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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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A little social media marketing helps EMC Break Records

EMC Breaks Records

Last week, in case you hadn’t heard, EMC launched a record 41 products. You can view the Record Breakers simulcast replay on EMC.com, if you’d like. But, I’m not here to talk to you too much about the product side of things – I’m no product expert although I think that there are some awesome new products out there from EMC. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the social media side of things that went very well, and that I’m extremely proud of. It’s also a demonstration of how well things can go when you have the passion and drive to move them forward, budget or no budget.

How things came together

Pre-Event: January 3 – January 17

First off, we started out with a direct mailer of “broken record puzzles” to key folks around the industry. The feedback was positive on these, and the intent was twofold – 1) Invite them personally to the Record Breaking event on January 18th, and 2) Encourage them to tell others about it in the hopes that their networks would also be interested in the event and accompanying announcements – this is WOM (word of mouth) marketing at its best! (Photos courtesy of Michael Cote)

Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327583777/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327584807/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235196/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235628/in/photostream/

EMCCorp Facebook Challenge Close on the heels of the puzzle, we launched a nifty little Facebook game to drive awareness and encourage fans (yes, I still call them fans!) to break their own records! It’s still up there if you’d like to give it a whirl. Warning: It’s rather addictive!

At the same time, we launched a couple of viral videos on EMC’s YouTube channel, which have accumulated over 700,000 views between the two of them, and successfully drove registration to the EMC event.

All this time, we were also tweeting about the event using a common hashtag - #EMCBreaksRecords - to drive awareness, registration and buzz. We were sharing the videos, making folks aware of the game, and also tweeting world records that had been previously broken – asking them in the form of questions in the morning to gain responses, and giving the answer at the end of the day.

I should also mention a practice that has worked very well for us to keep EMC employees around the globe in the loop of our activities in the social space, as well as enable them to join in on the activities in a consistent and measurable fashion – “social media activation kits.” These kits contain a high level overview of the program at hand, as well as links to content and collateral (both traditional and social), tracking links, hashtags, suggested tweets/posts, social hubs and just about anything else you can imagine to participate in a truly organized social marketing campaign. These are hosted the internal employee community that I used to manage, EMC|ONE – now thoughtfully managed and curated by our own community manager extraordinaire, Michelle Lavoie. Michelle was kind enough to host a front and center widget on the home page to drive further awareness of the activation kit, as well as the overall social media plan for the launch.

In-Event: January 18

The tweeting continued around things that were going on during the simulcast – EMC actually arranged to break a couple of world records with the folks at Guinness during the event. I’ve shared the videos of each within this post – check them out.

 

#EMCBreaksRecords The tweeting during the event also resulted in EMC’s first ever trending topic on Twitter across the entire United States. Last may, we reached trending in Boston for EMC World 2010 – but this is the first U.S.-wide achievement – so you could say we set a record in social media, as well!

EMC Community Network Also, for the first time ever, we held a live Q&A session within our own EMC Community Network. Envisioned and championed by the folks on the ECN team – this was the company’s first ever live simultaneous Q&A session – so another record for us, in a matter of speaking!

Also, the day of launch, our super stellar EMC Blogroll of subject matter experts along with other industry folks produced over 40 blog posts released on the day of the launch, further generating buzz, awareness and affinity for the EMC brand.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, at the end of the day, it means that social media engagement played a critical role in generating awareness and buzz about EMC’s most important and most impactful launch!! Here are a few key statistics and milestones:

  • 1,000+ Broken Records Mailed out to key influencers >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, and ultimately registrations for the event
  • EMC’s first Facebook game generated 80,000+ tab views and over 6,500 new fans of the EMC Facebook page >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, event registration and increased our social audience and the potential realm of our future conversations with these enthusiasts
  • Thanks to our viral videos, EMC’s YouTube channel was ranked #55 in the Gurus Category on YouTube >> increased awareness, buzz, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The #EMCBreaksRecords hashtag achieved trending status across the entire U.S. during the event on January 18th with over 1,500 tweets across multiple geographies around the world! >> increased awareness, buzz generation, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The EMC Community Network attracted new users to the community with the live Q&A –in fact, 42% of the visitors that day were new users to the ECN! >> Increased awareness, affinity and exclusive access to the subject matter experts people wanted to talk to the most!
  • EMC bloggers, as well as other bloggers generated over 40 blog posts on the launch >> generating buzz, awareness, and access to the SMEs on the topics surrounding the launch, as well as the products announced.
  • All of this amounted to thousands of mentions in the social space – blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and shares, and industry articles amount to an uber-magnified awareness of EMC and the company’s offerings, messaging and plans for 2011. Heck, even our stock price reached one of the highest points in the past 10 years.

Up Next?

With all that activity and success, you might be wondering what’s next – how will we keep the momentum going?

RBTour1

The EMC Record Breaking Tour, of course! You’ll be able to follow the tour drivers around the world as they make stops, break records, and demo all the latest and greatest from EMC! You can follow the drivers on the Twitter account we set up for them, and keep an eye out for the Record Breaking Tour blog coming soon! There will also be Facebook components, and an invite to all EMC customers, partners, and enthusiasts to share their own record breaking moments!

I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter holds!

 

 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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My Social Media Christmas Wishlist

In the spirit of the holiday season, and in the spirit of reflection on the past year, I thought I'd compile my social media wish list for 2011. These things will not only make my job easier, I think they'll improve the overall impact of social media. 


Facebookglobe Analytics! Analytics! Analytics! It's still more painful that it ought to be at this point to both gather analytics from social media and community sites, and to integrate them into existing BI systems. I would love the ability to more easily not only gather analytics in an intelligible format from the sites we use for business - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, EMC Community Network - but also the ability to more easily track how these sites are driving traffic, leads or even increasing SEO. Right now, Facebook is way ahead of the pack with their analytics, in my opinion, but it's still very difficult to tie any of our activity on Facebook back to our internal systems for more analysis. 


Anyone have any good suggestions on how to do this? What are you doing now for analytics? Is it still manual, or have you been able to automate to some extent?


Deliciousglobe A Social Media Budget! While we've taken major strides in becoming a part of corporate communications at EMC, we still have to beg, borrow, and steal to do any sort of compelling social activity - a cool video, an infographic, data visualizations, playbooks, etc. You name it, and I want it because we have a business need. Unfortunately, lots of folks still have the notion that "this social stuff is free" -- you and I both know it's not, so I'm looking forward to the day when social gets a line item in the budget for specialized marketing programs, and I'm looking forward to the day when I have a budget to do things better, faster, smarter, and in a way that makes them exponentially bigger and more compelling for those "everyday activities," as well.


Twitterglobe A one-size-fits-all monitoring tool! It still troubles me that we have to have many different monitoring stations set up to catch all the stuff going on in the social space, all the mentions of our brand, all those conversations we're interested in keeping up with and participating in. There are tools that are good for snapshots over a period of time - we use them. There are tools that are good for real time monitoring - we use them. There are tools that are good for seeing trends over time - we use them. There are tools for analytics and numbers - we use them. There are tools for tracking sentiment - we use them. Why can't I find a tool that does all of this for me? Sigh. I'll keep wishing on this one. And I'm almost inclined to move it to number 1!!


Diggglobe A way to keep track of all my social activity, or the activity of those I want to follow - all in one place. For those of us that have way too many social accounts, it's hard to keep track of folks, and who's where, and what they're doing, and what they're not doing, and...I could go on and on. Point here is that there's no easy way for me to just check in to see what's going on in the social world and see if I want to jump in. I have to login to my different accounts, check on my friends and network, nearly independently in each of them - even after all this time. Why, oh why, hasn't there been more done to integrate the primary tools together to give people the option of a social snapshot? 


Flickrglobe Friend Synchronicity. Following closely on the idea above - I want a button that finds all my friends, on any social network that I belong to, and enables me to connect with them on all of them at once, if I so choose. It's so hard when folks are are multiple networks and don't even use the same user name on them all - to find the people I want to stay connected with, where I want to stay connected. Where's my magic button to find them and connect to them in all of those places? 

 

Rssglobe More folks dedicated to social media strategy in their org or geo - full-time. Over three years into the "official" social journey and I still see folks only doing social media strategy part-time in their roles, and only because they've expressed an interest in doing so and have risen to the occasion. If we're ever going to be in a position to truly execute a synchronized social media strategy, I need a virtual army of full-time folks living within the business units and geos to help take things to the next level. We need to get folks out of the mindset that social media strategy is a "nice to have" and elevate it to the integrated and critical status deserving of serious marketing and communications efforts. And we need a team of folks who are able to focus on doing so!


Stumbleglobe Social Spamming Policing. I wish there were more attention paid to all the spammers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, pick your tool. Where do those notices go when I flag someone's content as spam? It seems they float around in cyberspace, and never actually prevent the person from doing the same thing a bazillion more times. This request is probably a never-ending battle, but seriously - there's gotta be something that can be done to stop the bikini babes on Twitter from harrassing me with "get a million followers in a day" ads or the faceless stalkers on Facebook from posting the latest "get rich quick" schemes onto my Facebook pages. 


Youtubeglobe Less emphasis on consultants and more emphasis on practitioners. Anyone who knows me knows this is a hot button. I am routinely shocked and disappointed that so much emphasis is placed on people who consult in social media and community, but have never actually managed a community, served as a community manager, driven adoption within an organization, or made a post to a company account in their lives. I wish, very much, that we start seeing more balance in this world in that we elevate the practitioners - the folks that have actually done all of the above and then some - to the same level that we seem to worship the folks that talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. It's nothing personal - really. I just sincerely hope that we get to a place where we value practitioners as much, if not  more, than folks who've never done the stuff. 

 

Technoratiglobe4 More collaboration. Every week we have new accounts cropping up - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, you name it. While I love the passion and enthusiasm of the folks that decide to take that leap and get engaged in social media, I am a firm believer that less is more in the social space. Too many accounts are confusing and frustrating to our stakeholders. Fewer accounts makes it easier to stay engaged with us, know when it really is us, and keep up with the latest and greatest. My hope is that in 2011, we see more teams collaborating on accounts together than wishing to own a little slice of the digital universe and continuing to spin up new accounts. 


How about you? What would be on your social media wishlist? 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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Understanding Human Organizational & Social Behavior in an Unusual Way– A Chat with Ben Waber of the MIT Media Lab

Ben Waber, Courtesy of http://web.media.mit.edu/~bwaber/  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in on one of the free EMC Research Cambridge Lectures with guest lecturer Ben Waber of the MIT Media Lab Human Dynamics Group regarding the group’s research on human behavior and human dynamics using wearable sensing technology called “sociometric badges” (see image).

Sociometric Badge, Courtesy of http://hd.media.mit.edu/badges/ The sociometric badges are equipped with infrared sensors to determine if interactions are face-to-face, a wireless radio to determine proximity, an accelerometer that can track movement including walking, running, sitting, body gestures, body mimicry, boredom, and even bluffing, and a microphone that doesn’t record actual words, but from vibrations can pick up on tone, speaking speed, intonation, persuasiveness, influence, and interest level.

The goal of their research is to truly understand how social signals, both conscious and unconscious, affect people, particularly within their work lives and social spheres at work, and how understanding these signals might lead to better or different communications, increased work performance and productivity, and even greater job satisfaction among employees.

Honest Signals CoverBen’s group, led by Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland (who has out a fascinating new book on the group's work - "Honest Signals") has conducted several studies at large organizations, and based on my observations during the lecture, a few things continually come forward:

  • Social support networks are a major factor in job satisfaction
  • Social collaboration and network cohesion generates greater productivity
  • Little changes, such as taking a break together, can have large positive effects
  • Face-to-face interaction is a core component of developing the strongest of social networks
  • Information shared via face-to-face social interactions is often different than information shared via email
  • In at least one study, one-standard-deviation increase in network cohesion equaled a 10% increase in productivity; in other words, collaboration equals productivity

The group’s research is of particular interest to me, given my focus on social media and social networking as tools that can aide in business process change, information exchange, complex problem-solving, networking and collaboration, and an increased sense of belonging for an organization’s employees that use social business tools as a way to do their jobs.

I do believe that their work can translate nicely to social media and social networking tools, in at least some form or fashion. I think it’s particularly relevant in the network’s contributions to your overall job satisfaction. The elements of social media and social networking that I believe have the strongest potential to increase job satisfaction include:

  • a greater sense of feeling connected to the organization and its strategy
  • opportunities to help solve complex problems
  • greater ease in solving your own problems
  • increasing  your knowledge in areas of interest
  • sharing your own knowledge and expertise and having it recognized by your network
  • intrinsic rewards and self-satisfaction that come from helping others
  • the opportunity to network with a group of like-minded individuals one can relate to

I could go on and on...the research being done at the MIT Media Lab is fascinating to me, and I see it applying on so many levels – both in-person as well as online – when it comes to the things that help people to feel a sense of belonging and satisfaction. I love the notion of enabling people to have real-time feedback in order to even further their understanding of themselves and their network and its full potential! Looking forward to hearing more from this group on their work!

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Jamie 

Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: http://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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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