Tag Archives: social media

Social media in emergencies

Social Media is, by far, one of the most powerful tools on the web. It’s a fast paced way of getting news out to friends, family and the world.

In recent times, we have seen the world victim to a number of natural disasters and other emergencies which have been instantly relayed globally via social media networks. This led me to think about how I would use social media in emergencies.

I did some searching around the net and found this excellent infographic which portrays how social media is used in emergencies.

I find it astonishing that technology that was almost unheard of 10 years ago is now dominating not only our businesses but also our personal lives. For social media to become the vehicle it has, is truly amazing.

Check out the infographic below (courtesy of Credit Loan)

Yours in social media,


How to make a splash in social media

Making headway in social media can be quite difficult without the right training, direction and information. Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than being given bad information that you pay some ridiculous sum of money for.

Well… as Alexis explains below, sometimes letting people run their course, you end up with something great that came from a simple idea. Trying to persuade people through social media these days is never going to happen. It is kind of like trying to get the entire world saying the same word at the same time. Never going to happen.

Social media is powerful tool and a lot of businesses these days use it to good effect. It really is one of the most important – and free – tools available for marketing your business. Enough of me, take a look at the video below, this funny, ‘rapid-fire’ four minute video explains a campaign that has the weight of the public behind it.

Yours in social media,

Facial recognition switched on by Facebook

If you’ve noticed yourself being Facebook tagged in more photos by your friends in the last 48 hours, it’s due to facial recognition options being rolled out across Australian Facebook accounts in the last 48 hours. The settings that have changed affect all users and their privacy options, meaning that it is up to Facebook users to “turn off” the option of being automatically recognised in photos shared across the social media site.

Whispers of the new “Tag Suggestions” have been floating around the web since December last year. Mashable has a great story about the new feature which can be read here.

The idea behind the new Tag Suggestions is to make it easier to tag friends and family in photos that are uploaded onto the social networking site. It is in a way, similar to recognition used in programs like iPhoto, in that, the system will “look” at who is in the photo and then make suggestions of who they might be and present the user with a number of options for quicker tagging.

It will be interesting to see how users respond to this kind of default setting being applied to their Facebook accounts.

What do you think of Facebook’s facial recognition?

Yours in Social Media,

How do you ‘Like’?

So we’ve all learnt to like, add, share, digg, stumble, tweet, flick and tumble all of our favourite websites, haven’t we? Well, just in case you don’t have enough avenues to share your life with Google has now created their +1 button!

If you understand the concept of the Facebook ‘Like’ button then to simplify things the Google +1 button is basically a ‘Like’ button. I have added a video at the end of this post which shows you how the Google +1 works.

I totally understand that Google are trying to make their offering available to the mainstream, but I think that they are taking all the fun out of ‘surfing’ the web, let me explain.

If you don’t use Google.com as your search tool then this may not be so relevant. For a while now Google has had a web page preview button in their search results so that instead of actually clicking on a link you can just hover your mouse over the little magnifying glass icon and you will see a preview of that page with the purpose of you being able to tell from that little picture if the site is relevant to you or not. I have to admit I like this feature, when I am browsing I am more likely to go to a site that is visually appealing to me over a site that is not and has advertising all through it. I don’t think I am alone here! But this has a significant effect on your website if you are tracking the analytics and metrics of the traffic going to your site because if someone only views that thumbnail it doesn’t get recorded as a visit. So you are not finding out that critical data of how many people visited your site for a very short period of time and turned away because they didn’t like you site!

And now with the Google +1 button appearing on all search result items you area able to hover over the magnifying glass, if you don’t like the look of it totally dismiss the page or if you like the look of it you can whimsically click on the +1 button and keep looking for a better option.

Getting back to my cynical intro though, let me ask, how many different avenues of social media rhetoric do we really need? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. My personal opinion is that only a few that concentrate on certain genres such as technology, music, art, science would be ideal but unfortunately there are so many out there now and something new is happening all the time.

As a ‘web guy’ I feel that with a website design you must include all of the mainstream avenues, because so many people prefer to use their favourite means to share links. If you don’t cater for that then you are missing out on opportunities.

Yours in liking, sharing, digging, stumbling, tweeting, flicking….


The 6 basics of project management

So you’re planning a special event or renovating… to start with, a project must have a dedicated project manager to run, oversee and quality check all aspects of the project in order for it to be a success.

Who are your stakeholders? That’s everyone with an interest or involvement in your project. e.g. Internal stakeholders: employees, managers, business owners. External stakeholders: sponsors, suppliers (utilities, materials), government (applications, approvals), shareholders, boards, customers/target audience.

What is your budget? How much have you pooled together from sponsors, the company’s marketing budget… dependent on your project. It may be the launch of your own business so you’ll need to set aside a start-up amount. Does your project warrant a government grant for funding?

What are your resources? What materials (e.g. skip, paint, soil, signage) are required and when, to tie in with the schedule of events. Who is doing the work? e.g. electrician, artist. Do you need to organise advertising/flyers/eMarketing?

The schedule! Work out your sequence of required activities/approvals and their durations. A project is temporary so must have a start date and an end date. So work back from the actual deadline and map out your deliverables. Think about the relationships of the tasks; which multiple tasks can happen at the same time and also which ones can’t start without another prior. e.g. plastering a wall before painting it. STICK TO THE SCHEDULE!

What are your risks? We’ve all heard of Murphy’s Law. You need to think about what could and can go wrong so you can devise a back-up plan. How will rain affect your project or even the grand event if it rains during the project or even the event on the end date? How will this affect you? What happens if you don’t receive the approvals you were hoping from from the boss, client or even the council building approval.

Most importantly Communication! A successful project requires clear and timely communication amongst all stakeholders – whether it be market research with the target audience at the beginning stages; regular team meetings so everyone is kept up-to-date; phone calls to suppliers to confirm things are running to schedule and materials will be delivered on time; social media to announce a ‘hold the date’ for an event or sending the invites.

Now remember this is just the basics, there are more levels to project management, like the forms which need to be used for recording the accounts, timesheets, waivers, approvals etc. Procedural documentation to ensure quality and safety.

The above are enough to get you started and thinking.

Yours in project management,
Amber van Sloten

Slash your advertising spend with Facebook ads and DSPs

When it comes to media planning and buying we all want to reach our target market with little or no wastage. Media is expensive – it often outweighs creative by 5 to 1 – and must be measured in terms of ROI (Return On Investment). While we’re seeing more accountability with MOVE (Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure) introduced early last year there’s still one media channel that wins hands down when it comes to measuring ROI – digital.

The two most exciting aspects of digital media buying for me has got to be Facebook Advertising and DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) allowing highly targeted advertising and minimising wastage. I’ll start with Facebook:

Facebook is seriously clever. Most people will know that when you fill out your profile – gender, age, location, relationship status and interests – you are providing Facebook with rich data that can be used to serve you targeted ads that suit your interests. Every time you ‘like’ a page you are also signalling to Facebook ‘hey I like this stuff’ and Facebook will allow advertisers to use this information and align you with brands that are suited to your taste.

Now despite what you’ve heard in the media Facebook is not actually handing over your personal data to advertisers and your security is NOT at risk – it’s just storing that data and allowing advertisers to set parameters for their ads. Seriously if you want to remain anonymous you can adjust your Facebook privacy settings or opt out of behavioral advertising here – but I’m yet to find someone who’d prefer to see ads that that they have no interest in, over ones that do.

Here’s some screen grabs showing you a few ways you can structure your Facebook Ad and target only those who might be interested in your brand (I particularly like what I call the ‘peer pressure’ ‘like tool which shows which of your friends like that page:

Now for DSPs:

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) are changing the way online ads are bought and sold and has only just launched in Australia via Brandscreen. DSPs enable media buyers (and agencies) to bid and optimise across several exchanges in real time as well as manage the buy and creative placement of ads. As opposed to looking for an audience to deliver an ad to, DSP allows for people to be valued and targeted individually and anonymously and then be served a highly targeted ad. A bit like an online stock market for ads. Very exciting stuff!

Their website states: Brandscreen brings all the major exchanges within a single, self-serve buying platform, connecting you with Google DoubleClick AdX, Rubicon, AdMeld, Pubmatic, OpenX and ContextWeb. In Australia alone, Brandscreen is already seeing over 250 milion impressions available every day, covering over 2.3 million websites.

How are you measuring your advertising spend? It’s pretty complicated stuff so drop me a line at Brio Group if you’d like to talk more about getting more bang for your advertising buck.

Yours in behavioral advertising,

Why social networking for business cannot be overlooked

Social media is becoming a mainstream business tool for companies. Did you know that more than a quarter of Australian businesses have a Facebook Page? Consumers and businesses are more connected than ever before.

By giving your company a social personality, you’re opening up to your consumers in new, engaging ways. Great for brand awareness, brand affiliation and also real business results. Did you know that 40% of Australian businesses gain new customers through social media?

Your audience is already there, ready and waiting. Where are you?

Brio Group specialises in helping companies achieve results through social media for business. We love it so much, we created a presentation that’s full of interesting facts and stats – it’s your must-have social media for business 101.

Yours in social networking,

The beauty of Brand Loyalty

Happy committed customers with repeat business should be everyone’s goal!

Some of your rewards from brand loyalty is a reduction in your marketing budget, word of mouth advocacy from your die hard fans, a growing support base as brand awareness has been created and your existing customers have been reassured.

You can strengthen brand loyalty by measuring and managing customer satisfaction. It can also be maintained by treating the customer right and staying in touch which is so easy these days with the advantage of the many social media touch points available to everyone.

At Brio Group we survey customers’ experience to work out our strengths and weaknesses. Most of our business to date has been from referrals which is feedback enough that someone was happy with us to recommend our services. We also like to stay close to you with regular updates on facebook and daily blog posts of knowledge.

Natio‘s brand loyalty technique of choice is to provide extras which is fine by me and my family. Not only do we love their reliable quality products but we just love the treats waiting for us every time we frequent their cosmetics counter. Natio sends out email blasts when they have a new product or offer and on the odd occasion when there isn’t a goodies bag they offer discounts. Win-win!

Why do you choose to buy the products you buy? They most likely give you happiness, no?!…

Yours in Brand Loyalty,
Amber van Sloten

Social media at the forefront of news coverage

Proof we don’t do things in halves, the universe threw two of the century’s largest moments into three days – a royal wedding and the takedown of the world’s most wanted terrorist. And proof of the changing ways we communicate in the 21st century, social media was at the forefront of alerting the world.

The pomp and decadence of the Royal Wedding on Friday shone a pretty, romantic light over the world – which let’s admit, has been pretty bleak in 2011 courtesy of Mother Nature’s tragedies. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr were championing conversation, coverage and updates in the minutes pre, during and post wedding which two billion people stopped to watch.

However, this romance was quite literally killed, overshadowed by the death of Osama bin Laden yesterday. Like the Royal Wedding, social media played a pivotal role in this story, notably in how the news broke.  As reported on Wired, the Osama takedown set the Twitter record, with the micro-blogging site being the avenue where the news was first shared – by a Blackberry.

Personally, I first heard the news of bin Laden’s death at the gym, via Facebook, which led me to research news sites on my iPhone. In fact, the more I think about it, Facebook has been the source of my news and updates through the ups and downs of 2011: the Queensland floods and cyclone, Christchurch’s earthquake, Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, the Royal Wedding coverage … and now bin Laden.

How did you hear about the bin Laden news? And what is your best source of news?

Yours in social media changing the way we communicate,


The Royal Wedding – a social media affair?

It was reported yesterday that tweets will be banned during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding ceremony today. That’s right it was alleged signal-blocking technology would be installed at Westminster Abbey, preventing social media leaks by those privy to be up close and personal with the pair. The fears were reportedly about the possibilities of photos, tweets or any sort of exposure reaching the world and news media before the Royal’s official release.

However, Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police have denied these twitter-banning claims. Which is a good thing given the entire wedding is being streamed live on YouTube, so us common folk outside the Abbey or in living rooms around the globe will not miss a beat (or tweet, as we’d be out of the signal-blocking technology!).

It’s not news that social media trumps official news casts in speed. Think back to the Queensland floods coverage or the Logies leaks (in 2011, the Logies banned Twitter). With everyone armed with a Smartphone being capable of being a social-journalist, reporting via social media is very real and very now. It’s simply part of the changing ways we communicate.

Within hours, social media channels will be running wild with Royal Wedding banter. Will you be watching the wedding on TV, or will you be online keep tabs on YouTube, while checking Twitter and Facebook? If you’re all for the latter, we recommend reading Mashable’s How to Follow the Royal Wedding Online article.

Yours in royal wedding excitement,