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6 obstacles that prevent social business ROI

If you are in a larger business, I hope this article gives insight to why there are certain broken processes at both the organizational and market level.

It talks about the fundamental flaws that inhibit organizations from utilizing talent that can do amazing things for your organization.

It can be a little bit like space exploration

If we gauged the NASA program by the number of successful launches we’ve had,

the metric would be not only meaningless, but fundamentally broken.

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Corporate Social Media Training Tools

Here is a method of having an actionable conversation about corporate social media training within your organization and how you can develop a better understanding of cross-departmental benefits.

The Business Case

One of the biggest problems with corporate social media is that departmental teams fail to think outside the project box they are looking at.

This often means that they are trying to force a square cog (social media)  into a round hole (the immediate project requirements.)

The core issue with this is that we are not dealing with square cogs and round holes.

We are dealing with a conversation about the way dozens of different pieces plug into a limitless number of business scenarios.
The simple reality is that most people don’t have a deep understanding of available solutions and force the incorrect assumptions into place.

While we want to categorize social media into something we can either adopt or dismiss, we need to think about how the term ‘social media’ is has been used to improperly label innovation within the corporate structure. Most of us like to think of social media as a ‘digital marketing’ channel and as a ‘buzz’ phrase connecting to PR and word-of-mouth. In many cases  we compound the issue by grouping it with web design, graphic arts, and online advertising.

Social media is the  generalized term for ‘all things belonging to the web’ ….

We need to first agree on what social media is and is not.

We need a process for clarity…

What matters is that you can sit down with a project team and agree what is and is not in the scope of your project.

The Visual Solution

Imagine your team has fifty different components it needs to consider for you net project. These components can range from business process points including customer service and product design, to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Each one of these components is going to be placed into a circle on a basic diagram.

The sample below demonstrates 50+ items that could go into a conversation about launching a new product.

corporate social media training

 

The idea behind the process is fairly simple: while the sample has 50+ components we could be dealing with anywhere from two to a hundred items.

Identifying Categories

While we may have brainstormed 50+ items for our project team, we can easily group together like-minded items that belong to the same general niche within the project.

By taking the above items I’ve broken out some groupings for a conversation about my next social project.

  • Social Media Content Types
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Search Engines
  • Location Based Elements
  • Technology / IT issues
  • Business Unit Considerations
  • Business Validation 
  • Market Intelligence

 corporate social business training

What Social Media Is and Is Not

One of the most important steps of having this information on one sheet of paper is to identify what is and is not included in the current business conversation. It is critical to purposely remove an item from the conversation instead of assuming it is not included.

  • Removing it means everyone knows about it.
  • Assuming it means someone may not know it even exists.

Simply take your conversation map out and cross off any topics that are not involved in the current project scope. Before any item is removed from the conversation it should be confirmed that everyone in the decision making team actually knows what it is!

corporate social business training

Exercise #1 – Discovering Areas of Impact

Once you have 3-4 categories established, print out a few copies of the circles on paper and cut them apart.

During your group conversation you should practice moving through several areas of forced ideation:

  • randomly pull three to five circles and detail how the five elements interact.
  • take the same three to five circles and detail best case scenario and worse case scenario
  • take three to five circles and detail employee, management, and executive perspective
  • take three to five circles and detail internal (sales, marketing, HR) vs external (customer, prospect, market) perspective

Exercise #2 – Identifying Areas of Education

Pull out a pen and rate each circle from 1 to 5 based upon the expertise and understanding of the people within the decision making conversation.

  1. limited knowledge, no practical hands-on experience
  2. casual understanding, basic understanding
  3. recurring monthly experience, familiarity with daily usage
  4. can recite best practices to others, strong understanding of topic
  5. expert understanding, forward looking perspective, can relate topic to business impacts

During the rating process you should maintain a heavy bias towards any decision that is made using a sphere of expertise that uses a 1,2, or 3 rating.  A rating of 1 to 3 means that your group has a restricted view of the topics being affected and you are making a blind decision about the risks, benefits, and revenue impacts.

On-going Tests

While the two sample exercises above only introduce some of the basic areas of conversation you need to engage in, the basic framework above helps to identify your strengths and weaknesses concerning digital projects.

By understanding what topics overlap and what your core knowledge is surrounding those elements you can seek out and recruit subject matter experts to assist in making the right decisions.

When you develop you understanding of critical elements your understanding of social media and new technology being adopted into your business will quickly touch on hundreds of areas that have substantial business impacts. This will highlight where your corporate social media training initiatives can help reach tactical battles and strategic initiatives.

 

Creating a Free Social Media Dashboard

As digital noise becomes more and more prevalent, the ability for the average professional to sift through noise and tune into actionable information is critical.

This article walks through the process to create a straight-forward social media dashboard that can be used as a daily social media training and social business engagement tool. Your social media dashboard will help you monitor profiles and keywords on services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

With a few of these working in your favor, you will always have insight to the most recent topics covering your business.

Suggested uses for creating your first social media dashboard:

  • Topic Based: create an insight to your current work project
  • Education Based: track future topics to stay up-to-date
  • Team Based: share info to help project expertise and market changes
  • Competitive Based: monitor companies, executives, or work teams Read more

Social Media Budget Planning and ROI

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This article is for anyone who is trying, wanting, or begging to understand why social media isn’t working within their organization. It is for anyone who feels like the application of social media within their business is hand-cuffed by a departmental silos and cultural ignorance.

You could be a line worker trying to do something new, middle management trying to organize your department, or an executive trying to establish where all this ‘stuff’ fits in.

I’m going to talk a bit about the fundamental viewpoint needed to make the correct long-term and sustainable social media budget and ROI choice.

My two opening statements

#1 Social Media should include marketing.
But it isn’t only marketing.

Social media budget should be integrated into a multidisciplinary support initiative covering holistic impact points that spread through-out the organization. Costs should be scaled against the capability to deliver on specific benefit opportunities and the reduction of potential risks.

#2 Social Media is not a one-time cost.
It is an on-going asset that grows.

While marketing often revolves around short-term project goals, many of the primary benefits of social media reside in long-term areas of the organization. These include such categories as customer service, employee knowledge management, talent acquisition, brand growth, and market leadership. Failing to have strategic and actionable a one to five year plan for the adoption of new trends is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Read more