learn from the savviest European social media practitioners … and save £ 100 on ticket price

I will be taking part in the oncoming Social Media B2C Marketing Summit due to take place in London, on June 25th and 26th and as I am preparing for the event, I took a few moments to dig my teeth into the programme and I realised it’s not a conference but the conference on European Social Media … absolutely packed with extremely high profile social media managers from some of the most prominent European brands. It was high time something was done to catch up with the likes of Blogwell in the USA, and here it is, right at our door, so it’s an event you shouldn’t miss.

the pitch

The Social Media Marketing Summit (25-26 June, London UK)
Social media represents a growing marketing opportunity for business to directly engage with their consumers. The phenomenal growth of social media activity has meant consumers are now interacting with their favourite brands and regularly checking for the latest updates online.

Orange, Heineken, Unilever and KLM are a selection of brands which have embedded social media throughout their marketing campaigns. Join these leading brands on the 25-26th June at the 2012 Social Media Marketing Summit, London.

Learn how to deliver engaging and interactive marketing tactics to entice your consumers to engage with your brand. O2, Honda, Tom Tom, Barclaycard and many more will share exclusive case studies, their everyday experiences and best practice, so you can improve your social media marketing efforts.

£100 off ticket price

Quote YG12 and save an £100 you register at http://bitly.com/Socialreg

about my presentation at the summit

Orange has been very active in the Social Media space since early 2008 and now has an online fanbase of over 3 million fans. With a presence on Twitter,
Google+ and Dailymotion – in which Orange has a stake – Orange has experience in using multiple networks – and insight on which networks are best for different kinds of marketing. Hear how this telecoms giant chooses different social platforms to engage with their community and meet marketing goals.

  • how to decide which tools work for you : hear how Orange decides which social network works best for them and how you can decide depending on your organisations goals.
  • learn which social platforms are most effective to market your brand and build brand awareness:  Orange will share which worked best for them and why
  • hear why Orange doesn’t just rely on Facebook and Twitter: discover which other social networks you should be using and how these can help your online marketing.

In Fond Memory of Trey Pennington, Our Like Minds Friend

I had received an message via Facebook from him last Saturday but as I try not to connect on weekends, I had decided to postpone the response. Trey was asking my help for renewing his Mifi as he was scheduled to come to England very soon.

I didn’t have a chance to respond to my friend’s message, as it was announced by Mashable and via the likeminds network and my friend Hervé Kabla that Trey passed away last Sunday.

Needless to say I feel very upset. I am sitting in a conference right now but I can’t concentrate on anything, our friend is no more and we won’t be able to chat and crack jokes with him in Exeter in October. I am devastated.

Never have I seen someone like Trey, so amiable, so competent, so popular and yet so modest and generous. We had had a chance to interview eachother and I decided to use the above picture in my Twitter account.

Trey, all our thoughts are for you and your family

Tyson Foods’ Hunger Relief Program

Better late than never. I was going through my files today and I found this old piece written after a Blogwell event which took place in New York two years ago. So here it is with much delay but I thought it was worth reading and publishing anyway. Now that I have gone through it I regret I didn’t publish it earlier on because I think that this business case was/still is very inspirational:

Blogwell presentation number 3: Tyson hunger relief (http://www.tysonhungerrelief.com)
April 2009, NYC, NY

Tyson, hunger relief, presentation by Ed Nicholson
in charge of social media, Tyson foods in the US

The third presentation of Blogwell number 3 was that of Ed Nicholson, in charge of social media at Tyson foods in the US, and was entitled how Tyson foods, uses social media to build a community around the issue of hunger.


Tyson’s Ed Nicholson, our fellow member from Socialmedia.org – photo courtesy of disruptology.com

To an extent, this is a similar subject to the one we already tackled in a post about a previous Blogwell presentation which took place in San Jose at the end of October 2008, when Kaiser Permanente presented its initiative against obesity. This time, even though the approach is similar, the aim is quite the opposite as it is aimed at those people in the US suffering from hunger.

I found the description of how a big company like Tyson is trying to tackle this issue, using social media, quite interesting and inspiring. Tyson’s initiative is not about just about a website. It’s about “engaging people in productive and visible ways” Ed said. And God knows there are many people at Tyson foods, even though their name may not be very well known in Europe.

In Iowa alone 9,000 people are working for them, and up to 10% of its workforce is actually involved in this hunger relief program. This hunger relief, social media initiative is more than “the campaign for Tyson.” Ed added. It is actually used to leverage donations in order to tackle the issue of hunger. It started in 2000 and has been going on for now nine years.

(Tyson Hunger Relief Food Donation at Finney County, Kansas – picture by Tyson foods inc.)

The idea is to use the website in order to “give food to the people who can’t afford it”. Ed is insisting upon the fact that there was already “a phenomenal community engaged in this issue”. These are good stories, which are also very favourable ground for online blogging and donation events.

Tyson foods has already 2,814 followers on twitter (and 8,201 2 years later). The company is actually following very strictly disclosure rules, as per Socialmedia.org guidelines, and it displays its name on its twitter page. The number of people who find food insecure, according to Ed is staggering. This is instrumental in making the social media initiative by Tyson very dynamic. In a matter of four hours, any post can receive up to 800 comments!

There is no doubt very few social media initiatives can attract that many comments in such a little time. Ed insists upon the fact that “these tools change all the time, but relationships are here to stay’”. I think this is a very wise description of the social media context, one has to focus on relationships, not on the tools, which are only a means to an end.

“Some people understand the media part”, Ed says, “but not the social part”. They are not all one-way push tools. They are about “generating communities”. And generating communities, has nothing to do about technicality, it is a human thing, hence the “social” in social media.

Ed says that agencies can’t develop communities for Tyson because they can’t create strategies. It takes times it takes time therefore, and you combine your way in.

Questions and answers

Q: negative posts.

A: They are kept because they give us an opportunity to respond. “You are using hunger for the wrong reasons,” says one very nasty comment on their blog. “But it’s one point of entry in the discussion”, Ed says.

[note, now it’s me talking: As I pointed out many many times, this kind of opportunity to respond is made available in social media, but it will not in traditional media. As as a consequence negative comments on social media in my eyes are less dangerous than in traditional media].

Q: developing policies and guidelines

A: policies and guidelines are about doing what’s right and what’s legal. But Ed insisted upon the fact that policies were not established first. It started off doing the job and then putting the policies in place.

Q: personal versus company

A: Tyson is a company account on twitter, not a personal account, but it’s managed by Ed. He decided to declare it in his own name, rather than using the company name. Sometimes he uses its twitter account to tweet about stuff, which is personal.

Q: health/nutrition issues

approximately 20% of kids (out of 37 million) are by definition obese. Moreover, they can be both obese and malnourished at the same time. Ed says that food banks are also getting into twitter too and that partnerships with agencies are possible.

Like Minds and Media Aces: Culture & Tech event in Paris – June 28

Paris: Culture+Tech

Like Minds and Media Aces present:

Paris: Culture+Tech

28 June 2011

An amazing line-up of speakers, a fascinating subject, in the City of Light

The printing press, the telegraph, the phone. Three devices that changed not only way that we communicate, but shifted the way an entire world thought.

Now in the digital age and with the rise of social media, how is our interconnectedness and the expectation of ubiquitous information changing the way we think?

From how to we talk to how we listen, we’ll be exploring the technological innovations and cultural phenomena that surround us on our voyage as human beings.

Join us at Like Minds Paris

Registration is €300 only. Early bird registration is available at 200€ before 1st June, with additional rates available for Like Minds Club Members and previous Like Minds Attendees.

for Like Minds Paris: Culture+Tech

Sabre holdings: the great community race

On March 29 I attended Sabre’s presentation at Blogwell in NYC.

a presentation by Susan Via, Manager Community Marketing and Engagement & Lorie Robinson, Product Marketing, Sabre holdings

Sabre is a major player in the airline reservation industry. Passenger reservations, cruise schedules etc. Some years ago, Sabre went on to embark on a community programme. There is a Sabre community portal, password-protected and a hub, which is Sabre’s Facebook-like business networking portal. The hub is a tool that Sabre’s customers had asked for. The objective was to increase employee engagement to improve customer experience. Yet, some of the engagement they got from employees was not always up to scratch.

This is why Sabre took a step back and launched the Great Community Race! The races stretched over a period of 3 months.  A minimum of 3 tasks were assigned to each team. Bonus points were granted and at the end a judge awarded prizes. The aim was to get over the “I don’t have time to do that” syndrome.

The result was pleasantly surprising. Some teams had given themselves  names, and the sense of competition and camaraderie was high. 4 awards were granted: 1) highest cumulative score 2) product suite with highest score 3) team with high score (not highest) but consistent approach 4) teams new to community

The result is seen by the team as an overall success:

  • 23 teams fully engaged
  • above 3,000 portal content items published and created
  • average blog posts/ month up 573%
  • portal accounts increased by 7%
  • hub accounts increased 9%

Lessons learned

  • having fun is useful in that process
  • so is Executive involvement
  • assigned tasks was appreciated
  • Sabre thinks they should have done this even earlier
  • it’s not a one-for-one return (“because we engage more doesn’t mean customers will”)

some of the next steps include:

  • community certification programme
  • strengthening of community interaction to increase sales’ understanding and participation
  • develop detailed external social media plan in order to decide how to best use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other tools.
  • the race ended recently, and the Sabre team wishes to move forward with was is going to be next.