Tag Archives: Social Media Strategy

Three Fundamental Macro Trends Transforming Our Society, the Way we Live and How We Work

We are living in a ubiquitous mobile era and by the way, don’t  we love it?  Could you imagine for a second a world without smartphones or tablets?  Sooner than later we will start out our day by reading our favorite newspaper while shaving in front of the bathroom mirror.  We’ll continue reading while listening to our car audio system driving to work, then on to our Google glasses while walking to the office, finally catching up with the last paragraph either on our tablets, smartphones, laptops or antiquated PCs.

Smartphone statistics 2012 vs 2011

The Guardian reported on February 22:  “Mobile and social are bringing a dramatic cultural shift to the enterprise. The combination of mobile technology and social capabilities creates dynamics that have never before been possible.”

How can we synthesize the major technical trends that have transformed the way we live and the way we work?  In the last 10 years broadband communication has brought upon us three major changes:  mobile, social and cloud.

1. Mobility   

Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones.  By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS operating systems.”

Our digital world citizens have acquired more than one billion smartphones in 2011 and 2012 combined, with a 10.10% increase from 2011 (495.3 million units) to 2012 (545.2 million units).  By 2015 there will be 4.9 billion global mobile users.  Those figures are staggering and prove the “smart” mobile shift happening right now in our society.  Our mobile trend opens incredible new business models and opportunities such as mobile marketing, mobile payment, near field communication (NFC), indoor navigation systems and finally 25 billion apps, which have been already downloaded (iOS and Android).

2. Our 21st century social network society

Less than 10 years ago (2004) Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, a social network that would turn the way we communicate upside down.  The membership has passed one billion worldwide and forever changed our notion of privacy.  Less than ten years ago it would have been inconceivable to post pictures on a public domain for just about anyone to see, while Google crawlers constantly index the web to improve the company’s search prowess.  Suddenly people are capable of staying in touch with their friends, while uploading their latest picture hunt they proudly want their communities to see.  Meanwhile, other social tools have popped up:

  • LinkedIn — the 200 million professional network was created in 2002
  • Twitter — the micro-blogging site was started by Mike Dorsey in 2006
  • Caterina Fake’s Flickr image posting tool goes back to 2004
  • YouTube, created by former PayPal employees, was launched in 2005
  • Skype, a proprietary Voice over IP (VoIP), was first released in 2003

and the list goes on and on. Business Insider reports on March 21, 2013: “YouTube hits 1 Billion Monthly Users”, a staggering number of people viewing, uploading and sharing videos from the four corners of our planet.  Mobility is allowing communication in real-time, whenever and wherever it happens!  Traditional structures are being by-passed, new business models are being created.  What is going to happen to our libraries?  Virtual worlds and virtual goods can now be created.  What would happen if one day Facebook decided to create its own currency?  Whatever, wherever, whenever is becoming the new norm of ubiquitous digital communication thanks to broadband technology.  

Sharing information on all sorts of platforms (notebooks, smartphones and tablets) is forcing us to centralize our data storage.  How else would we access our Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts if all the data had to be stored separately and constantly synchronized, as we used to do it between our PCs and Notebooks?

3. Cloud computing to the rescue

Without cloud computing it would be impossible for any of us to own a Google email account, impossible to tweet or to review and update the content of our LinkedIn accounts.  It is estimated there is one exabyte of data stored in the “cloud”.  All our favorite Evernote bits and pieces are stored in the cloud, so are our Facebook pictures, Twitter favorites and Slideshare presentations.  Additionally, many of us are now moving some our personal data (traditionally stored on hard disks) to cloud services such as Box.com, Dropbox and many others.  Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Mountain Lion’s Apple operating system, introducing services such as iCloud, are popping up everywhere.

Consequently, cloud computing has allowed us to centralize the positioning of our personal data and to access it from any “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) of our choice, thanks to broadband technology supporting our relentless nomadic lifestyles.  Cloud is the engine, the door opener, the way, the modern broadband electricity trail seamlessly granting access to our data, whenever and wherever we want it.  In 1917 Sears ran an advertisement advising people to “use electricity for more than light”.   At the beginning of the 21st century cloud computing technology is here but still in its infancy.  Nikola Tesla (Никола Тесла; July 10 1856 – January 7th 1943), a Serbian-American, was the inventor of the modern alternating current electrical supply system.  As much as electricity would prove to be much more than powering light bulbs, cloud computing gives us the feasible prospect of eliminating local data storage!  Do you know of anyone storing their own electricity?  Sounds ludicrous right?  It could very well become the same with cloud computing.  Buckle up, it’s going to be an interesting ride.  Our children and native digital citizens will someday look at us wondering how on earth we lived without cloud storage, smartphones and broadband communication — the new digital highway of our 21st century wireless, “clouded” and crowded world.

Cloud Computing General

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Computing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Real: Earn Every Follower You Have on Twitter: Earn Each and Every One of Them

I am still new to twitter with roughly 3200 followers and still learning to appreciate each and every single one of them! I block “riff-raff”, permissive stuff but particularly followers offering so many followers for a couple of dollars! Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not care what it takes to get followers on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook: JUST DO NOT DO IT!
I remember not too long ago Jon Jantsch @ducttape doing an experiment with the purchase of “fake followers” and having finally to manually un-follow every single one of them: Please do not sell your valuable name for a couple of dollars, it is absolutely not worth it!

I went through a short stretch where I was tempted: I admit it I was, considering the amount of followers some companies or accounts have, I was considering “taking short cuts” but I did not! I refused to do it the easy way: because each and every one of your followers has to be earned! Yes you are reading it right: every one of them has to be earned!

Imagine if suddenly you came to my account and saw 10.000 followers knowing that I am usually worth 3.000? What would you think: “for him -@brunogebarski- I am just a number”, he wants numbers not quality and I would most probably end up trading quality for quantity! I have fabulous mentors following me, and I started an excel table of my favorite ones. Depending on your interest, passion and priority lookup for specific twitter accounts and promote them! Please do yourself a favor and do promote others, do not worry about your count or how little followers you have: it takes time and effort for a twitter-stream to become a twitte-river don’t you think?

I tweet about Social Business: E20, content & social Marketing, Cloud computing, Social Media Strategy, and BYOD; there are plenty of fabulous people out there: use the proper tools to spot them! It is not difficult: spot the hash tags and look up Dan Zarella’s tool: tweetcharts.com: it is a fabulous tool and it will get you up and running on what is happening on Twitter: Twitter is an extraordinary tool, use it wisely and appreciate the people you meet: avoid the rubbish and I really mean it: you will meet lots of rubbish, but concentrate on the 5% out there worth getting to know! Some of them are writers and contributors to fabulous magazines such as Forbes: I can only think of Meghan M. Biro: @meghanMBiro or Mark Fidelman: @markfidelman to name just a few! David F Carr @davidfcarr is a writer who brings a tremendous contribution to the topic of Enterprise 2.0 as well as Dion Hinchcliffe: @dhinchcliffe. Find out what topic you are interested in and locate your mentors and the leaders you can learn from and start promoting them: do not worry about yourself and apply the biblical principle: do unto others as you would love people to do unto you! This is one of the fundamental of “crowd sourcing” and learning humility because as the bible rightly states: before honour there is humility!

Be humble and earn one tweet at a time every one of your followers by bringing a valuable contribution to the Twitter forum and not by taking short cuts and purchasing fake followers for a couple of dollars: remember your name is so much more worth than 10 or 20 US$

2 Main Issues to Consider While Migrating To CRM Salesforce Cloud Computing

I just returned from a Salesforce presentation: Social Enterprise Essentials: a fine event organized in the SAS Radisson hotel here in Hamburg City with wonderful people among others: Kerstin Daher and Ulrich Hoffmann: “Welcome to the age of the networked enterprise”:
  • Sales Cloud: as a sales enterprising tool
  • Service Cloud: innovation and customer service / care
  • Chatter: a private social network for business
  • Force.com: cloud platform for custom app development
  • Radian6: seminar & case study around the international CEBIT computer show in Hannover.
I cannot help but be reminded that we are in Germany and that charm and chivalry remain integral part of our French vocabulary! There is no need to get into the details of these applications since there is plenty of information on the pages attached to the links provided above! These topics were addressed quite thoroughly during this very well organized one day infomercial.
 
Salesforce is using this Cloud tsunami development to certainly establish a stronger business base in Germany and Europe with a significant deployment of man power hosting an event this year in Hamburg city with roughly 250 in attendance.
 
Well done Salesforce for putting together a sales oriented IaaS, PaaS and SaaS package ready to go: it is undeniable that those tools are in place and ready to unleash their power if implemented properly! The need for Cloud CRM is there and the trend not to be stopped! Add BYOD to smart phones & tablets commercialization and you’ve got the right foundation for a Salesforce thriving business potential and its US$ 3B turnover if I understood the presenter correctly!
 
Well done Salesforce for buying Radian6 last year and adding  Heroku  and  Ripple to your 2012 cloud shopping tour, obviously en route to moving from traditional CRM to a more social CRM or SCRM. I was impressed by the morning Radian6 presentation, which completely convinced me of the most “in real time” detailed analysis utilizing countless internet sources of information! It is also worth adding that Salesforce updates its platform three times a year definitely trying to keep up with the relentless social media pace moving forward at the speed of light!
 
Salesforce is mostly keeping up but I was a bit disappointed though when asking about full integration of social media new comers such as Google+, Pinterest and Pinwheel! For now the social media platforms being taken into consideration are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Klout more is probably coming but without any concrete information on future developments.  
 
Salesforce did a great job at presenting an installed and operational cloud structure but did not initiate us to the two main challenges to be faced when
a) implementing a social business / enterprise culture 
b) migrating from legacy structures to PaaS and IaaS,
which are both the foundation for a successful social cloud migration! When I challenged one of the presenters with these two core issues I was kindly requested to “find out more from their service partners” and was told that Salesforce is not responsible for creating a social enterprise or migrating from legacy systems! Correct! However, these two main issues remain and furthermore what happens if a company decide to do a U-Turn and retreat to its former legacy system?  
 
 
Who is going to write a company culture book and educate both staff and management that it is mandatory and obligatory in a 21st century hyper connected company to share strategic customer information? How are we going to motivate sales, marketing & customer service among others to share their confidential customer data and transfer it to a centralized cloud database? Not that easy Salesforce  and we know how much silo thinking isolates information and keep it to itself! The real answer is obviously the undeniable need to create first the right company culture. There is no need for cloud or centralized strategic information if company staff and management are both reluctant to share knowledge and business insight!
 
I regret that QR codes were not put on our badges, which would have helped the networking and exchange of information between participants. A well deserved mention to Claudia Hilker, who managed to pull off a 30 minutes presentation on social media strategy! Well done Claudia and thank you for the book! Looking forward to getting a free copy of the latest “advanced” version!
 
Thank you again to Salesforce and the hospitality extended to all of us with great drinks and good choice of food: Well done and compliments for a well-organized event!  

5 Keys Areas to Proactively Manage Your Business

Today’s corporations are working hard to keep up! Is this a wonder? Strategy curation just like content and information, is crucial for the development of (y)our corporate vision! Vision 2020 challenges your present accomplishments in order to increase turnover, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and set up action plans while ratifying priorities! In this “hyperlinked” and hyper-connected society both existing businesses and “start-ups” have to rapidly adapt! Every mobile user is not only a potential buyer but a reporter having the power to promote or demote!

Vision 2020 assists you into developing your hyperlinked corporate strategy with the utmost priority of increasing sales, productivity and real time communication while concentrating on 5 key areas:

1. Social Culture: Establishing a social culture in a 21st century company is obligatory! Social Media dialogue with engaging customers or prospects (positive or negative) ought to be monitored and answered in real time! US Business Think Geek promotes a “one head one heart” social culture but also states: “We need to hire for passion and train for skills” because it is impossible to have a board meeting every time a negative comment pops up on Facebook or Google+. Zappos exemplifies social culture in a remarkable way with CEO Tony Hsieh Zappos’ Culture Book and how Tony defines branding: “Your Culture Is Your Brand”!

2. Social Media Strategy: in the 1870s Graham bell developed the Telephone; the Facsimile was invented by Giovanni Caselli in 1865 before the telephone even existed! Email came in the early 1980s. Mobile phone was invented by Motorola in 1973 and first commercialized in 1983. Social Media as a web-based and mobile technology has literally transformed our daily communication into an interactive dialogue also promoting “user-generated-content including (micro) blogging (twitter), content community sites (Vimeo YouTube), social networking sites (Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest) and finally location-based social networking (Foursquare or Pinwheel). Social Media demands to be fully integrated into the marketing strategy of a company! It is a business prerequisite to properly roll out inbound marketing tools, foster brand awareness and develop communication between brand, prospects and customers and transform followers into passionate brand advocates.

3. Inbound Marketing: Over are the days where companies could blast marketing emails, brochures and fliers to prospects and customers! Traditional outbound marketing (buy, pay & bug) is in the process of being replaced by inbound or content marketing. Sharing resources, vlogging, blogging, EBooks, Earticles, whitepapers and all together relevant curated information not only attracts customers but promotes, develops and solidifies brand loyalty.

4. Cloud Computing (IaaS): As wireless devices (smart phones & tablets) commercialization becomes a pressing IT issue, mobile technology (Dropbox, Box) and mobile payment systems (Square & Paypal) develop, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service: SAP, Oracle, IBM or Salesforce) become a matter of speed if IT wants to timely react in our dynamic cloud environments! Modern CIO needs to budget these areas if companies want to keep afloat and compete with Internet Cloud Giants such as Amazon!

5. Mobile Technology: Tablets & Smartphone including the broadband development have both created a Networked Society. Wearable computing is already here; connecting home to adjust temperature via your smart phone is a given! In 2012 windows will sell tablets while 4G networks will develop and grow! Companies like Square & Paypal already compete for mobile payment systems market shares! Commercialization of mobile computing hardware will merge private and professional life into each other whereby workforce won’t have to physically be at work in order to produce and connect. This is a nightmare for IT leaders as they strive to move additional parts of the traditional IT to IaaS (cloud computing) while constantly worrying about data safety!