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 social platforms (5)


What's Hot In Social Media I (#SWChat)

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

What's Hot In Social Media

This event is discussing what is hot right now in the world of Social Media.

From social technologies / platforms to conferences, to mobile apps to the very latest acquisitions and their impact etc...). No topic is taboo.

Event Statistics

  • No. of Tweets = 1300
  • No. of Contributors = 119
  • Reach = 439,000
  • No. of impressions = 3,600,000


Full Transcript Report via @hashtracking

Questions Asked

Q1) What's hot in social platforms / technologies for personal use today?
Q2) What's hot in social platforms / technologies for business use today?
Q3) What's hot in social media conferences / events today?
Q4) <not asked>
Q5) What's hot in tablet / smartphone social media applications today?

Shared Reference Material


Useful #SWChat Links

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


Twitter Etiquette: Tips & Tricks II (#SWChat)

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

Twitter Etiquette: Tips & Tricks II

There are many different approaches to using Twitter, some work and some don't. This event is to share tips & tricks of how brands should use Twitter to engage better.

Event Statistics

  • No. of Tweets = 1300
  • No. of Contributors = 91
  • Reach = 215,000
  • No. of impressions = 3,200,000


Full Transcript Report via @hashtracking

Questions Asked

Q1) Are the rules of Twitter Etiquette different for personal vs business use?
Q2) Brands that use Twitter should follow back. Agree/disagree?
Q3) How should brands prioritise Twitter compared to other social platforms?
Q4)Should brands incentivise their "social media savvy" employees to engage with potential leads in the Twittershpere?
Q5) Is #FF (FollowFriday) a great idea or just useless chatter?
Q6) (question skipped)
Q7) In 140 characters or less, what advice would you give to brands on how to engage better on Twitter?


Shared Reference Material


Today's #SWChat was sponsored by:


Useful #SWChat Links

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


The Older Generation Just Don't Get Social Media

Last weeks Social Workplace Twitter Chat (#SWChat) was on Social Project Management, with guest Liz Pearce of Liquid Planner.

The event was going great, lots of contribution and engagement from 130+ people until I asked what I thought at the time was an innocuous question:

Q5) Social Project Management promotes transparency and engagement. But who embraces and who resists? which Larry Torres responded:

Like moths to a flame, this prompted a barrage of tweets from participants defending Generation X (primarily from Generation X people of course). The hypothesis was then posed that maybe this generalisation was too simplistic.

But is it?

Let's take a look again at the question that was asked - "...who resists and who embraces". No one is saying that the older generation are not able to adopt social media just that they are more likely to resist initially and therefore adoption may be slower.

It stands to reason that if email has been your prime communication channel for 20 years, you are more likely to resist the transition to a social communication platform than someone who has never used email. But with the right argument and justification, adoption should be fairly straight forward.

It's not age that's the cause here, it's change from what we are used to. After all we are creatures of habit.

But it is clear age is a touchy subject when we talk about social media.

Take a look at these figures that were used in a marketing campaign some time ago to show someone socially connected (the lady on the left) and someone that was not (the man on the right):

Why do you think the poster campaign containing these figures was removed from the public domain after a series of complaints?

Was it racial stereotyping? Was it considered sexist - that women get social media but men don't?

No - it was thought to be ageist...

The people in this poster are animated characters. The business women may look to be in her mid 30's but can you be sure? The man however was generalised to be "old" and therefore the insinuation of the poster was that old people do not get social media.

The man has his head in his hands. You cannot see his face. So how do you know if he is old? Is it just because he has little hair? I have virtually no hair, yet I don't think I'm old.

The point is, social media is not age specific for adoption, but are the older generation more likely to resist than the younger generation? Absolutely.

(please note the use of the words "more likely" here - it's not always the case)

However this tweet from Terence Coughlin is not only good advice but made me chuckle:


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.


Twitter: Learn to listen and stand out from the crowd

I am becoming more and more frustrated with Twitter. Not the technology but how people use it.

We all have to stop using Twitter just to push out our own content and start using this social platform as a great opportunity to share the knowledge and engage in conversation with others. After all, social media is supposed to be about people! In short, let's learn to listen and stand out from the crowd...

Learn to listen and stand out from the Crowd

Let me give you an example.

I have a number of SEO specialists in my Twitter stream. They have been chosen because I believe they can add value to me and my followers. I want to be in a position to share their experience and knowledge to help foster future relationships.

Today I needed some SEO advice myself. I needed to know if cached pages in search engines had to be manually refreshed if I updated previous blog posts to improve key word optimisation.

So I put a shout out.

I received only one response referencing how they made lots of money off the internet (spam). I sent a similar message again an hour or so later and no responses.

In between these two tweets of mine, one of the SEO specialists in my stream tweeted:

Get FREE SEO services today

...and a few other SEO specialists also pushed out content advertising their services.

If any of these SEO specialists had engaged with me in conversation and responded to my question, who knows where that conversation may of led. Maybe an opportunity for business now or in the future, or at the very least I will remember them as being responsive and extremely helpful and pass on their details to others.

These are missed opportunities.

So here are my top 3 tips for businesses using Twitter:

1. Learn to listen

Your Twitter stream is a valuable commodity, chosen by you because you believe the people you are following can add value to you. Make the effort to listen. I would advise spending a minimum of 30% of your Twitter strategy listening to what others are saying.

2. Engage in conversation

As you begin to listen, start engaging in conversations. Build up a rapport with those you are following and make the time to read and comment on their content. Particularly look out for "shout out's" (people asking for help) and try to help them. If you cannot help them directly, do you know someone in your stream that might? If so, connect these people. This will earn you respect and a great contact to follow.

3. Share the knowledge

Remember the Pie Theorem in my last post:

For every piece of the knowledge pie to share, you will receive two slices in return

Don't be afraid to share your pearls of wisdom when engaging in conversation. This will also earn you respect and a reputation to be proud of, which could lead to potential future business opportunities. Good reputations take time to build but bad reputations can be earned very quickly and will spread throughout your network like wild fire.