Preparing my next social media talk

I have been invited to speak on social media somewhere in Germany. (Im Ausland!!!) Apparently this gathering of people doesn’t use new media applications yet. (Really? Truely?)

This is my abstract:

Erst gab es Blogs und Flickr, dann kam Twitter und Facebook, und jetzt gibt es G+, Pinterest, Foursquare und Klout.

Immer mehr Web-Anwendungen drängen auf den Markt und buhlen um unsere Online-Aufmerksamkeit.

Wie nutze ich Social Media für mein Unternehmen?
Lohnt sich der Aufwand für mein KMU?
Wie manage ich private und berufliche Kontakte?

I have approximately 30 mins. Which means about 12 to 15 slides. I am planning 4 main sections:

1) What is social media?

2) Using new media tools for my company

3) Using new media tools for personal reasons – develop your micro-brand

4) How to get started – Chiperoni’s recommended checklist

Okay here we go! Details:

1) What is social media?

Social media is a misnomer for online apps, that use current web and mobile technologies to publish information (text, audio, video).

[…]social media isn’t a PR tool; it’s not a marketing tool ; it’s a communications tool and a media making/distribution tool set.

Social media is fast. It requires no techie skills such as FTP, HTML, CSS. Everyone is a publisher. Within 3 minutes I can set up an account on Facebook, WordPress.com, Twitter, or Tumblr and vent my anger or frustration or delight about a product or service or person. This is referred to as user-generated content.

Screens of examples: blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Klout, Foursquare

Nobody can say what social media tools will prosper and what tools will peter out a la MySpace and co. But the principle of real-time will remain.

Social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.

News finds me.

It’s not about stats, no. of likes, or followers.

Note to Social Media Mar­ke­ting Dorks: The hard currency of the Inter­net is not Face­book “Likes” or Twit­ter “Ret­weets”, as flavor-of-the-month as they might be. By them­sel­ves, they’re worthless.
The hard currency of the Inter­net is “Social Objects”.
i.e. Social Objects for peo­ple to SHARE MEANINGFULLY with other people

2) Using new media tools for my company

I assume that a company wants to raise awareness and influence a buyer’s decision. 😉

In the 90s we accessed the printed version of Zimpel to find out which journalist wrote about microengineering and sent out faxes. Today lots of journis are on Twitter. See Leumund’s list of Swiss journalists on Twitter

Very obviously, as a Marketing Communications specialist, I am going to adapt and move to Twitter. Especially if I am a small or medium-sized business.

Huge benefit: As an SME, I can circumvent the gatekeepers and get access to my stakeholders directamente. Press releases are no longer for the press only, but for everybody interested in your company’s products or services.

Huge benefit no. 2: SEO. More surface area for Google to find me. (Analogy: ocean of data – more islands pointing back to my company website)

Huge benefit no. 3: when a shit storm is raging against my company or an external communication crisis comes along, I already know how to use new media.
Example: SWISS during volcano crisis.

Huge benefit no. 4: costs are still lower than print, billboard or radio/TV advertising.

BUT, social media is not working for all companies. You need to find the right platform and the right strategy / tone of voice / mix of useful content vs pure advertising. Everyone needs their own tailor-fit strategy.

3) Using new media tools for personal reasons – develop your micro-brand

My personal benefits have been:

  • Networking
  • Learning
  • Reflection
  • Knowledge management
  • Positioning myself as a specialist
  • Fun

For every online comment you receive, there are about 200 visitors that didn’t say a thing about your post. Very few people comment online, but many people will read your entries and comment offline when you meet face-to-face. Or even e-mail you photos of Nutella alternatives from their last vacation to post in your collection.

4) How to get started – Chiperoni’s recommended checklist

Inspired by Su Franke, David Meerman Scott and Elise Bauer…

Before you dive in and set up your social media accounts, please consider the following checklist:

  • Do some research beforehand – which new media platform is suitable for my topic? Is my potential audience using this web application? Can I add value to the existing online conversations?
  • Look at the legalese – who owns my content? What limitations are there in the terms and conditions?
  • What information about my company or my personal life, am I prepared to make public? Would I say the same kind of things in a real-life, face-to-face meeting or in front of an audience?
  • How do I handle private contacts vs business contacts on my social application? Do I know enough about the privacy settings? What happens if I make a mistake and I set the wrong privacy for an entry?
  • How important are online contacts / networks for me?
  • Consider the effort – you will need to post at regular intervals to gain any kind of traction. Prepare a pipeline of topics / an editorial calendar. Set up Google Reader with a list of sources that write about your topic.
  • Frequency is very important
  • Be authentic
  • Be a thought leader – develop useful content. Most of us have been overexposed to advertising. I am jaded. I am cynical. I will challenge and question any kind of advertising posted on the internetz. Instead follow Elise’s ideas on thought leadership.
  • Find your social object.

See David Meerman Scott’s book on the new rules of PR and marketing. There’s an excellent free e-book to get you started.

I strongly recommend Su Franke’s talk on networking.

Especially Su’s last slide is important: once you start your social media home, don’t leave it uninhabited.

Last slide – further reading:
all of the above links and some more!

Your comments? Additions? Feedback?

My BlogCamp Switzerland Talk

As announced on Twitter, I presented a talk on mobile technology in Malawi at today’s BlogCamp in Zurich to share what I’m learning from the African blogs and tweets that I follow on a regular basis.

I started my talk with a short intro on Chiperoni (I am a bridge blogger somewhere between Basel and Blantyre) and why I blog. How much I appreciated Alex Antener’s news stream published on a Polytechnic server during the last Malawi general election. Then pointing to White African’s blog post discussing Twitter’s decision to discontinue its SMS service to the rest of the world. I tried to point out the potential a “Twitter to SMS” service could have for Malawi, where most of the population does not have access to the internet or even a plain old fixed telephone line.

Soyapi Mumba's Blog: The Potential of Twitter in Africa

I described the current situation. And how this is changing with mobile technology. I pointed to Mike McKay’s blog post about a rural area in northern Malawi where villagers climb an ant hill to get a better signal.

In Switzerland we take a lot of things such as the excellent infrastructure we have for granted.

I shared some of my observations from my recent holiday in Blantyre, some data on the pricing models and how public wifi is being introduced in urban areas.

tnm || always with you

Zain Malawi - SMS text messages - Prices

I was a little shaky on the stats side of things, telecommunication regulations, as well as who owns the major cell phone service companies, TNM and Zain. I’ll need to do more research here. I might have got some of my facts mixed up.

I did refer to the new airtime tax that is being introduced.

Examples referred to:

This talk was inspired by White African’s and Soyapi Mumba’s tweet streams. Zikomo kwambiri. Keep on tweeting.

Flickr credits: White African, Hackerfriendly, all other photos are my own.

Big zikomo to Persillie and Mlle A. for reviewing my slides!

I enjoyed presenting very much (note to myself).

Oh and I forgot to mention my chat with a Limbe internet cafe manager during the talk…

Limbe Internet Cafe

Puzzled

This t-shirt text puzzled me this morning…

ZIM
TST
ERN

I figured it out after a while but at first I kept associating ZIM with Zimbabwe.

the window sill

I’ve uploaded two batches of snapshots to my Flickr stream. I’m a snapshotter at heart and I’m not spending much time correcting or editing my work (yet).

Unhindered by talent or technical skills, I hope I can at least convey the fun I’m having. I particularly enjoyed Saturday’s photo tour with Diveangel.

like the colours...

BTW, there’s a Basel Flickr meetup planned for 27th July 2008.

the all-steel bicycle