The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Coffee talk: Dionne Lew, social media strategist — August 3, 2015

Coffee talk: Dionne Lew, social media strategist

This week’s Coffee Talk spotlights the upcoming Australian Social Media Best Practice, a promoted event in Sydney. This event is part of a 3-days series geared toward content creation and marketing, and will feature highly regarded social strategist, author, and speaker Dionne Lew.

While talking with Dionne, we got the scoop on internet privacy, great social strategy and how she keeps her social skills sharp with the ever-changing landscape. Learn more at her panel in September!

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve always been a voracious reader and an unstoppably curious person. I became interested in digital and social before they were mainstream. In 2006, the marketing and communication budgets I was seeing didn’t align with what research said about where audiences were. They still don’t. I was fortunate that the CEO of my company let me experiment with overhauling communication. I learned by doing, I made mistakes, and I had successes. But my passion for the possibilities of online grew and continue to grow. I believe digital and social are inseparable from leadership, and even from the way we think.

The information available to us at a single click is astounding. Right now I can go online and learn Greek, Math, or even how to program a computer from prestigious universities located anywhere in the world — for little cost. When in history have we been able to do this?

You’re a social media strategist, author, and speaker. Which companies/brands/organizations do you think do social media particularly well and why?

I’m particularly interested in social leadership — how leaders use social media and how they empower staff to do the same. This is a bit different than great social media campaigns, of which there are many. There’s a lot to be done in the social leadership space, which is the work I love. The challenge is proving the value of time spent being social online to influencers. It’s coming.

It’s good to see that David Thodey and Andy Penn from Telstra are on Twitter. Mike Smith from ANZ is there now too, and ANZ is showing how amplification is achieved when staff is empowered to get on board. Ahmed Fahour at Australia Post is tweeting.

You see a lot of leaders using LinkedIn now, which makes sense as it’s a key business platform. 7 million professionals in Australia have a presence on LinkedIn, including BHP’s Andrew Mackenzie, Westpac’s Brian Jartzer, and Woolworths’ Grant O’Brien.

But signing up and not doing anything is a bit like going to a cocktail party and standing in the corner. I’d really like to see Australian leaders using more of the social sharing functionality on LinkedIn, which can be massive.

What does a good social media strategist do? What does a GREAT social media strategist do?

Teaching someone what social media is, who to reach, and how to measure influence is one thing. Opening an already highly intelligent, strategic thinker to the possibilities of online interaction is another. Getting those people to read Edge.org or watch TED, sparking new ideas by pushing them down digital rabbit holes — this is the real gold.

Part of enabling this transformation is psychological. It’s the hand hold across the bridge from analog to digital. That means 100% knowing that these individuals already have the intelligence/capabilities, and that you’re simply showing them how to navigate the technology side. It’s giving learners the confidence to explore by saying, “this is easy (which it is), you just need to be yourself (which is true) and here – let me get you started.” From there, in my experience, these people just take off.

You’re speaking at the upcoming Australian Social Media Best Practice. What’s special about this event?

Content Days, Sydney

Practitioners coming together to share what they’ve learned. In social, we’re all each others’ best teachers. What worked, what didn’t, and why — it’s a constant exchange of ideas. There’s so much happening all the time that it’s impossible to keep up. You can’t as do it merely as an individual, but you can as a collective. People are so generous with what they’ve learned. You can get a massive dose of that in a short period of time at Australian Social Media Best Practice. Binge learning from those at the frontline. Can’t wait!

Many people are concerned with the oft-blurred lines between social media and privacy. What advice do you have for an individual or business with fears and/or privacy concerns?

My advice is that privacy is not the same as sharing — and that there’s no technological fix for good judgment. You can share online just as in real life without being an open book. Privacy is a huge issue. I get irritated when people say there’s no need to worry about privacy if you’ve got nothing to hide. People have a right to be private and they have a right so speak out, it’s a balance each person should control.

One of the reasons I love Twitter is because it’s a truly global, social, open platform. You know that everything you say is shared with everyone. It’s trickier if you’re on a platform (like Facebook) where what you post may reach people you’re unaware of. Take the time to educate yourself or speak to someone who can help you choose your individual/business settings on various social platforms to operate with the right balance.

How do you keep up with the ever-changing social media scene/landscape?

No one keeps up. But it’s good thing to identify the influencers whose job it is to try and keep up and read their stuff. People like Robert Scoble, Ian Cleary, Brian Fanzo, Ted Coine, Trevor Young, Mark Schaeffer, Mairi Smith, Pam Moore, Anne Handley — the list goes on. There are also real experts with deep insights who may not be as known, but you can often find them on platforms like Medium where quality content is more discoverable.

Personally, I look to the great curators — sites like Edge.org or Brain Pickings. You need filters or you will get overwhelmed. A glib, 600-word blog post doesn’t do it for me as I like more dense, data-driven insight. But even as I read, watch, listen, write — I know that an explosion of valuable learnings is being shared somewhere that may be unknown to me. It’s how it is.

What, if any, social media trends would you like to see vanish forever?

Automated DM in Twitter.

Where can we find you in Melbourne, Australia?

I work in a collaborative office in Lennox Street, Richmond, but wherever I am with my Mac and Wi-Fi is home.

Last, how do you like your coffee?

Hot skinny flat white with a quarter of a sugar. Code Black. Boney Coffee. Patricia.

The top 10 business books every professional and entrepreneur should read — July 31, 2015

The top 10 business books every professional and entrepreneur should read

There are hundreds of thousands of books about business available today, which can make it tough to cut through the noise to find those that actually provide actionable advice. From great reads for startup CEOs to books about the importance of team building and psychology, we’re sharing a few of our favorites:

  1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

    It’s an unfortunate fact that 80 percent of startups fail, but Ries believes that many of them don’t have to. When writing, he considers that a majority of failed companies don’t have the surplus time, money or manpower to complete extensive A/B testing and other market research strategies — so he offers advice about how to reduce product development cycles, find out what customers really want, and adapt to the marketplace before resources run out.

  2. Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

    There’s a reason why this book landed on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Seller lists. A company is only as good as the talent it attracts and keeps, so Bock offers an in-depth explanation for a proper manager-employee relationship. Furthermore, he lists the exact qualities to look for when adding members to a team and explains the importance of finding balance between encouraging creativity and maintaining structure. Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work, and the insights shared here make it easy to understand why.

  3. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick

    How did a student create one of the fastest growing companies of all time, completely transforming the Internet and how humans interact online? Here, veteran technology reporter Kirkpatrick offers a detailed history of Facebook and how it became the incredible company that it is today. This impressive, inside story speaks to why Facebook was started, the company’s early missteps, power of uncompromised vision, struggle between growth versus profit, and what’s next.

  4. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

    It’s a well-known fact that it’s easier and more cost-effective to keep a customer than acquire a new one. Eyal takes this concept a step further by exploring intriguing questions such as: why do some products get mass attention while others just flop? What makes a product so addictive that the customer can’t put it down? Is there a pattern as to how technologies hook us? Based on years of research, experience and consultations, Eyal is able to share smart findings along with practical, actionable steps for building a successful product.

  5. Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro

    One of the best ways to learn is by example, and Shapiro’s book is chock-full of summaries that cover companies with varying degrees of success. Vividly explained are the five stages of a startup CEO, how to finish with respect to board members, staying loyal to a management team, and tips for maintaining financial security. As one reviewer wrote, “The thing that sets Dan’s writing apart from other startup books/blogs is his focus on translating his experiences (across several different types companies) into actionable advice for other entrepreneurs.”

  6. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

    “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.” We’ve all heard the popular phrase “mind over matter,” and Dweck builds on this age old theory that with the right mindset, you can change your internal dialogue from being judgmental to helping one to grow; from praising talent to acknowledging hard work. Many have deemed this a must-read for anyone in a leadership position (including managers, teachers, parents and even CEOs).

  7. Hackers And Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham

    Graham takes the unique approach of drawing on historical events and examples to explore what he calls, “an intellectual Wild West” in this series of essays. As computers swiftly take over our lives, Graham discusses the roles of programmers, hackers, and software designers and how they will forever change how we think and live. While you may disagree on some of his views on life, it will certainly get you thinking.

  8. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki

    In the 1980s, Kawasaki helped shape Apple into one of the greatest companies of the century. As founder and CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, he has field-tested his ideas with dozens of entrepreneurial companies. With the incredible experience and success to back up his theories (presented with humor and real-world savvy), Kawasaki brings an arsenal of ideas to equip any business owner for potential challenges.

  9. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

    Theil started PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and took it public in 2002 — establishing a new era of fast and secure online commerce. Here, Theil shares his personal insights and anecdotes while raising important questions for budding entrepreneurs, including: Is now the right time to start your particular business? Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product? Are you starting with a big share of a small market? With strong ideas and principles to help build the foundation of any business, Thiel’s advice shouldn’t be missed.

  10. The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz

    If you want a simple, cut-to-the-chase approach to launching a startup, this is it. Michalowicz explains his path to success in just three simple steps: 1) Plant the right seeds by identifying the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it; 2) Weed out the loser customers that waste your time and invest in the customers that add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth; and 3) Nurture the winners by focusing on how you can make their wishes come true and deliver on every single promise.

About our contributor // Christina Morales is a freelance writer specializing in creating online marketing content. Her dream is to one day rule the world with just an iPad, a case of Cherry Coke, Twizzlers, and a glue gun.

Featured job: Content optimisation specialist, Sportsbet, Australia — July 28, 2015

Featured job: Content optimisation specialist, Sportsbet, Australia

Featured job: Sports Bet

Sportsbet makes sport betting a fun and entertaining experience, offering  tools that help people assess their gambling habits, manage their betting activity, and provide access to problem gambling help services.

One of the best things about working at Sportsbet is the chance to truly grow a career. The company has just promoted the former Content Optimisation Specialist, which has created an opportunity for a content-loving sports enthusiast to jump into the open position.

This role sits within the Digital Operations teams at Sportsbet and forms part of the wider marketing team, which loves pushing boundaries. With a strong focus on innovation, the team is constantly searching for extraordinary new ways to attract attention. Sportsbet marketers use traditional and digital media to attract punters to the brand. Additionally, they’re dead keen on bringing the Sportsbet personality to life by thinking outside the box to invent brilliant campaigns.

About you

Sportsbet is looking for someone who lives and breathes digital platforms, understands what drives consumers to transact online, and who has a passion for sports. The team has promoted one superstar and is looking for the next. Do you have what it takes to fill these shoes?

Responsibilities

  • Ensure the Sportsbet.com.au digital properties display the best and most relevant content, in all places, at all times
  • Optimise the display of betting markets and promotional content to match the sporting calendar.
  • Manage and display complimentary content and respond to real-time opportunities during live sporting events.
  • Enhance the customer experience when interacting with digital properties by making measurable improvements to Sportsbet’s digital platforms.
  • Manage marketing-focused product development projects & pipeline, and contribute to digital solution development in cross functional teams.
  • Improve our owned digital platforms by developing insights and identifying opportunities for enhancement, and coordinating innovation initiatives from the marketing team.

Requirements

  • Excellent communication skills & ability to build and maintain strong internal relationships
  • Advanced numeracy and analytical skills with the ability to tell the story not just read the numbers.
  • Advanced understanding of consumer behaviour
  • Understanding of key events on sporting/racing calendar
  • Ability to work under pressure and on own initiative
  • Bachelors’ degree in marketing, business or commerce discipline
  • Experience in a digital marketing role within an e-commerce business
  • Experience using HTML and WordPress preferred

If you’re a solutions-focused self-starter who loves a bit of fun, likes to watch sports, and is committed to real time online content and product improvements then Sportsbet wants to hear from you. Sportsbet offers 5 weeks’ annual leave, great benefits and an awesome work culture. You’re at odds on for a rewarding career!

Sound like a fit? Apply here.

When it’s time to stay or when it’s time to go: how to know when it’s the right time to move on from your job — July 20, 2015

When it’s time to stay or when it’s time to go: how to know when it’s the right time to move on from your job

A job is a huge part of your identity and security, along with where you spend most of your waking time. For passionate employees, it can also serve as a foundation for future hopes and dreams. With such focus on work, it’s no wonder that finding the right company and role or considering leaving a current one is a major life decision.

Are you stuck in a professional limbo like this right now? If so, you might be losing sleep or feeling as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Hopefully, these considerations can help you make the best decision as to what to do moving forward:

You feel stressed out

According to the American Institute of Stress, 76% of people surveyed say that work and money are a leading causes of stress, listing job pressure as the number one reason they feel stressed out. 48% of respondents went on to share that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life, with 30% claiming that they’re “always” or “often” under stress at work.

Stress is a very real and present force in the workplace, causing a multitude of employees to suffer daily. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that stress costs $26 billion in medical and disability payments in addition to $95 billion in lost productivity per year. If you’re in a stressful situation (either mentally or physically) that negatively affects your quality of life, you have sound reason to consider searching for a different company or job.

You’ve lost your passion

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home…it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it,” wisely said writer Chuck Palahniuk. A loss of passion related to personal growth and shifting interests can happen, particularly after spending a long period of time in a specific role or industry.

Do you dread going to work every morning? Are you bored out of your mind when you think about your to-do list? Are you disappointed that your talents aren’t being tapped? If any of these ring true, make it a point to speak with your manager first. In this case, your boss may be able to reassign you to a different project or position that’s better suited for your skill set and passions. No luck after catching up? You may want to consider alternative work options.

Things have changed with the company

Change at work is inevitable, but it can be a very real reason for feelings of discontent. Adjustments could include a boss you don’t jive with, out of scope work or a change in direction, lackluster projects, or new duties that deserve (and don’t receive) higher compensation. Feeling unheard or undervalued can increase feelings of bitterness, and the best thing to do in any of these instances is to directly discuss your feelings with a manager. If improvements aren’t made following a conversation, be honest with yourself and move on.

The office is a toxic environment

Do colleagues make sexist comments? Are teammates bullied or ridiculed? Do you feel as if you’re discriminated against for any reason? If so, be sure to create a strong paper trail. To do so properly, file a company complaint with a direct supervisor or the human resources department. Next, file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident. For further legal advice, contact a lawyer to guide you through necessary actions. While it’s understandable to want to move on as quickly and quietly as possible, protecting your rights and those of teammates who may have also been violated should always be carefully considered.

You’ve reached an ethical crossroads

Joining a new company is great, but sometimes the inner workings and true nature aren’t revealed until you’ve been at it for a while. Do you find that the mission, culture or values at your workplace make you cringe? Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author, suggests that you should consider jumping ship if, “you feel that there are ethical or moral differences in how the company and you believe the firm should operate; cultural differences; work ethic clashes, and so on.”

You’re being transitioned out

Much like in a romantic relationship, there are often evident signs that hint the end could be near. Staff management expert Alison Green warns that, “If your boss used to give you feedback in person and now she’s putting criticism in emails, she may be creating a paper trail to build a case for firing you. Many companies require written documentation of problems and warnings before an employee is let go.”

Other signs of an impending transition may be a slower flow of projects or a lack of thoughtful feedback when you share concerns.

While deciding to leave a job is never easy, taking thoughtful steps can ease your stress and ensure that you’re making the best choice possible. Be sure to research all of your options before throwing in the towel, and remember that every job has benefits and setbacks. Should you decide to make a leap and try something new, asking trusted friends for opinions, saving a portion of your income, and keeping your resume/portfolio updated for a job hunt will all help make the transition process easier.

About our writer // Christina Morales is a freelance writer specializing in creating online marketing content. Her dream is to one day rule the world with just an iPad, a case of Cherry Coke, Twizzlers, and a glue gun.

How to connect with top players in your industry while working from home — July 7, 2015

How to connect with top players in your industry while working from home

Working from home comes with a plethora of benefits including low to no overhead, the convenience of creating your own schedule, and working in a space where you can best focus on a project. However, there are also some relatively large drawbacks when you work in isolation, including a lack of effective networking opportunities. Having a hard time creating relationships with thought leaders and influencers in your industry? Here are some fool-proof ways that you can connect with important people in your field while managing your workload remotely:

1) Find relevant online groups

One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is its capacity to bring like-minded people together. The hard part isn’t necessarily finding a group; it’s deciding which ones to follow! On Linkedin, search in the “Interests” category to determine which group best suits what you’re looking for. If you can’t find one that fits, you might consider starting your own. Another good resource for finding relevant groups and influencers is Twitter. Click on a category of interest and follow leading players. From there, comment on their tweets or start a chat of your own. You may also consider following some blogs written by successful people in your field. Many times, they’ll share great tips and advice to follow. Leave a comment at the end of their blog and it’s likely they’ll respond. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the online communities that are available.

2) Attend events

It’s nice to chat online and join in discussions, but let’s face it: nothing makes as big an impression as face-to-face meetings. Websites like The Fetch gather important events in major cities around the world so that you can meet with others in your industry. If you don’t live near one of these metropolises, don’t worry. You still can attend chamber mixers, conferences, or special interest clubs in your own demographic through meetups that highlight events within a certain radius of your specific city.

3) Connect with friends (and their friends)

Whether you realize it or not, every friend you have on Facebook and every person you chat with at a party is part of your networking strategy. Think of it like this: if you have 300 friends on Facebook and each of those friends has 300 friends, you are just two steps away from thousands of people who could potentially impact your career. So make your dreams and what you do for a living known! Who knows if your high school buddy has a friend at Lucas Films or a cousin at Amazon that would be willing to give you a few pointers as to how to enter their companies.

4) Leave an online trail

Another way to meet professionals in your field is to leave a strong paper trail on the Internet. Publish your works on Articlebase, Tumblr, Google+, or LinkedIn. Create a blog to shares your professional tips and insights, and share your posts on Twitter or Facebook. Get your name out there and let others in your field find you while they’re scanning through search engine results. (Another benefit to this: you will establish credibility in your field by the knowledge you share.)

It can be difficult to connect with others in your industry when working from home, but reaching your professional potential and creating success are both tied to the business relationships that you create. Keeping up to date in your field and finding future job opportunities will depend on the people that you know or reach out to. It may take a little extra time, but the benefits will far outweigh the sacrifice.

About our writer // Christina Morales is a freelance writer specializing in creating online marketing content. Her dream is to one day rule the world with just an iPad, a case of Cherry Coke, Twizzlers, and a glue gun.

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