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August 24th, 2011 by Benjamin Koe under Technology

JamiQ & Swarm on the BIG screen at SingTel’s FMCC Conference

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Yesterday SingTel hosted the Fixed Mobile Cloud Convergence Conference where 1,000 business leaders, key decision makers and entrepreneurs from Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) gathered.

As the official social media partner, JamiQ was proud to put on the big screen our live tweeting platform designed specially for events. This platform allows anyone in the audience to use Twitter and SMS to post comments, opinions, and even photos from around the event on to a real-time display. This technology is a true example of the message SingTel has for this event as convergence takes place over fixed voice and data, mobile services and cloud technologies.

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In collaboration with Swarm, JamiQ now offers a wide range of data visualization products and services. Find out more about JamiQ Visuals here.

August 18th, 2011 by Mythreyi Krishnan under Commentary

Healthcare sector jumping on the social media bandwagon

“If you don’t have a social presence, you will be left behind”. This seems to be the magic mantra in 2011 where even companies that did not traditionally engage with consumers online are doing so with gusto. For instance, the healthcare industry  has started to use social media to both engage and inform. They seem to be on the right path as studies reveal that a growing number of consumers look to online sources for information and suggestions in regards to health related services and products. In fact, 57 percent of consumers thought that social media connections would have a strong impact on their likelihood to seek treatment at the hospital. Other key findings reveal that:

- 25% of consumers said that they are likely to connect with hospitals via social media in the future.

- Those most likely to connect with hospitals are women between the ages 36-64.

- Eighty-one percent of consumers believe that if a hospital has a strong social media presence, they are likely to be more “cutting edge.”

This is not limited to western countries alone as hospitals in developing nations such as India are proactively reaching out to the public via social media. For instance, Fortis Hospital , the largest healthcare chain in India with a global presence including in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore has over 1200 followers on twitter. They share information on new techniques, patient success stories and also engage their followers in campaigns such as the movement to kill smoking.

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Other tracks in healthcare such as the pharmaceutical industry are also treading on social media turf for marketing purposes. Pharma companies use channels like Youtube, facebook, twitter as well as forums. However, for pharma companies,it gets a little tricky because of strict laws governing how drugs can be advertised in public space.

Some brands have gotten around this by bypassing the hard sell, instead creating online platforms for patients such as support communities for cancer survivors, people living with cystic fibroris and children with diabities. One of these is a cystic fibrosis support community called CF Voice. It is sponsored by Novartis, which markets a range of drugs and medicines. The website allows patients and their parents to learn more about treatment options, track their treatments online and connect with others going through the same journey.

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They’ve even produced films about children who have overcome their limitations to become independent and healthy.

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However, healthcare chains and pharma companies are required to follow strict guidelines when marketing their products. In 2010, the FDA(Food and Drug administration) in America sent a warning letter to a company based out of Utah which was selling drugs that could supposedly prevent catching the H1N1 virus. As these drugs were not approved by the authorities, marketing them was strictly disallowed. Other prominent brands such as Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline were also warned for “misleading” marketing messages on social media.

August 11th, 2011 by Mythreyi Krishnan under Commentary

Geo Location trend: Why you should take notice

Using geolocation technology, a person’s real world physical location can be identified. If the individual is on a computer, then the IP address is tracked. This also works for outdoor wi-fi spots in cafes, airports and shops. Location can even be tracked on a smartphone using the in-built GPS system.

Several apps dedicated to geo location have sprung up recently, the most popular one being foursquare. There are over 10 million users who are registered with foursquare as of 2011 ammassing close to 400 million check-ins. Apps such as foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Loopt have taken geolocation and made it fun and interactive. They have simply made it more ‘social’ thereby attracting users to sign up which have then pulled in businesses to make use of it as well.

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Foursquare

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The current king of geo location automatically checks you in to a place where you’ve arrived with its new Checkmate app. The user who has checked into a location most number of times, whether it be the local starbucks outlet or a dentist’s office is awarded the title of mayor of that particular location until he is usurped by someone with a higher number of check-ins. You can also earn badges ranging from newbie to Superstar depending on usage volume.

Businesses like Starbucks have made use of foursquare by offering a honorary “barista” badge if a customer makes a certain number of visits to an outlet. Mayors of outlets are allowed to avail a free frappacino or given other perks. Not only is this a creative use of the app, it encourages customers to  patronize outlets and makes them feel part of the brand. The fact that a simple app can motivate customers to return to certain stores or feel a certain attachment makes it powerful and opens up numerous possibilities for business, both big and small.

Facebook places

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Checking into places on facebook is similar to other apps but it depends less on GPS tracking. Users can check in on their desktop computers or through their smartphones via touch.facebook.com.You can also tag friends you are hanging out with and check in your friends to the location. This will show up on their news feeds after they approve the tag.

For businesses, they will be able to link their places listing to their facebook page which will come with the wall and comments functions. They can then offer special prices or discounts for patrons who check into the place listing. However, facebook places is currently available in a limited number of countries including United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden and Singapore.

Geolocation could be very beneficial for small business owners who don’t command a large number of users or traffic volume on their twitter or facebook pages. They can raise their profile as well as improve customer retention by offering special discounts and freebies. Although geo location usage is still only within the domain of early adaptors who are not very concerned about privacy issues, it is set to be big in 2011. With social media integration carrying the midas touch, geo location is likely to be a hit as well.

August 4th, 2011 by Mythreyi Krishnan under Commentary

Influence metrics for B2C brands

As the prevalence and influence of social media on consumer behaviour grows, it has become vital for brands to track conversations online and derive meaningful insights that will aid the decision making process. Other than numbers and figures for ROI purposes, monitoring can also provide brands with data on influencers. Influencers can range from ‘blue chip’ sites like the New York Times, which is relied on for information on media, politics and news, to individuals such as Perez Hilton, whose gossip blog is considered an authority on celebrities and entertainment.Increasingly, consumers are looking for product reviews online and listening to what users recommend. Therefore, it is important for brands to identify among these users, those who are potent influencers.

There are numerous influence metrics systems popping up everyday some becoming popular with your everyday social savvy individual as well. One such example is Klout, which takes into account the numer of twitter followers you have, the number of times you are retweeted as well as your facebook network to give you a Klout Score ranging from 1 to 100.

Take the Dalai Lama for instance. According to Klout , he has a score of 86 with an influence on 758,000 people. In terms of the topics he is influential about, it ranges from celebrities (suprisingly) to more expectedly, religion and spirituality. Klout also allows users to specifically identify who the Dalai Lama most influences, ranging from organizations to individuals.


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These metrics prove useful for various reasons. First, identifying influential people in your brand’s sphere and getting them to say positive things about you gives you invaluable positive buzz. Secondly, you can target a particular segment of users effectively if you can identify who is influencing them. However, companies should refrain from relying singly on such metrics as they do not take into account other factors such as sentiment. The influence score fluctuates up and down based on how much you are talked about on the twitter sphere, so it could be dangerous to label someone as highly influential as the score is based on data that is constantly changing and could be affected by misleading jolts. For example, negative posts about a person could drive up their influence score because they are creating buzz. However this does not equal influence in terms of being able to cause positive action . In conjunction with other metrics such as sentiment analysis and analysing actual data that the metric tool records, companies can get a better picture of who is truly influential.

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