On the spot social networking – graylink featured in Brainstorm Magazine, November 2009

 In Press Releases, Recruitment Marketing

Article in the November issue of Brainstorm magazine, online article HERE

The world has gotten online (well, most of the world, Africa is getting there more slowly) and social networking has gone from consumer darling to corporate bugbear almost overnight. Does social networking have any redeeming features? Brainstorm decided to find out, posing the following question: Twitter – valuable tool or time-waster deluxe?

” Most super-duper technologies for corporates to improve knowledge-sharing and communications made little difference to business culture. People are people; they change very reluctantly. The ideal is a technology that synchs naturally with how real people do things. Chat. Share info. Seek status. Forget Twitter. It’s pretty mindless. But take the “Twitter model” of followers/ following/quick and searchable regular updates, etc, and redevelop it for business. It could be incredibly useful in building intelligence in a multinational sales force (intelligence sharwordsing, highlighting successes, storing knowledge). It’s a technology that fits easily into how people live and work and, therefore, has a chance of actually being adopted in daily work life. Forget Twitter – it’s a fad. But the Twitter model? That could be huge. ” Roger Hislop, Account Director at Sentient Communications

“Many people use Twitter as a simple communication tool, merely creating ‘noise’ that often wastes time and can ruin the experience. Twitter is a great networking tool and invaluable as a means to receive and share information because it is qualified by people you value (you choose to follow them), with an attached, albeit implied, referral. This has another dimension of value as referrals – in this case retweets – are the most powerful form of marketing. Used properly, Twitter can also replace RSS feeds and allow you to opt-out of most e-mail subscriptions, resulting in less ‘noise’ in your inbox.” Justin Spratt, VOIP Mobile GM at Internet Solutions

“While social networking may be viewed by business as a personal, work-distracting, playtime activity, it is important to understand that it is in these online mediums where the future workforce exists. The social network worlds of Facebook, Twitter and the like open up new, unexplored markets of opportunity and target audiences previously untapped by business. It wasn’t long ago when e-mail was considered a playtime activity and banned from usage during normal working hours. The world is connected and virtualised and those who don’t adapt internally faster than the world is changing externally, will obsolete their own model.” Rob Sussman, Joint-CEO, Integr8 Group

“The value of Twitter depends on the purpose it serves each individual user. People and businesses can use Twitter to create a network of relevant people with whom they can share content, engage customers, listen to their peers, filter content from great minds or share with the world what they had for breakfast. The value of each of the roles that Twitter plays depends on how much it serves the user’s purpose for being there. Content filtering and community participation seem to be the top personal gains, while customer engagement and listening to the market are top for businesses.” Craig Rodney, MD, Emerging Media Communications

“Twitter is a valuable tool in recruitment, helping companies directly reach top candidates in a far more cost-effective way than appointing a headhunter. Twitter can also be a tremendous time-waster if it’s unsuited to the profile of candidates targeted. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn are deep platforms where people volunteer a lot of personal information, making it easy to segment and target candidates actively looking for work. Twitter is a shallow platform, better suited to targeting passive candidates. Recruitment marketing is still marketing. Companies need to understand how social media platforms relate to recruitment to develop strategies that work.” Mark Gray, CEO, Graylink

” More and more of our personal relationships include an online element. The social web is changing the way we communicate and collaborate and also how consumers and brands interact. Companies need to embrace this change, understand the expectations and participate respectfully to benefit from the opportunities that these global conversations offer. Twitter is one of the channels that Nokia uses to interact with various niche communities to drive conversation with a local relevance. In South Africa, it is no different and we have a Nokia Music Store community with whom we interact on a daily basis, sharing latest news, service updates and also addressing any issues that the members of the community might be having with the service. Twitter provides immediacy, allowing us to gauge perception on the fly and respond accordingly.” Tania Steenkamp, communications manager, Nokia South Africa

“In a world bordering on information overload, Twitter allows people and organisations to share what is happening and what is planned, in easily digestible chunks of information. If we want to take this one step further, we could combine these seemingly random bits of information with other real-time information to generate unique insights about what is happening in the world. The derived intelligence could assist organisations to anticipate events and proactively make decisions on courses of action, ensuring a competitive advantage. Used this way, Twitter would be an invaluable “sensor” in a smarter planet.” Clifford Foster, Chief Technology Officer for IBM Sub-Saharan Africa

“It depends on how and why Twitter is being used. As with anything, it has to be used properly. If you target the right audience and send the right information, it can be an extremely valuable tool for building a brand. Companies claim to want to get closer to their customers. Now, for the first time, they can actually open a channel of communication with their customers that is instantaneous. The question is – are they equipped to deal with this? Starbucks and Google use Twitter admirably. However, if Twitter is used for puerile musings and inane comments, it can be a brand-breaker.” Yossi Hasson, CEO, Synaq

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