So we’d rather message people by text or interact through social media than pick up the phone to have a chat or meet face to face.

Credit: Steve Sparrow: Science Photo Library

Ofcom’s latest research shows that texting has overtaken talking for the first time: 58% of people text every day compared with 47% who make at least one daily mobile phone call. Also for the first time, there was a fall in the volume of mobile phone calls in 2011 – down by 1%.

I guess it’s not that surprising, given the dramatic rise in the use of smart phones, iPads and other tablets as 24/7 access points to all the wonders of the internet – including the plethora of social media.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012 revealed that 42% said their smart phone was the most important device for accessing the internet, with 42% regularly using social media sites and 51% using email. The average consumer accesses social media for 90 minutes a week – this is undoubtedly much higher in younger audiences.

And one comment on the BBC’s article stated: “For me, if you’re not online then you don’t exit”. (more…)

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Following on from our last blog about the changing face of social media, we invited our webinar presenter Amber Raney-Kincade to guest blog about the latest social media platform for business – Skilio.

Amber Raney-Kincade

Written by guest blogger, marketing therapist Amber Raney-Kincade

As a marketing consultant, I have two arms of my business. One is teaching seminars on marketing topics and the other is one-to-one client consultations.

The seminars are very fun to do as I love public speaking and interacting with new people. I began teaching at the City Business Library three years ago and have been featured at many other libraries and learning centres across Greater London as well.

When I started investigating venues for holding my own workshops, I found one big barrier … COST. (more…)

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Social media really is a problem, isn’t it?

Oh, there’s no doubt it works. Whether you’re an inveterate twitterer or fascinated by Facebook or love LinkedIn to manage your business network, it’s all highly effective. And I do have to confess to my own share of addiction to it all.

Plus it’s changed the face of marketing forever by radically overhauling the business-customer relationship so that, at last, the consumer really is able to take charge and change the perceptions not only of the businesses from which they buy, but of their customers as well.

But social media is not without its drawbacks … (more…)

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Did you know that yesterday was Social Media Day?

Nope, I missed it too – but what a day to have the perfect example of how email can destroy a reputation. Yes, I’m talking about THAT email from Carolyn Bourne to her prospective daughter-in-law Heidi Withers (although whether wedding still goes ahead is another question).

With names for the prospective movie being bandied about on Twitter (The Bourne Hissy-Fit being one of them), this fiasco demonstrates once again the dangers of email – and how carefully it must be handled. Vent your feelings as Carolyn did – following a weekend visit by her stepson and fiancée Heidi – and you risk all sorts of fallout, not least from the recipient. Surely a quiet word is still the best way to get things off your chest and agree the “rules of engagement”, so to speak? (more…)

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It all started with an article called “There’s more to life …” in The Sunday Times Style magazine – and it’s just carried on from there.

So this is something of a “musing” post: it’s one of those times when I’m really aware of friends, family, life and the universe – and am really thankful for what I have.

The article was triggered by a poster in (presumably London) tube stations, which promotes the benefits of camping but talks about being richer for adding “doing nothing” to the To-Do list – so you can be richer by taking time out, smelling the roses and breathing the air. (more…)

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If anyone doubts the impact and importance of social media, then this little gem from Socialnomics is well worth a watch.

The explosion of social media and its ability to reach a mass audience is unrivalled in history.  Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users … TV took 13 years … the internet took four … and Facebook had more than 200 million users in less than a year.

What is even more interesting than this extension of reach is the way social media is changing how customers buy in the first place. Consumers are now more likely to listen to the recommendation of peer (known or unknown) than buy as a result of a retailer promotion: 78% trust peer recommendation compared with 14% trusting advertisements.

It’s arguable that advertising as we know it is becoming a thing of the past … social media is ensuring that the products and services we want find us rather than waiting for the consumer to seek out the product. We seek recommendations on Facebook or Twitter and buy on peer recommendation. Or respond to an on-the-ball retailer who’s doing what we should all do – listen to our customers.

For if social media is advocating anything to those of us in business, it’s to listen.  Our customers are out there, talking about our products and services, indicating what they want to buy, and when, and at what price point. And if we listen really hard, we can find them, cater to them and reap the rewards.

To quote socialnomics: “Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men. Listening first, selling second.”

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