Social Media Strategies: Embrace The Mosh Pit

Social Media is not a marketing channel, rather it’s a mosh pit of conversations that surround our marketing channels. If it were a channel, we would be able to control its distribution and conversation better. We need to understand that social media is the mesh (or mess) between our channels; it affects and feels the effect of everything the brand does. In order to adapt to the mosh pit, there are a few things that we can do in our social media teams. Break Down Silos Bring your social teams into the conversation about brand positioning and campaigns much earlier. Push them to get involved in the bigger strategic picture not simply the execution of ideas. Encourage them to see the big picture and how their work in the ‘mosh pit’ is bringing everything together. Leverage data Leverage social data to better understand the customer online. Demographic and psychographic information can speak into your key insights that drive brand decisions. In addition, allow the social media management team to leverage data in real time. Use data to get a feel of how the mosh pit is moving, and then allowing them some autonomy to ‘move with the pit’ and build better relationships and brand love with customers. Make Sure Social is Everywhere Social is the mesh holding all the channels together, so make sure that you have social support around all these channels. Whether it’s TV, Radio, Events, Print or Billboards, social media presents an opportunity to further leverage your media and...

My Top Three Social Media Lessons for Business

I have been involved in social media for the past few years and enjoy looking at new ways that social media can be adopted in business. I am a bit of a dabbler and over the past few months I have been researching a few ideas and wanted to share the outcomes with you. 1) Real life events are social media’s best friend We have been running a number of social media campaigns this year for a number of different size companies and brands. In most of these campaigns we are using competitions to create energy around the brand and introduce the brand to new consumers online. What has been interesting though has been how effective it has been to couple social media platforms alongside real life events. These events are enhanced by a competition or journalism of the event. Almost like the energy that a good MC brings to an event. We have found that when executed correctly and energetically the company or brand profiles gain in numbers of followers and the level of interaction with fans. An example of this was when I attended the Social Media World Forum a few months ago. I endeavored to blog throughout the event to tell my readers and the event guests what was taking place at the event and my opinion on it. I also made a point to tweet frequently throughout the 2 day event and became very visible in the twittersphere over the Social Media World Forum. The end...

New functionality with Facebook pages

I recently posted this on www.ideate.co.za but wanted to share it on my blog as well. Facebook recently made changes that will have a big impact on the way we manage our business pages in future. Here is an excerpt of the article to explain the fundamental changes: You can now switch roles The most fundamental change is the ability to now change your role on Facebook. Now that has all changed. Facebook allows you to “switch your role” on Facebook and let your browse the Facebook network as an organisation, company, brand, product, celebrity or business. I decided to outline a few of the benefits of the new changes: What Changed? You can now act on behalf of your page on Facebook Your page can ‘like’ other pages Your page can’t become friends with a  persons profile Your page can’t comment on a persons status update Your page can comment on another page Your page now has a newsfeed that collates all the news from the pages you follow meaning you can now track business partners, sponsors, industry experts and competitors on Facebook Your profile now sports a funky looking picture banner at the top of your page. What are the benefits? You now get notifications of comments on your page via email When you “switch” your account to a page account your notifications list will house the page notifications Your new friends button will now show a list of the people who recently ‘liked’ your page Your business...

How social media affects Google search results

Google is still the primary place that people go when looking for something online. Social media has become the number one activity on the web. The reason social media had become so popular is because it is a natural extension of who we are. We are social people, our social circles define us, encourage us and potentially groom us into who we are to become in the future. It is only natural then that people would spend time sociallising online if they had the option. What does this have to do with search? As I always say in my social media presentations, search is all about delivering relevant results to your search query. Relevancy on the internet used to be related to the amount of links linking back to a website (this was Googles primary way of discovering relevant, topical websites). Social Search Now Google has launched Social Search which takes into consideration your social connections on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else. This means that articles written by peers may be higher in your search results than another persons search results. Google describe the impact of this best with a video example of someone looking to travel to Zurich: To put it simply, the bigger your network on Facebook and Twitter the more impact you could have on people’s search results. If you would like a more personalised search experience visit www.google.com/profiles and update for profile.

Does social media affect mobile marketing in South Africa?

There is so much to say here, but I will leave you with one of my most important observations. Social Media is the platform that companies can use to engage their mobile audience! ALL social media websites are mobile ready and they present a product to our consumers that is so integral to their daily lives. A communication vehicle. Especially Facebook and MXIT who offer that communication with more people than any other network in South Africa. Couple this thought with Authur Goldstucks research: “The findings suggest, on the surface, that more than half of urban cellular users – 8.5-million – are capable of accessing e-mail on their phones, and as many as 60% – 9.5-million – are able to browse on their phones. The implications of these numbers are significant: in one fell swoop, they would turn the SA Internet user base from the 5.3-million reported by World Wide Worx at the end of 2009 to 9.6-million. Add Instant Messaging to the mix, and the total becomes 10.56-million – exactly double that of the Internet user base at the end of last year.” Goldstuck also says ““The truth is, many people with these applications on their phones do no use them and do not even know how to use them,” says Goldstuck. “It is clear that the cellphone has the potential to take South Africans across the digital divide, but the phones themselves need to become more user-friendly, and a vast amount of consumer education is needed.” With national...

A story about foursquare the next big social network

So the other day I sat down at a resturant about to have lunch. I decided (while I wait for the rest of my party to arrive) to check in on foursquare. On opening the app on my phone I recieved a suggestion from a friend about what to have for lunch. That was pretty cool actually because I was out of town and did not know what was good. The only problem was that the lunch suggestion from my friend was for the resturant next door. I had just been recommended lunch by a friend who I had not spoken to in ages, at a resturant I wasn’t even at. The choice was mine! Stay where I was or get up and have the recommended meal of the day. Which would you choose? This is a small story about the power of foursquare, a new social network making waves on the streets of South Africa. Walter Pike presents his top seven reasons to love foursquare on memeburn.com as: The first reason that it will kick *** is that it’s fun. The competitive element, the earning of awards, and the leader board all make it a “jol”. The big win is the location element. People know which of their mates are around, and venue owners can send out promotions and messages that relate to people on the premises or close by. So when someone checks into the coffee shop down the road, and up pops a tip to say Foursquarers...

RANT! Why you need to invest in Social Media

It has become abundantly clear over the last week that business needs to get proactive in understanding human engagement on the Internet. It is too late to simply respond to criticism or appraisal. There is a massive need to take the initiative in creating your online presence. I specifically haven’t used the word control because that would contradict the nature of web 2.0 and the future of the Internet in web 3.0. There is much that business can do to take the initiative and encourage and create a positive online experience for their customers. The shift in the way we build reputations and brands online has meant that our customers now build our reputation and brand for us. The power of word of mouth on the internet has put the power in the consumers hand/mobile/tablet. Business needs to find ways to meet their consumers online in a very real and personal way. This will mean a fundamental change in the way our organizations are run, our marketing plans are structured, our products are developed and our departments are structured. This is a part of business that I hope to guide people through by educating staff of the values of the internet, activating campaigns to learn and challenge how value is reinforced online and researching human interaction on the internet. Although the information above is not all that new, I believe that the need to evolve business and marketing strategy online is paramount because we are running out of time. As...

One-on-one Coaching with Southern Sun

SunSwop is an exclusive, private exchange facility developed by Southern Sun Lifestyle Resorts. All Southern Sun Lifestyle Resort owners gain automatic membership to SunSwop and are in the best position to take advantage of our preferential exchange opportunities. As a SunSwop member, you are entitled to request exchanges either in South Africa or Overseas, from a choice of over 2600 affiliated Resorts worldwide! The Sunswop and Southern Sun Brand Manager contacted us to start a series of Facebook coaching sessions on how to look after their marketing on the popular social network. At the end of the sessions they had this to say: “Mike is very passionate and professional. I found his work to be of a very high standard and personally gained valuable information through the coaching sessions we had.” To find out more about one-on-one social media coaching click here

How to get your company to buy into social media

Harvard Business Publishing has released a video that I think can be very valuable to most marketers in South Africa. The video offers seven steps that you can implement to show the value of social media to the management executives within your organisations. Often the task at hand in business is not showing the value of social media, but rather getting people to believe you and support you. Harvard Business offer these seven steps Start small Get an executive sponsor Line up other stakeholders ahead of time Move quickly Seek precedence Make friends Measure your success Check out the video to get the details. Through Mike Saunders Consulting we have successfully done executive level social media coaching to help executive business people understand the value of social media. We have seen many CEO’s and MD’s making big steps forward in social media once they have spent some time in our coaching sessions. These sessions simply outline the benefit and steps neccessary to implement a successful social media management strategy within your organisation. For more information please feel free to contact us.

SA Linkedin usage report

Linkedin is a great network to take part in. It aids business relationship building, employee recruitment, and idea sharing. I have found that being a part of this network has opened up opportunities to profile myself in a professional manner online and start networking with like minded people in my field of work. I have since done some research on the usership of Linkedin by South Africans and found 600 000 South Africans were registered, 94 000 users are in management positions with 50 000 company directors and presidents. The site also has over 75 000 business owners registered along with 26 000 consultants. So to make things easier I have put a few of the statistics into a presentation (below) and a PDF Download. Please bear in mind that the pdf download is the most detailed. In the presentation there is mention of our latest presentation called WOZA Linkedin which is designed to explain how Linkedin works and how to use it yourself. The presentation can be done in one-on-one session’s and in team training environments.

Building a platform to generate non-profit funding

Steve Wirth is a full time missionary with Youth With A Mission based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is involved with the training, equipping and ministry in the area of Prayer, Intercession and Worship and is also a huge fan of coffee and a song writer and poet. In essence Steve is a non profit entity who relies on funding from people who support his ministry. Steve faces many of the same challenges that Non-Profit organisations face in raising funds and communicating with their interested supporters. The most important tool on the internet that Non-Profit organisations need to adopt is blogging. Blogging is the perfect platform for keeping your audience and proud supporters up to date with your project. In addition, a blog can double as a website and a place where people can offer financial support. The key is to remind people about your vision and to show progress with your projects. In some cases (like with Steve Wirth) you blog can even be used to show a bit of your personality. www.wirthacupofcoffee.com includes reviews on music and coffee which are Steve’s passions in life. The campaign developed for Steve Wirth included establishing a blog and training him on how to manage the updates and implement good SEO practice. Then we have ensured that the blog is the centerpiece of all his communications by linking all the blog updates through to Facebook, Twitter and a monthly email marketing campaign. Essentially Steve needs to concentrate only on his blog...

Social Networks and Brand Value

This blog post is a reply to a comment made on Measuring marketing effectiveness of Facebook. The is always a big debate between internet marketers about the value of social media management verses advertising on Google. In my opinion a successful internet marketing campaign will incorporate a balance of both advertising and brand building. 1) Google is still your primary advertising vehicle Google is still the information source of the internet for most people. This means that advertising on Google will open up avenues for great return in sales and leads for your business. I will alway recommend a client to advertise on Google if they are looking to generate strong business leads or product sales. Google is a better place to have your advertising. However a good marketing campaign is not just about advertising, it also need to incorporate brand building. 2) Social Media Marketing is very different to Google advertising Social Media Marketing is not simply about advertising to your target market. Although Facebook and twitter now offer advertising tools they are not the foundations of great social media marketing. Social media marketing is an opportunity to build your brand value and position your brand in the mind of the consumer. Social media’s interactive nature allows brands to become more personal and real to the consumer. This type of brand relationship goes a long way to cultivating a loyal customer base. The big success of a social media campaign is the ability to create positive word of mouth...

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