Published: March 11, 2013
Tesco, Lidl, and many others – we have all seen and heard of squeezing supplier margins. High volume companies demanding their supplier partners lower prices, lower margin, and my opinion effectively pushing them to lower quality (originally demanded by the consumer, you could say by request for lower price). The companies often don’t have an option but to accept, as these companies are growing in their strength, and so it their purchasing power. I live in Prague, and I am absolutely certain when I try products from some big companies, that they are lower quality (they would say “adapted to local tastes” – local tastes being price) than the ones I would effectively buy in Germany.
But things such as the horse meat scandal have shown us that if there is a disaster like that, companies go local and recently Tesco has committed that all its chicken meat (hopefully slowly followed by other) will go from local produce. Great move!
But… Was it possible that the farmers could have united and pushed Tesco to do the same, making their own, independent tests and going after consumer quality? Of course! With social media in play, suppliers connect directly to consumers. Take electronics companies – many of them never had a relation directly with the consumer and sold only through third parties. Many of these companies are now learning to directly interact and engage with consumers on social media, and there are many that are embracing this experience in a good way.
So here is my advice to suppliers of any kind in social media:
- Build even a relatively small, yet very engaged audience that care about your product, that care about quality
- Build that relationship forward
- Unite with other companies that have a similar problem, in order to be stronger, yet not to be bullish
And of course, use the strengths at moments that these companies cannot be negotiated with. Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to building relationships. Just look at what happened to Rush Limbaughs TV show – when he said (did) something very wrong, almost all his advertisers pulled out, being forced by the users with their social media profiles. Had social media not been involved, perhaps there would be a different outcome – no outcome at all.
I think social media is there to democratize the entire process of how companies operate. I take social media as a communication layer over the real world, something to amplify whats already there, just helps it scale. Think about it: Checkins / Places, Status updates / Communication, Sharing / Word of Mouth.
Published: March 4, 2013
Many people think – “Oh, you are travelling around the world! That must be so much fun!”. Truth is, it is fun, but you got to love travelling. Because for me fun is in the working part, and I don’t mind the travel. But its not like you are there for a 2 weeks to “hang out”. So far in the last 14 days of the World Tour, I went out to a bar twice – both on Saturdays, once in Sao Paulo, once in Sydney, stayed out for 1 – 2 hours, had 1 drink, then was tired and went to bed or travelled… Remember, its not a holiday that you are at. You need to put in your best, 24/7! You need to get those sales in, marketing moving, products being developed. You need to be in touch with the team, and move the needle forward.
Some tips with that:
- Minimize time in transport / waiting – making absolutely sure that when you are travelling to the airport or waiting there – minimize that time. Its a little tricky, sometimes risky, but I was able to catch hundreds of flights last year and not miss a single one (and many on last boarding call)
- Use idle time as time to think – Even though you are in transport or waiting somewhere – use that time to think – its really good “off time”
- Use time in the plane – entertainment and movies in the planes are the devil, give yourself a routine. My routine is finishing up a lot of emails in the plane that I haven’t over the last 2 – 3 days – meaning my colleagues know, when I get off the plane, there will be a a load of them there :)
- Combine meetings and work – If you travel for business, everyone wants to meet up – be careful with timing on how many meetings you have, so you can also get your normal work done
- Go and see 1 or 2 things – Yes, you are still travelling around the world, make sure that everything you see are not just a hotel and a conference – but you get out at least for 1 – 2 hours to see something. If its downtown Singapore or the Botanic Gardens of Singapore – make sure you spend a little time, take a picture – so you remember.
- Write a journal – Hell, you will not be able to remember everything from your life and business journey. For the last 12 months, I am writing a Socialbakers journal – I am at 33 entries so far, about 70 pages. I write those typically at the end of the flight (the moment when the stewardess says: Close your laptops, and you do that for a few seconds).
Jetlag tip: Truth is and what I have always observed – Going west, the jetlag actually gives your body a little bit of a kick in mornings (and kick down in evenings). Meaning, you actually have more energy in the morning to start your day, so you can start earlier. There are a ton more jetlag tips I can share later. Good morning from Singapore!
This week is going to be the hardest jetlag / travel week in my history. I have 2 nights of the following 4 nights on the plane. But one of them is Istanbul – Dubai, and the flight is only 3 hours and accelerates you – so you technically have “morning”. Thats going to be brutal. I will tell you how I feel on Thursday night from Dubai.
Published: March 1, 2013
Not all people know this, but before Socialbakers became an Analytics Software as a Service, we used to be an agency that developed Facebook applications. I actually utilized a lot of my knowledge of mobile marketing / mobile gaming background doing the Facebook applications, as I always felt it has a lot in common.
But this year, social marketing is going to become more like mobile marketing.Why?
- There are countries with more mobile Facebook users than online Facebook users
- People are becoming more and more active on mobile devices – almost 20% of all posts on brand pages are from mobile handsets
- You look at things that started on mobile – Instagram for example was not available on the web – it was a primarily mobile app – we would call that “Mobile first”.
- Facebook on iPhone and Android allows direct install Ads, and also the possibilities to have specific platform features and create special mobile applications. This means you can create a fully integrated Facebook AND mobile app or game.
I haven’t seen a proper integrated concept of a proper social / mobile campaign of my taste – but I believe they will come in the following months, and many of them will appear. With transfer between devices becoming simpler, the need to support campaigns on both mobile and web is absolutely critical.
I think that more “Mobile first” concepts are going to be arriving on Facebook, and marketers are going to be thinking of how to utilize this shift of behavior. And for Facebook, its up to figure out how to monetize this better than Google is monetizing its mobile search.
If you are a social marketer and are not learning mobile – you are doing a huge mistake!
What does that mean for us at Socialbakers? We keep doing what we are doing, and monitoring the rate of adoption of mobile devices to see where everything is and where its going – as usual.
UPDATE May 2014: In 2013, social marketing really did turn into social marketing. As we know, majority of ad revenue of Facebook became mobile by Q4 2013. Prediction worked out.