My blog has moved

30 Jul

I’ve recently updated my web site and I’m now blogging at www.abisignorelli.com. Thanks for visiting, Abi

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Are there more introverts than extroverts on the social web?

22 Jun

@guykawasaki revealing he's an introvert

I’m convinced – there are more introverts actively using the social web than there are extroverts.

Yep, that’s a pretty bold statement and I know many people will put up a good fight on this one – probably the more extroverted amongst us. However I’m pretty convinced.

So, I’d like to carry out some research to put my theory to the test – and I’d love your help. I would really appreciate if you could complete the mini poll below and, if you can spare a moment, pop in your views as a comment or DM me on twitter. I’d like to get as much input as possible on this, so, I’d be really grateful if you could encourage other socially active (in web terms) people to vote. And, once I’ve gathered enough information, I’ll pull together a more comprehensive view of my findings.

In the meantime, here’s some food for thought on this ever increasingly talked about subject…

Irony alert: social media introverts? – Mashable’s article from about a year ago focusing on many of the social web’s early adopters and big time advocates being introverts.

Twitter is great for introverts – some personal thoughts from an introvert on why twitter works so well for him. Being a fellow introvert, I couldn’t agree more with some of his statements.

Twitter is a haven for shy people and introverts! – another set of personal thoughts from an introvert who gets massive value out of Twitter

Introverts on the web – an interesting blog about a recent study revealing that introverted personalities were over-represented on social networking sites – compared to ‘real life’.

I look forward to hearing from you…

Social media rules? It’s just common sense right?

16 Jun

Is anyone else out there getting a bit sick of articles like “top 10 dos and don’ts on twitter”, “rules on how to engage in social media”, “facebook page 10 commandments”, “how to behave online”? They’re pretty much ten a penny these days and, in my view, most are pretty useless and just regurgitate the same old…

However, we all want to stay up to date right? And, make sure we’re doing it right in this ever changing space? Well, I certainly do, so I always make a point of reading the latest ‘how to’ type article – just in case I pick up something new or something I hadn’t thought of.

Having been in the social comms space for a while now, I have to say, most of it’s common sense, so it’s rare I spot a new nugget of any value. But when I do, it’s always a bit of a WOW moment and something I do my best to implement into what I do, and, of course, share with others – either by proactively tweeting it out, or by bookmarking it on my Delicious account.

And, I have to bear in mind that a lot of my clients are new to this space and are looking to me to help guide them through what many of them believe to be very scary waters. So, in the interest of sharing, I’ve posted below what I believe to be some of the most useful tips (for beginners) along with a link to the main articles.

But I have to say, whenever I want a sense check, or am looking for the latest tips and tricks in the social space, I turn to Mashable – in my view, THE best social media resource out there right now. In fact, I should probably get a t-shirt made with “What would mashable say?” blasted across it! I also think socialmediatoday and hubspot (blog) are pretty useful and make sure I have a daily feed of news coming through from them.

So, in the interest of sharing, here are a few of my favourite recent articles on rules, tips, how tos etc (targeted at beginners). And, I’d love to hear from you on any sites, lists, tips etc that you find refreshingly useful…

21 Rules for Social Engagement (from Mashable)

5. As in customer service, representatives require training to learn how to proactively and reactively respond across multiple scenarios. Don’t just put the person familiar with social networking in front of the brand.

10. Don’t speak at audiences through canned messages. Introduce value, insight and direction with each engagement.

11. Empower your representatives to offer rewards and resolutions in times of need.

12. Don’t just listen and placate — act. Do something.

16. Earn connections through collaboration and empower advocacy.

19. “Un-campaign” and create ongoing programs that keep you connected to day-to-day engagement.

20. “Un-market” by becoming a resource to your communities.

21. Give back, reciprocate, and recognize notable contributions from participants in your communities.

25 Characteristics of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns

1) They spread like wildfire. Effective social media campaigns spread very fast. If your campaign is not spreading, it is not effective. Test the waters with micro campaigns. Learn to swim before attempting to ride the big waves.

2) They are not spammy. Don’t just promote your site links; share something insightful about your company or product. Don’t send out the same message to your community. It is spam…and it is very annoying to them. Even to you. Admit it.

7) They don’t ‘sell’. Instead of selling, you should work at generating leads with your social media campaign. Sell to those leads later on.

8 ) They build relationships. Don’t just broadcast. Interact. Building relationships  helps build even more relationships. It also increases the perception of value and builds loyalty.

16 Lessons on Using Social Media for Business

2. We can be everywhere – the internet opens up potential markets across the globe and, so, thinking globally will help you expand your reach. Don’t be limited by geography.
5. Don’t try and be everywhere – reflecting on lesson 2 can mean that we get over-stretched. So, pick what fits and works for you.
11. Not everyone is going to like you – there is so much truth in the variation of the old saying ‘You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time’

Social media ROI continued…

20 May

My last post, Social Media ROI, generated quite a lot of conversation on twitter – thanks to everyone who contributed. It mainly centred around various ROI case studies. Over time, I’ll post some of these examples as some of them are excellent case studies.

In the meantime, I thought I’d point out an excellent post by Erik Qualman, author Socialnomics: How Social Media has changed the way we live and do business, and also the man behind the brilliant Socialnomics videos.  Here he picks out some of the key points from the ROI video as well as a few extra useful nuggets. I’ve popped an extract of the post below and you can read the full post here. Thanks very much to @callumsaunders for letting me know about this article.

Social Media ROI Examples from Erik Qualman

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media. Gary’s eccentric personality and offbeat oenophile knowledge have proven a natural path to success with his Wine TV Library.

  2. Vaynerchuk found first hand: $15,000 in direct mail = 200 new customers; $7,500 billboard = 300 new customers; $0 Twitter = 1,800 new customers.

  3. A Wetpaint/Altimeter Study found companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media significantly surpass their peers in both revenue and profit. The study also found the company sales with the highest levels of social media activity grew on average by +18 percent, while those companies with the least amount of social activity saw their sales decline -6 percent.

  4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube, blending everything from an iPhone to a sneaker.

  5. “You can’t just say it. You have to get the people to say it to each other,” says James Farley, CMO Ford. Ford seems to know what they are doing, especially with Scott Monty leading the social media charge. By giving away 100 Ford Fiestas to influential bloggers, 37 percent of Generation Y were aware of the Ford Fiesta before its launch in the United States. Is it any wonder why 25 percent of Ford’s marketing spend has been shifted to digital/social media initiatives? Ford is the only U.S. auto company that didn’t take a government loan.

  6. Intuit introduced “Live Community” into its TurboTax products two years ago. Due in part to the resulting word-of-mouth, it has seen unit sales increase +30 percent each year and has now integrated “Live Community” into its other products like QuickBooks, Quicken, etc. “Live Community” allows customers to ask other customers questions, which has proved both beneficial to the customer and to Intuit. In some instances, the customer can answer questions that Intuit isn’t allowed to answer because of regulatory restrictions.

  7. Naked Pizza, a New Orleans pizzeria that specializes in healthy pies, set a one day sales record using social media. In fact, 68 percent of its sales came from people “calling in from Twitter.” On top of that (no pun intended), 85 percent of their new customers were from Twitter. So, yes, social media does work for small businesses.

  8. Also, social media works for B2B, non-profit, and more. Consider these examples. “Tweets for a Cause” sent out a tweet from Atlanta to encourage support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a result of retweets from such notables as @mashable, @G_man, @zaibatsu, and others, the Atlanta Chapter site received 11,000 visitors in 24 hours as a result of this initiative by ResponseMine Interactive.

  9. Software company Genius.com reports that 24 percent of its social media leads convert to sales opportunities.

  10. During Barack Obama’s rise to the White House, he garnered 5 million fans on social media and 5.4 million clicked on an “I voted for Obama” Facebook button. Most importantly this resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising. An astounding 92 percent of the donations were in increments of less than $100.

  11. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center witnessed a 9.5 percent increase in registrations by using social media.

  12. Web host provider Moonfruit more than recouped its $15,000 social media investment as its Web site traffic soared +300 percent while correspondingly sales increased +20 percent. They also saw a huge lift in their organic search engine rankings getting on the first page for the term “free website builder.”

  13. “Our head of Social Media is the customer.” — McDonald’s.

  14. Case-mate “Recession Case” drives record sales. Andrew Knight, VP of e-commerce, readily admits he was skeptical when a 22 year old on the marketing staff brought him the idea of selling a cardboard case for the iPhone (see image, above). Appropriately dubbed the recession case, this would retail for 99 cents.

    “My initial thought was that this was never going to work. I was thinking we might sell a couple hundred but most of them we would just have to give away. What I underestimated was the power of social media!” said Knight. What happened is that Knight had met blogger Larry Greenberg through Twitter and Greenberg posted an article about the Recession Case. The next day, almost every major tech news site picked up on the recession case: Gizmodo, Engadget, TechCrunch, CNET, Mashable, etc.

    “We broke our daily site traffic record by five-times and we set an all time revenue record in the same day! Our Facebook & Twitter traffic skyrocketed as the story spread virally and people shared it with friends and family. In four days we had sold over 7,000 recession cases! It was truly unbelievable how fast it took off,” said Knight.

    Case-mate also offered free personalized “Sharpie Script” on the recession case. This sparked a mini-phenomenon of its own, as people were buying cases for each other to simply send a personalized message (aka being social).

    Knight points out another added bonus of the social propagation, “Our search rankings have improved nicely. Our two most important terms are ‘iPhone case’ and ‘iPhone cases.’ We are currently #1 for both of them on Google!”

Social media ROI

18 May

Another question I’m often asked (as well as whether I’ve got any good social media case studies) is “what’s the ROI on social media?” – a question I actually find pretty tough to answer. Not because I don’t believe there’s a (massive) return – but it’s more of it being a) that I could go on all day about the benefits (return) you’ll reap, and b) because I find it a really really strange question to ask! A bit like asking what’s the ROI on your telephone.

BUT, I do appreciate it’s hugely important to be able to provide good and tangible examples when pulling together business cases and convince those less inclined, non believers. So, although it’s a few months old now, I thought I’d repost this excellent video from the folks at Socialnomics – the same folks that pulled together the excellent Social Media Revolution video.

This vid gives some great ROI related stats as well as some really useful soundbites you can use to help build your case. So rather than me go on about it for a day, just spend 4 mins 14 secs watching the vid. I hope it helps…

Social on the outside needs social business on the inside

18 May

Here’s a great presentation from Lee Bryant, co-founder of Headshift, on the importance of being social on the inside, in order to be social on the outside. Well worth a watch…(for some reason I can’t embed the slideshare at the moment – very odd)

Something delicious to share

12 May

I’m often asked whether I’ve got any good social media case studies or articles. Well, the answer to that is a big fat yes, I’ve got absolutely loads. In fact, whenever I spot a great article, I save it on the social bookmarking site delicious.

And, in the interest of being social, I thought I’d share my bookmarks with you. Just click here to see all the various articles and blogs I’ve been saving over the past year or so.

To make it easy to navigate, just take a look at some of the tags and that should help you drill down to the type of information you’re after. And, of course, if you spot any great articles that I’d be interested in, do let me know – share and share alike and all that 🙂