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  1. Pingback: Hellotxt Migration from « Mike Saunders

  2. Pingback: Deciding which social networks to play in « Mike Saunders

  3. Pingback: My Top 5 iPhone Applications for 2009

  4. ShawnD

    Some good Apps mentioned. News24 & Bloomberg I use daily.

    Other brilliant Apps worth mentioning are Midomi (identify music playing anywhere – a real party trick!), DSTV Guide, & Juxtaposer (amazing photo editor).

    1. Mike Saunders

      Thanks Shawn

      Midomi is cool but Remote seems to get more of a reaction at party’s for me. I will check out Juxtaposer soon.

      Readitlater has become a new favourite! Lets me tag articles online and it syncs with my iPhone allowing me to read offline versions from my phone at a later stage. Great for keeping up to date with industry news etc.

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  7. Pingback: Top 10 Social Media iPhone Applications | Mike Saunders

  8. Mike Saunders

    Just wanted to add some additional information here. By syndicating and twitterfeed you may have too many profiles to keep track of.

    If you are looking for a system that keeps most of its syndication services under one roof you can look at trying Hootsuite.

    Hootsuite includes RSS feeds, scheduling updates, facebook, twitter and

  9. Mike Saunders

    Hi Frank

    Thanks for the comment! MXIT is a great iPhone app. Personally I don’t do much social media marketing via my profile on MXIT.

    Most of the apps mentioned here are more directed to the social websites rather than mobile markets.

  10. Gareth

    Hi Mike, Thanks for this article. Helpful. I am wanting to start a blog using WordPress, and link it to Facebook, but realise that it needs a lot of planning otherwise it might be irrellevant or not sustainable. By the way, it will have a very different focus and goal to OTA…

    1. Mike Saunders

      Hi Gareth

      You are right in that planning is essential to getting the marketing mix right in Social Networking. However don’t be afraid to experiment. When you are ready we could sit down and chat more about what you want to achieve with the project.

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  15. Ballsy

    Don’t forget the great interest keyword targeting in Facebook. Using all the other profile info to segment your target market. i.e. advertising a cycling product to people who mention cycling in their interests. This really narrows down the audience and helps get you higher CTRs.

    I agree the Geo targeting is a downside, but I don’t think Google can accurately Geo target either in SA.

    1. Mike Saunders

      H Alan

      Great advice on the interest keyword targeting. It is such a powerful tool to target like minded people in marketplace.

      Google geo-targeting is pretty accurate to smaller locations within South Africa which is a great advantage. Just needs some careful planning on the management side.

      Thanks again for the comment!

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  22. Marc Ashton

    It is absolutely the weirdest thing.

    I was looking for somebody to look after a small part of our business and was going for a relatively young candidate (23). I asked her for details of her Twitter, Skype or LinkedIn accounts for my records and she looked at me blankly.

    I don’t know if you have ever been to one of these “Tweet-ups” that Ryan Gibson drives but the last one I went to – most people were well over 25. Audience included decision making bankers, business analysts, musicians etc.

    These were people with money to spend and decision-making ability without question

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  24. AntonRSA

    Thanks for sharing Mike. I believe generation X carries a great importance in the social media field as this crowd will be the ones we will only focus on in a few years time. To explain it even further, the X people had technology around them most of their lives so it’s really not that new to explain to them the importance of social media, benefits, etc.

  25. Barbara De Kock Griffiths

    Very interesting article. You have certainly opened up the channels of social media for me – it is a great deal to take in, but as they say “practice makes perfect” – thanks, I will now make it my mission to understand and log onto my social medias as much as possible.

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  29. AntonRSA

    100% Mike!

    It takes dedicated time and effort to make a success on the internet whether it be with SMM, SEO or just building your brand, success doesn’t come overnight.

  30. Axel Bührmann

    Agreed totally. But I’m also getting a wee bit tired of companies that seem to harbour an “unhealthy” scepticism… in this day and age, can’t be bothered with moving to the ‘net and all that it offers, even in baby steps.

    There has to be a healthy middle ground; surely?

  31. Pingback: A new platform in Facebook: Community Pages | Ideate

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  33. Gareth

    Thanks for this blog Mike – very interesting. I wonder if it is partly because Gen X would have the freedom to use these media during work hours? Thanks…

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  39. Arthur Charles Van Wyk

    I am not sure Facebook is anywhere close to being a preferred online marketing player in the big leagues, meaning real exposure and not just eyeballs. The major difference between placing an ad on Facebook and placing one on Google is that nobody goes to Facebook to search like they would do on Google.
    And amid the sea of demographics, psychographics, ethnographics, econonomigraphics and levels of technical competency I believe it is the hardest thing to try and position a brand using Facebook.

    It is a lotta fun watching flat belly and LED TV ads thrown at me on Facebook though..

  40. Pingback: Social Networks and Brand Value | Mike Saunders

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  42. Ads Mitchell

    Great post Mike. Especially the second paragraph on SMM. I like how you have referenced relevant stats from the video to support your post. Nice one and scary to think where the world of real-time “opinion” search results will go with a figure of 78%. If you would like a transcript on all the stats in the video, please visit: Thanks

  43. Mike Saunders

    Hey Mitchell. Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the post. The real-time opinion is huge in social media brand value and will only get bigger. I will be looking into this more in future blog posts.

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  45. Tamryn Coats

    Working with Mike Saunders was an incredibly efficient and rewarding process! As the project manager for this Markets of Warwick Project I was most impressed by the excellent and punctual work Mike did, he attended to every phone call/sms/email within minutes- even when I was contacting him on an hourly basis. The site launched ahead of schedule and we are all so impressed with the final product. Mike gave us appropriate and clear advice about the layout of the site and it seems to have worked perfectly. He was attentive to our every request and as an organization we look forward to using his skills again for future projects. On behalf of the Warwick Market traders we applaud and thank you for a website excellently achieved!

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  48. Steve Wirth

    Mike did a great job of providing brilliant training, excellent explanation, and a set up that is simple to use but very productive! With in a few days of being online the number of hits to my pages have grown and my support network is slowly increasing. The best thing is that I dont know much about computers and how all this stuff works, but the way Mike sets things up and explains how internet marketing works you feel that even though you know nothing, you leave knowing that “I can do this!”.

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  51. Mike Saunders

    Hi Mike

    Would loved to have given more info but please appreciate that much of this work has a sensitive nature. So it wouldn’t be too responsible to ‘tell all’ as yet.

  52. Arthur Charles Van Wyk

    Mike, Please get Vusi to do something about the 6 people the Presidency follows back on Twitter.. it’s unAfrican to have over 2000 speaking to you, and you only speak back to 6 of them.. that’s just dealing with the cultural aspect..
    won’t bother to get into the social media relevancy part of that..

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  55. Nick Duncan

    Hey Mike. Interesting stats you have here. I’m actually glad to see South African’s making use of this brilliant professional tool. I for one favor it over both Twitter and Facebook.

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  59. John Gore

    Well said Mike.

    However I would not quite suggest BP do “nothing” on the social media front. It would be wise to post an official PR letter stating that all of BP’s resources are currently busy solving the crisis, and as such nobody will be responding to messages on the social media front at this stage, until the problem is solved.

    After the problem is solved as best they can, then I agree a positive come back campaign is in order, focusing on how the problem was solved.

    In the case of BP this is quite an extreme situation, and will take time to come back from.

    1. Mike Saunders

      Hi John

      Thanks for the comment. I agree that the basics should be covered. The main importance is to show the world that all their resources are geared towards solving the problem.

      By not spending/working in marketing and advertising campaigns BP would inadvertantly show their resources are pooled towards the crisis.

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  61. Ryan Calder

    Interesting stuff Mike. Goldstuck’s findings are also interesting – however the current numbers (2010) suggest that SA’s internet user base has nearly doubled (according to DMMA – 9.1 internet users and rapidly growing). Not only that, but the introduction of uncapped ADSL has changed browsing habits in SA, so a greater percentage of users are becoming more web-savvy. Mobile is the future, but there is a current market for a PC and Mac-based users, where the browsing experience is currently more rewarding than it is on mobile.

  62. Mike Saunders

    Hi Steve

    I think that right now, the Mobi market is still important and will be for sometime.

    Smart phones have great internet browsers but not all phones do so Mobi helps here.

    The other aspect to look at is the aim of the Mobi site. Your mobi site has the potential to display mobile specific content in such a way to make mobile browsing and call’s tyo action easier that actually browsing the internet on a PC.

    IE: There is still a BIG place for mobi as the market moves towards mobile browsing.

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  65. Richard

    Nice post. I think we are going to see more and more of this sort of site. It breaks out of the digital into the physical and uses creative gaming (play) to inspire content generation.

    BTW: I really like the look and feel of your site as well. Nice and clean but not bland.

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  67. Pingback: Tweets that mention Is social media changing the way we watch TV? | Mike Saunders --

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  69. Pingback: Is social media changing the way we watch TV? | Mike Saunders

  70. Meegan Rourke

    I think traditional TV broadcasting is on the way out, rather than TV itself. In today’s world, where consumers can pick and choose what they want to watch, and then download it (either legally or not), broadcasters have to change their tactics. TV viewers are increasingly bypassing advertisements by downloading their TV shows and watching time-shifted TV – they’re taking control of the viewing experience. Broadcasters will need to offer value in different ways – possibly by charging for programme downloads and on-demand local sports, events, and news – rather than offering restrictive package deals. Studies are showing that online videos are mostly being watched while people are at work, and most people only watch TV shows online when they miss an episode or when they don’t have access to a TV.

    So I don’t think that social media is necessarily shaping a new way of watching TV, but rather that the technological capabilities which have allowed people to find and access the content that they want on their own, without being subject to broadcasters’ decisions, has changed the way that people watch TV.

    I think that what social media has changed is the way that people connect to and engage with the shows that they’re choosing to watch. Through various social media outlets, people can share in the experience of watching their favourite show with other users, and feel a part of that conversation or story. They can find out what they can expect in the next episode, give their opinions on characters and storylines, and even influence what happens because writers need to give the viewers what they want. These days, the TV viewer has a lot more choice in what they watch, and a lot more power over TV producers and broadcasters because of this.

  71. Meegan Rourke

    While I agree that mobile penetration in South Africa means that social media is a good platform for companies to engage their mobile audience, I think it would be restrictive to say this is the best approach in mobile marketing. There are a number of ways that companies can take advantage of the extensive capabilities of the mobile medium – such as people’s constant connectivity, engaging users in a two-way conversation, interactivity, and targeted customer relations. Mobile phones are always with us and have a higher response rate to the right marketing because of this.

    The new generation of smart phones means that there are opportunities for companies to produce applications which not only provide information and benefit to the user, but allow the company to engage more directly with their customers and target market, who have already indicated their interests when they downloaded specific applications. And there is definitely a gap in the market for South African specific applications for a variety of companies, such as supermarkets who offer online shopping, or restaurant recommendation sites and tourism or travel agencies.

    Companies can also ‘invite’ customers to their mobisites in a variety of ways, like Cosmopolitan magazine who sent out a series of SMSs featuring exciting gossip with strategically placed blank spaces, encouraging users to visit their mobisite with an SMS saying “At Cosmo, we won’t leave out the juicy details” and a link to their mobisite (their mobisite traffic increased 90%).

    Mobisites can also detect what phone model is accessing the site and adapt its specifications to accommodate what different phones can support – meaning that mobisites’ design and user-friendliness will likely attract more customers than traditional websites because people have more access to phones than computers.

    Mobile is a very personal medium, and if marketers target the right customers in the right way, it can offer huge rewards.

  72. Meegan Rourke

    I think there’s a middle ground here where companies should put all their energy into fixing a problem, but at the same time, manage their online reputation by assuring people that they’re doing something, and especially refrain from using the social media forum to lash out at customers. Nestle’s public relations disaster is a good example.

    Greenpeace targeted Nestle for their deforestation practices in harvesting palm oil in Indonesia, endangering the orangutan population. They posted gruesome hard-hitting YouTube videos showing office workers ‘having a break, having a kit-kat’ consisting of bloody orang-utan fingers. Rather than tackling the issue at hand, Nestle claimed violation of copyright and lobbied for the videos to be removed from YouTube. People then took to Nestle’s Facebook fan page, and Twitter as well, to have their say.

    Instead of dealing with the underlying problem with honesty and transparency, and assuring the agitators of their commitment to change, Nestle took a hostile approach and the Facebook page administrator threatened to delete unwelcome comments. Reactions on the Facebook page included comments like, “Hey PR moron. Thanks you are doing a far better job than we could ever achieve in destroying your brand”. Spot on. Removing comments from a public platform that’s supposed to be open and conversational is never a good idea! And although handling every negative comment may be impossible, it would be wise to acknowledge that the comments have been received and invite people to engage offline in a more meaningful way. Covering up bad press, getting defensive, and then retreating completely just made Nestle look worse.

    Nestle had a great opportunity to respond constructively to criticism and negative comments. The difficulty with social media, said Nestlé spokeswoman Nina Backes, is “to show that we are listening, which we obviously are, while not getting involved in a shouting match.” If a company is going to use social media though, it has to be willing to engage, through the good times and the bad. The fact is, when social media is mismanaged, even fixing the problem might not bring customers back to your brand. Social media has to be properly managed because there are consequences to keeping quiet or lashing out when what you should be doing is engaging constructively.

  73. Gary Simons

    Thanks for this Mike.
    I’m in the process of facilitating some strategic thinking and planning for an NGO called Work for Love. This will definitely be part of the cafe conversation we have…and I’m almost sure they’ll see the benefit of using this awesome tool.

  74. Andrea Kraushaar

    Very interesting, and some good points raised!

    I would like to comment from a youth perspective. In SA, the most recent findings from the Youth Dynamix BratTrax research shows that two-thirds of SA teens have their own cell phone. This is even higher amongst upper income teens – where 8 in 10 have their own mobile phone.

    Regarding social media, and access via mobile phones, our research illustrates that two-thirds of 13-15 year olds are accessing MXit, while one-third are accessing facebook through their phones.

    As the figures above illustrate, and I do agree that connecting with young people through social networks is effective; however what is critical to remember is that the messaging and content needs to be relevant to them. When connecting with the youth, it is not just about using social media and social networking platforms; but more importantly about the relevance of the message and content to them as individuals, how it allows them to ‘belong’; how it allows them contribute and how it enables them both now and in the future.

    1. Mike Saunders

      Thanks Andrea

      It’s always a pleasure to have people add their expertise to these conversations.

      Your insight into the youth and their MXit and Facebook usage is spot on.

      Regarding content: it is of paramount importance that the content you display on these channels engages the younger market in a language and tone that they enjoy and are familiar with.

      Thanks again for your comments and keep them coming. I like the way you think!!

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  77. @Candice_SAfrica

    This has not happened to me [yet] but I would be very upset if Twitter made me look content – deficient too! Sorry Mike, you just going to have to tweet like crazy now 🙂

  78. vickyCoats

    Your Twitter is like my car insurance with santam- they take all which you offer and then dump you when you ask for anything back.

  79. Chris Captivate

    Hi Mike

    Yea me again, awesome article through and through. and from a Young persons point of view. ( not teenager but 21 ) it is funny to see how many people ( friends ) don’t know these things, only the online active gamer, or PHP coder sure they know all about it yet there is such a big gab where so many people (young people) are seeing these things as stupid grown up things. Ask 10 nineteen year olds if they have twitter, response will be : ” Nah twitter is lame, my dad is on it” Come on! These social media platforms are becoming an open market for business !. Teenagers do hang on MXIT A LOT ! That i do know every second kiddo is walking around chatting on MXIT. haha.

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  83. @veravravera

    hey, last week twitter stole my tweets and they don’t give it back for me until this day. they stole 4000 from my tweets. and now I just have 200 tweets. what should I do? really disappointed because twitter stole my tweets!

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  88. Pete

    Great post Mike!

    Good point about the facebook notifications. I just went and turned them off.

    I have been constantly finding good blogs and articles that I want to read, so I bookmark them and come back to them at a later date. However, they seem to just pile up and not get read. It is too easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of quality information.

  89. Eleanor

    Something I find very helpful is email filters. I apply rules, and auto-post out of my Inbox to folders for certain email addresses, and diarise a time when I will look at the contents of those folders. That way I always get to the emails, but at a date and time that I choose.

  90. Mike Saunders

    Hi Elenor and

    Thanks for the comments. I agree that email filters can be a great help. Thanks for adding the idea to the list.

    I think I will write a post in 2011 sometime about a few filtering ideas that people can implement.

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  96. Justin Bodill

    Hey Mike

    Awesome research…like the use of some interesting questions there…

    Yielded some very useful insights indeed.


    1. Mike Saunders

      Hi Heidi

      When you seach Facebook it searched all the business and personal profiles on Facebook.

      In additional it also runs an internet search using Microsofts search engine Bing. These are normally displayed below the results of the FB pages.

      Check it out by running a “google type” search inside FB.


  97. Ray

    Hi there very insightful I would have loved if the survey also focused on the rural youth I wonder what will the results be like?

  98. Gareth

    Hi Mike,
    Your link to the browser statistics is really interesting. IE’s steady decline has been amazing, and now Firefox is heading the same way. I have loved Firefox for a long time, but with a few Add-ons not compatible with Firefox 4,0 it is a bit irritating.

  99. sandi

    Hi Mike,
    An interesting survey… would like to know what tertiary education over cellphone means please
    Many thanks

  100. Veneto

    My, my, my … how young I feel. I’m 44 years old and the findings fit me like a glove. Maybe the findings have less to do with age or generation and more with …. the age we live in?

  101. Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

    South Africa clearly is following the world-trends of consuming information not just from main-stream media (news24, iol) but also from Social Media (Twitter, WordPress, Blogger).

    YouTube is very underutilised in SA. With new attractive ADSL packages, this should also becoming less and less of barrierer.

    Great post and analysis !

  102. Nicky

    Hi Mike

    This is the first time I’ve heard about you.. What an interesting article and good to know for my business in recruitment.

    I’m definitely going to ensure I read and keep my self updated with your stats and opinions..

    Nice one


  103. Grant

    Hi Mike,

    Started following you on Twitter a while back, and only now have visited your site. Great articles. Thank you. Have made it a favourite now…!

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  105. Yoav

    Hi Mike,

    thanks for the open feedback – I agree with you on the point that I could have gone into more detail, but was so pressed for time and being rushed through the talk. So unfortunately needed to keep it brief.

    I would have been quite happy to continue for another 30 minutes on the detail but maybe next year?

  106. Brad Hutton

    All too true, so many companies are only interested in positive news. Too few admit to making mistakes!
    Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to demonstrate that your company employs humans. Having said that, mistakes also allow companies a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate that they are committed to their clients, and they should not be shy to publish the fact that they stole the moon to fix a situation they had created.
    Doing business in the real world, means doing business with real people.

  107. Mike Anderson


    Thanks for the write up on my presentation on on Using Social Media Monitoring to Form your SM Strategy… I am honoured!

    Just having 10 minutes was a Killer, and I would have loved to have had more time to elaborate, so I am pleased we were able to catch up afterwards and talk in more detail 🙂

    I thought Kelvin’s Case study really gave a real tangible and successful use case for SM monitoring

    I’ve uploaded the ppt to slideshare if you are interested

    Meltwater BUzz

  108. Kevin Power

    I would be interested to know what tools Standard Bank are using to listen (Nielsen Buzz, Radian 6 etc) – although based on your article it does not sound very sophisticated and is merely a community manager on facebook who is asking a few questions on the wall or using polls or the new question tool to get some info. True lisitening is just that (an ear to the ground, eaves dropping on millions of conversations) as opposed to asking fans what they think.

    I think one needs to distinguish between monitoring sentiment through rigorous listening v engaging in 1-2-1 problem solving between brand and consumer. The former requires Brands to tap into what is being said about them, aggregated and scored across millions of conversations and platforms. Brands need to track share of buzz and importantly share of influence and sentiment – although there are no effective tools to really automate sentiment yet. Armed with these insights from conversation data a brand can start to be far more effective in their overall comms strategy. I am not sure any brands in South Africa are doing this effectively yet.

    The latter (engaging on Twitter and facebook) with consumers to overt an issue or solve a consumer query is quite different and should be governed by rules of engagement and community management policy.



    1. Mike Saunders

      Hi Kevin

      As far as I know (and I am piecing a bunch of fragmented information – IE Rumors) Standard Bank outsourcing the listening to an agency who uses Radient 6.

      In the presentation, she went into detail about how they analyse the data and measure sentiment across multiple platforms. It seems they may be doing what you are suggesting.

      Let me touch base with the presenter and see if she can comment about this. Nothing like getting the answer straight from the source rather than speculating.

      Hopefully we get an answer.

      Thanks for your comment. It has added some great additional info to the conversation started. Cheers.

    2. Leilah van der Schyff

      I couldn’t agree more with you. I use Radian6 on a daily basis for my clients, and it is a whole different ball game than just using 1-2-1 platforms. True listening is going behind the scenes and jumping in the conversation that is taking place about you, not only with you.

  109. Bruce Wade

    Is is good to have the name Bruce: possible top CEO. It think names have a lot to do with customer perception and marketing. With the change of marketing strategy and required personal touch in business, maybe we should be able to change our name at age 25 to suit our chosen profession. A pizza would just taste better made by Julio than Mark, and music played by Razz would sound better than Johnathan.
    Worth thinking about, today I will stick with Bruce.

  110. Bellinda Carreira


    Thanks for your comments. Mike is spot on… We use Radian 6 as our listening tool. It helps us understand sentiment and who is influencing conversations. We find this useful for tracking and reporting to understand how social media impacts our overall brand reputation as well as how we are tracking on service delivery issues.

    My talk at #SMWF showed how and what we track as well as how we then analyse this data so it makes sense to our business and can provide meaningful insights. I believe this is key, as data without analysis is trivia.

    I agree with you in that how the various tools track of sentiment is not standard and they can give different readings depending on which you use. My point is that we need to work with what we have and pick a version of the truth that you measure yourself against and try and ‘teach’ the tool to be more accurate about your brand sentiment over time.

    You are right, being involved in social media is many faceted and has many benefits and risks for a company’s reputation management and marketing and communications activities. In my talk, I also spoke about engagement and what we’ve learned on our 2-year journey and shared two case studies that helped us learn a lot.

    How effective we are remains subjective as the expectations of our communities (and of ourselves) change daily.

    But, we know that it remains a learning process and that we still have a lot of learning ahead of us.

    Thanks for engaging on this topic!

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  112. Michael

    Thanks Mike – interesting research and findings. Please confirm that Gen Y is the generation after the Millenium Generation. From your findings it seems that South Africa, at least Urban SA, is no longer on average 20 years behind the US and UK in terms of the generations. SA’s Gen Y seem to be following the rest of the world’s Gen Y’s quite closely.

    Cheers, m