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We're all familiar with the following scenario - a customer complaining or asking a question about your company or product on Twitter.

 

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This tweet is an opportunity.  Today's social Web provides great insight into what is being said about your organization, products, markets, and even the competition. By tracking important wikis, forums, blogs, and other Web content, you can now engage customers and prospects to quickly identify opportunities and threats, share them in real-time, and collaboratively respond.  If done correctly, you can help develop your company's brand WITH your customers.

 

In this case, the message is Jive listens to their customers.

 

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In this post (part of the 7 Pillars of Social Business Success series), I will cover LISTENING.

 

Your public relations team is probably doing a great job monitoring online conversations; however, much of their gathered intelligence often lives in a vacuum.  It commonly gets buried in inboxes and on servers or is shared in a silo among team members who have access to expensive social media monitoring tools.

 

Additionally, with the "old school" public relations model, few employees beyond marketing or support teams are even empowered to actively engage customers and help develop the corporate reputation. I see this as a problem.  As the senior social media manager at Jive, my team is responsible for listening, responding and tracking key conversations.  We need a better method than spreadsheets, emails, and standalone listening services that charged by the keyword.  We need to bridge the conversations happening inside and outside the firewall.

 

Utilizing a combination of Jive tools and Spredfast, I developed 6 Steps to Social Media Monitoring.

 

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Step 1: Collect Information.  The Jive social media team acts like classic telephone operators.  We use software as well as insights from our employees to listen to key conversations in the social Web about the brand, products, markets, etc.

 

Step 2: Filter. Then, we apply several filters to determine if the conversation helps meet one of our core social business objectives. We determines whether these conversations can impact our goals of support, product feedback, sales, marketing, public relations, or community-building. We also evaluate the source to see if they are influential or if we have a historic relationship with them.  Finally, we looks to see if responding would be a good opportunity from an SEO standpoint.

 

Step 3: Engage the Subject Area Experts. If it meets one of the items on the checklist, we post a link to the “actionable conversation” directly into the employee community or branded public community with Jive Anywhere. In the communities, we can then have a detailed conversations about the best response and pull in topic experts. This step is especially important at large or complex organizations. It is impossible for one person or a team of people to be experts in each area of the business, so leveraging the employee network and branded customer community helps ensure the best response.

 

Step 4: Respond. Either a member of the “core response team," or a topic expert responds on the original platform and links to valuable content and resources.

 

Step 5: Assign Sentiment. Next, we assign the post a sentiment score.  This helps keep track of our overall brand perception on the social Web as well as helps us identify any potential crisis communications issues.  We've found that 80% of the conversation is neutral; therefore, it’s really important to take action on the outliers. Keep in mind, while sentiment is subjective and not perfect, we've developed ways to use sentiment to help track the online attitude, opinion or intended meaning of a writer and their message.

 

Step 6: Analyze. All of these actionable conversations are then tracked, recorded and searchable for inclusion in metric reports as well as for making business decisions about innovation, marketing messaging, prospects, support plans, etc.

 

It's also important to note that listening on the social Web isn’t just about being reactive.  It's great for relationship-building and competitive insights.

 

For example, Emilie Kopp is the internal subject area expert on robotics at National Instruments (NI).  She was listening to a blogger talk about the industry.  Although the post didn’t mention NI, she was able to add value to the conversation by linking back to her own blog and a targeted discussion space in their public community for more information.  This simple task opened up dialogue and helped her build a relationship with one of the top subject experts in the world.

 

At Jive, we are also utilizing listening tools to look at competitor conversations.  We can see where they are being discussed, who their key influencers are and stay updated on their latest news all in one tool.

 

While 140 characters seems small, there is a huge opportunity when you listen, empower your employees and customers to respond, and utilize the insight gained to make real business decisions.

 

Click Below to Read Previous Posts in this Series:

When it comes to implementing social initiatives, taking a top-down approach and getting executive involvement is vital to success. But getting executives to consistently participate in social media can be an arduous task. It is essential to train executives so they can lead the way and set an example for the rest of the organization. I've worked with a variety of tech companies to develop social strategy both internally and externally. Executive participation has always been crucial to the success of the program. From this experience, I developed a 6 step process that was successful for me (and hopefully will be for you too):


Step 1: Find the naturals. As Deirdre Walsh put it in Does your organization have Social DNA?, "Find a leader that is willing to experiment with social." Do your homework. Look for your executives on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and see which ones have the most developed profiles and the most activity. The executives with the most social engagement should be the ones you reach out to first.

 

 

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Step 2: Link to business goals. Explain clearly and concisely how using social will help your executives achieve their business goals. For a deep-dive on how to do align the use of a social intranet to business goals, check out Align Your Community with Your Business Strategy by Jennifer Kelley. When encouraging executive participation in social externally, emphasize the impact it has on brand loyalty and awareness. Bottom line: people want to talk to people, not faceless brands. No matter how cleverly worded your marketing messages are, it is difficult to build loyalty without a persona. I've worked on social media strategy for a variety of companies and the content that consistently performed the best (received highest engagement) was either posted by employees or had a face attached to it. Not to be forgotten, this is also a great opportunity for executives to build their thought leadership, which improves brand awareness.


Step 3: Provide the proof. Executives need evidence. Supply your executives with case studies and concrete examples of the impact of social has on an organization. Remember to highlight that the executives are a critical component to creating a social organization, both internally and externally.


Step 4: Train them. When training executives, I strongly recommended one-on-one sessions. With a group training there will inevitably be questions left unasked due to fear of appearing dumb. Another benefit of one-on-one training is that you are able to provide very specific, tailored advice. When I conduct executive social training, I prepare by looking at their existing social profiles and create a list of specific parts that need to be updated. If you opt for a presentation, a live demonstration is much more effective that reading through a slide deck. That being said, you should still develop step-by-step instructions on how to use the social platform to leave them with for future reference. Conclude the training with a practice session to get them familiar with the platform.


Step 5: Make it easy. The biggest hurdle you will encounter is the "busy" factor. Have you ever looked at the CMO's calendar? I have. As you can imagine, it is scary. Give your executives ideas of how to work social into their daily workflow. Provide them with suggestions of what to post. Initially, you will want to consider drafting sample posts for them. Also, make it easy to post by giving them different ways to access the social platform - yes, I mean mobile. Every major social network has a mobile application, as does Jive's social intranet.

 

Step 6: Make a competition. Nothing gets people fired up like competition. Create an competition between your executives. This does take some planning - you'll need to determine what they will be measured on, how you will measure those KPIs, and the time frame of the competition. You can measure things like the number of posts and amount of engagement the posts receive. Let's say you choose the duration of one month. At the end of each month, send a note out internally congratulating the most social executive.


If you want your executives to become social leaders, remember to check-in with them periodically to acknowledge their effort or remind them to participate. A gentle push and a friendly reminder go a long way to ensuring continued engagement.

 

To the Internal Communities and External Communities, what is the biggest challenge you've encountered with getting executives to be social?

This post is part of an 8-part series on the pillars of social business success.

 

social dna.pngOnce you have taken the big plunge and "DTR" with social business (see: It's Time to Define the Social Business Relationship) , you're ready to start integrating social into your organization.

 

Since 2006, I've had various "social titles" (community manager, community marketing, social media manager, social specialist, social business manager, etc.).  Despite all of this evolution, one thing always remains the same - you will run into people that think social is merely a way for new moms to share baby pictures on Facebook and will only reduce productivity in the office.  There are several ways to combat this and ensure that your organization has Social DNA.

 

The first step is to find a leader who is willing to back (or at least experiment) with social.  I've spent a great amount of time (and sleepless nights) trying to convert the non-believers.  However, I learned it's better to find and empower an executive who can champion your successes. Otherwise, you will spend wasted energy trying to get the entire leadership team to jump on the social bandwagon.


Once you have some executive support, you're ready to begin genome mapping internally.  There are various models for how to structure your internal integration; however, the one that has worked best for me is the Hub and Spoke.


At Jive, we used our own social intranet to create a virtual "social business team" with contacts in key departments that help integrate the social into their primary functions. For example, a sales rep drafts content for the rest of the sales force to send to prospects and current customers when we create a new Facebook App.  This group meets regularly to discuss strategy, review employee social guidelines, and get trained on specific social technologies.  The goals of this group are (1) to ensure all of our employees are empowered and rewarded for participation and (2) that we successfully meet our social targets.

 

Once you have a social team aligned, you can start integrating all of your Social Strategies.  We formed one core team to handle all promoted, earned and owned social media in order to drive activity, reach and engagement.  In doing this, we were able to create a social funnel and prove that social acquisition of fans and followers plus increased engagement equals leads and measurable sales.

 

The final integration, and possibly the most important, is to determine how to integrate social throughout the customer journey. This unprecedented level of connection means we can successfully impact, nurture and track from a "like" on Facebook all the way to a advocate using social technologies!

 

In summary, integration is key in order for social to work at, well, work.


Here are the previous posts in this series:

It's Time to Define the Social Business Relationship


What problems have you encountered in your journey to integrate social into your organization?

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Gino Rossi is a Social Business Scientist at Quest Software. He is a senior web professional with a wealth of experience in information systems, online marketing campaigns, online social networks, business development, project management and customer relations.


Like with any company, each department and group has unique needs when it comes to project management.  Gino was tasked with the challenge of matching those unique needs to the Jive platform capabilities. I had the opportunity to talk to Gino about how he uses Jive.

 

What problem were you experiencing?

Early this summer, our Corporate Communications lead approached me about using the Commons (our internal Jive instance) to solve a collaboration problem this department was facing. The requirements were as follows:

  1. Team Portal: a central area to store documents and hold discussions
  2. Calendar/Project: a way to track press releases
  3. Notifications/Stream View: ability to keep all team members notified of activity in their community

How do you use Jive to organize and collaborate?

With a new space on our platform, we achieved inclusiveness and high-level visibility of everything going on in their community. We then added a number of out-of-the-box widgets on the Overview page to help meet more granular needs. The "RSS widget" provided the community with quick access to the currently available public press releases from our corporate website. The "Categories widget" helped organize content that would be hosted on the community but was not a "Press Release". The "Unanswered Questions widget" drew attention to questions asked in the community. And the "Recent Activity widget" highlighted everything that was going on including activity taking place within projects. At center stage in the space is the "Projects widget".

How does Jive help with project and time management?

We created projects as a way to organize the releases of public announcements. Each project was named after the current year, such as 2012 Quest Press Release Calendar. Each press release schedule was created as a "Task" and it was either created by or assigned to the person responsible for that announcement. We configured the "Tasks widget" to show only outstanding tasks; completed tasks would fall off the view and if necessary a report of all tasks (completed & pending) can be generated from the "Actions widget". Inside the project, the "Project Calendar widget" provides a high level view of all press releases for that month, allowing community members to see upcoming announcements. Our products are broken down by business units, so we added each business unit as a category in the "Categories widget". This feature was critical to organizing the scheduled press releases once they hit the news wire. The final press release was uploaded to the project as a document (word or pdf) and a category was assigned to the document pertaining to the appropriate business unit. Tags for each post (uploaded document or discussion) would include the product name, product version, etc. This would help populate the tag cloud and further assist in finding the correct information.

How do employees stay up to date using Jive?

If you wanted to stay on top of everything going on in the Community and stay clear on the press release publication calendar, you needed to subscribe to "Receive email notifications". All the activity taking place within the Project, including the Press Release Calendar, would be displayed in the "Recent Content widget" on the Corporate Communications space. All team members could see all activities and collaborate when needed. Product Managers and Product Marketing Managers at our company appreciate knowing when certain announcements are going live or when postponements are taking place, which made the notifications and stream view a significant part of the community.

More from Gino:

Connect Gino Rossi on LinkedIn

Have a discussion with Gino in the Jive Community GinoRossi's Profile

Meet Gino in person at JiveWorld12. He is speaking on Day 3 at the Ringside with the Experts for Marketing and Sales Session.

Community and social media managers at organizations large and small are struggling with how to increase adoption of social business technologies.  While there are no formal rules for success, I have compiled the following 7 Pillars of Social Business Success for Marketing based on my experience in the trenches. By implementing or adjusting your strategy to fit the following framework, I truly believe you will draw others in at all levels of the enterprise and throughout the ecosystem  Just remember, a complete social business transformation can take a long time, but having a strong strategy will ensure you are focusing on the activities that will have the largest ROI.

 

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I'll be doing a 8 post blog series on these pillars and would love for you to chime-in throughout with questions, comments and general feedback.  So, let's dive in.

 

Pillar 1: Define

Like any good marketer, the first step is to clearly identify your Target Audience.  For Jive's social strategy, we are always trying to connect withpassionate, credible, and connected individuals both inside and outside the organization.


Next, it's key to align social business objectives with REAL business goals and set measurable targets for them.  At Jive, we focus on the following social business goals:

  • Consistent social activity. Measured by outbound communications on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Increase awareness.  Measured by increase in confirmed and potential social impressions, community traffic, etc.  Confirmed impressions include data like YouTube video and channel views, while potential impressions include information about Twitter @mention and RT audience size.
  • Increase reach. Measured by current social network size (e.g., fans, followers, community members, subscribers)
  • Increase social engagement. Measured by total number of social interactions (e.g., RTs, likes, clicks, comments)
  • Drive leads and software trials. Measured by actual number of leads and trials resulting directly from social activities.
  • Foster loyalty and advocacy. Measured by social sharing by employees and current customers as well as number of users in the Jive Champions program.


Finally, it's easy to get caught-up in the "what's in it for me?"  Therefore, for any new social business project, we always ask "what does the audience get?"  By participating in things like reading this blog, we hope customers, prospects, influencers, and employees get:

  • latest news and information
  • insider views into the company
  • proficient via best practice sharing
  • connected to like-minded people
  • voice heard inside and outside the organization
  • recognized for great work, promoted as thought-leaders (have you seen the REAL Office Heros like Jive Talks: Real Office Hero Spotlight: Emilie ... | Jive Community)

 

Fellow marketers, what are your defining steps? What business objectives are you trying to accomplish through social?


 

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Jennifer Kelley (Jenn) is a Senior Strategy Consultant on the Jive Professional Services team.  In this capacity, she works closely with Jive customers to apply successful practices and define their roadmap to social business success.  Part coach, part tour guide and part cheerleader, Jenn helps guide companies as they establish and execute strategies to engage their employees, customers and partners and deliver business value.   Jenn brings perspective from an extensive and varied background in digital strategy and user experience design consulting. In this piece, Jennifer Kelley explains how to align your community with business strategy as a community manager:


When conducting a strategy workshop with a new customer, I always acknowledge the following with regard to our first successful practice: “You’re probably thinking, ‘duh… who’d launch a social business initiative without business objectives?’”  I’ve rarely had anyone disagree, in principle, that aligning a social business initiative to business strategy is a sound and meritorious idea. Ironically, however, this is a best practice where follow through is often lacking – most likely because it sounds deceptively simple and it is easy to look past.  But there’s a lot more nuance involved with this critical success practice than just rattling off a list of objectives and considering that box checked.  As a community manager, the first and foremost hurdle you’re likely to encounter is demonstrating clear linkage to business value. You’ll find this alignment critical to garnering executive participation, proving to your end users that this is worth their time, and assuring long-term adoption and business value.

 

Here are some quick rules of thumb and then we’ll delve into the details of how to align your community with your business strategy:Align Business Strategy Blog.jpg

  1. Be as specific as possible in defining your objectives. The more specific, the better you’ll be able to a) model them in your community, b) communicate them to various stakeholders and secure their understanding and buy in, and c) measure against them.
  2. Don’t assume your objectives are obvious or intuitive to others. They may seem obvious to you, but you should not expect others will just “get” it. Connect the dots.
  3. As your community matures, remember to recalibrate, at least every 12-18 months. Business goals and strategic initiatives evolve.  To stay relevant your community needs to evolve as well.

 

So that sounds great, but how do we take steps to align with our company’s business strategy versus just enumerating a list of objectives?

  • First off, take the time to really understand your corporate strategy and critical initiatives. Not just the generic business-drivers fodder you find in any old slide deck. What are the real pain points and areas of opportunity that keep your C-suite up at night? How are these expressed at the business unit or divisional (or even departmental) level? For example, is the current focus on reducing duplication of effort and inefficiencies? Or driving innovation and competitive advantage? Or creating more integration and cohesiveness across the organization?
  • Engage executives in the conversation early and often. Understand their critical business initiatives and make sure they understand how your social business platform can help them advance their agenda and achieve their ends.  Enlist help from your social business program sponsor(s) if you need help to get these conversations going initially, but don’t settle for workarounds here.
  • Don’t accept vague, ambiguous or throwaway objectives. You know the ones I’m talking about – “improve collaboration,” break down barriers,” “be more connected.”  That may come off as harsh – it’s just a little Jive Strategy Consulting tough love.  I do recognize that these are often the catalysts for an initial investment in a social business program and they are well intended, but they’re not specific enough to execute against, and they certainly aren’t measurable. So keep digging for more concrete objectives and success criteria.  Ask questions like, “what does that look like?” and “what specific silos” and “how would we know we’ve accomplished that?”  Ideally, we want to be able to define granular objectives at the divisional, departmental and even team level.  Good examples include improving sales enablement or account collaboration, improving the speed or cost-efficiency of new employee onboarding or training and development, and increasing awareness and dialogue around specific topics or initiatives.
  • Establish traceability from your community back to the defined business goals. What specifically do we expect or want to happen in the community that will help achieve these business goals? Sharing of a specific type of knowledge, insight, idea or best practice? Consolidating frequently asked questions and authoritative content into a single, self-service store and reducing flurries of e-mails and phone calls? Migrating over project status updates and streamlining meetings? Again, be as specific as possible and make sure there is clear linkage from the community to these goals.
  • Think measurable. How would you measure progress – qualitative or quantitative – against the objective?  More new product or service ideas? Fewer help desk inquiries?  More people actively engaged with strategic conversations or executive communications?  Higher reported satisfaction with ability to find knowledge and expertise?  Ideally, tie to any existing baselines your company has relevant to your social business initiative – e.g., employee engagement or satisfaction metrics, usage rates for existing Intranets or related systems, or improved “time-to-value” (where value may be issue resolution or proposal completion or some other critical exchange).  Framing your thinking around measurable success criteria generally provides the most direct path to the level of specificity we’re looking for.  In future posts, we’ll do a deep-dive around metrics and measurement, but for now make sure you’re thinking about your company’s key performance indicators and ways your community can positively impact those.

 

Aligning to business strategy may seem like a tall or abstract task, one better left for executives.  But it is the critical first step in driving adoption.  Don’t ever underestimate yourself: community managers play a huge role every day in developing this linkage, mapping business goals to community activity, translating community activity into business terms, and delivering measurable business impact to their organizations.

 

To the Internal Communities and External Communities, what have you found most difficult about aligning your community to business strategy?

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Since 2007, I've worked with Emilie Kopp. While we were at National Instruments together, Emilie helped draft the original requirements document that led the business to choosing Jive for their external community.  Additionally, she was the top engineering blogger, where she geeked out about everything from miniature robots to samurai's.  Now, she serves as the social business strategist for NI.  She defines, evangelizes and coaches strategic usage of social technologies across the B2B enterprise to measurably impact business objectives.


I sat down with Emilie and asked her about Social Business and JiveWorld12.


What advice do you have for those who are new to Social Business?

Now, more than ever, in order to be a good marketer, you must be a good listener. Before you start engaging with customers on the social web, put listening processes and tools in place so you can listen before you join conversations.

 

What's the biggest lesson people will take away from your JiveWorld12 session?

It's critical for any business engaging on the social web to actively monitor and react to threats and opportunities to your brand. I'll walk through real examples from a tech B2B, sharing how NI listens to social conversations (using Jive tools) and the lessons we've learned along the way.

 

What aspect of JiveWorld12 are you looking forward to the most?

Networking! This is one of my most anticipated conferences of the year because I know I'll speak to like-minded individuals who stay up at night thinking about the same challenges as I do. Social strategists unite!

 

More from Emilie:

Connect Emilie Kopp on LinkedIn.

Read Emilie's Social Business Blog Posts: Internal Community Managers ... | Jive Community

See the National Instruments Case Study: National Instruments - Jive Social Business Case Study

Meet Emilie in person at JiveWorld12. She's speaking at the Social Business Bootcamp and Ignite session for community managers.

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Rachel Happe (@rhappe) is a co-founder and principal at the Community Roundtable, a peer network for social media, community, and social business leaders. She has more than 15 years of experience working with emerging technologies, including enterprise social networking, e-commerce, and enterprise software applications. Rachel was kind enough to share her insight into the community building process. In this piece, Rachel Happe explains the process of the Community Maturity Model and how to use it to facilitate adoption as a community manager:



Social business is challenging for organizations to understand and implement, in part because how an organization executes is largely determined by the unique context of an organization and its market and because amorphous influences like culture and leadership play a critical role. To break up this complex process, we've developed a framework at The Community Roundtable called the Community Maturity Model (CMM).

 

One of the reasons to use a model like the CMM is because it helps frame how the management approach needs to change as a social business or community initiative matures. If you can lay out the resources and initiatives needed to evolve, it is easier to justify budgets because you can frame expectations in a thoughtful and predictable way. We've seen this done effectively through the following steps:Community Roundtable.jpg

 

  1. Using the competencies in the CMM to direct early research - how does strategy, leadership, culture, community management, content & programming, tools, metrics and governance need to be addressed?
  2. Conducting an Audit: How advanced is your organization, from a social business perspective, in each competency? Where do you need to be to reach your business objectives? For example, some organizational cultures are already very open before social business is introduced, which reduces the barriers to adoption.
  3. Building Support: A common framework, in the language of existing business, helps everyone to understand the opportunities and barriers to adopting social/community for a specific organization.
  4. Defining A Roadmap: The audit will help identify gaps that need to be addressed in order to reduce barriers and increase adoption and success. Building a proposal of initiatives to address those gaps will help stakeholders understand dependencies and set expectations around scope and scale.
  5. Getting Budget Approval: If you have stakeholder buy-in for the audit and the roadmap, laying out and getting approval for the budget to support it will be easier. You may not get everything you want, but it will provide clarity on the trade-offs stakeholders are making when budget decisions are made.
  6. Rinse & Repeat Steps 1-5 annually as your initiative evolves.

 

For more information about the initiatives and milestones organizations typically face as they go from CMM Stage 1 to CMM Stage 4 you can download The 2012 State of Community Management report here.

 

I am excited to share a summary of this research and case studies at JiveWorld in October. It's not too late - register here.


To the Internal Communities and External Communities, what stage is your company in and what roadblocks are you experiencing?

Screen Shot 2012-09-04 at 4.06.40 PM.pngOne of the best parts of my job is sharing best practices with fellow Jive fans.  As part of our ongoing Office Hero outreach, I will be interviewing Real Office Heroes to learn the secret behind their success.  This week, I'm proud to feature: Tracy Maurer, Collaboration Systems Manager at UBM.

 

Tracy is an Enterprise 2.0 system administrator, evangelist, community manager, and trainer at UBM. An especially important goal of hers is to connect people from various divisions within UBM who otherwise would have no means of meeting, so that they can share experiences and opinions and thereby create new business opportunities.

 

She has used her experience as an E2.0 "outsider" (someone not initially involved in the implementation yet who was converted to an evangelist by the power she found in the tools) to her advantage in convincing others to give it a try. She is a member of The Social Business Council, The Community BackChannel (#cmtybc), and TheCR. You can follow her on twitter @tracymaurer.

 

Tracy, tell us the story of your social business journey.

My personal social business story started when UBM decided to pilot Jive. I was a director on the product team for one of the many UBM divisions, and was asked to be involved in championing the new platform for my department (product management). I was like many people in assuming it would create extra work for me, so I was somewhat skeptical and lacked some enthusiasm. But because I knew it was a pet project for our CEO, I decided to bite the bullet and dive in. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease-of-use, the amount of visibility I was able to generate for key projects, and the time that I was actually able to save myself in the long run. I ended up enjoying working in and with the platform so much that when a role became available on the team supporting it, I quickly applied (heck, I’d been asking when they were going to need more help so I could be first in line!). I’ve learned so much since then, and been so grateful for the opportunity to help so many people across our global business to connect and get work done in a more efficient, visible and connected way. And the people that I get to work with from other companies who offer advice, suggestions and camaraderie has been outstanding as well.

 

What's the biggest benefit of social business?

For UBM, by far the biggest benefit has been being able to connect people from around the world and from very disparate divisions. Our Jive instance is the only software shared by the entire company, and it has allowed people to keep from reinventing the wheel in many areas including 3rd party product evaluation, product development and contract negotiation. People have shared code, contacts, content and their lives. And employees who have only ever met virtually have ended up making decisions to meet in real life, both for business and personal reasons.

 

What's the #1 piece of advice you would give to a new social business practitioner?

As a new practitioner, you are likely to experience a lot of push-back or resistance. Find and document the ways that people benefit from using social business, both within your organization and elsewhere. Share them when you hear negativity, and refer to them yourself on those really hard days. For me, social business is about empowering employees and encouraging positive culture. It gives employees and business real tools to work smarter, see results and enjoy what they do.

 

Additional Resources

To learn more from Tracy, check out the following:

When it comes to creating a vibrant community, the major milestones include reaching a critical mass, achieving active engagement, and successful promotion of the community. Having managed several online communities, it has been my experience that the importance of a carefully constructed strategy cannot be overestimated.

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It can be challenging to convince management to invest in training community managers. Immediate payoffs are often difficult to demonstrate, given the long term nature of community building. If funds are available, I highly recommend checking out our professional services. However, if you are in the boat that most community managers are in, you have had to “learn as you go” – until now.

 

After some discussion, mostly prompted by the high response rate to Jive Talks: 10 Jobs in 1: The Life of an Internal Community Manager, we’ve decided to create a blog series dedicated to enabling the success of community managers. The primary goal of this effort will be to provide community managers with the information needed to be successful at (1) gaining adoption, (2) encouraging engagement, and (3) raising awareness.

 

What can you expect from this series? Excellent question. This series of posts will feature experts from Jive, as well as other industry leaders, who will share framework knowledge, along with tactical and actionable advice about how to craft a thriving community. Implementing these strategies will help enterprise communities remain active even when left unattended for brief periods of time (translation: finally, some vacation time for community managers! ). In addition, these posts will provide a constant stream of cutting edge information about effective community management. Topics will include everything from the Maturation Model to gaining executive sponsorship, the roll-out process to care and feeding of a community, measuring adoption to training employees, and MUCH more. Each week, be sure to check the new folder in Blogs: Jive Talks located on the right labeled “Adoption Series” to get the latest and greatest advice on community building.

 

Don’t be shy about jumping in with a query or a comment. I’ve found that being a community manager can be isolating at times and we start to think no one else is running into the same problems – but they are. This is exactly what we are trying to surface with the series – the obstacles of internal and external community managers and actionable ways to overcome them.

 

Tune in and stay tuned!


Have some topic suggestions right off the bat  Internal Community Managers | Jive Community  and External Community Managers | Jive Community? Comment and tell us!

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PGi, a  global leader in virtual meetings, is no stranger to success, and when paired with the industry leader in social business software, good things are bound to happen.  In 2011, PGi shared a case-study about their use of Jive to enhance their corporate newsletter PGiLife, which subsequently went on to receive Ragan Communication's Award for Best Employee Magazine! Since then, PGi has been hard at work writing their next successful chapter with Jive … and that chapter is the iMeet Community!

 

The iMeet Community, a new Jive-powered online community for the support of iMeet, the company’s award-winning video conferencing product. The iMeet Community is a place where users of iMeet can go to find answer to common questions, from the basics of how to get started to in-depth technical support issues. But even more importantly, the iMeet Community is a place for users to learn innovative ways to drive their business goals. PGi, together with Jive, has empowered its users to become the experts.

 

The iMeet Community demonstrates that PGi is committed to innovation, transforming its support service into a truly social experience. By choosing Jive, PGi has powered the iMeet Community with the #1 provider of social business platforms to engage customers with questions, comments, stories and video. PGi is transforming Customer Care – and Jive is making it possible.

 

For more information on the iMeet Community and read the following press-release:

PGi Leads the Way in Customer Care Wave of the Future; Introduces the iMeet® Community

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It may seem far away, but SXSW 2013 action has very much begun.  Some people may be getting excited about the "networking" (aka parties), but right now we are focused on the speakers.  For a session to be part of SXSW, it must be voted into the program by the community.  All ideas have been submitted and now anyone can come on vote on what they believe would make a great session to be heard.  After scouring through the many different categories, sessions, speakers, panels, videos, etc submitted, I have highlighted a few that I believe will be insightful, enlightening, and important.


1. The New Way to IPO - SXSW PanelPicker

Deirdre Walsh will share how an IPO architect used social technologies to collaborate on confidential information; share updates with employees, investors, and customers; and engage the community using innovative techniques like displaying live tweets on NASDAQ's marquee in Times Square and creating infographics for financial information.


2. Enterprise Social App Integration - SXSW PanelPicker

Ryan Rutan and Mark Weitzel (OpenSocial Foundation) will discuss how integrating the enterprise social app with social business platforms leads to an easy integration pattern that works at scale to give face-lifts to legacy enterprise systems, thus extending the value of existing investments.  This will all be done with only HTML, JS, CSS and REST!


3. Content Marketing: Produce, Promote, Profit - SXSW PanelPicker

D.D.  Johnnice (SolutionSet) will talk about how to conquer the challenge on which content to push out and how to get it in front of your audience at the right place and time without having to become a publishing/production shop.  You will see effective content marketing strategies, how to ramp up production/publishing efforts, and how to automate your content marketing so you can get back to focusing on your core business responsibilities.


4.  Right content at the right place and right time - SXSW PanelPicker

Joe Chernov (Eloqua), Chris Silva (Altimeter Group), Ekaterina Walter (Intel), and Kathy Baughman will show how to map content along the decision journey, demonstrate the authority of different types of content along your decision journey,  share how to guage quality content, and show how the content of three brands align.


4. Boldly Go: Enterprise Apps, From Idea to Market - SXSW PanelPicker

David Brutman and John Wargo of SAP will explain the best lines of business and where one can have the most beneficial impact.  They will touch on how one can explore the enterprise app territory.  Finally, they will cover technical issues including implementation of an API layer to facilitate the flow of data into or out of one’s application or solution all the way to how to bring the app to market.


5. Supersize Me: Social Business at Enterprise Scale - SXSW PanelPicker

Scott Monty (Ford), Blair Klein (AT&T), Carissa Carmanis O’Brien (Aetna) and Eric Swayne (M/A/R/C Research will delve into their brands that have become adepts at navigating social business waters, each in their own unique way.   They will share how these transitions can be uniquely consuming and challenging. We'll meet the individuals leading these journeys and find out about their headaches, obstacles, successes and plans for the future.


6. Turning Business as Usual on its Head with Social - SXSW PanelPicker

Jeff Simmermon and Philip Blum of Time Warner Cable will talk about how they had to embrace social media and transparency.  They will explain how to strategize for a specific brand or business, how to address customer complaints, scaling social across the enterprise, measuring success and translating those results into business value, and more!


Here are all of the great session proposals from fellow Jivers:

  1. The New Way to IPO - SXSW PanelPicker
  2. Training Executives to be Social Leaders - SXSW PanelPicker
  3. Transform a “Like” to a Brand Advocate - SXSW PanelPicker
  4. Mr. SAASy Pants: Social Support in the Cloud - SXSW PanelPicker
  5. Enterprise Social App Integration #socbiz #ftw - SXSW PanelPicker
  6. The Illumination of Big Data - SXSW PanelPicker

 

Have a session to promote? Put in the comments below.

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Natural thought leaders are perhaps the most powerful force shaping opinion within any community. They inform and inspire others because these unofficial emissaries are respected and trusted by their peers. How does a company identify such supporters? As Deirdre Walsh out in her post, Jive Talks: 10 Jobs in 1: The Life of an Internal Community Manager, it is the job of the community manager to identify effective volunteer advocates. “Without these foot soldiers, the community will not take flight,” she points out.

 

I've found that finding those with the innate abilities to become brand advocates is not enough. As Internal Community Managers, it is important that we empower them with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to be successful influencers.  Although there are no hard and fast rules for helping sculpt an effective advocate, I've found that these steps are effective at helping the natural advocates reach their fullest potential:iStock_000018523150Small.jpg

 

  1. Educate them on the mission. Make sure that advocates know the why and how. Why are we implementing a social intranet? Advocates need to know the specifics of why and what is being improved. How is this social intranet going to help the company improve collaboration and efficiency? Advocates also need to understand how the social intranet is improving the way work gets done. This level of understanding is important not only for their understanding of the changes but because they need to be able to explain why it is important to their peers.
  2. Provide them early access. It is essential that we provide our advocates early access (or at a minimum, advance notice) to new product features and other relevant news. Encourage advocates to be early adopters so they can be the first to post in groups, create groups, use new features, you name it. By posting content first within the community, they earn the respect of their peers. It also lays the groundwork for productive and active conversations within groups.
  3. Prepare answers to the tough questions. There will inevitably be some naysayers and our advocates are our first line of defense. Preparing our advocates with answers to potential concerns or questions that arise can be done verbally or in written form. I recommend you write out the potential concerns and answers in the form of a cheat sheet. Be sure to ask for and include input from advocates. A great place to store this document is in an advocates group. Don't have an advocates group? Create one (that's the next step ).
  4. Connect them. This is best done in the community. Create a secret or private space just for advocates. This is helpful for several reasons: (1) it is an opportunity to show our advocates how the groups can be used; (2) it makes our advocates feel special; and (3) it provides a safe space to brainstorm ways to encourage other employees to participate.
  5. Brainstorm together. Work with advocates to determine specific ways that their department can use the technology. As Internal Community Managers, we are not part of every department in the company. So, it can be difficult to understand the needs of the various departments. Working with advocates from the different areas will provide a deeper level of insight and make developing success stories that much easier.
  6. Communicate early and often. Advocates only stay advocates if they are effective. Thus, it is critical to have regular conversations with our advocates, providing them a place to voice concerns and helping them overcome the obstacles they encounter.
  7. Recognize their effort. As adoption numbers begin to rise, we cannot forget to acknowledge the work of our advocates. We are in the unique position to recognize the achievements of our advocates within the community. Be quick to share credit for community achievements.

 

These steps are not just applicable to company-wide initiatives. These tactics can be used on a smaller scale as well - like Jive for Teams. As we work to build our community (of any size), keep in mind that it is just that - a community.

 

To theInternal Communities, what other strategies have you found effective for empowering your natural advocates?

jivetalks.pngAs a marketer at Disney for three years I got used to relying on email, status meetings, SharePoint, wikis, and large conference calls to plan marketing campaigns.  We produced amazing campaigns that won the loyalty of millions, but I knew there was a better way.  After joining Jive and immersing myself in our Social Business platform, I quickly recognized that getting to market faster was as simple as turning the strategies and tactics we were using externally in social media, internally.

 

Marketing is inherently social - we are the hub connecting the company spokes.  That's why I became a marketer - I love meeting new people, trying to understand their stories and motivations by sitting down and having a conversation with them.  Marketers have gotten wrapped up in the social media revolution (and with it have been drinking through the big data fire hose); yet, we haven't paused to think about how we can get social to work inside our teams.  To get our work done, we have to talk to our teammates, finance, legal, R&D, product management, agencies and consultants daily.  We've got multiple projects in flight, all at different stages, all the time - the proverbial jugglers.  But we get it done, we make it happen and hit our numbers - mostly.

 

I know, you're a marketer and you hate being marketed to.  But let me share a story.  This post is part of a campaign (full disclosure) that we launched on Tuesday, August 7th - Jive for Marketing Teams.  I started with Jive on June 18th, kicked off campaign planning July 9th and got to market August 7th - a full marketing program out the door in one month.  I don't say this to pat myself or our team on the back.  I write this because there's no way we could have done this without using our own products.

 

We developed and co-edited the launch plan using Jive's document editor where all key stakeholders contributed updates weekly.  We didn't need hours of meetings to agree on what the plan would be.  We all collaborated in one place, across the US and UK, and didn't have to worry about early morning calls before coffee to account for time zone differences.

 

I know you're thinking "one planning document is great, but what about..."

  • getting feedback on website updates,
  • developing training decks for sales and training them,
  • researching, designing and shipping an infographic,
  • writing and wiring a press release,
  • planning and posting across social media
  • scheduling and producing a webcast (coming soon....11am PST, Thursday, September 20th)

 

All of the feedback, edits, approvals and launches happened in our Jive platform.  I lost nothing in endless email strings.  I spent time partnering with my team on getting work completed, rather than talking about what we were going to do.  If you've read this far, you must be a marketer.  There's a better way to get to market faster, and better still, optimize your campaigns mid-flight.

 

Are you planning a marketing campaign now?  You should Try Jive.

 

If you're a current customer, share a story of how you've used Jive to plan your marketing campaign.

I have seen this year at the 2012 London Olympics how controversial tweets from athletes have sent them packing. In a business, a status or tweet bashing your boss or sharing confidential company information can have you fired, not to mention serious legal ramifications. The infamous saying "think before you speak" seems to be the classic response.


How many people actually recount that phrase when typing? It is so easy to hit the "send" or "enter" without realizing that your life can change in a minute because what you intended to post was taken out of context. A single impulse action can have serious consequences, however; we tend not to see that at the time. What we have to understand is that we are all human, and that acting in an impulsive manner is foreseeable. In fact, our economy thrives on impulse purchasing behavior and with the evolution of social and mobile it is only increasing.  Social media gives us a platform to convey our thoughts and feelings instantly - both positive and negative. To some, "Real Time Data" has become a "Real Time Problem." So how can we handle this double edge sword in business? 

 

Here are my three tips for creating social structure at your company:


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1. Educate your team.

In addition to having an outside firm or an in-house social media specialist handling your company's social media strategy, it is critical to educate the rest of the employees on how to effectively participate in social conversations. Who knows your product or service better than your own employees? They are the heart of your company and ultimately make the best brand advocates. They also have the added bonus of using their own social networks to increase brand presence and awareness. Recently, at Jive, we have started recognizing the most social employees every month. Using our App Partner Crowdfactory, we can tell what employees share

and how much influence they have.

 

With news flooding the social web every second, it is also important that a unified corporate voice remains intact. It is the a company's duty to educate its employees on how to respond online when it comes to company or competitor specific news. Real-time information can be overwhelming; but by providing general guidance to employees on a relative basis, they become more comfortable with social.


Everyone hates mandatory training so make it fun and exciting. Our customer, National Instruments creates an annual list of the top 10 worst social media examples as a fun way to get people to know what's right and wrong.


2. Create a basic social media policy.

Despite the risks of uncontrolled social media use by employees, 76% of companies don't have a clearly defined social media policy (http://www.socialbusinessnews.com/). By creating a basic policy for your company, employees can make smarter decisions and have something to refer to when in doubt.


At Jive, our official social policy is very simple :

    1. Jive is a social company -- we encourage you to use public social tools to get your job done.

    2. When you participate in social conversations, remember that you represent Jive and act accordingly.


Then, we share a variety of tips with employees to help ensure their success. Basic recommendations like "think before you post," "add value," "be transparent," "own your mistakes quickly" go a long way in empowering employees to participate in social conversations in a meaningful way.

 

3. Trust your employees.

Acknowledge that social is like water. It goes around all barriers.... so rather than trying to dam it or push it back, you have to channel it. While you channel social, expect that they will still use unsanctioned social while at work. You must anticipate and plan for it, segregate it on your systems, but don't ban it for personal use. Your company image and culture are defined by your employees. As Amber Naslund, President & Co-Founder of SideraWorks perfectly put it during her keynote at InnoTech Oregon, "If you don't trust your employees on Twitter, you've got a hiring problem not a social media problem." This quote really speaks to the heart of what employers need to do at the end of the day - train and trust employees to be brand ambassadors.

 

 

 

 

To employees everywhere: what do you like about your company's social media policy, training, education, etc...?

Have more tips? Comment below with your thoughts!

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