Favourite iPad Apps for Social Media

I use my iPad for almost everything in my life and most people who meet me know all about it. This has caused a few of my clients, friends and family to ask me for my favourite apps on the iPad. I have always found this a difficult question to answer simply because what I use my iPad for is not necessarily what other would use their iPad for. Most people like games, and I don’t play any games on my iPad. So for the purpose of this exercise I thought I would share with you my top iPad apps that I use to consume and respond to the social media channels in my life. This list is not in order of preference. Social Media iPad Apps Facebook – all things Facebook related Twitter – all things twitter related Hootsuite – I mainly use this app to schedule updates to my social channels. It’s great for social media management Showyou – a great interface to all video/YouTube content shared by your social community WordPress – manages post updates and comments moderation for my WordPress blogs Analytics Pro – a great tool I use to dive deeply into google analytics Yammer – a fantastic internal social network tool that I use to keep my colleagues up to date on my work and actions as a colleague of theirs Skype – the iPad is the best Skype tool in my personal opinion. Especially with a pair of headphones with a built in...

Navigating the world of social media in business

There is a big difference between launching a social media campaign and reinventing your business to take hold of social media advantages. Social media campaigns normally find their place inside the marketing budget and can be conceptualised, executed and measured relatively quickly. A social business reinvention take time to conceptualise, it needs to become a part of strategic direction and the overall business plan. In most cases these reinventions take considerable time and investment to navigate successfully. When looking at a social reinvention I would suggest navigating your business in the following manner. People connection Start with how the reinvention will impact the people in your team. Think about what benefits your employees and customers will experience from the reinvention. Find the ‘value point’ that makes the need for reinvention apparent. Social reinvention is all about adapting business to meet and connect with people better. This takes places internally and externally in marketing, knowledge management, recruitment, and many more aspects of business. Technology integration Once the ‘value point’ to people has been established we can now take the brief to the technology. The reason we don’t start with the technology is because the technology should not dictate the strategic direction. Just because something is possible with technology does not mean that it is a strategic fit with your business goals. At this point it is important to allow your technology experts freedom to explore the possibilities. They may be able to find ways to enhance you idea. Just be sure...

Social media strategy is more than Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

So often we miss the point of social media. We get caught up in the networks Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other that tickle our fancy at the time. We hear a murmur about Google’s Google+ and start to get nervous about managing yet another social media platform. The truth is that social media is not about the platform. Social media management is about the people, well at least it should be. Approaching social media strategy with a “platform mentality” is like focusing our attention on the which bike we need to ride when we should be concentrating on our fitness levels to win the race. Fitness in social media is the ability to understand our consumers. Social media allows us to engage, communicate, question and observe our customers.  This should give us a wealth of information to better understand our customers and better meet their needs. Regardless of the platform, their communication over these platforms should give us insight into their lives, their vales and their needs. Social media opens the door to understanding the new consumer, consumer 2.0. This is what a social media strategy should create, better customer understanding in order to win sales and loyalty. The path to purchase is too complicated to suggest that social media can be an isolated sales channel on its own. What people see in social media circles often impacts their purchase decisions in a point of sale environment. Consumer opinion online can overpower your offline branding objectives and a physical...

How social screening can help the recruitment process [infographic]

A while ago I wrote an article on how the recruitment industry was shifting due to social media technology. I would like to add to that conversation by talking about social screening. Social screening is the process of searching for potential candidates in social websites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and “checking them out.” This is a hotly debated topic at the moment and I have been working tertiary education institutions recently to educate students about the importance of knowing what image they portray online. The infograhic in this post reveals how social screening is becoming a popular trend in the recruitment industry. Social screening allows employers to find out information from candidates that is often difficult to discover through the interview process. These discoveries can be both negative and positive. The positive side of social screening: They get a feel for the personality of the candidate The can verify the qualification of the candidate Creative people often use social platforms to express their creativity Employers can get an idea of the communication skills of the candidate Social Sites like Linkedin can provide further recommendations for the candidate The negative side of social screening: Inappropriate photographs can raise warning flags about the personality of the candidate Drug abuse could become apparent Bad mouthing previous employers can show the candidates work ethic Identify poor communication skills The candidate may be sharing confidential business information of previous or current employers

Who uses Linkedin in South Africa [infographic]

I am very proud to present the latest infographic researched, concepted and designed by the team at DigitLab, the social media agency that I lead. Who’s Who on Linkedin in South Africa Linkedin in South Africa has seen a 83% increase in usership over the last 12 months with agriculture and goverment showing the biggest industry growth. The exciting news is the growth in business decision makers on Linkedin. The age category betwee 35 and 54 years has grown more than double and CEO presence on Linkedin grew 78%. We hope you enjoy the infographic Infographic created by DigitLab the social media agency [hr] Copy the embed code to paste into your blog: <img src=”http://www.digitlab.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Linkedin-Users-in-South-Africa.png” alt=”Linkedin in South Africa” width=”540″ height=”1026″ align=”center” /> Infographic created by DigitLab the <a href=”http://www.digitlab.co.za”>social media agency</a> [hr] [tweetmeme link=”http://www.mikesaunders.co.za/2011/09/09/who-uses-linkedin-in-south-africa-infographic/” source=”@mikeasaunders”] [digg title=”Linkedin in South Africa – infographic” link=”http://www.mikesaunders.co.za/2011/09/09/who-uses-linkedin-in-south-africa-infographic/” float=”left”]

Whats the point of Linkedin?

In its first minutes as a public company, LinkedIn was valued at roughly $8.5 billion. This made Linkedin the largest internet I.P.O since Google. Linkedin is a social network that focuses on harnessing the power of social technology to improve professional business networking. The website had about 600 000 South African subscribers in 2010 and that figure has almost double in the last year to just over 1.1 million professional business people. The biggest industries represented on the network are from the finance and high tech arenas. So why all the fuss over a website? I mean, isn’t this just another Facebook where people go to procrastinate doing any “real” work? If it’s I.P.O wasn’t enough to prove to you its value in business lets take a look at a few elements of business that Linkedin is taking on and how this innovative internet business is changing the way we do business. A new way of building business networks You are only six degrees away from every person on the planet. Which means that you are possibly less than three degrees away from the people you need to achieve business success. Social media allows your network to find you in a faster and more direct fashion. Communicating your message on social media platforms enables your peers to easily share your message with their peers. It is this ’sharing’ that often brings interested parties to the table. Especially when this networking takes place within a business network like Linkedin. This is...

How Tesco used QR Codes to increase online shopping

I love it when clever people come up with simple ideas that change the way the world works. This example we will look at today is a subway advertisement that turned a South Korean subway into a supermarket. The execution is so simple. Life size banners that display supermarket brands with QR codes on each item. Scan the item and get them delivered to your door by the end of the day. The idea was sparked by the need to create more sales without opening more stores. After extensive research into the market Tesco was able to see the opportunity to utilise smart phone technology to increase its online sales potential. The consumer will take to this idea because the technology is so simple (inSouth Korea at least) for them to use. The concept works becuase it relies on redundant QR code technology to execute it.It also works because it make an intangible internet experience tangible through the physical advert. This example from Tesco paints a clear picture of the shifts that retailers are going to face in the future: The retail industry can expect powerful competition from online sales channels. Especially if these channels are connecting with consumers in such tangible ways, like in subways while I wait for my train. Brands are still important to consumers. Make sure you make those brands visible to the consumer. Note that there are still a number of juices to choose from displayed on the “shelf”. Convenience is king! Make sure this...

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...

An interview with Deloitte about Social Media ROI

I had the priviledge of interviewing David Graham and Andre Hugo from Deloitte in how they use social media to achieve strategic objectives. The interview revealed some fascinating insight into how social media can be used in a business to business context to promote business, reduce recruitment cost, innovate products, manage intellectual capital and build brand eminence. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. What was the catalyst that caught your attention and started your journey in marketing Deloitte with Social Media? Within Deloitte of Tomorrow (Internal Innovation Program) we identified Digital as a trend about 3 years ago. Deloitte Digital is a service line that converts Deloitte intellectual property in applications and sells these applications as software as a service. The best example of this is the Deloitte Leadership Academy http://www.deloitte.la/welcome/. As part of the market testing and commercialisation of the Deloitte Digital business case a number of our clients and executives started asking for our advice on how to deal with “Social media”, we looked at the landscape and quickly determined that we needed to have our house view before advising our clients on their approach. As a result we developed a strategy to address the 5 strategic objectives identified below: Reduce the cost of recruitment Reduce the time to develop Innovative solutions and new service offerings for DOT Increase the storage of intellectual knowledge capital within a central tool Reduce the cost of training Increase our Brand and Eminence in the market...

Nokia Application launched for Mike Saunders Social Media Blog

In a world that is going crazy for mobile applications DigitLab and Sublime Media threw their collective minds together to create a Nokia Phone application for this blog. The app is a simple concept that channels this blog content to your phone through the OVI Store. If you would like to know more about facebook, linkedin, twitter, MXit, blogging, websites, mobile media, internet advertising and online marketing, this is the app for you. An internet strategy consultant by day, and blogger by night, Mike is the guru on all things digital and provides training, presentations, and consulting. His vision for social media is to see organisations effectively using digital media to communicate online – increasing their reach, influence and productivity. A huge vote of thanks must go to Steve Gardener for all the work he did to make this happen.   [button link=”http://store.ovi.com/content/156795″ size=”medium” style=”download” window=”yes”]Download the Nokia App here[/button] If you are on a Nokia Phone we would love to hear what you think.

Google is looking at your social network to find great content

I have written about this before in How social media affects search results but it is worth repeating. Google is now looking at your social connections to decide which content will be valuable to you or not. For example, I will always prioritise leadership articles that have been retweeted by Keith Coats. The reason is that I respect Keith’s opinion around leadership and therefore hold content he shares in higher regard than other content I simply find posted on the internet with no recommendation from Keith. In other words, people I follow on Twitter, on Facebook or on Linkedin have more opportunity to influence my search results by what they share on the internet. This video will explain it a bit better: Your social media network, and the content you share on that network, is now starting to help you achieve better search engine rankings with people who already know you. [box type=”info” border=”full”]Increase Google Rankings is a short series that looks into a few new developments inside Google that will your rankings inside Google. Google is working hard to create more relevant and more personal search results for its customers. They are actually doing great work (so well done Google!!) but the changes we will look at in this series are important to understand in order to understand how to win with our search engine marketing.[/box]

Social Media Bubble

There is a great deal of conversation around the social media bubble at the moment. If you have not heard already, the social media bubble is a topical debate about whether social media websites like Facebook, Groupon, Linkedin and Twitter a actually worth the values that they have been estimated at. The values are outlined in the infographic below. The concern is that if they are overvalued then we may be repeating history when we experienced the technology bubble with many start-ups going bust after securing large start-up investment deals. Is this a valid concern or are we just getting into another stream of hype? I discuss this in more detail here on the TomorrowToday Blog

Bizcommunity shows an understanding of Social Business Shifts

Social Business is the art of leveraging social technology (like social media) to create a more valuable product, working environment or business. I recently had the chance to look into Bizcommunity’s latest upgrade to their website and have been suitably impressed. Bizcommunity has built a strong personal interaction element into the new website that has opened the door to turning Bizcommunity from an industry news website to a networking platform. Inviting people to participate with personal profiles Bizcommunity has opened the invitation for people to participate in the network by allowing people to add personal profiles in much the same way as Facebook. People can also add their Twitter Profile to their profile which allows a stream of updates in much the same way as Linkedin used to do. Managing status updates Bizcommunity allows you to follow users like on Twitter and updates your status accordingly. Although they allow you to post from Bizcommunity to Twitter it seems that they have not allowed the reverse to happen yet. This is one downside that I see in the new website. What does Bizcommunity Understand? It is evident by the business shift that Bizcommunity is making that they have understood that Social Technology needs to be adopted into their business model in order to survive in the New World of Work. Industry News websites like Bizcommunity are great because they add credibility to the industry but they risk losing their grip on being the number one resource to connect with your industry,...

Content Strategy: Keeping it fresh

A while ago I posted an article on the DigitLab blog that spoke about the need to use fresh content in your online marketing strategy. I believe this is one of the most integral elements of any successful marketing campaign. Keeping this in mind I decided it would be worthwhile to share a few comments on this topic with you. Social media loves fresh content Fresh content released on a blog often ends up in the social media sphere, and is shared around by interested people until the content has become dull and boring. As this content travels around social media channels it generates a relatively large amount of initial traffic to your website. Round about now people usually ask me what makes content social media friendly. There are three tips to think about: Fresh content is relevant to the times and needs of your customers Fresh content adds value to the global online conversation on the topic you are writing about Fresh content is easy to digest and easy to share Google loves fresh content Google is looking for websites that are creating content on an ongoing basis. This is because they can see that a well managed and often updated blog/website is normally managed by someone who cares about what they put online. They care about their website and the audience. Google reward these site by ranking them well in search engines. They rank the articles quickly but over time a website that produces consistent content on a...

What influential South Africans think about Social Media for Business

A few months ago Fuseware released a report that I was privileged enough to be a part of. Fuseware questioned a variety of influencers from different fields in South Africa recently. The goal was to get a better picture of where South Africa, and the rest of the world, is headed in terms of social media usage in business. One thing has become completely apparent – social media management is the new wave of communication that is revolutionizing the way businesses and consumers interact. It is affecting companies of all sizes, and departments of all levels. Most prominently used in PR, marketing and customer feedback channels, social media is also beginning to slice through viral sales, market research and assisted product development. We questioned 5 influencers related to the SA web and media on their thoughts on the business case for social media in South Africa. The opinions in the report are by: – Arthur Goldstuck – Jonathan Shapiro (AKA Zapiro) – Mike Stopforth – Mike Saunders – Galen Schultz – Gavin Mannion You can download the report social media for business here.

Great social media brand tips from Nike

I have finally found a presentation at #SMWF that went deep into some branding ideas in social media. Kemi Benjamin spoke about social media management as a key part in branding but not the main part. I have enjoyed seeing what Nike has been doing in the branding space and how social it is without being all about social media. I think this is where Kemi has got it right with Nike. The focus is on being social. Making running social and this is not limited to social media only, however most of the campaign is underpinned by social media. The “running social” focus lead towards brand advocacy. This advocacy is brilliant in social networks because an advocate can easily share content about your brand in a space where they have influence. Kemi feels that this brand advocacy is the most important element of a strong brand. According to Kemi brand advocacy, – drives peer recommendation – cultivates influencers – delivers a loyal (sustainable) base – increase marketplace capacity – reduces costs and increases margin If you have not worked it out yet, I seriously enjoyed this presentation. So here are Kemi’s core conclusions about social media and branding. Bookmark these, save then, make them your screensaver – just make sure you understand these! Social media and branding core conclusions – Core marketing principles still apply – Know your objectives and then determine what social will bring to your brand plan – Advocacy is critical. It requires work and resource...

Social Media Crisis Management

What if it hits the fan? This fear is one of the main reasons why companies don’t get in social media. Companies are worried that if they enter the social media space, they will generate bad PR. The problem is that this bad PR, if it exists, is on those social media channels already. In other words, the conversation is already happening, you may as well join it. Yoav Tchelet, from AVIS, had the following suggestions to be ready to handle a crisis in your social media channels. 3 building blocks of crises management Honesty Transparency Apology I do agree that these are the building blocks but I felt that Yoav could have dived into these topics in more detail (in all fairness he was not given too much time). Where I would have liked to hear more insight would have been on the topic of transparency and apology. In my experiences not every PR crisis can allow complete transparency and a formal apology is not always enough to calm the waters in social media circles. Maybe we can look into this for a 2012 #SMWF. Multi channel approach Yoav suggests that three channels should be utilised and integrated. PR, social media and internal communications. I completely agree with Yoav again and believe that social media management agencies and PR companies need to spend more time working together on their campaigns.

The biggest benefit to monitoring online reputation and sentiment

Standard Bank did a detailed presentation around their listening strategies online. The presentation was very interesting and went into detail about crunching the stats in such a way to get valuable, workable results. Now for a few of the key points: Since this article I have been able to inteview Standard Bank about their approach to social media. Click here to see the interview Tailoring your offering on different social media platforms This was spoken about in the previous article but it deserves being repeated. Different networks have different environments. Standard Bank has spent time listening to their audience and have found that their Facebook Fans love competitions, fun and social activity whereas their Twitter community is demanding responses and conversation around customer service. Have a focus and purpose The next point made in the presentation was to have a purpose when engaging your audience. The point is simple, when you don’t have a focus the temptation is to answer everyone. This leads to picking the wrong fights and losing out in the long run. In addition, a clear focus will help you to effectively achieve the right results in your customer engagements. Corporate legalism hinders transparency This is a tough challenge with any big business. Due to consumer protection acts and laws that govern how company’s interact with the public. In the same way that social media has not changed consumers it has not changed the company either. This means that mud-slinging fights between consumers and companies...

Five steps to successful social media monitoring

Why should I bother monitoring social media? Quite simply, social media management allows you to track what the public is saying about you, analyse the comments and then identify opportunities to engage the public better with your products and services. Here are Meltwaters “Five steps to successful social media monitoring” Step 1: Start listening in Start listening to social media sites to find out where your customers are and what their needs are. Hold back on the desire to respond straight away. Careful listening with gain your great insight into how to start your monitoring off on the right foot. Step 2: Define why Make sure you know why you are getting involved in social media monitoring and what you are hoping to achieve. In other words, get into social media with your eyes open to the opportunities and pitfalls. Step 3: Choose your channel Not every channel will render a great return. Pick your channels to go to market and monitor them carefully. Think about why you want to engage, where you want to engage, and who you want to engage with. Monitoring can help you to find the influential people online that have established communities. Step 4: Engage Take action on your insight into your customers. Get involved with them, run campaigns and invite them to participate. Use Social CRM to directly communicate with your customers. Quick Tip: choose your battles wisely. Not every conversation is worth getting involved in Step 5: measure your return on investment You...

Can social media attract customers and have they changed

Listening to the first panel at the Social Media World Forum bought up a few interesting insights in the role of social media management in marketing plans. The panel consisted of: Moderator: Michelle Atagana, Editor, memeburn Garth Rhoda, General Manager Media, Habari Media Group Siphelele Sixaso, Head of Marketing, SAfm Bellinder Carreira, Senior Manager Digital and Direct Marketing, Standard Bank As you can see this is a great panel of experts so the insight gathered here should carry some clout. There were two main insights that were gleamed from the discussion. Can social media attract customers The short answer is yes, but the general consensus was that you should not look to social media purely for acquisition. This is simply because each company will engage with customers in different ways, this is a natural progression. Brands have an opportunity to meet consumers in a social environment through Facebook but Standard Bank have found Twitter to be more useful as part of their business processes like customer support. So you can use social media to attract new customers but don’t be small minded or short sighted. Have consumers changed I have spoken about digital consumers at length on this blog so this topic interested me a lot. Belinda suggests that the consumers have not changed and I agree with her. These consumers have only changed they way the can communicate with brands. They choose to use social media because they like using social media. Sufiso Mazibuko, Habari Media Group, said something...

Article Topics

Check Mike’s Availability for Your Event

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • When is your event?
    DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • Any additional information?

Where People and Technology Meet