Archive for ‘enterprise social media’ category

Moving the Needle: Showing the Impact of Your Work

31 March, 2016 | | No Comment

You can work your butt off posting awesome social media promos, but if you can’t demonstrate the impact of what you’ve done, why should anyone believe that you’re worth your paycheck? It’s challenging to show a direct impact sometimes with social media. The nature of these platforms is that people are browsing, having some fun, and not seriously considering buying anything or registering for something. It’s hard to actually do stuff on your phone (if you’re over 40).

Get creative. Think of all the ways you might be moving the needle. I’ve been diligently tagging URLs with Omniture code to show how much traffic social media is driving to our website. Normally that’s good enough to demonstrate ROI, but we had a situation that was a bit different. We needed to raise awareness of a registration process, and we wanted to try to show that our promotions helped drive registration. Unfortunately, the Omniture data was showing only about 5% of registrations as a direct result of a social media promo. (Which makes, sense, see above.)

The data WAS showing that more than half of traffic was driven by search engines. So I told everyone, “We’re raising AWARENESS of the registration process, and people are then searching for it later to register.” Everyone seemed happy with that explanation, but I needed more. I NEED a chart to prove my point! I can’t prove that the search engine traffic was a result of anything we did. Anything less makes me vaguely uncomfortable. (Note to self: Create a chart for husband’s “Honey Do” list.)

So I thought, “I wonder if we can show some kind of correlation in the number or reach of our promotions to the number of registrations.” I was not optimistic because the weekly results that I had seen didn’t seem to show an impact. Apparently I was only checking the last 2 weeks of the campaign.

Number of Promos Correlated to Number of Registrations

The final result chart is impressive but you’re seeing the result of hours of work. We compiled over 200 promos and Press releases to complete the chart. Don’t be discouraged if your first “hunch” doesn’t pay off. Many times it won’t and you’ll end up with a chart that doesn’t make any valuable point at all. Keep trying! It’s worth it in the end.

Don’t Just Measure, Measure *Everything*

1 February, 2013 | | No Comment

OK, maybe Ivana wasn’t talking about social media metrics, but I like saying the title to this post in my best Ivana Trump accent.

Managing a large federal social media program has been a learning process. It’s all well and good to think up clever posts and tweets, monitor daily, and engage with fans. But if you can’t demonstrate the value of your program to management, then eventually nobody will see the point in keeping your program around.

There are lots of conferences and Web seminars that promise how to teach me how to demonstrate ROI to management (for a hefty price tag). I’ve been to some of these, and they’re a waste of time. There is no “one size fits all” method to metrics, it’s really all about what matters to your management.

For example, one of our clients is all about numbers, she really likes the solid quantitative metrics. Her boss is more interested in the larger buzz trends and the top influencers. And yet another program has very high visibility (and is a critical client for us.) We always need to be ready to show wins there.

So, how do we prepare for the periodic (inevitable) call to present our success? We keep track of everything. Because you never know exactly where the wins are going to show up and what trends are going to emerge. One month we might see a record number of Facebook clicks. The next month might be the biggest jump in YouTube views ever. Another month might be the highest Twitter reach…you get the idea. And those are just the quantitative metrics, there’s also the anecdotal. We constantly take screenshots of interesting user comments. Sometimes we’ll use them, sometimes we won’t, but we never know what we will be able to use.

I have a monster Google Doc spreadsheet that I keep updated every month. Some of the running metrics I tally are:

  • Number of tweets per month
  • Total reach of tweets that month
  • Average Reach Per Tweet
  • Number of Facebook Fans Talking about us this month
  • Reach of Facebook Posts this month
  • Facebook clicks
  • YouTube minutes watched
  • YouTube engagement
  • Bitly clickthroughs
my monster spreadsheet

My monster social media metrics spreadsheet: it keeps growing!

Your Employees are Your Biggest Advocates

14 February, 2010 | | No Comment

Are you still pummeling the public with your ads and messages? Have you noticed that nobody is paying attention?

What people care about most now is what their friends and acquaintances say about your brand. So stop wasting your money on short-lived campaigns or what you hope will be the next “viral video” – even if you garner millions of views on YouTube, you’ll never see it translate into sales. As the saying goes, “Social Media is not a campaign, it’s a commitment.”

In today’s market where you are competing for consumers’ precious attention, you need to cultivate relationships. Those relationships already exist – in your employees’ personal networks. That doesn’t mean every employee needs to blog about how much they love their work. It could be as simple as posting a job opening to their LinkedIn and Facebook Networks. That tells their friends and family “come work at Company X – we’re good people.”

Empower your employees to talk about your brand. They’re your most powerful advocates. Authentic interactions with your employees can go a long way towards building trust in your brand. Paying an agency to Tweet or Blog or Facebook on your behalf betrays that trust.

You have to plant the seeds now for a lush and healthy garden — and stop wasting your money on what seems like a quick and easy fix.

But don’t just take my word for it. Gia Lyons (aka Social Media Evangelista Extraordinaire) presented this at Social Fresh:

Nortel uses their PR Blog to Discuss Financials

25 November, 2008 | | No Comment

I think it is interesting how more and more companies are turning to their blogs to communicate “serious” financial news.

Nortel’s PR Blogger Weighs in On Negative Financial Coverage
PRWeek (11/17/08) Daniels, Chris

One day after Nortel announced a massive third-quarter loss and layoffs of 1,300 employees, new media manager Bo Gowan listed on his Nov. 11 blog links of news articles that, in his opinion, presented “a little more in-depth analysis and commentary that provided some differentiation [from] the typical straight coverage” regarding Nortel’s quarter financials. The Nortel Buzzword blog was introduced earlier in 2008, and Gowan informed PRWeek that Nortel’s business communications team made a deliberate decision to discuss financials, in spite of heightened concerns about disclosure. He noted that 90 percent of the media coverage regarding Nortel’s third quarter concentrated on the numbers, and, with his recent blog post, explained that the telecommunications firm is offering a service to analysts and other interested entities who are seeking different viewpoints. Traffic to Nortel Buzzword supports Gowan’s point, as the amount of visits to the blog rose to unprecedented high! s recently. “If we are going to have an effective blog and have a conversation with people, you have to have that conversation in good times and bad,” Gowan said. “It is very similar to traditional PR: If you talk in the good times, but say no to interviews in the bad times, you lose a little credibility.” He added that this is much more the case with blogs, because they are “such a conscious stream of information.”

Web Link | Return to Headlines
http://blogs.nortel.com/buzzboard/2008/11/11/3q08-financials-news-coverage-round-up/

Help create believers in Social Media!

31 October, 2008 | | 4 Comments

Help me show how effective social media can be as a recruiting tool! I’ve already spammed my networks on LinkedIn, but now I’m casting a wider net by posting this on my blog. I’d love to raise some eyebrows and impress my colleagues here at VeriSign with the effectiveness of online social networks.

Help me find qualified candidates for these jobs which are in Dulles, VA; Mountain View, CA and New York, NY. I figure that at this point all of us know *someone* who is looking for a job. And, as the self-crowned “social media queen” of VeriSign it behooves me to create a real-world case study for Twitter and Blogging. (full disclosure: I’ll get a referral bonus if someone gets hired – but that’s not what is motivating me here, ok? REALLY!)

Jobs in Mountain View, CA and New York City

Jobs in Dulles, VA

A Social Media Case Study from Radian6

30 October, 2008 | | 1 Comment

Since June I’ve been bugging social media experts like Amy Paquette of Cisco, Gia Lyons of Jive Software, Steve Mann of SAP, Tac Anderson of HP, and Jeff Moriarty and Kelly Feller of Intel. I’ve been looking for the “Holy Grail of Social Media” – namely, case studies and ROI. So I’m pleased to tell you that VeriSign is now featured in a new case study from the brilliant Social Media Monitoring company, Radian6. Now I finally have something to give back to all of these folks who have been so generous with their time.

What Radian6 does is amazing. With all those “Google Alerts” and other info available, it can get tough to figure out what’s worth paying attention to. Radian6 is a blogosphere monitoring tool that helps cut through the noise and understand:

Who is talking about your brand?
What’s the level of engagement around any particular post?
What’s the overall influence of the blogger?

The tool takes a little training, since it is a bit complex. You create your own customized “River of News” which is an apt analogy, because without this tool you’re drowning in data. Radian6 (and Mike Manuel and Ryan Lack of Voce) have helped VeriSign stay on top of current trends, and much more…read the case study!

VeriSign and Voce Communications: A Radian6 Case Study

Steal This Social Media Plan!

21 October, 2008 | | No Comment

I recently put together a Social Media Program plan for 2009. My hope was to expand our existing blog program into a larger entity that would coordinate and oversee the social media efforts of our disparate business units. There is a need for proper processes and policies, and especially for education around the “dos and dont’s” of social media. I caught wind of some rogue marketers who plan to spam the blogosphere with their messages. I quickly pinged Amy Paquette of Cisco, who has been a great source of knowledge and advice. She advised that training and education should be a primary focus of any social media program. Well, here is my proposed plan. I’m not sure how well it has served my purposes, so I encourage everyone else to see if there is any value in it for them. Then at least I won’t feel like I have wasted my time.

Social Network Analysis: The Power of Informal Networks

9 September, 2008 | | 2 Comments

I attended the “Network Roundtable” conference here in Virginia.

Social Network Analysis (“SNA”), also known as Organizational Analysis “ONA” is an established field with many professionals who make their living doing this (who knew?) It was not a large conference but people came from across the country and around the globe to attend. This was an introduction to the concepts for me but I found it very interesting, as sort of the “real-world basis” for online Social Media. It provides the foundation and background I have been seeking for why Social Media is so compelling…because it’s based in basic human interactions.

Rob Cross is a professor of management at UVA. He is an excellent presenter with a great sense of humor and great energy. Everyone laughed when he described how the more scientific approach to Organizational Network Analysis can (and should) replace the “kumbaya off-sites with executives falling into each other’s arms.”

The conference offered a very academic approach. The goal is to diagnose issues within an organization, and the tactics are through surveys and interviews. What you usually see is a diagram that looks like a constellation, identifying the connections and relationships between individuals. You can see which individuals are highly connected or integrated, as well as those that are on the periphery.

SNA can be useful for onboarding new employees, as well as helping existing employees with their transitions. It can be used to identify “bottlenecks” such as an executive who does not have the time to approve all the requests that come their way. It helps with Operational efficiency. For me, the most compelling use of it is to find out who in your organization is most connected, and is adding value by acting as a “bridge” between disparate groups. Once these valuable people are identified, they can be rewarded / motivated to stay with the company. It is fairly scientific in that it is based on data gathering and I saw a lot of these types of “constellation” charts.

There were a lot of case studies presented, including Microsoft, 3M, IBM and Raytheon. But I’m still somehow at a loss for how this methodology might be applied to my own company. Maybe that is because I’m still new to the concepts, and I have no background in Organizational Development or HR. One strong message that was communicated is “forget about the tools.” That’s funny because I ended up at the conference because I was brought into an evaluation of Internal Collaboration Software because of my expertise in Social Media. I became involved in the issue of building internal community.

One favorite presentation was Larry Prusak, who drew upon historical and economic principles to make his point about the importance of knowledge and networks. He insists that online social networks can never replace those in the “real world.” I think that the next generation of Internet users will prove him wrong!

Personally I really appreciated Ted Smith, a marketing guy who pointed out that marketing and PR pros tend to focus only on those individuals who are “Most connected” (e.g., the uber bloggers / influencers) while in fact, there are more individuals who are PRETTY well connected, and they appreciate the same messages as the “ultra connected” folks. I asked him to send me some more concrete examples.

I also really enjoyed the presentation by Margaret Schweer, who referenced a lot of the Web 2.0 technologies, and explained what ONA is REALLY good for. She provided a good summary of how HR might be able to use these techniques.

On the first day of the conference, Peter Gloor left everyone buzzing when he showed us how analysis of online info (blogs and online forums) can predict the real world interactions, including stock prices!

Grady Bryant has given me a copy of Rob Cross’ book: “The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding how Work Really Gets Done in Organizations” so now I’ll be able to brush up on some of the ideas that are new to me.

Company Culture at HP creates an Integrated Social Media Program

8 August, 2008 | | 5 Comments

Part one of an “interview” with HP’s Tac Anderson

Tac Anderson is a the Web 2.0 Strategic lead for HP’s Imaging and Printing group. HP is one of the brands that I benchmarked for blogging best practices in 2005, so I was curious to find out what they are doing today with social media. Tac has been a student of social media since back in the 90s when we used to call this stuff “Community.” He truly loves his work, saying:

If I wasn’t getting paid to do this, I’d be getting in trouble for doing it too much at work.
– Tac Anderson

Does HP have the Three “Success Indicators” For Social Media?
As I have previously blogged, there are three factors that are present in Enterprise Companies that are successful in the use of social media:
1. A top-down driven approach
2. A robust internal community
3. A company culture that encourages openness and trust.

At HP the hierarchy is flat, with small, empowered work teams and managers who control their own budget. There are 3 business units, Tac works in Imaging and Printing (IPG). Tac’s BU is advanced in their use use of social media, mostly because their executive Vice President was a key driver of Web 2.0 technologies inside HP. So, just like we saw at Cisco, Intel and SAP, there was a top-down driven approach at HP

Tac described a strong internal community at HP, with hundreds of blogs, and an Internal Wiki called “Pligg” (like “Digg.) There are many more social media tools used internally than externally.

The motivated, empowered workforce at HP creates a culture that is conducive to embracing social media. The business units are independent of each other; there is no Corporate Social Media Team. There is a lot of social-media-related activity at HP, but it’s more about integrating Social Media into existing Corporate Communications or product launches.

A Comparison to Dell’s Unified Corporate Approach
It’s critical to understand this company culture if you want to understand HP’s approach to Social Media. It’s different than — for example — Dell, which has a unified approach to marketing and social media. (All the Tweeters use “@Dell” as part of their name.) But let’s remember that at Dell, someone wrote a blank check to get the company out of “Dell Hell.” And Comcast, now the darling of every Social Media presentation, had to do something to erase the memory of the technician sleeping on the couch, didn’t they? Does it really take a major Brand Disaster to get Enterprise companies on the Social Media bandwagon?

How Did Social Media at HP Evolve?
HP’s social media program was originally driven out of marketing, and began with a handful of corporate blogs. HP Communities
Seems to be the “official” HP Community, complete with employee-contributed video that you can vote on, podcasts, a link to the idea lab and to the “Wet Paint” wiki, which is a community for members to show off their creativity. And 50 “official” corporate blogs.

Then there are 60 HP “Employee Business Blogs” that are hosted on HP Platform, written by various business groups. A few executives even have their personal blogs. The number of blogs is growing weekly, recently they launched their first foreign language blog.

But the real jaw dropper is that there are links off to the employee’s PERSONAL blogs. I love this! My legal team would keel over if we tried to do this. But HP’s Legal team was apparently satisfied with the following disclaimer.

How Does HP Mitigate the Risks of Blogging?
1. The HP Blogging Code of Conduct is posted front and center on the Community site.
2. HP has an organization called the “Core Community Council” that reviews blog applications and approves them. But they don’t follow up or monitor the bloggers in any way.
3. Legal advises bloggers on how to protect themselves from risk, but unless it’s an obvious violation, they don’t interfere.

So, in other words, employees are trusted to not act like idiots. As Tac puts it:

“We hire the right people and we let them do their job”
— Tac Anderson

Nicely done, HP. Your unique company culture seems to work pretty well.

Cardio or Weight Training? Social Media is a Lot of Hard Work…

26 July, 2008 | | 2 Comments

After meeting with other Social Media professionals at Cisco, Intel and SAP, I have noticed three distinct characteristics that appear to contribute to the success of Social Media programs:

1. Social Media Initiatives came from “the Top:”
At Cisco, John Chambers’ blog post about the iPhone lawsuit set off an avalanche of external blogging. At SAP, the CMO requested a social media strategy.

2. Internal Community Helps: Both Cisco and Intel have a robust internal community that allows potential bloggers to try out the medium and find their voice.

3. Company Culture:
Cisco and Intel (especially Intel) both have an internal environment that is receptive to social media. Here is what I wrote about their cultures: “Social Media at Intel” and “The Evolution of Social Media at Cisco.

I just spent a week at our corporate headquarters where I met with execs who are supportive of social media initiatives for our company. As I think about how we should move forward, I am working with a PR agency that specializes in Social Media. They have lots of good ideas for me. But I still have a lot of work to do on my own…

As I vividly recollect how hard it was to drag my butt in to the gym this morning, this analogy of Social Media to personal training by Jim Durbin reminds me that we still have a lot of “heavy lifting” to do internally — and the agency can’t do these things for us:

Paying Sven to do your workout for you isn’t going to help you, it’s only going to enrich Sven. And for far too many of us, purchasing a 3 year membership at the 24 Hour Fitness of Social Media hotspot is a subsitute for actually exercising.

So, while our agency (a.k.a “Sven”) can help with some efforts (like monitoring the blogosphere), we have to continue to lay the groundwork of a social media program. I still need to persuade legal to open up the blog program, and update our policies so that employees won’t feel scared to start a blog. And finally, there are our marketing folks, whose favorite phrase is “viral video.” : – )