Kukutana – Listening Online

Thank you to Niall O’Malley of Immediate Future, http://bit.ly/90Hc3K, the online PR company and Barry Bridges from Intelligent Conversation, http://bit.ly/9srjnK who both came along and led a very interesting and inspirational conversation, leading to some lively debate at January’s kukutana. The group really appreciated the insight into social media monitoring, the case studies discussed and how they could start to listen and learn from online conversations.

Nialls slides are below and there are some links on his last slide to a selection of tools for you to try.

    kukutana – 29th January – Listening in online

    Happy New Year!

    This year we have some interesting session in the pipeline….the first of one is on the 29th January and is about listening in online to conversations which are taking place between and about customers, advocates, journalists and employees. Niall O’Malley from Immediate Future will be leading the conversation and we have Barry Bridges from Tempero who also provide online monitoring services and reputation management services joining our conversation as well as Vince Cable MP and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Liberal Democrats

    We are looking forward to an interesting session and hope that you can come along and join us.

    We will be running kukutana on the last Friday of the month and we are confirming dates with:

    MD of leading online moderation services company
    360 marketing services and social media consultant
    Senior online marketing manager from a financial services company

    If you would like to lead one of our sessions drop me a line and we can work out a date for you.

    Looking forward to seeing you on the 29th Jan.

      Community Management – a career for you?

      According to an Adage article “Looking for a Second Career? Consider Being a Community Manager” it is dead easy to become one and they recommend online community management as a career for out of work copywriters, PR and other marketing services people.

      It was interesting in that it reflects the lack of understanding of community management within the marketing services industry. A bit of a bug bear with me……

      Community management and moderation services have been in existance since the late 80’s when online communities, online strategy games and bulletin boards went live. Since then professional community management and online moderation companies have evolved. These include Tempero Europes largest social media management company, and eModeration (UK and US offices) two of the leading online moderation companies. In addition, individuals brands have employed full time community management professionals to ensure the safety of children online (if their online community is focused on children and teens for example habbo hotel and the penguin club), to ensure the community is well run and guidelines are set and adhered to. There is a lot more to running a community than the meets the eye.

      Professionals have come from many backgrounds into this area and it is growing however – their core skills sets are not facebook, twitter or linkedin…….

      These social tools are lightweight tools which when used create more value for those networks than for the individual brands using them – these are merely other channels where conversations can take place and should not be confused with online communities which create valuable insight to brands about their customers, their employees and their competitors. Neither are they core places for conversations around brands to take place.

      Moving into community management is not an easy move – there is more to it than managing a twitter and facebook account – dont be fooled – do your research and find out if it is a career you are interested in – most community managers I know are passionate about what they do and that is key to being successful.

        kukutana – Twitter Conversation – 4th Dec

        Thank you to all who came along and joined in the conversation in Friday and a special thank you to John Sweeney who led the discussion on Twitter. He provided a great view of how he has got to grips with using Twitter as a tool in developing his B2B marketing services and training consultancy business.

        John gave some interesting insights into how he got started, some things to think about and an insight to how he uses the Twitter and other Twitter related tools today. Others in the group offered their views and experiences and it was another very interesting and engaging session. A couple of people were so inspired they started to experiment shortly after the session.

        More information about John can be found on his linkedin profile, website and you can follow him on Twitter


        Look forward to seeing you at our next session on the 29th January.

          Developing your “personet”

          Organisations have developed intranets to share information with their employees and extranets to share and engage with their customers and suppliers, now we as individuals have the ability to create our own PERSONETS.

          Through the ever growing number of social tools which are available to us free and at low cost, we now have the opportunity to become centres of knowledge for anything we do or have an interest in. 

          We can research any subject on the web, we can select individuals and companies who are experts, enthusiasts or suppliers of a product or services. 

          We can use tools like igoogle and net vibes to monitor online resources, we can store bookmarks online on site like delicious and Stumbleupon and we can share this information with people we know or others who we don’t know and may never know but share our interests.

          We can connect with business colleagues and acquaintances through social networks like linkedin, xing and plaxo or more specialised networks like marktingtwo and onlymarketingjobs.

          We can share personal and social information on other sites like facebook, youtube, bebo and myspace and keep in touch with old and new friends on each of these sites.

          We can create our own blog and publish our views and opinions and maybe create a community of our own around one or more areas in which we have an interest either from a work or social perspective.

          All of these tools allow us to create an online presence or brand, the presentation below looks at how some of these tools can be used to create individual personets.


            kukutana – social media cafe

            The first kukutana social media cafe happened in Twickenham today and we had some interesting people from sport, charities, TV, pr, marketing, advertising and web development come along to join in the conversations.

            As part of the learning aspect of the session a discussion was held around the presentation below, which gives examples of how different organisations of all sizes, brands and individuals are using the social tools to support identified goals.

            Click here to find out more about kukutana

              The Conversation Prism

              This is a great diagram showing the vast array of conversations which are being enabled by social tools.

              We need to consider the objective of the conversation before we discuss the tools to be used – as the tools will evolve and change – however it is the conversations where the value is created.

              The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas

                Social media expert or a business/marketing/PR strategist who knows how to utilise these tools?

                A topic I have had discussions about quite a lot over the last few months is about the number of social media experts in the market today, many of whom have been involved in one initiative for 6 months – but they are an expert. There are many people who have been creating, managing, moderating and extracting value from online communites/social tools in their various forms since 1970, so it is hard to acknowledge an “expert” with such little experience. So how do customers/clients/individuals find someone who can help them unravel all this “stuff” and help them add value to their business?

                In my opinion, and it is only an opinion, social media/online communities and digital tools in their many forms will become the technology which underlies the dna of an organisation. What I mean is that organisations, public, private, not for profit, government bodies, health care providers……. exist due to 6 stakeholder groups

                Customers – individual s and other organisations who buy their product and/or service
                Employees – individuals who are on the headcount/payroll of the organisation
                Suppliers – individuals and organisations which provide then with resources, raw materials etc
                Business Partners/alliances – individuals and organisations which work alongside to compliment their offering
                Shareholders – individuals, organisations and institutions who have a financial stake in the business but may or may not be involved in the day to day running of the organisation
                Influencers – individuals, organisations and institutions who influence the business – this may be analyst who recommends investors to buy or sell their shares but do not actuall hold any stake in the business themselves, journalists or other media platforms who have an opinion about the organisation and how it operates
                Advocates – people who are positive about the organisation but may not have any direct contact to the organisations for example – I think habbo hotel has been a great success – but I have never worked there and cannot be a member as a wee bit old for that – same with othr organisations and individuals on this list whom I have followed for a number of years

                So, my point is that each of these groups are informed and educated, engaged and collaborated with, listened to, provided a level of service/support and each of these activities are a form of communication which can be one or two way or involve multiple groups in multiple directions. Underneath all this communication is social media/social tools/digital tools/online communities and there are pockets, albeit small pockets of deep knowledge in some of these areas but not all areas but because the marketers of this world – whose job it is to AMPLIFY messages to the audience whoever they are have grabbed on to these terms and are trying to get to grips with how to incorporate them into their marketing strategies and tactical campaigns for their clients – they ALL NEED to be experts and gurus as they are only as good as their last campaign success so they are making a lot of noise.

                Last year I did some work with a brand strategy agency and they had identified over 75 communication channels for a frozen food brand – about 10 of these could utilise social tools – I am sure there are more this year.

                So, what is my real my point or may be a hope – that social media/social tools/digital tools/online communities stop being the latest news on the web and the “social media guru” stops being a claim on lots of CV’s and that they become the underlying mechanism for an organisation to communicate with any or all of their stakeholder groups and that they can obtain value from this which allows it to continue to grow and provide value to each and all the stakeholders involved.

                The bottom line is that some of today’s tools will become standard tools, some will be obsorbed into others, some will fade and go away – however businesses will continue to function and other tools will appear which add value – it is key to understand how businesses operate and the role which you are supporting within that business with the technological tools set, not the tools themselves.

                  Loyalty – Battleground or playground

                  Yesterday, I received a newsletter from the Colloquy entitled “Loyalty marketing is the central battleground for companies today” and this made me reflect on a presentation last week by Anna Pollock where she talked about the language of business and how it has a military tone – battle, identify target, go in for the kill….etc 

                  So are the loyalty companies and loyalty teams within organisations really paying attention? 

                  They want to go into BATTLE with each other to gain our loyalty – with that approach are they going to beat us into submission OR are they going to try and “understand our needs”, “engage with us”, “tailor their service to our needs” and look to “build a long term relationship” – all phrases which support the notion of a “personal relationship” – do you go into battle with the individuals you have a personal relationship with – you may differ in your opinions or disagree but do you really BATTLE?   I don’t and I don’t want the company who is providing me with a product or service to battle over me.  I want them to understand my needs, be available to engage with me, when I choose to engage with them and I want a service which is as close to my needs as it can be for the price I am willing to pay and if I have an ongoing need for that product or service and my experience with a company is a good one then I will choose them again and again based on my experience with the organisation, developing a relationship based on past experience and future expectations.

                  From what I see, I am fairly typical in my approach to purchasing products and services and when you look at where we are engaging online, many of us are using the web to connect socially as well as from a business point of view and a place to learn about people, company’s products and services.  There are some people who vent on some sites, but generally the ones where you connect with friends, relations, business colleagues and acquaintances – the communication is friendly, engaging and fun – no guns knifes or ammo!

                  Maybe the loyalty companies and loyalty managers should spend some time looking at the bigger change which is taking place with us humans and learn from our behaviour and the way we communicate, not just the numbers in the market research – we are doing a lot more talking, interacting and learning before we hand over our money – but I dont see us going into BATTLE – do you?

                  Have a look at Gerald Zaltmans books about “How Customers think” and “Marketing Metaphoria” interesting insights in to the complexity of engaging with consumers.