It’s always the ones you least expect

Some of the companies and groups who you would least expect to be working so well within the sphere of social media, are really crushing it in the US right now.

The Home Depot (think B&Q) have a ‘best in class’ Twitter strategy operating right now. They’re ticking all the right boxes to make this thing work for them: transparent, right level of frequency, engaging in discussions, answering customer questions, not too personal etc. etc.

The other surprising group who are making this work are realtors. Blogging is now an integral component of any self respecting real estate agents activity. They’re building their networks and generating leads through these networks rather than skipping the friendship building stage. They really seem to get it.

If estate agents can make this work…….

You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.

You know how it is when you’ve meticulously planned a house party? Chairs have been carefully arranged, playlist set and ready to go, lights dimmed to suitable level etc. etc.

And then the guests arrive.

They say their “hellos” and start the smalltalk. Politely accept a canapé and take their first drink. More and more arrive.

And then the early guests disappear. Gradually more and more people are congregating in the kitchen. People have loosened up a bit. Gossip begins to flow. Secrest are shared with strangers. THIS is where the real party is!

You can’t go in there and corral everyone back in. They’re likely to just make their excuses and leave early.

And so it seems it is with businesses and social media.

People are realizing that the really cool people, are hanging out in the kitchen – on Facebook, Twitter or on Blogs. Company websites – the host’s living room for the sake of this analogy – is where the party line (sorry!) is being followed. There’s nothing wrong with the living room of course. It’s beautifully designed, comfortable and feels just right. But more and more, people want the inside track – secret offers, direct dialogue, a proper and human reaction to a complaint or question.

The kitchen is now where the real party is happening.

LeBron ‘King’ James launches on Twitter

Anyone who has been following the free agency circus over the last few days will have heard that LeBron James has launched on Twitter. What makes this so stunning is the speed at which he was gathering followers. Whilst the two other main free agents – Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh – continued to send oblique tweets giving no clear sign of what their plans were, LeBron kept his counsel – until Yesterday morning and the launch of @kingjames on Twitter. Within an hour he had 50,000 followers and by the end of the day had amassed over 200,000 once word got out. His opening tweet, gave away nothing of his plans – we wait until 9pm ET on ESPN for that, but what this move signalled was the central role that social now plays in all our lives.

As a new fan of the NBA and the Chicago Bulls, I have been riveted to Twitter since midnight on June 30th for any signs of where the King was going, hoping against hope that he was coming to Chitown. It had taken over my world! We now seek news from our peers rather than established news channels. We can talk to each other about these things, discuss and create our own rumours.

For now we wait for LeBron to decide, but the waiting room is now officially called Twitter.

Twitter feeds on Linkedin status updates. Is it just me?

Here’s a group discussion I started on Linkedin last week. It’s been really interesting to see how such a modest litle gripe of mine stirs such debate.

Something that has been getting a little irritating recently has been having to scroll through peoples personal activity and thoughts as they’ve linked their Twitter feed to their Linkedin status updates.

I’m delighted for you that you managed to cycle up a hill and I’m very happy that you’re becoming a father soon, or very sad that a family member is ill, but please! Even worse – family pictures are attached AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

Where’s your dignity?

If you’re going to link the two, surely your business Twitter account is more appropriate? I see this sometimes and it’s fine, albeit a little self indulgent sometimes. If you haven’t got one, get one.

Surely Linkedin is for business updates to like minded contacts?

Am I alone in thinking this, or do others really want to know the details of our personal lives, or views on the whether Lebron is coming to the Bulls – Hope he does 😉