Tag Archives: #smwldn

Individual or brand: 5 tips for finding your authentic Twitter voice #SMWLDN

Individualism or conformity, which approach is right when it comes to social media? Two London Social Media Week events on Tuesday looked at Twitter from different angles, but came to similar conclusions: be true to yourself, experiment and don’t let the blighters get you down.

The first event (produced by the very affable Charity Chap) was Your Social Persona: How Your Individual Online Identity Influences And Boosts Your Organisation’s Brand, looking at the value of allowing individual voices to shine through a brand Twitter account. The second event (panel pictured above), hosted by The London Book Fair, focused on Storytellers on Social Media: The Author as Digital Brand.

Here are my top five takeaways from the two sessions:

1. Personality is important and consistency is essential. Whether you’re a brand or an individual (and, let’s face it, the lines between the two are increasingly blurred), experiment with finding your unique voice – then stick to it. Corporate Twitter profiles like Waterstones Oxford Street, MoonPig and Arena Flowers and individual profiles like 50Cent and (author) Sarah Pinborough succeed because they have unique voices, and oodles of character and personality.

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Social media is changing behaviour in the food industry, says top chef, Tom Aikens #SMWLDN


There have been quite a few mentions of #foodporn during London Social Media Week – and the prize for getting in there first goes to LikeMinds for their 8.30am Monday morning session: Is Social Media Making or Breaking the Food Industry?

But beyond the usual conversations around whether or not you think food is sexy, if tweeting about your breakfast is boring, or if it’s socially acceptable to take photos of food while dining out, the stand-out point for me came from Michelin starred celebrity chef Tom Aikens:

“As a chef, you’ll rarely pick up the phone to ask other chefs ‘what are you cooking now?”, but with social media things have changed. Every day chefs are swapping stories, ides and photos. The new generation of chefs is sharing more. I’m really excited about the changes that will bring to the industry.”

Tom Aikens is clearly an early adopter and he’s pretty unusual. For example, he uses Tweetdeck while in the kitchen to identify “foodie people, bloggers, and industry people” coming into his restaurant. That way he knows who to look out for, and whether or not it might be worth popping over a complimentary glass of champagne. Tom’s got nearly 35 thousand followers on Twitter – a great role model for other chefs to follow.

Thanks Annie Mole for the very seductive photo.

Hangouts, events and iPads – the future of retail is not about selling! #SMWLDN

We’re in the newly refurbished Heal’s (very nice) for a breakfast session on retail. Nicky from GDR kicks off by telling us her top three trends to watch: first, selfies – both Karl Lagerfeld and Urban Outfitters have been using these in store to great effect. Second, #foodporn – one company used Instagram photos to create a crowdsourced menu; third, the highly conversational #whatimwearingtoday meme, which was appropriated by Kate Spade as a promotional tool and did well.

Following Nicky, Sam Reid steps up to talk about his new start-up, Tapestry. Sam says we want to avoid the “wrong kind of digital” (such as a coloured screen which mirrors your movements in store) and focus on the “right kind” – which is mobile: everyone has a mobile phone, says Sam, it makes sense to connect with them. Tapestry enables users to buy items using their phone. Sam’s research has shown that people who interact with a brand using their mobile phone in store will spend up to 25 per cent more. Sam is currently working with brands like Ted Baker and Diesel. This is “next level CRM”: why do stores send vouchers in the post, asks Sam, when they could send them direct to a mobile, so you’d have them in your pocket next time you’re in store? Main issue for Tapestry is tying up the data – making full use of all data available.

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How British American Tobacco have been using social media (#smwldn live blog)

Next up, David Richard Hare from BAT. 

15.54: BAT had ‘ten years of failure’ with online communities. It was difficult to get people to engage with the tools. 

We tried five platforms over ten years. There were too many barriers to communication: people forgot their passwords, changed jobs etc.

In 2005 we tried a workshop called ChangeNet. We realised our approach was wrong again: we were concentrating on the technology too much. At the workshop, people began to build relationships, they are now able to interact virtually as friends. Adding this human direction was a big step for us. It was partly because we (the online engagement team) moved from IT to HR.

CommunityBuilder was a tool that showed employees how to get people engaged with their projects. 

In 2006, we put a World Cup Forum up. Immediately became the most visited place on our intranet. It didn’t take up too much of people’s time but helped break down barriers within the organisation. There was a big spike in activity during the world cup.

In 2007, we set up a Management Trainee Community. Now one of the most active communities: people set up weekend social activities together etc.

Tom, our Change and Communications Manager (Global Operations and IT), came to us in 2004 and said he wanted to try blogging. It took about 3 attempts but in the end we developed something ourselves in Lotus Notes – gave him an area within his site where he could blog. He linked his everyday blog very well to the business world and business strategy, and others followed.

One new blogger was particularly suspicious of social media, but she’s a marketer and she realised that when you get your stories in front of people, that’s what engages them. She’s now one of our most prominent bloggers.

One colleague started blogging about how the organisation needed to open up, eg use Facebook and YouTube and had around 8,000 page views per blog post. Now BAT is considering his proposals.

BlogCentral (BAT’s internal blog network – given same name as IBM’s) monthly users started out at around 400, grew to around 2,500 by April 2010. 

16.13: I was pushing for a Facebook like internal network for years. We had an internal directory (called Connect – also ‘stolen’ from IBM). When Twitter arrived it seemed the time was right to something that combined the three (profiles/social networks with updates with real-time connections). In 2008 we built Connect: went live in July 2008. We’ve linked it to Active Directory, we’ve linked it to SAP.

Suddenly we’ve got this global directory, this huge network. You go in and see activity updates first thing in the morning. 25,000 registered users (everyone who uses the intranet has to sign up to it).

16.20: opens up for questions.

Question: the user experience people want is actually very different from what IT departments inevitably provide.

Question: what happens when people leave?

Andy (from IBM): I might retain info from corporate related groups on external networks. For example, people leave company but still show up on its facebook page. IBM has set up an alumni network as a way of engaging with formal employees.

Richard: that’s a problem with Yammer: you can’t throw people off it.

Comment: where next? Are there plans to go down the 2.0 course? 

Richard: when we released Connect, we asked people what they’d like to see. We don’t really have a high level strategy.

Question: it seems a big role for us as internal communicators is focusing on coaching management on how to communicate?

16.36: yes!

16.37 onto next speaker – see new post.