We should meet more!

Yesterday I met with a Swedish friend of mine and we had a mindblowing conversation about what people and businesses are capable of – especially facilitated by technology and..other people.  But to give you a bit of a backstory, I first met her when she hired me, as a consultant to a Danish insurance company where we had to find out what people where saying about their brand on the internet – and also she hired me to speak about my book ‘Return on Involvement’ at her conference in Stockholm back in 2009.

And we’ve been meeting regularly ever since – especially when she was in Copenhagen having meetings about her startup, or when we were both covering a tech conference as a ‘blogger’ producing content around the conferences.

Anyway, We started talking about climate change, climate action, political correctness and the fact that everybody says that change is needed when it comes to climate change. Everyone from the world leaders to the individual swede ( who refuses to fly anywhere and only eats vegan) knows this. My mother knows this. We all know that we have to do something substantial. Soon, the new report from the IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) comes out and I am hoping that even though we already know the situation is grave, there is going to be some recommendations for how to cut carbon quickly so we can also predict a hockey stick curve (no pun intended to VC’s) of exponential growth when it comes to saving the planet, circular economies and implementation of renewables (and not just when it comes to return on investment).

However, we ended up with, that a lot of the ways that we are approaching these global challenges and these problems are not efficient – sometimes they are even wrong, because of the accessibility between people. I mean, most really great things that have happened in my life, has been because I have been lucky enough to meet brilliant people. – Not follow them on digital platforms but actually meet them. That’s when you spur conversation, that’s when you have your eyes open and hear what other people have to say and ask them about all kinds of different questions, ask for feedback on your crazy ideas and maybe even build something cool together.

At least, me and my cool Stockholm friend – we have kept the conversation going for almost a decade now. And I plan to do more of these things. Keeping the conversation going – and documenting some of the stories and ideas I find, on the crossroads between tech, sustainability, impact and branding on this blog.


How to develop a hashtag strategy

how to develop a hashtag strategy

Have you ever thought about adding a hashtag strategy to your digital marketing plan?

A hashtag strategy is where you’re mapping down the hashtags you’re going to use for your content on social media. You have to ask yourself if you’re going to use hashtags for measurement or community building (or maybe a bit of both).

So how do you develop a hashtag strategy?

There are several different layers to it. The first is to figure out what hashtags are the most used on a global level based on which social media is being used. Here you can see the most used hashtags on Instagram and Twitter (in my opinion the two places where hashtags are used best for brand building and community building).

After you’ve printed these hashtags in your mind, it’s time to get closer, especially if your content is localised, and you’re not communicating in English on Instagram or Twitter. Try to have a look around on both Instagram and Twitter and see if there are any hashtags that are localised that people use? Localised can also be within a certain theme or subject. I have done a bunch of work for a record label lately (community building and digital strategic consulting). For a record label, some of the best hashtags aren’t #love #instagood or #tbt. Those hashtags known to be the biggest, but they should rather use hashtags such as #nowplaying and #listeningto that people use to find new music suggestions. So even though you know what hashtags are the biggest, they might not be  relevant for you and your brand.

You can also develop your own hashtags. It’s a great way for people to hook up with each other if they are at the same event, or if they are interested in certain topics. Even if n you want to create movements and get people to post images or tweets about certain discussions or on certain days. Hashtags are a fun way to engage, and a great method to build digital communities and have people connect offline at events as well.

When you’re done researching hashtags, and have created your own – you can always keep track of the impact they have on a service such as hashtracking.

All in all hashtags are a community builders game out there, but it’s such a creative thrill to work with them.

rock on







Social media value chain: Learn the art of listening

 Years ago, I created my very own social media value chain mainly to guide me along my work around branding, identity and social networking initiatives. It was just a spur of the moment, curly creative, seminal, scraggly map which I shared in a post here.
social media value chain by henriette weber first edition

But you know what? Surprise, surprise…

Although I did not know then that this map would be very useful in guiding me through my consultations with existing clients and helped me clinch projects with potential clients, it was more like a trial and error journey. There are some highs and a few lows but, I learned a lot through my interactions with business owners and my tweaks in social campaigns.

I even published an ebook, “Rock Your Identity”  to spread the good news. Rock Your Identity is sort of a mini-guide on how you can elevate your identity in social media to rock star status. No worries, rockers, you can download a free copy here.

Here’s a quick model of my social media value chain, distilled through years of practice. This is what a social networking value chain look like:

social media value chain by henriette weber final edition

Today, I won’t dwell too much on everything that I discussed in the ebook, because I assumed that all those who have not yet read it will want to know what the hell I’m talking about. However a value chain of social network is something I deem extremely important in your social media process.

Well, I like to amplify more on that first step when you engage in social media – learning the art of listening. Yeah, it may sound simple when all you listen to are five-star reviews and glowing feedbacks. But how will you react to those big, fat zero reviews and negative feedbacks? It’s too sad that a lot of business has failed miserably in their social media campaigns because they are just not prepared to handle social criticisms.

Sure, they have risk management teams and PRs to handle these situations. But generally, these efforts are superficial at best. In the intolerant and opinionated culture of social media, they only aggravate the brand’s image.

In any case – you have to know how to use those reviews (positive or negative) to add up to the bottom line of your company.

social media value chain: capitalize on user innovation

But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side is just as important. Most companies, after investing much time and effort in engaging their most dedicated consumers, fail to capitalize on user innovation, when those consumers have improved the products to fit their needs. Really, it’s one thing to decorate those suggestion boxes with all the latest tools you can get your hands on but, if those suggestions go straight to the trash… Oh, what a waste.

The culprit? Most brands are just not ready to jump into concrete actions on what they are hearing on social platforms. It’s a needed individual flow, somewhat like dancing into the groove. How are you going to make those comments or those ratings a part of your brand?

Maybe they are too proud to acknowledge suggestions coming from the front thinking wrongly that their R&Ds, with all the glowing resumes and fat salaries, are more equipped to handle product improvements. Maybe they think that their risk management plans can gloss over their shortcomings and everything will be fine tomorrow.

Here’s the gauntlet – everything comes down to one essential question: how do you react to what you hear around your brand? And have you set up a system that gives you a hunch around what you’re supposed to hear?

Last week I was at a conference in Copenhagen (at Better Place and on a side note I urge you to choose a car with a purpose the next time you’re purchasing).  The ever-awesome Chief Happiness Officer: Alex Kjerulf told a story about Zappos and how they found out that the reason one of their clients hadn’t returned the goods she said she would was because her husband died. Later that day, not only did they pick up the goods themselves, there was also a gigantic flower bucket standing on her porch with condolences from the whole Zappos team.

Do you have an organization that would do that? Do you have people in your employ that simply implements this because of the brand’s DNA ?

Yes, you can market on pinterest if you are pinteresting

So everybody is head over heels about pinterest. So am I. Even though I normally say “nevermind the the tools, it’s about how to connect with the people+businesses that uses them” I think pinterest is super fun.

It’s not boring and community-setup like like facebook and ning and twitter and what have you. pinterest is different. But do you know what I really LOVE about it ? That in order to use it for marketing purposes you need to become creative. “Creative companies only” that wants to go the extra mile to exist on pinterest. Because you HAVE to figure out what you stand for.

On pinterest, You have to figure out why your  interesting and turning it into pinteresting

Hey I know – that’s normally my job – and pinterest may end taking me out of business – but we’re all here for a greater purpose and if it means i need to sit in a grocery store from 9 – 5 each day in order for companies to see the light and figure out who they really are…? so be it.

I think it’s one of the new ways of using the web- I love that it makes me more inspired. My life seems interest with pinterest and to tell you the truth I kind of got tired of browsing all your status updates in my spare time.

Now I can browse things you think is cool instead. I love the idea that if I look at my “the style of a social web rockn’roll chick” or my “things for my small cottage up north” I can get a pretty good style and interior design book. Because this is stuff I love enough to share with my network. It was the same when I worked with Fashiolista there I suddenly could see that there was a style when I put things together.

Why you Pinterest’ noisy and can’t see how it can be used for marketing purposes.

Yes it is noisy. It used to be filled with bibelverse and now my part of pinterest is filled with infograms about digital – which I repin to my Toothless Tiger board. If you can’t see how it can be used for marketing purposes, you need to look again and harder.

Every pin on pinterest has a link back to something – So why not your site ?

So are you telling me to work on becoming pinteresting? YES. If coming up with a cool quote or turning your content into a collage and take a picture of it and uploading it to your site and pinning it to pinterest is work – then you need to do it. Get your lazy butt of your couch, stop talking about yourself and get creative. Sure it takes a little bit more effort to turn your content into images or quotes. But I did it twice now (these two are personally Henriette Weber crafted for research purposes – no worries I will turn them glossier and my involvement manifesto and my preconditions of viral effects is also made for pinterest.

It means that pinterest these days is my number 8 referral site in google analytics to henrietteweber.com – and Im not even getting started.

In my world it works and it super fun – and it’s viral like.. well hell. It’s perfect for stores. I pursuaded kaiku.dk to get in there and start pinning (disclaimer: client) and they even put the pinterest icon on their website… (they have massively cool stuff). Just don’t be full of yourself and if you want to turn on the marketing a bit, there’s always the commentfield for proactivity.


The zen of Return on Involvement

In these days of over-hyped social media, where everyone is grasping to digital as the next new goldmine, and everybody is a social media consultant or expert or whatever. There’s often two words that comes to mind: SLOW DOWN. Seriously. Slow down.

I could write some buzzline here saying “it’s not about me it’s about we” here, but I wont. It seems like we’re constantly searching for the next piece of content, our 5 seconds of fame on twitter.

The golden link that other people can’t resist, so they’ll retweet it and you get more twitter fame, for a split second – and then they are on to the next link, or next conversation. One thing I see is missing is the art of acknowledging that people don’t care about your product, people don’t care about your brand.

BBut the trick is, to take them from ignoring you, to turning you into the lovemark of the century in their minds. They should love you! but do you really love them back ?

Return on involvement has become quite a iconic book in danish business circles over the last 2 1/2 years, but as where people they get the part where they’re supposed to be on facebook and gain likes from their community, they are not really giving anything back to the people who helped them with gaining a bit of that 5 seconds momentum by supplying that inspiration. Something like dropping a comment on a pin on pinterest. or writing a comment on a blog. In my business world I always call that proactivity, and I say that if you want to build a brand you need to at least do 2/3’s proactivity OUT THERE – instead of hanging on to your facebook page and twitter account and posting links there like crazy.

You need to be in the interactions. The interactions are everything. Mihaly chechekmihaly (I don’t even want to look up his name because everybody spells it wrong) got it totally right when he said that creativity lies in the interaction between people – given the circumstances of the world around them.

It’s not you who decides whether or not you are seen creative, it depends on the community. It depends on Return on Involvement.

The same with trust and branding. It’s not you who decides if people trust you or love you or like you. It’s the community. And a lot don’t give anything back, unless it’s on your  own playing field. Well guess what. As I preach and write in Return on Involvement. The involvement you want so bad ?

The buzzword of the decade that you’re dying to implement: Return on Involvement – needs to come from yourself.

It’s not about dumping links in linkedin groups. It’s about building trust by interacting with people where they are, and normally they are not on your twitterstream or your facebook page. Slow down! get the eagle eye going. Spot the places of interacting with the community (normally the interaction part, takes part in the commentfield – even if you’re just repining their pin on pinterest – you can write a comment)… Every social media out there- has “call for interaction” and that rockers, is where the battlefield is. Not your facebook page. Very zen right ? Slow down. please =) aum.

Is a “like” enough response to a loveletter for a company? Take your branding seriously

Sometimes when I roam facebook as research for my strategic client work, I think there’s two things I see out there that makes me sad. It’s really obvious who has decided to put a lot of money in facebook and who hasn’t. It’s also really obvious who just has decided to purchase it as an add-on and who actually cares to convert it to sales by their actions out there and not the glossiness of the facebook page. I want substance, branding, identity and involvement and sometimes facebook leaves me crying because I can’t find it there.

I can find competitions, expectations from “likers” to get 10{5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} off their purchases because they “like” something.

Expectations to get a shot at winning something or getting something for free.

I’m speechless of how bad companies are at the branding game

And sometimes I am stunned by how unserious companies are taking facebook. If they had only booked me. I could have taught them how to love their community.
Today I almost wept because I found something as pure as a loveletter to a company on facebook. It wasn’t like a band or a cool company.

But this client poured her heart out and gave them the reason why she stood by them in thick and thin and would never change to another supplier. Their reaction ? they “liked” her comment.

I say that if I was that brand, who took their branding very seriously – if somebody wrote me a loveletter to my work as a huge organisation, I would give them cake. I would send them flowers – I would have my CEO do a videoresponse – I would do anything more than a “like”. I think a “like” from the owner of a profile or a page, in a comment thread is the ultimative conversation closer, unless the conversation is very active.

here are some of the scenarios where I would seize the opportunity to grow more trust  and branding instead of clicking the like button.

“hey I love your products – especially that bag looks awesome”….

you should say “yeah we love it too -fell for it at first eyecatch. it’s especially imported from argentina where an old man called Diego has made it. he has two daughters and a sheepfarm and you can see a video recorded on our recent visit there.

“here’s the reason why I will use your product always and always”…

Send them flowers or candy or chocolate – or record a happy dance of people in the office thanking her (at the same time you tell the rest of the world that you put your customers at the centre of the universe – how awesome is that ?)

Does this has anything to do with facebook really ? no not at all. it’s about how show the world you care and gaining marketshare because of it – even though you’re a mastodont company. Just promise me to go easy on the like button in every case.

Have you written a letter for your cherished network lately?

A couple of times every year (sometimes only around christmas and new years) I take time to write a letter to all my professional peers, no matter what connection or relevance they have to me or Toothless Tiger. I write about where I am as a person, business, mother, wife, rockstar, all these things. And you know what ? it’s one of those things that makes me really happy, because people replies with where they’re at, they give me the stories of where they are and where they are going and what they dream about, it’s truely amazing.

There has been a lot of talks about blogging being dead and everything going social lately. But a simple email to people I cherish, goes a long way – longer than 140 characters and statements. And I think that’s one of the things that responds really well in my head as opposed to “social”. Because social needs to be statements and interesting to get a retweet or a reply. An email about me, is not smart – but it’s where I am as a person. It’s what’s matters and what Im dreaming about. Don’t do it for business, Don’t do it for everything else, simply do it because you care and you want people to know where you are and connect with them in a way that doesn’t have to be stated. Connecting with them in a way where you allow yourself to show the good the bad and the ugly, in a personal matter. I think I send my mail out to  1600 people – first the danish crowd and then the english crowd – and I am still replying to their replies.

Just sayin’ – do something not that stated or funny. Just do a “you” letter. Non public. Non stated. Just let it all go and write what you really want to tell them. A letter.


So google + is turning into the viral promiseland of content : introducing ripples

We’ve got google + ripples now!  – it’s something that actually shows how your content is spreading through people – and how it’s recieved. talk about return on involvement! – and it’s something that can get me to share so many more links there. Thank you google for making the web less linear and that i don’t have to look at graphs and page views and uniques anymore – this makes so much more sense to me. It gives me the ability to exactly see how my content is spreading and how it is recieved.

Very cool google !

here’s a recap of the changes :

and here’s how to get ripples to work today (it involves something manual work – but it’s worth it)

and here’s the result :



My curly thoughts on facebook timeline – why so little visuals still ?

This morning I got access to the facebook timeline. My first thoughts was that it was kinda memolane.com meets about.me. (ps. you can get to play with it too – see how here) but here’s what I think about it : I like that facebook is finally turning less linear and they are breaking up the browsing format.


There’s not so much scrolling or load to do (however I would love to see the newsfeed before Im too exstatic about it). Another thing I think is spot on is that it looks more like 2011.

than the previous version – meaning more sharing, more pictures and I bet it will make people go in discovery mode on their friends more. One thing I think is kinda tiresome is that the investigation and discovery mode is still mainly kept on people – instead of integrate some of people’s passions as well…

or the things that people thinks are cooler than a like – but something they would re-share with their peers. I was hoping that facebook would have integrated a bit more of a pinterest feel and make it a tad more visual (especially with the likes and shares) – and giving people incentive to like and share and subscribe more – but I think it’s coming soon.

I mean for a lot of people facebook is the infrastructure of the social web. Then us firstmovers can stand in the corner and say “to a lot of people the internet is bigger than facebook”… but to some parts of the mainstream crowd  facebook is the no 1. place on the internet. Why not let facebook become the full experience to them then ? If I was facebook I would do something more with the visual side for sure… keep people inspired by something more than text and “xx liked toothless tiger“.

But where the actions that people took where more and more supported by images. It looks like they’re also turning “like” into other gestures – which I am looking forward to as well – and will be an interesting turn.. so exciting days ahead… I think that’s what I have to say right now.Weekend is coming up and Im feeling good =)


Sweden: Be appreciative of the swedish startup community

The swedish startup community rocks!

Yesterday I was accepted as a part of “teknik bubblan” a facebook group for swedes that are into tech. I was a bit daring with adding it – mainly because I’m not a swede (well I’m an 8th swede ) and I don’t reside in Sweden. However Helsingør (my town) is right across the ocean from Sweden and I go there a lot (so much so I’m thinking about moving a part of the Toothless Tiger to Sweden) so I guess that must count for something. But I put together a list of why it’s cool as a dane in tech to live close to sweden.

10 reason Why it’s cool as a dane (in technology) to live close to sweden and the swedish startup community

1. Every time I go over there I get immensely inspired, both by the startups, the support by the society to do startups, and the incredibly sweet and friendly people. I also get inspired by the startup scene in Denmark, because the startups are immensely cool – but it just does’t seem as if they get quite as much support as the startup scene in Sweden. Also, in 2012,  Sweden had a delegation of swedish startups at Le Web. The swedish embassy in Paris even invited them for drinks with the ambassador present at the party and at Le Web. That will happen to the danish startups in a million years if we’re lucky.

2. It seems like even though I would claim that the road from thought to action is smaller in Denmark, it’s more well recognized by the community and the media in Sweden, and more supported to actually carry out your ideas.

3. I love the fact that it seems like the people in the startup community – overall – support each other. We do the same in Denmark but on a much lesser scale – maybe it’s because we’re fewer and we don’t have as many hubs for the startup environment as they do in Sweden. Also, it seems as if they actually have media that keeps an eye out for what’s happening in the startup space – in Denmark it seems like we just have social media consultants that translate allfacebook.com or mashable into danish =) no just kidding… the ecosystem and the support system around the startups just seems better or larger. In Denmark as a tech startup you might get written about on comon.dk, on computerworld.dk – but there’s hope for us more “soft” startups out there: erhvervsbladet.dk is turning into a section of berlingske focused on entrepreneurship, startups and growth. I’m looking so much forward to that.

4. It’s literally not far away – if you’re in Copenhagen it’s a 45 min train ride, or in Helsingør as I am it takes 15 mins with a ferry. Sometimes I feel that the mental barrier of “going to Sweden” or “going to Denmark” is actually bigger than øresund itself =)

5. I have gotten some great friends from my trips to Sweden – they are cool and greatly appreciated. And on the personal side (and why I love to visit Sweden)

6. They have cheap food – and in all kinds of varieties. Even their instant (eco) coffee is good. Their dog food is cheap (and the CCSO (Chief Cuddly Security Officer) and CSO (chief shoe-eating officer) of Toothless Tiger eats a whole lot of that). I’m a ICA maxi fan.

7. They have cool (and cheap) clothes – we always buy clothes for P (my daughter) in sweden – Lindex in particular

8. They have lakes and canoes and blueberries and small red houses and mountains (to swedes you probably would call places like Isaberg a huge hill – but hey I’m a dane – it’s a mountain to me)

9. Sweden makes me relaxed and it makes me want to write more than any other place in the world – so if you have a spare cabin somewhere in the woods I would love to go and finish some of the next book there.

10.You have cheap lunches – I would choose a ‘dagens’ at hacket in Helsingborg anyday (if I could=) in Denmark you end up paying twice as much for lunch – in danish kroner. So that’s it – a little sweden shout from me =). (Oh and if you’re an internet startup based in Helsingborg (in particular) or Malmø¸ and want to have coffee with me the next time I come over – I would love to hear what you’re about. Also if you have an office space I can crash occasionally =) In my mind the Sweden startup community is so different from the danish because of the overall supportive role from the surroundings(both on a macro and on a micro level).