social computing

CIOs: Dealing with Negatives on Social Media

Part 5 of our series, What CIOs Need to Know About Social Media.

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. We’re taking a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework. In this post, we continue our look at Cohen’s third item.

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

Dealing with Social Media Negatives

One big question that comes up almost immediately when enterprises start to use social com­puting is: What do you do about negative comments?

As we said in the previous post, when dealing with this question, it’s helpful to recognize that if you act in the world, you probably have detractors. The great thing about social media is that for the first time you can find and address negativity, in real-time.

The old techniques of responding – libel laws or lawsuits, pressuring media outlets, and using traditional media to confront and refute naysayers – not only don’t work online, but can result in generating even more negativity.

A recent example of the traditional approach, and one that has made it into our Social Media Hall of Shame, involved international food giant Nestlé. Like a lot of large food companies, Nestlé is the target for various groups who disagree with their business and agricultural methods. Some of these groups had taken to posting defaced versions of the Nestlé logo on Nestlé’s Facebook fan page as a critique and protest of the company’s policies.

In series of posts widely seen as an attempt to silence or intimidate these critics, Nestlé posted, “We welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic — they will be deleted.”[1]

This post breaks a cardinal rule about running online communities that we discuss in the Community section of our book, , Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog): Govern your community with a light hand. Your community members expect to be involved in major community decisions, and they certainly do not expect to be arbitrarily censored.

The company also threatened action for trademark infringement if critics didn’t comply. Incredibly, Nestlé also posted sarcastic replies to negative posts.

Nestlé’s old-media attempt to stem negativity was, unfortunately, all too predictable, as was the result. Rather than doing anything to respond to, placate, dissuade, or even just acknowledge the dissenters, Nestlé whipped up a storm of protest that eventually made the mainstream media news — blowing up a relatively unpublicized group of protesters into media darlings.

Here’s a typical post from their Facebook followers after Nestlé’s blunder:

[W]ould like to personally thank Nestlé for providing a place for all the people who see their unethical, disgusting and lethal practices for what they are to share their opinions. Finally we have a way to share how much we hate their practices. If you don’t boycott Nestlé already, start now, please.

One poster stated she’s not a fan and wanted to have a “Register My Disgust” button on the Facebook fan page. Another was a bit more reasonable:

I like some Nestle products so I qualify as a ‘fan.’ I would like Nestle to make them even better by removing palm oil. I would like to enjoy my Kit-Kats without feeling responsible for rainforest destruction and orangutan deaths.

And this wasn’t Nestlé’s only social media blunder. When Greenpeace posted a critical video on YouTube, the company lobbied to have it removed based on use of its logo, generating lots of free publicity for Greenpeace.

The poor besieged person in charge of the Nestlé Facebook page did try to do some damage control, posting:

This [deleting logos] was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologize. And for being rude. We’ve stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude.

This was a good move. It does three things: It acknowledges the mistakes; it pledges to stop deleting the logos; and it humanizes the company by taking personal responsibility for the action. Our first rule for using social media is to Be a Person, not an organization.

So what went wrong here? Well, obviously, Nestlé has the right to protect its logos and trademarks. But was it really the best approach to sarcastically criticize and threaten the dissenters? What the company failed to realize is that social computing gives the same power to individuals as it gives to big enterprises. You need to keep that in mind whenever you make a decision to deal with negativity about your business.

By the way, you may be interested in the end of the story. After a two-month campaign led by Greenpeace against Nestle for its use of palm oil, the company gave in and announced in May 2010 that it will rid its supply chain of any sources involved in the destruction of rainforests.[2] There’s no telling what role the bungled responses on YouTube and Facebook had in this resolution, but they sure didn’t help.

Our next post will go into more depth about Techniques for Handling Negatives.

For soup-to-nuts, strategy to execution processes, procedures and how-to advice, see our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


[1] Bnet’s Nestle’s Facebook Page: How a Company Can Really Screw Up Social Media: bit.ly/asqGGB

[2] Mongabay: bit.ly/aZLjio

CIOs: Use Social Media to Manage Corporate Reputation

Part 4 of our series, What CIOs Need to Know About Social Media.

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. We’re taking a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework. In this post, we consider Cohen’s third item.

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

Managing Corporate Reputation on Social Media

Chances are the first thing you as a CIO think of when you think about social media is, “What if people – even customers – say bad things about us online?”

When dealing with this question, it’s helpful to recognize that if you act in the world, you probably have detractors. People have more than likely been talking negatively about you offline for some time. You’ve never been privy to their conversations, and you’ve had limited or no ability to address them directly or to know their concerns. Now that social media has brought these negative conversations out in the open, not only are they spread more widely, but you get the chance to do something about the root causes. That’s fantastic! You can find and address negativity, in real-time, for the first time in history.

The natural inclination of most enterprises is to try to suppress, delete, or otherwise eliminate dissent. In a world where access to broadcast media was expensive, restricted, and guarded by gatekeepers, this type of approach was effective. Enterprises could use libel laws or lawsuits, could pressure media outlets, and could use the media to confront and refute naysayers. Many enterprises employ these techniques in social media as well.

Often, however, the old tools for dealing with negatives not only don’t work online, but can result in generating even more negativity.

Three points from our excerpted from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog) can help frame your thinking about managing your enterprise’s online reputation:

Keep Records

It is critical to keep records of interactions with participants using social media. If you control the community space, say, on your own Web site, make sure everyone knows that you will delete posts that are offensive.  Copy the offending post into a call record before deleting it online, and be honest with your community about your action.

Negative Posts

When encountering a negative post (that does not violate your published terms of service), encourage the poster to explain him or herself. Often they will reveal the source of their frustration. Use the Air Force blogging decision tree (see the previous post in this series for information) to guide your response. If a response to the negativity is not covered in the FAQ, let the subject matter experts respond.

Troll Policy

A troll is someone who repeatedly posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages. Ignore trolls. Do not engage them. If they violate your terms of service, request management approval to delete them from the community.

Of course, there’s much more to protecting your online reputation, and we go into more depth in the next post in this series, Dealing with Negatives on Social Media.

CIO’s Social Media Review and Approval Processes

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. We’re taking a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework. In this blog, we consider look at Cohen’s second item.

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

Social Media Processes

As part of your social media strategy, CIOs should consider what policies should govern the enterprise’s social computing use. The first thing that might occur to you when you think of social media policies are those that control who speaks and what they say.

Yes, social media usage policies that control who and what are important. But policies, practices and procedures laying out how to speak may be even more important. Don’t assume that because your employees are social-media-savvy that they know best how to be evangelists for your enterprise. The following, excerpted from our Community Building Checklist chapter in our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog), can help you as you think through your social media processes.

  • Establish, in writing, best practices and procedures
  • Ensure staff is on message
  • Empower staff to be proactive and participative
  • Position community as means to engage, not a distraction
  • Create Rules of Engagement
    • What to do with negative content
    • What to do with negative members (more later)
    • What to do with staff that blabs
    • Study how the US Air Force deals with various types of community members, in the next figure

      Air Force Web Posting Assessment Flowchart

      Figure 85 — Air Force Web Posting Assessment Flowchart[1]

  • Decide whether to hold employees and other community members personally responsible for content they publish
  • Decide how staff should Identify themselves in posts
  • Decide if staff members who post elsewhere should add a disclaimer to their posts: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent [Organization’s] positions, strategies or opinions.”
  • Encourage all members to respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws and set penalties for non-compliance
  • Confidentiality: Decide whether to prohibit citing or referencing clients, partners or suppliers without their approval
  • Create a linkback policy for material reposted from other sources
  • Create a prohibited language policy restricting hate speech, ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity
  • If you are regulated, ensure all employees understand what can and cannot be said online
    • Understand the legal ramifications of creating a public record or a public meeting by discussing topics online
    • User-Generated Content (UGC) may need to comply with policy, copyright, trademark
    • May need to treat information as part of records subject to retention policies
  • Be careful out there: Some laws may restrict your ability to censor employees online:
    • Political Opinions
      • Many states, (such as California) prohibit employers from regulating their employees’ political activities
      • Unionizing
      • In many states, talking or writing about unionizing is strongly protected; union contracts may permit blogging; states may protect “concerted” speech — protecting two or more people who discuss workplace conditions
    • Whistleblowing
      • Many may believe reporting regulatory violations or illegal activities online is protected, but whistleblowers must report problems to the appropriate regulatory or law enforcement bodies first
    • Reporting on Your Work for the Government
      • Government workers writing online about their work is protected speech under the First Amendment except for classified or confidential information
    • Legal Off-Duty Activities
      • Some states may protect an employee’s legal off-duty blogging, especially if the employer has no policy or an unreasonably restrictive policy with regard to off-duty speech activities
    • Reporting Outside Social Media Site Memberships
      • Some organizations require employees to report other places where they contribute online
    • Set Guidelines for At-Work Social Media Use
      • Most enterprises believe at-work use of social media saps productivity, but some studies find just the opposite.
    • Review the following policies for ideas for your social media policy:[2]

    Our next post will take a look at Use Social Media to Manage Corporate Reputation.

For soup-to-nuts, strategy to execution processes, procedures and how-to advice, see our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


  • [1] Air Force Web Posting Assessment Flowchart v.2 (PDF): bit.ly/dvdtGS

    [2] See SocialMedia.biz for a great list of social media usage policies: bit.ly/cyou3a

CIOs: Creating a Plan for Engaging with Social Media

Part 2 of our series, What CIOs Need to Know About Social Media.

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. We’re taking a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework. In this blog, we continue our closer look at Cohen’s first item.

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards, part 2

Creating a social media engagement plan starts with understanding your community – your audience, which might include employees, partners, prospects, customers, and the general public. Ensure that your plan covers the following topics, excerpted from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog):

      • Guiding principles— Lay out your target audiences, target outcomes, what you are offering, your key messages and success metrics. Example guiding principles:
        • Relationships sustain our community. Nurture them.
        • Action is more important than endless discussion
        • Our members are at the center of our community, and control its development
      • Channels— Determine how you’re going to use complementary on- and offline channels (print, TV, other social networks, ads, etc.) to let people know about and get them to contribute to your community. Examples of complementary channel use:
        • Include your social media presence in PSAs
        • Link your Facebook status to Twitter
        • Run a print promotion for a Facebook-based event
      • Activities— What kinds of actions can your community members take on your site and elsewhere? You’ll want to make these actions easy to find and easy to accomplish. Design your calls to action and the high-value interactions you are trying to encourage accordingly. Examples of activities:
        • Tell a friend
        • Like your Facebook page
        • Invite a friend to an event
      • Incentives— Consider offering prizes, points, rebates and other benefits to community members who visit, contribute, or help other members use the site. Examples of incentives:
        • Special achievement badges members can display on their blogs
        • Two-for-one admission to your next event
        • Enter those who comment in a prize drawing
      • Roles and responsibilities— Determine who is responsible for content creation, animation, promotion, outreach, tech support and other functions. Design the production and approval workflows. Ensure that all participants are well-informed about this process. Example roles and responsibilities:
        • Management funds the social media effort
        • The community manager manages social day-to-day activities
        • Outreach crafts the messages for distribution via social media
      • Messages— Well in advance of launch of your social media effort, draft all the on-site and e-mail messages you’re likely to need as you get started. Example messages:
        • Use AddThis[1] to add the ability for Website visitors to comment about you on social media
        • Embed YouTube videos on your Website and ask for comments
        • Include announcement of your social media effort in email newsletters
      • Timeline — Any well-run project needs a plan that specifies what gets done when. Be sure to include all activities, including a periodic evaluation of success metrics
      • Do’s and don’ts— Create a style guide for your staff to use in order to present a consistent voice. Be sure to address at least the following:
        • How often will the content be updated and posted to social media sites?
        • What type of content will be posted (topics, categories)?
        • How and who will approve content?
        • How will the site look? How is your logo to be displayed? What is the color palette?
        • How will you ensure the site is usable? Accessible (Section 508 compliant)?
        • How will you launch? We recommend a gradual, soft launch so you have time to work out the kinks.
        • How will you collect and safeguard Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?[2]
          • Does the site have privacy and legal disclaimers? What kinds of content need legal review? What legal jurisdictions do you need to take into account?
          • Ages of community members? Do they need to be 18 or over? How do you filter out the kids?

There’s a lot more about pre-launch activities in the Community Building Checklist section in our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises. a soup-to-nuts, strategy to execution processes, procedures and how-to advice manual. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

Tomorrow: a deeper dive on the second element, Review and Approval Processes in the post CIO’s Social Media Review and Approval Processes.


[1] AddThis: bit.ly/d6oL2B

[2] Definition: bit.ly/aX2Swd

What CIOs Need to Know About Social Media

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. In a series of blogs, we’ll take a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework.

But first, ask yourself, “How am I doing on the following?”

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

In this post, we take a closer look at the first item.

Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards, part 1

If you’re not setting standards in your organization, you better get after it. Whether sanctioned or not, your employees are representing your company on social media, if only inadvertently. You need a social media policy at the very minimum to guide the official (and unofficial) social media activities of your employees. You also need a style guide; Cohen’s post talks about such details as font styles, type size, color schemes, and placement of corporate logos and slogans, but there is a lot more to do, including establishing goals for social media and creating a social engagement plan.

All of these mandates and guidelines should follow from your understanding of how social media can benefit your enterprise. Some points to ponder from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog – see the first post: Why Social Media?):

  • Identification of problems, opportunities and issues — Use social media community to keep a pulse on your market
  • Policy consultation — Get your community’s opinion on the direction of your organization, or about desired policy changes in governance
  • Customer service and service delivery — Find out what you’re doing right, and wrong, and how you can improve your service to your clients
  • Marketing and communications — Inform your community about significant activities of your enterprise or related entities in close to real-time (Twitter) or through regular updates (Facebook, blogging)

Notice how we list marketing last? That’s right. It’s one of the least important things you can do with social media (more on that in a future blog).

Before you launch any social media initiative, you should understand and plan:[1]

  • Goals — What and why? Participation?
  • Outcomes — How does this support your business?
  • Target Audience — Who?
  • Research — What is possible?
  • Pilot — What small piece can you implement first as a pilot? What will you learn and apply to full plan?
  • Training — Does anyone need to be trained in order to implement?
  • Capacity — Who will implement? Outside expertise needed? Training?
  • Culture Change — Once you have an initial plan, how do you get the enterprise to own it? How do you deal with resistance? How do you deal with legal department?
  • Implementation — Who needs to know when problems arise? What about ongoing training and support?
  • Evaluation — How will you know if you were successful? What did you learn?

After you’ve figured all this out, create an operating manual based on these policies and procedures and distribute it to all stakeholders.

You should also create a plan for engaging with social media. That’s the topic for tomorrow’s post, CIO’s Social Media Review and Approval Processes.

For soup-to-nuts, strategy to execution processes, procedures and how-to advice, see our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


[1] After Chris Brogan, as modified by We Are Media: bit.ly/axqDVb

Create a Mobile Social Computing Strategy

Create a Mobile Social Computing Strategy is the 11th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


Foursquare

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Some rights reserved by Joshua Kaufman

Create a Mobile Social Computing Strategy

Many of your prospects may not have regular access to computers or the Internet, and others may prefer mobile devices for their daily social media use. You may want to create a non-Web-based social comput­ing strategy to leverage:

  • Smart mobile phones
  • Tablets such as iPads and Android pads
  • Texting

Mobile social computing is becoming a very important way users are interacting with social media. According to Facebook, in mid-2011 more than 250 million people were using Facebook from their mobile devices every month.[10] That represents a growth of 384 percent in less than two years, as there were just 65 million[11] users of using Facebook Mobile[12] in September 2009.

In fact, a recent study[13] by Ground Truth found that US mobile users spend almost 60 percent of their time on social networks.

Percent of Time Spent on Mobile Internet Usage by Category

Category Percent
Social Networking 59.83%
Portals 13.65%
Operator 9.02%
Messaging 7.35%
Mobile Downloads 1.27%
All Other 8.88%

MySpace and Facebook were the top destinations cited in the study, which brings up an interesting point: Mobile users may not be the same demographic as computer-based social media users. Facebook has many times the number of members as the fading MySpace, yet MySpace was the most popular dest­ination for mobile users, followed closely by Facebook. No other highly-popular social media sites were in the top 10 in the study.

MySpace’s demographic skews young, with a generally higher proportion of high-school-age and younger users. However, with the sale of MySpace in mid-2011, you may want to watch carefully how the site evolves with new owners.

So if you want to reach mobile users, you’ll need to adjust your approach and your messaging.

There is even research that indicates that mobile social media use is more popular than computer-based usage. A study by Ruder Finn in February, 2010[14] found:

  • 91 percent of mobile phone users go online to socialize compared to only 79 percent of traditional desktop users
  • Mobile phone users are 1.6 times more likely to bank online compared to traditional desktop users (62 percent versus 39 percent)

Based on these statistics, you may find that you need to create a mobile social computing strategy that is slightly different from the rest of your external strategy. Since many social media sites are not optimized for the restricted bandwidth and small screen size of mobile phones, you may want to concen­trate your efforts on sites that better-support these devices. Facebook has been a leader in this area.

Next up: The 10 Commandments of Social Computing, pt 1


[1] Just one example of the many articles and studies that support this: SocialTimes’ How to Connect With Your Employees Using Social Media, Email and Some Common Sensebit.ly/9o1vnP

[2] Fournaise Marketing Group, bit.ly/bAkvPe bit.ly/dmwcg9

[3] Exist.com: bit.ly/kj6p4l

[4] Produced by iPressroom, a hosted content management software platform, with support from the Public Relations Society of America: bit.ly/djp0cw

[5] Foremski’s Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! bit.ly/nwPtwB

[6] MultiVu – SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”prn.to/pE7XNd

[7] Some Social Search Optimization resources: slidesha.re/dTdBDMslidesha.re/dQ68z3 slidesha.re/igunmG

[8] Crash the Superbowl: bit.ly/hAlYld

[9] See the definition of badges on page 20

[10] Source: Facebook on.fb.me/biGYNr

[11] Source: Facebook bit.ly/9fE4qn

[12] Facebook Mobile: on.fb.me/bpiCmQ

[13] Ground Truth is a mobile computing research firm: bit.ly/caaE65

[14] Ruder Finn is a public relations firm: bit.ly/djlLb8

Writing Your Social Media Strategy

Writing Your Social Media Strategy

Writing Your Social Media Strategy is the tenth in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


Social Computing Strategy

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Some rights reserved by Gauravonomics

Writing Your Social Media Strategy

Work with your organization to identify and implement your organization-wide social media strategy and associated im­plementation plans. The following are the main social media areas that will require development and implementation.

Determine Important Points

Develop a set of talking points that will be used to engage potential evangelists and supporters using social media. The points may change over time, as you learn more about your community.

The talking points should emphasize the special qualities of your business’s services and foster a personal relationship with your brand. They should sound natural if delivered by an average person and should appeal to the emotional connection that your best customers feel with your enterprise’s products or services. However, the message needs to be customized by audience as much as possible, so you may need to develop several groups of talking points.

Identify Influencers

All people using social media are not equal in their ability to influence others. Identify those who are already talking about and recommending your products or services, especially those with a significant online and social media presence. You may, for example, start with your organization’s customer support people and concentrate on those who actively work with your clients.

Create talking points for these influencers and think of other ways to enable them to help spread the word. The message will spread better if it is more easily found, and influencers can help your business’s messages and products place higher in search engine results as well.

The goal is to quickly develop a number of evangelists, those who feel passionate about your products and your business and who will, with a little support, happily pass on inform­ation and help to convert others.

Create a Brand for the Social Media Effort

A good online movement needs a name. The name should be short, catchy, and communicate the goals of the effort. Build­ing on the research efforts above, create the name and then use it to brand all campaign efforts. Your organization’s site and partner Websites must help support the branding, and prom­inent­ly feature selected user-generated content (UGC) in support of the campaign.

A great example of this was Yum! Brands’ Crash the Super Bowl campaign[8] which encouraged people to submit ideas for Doritos commercials to run during Super Bowl XLV. Some of the user-generated ads were celebrated as the best presented during the entire broadcast.

Now this was a glitzy, highly costly campaign — especially con­sidering the $1 million price tag for an advertising slot. But your enterprise might do a similar campaign, for far less money, to encourage your supporters to offer you ideas for your YouTube channel. This type of approach is called crowd­sourcing, and we talk about it later in this book.

Establish a More-Effective and Coordinated Social Media Presence

The best way to get into social media is to start to participate (after creating a strategy and first listening for a while, of course!)

The best way to participate is to engage people one-on-one through active listening, rather than pushing advertising messages at them.

This strategy involves building on any existing enterprise social media assets such as customer stories and testimonials, YouTube videos, Twitter accounts and other sites. Create presences on popular social networking sites as well as engag­ing with those who are already using social media to discuss your products and your business.

All these efforts should be coordinated, and revolve around the talking points. Consider creating a branded social net­working site that enables user-generated content, either stand­alone or as part of your organization’s site. You should recognize, however, that this is a substantial undertaking. We talk about architecting your own community in the section Building Your Community.

Capitalize on Existing Relationships

Ensure that all stakeholders whom the enterprise touches reg­ularly — your organization’s sales and marketing folks as well as customer service and product management — are kept up-to-date via social media and other means.

This means leveraging any existing Internet assets such as email lists as well as other established marketing and public relations partners and also encouraging stakeholders to reach out to those they can influence.

Leverage Traditional Media Resources

Fold the social media campaign in with traditional marketing efforts such as press releases and other media contacts. Ensure that the campaign’s brand is extended into traditional media. And remember: Don’t stop doing anything you’re already doing just because you’re now doing social media. Ensure that all your efforts reinforce one another.

Enable Direct Supporter Actions

Provide media assets such as videos, screensavers, and special badges[9] to evangelists and other supporters. This concept extends to all forms of user-generated content, including blogs/posts, audio, and especially email.

Up next: Create a Mobile Social Computing Strategy


[1] Just one example of the many articles and studies that support this: SocialTimes’ How to Connect With Your Employees Using Social Media, Email and Some Common Sensebit.ly/9o1vnP

[2] Fournaise Marketing Group, bit.ly/bAkvPe bit.ly/dmwcg9

[3] Exist.com: bit.ly/kj6p4l

[4] Produced by iPressroom, a hosted content management software platform, with support from the Public Relations Society of America: bit.ly/djp0cw

[5] Foremski’s Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! bit.ly/nwPtwB

[6] MultiVu – SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”prn.to/pE7XNd

[7] Some Social Search Optimization resources: slidesha.re/dTdBDMslidesha.re/dQ68z3 slidesha.re/igunmG

[8] Crash the Superbowl: bit.ly/hAlYld

[9] See the definition of badges on page 20

[10] Source: Facebook on.fb.me/biGYNr

[11] Source: Facebook bit.ly/9fE4qn

[12] Facebook Mobile: on.fb.me/bpiCmQ

[13] Ground Truth is a mobile computing research firm: bit.ly/caaE65

[14] Ruder Finn is a public relations firm: bit.ly/djlLb8

Create an External Social Computing Strategy

Create an External Social Computing Strategy

Create an External Social Computing Strategy is the ninth in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV


Social Computing Strategy

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Some rights reserved by Mike Sansone

Create an External Social Computing Strategy

Create an external strategy to:

  • Communicate with prospects and customers
  • Recruit new evangelists and influencers
  • Create a network of partners to multiply the effect of your own sales and marketing efforts

It is becoming well-accepted that today’s social-media-savvy users do not respond as readily as they once did to pushed marketing messages (TV, radio, newspapers, magazine ad­vertising).[2] Social media transforms an old sales platitude — “People do not like to be sold, but they love to buy” — into “People love buying from their friends. Make someone your friend and they will buy from you.”

The advertising industry knows this, according to the Chief Creative Officer of the world’s 4th largest ad agency, Craig Davis of J. Walter Thompson:

Audiences everywhere are tough. They don’t have time to be bored or brow-beaten by orthodox, old-fashioned advertising. We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.[3]

So it’s likely that your average prospect is barraged daily with appeals and pitches, which they can become quite adept at ignoring. Social media, on the other hand, creates value by fos­ter­­ing a relationship with an organization and a brand, rather than creating another loud member of a clamoring crowd.

A social computing strategy has become a must, particularly for large enterprises, and incorporating social media into an organization’s overall strategy ensures that social media becomes an integrated driver of relationships, brand loyalty, and sales, rather than a less-effective afterthought.

Social Media Performance Group Approach

Our approach to creating a social computing strategic plan is designed to first and foremost integrate with your org­anization’s strategic goals. We believe attacking a point opportunity (“Let’s do some tweets about our new product”) or a tactical implementation (“Let’s drive traffic to our YouTube client testimonials”) without alignment with your enterprise’s strategy not only misses much of the value social media can bring to an organization, but also risks becoming counterproductive.

In addition, if all social media efforts are not coordinated with clear objectives and metrics, your organization runs the risk of wasting money and effort and losing effectiveness.

We lay out the elements of a successful approach to a social computing strategy in the sections that follow.

Review Business Strategy

As a first step, as we’ve indicated in previous sections, conduct a review of your enterprise’s strategy, goals, and im­ple­mentation plans to ensure alignment of the social media strategy. Next, work with your organization’s senior leaders to create an enterprise-wide strategic blueprint. Determine how social media will support your operations, employees, sales, service delivery, and so on.

During this process, you should examine all the potential social media touch points for your enterprise, both internally and externally. We suggest you look beyond the usual suspects when thinking about how social media can help your company.

Who are the usual suspects? Typically, the leading purveyors of social media solutions in businesses of all sizes are public relations and marketing, and it’s likely the same for your organization. The 2009 Digital Readiness Report,[4] found that PR and Marketing lead the vast majority of social media engagements inside businesses of all types and sizes:

  • In 51 percent of businesses, PR leads digital commun­ications compared to 40.5 percent where marketing leads
  • PR is responsible for blogging at 49 percent of all businesses vs. marketing’s 22 percent
  • PR is responsible for micro-blogging (think Twitter) at 52 percent of all businesses vs. 22 percent for marketing, for a combined 74 percent

We think this state of affairs misses the point of social media, which, for us, is about relationships between people, not pushing PR and marketing messages.

Social media expert and author David Meerman Scott says:

At every one of my speeches, I say PR people are spammers. That gets everyone’s attention so I have an opportunity to explain what I mean … I get several hundred unsolicited press releases and PR pitches every week. Well over 99% of them are not targeted to me, instead they are sent to me because I am on various PR people’s lists …

Scott is far from being alone in this situation. Way back in 2006,[5] writer Tom Foremski called for the death of the press release:

Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus. They often contain praise from analysts, (who are almost always paid or have a customer relationship.) And so on…

Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.

This madness has to end. It is wasted time and effort by hundreds of thousands of professionals.

With all due respect to PR professionals, the typical public relations approach is to scatter a million seeds, hoping some will find fertile ground. From their perspective, this makes sense. From a recipient’s perspective, it doesn’t. Those who groan under the load of all the messages wonder why you don’t know them better. Why can’t you establish at least a profile, and at best a relationship, so you understand what they want and are interested in?

The answer is because public relations has never had a tool that enables relationships. They’ve got a seed-scatterer.

The cool thing is social media provides a better way: relationships not messages. The further cool thing is you’ve got people all over your organization who can create relationships. PR professional Todd Defren responded to Foremski’s cry to kill the PR by creating a template for a social media press release.[6] That’s a good start, but using this tool with a standard PR distribution system still misses the point.

Our point is that, no matter how enlightened they may be about social media, letting the PR and marketing folks in your enterprise dominate your social media use, might cause you to miss lots of places where social media can contribute to your organization, and as a result, you’ll scatter a lot of seeds on fallow ground.

Enterprises that have understood the real potential use social media inside and outside their organizations successfully. When we help enterprises realize the value of social media, we do this based on our proprietary Enterprise Social Media Framework™ (ESMF). The ESMF maps your organization’s structure to social media best practices and includes dozens of illustrative case studies pulled from the experiences of non-profit and for-profit organizations from all over the world. Insights derived from the ESMF help enterprises fully utilize the potential of social media.

Enterprise Social Media Framework Example

Figure 5 — A small section of the Case Studies area of SMPG’s ESMF

You can contact us if you’re interested in learning more about ESMF. Otherwise, take a look at what has been successful for enterprises like yours and think about how the advantages of social media can help you beyond PR and marketing.

Finally, decide which opportunities to address first, and de­velop implementation plans.

Comprehensive Strategic Approach

We propose that you take a comprehensive approach in which you:

  • Analyze the competition — Ensure that your enterprise is positioned to succeed against competitors’ efforts
  • Create a comprehensive social media strategy — Develop a social media strategy that is intimately bound to your objectives and current implementations
  • Create a social media tactical plan and structure— Be sure to iterate out all implementation details to create a turnkey social media infrastructure including:
    • A  community space on your organization’s Website where users can comment
    • A facility to capture client reviews, suggestions, and testimonials
    • Presence on all relevant social media sites along with tactical plans for using them
    • A model for involving partners in coordinating social media campaigns
    • Social media monitoring services
  • Ensure social media training for your enterprise — You’ll need to assess and train your organization as well as designating community manager(s) and others who will implement your tactics. If you’re interested, you can outsource ongoing community management and other social media execution to Social Media Performance Group, or we can train your staff to fulfill these functions.

Integrate Search with the Social Media Strategy

Social media must be integrated with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Your enterprise may not be involved with such efforts at this point. That may be a mistake. SEM and SEO are critical to the success of any Website these days.

With recent moves by Google to index Facebook and Twitter, social media’s influence on online search is accelerating to the point that leading-edge firms are increasingly talking about a new term, Social Search Optimization (SSO). [7]

All your Websites should follow good Search Engine Optim­iz­ation processes, so you should review current prac­tices and determine how social media interacts with SEO.  Among the areas that you should address are page content, titles and metadata, content positioning, underlying codebase, site navigation, sitemap, and URL structure.

Create and implement a Social Search Optimization strategy, including identifying keywords and analyzing competitive sites.

Up next: Writing Your Social Media Strategy

 


[1] Just one example of the many articles and studies that support this: SocialTimes’ How to Connect With Your Employees Using Social Media, Email and Some Common Sensebit.ly/9o1vnP

[2] Fournaise Marketing Group, bit.ly/bAkvPe bit.ly/dmwcg9

[3] Exist.com: bit.ly/kj6p4l

[4] Produced by iPressroom, a hosted content management software platform, with support from the Public Relations Society of America: bit.ly/djp0cw

[5] Foremski’s Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! bit.ly/nwPtwB

[6] MultiVu – SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”prn.to/pE7XNd

[7] Some Social Search Optimization resources: slidesha.re/dTdBDMslidesha.re/dQ68z3 slidesha.re/igunmG

[8] Crash the Superbowl: bit.ly/hAlYld

[9] See the definition of badges on page 20

[10] Source: Facebook on.fb.me/biGYNr

[11] Source: Facebook bit.ly/9fE4qn

[12] Facebook Mobile: on.fb.me/bpiCmQ

[13] Ground Truth is a mobile computing research firm: bit.ly/caaE65

[14] Ruder Finn is a public relations firm: bit.ly/djlLb8

Create Social Computing Strategies

Create Social Computing Strategies

Create Social Computing Strategies is the eighth in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV



Social Computing Strategy

Attribution
Some rights reserved by birgerking

Create Social Computing Strategies

“Over and over again, connecting people with one another
is what lasts online. Some folks thought it was about technology,
but it’s not. “

Seth Godin, interactive marketing expert

Let’s say you want to remodel your kitchen. A contractor visits and begins to describe his approach: “I’m going to use a screw­­driver and some screws; a hammer and some nails; a saw and some wood; a sledgehammer and a crowbar.”

Another contractor visits and shows you the plans for the new kitchen, a list of materials you’ll have to buy, and a project plan with a timeline and a cost.

Which contractor would you trust your kitchen project with?

It’s the same with social media. You may encounter social media consultants who talk about LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter, and YouTube, and Flickr, and Digg, and blogs and on and on. They may express great enthusiasm about the latest cool tools, and may encourage you to just try social media — do a quick project and just see what happens.

Hey, kids! Let’s set up a Twitter account! Just as with the kitchen renovation, you’re better off having a strategy, a plan, and a design before you consider the tools you’ll use to engage your community via social media.

Social Media Performance Group’s motto ¾ No Tools Before Rules™ ¾ means take the time to first determine what social media can do to support the strategy and goals of your enterprise. Then create a social media strategy, and map it to all the areas of your organization, inside and out. Only then should you begin to talk about tactics and tools. Your CEO’s 20-year-old nephew might seem like a good option to help you get started, but he’s not likely to have the depth of under­standing of your strategy, and of social media strategy, to ensure that you won’t just waste your time and money on an ineffective Facebook fan page, for example.

With social media, like a lot of things on the Web, you can’t build it and expect them to come.

So how do you get started? First, think about the makeup of a good social computing strategy.

Elements of a Social Computing Strategy

As we’ve said, your social computing strategy should map social computing activities to your enterprise’s overall goals and objectives. As we’ve stated previously in this book, a good social computing strategy:

  • Effectively communicates goals and benefits of social media internally and externally
  • Guides selection of the right tools to use
  • Ensures sustainability of your social media endeavor
  • Involves regular reviews of people, processes, and tools to ensure that your business stays relevant

Specifically, a social computing strategy addresses how your enterprise will:

  • Approach social media
    • Create the messaging
    • Handle community responses, positive and negative
    • Create and maintain social computing policy
    • Maintain the connection between organizational strategy and social computing strategy
  • Join the conversation
    • Determine how to Be a Person, not an organization — who gets to speak online?
    • Determine how to listen
    • Find community members
    • Engage your community
      • Ask for their help
      • Who manages your community?
      • Measure your social computing success
  • Ensure safe social computing
    • Manage legal issues
    • Manage your online reputation
  • Brand your business online
    • Determine how your main Website supports your social computing initiatives
    • Determine kinds of online branding campaigns to focus on
    • Manage the connection between online and offline branding
  • Find and create online evangelists
    • Determine the kinds of people to cultivate as evangelists
    • Support evangelist development and sustain existing evangelists
  • Create buzz
    • Examine types of online and offline promotions
    • Manage and sustain online buzz
  • Attract and convert new customers, staff, and evangelists
    • Create online rules of engagement
    • Prioritize outreach techniques
  • Encourage and manage eCommerce
    • Plan prospect conversion
    • Foster recommendations, ratings, and research
    • Coordinate with offline techniques

You can use this list as an outline as you create your organi­zation’s overall social computing strategy. We elaborate on many of these points in later sections of this book.

Create an Internal Social Computing Strategy

Many people think of social computing as an externally-oriented thing. The popularity of the various large social media sites — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube — encourages enterprises to think social media is only about external relationships.

In reality, one of the more powerful ways to use social computing is inside your organization. In fact, as we’ve said, we believe that sales and marketing may be the least impress­ive things that social computing does. Social media can help build a sense of community among your employees, help improve internal communications, and greatly increase staff retention.

As we’ve mentioned, beginning by following an internal social computing strategy may be a lower-risk way to get started with social media. Whether this is your attitude or not, you should definitely create an internal social computing strategy. This strategy should support your enterprise’s overall strategy and your external social computing strategy. And if the com­munity you address has challenges in getting computer-based access to social media, you should also create a mobile social computing strategy.

Create your internal social computing strategy to help:

  • Communicate with your base
  • Energize your base
  • Help your base communicate your enterprise’s goals and objectives
  • Create evangelists

Your internal social computing strategy should communicate to all stakeholders:

  • What the business is
  • How each stakeholder supports the mission — and each other
  • How to use internal social media
  • Policies
  • How-to’s
  • Their responsibility in creating internal and external community

Your internal social computing strategy should:

  • Leverage your assessment of staff’s strengths and weaknesses so you can assign tasks accordingly
  • Create an internal communication system to quickly and easily communicate social media strategy, tactics, and techniques
  • Ensure that employees create profiles within chosen social media tools and actively use them
  • Identify one or two people to be in charge of social media (both internal and external)
  • Ensure your enterprise keeps a unified voice to the outside

Some of the organizational pain points you might want to address with your internal strategy include:

  • Inefficient Communications — Communicating among staff or between staff and partners may rely entirely on email. This can often be inefficient as large files get emailed or recipients forget where or if they have them, resulting in redundancy and inefficiency. Consider how using social computing techniques such as internal blogs or wikis could help.
  • Ineffective Collaboration — If your staff must collaborate on projects by, say, jointly revising a document, the back and forth of changes, and the difficulty in collecting and applying them can be challenging. In addition, reporting status via email may be prone to confusion if everyone doesn’t follow the email thread. Using social computing features such as document repositories and project-based collaborative blogging may help.
  • Rampant Rumor Mongering — One way to know if your organization seems disconnected from its leadership is the quantity of rumors that circulate within it. A leadership blog can help establish a connection between management and staff. Enabling comments on the blog can help leaders get a pulse on staff attitudes as well as foster innovation.

These are just a few ideas on ways social computing can help your enterprise. When crafting your internal strategy, look for these and other ways you can foster the social cohesion and communication of your company using social computing.

For example, as we’ve mentioned, using social media intern­ally can greatly increase staff satisfaction at a relatively low cost.[1] Using forums and Twitter direct messaging can help your teams communicate better and in real-time. Using a wiki can help you capture the organizational knowledge that often walks out the door when an employee quits.

Create an External Social Computing Strategy

Create an external strategy to:

  • Communicate with prospects and customers
  • Recruit new evangelists and influencers
  • Create a network of partners to multiply the effect of your own sales and marketing efforts

It is becoming well-accepted that today’s social-media-savvy users do not respond as readily as they once did to pushed marketing messages (TV, radio, newspapers, magazine ad­vertising).[2] Social media transforms an old sales platitude — “People do not like to be sold, but they love to buy” — into “People love buying from their friends. Make someone your friend and they will buy from you.”

The advertising industry knows this, according to the Chief Creative Officer of the world’s 4th largest ad agency, Craig Davis of J. Walter Thompson:

Audiences everywhere are tough. They don’t have time to be bored or brow-beaten by orthodox, old-fashioned advertising. We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.[3]

So it’s likely that your average prospect is barraged daily with appeals and pitches, which they can become quite adept at ignoring. Social media, on the other hand, creates value by fos­ter­­ing a relationship with an organization and a brand, rather than creating another loud member of a clamoring crowd.

A social computing strategy has become a must, particularly for large enterprises, and incorporating social media into an organization’s overall strategy ensures that social media becomes an integrated driver of relationships, brand loyalty, and sales, rather than a less-effective afterthought.

 

Social Media Performance Group Approach

Our approach to creating a social computing strategic plan is designed to first and foremost integrate with your org­anization’s strategic goals. We believe attacking a point opportunity (“Let’s do some tweets about our new product”) or a tactical implementation (“Let’s drive traffic to our YouTube client testimonials”) without alignment with your enterprise’s strategy not only misses much of the value social media can bring to an organization, but also risks becoming counterproductive.

In addition, if all social media efforts are not coordinated with clear objectives and metrics, your organization runs the risk of wasting money and effort and losing effectiveness.

We lay out the elements of a successful approach to a social computing strategy in the sections that follow.

Review Business Strategy

As a first step, as we’ve indicated in previous sections, conduct a review of your enterprise’s strategy, goals, and im­ple­mentation plans to ensure alignment of the social media strategy. Next, work with your organization’s senior leaders to create an enterprise-wide strategic blueprint. Determine how social media will support your operations, employees, sales, service delivery, and so on.

During this process, you should examine all the potential social media touch points for your enterprise, both internally and externally. We suggest you look beyond the usual suspects when thinking about how social media can help your company.

Who are the usual suspects? Typically, the leading purveyors of social media solutions in businesses of all sizes are public relations and marketing, and it’s likely the same for your organization. The 2009 Digital Readiness Report,[4] found that PR and Marketing lead the vast majority of social media engagements inside businesses of all types and sizes:

  • In 51 percent of businesses, PR leads digital commun­ications compared to 40.5 percent where marketing leads
  • PR is responsible for blogging at 49 percent of all businesses vs. marketing’s 22 percent
  • PR is responsible for micro-blogging (think Twitter) at 52 percent of all businesses vs. 22 percent for marketing, for a combined 74 percent

We think this state of affairs misses the point of social media, which, for us, is about relationships between people, not pushing PR and marketing messages.

Social media expert and author David Meerman Scott says:

At every one of my speeches, I say PR people are spammers. That gets everyone’s attention so I have an opportunity to explain what I mean … I get several hundred unsolicited press releases and PR pitches every week. Well over 99% of them are not targeted to me, instead they are sent to me because I am on various PR people’s lists …

Scott is far from being alone in this situation. Way back in 2006,[5] writer Tom Foremski called for the death of the press release:

Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus. They often contain praise from analysts, (who are almost always paid or have a customer relationship.) And so on…

Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.

This madness has to end. It is wasted time and effort by hundreds of thousands of professionals.

With all due respect to PR professionals, the typical public relations approach is to scatter a million seeds, hoping some will find fertile ground. From their perspective, this makes sense. From a recipient’s perspective, it doesn’t. Those who groan under the load of all the messages wonder why you don’t know them better. Why can’t you establish at least a profile, and at best a relationship, so you understand what they want and are interested in?

The answer is because public relations has never had a tool that enables relationships. They’ve got a seed-scatterer.

The cool thing is social media provides a better way: relationships not messages. The further cool thing is you’ve got people all over your organization who can create relationships. PR professional Todd Defren responded to Foremski’s cry to kill the PR by creating a template for a social media press release.[6] That’s a good start, but using this tool with a standard PR distribution system still misses the point.

Our point is that, no matter how enlightened they may be about social media, letting the PR and marketing folks in your enterprise dominate your social media use, might cause you to miss lots of places where social media can contribute to your organization, and as a result, you’ll scatter a lot of seeds on fallow ground.

Enterprises that have understood the real potential use social media inside and outside their organizations successfully. When we help enterprises realize the value of social media, we do this based on our proprietary Enterprise Social Media Framework™ (ESMF). The ESMF maps your organization’s structure to social media best practices and includes dozens of illustrative case studies pulled from the experiences of non-profit and for-profit organizations from all over the world. Insights derived from the ESMF help enterprises fully utilize the potential of social media.

Figure 5 — A small section of the Case Studies area of SMPG’s ESMF

You can contact us if you’re interested in learning more about ESMF. Otherwise, take a look at what has been successful for enterprises like yours and think about how the advantages of social media can help you beyond PR and marketing.

Finally, decide which opportunities to address first, and de­velop implementation plans.

Comprehensive Strategic Approach

We propose that you take a comprehensive approach in which you:

  • Analyze the competition — Ensure that your enterprise is positioned to succeed against competitors’ efforts
  • Create a comprehensive social media strategy — Develop a social media strategy that is intimately bound to your objectives and current implementations
  • Create a social media tactical plan and structure— Be sure to iterate out all implementation details to create a turnkey social media infrastructure including:
    • A  community space on your organization’s Website where users can comment
    • A facility to capture client reviews, suggestions, and testimonials
    • Presence on all relevant social media sites along with tactical plans for using them
    • A model for involving partners in coordinating social media campaigns
    • Social media monitoring services
  • Ensure social media training for your enterprise — You’ll need to assess and train your organization as well as designating community manager(s) and others who will implement your tactics. If you’re interested, you can outsource ongoing community management and other social media execution to Social Media Performance Group, or we can train your staff to fulfill these functions.

Integrate Search with the Social Media Strategy

Social media must be integrated with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Your enterprise may not be involved with such efforts at this point. That may be a mistake. SEM and SEO are critical to the success of any Website these days.

With recent moves by Google to index Facebook and Twitter, social media’s influence on online search is accelerating to the point that leading-edge firms are increasingly talking about a new term, Social Search Optimization (SSO). [7]  We talk about social search in the section Real-Time Social Search xxxxxxx.

All your Websites should follow good Search Engine Optim­iz­ation processes, so you should review current prac­tices and determine how social media interacts with SEO. (We cover this in the Find Your Community section xxxxxxx.) Among the areas that you should address are page content, titles and metadata, content positioning, underlying codebase, site navigation, sitemap, and URL structure.

Create and implement a Social Search Optimization strategy, including identifying keywords and analyzing competitive sites.

Next up: Create an External Social Computing Strategy

 


[1] Just one example of the many articles and studies that support this: SocialTimes’ How to Connect With Your Employees Using Social Media, Email and Some Common Sense bit.ly/9o1vnP

[2] Fournaise Marketing Group, bit.ly/bAkvPe bit.ly/dmwcg9

[3] Exist.com: bit.ly/kj6p4l

[4] Produced by iPressroom, a hosted content management software platform, with support from the Public Relations Society of America: bit.ly/djp0cw

[5] Foremski’s Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! bit.ly/nwPtwB

[6] MultiVu – SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”: prn.to/pE7XNd

[7] Some Social Search Optimization resources: slidesha.re/dTdBDM slidesha.re/dQ68z3 slidesha.re/igunmG

[8] Crash the Superbowl: bit.ly/hAlYld

[9] See the definition of badges on page 20

[10] Source: Facebook on.fb.me/biGYNr

[11] Source: Facebook bit.ly/9fE4qn

[12] Facebook Mobile: on.fb.me/bpiCmQ

[13] Ground Truth is a mobile computing research firm: bit.ly/caaE65

[14] Ruder Finn is a public relations firm: bit.ly/djlLb8

Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 2

Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 2

Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 2 is the seventh in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV



Pick One

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Some rights reserved by The Daring Librarian

Monitor Social Media

If you decide that you aren’t ready to engage with social computing but you can’t afford to ignore it, a low-risk option is to merely monitor what is being said about your enterprise online.

There are lots of free and paid options for monitoring social media and some of them are quite complex, allowing for the semi-automated determination of a concept called sentiment.

Sentiment generally measures how people who are talking about you online feel about you. Social monitoring tools can recognize angry, sad, positive, happy, and a variety of other sentiments by extracting terms from online text.

Monitoring of message texts and sentiment is a key com­ponent to measuring the effect of your social media efforts, and it can also help you get acclimated to listening to your community. We talk about this in greater detail in the sections Listen to Your Community and Measure Results.

We recommend that you start monitoring social media well in advance of any initial attempts to use it. Once you start listening, you may be surprised at what people are saying, both negative and positive.

One of the great things about social computing is you can potentially see everything people are saying about you online. One of the sobering things is you might not like what you see.

If you’re an organization of any size, you’ve had people bad-mouthing you for your entire existence. No business is perfect, and there are lots of people who do nothing but find fault. Before there was online, people were talking negatively about you, but you couldn’t always hear.

With social media, not only you can hear the bad things people are saying, you can respond and engage with the speakers.

Isn’t that great? We think that’s fantastic! For the first time in history, you have the opportunity to engage with your detractors, and perhaps change their minds or mitigate their effect. See a good example of how doing so can turn a negative into a positive in the section Engage and Clarify. Being able to answer your critics is an unprecedented advantage for your enterprise, and how you deal with it will be important for your success with social media.

We strongly recommend that if you cannot productively en­gage with naysayers, you should ignore them. If you engage with them in a non-productive way (denying their validity, calling them names), you can do way more harm than good.

If you’re just in monitoring mode, of course, you won’t start engaging; you’ll just be listening to what people say about you. You may be tempted to engage, but we recommend that you wait until you’ve listened for a while, and until you’ve got a plan for how to approach both the supporters and the detractors. Get your social computing strategy together first before engaging. It’s too risky to do otherwise.

What if you are listening and no one is talking about your business? How do you get them to start talking? Well, first you start by engaging with social media.

Engage with Social Media

Obviously, we think you should engage with social media, but only if your organizational assessment determines that you can make it a positive experience both for the enterprise and your stakeholders.

Josh Mendelsohn, Vice President of Chadwick Martin Bailey, sums it up nicely:

While social media is not the silver bullet that some pundits claim it to be, it is an extremely important and relatively low cost touch point that has a direct impact on sales and positive word of mouth.

Companies not actively engaging are missing a huge opportunity and are saying something to consumers —intentionally or unintentionally — about how willing they are to engage on consumers’ terms.[2]

Mendelsohn’s company surveyed 1,500 consumers and found those who are Facebook fans and Twitter followers of a brand are more likely to not only recommend, but also more likely to buy from those brands than they were before becoming fans/ followers.

So there are some pretty compelling reasons to get engaged.

If you’ve been through the assessments and caveats we’ve presented above, and you think you’re ready, then begin with an examination of your current organizational strategy, and fit your social computing strategy to it. The next section can help guide you in this process.

Next up: Create Social Computing Strategies

 


[1] Using Social Media to Listen to Consumers: bit.ly/bGFtdl

[2] Chadwick Martin Bailey is custom market research and consulting firm:  bit.ly/izHMWz