Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Joined up thinking | It's not a new concept!

Busy busy ...
I've been busy today, tidying up my online profile across a number of platforms. I always struggle with a collective noun for the blogs, microblogs, network profiles, share sites and bookmarking doodads that make up online activity. I've decided on platform for now - if you've got a better, more elegant word for it all, please leave a comment and let me know. I'll start using it immediately.

While connecting my facebook public profile with my twitter and trying to find a 'follow me' widget I like to sprinkle across my platforms it struck me that I have gone about creating my online profile in a most haphazard way. This has been really useful for me, I've picked up on new opportunities as I've found them, had fun learning new things and grown in confidence and authority with new communication channels.

All of which has helped me offer sane and simple advice on how to use the channels available online to 'make some noise' and to research and engage with stakeholders. So I feel quite justified in urging some joined up thinking before you start your planning and long before you start signing up for accounts all over the internet.

Start with a stakeholder plan
Putting together a robust communications plan is not rocket science but it does take some time and thought to avoid wasting valuable resource further down the line. So before you get started get a big sheet of paper and write down all of your stakeholders. Include your suppliers, existing customers, target customers, employees and 3rd party partners.

These are the people you need to connect with, and the more you know about them, what they like, need, read and buy as well as how they shop, play online, do business, connect to their suppliers, favourite brands and each other - the easier it will be for you to decide how to reach them online and what you can offer them to make them happy when you find them.

You also need to plan for the impact of a successful campaign on your supply chain. Don't get caught out by switching on your communications before your business is ready to meet demand.

Join the dots ...
Now you've decided on the best combination of channels to reach your audience (customers, funders, employees, clients, suppliers or influencers), your next job is to set each of your channels up and make sure they are linked.

That way all your channels start to work together to get your messages out to the right people and you can make it easy for your customers to become champions for your products and services.

Your branding, messages, tone of voice, even the style of your offers all need to be consistent, transparent, and manageable.

I'll post a quick 'how to' action plan to get you started tommorrow.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A flash network is for now not forever!

So I've got this IDEA to set up flash networks.

It's simple, really ...

You want to get together with a group of people interested in a subject.

You set up a flash network.

Like a flash mob ...

Using online channels to find each other, get together, share and then let go.


You can meet online, face to face, telepathically

You can text, tweet, podcast, webinarate, #hash tag together

Leverage your network. Share you're passion. Lunch, learn and then leave!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

you got to kiss a lot of frogs...

If you are serious about creating business through 'in bound' marketing techniques then you have to be realistic about the time you have to spend on it.

Twitter takes time, you have to build a large following, move them around your social network and develop your online customers by creating a sense of intimacy and friendship, and lets be really clear here - these people are not our friends.

Perry Belcher is a marketer who is using his twittergang to put his work out there and he works damned hard to create his powerbase. He has over a million followers and I noticed this morning he follows nearly the same amount of people.

So thats it! He uses the you follow me, I'll follow you back principle, and its working for him.

Check Perry out, he does great little 'quick and dirty' videos online - helping us all understand the basics of successful communication - in fact if you really look closely, you'll realise that you know this stuff.

Its great to have it spelled out for you by a confident, american with a big personality and hip specs though isn't it?

Marketing online is not hard, it takes time and with a bit of common sense and a clear vision for what you want to achieve across your whole campaign; Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and other social media applications can add value to your marketing mix.

Don't loose sight of what you are trying to achieve - if your business typically depends on excellent pitching to get you the work - then spending 3 hours a day working your social media network might not be the go!

For more sharply targeted advice about your business marketing campaign - get in touch or go to my website

Use twitter to manage customer complaints

Did you know that you can find out what your customers are sharing with each other about your business by using the fantastic tweetdeck client? Go to and check it out now.

I confess that I am still getting to grips with the application, but I love the layout. Tweetdeck makes it much easier for me to keep tabs on my tweets, replies and direct messages, and I am using it for research too.

You can use the search facility to find out what people are saying about your business or your sector. You can even find out if people are looking for a service or product that you can provide them with and respond immediately.

It's great for a quick bit of 'vox pop' research - but the real power lies in the opportunity for you to hit reply and deal with a customer issue or lead prospect immediately.

Your search can be constantly updated - just like an RSS feed, so you can keep tabs on the shifting moods of your customers or potential clients and get information out there fast.

Don't forget if you are going to use twitter and other social media to put your business out there, you'll need to treat your profile as an extention of your brand and watch what you tweet about, your customers may be following you too.

To find out more about how to raise your profile online and boost your business go to, I'd love to give you a hand.