30 07 2013
I don’t have to tell you that Social Media are all the rage nowadays. Brands are engaged in a virtual arms race, trying to conquer every social platform known to man. We need a Facebook! And a Twitter! And a Pinterest! Come on troops, we can’t stay behind! Wait, where are we?
A multitude of brands is drowning in a barrage of like and win. They have no goals (other than ‘get an abundance of vacuous likes’), no vision (other than ‘social media is the future!’) and, let’s face it, no idea what they’re doing.
We are living in a multi-channel world
The most important thing to realize is that Social Media itself are not a KPI. Being present on Social Media is not an endgame. They are merely another channel that you can earn, rather than buy, to get your message across. One of the more significant tasks when venturing into Social Media is defining these messages and assuring that they align with your offline strategy.
Be where your customers are
Trying to be present on every possible social platform is not only time-consuming, it is downright useless. If your brand caters to hardcore gamers, you probably won’t be needing a Pinterest account any time soon. An interior decorator, however, should have been adding inspiring visuals yesterday.
Content is key when it comes to a successful Social Media Strategy, but one easily forgets that all content must be adapted specifically to the various Social Media channels. One size does not fit all. Take pity on your Community Manager and do some research into your customers’ favorite platforms. This will allow your Community Manager to spend more time creating and optimizing content, rather than struggling to post to a bulk of accounts that barely reach anyone.
Of course you want to know whether or not you are gaining or losing followers. However, it is not, nor should it be your main KPI. Go beyond the headcount and choose quality over quantity. How many people did you help this week? Are people actively engaging with your brand? Are you sending a clear message that serves a purpose linked to a business goal?
Take a sufficient amount of time deciding which Social Media KPI’s you value most. They can make or break your entire Social Media Strategy.
24 07 2013
How the “always on society” risks blurring the border between work and private life
You inevitably know what it means to live in an “always on society”. The technological evolution is one of the key enablers of this new culture. It started with the growing popularity of laptops in the late nineties, which enabled people to better combine work and family by working from home. The introduction of high speed internet connectivity and mobile phones made it possible to work from any place and to be available at any time. Over the last 5 years, the introduction of smartphones increased the speed of this evolution. For many people, the distinction between work and private life is now hard to find.
Many studies have been dedicated to this subject and have revealed (surprising?) results: 81% of smartphone users checks work e-mail during the weekend, 55% reads it after 11 PM and 59% does so even during their holidays. (Source: GFI.com)
The younger generation, also known as Generation Y, scores even higher, as could be expected. A Cisco study amongst 1.800 students and young professionals in 18 countries shows that 90% of them start their day with checking e-mail, SMS, social network updates, etc. on their smartphone, almost as a ritual. They use their mobile device everywhere and at any time: during meals (almost 50%), in bed (75%), or while driving (20%). The study also reveals that they are aware of the fact that they show signs of addiction to their smartphone. 60% would like to be less connected to their mobile.
Are there any consequences or is it harmless?
These changes in our way of living can impact our wellbeing. Because they never disconnect from work, a lot of people show an increased stress level, which in some cases might lead to a burnout.
16 07 2013
We all have issues with time. There are only 24 hours in a day and we all need some sleep. I combine my full time job with studies. You can imagine that it requires some planning and a tight schedule. In this article, I will share with you why and how I manage this combination.
I finished secondary school, but never had the opportunity to get a higher education. It costs a lot of money to study. Do you have a clear idea on what you want to do for the rest of your working days? How do you choose? I started working at age 19. I have been living on my own and supporting myself ever since. I did different jobs and I loved and hated them. After 10 years, I made up my mind on who I am and what I want in life. That’s also when I started to regret not having a degree.
The need to drive revenue grows in the evolving global market. Buyers expect brands to be available on multiple channels and to be more interactive. It is complex for marketers to publish their content in a multichannel environment. Each channel, being the web, mobile, tablet, paper catalog, has its own requirements.
The most important part of the published content is definitely the product information. Without adequate data, buyers cannot know what your brand is selling. The lack of correct product information makes it impossible to publish it uniformly on the various channels. Even worse, if a potential buyer does not succeed in finding the information or product he is looking for, he will quickly continue his journey on the internet and find what he needs somewhere else.
To make it even more complex, ERP and MDM systems, the only true sources of product information, have always been focusing on providing “raw product master data” to run the enterprise. This does not help marketers in selling products. Necessary marketing and sales content is missing in those systems. Typical master data is limited to technical properties, SKU and stock information. It does not contain marketing information, such as sales text, application areas or advantages of a product.
04 07 2013
Last week, on my day off, I was walking through the city of Antwerp. Numerous people were also enjoying the city, but did they also have a day off? Or were they working remotely, on their mobile device?
Today, you don’t have to be in the office during business hours to access business data. The applications on your mobile device allow you to work from any place in the world, at any time. From anywhere, you are in control of your responsibilities.
SAP also provides mobile apps for SAP Solution Manager, available on Android & IOS mobile devices. The article “Derive Maximum Value from your IT environment with SAP Solution Manager Mobile Apps” introduces some of these handy SAP mobile apps. They can be used for System Monitoring, End user Experience Monitoring (EEM), Change Approval and Incident Management. Free demo versions are available in your app store.
What is your favorite mobile app, to support you in your job?
02 07 2013
This is probably one of the most important questions a CEO asks himself when entering his company in the morning. Or is it “Are we being efficient”, or “Are we making the right investments”?
Financial reporting is fundamental to any organization. Getting this critical information and the right report is often a long and difficult process.
Microsoft launched a new tool for this: Management Reporter 2012. This is fully integrated in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. With this application, a financial report can immediately be created in AX2012. It is easy to use, and, if needed, the report can be published on the internet with a few clicks.
A couple of everyday problems and solutions are discussed in this blog series.
Are you making profit, now you have the proper tool?