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Friday, 29 November 2013

Do you know your social demographics?


I read a great blog post recently, by the Fast Company, which listed some surprising statistics around social media. Who knew that

  • the fastest growing group on Twitter is 55-64 years olds
  • 45-54 year olds rule on Facebook and Google+
  • average age of a LinkedIn user is 44, with 2 new members joining every second
  • YouTube exceeds Cable network views for 18-34 year olds in the US

It's surprisingly easy to forget that over the last decade the demographics of the key social media tools have shifted considerably.  Has your marketing strategy kept pace?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Why should you care about the collaborative economy?

In case you hadn't noticed, there's a sharing revolution going on.

Social media has established itself in our psyche over the last decade. It's changed our behaviour enough that we're turning our backs on company websites, in favour of the “truth” we can find by asking the world for their views.

Now that we're comfortable with talking to strangers, the next step is working with them. The crowd is becoming a company, or rather a whole series of companies, where the line between customers and employees is blurred.

Jeremiah Owyang is a man to watch. He's currently seeding the idea of the collaborative economy to corporations big and small. Many others, such as Shane Hughes (in the video below), show how this notion of access, rather than ownership is changing the economy.

Co-operation between people to link those who want something with those who already have it, is not a new thing, but the movement now gaining pace, encourages us to share and use resources only as we need them.  A concept that sounds like a hippie throw back, might just be the future of business.

So if you'd like ...

- more efficient sales, marketing and staffing processes
- deeper relationships with consumers and suppliers
- to be able to add value to the relationships between customers

... then the early adopter opportunities are just waiting to be had.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Employer Branding or why HR & Marketing should be friends

Once upon a time the Marketing department were in complete charge of a companies brand.  They designed, produced and communicated it, jumping on those who used the wrong colour combo, logo size or typeface and all was well with the world.

The HR team incorporated what they needed into job descriptions and internal policy documents, occasionally visiting the branding gurus for promotional products and event invites.  Everyone was happy.  Companies told us what we should think of them and we, in the main, believed it.

Skip forward a decade and social media has changed the game.  Now the fight is on not just to attract customers, but to engage the best talent in the market and this means that employers are having to work hard to prove themselves different and desirable through employer branding.

Proctor and Gamble are doing a great job here with their dedicated site and consistent brand messaging on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

You see, future employees can now use social media to test company and recruiter claims, checking that the vision they're being sold, matches the reality of current employees.  What people think, feel and share about your company as a place to work, is now a fundamental part of HR and Marketing strategy, so it's about time these teams started sitting together at lunch.

Of course, for employer branding to work it needs to truly differentiate a company from its competitors and be measurable. Without the Marketing team this won't be possible, but without HR, there will be no-one in the marketing team ......