Posts Tagged pro-tips

Two tenets for a successful social business program

Posted by on Thursday, 13 February, 2014

Guiding LightOwnership, and focus of vision. Those are the two recurring themes I’ve seen these past few years which are necessary to run a successful social business program; both of these will be your guiding light moving forward with any social business strategies or activities.

First up is the idea of ownership. What I mean by this is the transfer of control from a department or project lead to the individuals contributing to social engagement. In most cases this revolves around subject matter experts being enabled and encouraged to participate in their own ways, with their own voices, and around things for which they have passion. Of course, giving people this ownership is easier said than done…. What I have found to be effective is to work directly with people who want to become involved in social business and work with them to define their own vision and purpose. Sometimes that can be a single conversation, from which comes a clarity and inherent ownership over their participation.

Which, of course, leads me into the focus of vision. This discussion of focus actually plays tightly with ownership as the conversations around vision will serve to increase an individual’s personal ownership of their efforts, moving them from an attitude of “additional work” to one of passion and exuberance for engaging in conversation. But what do I mean when I say “focus of vision”? This is a multi-fold idea which can be encapsulated in a few questions posed to anyone who asks me what they should do to become more involved:

Question one: What is your purpose for engaging in social business?
This may sound simple, but the answers can be rather complex. Recall that social business is not an end state, it isn’t a goal in itself, and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Rather it is a tool that can help you achieve defined business goals or address identified business problems. Once you are able to identify and verbalize the goals you are working to achieve, you will be able to begin looking to see how social business as a tool can work to your benefit. With these goals understood, the clarity of vision, you purpose will begin to permeate your engagement as a framework for everything you do, say, and share. A guiding light, if you will, that keeps you on track and on course to see the results you need.

Question two: Who is your audience?
Your clarity of purpose should help to answer this question as it will narrow your view and begin focusing in on the right people to engage with in order to achieve your goals. If your goal is to improve client satisfaction, then your audience may only be your existing post-sales client base and your efforts focused on helping them with product issues or education. If, however, your business goal is to increase sales, then you can see how your audience cap grows exponentially from post-sales clients to anyone who may be a potential client, as well as maintaining the client base you already have. Knowing with whom you want to engage with socially will go far in helping you to form the right messaging, the right tone, and the right conversations to build towards your end goals.

As an SME, an individual contributor, being able to answer these two questions will take you far in defining your own engagement in social business. With both an understanding of your audience and your vision/goals, you’ll be able to begin seeing the right steps to take, the right ways to engage, the right tone and timber of voice, and use that framework to guide your activities and conversations. More importantly, from a program manager perspective, being able to define those goals and understanding of audience will give your SMEs a deeper sense of ownership and responsibility to engaging in the right ways. It gives them control and over how they engage and serves to help them see their overarching reasons for engaging in the first place.

Of course, as social business program managers, these questions (and answers) should always be at the top of your mind, not only as you are engaging in social conversation, but especially as you are defining your social strategies and activities. They give you the frame-work to know if you should or shouldn’t engage in a particular way, or if a project being presented will be an effective use of your time and resources. If you take nothing else away from this post, let it be this: If someone asks you what they should be doing, or is asking you to take on a social project, make sure they can answer the two questions of goals and audience before going further.

Advertising gone wrong – sexism exemplified

Posted by on Wednesday, 11 December, 2013

Dewars-Baron-commercialI was going to post this week about how Dewar’s completely screwed up their latest ad with some appalling sexism. But it seems the larger whiskies community really beat me to the punch, and with far more effect! So, instead, I’ll just touch on the problem and highlight some of the better blog articles posted as well as the results:

Fred Minnick’s post went viral in our small community of whisky geeks on Twitter and Facebook, and was even picked up by some larger media houses while the Whiskylassie also had some very choice words. Quoted from her Facebook page post:

Whiskylassie:
Honestly I am not a feminist, when I saw this today I gasped!
Jumping the grenade, definition (urban dictionary) – to swoop in and remove the fat ugly chick.
Dewar’s latest campaign called Meet the Baron uses “the grenade” in this ad. A large blond is led away and in the end the Swedish bikini models are the reward.
When Dewar’s was questioned by someone on twitter their reply was: the blond is the villain…
THIS IS WRONG on every level.
Please sign, share this petition. The only way this type of horrible sexists advertisement will end is if we say so. Thanks  (link to petition redacted)

Yup, you read that right. The Dewar’s ad spot used the sexist trope of an overweight and homely looking woman to play the role of the undesirable from whom the Baron as wingman saves his drinking pal. For even better explanations and discussions on this I implore you to read Fred’s post above, as well as Media Bistro’s….

Media Bistro even picked up Fred’s post and then Business Insider reported the same…. all of which lent pressure against Dewar’s whom actually responded to Media Bistro and simultaneously pulled the ad spot. While Dewar’s response was quite tepid at best, pulling the ad was absolutely the right thing to do.

dewars_removed

I just hope all this kerfuffle sends them back to their drawing boards to re-imagine what a proper and respectful campaign should look like. If they need help remembering, I may just have to point them to the recent Chivas Regal spot that won my heart for doing it right: The measure of a man:
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My top performing posts in 2013

Posted by on Thursday, 5 December, 2013

waywardcelttop_spots .

Coming up on the end of the year I’ve started reviewing my business results and impact to submit for my day job. Since so much of my work overlaps with my blog posts and activities in the social spaces I figured I could look into the results I’ve seen from blogging this past year and perhaps find a bit of business intelligence from some basic analysis. Just taking a brief look over some of the data, I think I’ve found some great takeaways gleaned from some additional back-end metrics as well…

To that end,  here’s a quick recap of my top 10 most viewed posts in 2013 (note that not all of them were actually published in 2013, but rather just the most viewed this year):

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The etiquette of retweet requests (how to improve your reach)

Finding a Facebook page’s RSS feed

The fear of saying the wrong thing

YouTube and RSS: Building a feed link

Best Practices

2013: The Year of Influence

Blogging 101 for Subject Matter Experts

A discussion on barriers to social participation

Improve your personal digital eminence by adding value

Do influencers deserve to be paid?

 

So, what are some of my takeaways from this data?

  • Firstly, I can surmise from the top post that people are still focused on retweet numbers to drive ‘reach’ and are looking for ways to ask others to help them. By reach, I really just mean visibility and basic potential for engagement. From my bounce rate metrics on that post I can also surmise that most people didn’t find what they were looking for (ie. an easy answer to improving reach).
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  • Secondly, I have consistently seen my YouTube RSS and Facebook RSS feed posts performing well week over week. This tells me I should likely look at more technically focused posts to balance my concept and theory posts around social business. Striking a balance with logistics and thought leadership.
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  • Of course, some of those conceptual posts also seem to be doing relatively well. The ones which really took off look to be around getting started and how-to, with one outlier (“Do influencers deserve to be paid”) which performed well as a result of connecting the content with a related article and engaging with that article’s author. A good lesson to be learned in that one: networking with other authors and driving conversations around topics which they are passionate about will improve the performance of your own related posts.
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Next week I plan to take a look at my UNDER performing posts and highlight some potentially valuable content which you likely have missed.