It is often said that less is more and when it comes to social media, I agree 100%. All too often, companies believe the more (social) lines they have in the water, the better their reach; wrong.
Imagine you on the water in search of that elusive trout, tuna, or other trophy fish: the more lines you have in the water, the greater the chance of a bite. Yes, line volume may create more opportunities, but how many lines can you successfully handle at one time? It is better to manage one or two very well than many poorly: hooking the fish is one thing, but the goal is to land them.
Social media channels are your lines: the ways to reach and connect with your customers. How many channels can you stock with relevant content, monitor for activity, and really respond to? Too many channels that have stale content or go unmonitored will ultimately hurt your efforts. It is best to use social media channels as a rod and reel rather than a net. Understand what channels your customers use, how many you can effectively manage, and master those. Too many lines and you may lose that big fish.
I look forward to your comments.
I love Twitter. Not only is it your ever-updating news service, it is one of the most powerful SEO and Marketing tools available. If you believe Twitter only tells you what people had for lunch, get ready to learn something. These are 4 ways I use my 140 characters.
We all love to consume information and the internet provides a most awesome buffet. By following authors, columnists, bloggers, public figures, etc – the content comes to you and is always updating in real time. In short, twitter can be your personal library or newsstand. All this data is difficult to manage: utilize hashtags and lists to search for and sort information quickly. A Dashboard like Hootsuite allows you to digest the data by sorting it into multiple columns. Your dashboard gives you a snapshot of data: who is talking about you, who is talking about your company, what are the latest news stories, etc – all continuously and immediately updated.
It is as easy to share data as it is to consume it via twitter; don’t keep all the good stuff to yourself. If you read a tweet you find interesting, retweet it so your followers can enjoy it too. Maybe you visit a website or wish to share your latest blog, take the URL and tweet it. Sharing through Hootsuite or Buffer make this easy by allowing you to schedule tweets ahead of time as well as automatically shortening the URL so it can fit within the 140 character limit and help you track the activity on your link.
This is the best part of Social – engagement. The days of pushing information without conversation are gone. Twitter gives your customers an in-road to you, don’t be afraid of it: listen to what they say and respond. Reply directly and thank those who retweet your content and them know you like what they are tweeting. Ask and answer questions – Twitter is an ocean of thought leaders no matter the subject.
Social conversations, called TweetChats are virtual Town Hall conversations that cover topics from cooking to customer service. Idea-share, focus groups, and feedback sessions: it’s all about conversation. Utilizing a tool called Tweetchat makes it easy to follow and participate in the conversation.
Sharing information or engaging others promotes yourself and your organization. People can see who shares what and the twitterverse responds favorably to those they like; if your followers find your content interesting, they may also research what company employs such an interesting person.
It is fine to talk about yourself or your brand, but don’t brag or over promote.
I hope you were able to take away something new – I look forward to your comments, questions, and feedback. Please let me know if I can help you with your Social Media
Regardless of you role or years of experience, it is always good to gather new ideas and perspective. For my fellow Community Managers, I believe this will be that new perspective. Imagine Dalton not as a cooler, but a Community Manager - here are some great words of advice to help you with your community and the important job you do.
A Community Manager's job is to build relationships, listen to and help community members, and steer discussions; all while staying positive. It is fine to set standards and be firm, but be nice. Make your positivity contagious.
"Nobody ever wins a fight"
It can feel good to get the best of a troll, but there will always be another. Never get caught up in the anger of someone who only seeks to throw bombs or attack others - delete the post, block the troll, and move on. Community members look to you to set the tone: if you are rude and attack others, they will too.
"I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal"
Never let a troll get the best of you by getting into your head. No matter the community, members will have opinions about the way do do a job or solve a problem: as the Community Manager, it is your responsibility to see that conversations stay on track and remain professional. Stay on topic and NEVER let a discussion become an argument.
"People who really want to have a good time won't come to slaughterhouse"
No matter your community: business / hobby, internal / external - members join to learn from one another, to share best practices, and help each other solve problems. No one wants to read personal rants or get attacked for their opinions: a bad environment will not only hinder discussion, it WILL destroy your membership.
Be fair, Be firm, Be nice
I welcome your comments.
Have you ever clicked "send" and realized there was an error in your memo or an important thought or call to action was left out of your email? These mistakes can move you further away from your goals rather than closer to them.
"I'm under the gun." "I want to be first to market." "I need to beat my competition to the punch." All of these things show passion and drive, but without planning and attention to detail, your message will be lost.
A quick, but funny example:
Programs can identify spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, but they cannot help you with the clarity and flow of your message. Just like spelling, your objective and message are clear in your head and this may result in missed errors when proofreading; it is imperative you have clearly communicated your thoughts and calls to action to your audience.
You are busy, your team is busy - your boss and potential clients are certainly busy. Do not waste their valuable time or lose that opportunity because you had such desire to be heard or first to their inbox.
Slow down to move faster
Thursday, August 15th - 4:45PM
After a casual mingling full of hand shaking, mispronouncing of names, and 'what do you do?'ing, we were ready to get the ball rolling.
Stephen Thomas starts us off...
"PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL"
Fidelity's internal social platform is called ribbit. Essential pieces of the re-branding was the logo and theme as well as The Frog (Ribbit's official mascot who has a profile on the platform and interacts with users).
Question: If you play on the social and make things fun and kitschy, does it effect how people view the platform - does social=nonworkappropriate? How do you balance fun and approachable with corporate?
"DELIVER BUSINESS VALUE"
Personas and Use Cases - defining the WHO is going to be using the platform and HOW they are going to be using it will help shape the way the platform is designed and marketed. This effects training and education, priorities for features and functionality, and communications materials and campaigns.
Question: How does the social platform play with more official corporate intranets?
Answer: For now, they run in parallel and functionality within the social platform are built to meet user needs. Profiles, for example, include the official intranet information along with more social aspects of multiple photos, bios, expertise, etc.
"DRIVING BEHAVIOR - DESIGN TOWARDS A GOAL"
If you build it they will come... but then what? Design and branding has a huge impact on incentivising specific features and functionality to help shape the way that people use the platform. Subtle visual cues like buttons, color contrast, and page organization can help influence the user experience and reduce distractions on the page.
Key Tip: Usability studies are very important when designing for a page. And don't just listen to the users - if you can watch them using the platform as well, SEE and HEAR how they're using the tool and where the sticking points may be.
Marc Rudkowski swoops in to tell the Fidelity/Jive story... Fidelity started with the first iteration of Jive and has grown and evolved through the years and through the versions, moving from Jive 4 to Jive 6 with an upgrade and overall rebranding at the end of June this year (2013). [Kate Goodyear and Kirsten Laaspere had some helpful things to say as well.]
--- PIZZA BREAK ---
|VIRTUAL WHITEBOARD: Follow up Questions for Breakout Sessions|
5:30 - Aaaaand we're back!
Mark Weitzel unsurprisingly starts off with a way-funnier-in-his-head joke playing off of Who's on First to find out who in the crowd is on which version of Jive.
"The more information that comes in, the more valuable this starts to become." - Mark Weitzel
A quick discussion of Jive's integration of jira lead to Mark and Marc's (accurate and wonderful) defense of integrations: Some if not most of activities that are occuring elsewhere need that social component where they can interact with the content; Even though the content may have originated from a different system, they become searchable and have social actions. "You have the full context."
streamonce - bidirectional commenting - a "backbone" that Jive hosts to pump streams into Jive and allow for deeper reaching social actions.
Talking apps and apis -- "if the UI does it, there's a really good chance that you can do that through the api" (Note the subtle addition of the loophole lawyer phrasing just in case it ever doesn't quite work.) Apps provide very close, contextual experiences with these interactions.
"It's just all right here for me. It's a very, very powerful way to interact with these systems." - Mark Weitzel
Marc Rudkowski shares a gem of an insight regarding use cases for JiveAnywhere, adding that it provides a lot of great opportunities for Jive to interact with existing applications within the organization to add social content to static or silo'd workflows
"One last thing" says Mark... (he has been talking for 30 minutes...)
props - recognizing your peers with virtual kudos beyond just words: gamification gets you badges! (We don't need no stinking badges!) --> Connecting props to badges and gameification allows for measurement by HR and management
6:15 - Breakout Sessions! (Live blogging will pause so I can get involved and use my hands to gesticulate)
Fidelity's example of a customized create menu (horizontal to get all the options above the fold and descriptions written in plain English to clear up the differences among the content types)
Many wonderful conversations were occurring during the breakout sessions between 6:15 and 7:30, when the conversations began to evolve from strategy and best practices to puppies and other hilarious anecdotes, and I cannot possibly capture them all here. I hope that the conversations continue on this platform and throughout this community.
But it was a great session and we are so lucky to have been able to host it at Fidelity. Here's to the next one!!!