Archive for May, 2010

Wisdom London’s World Cup Triumph

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by wisdomlondon

London, Monday 24 May: Football fever reached the glitterati today, as Wisdom London unveiled their 2010 World Cup Planner in good, old-fashioned poster format.  In a shock move, newly-transferred Wisdom London designer Ellie Gibson cast aside her Mac and reached for her art pens, bringing hand-drawn love to this modern masterpiece.


As Wisdom-lovers across the country dug out their blu-tac and proudly displayed their World Cup Planner on their office walls, it was clear that football is indeed coming home.  The sound of referee whistles and gasps of admiration were audible up to the length of a football pitch away.

Beautiful game

Wisdom London manager Kate Spiers told our reporters of the story behind this triumph of football-related artistry. “We knew we had to play a good game this season” she admitted. “We thought a lot about strategy, formation and performance – and it’s paid off.  The team did a great job.  Their commitment was amazing.  This really is the beautiful game”.


And as fifty lucky footie fans reach for their marker pens in anticipation of that first kick-off, it is clear that this young, creative squad has the dedication and imagination to go far.


“We won’t stop here,” vowed Spiers last night. “We have plenty more moves up our sleeves and we won’t take our eye off the ball.”

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Social Media Revisited (and why SM workshops rock)

Posted in marketing strategy, social media with tags , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by wisdomlondon

Last week I heard an industry colleague soundly dismissing the concept of social media workshops and training, with the view that people should “just do it”.  Well, I’m defending social media workshops because I really, really believe in their value.

There’s the kind of value that some of us recognise as a given – the opportunities these workshops provide to learn, share ideas and focus energies, for example. But the beauty of this activity is the unexpected stuff it brings to the fore too.  Looking at social media through fresh, un-practiced eyes can be very enlightening.

Yesterday, I ran a social media workshop with a brilliant client who have a small, young and very smart team….and they wanted to know how to use social media better for their business. The general level of familiarity and competence in social media in the group as low – these are busy folks who focus, focus, focus on their highly skilled and absorbing roles.  So we started pretty much from the beginning.

Rethinking the concept

Try explaining the concept of social media again, what Twitter is and how it can help business, how the unofficial Twitter ‘protocol’ works, how LinkedIn can provide great benefits beyond straightforward networking, why YouTube is so powerful, blogs and wikis, user groups and discussion groups.

It’s a really interesting exercise.  It makes you think about what is worth spending time on, what you personally get out of social media and what you don’t, what your own personal social media boundaries are, what you share and what you don’t, where you share it and why.

Some of the team at yesterday’s session asked some really searching questions, which I think were totally relevant.  For example, the issue of trusted content – do people mind using shortened URLs? And what’s the ideal balance of content on a company blog (in-depth, short opinion posts, pictures, humour etc)? How personal can you be, and where?  Is Twitter really worth investing time in – won’t there be something newer and better before too long?

What’s my motivation?

For me, it made me consider my social media motivations – and I realised there are many.  For me, it’s a genuine desire to connect with a group of like-minded people, to share what I think is relevant and useful info, to float ideas and gauge feedback, to ask questions and keep up to date with my industry and reaction to news and developments.

It’s different for everyone when we think about our motivation. It might be about personal branding, or to consolidate relationships through frequent exchanges, or to simply observe.  But the unexpectedly great thing about sparking this train of thought was that it caused me to revisit my social media activity and consider whether I really am doing all I can to support my motivations and objectives (needless to say, I was not).

The case for Social Media workshops

Whether engaging with non-users, new users or seasoned users of social media, any opportunity to explore these areas, to question and challenge your current social media behaviours and to look at the world with fresh eyes has to be worthwhile.  Social media changes fast – our approach and attitudes need to keep up. And not only that, much as we’d love to think that social media and beautifully spontaneous and organic (and it can be), in reality we need a bit of a plan because after all, we all have a core business to worry about.

PS: Here’s my gardening / social media analogy

Social media is like gardening.  To get the best results you need preparation, time to nurture and patience.  Find your patch, decide what you want to grow and prepare it.  Plant seeds, see what grows (you might be surprised), and don’t forget to feed and prune.

Kate Spiers is founder of Wisdom London. She is a rubbish gardener, as it happens, but considerably better at social media.  Follow Kate @wisdomlondon

Social media strategy: What really matters

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by wisdomlondon

So, I’m developing a social media strategy for really distinctive and exciting online brand.  And not for the first time in this particular process, I have been hugely thankful for the opportunity to revisit social media and what it’s really all about for businesses.

What I mean specifically in this case is the ‘why’ in the strategy – what will social media do for this organisation?  Because if we don’t identify it now and determinedly pursue it, the chances are that they will end up somewhere totally different…and more than a few man-hours down.

In this case – as with many – it’s all about building rapport, communities, trust, advocacy and connection.  And the eternal measurement question comes in here.

We all know that social media ROI is enigmatic to say the least.  A little like the Loch Ness monster.  Some people claim to have seen it, an awful lot of people have looked fruitlessly for it (and without knowing exactly what they’re looking for) and quite a few have imagined they’ve seen it too.

So let’s be pragmatic.  My abbreviated advice in this instance, and to any interested bystanders will be this:

Size isn’t everything

For goodness’ sakes, let’s not get caught up in a numbers game of how many followers / subscribers / friends / clicks.  Social media engagement is organic and cannot be forced (it can be bought, but to me that’s super-phoney).

How much does it really matter?   First of all, everyone you engage with has a whole network beyond you to engage with – so by degrees your audience is always much bigger (albeit pretty much immeasurable) than you know.  Second, I’m a firm believer that it’s quality not quantity that counts.  Which leads neatly to…

Make sure you’re connecting with the right people

Follow and engage with a variety of people who:

  • Interest and inspire you
  • Interest and inspire your network / audience
  • Are challenging, original, real
  • Are engaged with other interesting people who you may not be aware of
  • Showcase best social media practice – who do you aspire to be like, and what can you learn from them?
  • Aim to get from social media what you aim to get – information, dialogue, updates, humour, etc

Be clear about what you most want out of this

Social media is about humans.  Humans who are dependent on our trusty machines and devices, granted, but it’s really the manifestation of human behaviour online.  We share, we show off, we preen, we make fun of ourselves, we annoy people, we apologise, we spectate, we get involved, we argue, we agree, some of us even flirt (but I wouldn’t dream of it). The point is – it’s not about control – who knows what will happen with a given conversation?

HOWEVER: if you know you want to be a thought leader, or become closer to your target audience, or learn about a new market you can do it here.  But you need to adapt your online behaviour accordingly, while remaining totally authentic.  It’s a tricky balance between profession and personality.  So what I’m really trying to say is, don’t get totally carried away. It’s easily done.

Revisit your strategy every few months

The world is changing fast and social media is changing with it.  Or maybe it’s the other way round. Anyway, technology and trends drive social media use forwards and in new directions:

  • Customer behaviours and expectations change and your strategy must adapt with it – quickly
  • We’re constantly learning – there will be good things and bad things that happen online.  Make these situations valuable by learning from them.
  • Keep remembering what you set out to do – what was the primary aim? How much have you learned?  Which new relationships have evolved? What has changed?  If you’re doing it right, the answer to the last 3 questions should be ‘plenty’.

Kate Spiers is director and founder of Wisdom London

She opines, shares, occasionally shows off and never flirts @wisdomlondon