23 Jan 2013

Quick Question....

Is there a song that motivates you when you feel like giving up? A tune that lifts your spirits? A song that makes you get up out of your chair and dance around the office like a craaaaaaazy person?

I'm doing a bit of research for a project I'm working on and would really appreciate it if you could share your top tune in the comments below, or tweet me @AnnieBeee with the hashtag #Motivation, thank you!

p.s Bruce Springsteen 'Dancing in the Dark' does it for me.

Since I posted this article last night lots and lots of suggestions have been put forward, many I don't know but I'll be checking them out. I stopped the list at 50 ... if your suggestion isn't there apologies but thanks for taking part ;-)

1) House of Pain - Jump Around
2) Dope -Take your Best Shot
3) La Roux - BulletProof
4) Pete Seegers - We Shall Overcome
5) Elvis - Burning Love
6) McFly - Star Girl
7) Kenny Loggins - Footloose
8) Any song by Bellowhead
9) Katrina & The Waves - Walking on Sunshine
10) Mint de Ville - Spanish Sunshine
11) Deelite - Groove is in the Heart
12) T- Rex - I Love To Boogie
13) Communards - You Make Me Feel
14) Scat Man
15) Michael Buble - Just Haven't Met You Yet
16) Olly Murs - Dance With Me Tonight
17) Oasis - Round Are Way
18) Springsteen - Thunder Road
19) Chemical Brothers - Galvanise
20) Miss G - On a Mission
21) Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
22) Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
23) D Byrne/ Express 2 - Wicked & Lazy
24) Seal - Crazy
25) Prince - Little Red Corvette
26) Manic - Flashdance
27) Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
28) Stokes - Last Night
29) Waterboys - Whole of the Moon
30) Neil Young - Cry No Tears
31) TMBG - Birdhouse in Your Soul
32) M People - Proud
33) Tom Jones - If I Only Knew
34) Van Dahl - Castles in the Sky
35)Tina Turner - Proud Mary
36) Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
37) Bon Jovi - Living On A Prayer
38) LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
39) Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline
40) Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar
41) Optimistic - Sounds of Blackness
42) Shakira - Hips Don't Lie
43) Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
44) MeatLoaf - Bat Outta Hell
45) Laid Baker - Baker Man
46) Marvin Gaye - Martin, Abraham and John
47) Rihanna - We Found Love
48) Various Artists - Perfect Day
49) Dans Macabre - Saint Saens
50) Suburban Legends - High 5

22 Jan 2013

Prayers for Grandpa?

It's easy to say one thing and mean another, even when you talk the same language.  A friend forwarded an email today entitled 'Why Teachers Drink' ...it made me smile so I thought I'd share it here. It's a great reminder to spell-check your blog articles, consider the language you use, and the audience reading it. 

After all, you don't want to get on the wrong side of Grandpa, remainders or the residents of LapLand!

*These examples are taken from a viral email which has no obvious source, so sorry not to credit whoever put it together but thanks for sharing!

17 Jan 2013

Facebook 'Graph Search'

This week Facebook launched ‘Graph Search’. Every time a change is introduced my news feed fills with status updates similar to the one above. Inaccurate information which spreads like Chinese whispers. An issue for Facebook, and for those who market their products on its Pages, is the privacy concerns of users. Yet Facebook continues to dominate the social networking space and is a very powerful marketing tool.

The following articles provide an insight into Graph Search, its potential and its limitations.  

I have tried to source articles which use layman’s terms because the majority of us associate Pandas and Penguins with a trip to the zoo, rather than Search Engine Optimisation.

It will be interesting to see what happens next, with Google pushing Author Rank will Google+ finally come to life? Watch this space.

9 Jan 2013

Internal Communication - Will SHOUTING Help?

Why invest in offering customer service online, expensive measurement tools and resources if the end result is to ask customers to write a letter of complaint and wait 28 days for a response?

Happy customers are crucial to the success of any business and companies are often nervous of social media, fearful of customers posting negative comments about their products online. Strategies are created for Reputation and Crisis Management, which is smart thinking, but the real challenge facing larger organisations is often closer to home, in the form of Internal Communication.

For the last few weeks I’ve been having an issue with a large multi-national company, let’s call them Smiths. Smiths are so huge that they don’t really need my business. I am just one isolated customer in a huge sea of never ending consumers.  Smiths have a very active social media team who search twitter and online forums for disgruntled customers to help. When I tried to get support via twitter I was given a phone number to call as I needed someone higher up the chain to solve my issue. Numerous calls later, still no joy.

I'm now frustrated and annoyed. I could take to my twitter account and make a fuss. I could name and shame ‘Smiths’ in this blog. I could do the online equivalent of shouting and waving my fists. Apart from the fact that's not my style I’m not going to for the following reasons;
     1) I'll bore the pants off my followers, no-one cares except me. (see article about vampires)

2) No matter how loud I shout, Smiths aren't listening.

Smiths pay a fortune for a social media measurement tool to analyse the sentiment of tweets and monitor their online reputation. These tools are impressive, the information they provide is fascinating, enlightening and of value if used correctly. That's great, but it's likely the Boss doesn't want or have time to review ALL of that information…. So the staff will just summarise it, put together a four page report, just the main points, a general overview. Somewhere in the process my little blog and tweets would get lost. The same thing will happen with the report from their text messaging survey shown above. How many disgruntled customers are being ignored?

Smiths tick all the boxes, email marketing, social media, text messaging services, up to date website, special offers, rewards schemes. They have policies and procedures coming out their ears. What they are missing is customer service and effective communication. It's crucial to join the dots, talk to the department next door, feedback information from the bottom to the top and vice versa. My issue with Smiths shouldn't be difficult to fix, but none of the departments are aware of what information is being given out and no-one is willing to take responsibility or provide me with a response or a solution. The answer? I've cancelled my contract and signed up with another supplier. 

5 Jan 2013

All That Jazz

image courtesty of pursuitist.com

At 14 I bought ‘Take Five’ by Dave Brubeck, it was the first jazz album I ever owned and introduced me to a world I knew nothing of. I was mesmerised by the music, even if it wasn’t cool amongst my peers. I have been a jazz fan ever since. Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Kenny Ball, Miles Davis and Madeleine Peyroux have carried me through the various stages of my life. It is a love affair that I enjoy alone as it’s safe to say my friends aren’t fans of jazz …. and never will be if their comments are anything to go by!

When Dave Brubeck passed away in December I searched twitter for other fans that were paying their respects to the 91 year old musician and sharing their memories. It was wonderful to find other people who appreciated his talent and to have online conversations with them. A shared passion, an appreciation, a respect for the legendary jazz man.

I learned a lot from the tweets that evening, there were so many links to YouTube clips, sound bites, blogs and news articles. At last, I had some pals to share my love of jazz with! I didn’t bother posting anything on my personal Facebook profile as my friends just don’t ‘get’ jazz. My post would have been ignored, comment free - I was more likely to get a response talking to the wall.

Why am I writing about this on my business blog? Two reasons.

1) Passion! When you talk passionately on a subject, show enthusiasm, have inside knowledge, share information, react with excitement or emotion……it creates a response from others. Finding common ground is the best way to build relationships and create an online community.

2 )   Fish where the fish are ……. Before you set up a social media account for your business do some research, listen to conversations, search for specific subjects. Where is the best place to invest your time and which network will deliver the best response/ results?

If you are reading this blog and don’t recognise the names of the musicians then you are in for a treat.  Find a quiet spot, close your eyes and listen to Stan Getz playing Ligia. You'll never look back.

4 Jan 2013

Kick Start and Spring Clean

My Granny drummed into me that to bring in the New Year your home should be spotless and ready for a fresh start. It’s a tradition I stick to and one that I find oddly reassuring.  Now as I return to work I need to refresh my plans for the coming months. I like to be organised and I like having a system, it’s crucial to delivering work on time, but I really dislike routine. Routine is a bit too safe, boring, monotonous, often the easy option ….and who wants to be predictable?

The same thinking can be applied to your social media presence. Remember that strategy you developed? The one that’s hidden in your documents folder or buried at the bottom of the drawer? Time to re-visit and refresh it! What habits have you fallen into, and what points have you overlooked?

Are you promoting the same message/product, in the same format, over and over again? Are you stuck in a routine? Is your audience still listening or are they fed up with the same predictable posts? If you’re not excited or motivated by your own social media activity how on earth do you expect to engage your audience?

  • Have your objectives / resources / services changed?
  • Has your target market changed?
  • How varied are the topics and guest authors on your blog?
  • When was the last time you changed the cover image on your Facebook page?
  • What posts were best received in the last 3 months and what posts sunk like a stone?
  • What’s new, innovative, exciting in your sector?
  • List 5 things you discovered about your audience from recent activity on social media 

January is the perfect time for a shake up! A time to swap predictable for dynamic, unique, entertaining, informative or eye catching........ because who wants to be average, ‘nice’, or run of the mill? 

If I can help review or develop your social media strategy feel free to get in touch with me at annie at annieboyd dot com.