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News Update – Best of the Day

Looking at pictures is one of the most important first steps when people evaluate relationships, if it be in social networks or real life. OkCupid, a popular American dating site, now released some interesting findings to which kind of pictures people respond most.

“Women responded more often to pictures in which the man is looking off camera, not into it. Men were more likely to respond to pictures in which the woman is at home (and looking a little come-hither), rather than out with friends or on a trip. But for both sexes, pictures in which the subjects are smiling uniformly trounced the stone-faced ones.”

Companies often ask me if you need outbound to generate inbound engagement. Yes! IMHO… A nice campaign was live on Mashable (where else… 😉 )… A traditional banner campaign with an intelligent creative, pushing Twitter and Facebook acccount plus their website.

“La-Ola” is just a thing for the stadium? NO! Coca-Cola created some great example of a new 3D animated world through a new process of printing. Watch this…

News Update – Best of the Day

About a year ago, a Robert Hall study showed that 55% of CIOs don’t allow the access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This year’s study shows that the IT policies are changing to stricter guidelines…
– 38% have implemented stricter social networking policies regarding personal use of social media sites
– 15% have become stricter regarding business use
– 17% have become more lenient

Strategy& published its “Marketing Media Ecosystem 2010” report which sees a significant necessary change away from a “traditional marketer/client – agency – media company structure” to an economy that needs to change the pace of adopting new marketing tools towards a new marketer to end user relationship.

The key findings show the relevance of reference marketing…
– 88% agree the speed of marketing execution will become more important due to digital
– 80% believe insights into consumer’s digital behavior and related targeting will become more important
– 55% of users see consumer recommendation more important than pur brand knowledge
– 59% lack sufficient experience with digital/online media
– 51% do not have adequate senior support for digital

This commercial from Jack Rabbit Beer might be made for male humor. But it is more the chronology of the narrative time that makes it funny.

LinkedIn – The importance of using invitation texts

In the last months, all social business networkers on LinkedIn have shared the same experience. They have received different invitations from people all over the world with the following invitation text…

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
– Surname Name”

Short, targeting, and easy to understand – for everybody all over the world. Hmmmm….?!

This raises some questions in my head on the importance of invitation texts. And I would appreciate your views and get some feedback of people who also use LinkedIn for social business networking.

Personalization
Is it ok to use the standardized version of the invitation text by LinkedIn? We are all marketers and we know that personalization is key. So, isn’t it better to re-phrase the standardized text version and write a short PERSONAL message?

Curiosity
If somebody is not writing a personal message, is it a sign that this person wants me to respond to him/her, and ask WHY this person wants me in his/her business social network? Even think about the impact on playing a psychological game on hierarchy thinking. Or is it just the peek a boo effect? Or is it just a hunters and collectors business?

Test
If somebody leaves the standardized personal message, the contacted person might think this is a TEST on his/her social networking capabilities. So, companies might check how serious job applicants take social networking, how quick potential employees respond, or how much somebody is engaged in social media in general. Or just to test if this person understands effective lead generation?

Spot On!
Should not LinkedIn change its service? The one who is contacted cannot see what the contacting person has ticked in the box in terms of the business relationship, he or she is referring to.

What is your view and experience on invitations by social networks – especially from a business perspective.

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1Social network users love to spend time watching videos according to the latest Nielsen figures. The total amount of time spent was 999.4 million minutes in October – an increase of 98% to 2008. People watched 349.5 million videos (up 45%). Facebook was the No. 1 online social networking and blog platform for video consumption in October with 217.8 million total video streams, followed by MySpace with 85,2 million video impressions.

The latest CMO Council study shows how relevant it is to provide good content, as well as sending out mass mailings carefully. The study, “Why Relevance Drives Response and Relationships,” states that 91% of respondents have unsubscribed to e-mail newsletters. 46% of those said that the content wwas not relevant.
Even worse is to receive emails with product promotions people have already purchased. 22% won’t buy from the company after receiving such irrelevant mails.

Connecting offline and online in a funny and intelligent way by iCarphone Warehouse. Can somebody explain why it got banned?

PS: Also found some good new videos – check out my new The Strategy Web YouTube channel.

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1When managers talk to executives about social media the main question is always: Will the executives see the value for relationship- and brand-building. A new whitepaper called “Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks” says: Yes, they do!
And if your executives still don’t know why they should implement social media guidelines, Brian Solis has some good arguments for you.

Case studies on employer branding and how to leverage it with social media is hard to find. Brett Minchington, Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International (EBI), interviews Kerry Noone (Marketing Communications Manager, Sodexo) about how their social media strategy is building a stronger employer brand at Sodexo. Listen carefully…

Sometimes old TV spots turn out to the best…

PS: Find new books in my The Strategy Web bookstore. Just updated today…!

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1Today, the focus is on personal branding and your career…

Are you a top executive? The so called C-level manager? And you want to understand what you resume needs in order to be interesting for recruiters. Meg Guiseppi has 10 top secrets for a great senior-level executive resume.

In our online social networks the term ‘friend’ has a complete different meaning than in our offline world. Getting this straight in terms of a strategy becomes even more complicated. Chris Brogan writes an interesting summary on friends, reputation and endorsement. And he makes us think how we handle this topic.

One thing is for sure… In order to be successful in business we all need a good contact network. Now, in the era of social networks the question rises what is more important: quantity or quality? Thomas Power gives an answer… (although there is no proof it sounds quite realistic).

Interested to hear about your view and how do you handle your friend, colleague, partner or customer relationships… – Tell us about it!

News Update – Best of the Day

There are not many case studies on how to leverage social media for business and how to engage customers, partners, and press with social media. One great company example offers Cisco. Mia Dand summarizes Cisco’s approach on openness, transparency and ROI. And if you find the time see also the example of the American red cross by Beth Canter, including their social media strategy handbook…

Twitter and agencies seems to be a relationship that is not yet established for a powerful client mode. AdAge shows some amazing examples where agencies are handling Twitter streams for clients – but the agencies don’t even own their branded accounts, or have a powerful leader or expert which can be shown as a good case study to their clients. Scary?! My advice: Before starting to believe in the agency’s knowledge on social media, read the examples above and then take a look at this short post by Lawrence Perry: How not to be annoying on Twitter and other social media. Then decide which agency is the right one to handle your social media activities…

…and whenever I find a good example of a funny commercial, we will share this…

Personal Branding – how to build your career 3.0

Personal branding is the way to stand out of the crowd and being noticed in some special way in the business world which makes you unique. It is your value proposition for the future of your career. In a session at the webinale09 I held a speech about ‘Career 3.0 – split between personal branding and productivity’ and gave some projections on the relevance of social media activities and how these affect your career development.

Today, we want to learn from Dwight Cribb, founder of his successful recruitment agency, what professional recruiters think about personal branding and what is the relevance for personal branding. You can follow his offline and online thoughts via his Twitter account.

Q: What is the first thing you do when somebody is being suggested as a perfect candidate?
Dwight Cribb Of course I will first probe what the relationship between the candidate and the person suggesting him is. Supposing that the recommendation is made during a phone conversation, I will in parallel check the candidate’s profile on Xing. If that does not provide the information I require I will probe deeper with people search engines.

Q: Let’s imagine somebody is not doing anything for personal branding. This person is not blogging, micro-blogging or social networking. Does this have a positive or negative impact on your perception of that person?
Dwight Cribb This largely depends on the type of position I am recruiting for, both in terms of seniority and discipline. I would normally expect someone in a directly client facing role or someone who communicates directly on behalf of a division or company to have at least some presence on the web. It is, however, true that not being on a social networking site is today more of statement than being on one. A few years ago one could be forgiven for thinking of people who had not yet discovered Xing, LinkedIn and facebook as being somewhat backward or conservative. As it is today largely impossible to not have noticed these networks flourish, we must assume that those not on them have shunned them on purpose. This may be a good strategy if one relies on others to communicate with clients and the public, especially as a senior manager. A C-Level executive will through his utterances on social networks have a severe impact on the brand communication, it thus needs to be 100% in line with the other communication, if not it will cause at best confusion and at worst it will undermine the credibility of the brand.

As for blogging, I think that is a very personal decision and I would never think badly of anyone who did not blog. I may, however, think badly of someone who blogs badly or in a manner inappropriate to his or her position. So overall it would not reflect badly if I found out nothing about a person online, it would just peak my interest and make me more curious to receive other information in the form of a CV or a recommendation from a third party.

Q: Will personal branding and the individual online reputation replace the traditional CV some day?
Dwight Cribb I doubt whether it will replace the CV, it is more likely that it will continue to augment the CV. Online reputation is a fantasy product. We each spin our profiles in a manner which we feel supports the image we want to convey. It is self marketing. A CV is more strongly based in chronological fact and provides a picture which comes closer to the reality than the pictures which get drawn in communities.

Q: If everybody has a strong personal brand, don’t companies fear these people could get chased by some competitor and recruiters? Or that employees just work for their own career purpose?
Dwight Cribb Most successful employees work for the own career advancement. But in the long term they will only achieve this by delivering results to their employers, because people are very good at spotting meaningless self marketing and will not fall for it for long. Good employees have always had a strong personal brand (also called reputation). It has been true in all areas and across the ages, if you do something well you will be admired by your peers and your reputation will spread. This means that others will try and employ your services, sometimes via a recruiter.

Q: What is your advice on how companies have to handle personal branding of the employees in the future?
Dwight Cribb Let people define themselves what they are comfortable with. Give them a clear guideline what company resources and what company information they can use to build their reputation and to what extent they must make clear what is their opinion what the company’s.

Q: What do you think of the personal web managers vision?
Dwight Cribb There are instances where this makes perfect sense, but I belive they are far and few between. This is a role which has precedence in the offline world, many high-profile business people, politicians and celebrities employ someone with this brief. Whether they do their job online, offline or in both really does not make much difference. We have come to expect that the picture we get presented of these people has been scripted and planned in detail. We even often admire the way in which they craftily manipulate their image. But I think we would be less inclined to condone or accept this level of abstraction in communication in our closer environment of colleagues, family and friends. A facebook status update from a friend loses relevance if I know that it was posted his or her personal web consultant, who was busy making them be liked by their friends and acquaintances.

Q: Give us 3 tips how to create a personal brand, please.
Dwight Cribb Be yourself, be honest, laugh at times.

Thank you for your time and your advice, Mr. Cribb.

News Update – Best of the Day

The life of non-profit organizations depends on relationships. One reason why social media is such a great opportunity for them. Alexandra Samuel explains in five good points why non-profits are good at social media. And there is a lot of information in this post how businesses can profit from non-profits…

Time is money and still a lot of people are asking: Why should I engage in social media. And, will the investment in social media pay out – for me and for the company? Lydia Dishman focuses on the costs (and payoff) when people and companies are investing in social media.

General Motors (GM) TV image advertising campaign was meant get back credibility, awareness and customers. But in social media days there is always someone who can turn this approach into a satirical version. infoMania/Current TV created this funny spoof of the GM ad – a piece which could become more popular than the GM version.

News Update – Best of the Day

What’s Google’s next big revenue driver? Capturing one of the biggest markets owned by platform owners? If so, there are 3 things Google needs to make display ads a big business, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt

“The first problem if you have a display property, it’s very difficult to figure out which ad to show. Because there are multiple vendors who show you these ads. We’re in the process of building the equivalent of an ad exchange which will allow you to do that automatically and do it with scientific measurements. So today what people do is they use heuristics, and the heuristics in that space are terrible.”
“The second issue in display has to do with the standardization of ad formats. There’s not agreement at the level that it needs to be on the standardization of the delivery of the display, and especially around interactive and video ads. The future of display ads is not a static picture, but an ad that brings you in. That tells you a narrative.”
“Third in our case is the construction of the business relationships with the large advertisers, which we’re still working on.”

What’s the future of direct mail spending like in the U.S.? One of the latest reports on ‘A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009’ by marketing consultancy Winterberry Group says, the outlook is not positive… Reasons are: recession, rising postage rates and marketing trends – combination is affecting direct mail spending.

What is the new idea on response driven advertising? Barcoded ads! At least Volvo shows a very interesting approach for the launch of their C70 series. The pan-European advertising campaign will include print ads with a specially integrated QR (Quick Response) barcode and uses the print ads to provide readers with instant access to additional web content on their mobile.