Category Archives: Social Media

Web Too Oh

Connecting influencers to your brand: VMWare Speaker Bureau

The topic of influencer marketing has come under a lot of scrutiny lately, especially around the notion of paying influencers to write content positive towards your brand.  I think it’s important not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater here and not consider all influencer marketing to be equal.
For example, take a look at this approach VMWare Code takes to making influencers feel a part of their brand:
Key points:
  • These folks all have some relationship to the brand. They are either customers or partners to VMWare.
  • Most of them have built their own personal brand on social media, which the page highlights
  • As the page points out, these are not necessarily paid gigs for influencers: that only happens over time
  • I found the page via a paid social ad with a focus on one of the speakers and their photo – a great example of humanizing a paid social strategy
Bottom line here is that at its core, influencer marketing is about building relationships. The way you build relationships can range from thoughtful to sporadic to overly-commercialized.
Just as with any business relationship, you need to engage in a way that reflects you and your brand.

Guiding Eyes story featured on US national television

It is a real privilege to work with the inspirational Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  They have an incredible mission to place guide dogs with blind individuals.

The project involves looking at all the data they have moved to the IBM Cloud: genetic data from 30 years of dog breeding and thousands of questionnaires in Word format from trainers who spend two years raising puppies.

The potential for cognitive applications like IBM Watson to find new insights which can help improve their programs is tantalizing. A group at SJSU is working on the data right now. Early indications suggest that genetic data may not be a strong determinant for whether or not a dog performs well. Fuel to fire the nature vs nurture debate?

We spent a weekend in upstate New York with the Barbarian crew and Tucker Walsh telling this story from the viewpoint of a dog.

CNBC ran a feature on this story and Creativity called us out.

We pulled together all the key story elements on this Medium page.


The Need for Integrated Business Applications: Chris Heuer, Alynd

I recently had the good fortune to run into Chris Heuer, CEO and Founder, Alynd, at the Launch Festival. Chris is a true thought leader when it comes to thinking about the social enterprise and the future of work.

In this interview, he explains the problem his startup Alynd solves and why, given the consumerization of IT, it is increasingly important to offer employees the most engaging and integrated tools to get the job done.

He also explains key challenges for startups and the importance of the cloud for young companies that need to get to market and scale rapidly.

He is a great speaker so I encourage you to listen to Chris:

More on Alynd

More on the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups

The power of social analytics: an example from IBM and Twitter

Wondering exactly what social analytics can do for you? Check out this example based on the partnership between IBM and Twitter:

A tweet on a single bike doesn’t tell you much… but look at tweets from all cyclists and you can decide what kind of bike to build, where it should be sold and who is your target market.

Now, obviously this has an inherent bias towards those who use Twitter (not a massive chunk of the population), but what a contrast to the days of yore where only the biggest organizations would have access to market research, which could take years to complete.

More on the IBM partnership with Twitter

the top hashtags on twitter for startups and entrepreneurs

So where exactly do startups congregate on Twitter? How can you follow along with the broad conversation? If you are looking to get in front of the startup crowd, which hashtag should you use?

Take a look at this ranking report for the last 90 days:

startup hashtags nov 2014

Source: Sysomos

I was surprised to see #entrepreneur outrank #startup. I somehow thought the shorter anglo-saxon term would win out.  Also surprising to see #podcast on the list (although ‘Serial’ may have something to do with that).

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and plug into these convos now!

Can you #Growthhack Twitter? Day 1

I wanna keep this brief as I really just want to see if you can work out techniques that will help me get more value from Twitter. (I won’t go into here why the focus is on Twitter right now).

  • I want to better understand the environment in which I work (currently tech, startup, social, mobile, cloud – you get the idea).
  • I want to hear from the most provocative minds and build relationships with similar spirits
  • I do want to grow my network appropriately: I believe that the smartest person in the room, is the room, and so I want a bigger room
  • I don’t want to employ spammy tactics or automation to engineer results that don’t give me real value (I come from the SEO world and so have been there in the past)
  • I do want to build on a model I used successfully 3 years ago to grow a developer-focused account from 30K to 60K followers in about a year
  • I want to share as much of what I’m doing as possible in the hope that others will share their advice and I might actually help someone(!)

The initial thesis here goes something like this:

The three Cs of Social Media Marketing

I’ve been working in social media marketing for about the last 6 years (and blogging for the last 10)  and working on some major launches at IBM this year has got me thinking that most activities do fall into those 3 C’s: content, community and celebrity. There may be a fourth that Kimberly Legocki brought to my attention: crisis management. Maybe it does fit in. Right now, it doesn’t seem like too big a problem in the ‘Safe For Work’ environment of B2B (am I cursing myself with that comment?). 

So, for day 1 lets take a look at one area I think often gets overlooked: Twitter lists.

Twitter List Management

This is really a prep exercise, not sure there will be real immediate return here yet. Twitter lists are great when you follow more than your immediate family and want to tame the firehose. I also think they are great to keep abreast of your current interests, or people you’ve met through different engagements.

As I do more of my social interaction on a mobile device, using lists has become more crucial. I’ve been keeping lists for some time, so feel like some serious housekeeping is in order. Today I actually managed to get rid of a load I don’t need.

Currently the kind of lists I have are:

  • Related by topic area (socbiz, startup, education)
  • Related by location (Bay Area, NYC, LA) – I have added some related to parts of the world I know people but we’re on different timezones
  • Work colleagues

Take a look at them here. Now, I’ll continue to develop out these lists and will keep you informed of progress Winking smile,  Or you can just see what’s happening at @CagedEther.

SMBEB: Sharon Profis’ expert tips on personal branding

I’ve seen a few talks about personal branding in my time but I have to say Sharon Profis’ presentation this week at Social Media Breakfast East Bay was definitely up there as one of my faves.

It could be down to the fact that it’s pretty much her day job as a tech journalist, and her passion for her day job shines through Winking smile.

So, what were some of her top comments? This is what stood out for me:

  • Interact with your social networks the same way you would with your friends. Don’t just reach out when you need their help. Stay involved. Share often.
  • Remember that this is human2human contact: allow yourself to show your imperfections. Don’t apply too perfect a sheen: remember what we relate to!
  • As a journalist, she’s found value in showing the process behind the creation. Even if that process is messy and not perfect. There’s a great story in the process.

One thing I got to thinking watching this presentation: how social allows us build our own personal brand, and with that personal brand it can change our relationship with our employer. Sharon succeeds as a journalist in part because she has a large social network. A network which also brings value to her employer C|Net (who also help her build her network). A lot of journalists are in the same position.

But as we see the growth in employee influencer programs, we can see this same impact of social celebrity empower those who can master the medium. For instance, think of a professor that offers much of their lectures online. Their relationship with the institution can in fact be weakened and it may be in their interest to be partners with universities rather than employees. Much as we see organizations leverage citizen developers (take a look at the Business Tech Trends webcast).

More on Sharon Profis

Finding a Google+ numeric ID

If you are working with the Google+ API for tracking or other purposes, you may have noticed that you need to match against the numeric ID for the G+ user account.

This isn’t the easiest thing to find and took me and a vendor quite a while so let me share what I figured out.

There are effectively 2 ways:

1) Via the URL of the profile page

This one is pretty straightforward Winking smile For some accounts, clicking on a profile will take you to a URL like this:

Here the numeric ID is 116376707133710026460.

2) Via the link URL in posts

Now, for some G+ accounts, the URL structure is different. For instance, if you click on my G+ profile, you end up here:

So, how do I get to my numeric ID? You go to one of the user’s posts (you need to have public posts for this to work) and right-click and select ‘Copy link address’ or ‘Copy URL’ or whatever the option is for your browser:

Google Plus Numeric ID

If you paste this URL into a doc, you’ll see it’s in this format:

So, the numeric ID for my account is: 112665405531807287877. 

Voila! I hope this helps if ever you have a service which needs numeric Google Plus IDs.