Tag Archives: Blogging

12 Social Media Profiles – Narcissist, Spousal Invader, Or?

I was at an APSS event recently and the discussion was around LinkedIn and how to better utilize this great networking asset. It was an informative session and thanks to some pointers from Chris J. Reed, I’ve updated my profile with the new tools available. I do recommend you check out what you can do now on LinkedIn. It’s awesome.

One other thing Chris mentioned was the One Percent Rule – where one percent of people on social media are the contributors (see explanation below), nine percent are participating and sharing, with the following 90 percent not doing much at all, other than inviting you to play Candy Crush. It’s been apparent for a very long time that the 90 percent just don’t seem to get that the one percent don’t have time to play games! Those invites keep on coming though…

One Percent RuleThe 1-9-90 rule makes a lot of sense to me in regards to social interactivity in Asia, especially as I am a One Percenter. I can also see that, as a blogger, I need to ensure my nine percent group is strong.

As always, the session got me thinking, and I’ve come up with my own “profiles” associated with how people contribute in the social world. This is my observations based on my own community, however I think I’m connected to just about every country, race, religion and culture within my network, so a good test case perhaps?

The One Percenters

This group are born communicators. Not only do they create their own content in blogs, articles, etc, they fundamentally believe in the sharing of diverse knowledge – anything that makes them think, laugh or even the stuff that outrages them. Professionally, they’ll share a wide array of information on their field of excellence and support others’ writing about similar subjects. The One Percenters value knowledge and believe sharing ideas can fundamentally change the world. They’re typically open to different opinions, argue passionately, love the collaboration they get to create across the world, and most of the time, provide good fodder for friend’s timelines. The great thing about The One Percenters is they’re also terrific supporters. They’ll love your kids photos, your latest meal and if you want to launch a blog or a Facebook fan page, make sure they know about it, ‘cos they’ll “Like” it and share it – appreciating how hard it is getting any support in Asia. They don’t just communicate out with the world, they actively participate in it, although there are definitely some Narcissists in the one percent gang. Naturally, with three blogs, lots of content under my belt, and a penchant for sharing knowledge, I consider myself a “One Percenter.”

The Nine Percent Includes…

Knowledge is Power

The Knowledge Lovers

While not creating content, this group love knowledge in all its forms. This is the group you definitely want in your tribe as a One Percenter. The Knowledge Lovers admire the One Percenters, but appreciate that creating content is just not their thing. This group is more inclined towards (what I think of as) Microblogging – as in sharing not only their content , but their opinion too – rather than just sharing a link (something that really frustrates me). They’ll tag you in content they think you’ll love, acknowledge the great work of people they know, and just be general cheer leaders for this new world of social. An important differentiator for a Knowledge Lover is they will never share information they have not read first. They appreciate that their credibility is linked to the quality of information they share, so don’t expect them to retweet your blog within five seconds of posting it. It’s not their thing. This group constantly reads every chance they get.

The Narcissists

Then we get The Narcissists – bless. These folk are on social media channels and quite active to boot, but it’s all about them. They’ll share pictures, adventures, events they’re in and more, but they’ll never EVER (well rarely) “like,” share or acknowledge anyone else’s work. Sometimes it’s because they’re just too busy, but the reality is, they see social media as a one-way-street-for-information-distribution, and they’re all over it for that. Be sure to protect your heart from disappointment when they don’t acknowledge your existence. Of course, confused within The Narcissist gang can be the famous and semi-famous – especially those building a brand around their personality. These people are not narcissistic, they are just building a business, and if you are in their close community, they usually go above and beyond for their friends. It’s a fine line.

The Addicts

The Addicts typically cross a lot of social media channels – usually with one favorite in the mix, although not always. These are the sorts of people who let you know where they’ve checked in (aka the Foursquare generation), and they’re often all over Twitter, having conversations all night with complete strangers. You can usually identify The Addicts when they reveal (on social media of course) that “they just need to take a break from social media” – although the break rarely lasts long. I’ve never been a fan of the stranger conversations – preferring to build fewer, deeper relationships – so this group has always been a curiosity to me.

The Community Builders

This is another active group within the top 10 percent of participants, and their goal is to build the biggest community they can as quickly as they can. The Community Builders spend hours and hours following people, they build groups and lists, they know every powerful hashtag in the universe, they join popular conversations and participate, and they are often very successful in raising their personal brand above the noise. I personally don’t know how anyone has the time to do this while working a day job, but I take my hat off to them for the investment. If you get on their radar and they like what you do, they often support you – but it’s not for you, it’s for them.

The Social Channel Fanatics

I love this group of people. They will do everything in their power to convince you that one social channel stands above all others and that is where you need to be. You can always identify a Social Channel Fanatic by their fevered eyes as they wax lyrical about why this one single channel is all you need and why the rest are not relevant at all. While I am always an appreciator of passion, I’ve learnt that arguing the point, suggesting maybe some other channels are better for different people based on their style of interaction, is, well, generally pretty wasted. The Social Channel Fanatics are a great resource to get to the bottom of one particular social channel however, so the depth of learning can be quite wonderful.

The 90 Percent Includes…

The Voyeurs

I know these people exist, because every time I turn up at a networking event, BBQ or a party they’ll tell me everything I’ve been doing in my life, but NOT ONCE did they ever comment or acknowledge my existence online! The Voyeurs don’t participate (beyond an occasional like) and they merely observe the lives of those around them. Sometimes it’s because they’re shy, sometimes it’s because they don’t see the point, and sometimes, it’s just ‘cos the world has to have its voyeurs… it’d be boring without them right?

The Social Critics

Probably my favorite group is this one. The Social Critics are on social media – usually in a limited way – and they use every chance they get to tell you that social media sucks.  I find them a curiosity within the mix, because they do utilize social, however because they do not tend to have a professional need to use it in a more considered way, the negatives tend to outweigh the positives. Examples where it’s not necessary are: they’re getting towards the end of their career and can’t see the point, they work within a very small community so it’s not necessary for career advancement, or they have never left the place they grew up in so most people are physically close to them. While participating to a limited extent, The Social Critics deride it every chance they get. I’ve never gotten to the bottom of that one.

The Socially Inept

This group are not always conscious of their actions (or words) and are the ones who inadvertently drop comments that most consider racist, sexist, un-nationalistic, and generally, not acceptable. The comments are usually posted without expectation of a response – other than for people to agree with them – but when people do respond, often with vitriol, The Socially Inept are surprised. The social revolution has not necessarily been a great thing for this group. You can find extreme examples of how they’ve gotten it very very wrong very very often here, and here and here. While the virality of these stories were impossible to ignore, I suppose the good news is that the Socially Inept attend to learn very harsh lessons very quickly. Long overdue. We all know people like this, so perhaps if you’re aware of anyone at risk, you can share these links and help them see the light?

Anton Casey

The Newbies

I think my favorite group – because they’re just cute – are the brand new people on social media – The Newbies. They’re straggling in these days, with the vast bulk of developed country humans engaged somewhere. The Newbies post their first comment – to which most people go “about time you joined us,” and then they get tentative, before going quiet to observe what everyone else is doing. Alternatively, they post absolute nonsense and before they know it, people jump on them, and they go quiet. It’s a bit of a scary world for The Newbie, because they are entering an established “structure” and aren’t always confident in how to play this game. The challenge for this gang is they are not early adopters, so this obviously isn’t an intuitive medium for them, and thus, it’s scary. We’re not all the same. But it’s not rocket science, just be authentic and have fun.

The Yeah Whatevs

Remember when mobile phones came out in the late 90s and a lot of us rushed off and got one? Then the next round of adopters got one? Then the next? Finally, there remained a small 4th group who were all attitude, saying “why would I want one of them?” In my mind, this demographic was typically 30’ish male professionals, and they finally cracked about six years ago – the final frontier of mobile phone adoption was won. After that, they were incredibly annoying and couldn’t be without their phones – picking them up during dinner (but not to look at Facebook), interrupting conversations to take calls – yawn! Well those people are not anywhere on social media – other than LinkedIn. You can always spot The Yeah Whatev male, because they wax lyrical at dinner parties about why they aren’t on it, and everyone else is thinking “there is no escape in the long-run sunshine, you’ll see!”

The Spouse Invader

As an addendum to The Yeah Whatevs, I have to add a special category in its own right – The Spouse Invader. Again the majority are male, as let’s face it, women are natural communicators. The Spouse Invader is not on social media, although if anywhere, they do have a shabby LinkedIn profile, but never share anything on it. This group cannot make any sense of Twitter. Google+ what, why? Pinterest is women’s business, although they’ll benefit from the collection of recipes someone has been studiously collating. Facebook, no way, but perhaps I can just have a sneak peak over my spouses’ shoulder? “Hey love, you’ve left Facebook on, do you mind if I take a look?” They are participating, they just want to tell the world that they’re not. I am thankful my husband is not a Spouse Invader.

Concluding now… I promise

Obviously much of the above is tongue-in-cheek and will hopefully make you smile, but we do live in interesting times and for professionals, how we participate on digital channels will become more and more critical for our success and advancement.

In recent months, I’ve been running workshops and training sessions, trying to get more colleagues and professional friends intelligently utilizing social assets to enhance their career opportunities. I really believe in it.

As much as I’m sharing, I’m also learning and gaining clarity on the challenges people are facing. For example, some of the lessons and epiphanies have been:

  1. There is no one size fits all approach – how you engage for professional growth is a very personal journey, based on your unique character and ambitions
  2. Many professionals are being told they should get on social media, but few are explaining to them the why and the how
  3. Most people don’t even know where to start when it comes to sharing information or where they get the information from. Helping people hone in on their areas of expertise and suitable resources for information is a great place to start
  4. People are not understanding the benefit of their companies’ brand, nor are companies understanding the benefit of individual employee brands within their organization. The fundamental message is people speak, companies do not, so you’ve got to make this a priority with all employees in an organization – especially your senior execs. It’s not a nice to have anymore
  5. Successful participation in social media is about giving not getting. This is for companies as well as individuals. People are not really understanding that fundamental philosophy. We must connect with our hearts and minds to be successful. We must be thinking about what will make the biggest impact on the audience we want to influence, and then subtly weave in our own personal goals too

Stand out from the crowd

While social interaction is completely intuitive to me, for the majority of people, it really seems a confusing minefield. In the early days of speaking on this topic, I felt stupid talking about things that were so obvious to me. But they are not obvious to the 90 percent. As such, I’ve decided my goal is to help as many professionals as I can get into the nine percent gang, if not the one percent.

But people must join this world in a way that makes sense to them and can help them build towards their goals. The “What’s in it for Me” is absolutely critical to understand – and there are a lot of individual options in the WIIFM argument. Making sense of that individually is where we are right now.

Any thoughts on who I missed and which profile you can most relate to?

Cheers

Andrea

PS: I always try to write short blogs, and here I am again…

PPS: some of my professional social media assets are

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#Worklikeanetwork

I’ve been spending a bit of time with my Yammer colleagues recently, and there are two philosophies I really love about this team of inspired people. The first is “let’s change the world together” – yes please, I love that and I’m in. The second is encouraging all people to #worklikeanetwork. I absolutely couldn’t agree more and think this is an area everyone in Asia needs to be focusing on as we move towards a digital future. No matter your role, it’s relevant.

What does #worklikeanetwork mean? Microsoft defines it this way:

“It takes a network of people to serve a network of customers. Microsoft connects people and information across familiar applications, so your company can listen, adapt, and grow at the speed of a networked world.”

In fact, this YouTube flick really brings #worklikeanetwork to life

The truth is, this way of working is so tantalizingly close, I can taste it and I’m excited about it. It’s just waiting for all of us to get on board and embrace it. The technology is certainly ready.

I am well into this game, because I naturally work out loud, love sharing great information, love participating, and adore all of the information and opinions I have access to since social media changed all of our lives forever. I am a communicator and a sharer, so this new world is a dream come true for me.

When I think of the idea of #worklikeanetwork, it’s about participating across all of your social pillars, and that goes for your professional interactions as well – because social offers amazing opportunities to be really transformative in how we all approach our work and career aspirations today.

The struggle in Asia is that very few people are really understanding and applying this to their everyday work, taking into account the cultural challenges we face as well. Equally, many do not understand their role in their companies’ success within the context of how they participate, nor how their employer benefits from their participation – it’s a two-way street. Please read “Role of Personal Branding in Innovation” – specifically focusing on the typical organization versus the future organization. This is a very worthwhile read.

In Asia, many of us are active on social networks, but not enough are actively engaging from a professional point of view – we’re just too passive and missing opportunities to boot. If you read the above article (and many more on the topic) this is about building YOUR personal brand – an investment I sincerely believe will impact future career opportunities. Think about it, if you stand side-by-side with a candidate of equal measure and one of you is active, the other not, who does the new employer choose? It’s going to be that straight forward right?

Therefore, I encourage everyone to get out there and get noisy. But do it with thought, otherwise you’ll be swamped or make a silly mistake that will go against you – there are plenty of examples.

Before you make the decision to get going, I encourage you to ask yourself four questions:

  1. Who am I in the business world?
  2. What do I stand for? What does my company stand for?
  3. Am I more than one thing?
  4. What can I commit to?

Alternatively, this Forbes article – “3 Critical Questions To Ask Yourself Before Building Your Personal Brand” – encourages you to ask yourself:

  1. What makes me great?
  2. What makes me unique?
  3. What makes me compelling?

I like these questions, and believe I answered them for myself long ago. To give you some context, five years ago I decided to segment my personal brand. Firstly, I am a professional communicator (who loves content marketing, social media/business, communications, and inspirational business), BUT I’m also a Mum and I am Andrea the woman – the sort who likes dirty jokes and enjoys a good argument about religion, feminism… well you name it.

Each of these segments is me, but do they need to cross-over into each other and become part of my professional profile as well? I don’t think so, so I separated myself – as much as one can. My three profiles have a blog, as well as various social media channels dedicated to each “brand.” I don’t believe everyone needs to segment themselves like I have – some people can be who they are across all of their channels – but if you need to segment yourself, it’s definitely worth considering. Then work out who you are and what you stand for.

The final point, of my four points above, is what can I commit to? I love social and I am all over it. It’s not easy keeping up and I certainly don’t do as much as I want to do, but it’s a priority for me so I am more active than most. To give you a feel, here’s my active social channels – although SlideShare is more about reading and sharing than participating right now…

Personal Branding
Yes, it’s rather busy keeping up.

But what can you do? Is Twitter all you’ve got in you? Focus on that. LinkedIn? Facebook? Google+? Make your decisions based on what you can manage and grow from there, but don’t be half-baked across multiple platforms. You may as well not play at all.

There’s a lot I can say here, but here are my top eight tips if you’re not doing enough and want to do more:

  1. Define your voice and what you stand for. Additionally, if you want to do something else in the future, it’s good to build your credibility in that field long before you start looking for work or launching a new business. Say you’re a programmer today and want to be a florist in the future – start a blog on flowers right now and build a social channel dedicated to floristry. You’ll have credibility before you start and it’ll be much easier when the time comes
  2. Be realistic about what you can do and commit to it! Commitment is such a big priority in this area and not being consistent will kill you. This is a patience game, so if you are half baked, it will take a lot longer to get results and that can also be shocking for your confidence
  3. Support your brand. If you are working for a company, you get a lot of benefits being associated with its brand. When I ran my own business, it was much harder to get attention. With Microsoft beside my name, more people sit up and take notice. So share your companies news and information – just aim for one a day if you can’t do more
  4. Find sites in your field and share content every day. I’ve written about this before and it’s the easiest way to get going. As a simple rule, follow 1-5 great publications or blogs (I follow up to 10) that really resonate with you and your personal brand, then if you like it, share it. Copy the author if you can – this increases your reach/ability to build your network. The important part here – ADD YOUR OPINION. Don’t just share links. Inspire me to read it and tell me why I should. I’ll appreciate your insight
  5. Support colleagues and people you admire by sharing their work – because we’re still not doing this in Asia and I have been saying it for years (Like It Share It). You have a role to play in helping others build their personal brand, just as they have a role in helping you build yours. Don’t wait until you need something – a new job, a promotion, a referral, support for your new blog (I get asked to support new blogs all the time) – do it now. In fact, if you like this blog and think it will be great for your community, why not share it? I’d sure appreciate it
  6. Include three hashtags with everything – this is so simple and so important, but it’s a habit you need to develop if you’re not doing it yet. It’s important because it connects you to audiences beyond your immediate community and that means you build a stronger network. For example, if you want to reach new sectors and don’t have the connections, #tags can get you in there, so do your research on what hashtags those targets follow and use them – three is good standard practice
  7. Join, create and participate in groups – LinkedIn, Tweet chats, Google hang-outs, whatever suits you. This isn’t easy and it can be time consuming, so choose one to get started and get active. If one doesn’t exist in your community, create one – easy peasy
  8. Be kind and be careful. Never judge or criticize anyone or anything – Anton Casey is a recent example of how it can all unravel very quickly. We also had another Former Miss Singapore in the media spot light this last week, after making insensitive comments on Facebook. It didn’t cause quite as much of a stir as Mr. Casey, but nobody wants that glare. My suggestion for professional criticism is be constructive – especially when someone is creating something you haven’t got the courage to do. Blogging, as an example, is not easy. It’s hard to put yourself out there in the world, so go easy on us

The one thing I’d love to see everyone in Asia embracing is the idea that we are all a Personal Brand. To stand out in this digital future – developing, nurturing, protecting, and valuing your personal brand is critical to success. We all need to make sure our personal brand stands for something remarkable if we want to excel – that’s the world we live in now. Also understand your personal brand’s value within the context of your employer, because it goes both ways. Truly innovative companies of the future will really value those with a strong and credible personal brand.

Facebook logo

Does this get a thumbs up?

With all that said, I certainly don’t have all of the answers and I haven’t got it all right – it’s a constant work in progress. But I’d LOVE to hear thoughts and feedback from my peers in this great region? Any insight on what you think professionals in Asia can do to nurture their personal brands?

It would be wonderful to see us all harnessing the great digital platforms available today – both internally and externally – so we can all gain the amazing benefits that #worklikeanetwork delivers.

I’m definitely in. Are you?

Cheers
Andrea

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Jo Malone London and Coach. Two Brands, One Winner

Jo MaloneI have a very sweet and thoughtful husband. He makes me work really hard at birthdays and Christmas to ensure I – at least – equal his thoughtfulness in the gift-giving department. I’m a lucky gal. For Christmas, he designed my very own perfume at Jo Malone London and he got an absolute winner. It is the perfect fragrance and I wear it every day.

Steve told me (after I opened it) that he had an absolutely fabulous experience at Jo Malone London and is keen to take me there so I can experience it as well. A good endorsement for a brand – especially in Asia where it can be a bit hit and miss.

However, following his Christmas shopping foray, he also received a handwritten letter thanking him for his custom. Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time a commercial exchange resulted in something so personal. And guess what? Steve and I are both delighted.

Jo Malone

Customer service excellence from Jo Malone

On the other hand, I wrote to Coach in 2013 following the Bangladeshi building collapse that resulted in more than a thousand deaths. A friend challenged me to understand where my ‘brand of choice’ sourced its products after I blogged about a new handbag purchase. I’ve been a Coach fan ever since I lived in Boston in the late 90s, when I first discovered it.

It’s simple, elegant and perfectly suits my style.

Getting back to Bangladesh. This disaster upset and infuriated me. But the thing that angered me most was big global brands – who have been benefiting from low cost labor in these countries for decades – standing back and washing their hands of it, or worse, pulling out all together.

Apparently, rather than fixing the problem or taking some responsibility, they think it’s better not to be associated with it at all. I personally believe that global companies have a responsibility for the quality of their products, as well as the safety of the humans making these products. This counts if the products are made in-house, outsourced once, twice or a thousand times. Ignorance is not an excuse – not today.

CoachNow it’s very important to mention that I do not know if Coach is making its products in Bangladesh, because when I emailed Coach HQ to ask where the individual products were made, I got a reply suggesting I speak to the Singapore helpline. I replied that this was not a question the Singapore helpline could handle and asked HQ for a response to my very simple question.

I never got a response, but worse, Coach Singapore has added me to its marketing list. I now get both SMS and eDMs from Coach on a regular basis, however since this incident, every time I receive marketing outreach it absolutely infuriates me. It infuriates me because they did not answer my question yet believe I will continue to be interested in its products?

I’ve been loyal to the Coach brand for more than 15 years, but now they have lost me and I will not buy Coach again. That is what happens when a brand does not listen to a customer and answer the customer’s question. That is what happens when a brand does not distinguish between the types of communication a customer sends in. Coach did not identify that this specific request was not an opportunity for marketing. Coach did not recognize that a loyal customer had some very valid concerns and wanted it addressed. Coach got it wrong.

This is the world we live in now. I’ve had a bad experience and I’m writing about it. I’ve also had an excellent experience and I’m writing about it.

Therefore, has what I’ve written influence your attitude towards either brand? Would you walk into the next Jo Malone London store to see if they delighted you as well? Or would you bypass the next Coach store based on what I said? I’m curious to know.

It doesn’t take much to lose a customer these days, but it’s not about single customer losses anymore. One voice can impact thousands, or can it? Perhaps it’s only the Kardashians who have that sort of power?

What do you think?

Cheers

Andrea

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Does Klout Have Clout?

I love Klout. I love the idea of it and know that – over time – it’s going to be a cracking part of our digital and professional lives. However, right now, it’s not great for me. The clash is I’m seeing Klout referenced more and more to measure a person’s influence in business (which includes whether someone is employable), but I am wondering if it is really an accurate reflection of a person’s clout today?

KloutA challenge I had recently was my Klout score actually went down by an average of seven points after taking on a full-time role. If anything, I thought it would have gone up – particularly as I’m working for a global company, engaging more broadly on social media, and sharing a lot of information which is gaining significantly more shares/retweets/etc… than when I worked for myself. Suffice to say, I definitely feel I have more ‘Klout’ these days.

But my challenge continues. At the moment, Klout measures my impact based on my personal Facebook page, one Twitter handle @AndreaTEdwards, my Google+ page and my LinkedIn page. With that said, it doesn’t appear to capture all of this activity and I don’t know how to change that… probably un-tech-savvy-me’s fault!

However, I also have:

  • Two additional Twitter handles
  • Three additional Facebook pages (along with my personal page)
  • Two WordPress blogs
  • One Blogger blog
  • A YouTube account
  • A slightly inactive SlideShare account
  • and I’m active on Pinterest

There are many more social channels people are active on (and I have more accounts I’m not active on) but of my 17 social media “assets” only four are being measured (to a certain extent) to ascertain my Klout. Therefore, it’s just not an accurate reflection of what I’m doing right now, which is a shame, because I’d love to know my real Klout score.

Of course, it takes a whole lot of effort for the developers working on the backend of Klout to integrate all of these channels – I get that – but I am definitely looking forward to the day it happens.

So right now I have to ask the question – is it a valuable measurement tool to ascertain a professionals’ clout? Maybe I’m just missing something? Would love to know your thoughts.

Cheers

Andrea

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52 Tips on Content and Community From the Top New Media Experts

If you are in a marketing, communications, digital media, or any other role within the marketing mix, I can recommend downloading this eBook entitled “The New Media Rat Pack – 52 Tips on Content & Community From the Top New Media Experts.

52 Tips on Content and Community from the Top New Media Experts

Launched by Top Rank Marketing in advance of NMX 2013 (formerly BlogWorld) – an event that was held in Vegas early January 2013 – it’s a worthwhile read. Essentially it’s a top level overview of all of the new (and some old) marketing solutions available today, and includes commentary from 52 of the world’s experts in this field. It’s not deep content, and the focus (including the research) tends to be focused on the US, however by reviewing each of the sections, it gives you the opportunity to assess what is of interest to you, and then you can dig deep.

I think a lot of marketing folk in Asia Pacific could benefit from this eBook and the ideas shared, as in many areas, we remain in our infancy in regards to embracing the real business opportunities these solutions offer. B2B or B2C – it is relevant for both.

The topics covered include:

  • Branding
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • New Media Law – everyone needs to understand this!
  • Mobile
  • Content Marketing
  • Video
  • Podcasting
  • Websites

One of the great aspects of the book is the research shared. As I said, much is US focused, but here are the highlights that stood out for me.

Branding

Highlights

  • 95% of consumers now use at least one social network
  • 44% more likely to purchase based on positive brand exposure
  • 44% consumers more likely to recommend the brand to a friend

Source IDG Group

Blogging

Highlights

  • 92% of companies who blog several times per day have acquired a customer from their blog
  • The average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009, to 21% in 2012

Source HubSpot

  • Over 65% of business blogs haven’t been updated in a year or more
  • 81% of businesses agree having a blog is useful or critical to their business
  • But less than 35% blog more frequently than once per month

Source Jeffbulla.com

Social Media

“Social media is helping brands build trust, loyalty, and brand recognition.”

Highlights

  • 92% of global consumers say they trust earned media above all other forms of advertising
  • 58% of [respondents] trust [the] message on company Websites
  • 50% find content in emails they consented to receive to be credible

Source Nielsen

Mobile

In Asia Pacific, mobile penetration is significantly higher than the rest of the world, so this is a core focus area for marketers moving forward in this region – a mobile marketing strategy must be a top priority. Check out this blog “Tablet Strategies for Content Marketing” based on the IDG Connect white paper entitled “iPad for Business Survey 2012” I published last year to get an idea of the figures in AP.

Highlights

  • The average response time to an email is 90 minutes. The average response time to a text message is 90 seconds
  • 61% of people said that if they tried to access a website that wasn’t optimized for mobile, they would visit the website of a competitor
  • 1 out of every 8 smartphone users will search for better pricing on a product or service while at the store

Source Social Media Tips

Content Marketing

A subject after my own heart, this chapter covers four key areas:

  1. Blogs
  2. Social channels
  3. Press Releases
  4. Email marketing

However it also extends to mobile apps, events, gamification and more.

Top quote – “92% of US adults read content online, spending more than seven hours per week looking for content.”

Highlights

Top B2B Content Marketing Tactics:

  • 87% – social media
  • 83% – articles
  • 78% – eNewsletters
  • 77% – blogs
  • 71% – case studies

Source Content Marketing Institute

Top Goals for Content Marketing:

  • 51% – lead generation
  • 38% – brand awareness
  • 34% – thought leadership
  • 77% – sales
  • 71% – customer acquisition

Source BtoB Research Highlights 2012

And an important point to remember

“83% of all learning is visual,” John Meyer, Lemon.ly

Video

“Americans viewed nearly 11 billion video ads in October 2012”

Highlights

  • 70% of B2B content marketers use videos
  • Use of video has risen from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012
  • 58% rate videos as the most effective content marketing tactic

Source Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

Podcasting

Highlights

  • The podcasting audience has migrated from early adopters to more mainstream media consumers
  • Podcast consumers prefer content on their desktop, but mobile phone media consumption is surging
  • Those consuming podcasts index [was] very high for social networking

Source Edison Research

Websites

The only statistic worth noting here is this:

“97% of websites fail at user experience, according to Forrester Research.”

97%!

“A great website design must cater to the needs of the user.”

Further Highlights

9 common ecommerce Website usability issues:

  1. No cost estimate before checkout
  2. Too much info for registration
  3. Missing auto-fill on forms
  4. Absent left rail filter
  5. No instruction for input format
  6. Poorly optimized search
  7. Messy top navigation
  8. No user reviews
  9. Registration required to purchase

Source measuringusability.com

There you go. If nothing else and you don’t read the eBook, the stats could provide useful information if you need to sell the advantages of any of these ideas to your bosses.

Like I said, this book doesn’t go into great depth – as that is not its goal. Its goal was to tantalize the reader into attending an event, and if I was in the US, it would have worked. But it does give a broad-view of the new marketing solutions available today and the core focus areas for anyone in marketing. Furthermore, I enjoyed another aspect of the book – it consistently linked the story back to the original Rat Pack of the 1960s – a group of entertainers most of us know and love to this day – which made it a delightful read as well.

I thought my peers in Asia Pacific would appreciate being aware this book is available and hope the above homework I’ve done helps as well. Let me know what you think if you read it?

Cheers

Andrea

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Content Marketing in Asia Pacific Slow to Evolve

I’ve been a bit slow off the mark this New Year and hope everyone is already blazing into 2013. I haven’t been idle on my break however, as I’ve spent a lot of time assessing where my experience and value fits in the region. I’ve done this to understand how I can achieve more of my professional goals and make a real contribution in Asia Pacific.

One area I’ve been thinking a lot about over the last month is where Asia Pacific is in regards to readiness for content marketing? My conclusion is – not very far along at all. Everyone is talking about the need to do more content – launching a blog, creating more long-form-high-value content, etc… but not many are actually executing. As a person who has built a business around this field, it has obviously been frustrating.

However, one conclusion seems clear. The significant challenge faced in Asia is a shortage of skills and knowledge. Content marketing (or Inbound Marketing) is a new way of thinking about marketing. It’s got nothing to do with what a company wants to tell the world and everything to do with what the customer needs to know to help them be more successful in whatever field they are in – right across the board.

Content Marketing Asia Pacific

Essentially, content marketing is a requirement for businesses to become publishing houses for their customers, which means presenting stories that will make their customers more successful, and by default, loyal. This is not a new thing, with some of the global giants committed to the story telling path – Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red BullSAP, Cisco, Intel, HSBC, and more. Here’s a blog on the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies and the content marketing focus.

It’s a dramatic change in mindset and we have a long way to go in Asia Pacific – but it‘s a very worthwhile path for organisations to take, and in the age of social media, it’s also vital. To address this challenge, the most important asset a company needs internally is someone who can manage an effective content marketing campaign – and that’s what we don’t have. We have people who’ve done marketing or PR the old way, but new marketing requires a complete change in mind set. Check out Hubspot’s “8 Ready Made Job Descriptions to Recruit an All Star Marketing Team.

The most important skill this person needs? The ability to understand customers – what drives them, what information they need, their buying cycle, their pain points, what they care about, and so on. If you don’t understand what motivates and drives customers, the effort will be wasted – and it is a lot of effort.

Once you have the person who has this important skill and understanding of customers, they need to drive content creation across the organisation – whether it’s internal creation or outsourcing it to professionals. Insourcing or outsourcing is both do-able, (although check out this Hubspot blog on insourcing versus outsourcing) but it is an internal and talented communications professional, who has a real understanding of your customers, that is best suited to drive this function.

Content Marketing Asia PacificThe sort of activities they’ll manage include creating the content publishing schedule, defining the educational themes to wrap your stories around, managing the writers and digital content creators, launching and managing the corporate blog, positively inspiring internal customer-facing champions  to contribute to the campaign, running brain-storming workshops with executives and sales, finding content everywhere in the organisation and re-purposing it, capturing and building out stories shared over innocent conversations during coffee breaks, and so on. That is the difference between everyone in Asia wanting to do content marketing, and actually doing it successfully – a single person who really gets that core understanding of customers and of course, they have to be an excellent communicator and story teller as well.

I’m seeing a lot of companies in Asia start and fail, which is a shame because it makes them tentative to try again. But get that person on board who can really make this happen, and then we’ll see some magic. I can’t wait because I know that time is coming.

What do you think is lacking in Asia that is contributing to such limited success in content marketing? Or do you know of any local success stories that are worth sharing?

Cheers

Andrea

PS I’ve included a bunch of links here to previous SAJE blogs, as well as industry blogs on the topic. I share great articles across the spectrum of content marketing on the SAJE Facebook page – like it if you’re interested in this topic. We’re just sharing here, nothing for sale.

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2012 in review

This is one of the many reasons why WordPress is cool – I just received this report. If you’re thinking of launching a blog in 2013, WordPress is a great place to start.

Happy New Year

Andrea

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 33,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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