My Crazy Prediction?

In September 2008 I made a prediction, that email as we know it today will no longer exist in 10 years time.

Read The Death Of Email by 2018

Will I be proved to be a:
or Fool?

Time Remaining:


Featured Author on Business 2 Community

Disclaimer: The views expressed on stopthinksocial are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.
Strategic advice and experience on making the most of  being social in the workplace

Entries in customer engagement (4)


SEO Deconstructed (#SWChat)


SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of structuring a web page so that it is found, read, and indexed by search engines in the most effective manner possible. This makes your web site and its content attractive, relevant and visible to search engines and web searchers.

Combining Social Media with SEO provides a very powerful social media presence. This event looked at the why and how of SEO for your business to give you the edge over your competitors.

Event Questions

Q1) Why does SEO really matter for your business?
Q2) Increase in clicks is great, but can good SEO actually turn clicks into paying customers?
Q3) Who in your company should be in charge of SEO?
Q4) What is a good ranking for your website and how do you go about improving it?
Q5) What simple SEO tips & tricks should every business be aware of?

Related Articles

Spreecast Social Video Channel

Panelists: Kevin Mullet, Jennifer Sable Lopez, Lars Eriksson, Colin Hope-Murray

Producer: @LizCpher

Playback: (see below)


Useful #SWChat Links

Next Event | Schedule


True Value Of Social CRM (#SWChat)

Thanks to everyone who took part in this weeks Social Workplace Twitter Chat event (#SWChat).

True Value Of Social CRM

This weeks #SWChat was a Guest Event with Garick Chan from Nimble.

Garick is the Sr. Community Manager for social business relationship manager, Nimble. He also serves as Board Advisor for Social Media Club - Los Angeles as well as a number of involvements in local tech and startup communities.

He's spoken on various topics around social media for Social Media Camp - San Diego as well as being a panelist for a USC Annenberg Digital media class and speaker for UCLA's Career-Week 2012.

Event Statistics

  • No. of Tweets = 1400
  • No. of Contributors = 122
  • Reach = 330,000
  • No. of impressions = 3,600,000


Full Transcript Report via @hashtracking

Questions Asked

Q1) What's the ROI for businesses looking to invest in Social CRM? 
Q2) What advantages does Social CRM have over standard CRM solutions?
Q3) What is it going to take for businesses to get the ball rolling on Social CRM?
Q4) For businesses looking for better customer engagement, how does Social CRM fill this need?
Q5) New social tools appear regularly. Can Social CRM really keep up? 
Q6) <not asked>
Q7) Which departments will benefit most from a Social CRM program and for what purpose? 

Shared Reference Material


Today's #SWChat was sponsored by


Useful #SWChat Links

Next Event | Schedule | Reminders | Archive | Advisors | Q&A | About |


Social Media for Small Businesses - Getting Started

I was recently asked for some advice on how to get started with social media to engage with customers for a small business. I thought I would share that advice with you...

Build a Knowledge Base

It's important you have a point of entry for your customers and with the size of it's user base Facebook is a social platform you cannot ignore. If just starting out, I would use this as your knowledge base where all other forms of social media point to.

Create a buzz about your business

There is no greater tool to create a buzz than Twitter but you need to use it smartly.

Here is what I advise:

  • Start with the basic Twitter web interface to build up that trust and following
  • Identify a hashtag associated with your business that you can use in all your tweets
  • Once you are comfortable with the Twitter concept then I would start to look at third party tools to help organise information, schedule tweets, search on key topics, and engage in conversations. I would recommend Hootsuite as your user interface and something like a Tweepi to help build up a following fast
  • Once you are using a third-party tool like HootSuite, use this to integrate your key messages across all social platforms (there are many many other tools that claim that they can integrate your messages across all social platforms but many hinder rather than help. My advice is keep it simple initially)

Some general social media hints and tips:

  • Use the same avatar across all social platforms
  • Regular tweets are better than a lot of tweets over a short period
  • The general rule of thumb is that if someone follows you on Twitter they will follow back so build up your following by following others. If this was a personal account then I would dissuade you from this approach but as it is a business account you are looking at then I would encourage it
  • Engage in conversation with other people - don't just post / tweet out your own content
  • To build up a following will take time – be patient
  • If people ReTweet your message it is good to thank them (I tend to wait til the end of the week to do this and thank 5 / 6 people in one go). They are likely to retweet it again in the future if you do

Checkout some of my other posts on using Twitter effectively:

 How NOT to Get Twitter Followers
 How NOT to Get Twitter Followers (The Sequel)
 Twitter: Learn to Listen and Stand out from the Crowd

Other Social Platforms to Consider

Once you are more established with the above then there are other social platforms that you should consider:

  1. YouTube – If you have some videos, create a YouTube account and upload them there. You can also use your Facebook and Twitter platforms to raise awareness
  2. SlideShare – This is also a very powerful medium for sharing messages. If you have powerpoints that you would like to share, then SlideShare is a must. Slideshare also has its own social network as well as integrating with Facebook (i.e. people can Like your slideshares)
  3. LinkedIn – This is much more than just a job resource tool now. With 100,000,000 professional people it is now a valuable and resourceful knowledge sharing community. Join communities that relate to your business and start engaging in conversations and building up trust. Once you have done that you can start “advertising” in these communities. It's useful to try and build up a good relationship with the Community Manager as it is the Community Manager that will kick you out if you just "advertise" your own products

There are literally hundreds of different social tools / platforms out there but don't panic!  Start off small, build up that following and most importantly, engage in conversation with people. Afterall, it is people you do business with not tools.


Going that extra Social Media mile

Here's a little experiment I conducted:

About 6 months ago I put two searches in my Tweetdeck (my tool of choice to follow what is going on in the twitter sphere), one for Web 2.0, the other Social Media.  Every 2 minutes I would be notified of how many new references were made to these particular search terms. After about an hour, the average ratio was about 3:1 in favour of Social Media. For every mention of Web 2.0, there would be three mentions of Social Media. Today, I conducted the same experiment, under the same conditions, and the ratio had increased to approx 12:1.

OK, this experiment is not conducted under strict labatory conditions but it does show a trend in how things have evolved, and it is supported by the fact that instead of having conversations with technical gurus about web 2.0, I am now having conversations with executives about Social Media.

But why has there been this sudden upturn towards Social Media?

It's because executives are beginning to take social media seriously, to see it as a game changer in not only advertising but also in customer engagement.

This might be an obvious statement but you would be surprised at just how many businesses feel they are already engaged in Social Media because they have a blog or a YouTube channel (in some cases multiple creating serious disparity in its message). That is like dipping your toe in the water and saying that you have been for a swim. You cannot approach social media in this way (remember the slideshare Social Media in Business: It's just a bunch of tools right?), you have to put in place a long term Social Media strategy. O2's Glen Manoff, director of communications and reputation, is doing exactly this and said in a New Media Age article recently:

"We're pulling our social media activity together into one place and creating a clear strategy and a consistent face to the world."

"There's a lot of crowdsourcing and people helping each other online, but the big role for us is to answer their questions about products. We want to participate more and help where we can."

Other businesses will soon start to follow O2's example, and begin thinking about their customers social activities and how they can engage better with them through Social Media.

But as well as an external social media strategy, you need to go that extra mile and develop an internal one to help engage the right employees and departments in responding to customer issues, questions and potential opportunities. As Mikal Belicove (contributing editor for Entrepreneur) wrote recently on how Starbucks is building meaningful customer engagement through social media:

"The magic of social media is that you can recognize the opportunity quickly. The challenge is in responding just as quickly."

In short you also need to socially connect your employees as well as socially connect with your customers. By socially connecting your employees you are also able to access their tacit knowledge, a commodity many companies forget to utilise (see my early post Social Media is the key for sharing tacit knowledge).

As you have probably seen on the news today, there has been a small upturn in the UK economy (0.3% growth), and businesses are now beginning to come through the recession. However the businesses that will continue to grow are those that have embraced social media and made it part of their long term strategy, externally and internally.

Is your business going the extra Social Media mile?