Archive for February, 2012

Four Lessons From the Social Business Trenches

Posted in Social Media on February 28, 2012 by wolfwomyn

On CMSWire, Web engagement strategist Dion Heathcliff shares what he has learned from successful—and not so successful—social businesses in recent years. The lessons he offers address “what to focus on and what drives improved outcomes when applying social media within a large organization.”

Read the full article for the meat, but here are a few observations to whet the appetite.  (http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-collaboration/seven-lessons-learned-on-social-business-011880.php?)

Changing staff behavior is more important—and harder—than selecting social tools. Today’s workers multitask over a wide array of tools—too many, actually, Heathcliff says. Your task is to get them to change their habits in a natural and intuitive way. Imposing more tools is the typical approach to doing this, but it’s an ineffective shortcut, he argues. Work processes must become more open, shared and transparent in the social business world.

The more control over social you seek, the less you’ll have. It is imperative that you design your social outreach for how you want users to behave. Create their paths in ways that take your needs, legal and otherwise, into account from the very beginning of their engagement journey.

Help people help each other. Successful social communities aren’t purely self-organizing. They still need leaders and effective support systems (like community management and well-integrated CRM that acknowledges the most pertinent current user needs).

Don’t lose the observable value your social business creates. Store your activity streams, and make them accessible, discoverable and trackable. Most of their value lies in the information accrued, so make sure you employ resources for distilling trends and market signals from all that conversation.

The Po!nt: Implement intelligently! Social business has matured enough that we can glean what works and what doesn’t from past experience. It’s time to take heed of the lessons of those who have already walked the path.

Source: Get to the Point/Social Media

Why Targeting Matters

Posted in Marketing on February 21, 2012 by wolfwomyn

In a post at her eponymous blog, Elaine Fogel asks how frequently you receive email with content that has no relevance. “I’ll bet it’s a lot,” she says with certainty. “Let’s just look at the ones you receive from companies and organizations that have your permission to send communications. Count the emails they send that have nothing to do with you at all. Delete.”

Fogel gives a quick rundown of blatantly irrelevant messages she has received. Here are a few:

  • A nonprofit organization thanked her for attending a fundraiser she didn’t attend.
  • An airline sent offers for flights that didn’t depart from her city of residence.

Let’s face it: Even if you like a company, like its product or service, like the people who answer the phone—you’re going to unsubscribe from an email campaign if you keep getting wildly untargeted messages.

Are you subjecting your subscribers to this type of treatment? According to Fogel, small businesses are especially likely to implement untargeted email campaigns. “Maybe they don’t have a marketer on staff to guide them,” she conjectures. “Maybe they don’t know what segmentation is.”

When you send email without considering the specific interests and needs of the subscriber, you miss out on a host of benefits like:

  • Grabbing a customer’s interest and building engagement.
  • Seeing your relevant content shared in social networks.
  • Gaining new customers and subscribers who see value in your content.

The Po!nt: Make yourself useful. Your untargeted email program might seem successful, but you’ll never know just how successful you can be until you segment.

Socialize Me! In Stages, Though, Please

Posted in Social Media on February 15, 2012 by wolfwomyn

The journey to complete socialization (the connected kind, not the 1984 kind) takes time, and it’s okay to do it in steps.

Sometimes it helps your advancement in the social direction when you can clearly see where you’ve been—and how that affects where you could be headed.

That’s why Chris Carfi of Ant’s Eye View has put together the Social Engagement Journey, which takes you through five social stages—from basic broadcast to fully engaged.

Let’s go through ’em together:

Traditional. This is about one-way communication driven by command-and-control businesses. Still here? Get movin’! This model won’t be sustainable for long.

Experimental. There’s some social dabbling, but it’s disconnected from overall business operations. This stage is characterized by fractured tools, silo’d efforts (the “social media intern” in the marketing department ring a bell?). Well, it’s a start, anyway.

Operational. Social engagement becomes more embedded in everyday ops, including business training, channel alignment, and campaign integration. Things are starting to take shape!

Measureable. Real business results are beginning to flower as a result of your social efforts, and employees, brimming with new confidence, are beginning to more fully harness their online relationships.

Fully engaged. Social engagement and customer experience is part of your organization’s DNA. It’s integrated with all you do, and customer feedback and usability are built into the heart of all projects at the planning stage. You’re seeing both increased revenue and customer loyalty!

Don’t worry: You don’t have to leap from phase 1 to 5 right away. It’s okay to take baby steps—as long as you have a clear idea of where you’re headed and why. For more tips and details, dip into Chris’s Social Business 2012 presentation.

The Po!nt: Slow and steady can win the social race. Take a few steps in the right direction, and keep moving forward.

Source: Marketing Profs; Social Media

Take A Break and Your Employees also.

Posted in Business on February 1, 2012 by wolfwomyn

One of the things that is so prevalent in todays society is stress related illnesses and breakdowns.  This is especially happening in people own small businesses.  I read an article the other day about our pets and what we are learning from them.  You don’t see many stressed out cats and dogs.  So they started doing some research.

What they have found is that cats and dogs spend some time just sitting and looking out the window.  This, they have found, has a stress reducing effect on the eyes and the rest of the body.  So they are bringing this learning into the work environment.

The technique that they have found they are referring to as the 20/20/20.   Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds (0r more) to look at something more than 20 feet away.  And if you can gaze out the window the more the better.  This gives you a minute of a break, gets your eyes off of the glaring computer screen, and significantly lowers the stress level. This is especially important for those of us who spend the day on the computer, but also applies to those of use who are in stress filled jobs.

So take a few minutes every day, and have your employees do the same, to reduce that stress.  And you might actually enjoy looking out the window and see what is happening in the world outside.

Have a great day.