Social media adoption: Europe Seen from down under (1000heads’ @JoanneJacobs)

Social Media Adoption

We, in Europe, see ourselves as whingers (Britons are supposedly nicknamed “whingeing poms**” by Australians) and on both sides of the Channel, one keeps hearing complaints about this and that and the other. Yet, seen from down under I realised that our image and potential is probably a lot better than we think and that “old” Europe isn’t yet finished. I asked Joanne Jacobs who now leads 1000heads in Australia to share her view of Europe, social media adoption by businesses and also Asia. I have known Joanne for many years now. We met while she was based in England as part of the Like Minds alumni. Not only is she a social media expert but she is also a trained actor, able to deliver a pitch on stage, captivating hundred of people, with a timed presentation and … cracking jokes on the go without losing track! She came back to Australia over two years ago and we caught up with each other through Skype … despite time differences which, as you will see, are far from being abolished.

** “prisoners of her Majesty” for those who don’t know the joke…

Europe? More Internet savvy than we may think, Australian expert says (photo: antimuseum.com)

Interview of Joanne Jacobs of 1000 heads Australia

Now  that Facebook is 10 years old and LinkedIn 11 years old, what is your view of the status of social media in general?

Generally, I think we are living in a transition phase. The critical mass has been reached in terms of users but, there is still a lot more to teach of the actual benefits for the business community in terms of its adoption of social media. The business community is, generally speaking, fumbling in the dark. Either because they’ve been given the wrong advice, by people who are marketing themselves as social media experts, or they’ve been measuring the wrong thing. Lots of it comes down to the fact that businesses are used to measuring eyeballs across a marketing campaign and then they are not really thinking about how to engage with their audiences effectively. There is a great potential for the use of social media which has not yet been tapped into.

We are living through this transition phase but I think that it will change in the course of the next 5 years to 10 years. One will develop some degree of maturity as to what we should be measuring.

You relocated to Australia a couple of years ago what did you find?

I have to say, that coming back to Australia was very hard indeed for me. Never let it be said that technology overcomes the tyranny of distance. It doesn’t. And one of the main reason why doesn’t is that time zones exist. I was not able to communicate as effectively with the people and the networks that had built up in the UK and Europe. So, it was therefore very difficult for me to come back to an environment which was so isolated that it was effectively between 9 and 11 hours difference in terms of time zones. It was quite difficult too because, even though Australia is a technology savvy country, there are serious problems of interconnectivity here, the cost of broadband in this country is unbelievably expensive and the quality of the connections that we get is poor. So in terms of social media, the community was smaller, there is less engagement, and ironically, they are little communities in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, but we are all disconnected from one another because it takes an hour to fly between Melbourne and Sydney and that’s one of the shortest journeys that we have in this country. So, even inside our own country, we suffer from the tyranny of distance.

You mentioned losing your Twitter following from the UK when you moved to Australia can you expatiate on that?

In many respects, that issue of losing my following was a product of those time zones differences. when you are no longer communicating regularly at least during working hours, with the people that you are engaging with, you will then lose followers because people will not be able to communicate with you any more nor share information nor participate in discussions. For me in particular it’s been really difficult to participate in online events that were happening in Europe or in the UK because they are always happening between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM my time. By participating in those events, even remotely, you gain a lot of information from various subject matter experts. So, I lost a lot of followers that way and I also lost followers I believe because I started to communicate with other people in other interest areas and I had to communicate with a community locally, and as a result was considered less of an influencer in the areas and the markets and the audiences within my previously connected life.

Read more

of influence and trust by 1000heads’ @joannejacobs #lul360

Joanne Jacobs was presenting today at Lincuplive, a great social media conference put together by our friends Celia, Glenn and Tim and today was a very special day. It was Joanne’s last UK appearance as she is returning to Australia and will be leading the WOMM company 1000heads down under. Her pitch was about trust and influence and she took the opportunity of this last UK presentation for reinstating quite a few important facts.

[photo by Yann Gourvennec: http://bit.ly/picasayann]

what is really influence about?

Influence has been Joanne’s focus for the past 6 months. There are lots of tools for measuring influence and, some time ago, Joanne realised that she was having a great score on Klout just because she was broadcasting and tricking the systemHowever, all high scores on Kred or Klout (“nothing in social media can be spelt right” she maliciously commented) are based on activities and not influence. “Influence is much more subtle than that, it’s about how your circles perceive you”. And it’s got everything to do with how you are perceived, not how you speak.

don’t treat influencers as celebs

“Following someone doesn’t mean that you trust them” Joanne added. This is the basis for this session. “The worst thing you can do with an influencer is to treat them as a celebrity” Joanne said, because influencers are acknowledged for being independent and they can’t be forced into tweeting something and become a “loudspeaker for a brand”.  One has also forgotten that the whole rise of social media was the result of the disappointment with brands and how they were lying to clients.

Trust is the result of performance

“Trust is something which is developed through performance”. A lot of people come to me as a consultant and they ask me how to sell more widgets but social media consultants may not be the most  suited people to do that. Social media – and influencers – can help you with different ways of doing business, co-create for instance, changing the way you do business, but they can’t be used to help you sell stuff. You do need a decent website, Joanne added but if you have a very engaged audience, people will want you to engage on Facebook or Twitter, not your Website, they won’t read your pitches.

If, to an extent, she added “we all lie to each other”, “it’s because we want to project the right image of ourselves”, but there is a limit and this is when you are paid to produce fake comments.  “This isn’t influence she concluded, this is malicious commentaries online”.