All posts tagged community

Helpful and happy collisions

collision-ballsFortune magazine published a piece recently that featured the CEOs of Zappos and Meetup on the art of bringing people together. A great read! The focus was on office space and city space design and planning and how it impacts employees communicating with each other and connecting with each. The idea is that the more that employees have the opportunity to ‘collide’ with each other, the more that they will share ideas with each other and the company itself will benefit from the interaction.

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blogging-14Recently I was asked for some advice about setting up a blog; not so much the technical aspects of it, but how you actually go about doing it.  I realized that this speaks to something I am seeing more and more companies asking, as well, as they look for creative ways to build engaging communities – “How do I do it, how do I find things to write about, and how often should I do it?”  Creating content, both original and curated, remains a hot topic and social media can provide a treasure trove of material to help.

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 Join us on July 18, 2013 to hear community outreach thought leader Anthony Mann  discuss the 5 W’s of Social Engagement!

This webinar, presented by community outreach thought leader, Anthony Mann, will walk you through some tips for effectively connecting with customers on social channels, discuss the framework of scaling your social engagement across multiple topics and/or business units, and show several examples of how a business at Microsoft engages with its community members.

For almost 10 years, Anthony and his company, Corporate Online Services, has been working at community building and engagement programs for various teams at Microsoft. He is the Windows Client forum owner on Microsoft TechNet, manages the Windows IT Pro outreach team, and was a Program Manager for Microsoft Answers, training key influencers on moderation procedures and practices. He has written numerous whitepapers and articles for Microsoft, as well as authored 15 books on various Microsoft technologies.

Register now to attend this webcast and join us on July 18 at 10:30am (PST).

 Join us on May 9 for our next webcast featuring Brian Solis from Altimeter!

Social media is not new, nor is the idea of employee advocacy. What is new is the approach that businesses should take in how they empower their employees to engage on their behalf., Unfortunately, some may be causing more harm than good simply because they are not equipped to be successful, nor are they clear on what success looks like. In the last six month alone, we’ve seen incredible social follies and full blown crisis involving some well-known brands. While each brand has done its best to make amends, the truth is that in each case, guidelines, guardrails and training could have been better defined. More importantly, vision, mission, and goals are often missing from the overall social media strategy.

Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis believes that part of the problem is that social media, as it’s designed today, is not yet fully optimized to scale in a meaningful way. For the most part, businesses are not seeing the impact on the bottom line and customers aren’t realizing the long term value.

In this webinar, Brian will help:

  • Demonstrate how playbooks fall short of helping employees contribute to the idea of brand in social media.
  • Prove that idioms such as, “use common sense, be pleasant, conversational and engaging, or don’t be stupid,” lower the bar for what the brand truly represents or what the representative is responsible for conveying in terms of aspiration or sentiment.
  • Define ways that employee guidelines can become an extension of a brand style guide where engagement becomes a standard in how a brand comes to life in social media
  • Open the door for businesses to not just listen to conversations and analyze sentiment but also track activity toward the humanization of the brand itself.

Register now  to attend this webcast and join us on May 9th at 10:30am (PST).


The Socialization of Earth Day

Last week, while attending an event to support an organization I volunteer for, I had the privilege of shaking the hand of Denis Hayes, the man responsible for coordinating the first Earth Day in 1970. On April 22 of that year, an impressive 20 million people were said to participate across the country. It boggles the mind to imagine how a skeleton crew of volunteers – passionate as they were – could turn out such crowds, all without the aid of the Internet, much less social media. While I didn’t get to ask him personally, I can only imagine the occasion he was so instrumental in launching must inspire a mix of pride and bewilderment 43 years later.

 In 1970, students, parents, labor leaders, politicians, rich people and regular folks galvanized around a common concern for the environment and turned out for thousands of teach-ins and community events. On the most modern medium of the day, “Today” devoted 10 hours of coverage to Earth Day. Back then, remember, there were just 4 channels!   The modern environmental movement had been launched.

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As a lifelong Red Sox fan, watching the MLB All-Star Game is one of those summer traditions I always look forward to. This year I pulled in the social angle and was rewarded a perspective that of the collective enthusiasm of MLB tracking along in cyberspace.

Leading into the game the overall social conversation was dominated by continued excitement over the previous night’s #hrderby and Robinson Cano of the @Yankees exciting win over Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox (to be honest, I was less excited about the victory than most). Beyond the typical rivalry and exciting contest, the underlying theme was Cano being pitched to by his father.

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We had the great privilege of co-presenting a webcast earlier this week with Simon Mainwaring, founder of We First, a social branding consulting firm that helps companies use social media to build communities, profits and positive social impact. If you missed it, you can view the playback here.

The webcast provided “social good” case studies and valuable insights into:

  • The ways in which social media can be leveraged to connect consumers with brands
  • How social media can build better businesses and yield more profits, while also fulfilling consumer wants and needs
  • How social media can be harnessed by businesses to positively impact communities

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On Tuesday, May 17th I had the privilege of co-presenting a webcast with Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst from Altimeter Group, about the challenges of effectively measuring social media. I would like to give credit to Susan for the use of two slides from her presentation in this blog post. Should you be intrigued enough, you can listen to the entire webcast. Just fill out the form at the bottom and access all our webcasts, including this newest one.

For all of us who are interested in using social media for business improvement, we need to keep in mind that without a clear set of priorities and shared expectations in terms of what we hope to accomplish with social media data, we will find it forever difficult to measure the return on our investment.

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Social Media for Pharma

I’ve spent the last two days hearing and speaking to experts at the Social Media for Pharma conference and wanted to share some highlights and observations. One highlight was a presentation by Marc Monseau, Director of Corporate Communication, Social Media at Johnson & Johnson. Monseau outlined eight key components to enhancing your online presence: 1) Listening (being the most important), 2) Establishing your role, 3) Identifying key influencers, 4) Establishing policies, 5) Streamlining approval process, 6) Resourcing appropriately, 7) Empowering teams, and 8) Remaining flexible. I couldn’t agree more. These components don’t just enhance your online presence; they are really the recipe for a successful social media strategy. Without listening, for example, you’re missing out on great opportunities. And without clear policies and approval processes in place, you’re not taking full advantage of the insights captured.

Another great talk came from Peter Pitts, Partner/Director Global Regulatory and Health Policy at Porter Novelli and former Associate Commissioner with the FDA. Pitts emphasized the importance of doing the moral thing in social media. While the pharmaceutical business requires more caution about what is said, it is critical to be out there having the conversation. Pitts recommends starting by having your legal team approve the type of content and engagement that is appropriate. He noted that it’s not as important to be able to have a back and forth conversation as it is to be out there and direct people to the right content.

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When American humorist Arnold Glasow said, “Only a strong tree can stand alone,” it was in a world where social media did not yet exist. The social Web has changed the shape of customer relationships and social media’s power lies in its ability to create a true social enterprise that improves the performance of every customer touch point. And unlike a strong tree, the real potential of social media can never be fully realized in isolation.

Within the social enterprise itself, there is no place for “information silos” – management systems incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems. If productive and timely communication about insights drawn from the social sphere cannot occur among key stakeholders internally, there is no way to achieve the scale and velocity of social conversations that are necessary to engage a community quickly, efficiently, and with a response that builds customer satisfaction and brand affinity.

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