Given the massive sense of frustration we can feel, sometimes it seems easier to forget the whole damn thing and go back to forming meaningful relationships through old school ties and networking dos.
But social media marketing, the ability to scale and grow through your business through amplified word of mouth (while also benefitting from heart-warming conversations), is a fabulous, life-enriching opportunity. If you do it right.
Dare Conference has been going for three years but this is the first year I’ve been able to attend. It seems unique among conferences in that it focuses on collaborative business culture from a digital/ geek standpoint. Founder Jonathan Kahn used to be a web designer, but he grew frustrated at the disconnect between espoused workplace values and the reality – and set up DareConf to bridge that gap.
The first thing about DareConf is that it’s great for networking (in the best sense of the word): getting the chance to connect with like-minded people on a deeper level than you might do at a purely speaker-focused event.
Game-changing companies Airbnb and Uber don’t own anything other than their online communities – and the data those communities generate. But Airbnb and Uber are worth billions. And they’ve blown traditional business models out of the water in the sectors in which they operate.
This was the key point made by digital expert Dion Hinchcliffe at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in London recently: “I hear people say ‘Oh, we’re not a technology company, so we’re not riding the technology wave’,” said Hinchcliffe. “But that’s no longer an excuse!”
“Whatever your sector, your business model is under threat from digital,” said David Terrar, the summit producer. “We’re seeing three massive trends happening at once: cloud, social and mobile. The unprecedented access to data, connectivity and the speed at which new products and services can be delivered mean goal posts are shifting fast.” Continue reading →
Five years ago this month, I published Monkeys with Typewriters – a bit of a hippy treatise on the importance of social media to business. I wanted to look at how social tools could help businesses and all their relevant stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and the like – be more productive, effective and – yes – even fulfilled and happy, because they would be communicating a whole lot better. Well, that shouldn’t be rocket science, should it?
Half a decade on, the six behavioural changes outlined in the book are still relevant and, if anything, even more mainstream today. And I stand by them. Here’s what they are – and how to incorporate them into your everyday way of doing things in 2015.
1. Go forth and co-create!
The DIY and customisation trend is only getting bigger. Why only the other week The Guardian Guide ran a special on it. Creative Commons licensed photos are increasingly used on websites as an alternative to stock photography and just last July Google added a usage rights function to its image search. The web is overflowing with free, re-usable material – don’t be afraid to experiment. Set up a playlist on Spotify or Soundcloud. Start your own WordPress or Tumblog and share anything that takes your fancy. Find inspiration by curating some Pinterest boards. Join a #tag conversation on Twitter and realise that sharing and responding to other people’s ideas is just as enjoyable as broadcasting your own. Instragram and Vine stuff you see around you. Free your inner creative genius. Continue reading →
A friend of mine has set up a new business. It’s a modest operation at present and he’s the only employee. Should he create a new Twitter identity specifically for the business or should he switch the direction of his existing personal Twitter account?
My advice: stick to the identity you’ve got. Key reasons:
1. Time. It’s going to take twice as much out of your day to manage two (or more) accounts – coming up with “original content” for second (or even third and fourth) feeds can be taxing
2. If your business identity is closely aligned with your personality and values (as, in this day and age, it should) then you might as well be one and the same account, rather than “pretend” to be two completely separate identities.
3. If you’d like your business account to be along the lines of friendly, irreverent, informal but useful (and you’d be living in the last century if you didn’t), then you might as well keep it as the (hopefully) loveable person you already are, rather than struggling to find an informal “voice” as a non-human entity.
4. Yes, you may well loose some followers if you bang on about your business, but if your followers generally like you and you inject a reasonable amount of humour into things, any you loose will be those of least value to you.
5. If you want to be transparent and open in your business (as we all do, right?), then Tweeting as your self rather than a third party really makes the most sense.