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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.

 

Background Checks Part II – discrimination, privacy, accuracy and compliance

As a professional, many of us are troubled by the notion that we may be judged by our actions, our history, our lifestyle, or the people we associate with.

In some cases we go through great lengths to create separation between our personal or public lives, even creating multiple silos within our personal and professional lives to create harmony and goodwill in our conversation.

Using myself as a personal example: I am the person who can have almost any conversation on almost any topic. I have a thick skin that is supported by a multi-faceted personality with humor, morality, and respect at its core. I have had the benefit of dealing with life and death crisis situations, personal tragedy, and industry changing business problems. With that said, I can talk to almost anyone on any subject.I know when to admit to things I do not know, and when to ask the hard questions.

The social media world creates a strange track history of my interactions with these conversations. I have a personal poetry site that doesn’t have a thing to do with my business life, and like every other person: my friends have a myriad of personal beliefs ranging from extreme religion to activism.

With such a varied personal and professional background, the web audience at large could dig into any particular silo and eventually find something they do not agree with… but they can also see a breadth of experience. Read more

Strategic Social Media, from Disney with Love.

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting digital media at Disney Interactive in partnership with the Washington Technology Industry Association. As expected, we sold out the event and had a variety of executives from Washington businesses in attendance.

Three of the largest “wrap your mind around it” items are covered on slide three, four, and sixteen (detail below) – along with a partner brainstorm and diagram sheet on slide twenty. The full deck is included below.

SLIDE THREE: Growth of Conversation. Is a simple visual really: from 2007 to 2009 we have seen 342 million conversations grow to 588 million. That percentage shift is noteworthy, but the larger trend to look at is how much of the conversation shifted from being “on site” to “off site”- this is the magic shift that identifies how the audience has seized control of communication channels.

[stextbox id=”info”]Keep in mind: that these users come from all sorts of digital niches. They break the traditional model of communicating with local people, and represent transmission of information across cultural, financial, legal, and geographic borders. [/stextbox] Read more

Post Trade Show Checklist 401

After attending some amazing events this season and watching some truly exceptional minds bring a lot to the table, I wanted to share some of my own professional insights to help these talented individuals reach the next level.

One of the benefits of coming out of a Fortune 50 corporate background is the massive number of high-end trade shows and conferences I had the chance to attend, present, and exhibit at. I am privileged to have watched some truly talented sales/marketing teams plan, produce, and execute comprehensive event plans. We have to keep in mind that the fundamental basis for attending an event is to display your best… and have everyone on your team needs to be “game on.”

You have one chance to make a first impression,
and a lifetime of follow-up to make it real.

It is up to you to make an impact,
remind them who you are, and make the sale.

Read more

I’m baffled, that doesn’t happen very often.

This is a personal insight post, with little connection to my normal topics. If you feel like reading it to gain a better perspective on my thought process or care to engage in conversation, feel free.  I apologize if the specifics of the situation are vague, but due to confidentiality and relationships I don’t have the luxury of disclosing the problem at this time.

Today I shot coffee out my nose. I wanted to laugh, but it was too painful.

In dealing with executive teams, I give expert level insight to both tactical and strategic questions. I am also usually one of the handful of voices that has the character and professional understanding to ask the really hard questions or the questions that no one knows.

Don’t get me wrong. I am the nicest guy.
I can be casual and personable, but I can also be a hatchet man (disclaimer, I am a Gemini.) Read more