There’s a handy audio clip here which explains how the tool works.

Restaurant hosts social media event

Take a look at how this restaurant is using Foursquare to create a social media-driven event to create sales.

It might seem small fry in terms of numbers, but these kinds of activities can create an influential online buzz and there seems to be something building through using these types of location-based sites/tools.

Ads and earned media on Facebook

Nielsen has just produced a report looking into advertising on Facebook, and makes the distinction between paid- for media and earned media. The report argues that a combination of the two is most effective.

Earned media refers to the more natural online community sharing of content. It’s a bit like a classic combination of PR supporting advertising. Only that traditional PR techniques don’t really apply to the world of social media. It’s more a case of giving your audiences genuinely relevant information they are very interested in and likely to share. Rather than bombarding them with news you think they should be interested in!

Microsoft helps politicians go social

Microsoft has just launched a social media platform for politicians called TownHall.

Will they use it? It took MPs ages to embrace TV for debates…We’ll see.

HR 2.0.

Personnel Today’s website has been running a series of articles on HR and social media by Jon Ingham, a former HR director at Ernst & Young. In the latest piece, Ingham flags up the opportunities for HR managers to use social media or Web 2.0 in recruitment and training, in the process more or less remoulding their whole approach to people management.

It’s not just about using a site like LinkedIn as a giant jobs board for accessing potential recruits – although that’s certainly a starting point. It’s about exploiting its social nature to increase effectiveness. As well as trying to fill seats in the short term a savvy organisation will be developing long-term relationships with potential candidates – ‘head farming’ as opposed to ‘head hunting’ – so that it has a pool of people it can tap when the need arises. As an example he cites Goldman Sachs, which globally invests over 100,000 hours each year in conversations with prospective employees.

Creating a community on LinkedIn, Facebook or the company’s own social network is an ideal way to do this, Ingham suggests.   This ‘social recruiting’ can also be used to socialise the workplace, creating better connections, relationships and conversations through the recruitment process.

See the full article here.

Motorola hosts B2B Social Media Leadership Forum event

Motorola is hosting this Friday’s Social Media Leadership Forum event and will be discussing how they are developing an integrated B2B Social Media Strategy.

There will be plenty of case studies and opportunities for networking.

It should be really interesting, especially as, for some reason, certain companies believe that social media is just for a consumer audience, when plainly it is open and relevant to all stakeholders.

The Social Media Leadership Forum is run by ItsOpen and is designed to help large organisations share best industry practice, identify and overcome obstacles to success and find the best opportunities to harness social media technologies to meet the goals of their businesses.

To participate you have to be a member, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to be involved.

Volcanic fall-out

The effect of social media as a general communications tool is being highlighted by the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption. There’s an interesting piece by BBC reporter and tech blogger Rory Cellan Jones on this.

The big emerging problem is the one being faced by travellers who expected to be back by Monday lunchtime, and instead find themselves kicking their heels in foreign parts. For who knows how long. If airlines had shut down en masse all over Europe this way five years ago, Cellan Jones points out, things would have been even tougher than they are now – at least this time they have access to social media networks, which are helping some of them get home.

There are a few initiatives on offer, for instance a Facebook group based in Sweden called to organise lifts and a clearing house for stranded travellers called . Individuals are also using Twitter to advertise their predicament and appeal for help, using the #getmehome hashtag to find alternative travel options and #putmeup to appeal for a place to stay until the ash clouds blow over.

You can read the full piece here.