Tag Archives: Digital Confidence

The event at California Vintage on April 17th, 2013 was lead by Jay Oatway.
Social Media has become very important over the past 10 years and has so much power behind it today, that it even drives certain brands and businesses. Despite being around for such a long time, not everyone knows how to use it and a few people admitted to this during the event.
Social Media doesn’t have to be complicated; it’s merely people being social in a digital space. Jay Oatway (@jayoatway) explains the different platforms available – and that it’s vital to use them in order to create an online presence for your brand. It can be confusing to figure out which is best for you, but don’t let it discourage you from at least trying some out and exploring each platform.
Twitter has wide and diverse users who will talk about anything and everything… even their breakfast. This platform uses updates from users in the form of  a Tweets – and when posting you’re restricted to 140 characters. Don’t be discouraged by that, as Oatway explains that people use hashtags (like #wmnsocial101) to monitor conversations.
Popular hashtags trend, so sometimes you’ll see real time news before the news broadcasters have even written about it. I have found tweeting to be very beneficial to TMB, helping me to build up like-minded followers and tweet useful links that are relevant to the topics on my blog.
As social media is all about presence for brands, Oatway advises people to customise their profiles. Use a real picture of yourself as a profile picture. It can put potential followers off if your tweets and profile look like a hard brand and not a human tweeting behind that brand.
Once you’ve got the profile sorted, then what do you tweet? Social media is about sharing stories, so don’t be afraid to interact and share yours. You can search for your interests on Twitter and then interact with those who have the same interest, by asking questions or adding value to questions other people have tweeted. Oatway explains that not enough people listen, so it’s best to listen first and then add value. Another big no-no on Twitter is to shout about your products or service non stop – so be careful.
Did you now that George Takei is one of the most influential people on Facebook? I mention this because it can be useful to look at what other people are doing and seeing how they’re interacting with people, then implement it to suit your brand. Facebook is great because you can create your own page and schedule when to post at a relevant time, by using the clock icon. This is ideal if you’re a very busy person (I use this a lot, because I don’t always have time to post things when I want).
When using Facebook for business or personal purposes, Oatway stresses that it’s important to always have a positive attitude when sharing. Keep it positive and try to ignore people who attempt to get a bad reaction from you. Heated debates can arise from controversial news or personal opinions. In those situations, other users can try to evoke negativity. Since social media is a space where people can put across their personal opinions, whether it’s on your blog or your brand page, always deal with negative comments in a positive way.
LinkedIn is seen as more of a serious platform where people tend to discuss business and your profile reflects your resume. This may be the case, but Oatway says don’t be afraid to use LinkedIn for networking or creating groups with common topics as it’s not just a job hunting platform. You can still find groups based on your personal interests, but be careful if the group if of a slightly controversial topic because if you’re connected to work colleagues, they can see your groups on your profile.
If you are going to use your brand as a group, or create a group that shares interests on LinkedIn, then you need to continuously post and invite others, or it won’t thrive or grow.
Oatway compares social media to gardening where profiles and groups will only grow if they’re maintained daily with posts and responses to comments. This is something I can relate to, as it’s a problem that I face on a regular basis when finding interesting links to share on my platforms.A scheduling app, such as Hootsuite or Buffer will usually solve this problem, letting you line up posts and connect all your platforms to the app. Not only that, but there’s prime posting times and Oatway mentions this briefly. It’s good to post during those times so more people see your content.
This is a platform that I’m still figuring out for myself, but I know it’s really important for search engine rankings (SEO) because, well, it’s Google. According to Oatway, this is an up and coming social network, so it’s good to get on there while it’s becoming increasingly used. What’s interesting about G+ is that it uses circles, instead of friends, followers or connections. You can build circles according to who they are and what they do, so you can have circles with successful women, circles with friends, circles with family… the list goes on. You can also share these circles, so it’s good for businesses.
Google+ is similar to Facebook in that you can create pages for your brand. It’s very visual with a large section for cover photos, but what differentiates G+ from Facebook is that you can create communities on G+. Communities are similar to groups in LinkedIn, so you can have a space where other users can have their input. It’s important to provide a space for users to do this as Oatway emphasises that listening in social media is vital in helping you know what followers and customers like and don’t like. When you know your audience, you can make changes to better your website, business or platform.
Quick Tips
  • Be consistent with all your profiles – ensure they all have the same logo
  • Listen more than you talk – learn from people’s advice or opinions
  • Share positivity – ignore the negativity and rise above the trolls
  • Grow the communities you want – find interests and like-minded users
Towards the end of the event, Oatway offers advice on digital marketing strategies and advises to use advertising and sponsored stories within Facebook. As it’s a very popular platform, users Like a lot of pages. You will have to compete with others in regard to how you show up on a user’s news feed (Edgeranking) and paid advertising helps you stay in people’s feeds for longer. He said it’s also good to gain more Facebook Likes on your page, so you have more people to advertise to.
If you’re completely new to social media, then it’s probably a good idea to choose 1 or 2 platforms and then slowly build them up. Follow other influential users and people/ groups who post content you’re interested in, then wait for the right moment to add value to discussions. If you’re looking to create multiple accounts on different platforms for your brand, then it’s a good idea to look into an app to assist with posting, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.
At the end of the day, everyone has an opinion on social media and which platforms they prefer. Everyone uses it differently too. I actually don’t know much about LinkedIn and Google+ as they’re not my preferred platforms but since the event I have considered using them more. Social media is always growing and networking sites are always evolving, adding new features and changing layouts. It comes with many advantages, including feedback for your brand, so join in the conversation, share your stories and create a buzz.

Next Wednesday (April 17th) is our next event, and one that I requested. That’s right my friends in media, a social media 101.

Why? Well since I started at WMN as the community manager, I found that while we have a lot of points to cover in our events, we have much less chatter online. But aren’t we all working in media? Don’t we know how to use these modern modes of communication? Aren’t we all tech savvy?

I’m hoping, in part, to find out the answer to that during the session. While it’s easy to think that those in the media industry might be on top of such modern phenomena, there’s no reason to assume so. In fact, often those higher up in their departments are often behind on these things, because they simply don’t have time to find out how, or, forget their password from the one hour during which, with gusto, they had decided to learn something new.

Jay Oatway will lead us in our session, in which I have asked him to literally teach us how to post and how to tweet. That shouldn’t take long, so we hope for an interactive session with some useful dos and donts as well as general brand advice for those also representing a brand online, as well as themselves.

I did notice that during our last session we saw a few more tweeters online. Perhaps it was because we were at Bloomberg – and afforded the luxury of two screens showing our event hashtag and the flow of Twitter conversations going on. I definitely picked up a few followers from the event then as well. So I hope that after this, we’ll have even more of our WMN members online, chatting and tweeting away with us.

Please join us for our debate and share your ideas and thoughts with us before hand, on our social media platforms (#wmnsocial101)



LinkedIn group


To sign up for the event, click here.




JayOatway, JayOatway.com

Jay has more than 100,000 social media followers worldwide and has been dubbed “Hong Kong’s answer to Twitter royalty” by Marketing magazine. He is also a co-founder of the popular MeetUp group #HKSocial andSocial Media Week Hong Kong.

Bring: your social tool of choice and your questions.




The below is a summarised version of a round-up printed in Content Asia magazine, complete with bar charts and images. Here, we can only post the basic editorial copy.



Hong Kong is the only place in Asia where women outnumber men online, delegates at the Women Media Networks (WMN) Singapore’s “Digital Me” breakfast at the end of June heard.


According to comScore’s Samantha Oh, women in Hong Kong make up 51.8% of the territory’s online population. Hong Kong is one of only five countries/territories in the world where women outnumber men online.


At the same time, women in Asia spend way less time online than anywhere else in the world – 17.1 hours a month compared to the global average of 23.4 hours. Women in North America spend the most time online (37.9 hours),  ollowed by women in Europe (25.9) and Latin America (22.5).


Retail, education, email, blogs and travel index high for women in Singapore, Oh said in a presentation that bust the big five myths about women online.


Malaysian and Indian women by far outstrip the worldwide average for share of time spent on social networks, email and instant messaging. In Malaysia, women spend 38% of their time on social networks, 5% on email and 3% on instant messaging.

Indian women are slightly behind Malaysia at 29% of time on social networks, but are still way ahead of the 24% worldwide average and the 22% that Singapore women spend on social networks.


“Women do online whatever they do offline, except they do it more,” panellist Kerry Brown, Nielsen’s director, cross platform

audience measurement, APMEA, told delegates at the breakfast, hosted at Google in Singapore.


The panel discussion ranged from strategies for balancing online and offline activities and the different “trust” levels involved in online activities. “Banks are highly trusted,” said Anne Lochoff, McCann Singapore’s executive director.


Brown added that people were being more truthful online today than they were five or six years ago.


Gina Romera, entrepreneur and founder of The Athena Network, said levels of authenticity online were rising. “Social media is opening us up to who we really are,” she said.

Having attended and appreciated previous WMN events in Hong Kong, I was pleased to accept an invitation from WMN to speak on a panel last month for the Digital Confidence: How to Use Social Media to Enhance Your Career event.


I run a search firm, Trufflepig Search, focusing on searches for mid to senior level communications professionals for companies in the APAC region. Over the years as social media has changed from a niche interest to being an indispensable part of communications functions across industries, professionals keen on keeping up with all the new vehicles social media now affords for PR, marketing or advertising purposes, are dealing with several challenges.

Some questions that arise frequently are:

  1. How can digital/social media be integrated into existing functions?
  2. How can I keep up with all the new technology and new platforms?
  3. As a communications professional, does social media’s now permanent popularity mean I must use it personally as well as professionally and how can I leverage this to benefit my career?


WMN proposed a panel to answer all these questions and more.

Joining me on the panel were Jocelyn Liipfert, Head of Social Media at TBWA and Jay Oatway, digital consultant and author of Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Social Leader. With a few other co-organizers, Jocelyn, Jay and I organize #HKSocial – a popular monthly networking event focused on digital/ social media happenings in Hong Kong.


Jocelyn – whose career I’ve witnessed moving forward with leaps and bounds – shared her experiences creating a great professional niche for herself in the social media field and Jay provided clear insight into what tools he would advise professionals to focus on among the many choices available. Fielding questions from the gathered audience and sharing experiences, the event provided an excellent opportunity to have a transparent exchange of views between attendees and panelists. Meredith Oke of WMN facilitated the discussion excellently, keeping us all on track as we panelists love talking on these topics at length.

One of the questions I received was whether LinkedIn was a useful tool to promote oneself professionally.

My answer: In my experience as a headhunter, our researchers (as do I) use LinkedIn. It’s a tool to create a broad idea of potential talent. While I do post jobs there from time-to-time, we develop candidates more from reaching out to existing contacts and sources in our networks and developing specific research based on the job in hand that we are seeking to fill with the best possible talent. So, yes, while professionals who are keeping an eye out for new opportunities should certainly create and use LinkedIn profiles, it cannot be the only way, nor should it consume all your job seeking time. But if you are on it and want to be contacted, do make it easy for someone to contact you.


I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the panel as much as I did.



To learn more about Jay’s book and to read an extract, members can view this blog entry.