Category Archives: Uncategorized

The difference between Twitter and Facebook

Lately I've spent a lot of time describing the difference between the two social mammoths, Twitter and Facebook.  Erin Ryan offers a fresh take when she says Twitter is the drive-through and Facebook is the sit-down restaurant.  A great comparison.  Of course, I like to say that Twitter is for the speechwriter while Facebook is for the PowerPoint junkie. 

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Using knowledge networks to shift the way business absorbs change

Deloitte, under the leadership of John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, earlier this year released what I believe is a landmark study:  The 2009 Shift Index.  "Measuring the forces of long-term change," this work uncovers a new way to think about shifts in business and society and absorb them to maximum benefit for the organization.  What's more, the study illuminates the pressing need for business leaders to alter the way people interact inside the organization as well as with stakeholders, and it outlines a better way to measure performance.  Beyond product and service, the distinguishing characteristic of corporate output will be the way the knowledge of its people is put to use in products, services and daily interaction.  [And the study answers the question, "what is the big deal with Twitter."]

Hagel, a speaker at the upcoming Supernova conference, was interviewed recently by Cathy Brooks on The Social Media Hour.  He pointed to what is being born out in recent news coverage of this recession:  many jobs won't be coming back and the complacent view that upturn is inevitable will marginalize even the most sound companies.  The good news:  the organizations that harness the flow of knowledge among employees and with stakeholders will thrive.  

  • Digital technologies and long-term public public policy shifts are the key factors affecting the way companies perform and interact.
  • The source of economic value is shifting from knowledge stocks to knowledge flows, making the ability to connect a key value driver.
  • The economic playing field is fundamentally different from what we have assumed for decades; established practices are not working in public companies.
  • We now have the capacity and potential to connect into knowledge flows in ways that can turn around deteriorating performance.
  • Social media gives both individuals and enterprises a richer way to connect and share knowledge, making it a significant part of the solution to deteriorating performance, especially in terms of creating scale for knowledge flows.  Over time, because we're still in the early stage, the social media revolution will increase the number of active contributors in the world's knowledge flow.
  • The enterprise's most passionate people are often the most unsatisfied.  They see the most potential but also feel the most constraint in the traditional corporate environment.  As competition intensifies, companies need more passionate people, not clock punchers.  Companies must learn to align passion with profession.

Those of us who already have concluded that this recession is actually a correction and the gateway to a truly magical intersection of society and business must take the data of The Shift Index and run with it.  Armed with this information, we have before us the kind of opportunity that distinguishes one historical era from the next.  A golden age?  A gold standard?  Knowledge is platinum for the people and organizations that welcome reality and appreciate the economic value of connecting in new ways to serve customers and society.

This post runs simultaneously on the Supernova Hub.

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Blogging for Supernova: Connecting and transforming in the Network Age

I've written about my days at Andersen Worldwide and my growing appreciation for the exposure I had to leading ideas and the people who share them.  One of them, as I've mentioned, was Victor Millar, one of the firm's leaders at that time.  First as his presentation producer [got his slides through the audiovisual department] and then as his junior speechwriter, I got exposed to a lot of good stuff.  One of the concepts was what I called his ages — the progression he took you through on the way to the Information Age and what it would mean for business.  As a result, I have a great interest in looking at what happens around us and the notion of how current events can integrate all our endeavors — not just business. 

That's why I'm pleased to blog about Wharton's upcoming Supernova Conference in what its creator and chief brain Kevin Werbach calls the Network Age.  For the next couple of months, I'll be commenting, from my perch on the contributor bench, about what we're seeing and hearing on the way to the conference and as it's happening.

In December, around 500 people from all over the place and every type of background will gather at Supernova in San Francisco to listen to some talks and engage with each other about all those technology things that fascinate, aggravate, confuse and challenge us.  Until then, we'll also have the opportunity to spend an hour each week listening to interviews with some of the people who are speaking at the conference or whose work has some influence on the conference content.

Today, for example, we listened to Christopher Carfi talk with David Weinberger, a voice of the age who regularly helps both those in technology and those around it — meaning all of us, now — understand not only what is happening but what it all means.  A co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and solo author of Everything Is Miscellaneous, David is a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.  Today's topic was whether or not the Web is exceptional and why.  They covered a lot of ground and I believe made a good case that it is indeed exceptional now and while we can't predict why it will be in the future, it will.  Beyond being networked so closely that many boundaries are slipping away — for good as well as for not so good — we have much to discover about the Web's impact.  What's interesting is, we're doing the connecting and influencing ourselves, not just the discovering.

For more information about Supernova, visit http.supernovahub.com.

Vator.tv – Spada Inc company profile

Vator.tv – Spada Inc company profile

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Social media and business strategy: Integrating around a dynamic website

Part 3 of 3.  The KickApps
seminar I attended last month yielded a wealth of information, from
both advisors and corporate marketing people, about what to do with
social media if you're a company.  For the next three posts, I'm
sharing what I took away from the afternoon.  [To become a member of
KickApps own social network, click here.  You'll be able to watch the videos of the seminar presentations.]

These brief points are compiled from the excellent presentations made by Alex Blum of KickApps, Dylan Boyd of eROI, James Mastan of Blue Rain Marketing, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester, and Sandy Carter of IBM.

Integrate social media into every campaign

  • Always integrate — never segregate — social media, and always think of it as an element of your overall marketing effort.
  • Make listening to the user — consulting the user — a key activity during product development.  And do a lot of betas.
  • Identify the folks who seem to influence the rest of the community and converse with them.

Identify the elements appropriate for your marketing strategy

  • Figure out which tools are used by the majority of your stakeholders — users, customers, influencers.
  • Learn the language — the words — your customers use to talk about your product
  • View downloads as a metric; they are a measure of interest.
  • Add widgets and an RSS feed.
  • Put your own people on the website.
  • Choose metrics carefully.  Be particular about the metrics that tell you the most about what you
    want to know.  There's no one formula.  You have to play with this a
    bit.  Start by building a profile of the qualities and credentials that
    define a credible response from a customer or stakeholder.  In other
    words, for metrics, build a credibility engine that gathers the most
    important comments.

Identify the tactics appropriate for your marketing execution

  • Put tips and tricks in headlines around the site, including related sites such as blogs and networks.
  • If you have a boxed product, do an unboxing video — they're big right now.
  • When you create a community, start small.  Identify the alpha users
    — they will be the influencers over time.  Give existing members the
    ability to extend beta invitations.  Use pin-coded invitations and even
    handwritten notes. 
  • As the community grows, find community managers from within it.  
  • Pilot changes to your website in a contained environment — and
    remember that looking home grown is appropriate if not advantageous.
  • Avatars have five times the click through rate than regular ad-style features.
  • Twitter is food for announcements, Facebook is food for the persona.
  • When you're doing gift certificates, start small and ratchet up the value — it creates anticipation and demand.

The bottom line:  Understand the new basics of marketing as rendered by social media

No one is an expert — some of this is by instinct.

Be transparent about your features.  For example, if a character is a persona or fictional, say so; just make sure it has a unique voice.

Make sure your tone is pitch perfect for the stakeholders with whom you share ideas and information.

If you're a sales person from way back, just remember that this is a long sales cycle — but it's potentially just as rich.

Communicate personally to help each person in your community feels special.

Think
lifestyle — understand intimately the people that are interested in
your brand, products and services and build a set of experiences around
their expectations and behavior.

Listen
to the voice of the user/stakeholder/customer and incorporate their
wishes in your strategy.  One way is to create an advisory council
whose conclusions will speak volumes to the company folks who don't
necessarily want to take the next step forward with building a more
social website or building social media into a marketing strategy.

Always keep people at the center of this equation — and make sure the technology you use serves them.

When
adding talent to your team, look at case studies of what they've done
in the past and consider them in the context of what you want to
accomplish.  The magic of social media comes not from the tools but
from what you do with them — how you tailor their use to your specific
situation.  This magic needs no slight-of-hand.

Social media and business strategy: The dynamic website

Part 2 of 3.  The KickApps
seminar I attended last month yielded a wealth of information, from
both advisors and corporate marketing people, about what to do with
social media if you're a company.  For the next three posts, I'm
sharing what I took away from the afternoon.  [To become a member of
KickApps own social network, click here.  You'll be able to watch the videos of the seminar presentations.]

These brief points are compiled from the excellent presentations made by Alex Blum of KickApps, Dylan Boyd of eROI, James Mastan of Blue Rain Marketing, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester, and Sandy Carter of IBM.

Make your website more open to viral discovery

  • Customize it — not just the design but its searchability and usability

  • Focus on content that is yours — differentiate

  • Enable syndication via widgets

Integrate your website planning into your overall marketing strategy

  • Use tools that enable you to graph your user data

  • Let your branding approach give your website its context

  • Make it easy for visitors to interact with you and your brand —
    build a community or better yet, give users the ability to grow one
    organically

  • Make sure your strategy accommodates the fact that your
    communities will define your products — so don't try to control the
    communities, just be part of them and help to seed the networks within
    them

  • Craft  your website in such a way that it helps your community
    experience not just your products but the Web itself more vibrantly

  • Remember that community members trust each other more than they trust marketers

Consider three important social tools for the website

  • A wiki — a great way for customers to contribute their ideas

  • BOTs — to increase clickthrough — but use them sparingly because that's their power

  • An independent social network around your product