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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 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!

The primary role of an Internal Community Manager is to establish and maintain an environment where employees participate fully, becoming actively engaged in contributing and reaping the benefits of collaborating within the online community. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to not only encourage employee interaction but also eliminate roadblocks preventing participation. The first step in this process is to determine why an employee is not using social media. This can be done by sending out a simple survey or individual discussions. Once you are able to assess the why, you can help alleviate the root cause of employees' hesitation.

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I joined Jive in July as the new Internal Community Manager, and absolutely love it. Prior to my role at Jive, I worked at Integra Telecom, where one of my areas of responsibility involved training employees to use social media. I worked with a variety of departments: sales, support, human resources, and executives. In training these individuals, I discovered that reluctance in using social media boiled down to these six underlying factors.

 

The following details these six obstacles and strategies for overcoming them:

 

  1. "I don't know what to post." There are several ways to handle this attitude. First, you must lead by example. The old adage “do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective tactic for facilitating adoption of an enterprise social network. Leading by example is critical.  This means you must be both diligent and consistent in your use of the social intranet. Posting the type of content and in the style (long or short, grammatically correct, etc.) that you want others to emulate is essential. Why? Because people will look at your posts for guidance. Second, provide samples of content you'd like employees to post.
  2. "I don't see the value." Provide success stories. Articulate the value through sharing success stories that demonstrate how the social intranet can be used effectively for business communication and collaboration. Make the examples relevant to the employee by providing examples specific to the type of department where the employee works. Additionally, you'll want to have a list of best practices to share and add value by making regular posts with tips on using the social intranet efficiently.
  3. "I don't like writing." No sweat. An image is worth a thousand words. Attending an industry event or conference? Recommend that the employee takes pictures and uploads the photos with a quick caption about the event. Also, encourage employees to share industry articles - they can annotate an article reference with a couple sentences detailing why the piece is important.
  4. "I don't have time." With every company, there are numerous mediums through which management and employees communicate. To encourage employees to add yet another medium, there must be distinct value.  To enable employees to find information in a new medium, corporate communications should send a company-wide email that includes a link to where the information can be found on the social intranet. Using traditional communication methods to inform employees of the new location is the first step to changing behavior. The key: make using the social intranet an integral part of employee workflow.
  5. "I don't feel comfortable sharing my opinions." Encourage employees to share articles or summaries of articles. The articles should be relevant to the community on the subject matter that they have expertise in. These posts will serve as a news source for other employees and build confidence. Be sure to respond to these employees in a positive manner. For instance, you could use "Likes" and comments, such as "Great find!" to encourage their efforts.
  6. "This is boring." Nothing overcomes boredom like competition and prizes. To garner an influx of employee participation, craft competitions for the title of “Top Influencer of the Month” or the “Top Contributor of the Quarter.” Then, reward the winners with prizes.  Prizes should be determined based on the effort of the task. The greater effort required, the bigger the reward.

 

To further encourage participation, provide incentives to employees. Recognize employees that regularly contribute to the community. You can use personal notes, public recognition, or display their photos on the homepage of the social intranet, with a caption such as, “This Week’s Top Influencer." Be creative and be thoughtful about how and when you acknowledge employee contributions.

 

Bottom line: As an Internal Community Manager, it is critical that you listen, understand, acknowledge, and readily address the concerns of your community members.

 

To the Internal Communities, what other strategies have you found effective for overcoming these obstacles?

Register for the #1 Social Business Conference Today!

If there's one thing every company can rally around, it is the need to increase their Marketing and Sales effectiveness.  At JiveWorld12, we have an entire track assembled by Elizabeth Brigham and Adam Mertz that focuses on using the Jive social business platform to do just that!  Come and listen to our amazing array of customer and partner presentations and learn proven ways to get maximum results!


Here's a quick look at this year's Marketing & Sales track for JiveWorld12:

 

Track 3: Unreal:  Marketing & Sales

Instead of butting heads, Marketing and Sales can now use Social Business Software to to their mutual advantage.  Marketers can instantly connect their most loyal customers with key prospects across the social web to drive brand awareness, lead generation, search engine rankings, and competitive differentiation. Sales can crowdsource answers in real time and get the support of the entire company behind each and every deal. This track features customers who are leveraging Jive to drive marketing and sales performance to the next level.  This track will focus on best practices, techniques, and strategies marketers and sales teams have implemented using Jive to strengthen their brands, increase sales and influence their markets

 

PresentationSpeaker(s)

October 10, 2012 - Session #1

Getting Past the Fear:  Engaging Customers in Financial Services

Wells Fargo

Speaker(s): Nathan Coles, Darius Miranda

Nathan Coles

October 10, 2012 - Session #2

Engaged Community Members = Renewing Clients

Eloqua

Speaker(s): Heather Foeh

Heather Foeh

October 10, 2012 - Session #3

Launching a Community Advocate Program:  Its Impact on Brand, Sentiment, and Customer Conversion

HomeAway

Speaker(s)Meredith Maspero, Kristen Keys

Meredith MasperoKristen Keys

October 10, 2012 - Session #4

Closing the Sale Faster & More Efficiently: Good Technology's Sales Enablement Strategy with Jive

Good Technology

Speaker:  Brian Carr

Brian Carr

October 11, 2012 - Session #5

Unexpecting the Expected:  Changing Behavior and Driving Engagement in an Online Community with SAP & Jive 5.0

SAP

Speaker(s)Gail Moody-Byrd

Gail Moody-Byrd

October 11, 2012 - Session #6

"Social Sales" Embedded in Devoteam Business Strategy

Devoteam

Speaker(s): Elise Bruchet, Marine Poncet

Elise BruchetMarine Poncet

October 11, 2012 - Session #7

Jive Apps:  Making Your Key Marketing & Sales Application Jive in Jive

HEDLOC - Bruno Pisano

INXPO - Chris Meyer

Bruno PisanoChris Meyer

October 11, 2012 - Session #8

Ringside with the Experts

Gino Rossi - Quest Software

Alyssa Rosengarden - Critical Mass

Gary Graeff - Steelcase

Marine Poncet - Devoteam

Gino RossiAlyssa Rosengarden
Gary GraeffMarine Poncet

 

For more information about JiveWorld12 or this track, please see:

If businesses are based on relationships, and relationships are based on communication, then businesses are based on communication. Your standard equation If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.


2012-07-30_1438.png

There has been a monumental shift in business infrastructure and business communications. The seemingly outdated saying that everything is "global" has now turned into everything is "social."

 

This shift should not be daunting for the business world - but rather an opportunity for businesses to change what was the natural order of things in their favor.

 

Social Business Software is about using online communities to establish better relationships and communications among employees, partners, and customers alike. Taking business relationships, communications, associated content and processes and keeping them in a central location online will streamline the way business is done.

 


As Tim Zonca, Director of Product Marketing at Jive, put it:

"Technology has changed the way businesses communicate with their employees and customers. Email became the essential business tool in the 1980s, but we are now living in a world where people want to communicate and share on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Therefore, businesses need a new way for their employees to talk to each other and their customers. This is where social business software comes in."


Social Business Software has the potential to have a huge impact on the way people work and how businesses operate.


Since I joined Jive this summer, I've identified 6 ways that Social Business Software has improved the way employees work:

  1. Allows employees to collaborate daily at lowered costs.
  2. Eliminates distance barriers. For example, my manager works in Austin and I work in Palo Alto.
  3. Fosters open and natural communication, that mirrors the way people converse in face-to-face conversation.
  4. Enriches project work by making it easier to leverage cross-team participation.
  5. Encourages the sharing of institutional knowledge, content, and thought leadership.
  6. Leverages the greater scope and scale of the web to help employees strengthen bonds with suppliers, customers, partners and other employees.

 

There isn't a "one-size fits all" solution for all companies. However, I've seen that successful companies carefully prioritize and choose solutions that immediately address business needs, harness the company culture, and break down communication barriers.

 

Now is the time: Become an Office Hero and slay the status quo! It will be the best thing you've ever done for your company.


Dont forget to register now for Early Bird Pricing, promotion ends July 31!


Tired of watching presentations and waiting for your chance to ask the tough questions?  If so, Ringside with the Experts is a group networking event for you!  In this series, we break down traditional conference norms and open the doors wide open for conversation on the topics that mean the most to you.  Engage in real conversation with some of the industries leading social business practitioners and share thoughts on how to become the next big social business success story.

 

Come see first-hand why attendees proclaim that JiveWorld is the world's best social business user conference on the planet.  Take a peak at some of our ringside JiveWorld12 experts thus far:

 

TrackRingside Experts

Social Intranet

Speaker(s):

Allison Doherty - Deutsche Bank

Andrew Kratz - Social Edge Consulting


Allison DohertyAndrew Kratz

Customer Service

Speaker(s):

Heather Foeh - Eloqua

Kelly Jo Horton - Marketo

Deirdre Walsh - Jive Software

Heather FoehKelly Jo HortonDeirdre Walsh

Marketing & Sales

Speaker(s):

Gino Rossi - Quest Software

Alyssa Rosengarden - Critical Mass

Gary Graeff - Steelcase

Gino RossiAlyssa RosengardenGary Graeff

Advanced Community Management

Speaker(s):

Chris Diehl - Jive Software

Christy Zurcher - Premier Farnell

Elise Bruchet - Devoteam

Chris DiehlChristy ZurcherElise Bruchet

Strategy

Speaker(s):

John Toker - Jive Software

Corey Mathews - Jive Software

Carrie Gilbert - Jive Software

John TokerCorey MathewsCarrie Gilbert

Developer

Speaker(s):

Brian Shoemaker - Thomson Reuters

Ryan Rutan - Jive Software

Emily Harsh - Jive Software

Brian ShoemakerRyan RutanEmily Harsh

Architect

Speaker(s):

David Montgomery - Jive Software

Aron Racho - Jive Software

Jussi Heikkola - Jive Software

David MontgomeryAron RachoJussi Heikkola

Products

Speaker(s):

Josh Richau - Jive Software

Olivia Teich - Jive Software

Oudi Antebi - Jive Software

Josh RichauOlivia TeichOudi Antebi

 

For more information about JiveWorld12 or this program, please see:

Start your legacy and become the office hero ...  Try Jive Today!

Disorder.  Chaos.  Pandemonium.  On the surface, these words resonate better with a battle royal than the corporate world.  Yet, with a closer look we find more in common than expected. Consider the following scenarios and evaluate against your company:

  • Disorder :  Pervasive information and personnel silos throughout the enterprise?
  • Chaos :  Miscommunication, challenges with project messaging and staying in-sync with employees and colleagues?
  • Pandemonium : Trouble chasing down problems, finding quality solutions and building reliable customer relationships?

If any of these ring true, chances are you're not the only one who notices!

 

What if work could be different?  What if disorder gave way to collaboration?  What if chaos transformed into efficiency? What if from the ashes of pandemonium, arose elegance and innovation?   What if your legacy could make all the difference?

 

Your legacy won't be measured by the words in a performance evaluation or the size of your office.

 

It will be measured by how you changed a culture and the lives you touched.  By the risks you were willing to take and the foresight of your ideas.  By how you made people more productive by making them care more and work smarter.  By how you broke down the barriers that were created by titles, levels and cubicle walls.  By how you opened the direction of your business to everyone.

 

Your legacy will be judged on what you leave behind.  So that even when you're gone, they'll still talk about the day you gave them Jive!

 

Share your Office Hero stories on Facebook or join the #OfficeHero conversation with @JiveOfficeHero.

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