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News Update – Best of the Day

There is a lot happening on Twitter and some companies might ask if their competitor already uses Twitter in the means of some corporate communication, service tool or some thing else. Andrew Kinnear created a wonderful list on ‘Consumer and Business Brands on Twitter‘. And if you are an exec and want to see some cases on how to engage as a top manager with your target audience on Twitter, just check out this new service called ‘exectweets‘.

This years Media Summit 2009 reveals some very interesting insight in the question ‘Can the Media Business Solve a Problem It Can’t Define?’

Budgets for recruitment low in recession times? Well, here is how some companies solve the issue by using Twitter at ‘Businesses Turn to Twitter to Cut Recruitment Costs‘. See some interesting aspects on the Pros and Cons on an still unproven option.

News Update – Best of the Day

Most of big companies are not really relying on social media, nor evaluating it seriously. Susan Rice Lincoln found some answers why ‘big brands struggle with social media’. She found six reason.

Social Media is…
– … often viewed as just another marketing channel.
– … does not fit into current structures
– … a long term proposition
– … promises no guaranteed results
– … measured differently
and… Communities and content are global and corporations are generally national. – A lot of option if you tackle these issues from the right angle…

In some way Twitter is like a search engine. Have we ever thought on how we use this search option?
Danny Sullivan started a research and – although someone might be there who does not believe in research results – there is definitely a very interesting trend in the findings. Yes, I would say, Twitter is an ‘additional search engine’…

– Half ask a question on Twitter at least once per week
– Nearly 40% are “usually” satisfied with the answers they get
– Half “sometimes” or “often” turn to Twitter for questions rather than a traditional search engine
– Only 4% said they’d give up a traditional search engine for Twitter
– Nearly half said they ask questions on Twitter because they trust their friends or followers more than search results or are seeking expert answers
– 40% said they seek answers to “real time” issues or they want a variety of opinions
– Nearly 70% said questions they asked were related to computer or the internet, followed by 44% asking questions about Twitter, then 41% asking about shopping or product advice

Advertising in a social media world always carries the problem that people might abuse your brand in some unfavorable way. Last week some boys made up the idea in “How to Smoke Smarties”. Adage focuses on this latest YouTube phenomenon and posts some important hints how to handle situations where people are ‘messing messing with your brand online’.

1. Don’t fight it. (Brands cannot control client communication!)
2. Survey the extent of the problem. (Brands need to know how big ‘the damage’ is!)
3. Turn to your social-media crisis plan. (Develop one!)
4. Be open with employees. (Social Media guidelines will help!)
5. Respond accordingly. (All spokesperson should have the official response statement asap!)

Nielsen: Facebook best in reach, MySpace in ads

The recent Nielsen study ‘Global Faces and Networked Plazes‘ focuses on the increase of social networks in terms of worldwide reach and extension. The results emphazise the rise and importance of communities but also the dynamic of the intention to grap more market share.

Talking of reach, Facebook -the worldwide leader in the social network market- is showing the strongest user base and has replaced MySpace as the world’s most popular social network. Classmates comes in third, followed by Orkut and LinkedIn. The reasons for the facebook success are obvious. According to the study and Nielsen measurement, the win of the Facebook tactic is based on the ‘simple design, broad demographic appeal and a focus on connecting’.

Reports estimate that in 2008 Facebook earned around $US300 million in ad revenue compared to around $US1 billion for MySpace. If Facebook has made a conscious choice to go for the quantity vs. quality strategy it has yet to overtake MySpace in the all-important revenue metric.

So, monetization is still not Facebook best business activity. MySpace attracts more advertisers and gets twice as much campaigns than the ‘Zuckerberg team’.
The Nielsen view on the reasons is that “MySpace’s offering possibly makes its inventory – of which there is a lot more compared to Facebook – easier to monetize, particularly in terms of immersive advertising.”

Finally important, the use of social networks has outdated email as the first way of online communication: 67% of the users show a regular activity in communities.

News Update – Best of the Day

The fifth annual Digital Outlook Report from Razorfish helps marketers make smarter decisions about their digital media spend – especially in a recession. The latest executive summary of the 2009 DOR summarizes three main statements: Portals continue to lose their grip, social media becomes social influence and long tail TV rises.

Measurement on the spot: How effective are your social media programs? Want to know the ROI of your social media campaigns? Need data on how to make strategic decisions to refine your social media programs? Robin Broitmann has created a ‘Social Media Metrics Superlist’.

Will our business of the future be without email communication, simply done by social networking? Adam Ostrow finds new stats from Nielsen Online showing that social networking has overtaken email in terms of worldwide reach already at the end of last year.

News Update – Best of the Day

Today, we will be serving the ‘How To’-Help – Enjoy it!

How to start a blog and make it effective … Jamie Herzlich knows facts about your competition (130 million blogs on the Internet – according to Technorati) AND has some very good advice that you are not getting lost with your blog.

How to start a corporate Twitter account…. Evelyn So has some interesting ideas on considerations before you dive into Twitterville, taken from a corporate, communication and customer point of view and background. Read comments also…!

How to Get More Out Of Google Docs… It’s on you! If you have the right input, just contribute, log in and add them to the page. Help writing this article. Yes, this is the power of a wiki.

PS: How to Present While People are Twittering? Years ago, people were whispering to each other at conferences, today they are ‘twittering’. Olivia Mitchell knows how to adopt and get attention when you are a speaker.

This is a Twitter wake-up call! Well done, Jim…

Some days ago, I read a comment on another blog moaning “OMG – not another Twitter post!” Bearing this in mind, I now reply with a post to Jim Connolly’s clever decision. The marketing expert who deleted over 20.000 followers some days ago.

So, my comment is…’YES, a critical Twitter article – finally somebody did it.’

One of our editors asked me the other day: ‘Why would you use Twitter?’ I replied…

Imagine you have a mobile phone.
Imagine there is nobody in your address book.
Imagine you have forgotten all numbers.

And, what is the value of your mobile phone in this case? That’s were you start to twitter…

So, I thought about the comparison and came to the conclusion. There is a big benefit of a mobile phone compared to Twitter. The communication barrier which is called the ‘Dial’ button. Although you have a lot of people in your business ‘communication network’, you just talk to them actively when it’s the appropriate time. But people love to listen to Twitter in a passive mode. This is becoming a critical efficiency issue…

Jim summarizes about his future Twitter balance… “BUT this time, I am only following friends, clients and contacts, (which will be quite a large number in itself.)”. Yes, he is popular and back at far more than 500 followers again…

Spot On!
Let me ask… Do we all know what the critical topic with Twitter is? It can be a ‘time thief’ where we spend hours killing the efficiency of our productive work output by trying to invest in our knowledge, in our vanity, in being the first to know and in our ‘trendsetter image’? Ah yes,we can learn a lot from Jim’s decision. It’s a wake-up call, not only for the Twitterati…

Personal Web Manager – the next web 2.0 job?

Time is the most important asset of the modern job world 2.0. Why? This should be quite clear – we all get booked up (Outlook and Intsant Messaging), burned out by mobility (increasing mobility – thanks to mobile internet we cannot live offline anymore) and above all “networked up” (social media explosion).

People who are seeking to have a good online reputation 2.0 need at least to be present in different XING groups, do some Facebook ‘business-socializing’ and look after their international connections in the LinkedIn business network. Some days ago, Mashable raised the question if it is possible to be registered in too many social networks. Well, this depends on the time you have, or have not…

“It’s time to find some time!” Translation of the new Centerparcs claim on German TV

The active business person has become an identity hiker 2.0. This person finds itself always in a discrepancy between satisfying the company’s business processes, staying up to date as well as producing high-profile mini-statements and thesis which polish the value of the own personal web-ID up. Furthermore companies expect more and more from their employees when facing the financial crisis, cost reduction and personal lay-offs.

And then there are some personal human needs (family life) and preferences like satisfying personal hobbies. The extreme heteronomy is growing. But how shall we cope with all these duties without being in danger of health damages? This becomes incomprehensible for most of the modern business people 2.0.

The surplus work load of web 2.0 and social media does its very best in this context and needs to be filtered as well as canalized. When the world of social media itself thinks about the idea, how to save some time as a business person 2.0, then a solution needs to be found.

But how can we as sucessful business people 2.0 embrace this phenomenon? On a long discussion night some managers I came up with an idea which found attractive interest in Germany and which was born from university memories. In those days we saw busy little bees of ‘professor followers’, so called student assistants, running around extremely motivated. These young energetic people who followed a hybrid life between administrator, aggregator and multiplicator (sounds like the first Twitterati generation…). So, the solution was obvious – a new job description needs to be found. The idea of the personal web manager as well as personal web assistant was born.

Profile of the Personal Web Manager (PWM) und Personal Web Assistant (PWA)
(For the rest of this post we will just use the short version: personal web consultant.)

The personal web consultant gets the title depending on his management qualification. The job will be given preferably to managers with extraordinary web-affinity or internet-enthusiastic or ‘web-addicted’ students. The personal web consultant is in his position a coach and/or assistant for successful ambitious business decision makers who take the course of mankind 2.0 who are reputation optimizer in the company management’s sense for the virtual-real world and who love to start a promising online career themselves.

Administrator of the virtual business
The personal web consultant organizes and segments web content for the business decision maker according to importance of markets and internal revenue expectations as well as projects and topics – except for email communication which can be done by the business decision maker who can concentrate on these duties as he finds more time thanks to the personal web consultant.

The personal web consultant is responsible for the registration on numerous internet platforms of relevance for the business decision maker (from communities to networks) and does the personal monitoring for his manager’s work. This person optimizes the profile of the boss. Furthermore, his work is concentrating on RSS feeds, bookmarks, micro-blogging and social and business networks which need to be brought in a standardized business format. All steps shall lead to one uniform personal web-ID.

Professional News-Aggregator
The personal web consultant collects necessary knowledge, posts, articles and trend ideas in the sense of his bosses entrepreneurial targets. Based on these facts he thinks about intelligent output strategies and elaborates recommendations for group input in networks, phrases these in the best possible version, hands those over to the manager who just needs to check them and do the final click to bring those online. In earlier days business decision makers got their map with documents to sign them, today you get an online folder with the content and/for the relevant links. Copy – paste – done!

Entrepreneurial Contact-Multiplier
The personal web consultant is responsible for the quality and the development of the chief’s business network. Registered as a contact-multiplier, the personal web consultant summarizes, supervises and optimizes the manager’s networks for old and new subject-orientated contacts. The consultant evaluates professional groups in business and social networks for new contacts and advises on necessary contact requests. Options for the moderation of groups in networks are also his duty as searching for virtual and real speaking options or guest comments or contributions.

But how can the personal web consultant be integrated in companies?
Companies are always searching for the ultimate and most efficient motivation incentive or hiring bonus which they can give to middle and top management apart from car allowance, mobile phones or a golf-club membership, all paid by the company in order to find the right motivation shot. Why not accompanying a motivated manager with a personal web consultant? The additional person is productive, innovative, motivated and makes the company live the maxim of web 2.0 – also in times of scarcity of resources.

The freelancer will love the personal web consultant if the order- and revenue situation is positive. This job is terminable from scratch and/or the personal web consultant can work on a freelancer-, trainee- or internship basis.

Spot On!
Some people may say the work of the personal web manager could be done by a automated web services (like Netvibes, PersonalBrowsr, Noserub, etc.). But if we take a serious look at the pace of the personal outputs on Twitter there is not even a 10% chance of effective following of the Twitterati followers. Especially when you are also meant to set the right tone and appropriate good manners when doing your daily business networking. So, all in all… either successful business decision makers have to transform into a virtual-optimized multitasking engine or simply automate the personal communication process 2.0. Establishing the job description of the personal web manager/assistant in companies could be a more professional solution and, talking of the economy crisis, provide numerous new jobs – and the next ‘web 2.0 job’.

Traditional Media: Embrace new modes of communication

One-on-One Interview with Julian Desborough
Publishing Operations Director and Webstrategist, Times Online


Julian Desborough is the content web strategist at Times Online. He helped run the development of the current iteration of Times Online and facilitated the content migration from Vignette to Escenic, after which he became the Publishing Operations Director of Times Online.

The Strategy Web interviewed Julian to get his idea on the ideal web strategy for a traditional media company.

Q: Please tell us in one sentence what webstrategy means to you?
Julian Desborough For me, Webstrategy is defining and maintaining your presence in the appropriate sectors of the digital marketplace.

Q: What makes a great web strategist and why does he become more and more important for a company?
Julian Desborough A great web strategist should spot emerging technologies and opportunities in the digital sphere while advising on corporate exposure and effort on existing channels. The web strategist also has a crucial role in evangelizing the digital space to more traditional areas of the business and leading the call for change within the organisation.

Q: What are the departments in your company that need you most and why?
Julian Desborough There is not one single department that does not need a web strategist. Commercial needs someone to spot the opportunities; Editorial needs someone to maximize the value of the content they produce; Technical needs someone to constantly challenge existing technologies, architectures and workflows to maintain standards of service and ability to future-proof investment.

Q: Did you face any kind of problems and issues when collaborating with departments (reporting structure or hierarchy)?
Julian Desborough Departments that are not “online facing” have a natural resistance to change. Most issues were around new work flows and integration issues with existing technology and workforces.

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges you are ‘fighting’ against in your daily business?
Julian Desborough (a) Rate of change within the organisation, (b) Ability to keep the company in line with trends within the industry, (c) Technical stability and usability.

Q: Publishing houses are said to be ‘inflexible and not really Web 2.0 focused’? Is this something you can underline?
Julian Desborough The biggest problem for traditional media companies is their inability to embrace new modes of communication and content delivery and provide investment in a manner that does not fly in the face of normal business opportunity planning (there was a time when too much money was thrown at online ideas without sound business cases).

Q: Talking about Social Media und Web 2.0 @ Times Online, did you implement any web 2.0 projects already? Examples like blogs, wikis, youtube, etc.)
Julian Desborough We have been running more than 50 blogs over the past three years (a challenge has been integrating them within our existing content infrastructure). We invite readers to comment on articles that they read (these are displayed within the article) and we embed youtube video clips, google maps and other items into articles to encourage reader interaction. We also have created online communities around small niche collections of content such as crossword clubs and book clubs and we successfully market content and promotions to popular email bulletins that readers have selected to receive.

Q: Will every company have a webstrategist in the near future?
Julian Desborough Sadly, I think not.

Thank you for the interview and your time, Julian!

News Update – Best of the Day

– Dass deutsche Unternehmen nicht die ‘experimentierfreudigsten’ sind, lässt sich allein daran absehen, dass viele Unternehmen weder dem Social Media Trend folgen noch auf Micro-Blogging Diensten große Aktivitäten zeigen. Warum deutsche Marken bei Social Media Marketing zu ängstlich sind, erläutert David Nelles und zeigt anhand eines Beitrags von Lee Oden, wie Unternehmen eine gute Social Media Kommunikationsstrategie aufbauen können.

– CHIP Communications GmbH launcht demnächst eine Plattform mit den 10 besten Tipps zu allem, was man sich nur denken kann: z.B. die 10 besten Weine unter 15 EUR oder die 10 besten Tips zur Unsterblichkeit. Schon jetzt macht der Verleger die Leser auf das Portal mit einer guten Launchseite heiß. Bezeichnenderweise ist am 10 Dezember Start und man darf schonmal durchs Schlüsselloch schauen…

– Das mobile Web macht sich auf, ein Massenmedium zu werden. Eine Gruppe von amerikanischen Experten für mobiles Marketing haben sich bei einem Panel Gedanken gemacht und Erfahrungen über Best Practises ausgetauscht. Herausgekommen ist keine ‘mobile Religion’, aber eine kleine Guideline ‘Best and Worst of the Mobile Web‘.