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  • Maria Ripoll Cera 9:00 am on January 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    To digitalize a brand is to transform it 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Five large brands have confessed that they will “invest more in social media in 2013”. The conclusions of Catalina Pons, Bea Bahima, Mireia Guix, Anna Martin and María Abad, digital managers (in the same order) at Intervida, Bacardi, Tous, Philips and Ford, invited by Epsilon to the First Exclusive Forum for Digital Managers at Esadecreapolis, confirm that social media is more than justified.

    Does social media sell?

    The Mecca of social ecommerce that obtains sales through social recommendations is currently overseas news in Spain. Even for Bea Bahima, social media is not the most efficient way to sell. However, it has become a common ingredient in campaign management, forming part of prelaunch briefings with stories of intrigue -as Ford has done-, or connecting “with the consumer in the regions we want to occupy”, explains María Abad. “Social Media doesn’t create direct sales, but it does create the possibility of becoming Top of Mind” was the general conclusion to this question posed during the Forum.

    Social media in 2013

    When these five women who are top level managers were asked about future digital plans for their companies, they were unanimous in the commitment to content as the main pillar of the digital strategy, particularly on Facebook and YouTube. “At Bacardi we will use social media to learn what our followers want and to give them the contents they are interested in, working by territory using simple 20-second videos” explained Bea Bahima. Ford is already investing in co-creating and making products using their consumers’ suggestions, and in encouraging their employees to be brand opinion leaders, whilst Tous intends to consolidate its international strategy by externalizing its digital management, to better connect with the markets. 2013 “is the time to engage by using information obtained from social networks”, adds Catalina Pons.

    “Favourable opinions help us increase our product margin. This way we talk the same language as sales”, reveals María Abad, when asked how they justify their budget to management. “We ask of digital what we ask of communication”, adds Bea Bahima, who explained the case of fashionable entertainment venues that have not invested in maintaining a community and have seen how opinion leaders have made other venues more fashionable.

    The social media management of a brand

    “The key to digitalizing the company is understanding the internal processes and acting as a facilitator”, reveals Bea Bahima, who is responsible for this process after many years working for Bacardi. Mireia Guix adds that it is important to share the process with various technical profiles, with a communication vision. All of the speakers coincide as to the relevance of recruiting an internal community manager, who reflects the values of the company and responds creatively to its day to day work.

    And they have their work cut out. Tous, for example, manages an international, bilingual Facebook page from Barcelona and 8 by local CMs, with who they share common contents and report their local proposals. Bacardi locally manages global pages on Facebook. And they all have a “dos and don’ts” manual for digitally managing the brand. “But the most important thing is to capture mails of followers so that you don’t have to depend on the channels where you are present”, concludes Bea Bahima.

    Monitoring is one of the areas that will evolve most: “the challenge of monitoring is to make use of the information that networks provide”, says Catalina Pons. “Every two weeks we summarize what has been going on, on the network to look for solutions” explains Mireia Guix, “social media intelligence allows us to adapt our content to the different markets”. “At Ford we measure using specific security and design parameters, to focus on communication and verify that new followers are correctly affected by the brand attributes”, points out María Abad. “We look at the noise share in the market compared to the competition, we look for useful information”, adds Bea Bahima. “We have a lot of analytics but little intelligence, the key is to know how to ask for what we want to analyze”.

    “Digitalizing a brand is an internal transformation” concludes María Abad”, it requires building teams, training, consulting, contents. Brands now work with an extra element: being interesting”. Something that an enterprise social network like Zyncro can manage in an internal and personalized way.

    María Ripoll Cera is a digital communicator and promoter, as well as being a writer. You can find out more about this author on her Spanish website, which we at Zyncro highly recommend.

  • Maria Ripoll Cera 9:00 am on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    15 ideas for social transformation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The digital technology revolution is changing sectors and professions, however, it is the economic crisis that is really squeezing out its true potential: collaboration. If until now, sharing resources or seeking efficiency as a sector required complete dedication of time and resources, collaborative tools such as Zyncro help keep work ticking over, while dedicating a small portion of that time towards growing together.

    Such is the case of the Third Sector (or the voluntary sector), which has recently present the results of the collaboration project it started with the support of UPCnet. The Third Sector has been gradually professionalized since the beginning of the 20th century, but the loss of public support in recent years has dismantled its methodologies and habits. As mentioned in Twitter with the hashtag #DIT3S in its presentation: “In the past 30 years, the social sector has learned to mix with the administration; now it has to change paradigms.”

    Learning to change

    The Third Sector and UPCnet have developed a first phase of collaborative reflection on working in networks, leadership, improving internal management, social transformation and applied innovation, which they consider to be key in developing a new model for organization and intervention. Their steps included:

    1. Conversations with key stakeholders, who it has asked to provide their vision on the Third Sector today and its challenges. The synthesis of these opinions can be found in “15 ideas for social transformation” (in Catalan), a document that all sectors should adopt as a path towards change.
    2. Open dialog with public entities and administration to share and compare experiences and generate new opinions and trends, in several work sessions
    3. Participation open to society through the social channels of dit3s.upcnet.es

    15 ideas for social transformation

    The “15 ideas for social transformation” manual is a compendium of ideas and thoughts for the 21st century, which is worth discovering in depth, and that shares the following conclusions:

    1. Working as a network is still more a promise than a reality and must be encouraged: “We need to reinvent the Third Sector without resources with a disorientated society through social complicity #DIT3S”;
    2. Associationism needs to evolve towards social enterprise;
    3. New leadership needs to overcome personalisms and base itself on diversity;
    4. Connection with citizens is the key to the evolution today: transparency and social impact: “We must change the language, touch the hearts of the people, and commit to them socially #DIT3S”;
    5. We need to rethink how things are done to gain efficiency: “NGOs need to develop new skills, collaborate and structure, commit to #ICT, be an investment alternative #DIT3S”;
    6. We need to focus on innovation to create a different environment.

    ‘15 ideas for social transformation’ #DIT3S is a compendium of experience and collaboration and a call to action”. Dialogs on innovation and technology with the social sector continues now on a second phase, in which it will use working in networks and collaboration to change.


  • Maria Ripoll Cera 9:00 am on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Collaboration in virtual relationships 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

    What social media has shown us is that when we collaborate, things work out better. Like humanity, we learn horizontality, i.e. the team’s extension does not go upwards or downwards, rather towards the professionals with whom we establish a virtual relationship. Our way of thinking, joined by this collectiveness, becomes something even more, called collective intelligence, with instinct, perspective and the ability to see over long distances. The community seems to be another value that makes us grow in the 21st century.

    Forming part of the digital conversation is an individual and collective opportunity to change systems. Perhaps the sages were wrong about the prophecies of Nostradamus and that they really refer to the end of the world as we know it. Like in any promised landed, the spirit and the way of acting of each individual on the internet gives them form, and even more so in a society connected 24 hours a day, where their group actions give them power.

    Collaboration to create

    From this point, Skolti opted for collaboration for its experiment #7, as the goal was massive: to be the first digital Sant Jordi. Skolti is a social media consultancy that every so often offers a free experiment of use to the sector or that exploits the possibilities of a channel for society’s benefit Some of their proposals join in on driving a second phase in social media: analyzing public data provided by individuals and governments. Predictions based on comments and feelings on social networks is an emerging area.

    The Sant Jordi experiment posed a challenge: take the digitial pulse of the traditional Santi Jordi, where people flock to the main streets of the main cities in Catalunya to buy books and roses. Advances in geolocation and the massive use of Twitter and photo channels made this possible. However, it has been the convergence of contributors that has given the initiative depth. The participation of an organization like Media140, which aims to bring new technologies closer to society, has given the project a social edge, making room for new self-published writers, for digital books, for the reality of a sector in full revolution. Designers and programmers have “provoked” Twitter to know what can be done. A team of PR people have managed to make Sant Jordi in 2012 become http://www.santgeordi.net.

    The surge in collaboration is mainly due to the creation of online tools like Zyncro, which create true working and learning communities.

  • Maria Ripoll Cera 11:00 am on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , journalism, ,   

    Media140 Barcelona: organisational innovation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Barcelona Media140 was held on the 13th and 14th of April, an international event organised in different cities in order to explore tendencies and focussing on Journalism and New Technologies in Barcelona. Its objective was to explore, debate and provide information about new technologies that can improve today’s journalism with over 30 international speakers participating and contributing their practical experiences in their given areas.

    In addition, what is interesting about the event is its organisation.  The Media140 label is run by Ande Gregson, who looks for a local manager for each edition.  The Barcelona director was a journalist named Mónica Garriga, who had the expertise needed in order to set up a voluntary, multi disciplinarian, well connected development and coverage team.

    It is becoming more and more common for these types of events to rely on the participation of active communicators that provide live broadcasts via social networks with the aim of sharing knowledge.  At Media140 BCN 2011, Carolina Gaona, founder of the low cost content producer Sonaratv and communication team organiser, has gone one step further:  to ask the actual speakers and participants if they would become the live editing team for the event blog.  Media140 BCN is based on three areas of exploration:  Philosophy, Entrepreneurs and Creative, and another area for Action, and that has been possible to cover almost completely thanks to Carolina’s formula.

    The exhibition was also able to offer the innovative initiative Comunicaos and their plataform Vudeo: three cameras for three voluntary workers under the instruction to record THEIR experience of the event.  A video of selected moments if the last three recordings was used for the closing of Media140 Barcelona reinforcing one of the key debate and speech messages: space must be made for new narrative techniques without losing journalism’s watchdog function nor the rigor or truth of the information.

    At Media140 Barcelona business models have been explored to sustain the journalism function (it has been insisted upon that control be gained along with independence of the media for which work is carried out), new journalistic channels like Facebook, formulas such as data analysis with free information generation tools and real time interference has been debated within the profession and technologies with which journalism is already developing new experiences have been demonstrated step by step.

    Tools like Zyncro have the necessary offering for today’s organisations.  One space in which conversations can be held in real time, debates take place, synchronized document sharing is going to revamp the professional events sector to the extent that even as of today, it would be interesting to hold a congress about real time events organisation with streaming and social networks.  Who is up for it?

    More information about  Media140


  • Maria Ripoll Cera 11:00 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Prized collaboration tools 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Many popular initiatives have arisen from social networks that have been beneficial to the relevant information exchange between users.

    In the region of Catalunya (Spain), the Premis Blocs Catalunya (Catalonia Blogs Awards) is a contest organised by the STIC.CAT association and aims to instigate the Catalan (co-official language in the Catalonian region) blogosphere and draw attention to the most interesting blogs.  The poll takes place once a year on a general level for the first stage whereby the finalists in each category are determined.  From these, winners are chosen by a panel made up of people with distinguished prestige in the Information and Communication Technologies field.  The criteria to meet in order to reward a blog are: design, structure, content, continuity and level of interaction.

    The 2010 edition (which took place in October), has granted a special prize to three initiatives that have boosted the use of Twitter and generated new collaborative tools for society: the label  #neucat proposed by the journalist Miquel Pellicer during the snow that took place on 8th March last year and left almost the entire city of Barcelona at a standstill, the city information project regarding Barcelona’s rail transport network; Rodalia.info and the regional radio programme Vist i no vist (“seen and unseen”) by Valentí Sanjuan.

    This prize for Twitter initiatives is especially relevant as it manifests that technology is not what is transforming the world if not the use that people and professionals are giving it. The creation of the label #neucat generated a community for information and assistance in realtime that prevented a flood of scattered comments regarding the snowstorm.

    With regards to #neucat, the executive management of ‘Protecció Civil de la Generalitat de Catalunya’ (Catalonian Parliament Official protection) created an account in Twitter called ‘emergenciescat’ and continually maintained ‘Twittersphere’ informed about incidents and solutions;  comradiocom broadcast a minute by minute account of the freak snowstorm and users shared and divulged information to help one another.  Amoungst them, they even managed to liven up the wait lived by passengers on a train that would not arrive to a warm welcome.

    “@chilcano #neucat anyone at stations; #renfe #clot #arago that would like to have a few beers.  I’ve been here over 2 hours.  No trains going towards  #santceloni station”

    Continuous improvement experience

    The successful process for most professional tools on the Internet is usually the same:

    1. They are born from an initial idea from one or various entrepreneurs that see a need to satisfy; Jack Dorsey, CEO at Twitter, wrote that the channel arose as a “Communication service to connect everybody on the Internet using text messages from our mobile phones”.
    2. The user community generates more value via its use: the “Reply” and the hashtag on Twitter are tweeters’ initiatives the development team later automated.
    3. The tool creators or those that run it, observe its use and its continuous new use features or its surroundings in order to improve it and make it more professional. .

    Zyncro shares the adaptation process with Twitter as well as the professional requirements of an evolving business sector. Initially having being a cloud file manager, today Zyncro is a 2.0 intranet set up for collaborative work that moves towards integration with Social Media. We hope that soon enough, as well as having Zyncro as our work tool, that we can meet up and have a few beers like @chilcano 😉

  • Maria Ripoll Cera 10:30 am on February 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , women entrepreneurs   

    Office 2.0: methodology is the key 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    The school of female entrepreneurs ODAME organised an event of reflection within the EMMA programme in Barcelona Activa from the 14th – 17th February.  The objective of this programme is to promote the new policies for supporting female entrepreneurship in Mediterranean countries.

    For the “Office 2.0: methodology is the key” round table, 4 professionals were invited to share our experiences of management within our company or our projects using collaboration and digital tools.  Mònica Ramoneda, expert in work online, posed a question:  has the new tools explosion changed work methods so that we find ourselves facing a new paradigm shift?  Her opinion is that we face a true organisational leap based on teamwork, organisational and mass collaboration.  Monica presented the most common and simple or efficient tools (in Catalan) to work with ideas, information, documents or contacts, teamwork, organisation and interacting and having a presence on the Internet.

    Pablo Muiño, city digital dynamic, emphasised that it is not a leap but a technological disruption which has taken place over recent years and is provoking a silent restructure in sectors such as tourism, journalism, education, content, telework, etc.  For Pablo, the revolutionary combination is that of technological tools + organisational change + permanent learning.

    Sílvia Cobo demonstrated that many things can be done with very Little budget thanks to collaboration such as the professional meetingpoint for journalists BCNMediaLab.

    On my side, I presented the experience of finding ourselves being self employed again after closing our own company only to find that after a year, I set up a new flexible company: network of professionals, thanks to the use of collaborative tools. Amongst the brief review of my working day to day essentials, the professional meets Zyncro, my virtual server for saving and accessing my day to day files from any computer.

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