[Video] Chris Heffer speaking about Social Data and CRM for Social Media Week 2012

This is the video for the presentation I did as part of Social Media Week 2012. I presented on how social data could be used in CRM. The presentation was part of the Social Data and Privacy Event held at Nebarro as part of Social Media Week London 2012.

Topics covered in presentation

  • What is CRM
  • How could social data be used with a CRM
  • What is the future of business in with these ideas
  • What CRM systems are good at and where they are not not so good
  • Use case for social data for consumer packaged good industry (FMCG)
  • Use case for social data for television production companies industry
  • Use case for social data in retail – one
  • Use case for social data in retail – two

Would love your feedback if you get a chance to watch any of the video.

Slides from event


Chris Heffer speaking at Facebook HQ for Social Media Week

This is the video for the presentation I did as part of Social Media Week 2012. I presented on “why you don’t need a social media strategy”.

Would love your feedback if you get a chance to watch any of the video.

Full write up without the video – Why you don’t need a social media strategy from #smwldn

Slides from event

Why use social media?

why use social media

Are you considering using social media at work or in your professional life?

Are you trying to figure out what social media can help you achieve or see if it’s worth your while?

Read on to help you understand the value social media can bring to your career and some examples of how easy it is to start getting results.

Most people I talk to about social media fall into two categories: those who think it is important but don’t use it much if at all and those who don’t see the point because they don’t think they can get anything out of it.

I want to share some tips on what I have done to achieve a few milestones of success in a fairly short time frame. If you follow these tips you will be able to define what it is you want to achieve and get results a lot quicker than I did.

My social media goals

  • Establish credibility inside and outside my company
  • Build up my personal brand so people know who I am before I meet them
  • Communicate my thoughts and ideas to more people
  • Build up my industry knowledge so that I can be perceived by others as an expert
  • Connecting and conversing with like minded people

If you share any of these goals then read on and I will give you some tips to help you achieve them.

How can you achieve these goals? Continue reading

Why you don’t need a social media strategy from #smwldn

Speaking at social media week

I have had a busy week this week, having spoken at four separate events. Yesterday I had the privilege of being asked to deliver a presentation at Facebook’s London office as part of Social Media Week 2012. I had a room full of people for an hour to share my views about social business.

It was a great experience to take my thoughts and ideas and share them with a room full of people and get instant feedback. It is similar to me writing a blog but with instant comments from more people. I would take 50 people in a room over 50 page views any day.

I wanted to share with you my slide deck, the video recording of the event and some key insights from my presentation from the people in the audience.

Slides from the event

TROUBLE VIEWING? Click here to go direct to slideshare

Video on demand

The event was streamed live and recorded so you can watch on demand below


Tweets from the audience

I went through the event hashtag (#SMWSTRATEGY) and took out the things I spoke about which people felt warranted sharing with their networks. I thought it was great feedback for me as to which points people found most valuable.

What is social media?

Social Media means so many things to so many people,  I thought I would add my 2 cents.

I want to start by agreeing with Gary Vaynerchuk in saying that there is no such thing as “social media”. Social media is just a term to describe the current state of the internet. Just in the same way web 2.0 was the phrase a few years back. This is explained in more detail in the video below.

Watch on YouTube > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Ino97rEfM

I believe the term social media will disappear and people will talk about “social business” instead. Eventually the word social will be dropped and the ideas and methodology in social will just be part of the way people do “business”.

The Wikipedia definition is:

Social media includes web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” When the technologies are in place, social media is ubiquitously accessible, and enabled by scalable communication techniques

Social media, in my eyes is a mind set not a tool set. It is not just Facebook or Twitter, it is a whole new way of looking at the world of business and a whole new way of operating in it. A company needs to make it part of their culture and not just their strategy.

Today the majority of businesses are just trying to use it to force marketing communications down people’s throats as if it were a TV commercial. They don’t get it and they are missing a trick. Social media is an opportunity for you to communicate with the people who touch your business and give them a service currently reserved for royalty and rock stars.

Social media has the opportunity to touch so many different parts of business: sales, R&D, customer service, public relations, to name but a few. I cannot think of any part of a business which could not make use of social media in some way. Whatever part of a business you are involved in, you could use social to communicate better and to work more effectively as a team. Even if you work alone, you can use the social web to learn how other people in your industry do things and to help you develop your approach and find other people who you can work with.

If you remember one thing from this post, make it this:

“It is not about having a social media strategy, it is about aligning social to your business strategy”

If you want to figure out what you should be doing with social media,  go to see your CEO and ask him what his or her top three priorities are and then go ask a few “social media” companies how they can help you achieve them.  If you cannot see a correlation between what you want to achieve and what they want to sell you, then find someone else to talk to. It might help you to read my post on What is the future of social media.

And just incase any of you don’t believe me about how important social media is, check out this presentation below.

View on SlideShare > > http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/2005829#

I agree with almost everything said. I believe that you should not be looking to just create a social media strategy. You should be looking to align social to your business strategy. Instead of thinking what can I do with social media,  you should thinking about how social media can help you do something you are already trying to do – just in a better way.

I think the people who make the most of social media will be those people who figure out how to utilise social media data to build mutually beneficial relationships with the people who touch their businesses. I share some more thoughts on what I think the future holds for social media here.

Your turn

What do you think social media is? Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Do you agree with how I have defined social media?

Other posts you may be interested in

Whose job is social media in an organisation?

How to find ideas to write in your blog

Can social media replace email?

How @itv2 could make more money from advertising from #towie using #socialdata

How @itv2 could make more money from advertising from #towie using #socialdata

Screen shot of the hashtag on screen or the picture of one of the people holding up the twitter sign on the trailer

I was walking down South Woodford high street (in Essex) with my girlfriend and her friend suddenly a girl came chasing after us. She wanted us to be extras in the latest episode of “The only way is Essex” (TOWIE). As it happened I couldn’t make it but I was a bit gutted!

I might lose all my credibility by admitting guilty secret, that I watch TOWIE. It makes me cringe every time I watch it but I can’t help watching the next episode. There is something I find interesting about a cheesy almost-reality show set in your high street where the people go to some of the places you go (not the tanning shops I want to point out!)

The show is quite unique in some respects with something which is out of the control of the producers in that the audience pay a part on the story line. A lot of the people on the show in relationships talk about people on twitter who are not on the show telling them that their partners have been cheating on them.

Officially I am in the target audience for ITV 2 but I dont know if a I do not know if a 30 year old male (me) is in the target audience for the show.

ITV do a great job of encouraging social media activity with shows likes TOWIE, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. I am sure they have goals based around viewer engagement and are probably doing quite well against those targets. I am sure it has helped contribute towards TOWIE achieving its status as ITV2’s second most popular show.

I have had a look around ITV’s advertising site  and see no signs that they are using social data in advertising. I wrote an article a few weeks back on Future of social media in television but I wanted to elaborate more upon how social data could be used to make ITV more money from advertising.

Although most people appreciate it is a necessary evil to support commercial television, there is a fundamental problem with advertising. It is disruptive and gets in the way of people doing what they want to i.e. watch their program.

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV, who together represent over 90 per cent of the commercial TV market in the UK through their owned and partner channels. They say the use of personal recorders increases the viewing figures for the people for people who couldn’t watch the show live. They published some research on the use of digital TV recorders. They put a positive spin on people fast forwarding the ads or “speed watching” them as they call it.  Although this is true I still feel that the way advertising is sold and consumed is not personal enough so people don’t want to watch it.

Imagine a world where the people who watched TV shows were just as interested in the advertisements as the content? Imagine if people would pause the adverts so that they didn’t miss them rather than disappearing to make a cup of tea during the break in corrie?

What I think is possible today
You do a great job of encouraging your viewers of your shows to get involved with conversation on social networks. I think you could take this to the next level by using the data that could find out about your audience from their engagement to personalise the ads. You could analyse the people who are actually watching the show to give more specific demographics for the audience. You could identify on a personal level who is actually watching. You could analyse what that person has been talking about in their tweets or Facebook statuses. What brands they like and what products they talk about. You could use this data to say to advertisers we know a specific number of people in our audience either like your brand or have talked about their products in the last 6 months. This data could be used to offer the advertisers a whole new level of targeting based upon more specifically who is watching and what they want to watch.

What could be done in the future
These ideas would require the way tv is viewed and broadcasted to be changed. I am sure there is some technical bod out there in your company or out there somewhere who could tell you how this could work.

Using the ideas suggested above you could understand who is watching and what they are interested in. If you knew who was watching and on what device you could serve them an advert specific to their own personal interests and preferences.

Imagine if the person watching had tweeted about their interest in a specific company or brand or liked the brand on Facebook. Given this preference information, if you showed them an advert for that brand, do you think they would be more interested or pay that add more attention?

Your turn

It costs £55,000 for a 30 second slot to advertise during TOWIE, do you think you could generate more money if you could target the audience better? If you could guarantee you could serve an advert for a brand where that individual or a vast majority showed an interest in that brand?

What is social data?

Social data is the key to how the businesses of tomorrow will build a more personalised service for their customers.

Social data comes from a variety of different sources and forms part of your digital foot print.

Your digital footprint can includes sources such as:

  • Microblogging sites such as twitter
  • Online search history
  • Photo sharing sites
  • e-commerce sites (including buying history)
  • Online search history & interaction
  • Online TV/video history
  • Emails including attachments
  • Website subscriptions
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
  • Chats/instant message

The key parts of your digital foot print which come under social data are the parts which come from the social networks where you publicly or privately share information about yourself. The different areas of social data are:

  • Demographic: ages, race, gender, education, income, geography
  • Psychographic: attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles etc
  • Referrals: customer ratings/reviews, reward mechanisms
  • Intention: desired state, desired products, planned activities
  • Product: brand or product mentions on the social web
  • Behavioural: specific past activities or actions that indicate future intent such as purchase history
  • Location: physical location of a customer or prospect within a specific time frame

The companies who will lead the way in social business will be those who fully embrace the amount of data out there about people and companies. They will be able to give consumers confidence in sharing more and more information with them in return for a better, more personalised service.

I have created a couple of articles which discuss how social data could be used  to change the way people do business

Your turn

How do you think social media data could be better used? Are there any ways you are currently using social data to provide a more personalised service?

iphone 1 launch

What is the future of Social Media? Series Intro

On January 8th 2007 all the mobile phone handset providers were rubbing their hands together and counting how much money they were making from the boom in mobile device sales. Then the next day, this happened……

(if you’re short of time just watch the first 3 minutes and 10 seconds, its inspiring)

Steve Jobs talks about how lucky he has been to have worked on three products which have changed everything. He lists the Apple Mac which didn’t just change Apple, it changed the computer industry, the iPod which didn’t just change the way we listen to music it changed the entire music industry and then he introduced the iPhone. He makes the bold claim that

“Today Apple reinvents the phone”

Little did he know 5 years ago just how much the iPhone would change the world we live in.

I think the business world around social media is in exactly the same place as the mobile manufacturers were on January 8th 2007.

The potential benefits of social media to the business world of the future are about 10% of where they could be.

In this series of posts I will attempt to predict how the world might look in the future, if social data is exploited to its full potential. The business world of the future will be full of customers, who will come to expect a level of personalised customer service currently reserved only for the rich and famous. They will expect to have more honest, open and transparent ways of doing business. They will be empowered to buy what they want, how they want and when they want.

I think the person or company who figures out how best to use the mountain of social data out there, in a way which is mutually beneficial, will be the next Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in terms of how they can change not only the face of the IT industry but the face of business.

Your turn

I would love to know what your predictions are. What do you think will be different in how we do business a few years down the line? How do you think social data can be best exploited?


I know its backwards to write the intro after I have started writing the chapters but I have already kicked off with two chapters about Television and  Retail.

PPS For the record I think “Social Media” will disappear….

… well the phrase anyway. The reasons Gary Vaynerchuk can tell you in 2 minutes better than I can.

He says that Social media is just two words to describe the current state of the internet, in the same way that web 2.0 was the phrase a few years back.

I predict in business “Social Media” will just become “Social Business” and eventually just the way people do “Business”. I will carry on using the terms until either my predictions or someone else’s come true. I bet you a pound/dollar/euro this happens in five years. Who wants to take that bet?

Why @o2 failed with their promoted tweet about #blackberrysale

I log into hootsuite today and I see a promoted tweet as below:


This annoys me because O2 as a company should be better at this kind of thing. Let me tell you why.

I used to be a loyal Nokia customer but ever since I bought an iPhone I can not imagine owning another device. A previous employer gave me a blackberry for work when I had a Nokia for personal use. The blackberry was great because my Nokia made it almost impossible to use the internet or emails. I thought the blackberry was amazing. However, as soon as got the iPhone I made it my mission to tell everyone with a blackberry how much better their life would be with an iPhone. I would never say never but Apple would have to make some serious bad moves for me to look elsewhere. I now have two iPhones and two iPads.

Continue reading

What is the future of Social Media? Part 2 – Retail

This post is part two of my “What is the future of Social Media” series. I am creating and curating some predictions around where I believe social media could change the way we do business. Each article will focus on a specific industry sector.

You can find part one which discusses The future of Social Media in television here

This is a collection of ideas drawn from inspirations I have had over the last few months including a video from corning glass and an idea from C&A Brasil.  I have tried to take my knowledge of the technology, social media and evolve these concepts.

Find your most influential customers

Nina who is 21 and loves shopping, walks in to her local high street fashion shop (New look, Top Shop, Forever 21 etc). She hunts around the store and finds a complete outfit which goes together really well. A lovely dress, killer pair of heels and bag to match. She buys the outfit and on her receipt their is a unique QR code. She scans the QR code and which shares the outfit she has bought to her Facebook wall and to a central Facebook brand page for the store. Once she has shared the outfit she bought, her friends and other customers can “like” the outfit. The outfit that gets the most likes goes into a leader board. The outfit with the most likes per week or month could get rewards/prizes/incentives. Over time, the store would build up a league of the most stylish and influential customers. These are the people who can become your brand ambassadors or super fans. The store could identify these keys influencers and perhaps offer them free clothes because they know they will talk about them online. They could be invited to your fashion show launch events for each new range or be brought in to give feedback on possible trends for the coming seasons. The gamification of shopping could create customers who want to share the latest trends first so will be happy to sign up for alerts.  That new item they received an alert about might inspire them to put forward a new outfit for rating. The customer has an incentive to share the store’s new look. More people see that new dress Nina has just bought. More people will visit the stores which in turn increases sales.

The competitive element of the way the system works would encourage the desired action of consumers to benefit both the consumer and the store.

Crown sourced recommendations or recommendations from your friends

When you have the most liked outfits, you could use this insight to help drive cross sell opportunities. For example:

“1,000 people who bought this dress also bought these shoes to go with it. We have them in stock in the right colour and in your size”

It would not be perceived as the store trying to sell you something else but as a personal recommendation. How about if on your receipt it says

“Thanks for buying this dress Sarah. Your friend Nina bought the same dress and she thinks these shoes would go really well with the dress. We have one pair left in stock in this store today in your size and if you buy them today here is a 20% off voucher thanks to Nina”

If Sarah does buy the dress then why not send Nina some extra points to help her get to the top of the stylist leader board. You could even send her a gift voucher thanking her for her recommendation.

In this fashion retail example, having a friend that has the same dress could be perceived as a bad thing i.e. two of you turning up with the same outfit on the same night. You could turn it around and inform Sarah that Nina has the same dress in the same colour so maybe you might like to choose a different colour or style. If Sarah still decided to buy the dress at least she would know to check with Nina before she plans what to wear on Saturday night! Using Facebook data a fashion store app could know when Sarah and Nina are both going out together and if they bought the same outfit send them a notification so they can check they are not wearing the same outfit.

The recommendation model could work in a non fashion store such as a pharmacy or a music shop:  a recommendation for a specific brand of moisturiser or the music your friends are listening to. It could even work with the new Google glasses to show you who and how many people like each product you are looking at in store.

Personalised shopping experience

Nina walks into another store: they know who she is and the store offers her a personal greeting. “Good afternoon Miss Lewis, we haven’t seen you for a while, how are you?” If all the clothes in the store had a chip in the label, imagine the possibilities. As you pick up an item the changing room would know what you have taken in. It would be able to bring up information  such as where the garment was made, who it was designed by or a story behind the collection. It could show you the magazine features and any celebrities that have been spotted wearing the garment. It could show you if any of your friends liked or have bought that item.

It could suggest other items which would go well with the trousers you are trying on. Imagine you are trying on the trousers and up pops an augmented reality view of how you look in the complete outfit including matching shoes and jacket.  You look at the compete outfit and think it looks good so you press a button and the assistant hands you the items to complete the look.

The changing room shares a picture of you trying the outfit on in the store to your chosen social networks. In real time your friends reply are shown on the display. “It looks great,” they say. So you buy the outfit.

Real life social sharing

In another shop Nina sees an item of clothing she likes but can not afford to buy it till pay day. Imagine you could scan the item bar code and “like” the item on Facebook. This would show your friends how good you are at finding great fashion and it would help the company promote that item.

What if Nina had a specific friend she thought would really like the item she found. She could always take a photo and message it to them but that probably won’t show the item in the best light. How about if Nina scanned the bar code on the label and:

Posted the item directly to her friend’s Facebook wall including a link to the web page for that item


Sends her friend an illustration of how they would look wearing that item

If Nina could super impose the garment onto a virtual replica of her friend, do you think it would make her friend more likely to buy the item?


For retail stores to survive in the age of internet shopping where everything is usually cheaper and more convenient to order, retails outlets have to go the extra mile to provide a better customer experience. These are just a few of the ways social data can be used to improve the customer experience for somebody going into a retail store.

Your turn

Do you feel as a customer you would like this level of personalisation?

If a store gave you a personal service that you couldn’t get online, do you feel it would be make you more likely to spend money in that store rather than on the web?

Why complain using social media?

Why should a new employee use social media?