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.

Are Social Media Profiles Phasing Out Paper CVs?

For those who are actively engaged in pursuing a new career or changing jobs, it is highly recommended to build an online resume using either LinkedIn (most preferred) or another online tool like VisualCV.

Resumes are not obsolete, but the concept of them has changed tremendously, said Josh Bersin, principal of Bersin by Deloitte, a human resources research firm owned by Deloitte Consulting.

Furthermore, he noted:

“Recruiters are going to look at your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles, so you have to think about all those as your marketing tools”

Although resumes are not quite obsolete, the way in which recruiting and job searching was done in the past is slowly transforming the whole concept as identified in the Forbes article, “Why Companies Go Beyond The Resume And Hire People Via Social Media” by Vanessa Richardson.

Prithvi Shergill, Chief HR Officer at HCL Technologies explains:

“Social tools help to strengthen brand perception by communicating core values to a wider audience in channels they appreciate. Social media also gives employers the opportunity to directly engage with potential candidates. Slowly but surely social media is changing how employers approach recruitment. However, even though social media has become an important part of recruitment, is does not fully replace traditional recruitment methods but rather supports them.” via Social Recruiting

This statement is solidified by the recent HCL Twitter recruitment campaign, #coolestinterviewever. Based on the results of the campaign, HCL not only successfully recruited via social media but the company also experienced the value of investing in a holistic social strategy.

And according to the Social Recruiting Global Staffing study and the JobVite survey results, the findings clearly state that social media will play a major role in the future of sourcing for jobs and recruiting departments leveraging the platforms to research candidates.

Check-out the the Social-Media-Help Resume visual via ThingLink for more information and tips in the new world of recruiting!

Social Business Engagement and Responsible Online Activity

Keeping in mind that posting content and images online remains indefinitely, it is of utmost importance to apply a professional mindset at all times when actively engaging and networking in all social media channels. Participating in live real-time conversations requires a positive collaborative voice even when negative comments and/or statements adversely strike against the company’s brand.

There are multiple examples of social media policies and guidelines of top brands to refer to in order to gauge the principles and rules of participating in and delivering social media content. Here’s a few to browse through:

Coca Cola — Countless conversations take place online about Coca-Cola every day, and we want our Company’s more than 150,000 associates in more than 200 countries to join those conversations, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.

IBM — Online collaboration platforms are fundamentally changing the way IBMers work and engage with each other, clients and partners.

Walmart — We engage with our customers and stakeholders beyond the walls of our stores: you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Foursquare.

Social business goes beyond “liking” content and will reap the benefits of collaborating when a S.O.C.I.A.L plan or a cycle is implemented. This infographic visually outlines not only the benefits but also the importance of being social.

Furthermore, without the resources and tools to properly engage and deliver online content, company’s take a risk of their associate’s posting information and/or a statement that would adversely impact their brand. Tom Gimbel of LaSalle Networks advises hiring managers to do their homework on social media:

“Look for [a candidate’s] overall interaction and communication,” he suggests. Between sharing relevant, industry-related content and having followers split between personal and professional, they should project an overall level of engagement.

“People who truly understand social media realize that the sole purpose is not just for sharing content, it’s about expanding networks by connecting and interacting with people,” he contends.

In addition to going beyond the traditional “like” or “favorite” activity, it is imperative for the brand social media manager to demonstrate a high degree of active web listening — resulting in ongoing dialogue with customers and driving influence beyond borders.

The online networking approach takes a fundamental shift in engaging with customers and Inc. shares tips and best practices in “The New Rules of Customer Engagement” — below is an excerpt from the article

The rise of the social Web has led to a fundamental shift in the way businesses of all sizes engage with their customers. Rather than focusing on “touch points” during the marketing and sales process, they’re using social technologies to form meaningful, ongoing relationships that involve frequent online interactions, oftentimes through social channels.

Overall, the social business engagement concept is not that hard once best practices and guidelines are established with all those who are involved with maintaining a social media presence for the company!

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