Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

Don’t Look Any Further. Social Media = CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

May 12, 2008

I originally meant for this post to show some excerpts from Pat’s blog today, titled “The Holy Trinity Of Blogging“, until I realised she has it so spot on and so easily understood that there really is little else I could add by posting about it. (That said, do check out the link, relevant to individuals and companies alike.)

But as I sat down to start writing tonight, I realised there’s a bigger question here: Why, out of the many, many links sent to me and blog posts that I read a day, did I want to particularly highlight Pat’s? Someone who I have never talked to online or in person? Of course because it’s relevant and well-written, but there’s something else.

It started with a tweet:

This is the second direct message she sent me, the first was even more targeted, saying something like “for the social media junkie” followed by the URL.

Let’s go back to CRM, according to Wikipedia, it

helps companies understand, as well as anticipate, the needs of current and potential customers.

Isn’t that exactly what happened here? Unlike the mass tweets about a “new blog post” (which I don’t mind at all), this really makes me sit up and take notice, because I know it’s a careful, considered move to bring the level of interaction one step closer (from general tweets to a direct message). And the reason why that step would be taken is because she knows that that post would be particularly relevant to me.

“So what” you say? Well, what if you could do that for your customers? Companies are obsessed about CRM, about data, interactions, trends and the like. And here they are in front of you. What if you knew Person A particularly likes a biscuit flavour that you happen to be bringing in? A personal email with an invite to be the first to taste it? Or an ad in the newspaper in hopes the general population will pick up on it and drop by?

It’s a lot of work, no doubt about it. But hey, people pay money for CRM software and hotels notice how guests shift their furniture so that they can do it for them for future visits. Is this really too much? Especially in Singapore?

Twitter Customer Service Case Study: Firefox

May 5, 2008

I’ve only been using Firefox for two months and made the change primarily because of it’s enhanced security and great plugins. Somewhere along the way, being the sometimes-technologically-challenged person I am, I changed a setting that caused my downloaded files to be saved when I wanted them to be opened.

So of course, I turned to Twitter:

And got a reply back very quickly from @firefox_answers:

And I was amazed. Firefox has two things going for it: great product and great customer service. Not going to go into the debate of which is better, but it’s important to have both.

Before you start thinking “Sure, great for companies like Firefox or Microsoft whose users are right in front of Twitter”, but what if your company could jump in and respond to these questions?

  • I wonder what’s good on tv tonight
  • Why does my [insert brand] printer keep printing it’s test page?
  • What should I get for mother’s day

The list goes on. There’s some commentary on how the vast majority of Twitter users talk about frivolous things. That may annoy some, but to companies, it’s an opportunity to jump in, join the conversation and make a positive difference the same way Firefox did for me today.

Why Students Should Blog – A Few Pointers

May 2, 2008

Hack College posted an article on the Case for Student Blogging and @KellySutton posted the same question on Twitter as part as a competition to win a Hack College t-shirt. I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time, so it seems like a good time as any.

I’m going to write a few segments:

  • Whether you already have a blog
  • How it can get you an internship/job
  • My personal experience
  • Other intangible benefits
  • Whether blogging restricted just to people like me, ie those interested in social meda.

But I Already Have A Blog!
Actually, no, you probably don’t. Having a Meepok Blog (ie one where you talk about the meepok you had over lunch) is not a blog. It is a blog in that you’re capturing down your thoughts, but it’s not a blog where you’re adding value. And that’s the kind of blog you need to have if you’re in school, especially a university looking for an internship and/or employment.

Seriously? A Blog Helping Me Find A Job?
Yes. An article got featured in the New York Times about Christopher Penn’s (from Marketing Over Coffee) social media resume about the same time that Seth Godin questioned the need for a resume at all. ie: Your blog should speak for itself. Granted, we’re early days into this line of thinking, but if you’re just entering university now, a lot can change in the four years till you graduate and join the workforce. In fact, I just saw a social media internship today saying that including a blog and/or Twitter stream would be helpful.

My Personal Experience
I started this blog with no expectations except to contribute to the community. However through it I’ve gotten an invitation to advise a company on internal/external blogging, to be a panelist at a conference that costs $680 to attend and three internships. (Full disclosure: I couldn’t take up two of them, the third has yet to be confirmed). Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether or not it works out. The point here is: When was the last time you heard of offers coming your way just via a blog? No formal submission of resume, no cover letter? It’s a whole new world that frankly, surprised me as well.This can happen to you. But you have to start right now.

Other Intangible Benefits
As the world progresses, more and more of our lives are going to be lived online. Blogging/Tweeting/Podcasting etc creates and online presence and reputation for you. When your prospective employer Googles your name (and believe me, they will), you don’t want the first thing they see to be a story of you drunk at a club via your friend’s blog. You want them to see a thoughtful article you’ve written. Online reputation for your personal brand is priceless, and the difference between a good or bad one is how much effort you put in to develop it.

Another intangible that I’ve found particularly for me, is that it helps me write better and faster. I take an average of 20-30 mins to punch out a blog post. That translates to my school work where I’m writing papers and it takes me 45 minutes to get two pages out and send it for editing. Lightning fast.

Final point on intangibles, the great thing about everything being online is relationships. Whatever you blog about, the chances that someone will pick it up is always there, someone may be scanning Twitter for keywords that you mention in your blog, or simply Googling randomly or using StumbleUpon. Why not provide them an opportunity to connect to you?

But I Don’t Blog About Social Media!
It doesn’t matter. Your blog can be on anything. Drawings/sketches if you’re looking to be a creative in advertising. Commentary on the sub-prime crisis if you’re in finance. What changes in interest rates mean if you’re studying economics. Anything that you can point your future employer to and say “Look, I’ve been on top of this stuff for awhile now, and that makes me more valuable to hire than the other person who just submitted a resume with his grades.”

So what do you think? Are you reading this right now and thinking “Bullshit”, or are you thinking of what to name your blog? Let me know. If you’re thinking of starting a blog but you’re unsure of what to do/how to get about doing it, feel free to drop me a comment as well. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’d like to help if I can.

How Was Your Read And Comment Day?

April 29, 2008

What Read And Comment Day?

Yesterday was Read and Comment day, where you have to make an active effort to comment on blogs and join the conversation. It was suggested by Chris Brogan, and true to form, he even left a comment here as well. Read and Comment day also inspired me to encourage people to strengthen their links to people on Twitter, especially the weaker links.

My Report

I put aside an hour last night to really go through my Google Reader (learnt how to use it yet?) and properly digest blog posts and comment. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of when I first started blogging in January when Prof. Netley advised us that we should comment twice as much as we post to establish a presence and drive traffic. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I forgot that along the way, but Read and Comment day really reminded me how important it is not just to create my own content by blogging, but to add value to others’ content as well.

How About You?

Have you found yourself commenting less than usual? Something holding you back from joining the conversation? Go post a couple of comments today. You’ll feel great!

My Conversations

All great topics, especially if you’re into social media. Why not read and comment on them (or right here) yourself?

Do You Really Know Who You’re Following On Twitter?

April 27, 2008

I’m in the midst of revising my Twitter guides and got a little inspired by Chris Brogan’s “Reading and Commenting” day (which is tomorrow, by the way).

How many people do you follow on Twitter? How many of them do you actually know? Do you know what their interests, passions and niches are? When was the last time you sent them something meaningful or of value, instead of the usual noise?

So here’s what I’m proposing: This week during your small pockets of time, go through the list of people you’re following and figure out how you can add value as a Twitter friend. Maybe it’s commenting on their blog, subscribing to their blog, or sending them a link relevant to them.

Because really, at the end of the day it’s not how many people you follow, but your relationships with them.

Quoted In Today Newspaper On Twitter!

April 25, 2008

The article’s out today! I thought it’s pretty good. Hopefully more people will read it and get onto Twitter.

That said, I’m going to be a little cautious about Twitter. Steven Hodson blogged about some of Twitter’s troubles, financially, bringing us back to harsh reality that you can have the best product in the world in the Web2.0 space, but you better have a monetisation plan. Frederic from The Last Podcast updated us a couple of days ago about how Twitter has rolled out ads in Japan (which makes sense since they are so big in Japan)

All the financial worries plus the recent downtime over the weekend and Twitter’s lead architect leaving makes for a slightly worrying future for Twitter. Here’s hoping they can pull their act together soon.

Follow me on Twitter: @uniquefrequency

Blogger-Journalist Relationships Done Right

April 23, 2008

After what happened last week, I was quite pleasantly surprised to get a very considerate sms from a reporter this morning, saying he was concerned about disrupting me and asking for a good time for him to contact me.

A few things done right:

  • He knew who I was, definitely had read my blog and referenced things I said in context both on my blog, Twitter and at the IDC Conference.
  • He had clear questions and obviously had done research on the topic.
  • He did not seem to just want to hear a quotable soundbyte, but just asked questions and answered. (Note: It doesn’t matter to me if he got off the phone thinking I utterly wasted his 5 minutes and didn’t give him a good soundbye, the point is that doesn’t come across to me)
  • He offered to send me a draft of what his phrasing of what I said would be via email

Again, it’s not that I’m some big shot in the space, it’s just the other party being nice and well…. a human. Not just someone digging for information or a soundbyte.

Unlike the previous two reporters, if this particular journalist asks me in future to recommend him a blogger in a different niche, say food or technology, I will definitely be more than happy to do so because I know he will treat that person with courtesy and respect that I think anyone should get.

Here’s hoping more journalists learn from these experiences.

What Would Life Be Without Twitter?

April 22, 2008

I’m a huge fan of Twitter, but it’s been wonky since Saturday and today it just got too much.

I was happy to take it as random downtime, and wait for it to get back to normal by tomorrow. Until I read something from Bryan Person:

My friend Jack Hodgson is convinced that Twitter’s death is coming, and that we should start preparing for it now. It’s nights like tonight that I really think he’s onto something.

What? Twitter’s death? Life without Twitter? No way!

Death or no death, people around the blogosphere are beginning to notice. Dan York also weighs in on how we have come to rely on Twitter, while Frederic and Paris Lemon approach the issue the same way I do. For the tool that enables conversation and for people to stay connected, Twitter sure isn’t communicating much about what is going wrong.

It does make you think how this affects organisations who have invested time into Twitter like @downingstreet (for the British Prime Minister’s office) and @deltaairlines as a means of keeping in touch with the public? A loss of faith in Twitter? Migration to another platform?

If Twitter does go down, who will you turn to? Scoble thinks it’s FriendFeed. I’d go for Facebook Chat, if only they’d implement it for me already.

Quick Thoughts On The IDC Panel Discussion, And I Want Yours Too.

April 19, 2008

Haven’t had time to really get online after the IDC Conference, because of a night out with my two closest friends Rubin and Reuben with some grown up talk (jobs and marriage). But I really wanted to squeeze out a real quick post on today’s IDC Panel discussion and give you a sense of what I’ll be talking about over the next couple of days.

First, a big thank you to @litford, @byzantin3 and @ridz84 for watching the live webcast and sending me nice messages on Twitter. I’m sorry I didn’t reply because I switched off Twitter on my phone for the day. Didn’t want to be distracted while on stage. Again, thank you for taking 45 minutes off your busy lives to hear what I had to say!

Second, an even bigger thank you to Geek Goddess Estee for coming down in person to support me there and for passing me a book on New Media. Can’t wait to read it!

I’m going to mention @litford twice because he has a recap of the topics and questions and answers on his blog as well as posting the live feed. If you missed it, check out the discussion over there.

Next, I have 5 points that I’m going to blog about in detail over the next few days, but I want to throw them out here first.

1) Advertising and blogging.

Again, Brian has talked about this in his thoughts from the panel. I was listening to a podcast on the way home and coincidentally it serves as a great case study for how to do advertising/sponsorship in the blogosphere. It’s a North American example, but I think it applies pretty well.

2) On Gen Y not reading the newspapers.

MediaSlut as always has started a very good conversation about how this may be worrying. I was told from Debbie that @ridz84 agreed on the live chat with me that most of us don’t read the papers, and before I respond to MediaSlut, I’d like to take a straw poll just to give an indication if I am guilty of a gross generalisation, or if there’s some truth to it.

3) Trust.

I think this came up as a common underlying thread between all the panelists. How important is trust between you and a blogger? Does it even matter? Or is it just another one of the many, many fragmented voices online and there’s no differentiation?

4) Relationships.

I had the great fortune of meeting two brilliant people from HP who I could share my huge enthusiasm for Snapfish with as well as talk about the HP Mini-Note a little bit. Very smart people who definitely realise the value of engaging in this space and meeting them in person convinced me that they’re not just doing it because someone at corporate or their PR company said to do so. From talking to them I could tell that they truly believed it was a worthwhile endeavor and that’s the reason why they are doing it.

At the same time I had a couple of crappy experiences today too which I’m not sure I want to talk about in detail, but at the very least I will mention vaguely.

5) Corporate Interest.

I am genuinely, genuinely curious about whether companies are interested in social media/new media/web2.0/whatever as an option right now, (which is already too late). Or if they think this is going to be another fad that will pass through in a year. The reason why I ask this is because I think one big issue, corporate blogging, was brought up today, but it didn’t seem to generate much discussion after the panel. The other thing which is a smaller issue, was that we ended the panel on a note about microblogging, specifically Twitter. I’m sure companies in the audience could benefit from such a quick-action response mechanism, but again I’m not sure that was a conversation that was going on after the panel.

I just want to say I don’t mention #5 because I think they should be talking to me about these issues. I don’t claim to be the best person for them to talk to because after all, I’m still a student observing all of this from the comfort of the university. But is this conversation happening at all?

All in all, today was really great for me. I would’ve liked to have heard some questions from the floor and hear some of the real questions and concerns that companies have when thinking about engaging in this new space that is changing so rapidly, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time. Was probably good that they timed us though because I think we could’ve gone on till tomorrow with no problem at all.

Well those are my quick thoughts on today’s discussion. If you have any please feel free to chime at the comments below, or if you like, drop me an email at uniquefrequency[AT]gmail[DOT]com.