The Shared Economy is Encouraging Future Collaborative Growth

sharing economy

The peer-to-peer economy has grown exponentially in recent years. The internet, social media and e-commerce space has made it very easy for citizens of the world to cash in on the trend to realize their dreams. This new economy has opened the gates for young passionate entrepreneurs with revolutionary business models. Banking, shopping and renting apps have turned these tasks into more of a fad than a chore. People today find it more convenient to own certain items and share others.

There is no reason to worry about parking or living wherever in the house of your dreams anymore. The world is at your fingertips. The sharing economy not only makes life affordable, accessible and equal for everyone on the internet, but it also helps preserve resources for a sustainable future. This may very well be only the beginning of a larger movement that is being powered by the connected world we live in.

AirBnb, Uber, Lyft and other startups were first to notice the shift in preferences and were quick to take advantage of it. Now these startups are growing into multi-million and billion dollar companies. These startups have used technology to facilitate ways to borrow or rent products depending on the usage time and need. These new technologies of these peer-to-peer economic activities are helping to shape the future for building a social movement centered on genuine practices of sharing in the production and consumption of goods and services. This is not only encouraging collaborative growth, but in turn helps consumers save a lot of money while shaping the trends and opportunities of today into businesses of tomorrow! 

What Happened to Social Media User Engagement?


Brands are using social media now more than ever to build communities and drive ROI!  Forrester reports that 80% of the top 50 global brands actively post to the top five social media platforms, and their followings on those platforms has increased. However, engagement has been slowing down a lot over the last year, so smart brands are turning to new creative ways to holistically engage on social media platforms.

Brands really need to stand above the social media noise. One way of doing this is by developing a persona for your brand. Share a vine or things of interest in and to the office. Personalize your brand’s Twitter presence by including the Twitter handle of the person(s) tweeting in their bio. Join the conversation, reply to the people who take the time to tweet you a question, retweet a partner, and the list goes on and on.

It is important to present your brand as a thought leader. Be known as an expert that people turn to by sharing relevant information they can use right now. You also need to start using ads on your top of content to really boost engagement. Natural user engagement is still very much alive and can thrive under the right conditions, it just needs a little extra boost from time to time to really get the kind of reach you are looking for from your social media.  Last but not least, utilize your social tools to nurture and engage your brand’s target market in ways you never thought imaginable!

Social Enterprise Collaboration Tools Bring Social Business to Life!


Social networks for business help enterprises effectively collaborate across departments, offices and countries. These tools give employees a sense of online community and help forge connections between different parts of the business and your customers.

Some business leaders still have a hard time understanding the benefits of the social business. Organizations that have tried to make their businesses social often find that after embracing the technology initially, employees’ enthusiasm soon dies down and only a handful of workers continue to use the technology.

So, how can businesses develop a long-term social business strategy? Brian Solis and Charlene Li do a profound job of describing the success factors of social business strategy. I absolutely agree with Solis that the expectations of your connected customers and employees, and how you improve connections, conversations, and experiences will all be deciding factors of how you grow your business and increase the value of the brand.

Setting goals and roles

Social tools have evolved well beyond Facebook and Twitter, over just a few short years. We now have an opportunity to use socially-driven collaboration tools in new ways to change the way we work. You need to set your goals based on your company objectives and assign roles. Some great collaboration tools are enterprise social networking, cloud team collaboration, online communities that all enable multiple levels of sharing with external and internal members of the business. Enterprises that don’t embrace these technologies could very well risk becoming irrelevant. Your business model will always be under threat from a smarter, nimbler competitor with a new idea or a better use of technology. If you don’t want to end up like your local taxi firm you need to start collaborating with your partners, staff and customers to create innovative new ideas to stay on top.

Customer service

According to Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast Study, social networking, alongside predictive analytics, will be one of the most disruptive business technologies over the next three to five years. For many organizations, that disruption is already underway.

For those businesses that are already have a social enterprise strategy, it’s not simply about providing employees with the means to interact with each other more effectively and many interactions with customers could be improved by the use of social tools. Effectively channeling social collaboration through your socially enabled cloud infrastructure is a great way to engage with and get real time response with both your internal and external customer base.

Social media is rapidly becoming the main interaction point for customer service and external communication in the more open industries. Don’t get me wrong, content is still king, social media is just rapidly taking on a new level of interaction. In this more interactive and collaborative social world, customers now deserve more dynamic and engaging interaction.

Mandating that employees use social tools is one way to ensure new technologies are utilized, but as Solis alludes to above people will often get side-tracked unless the social aspect of business is firmly engrained in it’s culture.

The best way to bring culture of sharing is by collaborating across the organization. This is all made much easier by the accessibility and connectivity of a cloud infrastructure combined with open communication that good social tools or the right enterprise social network can bring. Your business needs to open culture and leadership in order to holistically make the cloud, social and mobile technology work effectively.

Business must understand what they’re trying to achieve before they set off on the journey, and be committed to making cultural changes to the way they work. If you are not a business that offers social collaboration, your customers may force your hand and insist you rapidly change your approach. New modern devices are getting more advanced every day, always-on mobility and the way your data is consumed proves social collaboration isn’t the ideal, it’s the new norm and if you do not jump on board you will get left behind.

Image Credit: OneDesk

Small Business Social Media Tips


Social media may be the last thing on your mind after a long day of managing employees, interacting with customers, ordering inventory and keeping track of your finances. But it’s an important tool that can help you market your small business and engage with customers.

Social media marketing has proven it’s here to stay, has sustainable ROI and companies are finding ways to accurately measure their success. If you engage in social media marketing wisely, it will be your most cost-effective marketing tool. I think social media is largely defined by its ability to enable a new form of word of mouth. For small businesses, social media enables them to embrace this new power of word of mouth marketing and use it to build a powerful bond with their audience. Here are some simple ways small businesses can optimize their social media presence.

Set goals and benchmarks

It is important to clarify your company’s strategy and goals, so that you know what you are working towards. Your goals don’t have to be extensive; you can aim to increase your number of followers or engagement with customers, or to get sales leads directly through social media. Set clear benchmarks before you start any online marketing campaign and throughout, in order to have a clear measure of success.


Optimize your website

Your social media accounts should focus on driving users to your website, so it is very important to have a website that reflects your brand and is up to date with your most current content, products, services, etc. Make sure all of your social media accounts include a link to your website and vice versa. I like to use a website as a social media hub, that links all of their social media platforms together. It is important to identify your target keywords. Optimize your content great for your community and search engines. Use Google Suggest and Google Adwords to identify the right keywords to use blog posts, and be sure to optimize all of your social media platforms for search engine optimization (SEO).

Share content

Social media is about more than just selling your products and services; it’s a chance to engage with your customers and establish your business as an industry expert. Sharing content – whether it’s original articles, aggregated articles, photos or videos – is a great way to engage with your customers.

People are also looking for something authentic. They want to know the real you. If you’re business is a hotel, for example, share information about hotels that’s not directly related to your business. If you own a sports store, tweet about and to the athletes your business is affiliated with. If you own a bakery, post Instagram photos of your staff frosting cupcakes behind the scenes.

I strongly recommend sharing before selling. Sharing other industry leaders content at a ratio of four to one before you promote your business is a good place to start. This will also encourage other thought leaders to share your content. You are now ready to effectively launch your small business social media. Good luck and be sure to contact us with any questions.

Image Credit: WireWalkers

Top Social Media Trends in 2015


If we had only two or three big social networks out there, the jobs of marketers and social media managers would be a lot easier. The digital landscape is growing exponentially everyday though. The challenges brands thus face involve a bigger, yet scattered audience; more diverse, yet fragmented social platforms; and an ever more competitive environment with impressive marketing efforts, such as Airbnb’s innovative Hollywood & Vines campaign and the highly successful #ShareACoke campaign and took it to another level with Diet Coke’s stroke of packaging genius at the end of 2014.

A recent study states that one quarter of the world’s population uses social media. This means that 1,730,000,000 people are posting, pinning, tweeting, vining and instagraming. Brands have to be have social media evangelists on hand to keep them up-to-date with the latest developments and strategically investing resources into the trends that are likely to stick around. Here are a few of the top social media trends I see trending in the next year or two.


The first successful steps to push forward more sophisticated Scommerce were seen in 2014, for example with the introduction of Twitter Product Cards and innovative campaigns on Pinterest, such as Nordstrom’s extraordinary multi-channel campaign, creating a consistent customer experience across email, social and offline. Most recently and particularly exciting for ecommerce brands are developments for network-driven sales, a crucial category of Scommerce. We saw increased efforts to simplify the social network-driven buying process for online shoppers with both Twitter and Facebook pioneering the testing of “Buy” CTA buttons. Allowing users to purchase on networking sites is a no-brainer, considering for example Twitter’s liability to their shareholders and the massive growth of social media and ecommerce. A holistic co-operation of both industries yields huge potential for marketers. The perks? Another streamlined sales channel. The danger? Social media is about customer engagement and building genuine relationships and this goes agains all those rules.

Integrated social advertising

The social advertising trend from 2014, which saw Snapchat’s first ad, video ads on Instagram, auto-play video ads on Facebook and a greater variety of Twitter cards, will continue in 2015. In addition to new and enhanced social advertising channels, I also expect to see exciting new ways of firmly integrating social advertising with brands’ data bases and omnichannel strategies for sophisticated and contextual targeting. If you build your social advertising on rich and accurate behavioural data stemming from website, email, apps etc., and if you closely interlink it with your other channels, you open the door to the Cockaigne of social advertising with endless opportunities, from reactivation campaigns by serving ads to inactive or bouncing email contacts, to automating social retargeting and retention campaigns based on previous actions of your target audience. And bear in mind, the better integrated with your other marketing resources, the more relevant and tailored your social advertising will be and the less users will feel commercialized.

 The revolution of mobile

More effectively than any other channel mobile lets brands create (and take advantage of existing) compelling micro moments at different stages of the purchase journey, be it through SMS, push notifications or in-app product recommendations. With technological progress in terms of geofencing and geotargeting retailers should put mobile and owned mobile apps at the core of their marketing activities reaching their customers with timely and highly contextual messages on a one-to-one basis. Considering a worldwide mobile penetration of 93%, major social networks are constantly improving their mobile presence. Social websites and apps being among the most used features on mobile, 2015 will inevitably see optimised web and social media sites becoming the norm and geo-targeted, contextualised real-time content an indispensable component in every digital marketing strategy.

 Social video

Instavid, Vine, Snapchat, Hyperlapse – social video is up and coming holding two major benefits for brands. First, audio-visual storytelling is emotionally compelling so share your story and display your products with beautifully crafted messages. Secondly, vloggers and micro-vloggers are a great way of getting your message in front of your audience. But don’t collaborate with influencers only, common users produce a lot of content on new platforms such as Vine and Instagram – tap into this productivity and make user generated content part of your marketing strategy.

Picture Credit: LinkedIn

Social Media in the Palm of Your Hand!

future - of - social-media-

Top brands are still figuring out that there is more to success online than simply getting people to follow you on Twitter. One of the things I love about social media is that there still is not a playbook that you can use to know everything about social media. Brands need to find unexpected and imaginative ways to get their target audiences to engage.  Only the top campaigns will holistically take on a life of their own in social media.

These top brands will have very differentiated outlooks on social media. They will give their audience something unique that they can’t get elsewhere and give them a reason to share it. Brands have to understand that everybody portrays social media differently, there is no right way of doing it, but internally it all should be the same. Something as simple as the same #hashtag structure or as complex as your defined target audience for your ad buys can be detrimental to your success.  If you get those things right, you can achieve amazing return on investment.

Content is without a doubt still king and the key is making your content easy to share. It is gets harder every day for brands to stand out in social media. The industry is over saturated and it can be difficult to stay focused and make certain your brand has a social media voice of it’s own. But a social media campaign with the correct mixture of creativity and relevance can create lasting engagement with audiences at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.