Making Friends and Influencing People

Good Self, Bad Self

Some light reading for your Easter weekend, this time courtesy of those clever folks at We Are Social Singapore. This easily digestible deck on social media debunks some of the many myths and provides “10 commendments” – things that you could do if you were so inclined. My favourite? “Be in it for the long term”. After all, after we get engaged, surely we expect a deeper commitment, right?

The A-Z of Personal Branding

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What do you do before a meeting? Do you Google the person you are meeting? Do you look up their profile on LinkedIn? Do you stalk them on Facebook? Do you go to the trouble of talking to people that you know in common?

No doubt, a large part of this research will be done online. And while I often wonder if there really is such a thing as “personal branding”, it seems clear that our “digital footprint” has an impact on the people we meet, connect to or pass on our digital travels.

And given this is the case, there are some basic things that are worth doing. I call it the “4 BEs” – be found, be known, be trusted and be successful. But the folks from Placester have put together this interesting infographic that goes into some depth around personal branding. You don’t have to do all 26, but covering most of these will see you well on the way to making sure that your personal brand, digital footprint or online identity has all the bases covered.

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LinkedIn Publishing – Where the Personal and Professional Brand Meets

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LinkedInPublishing When LinkedIn started publishing content via its LinkedIn Influencers program, it moved the social network for business professionals in a completely different direction. For many business leaders, this was a great, simple and powerful way to share business philosophy and insight. It was blogging without needing to have or create a blog. And because each item was automatically shared with your LinkedIn connections, there was no extra work required to distribute your writing.

But there was a problem. It was a closed system, and only a select group were granted access.

Taking a leaf out of the book of every digital business launch from Google+ to the now defunct Plurk, LinkedIn relentlessly kept tight control over their publishing platform. The early focus was on high quality insight from big-name business leaders like Virgin’s Richard Branson and Ryan Holmes from Hootsuite. Take a look through their various posts and you’ll notice something interesting – a collapsing of the personal and professional. The most popular articles (and the most interesting) tend to blur the lines between an individual’s business experience and their personal decision making. And I have a feeling that this has set an agenda which will be important to watch.

Eventually, the invitations started to broaden and other voices began to be heard, with new articles and more content filling our LinkedIn streams. LinkedIn Pulse would aggregate and promote the most popular posts, channels and authors – effectively filtering business-related news for us. All we had to do was choose where to focus.

A couple of weeks ago, LinkedIn announced that they were extending their publishing platform to 25,000 more LinkedIn members. So now if you are quick, anyone with a LinkedIn profile can reach an audience – or at least, reach your own connections. For the moment, you have to apply, but no doubt, this system will be extended to others in the near future.

The thing that is most interesting to me is not that LinkedIn is moving in this direction, but that business professionals are flocking to it. Up until recently, convincing executives to engage with social media was almost impossible. Despite widespread adoption of social networks by consumers, many business leaders remain sceptical, unconvinced and unlikely to commit the time required to see the benefit in social media.

But LinkedIn may have solved the challenge by making social media simple and obvious. After all, we all like to be “influencers” – even if there are 25,000 of us.

This is, however, not just about professionals, reputation and publishing. In the mixing of these professional and personal profiles, there could be something greater at play. Is this a way for LinkedIn to stake a claim against Facebook’s social domination? Will we see more insight, personality and flavour in the lives of our business leaders? Will personal and professional brands start to collide in new and exciting ways? One can only hope.

And in the meantime, my first LinkedIn article has just been published. It’s a departure from the marketing and digital focus I have here on ServantOfChaos. Hope you like it.

Take the Australian Social Business Survey 2014

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To call out the term “social business” seems almost anachronistic in 2014. After all, aren’t we all now working in “social businesses”? Haven’t we all been part of the digital transformation sweeping every business?

Well, yes and no.

When I ran my first social business survey back in 2011, I was interested to gather some data on Australian-based businesses. After all, there was plenty of information available about the US – but anecdotal evidence suggested that we were behind that curve. Way behind. And again, in 2012, the survey revealed that there was a gap – not only between Australia and the US – but between businesses and the customers they served. It was what IBM called a “perception gap”.

These days, despite what we hear at conferences and read on news sites and blogs, it seems that social business, digital transformation and (dare I say it) innovation continues to struggle. Sure there are pockets of connectedness. Campaigns for transformation and change. And even some success stories. But what is the true picture?

Participate in the survey and receive the report for free

When you participate, you not only have the chance to share your perspective on the state of social business / digital transformation in Australia. You will also receive a copy of the report when it is complete. This will allow you to get a sense of where you and your business stand in relation to others.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. And if you already happen to have AskU on your smartphone, simply enter the Private Code social2014 [case sensitive]. And be sure to share it with others. The more responses we get, the better the report will be.

ADMA Experts – 56 Trends Shaping Australian Marketing

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Each couple of months, Association of Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) convenes their expert groups on a wide range of topics. Drawn from across the marketing landscape, these groups hash out important, practical topics and challenges that impact their daily work. There are groups that focus on multi-channel, and acquisition and lead generation through email, B2B, search and social media to data and analytics – and everything else between.

Having been a participant for the last two years, it can be a fascinating process to go through. It’s a chance to share your own business and marketing challenges and to learn from others.

Earlier this year, each member of every group was asked to put together a brief prediction for 2014. All of these have now been collated and published. And you can download the report for free. The report outlines 56 trends from data and privacy to wearable tech. It may be the most useful 22 page report you’ll read this year. It will, at the very least, challenge your plans and strategies for the months ahead – and hopefully validate your own work. Download it free here.

Pew Research’s Conrad Hackett Has a Beautiful Tweetstream

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Pew Research is the US-based, non-partisan “fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world”. It regularly makes a splash in social media by the regular release of research data on a wide variety of topics.

And as the Edelman Trust Barometer suggests, in a world saturated with information, we turn to brands like Pew that carry a sense of reputation and authority in order to make sense of the world. After all, it’s not more facts we need. It is insight. Analysis. Recommendation.

But how do we make sense of it all?

For those of us who look to research to help us make decisions, plan our strategies and execute our visions, Twitter has become an invaluable tool. If we organise our Twitter tools well – like TweetDeck or Hootsuite – we can curate a single, unique portal that delivers much of what we need – the content, context, filters and network for sharing. But you will also notice, as you scan the Tweetstreams, news feeds, hashtag chats and so on, they are very text heavy. My own included. But when you visit Pew demographer, Conrad Hackett’s stream, you are greeted by something altogether different. Dare I say, beautiful?

Brains and beauty are always a winning combination. Check it out.

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One Privacy Act to Rule them All

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Reform to Australia’s Privacy legislation began in 2004 – and as of tomorrow, 12 March 2014, there will be a raft of changes to the way in which our privacy is regulated. The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, provides a high level of overview of the changes in this video.

Australian Privacy Principles

The changes that come into effect tomorrow, include a set of 13 new harmonised privacy principles that regulate the handling of personal information by Australian and Norfolk Island Government agencies and some private sector organisations. These replace the national privacy principles and the information privacy principles that were previously in place. In particular, the following principles apply to marketers:

  • Direct marketing: Australian Privacy Principle 7 (APP7) relates to direct marketing. Where you hold personal information about an individual, this principle covers the manner in which that information can be used (or not) for direct marketing purposes
  • Cross-border disclosure of personal information: Australian Privacy Principle 8 (APP8) covers the sharing of personal information with an overseas entity. This will apply where you are capturing or sharing information with overseas providers.

Who do the APP apply to?

The short answer is government agencies and organisations with over $3 million in annual turnover – but be sure and check the details:

The APPs cover the collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information. They allow individuals to access their personal information and have it corrected if it is incorrect. There are also separate APPs that deal with the use and disclosure of personal information for the purpose of direct marketing (APP 7), cross-border disclosure of personal information (APP 8) and the adoption, use and disclosure of government related identifiers (APP 9).

The APPs generally apply to Australian and Norfolk Island government agencies and also to private sector organisations with an annual turnover of $3 million or more. These entities are known as ‘APP entities’. In addition, the APPs will apply to some private sector organisations with an annual turnover of less than $3 million, such as health service providers. More information is available on the Who is covered by privacy and the Privacy Topics — Business pages.

The APP checklist

What has changed and what do you need to review?

Take a look at the Privacy Act Reform Checklists for organisations (yes, that’s you if you run a business with turnover > $3 million) and government agencies.

Get reviewing now

Remember, the changes come into effect tomorrow. So you’d best get started on that review ASAP!

Private Area Grant Hutchinson via Compfight

What’s in a Story? 50 Tips to Bring Sense to the Static

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Storytelling is hard work. It’s intricate, nuanced and can be expensive. But we crave it, know it and hold good storytelling and storytellers close to our hearts. After all, we all have books that we’d fight for.

But in this world of digital media, simple tools for content creation, video production, worldwide publishing and distribution, we are confronted by so much fog. Static. Unimaginative or unengaging material. There are words but fewer stories that we can get our teeth into.

When I was a child, I would voraciously read short history project books. They were text books for children much older than I, but they set out a world that was familiar but strangely different. I read about Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth as they explored the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. I read about Leichhardt and the heartbreak of Bourke and Wills. I read about bushrangers and the fear they spread through the isolated parts of New South Wales and Victoria. And on long car trips, I would look out the very same landscape that these people lived in. We would visit the towns that they passed through, and stood in the places that they too, had stood.

Australian history is, after all, a shallow pool. And there are echoes at every turn.

The amazing thing about these stories, is that they have stayed with me always. They resonated deep inside me. And these days, with all the static filling our digital communications, we need to remember and re-craft the type of story that goes deeper. For ourselves and for our audiences. And this great collection of insight from Adam Westbrookwas collected by Martin Couzins – and may just provide us all with a direction worth following.

Moon child Michał Koralewski via Compfight

Breathing New Life into PowerPoint with SlideDocs

The book

I have always been a fan of storytelling. But not everyone is keen to be a story reader. Or a listener. For in our time crunched lives, our own attention is our most limited resource. Accordingly, communication has been concatenated, shrunk, manipulated. We’ve got our 30 second, 60 second and elevator pitches down pat.

But a picture is worth a thousand words

As someone who loves language I have always bristled at the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sure a picture might be worth a thousand words, but they’d be indifferent words. They’d be rushed, debased, uneven. Or so lean that they lose the humanity, beauty and creativity that inspired them.

Fortunately, like so many things, words are a kind of fashion, and it feels like they may just be coming back in vogue. Witness the popularity of longer form writing like Snow Fall. And the growing popularity of newish text driven platform Medium.

From PowerPoint to SlideDocs

Nancy Duarte’s new Slidedocs book provides a great framework for us to reconnect with our love of text, storytelling and technology. And it does it using that old nemesis, PowerPoint. You can look through and download the book, interrogate its construction and authoring and apply it to your own needs. Sound like a plan? I’m hoping it’s the start of a whole new chapter.

The bookCreative Commons License Dave Heuts via Compfight

ANZ Bank Retains Most Valuable Banking Brand for 2014

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Rankings. I can take them or leave them.

But Brand Directory’s evaluation of banking brands for 2014, in association with The Banker, does an interesting job of placing a monetary value on the intangible asset that is an organisation’s brand. And this year, as shown below, ANZ pips CommBank at the post, to take out first place in the Australian rankings.

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In simple terms, brand valuation calculates the difference between book value and market capitalisation. But Brand Directory use a range of calculations in an attempt to get a handle on what a brand may actually be worth. Their methodology is called the Royalty Relief Method.

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Now, I prefer more straight up calculations – less opinion and more fact – but there is something quite appealing in the brand strength index. The use of a balanced scorecard across a range of business indicators sounds great. But I digress.

The real reason these kinds of rankings are useful is that they allow those within the business to get a sense of whether the brand is resonating in the marketplace. Not with analysts, but with potential and existing customers. It marks you out as a player or a stayer. And because leaderboards shift and change over time, it helps to determine, relative to your peers, whether your brand/marketing efforts are shifting the dial.

And if I was on the brand side trying to go deeper with these statistics – I’d bring my own, internal knowledge into play. I’d look to assess, year over year, what my spend and resourcing commitment was – so that I had an even better insight into what works or doesn’t. And then maybe, just maybe, there’d be an ROI figure that I could apply to my efforts. But this would be my own little secret. Another intangible that I’d add to my brand value.