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Tony Ahn’s unique blend of education and experience makes him one of the most highly sought after social media evangelists in Southeast Asia.
Tony’s baccalaureate degree focused on ethnography, a branch of anthropology that studies and describes contemporary human cultures. Ethnographers capture and communicate “webs of meaning,” defining the interworking of cultures from an inside perspective. This equips Tony with a deep understanding of the culture of social media networks and communities.
Tony holds a master’s degree in counseling from Penn State University, giving him rich insights into human motivation and behavior. Simply put, Tony knows what consumers want and why. He has used this knowledge to provide marketing and consulting to multinational brands and major local brands.
In 2009, Tony reunited with his baccalaureate discipline when he was hired as CEO of a Manila-based management consulting firm that utilized anthropologists to study consumer behavior. A year later he poured his knowledge of ethnography, human motivation, and social media into Sterling Rep Social Media and Reputation Management, the first independent reputation management agency in the Philippines, which he directed until it was acquired by one of the largest public relations firms in the country. In 2012, Tony Ahn opened the doors on digital public relations agency Tony Ahn & Co., which he directs today. He writes a column on digital PR for Adobo Magazine and lectures on the same subject at De La Salle University.
Hi Gunther. Wow, your comment is a blog post in it own right! If you have a blog you should publish it as a response and let it garner its own comments! Anyway, on to your points:
What we're selling that no one else has (at least that I've seen) is a marriage of two or more technologies in a new way that clients find useful. We have a way of doing viral email campaigns that result in brick and mortar store sales, for example, that always generates a huge number of sales. And we have other products that marry say, social media monitoring, plus engagement, plus 24/7 monitoring, so that we can answer any mention of your brand anywhere, at any time. We've been making connections and combining technologies so that we have close to twenty different products, and we both sell them direct to clients as well as white label them to other marketing communications agencies that don't have the infrastructure to offer such products in-house, yet know they can't afford to not compete in this area.
You mention that you have two companies of your own. Since that's the case, you're not what I would call a solo consultant. I was referring to people that have a skill set, a computer, and the ability to offer their services in the marketplace. If you're supervising others, you're not the person I was talking about. And that was my point: the more entrepreneurial solo people will develop their own companies.
I don't think that buying a digital shop is a fruitless endeavor, if one does their due diligence beforehand. There are a number of respected firms here in Manila that would be fair candidates, without high attrition. Companies often buy other companies just to get the staff or a knowledge/technology transfer. If they are disastrous, that tells me that nobody checked to see if the corporate culture was going to be able to handle the influx of a new previously-formed team. Little attention may have been given to change management.
I agree that any company needs people with your skillset, but they don't necessarily need them solo. If they can get them by hiring an agency that is employing people with that skillset, they will.
Thanks again for taking the time to write. I really appreciate it!
I'm actually planning on releasing one soon.
Another benefit to this approach is that I'm noticing that several people are doing multiple retweets, and I'm seeing which tweeps are referring retweets (i.e. several people have generated additional retweets). One in particular has generated a dozen. Good to know who your biggest fans are, and good to know who key influencers are!
Hi Pam, thanks for your comment. To your first point, I'm stating that anyone should "practice what they preach" or do anything in particular. I'm just sharing the results of what I did. And I didn't "plan to raise my Klout score." I did an experiement and expected that it may go up. Between using total followers and Klout as a metric, I chose Klout because True Reach is a different metric that means more than just numbers of followers.
Last post I wrote, where I didn't thank anyone (which recevied a similar number of retweets and views), my True Reach score went up three points. I think I gained 12 followers. So to gain 30 and lose Manal is a net gain of 29. And these are not 29 robots. These are social media practitioners and enthusiasts: my target individuals. I'm going to do a follow up post comparing the numbers on several posts. And lets remember that Manal is Manal and not representative of anyone else. I doubt many people would be so miffed as to unfollow because they were invited by someone they were already following. I know I woudn't do that. But its a good question, so I'll put up a poll.
I never said I wanted my Klout score to go up. I did a test and reported the results. While social media is "not just about the numbers" as Manal pointed out, that sentence contains the word "just," because in fact socail media is about numbers (and other things as well).
>I question what your objectives are in social media. WHY do you want the Klout
>score to go up? Are you getting opt-ins to your newsletter? Are people visiting
>your site? Is your bounce rate decreasing? Are they engaging with you and your
>brand. Are you nurturing them to better meet your business goals?
I don't have a newsletter, just my blog. Yes, we're seeing many more site visits. Bounce rate is decreasing. We're forming relationships with as many as we can.
>Sounds like the reason your score jumped in the first place was you provided good
>content. That I get and I like. However, your approach to now get another jump based
>upon cluttering your tweet stream with thank you's and asking them to follow seems
>very self serving. I don't think you need to tell people to follow you back. Most of them
>probably know how and will if they find you interesting enough.
As I mentioned above, compared to another article with a similar amount of views and retweets, this one saw many more people follow. Individuals I'm interested in following as well. And I didn't "ask" anyone to follow. I said "Feel free to follow me if you'd like to see more content like this." While of course I get something out of it (a follower) I wouldn't say its "self-serving" as the follower gets something in return: my content, which I provide at no cost.
>What if you took the same time you are spending writing the single thank you
>retweets and instead wrote a few tweets with names grouped together? Then you
Takes me longer to do it the way you're suggesting, because I have to either type or copy and paste names for a bunch of different people into one tweet, which means my eyes are moving back and forth and I'm typing slowly to get the names right. When I'm manually thianking one by one, its click "Thanks so much for RTing!" followed by CTRL-V for the "Feel free to follow me if you'd like to see more content like this."
>could spend the rest of the time actually writing another blog article that could
>provide value to your audience. And yes, maybe it could raise your score again?
>However, wouldn't it be better if they engaged with you and your brand?
I've demonstrated that thanking raised my score more than an article without thanking. And that's creating engagement as people write back to say "You're welcome" or tell me how the weather is (which I asked a few of them that were in cities I used to live in).
And to be honest, it was more personal, more human, to write them individially, because I got to either use their names or a detail about their location. I felt more connected.
Hope that answers your questions. Thanks for asking them. They were good questions!
I think the people I connected with felt that it was plenty personal, given what I shared in response to Manal, below.
I am generally satisfied with the response I recieved. I haven't even had time to thank many people this time (yet), and my reach jumped 10 points after this article, and my number of followers has jumped over 25%.in 24 hours.