Posted tagged ‘social media’

2010 – The Year of Social Calibration

November 27, 2009

How to effectively gain entry into the social media ecosystem as it continues to grow in relevancy is top of mind for many, not only here in the Edmonton area but around Alberta and the rest of the World. 2010 will be the year many alter behaviors by integrating certain social web practices into overall business processes across the enterprise resulting in a “social calibration” of the corporate culture.
Veterans of at least one social media campaign will refine their approach as the realization that social influence is reliant on certain sustainable actions. In other words, there’s an understanding of the difference between being a blogger and being a blogger with influence—which means that social media integration into the 2010 marketing and communications plan happens at the outset rather than as an add-on later. This change in process should drive support for internal policy development and a concerted effort to build social capacity.
Also, as decision-makers come on board, I see more I.T. departments benefiting. The enterprise remains protected while I.T. enables social technologies behind their firewall by using open API authorization code like “OAuth” as appropriate. This success may also inspire the enterprise to pursue internal social media solutions related to human resources, such as employee retention, training, communications and knowledge capture.
Additionally, look for more organizations to embrace “cloud computing.” Despite still suffering from a bit of hype, trust has been strengthened in terms of data privacy and security… so the cloud will continue to influence collaborative innovations such as Google Wave for all to use.
As well, we’ll likely see more governments, (primarily municipal) embrace “open data” policies and concepts. And why not? Citizens are willing to contribute and even provide services for free. Participation in this area will continue to rise as access to public data truly becomes public. For more info on the open data topic visit eaves.ca and get ready for more city run contests, data mash-ups, and location aware services based widgets.
Maintaining consumer trust by way of social influence will remain a central goal behind social media performance metrics. Reputation 2.0 and the ever present need for active brand management online becomes a reality for more decision-makers in 2010. That said, this isn’t good news for lagging executives still employing the big plan of shutting down all access to the social web… but it’s certainly good news for their competitors who are consuming the social media Kool-Aid by the litre. That gap will continue to widen especially in areas of brand awareness, loyalty, customer support and rapport.
Experience suggests that concrete social media performance can only happen once the organization has truly committed. Up to now, there has been considerable experimentation and that’s to be expected. However, for measurable conversions to take place, an enterprise-wide commitment or social calibration must take place.
Ultimately, I believe 2010 will be a year of recovery, modest growth and prosperity. Social calibration should allow leaders who have a foothold within the social web (Twitter account and Facebook fan page) to accelerate and deepen relationships with customers. In other words, if your organization has been building social media credibility and customer love throughout a tough 2009, the next year will most likely require management teams to be better prepared to support future initiatives with more than just budget, they’ll need to support with a will to engage.
I’d like to wish all my readers, clients, the fusedlogic team, family and friends a fantastic Christmas and New Year’s celebration. √

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Social Media 101

October 2, 2009

101Does social media influence decision-makers?
“I hope that governments wake up and take notice,” said Sue Huff, an Edmonton Public School Board Trustee, when asked how governments should address the influence that social media seemingly provides. “There needs to be a willingness to share power and more genuine communication by politicians. I think people have felt very disconnected from governments.”
I got into this discussion when I brought up ChangeCamp Edmonton. After hearing about ChangeCamp in Toronto, I invited some locals to participate on a steering committee with the intent of holding a similar event here. I’m proud to say that on October 17th at U of A’s Lister Hall, Edmontonians will get a chance to participate in a day of democratic engagement. People from all levels of government and areas of society can register at changecampedmonton.ca for this free event.
I believe ChangeCamp will help citizens discover, discuss and engage in debate over key issues that pertain to their lives. Further, it is a demonstration of our ability to self-organize and create a construct that allows for deep conversations about how to enable government to serve us better. Huff liked the idea too, “ChangeCamp seems to be based on the wisdom of the crowd.”
I talked with her about many things social media-related. She believes that “influence goes both ways and I’d like to think I’m influencing public opinion in some way.” I wondered if this exchange of ideas online translated back to the Board of Trustees. Huff provided an example: She researched information she received on Twitter and her blog regarding issues around H1N1 and brought back to the board. “The things that I learn I share and that expands the knowledge of the entire board.”
Regarding whether social media has influence, many speculated online that fusedlogic’s live streaming webcast entitled The Great Edmonton Airport Debate actually influenced some on City Council when deciding the airport’s fate. I asked Councillor Kim Krushell if she had viewed the streaming video debate. Her response? Yes! Did she think that the social media activity around the airport issue influenced councillors? “Oh yeah! I do think it had influence on councillors. Bloggers directed people to e-mail… part of it was we were getting form letter e-mails from Cal Nichols’ side and personal e-mails from the NextGen crowd, complete with e-mail addresses. I found it all fascinating.”
Many are familiar with President Barack Obama’s now famous election campaign and its use of social media to influence American voters. How about closer to home? “I’m really just scratching the surface of the direct voter connection,” said Danielle Smith, who’s running for the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance Party. Phil Klein, father of former Premier Ralph Klein has joined Smith’s party. “The first thing I did was ask if I could put it out on Twitter,” she said. She admits, “I don’t have a blog yet, I’m not sure I will… being so busy, I like the efficiency of Twitter.
“We don’t have a very functional democracy here in Alberta. Decisions are being made out of the blue. From a policy point of view, the point of Twitter is to have direct connections—un-distilled commentary from average people.” Smith offered further, “Ralph Klein continued to be reachable.” Referencing that direct connection capability that Twitter provides, I mentioned that Premier Ed Stelmach has two Twitter accounts, and asked hypothetically if she ever become premier would she continue to use Twitter herself. Smith replied, “It’s obvious that the premier is not using Twitter himself. My intention is to continue to monitor what’s being said online. Should I win the leadership race, I would propose that Wildrose integrate social media into our operations at the policy level.”
So does social media influence decision-makers? Clearly, in different ways and at different levels, the answer is yes. How much depends on the situation and the issue at hand. There seems to be experiential evidence to suggest that this trend will only grow. As we get nearer to the day of ChangeCamp Edmonton—coincidently, the day Smith finds out if she won her leadership race—I’m sure that social media will play a part in whether some of you come out to offer some cool ideas for government to consider.
Repurposing Sue Huff’s comment, I agree with her and hope that governments take notice and come out chat with us average Albertans. “Let social media continue to lend power to the people.” √

Social Media 101

April 20, 2009

101Twitter and other forms of social media continue to penetrate the psyche of Edmontonians. One indication is the kind thank you I received from Jason Darrah, communications business advisor for City of Edmonton within the deputy city manager’s office. He’s responsible for managing the @CityofEdmonton Twitter account (mentioned here last month). and as I found out there’s change in the wind. I asked Darrah what the City hoped to achieve through its early use of social media: Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. He gave several answers around the common theme of “listening to Edmontonians” and indicated that there is strong support to “connect better, be more open and responsive to Edmontonians.” With increased nimbleness, Darrah feels that the City will be in a better position to “engage citizens.” I must admit this was music to my social media ears but, before I get all misty, let’s back it up and talk about how the @CityofEdmonton Twitter account came to be. Of course, it’s not as simple as registering—ideally, it includes debate, planning and discussion. Darrah briefly explained that this entire social media effort is a collaborative multi-department exercise… to be sure, this hasn’t happened overnight. “The number one place we started was with a sound strategy…

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Edmonton’s Technology Community: Using Social Media to Raise Awareness

October 29, 2008

Edmonton, AB—Edmontonians magazine is partnering with FusedLogic to raise the profile of the Edmonton technology community and its companies and prove how effective use of social media can positively impact businesses.

Edmontonians, a monthly business publication serving the Capital Region, recently kicked off its Visionaries —Insight, Innovation, Ingenuity project with the goal of increasing awareness of advancements in the research, the technology and life sciences sectors. It is sponsored by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

“Edmonton has a vibrant, thriving technology community that really flies under the radar,” said Sharon MacLean, Edmontonians publisher.

“We felt that partnering with an experienced social media strategy company like FusedLogic would be a great way to increase the awareness of Edmonton technology and life sciences businesses using cutting edge social media tools and strategy.”

Awareness of social media in the business world is growing, but using it effectively isn’t so obvious, which is why Edmontonians decided to team up with FusedLogic.

“In this two-month pilot project our plan is to use a variety of social media tools in unique ways,” said Walter Schwabe, chief evolution officer of FusedLogic.

“Using our three-step process of research, strategy and implementation, I’m confident we’ll be successful in developing a social media strategy to increase the profile of the Greater Edmonton tech community in Alberta and abroad.”

In addition to the social media strategy component of the Visionaries project, Edmontonians publishes profiles and briefs showcasing local innovators, their discoveries and their products. Schwabe’s column on social media appears monthly.

“Edmonton has an amazing variety of successful technology companies that get no attention and we’re hoping to change that with our Visionaries project,” said MacLean.

There are numerous organizations—including Edmonton Economic Development, NAIT, the Alberta Research Council, the Alberta Health Industry Alliance and the Alberta Council of Technologies—that are committed to incubating, supporting and/or commercializing the growth of technology and life sciences companies in Edmonton, MacLean added.

About: FusedLogic & Edmontonians
FusedLogic is a social media strategy firm based in Sherwood Park, Alberta and has been in operation since 2000. Edmontonians is a monthly magazine known for being “the personality of business in the Capital Region”. It began publishing in 1989.

Contact:

Walter SchwabeFusedLogicChief Evolution Officer

Office: 780-640-2331

Cell: 780-909-9787

walter@fusedlogic.com

www.fusedlogic.com

Sharon MacLeanEdmontoniansPublisher & Advertising Director

780-482-7000

info@edmontonians.com

www.edmontonians.com