Chris Leong

Disoriented views from the rosy lens of an optimistic realist.

Category: Digital Marketing

What have I been up to for 2010–Wrote a book

Like Me Follow Me - Chris Leong

If anyone were to ask me a couple of years back whether I’ll become an author, I will most probably laugh until my stomach ache. But, things really work unexpectedly, in early 2010 I was actually working on a book on Social Media.

When I was tapping Oon Yeoh’s brains on social media for my MBA dissertation, he asked me whether I would like to write a book about Facebook and Twitter with him. Even though I don’t see myself as an author and have no experience doing it, I jumped at the opportunity as it seems to be a fun thing to do.

So that’s the start of an exciting and hectic journey especially with Facebook ever changing features and user interface. Finally on July 2010, the book “Like Me, Follow Me” was in MPH stores.

I learnt a lot from the experience and even got an interview slot in BFM with Oon Yeoh. Check out the podcast attached. If I sound nervous in the podcast, it is because I really am. Smile

 

P.S: I was hysterical when the book was in the 2nd place of local best sellers (non-fiction, Aug 2010).

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Is Friendster better off with MOL?

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In the last post, i had talked about losing mind share in US. However, Friendster is still very strong in Asia, especially in Malaysia and Philippines. Friendster is the #11 site in Malaysia and #6 in Philippines (Facebook is the #1 in both countries). However they have been losing market share for a long time (Friendster used to be the top site in Malaysia)

So the key question now is, Is Friendster better off with MOL than on their own?

The answer is YES for me on paper. Here are some reasons:

  1. Friendster can only survive by being a niche social media player.  Friendster is strong in Asia but they are still an American company (Australian CEO). So fundamentally, their insights on being a niche Asian Social Media player is limited. Therefore MOL will be able to provide these insights (Especially with Malaysia as one of their strong market)
  2. MOL is strong in Berjaya Group (Majority owner of MOL) has many B2C businesses like U-Mobile, Hotels and its many F&B Franchise business (Kenny Rogers, Wendy’s ETC. Avenues of monetising Friendster can be easier.
  3. With MOL already strong in Micro-Transaction, they would have the experience to monetize Friendster’s users. MOL and Friendster shared the same target market.

However, MOL is facing an uphill task. They need to settle down quick. Here are some of my key worries.

  1. MOL’s strategy of using Micro Transaction, Social Games and Music make sense but execution might be difficult as MOL has no prior experience managing a Web 2.0 company. Can MOL afford to make any rookie mistakes? Can they effectively manage cross culturally?
  2. Does Berjaya have the vision to stay with Friendster for the long run? Berjaya’s track record with MITV is not exactly fantastic. Will they see enough value in Friendster to invest more money if the goings get tough?

Friendster is losing mind share in the US – Try searching Friendster in Amazon

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Friendster is now Malaysian. Malaysia’s MOL has just bought Friendster a couple of weeks back for an undisclosed sum. It was rumored to be at the region of USD 26 million, a large sum of money considering the fact that they have been losing share and mindshare to Facebook. While I am happy that Malaysia finally have a global Web 2.0 company, I am skeptical on how Friendster can stay relevant in the Social Media sphere with the Goliath Facebook gaining market share day by day.

That skepticism was magnified when I tried looking for some books about Friendster in Amazon. The top 2 books that I found are Woman Loving Woman and Threesomes, Friendster has lost so much mindshare that it is even not featured in Amazon’s search engine . Not even one Friendster book is featured in the first 3 pages!

Friendster in Amazon

I hope Friendster’s 3 prong strategy on Microtransaction, Music and Social Gaming works. Or else, it will be a very expensive lesson for MOL.

All the best Friendster!! I agree with GreyReview, you need a fair dose of luck, lots of it!

Updated: In a different post, I mentioned that  Friendster is better off with MOL than on its own. Berjaya offer so much more value for Friendster to make money. I’m still skeptical, but I will be very happy if MOL can turn around Friendster. It will definitely improve Malaysia’s brand..

Office 2010: The Movie

An effort by Microsoft to promote Office 2010 movie style. So far so good, its the top 5 viral video for the past 24 hours (as at 10 July 09 by Unruly Media) with 66,000 views and 112 blog post.

If you want to try out the technical preview of Office 2010, check out this website Office 2010: The Movie Web site.

 

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What’s in the mind of a Malaysian Gen-Y?

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Read a insightful survey that I found on the net about a study about Malaysian’s Gen Y(millennials) workforce by PwC. This reports summarize the “turn-ons”  and “turn-offs” of a Malaysian Gen-Y worker.  This report provides some clues on how  a manager especially from the Gen-X and Baby Boomer era should manage a Gen-Y worker.

After reading it, I find that this report is also very useful for any marketer who wants to sell to Gen-Ys. Like it or not, Gen-Ys are going to contribute the bulk of consumer spending in the near future. Understanding what they turn them on is key for any marketer.

I compile some of the highlights of the report but to read more click here to Download survey

Highlights of a Global Gen-Y Worker

  1. Consistency gets stale. They want mobility throughout their career lifetime, preferably involving overseas stints.
  2. Job-hopping is overrated. Debunking the portfolio careers myth, our Gen Y will remain loyal to their employer – as long as they feel fulfilled in their role, that is.
  3. Green is in. Issues of sustainability and climate change are of major concern, and will affect their career choices.
  4. Can’t live without gadgets. They’ve grown up with technology – it is part and parcel of their lives, which includes the work they do for a living.
  5. The term work-life balance is passe. Employers can’t just encourage a balance but should provide the means for this balance through more flexible work hours.
  6. Respect my space, please. The Gen Y maintain clear separation between their work and personal lives, and are unwilling to share too much personal information with their employers.
  7. Coaching welcomed here. They prefer on-the-job development rather than formalised training, especially working with strong coaches and mentors.
  8. Cash is king. When it comes to benefits, cash bonuses are valued higher than training and development.
  9. We are all made the same. They believe in gender equality, where they and their partners will contribute an equal amount of financial support for their households.
  10. I rely on me. They will take personal responsibility for funding their retirement

The key findings reflect the views and opinions of our Malaysian Gen-Y worker, which for the most part mirror that of their global counterparts:

  • The majority hope to experience work life overseas – 88% expressed the desire to work abroad.
  • Corporate responsibility (CR) plays a big role for millennials in their choice of employer with 86% choosing employers with similar corporate responsibility values and 77% stating they would leave an employer whose values no longer matched their expectations.
  • Strong coaches and mentors are key to development – 98% of the respondents stated working with strong coaches and mentors was important to their personal development.
  • 65% indicated that they plan to self-fund their retirement while only 22% expected their retirement to be funded by their employers’ retirement scheme.
  • 68% of millennials believe that by 2020, China, Russia and India will have more economic influence than Europe and the USA.
  • Job hopping in a portfolio working arrangement is not likely. 86% of millennials believe they will only have between two and five employers and only 3% believe they will have 10 or more employers

Our millennials are hoping for a shift from traditional Asian work practices. 58% expect to work traditional work hours with some flexible hours and 57% selected flexi-hours as the most highly valued employee benefit.

  • Our millennials value privacy – only 29% are willing to share more personal information with their employers.
  • Cash is king for millennials – 49% value cash bonuses as one of the most preferred employee benefits.
  • Our millennials are on the fence on the current Malaysian economic health. However, almost three-quarters (72%) feel that the global economy is worse off.
  • They believe in gender equality. Two-thirds (66%) believe that they and their partners will contribute an equal amount of financial support to support the household.
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5 simple things to get more traffic to your page

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*image from http://www.jasimages.com/seo.htm

Those of you who is following my blog will know that i am very passionate about digital marketing. I believe that this the future of marketing. Here are some of my insights I learnt about digital marketing.

A key factor in a successful implementation of digital marketing lies in how easy is it for people to locate your webpage. Therefore, the higher your webpage in raking among the search engines ultimately decides how many eyeballs you can attract to your website. The techniques to make your webpage more search friendly is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO normally focus on 2 key areas, PageRank and Keywords. This time around i will focus on Keywords and leave the explanation of PageRank to another post.

To make your post more SEO friendly, here are 5 simple steps that you could make your webpage more visible

 

#1 Describing your page

Title of your webpage

The first place that Search engines crawls is the title of the webpage.How many times have you seen home page with the title “Home”, “Page 1”, “Products”. This titles tells the search engine nothing about the page. Put something meaningful like “Malaysia’s ABC Electronics – the sole distributor of Zune” rather than “ABC Electronics”

Description

Do the same for the description, make it as detail as possible within 255 characters.

Note: Never put  your title or description with something like this. “Chris Leong’s musings – Anything but porn and sex”. The first thing you must realize is, Google, Live Search or Yahoo are not humans. They don’t understand the meaning of the words, they index by keywords. The last thing you would like to see is that when people search for porn and sex, your webpage will be on the first page. 🙂

 

#2 Tagging your page

Bloggers would know what tagging means, generally they will tag their posting so that users know what the post is about. Same goes for webpage, it is easier for the search engine to know what the pages is about. Tag your page with specific keywords and not general keywords

 

#3 XML Sitemap

If you want to know more details of a book, sometimes you would browse through the table of contents to get an overall idea of what the webpage is about. Sitemap.XML works the same way. It allows the search engine to know how many pages you have and how deep they should index your page. Make it easier for the search engine to know what you have for them.

 

#4 Content

Content is king and your content must be updated frequently. Search engine will rank a page with lotsa update better than a page with no updates. Including a blog feature is one of the best way to engage with your readers and improve your search ranking. Many company’s website has already use this model and AirAsia is one of them.

 

#5 Naming your page, links and images

Search Engine also index your links and images. Therefore, don’t name your image of your post as Image1, or Image2 which does not mean anything. Put a meaningful name to your images so that you can increase the chances of web surfers bumping to your page. Same goes for your page links. If you have a product pages. Don’t name your link as “chrisleong.net/products.asp” give it a more meaningful name like “chrisleong.net/petaling_jaya_digitalcamera_shops”

 

As you can see, most of the tips here is quite simple. All it takes is some discipline in following it through.

P.S

I’m preparing a blog specially for internet marketing and need a good name for it? Any ideas?

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The Evolution of Marketing

This is not a funny version of “What is Marketing” which i posted earlier. It is a insightful video on how marketing/branding has change throughout the years. Every time there is a disruptive technology (Radio, TV), marketing will evolve.

With the rampant growth of Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and blogs, marketing has begun to change yet again. There are many opportunities for companies to leverage on this viral effect. The best news is, having money does not guarantee success in this new medium.

This level the playing field between startups and large corporations.

Check out the video, I find it insightful and I’m sure you do too.

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Visual Guide to the different usage of Twitter

There have been many questions about how Twitter can be use effectively. Here’s a useful guide about the various usage of Twitter. Nothing beats mind map in simplifying  things.

 

Here’s the guide

 

tweetcurrency1

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The Changing Faces of Marketing

There is this interesting video that I found about how the “conversation” between the Advertiser and Consumer has changed.

In the short film, Bring the love back, a smooth-talking male lead found that grandiose statements and superficial understanding were no longer enough to win the heart of his “consumer”. The movie was a word-of-mouth success, generating over 120,000 views and attracting links from over 370 sites.

This video highlights the increasingly growing gap between the marketers and consumers. It highlights the flaws of traditional marketing that relies on TV & Radio advertisements, outdoor adverts and printed adverts. Every brand will be preaching on messages like

  • Buy me, I will make you look thinner, prettier, younger and sexier
  • Buy me, You will look cool and girls will flock around you like birds

The common message is Buy, Buy, Buy. And if you have million of messages saying the same thing. Here is the amount of advertisement that an average American is exposed to

From the moment your radio alarm sounds in the morning to the wee hours of late-night TV microjolts of commercial pollution flood into your brain at the rate of around 3,000 marketing messages per day. Every day an estimated twelve billion display ads, 3 million radio commercials and more than 200,000 television commercials are dumped into North America’s collective unconscious”. (Wikipedia)

No wonder consumer are trained to ignore these messages and crave for a new type of dialogue. These days, progressive companies are focusing on life time revenue per customer rather than focusing on one-off purchases.

To do this, companies needs to be “friends” of their customers rather than just any other salesman.

The rise of citizen journalism

Citizen journalism according to Wikipedia

Citizen journalism, also known as public or participatory journalism or democratic journalism[1], is the act of non-professionals “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information,” according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis. They say, “The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires

I’m always amaze on how technology has put more power to people. Now blogs, Twitter, Facebook are gradually replacing traditional journalism in providing first hand news to the public. There are countless example of how technology have change how news are brought to us.

The first picture of the US Airways crash was actually provided by one of its passenger via Twitter. Janis Krums from Sarasota, Florida posts the first photo of U.S. Airways flight on Twitter. These are the little things that amaze me on the power of technology.

So its not surprising that even Dell uses Twitter to promote its product.Check it out here on how Dell use Twitter to promote its product

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