3 Industries That Haven’t Fully Embraced Social Media

Social Media Cafe

Social Media Cafe (Photo credit: Cristiano Betta)

What industries haven’t fully embraced social media?  I can name at least three industries with social media presence but they haven’t fully embraced it.  Embracing means fully interacting with consumers where they are actually providing information, alternatives, customer interaction and actually helping to improve people’s situations.  Not the hard sell of self promotion and products.  Promote sparingly as people look at sites to add value to their life.  So which three industries?

news corporation

news corporation (Photo credit: gepiblu)

  • Newspapers/Print Media – Newspapers are struggling to adapt to the changing environment.  Many print media businesses can’t generate income from social media, they’re using an old business model in a new medium.  Recent announcement of News Corp splitting into publishing and entertainment, job losses at Fairfax Media and other newspapers closing around the world shows you why.  Others like “The Atlantic” are banned form platforms like Reddit for spamming.  However, companies like Axel Springer and New York Times Media Group have seen profits grow through different online strategies.  While “The Huffington Post“, an online newspaper, thrives on social media.
  • Financial – The financial sector  also fails in embracing social media.  Most business sites pretend to interact with consumers.  Others ignore customer interaction or make a limited effort to respond to customer service.  However, selling financial products is fine for them.  They’re missing the point.  They need to offer free information or ways to help people get out of debt.  Greater interaction and actually helping people.
English: Graph of social media activities

English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Healthcare – A sleeping giant where there’s a lack of patient engagement, social media health strategies and digital pharmacovigilance (assessing and understanding the effects of medicine).  Many people use social media to find information on and treatment of issues.  The government, healthcare bodies, businesses and practitioners should be more involved in social media.

The sectors need to understand that social media is the next stage of the business model.  You’re building the next generation of consumers to your brand.  Content and interaction are the keys.   Devising your online strategy to reach people through different platforms and mobile devices is paramount.  Seek ideas from other businesses sites.  What other industries have failed to embrace social media?  Do you have a social media strategy?

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Posted in D'oh, Ethics

July 18, 2012

Woohoo!  I finally worked out how to get my menu on the black bar of the header.  In Dashboard, go to Appearance=>Menus.  Give the Menu a name and then Save.  Go to Pages=>View All on left side.  Select your parent templates and click Add to Menu.  Then go to Categories=>View All.  Select the categories that you want for subheadings and click Add to Menu.  Now comes the easy bit, rearrange the order of how you want people to navigate around your site.  Move subheadings a little to the right when it’s under the Parent template.  If done right, it should be indented by about 1cm.  Save it.  Go to Theme Locations and select the drop down box under Secondary Menu and choose the name of the menu that you just created and save.  If you need to make your menus Static then go to April 15, 2012 journal post.  I reckon it makes my site cooler.  Hope it gives you some ideas in designing your navigation menus for your site.  Cheers and enjoy.

Posted in Journal

Improving Customer Service with Social Media

Can social media improve customer service for businesses?  Growth of your business depends on how well your customer service is.  It’s really important that you give good customer service.  The fact is, people are using social media for customer service.

The most common reasons why people use social media for customer service.

  • seeking an actual response about a service issue from the business
  • they want to praise your business for the great service that they received
  • to voice or vent their frustration on the poor service that they experienced
  • asking other people about your service experience and recommendations
  • people want to communicate to the company and not some offshore call center
  • convenience
Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

With the current consumer uptake of technology, the demand for online customer service will grow rapidly.  Businesses’ be ready.  Here are some ways you can improve customer service on social media.

  • be personal to consumers
  • respond quickly and generously give gifts or offer promotional products
  • offer Skype or live chat option with a person for sales, service, consultations, account enquiries, etc.
  • offer option for customer surveys and site suggestions to regular customers or site visitors
  • offer delivery service and create good return policies
  • customer engagement to allow booking for online meetings or appointments
  • provide information on products and common service problems with solutions
  • stock availability in stores or area
  • allow online lay-by & rain checks for customers
  • create loyalty programs
  • provide parking and transportation information to site
  • build online communities and forums for consumers and users to monitor and reward people
English: TICSS Customer Service Measurement Model

English: TICSS Customer Service Measurement Model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Businesses need to throw out the old model of ringing for customer service.  Why?  The old system needs to be reinvented to meet and exceed the people’s expectations.  Businesses can no longer funnel people through a channel.  You need a hybrid model of a funnel system and social media touch points (include mobile devices) for customer service.  You need to rebuild your customer service strategy to include all the ways people can interact with your business.  Include Sales, PR, Customer Service or Marketing to design a better customer service model.  Does PR, marketing or customer service members respond to online customer service?  What other ideas can improve customer service on social media?

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Posted in Social Media, Trends

Where is Google Search going?

Where is Google Search going?  Google recently announced the “Knowledge Graph”.  To fully understand what this means, we need to start at the beginning to see what the benefit will be.

Lance Ulanoff, Mashable‘s chief editor wrote interesting articles about this subject.  So here’s a summary of what has happened so far.

English: This is am image of Kyle David Kipp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the beginning Google began as a keyword index to search for content.  Then the arrival of links allowed Google to base its search result on content and authority links.  It built a better search result over time by adding a host of signals about content, keywords and through our queries.

The developers realised that stringing different words together changes the meaning.  Something our human brain does naturally, while Google’s brain (Artificial Intelligence) didn’t understand what we wanted.  An example of this is “Lord of the Rings”, it would search for anything that contained “lord” and “ring”.  Google needed to solve this issue.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

Amit Singhal explains it as building a huge knowledge graph where all these connected entities link to all these attributes.  To build this world they needed to build or tap into these huge knowledge databases.  So, they invested in Freebase, Wikipedia, Google Local, Google Maps and Google Shopping to name a few.  It’s described as building the Star Trek computer.

The United States is using Google Knowledge Graph first, the rest of the world will follow.  Early indications show an increase in search activity.  Here is how it works.

Google Chrome OS on VMWare

Google Chrome OS on VMWare (Photo credit: berrytokyo)

People using Google will notice that when they type in words in the search field, Google brings up list of suggested topics that you might be searching.  This is due to the fact that Google monitors what you look for on the internet and gives you suggestions based on your habits.  This is why some websites load faster due to your previous visit.

If you search for the term “Andromeda” it will list on the right hand side the galaxy, television show or the band.  If you search for example Leonardo Da Vinci (entity) you’ll get a summary bio of his life, birth and death.  You could get art, inventions, science, renaissance as suggested searches (attributes).

Google Campus 2

Google Campus 2 (Photo credit: TedsBlog)

What impact will it have on SEO when  Google enforces its stance against poor content and keyword links.  Google’s eventual aim is to allow us to ask things like “what are the seven ancient wonders” and it will list all seven of them in order and which country they are in. You could also ask it “how do I make bread” and it’ll list the ingredients and the method of how to make it.

So where to next?  Several possibilities include Google increasing these knowledge databases.  Eventually, voice activation and Google Translate will play a key role in building the AI.  Also add in Google glasses as a delivery device for this service.  Content information and authority links are vital for Google’s success.  Is this the end for content spinners and sites that contain it?  Will people help build knowledge databases for free like Wikipedia?  What other features will Google add to enhance it?  Do you think we’re heading towards a “1984” or “Star Trek” world?

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Posted in Software, Trends

June 21, 2012

Ahhh!  Dam!  I have a problem with my articles not posting to the other site properly.  So I added back in the “recent posts” widget.  I’m hoping this fixes the problem when I post my articles.  Fingers crossed.  Please work.  I’m sorry for the late articles.  This first post took longer then I expected as I wasn’t happy with the 800 words.  So, I had to rewrite and re-edit the article about 20 times.   I’m having the same problem with this second article, so I have decided to post the finished one first.  I’ll finish the second one in the next couple of days.  Decisions.  Do I put it in or leave it out, it’s so frustrating. Removed posts widget as problem not fixed.

Posted in Journal

The Dietetics Board Censors Diabetic Blogger

Day 61-2012-03-01 Bring down blood sugar

Day 61-2012-03-01 Bring down blood sugar (Photo credit: jaysalikin)

Why is the Board of Dietetics censoring a blogger?  To answer this, I need to tell you about two characters in this story.  Who will you side with?  On one side is a blogger and on the other is a large organisation.  At the heart of the matter is how the Healthcare sector is dealing with social media.

Drew Bowling wrote an article about Steve Cooksey (the blogger).  His article deals with censorship and free speech on the internet.  So, let us begin.

Steven Cooksey has type II diabetes.  He took daily insulin shots to control his blood sugar level.  Steve then decided to change to a no-grain/low-carbohydrate diet (Paleo Diet) which he maintains.  His health improved and he setup a website (Diabetes-Warrior) to share his story.  His site states that he took 4 shots a day before switching to the Paleo diet and now requires no injections.  The site offers tips and his disdain for American Diabetes Association (ADA) policies and guidelines.

The Seat of Government

The Seat of Government (Photo credit: Ewan-M)

The ADA didn’t approve of Steve’s blog.  Then in January 2012, the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition stopped him because he breached the licensing law.  This means you can’t give personal diet advice, freely or for compensation, because you breach the unlicensed practice of dietetics and will be criminally charged.  Applying this law seems strange considering people often blog about diabetes and diets.

Steve amended his comments and joined forces with the Institute of Justice to file a lawsuit against the State Board in the federal court.  The question here is, does the government’s power to license occupations supersede one’s right to speak freely.  Only time will tell.

Marietje Schaake @ State of Social Media Summit

Marietje Schaake @ State of Social Media Summit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who you choose is your decision.  The government, healthcare sector and businesses in that industry haven’t embraced social media properly.   People use it to find information and treatment for health related issues by researching it or joining online communities and forums.  They hate the system of guidelines because it’s not listening to them.  They want their problem solved.  Greater transparency and online community involvement is needed.  How can governments be involved?  What can the healthcare sector do to improve social media relations?  The solutions are there, you only have to look.

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Posted in D'oh, Ethics

Producing Water from Air in Drought Areas

Logo da fundação Bill & Melinda Gates

Logo da fundação Bill & Melinda Gates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can we produce water from air in drought areas?  Yes.  Why’s it important?  It’s simple, the world is running out of land to produce food.  Countries and companies are buying land in other countries to produce food.  Feeding the human population is one of the world’s biggest challenges.  Several foundations, like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, challenge younger generations to help solve world problems.

Australian industrial designer Edward Linacre, who won the James Dyson Award in November last year, has created a simple Airdrop Irrigation System.  This system obtains water from the humid air by using the soil to lower the temperature to produce condensation.

Namib desert beetle (possibly of genus Onymacr...

Namib desert beetle (possibly of genus Onymacris or Stenocara), in Sossusvlei, Namib desert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s documented that people turned air into water in ancient Ukrainian towns around 600 BC.  With his research into the Namib Desert beetle, it gave him the concept and insight to use their natural ability.  With nature the providing solution, the logical step to solve the problem was to merge science and nature.

Australian rural communities, and around the world, fight to grow crops in increasingly difficult conditions.  In order to save these communities, he needed to design a way to make it easy for farmers  to install and maintain the system.  So Edward  Linacre produced a low-tech, self-sufficient solar-powered solution.  At this development stage, it produces 40 ml of water in an hour from the air.

Mandala irrigation

Mandala irrigation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a lot of interest from around the world and in Australia.  However, it’s the industry interest in trying to develop the concept into the agricultural system and for large-scale development that is the next step of evolution.  Edward’s current aim is to now look for an industry partner.    His goal is to see this implemented in a global scale for drought-stricken communities.  Do you think communities will benefit from this solution?  Should this device be used to help poorer farming communities around the world?  Can solutions be found from merging science and nature?  What other solutions can we create from this concept?

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Posted in Ethics, Whoohoo

June 12, 2012

Decided to change the right side bar.  The Archive widget seems useless, so I have removed it.  I also realised that the RSS feed with the recent articles can replace the recent posts widget.  So I removed it as well.  It looks far better now, I’m glad I did it.  The site is still missing something, what is it?  Dam!  I still haven’t put a “Thank You” page.  I need to fix this asap.

Posted in Journal

May 30, 2012

This is a big thank you to all the people who are sharing this site.  I would also like to thank all the people who have added RSS feeds of this site to their communities.  Thanks for sharing and helping to grow this site. 🙂 Keeping this site maintained is never easy and it’s a reminder that when businesses enter social media they need to invest time to help it grow.  Always try to communicate to your followers as much as possible.

Posted in Journal

HTML5 – Merging Websites and Mobile Devices

What’s HTML5?  Why’s it merging websites and mobile devices?  HTML is basically the written coding or language that runs the internet.  It’s going to change the way we deal with the internet using desktops and mobile devices.  In other words, this software update is making our lives easier.  How’s this is going to impact on businesses and online communities?

The main improvement areas are Multimedia, Storage and How we view sites on devices.

English: Computer icon of Adobe Flash CS4 Prof...

English: Computer icon of Adobe Flash CS4 Professional (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It now supports multimedia,  which means sites can embed media with simple tags.  To put it simply, you will no longer need to download plugins like Adobe Flash or Java to watch videos or listen to music.  This also means streaming multimedia on smartphones without the need for plugins.

Then comes storage that allows you to store offline data for web apps.  This means that you can create files or draft emails when your offline and when you connect it will automatically synchronise with the web-based app.

The biggest impact will be in viewing sites on devices.  It  adjusts automatically to the size of the browser in displaying the size and amount of text on it.  To simplify it, you’ll only need a website for mobile devices.  This is a big bonus for businesses and online communities.  This means that it will be cheaper to produce than mobile apps for systems like iOS or Android.  This may mean that organisations don’t need to hire developers to make digital, app-like experiences.

Icarus Tablet Bluefire

Icarus Tablet Bluefire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s also a greater increase in the use of drag and drop function on websites and apps.  It’s going to streamline many of the common functions for users.

As a consumer, we won’t notice it.  Maybe, televisions and appliances with screens will probably be the next evolution stage.    Businesses need to think how to incorporate layouts and designs to make website content appealing.  Why?  Mobile users can now see you.  Does your site need a social media facelift?  Time to look at free sites that offer drag and drop templates for business websites.

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Posted in Software, Trends

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© Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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