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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’


Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to present  my views on social media analytics at Business Insider’s Social Media Analytics conference (you can view the slides from my presentation here).  The lessons I presented were based on my own experience, both based on my work at SAP but also on discussions with my peers in the industry.  They were centered around  the following three key takeaways:

1. Differentiate, but be consistent

Although this sounds like an oxymoron, defining a consistent social media analytics framework can help create a common vocabulary and allow you to learn by being able to consistently compare across your various campaigns.  There are three key dimensions as shown on the chart above:

  • Use case: It starts with understanding what you are trying to accomplish, and then driving your strategy and results based on those objectives.  Are you trying to build awareness with an audience not necessarily familiar with your brand and offerings, or are you trying to generate demand running a social media campaign?  These are two very different things and the way you measure success needs to vary based on these objectives.

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In this post I wrote last May, I highlighted how leveraging the ‘initiated’ (aka subject matter experts or champions) is a key ingredient for success in social media.  Now I want to detail how to leverage these colleagues in your various social media programs within your companies.

Altimeter Social Strategist Organizational ModelsAlmost one year ago, the Altimeter Group published this report, titled: The Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist.  In it, they outlined the most commonly used social media organizational models in corporations.  As you can see on the image on the left, for more than 80% of the companies of the 140 social strategists interviewed, the social strategist has to rely on an extended group of colleagues to drive most of the change in the organization, since they are not under her direct control.  NOTE: Based on my interactions with my peers at other companies, I believe this figure is under-represented in the survey, and I only expect it to significantly increase as we mature (does anyone remember the dedicated email marketing teams of the early 2000s?)

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There are countless articles and blog posts comparing how social media is more akin to a marathon and not a sprint, but I only partially agree with this premise.

While, I believe these three key salient points are spot on…

  • Plan: Just like you would never run a marathon without proper planning (up to a year in advance), you should never kick-off any social media activity before you have identified your overall objectives and target audience.  You know when this not happening, when the first question is: ‘How do I set-up my Twitter handle?’ followed by the answer to your ‘why’ question by ‘because I need to get [pick your number] followers’.
  • Practice: Most experienced runners will tell you that they will start off by practicing brisk walks before they even start to run when preparing for a marathon.  I would argue that when it comes to social media, we are not even able to crawl yet.  Next time you get the question above, ask the person to engage in an existing external community first (whether it is a blog, LinkedIn group, etc.), or even better yet, an internal community if you happen to have those in your company.
  • Prepare for the long-haul: As any experienced runner will tell you, pacing yourself, especially during the first half of a marathon is key, both mentally and physically.  Similarly, when you are starting off with social media, you need to be mentally prepared and focused on a few activities and succeed with those before attempting to do more.  This will not only help you learn and showcase your accomplishments (which could be handy when you have to go to your manager asking for more budget), but will also teach you the discipline to be patient and consistent.

…I also believe there are at least two very fundamental differences, and hence the title of this post…

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Last month I wrote this post sharing my views on how to achieve success in social media and one of the four key ingredients I had identified was the need to secure executive support.  I then saw this study that examined the social behaviors of the Fortune 100 CMOs. While the overall results did not appear too surprising, with only 15 out of the total 143 CMOs and Chief Communications Officers having active Twitter accounts, some of the companies on the list did surprise me.

I then decided to cross-reference these results with those of a 2009 Altimeter Group study that evaluated the overall ‘social’ score of the world’s top 100 brands, and this confirmed my suspicions.  Besides the fact that 8 of the 20 companies in the Fortune100 CMO study did not appear at all in the Altimeter Group study, the correlation of leadership in social business and whether your CMO is active on Twitter between the remaining 12 is quite low.  The most glaring outlier was Microsoft which ranked fifth (out of 100) in the Altimeter Group study, although their CMO appears to be dead last in the Fortune100 study.

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As a social media professional at SAP, I get many questions from colleagues who are new to social media and would like to add social media to their marketing mix. The learning curve on social media is still steep for most people, and in this blog, I have aggregated the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Many of my consulting engagements start with the sentence “My team wants to have a Twitter handle” or “I need to increase the number of fans for our Facebook page“.

 To that, there is only one answer: “Why”? And ,”Let’s take a step back”.

Before you get engaged in any kind of social media project, please ask yourself the following questions:

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While my highly scientific poll on what to call Twitter spam may not have yielded statistically significant results, the topic is still very relevant for everyone trying to figure out how to effectively use Twitter these days.

A couple of weeks ago a controversial, and not so nice, tweet from an influential blogger that follows my company sparked a lively conversation in one of our internal communities.

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I wrote this post last September, aptly titled: Social Media Marketing: Think marriage, not a one-night-stand.  In it, I listed some of the pitfalls and misconceptions surrounding social media.  Eight months later, and after many discussions with my peers in the industry and experiments at my own company, I wanted to share my thoughts on what I am seeing as the four key ingredients of success.

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