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Yesterday on my Twitter stream I see Ford ’s social media guy, @ScottMonty , ask a fellow Twitterer the name of a Ford dealer with whom she was having an issue. She responded with the dealer’s name and Scott thanked her. What likely happened next is that Scott asked someone at Ford to contact the dealer to find a way to solve this customer’s problem. That’s what social media can do for a business.
Real-Time Responsibilities (fully transparent and disclosed) of a New Media team could include: Content Producers – Creates content necessary for client/company interaction with customers, peers and influencers, including videos, images, Web pages, blog posts, policies and guidelines, tweets, wikis, comments, online experiences, profiles, etc. In many cases, connectors and industry experts/strategists wear this hat and assign the creation of important content to either content producers, other members on the team with direct experience, or simply produce it themselves. Digital Sociologists – Observes the cultures, trends, behavior, associated with communities, networks, forums and compares the interactivity around keywords and brands to contribute to engagement strategies, customer service policies and improvements and product modifications. Digital Ethnographers – Ethnography is the branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures. For those projects where a deep study of online culture and communities is critical, an ethnographer is ideal for documenting a descriptive study of a particular human society. As ethnography is based almost entirely on fieldwork, this role usually lives and interacts with the people who are the subject of study. Research Librarians – Complements or augments in house or contract sociologists by analyzing relevant keywords used by customers, listening to and documenting conversations by content and sentiment, charting volume and frequency within social networks, identification and analysis of true influencers and tastemakers across media, blogs, and social communities, and presents data and charts for analysis by strategists. Community Managers – Listens to conversations in social networks, forums, and the blogosphere documented by research librarians or through their own process, assigns relevant dialogue to appropriate team leads, manages the workflow and response status, and in most cases is the first line of response. Digital or Social Architects – Digital or social architects are responsible for building the online bridges between company brand and consumers via widgets, sites, online dashboards, blogs, social newsrooms, social media releases, wikis, social networks, fan pages, forums, groups, and any other application, platform, or group responsible for hosting content, conversations, and interactivity. Connectors – Informed individuals and teams that can connect stories to influencers and inspire activity, direction, and conversations. Connectors act based on intelligence, empathy, sincerity and the ability to truly “bridge” a story to someone else in a way that’s specific and compelling to them as an individual and also as it relates to their audience and social graph. Industry Experts/Strategists – Someone has to act as the conductor to this all star orchestra. Qualified individuals have mastered the art and science of attaching new and traditional media to the bottom line of their business and also possess a deep understanding of and experience with customer empathy, market trends, and the governing technology that connects the people within desired market places.
Companies Must Plan Holistically For Social –Beyond Marketing PR and Communication : The first business unit to be impacted by social, these organizations realized and have adopted the rise of blogs as early as 2005, and in response, many have launched their own blogs, or are sophisticated in blogger outreach. Additionally, AR professionals are just starting to recognize the impacts of social as analysts are able to bypass traditional gatekeepers and talk directly to product teams using these tools. Marketing : Whether it be corporate or field marketing, the impacts are far reaching to marketing. Marketing has had to become an enabler as anyone who participates in the company with social is now acting on behalf of the company. There’s been several instances of support mishaps that have become the domain of marketing. Events : Whether it’s virtual or physical, events need to develop a strategy around social. Event teams need a pre, during, and post strategy, and need to join communities where they exist. I’ve outlined how events need to harness social into their strategy in this informative post. Events should integrate with existing communities and social networks where they exist. Events should have a strategy that includes the before and after –not just during. The audience can assert control over the event, so encourage audience participation and know when to get out of the way Sales and Field : Sales teams have always been social, now these tools amplify their relationships and communications. Marketing must be a resource and educate sales teams how to appropriately use these teams, including teaching them how to listen, engage, and act professionally as they would in real life. Sales Operations : Systems that organize customer data need to quickly ramp up and include social data. Information found in LinkedIn, and other social networks can be aggregated into customer databases such as CRM systems. Partners and Channel Marketing : The opportunity to allow your customer and partner channel to learn from each other, syndicate your product content, or to quickly educate them is at hand. See how channel marketing can benefit from social . Human Resources : Now, with websites like Glassdoor.com employees can rate their experience at an employer, and even gauge the quality of leadership. HR professionals know they must build internal communities to allow and encourage employees to connect to each other. They also should extend existing behavior guidelines or disclosure policies to include the social domain before a crisis emerges. Recruiters have been using social tools to find candidates such as LinkedIn, Google Searches, and scanning blogs. Find the Best Candidates. Not everyone who claims to be interested in receiving training is the best candidate, or truly has bandwidth to apply what they’ve learned. Provide all-office training opportunities on high level subjects, but use a screening process to make sure you have the right people in the room for high level immersions. Assign Homework. Waaa waaaa. You never get as much time for training as you’d like, and assigning your trainees homework can help make sure they walk in the door with a baseline exposure to platforms or ideas. One of my favorite things to do is to ask everyone to visit Peter Kim’s great wiki of social media campaigns and then write a paragraph case study to deliver to the group. It gets people thinking about social and forces them to visit a treasure trove of great examples, driving home the point that this is something almost every brand under the sun is engaged with. Make It Hands On. Could I make you a kick ass deck breaking down how Radian6 works? Yes, but watching me click through the slides would make you want to punch me in the face, if you were still awake. Go through the trouble of getting everyone laptops, and make sure your training is a mix of lecture and application. Structure the application time, and make sure you have enough trainers to help all the trainees in the room maximize the time you given to experiment. Use It or Lose It. Training a group of people on social media, having them walk out the door and not apply it for months (or ever…) is not a win. Make sure that the people you provide in-depth training to can immediately apply what they’ve learned on the job. Stay Connected. Create a big tent that people who have gone through social media training can come together under. A wiki, weekly calls, or ongoing training opportunities is a great way to keep everyone’s wheels turning. Product Development : Engineering, R&D, and other product or service creation teams recognize that customers are talking about their products and making suggestions in websites such as UserVoice, or Linkedin or Yahoo answers and need to envelope customer feedback and factor into the product lifecycle. company supply chain. Being able to interact with your suppliers via Enterprise or social media channels will have positive impact on cost reduction initiatives, supply chain efficiency, and demand management. Support : Client service teams must reach customers where they are (like BestBuy or Comcast in Twitter) to support customers, as well as use social tools within their own companies to provide an opportunity for customers to self-support each other, or develop a collaborative knowledge base that can be shared between customers and support teams. Support teams should fix their existing support issues –not just respond in Twitter as it teaches customers bad habits . Customer service and customer care are going to be dealing with the frontline fallout for organisations who fail to monitor and engage in social conversations with their audience. It’s the customer team who are the most social in any brand (or should be). Executives : Often the job of great leaders is to listen and communicate. These tools amplify each of these behaviors and can be used to listen to employee and market insight, as well as communicate back to them. John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO has an internal blog in which he communicates to employees on a regular basis. Education/Training for organizations that have such departments . Groups are using blogs or sites like Ning (or their own internal systems) for knowledge management and for sharing documents such as policies, procedures and how-to manuals. They can hold live classes via sites like UStream to reach employees in multiple locations, archive them on YouTube and Vimeo, embed them on their Intranets, announce new offerings via Twitter, etc. How about legal? No one’s mentioned it. The legal department probably needs to be aware of what’s happening in the sphere at the least Organizational re-alignment . While we have momentum, let’s use it to make some fundamentally important changes to how companies are aligned. Right now, too many companies are stuck in silos that mean nothing to their customers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a call being transferred from one group to the next, as the buck was being passed around. With an organization that is setup to operate the way a customer would, the experience for them becomes a lot better and they get happier. Pretty simple. Processes designed around customer thinking . Have you ever tried to return something or get support and are forced to learn that company’s language and way of doing things? Let’s make things as simple as they can be so that each step is intuitive and natural. If I bought something online, let me return it in the store. If I need service or support, assess my technical skill level before throwing a dozen pieces of information at me at once. Put yourself in my shoes. [While Social Media has impacted corporate marketing departments such as PR, MarCom and Web Marketing, Channel and Partner Marketing programs are starting to wake up to the opportunities --and risks-- that it entails]
Education/Training for organizations that have such departments . Groups are using blogs or sites like Ning (or their own internal systems) for knowledge management and for sharing documents such as policies, procedures and how-to manuals. They can hold live classes via sites like UStream to reach employees in multiple locations, archive them on YouTube and Vimeo, embed them on their Intranets, announce new offerings via Twitter, etc.