Essay – Social Media – The Way Forward?

Okay, so Essay time….. oh joys! Luckily it’s due on the 11th of March in 2011, so plenty of time to gather the evidence!

My idea:

to explore how Social Media is the way forward

  • the way forward for both PR and Business
  • the way forward in communication

but I also want to explore other areas such as:

  • how Social Media has stopped people writing letters, talking face to face etc
  • how Social Media has made it easier to “share”
  • how Social Media has put a risk on the younger generation – pedophiles, stalkers etc
  • how Social Media has made people lazy
  • how Social Media has made it easier to stay in contact with people – old friends from school, university, work places, etc.
  • ‘Networking’
  • Leads to the bigger question of – How the internet has taken over our lives – PS3 – play online, Xbox live etc
  • Phone Applications – never without Social Media.

As a way to get the most out of my essay, I am looking into the pro’s and con’s of using Social Media, to determine if it is the way forward.

 

25/10/10 – Cardiff University Newspaper – Gair Rhydd

Social Networking – Good? or Bad?

In this article there are Pro’s and Con’s to the world of Social Networking.

The Pro’s:

      • A Pro-social Networking Argument
      • Why we can’t be without Facebook…
      • To tweet or not to tweet?

The Con’s:

    • The bad side to social networking
    • Facebook’s Failing
    • For all the twits out there


The whole article holds very important information about the ‘public’ views of Social Media, which would be very useful for the essay.

9/11/10 – Cardiff Metro

‘Day 1 of Her Majesty’s glorious Facebook experiment and look what happens’

All The Queen’s Friends

This article is about the Monarchy’s ‘much anticipated’ facebook page: The British Monarchy – which was launched yesterday (8/11/10) on facebook. A host of doctored images of the queen were uploaded onto the page such as a McDonalds burger flipper, in the Arsenal football shirt, Gangster, etc. There was a large uproar from royal fans for those who posted the spoofs on the site, but there were a lot of comments saying ‘the queen rocks’


This article will be useful to show how Facebook can be a host for abuse and bullying on levels, however, it also shows people’s sense of humour and gives a podium for spoofs like this to happen.

Neil Blockley Social Media

Spending Cuts Needed For Social Media?

After reading an article on the BBC website on the 12th October, with regards to the latest news of Public Sector cuts and how they would hit the South Wales Valleys hardest,  I believe more than ever that a business needs to develop a Social Media presence to survive and grow.

I can imagine how many businesses who rely on a local customer base within the South Wales Valleys might decide to cut their costs and stop any marketing that they might be doing because they perceive that their existing custom will drop because of these cuts.   This was the approach many businesses adopted at the start of the recession and for many, it was definitely the wrong strategy as they are no longer in business.

As it states in the article, some areas will be affected more than others and such an impact in one area could potentially give a business the opportunity to generate more business in another.  With the development of technology and Social Media tools available to give businesses the platform to engage with potential clients,  it doesn’t always mean that the business has to relocate their operation but they do need their marketing strategy to be far more creative and flexible.

For businesses who solely rely on local Word of Mouth marketing, local newspaper adverts or local directories, their  net will not be cast wide enough and their strategy will not flexible enough to quickly adapt to the changes which will be seen over the next 12 months.  Through dealing closely with various types of businesses for a number of years, the ones that have remained successful through the difficult trading periods have:

Remained positive

Made timely management decisions

Identified opportunities to create additional revenue

Constantly demonstrated being very much open for business

I believe a great way to do this is through Social Media.  Build your followers and not just in your local area, engage with them on a regular basis, provide them with a valuable reason to be a part of your business.  A business that is proactive in demonstrating confidence in their future, will give others confidence in their ability to trade and will be more likely to grow and tell the tale of their successes for many years to come.

If you are at this stage with your business and looking to market by developing a Social Media Strategy, then please contact me today to discuss in more detail how I can assist your business create and develop an ongoing bespoke Social Media presence to provide great results.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it useful, feel free to leave your comments and share with your friends and contacts.

Neil

07966 241862

Email: neil@neilblockleysocialmedia.co.uk

Original Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11513689

Is Facebook Right For You?

With Facebook becoming so popular, are you finding that all your friends and even some people who are not so close to you bombarding with every tiny comment about their lives?  Things we really don’t care about and some things which shouldn’t be broadcasted outside of their own four walls.  I bet some of you reading this have secretly hidden their comments so they don’t appear on your profile, so you don’t have to offend them by deleting them as a friend.  Others of you I’m sure have been ruthless and banished these people from your Facebook lives forever because you just couldn’t take any more.

Well if some of these comments are true, then you might be interested in finding out a different way to interact with people through Social Media.

Check out this article from http://www.the nextweb.com which is very true, and why not try out a different form of Social Media. http://bit.ly/cXffuX

Is Twitter the way forward for you?  Register a profile and check out the action at www.twitter.com

Does Social Media Work?

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, does social media really work? Can it bring me new customers and more business?

The answer, for the majority of businesses in the UK (there will always be a few exceptions!) is undoubtedly YES!

However, I heard a great story just the other day which really highlights the potential and power of social media. This particular anecdote concerns Twitter.

There’s a very successful UK entrepreneur called Nigel Botterill. Nigel has built five separate million pound plus businesses in the last five years so, he knows a lot about what it takes to build businesses fast. He was one of the first business people to properly understand the potential and power of social media and he has driven literally hundreds of thousands of people to his websites and generated tens of thousands of pounds of revenue directly through social media over the last few months.

However, the story I heard last week is very powerful. Nigel was running a Boot Camp to train potential franchisors, i.e. people that wanted to franchise their business. He was running a Boot Camp over two days at his head offices in Solihull. Tickets cost over £2,000 and the event was fully booked.

On the Sunday evening before the event, Nigel put a Tweet out on Twitter that said, “Really looking forward to my Franchisors Boot Camp tomorrow – off for an early night to make sure I’m on top form (hopefully)”.

Now, this is not one of the most insightful Tweets you will ever see(!) but, what happened next is fascinating and illustrates really well the power of Twitter. One “follower” of Nigel is a guy called Jat Mann who runs a business called PC Pal. Jat has recently franchised his business out and when he saw this Tweet from Nigel (at 9.00pm on a Sunday evening don’t forget) it was the first he knew about Nigel’s Boot Camp. He was very keen to get a place so he tweeted back to Nigel asking for more information. Unfortunately, Nigel had gone offline so Jat jumped on the internet and started filling in every email form he could find on all of Nigel’s websites. One of those emails got picked up by one of Nigel’s colleagues who called Nigel at home at 10.15pm on a Sunday evening to ask whether he would accept another person on his Franchisors Boot Camp.

Long story short, Jat turned up at Nigel’s offices on the Monday morning at 8.30am, paid his two grand plus on credit card and joined the Boot Camp.

The point of this story is to illustrate the ability that Twitter has to generate business and, what’s great about this particular anecdote is that it is completely ring fenced, nothing else was at play here – just Twitter.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss this story as an isolated incident – “Oh, Nigel got lucky!” However, that would be to overlook the platform that had been built over the previous months. Nigel has a large number of followers on Twitter and Jat was one of those people. Nigel engages with his audience on Twitter all the time. Consequently, he is seen as being interesting and interested and, so relationships are forged.

When Nigel launches new products or has new initiatives he is able to let his followers know about these things in the right way, at the right time and a heck of a lot of business gets done as a result.

This kind of platform and access to this community is available to you too – IF you use social media properly.

If you need any help in this regard…..then you know where to come!

hintofsarcasm.com – Nate Collins – nominated for : Wales Blog Award nominated writer – which was hosted by Warwick Emanuel PR.

Twitter starts its cull

With Twitter rapidly losing money through lack of revenue, it must start to bring their platform back to themselves as the first part of their plan to get into the black.

As it stands the third-party application is King, in February 2009 only 31% of Twitter activity was performed through their website, Twitter.com, the other 69% was done through various third-party applications, on desktop and mobile devices, like Tweetie for iPhone, Ubertwitter for BlackBerry and Tweetdeck, for iPhone and all desktops.

In April of this year Twitter announced that they would be taking back their service – launching new features and their own mobile applications, including apps for iPhone and BlackBerry, but are these any good and have they been successful so far?

Twitstat keep a running total of the most popular Twitter clients and are currently showing that Twitter.com is still the most popular single “client”, but its usage has been chopped in half to 16%, a momentus drop. Tweetdeck retains its second place and Twitter for iPhone, the official application, is all the way up there at #4 with 6% share. This does hint that the attempts by Twitter thus far to take back what is theres is working, on one platform at least, albeit one of the biggest platforms. Official apps for Android and BlackBerry do register on the list, but at lowly 23rd and 29th places.

So what next for Twitter? With their core gateway, Twitter.com, taking such a massive hit, can they continue to plod on with their plans to monetise their service? Surely the website is where they will make their biggest profits as revenues through mobile are still relatively marginal. What can they do to attract people back to the browser?

Brands using Twitter – My tips for them

Brands of the world, it seems that whoever you have employed to manage your social networking presence does not know what they are doing and you need to sort it out, now!

I am finding more and more that certain brands are monitoring keywords using Tweetdeck or similar applications to reply to tweets either with a sales pitch for their similar product or even to try to redeem themselves in a “pro-active customer service” move.

The first point that I must make is that if you’re going to take the latter stance, appoint somebody who knows the product and is familiar with twitter etiquette. I recently had my broadband company reply to a rant about their service, to which I replied to them with the issue and didn’t hear another thing for a week. I then commented on this lack of response, after-all, they contacted me, and they replied, quite snappily I might add, insisting that they had DM’ed me. Well, anyone who had been using Twitter for more than 24 hours would know that you cannot send a direct message to somebody who does not follow you. And why would I be following my ISPs customer service department? So of course, I didn’t get their DM.
When I did get a response to my technical question, their response didn’t make any sense. Apparently my ”IP address email addresschanges daily”. The question I asked them was about the LAN IP addresses that their router gives. Duh.

Another experience was with UPS who clearly monitor the use of “UPS”. Unfortunately it seems that only their US branch use Twitter so when I complained by way of a tweet to the world and they contacted me, they clearly didn’t look at my location before offering assistance, as when I replied with my issue they said they couldn’t help and to call the UK call centre (by this time I had already).

Other companies monitor for use of words that are attributed to their product, or even their competitors company names in an attempt to poach customers. This may all be fine, as long as they are offering you a comparable service or product – not something that is 3-4x the price or isn’t in any way the same.

Twitter can be a great way to get your companies names onto the computer screens of customers or potential customers, as long as it is executed properly. The rules of the real world still apply in Twitterland. It may be a new way to be in contact, but that shouldn’t change anything.

My top tips

Your brand is not my friend. Do not pretend that it is. Don’t @ me after randomly finding me through keyword searches offering comment only to lead up to a sales pitch.
If you’re going to offer customer service by twitter, offer to take my telephone number and call me. I’m sure that most issues cannot be sorted out in 140 characters.
Know how Twitter works. Don’t DM me when I can’t receive it because I don’t follow you. Oh, and don’t @ when you mean to DM, that could be disastrous.

My other ideas are to use:

     

  • Mock The Week
  • Facebook and Twitter Stats
  • Comic Sketch’s about Social Media
  • Rude Tube
  • Russell Howard’s Good News
  • Documents kindly given to me by Warwick Emanuel about Social Media and PR work.
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