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Archive for October 2008

More than ever, social media requires creativity

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It’s pleasing that more professionals seem to be considering social media as part of the communications mix.

But I’m increasingly bemused by many of their efforts to see the changes that are happening in the industry in black and white money terms.  

Only this week, a representative of a smallish marketing company told me bluntly that blogs were dying – and therefore, were not worth considering as a communications tool.  He didn’t offer any evidence to support the assertion, which came at the same time as he was sprouting marketing assumptions based only on nothing more than a telephone sample of 500 people.

According to this gent, there was no way of making money from blogs, so they should be dismissed — and all faith placed instead in social networking sites like Facebook. Strangely, he didn’t explain how a communications mix centred solely on social networking would produce the goods – but I presumed that he would be willing to expound further if offered a consultancy fee.

Social media is dramatically changing the way our industry works, but it is a matter of selecting horses for courses when designing a communication strategy.  It isn’t black and white — and nor should it be.  And making it work requires professionals with broad thinking and creativity.  Sadly, I meet too many people in our industry who are lacking in these areas.

Ian

Written by ianandsue

October 31, 2008 at 1:01 pm

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Are you stopping to think about your privacy?

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The next time you excitedly jump  onto Twitter, MySpace or Facebook to chat about your day, pause for a second to think about your privacy. It’s an important issue that is perhaps stupidly being overlooked by those rushing to share their lives on social networking sites.

Take a look at this:

Written by ianandsue

October 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm

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Using Twitter to speed up information distribution

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As someone with a special interest in the take up of social media among government authorities, I have been following the giant strides being made in the UK.

Top marks to local councils that have started using Twitter to speed up the distribution of news and information; Facebook to help promote services; and blogs as a consultation tool.

Twitter, in particular, has the potential to revolutionise information distribution.

Even the British Prime Minister is using the Twitter service effectively, just as the American presidential candidates are doing. Take a look at the UK PM’s updates . 

It is certainly food for thought.

Ian

Written by ianandsue

October 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm

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Will social media thrive in tough economic times?

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“The economy ” is both the question and the answer on everyone’s lips. 

And, as we watch our superannuation nest eggs shrink rapidly, most communicators are probably wondering how this slowdown/downturn/melt down will affect our industry.

Another of my favourite bloggers, Shel Israel, had this to say from a North American viewpoint:

“I think that social media will be part of the solution for businesses that survive the coming changes. I think it will be more apart of the everyday lives of everyday people all over the world. I think it is about to become essential, rather than discretionary to both household and enterprise budgets.

Let’s look back for a moment. In that last economic depression, certain items flourished. Movies, radio, theater and the arts, books and so one. They cost little and they allowed people to spend some time escaping. It was all passive. When people were not doing that, they were talking to each other, over backyard fences, on street corners and in parks.

Times have changed but people don’t as I keep saying. We are pretty much the way we were when we were grunting and gesturing in caves. During these troubled times, more people will have more time on their hands and a great many of them will spend a significant portion of it talking to each other online They will use social media not just to talk, but as a vehicle for creative expression and as a source of entertainment.

That brings us to business–enterprises of all sizes, but particularly global business. I believe there is about to be an enormous reexamination of the cost/benefit of a great number of traditional marketing programs–advertising, PR, conferences, trade shows, dead tree mailings and so on. They will be acknowledged as being even more inefficient in hard times than they have been in good times.

Yet business still needs to talk with customers, prospects, partners etc. They will look for a faster, better, cheaper way and that will bring them to social media. There simply is no more efficient way to talk with customers.

This will also be true for other large institutions. Religious organizations, political organizations, non-profits and so on will go to social media for the same reason old-time politicians went to funerals and Irish wakes–because that’s where the people are. “

Written by ianandsue

October 12, 2008 at 11:06 am

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Social bookmarking made easy

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Everyone from eco-warriors to the local library seems to be experimenting with social bookmarking to push their particular message.

Even if you are neither a book worm nor a climate change enthusiast, this explanation of social bookmarking is worth a look. The site is also a valuable social media resource.

Ian

Written by ianandsue

October 7, 2008 at 12:48 pm

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