Monday, January 31, 2011

Leaping your business into the next level

The year of the rabbit is coming, and here are some examples which company are leaping into social media.

Samsung Bunny Jigsaw Game

To usher in the year of the Rabbit, let’s see how good you are at recognizing bunny species. The quicker you are at guessing the right species, the closer you are to winning. Our first 3 puzzle pieces are already out! Hop over to the Bunny Jigsaw Game now!

Beside the jigsaw puzzle, Samsung seems to have many bunny related interactions with fans.

Well, rabbit year aside, many companies are hopping on with more than just a broadcast like campaign. Here are some that I came across recently that engage with their fans more than just the "like" button on Facebook.

Inciting a Fan Mob: Skittles

Mob the Rainbow” is an ongoing social media program developed for Skittles by EVB that gives fans the opportunity to “mob” together to cause a fun or quirky outcome. For example, in the first campaign, called “Valentine the Rainbow,” Skittles asked its “Mob” to send a Valentine to an unsuspecting parking enforcement officer who was deserving of some love. Over 45,000 people joined the Mob and elected to attend the event. Cards were delivered to the stunned meter maid on Valentine’s Day by a Skittles Mob “representative” dressed in a cupid costume and driving a Skittles van. Video captured at the event was then re-broadcast back to the audience through a “Mob the Rainbow” tab on the brand’s Facebook Page.
In a subsequent campaign, Skittles mobilized the troops to send a student to bowling college. For “Scholarship the Rainbow,” Skittles told the mob that it would require 100,000 Likes to generate a $10,000 scholarship. Within a week, Skittles had received 150,000 Likes, and young James Fulp was on his way to bowling college.
The program has been a huge success: in the six months following the launch of Mob the Rainbow, the Skittles fan base has quadrupled to more than 14 million fans.

Mob Case Study from Daniel Stein on Vimeo.

Always remember, the Internet allows 2 way communication, and today, successful companies are moving away from just getting the attention of their fans -- they are engaging their fans to spread positive word of mouth, and turning fans into evangelists.

HOW TO: Engage and Mobilize Facebook Fans Beyond the “Like” There are many companies that are becoming leaders in this space, and in the coming rabbit year ahead, are you ready to leap forward and make the change?

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trends summary for 2011

After going through some blogs, here are a few trends which I agree.

# Social Media going from local to global with big brands, not just national or local campaigns, but companies like Ford or Starbucks launching global Social Media campaigns.

# Social integration to old websites making them ´hip´ again, breathing new life to old portals and sites, making them information centrals for all information and profiles over the web and especially Social Media.

# Location based apps will play a bigger role

# Social CRM and Business Intelligence will be catching wind. Salesforce, Oracle and SAP will surely blow the horn for everyone to understand the importance of the social aspects in their tools, and the trend for using Social Media in general to support activities and decision making will increase fast. The importance of identifying influencers also grows as taking advantage of influencers and trends in business is growing.

# more companies will hire community managers

# Social recruiting going big – it´s been talked about for ages now, but finally in 2011 even the small companies enter Social Media to find new and better applicants, and to attract the passive resource pool. Many companies have used LinkedIn for years, Twitter has been used now by many in 2010, and the early adopters have entered Facebook.

# Social commerce will play a big role in influencing customers.

# Social Media metrics and analysis tools are becoming popular. There´s been a lot of talk about Social Media ROI, and the general need for metrics and analysis is now critical for many. However, users who are currently using tools will get more complex and leverage it for more than analysis purposes.

# Usage of social media for personal branding will be on the rise as more people realize the value.

# Social media will be integrated into businesses for forward looking companies. It will not be a stand alone department as more companies will find more effective ways to use social media to add value to their company.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Online Citizens in Singapore -- A Crisis?

The Singapore Government has controlled Media for a long time. The Media Development Authority was setup to control the dissemination of information to Singaporeans. Censorship was done so that propaganda by foreign nations do not threaten the sovereign nation.

For long periods of time, the right to demonstrate, the right to protest and simply the right to pick a president is not available to Singaporeans. For the most part, the Singapore Government can do a pretty good job in transforming Singapore to a first world economy, without the participation of its people. Even though Singapore considers themselves a democratic country, the majority of the citizens do not get a chance to vote for anything. Politics is a subject that is faux pas in the University, at work and most public places.

For the longest time, Singaporeans have much to say, but they usually gather at food courts and coffee places and voice dissatisfaction among strangers, and nothing has solidified. You get to hear complains from Cab drivers, on buses and barber shops, but it seems that much of the population is too petrified to do anything.

With the Internet and Web 2.0, people with similar interests -- wanting their opinions heard by the government -- found social networks that they can self organize, share information and learn from one another.

The social networks grew, and although a lot of these social networks and blogs are considered not much of a threat to the government, are starting to become more and more influential.

A popular site: The Temasek Review
Is an alternative source of information which challenges the government's information and statistics, and makes fun of the controlled mainstream media in Singapore, is starting to gain readership and participation.

Another popular site: The Online Citizen
Has more Facebook Fans and vibrant discussions that the government news sites. The Online Citizen constantly talks about situations and things happening in Singapore or affecting Singapore, and they have an independent view from the traditional press in Singapore.

With the popularity of social media, and extremely high Internet penetration in Singapore, these online groups are starting to become a threat, especially when the election year approaches, and since the government would still like to control the message on all mediums, like they have done in the past for Magazines like Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) which was banned in Singapore in September 2006 for taking a different view of 인민의 어버이 the "father of our people" Lee Kwan Yew.

Controlling or banning a printed magazine may be an easy task, but with social networks, and the ease of starting up a new blog and webpage, managing information is a much harder task, even for Singapore.

Online Crisis.

With the alternative voices increasing in volume online, it is increasingly hard to snuff out dissent. However, these are the steps that the government is taking to control the alternative views.

1) Temasek Review

The Government has its Singapore Investment Subsidiary -- Temasek Holdings.(Temasek - 'Sea Town' in Javanese, spelt Tumasik was the name of an early city on the site of modern Singapore. From the 14th century, the island has also been known as Singapura, which is derived from Sanskrit and means "Lion City".)

Temasek Holdings with the nations' sovereign wealth is suing Temasek Reviews for using the name Temasek, and confusing people. (Temasek Holdings does not really need a review or review anything.) And Temasek Holdings wants Temasek Review website to change its name. --> News <-- There is also a new law enacted: In relation to registering a company with the name "Temasek" in it, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore (ACRA), in its website, advised that the following is not allowed:
1. Undesirable names
2. Names which are identical to a sole-proprietorship / partnership name or to that of any other company, corporation, limited liability partnership or limited partnership
3. Names which are identical to a name being reserved under the Business Registration Act, the Companies Act, the Limited Liability Partnerships Act or Limited Partnerships Act
4. Names which the Minister has directed the Registrar not to accept for registration, eg Temasek

2) The Online Citizen (TOC)

PM wants TOC gazetted as Political Association, so the Media Development Authority (MDA) has written to The Online Citizen’s Joshua Chiang and Choo Zheng Xi, informing them that TOC has been determined to be ‘providing a programme for the promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore’. As such, the website has to be registered with the MDA ‘under condition 4 of the Schedule to the Broadcasting (Class License) Notification’.

What exactly does that mean?

1) It cannot get foreign donations.
(I don't think it is funded by foreign elements or sources anyway.)

2) They need to list the identities of its owners, editorial team and administrators.

Wait... as political website under condition 4 of the Schedule to the Broadcasting (Class License) Notification.

What is this Condition 4?

"An Internet Content Provider who is or is determined by the Authority to be a body of persons engaged in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political or religious issues relating to Singapore on the World Wide Web through the Internet, shall register with the Authority within 14 days after the commencement of its service, or within such longer time as the Authority may permit"

And what is a Political Association? According to the Political Donations Act,

"political association" means —

(a) a political party or an organisation which has as one of its objects or activities the promotion or procuring of the election to Parliament or to the office of President of a candidate or candidates endorsed by the organisation; or

(b) an organisation (not being a branch of any organisation) whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore and which is declared by the Minister, by order in the Gazette, to be a political association for the purposes of this Act;

Although TOC tried to appeal the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has reaffirmed its position that TOC is a political association.

The laws and rules after becoming a political association is much tougher, and it often leaves the people in charge more liable for their actions.

Will these moves stop the online voices in Singapore?

Only time will tell.

-- Robin Low


Today, the way people consume media has changed greatly. People can consume news from various different mediums and the information we get are getting faster.
News no longer just happen once a day. News does not wait a week for the PR team to come out with a good angle. The timetable is gone, if you don’t react to real time, the story will move on without you.

Social media becomes a source for News. People take picture and tell stories, and sometimes stories break from non-reporters. News covers stories from blogs, and videos that become popular, incidents which people care about, and conversely, people share news as well. This cycle repeats itself, and spreads further and faster than it ever did before.

News is being consumed differently, with tablet devices and other 3G devices, people get their books, news and other medium on the go, not just from physical prints and from their computers. Print circulation is down but online and application subscription on 3G devices is on the rise. Traditional advertising is on a steep decline but digital advertising is on a sharp rise.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Social Media Professional Certification Program

I often hear companies and large corporations eager to get on social media. Many companies outsource without understanding how much it takes to run a social media campaign.

Often outsourcing is not the answer as most successful, social media has many aspects which is not limited to marketing or corporate communications. And before you outsource anything, it is best you understand what is involved.

Aventis Social Media Marketing Professional Certification program

With today's consumers on social media, it is important that most businesses understand social media, engage the market and connect with their customers. Well using free social network tools to connect and spread awareness always sounds good, and knowing how to do it properly is a skill most companies need to acquire sooner or later.

Come join us on 27 & 28 Jan (Thur & Friday) 2011 in Singapore and attend this course and get certified!

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

View a Twitter conversation on a single page

This is what I have always wanted to do on Twitter which even the New Twitter is not doing so well -- Conversations, and I've found a great tool doing it.


This was a pretty nifty tool to monitor the conversation!

-- Robin Low