Thursday, 12 May 2011

Taming The Power of Social Media

Social media is a powerful way to spread a message and build relationships. But I was reminded by an article on “stupid tweet insurance” for businesses, that whether it is Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other social tool, these tools can do more harm than good.

In this article for the ICAEW, how can the tools be tamed?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

All Change in Social Media

Changes to the social media options available and changes to individual services are only to be expected.

In this article I've written for the ICAEW IT Faculty, here are two very recent examples highlighting changes to the way these services should be used.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

An Inside Job – Using Social Tools within Business

Social media tools are being used by businesses to communicate publicly with customers. Increasingly these tools and similar internet-based software are being used privately within a business or with trusted partners for business benefit.

This article written for the IT Faculty of the ICAEW looks at the new opportunities and how to handle the new risks. Are you ready?

Friday, 28 January 2011

Social Media – Why Use It For Your Business?

If you are already using social media for your business, the answer to “Why use it?” may be obvious. But if are still unclear of its merits, or you aren’t using social media yet, then this brief introduction will be useful.

“Social media” is a collection of services including social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter. Each service is best suited to specific situations. [... read more ...]

Friday, 21 January 2011

Social Media – Business Impact

In the last few days MySpace has announced that nearly half its workforce will be made redundant, and that the business will be sold or spun off.

So what?

The story has several practical implications for using social networking profitably, by businesses large and small. These include pitfalls to avoid, and opportunities to leverage.

In this article I've written for the IT Faculty of the ICAEW, here are some tips for using social media profitably.

Friday, 14 January 2011

How (Not) To Handle Complaints

For a business, a customer is much more likely to spread news of a bad experience than they will a good one.

Social media provides the opportunity to spread bad news far further and faster.

This can be, for example: [ more...]

Friday, 24 December 2010

Why Use Twitter?

Last week we looked at some tips on how to use Twitter, but not why. There are four main reasons, which we shall explore in turn:
  1. Broadcasting
  2. Following
  3. 1-2-1 messaging
  4. Searching and discussing [ more...]

Friday, 17 December 2010

Twitter - Some Tips

Whether you are using Twitter for business or personal purposes, are new to it or experienced, here are some tips to utilise the tool without falling into pitfalls: [ more...]

Friday, 10 December 2010

Social Media - What Can Digg Do For You?

You may hear a lot about this system called Digg. But what can it do for you?

Digg is in a branch of social media called “social news”. It allows anyone who is registered to the service to [ more...]

Monday, 6 December 2010

Social Media - Integrating the Tools

As a business you probably want to spread your marketing messages far and wide, using whatever tools that are available. Letting one social media tool feed another potentially makes this more efficient. For example:
  • Twitter tweets can automatically appear on your company website, such as to be part of the News section
  • Using RSS feeds to drive content into other services
  • [ more...]

Friday, 26 November 2010

Making Comments and Controlling Comments to Generate Business

You may remember the term “Web 2.0” which meant so many things that it became meaningless jargon. But at its core was the idea that the internet was originally developed as a collaboration tool, where people could exchange information, ideas and questions. Social Media is a key part of that vision, especially for businesses to move forward from providing just a static, broadcast website.

Using social media tools to comment on the web, and encourage comments from people is a great way of building a presence and relationships to generate business. However you also need to be wary of what others are writing about your business on these services, and take action accordingly. [ more...]

Friday, 19 November 2010

Facebook Marches On

There have been two significant announcements involving Facebook this week:

(1)  MySpace’s “Mashup with Facebook” (If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em)

MySpace allows musicians and other performing artists to publish music, videos, gig lists and other information.

MySpace also provides a social networking capability. Anyone can [ more...]

Friday, 12 November 2010

Social Media - Round-up of Tools for Business

Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at how a range of social media tools can be used profitably. Now’s a suitable time to summarise the key ones relevant to business: [ more...]

Friday, 5 November 2010

Profit from Twitter

Last week we looked at “How to Use and Abuse Twitter”. In the meantime an experienced CEO who is launching a new telecoms service emailed me ““I need to really understand the best use of Twitter, et al in business …. I believe it’s now a must do”.

The Twitter article, plus the broader one the week before on "How to Use and Abuse Social Media", both received very complementary reviews from people like comedian Ben Miller, who kindly tweeted about it.

But as I realised that neither article quite answered the CEO’s question, I used it as the inspiration for the next article I had been asked to write for "IT Counts", the online forum of the IT Faculty of the ICAEW (Chartered Accountants). [ more...]

Monday, 25 October 2010

How You Can Use And Abuse Twitter

Last week we looked at various aspects of social media. One of the “cons” was the need for CONversation. This is none more true than on Twitter, where you can tweet to the whole world, or send a tweet to one individual person.

It was @davegorman the comedian, if I remember rightly, who retweeted a few weeks ago that you should only ever [ more...]

Friday, 22 October 2010

How You Can Use And Abuse Social Media

Every now and then I hear a presentation that is spot on and extremely valuable.

This week I saw Mark Lee do a talk titled “How Accountants Can Use And Abuse Social Media”. But the talk could easily have been for anyone in business. [ more...]

Friday, 15 October 2010

Twitter Tips for Newbies, Noobs and the More Experienced

I’m often asked how to use Twitter. Carol Vorderman recently tweeted a question about who can see the messages ("tweets") she sends to specific people. So here are a few tips on this and other subjects.

These tips apply whether you are tweeting in a business or personal capacity, and are for the more experienced as well as for newbies: [ more...]

Friday, 8 October 2010

Social Media – The Power and the Groups (LinkedIn & new on Facebook)

This week Facebook launched some new functionality. They've trumpeted the fact that you own your data on Facebook, and can now extract all your data to transfer to a rival service (at least in theory). You can also see more clearly what data is being passed to external applications. But of more interest to businesses is the new “Groups” functionality, that replaces a more simplistic “Old Groups” facility. [ more...]

Friday, 1 October 2010

Customer Generated Comments - Blessing or Curse?

We discussed a business using location services such as FourSquare a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that they are great when people comment positively about you to spread a good word.

But whether you are a venue or another type of business, what if there are any negative comments? [ more...]

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Twitter Limits - Will They Affect You?

Ordinarily you can tweet on Twitter without any real restriction. But there are actually limits, which are ... [ more...]

Friday, 24 September 2010

New Twitter, Monetization, Business Models and You

Twitter. It feels like it has been with us for ever. In fact it was conceived and launched only in 2006. The 140 character size of "tweets" arose because at the time the service was designed to be used with SMS text messages on mobile phones, as well as on the web.

Twitter is a free service which has not carried any form of advertising. Until recently it was only guesswork how they would make money. Nonetheless Twitter has raised over $50 million from venture capitalists. Apparently Twitter is looking  for $1.5billion of revenue in 2013. So how will Twitter make this money? And how will that affect you and your business?

[ more...]

Friday, 17 September 2010

What Can Location Services Do For You?

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. These are all location-based services that you can leverage if you have a "venue" business - a theatre, a local shop, a shop in a national chain or any other place that people would visit.

So as a business, how can you take advantage of them? [ more ...]

Friday, 10 September 2010

How Can You Get People To Attend An Event?

Over the last few weeks I have used outdoor music festivals as a focus for case studies on how to leverage the power of social media. As the camping season draws to a close, what to do this weekend?

How well are they encouraging me to attend? What else could they do? [ more...]

Friday, 3 September 2010

Case Study Update - Lessons for Business

Last week we looked at how music festivals are using social media. After this last week’s updates, I promised to take a further look.

What makes a festival succeed? What lessons can be learned about using social media?

How can this experience be applied to other types of businesses?
[ more...]

Friday, 27 August 2010

Case Study Update for 80s Rewind Festival, Henley (Lessons for Business)

Following on from the case studies looking at various music festivals this summer and how they have used social media, here’s an update for the 80’s Rewind Festival:

Wot no crowd-surfing?

But what further lessons can be learned relevant to events and other businesses?
[ more...]

Friday, 20 August 2010

Important Changes to Facebook (Urgent)

If you are using Facebook for business, you may be aware that there are two sets of important changes taking place on Facebook.

This week there is also an important change affecting both individuals and local businesses, called "Places": [ more...]

Friday, 6 August 2010

Letting Your Customers on Facebook (Case Study)

Isn't it funny how one thing leads to another? Here's a story that brought me face to face with the way Facebook is being used in practice by businesses.

Some of you will know my nephew plays in a band called "The Theory of Six Degrees" (T6D). This summer they were the youngest ever band to play at Glastonbury, at the personal invitation of the founder Michael Eavis. Not bad when you're only 13 !

Being from Surrey, they then played at Guilfest, followed by RedFest. At Guilfest were a great band from Bournemouth called Rapids! Typing that into YouTube, I discovered .... [ more ...] and spot my cameo appearance!

Friday, 30 July 2010

YouTube - Your 15 minutes of Fame

Here's opportunities from YouTube - an extention to their service and a competition. [ more....]

Friday, 23 July 2010

Collaborative Tools

Here's an example of how a system on the internet can let people collaborate for greater effect.

If you missed Muse at Glastonbury this summer, you can get close to the experience on line through ... [ more...]

Friday, 16 July 2010

Facebook at the Limits (Privacy Advice)

When you take Facebook too far ....

How would you feel if your picture was in a national newspaper under the headline “I set up the Moat Facebook tributes”? That was what befell Siobhan O’Dowd, left, this morning after using Facebook to glorify the killer gunman Raoul Moat.

It reminds me of advice ... [ more...]

Friday, 9 July 2010

A Reflection of the Human Condition? (How can you use social networking for business advantage?)

As a survey in the US suggests 40% of those surveyed admitted to being "Facebook addicts” (and 42% of 18-24 year-old women are okay with sharing photos of themselves on Facebook looking "visibly intoxicated,") the UK government is beginning to use Facebook in a big way.

With an estimated 23 million “users” of Facebook in the UK , the government has just announced a plan to use the “Spending Challenge Channel". They see it as their ‘primary channel’ for communication with the public on the spending cuts issue.

Whether you agree or not with the idea, it raises the question “How can you use social networking for business advantage?” [ more...]

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Fab Four Case Study

When the internet first appeared as a serious business tool about 10 years ago, talk was about industries being transformed.

Here's how the music industry is now being transformed, and  the internet-based tools being used. What lessons can be learned by businesses of all types?

[... read more...]

Friday, 25 June 2010

B2B Examples (Business to Business)

Social networking clearly works for B2C (Business to Consumer). Rumours are now rife that Google will be developing "GoogleMe" as a competitor to FaceBook. But what about B2B (Business to Business)?

[ more...]

Friday, 18 June 2010

Monetizing Facebook Business Apps

In previous articles we’ve looked at “apps” (applications) for Facebook:
1. Standard packaged apps
2. Customised apps used by the UK political parties to spread the word approaching the general election

Let’s look at a couple of custom-written apps for commercial businesses [ more...]

Friday, 11 June 2010

Tips & Facebook Privacy

So I’m told, the Forces teach alpine skiing to novices by taking them to the top of a black run and letting them compete to make their own way to the bottom. True or not, they wouldn’t let them try without some form of briefing on how to ski and on safety.

The same is true for social networking. The best way is to just have a go, but you need to know some basics to “keep safe”. Here's just a few tips to get you started ... [ more...]

Friday, 4 June 2010

Facebook privacy changes

A week ago, Facebook changed their privacy settings, after much criticism of their previous approach. What's the view a week on?

Firstly here's the BBC's take on the new screens [ more...]

Friday, 21 May 2010

Business uses for Facebook apps

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how the UK’s political parties were using Facebook applications (apps) to help party supporters spread the word.

These apps were custom-written. But there are also an increasing number of apps that are available off the shelf. Many are aimed at individuals, but there’s also an increasing number devoted to businesses. [ more...]

Friday, 14 May 2010

Managing Visitors' Comments

I mentioned last week that British Airways had set up two Twitter accounts, BritishAirways and British_Airways which they still actively use.

They also set up some Facebook accounts last year. These include two accounts, “British Airways” and “British Airways plc”. Both now say “We currently aren't commenting on this site”. How are these being used? What lessons can be learned? [ more...]

Friday, 7 May 2010

Useful or a Waste of Time for Businesses?

As we await David Cameron, Gordon Brown or someone else to form the next UK government, it’s interesting to see how the parties have used social networking for the election campaign:

What lessons can be learned for business? Is it worthwhile? [ more...]