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The Value of Enterprise Social Networks

As the digital media landscape evolves in the enterprise, clearer definitions and similarities are surfacing to elaborate on the social technology so that users have a thorough understanding of the intent. It is natural for the general perception of employees to equate enterprise social networking (ESN) with the social media networking platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) but the key concept of both are fundamentally distinct. Social business networking (i.e. jive, yammer, sap jam, etc.) enables professional collaboration within the internal organization while social media networking offers channels to communicate information across public domains — keep this in mind when actively engaging on enterprise social networks.

ESN lends itself to the cutting edge communication that all generations can immerse themselves into in the workplace. Through the customized spaces and groups, employees and teams can manifest news, information, videos or pictures across the platform at any time of day — thus narrowing the collaboration gap between remote teams.

This takes on a fresh new concept of how employees can adopt social engagement within their teams. There are numerous options to incorporate discussions as well as share knowledge through socialistic hubs and customized enterprise social networks provide an array of channels to do so — here’s a few companies using ESN effectively:

  • IBM created Beehive — an internal social networking site that gives IBMers a “rich connection to the people they work with” on both a personal and a professional level
  • HP created OneHP — employees are finding it easier to collaborate, communicate, and share knowledge
  • Telus rolled out SAP Jam — between the launch of Jam and present day at Telus, engagement rose to 85 percent

The Rise of the Enterprise Social Networks report not only outlines the evolution but also identifies the value:

 

An average 3% to 5% return on social engagement. The most engaged businesses
are reporting a calculated 7.7% business impact. The lowest performers achieved
a 1.9% estimated return.

Improved marketing and sales effectiveness. The top two areas where executives
thought social engagement had real value were improved marketing and sales
effectiveness (84%) and increased sales and market share (81%).

New ideas for products. 57% realized big returns either by crowd sourcing new
products or letting customers know new products will be derived from future
social engagement.

Learning the functionality of the organization’s ESN will drive online interactions to create trust, foster group dynamics, build connections and influence positive experiences as well as develop leadership transparency. But why?  Companies are shifting from the ‘static intranet’ to a new ‘social business tool’ — the world is moving toward transparency and openness combined with ease of accessibility to information. To draw in on the evolution of communicating, organizations are redesigning and filtering out complexity —  it will take time for employees to adopt and reap the value but the benefits will begin to reveal an increase in workplace productivity and virtual collaboration.

In closing, McKinsey & Company, states:

By following a few simple principles, leaders can realize the vast potential of social technologies to engage employees and transform organizations.

 

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The Thirst for More #SocialBusiness

The more engaged and connected the world becomes, the thirst for #socialbusiness will infiltrate the communications landscape. Until educational systems add this type of learning to their core curriculums, there’s other options to gain the knowledge needed to tap into the enterprise social fundamentals.

Currently the two highly recognized and actively engaged social businesses to tap into core offerings are Social Media Examiner and Hootsuite University. Both have extensive information and have a huge following on twitter that set a leading example in the industry.

Additionally, with the day-to-day commitment to those who are involved in a 9 to 5 job, there is still an opportunity to build upon the skills needed to succeed in the engaged online social media platforms. This coming October 2015, Social Media Examiner is offering the world’s largest online Social Media Success Summit and Hootsuite offers many channels to educate and get certified through online courses, videos and exams.

Social media will continue to have a greater influence on enterprise social and will progress as the innovative companies embrace the #NewWayToWork concept. Quench the thirst now to hydrate the knowledge bank with insights that will hold high relevance and impact on corporate communications as the state-of-the-art social business platforms take shape in each fortune 500 company.

Social Media 101: Advanced Resources and Tips

There is no question social media has removed global communication barriers and opened doors for universal engagement. But has the new digital age reformed how we communicate?

With the internet dominating the communication landscape, the skills and mindsets have shifted. We moved from being grammatically correct to incorporating e-lingo and 140 character statements into our speech. Where does that leave the traditional means of learning and the broader impact of socialistic interactions? Educational centers are building social net friendly tools and resources into their curriculum, equipping the younger generations with technology learnings as early as pre-school.

For those who are not well-versed converging online will experience a fundamental gap and frustration if they are not familiar with the buzzwords and/or trendy terms used across social media platforms, not to mention text/IM messaging. And although the analogy has not changed, individual behaviors have aligned with the new life cycle of today’s modern form of communicating.

Slowly but surely there will be options through education centers to take classes and learn basic skills to gain the knowledge to engage confidently in social-net environments (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.). But most readily available are experts who have immersed themselves on the net and have developed learnings for everyone to grasp in the “real world” of connecting and engaging online. Here’s a list of a tools and resources that will help build your social tool box:

Social Media Definitive Glossary published by Hootsuite — Learn over 150 definitions to help understand and manage online activity.

Cisco Twitter Communications Analysis — Cisco’s research offers a comprehensive introduction to the actions behind corporate twitter activity.

The Future of Intranets and Enterprise Social Networks -– Find out how an interactive intranet can empower your workforce to connect, communicate and collaborate to deliver real business value.

How IBM Got 1,000 Staffers to Become Brand Advocates on Social Media — Discover how the power behind being social and adopting a system that incorporates employee engagement can refresh a brand.

#GetRealChat — Find out how to take the conversation social with Pam Moore (@PamMktgNut) every Tuesday at 9:00 pm EST.

The above is only a sample of the tools and resources available today to help build on your social-net learnings. As the internet continues to expand and technology evolves, there is no question that the traditional means of learning will change and the socialist interactions will reshape to align with the life cycle. The choice is yours! Take hold of the opportunity to be leaps and bounds ahead of the ever-changing digital world and be on board with the #NewWayToWork!

Social Business: Embrace It

Embrace the confidence to tap into creativity and inspired to be bold enough to reap the harvest of the imagination! In business, one must be encouraged to reinvent itself in order to remain competitive, not in what it offers, but simply in how it operates.

With multiple social media channels, the world continues to change how it communicates and adopting higher levels of transparency. If a business chooses not to experience the potential new media brings to the marketing landscape, then they will be left behind.

For the businesses that adjust to the new media options and concepts (i.e. tweeting, pinning, blogging, etc.), bring to their operations unlimited opportunities to communicate their offerings, mold a relationship with customers and develop social awareness. Here’s some tips to think about when creating and publishing in the socialverse:

1) Know your audience
2) Be fresh and unique
3) Seek to build influence not sell
4) Add value and diversify the content with video, audio and photos

By incorporating the latest technology and putting social media to practice, there’s greater potential to build brand awareness in vast numbers. This coupled with rich content, keeping in mind the WIFM principle, the audience will follow posts and search for the published information — resulting in a positive rate of return on your value proposition.

Don’t just think about it, go ahead be creative and bold because while you are thinking about it, some one out there is already doing it!

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!

How Enterprise Social Networks Can Improve Teamwork

Social business is quickly shaping the future of business collaboration and adding a fresh channel to empower teams. The value in this new tool starts when the employees are given the opportunity to amplify connections and optimize productivity through the platform features.

Once the enterprise social network is launched, it is imperative that the community managers and advocates are trained on maximizing the use of the system — creating interactive and robust content is key to the implementation and long-term success of integrating social business into the fabric of operations.

Social Business ProcessFirst step is to learn how to develop a process to bring the multiple channels under the platform umbrella. The platform tools will allow for interconnectedness and seamlessly unify data and information. To optimize work flows, each business unit should map out the channels that will leverage the use of current file sharing and project management tools –it is imperative that employees are trained and understand how to use each of the content development tools and @ mentions, including commenting, to build an online knowledge bank for the department to read, interact and learn from any location 24/7.

Department Schedule Next step is develop a schedule wherein the daily and weekly activities of the department are posted to the team’s portal site. For example, the weekly meetings can be added to the calendar, post meeting notes to the team blog and action items from the meeting published to tasks. This is just one of many examples of how to create a channel to coordinate efforts and maximize work flows.

Monitor & EngageLast step is to monitor and reinforce. To ensure that continuous engagement and interaction ensues, it is critical to maintain relative and active content. Users will quickly lose interest in the platform if the site does not lead to a productive means to business operations. Selecting top power users from the team to act as key content developers will not only build a connected community but also encourage positive behaviors that are equally important when engaging in a professional social network. Additionally the power users can play a roll in training and rewarding through blog posts, @ mentions and hashtags.

The social business model will continue to transform as more executives and leaders understand the value and how it can drive process improvement in the new SMART Workforce.

For further enterprise social learning check-out these videos that shares stories about how innovation will evolve and reshape the way we work — how social business is forming to optimize community collaboration and connectedness.

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.

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