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Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

Reposting my post originally shared on the AMP blog, with a couple of updates:

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CocacolatimelineAs you all know now, Facebook made the switch for all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I’m not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship. Does it get any better than that? Isn't that exactly what brands have been claiming to strive for? Then why have so many of them just allowed ths witch to happen without doing a thing to prepare? 

Here are the top 5 things you’ll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality – and you do need to work to make  your page shine in the new Timeline layout! Simply allowing the switch to happen is not enough and you’re NOT doing your brand any favors if you didn’t put any thought into making the switch!

  1. Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook’s rules on what your cover photo may not contain:
    • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
    • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
  2. Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image.
    • Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear – be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I’d recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top – don’t you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page?
    • You’ll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight – make this a priority given it’s placement on your page, as it’s one of the first things visitors will see
    • You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand
  3. Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience:
    • Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose  your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand
    • The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide – this means you’ll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they’ll center within the 810 pixel width
  4. Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand:
    • What are our brand goals and objectives?
    • What matters to our target audience?
    • Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.?
  5. Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you’re adjusting to this new functionality you’ll want to consider:
    • Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries
    • Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages

For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out:

  • Coca Cola – With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality.
  • Barack Obama – Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they’re doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They’ve peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They’re also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year’s campaigns.
  • Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) – The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product’s history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They’re using their cover photo for new product awareness – a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Subway – Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Burberry – The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating theHeritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they’ve also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline.

All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it’s also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It’s an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way.

What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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The Rise of Social eCommerce in an Age of Dwindling Consumer Loyalty

The challenge of brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is harder to obtain than ever before. In fact, in our research study, Inside the Buy, AMP Agency found that only 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a brand and never buy anything else. A Contemporary Loyalty has been born where consumers are somewhat loyal to a product, but open-minded to similar products that are new or better. As such, companies need to differentiate themselves like never before to remain in the consumer’s consideration set at the time of purchase.

What’s in it for me?

The higher the perceived value a product or manufacturer offers, the more stickiness it has for a consumer. Consumers expect to be able to find information about products when they search, and where they search. In the same study, AMP Agency discovered that 43% of consumers always do research before making a purchase.

Instant gratification

In the same way that consumers expect to be able to find information on products when they search, they also want and expect to be able to buy things where they want, when they want, and how they want – and yes, that means on Facebook and other social networking sites if they so choose.  

Enter Social eCommerce

Companies that got ahead of this curve early on are seeing some great results in their consumer engagement, purchases, traffic, loyalty and word-of-mouth. Here are a few examples of successful social ecommerce stores on Facebook (also called f-stores):

1800Flowers f-store – the first f-store on Facebook opened in 2009

1800Flowers

Delta Airlines f-store – Delta was the first airline to offer ticket purchase capabilities thru Facebook

Delta

Best Buy f-store – Given their mantra of “shop & share,” Best Buy is taking advantage of their fans purchases by encouraging them to share their purchases with their Facebook friends – a pretty neat word-of-mouth strategy.

BestBuy

NBA Fan f-store – Great place for their 10MM+ fans to shop for their favorite teams’ logo merchandise

NBAStore

Lady Gaga f-store – Lady Gaga is the 2nd most popular female celebrity on Facebook, so her store is sure to get some engagement

Gaga

At the end of the day, It’s all about providing the right content to the right people at the right time in the right place! These are not new notions when it comes to the business and consumer landscape – the only thing that has changed is the storefront!

Questions to consider before launching your own f-store:

What do we hope to achieve?  

You’ll want to define the goals you have for your f-store. For example, is it strictly a revenue generation too, or do you intend to use it to help generate buzz and awareness about your brand, as well? Be honest about the amount of revenue your f-store will actually bring in. It should be viewed as an opportunity to realize additional incremental revenue, but not a primary revenue driver. You’ll be able to determine trends after it has been live for a period of time.

How do we intend to measure success?

You’ll want to define your measures of success and tie them back to your goals. What measures will tell you that you made a good investment and how long do you intend to give them to see the trends?

How does this tie in to my larger social media marketing strategy?

Your Facebook store should complement your overall social media strategy, not be a result in and of itself. How can  you use your Facebook presence, and therefore your f-store as a part of a larger strategy, campaign, contest, etc? You’ll also want to consider how you intend to market your f-store. 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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Social Media Metrics: Are you measuring the right thing?

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.livingstonbuzz.com In all of the conversations I have in working with folks to create a meaningful and measurable social media strategy, I work thru a series of 5 basic questions to help them not only think thru what they want to do, but also think thru how they’ll know when they’ve achieved success. Amazingly, time and again, the one question that always stumps folks is the one around measurement.

(I’ll cover the first 4 in greater detail in a series of other posts, but wanted to share them here high-level now, as well.)

  1. What are you trying to accomplish?
  2. What topics are you prepared to talk about and who are the subject matter experts already talking about it?
  3. Who are you trying to talk to?
  4. Where are they currently talking?
  5. How will you measure success? 

How will you know you achieved your goals? What are your measures of a successful effort? What precedents have been set before, if any? How will you meet or exceed those?

Generally speaking, the first 3 questions are easier for most groups to answer. Although the answers may not be ideal in all cases, they’re at least prepared to discuss them and work thru them together. The metrics question, however, is the one that brings the most discussion and questions and debate and grief just about every single time.

A typical answer to that question goes something like this:

Me: How will you measure success? 

Them: Our success measures will be that we achieve XX followers or fans in the first 90 days. Our success measures will be that we tweet XX times or post on our wall XX times in the first 90 days.

Photo Courtesy of: http://bowlpickins.com Me: [INSERT LOUD “WRONG ANSWER” BUZZER SOUND HERE!]

Ok. Let's chat this thru. How are these metrics helpful to the goals you just identified? In my view, these are metrics that anyone can achieve and are, frankly, meaningless numbers when gathered alone.

Them: But what else can we even measure? 

Me: Well, there are lots of things you can measure. At the bare minimum, you need to focus on both audience and engagement numbers. Let me say it again – at the bare minimum, you need to focus on both audience and engagement numbers.

(I’ll get into all sorts of other useful measures in a later post.)

Me: While it may feel good to have 5,000 fans on Facebook or 10,000 followers on Twitter, what good is that to you (really) if those fans and followers never engage with you or your brand, never comment, never share the information with their networks by liking, commenting, retweeting, etc.? It’s not!

The sad reality is that you’re also not achieving your goals in any way, shape, or form. You’re not having a conversation, you’re not increasing awareness or share of voice, and you’re certainly not influencing anyone.

If they’re not engaging with you, they’re not really adding any substantial value to your brand, they’re not reciprocating any sort of information exchange or conversation – and you don’t even know if they like what they’re seeing, although I’d argue it’s a pretty safe bet that they don’t like what they’re seeing if they’re not engaging with you. This is the kiss of death because they’re going to tune you out sooner or later, if they haven’t already.

So, while fans and followers are a nice to have – they’re only part of the equation when it comes to measuring success in your social media efforts.

If you’re not measuring both – you’re measuring the wrong thing. And that means you’re delivering the wrong results.

Photo Courtesy of http://www.phillymarketinglabs.com


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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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Do you get social? A Peek into #EMC's Social Business Journey

And, more importantly, do you “get” social?  Jive does! Conversation  

A few weeks ago, on Friday, June 18th, I had the pleasure of being invited to present EMC’s Social Business Journey to a group of friendly folks at the last session of Jive Software’s Get Social Tour 2010. I’m saying 2010, because I sincerely hope there is a 2011, 2012, and every year thereafter! This was a great opportunity to meet and converse with folks at all stages in their social business journey, and I absolutely loved it!

For those that were not able to attend any of the Get Social sessions for a variety of reasons, I highly encourage you to join the Jive Community take a look at some of the stellar case studies presented along the journey and see if they might be helpful to you in yours.

The cliff notes on my presentation are in my deck, and hopefully will provide a good starting point for you. Please let me know if you find them helpful, what’s missing, or even what you’ve done in your journey differently that met your stakeholder needs. I always love hearing others’ stories about their social journeys so that I can learn and evolve our own journey.


EMC Case Study - Jive Get Social Tour

View more presentations from Jamie Pappas.

While I love sharing EMC’s story, I have to say that the true value of such events comes from the ability to converse with and learn from others who are at various points in their own journey to a social business. And I particularly love hearing what has worked and what has not, so that I can test that our in our waters.

There was definitely overlap among the persistent themes I mentioned about Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston that same week:

  • There is still a ton of interest in getting started in this space, which is great! People want to start community and collaborating efforts and are coming in droves to see what works best to get going.
  • A whole lot of companies have started their journey and are seeing positive results from enabling their employees to connect and collaborate with one another
  • There is a keen interest in learning what other companies are up to, what is working, what is not, and why.
  • The ROI question seems that it will never die, nor should it. But it’s also amazing to hear the stories of the level of push-back some folks have endured in their journey to get social. As I said before, my answer to the ever-challenging ROI question is it’s a mix of both qualitative and quantitative measures.  Separately, they don’t mean a thing, but together, you can highlight savings, efficiency, and the power of networking and collaboration, so that it’s no longer a question of whether or not it’s providing tangible business results.
  • In person conversation and collaboration is just as important as staying connected online. The buzz and conversation in the air the entire morning is the strongest testament to this reality that I can offer. People were excited to meet others going through the same things that they are and you could feel the excitement in the air! Bringing people together in person is still an essential part of learning, development and networking. I don’t believe that will fundamentally ever change.
  • Carrying on the conversation after the in-person get together is just as important – which is exactly why Jive is offering up a group for us all to continue the conversation!

 

In fact, I can’t emphasize this point enough. It’s a really, really tough job to drive forward any type of social business collaboration initiative within just about any organization. Staying in touch with those that have been on the same path for some time, and those that are just starting their journey will provide you with a network of invaluable resources and people to bounce ideas off of, learn from, and develop lasting friendships with.

Your network, both in real life and online, will be one of the most important tools in your arsenal of the journey you are about to embark upon

So, what are you waiting for? Go - Get Social now

And if you're a large company with over 10,000 employees, come get social with us at The 2.0 Adoption Council, too!

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Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

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Taking Enterprise 2.0 to the Next Level. A Reflection on #E2Conf Boston

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending – for the third time in a row – Enterprise 2.0 Conference here in Boston, MA.  Some seriously amazing talent comes together each time the conference is held here in Boston, as well as on the west coast in sunny California. I’m truly honored to be a part of the conference, and have the ability to chat with such forward thinking people.

I love this conference for a multitude of reasons, but primarily it’s the face-to-face interactions and the real-life case studies and stories that get me excited every year. Why? First off, I love meeting the folks that I've chatted with all year long on various social networking sites, including my 2.0 Adoption Council colleagues, and it’s truly like getting together with a bunch of old friends, sharing stories, drinking beers and just generally talking about whatever’s on our minds.

Speaking of The 2.0 Adoption Council, here’s a fabulous photo of a bunch of us after dinner on Wednesday night, graciously borrowed from our fearless concierge, Susan Scrupski, who was also brave enough to host a workshop with a bunch of us presenting, as well as an entire conference track.  You can check out the presentations from the workshop we gave on SlideShare.

AC1 

 

Secondly, the ability to hear what other companies are doing, what’s working and what’s not, how they’re handling challenges like getting folks to their communities, dealing with critics, increasing engagement, tackling that ever-challenging ROI question, and a multitude of other topics, is priceless. Whether you’re just starting your journey, or well into it like we are at EMC, this conference has something for everyone. A huge kudos to Steve Wylie, Super Woman Paige Finkleman and the whole cast and Advisory Board for another great conference!

Some quick observations around persistent themes:

  • A lot of companies are seeing successful results by enabling their employees to connect and collaborate with one another in easier ways than they have previously been able to do
  • A lot of companies are still trying to figure this out, and are interested in getting started – I met a lot of newbies at the conference, and it’s really great to see that there is still passion and enthusiasm for enabling employees to do their jobs better, faster and smarter
  • There is quickly becoming a large group of us who are hungry for more information than just at the beginner level. We’ve been in this space for 4 years externally and 3 years internally at EMC, and I’m looking to take it to the next level. So are a lot of others.
  • Lots of folks still seeming largely stumped by the ROI question. My answer – it’s a mix of both qualitative and quantitative measures.  Separately, they don’t mean a thing, but together, you can highlight savings, efficiency, and the power of networking and collaboration, so that it’s no longer a question of whether or not it’s providing tangible business results.
  • There is clearly a need for conferences like Enterprise 2.0 to bring together the folks that are trying to make this stuff work in their organizations – both business and IT folks.

As I mentioned before, we’ve been doing this for a long time at EMC, longer than most, in fact, and I’ve been in the thick of it the whole way through.  Here are some things that would take the Enterprise 2.0 conference to the next level for me (I also shared this feedback with the crew at the wrap up Town Hall session on Thursday afternoon):

  • More practitioners and their case studies – I love the knowledge that the high caliber consultants bring to the table, but I also want and frankly need to hear from people sitting in the same seat I am. I think there is a healthy place for both consultants and practitioners, and I just want to ensure we don’t lose sight of that as we move towards the future.
  • I totally get the fact that vendors need to make money, and showcasing their products at a conference like Enterprise 2.0 is one way to do that. That said, I do not want to see vendor demos in the Keynotes portion without a bit of thought leadership thrown in the mix, as well. Tell about your product, but also tell me how it addresses my pain points, and the pain points of my people, my organization. Don’t just walk me through screens and show me clicks. I want to know that you understand me and can help me.
  • I’d like to see differentiation between levels of expertise (or put another way - your place in the journey) for the sessions – nothing to scientific, just a bit of differentiation with case studies at each level of companies considering or that have already implemented some type of offering to their employees:
  • 1.     Beginner – Thinking about Enterprise 2.0 tools, but haven’t implemented? Thinking about how to make the business case? Thinking about how to get started? Thinking about planning for staffing, metrics, community managers, roles and responsibilities, etc? Just implemented within the past 6 months and still getting things moving?

    2.     Intermediate – Implemented more than 6 months ago, but still working to move things forward in your organization? Interested in adoption ideas? Interested in dealing with critics and naysayers? Interested in identifying and tackling under-penetrated pockets within your organization?

    3.     Advanced – Implemented more than a year or two ago? Interested in sustaining the vibrancy, momentum, adoption and engagement in your community?

  • There was mention of including industry information for sessions, and I agree with this – it’s helpful to know what companies in different industries are doing, especially in highly regulated industries.
  • More time for Q&A in all sessions – I can’t tell you how many times a session went on with folks talking, talking, talking, and then someone looked up and “Oops. Looks like we’re out of time for questions.” That’s a real bummer, and frankly, quite a loss. After all, aren’t we there to learn from one another? I know I always have questions at these sessions, but there’s never enough time baked in for audience questions. I’d like to see sessions planned with half the time for the presenters/panel/whatever and half the time reserved for audience questions. And I'd really like to see speakers stick to this format.
  • Finally, I need to see a coming together of the internal E 2.0 worlds and the external social media worlds. As I said in the Town Hall, there are many people like me who have an identity crisis and are tasked with further both internal E 2.0 initiatives, as well as further external social media and community initiatives and awareness. I'd like to see those worlds beginning to come together, and I think we have enough folks focusing on both that it would be a worthwhile endeavor to include a social media track in coming years.  

Overall, a fantastic conference, and by far, one of my favorites every year. In fact, I’d say, even if you can’t afford the full pass – get the free Expo pass and come network with folks at the conference. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

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Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

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General Adoption Techniques for Social Media and Community

Puzzle We’re having an interesting discussion on adoption techniques and how to get relatively anti-social people engaged in social media and communities in our EMC|ONE community, and I thought I’d share my thoughts and response here with you, as well.

What have you found that is helpful to getting folks on-board and engaged in using social media? Any tips or tricks that work well for you? Please share them!

Here are some things that consistently work for me in our communities in helping folks to put the pieces together:

  • Identify business goals and the tools that will meet them: Don’t over-saturate with tools. The more tools you introduce, the more uncomfortable it will be for people already being asked to go outside their comfort zone. Start small with a few tools and demonstrate how to use them and their value, and then add as more tools are requested.
  • Keep it simple, welcoming and easy-to-use: The worst thing a community can be is difficult to navigate, difficult to access, and difficult to use. And it's critical to remember that just because it might be easy for us to use, it certainly doesn't mean that it's going to be easy for everyone else to use. When building a community, keep it's audience in mind and look at things from their perspective. Better yet - ask them what's working and what's not and make changes accordingly.
  • Provide tools and resources that help people get started: Don't assume that people will know what to do with a community, how they should use it, what they can or can't do and even how to get started. Start at the very beginning and remember what it was like when you were starting out exploring social media. What would have been helpful to you? Chances are good it will be helpful to others.
  • Approach community as an experiment: Flexibility is key when starting or managing a community. Don't be rigid in your expectations of its members or use cases for the community. Ask the community what they want, learn from them, and change accordingly. And above all - make sure the community members know they are valued and that you listen to them.
  • Combine business and social discussions, albeit unevenly: Typically, at EMC, we strive for an 80/20 mix, recognizing that they fuel each other. Just as people "socialize" in in-person meetings before they get started, so too, is it reasonable to expect that they'd want to do so in their online community. That is the very reason we have social "places: on EMC|ONE and why all other successful communities have them, as well - people want a place they can go to "get away from it all" and just get to know one another, without having to "work" or filter out the work-related stuff.
  • Fear of participation is normal: You must address it. What is causing the fear? Is it a lack of knowledge about the tools? Is it a lack of confidence about subject matter expertise? Is it a fear of being "wrong" in front of others? You'll need to understand the underlying cause of the fear in order to address it. Just remember that it's normal and don't make the person feel out of place by questioning it in an inappropriate setting or way.
  • Let the community manage the community: At the end of the day, one of the greatest and most rewarding things you can do is listen to the community and act on their requests, their needs, their expectations. It will not only build a relationship of trust and understanding, but these things will keep the members coming back.
  • Don’t underestimate the need for training on these tools: Just because it's easy for us doesn't mean it's easy for others. Training should always, always be a part of any successful community. And different options for training - in-person, webex, lunch-n-learn, online, CBT, should be included to address all learning styles.
  • Seek out opportunities to present value: Perhaps one hesitation is a perceived lack of value in these tools. Collect use cases and highlight them to all members as examples of what the potential is. And remember, the use cases vary from person to person, so you're going to need a fairly robust library of them to reach the critical mass of your audience. Don't overpromise what the community can do, either. Be realistic when identifying and presenting the value proposition and make sure you can demonstrate it.
  • Set expectations/guidelines for use: Members want to know what they can do with the tool. Focus on the positive things they can do and achieve. Don't give them a list of all of the things they cannot do right out of the gate. Instead, take it case-by-case and address any items of concern as they come up, and then put them into your best practices. Trust people to do the right thing.
  • Model the behaviors you wish to see: One of the best ways to demonstrate to your members what they can do is by doing it yourself. Model the behaviors, use cases, actions that they can take and demonstrate in real life what they can do with the tool, how they can interact with others, and what they can accomplish. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

 

Please share your thoughts or commentary on what I've shared, and also what has or hasn't worked for you? And, how have you dealt with that?

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Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

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A look back at the Intranet Insider World Tour 2010

Communitelligence I had a great time a few weeks back now at the Intranet Insider World Tour 2010 in NYC presented by Communitelligence and hosted by the folks at Con Edison headquarters, right in the heart of Union Square. A group of hand-selected folks presented on their endeavors to introduce social intranets and social collaboration into their organizations, some farther along in the process, but all of us there to learn and share. It was a fantastic feeling to be among such kindred peers.

There were a lot of case studies, best practices, and general findings presented from the likes of companies such as Intel, Alcatel-Lucent, ESPN (owned by The Walt Disney Company), Intranet Benchmarking Forum, General Electric, Peppercom, Deloitte, and many others. And many, if not all, of the companies present faced the same challenges, successes, and questions as to what to tackle next to continue to meet the needs of their stakeholders who are, in many cases, ready to try out each new kind of tool that comes out before the organization can even get it fully implemented.

One thing is for certain – everyone at this conference was there to share and learn from one another. It was evident from all of the speakers that things in this area move at the speed of lightning in terms of new technology and their employees’ interest in the new tools and technologies. This also presents one of the major challenges that every organization faces is that if they don’t introduce the social collaboration tools as new things come to market – if the organization cannot get these tools deployed quickly to meet the needs of their employees and embrace the use of social collaboration tools, the employees will find ways to get to the tools they need to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

There really are two choices – the organization embraces the tools and incorporates them as a part of their standard toolset, or employees will embrace them outside of the organization. Not a good thing in the eyes of most organizations, which is why every organization at the conference had recognized the need to drive forward the use of social collaboration tools within the organization.

A few themes resonated with me during the conference that I wanted to share with you:

Checklistgr

  • Social collaborative tools are becoming more and more a requirement as a part of the suite of tools available to employees
  • The forward-looking companies that are able to successfully use social collaboration tools do so both behind the firewall as well as outside of the firewall
  • Companies must embrace a model of listening - both internally and externally - in order to have a full picture of the information and feedback about the organization
  • Companies must embrace both the positive and the negative sentiments that are shared, and develop a trusting relationship with their employees and stakeholders by responding to both positive and negative feedback
  • Employees and external stakeholders expect a bi-directional communications model with companies, and companies that do not embrace that (i.e. continue to broadcast, even on social channels) will find themselves at a disadvantage
  • Employees are more insistent than ever that they need to have an opportunity to contribute their own knowledge to the organization, as well as seek knowledge from the larger audience outside of their immediate work group or organization
  • Collaborative intranets do indeed increase employee satisfaction, productivity and the feeling of contributing to the organization, as well as a feeling of knowing more about the organization and the direction it’s headed
  • Listening to employees and identifying tools that meet their needs and use cases is critical to the successful implementation of these tools, as well as continued adoption and use
  • Employees will find a way to use collaborative tools to do their jobs, whether or not you incorporate them as a part of your suite of employee tools and arm them with the knowledge to use them successfully
  • Multimedia such as video, podcasts and photos are becoming increasingly desired types of content in the fast-paced work environments that we are all in
  • Mobility is key – employees are increasingly demanding that the information they used to consume in a static website experience be more mobile and accessible to them in their preferred format, at their preferred location and at a time that is convenient to them

Gone are the days of one-way pushed content where employees are strictly consumers of a corporate message, and here are the days where employees demand the ability to contribute to the organizational “memory” and history of the organization and its successes and failures.

All in all, I had a great time at the conference, and am looking forward to continuing the conversation with all the wonderful new folks I met!

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 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas

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Social Media is key at the 100 largest Fortune 500 Companies - A Burson-Marsteller White Paper Review

Burson-Marsteller White Paper "The Global Social Media Check Up"I read a very interesting white paper this week “The Global Social Media Check Up” by the folks at Burson-Marsteller, a global PR and communications firm, regarding a study they did assessing social media use at the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index, and it was very good news indeed, which is why I’m sharing it with you!

 

They start off with a quote that I completely agree with: 

Start_quote It is time for companies to embrace, not fear, emerging media. There is no other way to remain competitive.

Global Companies Using at Least One Social Media Platform - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Their study takes a look at these companies use of specific social media tools – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs – all things that I evangelize for and develop use cases, best practices and guiding principles at EMC, so this study was of keen interest to me.  Amazingly, of the companies included in the study, a whopping 79% of them are engaging in at least one of the social media platforms mentioned previously!  

Percentage of Fortune Global 100 Companies with... - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up"


Corporate Blogs

What did surprise me about the study was that only one-third of the companies were using corporate blogs to reach their audience. This number was much lower than my expectation for blog engagement, although if one takes into account the time and effort commitment to sustain a blog, it’s not such a surprise. Still, I was thinking the number would be at least 50% of companies, if not higher. The other surprising corporate blog statistic for me was that the utilization of corporate blogs is higher in the Asia-Pacific companies at a rate of 50% of the companies having blogs, than the 34% in the U.S.

Corporate Responses and Retweets - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Twitter

Twice as many companies overall use Twitter to engage with their audience, which is not all that surprising to me, as Twitter is relatively easy to sustain given character limits – short and sweet is easier than what’s expected (although certainly not required) for lengthier blog posts.

The beautiful revelation about Twitter use is that companies are responding and retweeting others and engaging in genuine dialogue. It’s all too easy for a company to simply use Twitter as nothing more than another broadcast channel without actually retweeting or engaging with their followers, but the study shows that is not the case with these companies! Yay!

What I would like to see across these companies is a more balanced reciprocation of following those that follow them on Twitter. In their summary deck (embedded below) Burson-Marsteller states “[companies] are taking the initiative to follow others, building a more symbiotic relationship with Twitter users” but I do not think that companies are where they need to be with this. Unfortunately, the companies were following less than half of the people that were following them, which still shows a bit of a bias towards a one-way relationship – a huge opportunity for improvement, in my opinion.

The neat thing is that of the companies using Twitter, forty-two percent of them are being tweeted about by others, so there’s clearly an interest in engaging with companies on Twitter.

Start_quote The study demonstrates… that simple, responsible engagement in social media can reap big rewards in building relationships with stakeholders online.

Facebook Fans - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Facebook

Over half of the companies surveyed are using Facebook Fan Pages as a way to engage with their audiences. Again, I would have thought this number would be higher, but what it tells me is that Facebook is still facing the challenge of overcoming the perception that it’s not a business tool or is “just for college kids.”

What is neat to see though, is that 43% of the Fan Pages out there had posts from fans – so when the fans are there, nearly half of them are posting, and considering that the fan page average for these companies is 40,884 (wow!) – this is total goodness!

Companies with YouTube Channels - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" YouTube

YouTube is a popular venue for sharing content and engaging with stakeholders, with 50% of the companies having a YouTube channel and several hundred subscribers. Shockingly, the average number of views per channel is nearly 39,000 and over half of the channels have comments from viewers! That’s much higher than I would have guessed, and tells me that we are not utilizing YouTube as much as should be at EMC.

Renegade Accounts

I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw that most companies have multiple accounts on each of the social media tools, but that the averages were so much lower than our totals on each of these platforms – 4.2 Twitter accounts, 2.1 Facebook Fan Pages, 1.6 YouTube Channels, and 4.2 corporate blogs. Oh, how I wish that our numbers were that low!

The study also indicates that it was sometimes hard to determine which accounts were “official” accounts versus which accounts were rogue accounts. As Burson-Marsteller indicates, this is incredibly problematic for someone looking to engage with a company on any social platform and encountering many accounts, some even duplicate – the risk is that the person could get misinformation from a non-official account and/or just get frustrated and not try to engage with the company via social media. This only serves to re-emphasize the importance of the work we’re doing now to step back, inventory, and evaluate all of our existing social media presences and re-engineer where we can.

In conclusion

I found this study to be very interesting and informative, and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting a better view into the social media activities of the largest Fortune Global 500. It was a great way to sanity check my own thinking, as well as reinforce existing areas in need of much attention and improvement.

While only 20% of the companies are using all 4 platforms simultaneously, I still think this number is full of hope. There is opportunity to integrate the platforms with other social media platforms, as well as more traditional forms of media, such as press releases. Our strategy from the beginning has always been that social media activities cannot live in isolation, and this study supports our strategy:

Start_quote No single social media tool can stand on its own. For a company that wants a truly effective communications strategy, leveraging multiple social media tools for their individual strengths is required.

The end of the white paper offers invaluable advice that all companies thinking of engaging in social media must take into account to be successful:

  1. Monitor your own – and competitors – social media presence
  2. Get top management “buy in”
  3. Develop a social media strategy
  4. Define and publish a social media policy
  5. Develop internal structure
  6. Contribute to the community
  7. Participate in the good times and in bad
  8. Be prepared to respond in real time
  9. Beyond monitoring, measure the impact of social media engagement

Check out their summary slide deck (full report linked above):

Global Social Media Checkup

View more presentations from Burson-Marsteller.

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EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study Webinar

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing EMC's Enterprise 2.0 story with a large group of webinar attendees.

I tried to cover the whole gammit of topics from our journey. They include:

  • Tools and Milestones
  • The Business Case
  • Getting Buy-In
  • Dealing with the Critics
  • User Adoption
  • Moderation Process
  • Creating Communities
  • Training and Education
  • Benefits
  • Defining Success
  • EMC's Key Ingredients

Here are the slides from the presentation. I'll post audio as soon as it's available.

EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study Webinar for The 2.0 Adoption Council & Newsgator

View more presentations from Jamie Pappas.

Thanks to EMC (of course!) for giving me such a great job that has enabled me to create such a wonderful story to tell! Thanks also to The 2.0 Adoption Council for all of the wonderful opportunities they provide, including being able to participate in webinars such as this one! Thanks to Newsgator for sponsoring The 2.0 Adoption Council webinar series, and providing the opportunity for many of us to share our stories. Finally, thanks to Jive Software for their great product and supporting us along our journey.

Check out the first two webinar presentations, as well!

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The "Before" (Click for audio replay)

Featuring Bruce Galinsky from MetLife, Anu Elmer from Swiss Re, and Greg Lowe from Alcatel-Lucent

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The Before

View more presentations from The 2.0 Adoption Council.

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The "After"  (Click for audio replay)

Featuring Claire Flanagan from CSC, Megan Murray from Booz Allen Hamilton, and Kevin Jones from Dynetics

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The After

View more presentations from The 2.0 Adoption Council.

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Please, share your journey - have you seen some common themes? Some common challenges? Some common success?

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Engage. Evangelize. Empower. The 2.0 Adoption Council is waiting for you!

The 2.0 Adoption Council  You might have heard about the 2.0 Adoption Council from any one of our nearly 100 members who’ve joined thus far, or you might have noticed the logo right here on the left rail of my blog. I’ve had the pleasure of being among the very first group of internal 2.0 evangelists to come together and help one another by sharing ideas, tips, tricks and best practices for what it is we do every single day – evangelize the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 and enterprise collaboration and networking technologies (think communities, wikis, blogs, discussion forums, microblogging, etc.) and share with our enterprise organizations the benefits of exploring these tools and technologies to connect employees, change and improve business processes, and open up information that’s critical to the organization’s long-term success.

Member Benefits  What are the benefits of membership?

All of our members are all involved directly in developing and executing strategy for their organizations.  This means that we get to directly converse and collaborate with people doing exactly what we’re doing. I cannot stress enough the power of being able to discuss, share and ask questions of people focused on the same things that I am working on day in and day out.

As Andrew McAfee said at Enterprise 2.0 in San Francisco back in November, being an evangelist can be a lonely job because you’re often the only person or one of only a few who are in the role of an evangelist and you’re often in a situation where you’re sharing ideas, best practices, and benefits with folks who are not quite there yet in terms of seeing Enterprise 2.0 as a critical component of the future success of the organization. Having a network of peers to talk with and bounce ideas off of is just immensely helpful and refreshing.

We are a well-recognized group of thought leaders. Even in our short time since creation by Enterprise 2.0 expert Susan Scrupski (aka ITSinsider), we have received quite a bit of positive industry recognition by folks such as Andrew McAfee, Dion Hinchcliffe, Gil Yehuda, Dan Keldsen and Carl Frappaolo of Information Architected, and many others. We were also a research partner for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Francisco and members have been interviewed by publications such as BusinessWeek, CIOZone, IDC, and The Economist.

We have access to and demonstrations from a wide variety of vendors and experts in the Enterprise 2.0 space. We’re often the first to know, or among the first to know about new products and services being offered, and are often offered access to the products to test them out and see what we think. We also schedule regular calls and discussions with industry experts in the Enterprise 2.0 space to ask them our toughest questions and learn from them first-hand. I can’t say that I’ve ever had the opportunity to chat with so many experts and learn from so many folks that have gone before me, before now.

We publish ground-breaking industry research. We are committed to collaborating on and publishing research from the Council members’ knowledge and experiences. You can check out our latest report on our site, and order a copy of it if interested. I highly recommend it!

So, are you interested yet?

2.0 Adoption Council Member Testimonials  If all of this hasn’t been enough to encourage you to join us, check out our member testimonials:

I’m proud to be a member of The 2.0 Adoption Council because it provides me with an opportunity to connect with and have meaningful conversation with peers from all over the world facing the same challenges that I am on a daily basis. I’m able to tap into the Council at a moment’s notice, and ask for opinions, experience and assistance with a wide variety of topics and receive practical advice from my peers. I’m also able to share my own experiences in the hopes that they’ll help others along their own journey. I’m honored to be a part of the Council and the experience it provides.

Jamie Pappas, Manager, Social Media Strategy, EMC Corporation

 

Membership in The 2.0 Adoption Council is a must for any professional responsible for internal social computing. The ability to connect with smart people across the industry has been invaluable to me.

Laurie Buczek, Social Computing Program Manager, Intel Corporation

 

In just a few short weeks my network of colleagues and experts who share the same passion and focus that I do in the Enterprise 2.0 space has expanded exponentially. For the first time I no longer feel isolated behind our firewall wondering how others are dealing with the challenges I might have. In just a few weeks, I have already been able to benchmark best practices and case studies with a few members, an activity which has directly benefited me in the next stage in our internal deployment. I find the members all wanting to help and engage, making it a great source for real exchange and support.

Claire Flanagan, Sr. Manager, KM and Enterprise Social Software Strategy, CSC Corporation

 

Being a member of The 2.0 Adoption Council immediately paid off by expanding my network of knowledgeable and experienced internal community/social media professionals. Now I have that many more people to collaborate with regarding decisions and questions we’re faced with daily.

Matthew Ladin, Corporate Social Networking Chief Evangelist/Technical Lead, Texas Instruments

 

It’s only been 3 weeks but if first impressions are any indication, this is going to be a very valuable group for me. I think the opportunity for regular, informal contact through social cast and then the yammer platform is a great way to bring us together. I’ve enjoyed the discussion throughout the day and the opportunities available to learn from each other as we navigate these new waters. I look forward to expanding my participation and expanding the relationships that are budding….Thanks!

Jim Worth, Director MRL II, Merck Research Labs

 

I go to conferences, I Twitter, I Yammer, I’ve got friends and colleagues in Facebook, Ning and LinkedIn, but I didn’t have a virtual community of like-minded, focused and creative people looking to drive the 2.0 mantra throughout their organization, be it through culture, education, collaboration, technology or leadership. The 2.0 Adoption Council has become that place for me and the intellectual competence and idea exchange is second to none.

Dan Pontefract, Senior Director, Learning & Collaboration, TELUS

 

I am proud to be part of The 2.0 Adoption Council because of the network of knowledgeable peers in this space. We are all engaged with helping to make E20 successful in our organizations which bonds us. Our work in enhancing adoption is new territory and it’s exciting to be in the midst of this thinking, learning, strategizing and sharing of experiences.

Mary Maida, Information Solutions Manager, Medtronic, Inc.


The 2.0 Adoption Council has been a godsend for me. When I first opted in I was giddy at the idea of having others commiserate with and bounce ideas off of. It quickly became very clear that we had more answers than I’ve ever heard from a stage or an online event. It taps right into the strength of conference events; we get to have the hallway discussion every day if we like. We can drill down and talk about the realities of challenges, change, tools, and how to navigate these uncharted waters.

Megan Murray, Community Manager, Project Coordinator, Booz Allen Hamilton

 

Being a member of The 2.0 Adoption Council has given me a peer organization to share my challenges and my successes. I always find someone who is willing to help me out when I hit an issue that I have not dealt with before. The advice and expertise I receive is an invaluable resource for implementing collaborative solutions within my company. The team spirit and camaraderie of the council is well represented in everything we do from Demo Thursdays, to Guru Q&A, to exploring and evaluating new tools. I can’t thank my fellow members enough for the value that I take away each and every day.

Greg Lowe, Social Media Architect/Program Manager, Alcatel-Lucent

So, what are you waiting for? Join us