About Mark Bower

Co-founder of Basingstoke startup @CubeSocial. Windows Azure developer, some-time blogger, social media geek & northerner down south. Google Profile

Grant Thornton Lead Accountancy Firms into Social Media Future

Not sure how we missed this from earlier this year… Accountancy firm Grant Thornton’s internal video encouraging, no instructing employees to get on social media and connect with prospects and clients.

Great quotes from the video:

“Smart use of social media… will help us win business, achieve the growth we’re after and get the best people to joins us. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“At Grant Thornton using social media at work is not only permitted and acceptable, but desirable and expected.”

Here’s the video. It’s just a couple of minutes long and well worth watching:

Well done to Grant Thornton for taking a lead on this!

If you are thinking of using social media to market your services or connect with clients and prospects then give us a shout. We have years of experience working with accountants and provide a range of social media services for accounting firms large and small.

Digital Disruption in Financial Services

Interesting new report from Deloitte called “Digital Disruption – Short Fuse, Big Bang”. The report looks at how digital technologies will disrupt industries over the coming years.  This chart caught my eye.

Six industries were singled out as the ones to expect a short fuse, big bang:

  • IT and Media
  • Finance
  • Retail
  • Professional Services
  • Arts and Recreation
  • Real Estate

Deloitte write:  Digital innovations are transforming the economic landscape far more profoundly than any other big shifts, such as deregulation, oil shocks or mining booms and the way companies operate and engage with their customers is already significantly different to how it was only a few years ago.

My copy is downloading at the moment. You can get yours here.

Safely Sharing Access to Your Twitter Account

With all the excitement about our recent redesign, we haven’t had the chance to explain some of the other new features we added to CubeSocial in the latest update. Time to fix that…

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you want to enable other people in your team to tweet from your company Twitter account. Or perhaps you have a personal Twitter account and you’d like your assistant to be able to Tweet from your account from time to time.

Until now the only option was to share your Twitter password around your team and trust them with full access to your account.

Delegate Access to Your Twitter Account

Now when you go to your CubeSocial Networks and Services page, you can click on the Actions button to delegate access to one of your colleagues.

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Choose who you want to delegate access to and assign an access level. That’s right, not only do you no longer need to share passwords, you also can restrict access and, for instance, keep your private messages truly private.

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Add as Many Twitter Accounts as You Want

The other change you’ll see on your Networks and Services page, is the Add New button on the top-right. If you have multiple Twitter accounts for your company, just keep on adding as many as you like.

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We hope you find these new features useful. Let us know your thoughts below. Happy Tweeting!

Do you still pay for Print Ads or Directory Listings?

The incredible shrinking Yellow Pages

Do you still pay for listings in the Yellow Pages, the Phone Book, Thomson Local or industry-specific directories? Do you still advertise in the local press? Do you get any return from them?

As the Internet and social media recommendations (from Amazon reviews to asking your friends on Facebook) have grown, people are increasingly turning away from directories and printed ads as a way to discover products and services.

You might say that the directories still serve an older generation that aren’t on the Internet. My experience though is that even this audience are shunning directories… Having heard their family talk about social media they understand that there is better value to be had on the Internet even if they can’t use it themselves. So what do they do?

They ask their children or grandchildren to do the research for them and come back with a recommendation.

So as you think about how to best allocate your marketing spend over the next year take a critical look at your directory and print advertising spend and think about how you can more effectively re-allocate that online. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this.

5 Examples of Investment Banks’ use of Social Media

2012 has turned out to be a breakthrough year in financial services as investment banks finally start to work through the regulatory hurdles and wake up to the opportunity that social media offers.

Here are 5 examples of how investment banks are using social media.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank has official news services on Twitter and Facebook, plus active accounts on YouTube and Flickr, but in the main posts are sterile PR pronouncements and news releases. What’s much more interesting is the Twitter account of Ted Tobiason. According to Bloomberg Ted is the only investment banker authorized by the German firm to have a business-related Twitter account. Ted describes himself as Managing Director in Technology Equity Capital Markets and tweets analysis and opinion around tech IPOs. Especially interesting is that there are no disclaimers to been.

Deutsche Bank Twitter

JP Morgan

JP Morgan are using Facebook to promote their annual Corporate Challenge event. A great example of how social media can be used for corporate social responsibility initiatives.

JP Morgan Facebook

Citigroup

Citigroup’s Facebook page stands out amongst competitors. They have chosen to focus on their history with a great cover image showing key moments and a Facebook app letting the user navigate the timeline and learn about the bank.

Citibank Citigroup Facebook

Citibank Citigroup Facebook App

Barclays

Barclays are using Facebook as graduate recruitment tool. What’s particularly nice about their page is that it is run by recent graduates. The page encourages undergrads to Like the page to chat to existing graduates working for Barclays about their experiences there.

Barclays Facebook Graduate Page

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney famously unleashed 17,000 financial advisors onto Twitter earlier this year to mixed response. Why the mixed response? The advisors must select their tweets from a library of canned messages. No interaction allowed!

Morgan Stanley Twitter Financial Advisors

Are you on social media yet?

Have you made the move to social media yet? Sure there’s a bunch of stuff to work out around legal and compliance, but it needn’t be as complex as you think.  If you want a few pointers in the right direction, have a chat with us.

Do you have any other good examples of Investment Banks using social media?

Changes Coming to CubeSocial this Week

CubeSocial has grown organically since we launched, and of late we’d begun to notice that some of the features weren’t as easy to discover as they once were. With that in mind we set about redesigning CubeSocial’s homepage to make it more useful as the hub of all your social media activity.

We’ve added a new navigation panel on the left-hand side of the home page. In it you’ll find all the things that were previously tabs at the top of the homepage, everything that’s currently in the Engage section of the site, plus a couple of new things too:

CubeSocial Homepage layout

Our testing shows that this new layout will simplify many of the CubeSocial usage scenarios. The changes will be rolling out later in the week and we’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or email us at support [at] cubesocial.com.

Did LinkedIn Just Get More Important than Twitter?

Two things happened yesterday.

First I came across this data from PageLever showing how referral traffic has changed since Twitter stopped allowing Tweets to be syndicated directly to the LinkedIn newsfeed.

Next, a colleague pointed out that our blog post on Thursday had more shares on LinkedIn than it had on Twitter.

Now trust me, that’s unheard of.

Normally we see Twitter getting 3-4x the number of shares that LinkedIn delivers.

So what’s happening here?

One theory is that competition for space in the LinkedIn newsfeed is significantly reduced because it’s not inundated with tweets. So posts linking to your website now get more visibility and more clicks.

Whatever the cause, it’s clear that LinkedIn just got much more important that it used to be and you should definitely make sure to post updates to LinkedIn regularly.

Say Hello to the Content Library

As more people in your business start using social media to connect with prospects and clients one of the challenges you’ll face is keeping all of your team on-message and primed with a steady stream of new content to share.

Today We’re delighted to announce a major new addition to CubeSocial that’ll solve this problem: Welcome to CubeSocial’s brand new Content Library!

With the Content Library you can now share pre-approved messages, links and photos with your team so that they have content to hand for any situation. You can also easily connect your blog RSS feed to the Content Library to automatically populate it with new content as you publish.

  • Keep your team on-message with company marketing campaigns
  • Provide a steady stream of new content for your team to share with their audience
  • Amplify the impact of your marketing campaigns by easily enabling branch offices, sales staff and others to make use of your social media marketing material

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We hope you’ll have fun trying out this new feature. As always, we’d love to know what you think of it. Let us know in the comments below.

How to Add a Twitter Header Image

This week Twitter rolled out an update to its web and mobile apps to add Facebook-like profile header images. The header image is a custom background that appears at the top of your profile page, like this one we’ve added for CubeSocial:

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Once you’ve added a profile image it’s visible on your Twitter page via web, iPad, iPhone and Android apps.  For businesses this is a great way to increase the branding of their page.

To add a profile image of your own click the cog icon on the top right of your Twitter page then click Edit Profile.

Next click Design on the left-hand menu.  In the section labelled Customize your own you’ll see the default header image is a dark grey box. Upload your image (ideally the image should be 1200 x 600 pixels in size).  You’ll see the image in the box change immediately, but beware your header image won’t actually be saved until you click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

That’s it! Enjoy.