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Social Media 101 & more for the Evolving EA

How prepared are you for the 2020 workforce? The years ahead present exciting opportunities in the digital landscape as well as media channels as technology evolves and spans across enterprise social networking — are you ready?

In order to adapt and move ahead of the new norm, it is vital to stay abreast of the latest technology and trends taking shape across business operations. Thus with the increased demand in cloud computing, social media and app development, the learning platforms must be designed to allow employees access to the critical training modules in these areas especially if the skills are directly related to the scope of their job.

Fortunately with the advent of the digital era, there are optimal mediums to enhance and develop knowledge in all of the prominent skills required for the 2020 workforce. The evolving EA can easily kick start a development plan — here are a few posts that can help guide through the learning path forward:

Social Media Tips for the Executive Assistant

Social Business: Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part I

Social Business: Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part II

Social Business: Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part III

Tips for the Executive Assistant to Manage a Social Business Twitter Chat

How Executive Assistants can be top Social Business Power Users

Russ Ruffino : “So, before you get started, ask yourself two questions:

  • Are you willing to face that fear and demand what you’re worth?
  • Are you willing to do hundreds of tests until things “click”?

Look yourself in the mirror. Be honest with yourself.

If you’re not ready, then stop now. You will save yourself years of false starts and mediocre results.”

If you are ready to move forward, check out Ruffino’s post: Here are the 6 steps I used to transform my business, including my exact numbers and specific hacks. Without the know-how in social media and the IoT, most of these steps may not have reaped the same results for Ruffino.

Making the tough decisions about your future in the beginning may be a struggle but in the end, as long as you stay the course, the steps you take now will bring long-term success.

Stay social and remain on the never ending path of self-discovery!

Social Media for the Evolving Assistant

Are you an assistant who rises above the call of duty and incorporates the latest business trends into your daily routine?

If you answered yes, then you are more than likely exploring ways to immerse social media into the office and blend it with the current resources you already have.

Where do you start and how do you successfully launch social media so those in your office will applaud you for your efforts? First become attuned to social media in the workplace and how it impacts daily communication. Then become familiar with effectively managing online engagement and the importance of a social media policy. And if your office does not have a social media policy, then suggest that one be created and adopted by all employees — Coca Cola provides a guide on participating in social media, both personally as well as when you are acting in an official capacity.

For training, resources and more, check out these links:

Hootsuite University

Social Media for Small Business: How its different from how big brands do it

30 Tips for Using Social Media In Your Business

And check out the marketing trends to leverage ways to maximize social media: Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business

Now that you are armed with the tips and resources, take the plunge and create a communication medium that will provide the office with a channel to in-depth information they can put to practice at work today!

How Executive Assistants Can Be Top Social Business Power Users

December 23, 2014 1 comment

As the future of work transforms business operations and the smart office begins to roll out across corporations, the executive assistant (EA) is currently hard at work to excel beyond the change curve — take the quiz to reveal how well prepared you are!

Additionally, not only do EAs require top notch organizational skills to keep the office seamlessly operating, they are more often than not called upon to help launch new initiatives, programs and directives too! This includes the adoption of enterprise social business networks that most Fortune 500 companies are implementing.

Considering the EA is already adept at team building and an office champion, stepping into the role of a social business power user will be second nature. Furthermore, since most EAs already encompass “social” skills and are extremely instrumental in moving processes through the department, they just need to reshape their communication style to include the social business framework. The EA role is one of many that can easily partner with the Communication Department to help bridge the roll-out of a social business platform.

As referenced in Part I, Part I I and Part III, the EA can also take on a lead role but in this post we will focus on partnership. Here’s five recommendations to explore and put to practice while working toward becoming a social business power user:

1) Understand that all digital mediums previously used will be phased out and/or replaced with enterprise social media over the specific time frame published by the Communication Department.
2) Learn and identify the difference between personal and professional social media use — fostering company culture is pivotal through each phase in the roll-out of the platform.
3) Leverage all the tools of the platform to engage the team with ongoing and relative content — demonstrate authenticity when posting.
4) Refrain from taking part in conversations that are not relative to ongoing work — encourage the team to share and actively participate in business discussions and all non-work related posts/comments should be directed to personal chatter outside of the office.
5) Act as a mentor and moderator to help the team with performing against expectations — know who to report inappropriate content to that needs to be professionally addressed.

The above is not all encompassing but it is a start to take steps now — this slideshare is an in depth resource on social business that will enhance the process of learning the basic fundamentals of this communication medium. Stay Social!

Tips for the Executive Assistant to Manage a Social Business Twitter Chat

December 2, 2014 2 comments

For the global social business organizations, the executive assistant can leap into managing real-time forums using the “twitter chat” model.  The opportunity to leverage the enterprise social business platforms for process improvement is limitless, especially for building a knowledge bank and sharing resources.

Hatch-A-ChatAn overview of how the twitter chat process works and steps shared by Social Media Examiner are outlined below — read the full article for an in-depth visual of how to pull one together.

#1: Understand How it Works

#2: Form Your Plan

#3: Announce and Promote Your Twitter Chat

#4: Run Your Twitter Chat

#5: Summarize, Archive and Analyze

Once you are familiar with the steps to launch a “twitter chat”, get up to speed with how to participate – this is no different than facilitating a face-to-face meeting as the best practices can easily be applied to the online real-time conversations. The only difference is engaging the audience via tweets using a unique hashtag for the topic to be discussed.

So how do you pick out a hashtag? Brainstorm on the topic and pick a hashtag that is relevant, easy to remember and short. Be creative and refrain from simple hashtags that others may post so that they do not interfere with your topic. For instance, executive assistants frequently converse on calendar meeting management – a unique hashtag would be #EAMtgBPs (short for executive assistant meeting best practices) — you can double check your hashtag via this site to ensure that a conversation is not already launched on Twitter using your hashtag of choice.

Note that it is equally important for the tweet posts to be shorter than the 140 characters per tweet on twitter so that there is room for the hashtag.

With there being a number of twitter chats currently ongoing, here’s a few to check out to familiarize yourself with the model as well as various tweets relative to the topic of discussion the leader is hosting.

Time/Date Hashtag Twitter Host Storify
8 pm EST / Tuesdays #LeadFromWithin @LollyDaskal 01.28.14
9 pm EST / Tuesdays #GetRealChat @PamMoore 10.28.14
Various #HonestCareerTalk @Forbes 10.7.14

Practice makes perfect so don’t be discouraged if the first chat did not meet the overall objective – stay the course and be patient with the audience as this type of new forum is a learning curve for majority of the executive assistants. Considering the daily grind of an executive assistant is unpredictably busy, the chat will quickly gain support and interest since no one will need to leave their desk to participate and can always catch-up on the conversation by searching for the hashtag or reading the summary. With that, don’t forget to capture the conversation and jot down pertinent notes as well as questions raised as noted step 5 above. You can also leverage Storify to help curate the information gathered from the conversation – click on the links under the Storify column above for examples of how the twitter hosts used this tool for their discussions .

Process improvement is developed by taking risks and stepping out of the comfort zone – pave the way of collaborating and sharing by leveraging the technology we have at our disposal. And have fun with it – @Dunkindonuts is a brand that definitely epitomizes all things social when it comes to maximizing the use of social media.

Social Business: Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part III

October 23, 2014 4 comments

After diving into the social office with the resources from Part I and Part II, it is time to delve deeper into the value of business social!

Part III will help pave the way to amplifying not only what you learned thus far but how to maximize the connections to monetize the organization’s information and/or proliferate brand awareness. Let’s get started by learning how to apply analytics and collaboration
tools to improve the S.O.C.I.A.L plan and excel at being SEA champions of the office!

Google Analytics

Before moving into the analytics piece, learn about the benefits of  adding Google Analytics to the advanced S.O.C.I.A.L plan — it is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website‘s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. Read More

Get started with Google analytics here as well as sign-up for an account. The site also shares information on how to successfully measure progress and the Analytics Academy is a great resource for plunging deeper into about data, features, and analysis techniques.

Hubspot

How can this platform help? It may not be a need for the organization, but the tips and resources via the blog can lead to improving the overall implementation of the advanced S.O.C.I.A.L plan.

Remain Active

Business operations will more than likely in the short-term trump the S.O.C.I.A.L plan until leadership is totally onboard and embraces the value of social adoption. Hootsuite and Oktopost can help remain socially grounded, produce positive engagement with internal and external stakeholders, and manage an active presence in the social platforms.

Sharing

Apart from using the social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube to monetize content, check-out BizSugar. It is a moderated platform  delivering content that small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs care about, without all the noise — plus it offers tools and plug-ins to make it easy to add code to WordPress, websites, etc.!

Integrating social is a process of incremental change or evolution. It’s a journey. And studying the experiences of enterprises that have already started down the path provides insights other companies can use to inform the way they themselves deploy social technologies. ~ IBM Center for Applied Insights

The new IBM study, Charting the social universe, reveals interesting statistics and 5 Distinct entry points for Social Adoption.

The time and investment in social business may not reap immediate benefits but stay the course. And it is equally important to guide leadership accordingly and share the statistics to backup the manpower resources to deploy the S.O.C.I.A.L plan. Charting the course now will build the roadmap to a successful business social experience not only for the stakeholders but also for the employees across the organization and customers beyond boarders!

Social Business:  Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part II

October 13, 2014 4 comments

With the tips and resources outlined in Part I, hopefully the future of business engagement for your organization is on its way to becoming social!

Through the next phase of incorporating social into the daily operations of the business, it is important that the entire social team is aligned and centered around the S.O.C.I.A.L plan. The SEA (Social Executive Assistant) will have a strong social involvement but with the support of the SMIF (Social Mavens Influencers and Facilitators) will play a significant part in governing social engagement.

After the first phase it is highly recommended to take stock of the organization’s position on the S.O.C.I.A.L plan —  does the plan allow for customers and/or stakeholders to be engaged? Look for the direct link to conversation and conversion from the dialogue posted. The focus should not be on the number of likes and followers but rather on the influence and optimal engagement.  Is there a system in place to monitor all the positive and negative mentions, then proactively follow-up on the posts? To ensure a successful  S.O.C.I.A.L campaign, it is essential to keep an ongoing loop of active listening, positive messaging and consistent collaboration.

Part II will offer tips and best practices to leap into the next level of becoming social – relevant and value added social conversations. For starters, each organization has a quarterly calendar of activities and/or launch of products which can easily be aligned with a twitter chat campaign. So what is a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests. ~ Social Media Examiner

To learn more about launching a twitter chat, check-out the 5 Steps to Hosting Successful Twitter Chats: Your Ultimate Guide. This guide not only shares the steps but also visuals to gain a deeper understanding of how the tool works.

And there are a number of business practice examples to conceptualize the learnings, but here’s a company that is globally renowned and shows how to monetize a social campaign. On October 13, 2014, McDonald’s launched a multifaceted effort called “Our Food. Your Questions.” In addition to McDonald’swebsite, the effort will leverage the main digital channels TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

Once the social engagement conversations are seamlessly coming together and drawing in optimal conversations, then explore options to add digital flavor to the posts. Here’s a few sites that will help spice it up:

Infographics — graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.  Check out Piktochart to get one started and Visual.ly can help amp up the creativity!

Storify — pull in content from social feeds based on hashtags, keywords, URLs, user IDs and more—by dragging and dropping social media posts, YouTube videos, images from Instagram and more to build stories to embed on your site as a column, slideshow or grid (view Self Magazine example)

ThingLink – add interactive text or multimedia overlays to any photos or images. HomeDepot’s ThingLink channel shows various ways to leverage the tool.

If the Twitter Chat effort is not ideal for the organization, then blogging maybe a viable option to start off the conversation both internally and externally.

“…a corporate blog can provide a variety of interesting posts and proficiency in a given industry. In an interactive world that is oversaturated with outfits of the day, businesses can stand out by using a blog to expand their web presence and brand identity, drive business and show off their expertise.” Via Businesses Are Missing Out On One Valuable Social Media Platform by Adriana Lopez

The article also shares best practices and benefits of a corporate blog as well as Bond’s tip: Weekly team posts position your team members as thought leaders in their given sectors and areas of expertise.  It also adds a variety of content to your blog that you otherwise wouldn’t get if just one person were posting.

With Part I and II of the S.O.C.I.A.L plan in full swing, it will definitely be of value and investment to gauge how the efforts are framing up – Argyle Social is a metric and analytics platform to assist with the data.

Stay tuned for more business social resources, information and best practices to remain actively engaged and connected!

Social Business:  Executive Assistant Tips to be Champions of the Social Office Part I

October 7, 2014 5 comments

Years ago the basic executive assistant (EA) job description entailed utmost focus on the seamless operation of the office and gatekeeper of the executive’s phone, door and email. Fast forward to the era of social media and the internet of things, the role is broadening as executives begin to reshape leadership with redefining the communication landscape. How can the EA bring value and help the leadership team go from meeting behind closed doors to promoting a new transparent platform – the human factor?

The numbers are not alarming but have increased since Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter became mainstream. Thus far, based on findings from research via CEO.com and Domo, reveal that a handful of CEO’s are finding the time to invest in being engaged:

  • 68% of CEOs have no social presence whatsoever on the five social networks
  • More CEOs are on Instagram than on Google+
  • On average, younger CEOs are much more social than older CEOs
  • LinkedIn dominates as the “entry” network of choice for CEOs. Of those CEOs who are only on one social network, 74% are on LinkedIn
  • 69% of CEOs who have Twitter accounts are actually tweeting

Most CEO’s and executives get the big picture but social proficiency is key to build rapport and maintain a consistent level of active engagement. This is where the EA can step in and help the leadership team adopt social best practices. Meet Jack Salzwedel (@AmFamJack), the Chairman and CEO of American Family – he is highlighted in the report as one of the most actively engaged on Twitter. There are a number of other executives highlighted in the report namely, Mark Bertolini (@mtbert) Chairman & CEO at Aetna to Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) CEO at HP —  view the expanded list here. The CEO of Benefitfocus, Shawn Jenkins (@shawn_a_jenkins), who is not listed but worth noting he is actively engaged in the Twitter platform, consistently blogs and uses other forms of media to communicate not only across external media channels but also internally with the organization’s employees.

With these recent statistics and findings, this is the prime opportunity for the EA to create a S.O.C.I.A.L (simple, open, collaborative, influential, active and listen) business plan for the office and become the Social Office Champion! Before diving into social business, an earlier post shares basic tips for an EA to slowly get immersed into the social sphere: Social Media Tips for the Executive Assistant.

The S.O.C.I.A.L plan outline below is the basic foundation to build from and can be tweaked as needed to suit most organizations. Not every point needs to be incorporated into the plan and it is fluid enough to incorporate actions that arise as a result of the initial meeting with the SEAs (Social Executive Assistants).

Initial planning phase of the S.O.C.I.A.L Plan

  • Source a pool of EAs to help support the project and list as S.O.C.I.A.L SMEs (SEAs)
  • Align goals of the plan with the organization’s strategy
  • Define the overall objective of the project
  • Develop a timeline to measure progress against

Develop the S.O.C.I.A.L Plan

  • Each Monday pull together a brief report of latest trends and developments of the organization then draft a blog for the CEO to build from – mix it up with snapshot of and/or excerpts from leadership meetings, fun charitable events, 4th quarter outlook, etc.)
  • Carve out time two days a week for a couple hours to randomly post and/or tweet – pick days that would easily fall into one of the Twitter daily hashtags (i.e. #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday, etc.)
  • Share the plan with the leadership team so they can build on and/or retweet posts, ” like” on Facebook or LinkedIn

Launch the S.O.C.I.A.L

  • Seek out additional champions and/or stakeholders throughout the organization that fall into one of these groups:
    • Mavens — these employees are SMEs in their field, typically the “go to” people
    • Influencers — these employees are the “well informed” of the who knows who does what, when and how or they can find out fast – typically can help with adoption and keep it spreading.
    • Facilitators — these employees have what it to keep a group of people working together – typically can help with channeling Q&As
  • Develop a resource that outlines the plan, the value of social business and the importance of enterprise-wide support of S.O.C.I.A.L to share with each of the groups,
  • Schedule weekly check-ins to get feedback, ideas and suggestions on the project
  • Consistently share the progress report, including the feedback, ideas and suggestions, with the leadership team

Actively Remain Engaged

  • Build a foundation based on the learnings and progress throughout the project
  • Explore other ways to incorporate social business into organization activities, meetings and events – check-out this resource via Cvent to enhance the employee event experience
  • Research other companies and learn how their campaigns are measuring up – check-out how Cisco incorporates social media into their everyday operations.

For overall resources, Mashable and Social Media Examiner are two sites worth exploring for ideas, tips and best practices.

Start small if social business is entirely new and a bit overwhelming. As the old adage states, “practice makes perfect”! And in closing it is always a good measure to anticipate the need of the office rather than operate under assumption so always be sure to explore and analyze before taking action!

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