The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Archive for the ‘Images’ Category

The London 2012 Opening Ceremony on Twitter courtesy Bluefinlabs

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Written by greencontact

July 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

There’s medals up for grabs in the Socialympics

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On Friday, the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony takes place and we continue a long summer of sport with the Paralympics to follow. For Social Media observers though there are some fascinating events already underway.

In the long build up it is interesting to monitor the depth of interest as the opening ceremony approaches. The Google Trends tool shows this well by monitoring the Google search term “Olympics 2012”.

Image courtesy Google

You can see the long steady buildup and the impact of news coverage. The last 30 days show the trend in detail:

Image courtesy Google

Underneath that general interest though is a fascinating battle of the hashtags both from a business perspective and from the general public. One of the most publicised is the #savethesurprise hashtag created by the LOCOG team to try to get the participants and attendees of the opening ceremony rehearsals to keep the details of the show confidential. The hashtag was displayed on screens inside the Olympic stadium along with a personal request from Danny Boyle, the show’s organiser. As a result the hashtag trended but the meme element is clearly there. The hashtag conveyed with it an expectation of something very special but also a real desire developed that keeps the press in check that we really do want to see the show on Friday without having the surprise element spoiled.

There is an interesting battleground emerging. While the nickname Socialympics is emerging to reflect the timing of the Games and the growth in use of Social Media, there are also very tight controls over the branding of the Games which are being policed. The usual social media laissez-faire is being tempered. One athlete has already been sent home for misuse of Twitter and there are sure to be further controversies. There are a number of official Twitter and Facebook accounts to follow from the IOC, the London Games organisers but also from individual national teams. For UK followers the @TeamGB account has accrued over 222,000 followers. If you want to get the inside track on tweets from athletes, check out who @TeamGB follows – all 800+ of them. For coviewers it will be a rich source.

The hashtags are beginning to emerge – all incorporating versions of the London, Olympic, 2012, but there will also be #openingceremony and a number of spinoffs from it as the Games progress which indicate people’s specific interests and views. This Olympics is also being branded the first “Second Screen Olympics”. Broadcasters such as VH1 and MTV have already launched apps that allow a split screen approach on iPads and iPhones – where viewers can watch the action and also the social media activity surrounding it. According to Kenny Lauer, in an excellent article http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2183148/-screen-olympics while the TV audience for the opening and closing ceremonies is likely to be around 4 billion people, 46% of Americans will be holding a tablet device while they watch. If ever there was a killer “red button app” this is it (working in the same way that subtitles do).

Mediacom has been running a league table of Olympic sponsors http://www.mediacom.com/en/news–insights/olympic-twitter-tracker/july-2012/daily—24th-july-2012.aspx and their Twitter performance during the Olympics. On the 24th July Adidas head the table but on the 23rd they were 3rd. In what other league table could you juggle the brand in this way through judicious related promotions and hashtag creations. The rankings are based on “Performance score = POSITIVITY of comments x ENGAGEMENT by the
people commenting x Potential REACH of those comments.”

The Olympics represent a tremendous opportunity for businesses to play with social media – to find niches which are large in their own right, to identify memes and learn how to relate to them, to gain relevant followers from the millions available and to try to get RTs and favourites. Kenny Lauer summarises it perfectly “My personal digital motto is the three C’s: “collapsing distances, connecting people, and creating behavior.” The Olympics is a perfect opportunity to practice this. Collapsing distances isn’t just physical distance; it is emotional, cultural, and ideological distances as well. Connecting people requires using campaigns and digital strategies that encourage participation and engagement, not just as a flashpoint but ongoing. And always remember that it is a marketer’s job to create and drive specific, ideally measurable behavior.”

Written by greencontact

July 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Moving the pile… inch by inch

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The standard criticism of Social Media is that it is irrelevant. Our job in Social Media is to prove that statement wrong…over and over again.

American Football is a great game for analogies. For many amateur, college and even some pro teams the running game is a huge part of the offensive attack. While the long spiralled pass over the top from the quarterback which drops into the hands of a wide receiver looks spectacular it is fraught with danger. A slight error results in the opponents taking over the football and attack becomes defence very quickly. Less attractive is the running game with a fast running back carrying the ball forward in small yardage gains – maybe only 3 yards at a time. Each down starts with two lines of tall and heavy linemen facing each other and the running back stood behind. While the running back gets the glory, the linemen do the work. the running game may be less attractive but it is the catalyst for successful teams.

On the offensive side of the ball the linemen’s objective is to get in the way of wherever the ball is going and ideally to attack whoever is holding the ball. On the defensive side the objective is to use brute strength to make the whole and push people backwards so the running back can make a small gain.

Social media for business is about moving the pile. Anyone can gather friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter but not make a difference for their business. In American Football you’d have three downs and then pass the football over. There’s no risk, no blood and no innovation. Initially, all you are looking for is to find what works: a weak link or a worthwhile target and then the progress may be painfully slow. You may struggle to get a retweet or to get any feedback at all and you’ll wonder whether anyone is listening or why even bother to do the work. The challenge is to set smaller milestones… in American football the objective is to move just ten yards in four downs. There is a great speech by Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday about fighting for every inch which sums it up. In Social Media it could be ten new relevant friends each week, two new journalist followers or five retweets.

Keeping “Moving the Pile” in mind is vital. It keeps you thinking about the value of every follower you have and the followers you would love to have. There’s no point being in Social Media just to have a presence.

Written by greencontact

July 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Don’t get Blogged down

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Courtesy Eloqua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all read blogs and any search in Google will probably come up with a few blog references on the front page. A huge part of the growth of Web 2.0 is about user-generated content. The barriers are down and anyone can join in. The excellent Eloqua infographic above just shows the breadth and influence of bloggers in the UK – some of these names will be familiar to you.

Blogging is growing in influence and brands and pressure groups centered around blogs are becoming more prevalent. To me as a newbie to social media the barriers to entry on blogging were far higher than other media. What would I write about? Who would read it? It is far easier to be passive with Twitter or Facebook and just observe other people. You can and do just read other people’s blogs but making your own blog an effective tool can make a significant contribution to business success.

I started blogging with a personal blog using Tumblr and really using it as a journal. I thought the look and feel of it was OK but I did realise that most of the business blogs I was looking at either had personalised urls or used other platforms. My daughter was the one who advised me that Tumblr is geared more towards images and short comments and that I should really be on a different platform. Thankfully migration tools are available and I settled on WordPress as it seemed to have good tools on the iPad as well as online. All blogging platforms these days give you a really easy interface but if you have any html skills you can certainly be more creative. What I liked about the WordPress platform was the range of free “looks” and the choice of widgets to bring it to life.

As with all social media you need to get the mission clear from the start. What role does the blog play and how does it link with all your other activity. In my mind I see the blog as the centre of my activity and so my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn activity will occasionally signpost to it. Each posting on the personal blog creates a tweet and for this blog it creates a LinkedIn update. If I had a website I may use the blog to direct customers and prospects to it. My objective is to generate blog subscribers and reblogs first, comments and likes second and page views third.

So you have a blog created, how do you fill it? There’s no doubt that you need to be able to write. This isn’t an exercise in creative writing but readers expect punchy, interesting and original content I think. There can be a balance of original content, reblogs and links but there must be a healthy amount of original content. This can be generated by guest contributors or the workload can be spread across a range of people in your business if you are lucky enough to have the support. If you have one good writer they can edit the rough submissions of others as a ghost writer if this is easier. In my view as well the blogs posts need to be honest and heartfelt rather than over-polished advertising pieces.

Frequency is a significant challenge as we all lead busy lives and blogging is definitely a slow burner with a big payoff. You won’t get huge readership quickly unless you happen to be a celebrity or have something enormously radical to say. For the rest of us mere mortals stick with it. The pleasure of getting interaction and knowing you are being seen makes it worthwhile. Try to find a routine which results in regularly adding additional original content – weekly if you can – and then use reblogging to draw in other good material from other bloggers. When you have built up a good library of material you can also repost some of the old material – maybe with a bit of spring-cleaning first. Some other tips for getting the writing done :

1. Write when you have a good and fresh idea but don’t always post straight away. Use the options to post the blog later which are in most platforms. That way you get ahead of the game and not feel deadline pressure. Timing is also key to ensure readership. You may get your ideas late at night but your readers don’t necessarily want to read at that time. All your automatic promotion may be triggered at the time you post

2. Try testing ideas in Word first. There should be a good few ideas you discard as not strong enough and if you create in the blogging platform you’ll be tempted to publish when you shouldn’t

3. Blogging is about personality so don’t write about too restricted a topic. This gives you more subjects to go at while also making your blog a more attractive read

4. Ideas don’t always need to be long essays. Think about just posting lists, short ideas or reviews.

5. Use content you generate in other areas – for example use the Twitter feed widgets, press releases etc.

It’s then about growing the readership. Use your other Social Media platforms to signpost to the site but respect your followers by not bombarding them. You also need to think about each blog post and how you can attract people to it. The topic itself is part of it but also use the tags to make it easily searchable. If you’ve had a great idea, and you really think people will enjoy reading it, don’t be shy…advertise. Think about what other bloggers you would want to reblog your content. Read their pages and comment on their content honestly and constructively. When people comment, apart from spam (of which there is a lot), always approve the comments regardless of their support or otherwise and engage in a conversation with them. Make them know you value their contribution. You can also stimulate interaction by running polls or expressly asking for opinion in your content.

Blogging is not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy it and get it, don’t do it. It’s not compulsory but can be enormously rewarding.

Written by greencontact

July 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

My Conversation Prism

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The Conversation Prism (detail) Brian Solis and JESS3

Here is a detail from one of my very favourite infographics by Brian Solis and JESS3 which illustrates superbly the huge Social Media map. As Communicators we are surrounded by a swirl of comments about our brands, our markets, our competitors and our companies which can be bewildering without some structure and filtering. What this highlights is the need to be aware of the conversation and the need to have a clear communications strategy.

What you can’t do is bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. It still staggers me how many senior managers are completely unaware of the nature and impact of Social Media and the opportunity of Social Networking. Even more so, the extent to which they see them as entirely negative.

My focus has been to familiarise me with the different Social Media types as a committed user. Going around the Prism I am an active user of:

LinkedIn, Quora, WordPress, Blogpulse, Twitter, Yammer, Facebook, SocialMention, Tweetdeck, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Youtube,  and Spotify

an occasional user of Flickr, Picasa, Digg, Reddit, Google Answers, Hootsuite, Tripit, vimeo, and lastfm

and I have used but moved on from Tumblr, Blogger, and Foursquare.

Just looking round the prism again I am interested in exploring Crowdspring and kaboodle a little more and, demonstrating the speed of change, I also use Goodreads, Pinterest, and Soundtracking.

 

 

There are some important messages here:

1. Make yourself familiar with all the social media types and stay on top of trends. Really use them because until you are a participant it is very difficult to judge the nature of the community – you can’t just put a toe in the water. Staying on top is vital. Right now Pinterest is the fastest growing new social media type and some businesses are already using it effectively.

2. Explore which channels are most relevant to you. Proactively: where are your target audience active and in what way. Reactively: where are your customers. Where do they recommend and where do they complain.

3. Finesse your usage. Particularly with the high volume channels (Twitter, Facebook and blogs) try different clients and understand the functionality of each. Find the one that suits your usage profile and stick to it. Find tools which aggregate and filter feeds to meet your needs. This will reduce the workload.

4. Design a  communication strategy which links together different media types so that when you have something to say it can be quickly spread across the communities you want to engage with in an attractive way but which conforms to the expectations of each.

There is a similar diagram for Social Networking – which first opened my eyes to the scope and opportunity: The Future Of Money: New Lenses of Wealth. Now somewhat dated but nevertheless inspirational

 

 

Written by greencontact

April 2, 2012 at 9:39 am

The Top 5 Things Marketers Should Never Say About Social Media

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The Top 5 Things Marketers Should Never Say About Social Media.

A great blog by Social +1. We’ve all heard them said!

Written by greencontact

March 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Articles, Images

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Flowtown.com: the Small Business Social Media Cheat Sheet

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Thanks to Flowtown for this fantastic infographic The Small Business Social Media Cheat Sheet:

Written by greencontact

January 30, 2012 at 11:09 am