Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year End Social Media Spring Cleaning

The end of the year is coming, and many people are doing their annual clean up of their apartments. As you know, it does get increasingly hard to clean up as more things pile up. This is also very true for your social networks.

As you know, many problems are easily solved when they are small. They take much less time, and are pretty easy to get to. This is true for car maintenance, maintaining your weight, and also social media.

So what is there to do for your social media?

1) Prune your Twitter Followers.

There are many deadbeats that you may have previously followed and some who just stopped tweeting. To maintain a good follower / following ratio, it is essential to remove people whom you do not need to follow anymore and follow some more interesting people.

There may also be some people following you that may be interesting, so make sure you follow some of them as well.

A good tool to use to prune your followers is Tweepi. Tweepi allows you to clean up your Twitter account from spammers and deadbeat users, as well as make sure you follow tweeps who deserve to be followed.

There are also interesting stats for Tweepi, and like Follower / Following Ratio, and Last Tweeted which may be helpful to manage your Tweeps.

2) Backup your Facebook.

There are so much information people put on Facebook now. I know many friends who solely keep their photos of themselves and their friends on Facebook. What happens when your Facebook account go down when people try to hack in? In the world of data portability, Facebook has allowed us to download our profile, so why not do it?

The process is really too simple to forgo. Here’s how you can stow away your social life for safekeeping:
1). Go to Account Settings,
2). Click on “Download Your Information” and allow Facebook (Facebook) to download your info,
3). Wait for an e-mail that will let you know your info is ready (it takes a while, what with all the stuff you probably have on Facebook),
4). Go through the security test that allows you to download your info (kudos on that one, Facebook), and, voila, your profile is ported to your desktop in a nifty folder.

3) Backup Your Tweets

Have you shared some great links which you wish to keep? As twitter search only go back a few weeks, sometimes whatever you tweeted is lost forever. But have no fear, there are tools that can allow you to back up every single tweet that you have previously tweeted -- Your Tweets may be backed up!

TweetScan will track your data back to 2007, and, using OAuth, will even grab your timeline, tweets from friends and direct messages. It is pretty fantastic and easy to use.

4) Backup Your Photos

Many people upload their photos on photo sharing sites, and sometimes forget their passwords. I own several devices which can upload photos themselves in the camera. The Eye-fi memory card allows you to upload photos directly from your camera to the Internet. So what if you have lost all your photos on your harddrive and every photo you have is on Flickr? Don't worry, you can download them all with tools of course.

Lots of apps and tools let you back up your Flickr photo stream, but a quick, fuss-free way to unload years of photo uploads is the Adobe Air (adobe AIR) app Flump. The app works on Mac, Windows (Windows) and Linux (Linux) and downloads a copy of each photo in your stream to a folder of your choice.

4) Backup Your Blogs

Wordpress and many other blogging sites allow you to backup your blogs with a click of a button.. (Sometimes a little more) It allows you to transfer the information from one blog to another, making it portable. Just in case the server crashes, why not back these information up?


Well, the year is about to be over soon, and if you have sometime this weekend and you are taking a break from physical cleaning of your apartment, maybe you can do some social media maintenance as well.

Happy holidays and have a great year ahead!

-- Robin Low

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2011 Social Media Trends

2011 Social Media Trends to watch

If you are just getting on social media, and would like to know what my thoughts are about the 2011 social media trends, the above is a presentation I did at Harvard before X-mas.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Social media arsenal, unleash your personal brand

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to get a job all the time, in any economy?

Why do some people promote faster in your company or how do people become "superstars"?

Many people would call it luck, however, I know of many people which not much exceptional ability, seem to be able to find jobs all the time, even in a recession. I would not call this luck, but rather, lots of preparation and personal branding.

Instead of feeling bad when you lose your job, and lose self esteem and not get out there to meet people, you need to wake up and seize the opportunities available. You may have great experiences and skills, but may not have opportunities for people to discover them. Today, many people are leveraging on the Internet to help them for career advancement, get more opportunities for people to discover their talent, skills and passions. Can you share your passions and talents, can your skills be discovered?

People tend to stay on a job or position for an average of 4.1 years, and with today's dynamic economy, only your personal brand is a constant. How do I learn the latest skills? How can I make sure I have marketable skills? How can my skills be always in demand? How do I find a job before it is open in the market?

These questions and many more can be answered by your network, when you start building it. It is not true that only sales people need to have a big network, as know more people increases visibility, and visibility creates opportunity.

Your action is in your hands, but you can learn more at this personal branding workshop on 21 Jan 2011 (Fri). This is a lifetime opportunity, and people of all ages and career level can benefit from learning the proper ways to be a superstar in your job to springboard that career!

Social media arsenal, unleash your personal brand workshop

You deserve better!

-- Robin Low

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great use of YouTube for ReBranding

I came across this YouTube video for GM, and in view of what had happened, it felt like a great Crisis communications piece to address the reactions and anger from the public and acknowledging the shortcomings and thanking their customers and the people of USA for bailing them out of the financial crisis.

The best ads now are like movies, which are directed in such a way that they can convey a message and touch people, and somehow get people to relate with the message.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Social Media and mature workers in an Economic downturn.

There are a lot of talks about upbeat market, growth opportunities and booming market, especially in Asia. However, I still meet a lot of people who are under employed. And there is no wonder why many of the underemployed and unemployed people are the more matured workers who are aged above 45 years old.

Technology has advanced and many things have changed. Globalization created a lot of opportunities and challenges. The old mindset of getting a degree and climb up the corporate ladder does not work in most cases right now. Today, a degree is nothing special, and it is highly unlikely to stay in the job for a long period of time.

With the instability of the financial system, mergers and acquisitions, it is very common to get retrenched and lose your job. When the economy is good, people move up or move to another company for better prospects.

However, for people who are not as savvy with new channels of communications, they can be at a severe disadvantage. There is a high co-relation between unemployed, underemployed and the older workers. Almost overnight, many later-in-life employees were forced into the job market without the know-how to find and compete for scarce opportunities while decimated portfolios changed their retirement expectations. They want to work but countless numbers struggle to find and keep a job.


It is not too late however as there is no law stating that older people should not get on social media and network. According to the study, "just 13% of older job seekers had used online social networking sites compared to 28% of younger job seekers." Together with the stigma of older workers, it makes it harder to find a job.

I've talked to many older people who are out of a job, and many of them seemed to have impressive credentials. At the University Alumni Club, I met people who are in their 50's and some of them has PhDs and masters degree, yet they have lost their jobs and unable find one for more than 6 months.

There was much disappointment in the room, that with their vast experience, they could not contribute back to society. After meeting them and having some thoughts later, I decided that if they have participated more in social media and personal branding, they can share their experience and perhaps possibly expand their networks and find jobs.

There are a lot these experienced could learn about engaging with others in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Writing blogs and contributing in articles could also help others and at the same time create more visibility and in turn get more opportunities.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Facebook to reach the region.

Facebook and social media is definitely a great way to reach out regionally if you are in Asia.

Indonesia Facebook Users Exceed UK and Indonesia is now the #2 country with more than 28 million Facebook users.

Recently, Philippines surpasses 18 million Facebook users
Pinoy Facebook users 6th most in the world The Philippines only trails the US, Indonesia, the UK, Turkey, and France.

With these 2 countries with tremendous growth in Facebook and social media usage, it is no wonder many companies who are in Singapore want to get on Social Media.

Using social media, companies can reach out across borders with much less costs. The statement, "My market is not on Facebook" is less and less true as more people across different demographics are beginning to join in social media.

With the increasing popularity of 3G devices, iPads, Windows 7 Phones and other Android devices, users are no longer tied down to their notebooks and desktops. The can access their social network on the go, and you can see more people now updating on Gowalla or Foursquares, thanks to new technologies.

It is imperative to engage with your customers, know what they like, and have products they care about.

If there is any time to get on social media, the time is NOW.

-- Robin Low

Monday, November 1, 2010

Allow Photo-Tagging by Fans on Your Facebook Page

If you ever wanted to allow fans to tag themselves without asking for permissions or be your friends, here is how you can do it.

Go straightly to the app settings. Just replace ‘xxxxxxxx’ with your own Page ID inside the link below will do (2305272732 is the application ID for Photo app):

How to Locate Your Facebook Page ID?

If you have not created a vanity URL for your page, you can easily obtain the page ID from the default link – the number at the back as indicated:

Once you have claimed your business page username, the page ID is no where in sight. What you can do is hover over ‘Edit Page’ then look for your page ID underneath your browser. Copy that and insert the numbers into the link above.

To find your Page ID, click on EDIT PAGE (See Red arrow on above pic)

The string of numbers in the top URL is the page ID (See red arrow in picture above)

Next: Replace your page ID to xxxxxxxxx and enter the link.

When you get into the URL, you get to see the option to allow fans to edit your photo.

This is a little complex, but it works.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Local company Video #Fail #Ulupandanbear

Phillips hired a New Media Agency in an attempt to create a "Viral video" simply failed to deliver.

Again and again, the lack of creativity shows in really cheap production and lame ads. I do not know what Phillips wants to prove!

Compared to Egyptians, this is so bad, that it is not even good.

There seemed to be bad comments all over the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter. If #ulupandanbear is there to generate bad and negative branding, it probably has brought the brand down a notch.

Having cheap thrill on making a bad video is simply lame, and WILL go viral only in a negative way.

Back to the drawing board and if Phillips is on Social Media, be prepared to respond to the possible crisis.

Also see: Mystery ‘bear’ publicity stunt backfires

-- Robin Low

Monday, September 27, 2010

Twitter name that does not inspire confidence.

Wow, if you are going to sell laptops, I don't think I'd follow a Twitter account @laptopfail and then buy a laptop from the company that owns the account.

If the Laptop fails.. its just too convenient.

Just like paying for a Hooker called VD.


-- Robin Low

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#SMWF Social Media World Forum Asia 2010 - Day 1

There were several interesting talks at #SMWF today 22 Sep 2010, and I've attended some of them.

Going to the "FREE" workshops and to the paid conference, I would say that the workshops are almost a complete waste of time... Unless you have never engaged on social media before.

In my opinion, if you just follow Mashable, you can probably get newer and better information than the sales pitches by the speakers.

Mahesh Murthy, Founder & CEO, Pinstorm

After attending almost a day of talks and panels, I find that one of the speakers, Mahesh Murthy had probably the best presentation, giving a lot of information on social media in the Indian market, as well as insights on the emerging trends.

His presentation is clear and insightful, giving a lot of takeaways which reinforces my ideas and beliefs on how social media should be integrated into a company's business processes.

The Free Workshops:

As with most cases in Singapore, if you offer "FREE WORKSHOPS" Many people will come. The workshop areas are simply too small, and many were left standing. I thought people have to register to go to the workshops, and they have some advance notice on how many people would attend, but I guess, I was wrong. It seemed like pretty bad execution.

The projector screen was too small, and I could not see anything as the presenters had fonts that are too small as well.


My friend Jeremy Woolf from Text100 was there to be on a panel, but I felt that he should be a speaker as the other people on the panel seemed to be just there for show.


Interesting ideas from #SMWF.

In social media, brand tone of voice is important during engagement.

Communicating for an investment bank vs communicating for a coffee shop is different.

Having copywriters respond to inquiries works better than scripts. You do not look like a bot, yet you could have a consistent tone of voice that fits the brand.

Shifts in technology and expectations - Do companies need REAL TIME MARKETING, 24/7?

Companies and brands should not focus on copyright but rather communicate and connect.

To be credible, one does not buy media -- one earns media.

Active social media presence helps in SEO searchability.

Lastly, its a great place to meet friends. The social media crowd in Singapore is so small, you are bound to bump into people you know.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, September 16, 2010

YouTube Statistics 2010

Some YouTube Statistics 2010

Interesting figures about YouTube in 2010

-- Robin Low

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Social Media for an older crowd?

Social media is maturing in many countries, and on many reports on the Media today, you start to see the trends of older folks getting on social media.

With saturation among the younger traffic, and social media being readily available on mobile applications, the older folks -- folks above the age of 50 years -- are also participating in social media.

Recently speaking to a crowd of senior Alumni at an NUS event, I realized that even in Singapore, especially among the educated crowd, more seniors are also getting on social media.

If your marketing plan assumes that only teenagers are adopting social media, you could be making a very costly mistake. Nearly half of Americans between 70 and 75 are now online, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “Social media are giving seniors a voice, and for a generation that has sometimes felt isolated and overlooked, that’s no small feat,” said Sarah Hoit, chief executive of My Way Village, which designs online social networks for older adults.

In an article by Mashable, Baby Boomers and Seniors Are Flocking to Facebook

Trends can be seen that this group of people often forgotten when we speak about social media is actually slowly getting into Facebook and reading blogs.

With families becoming ever more spread out, using Facebook or Twitter is likely the best and cheapest way to stay in touch. In addition, these older users may be executives and using a professional social network such as LinkedIn as part of their careers as well.

The older demographics are likely the parents and grandparents of those younger users. In Singapore, it is sometimes hard to meet your children and grandchildren, and social media enables these seniors to stay in touch with what their families are doing.

With more seniors online, is it time to change your marketing strategy to include seniors in mind?

I'll be conducting a social media course at Aventis School of Management on 23 and 24 Sept, 2010.
The Social Media Marketing Workshop

-- Robin Low

Friday, August 20, 2010

Business And Social Media: A Potent Mix?

There will be a social media panel on Aug 26, 2010 at Suntec City Singapore, 7:30am.

The panel will discuss the importance of social media across various industries, how their companies use social media, the problems they faced and the latest happenings on social media in Singapore today.

You get a chance to meet the panel and ask them questions if you are interested to run your very own social media campaign in Singapore.

Come join us at the NUSS Graduate Club, breakfast is included.

-- Robin Low

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blogger Sharing Widget

New Share buttons are now available on blogger.

When you log on to blogger, you can see it immediately, but if you miss it, this is how you can add the widget to your blog.

Click on "Design"

Click on "Edit" link (under Blog Post)

Check the box, "Show Share Button"

And now, your blogs on blogger can be shared easily by reader and your followers!

-- Robin Low

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Evolving communication channel

The Internet is evolving. Technology is changing the way people communicate and get information. With today's evolution of media, especially on the digital end, marketing and brand management is no longer as simple as just advertising or public relations. Professionals now have to accept social media as a communication channel and there is a big shift from attention to engagement. Brand management today involves not only engaging with influencers, brand advocates and detractors. It means much more today than just setting up an account on Facebook and Twitter.

On a recent Mashable blog: 5 Tips for Managing Your Company’s Brand on the Web
It is important to engage in social media, but even more important to do it right.

In my experience, it is important to have carefully crafted messages that appeal to your supporters, and clearly highlighting the values of the products and services in such a way that it not only appeals to your supporters, it is easy for them to share these messages.

Many successful companies who are in the forefront of social media, like Ford and Starbucks, have already built up such a group of supporters that they essentially have a community that talks about their brands and their products. Having an external validation of your products and services is much more powerful than a large billboard or a front page ad, as more people are likely to respond to it. Furthermore, if you have built up a big enough network of supporters, it will certainly get more exposure.

I also feel that having NEW Content everyday is not as necessary as sharing interesting content that your supporters can relate to. I realized that my cat's success on Facebook and Twitter was because I shared many relevant videos, and entertaining news, coupled with a few "witty kitty" quotes with an attitude. Compared to my twitter and Facebook account where I blog and add new photos and opinions regularly, it was much easier for my cat to find her niche and influence more people.

Social media is also more than just numbers, although many "success matrix" that people understand is usually based on number of fans or followers. Success is also attributed to retweets, likes, shares and various other influence metrics. I have known a few people who have only about 100 friends on Facebook, however, they seem to get much more engagement that most of my other friends with more than 3000 friends on Facebook. Numbers do play a part, however one must not forget that social media is still a lot about engagement and message.

-- Robin Low

Friday, June 25, 2010

Understanding Social Media in Singapore

Prof Michael Netzley from SMU did a research on why we go online in Singapore.

The results clearly show that from the people surveyed, the #1 reason people go online nowadays in Singapore is for social interactions. Coming in Second, is News.

On 16 June 2010, "Orchard Road" became a trending topic on Twitter, and it was due to an unexpected flood that happened that flooded the tourist shopping district. This high volume of tweets coming from a small country like Singapore actually made it to the trending topic because there are actually about 930,000 Twitter users in Singapore, and since Twitter is growing fast in Singapore and people in Singapore like to interact socially and share news, it is no wonder, a surprising news and photos on the flood was well received and well shared.

In 2010, Twitter has emerged as a force inside Singapore. This finding would be consistent with Edelman's Digital Brand Index.

There is still a very low activity on online sales however, but with a population of 4.6 million, and the increasing investments of companies to go online, I believe this figure would slowly change and increase.

The thing is, Singapore's market is not that fast to embrace technology, and is a few years behind the US. A recent US report showed that there is still a growth in E-Commerce in the US.

Leading metrics firm, comScore, released its Q1 U.S E-Commerce Spending Report recently, finding that online retail spending approached $34 billion in Q1 2010, which represents a 10 percent boost compared to last year. The surge symbolizes the first time that growth rates hit double-digits since the second quarter of 2008.

Deals and promotions on Twitter is still well received.

There is also a growing trend on spending on Facebook.

Overall, there are also a lot of money spent on other services online:

An observation made by Brian Solis on his blog "Facebook and Twitter users spend 1.5x more online than the average Internet user" also shows that members of social networking sites spend 1.5x more online than the average Internet user.

Though you may think that online sales are not directly though Facebook and Twitter, these results show that engagement really does drive sales and increase revenue.

In the world of social media, where people are constantly engaging with one another, sharing news and information, having your presence felt, and engaging with the public is increasingly becoming important.

Learning to harness the power of social media to spread word of mouth is key, and failing to engage on social media may in time prove to be a very big mistake many companies cannot afford to pay.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Advertisement Fail

There is a definite need for more social media awareness in Singapore. Anyone who use twitter will recognize the image below.

Fail Whale Advertisement in Singapore

However, SMRT has the following ads in the MRT stations.

Do you see the resemblance now?

Fail Whale = FAIL

And it does become a joke when you advertise "FAIL" for your services.

The marketing team at SMRT definitely needs to be on Twitter.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Singapore Tops the world in Adoption of Social Media

The adoption of social media is astonishing in Singapore. As world adopts and embraces social media, the businesses in Singapore are very proactive in leveraging on social media for marketing.

With the increasing popularity of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the media has been sharing success stories of companies who have benefited from social media. As a result, many Singapore companies are very interested and want to have strategies in place to leverage on social media. In this article -- S'pore firms top social media adoption -- by ZDNet, results of a survey puts Singapore company on top in terms of social media adoption for companies at 20%, almost three times greater than the worldwide average of 7 percent.

Though there are more companies in Singapore starting to use Facebook and Twitter, many of them have not embraced the Web 2.0 tools and mentality, and most companies are broadcasting their messages, with little effort to engage in conversations. I have personally tried to @reply to some of these companies on Twitter, and a lot of them do not reply.

Some of the companies do want to put in effort initially, however, the enthusiasm dies down when they fail to get enough fans and followers. I feel that in social media, there is a constant need to learn the new rules and test the new tools as they emerge, and having a closed mind to reject help and learning may lead to failure.

Social media is also becoming a big business in Singapore with many new startups, PR companies and media houses now offering these services to their clients. In my opinion, it is great to have support from social media gurus and consultants for the start, however, a company needs to have the right policies, mindset and company culture to embrace social media for it to be really successful

-- Robin Low