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Over the past few weeks I have been asked about the relationship between social networks, how they fit together and if syncing accounts is generally a good thing. The answer lies in how you actually use social media.
The question to ask is are you happy for your business contacts on LinkedIn to view your content on Twitter? And are your followers on LinkedIn also your Facebook friends anyway? You’ll probably find that you’re connected to very few people on Twitter that you follow on LinkedIn. So this begs the question, are you ultimately providing a spam feed to the people you connect with the most?
Your community of followers, likers, subscribers, friends and business contacts all require a mix of professional but also personal approach to how you engage with them. If you’re a twitter addict and linking your posts to LinkedIn, you could be creating a very negative effect on your reputation.
Relevant and informative posts, great content and careful engagement will always provide a more positive route for your communication whether business and pleasure.
Syncing done right enables you to do more with less time, but it is still something to be used sparingly across networks where possible. Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to use. Twitter is the pub… LinkedIn the business lunch and Facebook when you invite them back to your house. Great food for thought.
Is there a trap in an app? Added by ianh | One Comment
Nice to see Midlands Today discussing web technology and featuring customers that are using it. Our sister company LHM started in 2005 as a mobile marketing agency, and we have seen mobile platforms change rapidly over the past six years.
The app is here to stay, but what is questionable is its marketing reach for brands. With over 50 app stores and over 400,000 apps in the top three stores it is hard to be found in the masses of apps out there. If you are MSN or Angry Birds, you’re much more likely to feature in the App store charts, but for small businesses we think there is a much smarter option… The mobile ‘web’ over the mobile ‘app’.
The mobile web cuts out brands having to wait for approval from Apple to get there products and services online, it has a far greater reach (Apple only have a 2.1% market reach in the UK) and a mobile site that has been optimised for search offers so much more in traffic and accessibility than the App store could.
HTML5 offers mobile developers the opportunity to create all of the technology and functionality that App developers create, and best of all having a mobile site allows you to benefit from links, and makes it easier for mobile users to share URLs of product pages. Surely sharing is the way forward for brands and Social Media?
Everytime we view another App that goes live, without any effort supporting the other 97.9% of active web enabled mobile users we are always disappointed for the client. It might be time for brands to rethink their budget and strategy as mobile commerce will be a major web trend for 2011.
The ideal job application? Added by ianh | No Comments
Check out the new CV or CVIV (Interactive Video) sent to an agency by Graeme Anthony which is casuing a stir on the internet.
It would be interesting to see how long Graeme remains on the market after this effort – my guess would be not long at all. . .
The unsung heroes of the NHS Added by ianh | No Comments
On Friday 24th September I had the pleasure of providing a social media seminar at the Institute of Medical Illustrators Conference 2010, at the Crewe Hall Hotel in Crewe. The event was a great success, and featured a trade show presenting the latest gadgets for the medical, design, IT and photographic industry.
Utilising ‘Social Media’ in the NHS and health organisations is a very interesting subject for marketers, as it poses much more risk than standard campaign. Hospitals in house IT departments will always vary in size and technical ability, but the difficulty is that IT departments often go from zero tolerance on Social Media to complete open access, a particularly frustrating predicament to start with.
The NHS is always trying to improve its services; we have seen this through its launch of NHS Choices and support of the independent social enterprise Patient Opinion, both sites generate positive changes across the country, based on patient’s feedback. So with 63% of the UK population on Facebook and many NHS customers having direct access to 3G services from inside its premises, it makes no sense to me that Communication, Marketing, PR and Charity teams are often prevented in accessing what customers are saying about them.
Social Media is all about listening and building relationships, so for boards and IT teams to prevent visibility adds a dangerous risk to the hospital brand, and potentially a PR disaster.
One of the key concerns for Medical Illustrators as a whole was that they do need to increase their profile in order to be seen as a true asset to the organisations they work with. Many felt they could offer more value to the organisations and teams they work with, given the opportunity.
The tremendous talent amongst the Medical Illustrators over the past few days was clear to see (Video Specialists, 3D Graphic Illustrators, Surgical Photographers, Artists, Web Designers, Print Specialists) and as part of the creative teams in the organisations they work in, strongly believe they can save big budgets for hospitals that typically pay agencies for advertising, brochures, posters and educational material, by providing in house support.
Like anyone working in the Public Sector at the moment, people in the profession feel vulnerable so it’s vital for them to understand how Social Media networks can help to drive awareness and share best practice.
There are some social networks in place for Medical Illustrators, but surprisingly with little take up. This surely offers people within the profession a great opportunity to create and build a popular network for Medical Illustrators that will inspire many people to join.
Discovering the job role of a Medical Illustrator was a real experience, in my opinion they are truly the unsung heroes of the NHS dealing with so much more than design or photography, including the pressure and emotions that go with dealing with patients in some very sad and tragic situations, legal cases, and education. In the true style of a hospital, they never know what situation is coming next.
To download the Social Media presentation from the event, please go to our Medical Illustrators Social Media Group on LinkedIn.
Written by Ian Hughes.
Marketing your Social Enterprise Added by admin | 5 Comments
On the 10th June 2010, I helped facilitate a marketing discussion for Social Enterprise West Midlands called ‘Marketing your Social Enterprise’. The focus for the event was to share best practice and discuss ideas and develop skills around web and digital marketing.
Some of the key issues for organisations were the following:
A key issue for Social Enterprises is the terminology and acronyms that are used within the Third Sector. This often leads to a confusing message in marketing channels, and will not work in line with search engines especially.
It is important that organisations understand who they are targeting, what their key USP’s are and the reputation that they are starting with.
Feedback is essential from current and potential clients to help with improving your marketing message.
The feedback from the majority of Social Enterprises is how important updating creative is for their organisations. Many of the Social Enterprises at the event were going through a brand change in addition to a new website.
New design increases sales, but it does cost the organisation in the long run, especially when refreshing a current brand and all marketing material. The most popular pages from participants websites was typically the ‘vacancies’ and ‘about us’ page.
It is important to make sure your web company understands your online requirements. With your next project, is there the opportunity to get it right first time, meaning that they you easily edit in the future?
Usability & Accessibility
Many organisations felt that they need to improve the usability and accessibility on their current platforms. In addition to making them easy to use for disabilities, the key to developing user-focused websites is being aware of what the visitors/members will be searching for, providing answers to their questions and present it in a way that is easy for them to process.
Learnability – How intuitive is the design of the site?
Efficiency – How quickly can users perform tasks, find resources etc?
Memorability - Can users easily remember how to use the website? What kind of errors are users making, why are they making them and can they easily recover from these mistakes?
Satisfaction - Do your customers enjoy using your website?
Many organisations felt that Social Media has offered them a great deal of new followers, and a younger audience than they would usually connect with. Some businesses felt that they should be using it, while others didn’t see the value.
The key thing to social media to remember is that it takes time, but can pay dividends. Dell estimated they have made $6.5m from Twitter.
The social networking platform provides a much easier route for enterprises than cold calling; you can add who you want in to your twitter stream!
Key online marketing techniques being implemented by the participants were E-Marketing, Web Surveys and Social Media.
The general feeling was that mobile may offer huge opportunities with its immediate reach (96% messages are read), and a few of the participants will be trialling this shortly.
Many of the Social Enterprises aren’t using free tools to research, blog and measure the success of their current website. One participant had found a keyword that described its business that customers were searching for on Google, which was bringing in large amounts of traffic and customers. Understanding what users search for when searching for a product is key to success.
Google Analytics was rarely used by most Social Enterprises and should be implemented through all sites, it’s free and provides the information to see if their sites are working for them.
Written by Ian Hughes, Marketing Director at The Social Media Partnership
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