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  • WeAreVSocial 12:12 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Customer Service, , Entrepreneur, , , , , , Research, , , , ,   

    Social Media – Predictions for the rest of 2012 Part 2 (of 4) 

    Part 2 of 4

    Over the last few months we’ve been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the ever-changing social media space, its emerging sites and key trends.  In our last blog post we mentioned some of the emerging trends within social media. We’ll now examine other key trends that are having an effect on the industry and also the main sites that will see some dramatic changes over the coming year.

    Social media strategies will take precedence in 2012

    2012 will be the year most businesses start to turn the corner in embracing and understanding social media and using it more strategically.  The rise of social media in recent years has forced businesses to develop a presence on the most popular networks but they haven’t been using it to its full potential.

    Having a controlled approach to social media with a clear strategy and action plans will ensure businesses are meeting their objectives through the social networks.  Most strategies will form a benchmark on which to tailor and manage their social media efforts but will be fairly incremental due to the changing nature of social media.

    Along side social media strategies there has been an ever increasing demand for social media policies.  Although many organisations are aware of the benefits social media can bring to them, they are also aware that social media can present many risks.  Social Media Usage Policies present clarity and clear guidelines on the etiquette around social media.

    Making employees aware of simple do’s and don’ts helps to manage activity, giving employees confidence in using social media and mitigate any potential risks that may be presented to the individual or the organisation if using social media incorrectly.

    Advanced Analytics will be more readily available

    A lot of what we call social media analytics is actually social media metrics, which consequently is a lot of data telling a story of the past with great data visualisations.  Advanced analytics are now being performed in large agencies, brands and social networking sites with data analysts and scientists with advanced degrees in statistics in computer science doing the work.

    Image In 2012, there will be social media analytics companies realising more simplified versions of the analytical tools targeted for the smaller agencies and brands to perform similar, less complex analytical functions.

    Facebook growth will generate unique Facebook marketing experiences

    In 2012 Facebook will hit one billion users and it will draw a huge amount of hype around the network.  Such hype will mean businesses will need to be more creative and strategic with their fan activity.

    Facebook is getting crowded, and those businesses/brands that create unique user experiences will stand out from the masses.  These experiences will step from more sophisticated, third-party app and expanded live video capabilities and greater flexibility with page customization will play a big part as fan engagement become the most vital components for Facebook success.

    Competition for Google+ will rise

    More competition is arising within the social networks and Google+ has one sole aim, to dominate the market.  The unique circles feature is breaking down the barriers to mixing work with pleasure signifying you can use on network for your social and business contacts.  It’s functionality also make it very easy to share content with more targeted audiences, but how successful will this new social networking site be?

    Image

    In order for Google+ to compete with the Big Guns it will try to add features similar to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and try to further develop its functionality.  Out of these, the social network that will come on top will be the one that listens to their users or in Facebook’s case, use its financial power to keep ahead of the competition…………. for now.

    YouTube takes the Lead

    A big prediction for social media can be boiled down into one word: ‘Video.’  YouTube is gone through some big changes recently and although the network is only six years old it has a lot in store for 2012.  Its most recent design layout changes look extremely familiar to Facebooks Live Feed function, initiating that YouTube wants to behave like a social networking site.

    Image

    The YouTube audiences will now have more fun, engagement and interaction while on YouTube.  The more activity you have and receive from your videos, the more opportunity your content gets viewed and go viral.  The network itself is becoming high intuitive by displaying relevant and related content in an efficient manner, as well as starting feuds with the big TV Networks as they blur the line separating ‘offline television’ and online entertainment.

    This will lead to higher standards and expectations from the average YouTube viewer and leave those who are resistant to using video in the marketing behind.

    …our next series of blog posts will examine what we can expect in the next 12 months and a few predictions on where we believe the emerging social media sites are heading.  Our next blog post will examine:

    • The rise and success of Pinterest
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  • zaffvsocial 3:27 pm on June 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Etiquette is Etiquette! 

    Etiquette is Etiquette whether it’s on a social platform or physically meeting up with people . Good ‘real world’ networking etiquette should be exercised on social media platforms, more so on LinkedIn which is predominantly a professional’s site so behaving professionally should come as easy as falling off a log.

    Simply, social media should be seen as a event that you are attending and like any event there will be people gathered in a number of separate groups having a variety of conversations; as you pass them something engages you and you stop to have a conversation. Some conversations continue after and outside the event, some individuals are interesting enough to exchange cards with and look forward to meeting at another event while others fall by the wayside.

    Don’t be the obnoxious oaf who just interrupts rudely, feigns interest, throws their card at you and is gone.

    Have you any nightmare stories to share??

    I’ve had a few over the years. I’ve had the obnoxious oaf at physical networking sessions and increasingly this has also happened on LinkedIn. People who I don’t know have just wanted to connect, out of the blue, so that they can blatantly sell their wares, throw their card at me!

    So what do I do when someone, whom I don’t know tries to connect…I send them a message politely asking them how we know each other, where we met, as  I have a policy to only connect with people whom I know, have done work with or am doing work with. This tends to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Colleagues who use the same approach as me say it works extremely well for them.

    But what if you want to connect with someone who’s a second or third level connection but falls out of your own policy, perhaps someone you want to do business with or connect for Brand alliance / association or even because this person is a thought leader in your field…then what should you do?

    Well LinkedIn is great for this, see how you connect and work through the people whom connect you to the 2nd – 3rd level contact. Pick up the phone and ask if they can introduce you. Try to remember ‘what’s in it’ for the person you want to connect with you when you are making this phone call.

    Please share your experiences, what works for you?  How do you deal with these individuals?

     
  • zaffvsocial 12:22 pm on March 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , HR, , , productivity, redundancy, , strategy, team building   

    Harder working employees? 

    Our staff are probably one of our most valuable business assets that we have but then also, one of the most expensive. So it’s not surprising that in these challenging times businesses have reacted by cutting these costs, to preserve themselves.

    Some have gone on a culling spree, laying off staff whilst others have cut staff pay. There have even been those who’ve fired staff and cut the pay of their remaining staff. I’ve not heard of any that have raised their staff salaries as part of this mix, in an effort to make them work harder, become more productive for the business.

    An interesting article by Ray Fisman, professor at the Columbia Business School, ‘Raises don’t make employees work harder’ looks at, if pay rises increase staff productivity, but I’m interested in what your experience is, how do you leverage your most expensive asset, especially in these times?

     
  • zaffvsocial 2:17 pm on March 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accenture, appraisal, , , dissatisfaction, , , , , resource planning, , survey,   

    Unhappy at work – but have no plans to change job 

    A recent survey, conducted by Accenture of 3,400 employees across 29 countries showed the startling amount of dissatisfaction employee’s feel at work.

    Although a feeling of underpay was one of the factors causing this unhappiness there were a myriad of other factors which had nothing to do with money and which could be alleviated if only we started to communicate better with our employees, made them feel valued, showed them a future of where the Company is going and how they are an integral part of that vision. Connection and Motivation!

    The survey found that whilst 43% of women and 42% of men of all respondents were unsatisfied with their current jobs, 70% of women and 69% of men would remain with their current employers doing their existing jobs.  The question that plays about in my mind is; How effective are these employee if this is the way that they are feeling?

    How do you know that your employees are not feeling this way? What can you do? please comment. What are your thoughts?

     

     
  • Michael Ham 2:46 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Can you and should you categorize social media? 

    Is it Marketing…or IT…or PR…where does it fit?

    This is a question which has recently become a hot topic (again) in the world of social media, so below is a post I made some 6 months or so ago…which is obviously still relevant!

    There’s a vast amount of validity in the statement that the reason we can’t effectively categorize social media is because it isn’t just one thing.  It’s different things to different people.

    We are trying to combine a number of technological advances with as many societal and business changes and call it social media.

    Even if social media hadn’t come along we would still be experiencing dramatic business changes (although maybe not as dramatic but still significant).

    Business processes are broken and have been for a while.  The culture divide between businesses and their customers has been getting worse for quite a while.

    Things needed to change…

    Social media has amplified that need and has made business transparent, and accelerated that change.

    So now that it’s here, and here to stay no matter how deep you bury your head in the sand, we need to next address the underlying problems.

    Social media can be the solution not the problem. There are lots of fantastic success cases out there for those who have.

    While everyone is figuring out how to categorize, optimize, operationalise social media, the real problems are still there.  Social media won’t fix a rubbish product or service, but it can help to fix problems with customer service, word of mouth, business development etc.

    Social media is not just another tactic in business, and nor is it something to be pigeon-holed in marketing, IT, PR…if it is, then you are not giving it the justice it deserves…social media is now fundamental to business across it’s entirety.  With that in mind, and because each business department will use it to achieve different outcomes, then surely it should fit across the business as a whole?

    I’d like to get your thoughts…

     
  • Michael Ham 2:25 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    What’s the use of using LinkedIn’s ‘Company Follow’ feature? 

    That’s a question I was recently asked when people saw my status update on LinkedIn  recently and the fact that I was following certain companies/organisations.   When I was working in recruitment, this would have been a fantastic feature for me!

    When you follow a Company, you can be notified when:

    • Employees join, leave or are promoted
    • There are new job opportunities
    • the Company Profile has been changed

    When could this be interesting?

    1) If you are in sales or purchasing, you might like to be informed if your contact person changes position or leaves the company. You can then ask to be introduced to the person who gets their previous job so you can continue to easily work together.

    2) If you are in sales and it was not possible to do business with a company because of a certain person, you might have a new chance when that person changes position or leaves the organization.

    3) If you are looking for a new job, you can be informed when your favourite organizations posts a job.

    4) You can receive timely client/potential client updates as they happen rather than hearing about them well after the event…

    And the list could go on…

    How to set this up?

    1) Go to More > Companies

    2) Type the company or organization you are interested in

    3) On the Company Profile Page you see “Follow company”. Click it.

    4) Now you see “Stop following” and a small arrow. Click that arrow and choose “Notification Settings”.

    5) Fine tune which updates you want (see the 3 options already mentioned in the beginning of this post) and how you want them delivered (via “Network Updates” and/or via daily or weekly email).

    This is a very nifty and relatively recent upgrade to LinkedIn’s Company feature, and if you look at LinkedIn’s own company profile, you will see what other upgrades and modifications will be coming soon to the mainstream.

     
  • Michael Ham 11:57 am on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bio, , , , , ,   

    Dead behind the eyes… 

    This was an interesting ‘turn of phrase’ which came up when a marketing consultant we know described a certain ‘celebrity’.  When they were presenting an awards ceremony for a charity, they presented very professionally, but when you spoke with them they lacked any substance or interest; when you looked them in the eyes there was no ‘soul’ or life behind them…which got me thinking…

    Your presence on social media platforms could easily be described in the same way.  If there’s nothing behind the façade, and by that I mean evidence to back up what you’re saying about yourself (and your business), is your profile dead behind the eyes?

    Your social media profile will be far more attractive and compelling if you add some ‘substance’ and ‘soul’.  You can say some great things about yourself, but can you back it up?  Traditional marketing activities have done a great deal this way, pushing out information…with no engagement.

    Presentations, news on your website, press articles, blogs, case studies, video etc., add more credibility, depth and ‘soul’ to your façade.

    If you are seen to be giving advice, hints and tips, referencing others, it all adds up for the reader and makes you more engaging, interesting and compelling to follow, and ultimately, people will trust you.  To quote Chris Brogan, you’ll become one of the “people who use the web in a very human way to build influence, reputation, awareness, and who can translate that into some kind of business value.”  Become a Trust Agent.

     
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