digital strategy, strategy, thought leadership

#SoMeNite – an evening exploratory on social media’s maturation.

Once every few months @RickWolfe and I host a #SoMeNite; a night of exploration around Social Media’s maturity.

It started off as an effort to gain industry input into the development of an open sourced framework for accessing an organizations’ maturity in social media.  Though the framework has been well received and adapted/modified by the fine folks participating in our round tables, it has also become a conversational spring board for the most recent, topical issues that businesses face in social media.

Open Source Social Media Maturity Chart

I couldn’t possibly cover the entire discussion, but I can share some interesting themes:

  • Can you imagine the death of facebook? google, etc
  • How do you drive social thru the organization?
  • Related to this, the issue of restricted social media access within an enterprise.  [see @schnitzelboy’s post – about the restricted use of social media within the enterprise — “What Star Wars teaches us about Social Media at work”]
  • The difficulty in managing social media and employees participation within it (@EdLynne states – what of organizations with 32, 000 employees?)
  • The importance of including social aspects to product builds – as @simonsmith stated – angel investors will not invest in anything that does not have a social component.
  • The idea that some people / some brands are not “‘social by nature”  (e.g. health brands that consumers rely on anonymous search not social for learning)
  • Does social jump the cue in customer service?
  • A beautiful comment by @xsabaa on whether or not we would pay a premium for an anonymous profile.
  • @xsabaa also commented on the existence of brand fear as the consumer is sometimes a bully in social.
  • And did you know that it takes only 25 letters to move legislation? via @judyforce
  • Managing a community – with insight from @tanyasays
    • the multiple administrators issue
    • the explosion of social networks to manage but social media marketing teams have stayed the same size
    • the need for brands to go into the messy personal territory within social (lovely idea from @xsabaa)
    • role of the ^ – moderator identifier within community management
  • And – within our evening attendees, some agreement that the term “maturity” is premature in describing social media..  [consistent with an earlier #SoMeNite – Is it premature to talk about social media maturity?
About @RickWolfe:  Rick, of, is a specialist in digital conversation (which is to say he creates the right environment for an exploratory conversation that results in meaningful, fresh, and exciting insights).   Thank you Rick!
digital strategy, metrics, social networks, speaker, strategy

What’s holding brands back from becoming social: staffing & measurement

The future of social media is in the shift from ‘doing social’ to ‘being social’.

Today – there are many owners of social media, let alone digital, within an organization.  Social media forces marketing, PR, customer service, and other departments to work together.

When you get many owners of social, the business starts to understand how social plays an intimate role in what they do.  That social is a behavior, a philosophy, a new way of operating and not a simple tactic –  that social evolves from a function to a discipline.   When business understand this, they will shift.

Employees will become digital citizens, its experts surfaced to its consumers, and act socially on an enterprise level.

But the pathway to becoming social is held back for two major reasons:

1.  Social media is relegated to a junior person on the marketing and PR team.

Importantly, I’m not trying to undermine what often is a passionate, intelligent,  social savvy crusader.   Social moves forward in a companies due to a crusader, a crisis or executive level support.   But that said, the crusader method of organizational change is a rare one.

My rant — as a result of a junior appointment,  these social media leaders deal with rounding error budgets, may have engagement that is more damaging to the brand than helpful.  They focus on tactics not strategies  (Should I advertise on Linkedin?, I have followers on foursquare, now what do I do?.. you know the situation).  They are operational players and may not even be responsible for strategy.  They often measure the wrong things.

When you understand that the future of social is becoming a social brand – you see that the number of digital owners must increase.  There will be required alignment to strategies and plans.  Cross functional leadership puts a heavy load on a junior social media individual.   These social media specialists are promoted to their level of incompetence.

2. People measure the wrong things in social media
I’m a pretty harsh critic when it comes to measurement.  I believe measurement is a systemic, abominable situation in most organizations.  Really.

When I measure for success, I focus on  4-5 different categories.  Market, Recruitment, Engagement and Conversion/ Monetization.

  • Recruitment, or traffic includes the volume and size of your social presence, your rate of growth, hopefully compared to the industry.
  • Engagement typically includes metrics that measure the level of interaction between your customers and your content and/or own community management.   You can dive deeper into analyzing influencers, etc.
  • Conversion represents a focus on moving customers to action.  You can include or separate out monetization metrics.  [I like separating then – consider relabeling KPI – key performance indicators to key purchase indicators – it gives focus to what metric individuals are looking for]
  • Other – where I can, I like cross reference metrics to validate the integrity of the data.. but I digress.

The problem with much of the social media success metrics – is traffic is the domain that people stay in.  They don’t broaden to look past traffic to engagement and conversion metrics.  They only measure, and so are only concerned with, 1/3 of their success.    These tend to be the same people who don’t believe SoMe can deliver ROI.  Well no wonder.

This was the crux of a recent keynote I delivered at IBM’s Retail Fall Showcase recently, invited by retail futurist, former colleague and friend @drodgerson – sharing the stage with two very impressive gods – deep analytical genius @eeksock and global retail emerging tech deep sme @smarterretail.   I was grateful to be honest with a crowd of 200 retailers/ibmers on my frustrations.   My full presentation is available from my linkedin profile – through slideshare.. [linked above].  Presentations from the event are also available.

social networks, speaker

Speaking on social media – upcoming events

I’ve been asked to speak at a variety of upcoming events – and while this may make for a stale post, this post is intended for many of my linkedin connections who have asked what seminars are coming up…

*free* February 25th, 2 – 5pm – “Harnessing the Power of Social Media” – although a better title would be ‘Using Social Media in your Job Search‘.

About once every 6-8 weeks, I teach newcomers to Canada and other people in job transition how to use social media for personal networking.  I help people build powerful linkedin profiles, understand what recruiters look for and how to protect privacy in an increasingly public social space.   I am delighted that I will be co-presenting with Emmanuel Lopez, a.k.a. the Motivator Man, who shows people how movies and social media can energize careers, business and life.

*free virtual* March 9th, 10am – Social Media Marketing Summit, BrightTALK.  “Engaging!  Bringing Social Media to a World Festival

A behind the scenes tale of the success and lessons learned from strategizing, engaging and becoming the voice behind the social networking initiatives of one of Ontario’s top festivals…

I am honoured to be on the roster for this virtual conference.  I’m rubbing virtual shoulders with many international speakers from companies like SAP, Linkedin, Cisco and Intel.

March 24th, 6:30pm – “The E-volution of Marketing: Does Your Online Business Presence Matter?“, The Canadian Netherlands Business Professionals Association.

The CNBPA assists Canadians in exploring their Dutch connections in the GTA by offering progressive events around learning and connecting in a professional and entrepreneurial business context.  This Fireside Chat is moderated by Darryl Konynenbelt, from the Global Toronto News Hour Team.  I will be joining three other e-marketers including Tedde van Gelderen, President, Akendi, Justin Stockman, Director of Marketing MuchMusic, MTV, MuchMore and Court Elliot, Communications Manager, Philips Canada.

March 30th, 3:30pm –  Plenary session on Social Media Marketing at the Aboriginal Business Forum, hosted by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

Thank you Kai Elmer Sotto from Facebook Canada who recommend me as a speaker at this exciting forum.

“Social media marketers will explore recent developments in technology,  and how these advances allow cross-purpose effectiveness and speed to reach organizational goals… more..”  Moderated by David Allison, shared with Erin Bury, Sprouter and potentially Leona Hobbs, Social Media Today.