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November 2009

Is your social networking hurting your personal brand?

Social Media Bandwagon As we all explore the world of social media and social networking, we cannot forget that we all have a lot of learning to do along the way. Just as different tools resonate with different people, the ways in which the tools are used are all over the board, as well. This is likely no surprise to any of us who participate in social networks regularly. And yet, as users, we often forget how our social networking and social media activities can be perceived by those that do not use them as we do. To assume that the way in which we are using these tools should not be questioned by anyone is naïve at best, and foolish and even detrimental to your career, at worst. I'd offer this piece of advice to remember: Participating in any online social network or public forum is always going to be subject to review and interpretation by others, whether family, friends, current or potential employers. Why? Because it's just that - public. You should not have any notion of privacy if you're participating in public social networking sites. It's wise to always keep this in mind.


promote your personal brand wisely on social networksAs a recent example, a co-worker was looking to hire someone to expand their team, but after checking out a prospective candidate online, became turned-off when they went to the person’s Twitter account and saw over 40 postings in the past 24 hours, most of which were not work-related. Admittedly, even to me - an individual quite comfortable with just about all social media tools available - I thought that was a bit much, especially given that many were during work hours. Personally, I have even un-followed people on Twitter who took up my entire tweetstream and seemingly used Twitter as their public IM tool. To me, quality over quantity showcases your talent when using social networking sites, whereas random and frequent brain dumps are not the kind of “conversation” I care to follow.

Participating in social networks with flaming finger velocity is not helpful to anyone

Is there such a thing as too much tweeting? Yes, I think there is – if you’re tweeting (or blogging or surfing Facebook or another social networking tool) with flaming finger velocity and it’s on work time and you’re not even remotely discussing work-related topics or somehow showcasing your talent as an employee of the company, then I think you’re approaching the area of risking folks thinking that you’ve got too much time on your hands. 

One might argue that if you’re getting your work done, producing high quality work, and not bothering anyone, that it’s no one’s business. I’d disagree. There are many days at work where having someone help me for even an hour would be a huge help. If you’ve got time to send that many tweets, messages, post that many blogs, etc. during work hours, and especially about non-work-related topics, then you’ve got time to help out a fellow co-worker and be a part of the team and showcase your talent to the company in that way.


Helpful tips for social networking

Like it or not, what you do online when associating yourself with the company reflects not only on your personal brand, but also on the brand of your employer. Here are some tips I’d offer up to folks trying to find the balance between the personal and professional realms of social networking:

  • The #1 question you should ask yourself - Would you care if someone else was telling you this?
  • Share interesting information, resources, photos, videos, and link to blogs and articles
  • Share success stories, ideas or comment on something of interest
  • Do not use public social networking sites as your instant messenger tool
  • Know your reply ratio – try to have a conversation with people instead of just broadcasting yourself
  • It is OK to share some personal interests when online at work, be mindful of how it can be perceived – a good rule of thumb during work hours is 80% business, 20% other interests
  • Learn that every tweet/blog post/status update/photo/etc counts – every post can help or hurt your personal brand as well as your company’s
  • Learn from others, listen to advice and experiences they share
  • Remember that this is a public forum in most cases
  • What you say lives forever, even if you delete it, chances are good it's already been indexed or someone has already seen it
  • Ask yourself: Would you say this to your manager or a customer?

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 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

 


The Power of Saying Thank You

Thank you It seems fitting that during Thanksgiving week, I should write about the power of saying “thank you” in addition to the fact that it’s been something on my mind for a while. It seems in this busy world, we often forget to take time out and thank the people that mean the most to us, that we appreciate, and that help us to keep on keepin’ on, both personally and professionally. Social media actually provides us a perfect avenue and opportunity to do just that.

 

Are you listening?

We should all know by now the importance of listening in the social world, especially when using social media for brand management (personal or business brand) and business. I talk about the importance of listening just about every time I talk about social media and how much we can learn from just sitting back and listening to conversations all around us. But one thing I’ve noticed is that it seems when listening in the social world, we often tend to hone in on the negative side of things and forget to also embrace the positive. The knee-jerk reaction is to pick up on the negative comments and react to those. One might even call it “doing damage control,” especially if it’s an influential person or entity sharing negative sentiment. The problem with only focusing on the negative is that’s only half-listening. And if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

 

There is an immense amount of learning to be accomplished in also taking note of the positive commentary on any given topic. After all, if you want to know what people hate, why wouldn’t you also want to know what people love about the product or brand? Doesn’t knowing the pros as well as the cons paint the full picture for you? I guess I don’t need to say that my answer here is – YES!

 

Just as we tend to reach out to help fix the negative commentary and hopefully build good will for the brand by addressing and fixing things within our scope of influence, I’d offer that taking a moment and thanking those individuals or entities sharing positive feedback with us also builds good will for the brand. And not only that, it just makes you feel good to note the positive side of things for a change!


Thank You Mugs So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, do me a favor and be sure to thank someone for saying something nice about you, your brand or your company this week! And if you need to know how to say thank you in multiple languages, here are over 465 ways to do so!


And thanks to you for reading my blog!

 

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 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas

 


On the topic of Crock-i-ness

Crock Well, there’s been a lot of buzz both before and since Enterprise 2.0 San Francisco in San Francisco on the question of whether or not Enterprise 2.0 is a crock. Put another way, can Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies deliver tangible business benefits with tangible use cases in support of the tools?

Anyone that knows me knows by now that I believe the answer to this is Yes – Enterprise 2.0 can provide tangible business benefits supported with tangible use cases and I’m going to share a few with you here that we’ve realized since the creation of our enterprise community two years ago, which supports blogs, wikis, discussions and user profiles, to name a few things.

I will say right up front that we never identified success for our initiative as 100% user adoption. Not only do I feel that 100% adoption is unrealistic, but I also don’t believe that Enterprise 2.0 is for everyone. I think that a lot of people can realize benefits from using the tools available to them, but I do not believe that there’s any “one size fits all” tool for any organization. If that were the case, we wouldn’t still have people using interoffice mail, leaving post-its on our desks, leaving voicemails, sending emails, etc. We’d have everyone using only one way to communicate, and I don’t think I need to say that this view of the world is completely unrealistic.

I’ll say again what I said on the panel I participated on at Enterprise 2.0 – Enterprise 2.0 is not a cure-all or fix-all. It’s an enabler. Here are some examples of what it’s enabled at EMC in just two short years:

Collaboration Increased Collaboration

One of the many challenges that large, geographically dispersed organizations face is bringing employees together to collaborate. It’s not that employees don’t want to collaborate; it’s that they have no way of knowing who is working on similar projects or facing similar problems around the company or around the world unless we enable and encourage them to share them somewhere.

That’s exactly what we’ve done on EMC|ONE – provided a platform that enables global, searchable access to conversations and content so that employees can connect with others facing the same challenges and share what has worked, what hasn’t and brainstorm on what to try next. A memorable story that has been shared with me, and that I like to retell is the salesperson in Australia who connected with the salesperson in North America about a deal on a specific product, against a specific competitor and they shared how they went into the sales call, collaborated on things that worked or didn’t, and ultimately won the deal. So, if I knew the dollar amount of that deal, I could conceivable call those dollars ROI.

 

Corporate Memory Corporate Memory & Reduction in Redundant Requests

Content and conversations that occur via email or presentations stored on people’s hard drives is arguably essentially lost when that employee leaves or their computer get fried or stolen unless they’ve happened to share that content with others and/or done regular backups of their content – neither of which always happens in a predictable fashion.

EMC|ONE provides employees a venue to share their content and have their conversations and ultimately helps to preserve that conversation and the though process behind it, along with any content that was shared in the context of the conversation. It also makes it accessible to other employees in a searchable community of information for reference, collaboration and updates, as needed. EMC|ONE has also helped many employees reduce redundant requests for information as these employees share and document their information and FAQs in the community, they have a central location to point people to for consistently requested information, and reduce their own personal email and phone traffic and free up their time to work on other things.

 

Dali Clock Quicker Response Times

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from employees is that they have to wait on or even track down information they’re looking for, which wastes time, money and effort on a consistent basis. I’ve heard, (I think it was in Dion Hinchcliffe’s workshop at Enterprise 2.0) that the average employee spends an hour a day looking for information, searching through old files, emails, etc. and boy do I believe it.

A story that I consistently hear from our sales folks is how wonderful it is for them be able to search our competitive community on EMC|ONE and find real-time information and updates about competitors. They also love the ability to ask a question and have anyone in the company be able to answer it instead of just whoever is on a distribution list they send an email out to.

Following up on the example above, folks also are very happy to have access to a location that has FAQs to various questions they need answers to without having to wait to hear back via phone or email when time is of the essence. Depending on the person and amount of time they spend searching for information, this savings could be minimal to a fairly substantial amount.

 

Innovation Increased Innovation

For the past three years, EMC had held an annual innovation conference, and it has been planned during the past 2 years on EMC|ONE and then the summary, wrap up, photos, etc. are also shared on EMC|ONE. That in and of itself (using EMC|ONE as the coordination point) has not increased innovation, but what it has done is helped to increase worldwide awareness of the importance that EMC places on innovation and it has increased access to the information, ideas, and proposals that were submitted for the innovation conference by EMC employees.

In addition to the annual Innovation Conference, employees innovate on EMC|ONE every single day by coming up with creative new ways to address problems, challenges, and concerns on a wide variety of topics (products, customer support, solutions, internal issues, software challenges, you name it) they are facing. Not only that, they work with other employees that they would not have otherwise had an opportunity to work with had it not been for EMC|ONE.

 

Questions Customer Support

At EMC, customer service is of the utmost importance. Our internal employee support forums for solving customer issues are, as of this weekend, now hosted on EMC|ONE. But long before the official migration happened, there have been all sorts of examples of employees collaborating together to make customer service as good as it can be. They work together, similar to the example above with innovation, on a wide variety of topics that concern EMC customers and creatively come up with new ideas and solutions to a wide variety of issues. Have some of those efforts kept customers and/or gotten us new customers? Yes, they have, and that in and of itself is an immensely powerful ROI.

 

Smile Increased Employee Satisfaction

I’ve read varying articles on how much it costs to replace an employee that leaves the organization and it seems relatively consistent that it’s around 150% of the employee’s annual salary to resource, interview, hire, and train a replacement employee for someone who quits.

I can tell you without a doubt, that many, many of our employees have shared stories with us (that were not solicited) about how much more connected they feel to the company since EMC|ONE began two years ago. A few examples:

Start_quote_15I cannot think of a time during my 20 years at EMC when I felt more informed, involved, and confident in myself and the business before EMC|ONE. ~EMC|ONE UserEnd_quote_11

Start_quote_15No other corporate resource gives me more value than EMC|ONE. I feel connected with what is going on, I understand our direction, and I get great satisfaction from contributing to people and initiatives across the organization that before I didn’t even know existed. ~EMC|ONE UserEnd_quote_11

Start_quote_15There has been no single resource which has added as much value to me, my customer messaging, and my understanding of EMC as EMC|ONE. I am part of the silent majority, who rarely makes the time to post, but gains tremendous value from this fantastic glimpse into the breadth of EMC. ~EMC|ONE User End_quote_11

What I don’t want folks to think is that I think is that Enterprise 2.0 is a piece of cake, that it’s easy or that it will fix all of your problems. It’s not a piece of cake, it’s not easy, and it won’t fix all of your problems. What it will do is begin to connect employees to one another that have never had an opportunity to connect before and possibly never would have if it hadn’t been for our efforts. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to even begin an Enterprise 2.0 initiative, let alone sustain it and grow it and assist in continuing along the path to reach its full potential. We certainly didn’t do everything perfectly. Tell me who has and I’m happy to listen. I am proud that we are trying, and continue to try to enable employees to get more done with less, be more connected with one another and work, and find increased job satisfaction.

Do I think Enterprise 2.0 is a crock? Nope. But what do think is that companies that don’t take it seriously and start investing in researching what it can do for them might just find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage in the very real and near future.

Crocodile To companies and individuals that ignore the potential that Enterprise 2.0 has to offer or call it a crock, I’d say – Be careful, that crock’s teeth are very sharp and it's liable to bite you when you least expect it.

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 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas


Enterprise 2.0 is still alive and well, thank you very much

Me & My Rockstar Pass I am just back from a week in San Francisco attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Fran as a featured speaker along with a whole host of other industry experts. Those of us that were on the keynote stage got “backstage passes” and felt a bit like rock stars walking around. Thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to attend a great conference!

For my part, I participated in a panel with five other members from the 2.0 Adoption Council entitled “Is Enterprise 2.0 a Crock?”  I’ll share more on the panel and the whole idea of E 2.0 “crock-i-ness” in general in another post, as I’d like to get my overall conference thoughts down here first as well as share some advice based on ongoing discussions I had with folks at the conference that I hope to be helpful to them, as well as anyone else trying to do this. 

PanelSmall Photo courtesy of @adunne's Flickr Photostream. Panel left to right: Greg Lowe, Megan Murray, Bryce Williams, me, Bruce Galinksy, and Claire Flanagan. (I took a few photos, too, at the conference, though not nearly as good as Alex's.)

I have to say that I enjoyed the conference and the city of San Francisco. The weather was exceptionally nice and the city is amazing, even though I only saw a very small portion of its loveliness due to being inside most of the time.  But nothing compared to the opportunity to meet not only my friends from the 2.0 Adoption Council - Susan Scrupski our Founder, Andy McAfee, Greg Lowe, Megan Murray, Bryce Williams, Bruce Galinksy, Claire Flanagan, Timo Elliott, Hamilton Pridgen, Bert Sandie, and Donna Lucas - in person, but also so many other folks so passionate about the topic of Enterprise 2.0. I am proud to be a member of the 2.0 Adoption Council, and a part of the Enterprise 2.0 conference, as both have done great things for me on many levels.

One thing that’s still very clear to me from the conference, and the folks that I talked to there, is that Enterprise 2.0 is alive and well in terms of both interest in “cracking the code” of rollout and implementation as well as interest in and a hunger for examples of companies that are doing it and doing it well. It’s refreshing to work for a company (EMC) that’s considered to be ahead of the curve in terms of strategy, deployment, and adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools and behaviors behind the firewall. I know that we still have a lot of learning and work ahead of us, but it’s neat to hear what folks think of what we’ve done so far, and of course to know that I’ve been in the thick of it.

So, how does one go about thinking about and preparing to launch an Enterprise 2.0 initiative? Here’s my advice on questions you need to ask yourself and be able to answer before moving forward. I’ll be elaborating on these questions in future posts:

How do you pitch the idea and to whom?

Understanding the key stakeholders and influences that need to be involved in the initiative and decision-making will go a long way towards a successful rollout. My recommendation is to define your goals and try to include key stakeholders from as many cross-functional teams as makes sense for your organization. This will hopefully reduce the number of times you may have to go back and re-pitch and refine the plan.

How do you determine what tools to use?

Understanding your goals will lead you towards tools. My recommendation would be to start smaller and more concise to meet specific goals you’ve identified and add new functionality as your users request it - providing too many bells and whistles up front will likely turn users off.

How do you secure executive sponsorship and program funding?

Getting an executive sponsor for your initiative who “gets it” and can articulate the value of the tools you’re proposing, as well as actually use them, is going to be key to your initiative.  You’ll also want to be honest with your budgetary needs – nothing is free, not even if the software’s free – it’s still going to take someone’s time (and time is money, after all), to roll out the initiative. My recommendation is to start with a pilot or beta program to get folks interested in the offering and then scale up as needed as new users join.

How do you educate on the tools?

Educating on the tool(s) that you choose is going to be key for a successful initiative. Too often, we make assumptions about people’s level of knowledge on any particular tool or subject. My advice is that you’re going to need to prepare beginner, intermediate, and advanced training materials in multiple formats to have a truly successful educational program.

How do you roll it out to the company?

When it’s time for go-live, you’re going to need to determine how you’re going to roll it out and to whom – will it be the whole company or a sample group of folks? You’ll also want to consider any marketing and communications channels you’ll be able to take advantage of to increase awareness. My recommendation is to also have a plan in place with consistent messaging for your advocates and evangelists to take advantage of when they share the tools with others. This will help to keep the messaging consistent and avoid confusion as to what the tools are for.

How do you handle the naysayers, those that don't see the value or support the idea?

See my previous blog post on this one.

How do you measure the impact and success?

You will inevitably want to consider the measurements you will take into account to consider your initiative a success. There are lots of different measures that can be captured, and each organization is different. My recommendation is to gain insights from your key stakeholders as to what they might consider a measure of success and then propose a phase 1 list to folks for consideration. As the tools and their use evolves, so too can your measures of success.

In summary, the key ingredients for any Enterprise 2.0 initiative are:

  • Executive sponsorship
  • Funding
  • Defined goals/purpose
  • Defined “rules of engagement”
  • Partnerships are key (IT, HR, Legal, PR, Business Units, etc.)
  • Group of passionate folks
  • Patience
  • Perhaps a leap of faith

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 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas