4 Steps to Transform Your Brand Into a Social Business

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Smart Business, Social Business Book Review: Learn how business leaders can transform their organization from a social brand to a social business.

4 Steps to Becoming a Social Business

Here’s what it takes to become a social business, according to Brito.

#1: Tear Down Silos and Allow Cultural Change

When employees or departments work in a vacuum without considering how their actions impact the whole organization (e.g., Yahoo!) the result is a lack of communication, displaced goals and vision and ultimately customer confusion.

siloTear down organizational silos to communicate more effectively.

So the first step to becoming a social business is to tear down silos, communicate transparently about failures, get everyone (including executives) behind social media, and then trust and empower employees to engage with customers through social media.

#2: Adopt the Right Social Technologies

The next step is to invest in technology that allows for collaboration, open sharing across departments, streamlining of workflows and engaging internally and externally with customers.

Examples of such technologies are Jive, IBM, MS SharePoint, Box.net, Tibbr and Yammer.

Social listening is also an important priority for social businesses, as it allows companies to gain valuable insights about customers and hence prepare a suitable plan of action or response strategy. There are many good social listening platforms to choose from, including Radian6Lithium and Meltwater Buzz.

#3: Establish Governance Models

The next step is to develop policies that will guide employees’ use of social media. A social media policy or guideline provides a standard of practice for employees to fall back on when they’re using social media on both personal and professional levels.

Here’s a good article on how to create a social media guideline.

the rule bookA governance model is a set of rules that companies create to manage social media internally.

In addition to establishing guidelines, there should also be ongoing training, non-competitive collaboration with other companies (to share best practices) and thecreation of executive councils to help steer and give direction to social media use within the company.

#4: Embrace the Social Consumer

The next step is to embrace social customers and learn how to work with them in a collaborative fashion. Today’s social customer has a voice that goes beyond his immediate audience—he is influential and willing to share both positive and negative brand experiences online.

Companies can collaborate with the social customer by hiring a social media practitioner whose job is to establish, foster and guide the conversation with social customers.

When hiring a social media practitioner, look for someone who is passionate about customers and the brand; is a strategic, analytical thinker; and has strong collaboration skills and a people personality.

 

Image source: iStockPhoto.
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6 Must-Have Attributes of Social Media Managers

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Hiring someone to handle your company’s social media message is an important step to growing your business, here are some skills to look for.

  1. Naturally Curious – Being naturally curious about what everyone’s working on in your company and the impact on customers, is important. A good social media manager should tap into different areas of the business and gather appropriate information that is engaging.
  2. Writes Conversationally – Your messages shouldn’t sound like advertising. It’s important to hire someone who can write in a conversational voice, which isn’t always an easy task. Well-crafted conversational content for social media opens up a dialogue between business/brand and customers, and ideally, between customers themselves.
  3. Operates with a sense of urgency. Unlike traditional corporate communications tools like press releases or prepared interviews and speeches, social media demands immediacy. A question or comment posted on Twitter or on your brand’s Facebook Page or blog must be answered right away. Professional social media managers understand this and respond real-time, with the company’s set protocols and guidelines.
  4. Understands your business-related goals. All content on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile, YouTube channel, etc., has to support your business-related goals. Which means that your social media manager must have an intimate understanding of the company’s goals. That requires an editorial calendar displaying a majority of your company’s posts for the next 30-60 days — each tied to your goals for the current fiscal quarter or year.
  5. Seeks input from others. Social media managers shouldn’t work in a vacuum. They need to be proactive, checking with those who know best like department managers, executive team members and front line staffers. Social media managers are only as good as the people around them and the information they freely offer up.
  6. Respects confidentiality. A social media manager needs access to all areas of your business. They must know what’s okay to share and what can never be revealed. Forward-looking or safe harbor statements for instance, are never meant for public consumption. Neither are topics related to personnel, vendors and regulatory issues that impact your business. Your social media manager should possess a “when in doubt, kick it out” mentality.

 
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Twitter Site Stops Showing What Service You’re Using

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Bad news for Hootsuite, Tweetbot, Ecofon and other third-party Twitter clients: your services are about to get a lot less free advertising.
The social media giant, already accused of making life harder for such services, has quietly made another change: when browsing Twitter.com, you will no longer be able to see how each tweet was posted.
The change already happened in Twitter’s mobile app, but removing it from the website is a different matter. Previously, Twitter appeared to be following a policy of providing as much information about each tweet on its website as possible, even if you had to click on “Details” in order to find it.
Twitter clamping down on third-party services in a variety of ways, in a bid to control how its content looks (and more importantly, how it is monetized.)
This feature allowed you to see, for example, that a favored celebrity posts their tweets via Tweetdeck (a popular third-party service acquired by Twitter last year). On the other hand, it also gave rise to services that would let you schedule tweets with the appearance that they were posted on the web.
So all tweets now look more homogenous, and your privacy is protected. But it’s hard not to see this in the context of the wider story: Twitter clamping down on third-party services in a variety of ways, in a bid to control how its content looks (and more importantly, how it is monetized.)
The Twitter API restrictions have led to the popular hashtag #OccupyTwitter, and given rise to an ad-free crowd-funded Twitter rival, App.net. Ironically, it was an App.net user who first noticed the change on Twitter.com.
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Is Traditional TV Dying? [Infographic]

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Is Traditional TV Dying?

Talk to generation Y and they’ll tell you that TV’s are on the way out! While we may have spent the last 80 years enjoying TV in the comfort of our living rooms, the future trend is to watch it on your computer or from your computer with hdmi making your small screen bigger than life!
In the fast-moving world of today, taking the time to sit down to watch something that is scheduled on TV is difficult for people to do. Especially since we have become so used to instant gratification at a time that is convenient for us.

Just recently, Netflix stated that their viewers were watching more than a staggering 1 billion hours of content for the month of June. The first time this has happened which equates to around 38 hours of streaming video per subscriber for the month! In December 2011 that was just 28 hours per subscriber, so the number are way up.

But what about other aspects of our lives that are been changed by technology like this – Skype is now our go to tech for long distance calling and how many people are no longer reading books, but downloading them to their reading devices.

While it has taken 80 years to generate 290 million viewers – it has only taken less than 10 years to generate 125 million online!

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