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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.

 

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

EVENT: BuzzRE Portland – technology for the real estate industry – June 3rd

If you are a real estate professional in the Washington / Oregon area, I encourage you to take a day trip to Portland and join me at BuzzRE on June 3rd. This event is a huge steal for anyone in this niche, as a few of the professionals I will be presenting with have some amazing insight to different sections of the “real estate puzzle” and this is the chance to hear it all in one spot.

I will be presenting on the niche of real estate brand and reputation, discussing tactics and strategies for defending professional “real estate” that relates to your business, along with proven methods of driving more business using reputation assets.

BuzzRE includes a variety of other talented speakers that include:

Jeff Turner: Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and a seasoned business executive of 20 plus years. In addition to his role as President at Zeek Interactive, Jeff is the founder and creative force behind Real Estate Shows and widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on social media marketing strategy and execution, and a sought after conference speaker on topics related to emerging technologies.

Dustin Luther: Through 4realz.net Strategies, Dustin helps real estate companies develop internet marketing strategies to better reach their audiences. Ever since he launched one of the first real estate blogs, Rain City Guide, nearly five years ago, he’s been a prominent voice in educating real estate professionals on how to improve their online marketing having been a featured speaker at countless national and local events.

Joel Burslem:  Joel was the founder of the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog which was acquired by Inman News in 2007. Named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Real Estate bloggers in 2007 and 2008, Joel regularly speaks about technology and real estate marketing to audiences across the nation and he is frequently called upon to comment on these subjects by mainstream media like New York Times, BusinessWeek, International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal.

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About Barry Hurd

As an experienced chief digital officer, Barry Hurd provides digital innovation and technology strategy on complex business processes being affected by new technology trends in data monetization strategies, market research, competitive intelligence, big data cloud analysis, cyber risk/security, and PII (personally identifiable information.)

A results oriented business mind, he focuses insight and innovation by applying actionable digital business models. He is an acknowledged leader in online business strategy, thought-leadership, and digital business integration.

He can often be found speaking on topics of Entrepreneurship, Cyber Security, Social Engineering, Big Data, Smart Data, Social Mobile Analytics Cloud (SMA), Marketing, Search Optimization, Social Monitoring, Personally Identifiable Information, Digital Analytics, Online Reputation, Digital Forensics and Competitive Intelligence.

He believes in sharing knowledge and applying concepts to real world problems that are justified with functioning business cases, while exploring how like-minded business models apply across regional and industry channels.

He has presented to

  • Disney Interactive
  • Wall Street Journal
  • TEDx
  • Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)
  • DEMO.com
  • Attachmate
  • SecureWorld
  • The University of Washington
  • Seattle UniversityWall Street Journal
  • Master Builders Association
  • MIT Enterprise Forums
  • Washington Wine Symposium
  • The Executive Network
  • REI
  • Snohomish, Lake Union, Issaquah & Bellevue Chambers of Commerce
  • Puget Sound Architectural Marketing Council
  • Privacy Identity Innovation
  • MIT Enterprise Forums
  • MarketMix
  • BuzzRE Real Estate Conference
  • Guidepoint Global
  • National Auctioneers Association
  • Bigfoot Social Networking Conference
  • ClubCorp
  • CASE Alumni Network
  • National Association of Realtors
  • RIS – Real Estate Magazine
  • Active Agent 2.0
  • Microsoft
  • Social Media Club
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society
  • NOWA – Northwest Outdoor Writers Association

Past projects have included

  • AIG Global Insurance
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Microsoft XBOX
  • Microsoft World Partner Conference
  • Consumer Electronics Show
  • Walmart
  • Aetna
  • Regence Blue Shield
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Keller Williams
  • REI
  • Washington Technology Industry Association
  • TMP Worldwide
  • Washington State Patrol
  • DEMO.com
  • Cardiac Science
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • AllRecipes.com
  • TEDxSeattle
    Monster.com
  • Richard Petty – NASCAR
  • Maveron Venture Capital
  • IDG Communications
    Devry University
  • Antioch University
  • Ball State University
  • Verizon Superpages
  • TravelClick
  • RIS Media
  • Onvia
  • Big Data Big Innovation
  • Intuit
  • International Insurance Society
  • Microsoft Forefront
  • Microsoft Hololens
  • Hitachi Vantara
  • Mphasis (NextAngles)
  • Dow Jones

Press Coverage

Barry has received press coverage from such sources as the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, St Louis Dispatch, Seattle PI, The Seattle Times, DEMO, Digital Marketing Institute, Better Homes and Gardens, St. Olaf College, Hightable.com, Q13 Fox Seattle, Alltop, TopRank BigList, Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, MedicalMarcom, Real Estate Magazine, Intent Magazine, Best Big Business Blogs, Bulldog Reporter, WebProNews, Ragan Communications, Mashable, Everett Herald, King County Business Journal, and The National Law Journal (Law.com)

He can also be found Tweeting on @barryhurd

If you would like to have him speak with your group, business, or association – please check out his keynote speaker page.

You can also reach him through this contact page.