Iain MacMillan

Iain founded RMM in 2006, with the objective of providing good, strategic advice across all areas of digital and social media. Nowadays, the focus is entirely social and involves the provision of more than just advice – insight, inspiration and expertise in social media. Iain leads the strategy development and training teams on most client projects.

He specialises in leading client strategy projects in a number of sectors, including finance and gambling, where RMM has conducted studies into social behaviour in highly regulated environments. He also leads projects for travel sector clients, a sector in which RMM works in partnership with eCRM sector specialist, Spike Marketing. They work together across a number of clients, most recently including Neilson Holidays, Thomas Cook’s ski and active holidays division.

Prior to RMM, Iain spent five years helping to run the web design business, Tonic, winning and managing accounts such as Vodafone, GE, GAP, MTV and Barclaycard. Before that he worked at Tribal DDB London, working on Volkswagen before heading up the Victor Chandler, Sony Europe and Guardian accounts. And before that he had a colourful career in music promotions, running the annual Soho Jazz Festival in 1997.

Iain spends quite a large amount of time trying and failing to explain to his long-suffering wife why he really loves golf, seventies hard rock and eighties pop. She remains none the wiser.

7 responses to “Listing types of social initiative or activity”

  1. Simon P

    Some potential additions to this list…

    1. crowdsourced authoring/composing
    2. customer service support (an extension to the traditional contact centre)
    3. internal collaboration (i.e. between members of a team to develop belonging)
    4. peer-2-peer assistance and support (Yahoo Answers)

    And some amends…
    1. “Sharing new ways to use a product” could perhaps be re-worded to “Sharing how to get the most from a product/service”
    2. I’m not sure if “social networking event” sits alongside these, as it feels like more of an outcome, than an initiative (to me that is!)

  2. Matt Rebeiro

    …and here’s my two cents:

    1. Wiki creation
    2. Social purchasing (e.g. Ebay)
    3. Voting (and, I guess, surveys…)

    …ok so that was three, that was my three cents.

  3. Steve Sanford

    I’ll generate a list in a moment, but first — musings!

    Are your employees social? What are there existing social networks? How can technology amplify these. Are your customers social? Are your recruitment prospects social? Are your suppliers social? And the really interesting stuff starts happening when you discover the social connectors *between* those groups (ie, between existing employees and prospective hire; between suppliers and employees, etc). My other thought is that today’s “knowledge workers” increasingly use social networks and online social media just as they use a laptop or a mobile. In other words, any existing social activities can be amplified in the online/social space!

    Here are some additional areas that spring to mind:
    1. Charity/fund-raising
    2. Recruiting
    3. Succession planning
    4. Project whiteboarding/brainstorming
    5. Crowdsourced contests (product development, naming, etc.)
    6. Scavenger hunts (kind of like contests, I guess. hey, it’s getting late)

  4. Iain MacMillan

    Thanks all – interesting thoughts. These social initiatives might involve the formation of social contracts amongst numerous audience groups relevant to the business. To form a contract each group must have an objective that the social contract will help achieve.

    With this in mind, can we endeavour to define social initiatives in such a way as to make the nature of the contract and its objectives clear? For example, an R&D group should enable the R&D dept to create more profitable products while providing customers with products that better meet their own needs.

    How can we better define the social initiative of ‘wiki creation’ or ‘recruiting’? Who are the audience groups that would form the social contract and what are their respective objectives?

    Let’s try recruiting: the business wants to source the best talent for the job; the talent wants to find roles that best suit their skills and career needs (are there other audiences involved too?). So is the recruiting social initiative based around skills and career needs matching? This might involve networking, sharing, recommending and filtering?

  5. Matt Rebeiro

    Understood, Iain. On this basis I think the way the question was framed left everyone (myself included) thinking quite broadly as opposed to as tightly framing a particular initiative and the motivations behind it. This would make your list both more useful, but also kind of infinite (which is why everyone chose instead to think in terms of bucketing types of social initiatives rather than thinking up specific initiatives, I imagine).

    However, here’s a first pass using the examples I suggested…

    1. Wiki Creation
    - Brand: Brand-owned space as a knowledge resource [around a given subject]
    - Audience: Access to useful knowledge resource [around a given subject]

    2. Social purchasing
    - Brand: Make money by selling it’s products
    - Audience: Be part of purchasing a product OR contrinute to a purchase for charity OR “win” (outbid others to) the right to buy an exclusive/one off product OR be part of the stocking decision (a la Threadless)

    3. Voting/surveys
    - Brand: Gain knowledge/insight (and the competitive advantage that comes with it)
    - Audience: Have their voice “heard” OR access the data (i.e. see what others have said) OR feedback on a product/service they care about

    …is that more what you had in mind Iain?

  6. Adam Wells

    Well I think I’ll draw upon my experiences from playing too many computer games as an example of a great social initiative increasingly employed as more and more games are played online.

    Online Beta testing is a great initiative – especially if whats being tested requires you to be social – be it a game or Google Wave. By offering products such as these for free during the final phases of development, your not only getting plenty of good feedback on your product but also spreading the word.

    I must have had about 4 invites to GoogleWave last week, and have had at least 3 friend twittering about it… This is also proof of the fact that the people who take the time to get involved in Beta testing are often the most passionate and knowledgeable about your product.

    I’ve taken part in a few Beta tests for games in the past. Often leaving feedback about the game in a private forum where all the other Beta testers meet. This forum pretty much becomes the number1 source of information about the game; and when its finally launched to the rest of the public, you already have the foundations for a great source of information.

  7. Initiative/End

    [...] Iain posted an inquiry into the definition of various types of social media initiative – making particular note [...]

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