Let’s meet at Barcamp Bodensee
#bcbs15 this weekend: June 12-14, 2015.

Ineffective workshops can be deadly.
This is the ultimate pre-conference checklist - 10 critical factors for putting a successful meeting together.

Going down history lane… just a bit :-)

A barcamp is a user-generated conference. Some also call it an unconference. The program is put together by participants first thing each day the unconference is held. Each participant introduces themselves and provides three key terms:

Who: I am Urs E. Gattiker from Zurich, Switzerland
Term 1: benchmark metrics
Term 2: minimally invasive surgery / technology
Term 3: hiking

One or two ideas are then presented by the individual. What are they willing to share with other participants? This could be in the form of a presentation, workshop or discussion. If enough people will be interested, the idea gets assigned a time slot.

The first barcamp was organised in a week. It was held in Palo Alto, California, August 19–21, 2005.

Interesting Read: What is a Barcamp?

My first barcamp was a blogcamp in March 2009 in Zurich with the hashtag #bcch4. The next one followed in Rapperswil in October of the same year with the hashtag #bcrappi. Later that month we had Barcamp Liechtenstein with the hashtag #bcli09Soziale Medien für gemeinnützige Einrichtungen: Wie nutzt man diese besser (Making better use of Social Media in the context of any industry – my Slides with checklists). Three barcamps in 2009 alone, what a ride it was…

Barcamps are great places to meet like-minded people with very different brackgrounds, training and interests. From hobby photographer, designer, and coder to top-notch professionals in various disciplines such as medicine, genetics and sociology. Everybody contributes something, including volunteering time at the registration desk or helping with clean up. The opportunities to share and learn seem limitless.

For me, a repeatedly exceptional barcamp over the years has been Barcamp Bodensee (see Twitter hashtag #bcbs15, #bcbs14, #bcbs13, #bcbs12#bcbs10, and so forth). Every time I go, I learn a lot while having a great time (read Barcamp Bodensee #bcbs14: Synergien finden – Finding Synergies).

Do barcamps differ from hackathons?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so if people start copying you, you must be doing something right. Today people use various types of conferences that are different shades of barcamps. Many call themselves unconferences and have copied part of the idea that led to barcamps.

At a hackathon you are likely to meet coders, programmers, software engineers and so forth. The sociologist or tool or die maker are a rare specimen at such an event. Often the focus is on a theme (e.g., wearable and / or mobile technology). Attendees form groups of 2 to 5 people and start on their project. hackZurich attracts about 400 and focuses on a theme, with the objective being to program an App in 40 hours or less.

There are barcamps that use this approach as well, for instance, when a start-up weekend is organized. Few people form a group and then get cracking on their business idea, which may include working on an app.


What makes barcamps and hackathons similar?

The Zurich Hackathon (October 4-6, 2015) is similar to a classic barcamp. Both require volunteers to donate their time and know-how to make it happen. Without them, neither barcamps nor hackathons are possible.

In addition, well organised barcamps or hackathons manage to get sponsors ranging from Zeppelin, to Daimler, Ruppaner, Sonntag morgen, and other local and not-so-local businesses.

Originally, no fees were the norm for such events, but these days some charge, for example using rising fees. Here the first delegate registering pays $20, then $21, and so on, until the last registrant you let in pays $350 or thereabouts. This allows the organizers to make some money or at least recover the costs if few or no sponsors pick up the tab.

Can corporate barcamps work?

Digital Accelerator Allianz took up the idea of a barcamp. For this purpose it organised a hackathon towards the end of May 2015. Its intention was to get new ideas and apps developed in that time.

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The company proudly announced the winners, who got some cash prices, as illustrated here in this Allianz Tweet (image below).

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Another approach is an ideathon. Similar to a hackathon, experts attending the ideathon choose and join groups of 2 to 5 people to brainstorm, generating novel solutions.

These ‘great ideas’ are pitched to the company and the best receive cash awards, such as Novocure ideathon (see image below). So yes, corporate barcamps can work. But unless we follow best practice, they leave a foul aftertaste.

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Below I outline the things I feel are crucial to a successful event.

Best practice checklist for organisers

Based on my experiences with barcamps, worshops, hackathons and conferences, as attendee, co-organizer and program chair / ‘chief’, I have created this checklist to ensure your event works.

Download Checklist – The ultimate guide for conference organizers

[su_box title=”The ultimate checklist for workshop, hackathon and barcamp organisers” box_color=”#86bac5″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

Best Practice is a superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organisation or conference organiser, usually recognized as ‘best’ by other peer organizations.

It implies accumulating and applying knowledge about what is and is not working.

10 points for organisers: Ropes to skip

1. Balancing diverse interests is key to success

You have to balance your sponsors’ needs with those of your delegates.

Getting attention from bloggers is not easy. You might offer them a sweepstake to participate in if they mention your sponsor (e.g., Zeppelin flight to be won around Friedrichshafen and Konstanz)… Things have to be attractive enough to get them to blog about something in order to be eligible to win.

If your event gets too commercialised, you turn certain people off. Not enough sponsors to pay the way, you have to charge a fee, upsetting a different group.

As the above suggests, this is a never ending balance act, but you better be good at it and find a middle way! Finding sponsors is an arduous and time-consuming process. Sometimes it is worth it to put one person in charge of delivering just that, with the cash enabling you to put a better event together.

2. Various backgrounds make a difference
2.1 Ideal number of attendees

50 attendees can be enough to have a great event, while going beyond 300 barcampers might make the event too big. The larger the event, the harder it is for a newcomer to get to know others and not feel lost. Again balance is needed and sometimes newcomers need help (e.g., when they arrive in the morning, they are greeted).

With barcamps you have to encourage some people and motivate them to come. Getting people who make money to give speeches may be nice for entertainment purposes, but where’s the added value? Better a researcher who tells the audience about their findings, than someone who studies tea leaves.

What is the ideal number? Probably between about 50 to 250. Big enough for a diverse crowd. Enough people to provide the talent allowing each topic to be discussed in some depth, and so forth.

2.2 Language

In Europe, you can offer some sessions in English. The rest is in the language spoken at the location of the conference. This way you can attract French or Italian speaking Swiss to an event in Zurich.

Another option is to choose English as the conference language, #truZurich, another uncoference for recruiters. The hope is that this makes it easier for people to attend.

Just make sure that the locals do not feel excluded because their English skills are a bit rusty.

2.3 Theme

You can narrow down a conference to a particular theme. Examples are change management, fundraising or social media monitoring.

While you may attract fewer people, at least they share a common interest. However, the theme and its description have to be concise and clear. The headline has to convey the message, only then can you attract the ‘right’ people.

2.4 Scheduling

Business events are usually held on a workday. If your boss approves you have it covered – time spent at the event is paid work time and expenses are taken care of. Great if you can get it, and most importantly your weekend stays free.

For small business owners that may be difficult. Each day you attend means zero revenue. Here, barcamps suit small business owners and students. Generally, they are held during weekends. Incidentally, experienced barcampers feel that the second is the better of the two days. One has gotten to know people (e.g., during the reception last night), making the conference more interesting.

In short, if the event is about learning, weekends may be better. Those not highly interested may not attend. If the event is about building business contacts and finding clients, an event during the week might be more promising – Tuesday through Thursday is best.

Some take the middle road. They schedule workshops and continuous education events on the weekend, while the ‘real’ program begins Monday (e.g., EICAR and most academic conferences).

3. Corporates can organize a barcamp BUT

If you want your own barcamp as a large organization (see Allianz), set the topic with people that know much about the barcamp idea. Choose people that have experience organising conferences and tell them what you want.

Then, put them in charge. Your benefit is two-fold:

– opening the event to outsiders will attract a larger audience of experts than just those from the company, and most importantly,
– this will result in richer and possibly freer discussions and better exchange of ideas… because outsiders raise issues that insiders may not dare to.

To make this possible, try to limit attendance of ‘insiders’ to 30%.

Keep in mind: Some very smart people may not be interested in developing ideas for a pharmaceutical firm. However, they are perfectly willing to do it for a charity or NGO (non-governmental organisation) such as the Red Cross, Caritas, etc.

4. To tweet, or not to tweet…

Research shows that social media can be a detractor. Watching status updates go by on your screen distracts you from focusing on what is happening at the conference.

I saw and experienced the first Twitter wall in 2008. However, I have never felt these things are conducive to a high-quality conference. I prefer focusing on things right here and now, and find tweets distracting.

Nevertheless, make it easy for non-Twitter users to find tweets with the barcamp or workshop hashtag. Offer them a URL to view these in the browser (e.g., #BcBs15), and publish a shortened link (i.e.

This way, attendees are not challenged by Twitter’s too-difficult link, such as

By the way, using small or capital letters in hashtags does not matter. Typing #BcBs15 or #BCBS15 or #bcbs15 brings the same results when searching Twitter (

Interesting read: RESEARCH – Social media results in distraction and higher stress levels

5. Choose your sponsors wisely

It is always a compromise of things like price and how central or fancy the venue is.

An educational institution may be willing to sponsor a barcamp, by providing the venue for free. Most likely you have to get a sponsor to pay for catering and coffee breaks. A soft drink company may let you offer their product for free and so forth. In other cases, the corporate sponsor may offer you a venue including catering, in which case, all power to you!

You can also get a sponsor to offer free flights like Zeppelin did for the Barcamp Bodensee in addition to some cash.

Just make sure that your sponsors do not become overbearing. Your and their aims should match to a large extent.

6. Get help implementing your marketing strategy

Unless we reach people early, they may already be committed elsewhere. In addition, people need to be reminded regularly about upcoming events, but please, not five times in the last five weeks before the event.

Keep those emails relevant and their frequency as low as possible. In turn, recipients are more likely to open and study such mail.

Blog about the event early on. For instance, campaign-summit Switzerland managed to get a small group to register very early. These afficionados were then also included in getting the program together, and they spread the word early on via Twitter and other blog posts.

Getting your marketing right means finding a balance between trying too hard and too little (see image below – too much is annoying to your target audience).

Interesting read: Fachtagung: 10 Tipps für Teilnehmer (Conference: 10 Tips for Attendees)

Download CHECKLIST: The comprehensive guide to successful conferences (pdf file – 70 KB)


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Final note

As a small company, you can get exposure by sponsoring a barcamp or a conference, but even more interesting is the chance you get to exchange ideas and share know-how with others.

For a large company, branding and image-building opportunities are great when sponsoring a barcamp or hackathon. You can sponsor goods in kind, have a booth at the event, or pay the organizer some cash to have your logo prominently placed.

However, if none of your staff attend sessions, you miss a great opportunity to connect with delegates and help build the company’s brand or reputation. The most successful sponsors seem to be those that get a top manager to attend (see Hofrath und Süss). Recently, a car manufacturer had one of its top three managers attend a barcamp for 1.5 days.

I have met incredibly talented and motivated people while attending these events. I was lucky enough to hire several of them or put them on boards of companies we have invested in. I continue finding collaborators for projects that my firm would be unable to take on without their help. Barcamps rock!

What do you like most at conferences you attend?
What do you find most annoying at workshops or meetings?
Have you organised a barcamp or conference? What tip(s) can you pass on?
Who are "the in crowd" in fashion blogging?
Who are the people who decide what is cool in apparel?
Who are the most influential style bloggers?

Check out rankings about recruiting, law and football, plus the top 100 German fashion blogs.

Vanessa Friedman (Financial Times) points out that what is “cool” in fashion depends on many factors. Another interesting point she made to readers was:

“The fashion world loves a ranking – the best-dressed list is a staple of the industry – so I guess it was only a matter of time before someone turned the tables and ranked fashion.”

The difficulty with many rankings is that nobody understands clearly how people may have arrived at them. For instance, how were the blogs rated and then ranked by online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter?

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Blogger “hanneli” is very nice and tells us that Net-A-Porter used a panel of experts to rank a set of blogs as outlined here:

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Of course, the group of blogs that were evaluated may not be representative. Nor may the subjective evaluations of this panel give us a reliable ranking of the influencers.

It is no longer easy to determine what was, is, and will be popular in style and fashion.

As Adam Sternbergh (New York Times) pointed out, we are each sheltered in our own cultural cocoon. In turn, this makes it difficult to identify the driving forces of popular culture.

Rankings matter

That these rankings matter is obvious. One just needs to read how often bloggers mention them if they have placed close to the top.

“FriChic was recognized by Vogue Paris as the most popular Bulgarian blog in the article “Around The World in 45 Blogs” and continues to have an unique voice…” About Fritchic

Vogue magazine published a ranking ages ago: Vogue France April 9, 2010 – Le tour du monde en 45 blogs (Around The World in 45 Blogs). Interestingly, many of those 45 ranked blogs no longer exist. They have gone silent or are inactive as of May 2015.

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You may be part of the what the Business Insider termed “25 people who determine what’s cool in America“. If not, don’t worry, the list changes at least annually – so you might be on it next year. Dov Charney is no longer on it either. His stardust has vanished as the American Apparel brand’s coolness has evaporated.

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Top 100 fashion and style blogs

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 1941″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”144px” height=”141px” Title=”we go”]Here is a list of these blogs.
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Get the list: ♥ Top 20 Fashion Voices on the Web
Join the 3,000+ organizations using the DrKPI Blog Benchmark to double reader comments in a few months while increasing social shares by 50 percent – CHECK US OUT NOW!

Get more detailed data below:

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♥ View FULL LIST of the top 100 fashion blogs

Three take-aways

There have been many ironic comments about the business of fashion ranking. In fact, most rankings are useless. They are based on some variation of selecting a few, asking the crowd to rank these and so forth. In contrast, we analyse these blogs systematically. Published ratings are used to arrive at the rankings.

Because we have nothing to hide and we trust in the quality of our indices, we give free access to our data. We describe the composition of these rankings. We also provide detailed methodologies of our indices – not only to bloggers but also our competitors.

Like more than 12,000 current users, you can register for free without restriction on our website:
Access data about more than 10,000 blogs.

The question boils down to whether one should rank blogs using such vague criteria as:

– Number of Twitter or Facebook followers (what about fakes)?
– Giving bloggers props that use their ‘influence’ to create products?
– Asking ‘insiders’ about whom advertisers are loving right now?

We knew there had to be a better way. We wanted to focus on quality of content and the blogs themselves. So we didn’t drop any blogs based on some vague criteria such as using Google News Searches like Fashionista does. But blogging well is a craft. It depends on three factors:

1. Using images smartly

You either take the picture yourself, as does The Sartorialist, or you have a partner that takes wonderful images of you strutting your stuff.

– It takes effort to put the outfits together or find the gadgets or apartments you like to show.
– Pictures are generally not perfect and also require some editing.

But sharing snapshots is no longer good enough for some fashion lovers.

In fact, The Sartorialist has been dropping in the rankings a few nudges over the last quarter. Put simply, getting a post with one or two pictures about another person and labelling it “street style” is fun. However, after a while it gets boring. Moreover, the added value is questionable.

Photo-heavy posts featuring clothes and model poses is fine. But Swiss model and blogger Kristina Bazan (Kayture) uses images that are not compressed properly for online viewing, leading to sluggish load-times.

81.5% of our test group left the site before the images for one blog entry had fully loaded. Not useful for building influence and reaching out to your fans, is it?

2. Offering added value to your target audience

So you have taken the pictures. What now? Showing off the latest trends or styles with nice pictures is a great start. Thereafter, however, it requires some text where you explain your take.

– Why are you showing us this outfit? What makes it cool?
– What makes these shoes interesting? Is it the high heels that make you look taller and slimmer?

Whatever it is, your readers would like to know. Your take as a style blogger is what they want to hear about.

This requires a content strategy. The top 100 style bloggers in the DrKPI Benchmark definitely have one.

3. Excelling in engagement

The toughest hurdle is to get some resonance from readers. Studying and analysing these blogs has taught me two essentials that should always be top of mind:

– Do your readers find your content interesting? If yes, VERY FEW of these are likely to take the time to write a response.
– Do you as an author actively support this dialogue?
Providing thoughtful and insightful answers to the comments left by your readers is the best way forward.

Some bloggers seem to ignore the few comments they get. In other blogs, comments add little value to what has already been said.

Nevertheless, there is a small elite group that takes comments seriously. They go a long way to engage and reply to their readers. Their reply comments provide additional insights to the matter being discussed.

What is your favourite?

Please let us know in a comment below and provide the blog’s URL. We will gladly add it to our database.
How many style blogs do you read each week?
Have you ever purchased a product that was reviewed in a style blog?

By the way, if you leave a comment with a link to your style blog, you’ll get your personalised report free via e-mail!

And just because somebody says this is the best blog, you do not have to believe it. Check it out: Susanna Lau – #40 in the UK – influential maybe, but a trendsetter?

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Also check out:

The Best Street Style Blogs: 25 Inspiring Sites to Bookmark Now
Introducing The #BoF500
The 2014 #BoF500 ranking

Narcissism results in much more broadcasting and VERY little engagement on social networks

Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates. Let the big influencers spread the job ad – that takes care of it.
How do we know these claims are true?
Might networking the old-fashioned way work better?

Word-of-mouth is helpful for spreading the word about a position at your organisation. Your employer expects you to post and discuss the job in the communities you are part of.

First you may post on Google+ or LinkedIn. This is quickly followed by posts on Viadeo, Xing and Facebook. Ideally, this type of word-of-mouth marketing lets those interested see the job posting.

But how well does it work?

Do you know these people?

Recently, I read a newspaper article about a guy whom I once was connected with, but is no longer part of my social network. Why?

I sent him an email congratulating him. Did I get an answer? Nope. So how good a connection is this?

[su_box title=”Our networks are too large” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]



Dunbar, R.I.M. (April 2014). The social brain: Psychological underpinnings and implications for the structure of organizations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, pp. 109-114. doi:10.1177/0963721413517118 Retrieved April 2, 2015
===> More publications about the social brain hypothesis.

Good thing I kicked this person off my social network. We all have a hard time managing a network of social connections beyond 125 people. It turns out that is the typical size of both social communities in small-scale societies and personal social networks in the modern world.

This size constraint is partly cognitive and partly temporal. For humans, the group size reflects both emotional closeness in relationships and the frequency of contact.

In short: You need to be close and communicate with each other more than once in a blue moon.

Thus, large networks are not necessarily productive when it comes to finding a job or a person to hire for your non-profit.

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Manage your career smartly

The above suggests being connected to fewer people while staying in touch is a smart thing to do.

[su_box title=”Career management for the second machine age” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]1. Envision yourself seven years from now. What will you want to do at that time… where are you, what impact do you want to have?

2. Who will matter in your life? Identify those five people and know what you want from them and what you can offer them in return. Having regular conversations with these people from now on will affect the outcome of your plans.

3. Who are your ten most important professional connections? Identify them and ensure you talk to them once a month via phone, or better yet, in person.[/su_box]

Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates

Gone are the days of having to pay a premium to advertise in a newspaper and hope that a group of candidates will see the job posting. But how do you know that claims such as these are true:

– social media outlets offer ‘reasonable’ pricing for job postings,
– these reach high volumes of job seekers, and
– even passive candidates.

Yes, LinkedIn guarantees I will get ten qualified applicants, but are they really qualified? Not last time we checked.

In addition you have to sort through and respond to all those applications. If you post your job opening to Xing or Google+ groups / communities, you will have to answer questions.

Answering inquiries or writing a polite rejection to an applicant (remember it is about your brand, stay professional, calm and collected) takes time. And what about if you are inactive in your group and nobody reacts to your job post? Happens more than you think…

If you plan your career (see above), it makes sense to participate in discussion groups on social networks. But how many?

[su_box title=”Stay connected and contribute to the community.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

1. Membership means you have responsibilities. If you join a group on any network, ensure your visibility by participating in discussions.

2. Put others center stage. Add comments to other people’s posts, thereby helping them shine by keeping the discussion alive.

3. Post content with a question. Broadcasting your latest blog or webpage entry or webinar is fine. However, unless you post a question with it, what are your members supposed to discuss?


Quality trumps quantity

The above shows picking five groups to participate in at least every other week works best. You likely do not have time to be active in more, so why be a member?

I know, some believe that when social media is applied to marketing, it creates activity — and in marketing, activity is a good thing. Nevertheless, activity alone does not create business results. Nor does it lead to connections that:

– help your career, or
– are willing to spread your job posting to qualified candidates.

So what is it good for?

“MBA students do not make this mistake intentionally. In fact, most think they are effectively networking during their time on campus. Many students take the ‘social butterfly’ approach – trying to meet superficially with as many people as possible and then striving to win the LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends ‘competition’. But they are not taking the time to develop deeper relationships with these new contacts.” –Shawn O’Connor (2012).

Focusing on the quality of connections and face-to-face interaction is critical. It is far more effective than having hundreds of contacts that will not even recognise you at an event.

The same applies when recruiting. Send a new position opening to your 30-40 close contacts. They will be happy to share it with some of their close contacts. These close contacts and their 30-40 close connections come in handy for furthering your professional development as well – far more effective than having 100 superficial contacts.

[su_box title=”Job recommendations on Xing: Why am I getting these, if I do not fit the job profile?” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]


Making your recruitment strategy personal, meaningful and successful takes work. But do not think you can just copy big brands like Zappos. Plus, what worked once – Atlassian, 2012 – worked so well the company never tried it again :-(

You have to find your own approach that works for you with 10 or 20 full-time staff!!

Finally, talk is cheap. Show me the numbers that indicate you do it right.

[su_box title=”Offers I get on Xing – USELESS” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

Xing and LinkedIn tend to show you jobs that you may be overqualified for.


What about you?

Where in your network are the 20 or 30 people you can ask for a recommendation when applying for a job?
Who are the people that might give you more business?

I look forward to your answer in the comments!

Curious for more insights? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!

[su_box title=”Effectively using social networks for talent recruitment: Do not believe everything.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
a. Shorten the hiring cycle. WRONG! Even with social media, you will require time to post your job, get applications, evaluate candidates, etc.

b. Lower recruitment costs. Yeah, right! Building and maintaining your 30 important connections to ask for help takes time all year.

c. Address the passive problem. Nice try! Most people who are doing well in their jobs are not interested in shifting employers.

d. Use the employees that are well-connected on social media. As if! This implies that large social networks mean quality connections. But will any of their contacts read their status update about a job opening?


Interesting reads

Jacobs, Emma (March 31, 2015). Career planning: experts’ advice for the second machine age. Financial Times, p. 10. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from

Source: LinkedIn, Xing or Viadeo: What is the more effective social media recruiting tool?

What do YOU think?

Who are your best social connections for business?
When did you last comment in one of your discussion groups? Why did you write an answer?
How do you network best?
Is your CEO active on LinkedIn or Google+? Why?

Update 2016-01-17: WEF Davos 2016: Top 100 CEO bloggers

: We rank the top management-level bloggers.
We also discuss, why Sheryl Sandberg and Eric Schmidt could ask Marissa Mayer for some blogging ADVICE

This is the second blog post about WEF Davos 2015 (see WEF Davos # 1: Benchmarking efforts).

PS. 2015-01-25 ==> Don’t forget to scroll all the way down and read the comments ==> Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe blog, etc.. See Peters data for his blog.
Another DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 Style Bloggers in Deutschland

Of course, the World Economic Forum provides CEOs with a great platform to push their pet projects. Eric Schmidt will talk about his Google Search and #endtrafficking project. We all hope that it will continue to be refined and improved, contrary to what happened with the #bigdata one on Google Flu Trends or earthquake monitoring.

One of CEOs’ most common and valuable skills is burnishing their own profile, so many love mixing with world leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Folks like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer have even managed to cultivate an image as a fashionista, hanging out with Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue – although she’s definitely not in Davos.

Curious? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!

Who blogs?

What is of interest, of course, is who uses these social media tools – besides the technophiles – so we did a quick tally. Here are some current and former head honchos attending Davos that are regular bloggers:

Marissa Mayer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo is probably the most famous blogger.
– Bill Gates has a very interesting blog (cf. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog),
Jim Yong Kim has his own blog at the World Bank,
Winnie Byanyima blogs on Oxfam’s site, and
– Guy Ryder blogs about three times a year on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Blog.

Sheryl Sandberg‘s effort with her book and association Lean In is admirable. However, her last guest post on the organization’s blog appears to have created limited resonance with readers and members.

Eric Schmidt‘s latest guest post on Google’s Europe blog dates from September 2014. In it, he explains why he finds European publishers’ complaints about search results unjust.

Some tech luminaries attending the WEF are not active on the web. For instance, Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia has a latest blog entry that dates from 2012.

Others try a bit, or give up in between. We have a few examples below.

Satya Nadella last tweeted in July 2010, until he re-started in February 2014. Not a Twitter lover, is he? The stories about him on the official Microsoft blog seem a bit bland.

His tweets have become less authentic and kind of vetted since he became CEO

Since he became CEO of Microsoft, his tweets seem vetted and have become less authentic.

Of course there are a few more CEOs who either start using Twitter or become active again once they become CEO, such as Mary Barra (General Motors).

Other business stars attending Davos neither blog nor use social media:

Katherine Garrett-Cox,
Hari S Bartia,
– Roberto Egydio Setubal and
Patrick Pouyanné.

Some corporate websites require one to do some real diggin in order to find the dirt or information on the CEO. Other CEOs have even managed to make it near-impossible to find their bio anywhere online.

Quiz: Do you know when Richard Edelmann started blogging? Find out below!

Ranking CEO (top management) bloggers for WEF Davos

Of course, it would be interesting to know whether those CEOs attending Davos who blog do well in comparison.

A few bloggers have created their own ‘who to follow’ lists. Unfortunately, most of these are not for blogs. Others use Klout to rank CEOs on social media. But your Klout score suffers from two problems:

1. The score is real-time instead of cumulative. You must constantly tweet or your score plummets. Is that measuring influence? Not so much.

2. How the scores are put together is anyone’s guess. How one can use this score to hire a speaker, employee or trainee is a mystery to me.

CLICK on IMAGE - DrKPI - Top 100 CEO bloggers.

For this reason we publish our DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 CEO Bloggers (find more on the website).

There are various things we can learn about these CEOs’ blogging style, such as:

1. Does the manager get some type of reader engagement  (e.g., comments AND author replies)?
2. Does this published content create resonance on the Internet in the form of social sharing?

We discuss some of the data we collected for CEOs attending WEF 2015, as well as others.

Conversation is not easy

The map below shows that conversation levels for the CEO blogs that we analyzed are relatively low. Few CEOs get reader comments, some do not even allow them. If they do, the comments are often very short. In 93 percent of the cases, the CEO blogger does not reward a reader comment with a reply.

Of course, we all know that a conversation happens only if we do not try to monopolise it. Instead, we need to listen, as well as reply to the other person. Without listening, we do not have a conversation, but a monologue.

The US, Sweden, Netherlands, and UK have some of the lowest levels of conversation going for these CEO blogs. France, Italy and India do much better.


Do CEOs have a dialogue with readers?
CEO Bloggers in Argentina, NL, UK, US = where is the conversation? German, Italian, Spanish CEOs do better.
French CEOs do great – Chapeau

As the above graphic shows (see also below), many management bloggers have difficulty with engaging their readers in a conversation. However, some – like Marissa Mayer – do not even enable comments. All one can do is like the post.

As the map below illustrates, in Germany, content from CEO blogs is rarely if ever shared (blue color). Brazilian and Indian counterparts do better with getting their content shared on social networks such as Pinterest or Twitter.


CEO content rarely if ever creates a ripple on social networks!
German readers do not really share CEO blog content; Canadians and French are little better.
In Brazil, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa such content at least gets shared a bit.

Nevertheless, the above illustrates that social sharing of blog content from CEOs is limited in comparison to fashion blogs, for instance.

The table below is of interest insofar as most CEO blogs seem to struggle with achieving reader engagement. There are remarkable exceptions, however, such as:

# 1 – Richard Branson, Virgin – Score 75
# 4 – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark CubanScore 100
# 5 – Heidi Cohen (micro business) – Score 63
# 8 – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! – Score 47 (just from likes, since she does not allow comments!)
# 12 – Brad Feld, Foundry Group – Score 65
# 14 – Elon Musk, Tesla Motors – Score 68

The top score is 100 in each sub-category (see above list of CEOs – Resonance and Influence). Below I show you the complete list of TOP 100 CEO BLOGGERS.

Top 100 CEO Bloggers - List Overview - Who wins, hands down? Richard Branson!

Bottom line

Recently I read a note by Robert Scoble:

Someday I might come back to the blog, but the world has moved and it is on social media.”

We might disagree about this. For starters, Facebook and Twitter all represent fenced gardens. Accordingly, the provider makes the rules. You abide by them or you must leave. Moreover, since many CEO blogs get much of their traffic from search engines, going to Facebook might not be the solution.

What works for Mr Scoble with his chatty and funny style, may flop for CEOs. As well, social networks come and go (remember Second Life, Baboo and others, all extinct or a shadow of their previous selves). Therefore, the corporate website and / or blog is still a more viable alternative. You set the rules and decide what gets posted. Plus, you keep the copyright.

However, when you decide to blog as a manager, please do these three things:

[su_box title=”CEO bloggers: Ropes to Skip” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]

1. Write your own blog entries: By all means, let an editor go over it. But your voice is the one that readers want to read, not your assistant’s!

2. Don’t think you are special: What you share in your blog or on Twitter should matter to your target audience! I, for one, do not care that you rode the train to and from WEF Davos, honest.

3. Dialogue is not monologue: If nobody responds and comments, how do you know anybody cares about your content? If they do, respond politely, and ADD value. And yes, getting comments is hard (don’t I know it).

Do you agree with these points? Write a comment below to have your say, and please join the conversation!


Quiz Answer: Richard Edelman started bloggin in September 2004, and is still going strong! We could share a few insights about his blogging style and what he might want to improve after 10 years. Next time… :-)

Embed the Badge of Top 100 CEO Bloggers

Cut and paste the below code  directly into a sidebar text widget or to any page/post on your website. It’s that simple!

CLICK on IMAGE - DrKPI - Top 100 CEO bloggers.
For instance, DrKPI helps you find the right set of benchmarks to ensure best practice in your corporation.

Join the 3,000+ organizations using the DrKPI Blog Benchmark to double reader comments in a few months while increasing social shares by 50 percent – register now!

Benchmark and test your blog – for free – right now

Please: I am asking for your help

1. Who is your favourite CEO blogger? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Do you read a CEO blog that stimulates great engagement?
3. What other blog should we add to our list of 1,000 top management blogs (just add the link below, we do the rest).

Thanks so much for being willing to share your insights!

CLICK on IMAGE - 93% of readers SHARE this on WhatsAPP NOWSummary: What is better for a CEO? Using Facebook, launching a word-of-mouth or buzz marketing campaign, or blogging from the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos or #WEFdavos?
We show you how to decide.

This is the first blog post about WEF Davos 2015; check out the second post here.

1. KPIs without benchmarks don’t cut it

The question for any academic, CEO, entrepreneur or NGO worker is: Should I take advantage of Klaus Schwab’s standing invitation for me to join him at this year’s World Economic Forum? We can answer this question according to our gut feeling, or more systematically, using benchmarks and KPIs to decide.

KPIs are interesting. If they work properly, they are mighty useful. However, without some kind of guidance in the form of a benchmark, their usefulness can be questionable. In many cases, they are part of a navel-gazing exercise.

Sometimes, a trend analysis (e.g., comparing July 2014 with July 2015) can indicate certain things (drop or increase in numbers). However, without looking beyond the obvious, we will not know how to achieve a repeat. In other words, what key drivers helped us improve so much (e.g., an ad campaign, press coverage, or what)?


DrKPI Benchmark: The best CEO bloggers at WEF Davos 2015

To guide us through the maze, we need some kind of benchmark. Without it, we will not know how well we perform in comparison to our competition.

Accordingly, you want to get the facts before deciding:

– our blog fails to achieve the impact we want (see our DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 NFL blogs by January 30)

– your CEO, blogging from and about WEF Davos 2015 achieves impact – or not (DrKPI Benchmark: Top 100 CEO Bloggers by January 22).

2. Benchmarks help clarify things

A straightforward dashboard makes getting necessary information a snap.Learning from mistakes in order to do better is at the core of benchmarking. At its heart, this excercise involves continuous improvement.

There are four strategic reasons for using benchmarks; all of them help improve performance.

1. Setting objectives and action programs. Know where you are and where your are going. Benchmark ratios are inherently measurable and comparable. They help you focus your attention on the most controllable aspects of your online and social media activities (e.g., blogging for results).

2. Monitoring your performance. Keep your eye on the ball. Benchmark ratios provide an objective standard by which to measure your website or blog performance. By tracking key measurements at regular intervals, you can pay closer attention to those key factors that affect your firm’s performance. Follow the numbers, and they will set you free.

3. Sharing the results with your team. You should communicate your results internally and externally. Benchmark ratios enable your investors, owners and clients to objectively evaluate your online media efforts and positioning (e.g., branding).

4. Convincing your stakeholders with your benchmarks. Clients and business associates can use them to better understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to social media and the web. Use your ratios to better manage your online efforts, securing your annual marketing budget, while spending it even more wisely to improve your bottom line.

Curious? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!
Join the 3,000+ organizations using the DrKPI Blog Benchmark to double reader comments in a few months while increasing social shares by 50 percent – register now!

If you are serious about improving your company’s performance regarding online marketing and achieving an industry-leading position, there is no substitute for a quality benchmarking as offered by services like DrKPI.

3. Word-of-Mouth Marketing sucks

Everybody wants to produce contagious content (see Making word-of-mouth marketing work). However, the mantra has to be:

Make meaning, not buzz. Make money, not web traffic!

The BOOK – Social Media Audits: Your best bang

To help you blog more effectively, you need SMART metrics (specific, manageable, actionable, relevant, trending performance measures) that follow the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid).

For instance, CEO bloggers want relevant blog metrics for diary, personal and business blogs. In turn, such data provides insight instead of hindsight.

What about Facebook? Will it be useful or should I worry about what Facebook finds out about our customers’ feelings, search for love or beer preferences?

Your Facebook activity predicts sexual preferences

Your computer – with a little help from Facebook – can figure you out

More research:

Research finds computers are better judges of personality than friends and family.
Computers using digital footprints are better judges of personality than friends and family
Use Facebook Data to Predict Users’ Age, Gender and Personality Traits
Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach (download study)


Click image, get the study ==> Facebook knows you better than your friends do – because Likes reveal so much about your character

As the above indicates, Facebook may know nearly as much about me or you as your spouse does. Of course, this is the price we pay for getting things for ‘free’.

Nevertheless, it may be worth sitting back to consider these results for a minute. In particular, what does this mean about my privacy, my clients’ rights, and so forth?

Bottom line

Regardless of whether you accept Klaus Schwab’s invitation and attend WEF Davos 2015, check out some benchmarks. Also, consider whether investing in social media, your corporate blog or viral marketing attempts is worth the trouble.

A social media audit can help and might reveal some real surprises (e.g., check out Case study: citizenM overtakes Coca-Cola. If you prefer, call it a cost-benefit analysis. Is the final result worth the expense?

Take the interactive test about your personality and Facebook use: You will need to connect the app to your Facebook account, but it only accesses your Likes and does not post to your wall.

If you lack management support for your social media initiatives, then competitive intelligence is your new best friend.

For instance, DrKPI helps you find the right set of benchmarks to ensure best practice in your corporation.

Benchmark and test your blog – for free – right now

Why Davos is for you!

The analysis of data from your Facebook activities can better judge your psychological traits than one’s family and friends. That is revealing and interesting, but most importantly, it is downright scary.

Download PDF with additonal graphics and slides (1.2 MB) – WEF Davos 2015, Facebook and your love life, Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Viral Marketing and Buzz Marketing

You can view more presentation slides from DrKPI here

Here are some slides that specifically help you use benchmarks and competitive intel better than the next guy.

[slideshare id=43627924&doc=2015-drkpi-facebook-wef-davois-drkpi-150118034903-conversion-gate01]


So you have read Facebook, viral marketing or #wef15 – why benchmark ? Now I would like to ask you a question or two.

– What made you decide to attend WEF Davos 15?
Think #sustainability #climatechange:

Will any of Klaus Schwab‘s buzz marketing efforts be convincing enough to get world leaders to work for change…?

– Is it maybe just once again  ===> back to “business as usual” after Davos ends?
– What type of benchmarks and KPIs work best for your business?

Please share your thoughts below. Shall we meet in Davos or Zurich?

Latest updates about word-of-mouth and viral marketing

Summary: #alexfromtarget with Ellen DeGeneres, Psy with Gangnam Style, and Baumgartner with Red Bull – word of mouth (WOM) marketing at its best.
What is the recipe for electronic WOM (eWOM)?
We show you what it takes (besides a bit of luck).

1. When word of mouth happens

Is your blog content going viral? Everybody wants a marketing message to go viral, but few do, as we all know. So how does it happen?

When did you last tell a friend a story or about a product by email or text? I probably did a week ago… but some marketers claim we do it each day. If that is the case, that is news to me :-)

For most of us, talking about a product is not the usual thing to do when we have a conversation. Maybe over a meal, we might exchange a few sentences about a product with a friend, for instance, explaining our morning troubles with the coffee maker. The friend may share what they use to get their first cup of the day, and we may take this into consideration when shopping for a replacement.

Buzz or Viral Marketing is nice but the desirable outcome we achieve is key - better service and / or more sales?

Buzz or Viral Marketing is nice but the desirable outcome we achieve is key – better service and / or more sales?

Bottom line: Marketing means we want a specific outcome such as higher sales, donations, buyers of our service or volunteers for our cause. Unless it results in such bottom line outcomes, it is just a flash in the pan (or 15 minutes of fame).

2. Why word of mouth alone is not enough

Online sharing often results in something similar to a tempest in a teapot. #alexfromtarget was a purely local story that was first shared by a few via Twitter, Instagram and so forth.

It really went viral when CNET wrote an online story about it. In turn, Buzzfeed spread it further online. It did a sloppy job of investigating and had to correct its original story a day later. Then DailyEdge went back to Buzzfeed to check. It wanted to know if the marketing firm claiming it had started the picture going viral, was in fact the originator of this avalanche. Apparently, no one from Buzzfeed answered.

Even all that online coverage was not enough to make the story go national in the US. Traditional media was required for that, which did oblige. Mail Online and others covered the story, and he rest is history, since Alex went on TV (see below).

Once TV and mainstream news picked up the story... Alex became a celebrity, at least in the US and Canada, as well as UK.

Once TV and mainstream news picked up the story… #alexfromtarget became a viral sensation over a few nights for packing bags at the local Target store. Target had nothing to do with it. Therefore, there was no marketing pitch to the story. Remember when Target’s IT systems got hacked and they lost their customers’ credit card numbers? At least this story about #alexfromtarget was a positive one!

Curious? Join 1500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!
Join the 3,000+ organizations using the DrKPI Blog Benchmark to double reader comments in a few months while increasing social shares by 50 percent – register now!

Bottom line: Unless WOM results in an outcome such as higher sales, donations, buyers of our service, it has limited commercial value for the organization.

3. eWOM or Buzz versus Spam Marketing

The above illustrates nicely that having a WOM story go viral on the Internet is usually a result of luck, chance or misfortune. The online spread of a story is further helped if traditional media picks it up.

#alexfromTarget is a cute kid and appealed to many people, so with a nice spin a story evolved leading TV personalities invite him to their shows.

A story like this I might have appreciated receiving via the Twitter account of a friend. However, there is a fine line betwee spam and nuisance versus added value (e.g., it is news, facts, interesting, entertaining, etc.). For instance, me tweeting that I am having my first cup of tea this morning is unlikely to be of any interest to my Twitter followers. Posting this with a picture on my Facebook feed will not impress many of my ‘friends’. Nor will my LinkedIn contacts be amused – or will they?

The x-axis in the graphic below shows the continuum for value of content. The y-axis shows if the story will enjoy a high level of word-of-mouth sharing (online or offline). If the content solves a problem it might be shared, but only with a group of interested people. If it has great benefits (free cup of Coffee at Tchibo or Starbucks), people might share it with their friends. It might even spread like wildfire.

Content must have perceived value to have a chance to benefit from Word-of-Mouth

Content must have perceived value to have a chance to benefit from Word-of-Mouth

Bottom line: There is a fine line between true spam and the mis-perception of a message sent to a potential client as spam.

4. Fun versus useful product

What goes viral is of course the question. Research by Jansen, Zhang, Sobel and Chowdury (2009) shows that while brands are mentioned on Twitter, only two out of 100 users may send out a positive tweet about a brand, and 1 percent of their 2,000 followers click on the tweeted link. Hence, resonance for such eWOM seems limited.

Schulze, Schӧler and Skiera (2014) reported about data on Facebook regarding promotion of fun versus useful (utilitarian) products. Their research reveals that fun products like games such as FarmVille can be used to spread a message (e.g., get an invite from friends with a bonus or credit).

Such an approach relies on the Like principle. In other words, the recipient tries it out to let the friend, whom they presumably like, earn game or monetary credit. The question is whether one likes getting such messages. I, for one, have gotten so many that they have become a nuisance. However, according to the study’s findings, that does not damage the friend’s reputation.

Nevertheless, for a utilitarian product (e.g., tools, machines, etc.), Schulze, Schöler and Skiera (2014) found recipients do neither like promoted messages nor messages promoting a product.

The above illustrates that we may tolerate promotional emails, tweets or Facebook posts for fun products, but take out the fun aspect and our tolerance plumets.

Selfie - on the plane - landing in LA - going onto the show

Selfie – on the plane – landing in LA – going onto the show – Alex gets 15 minutes of fame.

Bottom line: Marketers increasingly use messages that depend on the Like principle, but recipients’ patience is wearing thin. Using this method for usable products can backfire, and its effectiveness continues to decrease for fun products.


Buzz, viral and word of mouth marketing are important tools. However, whether a word of mouth campaign will eventually go viral is difficult to predict, and there are no scientifically confirmed approaches to ensure success.

Moreover, users are increasingly losing patience with such messages. This could be due to increasing data overload as we all receive more messages with limited value. This will make it ever more difficult for brands to reach out to their target audience.


Jansen, Bernard J., Zhang, Mimi, Sobel, Kate, and Chowdury, Abdur (2009). Twitter power: Tweets as electronic word of mouth. Journal of the American Society for Infomraiton Science and Technology, 60(1), 2169-2188. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from

Schulze, Christian, Schӧler, Lisa, and Skiera, Bernd. (January, 2014). Not all fun and games: Viral marketing for utilitarian products. Journal of Marketing 78(1), p. 1-19. Retrieved, November 17, 2014 from

Schulze, Christian, Schӧler, Lisa, and Skiera, Bernd (November 2014). Customizing social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved, November 14 from or from here

Watch the 2 min video for this post:


More Information
Download PDF file with additonal graphics and slides 20 (317KB) – Word of Mouth Marketing, Viral Marketing and Buzz Marketing

You can view more presentation slides from DrKPI here:

Here are some slides –  check it out please. Worth your time!

[slideshare id=42221954&doc=drkpi-word-of-mouth-marketing-going-viral-141201102113-conversion-gate02]

Benchmark and test your blog – for free – right now

What is your opinion?

So you have read Making word-of-mouth marketing work, now I would like to ask you a question or two.

– Do you have a great example of viral, buzz or word-of-mouth marketing ? Please share.
– What you think, will any of these – buzz, viral or word-of-mouth marketing – work for an SME (i.e. company with fewer than 250 full-time staff)?
– What type of marketing works best for your business?

2014-11-05   Bitte Kommentare lesen, Checkliste / Ratgeber –  2 Bonus Tipps.
PLUS Gratis-PDF zum Download, Video, Slides, usw.

Dank Bauchgefühl:
Die Experten glauben zu wissen was die ideale Schlagzeile macht.
Doch aufgepasst….

Hier diskutieren wir dieses Thema in Bezug auf:

1. Griffige Überschriften: Was ist die optimale Länge
2. Was sind die Grundregeln?

Der Verein für deutsche Sprache führte 2011, 2012 und 2013 einen Wettbewerb für die beste Schlagzeile durch. Dabei können Leser die aus ihrer Sicht besten Schlagzeilen einreichen. Die eingereichten Schlazeilen oder Überschriften werden im November von einer Jury beurteilt. Diese kürt dann die beste Schlagzeile (für Deutschland). Die Ranglisten sind hier:

– 2013
– 2012
– 2011

Dabei reichen die Gewinner von der Bild, über die TAZ, dem Stern, usw.

Fakten können helfen.

Fakten können helfen.

Wortspiele werden genutzt aber auch lange Überschriften sind in den besten drei Platzierungen zu finden.
Trotzdem, unter den 10 best platzierten Schlazeilen des Jahres, machen fast immer solche mit etwa 4 bis 6 Wörtern das Rennen. Natürlich dies kann einfach das Resultat sein der persönlichen Präferenzen der Jury dieses Preises.  Aber was sagt uns die Forschung?

1. Bauchgefühl herrscht vor

Tendenz bei Bloggern ist, dass sie kurze Titel als besser betrachten.
Doch anhand welcher Fakten kommen Blogger oder auch Kommunikationsberater auf kurze Schlagzeilen? Meistens basiert dies auf dem Bauchgefühl. Dieses wird kaschiert und als Wissen in Beiträgen weitergegeben, wie z.B.:

… you have to be a great writer to do it in 5 words… Headlines that are longer than 10-12 words are simply ineffective.” (Nikitina, 2012, p. 35).
Nikitina, Arina (2012). Improve your writing skills. Im Selbstverlag. Eingesehen am 15 Oktober auf

Keven Lee hat dieses Jahr im Buffer Blog die Behauptung aufgestellt:

“…The ideal length of a headline is 6 words.
Lee, Kevan (March 31, 2014). The ideal length of everything online, backed up by research. [Buffer Blog]. Aufgerufen am 15. Oktober, 2014 auf

Wohlgemerkt, Lee hat in diesem Beitrag 10 Wörter genutzt nach dem Motto: Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel?

Lee’s Tipp basiert in diesem Falle nicht auf Forschung wie er im Titel behauptet. Er zitiert einen interessanten Blogeintrag von Tennant (19. Dezember 2011):

“Usability research shows that people not only scan body copy, but headlines as well—and they tend to take in only the first and last 3 words. This suggests the perfect length for a headline is 6 words… But let me suggest that rather than worrying about length you should worry about making every word count. Especially the first and last 3—and if that means using the passive voice, so be it.”
Tennant, Bnonn (19. Dezember 2011). Can you write a better headline than this? Not using old headline formulas you can’t. [Kissmetrics Blog]. Aufgerufen am 15 Oktober, 2014 auf

Übrigens, keine der Usability Studien auf welche sich Tennant beruft werden auch zitiert oder aber verlinkt zu diesem Beitrag.  Hier kann man der Behauptung glauben schenken oder aber einige Zweifel anbringen.

Sag das Eine, tue das Andere:  Interessant ist, dass Tennant (wie auch Lee von der Firma Buffer, siehe oben)für seinen Blogeintrag eine Überschrift wählte, welche 15 Wörter beinhaltet. Und dies obwohl er in diesem Blogeintrag dem Leser empfiehlt, nur 6 Wörter in einem Titel zu nutzen.

Die ersten drei Wörter sind “Can you write” und die letzten drei “formulas you can’t.” Sind diese gut oder schlecht, weil sie ja laut Tennant die wichtigsten Plätze in seinem langen Titel einnehmen? Was denken Sie?

Weiteres Material zum Thema Bauchgefühl

Kein Autor (kein Datum). How to write magnetic headlines. Eingesehen am 15. Oktober auf 

2. Was sagt die Forschung?

Wie die obigen Beispiele zeigen, Expert-Blogger arbeiten aus dem Bauchgefühl heraus. Ihre Tipps basieren auf deren Meinung aber nicht unbedingt auf Fakten. Der DrKPI Schlagzeilen Index basiert jedoch auf Forschungsergebnissen. Einige stellen wir Ihnen gleich einmal hier vor.
Zum Beispiel, die Werber haben sich schon im letzten Jahrhundert mit diesem Thema beschäftig. Dabei ging es darum welche Anzahl von Worten das Optimum für eine Schlagzeile in einem Inserat sein könnte. Zum Beispiel, Feasly und Stuart (1987) studierten die Länge von Überschriften in der Werbung zwischen 1932 und 1982. Sie schrieben:
“… either six or seven words, with an average of 7.44 to 9.54 words” sind Ideal für Überschriften (Seite 23).
In einer Masterarbeit (Anaya, 2008) fand die Autorin, dass  Überschriften / Titel in Inseraten von 1980 bis 2005 kürzer wurden. Sie hat zu dieser Arbeit 7.915 Überschriften in Werbetexten und Inseraten analsiert. Die Anzahl Wörter reduzierten sich von 1980 mit 7.71 Wörter, 1985 (5.80), 1990 (5.98), 1995 (7.30), 2000 (6.04) bis im Jahre 2005 auf einen Durschnittswert von 5.02 Wörtern.
Die obige Studie ist wichtig. Diese zeigt, dass über die letzten Jahrzente Werber immer mehr kürzere Überschriften bevorzugen.

David Abott - 40 - 60 Mal verbesserte er seine besten Schagzeilen.

David Abott – 40 – 60 Mal verbesserte er seine besten Schagzeilen. Mehr zum Thema finden Sie hier inklusive einer Präsentation

Interessant ist hier, wie gut Leserinnen kürzere oder längere Überschriften verstehen. Lucas (1934) eruierte dieses Problem im Detail. Er fand, dass eine .80 Korrelation bestand zwischen längeren Überschriften und dem Verständnis des Inhaltes beim Leser.
Percy (1981, 2011) verglich die Länge von Überschriften ebenfalls mit dem Leser-Verständnis. Percy untersuchte dabei, wie die Länge einer Überschrieft die Wahrscheinlichkeit beeinflusste, dass der Leser den ganzen Beitrag studieren würde. Er fand, das Titel mit weniger als 5 Wörtern ein Skore von 9.0 erhielten.
Dieses verbesserte sich auf 9.86 für Headlines mit sechs bis acht Wörtern. Danach viel das Skore auf 7.95 ab. Deshalb empfahl Percy, in einem Titel zwischen 5 bis 8 Wörter zu nutzen um damit das Verständnis und indirekt damit auch das Leserinteresse zu fördern.
Anaya, Michelle, A. (2008). Changing appearances: magazine advertising layout and design, 1980-2005. San Jose: San Jose State University (Calif). Master’s Theses. Paper 3615.  Zugegriffen: 29. Oktober, 2014.
Feasley, Florence G., & Stuart, Elnora W. (1987). Magazine advertising layout and
design: 1932-1982. Journal of Advertising, 16(2), 20-25.
Lucas, D. B. (October 1934). The optimum length of advertising headline. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 18(5), Oct 1934, 665-674.
Percy, Larry. (1981), “Psycholinguistics: Some Simple Rules for Do-It-Yourself Ad Testing.” Proceedings of the 3rd Business Research Conference, Advertising Research Foundation.
Percy, Larry (2011). Psycholinguistic guidelines for advertising copy.NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 107-111 Aufgerufen am 14. Oktober 2014.

Weitere kurze Videos zum Thema Blogging gibt es hier

Umsetzung in die Praxis

Headlines in Inseraten oder aber auch Artikeln in Zeitungun sind oftmals zweigeteilt (siehe Nelson, 1989, S. 167). Der Haupttitel is grösser und relative kurz wie z.B. 4 Wörter lang. Der Untertitel ist kleiner und vielleicht kursiv gedruckt. Er beinhaltet manchmal bis zu 15 Wörtern oder sogar noch etwas mehr. In diesem Falle eine Kurzusammenfassung in 2 oder 3 Sätzen. Hier ein Beispiel aus der NZZ vom 28. Oktober, 2014 (Seite 50 – Sektion Medien)

Es geht abwärts

Das Jahrbuch zur Medienqualität malt wieder schwarz – warum das einige schmerz und provoziert.

Online ist die Überschrift leicht anders. Aussagekräftig in Untertitel und Hauptitel aufgeteilt. Danach ein Bild mit Erklärungstext und darauf die Kurzzusammenfassung. Die letztere findet sich auch in der Print Version.

Kurzer Titel Dann kursiv geschriebener Untertitel. Danach etwas grösserer geschriebener Paragraph als Kurzzusammenfassung unter dem Bild. Danach Text in Normalgrösse.

1. Kurzer Titel
2. Dann etwas grösser geschriebener Haupt-Titel.
3. Die Kurzzusammenfassung des Beitrages nach dem Bild. 
===>  Darauf folgt der Text in Normalgrösse.

So kurz wie möglich, so lang wie nötig

Dies scheint die Devise für die NZZ. Dies zeigt das Beispiel aus der gedruckten wie auch der Oline Version des oben aufgeführten Artikels.
Dies deckt sich auch anhand der Forschungsresultate.  Knackige, kurze, präzise, griffige, packende, spannende und aussagekräftige Headline sollte man in 8 Wörtern schaffen. Sicher es klappt nicht immer :-).
Kurzzum, die erfolgreiche Überschrift zeichnet sich meistens durch folgende 3 Dinge aus:

1. 5 bis 8 Wörter in der Schlagzeile,
2. 1 bis 2 Wörter mit > als 6 Buchstaben, und
3. höchstens 40 Zeichen, inklusive Leerschläge.

Siehe auch meinen Kommentar unten…. das reicht eben noch nicht, denn… Testen Sie die Wirksamkeit der Überschriften in Ihrem Firmenblog hier

Weitere Infos

Nelson, Roy Paul (1989). The design of advertising, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers.

Download PDF Datei (544KB) Schlagzeilen: Optimale Anzahl Wörter im Corporate Blog

Weitere Präsentationen von DrKPI gibt es hier

[slideshare id=41051678&doc=bild-headline-2014-141103080735-conversion-gate02]

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Weitere Informationen

Ball, James (16. März 2014). Read this to find out how Upworth’s awful headlines changed the web.  [The Guardian – Generation Y takeover: Media series of articles] Aufgerufen am 15 Oktober, 2014 auf

Tate, Ryan (25. Februar 2013). Tabloid chic: How racy headlines unlock money. [Wired Blog] Aufgerufen am 15 Oktober, 2014 auf

Mehr Tipps und Tricks zum Thema

    1. Definition: DrKPI Schlagzeilen Index
    2. Methodologie zum DrKPI Index
    3. Die 25 besten Recruiting Blogs der Schweiz
    4. Fallstudie: Tchibo Blog

Benchmarken und testen Sie Ihre Überschriften im Firmenblog: Gleich JETZT, kostenlos.

Um was geht es?

Kampagne:     #SagesderSchweiz

Dauer:              2 Monate
Anzahl:            480 Inserate in verschiedenen Print Medien
Kosten:            Direkt und indirekt, ca. CHF 1 – 3 Millionen
Kunde:             Verband Schweizer Medien

Agentur:          Leo Burnett: Johannes Dörig, David Hugentobler, Ilija Gautschi, Vanessa Mermoud, Bastian Otter (Kreation), Pablo Schencke (CD), Johannes Raggio (ECD), Isabelle Meier, Tobias Schoen, Nadine Stüssi (Beratung),

Social:            SMLY Zürich …  heute Shortcuts – The Future Agency siehe Kommentar 
Media             ContentFry (Social Aggregator) von SMLY und (Monitoring)

Was Hänschen nicht lernt, lernt Hans nimmermehr Social Media funktioniert nicht wie Print!

Was Hänschen nicht lernt, lernt Hans nimmermehr.
       Social Media funktioniert nicht wie Print!      Siehe auch Migros – Migipedia.

Was wir aus dieser Kampagne lernen können

1. Nur weil ich als Fussball Experte bei der ARD oder SRF arbeite, bin ich noch lange nicht ein guter Volleyball Coach  

2. Hashtag: Ein #hashtag der durchgehend von allen Nutzern angewendet wird ist besser als mehrere Varianten.
Auf der Webseite heisst es: #SagesDerSchweiz
Anderswo wird auch #SagesderSchweiz genutzt

Besser wäre #SagEsDerSchweiz  überall zu verwenden. Es ist einfacher zu erkennen beim Überfliegen von Tweets oder Facebook Updates Online.

Die Slides unten zeigen Ihnen im Detail, wie ein Audit helfen kann die Effektivität und Resonanz einer Werbekampagne zu messen und zu verbessern. Schauen Sie rein, es lohnt sich (8 Slides)
[slideshare id=40547018&doc=2014-11-sag-es-der-schweiz-medien-kampagne-ein-flop-141021095854-conversion-gate01]

Download PDF Datei (335KB) #SageEsDerSchweiz: 2 Erfahrungswerte die das Problem illustrieren

Weitere Präsentationen von DrKPI gibt es hier

3. Wo ist der Erfolg?

Man wünscht sich Erfolg. Doch tritt dieser ein oder bleibt er nur ein Phantom? Das ist die Frage die es zu beantworten gilt.
Letzte Woche haben wir dies für die Bayer AG aufgezeigt. Dabei war der Fokus auf die  Verbindung zwischen Marketing-Aktivitäten, wie Social Media und der Anzahl abgeschlossener Ausbildungsverträge.
In diesem Beitrag geht es um die Kampagne des Vereins Schweizer Medien, dessen Presseagentur schreibt:

Die Kampagne will Dialog erzeugen. Dies über Zeitungsinserate, obwohl für Zweiweg-Kommunikation der Online-Kanal geradezu prädestiniert wäre. Wie genau muss man sich einen Dialog über Inserate vorstellen?
Die Botschaft wird über Print vermittelt, die Zweiweg-Kommunikation erfolgt online. Print und Online gehen Hand in Hand, so muss es sein. Die Werbung erfolgt über Print, die Interaktion über Online. Die beiden Medien ergänzen sich ideal. Wir zeigen, dass es
beides braucht.” Siehe hier auf Seite 34.

Hohe Ziele wurden gesetzt.       Aber werden diese erreicht?

Hohe Ziele wurden gesetzt.
    Aber wurden diese bis anhin wirklich erreicht mit dieser Kampagne?

Die Presse Mitteilung vom 5. Oktober kam mit der Überschrift:

Verband Schweizer Medien “Print und Online gehen Hand in Hand, so
muss es sein”

Anhand der in der Präsentation oben aufgezeigten Daten ist klar ersichtlich, dass Print und Online wohl Hand in Hand gehen können, dies aber bei der vorliegenden Kampagne nicht zu funktionieren scheint.

Fakt: die Facebook Seite und Google Search demonstrieren.... es geht nicht Hand in Hand.... wie geplant !

Fakt: die Facebook Seite und Google Search demonstrieren…. es geht nicht Hand in Hand zwischen der Print Kampagne und dem Social Web…. wie geplant !

Vielleicht wurden hier einige Millionen verpufft? Was denken Sie, hat die Kampagne die gewünschten Resultate gebracht?

Ich freue mich auf Ihre Kommentare, Beispiele von erfolgreichen Kampagnen und Fragen.

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Wenn es schief geht, dann kann dies ein Haufen Geld kosten....

Es klappt nicht nach Plan.

Why little data mean a lot: Incremental innovation is key.
Google Trends shows a spike in searches – iPhone6: Remember the flu trends? Increased searches do not make something a fact…
Constant experimentation and rapid implementation: Strive for lots of small and frequent advances, because that is good enough.

We address three questions

1. What does it mean when Google Trends shows a spike in searches?
2. Should we aim for lots of small wins from ‘big data’ that add up to something big?
3. Do metrics that focus on small but useful improvements make sense?

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CLICK - Caution - things may not be as they appear. Check the methods.

1. ‘iPhone slow’ and Google Trends

There are three types of business analytics:

Descriptive analytics that look at historical data,
Predictive Analytics that try to determine what might happen, and
Prescriptive Analytics that focus on giving us different options, in which case we choose what we think suits us best, given time and money constraints.

The question remains whether we have the right data… To illustrate this challenge, we can look at the Google Flu Trends (GFT). Using search results from Google, the GFT supposedly indicates how the flu spreads and affects people in various countries.


Das Wichtigste in Kürze
KMU:  Fast 2/3 aller Menschen in Europe arbeiten in einem Kleinst-, Klein- oder Mittel-Unternehmen.
Social Media Monitoring (SMM): Was gilt es zu beachten?
Fazit: Es geht auch ohne komplexes Tool. Mit KPIs zum SMM Erfolg !

Wir diskutieren die folgenden drei Fragen

Image ANKLICKEN - Benchmarken - October 2010, p. 4: 'we asked consumers if they were more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a FAN on Facebook, and only 17 percent of US consumers reported that they are more likely to buy as a result of LIKING a brand. So do these findings support or debunk the myth that a FAN is worth US$136.38?'

1. Welche Kriterien nutzen die EU und andere Länder für die Klassifizierung von Unternehmen?

2. Wie wichtig sind KMUs für die Volkswirtschaft und die Beschäftigung?

3. Was bedeuten diese Zahlen für das Social Media Monitoring und Benchmarking?

1. Welche Kriterien nutzt die EU?

Die Empfehlung der Kommission vom 6. Mai 2003 betreffend die Definition der Kleinstunternehmen sowie der kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen (KMU) (2003/361/EC). Diese Definition wird auch in der Schweiz genutzt. Die Europäische Kommission definiert KMUs anhand von drei Kennzahlen:

– Anzahl Angestellte (Vollzeitequivalenz),
– Bilanzsumme, und
– Umsatz

Im Detail sieht dies dann wie folgt aus:

Die Grössenklasse der Kleinstunternehmen sowie der kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen (KMU) setzt sich aus Unternehmen zusammen, die weniger als 250 Personen beschäftigen und die entweder einen Jahresumsatz von höchstens 50 Mio. EUR erzielen oder deren Jahresbilanzsumme sich auf höchstens 43 Mio. EUR beläuft.

Ein Kleinstunternehmen wird als ein Unternehmen definiert, das weniger als 10 Personen beschäftigt und dessen Jahresumsatz bzw. Jahresbilanz 2 Mio. EUR nicht überschreitet.

Innerhalb der Kategorie der KMU wird ein kleines Unternehmen als ein Unternehmen definiert, dass weniger als 50 Personen beschäftigt und dessen Jahresumsatz bzw. Jahresbilanz 10 Mio. EUR nicht übersteigt

Definition von: COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises [notified under document number C(2003) 1422] (Text with EEA relevance) (2003/361/EC) (May 20, 2003).

Vollzeitequivalent ist eine Person welche ein 100 Prozent Pensum in der Firma arbeitet. Teilzeitkräfte, Saisonniers und andere nicht Vollzeitkräfte werden dabei addiert, um das Vollzeitequivalent (Full-Time Equivalent – FTE) zu erhalten.

2. Wie wichtig sind Kleinunternehmen?

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EU und die Schweiz