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cmad2013_300.pngBefore I announce the winner, (you didn't think it would be that easy ) ... I wanted to personally say thank you to each and everyone of you for taking the time to share your stories.  Not only was was it great to read about your experiences as community managers, but it also reinforces my belief that the role of a community manager has the potential to impact so much more than any job description can define!  To make sure these stories were give there proper due, here is a curation of the stories that were shared:

 

Matt Nevill - A story of how customer support communities can impact customer loyalty in the best way possible! - read more

Danielle Higgins - A story that highlights the values of UAT and how powerful a 4 little numbers can be. =) - read more

Megan Truett - A story that shows how a social intranet platform can increase an employee's connectedness to the company. - read more

Tracy Maurer - A story of hope and humanity brought by bringing a company's employees together in times of crisis. - read more

Gina Bowen - A story that demonstrates the value of community, which includes learning from your customers. - read more

Laura McCullum - A story about impressing people with some cool tools. - read more

James Bouy - A story about getting the word out. - read more

Sallie Doss - A story about customers finally realizing the value of the community - read more

Michael Ramirez - A story of a little "littering" bird and its impact on community engagement. - read more

Robin Moore - A story about putting faces to names, in a fun way. - read more

Steve Golab - A story about converting people into believers in the power of community. - read more

Sunil Kumar - A story about meeting a friend you've already met before. - read more

Jose Maria Gonzalez Vazquez- A story about how partnering with the right technologies can make a difference. - read more

Jose Luis Romero - A story of 6 little letters:  T  ... H  ... A ... N ... K ... S - read more

Ann Armstrong w/Emily Stickler - A story of diplomacy and leadership in times of corporate change. - read more

vudoan82 w/Hassan Atassi & Matt McLaughlin - A story of passing the torch and a bright future! - read more

Lindsay Lamb - A story of putting praise above prize (thanks lindsay ) - read more

Chris Hartley w/Brennan Till - A story of pioneers, parenthood and community - read more

Bruce York- A story of over-zealous helping, perhaps. - read more

john ridings w/Deirdre Walsh - A story about how a community of people can turn the tide on a business decision! - read more

Arizona (Sherril) Lowe - A story of new blood, playing games and getting people engaged and educated at the same time! - read more

Sandra Zurawski w/Jason Rapps & jennmesenbrink - A story about standing at the precipice of change and looking ahead. - read more and here

Kirsten Laaspere - A story of why its cool to be a community manager, and ice cream. - read more

LG .- A story about why your's truly shouldn't stray too far from the English language - read more

Jason Cao - A story about blogging it forward to a total stranger - read more

Israel Heskiel w/Kirsten Laaspere - A story smiles, engagement and education - read more

Emilie Kopp - A story of building better products with a growing community. - read more

Deepa Ramesh - A story of community gardening and appreciation. - read more

Scott McLellan & Kate Goodyear w/Kirsten Laaspere - A story of answering questions and driving adoption. - read more and here

Kevin Crossman - A story about rapid user adoption and executive sponsorship. - read more

Dustin Smith w/Tracy Fitzgerald - A story about bacon, learning the ropes, and experiencing awesomeness first-hand. - read more

Shirlin Hsu - A story of mentorship here in the JC with Miriam Smith and winning creating an HR advocate. - read more

Mark Schwanke - A story about sharing the glory to the unsung heroes of the community, your moderators. - read more

Brian Bezanson w/Laura McCullum - A story about user experience, training, and how they can come together under the community manager position. - read more

 

And now, onto the winner ...

To be fair, I want to outline the process I used for selecting this winner.  In part to share the process with you in the event you wanted to do a similar game in your community.  First off, we well eclipsed the 40 entry mark on stories, so thanks again to everyone.  I pulled information from Twitter on the number of times our tweet was retweeted.  (in this case, it was 23)   I then created 23 rows in a spreadsheet (i.e. Twitter1 ... Twitter23).  I then counted the number of stories (in this case, it was 34), and made an additional 34 rows (i.e. Story1 ... Story34).   I had the spreadsheet generate a random number between 1 and 1000 and prefixed it to each row, and then sorted the columns alphabetically.  Finally, I generated a single random number between 1 and 57, and which ever row it landed on, I would make that the winner.  In this case ... the number indicated that Story6 was the winner, which means ....

 

Laura McCullum from GE is the winner of the #CMAD 2013 game!

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Thanks again to everyone for participating and recognizing community manager appreciation day.  I look forward to talking with all of you in the Jive Community, and possibly in-person at JiveWorld13.  On that note, I'll leave you with an oldie but a goodie,

"if there is anything I can do to make your Jive Community most AWESOME ... just let me know, and I'll do my best to see that it happens." - Ryan Rutan

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Curtis Gross is the Senior Technology Marketing Manager at Jive Software. In this piece, Curtis explains the what, why, and how of implementing Gamification in your organization.



Previously, I gave a primer on Gamificaiton here. In this post, I want to share one great way that Gamification can impact an organization: encourage behavior that impacts the bottom line. While analytics has become very popular for upper level management within organizations as a way to rank the effectiveness of 'anything,' there is also a great opportunity to allow that information to be presented to everyone within an organization, not just management. Gamification can be used to provide everyone insight into their performance, their team's performance, and the company's performance.


For more detail on how Gamification and social business impacts your bottom line, download the McKinsey report.

 

Gamfication Part 2 - Badges.pngGamification = User Accessible Analytics + Rewards

Without analytical information, Gamification cannot exist, and without a level of accessibility for everyone, analytical information loses it's value to influence the actions end users. 

 

Users want to know how they are doing at work in comparison to others, and this is where Gamification fits in perfectly.  When an individual wants to know how they are doing, performance wise, they would track how many likes, reads, points and what rewards they have earned. They can then use this information as a baseline on how their performance. If you then toss in a bit of openness (a.k.a., being able to compare your baseline to someone else) a new employee will be able to see what sorts of activities a 'high performer' does to be successful.

 

What can companies do to improve?

There are a number of analytics tools available for the enterprise. Often times, once those tools are deployed within a company the data is only accessed by either a few specific people or dedicated teams.  There is a great opportunity to open up traditional analytics data to let employees understand how they compare to each other.  Now, there is such a thing as 'too much information' so the amount of detail passed to users / employees would of course need to be presented in a digestible format. Social context can be used to limit who a user can compare their performance to, which means limiting who users can compare themselves to based on job role or interests. My advice would be to either leverage Gamification to gather information on what employees are doing on a daily basis, or open up your current analytics process to better include all employees within a company.


There is no question that there is a wealth of knowledge within every company's analytics storage of choice, and there can be considerable benefit in just opening up that information to a wider audience.  BUT - the key piece to understand is that this Gamification/analytical information being presented to the end user must be tied to something that is proven to provide value to the company.  Don't just show a user they are the best at something, show them that they are the best at something that is saving the company money, increasing sales, or generating ideas.  That is where data becomes valuable.


What user-analytics do your employees have access to? Is this used to influence employee behavior?

Before coming to work at Jive, I spent a number of years in management consulting, working specifically on the needs of large sales organizations.  I had a chance to participate and lead a variety of projects around the world.  Living out of the proverbial “consultant suitcase” for days at a time, you do feel a bit estranged from family and friends.  It was tough but looking back, though those were years in which I learned invaluable lessons about sales management and operations, and I would not trade them for anything.

 

Peering into over 50 sales organizations, I had the opportunity to work on a vast range of strategic, operational, and human capital problems related to sales.  The sales organizations I observed were under constant pressure to change and simultaneously deliver revenue. The results of those change programs, even in our most successful engagements, sometimes left parts of the sales organization struggling to catch up and benefit immediately from the new programs.

 

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I always felt concern and regard for these "line-sales" personnel.  I’m sure it’s because I once carried a bag myself and understand how difficult the work truly is.  In my current role at Jive in sales operations, I hold this same regard and concern for the line sales person, but I get to channel that concern into programs that help them sell more, feel more connected, and get the guidance they need to close more deals.  Here are three recommendations to improve sales operations:

 

1. Develop an effective method for your sales force to locate expertise and documentation during a deal. The speed at which a sales person can respond accurately during a deal cycle can make or break the ability of a sales person to close a deal. At Jive, our deal-desk, finance, legal department, and my ops team can all see what questions salespeople have during their sales cycle, and we can respond immediately. We create specific spaces and groups inside of Jive to collaborate and we allow the platform to recommend documents or people with the right expertise on a question.   We bring answers that can help a seller get back to what they do best and that’s manage the customer.  This helps us to speed up our sales cycles by at least two weeks.

 

2. Create an efficient process to collaborate on proposals. Most every sales team works in a CRM tool. The rest of the organization does not. Relying on the notion that the rest of the organization will be able to occasionally peruse the CRM data and help develop a proposal is false. If you don't live and breathe in a the CRM tool, it can be very difficult to understand the information, or have the needed context to understand why deals are structured the way they are by a sales person. Creating a process for your sales team to keep other departments informed of the deal and key information is essential to efficient proposal development.  It’s this type of cross-functional dependency that we use Jive to solve, as we can include account records and data objects directly in a discussion thread to bring knowledgeable parties together when deals need to get done.  It’s a pretty slick integration, and it forms the back-bone of our deal management process, speeding up our proposal development time on average by 20% in a given quarter.

 

3. Ensure incentive plans for your sales force reflect sales strategy. As sales strategy and product or vertical focus shifts, it is important to establish incentive programs to encourage sales to make the change. Year to year, sales organizations need to adapt to the ever changing market. With this adaptation, the incentive program needs to change, and reflect the strategy you wish your sales force to undertake. Creating incentive plans is not an easy task as it requires input from a number of parties, such as HR, finance, sales ops, and sales leadership. At Jive this year, a small, cross-functional team was able to roll-out global sales incentive compensation plans on time at the January sales kick-off, much to the delight of our sales staff.  We did it because stakeholders engaged and collaborated with key sales leadership, to agree on behaviors, metrics, and cost.  We reduced our need for meetings by 25% using our own software. We leveraged the platform’s privacy and security settings, so that only the people involved in decisions could see the data, and drive the compensation design process forward. Getting incentive plans for the year out to the sales force on-time instills confidence and it lets sellers know where they should be focused on to make money.

 

This year we’re among the many sales organizations undergoing a transformation around sales effectiveness.  Jive’s helping me get the right people to look at documents and policies when it’s needed, and it’s allowing us to forgo the constant need for email chains and teleconference calls as we make impactful changes.

 

Winning customers is not going to get any easier, but there’s a lot we can do to make the business of selling easier for our sales force.  Download this resource kit to learn how you can make your sales processes more efficient.

 

How are you streamlining sales operations this year? Comment below.

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Community Manager Appreciation Day.  This day's popularity is in lock-step with the growth of social business.  Last year, I spent cmad introducing myself as the new Jive Community Manager and getting read into the cmgr life-style.  This year, I'm 1 year into my role in the Jive Community and its been an exciting time.  We've introduced the thriveonjive community on-boarding experience, new and improving community IA, and most notable, an upgrade to Jive 6!  But enough about the Jive Community, let's get to the topic at hand: winning a #CMAD iPad Mini!

 

This year for cmad13, Jive is looking to shed some more light on community managers around the world, and what better way to do it than through Gamification and giving away an iPad!  Follow the instructions below, and let's start showing some appreciation!

 

How to Participate?

  1. Join the Jive Community (see Rules & Restrictions, below)
  2. Share your best community manager story as a comment on this blog post, and receive 1 entry into the random drawing! (see Rules & Restrictions, below)
    • Story Suggestions
      • As a community member, share an experience with a community manager that was awesome!
      • As a community manager, share an experience with a community member that made your day!
      • Requirement:  Story must pertain to named person(s)
    • Story Recommendations
      • Give praise where praise is do.  If your story was made possible by someone, or something you learned, take the chance show your appreciation!
      • If applicable, reference pictures and link to relevant discussions/articles to add color to your story.  (see Rules & Restrictions, below)
      • Story Length:  3 - 8 sentences, or however long is needed to convey your story.
  3. Use the following link to retweet this blog post via Twitter, and receive 1 additional entry into the random drawing!(see Rules & Restrictions, below)

 

How To Win?

 

Game Format:  Random Drawing

  • Rules & Restrictions:
    • Deadline for story submissions and social tweets is Monday, January 28th, 2013 - 5PM PST
    • Winner must be a registered member in the Jive Community.
    • Winner must submit a community manager story on this blog post's comments.
    • Random Drawing format is contingent on a minimum of 40 entries (i.e. 20 stories + 20 Tweets, 30/10, 40/0, etc...)
      • If the number of entries is less than 40, the winner will be selected by the Jive Social Team, based on story quality (See: Story Recommendations, above)

Entries:

  • Share your best community manager story on this blog post's comments.
    • *Bonus Entry:  Share this blog post on Twitter using the above Link (see: How to Participate? Step 3, above)

 

Prizes:

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  • 1 Grand Prize - iPad Mini 16GB - WiFi - (Color selected by Winner)
  • All contributors will receive 500 points in the Jive Community
  • All contributors will receive the limited edition #CMAD13 Jive Community badge
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Winners Announced:

  • Winners will be announced on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 @ 2:00 PM PST here in the Jive Community!  So stay tuned!

There have been a lot of predictions about the future of social in 2013. And who better to hear from than the Jive Champions? iStock_000020861725XSmall.jpgSo, I posed a question in the Jive Champions Group to get their opinions on the trends to expect in 2013. Here is what they said:

 

Mike Calderon, President, Social Business Strategy Consultant, Greenfield Interactive

Based on my impressions of JiveWorld12, the community tracks were heavily populated and I'd bet there will be stronger calls for adoption strategies, use cases and metrics. I think getting up and running is a major process but the next stages of growing your community and understanding whether or not business value is being created is the next toughest challenge to overcome.

Vu Doan, Group Manager, Community & Post Sales, National Instruments

As more industries (financial, legal, medical, etc) are getting serious about social, and as social business becomes embedded into more departments similar to Jeremiah Owyang's hub and spoke model, hard numbers from social analytics will become crucial.  We can no longer divert the issue of ROI or 'return on engagement'.  More importantly we will be using these analytics to determine our most influential users, highlight social intelligence, and understand our competition that much more - all of which until now have been to some extent serendipitously discovered.   I also hope to see more concrete correlations between social data and the effects of gamification so we can better understand user motivation to drive long-term engagement.

Amanda Shenon, Director, Collaborative Product Operations, Pegasystems

I have a hard time coming up with just one trend.   I think context, execution, and metrics will all be tremendously important.  I'm very happy to see Jive working in all of these areas. The more social grows, the more important it is to have context for conversation and work and to distinguish chatter from decisions and "official", final content.  I think execution will be incredibly important as we get a bit saturated with social and gamification across every application from all different vendors.  Somehow that has to all come together in a clean, cohesive, and useful way that doesn't make us crazy, annoyed, or disinterested.  Think of the difference between web searches in the 90's and now.  Social has to make the same evolution from "here's a ton of stuff that may be relevant" to "here is the most relevant and useful stuff in the context of what you are doing/looking for".  Lastly, metrics are always important.  I think the slack is running out for using anecdotes and manually pulled together data on how processes have sped up.  We're all going to be pressed to show data that represents the value of working in an open, social, and non-siloed environment.

 

 

Now that you have heard from our Champions, check out the prediction from our CEO Tony Zingale here.

 

What do you think is one social trend we can expect in 2013? Comment below!

In sales, information is power. It's vital to arm the sales team with competitive analysis, the latest product updates, and powerful customer statistics.  However, leading analysts say that today only 50% of reps reach their quota, and more information doesn't necessarily make a sales team more effective. The most effective sellers assemble the right people for a deal, leverage best practices / processes learned over time, and gain access to the most relevant information, wherever they are.

 

In this webcast, Jarrett O'Brien from Jive Software will share industry trends and case study examples from Toshiba, SAP, and Devoteam on how successful sales organizations are onboarding new reps faster, enabling reps in executing new initiatives growing deal sizes, and driving more effective deal collaboration to shorten sales cycles.


Thursday, January 24 at 12pm PT for a webcast on how these companies and many others use social tools to:

  • Increase sales per rep by 13%
  • Increase win rates by 12%
  • Decrease sales cycle time by 22%


Reserve your seat here.

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Congratulations!  If you are reading this blog post then you have survived the 2012 Mayan apocalypse, yet another new year's celebration, and the mountain of out-of-office notifications piled up in your inbox over the holidays.  Let's face it.  You finding time to read this blog post is not coincidental.  It's intentional.  The modern enterprise is not a place for the faint of heart.  Expectations constantly increase, while budgets decrease.  Time is always in short supply, and someone always forgets to refill the coffee pot!  Pulling up your bootstraps to get work done is the norm, and we are all searching for ways to get ahead of the game.  In my 12+ years of IT experience, I've come to learn many systems, technologies, and operational paradigms, and I am here to say that Jive social business apps are THE massive step-function in productivity we've all been waiting for, and only IT can unleash its full potential!

 

What to expect from this blog series?

  • Goal: Demonstrate how IT built social business apps can add unparalleled efficiencies back into the enterprise!
  • Audience: IT professionals and social business practitioners.
  • Cadence: One blog post every 2-3 weeks, with follow-up discussion in the The specified item was not found., Developer, or Information Technology communities, respectively.
  • Topics: We want to make this blog series interactive to allow our reader's insights and feedback to tailor the content and direction. Current topics include:
    • Bootstrapping Process & Social Workflows without Social Business Apps
    • Modern IT Landscapes and Social Business Apps
    • Upgrading Social Workflows with Social Business Apps
    • Improved Agility & Efficiency with Social Business App Integrations
    • Growing Your Enterprise Service Graph & Social Business App Portfolio


I'm looking forward to kick-starting this series in the coming weeks and the subsequent conversations!


Join me to help make 2013 the Year of the IT Social Business App!

 

Are you interested to learn more about Jive social business apps?  Perhaps there are topics you'd like to see discussed in this series?  Share your comments on this post (below), and I'll try to incorporate your suggestions in future posts.  Looking forward to our first post, and please ...


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Elizabeth Brigham is a Product Marketing Manager at Jive Software, overseeing the Social Marketing and Sales Solution. Her passion lies in providing fellow marketers and sales practitioners a better way to get work done, beat the competition to market and close sales faster. Prior to Jive, Elizabeth was a Manager of Product Management at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online where she managed content and commerce strategy for the Parks and Resorts portfolio of brands. She began her career at McMaster-Carr Supply Company managing call center teams, domestic and international sales operations, supply chain logistics, and sales software development. Elizabeth earned her BA in English Literature from Davidson College and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In this piece, Elizabeth explains how build your marketing story:

There’s been much discussion lately about the importance of storytelling in good marketing and how we marketers need to embrace it; however, not much has been written about how to properly architect a story for maximum impact.  Admittedly, I’m a recovering English major who spent much of my academic life trying to master the short story, so I geek out on story architecture.  I also spent 3 years working for Disney where masterful storytelling is the lifeblood of the organization. blueprint.jpg

 

As you think about new product launches for 2013 and developing content for your community, I’d love to hear if you follow a similar process to what I’ve outlined below or something different.

 

1. Know your audience

In marketing, one of the first things we need to nail strategically is our target audience. We need to know what they care about, where they hang out and how we can drive awareness that compels them to act.

 

I use Jive at this stage to help crowd-source ideas from my marketing team and ensure that we’re on the same page strategically.   Similarly, I search for previous campaigns to determine what worked and how I can leverage those learnings for the new campaign I’m developing.

 

We need the audience to be the core character in our story.  To that end, I like to develop a specific persona that I’m trying to address.  I will create a storyboard with a picture and key facts – e.g. Terry is the VP of Product Marketing, lives by her Outlook calendar and iPhone, has to hire 5 new people in 2 weeks and on-board them, is planning sales kickoff, and needs 3 more hours in the day.

 

By bringing the audience to life, I can more definitively craft my story to drive relevancy and resonance.  You might be thinking that the above is too specific, but I’m sure that each of you can think of someone who resembles many of these characteristics and can extrapolate accordingly.  The point is not to be too specific so as to significantly limit your audience, but to provide enough detail that the audience can come to life and guide the rest of your story development.

 

2. Develop your characters

Once you know to whom you’re speaking, you’ll need appropriate actors to carry out your story.  Note that the focus of story architecture and the story itself is foremost on the characters. If you can’t articulate who they are and what they care about, then you won’t be able to put them into a specific situation and have them react. The characters in your story must be relatable to the audience in the context of your product or service.  If you sell technology, for example, you’ll want to think about how Terry might be looking to for advice and how those characters could challenge her current perceptions, swaying her toward interest in your products. Similarly, you need to think about how to make your characters more aspirational for Terry, yet still relevant enough that she would believe whatever these characters are doing is achievable.  How can you stretch their personas to drive Terry to think in new ways about your product?

 

For this step, I typically look for relevant customer stories in our social intranet that I can leverage to flesh out the story.  By searching for recent closed business and customer success stories in our Sales space, I can quickly get inspired and reach out to the account manager to ask questions.


3. Insert conflict into your characters’ lives

It always sounds more negative than it really is.  Without a conflict – which could be as simple as a decision that needs to be made – you don’t have a story.  You just have a list of characters and a non-existent audience. For marketers, the conflict must eventually resolve to the characters choosing our products and services.  While that piece of the story is formulaic, how you get there doesn’t have to be.  In fact, the strongest conflict and story lines are bred from creating issues that the audience didn’t know they had.

 

Take the “best in class” ads for Old Spice as an example.  The target buyer is a younger male, but the main character is speaking directly to all the ladies out there (noting that they may be doing some of the shopping as well).  Prior to these ads, I don’t think there were thousands of women complaining about which body wash their significant others were choosing.  Nonetheless, when the ad creates conflict in these women’s minds that they could be doing better in the partner department, a sense of urgency is created to purchase the product.  Again, driving that aspirational response is a key to successful storytelling.


4. Resolve conflict through epiphany

Not to wax total English major here, but one of my favorite tenets of story architecture is the character epiphany.  Here it’s a more emphatic way of talking about resolving the character conflicts and taking the story home.  In our marketing stories, the key is for the audience to experience that epiphany along with the characters – ultimately leading to a purchase decision, if we’re lucky, but we’ll take purchase consideration and call it a win. The best stories will challenge the audience to think about the product or service in a new way.  Think about the original ads for iPods.  We were all stuck carrying around bulky Sony Discmans and suddenly we have 1000 songs in our pockets?!  We should aspire to be so simply elegant in our stories.

 

Elegant solutions don’t normally appear on the first story pass.  I engage my team in our social intranet to get feedback and refine the ‘epiphany’ across several iterations.  As we prepare for sales kickoff, this process is integral to taking the best products and positioning to market, expediently.


5. Know how the story will end

Knowing how the story will end is a bit of a trick step.  Ultimately your goal for every brand story is to drive a new opportunity or purchase consideration.  Once you’ve set the story into the wild, however, your audience owns it.  There are ways to cultivate your story and encourage its growth – through engagement on a customer community, for example – but you no longer own it. While I’ll save distribution channels and their importance for another post, cultivating your brand story across and within channels in creative ways ensures its survival.  However, without a solid and elegant brand story first, it won’t matter which medium you use.  First focus on your audience, characters, and conflict; figure out later where they will be hashing everything out.

 

When people at your company are geographically dispersed, it becomes increasingly important to develop and communicate the brand story. Watch this webcast to see how Yum! worked to create and share their brand stories.

 

How are you leveraging your communities to develop and communicate your brand stories for 2013?

Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of visiting with a former professor who was instrumental in my career development, Terry Hemeyer. He introduced me to the world of crisis communications more than a decade ago, and is one of the county’s leading experts on the topic.

 

Inspired by him, I worked in the crisis communications practice at a public relations firm after graduating from college. I got great experience leading executive media training sessions and performing simulated crisis drills. However, most of my work in this space was spent creating binders and binders of blueprints for crisis situations. As social technologies emerged, I created dozens of plans for scenarios like, “What if any employee tweets confidential information?” OR “What if a blogger writes something negative about us?”

 

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Then, in 2008, a crisis literally hit close to home.

 

For weeks, my parents were without power and water after Hurricane Ike. They had a hard time getting updates or communicating. This personal experience changed my professional crisis strategy. I realized I needed to be more agile and fast.

 

If you aren't prepared, social can be a "threat." But with the right strategy, social can be a huge help during a crisis.

 

 

 

Here are the 5 Roles Social Can Play During a Crisis

1. Source. From employees tweeting from the wrong account to inappropriate hashtag bombing (the modern form of ambulance chasing), some big brands have suffered from social crisis situations.

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2. Catalyst. There are approximately 3.3 billion brand mentions on social a day, according to KellerFay. So, it’s easy for a simple issue to quickly spiral. Without having a formal social media monitoring and response process (see: Listen Up, Social Managers!), it’s easy for social to become overwhelming. However, Jive Champion Emilie Kopp put it best when she said, “there are two primary words you need to know in order to be a good social media manager: thanks and sorry.” A simple action to let users know they are being heard or a formal apology can go a long way online.  It’s better to join the conversation when it’s a spark then try and step in during a fire.

 

3. Employee communications channel. Social intranets are faster, more intuitive, and have changed enterprise crisis communications profoundly. During a crisis situation, it is key that information moves across the network and not up or down org charts.  Ted Hopton at UBM shared a great example of this via status updates on the Jive Community. UBM effectively used Jive during Hurricane Sandy to communicate with employees.

 

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[Watch this webcast and see how McGraw-Hill implemented a social intranet to improve employee communication.]

 

4. Customer communications channel. External support and marketing communities are a quick and easy way to engage in real-time with customers and prospects during a crisis. From digital newsrooms to corporate blogs, social has emerged as a primary brand crisis communications channel. One of my favorite examples of this comes from Premier Farnell.  During the launch of a hot new product, their website crashed; therefore, they utilized their Jive-powered, online community to surface relevant information, reassure customers, and help resolve ordering issues.

 

5. Resource. Listening not only helps identify potential crisis situations, it’s also a good source for information.

 

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to put together a crisis communications plan in the social age, here are the first 6-steps of a social crisis communications plan:

  1. Align social with core business objectives.
  2. Integrate social into internal structure, process, policies.
  3. Monitor and respond to “actionable” conversations.
  4. Build valuable social experiences.
  5. Activate and reward advocates. They can serve as front-line of defense during an online crisis.
  6. Analyze metrics.

 

What role has social played in your crisis communications strategy? Share your story in the comments below.

We would like to congratulate Riverbed who recently launched their new sales, marketing and customer service community, Splash.  They previously used Lithium for years, and this past year they made the decision to move to Jive.

 

Bob GilbertRiverbed.jpg Chief Evangelist and Senior Director of Marketing at Riverbed, explains, “The primary goal of our Splash community is to provide a place where our customers can get help or learn best practices about how to install, configure, manage or simply get the most out of their Riverbed product deployment.  Selecting a best of breed community platform that meets our needs is a critical component in the success of an online community.  The recent launch of our Splash community powered by Jive is a big upgrade compared to the community platform we had in place before.   The powerful combination of traditional discussion forums combined with integrated content management and robust social capabilities made the decision to move from Lithium to Jive an easy one.”

 

You can experience their community first hand and make sure you check out Bob Gilbert's welcome video for Splash.

 

We'd also like to recognize Sarah Dopp who is the Community Project Manager for Riverbed Splash. She's been building websites and online communities since 1997, and has previously managed community projects for Wikia, SuperBetter, Cisco, and many other niche organizations across the Internet.  Keep up the great work Sarah!

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