Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Key to Social Media Success is to Stay Focused

This man needs no introduction. If you've been around the social media marketing scene, you know Mark Schaefer.

Luckily, I caught up with Mark for a fun, friendly chat in Auckland over breakfast and coffee. Off the cuff, I let fly three questions. His answers were original and insightful.

This video blog is Episode 1 of Marketing Madness. In case you missed the memo, it's my new YouTube Show! Watch it. Send in your feedback. Stay tuned for more...

Marketing Madness - Episode 1

Interview with an authentic social media marketing expert, Mark Schaefer

AT: Author. Blogger. Professor. Trainer. Consultant. Speaker. How do you do it? How do you multi-task and keep your sanity?

MS: The key is to stay focused and not get swayed by shiny object syndrome. I focus on 3 Cs: Clients. College. Content. If it doesn't make money or connect with people, don't do it.

AT: Your Business Grow blog is the go-to place for high-value content. Hottest topics in social media and digital marketing explained in a simple way. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MS: From people. Paying attention to what they are asking, thinking, talking about. The question you ask me today will probably become a blog post.

AT: You travel the world for business. What are your thoughts on social media marketing in the Asia Pacific region? How is New Zealand shaping up?

MS: NZ is a beautiful country full of well-educated people. The opportunities for social media marketing here are enormous. The social media market is ready to explode out here.

Social Media Coverage

The key is to stay focused.Learn what you need to do to be successful.Pay attention.The social media marketing scene in NZ is ready to explode.- Mark Schaefer | Interview | [Marketing Madness Ep.1]
Posted by Amar Trivedi on Monday, July 27, 2015

  • Mark has written 5 best-selling business books. His latest is: The Content Code


A must-do #DnAselfie at The Coffee Club to kick off the excitement

Mark reacts to the sound of the Tui - an intelligent NZ native bird

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In Cyber Security — You Snooze, You Lose

  • Spring of 2007- Estonia is brought to a standstill as ping floods and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks crash the websites of the parliament, banks, ministries, and media. The level of sophistication of the digital onslaught is unprecedented.
  • Titan Rain- Code word for one of the biggest cyber-espionage cases in history, it refers to a series of coordinated attacks labelled an Advanced Persistent Threat. Hackers infiltrated computer networks for years and stole ‘classified’ data from Lockheed Martin, Sandia National Labs, NASA...
  • Heartbleed- A malicious bug that attacks vulnerabilities in OpenSSL encryption software to steal logins, passwords, and secure keys. It affected the servers of the world’s most popular sites — Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Yahoo!, etc. Most worryingly, it impacted mobile (iOS + Android) devices & hardware. The full extent of its damage is unknown.

I wish the above were from a film script titled, Dark Dawn over Cyberia. But these are real, reported incidents. Even more alarming is that cyber-attacks are getting stronger, bigger, faster, sneakier, and stealthier.
Cyber-crime costs the world economy up to $575 billion per year, according to a McAfee-CSIS report. Across continents, it erodes the GDP of countries and undermines technology, innovation, employment, trade and reputation.

Everyone Online Is at Risk

For banking, insurance, military, and healthcare companies, cyber security is a lifeline. But in today’s hyper-connected world, it’s not just the regulated industries that are exposed to danger.
Most of us work in always-on, social business environments. Our day-to-day spans geo-locations, time zones, and technologies. We log in to several social networks on different devices, access data from various websites and servers, and collaborate with people worldwide in real time. Truth be told, we are constantly at risk. And here’s the really scary part:

Being Prepared Is Best Practice

According to The Economist’s Cyber Incident Response Report, 75% of businesses have suffered a security incident in the past two years. While that usually causes loss of productivity and business-critical data, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
The damage is doubled if the story gets out and snowballs into a full-blown PR and media crisis. Makes sense why 57% companies prefer not to report breaches, unless legally required.
It’s the loss of control, customer confidence and, occasionally, brand equity that makes cyber security a top priority. More than IT, it is now business strategy. Given the unpredictability of cyber-attacks, however, 100% prevention is a pipe dream.

Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail

Risk mitigation is our best defence. Awareness, education, and understanding are our best weapons against cyber-crime. Prepare to shield your business:

I.   Strategy

Make security a part of your digital strategy. Design an Attack Response, Remedy, and Recovery Action Plan. Include what-if scenarios, what to do, who to contact, etc. Share it with all in the organization. Should a breach occur, have a contingency policy ready with a detailed crisis management and damage containment process.

II.   Personnel

Despite installing protection software, most incidents are picked up by alert staff. It is imperative to have a dedicated team of cyber watchdogs to ensure security across the enterprise. Train employees to consider vigilance a virtue with regular risk assessments, virtual scans, and security drills woven into workflows.

III.   Infrastructure

Investing in reliable enterprise social software is an important step in averting an online security crisis. Using a cobbled set of standalone, consumer-grade tools can create problems of non-compliance and expose your company to many risks:
  • Multiple individuals with admin-level access to social media pages
  • Access management in multiple places (i.e. within each individual network) making account adds, moves, and changes inconvenient and prone to error
  • Inability to enforce review and approval of messages prior to posting
  • Poor or no auditing ability; lack of archiving capabilities; limited or no automated scheduling
  • Incompatibility between new-old versions; separate upgrades for every piece of the puzzle
On the other hand, a holistic, enterprise-grade social relationship platform from a security-certified vendor provides robust data architecture and a secure work environment through:
  • Ability to monitor, moderate, and enforce controls at scale
  • Configurable user-based roles linked to your organization’s active directory
  • Embedded ‘intelligent’ routing and workflow approvals
  • Automated reviewing and compliance processes
  • Smarter monitoring of risks via volumetric & influencer-based alerts, and a ‘kill switch’
  • Enterprise-level security protection (SOC 1 + SOC 2 Type II SSAE16 certifications)
When choosing an enterprise technology partner, use this checklist to ensure the highest standards of compliance and risk management:

For more information on managing / mitigating risks, download the enterprise guides to 

social compliance

social governance,

and crisis management.

Sprinklr CEO, Ragy Thomas on how brands can cope with risk and ensure compliance.

About the author:
amar trivedi social business strategyAmar Trivedi is a Management Strategy Consultant with international experience in Marketing and Communications across cultures, markets and brands. Passionate about helping companies achieve success via social business, he advises leadership teams to deploy social technology to build collaborative relationships, leverage content marketing, and create memorable customer experiences. A blogger, copywriter, storyteller, speaker, Amar champions fun, creativity and happiness in the workplace. He tweets as himself @Mr_Madness

This post was originally published on Sprinklr Experience Management Blog.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Social Business: The Difference Between Survival and Extinction #socbiz

Social business used to be a buzzword.

Today, it’s a must-have survival tool. Consider this: As many as 93% of marketers now use social media for business, and 67% use social technology for marketing strategies.
Social business is a journey of change spanning the entire business model. It’s a people-centric movement founded on social relationships and focused on transparency, engagement, open information exchange and above all, human interaction. It permeates all levels and functions across the enterprise.

Why all the fuss about being a social business? Is it really such a big deal?

This isn’t hype. For starters, social business transformation offers three significant benefits:
1. Employee Engagement: Motivated, happy employees create happy customers. Their voice (i.e. content) is the marketing. The culture is the brand. When employees are empowered, tech-enabled and actively encouraged to engage through social, they become the company’s strongest advocates.
2. Enterprise-wide Collaboration: Social business success is defined by carving your own ecosystem, a network of networks, via:
  • Activating branded communities across social channels.
  • Identifying brand advocates– internal and external.
  • Building social capital, influence and thought leadership.
Social business puts the vital framework of technology and social relationships in place, which enables collaboration at scale.
3. Smarter Information Management: In a network of social business relationships, an idea for innovation, a new project, or a customer lead can come from anyone, anywhere, 24/7. An open “receive and share” culture optimizes resources (knowledge, talent, content) and streamlines business processes leading to marked improvements in productivity, problem-solving, insight generation and customer service.
According to ExactTarget’s 2014 State of Marketing survey, more than 60% of CMOs plan to increase spending on data/analytics and marketing automation technology this year. Social business is the evolution of social media, a logical next step for your business.

How do we get started? Where does social business begin?

Social business is a marathon, not a sprint. The transformation begins on the inside and gradually grows out. For that to happen, basically you need:
  • Social Infrastructure: For social relationships to flourish, a good, scalable infrastructure is critical. Your social technology should seamlessly integrate key functions (marketing, sales, CRM, IT, HR, R&D, CX), analyze data across various touch points via social listening, and intuitively generate insights from customer intelligence.
  • Social Employees: Training and empowering employees to leverage social technology should be embedded into workflows within the enterprise, community and beyond. While relationship-building skills are paramount, a flair for strategy, analytics and content marketing are invaluable as well. A good place to start would be to appoint a social strategist.

In a nutshell, social business is about future-proofing your business. It could be the difference between survival and extinction.

About the author:
amar trivedi social business strategyAmar Trivedi is a Management Strategy Consultant with international experience in Marketing and Communications across cultures, markets and brands. Passionate about helping companies achieve success via social business, he advises leadership teams to deploy social technology to build collaborative relationships, leverage content marketing, and create memorable customer experiences. A blogger, copywriter, storyteller, speaker, Amar champions fun, creativity and happiness in the workplace. He tweets as himself @Mr_Madness


It's true. We live in a conversation economy. I experienced it. A comment I wrote on Jeremy Epstein's blog led to a conversation which led to an invitation to write a blog on social business.

I consider myself privileged to share my thoughts on a subject I'm passionate about via Sprinklr - Experience Management | Social at Scale. I'm fortunate the blog post attracted intelligent comments from leading marketers and social business experts - from around the world.

A lot goes into producing a blog. To give credit where credit is due, I have many amazing Sprinklr-ites to thank for the above post. Many Thanks to:

  • Jeremy Epstein - for the invitation
  • Uyen Nguyen - for overall supervision
  • Jessica Rodriguez - for content distribution
  • Kara Lee - for content management
  • Brad Hess - for content coordination
  • Esteban Contreras - for social awesomeness :)
  • Darren Garnick - for editing and proofing

To sign-off on a smile, a cartoon from The Geekly Group:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moments of 2013 --- The Year That Was In Pictures, Tweets, Photos, eBooks and Digital Marketing Milestones

Zeitgeist 2013 :: Discover what the world searched for with Google's year in review? What were the hottest trends? Which buzzwords became household terms? Which fads entered pop-culture? Take a look back with Google Search | Trends.

From a new pope to a new prince, let's remember the biggest moments of the year with #Zeitgeist2013

  • The World in Tweets: Defining moments of the year that was 2013 on Twitter.

  • Top 10 Photo Gallery: A look back at 2013 via TIME

  • Top examples of Content Marketing: 10 Free eBooks - just for you!

  • Infographic by Exact Target: Major digital marketing milestones in 2013.

2013 Recap Infographic
This infographic is brought to you by ExactTarget.

  • Bonus Content: Another gripping throwback video by the artful Jean-Louis Nguyen.

What Brought Us Together: Everything that happened in 2013 - in 6 minutes!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Social Business - A Competitive Advantage [DECK] #SocBiz

The Social Business Guiding Star

This is a story about business innovation and digital transformation, and it's happening in our backyard. A business reality that's changing the way we use social media.

Let's look at some of the world's leading brands and analyze their social success stories? Coke, Nike, Samsung, IBM, Red Bull, McDonalds, Starbucks, Virgin, Disney, Intel, Google, Amazon - different industries, markets, audiences - but all with large, buzzing, engaged online communities.

What really makes them tick? 
  • They are present on platforms where their customers are
  • They are available when their consumers want to buy
  • They know their community and provide content that resonates
  • They empower employees to connect as brand advocates
  • They have built relationships with communities to generate sales, offline and online 
  • They have built their own digital ecosystem to offer a great customer journey
  • They transformed their business models, ever-innovating to fit changing marketscapes
  • They have evolved into a social business to offer exceptional customer experience

Mon, 26 August, 2013: On that note, it was my pleasure (and privilege) to be invited to Otago Polytechnic as Guest Speaker to present on Social Media for Business to Services Marketing Management students. My slideshare presentation: Social Business - A Competitive Advantage.

Thank You, Otago Polytech

Much Gratitude

Prof. Henry Ho, myself, Prof. Inna Piven, Director Freddy Variava 
Many Thanks! wonderful people (staff + students) on Auckland International Campus

Happy and humbled to have been invited... and poster-ed on the wall :-)

Social Business - A Competitive Advantage 

·         Social Business is a journey. It starts at the top, starts on the inside.

·         Social is not something you do. It's who you are.

·         Social is the way to go. Collaboration is the way ahead. Social Business is the future.

·         More than tools and technology, Social Business is about mind-shift and culture.

·         WE are the media now. The content ‘is’ the marketing. The experience ‘is’ the brand.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

IBM C-Suite Study: How CEOs view the future - Infographic

Early discoveries of a C-Suite Study conducted recently by IBM Institute of Business Value revealed how top executives see the future - upcoming opportunities + challenges, and how they envisage the work landscape changing. Register to receive the Study Overview in October 2013.

Click on the infographic to enlarge

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Rise Of Social Business. And The Benefits In 60 Secs!

Social Business is a journey.
Starts at the top. Starts on the inside.

Social is not something you do. It's who you are.

We (you + me) are the media now. 
The content 'is' the marketing.

Social is the way to go. 
Collaboration is the way ahead.
Social Business is the future.

More than tools and technology,
Social Business is about mindset and culture. 

While that's the best 5-pointer I've got, the smartest one-pager on Social Business I've come across is this infographic created by IBM Social Business, with gems like:

  • A social workforce is a smarter workforce.
  • It's your employees. And your customers. (Internal + External)
  • Turn customers into advocates.
  • There's no business but social business.

Click on the image to view enlarged version

Now that you're all stimulated, you may well ask: What are the Benefits of Social Business?

For detailed information on Social Business, visit IBM Social Business
For Infographics on SocBiz and more, http://pinterest.com/TrivediAmar/boards

Get Social. Do Business. 
Let's Build A Smarter Planet.