Published: June 18, 2014
Social media is a hot topic for the top management of every company, but the biggest problem is identifying top opportunities to focus on. I recently spoke at the Corporate Social Media Summit in NYC and, listening to other speakers, it was interesting to hear their views, and to couple it with my current beliefs on social media.
The 3 key topics were:
1) Internal Social Media – How do I use social to get it into every part of the organization
Using social media internally, cases included things like: Using social media to better detect employee engagement (and disengagement), deploying internal social networks (like Podio, Yammer, Chatter, IBM Connections, and others) to boost employee collaboration and engagement, and embed social at the heart of the organizations. It also means having social at the heart of doing things right in the middle – not using it only for marketing, but using it for PR, internal marketing, HR, Sales, and of course having your leadership involved in social media (Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia is a great example; Richard Branson another obvious one).
The best companies have internal social networks fully deployed into their company and are using data at the heart of all social operations.
2) Customer Relations – How do I build relationship with my customers, influencers, and help change the business?
Customer care is a huge topic for leadership. It can have both great downside (everything is public) and huge upside (creating loyal users, ambassadors, etc.). Clearly, everyone wanted to learn more about how to do this effectively. Different companies try – and do – social customer care in different ways, but it’s clear today that social customer care is a must, and users will find a way to reach you even if you close your wall on Facebook. Hiding is not a solution – openness, transparency, and speed is the way to go forward.
Another way is to make sure you take the value from this feedback and try to organize it into groups and fix any fundamental business issues you might have.
Best companies: Companies like KLM that have 150+ people in social care, do it 24/7 in 11 different languages – it’s the only way to go.
3) Social Marketing – How do I utilize social as a marketing channel?
Social media today is primarily used as a marketing channel. We can all cry about the fact that things aren’t like they were in the early stages of social media, or wake up and know to consider it a real business opportunity.
Other top take-aways from the topics presented
- Integrate social into every dept. of your organization
- Use internal social networks to enhance collaboration & communication
- Social customer care is a must
- Fast social response builds brand advocates
- Engagement/Reach directly correlates with brand loyalty & awareness
- Integrating customer feedback is a must-have in a social strategy
- Content is (still) king
- Invest in brand ambassadors
- Get into the feed by any means necessary
- Data driven businesses perform better
Published: June 16, 2014
Social advertising is a space with limitless potential. I have already said this, I will repeat it: All digital ads will be social. I also said all social ads will be native (happened). Here are some of my previous posts on social ads:
I am a huge believer in social ads and their future, but I have recently checked my social news feed a couple times and realized that social platforms – Facebook in particular – have become extremely effective remarketing engines.
You see this from the results. Facebook advertising – the way they designed it – just works. The model is slowly stopping to be a social advertising model, but really comes down to a re-marketing model (custom audience groups by email, phone numbers, etc.). Now of course, this is a hugely effective channel, but there could be a true holy grail in this. Where these social connections could and should be used in a more creative way, social networks have really stopped and haven’t embraced it. Many of re-marketing ads end up looking like this:
Now don’t get me wrong, a mix of re-marketing – especially good and relevant re-marketing – is a great thing, but the social context that we advertisers have at our disposal is huge. I think social platforms do realize this potential, and are trying to get a handle over this. It appears that Facebook has (finally) optimized its algorithm, and I am seeing ads more like this:
This is a good step forward for Facebook and its ad relevancy, a great step for advertisers, and a positive thing for users. I like things placed in context, as it’s a very different thing if one of my unknown friends engaged with a piece of content, or 10 of my great friends or 30 of my colleagues have.
Now of course, Facebook has to optimize this to make it more relevant, this is actually the holy grail of the social advertising that we have not seen yet happening. As most advertisers use Friends of Fans targeting, beyond a certain point, it stops working, as the targeting is too broad. Facebook’s algorithm, if given broad targeting, should be able to find the friends more likely to be interested, making social advertising much more relevant and contextual.
Social advertising is still at the beginning – but taking good steps to really be much more social in nature. I hope this continues to get better over time.
Published: June 16, 2014
Time, hours, days, weeks – time represents a key dimension in our lives, and I am extremely passionate about planning it right. My average week looks something like this (see screenshot below), and when it looks like it, I am probably a key power-user of the calendar in general. A calendar is at the center of our lives, yet for the last decade (possibly 2), the calendars are all the same. If only Microsoft, Apple, and Google, who ultimately own this space, came together and worked on a new standard, it would be my dream come true. Many of these are basic things.
So what features are missing in todays calendars, and a suggestions for this “standards” meeting at Apple, Google, and Microsoft?
1) Integrations in general – with apps / notes / better URL integration, cross-application links
2) Contact links (several) included straight in the calendar note – I can’t believe this is not possible today, you have to copy paste the phone numbers inside the calendar link. Small one, but helpful.
2) Perfect mapping – not only mapping the location. A location can be a phone number (click to call), but also a location can be a Map (+ delivers map) + a special field on instructions (or a possibility to add a comment that does not “map” on the map). Often a meeting is at an address + telephone, so that is also the “Location”, or a certain app with login credentials (that shared calendars can or cannot see depending on settings).
3) Reminders – perfectly linked with reminders and meeting notes that are immediately sharable.
4) Type of meeting with separate actions
– Call (+ who is calling who or if its a dial-in) – your phone would ask 30 seconds before – Dial number, automatically dialing the designated extension or entering the code
– Online Video Call – your phone would alert you, depending on the app, and would click to the app and dial the “extension” and simply activate the meeting
– Personal meeting – with address and specific actions (building actions, who to contact, how to get through the front-desk, estimates from other people that have had meetings in that destination on that floor on how fast the security process can take)
– Movement (From / To / By [Car, Train, Foot]) – Google could dynamically alert you
These would be differently marked possibly by different icons.
5) Categorization – Types of reminders, and I don’t mean just personal or closed, I mean literally a category that you would put things in.
6) Letting them know you are late – by phone GPS, if its a personal meeting, your phone could ask you 15 minutes before the meeting if it should alert the person that you are late, where you are, and how fast you are getting there, or the option to cancel or move the meeting to later.
Guys, get together and figure this out, please!
Published: June 12, 2014
Socialbakers has just acquired EdgeRank Checker, making it the second acquisition this year and our 5th historical acquisition (including Socialbrando, and a few others). Socialbakers has closed a $26 million C funding round from Index Ventures (& Earlybird) back in January, and we are ready to take on the next wave of companies. We are in talks with several companies to buy or merge with more of them. This is a calling that we can definitely do more!
We think at Socialbakers we are building an amazing company, we now have over 2700 customers (look at our YouTube channel for client case studies), we have 13 offices (Prague, Pilsen, Split, London, New York City, Singapore, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, Dubai, Istanbul – ordered by the number of people in these offices) in 11 countries. We are not only building an analytics company for social, but we are building a company that can take intelligence from social media and help brands do better customer care, managing a crisis, media monitoring, and other things. Our data is being used for far more than just measuring social media marketing performance.
Of course, we are looking to build great products internally, but at the same time we would like to grow some of the things we do not have, because the opportunity is almost limitless. You would be surprised what Socialbakers has built over the last 5 years, I can guarantee that.
Now more technically: There are 2 sizes of companies we are looking for:
- Small companies / Acq-hire – Great team, beginning of a product, probably non-proven, <$10-30.000 of monthly revenue
- Mid-size to big companies – Acquisition/Merger – Anyone starting at $500.000 of yearly revenue up to $5 million in yearly revenue.
The aspects that are key for us in evaluation:
- Proven SaaS (Software as a Service) model
- Existing happy customers
- Good product that delivers and does what it says it does with a solid technological foundation
- Product is very beneficial / Complementary to what we have today, and serves a valuable purpose for a client
- Great team – ultimately, we will be working with you guys for some time to come
- Anywhere from little to very solid revenues – the smaller the revenue, the deeper the review will be around product and team
Even though most of our acquisition focus is in Europe (Czech, Poland, Croatia, Germany, and others), we just bought a company from Chicago in the U.S., and we are talking to several players in South America and Asia, and we are not limiting ourselves geographically, its about finding the right team to work with.
What can you be expecting after an acquisition:
- We make sure the founders get a vested interest in building their part of the business as well as build out Socialbakers itself, we always want to keep the entire team, thats actually a condition for us on any acquisitions.
- We continue building out your product and also figure out how it fits and integrates with the Socialbakers suite of products
- We build the product together and offer it to a much wider base of users that we have now, like we are doing now with EdgeRank Checker
We are trying to find the best and brightest companies out there and make sure that together, we can create value thats bigger than one we provide today together. Many of the businesses we have spoken to thought they can surely make it on their own. I am also sure many of them could make it on their own, but together, we not only increase the value, but increase the potential upside (Scale of clients, solidity of business) and decrease the risk (We are already big enough).
I really hope we can work together. Ping me a message on LinkedIn and let me know if you are interested, or just keep building your business and let us know when the right time comes to talk.