Key Advice Blog

Archive for the ‘New Media’ Category

The latest report on real-time communications tools surpassing e-mail in popularity and practice is not a new finding. But, it is a new warning to Canadian businesses to embrace social and interactive media so they don’t get left behind. And, the sooner the better.

According the Calgary Herald story, nearly half of chief information officers surveyed said instant, interactive and intuitive platforms  – like SharePoint, Google Docs and Skype – will replace e-mail in five years. Shocking? No. Social Media Today reported this in 2008. Transform Magazine, in 2002, reviewed three  business case studies about collaborative technology in an article ‘Collaboration: Beyond E-mail’. In reality, it is already happening.

In a recent blog post – Social Media as a professional tool – I reported that although 77% of Canadians have a social media presence, less than 30% used them for professional reasons. Personal use will increase confidence. Professional use will increase connectivity. All of this can lead to an increase in benefits to your organization.

Like newspapers, email will probably not disappear. But, the speed, social interaction and resource saving aspects of the new communications sharing technology cannot be ignored. Plug-in now and join the conversation – before you are left behind.

Having relocated from the UK to Canada I find I am using Skype and FaceTime about 3 times as much as my landline for personal calls. But, what are businesses using? And, why aren’t they using visual conference calling more? This branch of the social media tree is powerful, persuasive and cost saving – with many of the options free.

Mashable profiles all four, recognizing freeconferencecalling.com as a starting point.

Then they analyze Rondee, Wiggio, GroupMe and Google Voice. They all have outstanding characteristics: Rondee, easy meeting coordination; Wiggio, other group management services; GroupMe; the quintessential mobile group meeting App; and Google Vocie, people simply call your contact number at the same time and you approve.

This technology has come a long way, and it is quite surprising that many people – who also complain about the travel time and expense – are still driving, flying, riding to meetings that could be just as effective in a virtual environment. And, reduce the carbon footprint and costs substantially.

 If you are investing time in the social media platforms you have integrated into your marketing strategy, you may be short on time to keep up on social media trends. Here are 3 ways to keep up.

Social Media All Top

This is like a social media ‘Google Reader’. All Top’s home page is panels of headlines from the top social media platforms – all in one location. Mashable, Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb and others are all there for an easy read. Pick what’s of interest, and enjoy this one-stop shop.

Mashable’s First to Know Series

 Mashable is just too good to be true. With columns like First to Know Series, you can easily and quickly become not only informed – but educated too. It’s not just the news, but their analysis of social media and web developments that can help you make intelligent decisions about social media strategies.

Social Media Today

Social media is a fast moving stream. If you want to floating along and not paddling against the current, Social Media Today can help. It tends to touch the surface of key new directions in the field. But, this leaves you free to search their site or the Web for deeper details.

Information management has gone to the next level. Have you?

Geo-tagging is nothing new – with Facebook Places the current talk of the town. But, the Hotlist geo app brings all the key social media services together at one table, serving up a tasty treat for users.  It’s about integrating, morphing and mashing everything that’s social about a location – and feeding our appetite for geo data.

Mashable’s  Jolie Odell takes a  bite big picture – giving you a review of what Hotlist looks like to the user – just in case you haven’t activated it. It’s mobile use – all these things are geared for the urban traveller – is the icing on the cake. You can find out what’s happening, who’s there, ration of male to female participants, follow Twitter chat, post to Facebook.

So far it’s only available for iPhone.  Blackberry and others will just have to wait – but not long.

Many of today’s newly unemployed are choosing to start-up their own businesses. Their biggest fear isn’t failure, it’s working at home alone. After just leaving university, or being made redundant from a job, they are now faced with being at home – alone. But, there is no need to be afraid or alone; there are many ways to have a virtual office environment. Here are three great ones.

Jelly – This brilliant idea is happening on a semi-weekly basis in a space near you. Jelly promotes casual working events. So a Jelly host sets up a place and time – could even be their home – and entrepreneurs get together to work for the day. Ideas are shared. It’s all casual, fun and motivating. Watch their video. Follow them on Twitter.

Enterprise Nation – This fantastic, free service for helping home business owners, is led by Emma Jones, author of Working 5 – 9. My favourite service is their Twitter (@e_nation) #watercoolermoment. It happens daily at 11 am and people tweet together, usually about a specific topic. It’s a nice virtual, online coffee break. And, if you really want to go virtual, try their Friday video watercooler live chat! Brilliant.

If face-to-face is important, ask people to Skype with you. It saves on time, travel and gives you a great connected feeling.  And, it’s free.

With video becoming the next best way of promoting yourself online, using these three options will help you boost your confidence and stay connected to real people whilst you work away in your home office! See you online.

Enterprise Nation‘s Emma Jones (twitter.com/e_nation) hosted and led the four presentations at Furness Enterprise’s 21st Century Communications Master Class workshop today. She talked about the progression from content to community building to commercial relationships. Today’s marketing is all about moving across to peers to get work, not hierarchical like in the past.

Kate Harrison Whiteside

Kate at 21st Century Communications Event

Steve Emecz, head of Business Development at Powa, a commercial web solution for SMEs, set up a commercial site in less than 10 minutes in front of the 60 attendees. He pointed out the importance of a good site search facility, as the majority of visitors come searching for information – like your contact details. Still amazes how many people don’t put names and numbers of staff in their Contact Us section.

Our Social Times‘ Luke Brynley-Jones, a social media consultant, pointed out traditional marketing is no longer ‘working’. New media works because it simply takes word of mouth and trust to the next level – viral. The power lies in people self-selecting. Power to the people.

The North West Evening Mail publishing director Jonathan Lee used videos, produced by the newsroom’s new age journalists,  to prove his point: that it is vitally important that culturally (multimedia) is embedded in the organisation and supported from top to bottom. Describing the business as being at the hub of the community, he illustrated how comments, forums, Twitter, web chats and Facebook mean news is driven by the community not just the company. News conference’s now  begin with a check of all e-media activities first – then what is going in print. They’ve come a long way from the days of black and white printing.

All presenters agreed the key to new media is to use all formats together – print, video, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and any others that work for your business. Social media is here to stay – and all recommended getting into it – before it changes again. And, when it changes again, get on that platform as well. It is the future. But, despite it being new media, the same old marketing principles apply. It is still about connecting with people –  only the medium has changed.

Surfing the Internet has surpassed TV in the ‘how much time spent’ race. What is it about the Internet that has proven so attractive as to push TV off its pedestal?

According to Canada.com’s Ipsos poll, sixty-eight (68%)  per cent of adults with access to the Internet spend more time online than they spend watching television. The survey questioned 24,000 adults in 23 countries, giving it a broad base for its results.

Why is this? Accessibility. Eastern countries rated the highest – and mobile technology will play a huge role in this. Some western countries with easy access to broadband recorded more TV watching than surfing. But, it is significant that countries with great market potential and income growth are hungry for information.

The mobile market is the future. And visuals (video) will become the most sought after format. Internet TV channels are growing faster than weeds in Cumbria – LakesTV, Cumbria Live TV and soon Film4U North. Businesses need to get on the visual band wagon, toot their own horn with video on their websites and think mobile phone (app).

We are into the next phase – and the creative opportunities will be like nothing we have seen before. Marketing departments are already looking at their budgets juggling print and online; don’t forget the video column. It will all add up to successful marketing.


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