Posts Tagged social media
These days the number one risk associated with social media for business is doing nothing at all. The old excuses of not enough people use it for business, and all I ever see on social is pictures of kittens are over. In fact, today 7 out of 10 Financial Advisors using social networks for business; LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to form or join groups of like-minded customers and colleagues for discussions pertinent to our business, Facebook allows us to connect with colleagues on a personal and business level, and Twitter keeps us all connected and informed in real time. Social is here to stay. Recently Actiance Social Media Expert, Victor Gaxiola, stopped by the BrightTALK studios and filmed his thoughts on why you need to embrace social for a competitive edge.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on how social has given you a competitive edge, please leave a comment below.
The buzz about social media ROI is getting louder and nowhere is this more apparent than with the C-Suite, who live and die by understanding results against costs. And with organizations of every size, in every market, acknowledging the benefit of being able to communicate with customers and build business online, the need to measure impact is critical.
Social media ROI is often part of a larger goal. For example, it might be used to support an email marketing campaign or it may be used to gather qualitative customer response to a product launch. So it’s easy to understand that each company’s ROI will depend on their unique social media goals. For example, Actiance customer CIBC Wood Gundy, a major Canadian brokerage firm, wants to build the personal brand of its advisors and help deepen their client relationships, while another firm may wish to use social to launch new products to targeted audiences.
We recently published a white paper on this topic. In it, Actiance examines the potential for ROI measurements of social media usage, and leverages real-world examples.
While the goals for social media are initially based on engagement, a company must first determine its strategy. A proper plan will ensure all content and response map back to the initial goal. One of the best ways to begin crafting an ‘on target’ strategy is to know which channel your audience ‘lives’ on for business.
Take a large financial institution we work with who wanted to use social to sign-up new clients. When they examined their current social network use they quickly ascertained that their audience was mostly on LinkedIn. Knowing this, they worked to build a rapport with both prospects and customers through LinkedIn by engaging them with consistent and useful educational content; which built credibility and respect. For this organization, Facebook, (although popular with financial advisors), would not have been the correct network. Ultimately this customer brought more assets into the firm to manage. Millions of dollars later in stock, 401k rollovers, annuities, insurance policies and large trusts, this bank couldn’t ignore the impact of LinkedIn. And their C-level executives took note.
Once ROI is achieved, the focus for any executive will to not only match that return, but surpass it. Platforms like Socialite® help organizations boost their ROI by honing in on the metrics that provide actionable insights. This enables constant improvement; by acting on the insight, results improve even more. It’s not difficult anymore to prove ROI, thanks to these tools. It’s just a matter of starting off with a strategy, which the C-level typically appreciate as well.
We’re interested in what strategies you’ve employed to leverage social media ROI. Why not leave a comment below?
This week’s thought leader Thursday commentary comes from our good friend Hyoun Park . Hyoun is a veteran of baseball, moneyball and telecom-related startups, a trained social scientist with experience in cross-cultural gender studies; Boston University MBA-trained marketer; and an industry analyst covering analytics, mobility, and enterprise communications. He’s currently principal analyst at Nucleus Research .
Social media, which I’m going to describe as public-facing social technologies that allow you to both converse and network with the outside world, is described as a new technology where best practices are still emerging and the value is difficult to quantify. Because of this, companies shy away from discussing the value and ROI associated with social media. To see if this is really true, think a bit about the history of social media.
Although there are new social media platforms that come out, such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine, the truth is that most of the core social media platforms used today have been around for nearly a decade and are based on technologies that are even older than that. Twitter was started in 2006 and, in functionality, has a lot in common with Internet Relay Chat, which was started in the late 1980s. Facebook started in 2004 and the friending aspects date further back to earlier networks such as Livejournal, which started in 1999, and the threaded comments associated with conversations, which date back to USENET and the bulletin board systems which were started in the early 1980s.
So, in some respects, social media has multiple generations: 1) the digital savvy, who started using social media tools in the 1980s and pre-Internet Service Provider world 1990s; 2) the ISP generation of AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy; 3) the Geocities and early bloggers generation of web page creators, and then 4) the modern generation of Facebook, Twitter, and other emerging social networks.
With each generation, the value of social media activity has slowly shifted from a purely personal value proposition to one where online branding, network quality, and broadcast have become increasingly important. As these external measures have become increasingly important, social media ROI has become something that can potentially be calculated.
To truly measure social ROI, companies must equate social activity to a financial business outcome such as increased deal size, customer churn, or service costs. Reverse-engineering this SaaS figure from David Skok’s http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/ is a good start. By doing so, companies can start to identify the actual contribution of social media to improving business goals and creating dollar values based on increased productivity, reduced service escalations, lead generation, and other key metrics. The numbers and technology to understand true social ROI exist already, but how long will it take for marketers to catch on?
Hopefully we are starting to turn the corner and will think less about social media as a pure broadcast media mechanism or a pure service channel and more as a set of interactions associated with business outcomes. Once we do so, we can finally stop talking about social media ROI as some sort of myth and start getting to the financial cost/benefit relationships associated with social media that justify the establishment and growth of social media endeavors in the enterprise.
Personal vs. private. Open vs. closed. Freedom of speech vs. limited expression. These are just a few debates that are shaping the personal and professional lives of today’s worker; increasing in intensity as social media becomes more prevalent in the workplace. As IDC asserts, the worldwide enterprise social software applications market will grow from $788.1 million to $4 billion in revenue by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.5%.
A recent article in the New York Times discusses the blurring of lines between personal and business use of social. Judging by the 125+ comments to date it struck a chord with many readers. And Forrester Research recently published a survey which reveals that 43% felt that social was something they used in their personal life and wanted to use at work.
This new social business paradigm affects every organization, regardless of industry, as written by Steven Greenhouse: “Schools and universities are wrestling with online bullying and student disclosures about drug use. Governments worry about what police officers and teachers say and do online on their own time. Even corporate chieftains are finding that their online comments can run afoul of securities regulators.”
The last category is something that I’m personally familiar with, as I work with customers in regulated industries on a daily basis that are subject to fines and requirements from FINRA, IIROC, the SEC and others. As social channels have become a natural communication method in both our personal and professional lives, the blurring lines between acceptable personal and corporate use can be challenging to navigate. Compounding this further is the blurring of boundaries between corporate content, distribution of that content and compliance requirements. The result: professionals, from C-level staff down to compliance managers, are having a tough time defining and enforcing policies.
However, a solution was also mentioned in the New York Times article: the social media policies that companies can develop. Here’s the bottom line- If you’re not forming policies to provide governance for your employees, your use of social will come back to bite you. These policies need to be specific to the company and industry, and should outline what employees can, as well as what they can’t, communicate or say online. The policy should contain:
- The company’s social media objectives
- Appropriate social networks that would align with personal and professional use
- Best practice guidelines, along with examples on how to build social networks
- Ways to integrate social activities within corporate systems for each department. For example, how marketing can leverage
This clear level of guidance, combined with education, will go a long way in helping employees’ better tap into the benefits of social for personal and business purpose while keeping regulators at bay.
This approach is a good start in allowing your company to successfully unleash social business. In my next post, we’ll dive into the importance of compliance in social business. In the meantime, you can download our six principles of social success whitepaper here, and get started on developing a winning strategy to reduce the blur between personal and professional use of social at your company.
Today’s blog is a mashup of experiences from our social network – as we weren’t lucky enough to score tickets to the Super Bowl #47, we all experienced it in digital format. Here’s our mashup…
Sarah: General Manager, Bay Area resident, 49ers fan by virtue of locale
Football for me is soccer. I neither understand the rules nor the hype around the NFL. But on Super Bowl Sunday while living in the USA, I feel compelled to watch. Of course I’m watching on the Internet..it saves the embarrassing yells at the wrong time at a party and the inability to have meaningful conversations with other folks in a bar. And of course as a resident of the Bay Area, I felt compelled to support the 49ers and my colleagues, but more than that I’m intrigued by the social hype and the ads.
I’ve been voting on Facebook for the Doritos ads for a week or so now.. Love them.. Great campaign. I’ve been intrigued by Twitter friends who tell me they’ve had early access to ads, but who won’t tell.I was appalled by the Audi ad, thought that California pistachios took a step backwards and that I’ll never buy a Samsung. Overall, that spending $4m on ad space for something so generally uninspiring, well, a compete waste of money.
Then I saw the scheduled tweet from @followandretti – about the game being over, when it clearly wasn’t. (now deleted of course). And that’s when it came home to me. The winner for me in this Super Bowl wasn’t the best ad, or the Ravens, it was actually social.
Beyonce crashed Twitter for the half time show. @oreos just amazing social team blew me away with their superb “you can dunk in the dark” @etradebaby and their sarcasm kept me amused throughout! Mostly though, I loved interacting with friends near and far through social about something that was happening thousands of miles away from all of us.
Augie, what do you think?
I’ve found that commenting on and engaging about the game, the ads and the halftime of the Super Bowl is a great time on social media because everyone is doing it. Social media comes alive during big events, and there are few events larger than the Super Bowl. (Well, most social media comes alive, anyway; Twitter died due to the volume of Beyonce tweets at the end of halftime.)
So, I had a blast during last night’s game, as I knew I would. Super Bowl social activity is more evidence of how deeply social media has become part of our world, and it makes me wonder where brands get the most cost-effective boost–from the expensive ads executed during the game or the dirt-cheap tweets and posts.
Sure, people talk about the ads, but do they buy? I wish the USA Today Ad Meter measured effectiveness and not merely popularity. Remember the Pets.com sock puppet? A Super Bowl ad didn’t do much to keep him employed.
And then there are the brands that rocked it on social media at .000001% of the cost of a Super Bowl ad. Oreo’s spectacular real-time tweet was awesome and Buffalo Wild Wings laying claim to the power outage in a perfect fit with their campaign was funny. Hats off to them for being smart and fast, two necessary (and often lacking) attributes to social media success. I don’t think either brand post will deliver the brand lift of even the worst Super Bowl ad, but I would not doubt if the outcome-to-cost ratio of either beat the pants off of whatever ad is at the top of the Ad Meter, this morning.
Hope you enjoy the thoughts! Have a good start to the week, everyone and I’ll hand off to my neighbor in social.. Joanna Belbey..
Joanna: New Yorker (well, actually New Jersey), Giants fan, even knew Big Red (Alec Webster) growing up “down the shore”
I skipped Super Bowl and went out to dinner on the Upper West Side with @randikopp. We saw the “Ice Theatre of New York” at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Mostly old footage of the history of ice dancing followed by a panel. Don’t groan, it was great! The best part? One of the presenters was 84 year old Dick Button. Dick Button won Gold Medals in figure skating at the Olympics in 1948 and 1952. He introduced the flying camel and was the first to complete a double axel. Still feisty as ever! Funny, when he dished about other skaters (from all eras), he said. “I hope there are no Twitterers here!” Not a football fan in site.
What about you Victor?
Victor: California native and 49er Fan
This year we hosted a small Super Bowl party with close friends to celebrate our 49ers in the big game. The kids decorated the house with red and gold streamers and we purchased mardi gras beads in honor of the host city- New Orleans. To prepare for the game, we slow cooked a homemade chili and prepared burgers and hot dogs on the grill for the traditional food coma to follow. Cold beers in the fridge, appetizers on the table and the laptop firmly planted on TweetChat with the #49ers hashtag streaming the constant flow of tweets.
We were impressed by the performances by Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson with the Sandy Hook choir, and of course Beyonce. We were not so impressed with the 1st half performance of our beloved 49ers. It was not until the power outage that things started to change, and the fortunes of the 49ers improved, especially when Rose Meagor shared her Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cookies. Throughout the entire game, I was sharing my thoughts and observations with my social community on Twitter and Facebook. A small core of friends and family would share with other and thereby bridging the miles between us and allowing the Super Bowl to be a communal experience. The Super Bowl party extended beyond my walls and each groan and cheer in pixel form.
As our excitement grew in anticipation of a possible win, we could not stay seated. We yelled at the screen, made our own armchair play calling, and in the end were deflated with the outcome. In our exhausted state we admitted it was a good game none the less.I thought the commercials were OK- although most of the favorites I had already seen online BEFORE the Super Bowl. I thought the best commercial was the unscripted one by Oreo. As Sarah has shared, during the power outage the clever and fast thinking people at Oreo managed to take advantage of the situation to promote their beloved cookie and crate social media magic. It was brilliant.
Here is a link to the storify of online activity before, during and after the game.
Super Bowl Tweets http://storify.com/victorgaxiola/superbowl-tweets via @victorgaxiola
Jeff was part of the conversation. What say you Jeff?
Jeff: Football Fan
Here were the top three moments for me in regards to the Super Bowl 47.
First, Not winning, but enjoying the friendly competition amongst co-workers that won our pool. Second, supporting a local family owned Pizza Place, Santa-Clara Pizza-Party, and Third, saving over $100 on not needing to buy Championship T-shirts for me and the kids (Okay I wouldn’t have minded that one). Lastly, yes I know this is number four, watching with my family of five and my virtual party of thousands, by reading posts and thought of plays, the entertainment and of the commercials. All an all this rates up as one of the best games I have participated in as a fan.
Which brings us to Carol.
Carol: San Francisco Sports Fan
My husband and I stayed home to watch on our new TV this year. Mostly, we wanted to be able to watch the game and the commercials without interruption. Made the chili just in the nick of time before kickoff. My Mom and her dog came over. Recorded the game in case we missed anything. We are very serious. My first favorite commercial – Taco Bell senior citizens party. Who says you’re too old to have fun Spent the first half yelling at the TV since the real Niners had not yet shown up. Was too nervous to write anything but watch the play by play comments by my Facebook friends. Thought the Beyonce half time show was great, but seemed somewhat unreal. Wow can they dance, though!
Second half, more yelling at the TV but this time it was the real Niners that were catching up. Saw my friends William Graham and Drena Large post on nearly every play at that point. Had to close my iPad mini…..needed to focus on sending good Karma to the Niners. Watch all the game and all the commercials. Was interested to see that Mercedes used Daniel Dafoe as the devil. But by in large, not the best year for commercials.
Niners came up short so that was sad. But the Ravens won fair and square in spite of the bad holding “no call”.
Looking forward to my SF Giants World Champion baseball. Pitchers and Catchers show up for spring training next week. Hubby and I show up first weekend in March! Can’t wait.
How about you? What was your Super Bowl experience?
Two freedom of information requests reported in the last couple of weeks reveal that in the last few years staff at both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Transport (DoT) have been fired for social media misuse. Whilst the details of the exact circumstances have not been revealed, the UK Government does seem to be sending out mixed messages.
On one hand in its guidance to civil servants issue in May last year it cited it wanted to encourage direct conversation over social, but in response to these recent reports the DWP said that only personnel that had an absolute need were able to use it. Whilst there is definitely an argument for not enabling everyone within an organisation to have access to social media, there has to be a balance of conversation to engage with a community.
According to The Guardian, the DWP has taken disciplinary action over actions on Facebook and Twitter on 116 members of staff since 2009. Most received a warning of some type, but 11 were fired. The DoT, which has a much smaller staff level, had 25 incidents of social media misuse, which resulted in five staff being sacked.
While all employees must behave appropriately and follow guidelines, the immediate nature of social media can mean that sometimes the brain’s discretion filter isn’t always on. Organisations and businesses need to protect both themselves and their employees by ensuring that inappropriate content doesn’t end up online.
A comment made in the heat of the moment, can take on a whole new life of its own. UK PM, David Cameron only joined in the Twitter conversation late last year to a torrent of abuse in response to his first tweet. Wisely did not respond, perhaps as a result of already having to apologise in 2009 when he used bad language just talking about Twitter on live radio, the ultimate real-time communication.
Many major live broadcasts have a few seconds delay to ensure that nothing untoward goes out and enterprises have been using filters in corporate emails for over a decade. Isn’t about time we stopped sacking people for their own stupidity on social and try and provide them with tools to ensure they don’t cause offence in the first place?
This week, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance. The FFIEC is asking for comments within sixty days. You can download the 31-page document here.
Its release has created quite a stir within the banking industry. A comprehensive article appeared on TheFinancialBrand.com, “Regulatory Shocker on Social Media in Banking Coming Soon” that summarizes the guidance quite nicely.
But . . . what’s so shocking?
We’ve been having the same conversations in the securities industry for three years. And in those three years, firms have learned that there are three major areas of risk that need to be mitigated before deploying social media:
- Security: your IT department needs to prevent your firm’s proprietary and client information from being leaked out either inadvertently or maliciously from the enterprise. They also need to ramp up malware protection. That’s because social media users are susceptible to incoming threats as they view themselves as part of a tribe and tend to click on any link sent by a “friend.”
- Compliance and Governance: your legal and compliance departments already know that there are thousands of rules and regulations that govern the communications and advertising of publicly held corporations, firms in general, and bank specifically. Take the securities industry as an example – the banking regulators aren’t issuing new rules and regulations around social media. Social media is viewed as just another form of written communications. Your compliance department is therefore challenged to interpret existing rules as they apply to social media and to develop and enforce firm policies.
- Enablement: your executive team is concerned about productivity and the bottom line. Now that every employee can be the face of the business, you either have a powerful marketing tool or your worst nightmare. Employees will need to be trained on how to use social media effectively to meet the firm’s goals, such as nurturing existing clients, attracting new business, recruiting, and brand awareness.
However, during the last three years, we’ve learned that all these risks can be mitigated by strong corporate polices, backed up with technology and training.
So far, so good. Nothing new here. Or is there? In addition to what we’ve already seen from other regulators, the FFIEC specifically also calls for:
- Creation of policies to address negative feedback or customer complaints, even if a financial firm chooses not to actively engage in social media.
- Monitoring to protect the firm’s brand identity
- Due diligence and oversight for third-party vendors that firms may hire in connection with social media
And the one that I find most interesting:
- Processes and reporting to demonstrate how social media “contributes to the strategic goals of the institution.”
In other words, the FFIEC recommends that firms measure the ROI of social media.
It will be interesting to see the reaction that FFIEC gets from the industry. I just hope that the banking industry can use some of the key learnings from the securities industry to streamline the processes to reap the benefits of “getting social.”
For more details on how to deploy social media within retail banking, you can also check out Belbey Blogs: Upcoming Guidance for the Use of Social Media for Retail Banking from FFIEC.
Recently a customer in the financial sector told us they no longer had to justify the ROI of social media as a pre-requisite for using it for business; that debate was over. This is amazing considering just two years ago our financial institution customers were deciding if a) social media had any business value at all, and b) if Compliance would even allow its use.
In 2011 and 2012, organizations moved from discussing why and how they should use social to witnessing information workers use it in their daily business. In 2013 we will see enterprises start to integrate social into their business processes.
Forward leaning companies recognize that social is a way of doing business, not a distinct activity or channel of communication. As such, social capabilities and practices need to be integrated into your enterprise systems – from CRM and content management to ERP and compliance. A customer or prospect responds to a post made on LinkedIn, it should be noted in their CRM record – automatically. A Financial Advisor sharing an interesting research article with their network should be able to do so right from the content management system-automatically. A fan makes a comment or product suggestion on your Facebook page? It should appear in your customer service or product management systems- automatically.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, the 20% of enterprises that employ social media beyond marketing will lead their industries in revenue growth. A study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research found that by the year 2015, Generation Y spending will approach $2.5 trillion – and in 2018, the annual income of Gen Y-ers will surpass $3 trillion.
If you plan to do business with them, be social!
I’m looking forward to this year, as we are primed to help organizations unleash social business with a strong line-up of new products and services. In addition to extending and enhancing our technology platform, we are investing in experts to assist companies integrate our platform into their enterprise systems to successfully impact business processes. The days of social being used as a single point solution by a few on their lunch breaks are truly over.
Many analyst firms are releasing numbers on expected growth and spending for social software, collaboration and IM platforms in 2013. Besides the challenge of social scale complexity, there are other trends that we at Actiance predict, notably around BYOD, compliance and more.
You can read more about these predictions here .
In future blogs I’ll share with you insights about the blurring of the line between personal and professional use of social, as well as content, compliance and distribution. Till then.
I’m presenting one of Actiance’s regular education webinars this morning, my topic is personal brand and how you can use social to build and maintain it. I’m checking my slides, working through my commentary and I get to my section on establishing a brand presence. The final bullet point on this slide is “No Ghost Town Here” and that makes me think that that’s actually one of the most important points about building a brand on social.
You’ve got to be consistent. What point is there in building a community, building a brand and then letting it fall fallow, go to waste and have no content? Building a brand is HARD WORK. It takes a heck of a lot of time, commitment and often a lot of money. Building a brand that is engaged and engaging is harder. And it takes serious commitment to maintain. If you’re not serious about that, then I question that you’re serious about the rest of your life/business.
By the time you read this, I’ll no doubt have delivered my webinar (its 0900 pacific and you can register here, if you do perchance read this in time), but fear not dear reader, we’ll be recording the session, and as with all our educational webinars, we run them live at a minimum every two weeks, so you can listen to the dulcet tones of one of the Subject Matter Experts here at Actiance, and ask us questions live on air!
However, I’m taking this opportunity to share some tips on how to avoid your brand becoming the social ghost town:
- Commit. You can’t be half committed to social. you’re either in, or you’re not. So either commit the time, or don’t. Be realistic about your commitment. If you’re only going to share content once a month, then, really, Twitter probably isn’t the place for you. Actually if you’re not going to engage with your friends, followers and connections, then consider if social is the right space for your brand at all.. if you want to lurk, you can do that anonymously.
- Have a plan. I know I should start this with strategy, but lets assume you have that. Now get tactical and look at what you’re going to share, how you’re going to engage and with what.
- Sort your content out. Content is hard work. So you need to look up to bullet point one, and then build content into that. And this isn’t as hard as it first looks. Every business has content. Fair enough it might not be in 140 characters of less, but you’ve definitely get content, and face it with 140 characters, you’re cutting it down, not adding to it!
- Associate your brand. You know the values that you want your brand to have (whether your brand is a personal or a corporate brand), so associate it with like brands – re tweet, re purpose, share blogs, follow news feeds. If you ask yourself the question “should I retweet this?”, then the answer is NO. Associate your brand ONLY with those that will reflect well on you.
- Crowdsource: Work through my list. If you associate your brand effectively you will find other good content. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the thousand other networks out there let you collectively share content, so look for what’s popular, what resonates with your network and your aspirations and work that crowd (baby).
- Darn it, I said five in the subject right? ok this is the bonus point. And to my mind its often forgotten and missed in our desire to see our Klout score go up and our Kred extend… LISTEN. (sorry, don’t mean to shout.. but sometimes, over all the noise, on social listening, and THEN engaging is the most important thing we can do.
What did I miss? What’s your tip for ensuring your brand doesn’t become a social ghost town?
PS: My graphic today comes from Bodie State Park, California – a ghost town apart from the park rangers, and well worth the trip, its a superb state park with some great stories!
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