Director of Social Media at Brando Social
19 January 2009 10:18am
Now, that made me giggle. Nice one Paul. :-)
Social Media Consultant at Freelance
19 January 2009 10:22am
every once in a while, a gem pops up....to be fair though, it is a great team you have lined up there David.
We're currently having a big debate here about personal brands and, whilst I am familiar with only some of the names in the list their lists of achievement are fantastic.
Director at Solid State Group
19 January 2009 11:04am
Just a quick note to introduce Solid State Group in the mix.
We are more of a technical agency and have built a platform for social networking which was used recently for the launch of www.meettheboss.com
The key element that we have introduced in our most recent build (meettheboss) is full video conferencing similar to the Yahoo! Live site.
The platform is java based and runs the Wowza media server.http://www.wowzamedia.com/
If anyone wants more info about what we built or the platform, or how we integrated the video stuff, just mail me.
20 January 2009 15:17pm
Wow!! Some really interesting claims appearing in this thread "experts" "biggest in the world" "world class"...I'd be really interested in seeing how these claims are being benchmarked.
Working out how best to encourage meaningful interaction (between brand and consumer) online is what we do, with the ultimate aim of creating as much advocacy as possible. Social media (however you wish to define it) plays a key part in this.
So please point them to our website...or ask them to contact me directly through my profile here. If we can help we will invite them into our own online social community and begin idea sharing.
20 January 2009 19:45pm
from my experience most social media consultancies are a waste of time, money and effort - a disproportionate amount of effort is placed on marketing (esp branding). most of the real strategic value in this medium is beyond purely the marketing function, and needs attention at a the central organizing function of the business. many of "social marketers" are far too obsessed with measuring brand. this is a BIG distraction imo. the interactive agencies lack the business rigor and corp strategy competency. SM is growing up - should be focusing instead, on achieving whole new levels of value. real step function increases. a tip paul - my advise would be to pick a real GROWN UP innovation strategy firm. It's that important. It's not about selling the same old stuff, in a new way, but focusing further up the value chain. your precious contacts will thank you for it.
20 January 2009 20:07pm
anonymous, I agree with much of what you say, but I do think those steeped in the use of social media can be extremely effective in leading the change you describe.
In order to adapt to an environment the first step you have to take is live in it.
My book The Power of the Network outlines much of that; as does much of my daily blathering at http://fasterfuture.blogspot.com
It is why Brando Social is full service - we go from listening services to help people take baby steps into using and understanding social media, workshops, through creative work, to fulfillment all the way up to and including boardroom strategy, to help businesses become a better fit with the networked world. What we do is all about helping brands and organisations adapt.
And we've got a network of great thinkers to lead that transformation - not the kind of people who think they are selling you a new marketing 'channel'
Sure, there will be much snake oil to be sold in social media over the next few years.
But the good guys are about transformation.
My tip: If someone says they are going to help you use social media to target online audiences, run a mile. If they talk about taking part in social media to join with communities of purpose (or similar, that's my own preferred term), stick around for the conversation.
20 January 2009 21:21pm
@anonymous, thanks for the advice - although I am not sure quite what you mean by a real GROWN UP strategy firm. I have an incling that it is a firm that makes judgements based on sound statistical evidence rather than flogging the next new thing , then i totally agree with you.
For a long time, there has been a mentality of "flog 'em a blog" for the sake of it (the same old stuff in a new way) which I utterly abhor. Old school mentality with a different tool kit.
I'd like to think that my contacts appreciate an approach based on sound understandings taken from actual information and, interestingly, David as do you make a great point about community.
In a very short space of time (if not already), the skills to create a blog or an open social app/facebook app. etc. will be so commonplace that there will be little value in trying to sell them (if they are appropriate) as a product as such.
Social "networking" skills, participation and relationships are where I see value being added to a client or their brand - i'm just not convinced yet that the return on these activities can be quite so adequately measured as to become massively adopted YET.
21 January 2009 10:01am
Just as a matter of interest, do you have any examples of "whole new levels of value. real step function increases"?
I'm really keen to actually get some new ideas about how SM is evolving. We are always thinking of new ways to serve up, personalise, monetise content based on interests etc. but I wondered if you had any good examples of innovation in SM?
MD at Urban Niche Social Ltd
21 January 2009 12:31pm
I've been working on crowdsourcing solutions since '04 and networking for different industries. My agency has now been running for app 6 months and we are taking off in a very nice way. Our strategy is to utilise the social networking soultions out there for business and pleasure.
As an agency we are immersed in this world and our company formation is a true social network of suppliers, clients and investors.
Designers in LA, developers in NY and clients and investors in the UK and Ireland.
We are based in Edinburgh and have the flexibility to deliver solutions across all platforms if required.
If you require a consultant in Edinburgh then go no further. Please visit www.urban-niche.net for contact details and info.
Director at VoloGroup Ltd
21 January 2009 14:36pm
www.vologroup.co.uk is set to launch a series of networking communities with each one focused on a specific sector.
Each site will have it's own Volo URL and all registered members will be able to migrate across to other Volo communities as required.
We've been trialing some ideas on www.volomed.com but felt the look of that site was too overtly news orientated so the new look will focus on the networking aspect of the sites that will be available to members.
Our aim is to develop a selection of small networking communities across the platform where advertisers can perhaps identify their market and utilise their advertising spend in a more targeted manner - that's the theory!
We still want to retain the news element to the sites and hope to see greater use of the sites as a tool for connectivity and developing contacts within a specific environment.
Other sites are in the planning stages and these will include more leisure based networking environments, again allowing for connectivity across the platform but recognising the core values of what we looking to build.
There are some very interesting comments coming through this thread but I still feel that this is such a young marketplace that the true potential of spending on these networks has yet to be realised.
I would be interested to know how many Facebook users on this thread have clicked through on an advert as this seems to be the main issue; that of taking the social aspect of networking and morphing this into a commercial activity for any prospective advertiser.
I have seen so many negative threads about the bigger networks who, at this moment, struggle to gain $1 per user in revenue per annum, that it leads me to believe that the mix of networking and participating in advertising offers are still elusive each time a user logs on to a site.
Perhaps the fundamentals of why people engage in the networks in the first place are the reason behind this. Social networking is exactly that, linking up with friends, posting photos and finding new friends. Professional networks seems to be more about developing new business contacts and finding new products and it is these users that are perhaps more inclined to engage in an advertising offer as the mindset of that user is far more about professional advancement than social activity.
We have all seen what happened to Facebook when Beacon was launched and I feel this was a sign of the sentiment of the users of the site. I also believe this shows an insight into how users of these type of networks feel that they are not there to be exploited for commercial gain.
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