Category Archives: emerging trends

Social Data

Social Data, the data we get on our customers via their public (and occasionally private) social media profiles remains a largely untapped resource by enterprises of all sizes.

Interesting companies in this space include:

Nimble CRM – a sales led customer social profile data browsing tool (Social CRM / SCRM)

Leaderboarded – a customer-led social profile data collection tool (Social CRM + Gamification) (Disclosure: this is my tool)

Klout, Kred, PeerIndex – companies that calculate influence scores for social profiles

Gnip, Datasift – companies that enrich and resell social data

Who have I missed out? Let me know in the comments below.

Or come to one of my Social Data meetup.

Good to be back in Social.


Announcing two new blogs

Hello loyal subscribers!

I’m changing tack! To follow my continued interest in creating better communities, better teams and better ways of working together, I’m leaving the social media ocean, which has met many of the needs of individuals but has struggled to build collaboration and dependable communities.

So  as I head into new waters, I’d like to invite you to join me.  The new waters are:

The Sea of Meetings

We all have meetings and I guess we all feel they could be a bit more efficient.  I’m going to be focusing specifically on the structure of meetings: agendas, minutes and actions – helping people to get the meeting, this fundamental unit of team work, right. How can we use web technology to make meetings altogether better and more productive?

The blog for this is – a web resource for anyone searching for advice on running great meetings. It features my own posts and also guest posts – so if you have a view of meetings that you’d like to share – ping me a mail ( – and I’ll send you a brief. - meeting advice blog

The Big Game River

Games are everywhere, we play them everyday, we just don’t usually call them out as such. Whether it is ‘levelling up’ at work with a promotion or losing points on your driving licence, the mechanics of gameplay are often used.  Over the next few years, as a new generation of workers join the workplace, those brought up with the benefits of game playing, will expect those same benefits when applied to work. Common game benefits such as transparency of how to win (which points make prizes) and visibility of progress and where you stand versus colleagues (leaderboard) will become standard.

I’m launching a blog to track and analyse this change – called ‘Gamification Of Work‘ – do subscribe and keep track on the Game Layer at the top of the world….

And social?

I’m afraid that means the end of blogging at The Social Bazaar – the social layer is built, it is now widely understood, now on to build the game layer…  join me

Goodbye wild west – hurrah for the Second Internet

The days of the Internet being like the Wild West? So over... Photo credit: anyjazz65

It’s the buzz phrase of the moment – Second Internet and it stands for a lot of things – including open platforms, personalised experiences and social web features.

It is also about making the web safer, in particular our data, and for that the movement should be applauded.

The leading lights of the second internet have all added credit card type security to their sites. In particular, Facebook in January, Twitter last month and Foursquare last week.

While it doesn’t stop security problems in-channel (predators adding themselves as so called ‘friends’) it certainly starts to put up a much needed wall around our data as it hops its way across the internet.

The Social Media Dress Code

Michael Wilson - the epitomy of social media style?

So what is Social Media Style – if you’re working in the industry it’s important.

We know it’s not suits, that was for the 90s but it’s not dress down t-shirts and slacks either.

Social Media Fashion is the ultimate in between – the de facto dress code is in fact – sharp shoes, designer jeans, shirt and blazer. If it’s sunny then you should really be wearing shades.

Check out Michael Wilson above, one of the trendier people in my life at the moment (Disclosure: he sits opposite me at Syncapse).  Let’s break down his wardrobe:

– Shades by Ray Ban
– Long Coat from Benetton
– Shirt from Got Style (Toronto)
– Jacket and Shoes – custom made in Vietnam
– Jeans by Paul Smith
– Socks by Happy Socks

So there you go. I know you’ve been wondering but at last a real guide to what to wear to that next social media party.

And for what not to wear? Well coming soon to a blog to you

Would online loyalty cards improve your quality of life? Social CRM thinks so.

Tesco Clubcard - a 'win-win' for consumers and retailer alike

On the face of it, a sophisticated loyalty card scheme, such as Tesco Clubcard, only really benefits the consumer by offering price advantages. For those that take a little time to consider and use the vouchers that means money off. Well we all like that.

However, I wonder whether there are more benefits such as being prompted to buy products that you forgot last week, or even new products that you had never considered using before. There is an added benefit of relevance that we often disregard but still matters. Indeed it could matter more than price.

Let’s take a fictional Susie shopper. One week, she buys Arial powder for the washing machine and a bottle of Sunsilk shampoo. She uses her loyalty card so Tesco, or another supermarket knows what she has bought.

Overnight, the data analysis engines run and they find that there are “holes in her basket” – products she didn’t buy. These holes represent upselling opportunities for the retailer. So, in her next batch of vouchers, she is offered £1 off Sunsilk’s conditioner and 50p off a bottle of Comfort to improve the softness of her clothes wash. Susie then uses her vouchers and buys these companion products and, low and behold, her hair is shinier and her clothes are softer.

The retailer might argue, fairly reasonably, that these tangible benefits have improved her standard of living above that of her friends. Lots of tangible benefits together can improve ones quality of life – she feels happier, cleaner, more beautiful and so on.

The new opportunity for online marketers is to combine point-of-sales information (perhaps via e-commerce) with social data and social advertising from sites such as Facebook, to deliver a similar opportunity for consumers, only online.

There is of course a privacy argument and such schemes should always be on an “opt-in” basis but for those that do, there is the added advantage of having relevant adverts served, at the right time, at the right price, for products and services we might actually want.

To see this in action we only need to look to the online games companies. In games such as Farmville it’s standard practice to understand the current status of a player (whether they have a barn or not for example), what they are trying to achieve (trying to get to the next level) and to make them an offer so they can short cut by paying a small fee (£2 to upgrade to a barn and make it to level 6).

The games companies can achieve this because they control everything – the status, the objectives and the marketplace (not to mention the currency and prices…). For ordinary companies they may only see one piece of the puzzle which is why Social data becomes so important.

Using, on an opt in basis, social data from sites such as Facebook, combined with activity data from platforms such as Syncapse Platform, we can start to build a picture of our customer and make them advertising offers entirely relevant to them individually – “you just got engaged? I see you’ve been looking at our Maldives pages? Here’s ten reasons why you should choose the Maldives and a great offer on our honeymoon packages”. Or perhaps we want to prevent customer churn – “I see you’ve been buying pet food from us but you’ve just become a fan of our competitor store – what have we done? Here’s some vouchers to lure you back!”

Yes it does get creepy. Yes it requires significant privacy controls in place throughout the digital experience – but it provides an a new way to reach consumers for marketers and for consumers it might just bring the benefits of loyalty cards to other places in the market. What do you think? Creepy or Convenient?

Now for me, I’ve just organized a dinner party on Facebook, who is offering me my money off wine vouchers…!

Why Flipboard matters

Flipboard brings you a new way to browse Facebook stories

In an old post I highlighted social media’s ability to stop information overload by throttling the news feed: tools like Facebook automatically choose the stories that are most likely to introduce me.

However for many social media users it is the ability to see all the news as published by friends that is attractive.  Twitter users are past masters at processing hundreds of tweets per hour to pick out the ones that matter.

If you are in the latter camp and full scale information “waterboarding” is your preference, then Flipboard is the tool for you  – not only does it display everything and let you flick through it fast; it automatically converts the stories your friends share on Facebook and displays  the source material – a youtube  link becomes the youtube video itself, a Sky News wall post link  shows the article from the website.

The smooth “flip action” is great: you use your finger to turn the pages and this makes for a fantastic news browsing experience – for me its world news with my Facebook friends updates thrown in.

In a recent edition of Little Nudge I recommended dusting off your Google Reader account and getting it set up with the right news feeds to your taste whether celebrity, tech or financial.  Flipboard is one of the reasons – look at how it transforms your Google Reader news into a very readable newspaper below:

Flipboard makes a great looking newspaper, on the fly

The message for social media marketers in 2011 is clear – don’t expect your Facebook fans or blog readers just to be looking at your stories via the web – they may be using their Ipad and flipping through at an even faster rate than you realise.

Angry Birds takes over my life

Has it taken over yours? It’s just that the Ipad has created a new type of game action I’ve not played to death before…

It’s a strange game, you keep progressing until you hit a block – a level you can’t get past – a nemesis level.

I got stuck for ages (that’s three days which in Angry Birds terms is a very long time indeed…) on 6-12 – you know the one with the three little houses and a stack of boomerang birds.  I don’t use youtube cheat videos (like this one) but I very nearly did.

Why is it interesting – it just got launched on Android – this is one game  that should go very mainstream indeed.  Mark my words, your granny will be playing it in 2012.

So anyway which is your nemesis level?

Facebook Credits will be everywhere… how to get your business ready!

Kids can soon update Facebook credits at Coinstar machines thanks to Rixty

Facebook Credits, the virtual cash associated with your Facebook account, has that frightening 3 m’s mix we see in the biggest technology hits:

  1. momentum, it’s hardly even out of R&D (still available only to beta partners) but companies like Rixty are building it into Coinstar machines for kids to gain virtual credit with real pocket money.
  2. monopoly, you can’t compete with it – it’s an easy extension of Facebook’s 500 million user near monopoly of the social graph.  No other payment platform could build that many users so quickly.
  3. meliority, it’s better than the rest. The smooth payment system (a few clicks) contrasts sharply with the “leave the shop, pay at the bank, return to the shop” payment experience we’ve come to expect. Some early adopters like Crowdstar have seen an ARPU jump of 50% despite the 30% transaction fee Facebook charge.

So what should we do to be ready you cry? Well you might want to start by requesting a copy of Nudge’s white paper on “the next online payment revolution – how Facebook credits will affect your business and how you can be prepared”.

Wake up Britain! Look at the tip of the iceberg! The BNP might be winning the Facebook war.

I appreciate this is controversial post but in measuring social media success we measure fan engagement.

That means not just number of fans, but how active those fans are on a campaign page, in particular how much do they comment?

Lets take a look at the data.

If we rank the political party pages BNP, Conservative, DUP, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid  CymruSNP,  UKIP by fan page, a reassuring and expected ranking appears:

Facebook Fans of main UK Political Parties at 12:40pm on 14 April

The big three appear to be winning, the little parties are seemingly down where they “belong”.

However, if we count wall posts by fans in the last hour, the  picture is quite different:

Fan wall posts on main UK Political Party Facebook Pages at 12:40pm on 14 April

The data is startling – if we measure fan engagement – the amount Facebook users are commenting and engaging with a campaign – BNP emerges as a major contender for public opinion.

Despite that their 17 fan posts were generated by only 6 people, there is still cause for concern.

On their own page the BNP are driving a political message that is causing reaction and generating debate. Something the other smaller parties seem unable to do and the bigger parties only just manage. As we know on Facebook – the more social actions we can activate (whether positive or negative) the more a campaign message spreads automatically across the social media machine.

At one level, Facebook is an invisible platform, you can’t see the private debates being held between friends but the more user generated posts, the more the BNP related content is spreading across the platform. Think of fan posts as the “tip of the iceberg”….

We need to wake up and engage with the issues that are bringing BNP votes and provide real solutions that are not just papering over the cracks.

Facebook’s own Democracy UK page is a good place to start, maybe with the Ministry of Mates application:

The Ministry of Mates app creates socially remixed stories on Facebook

Facebook Credits changes the game for micropayments

Media execs have been stressing for years over a way to charge for online content (that’s newspaper articles and video clips to you and me) on a per article basis – hence the term “micro-payments”.

Facebook credits looks set to change the game. Check out my opinion piece on this (and a rather fancy tour of my Happy Island) over at MediaTel

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