Social Media Managers Keep Failing

Society3-SM-keep-failingNo question, those who studied the shift in our socioeconomic landscape come all to the same conclusion: Social Media holds a massive change for our society and our businesses. The change will be as profound as the industrial revolution 200 years ago.

Introducing that change to executives who run their business with a huge daily pressure is so overwhelming that it is a very natural behavior to go into denial. You hear “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, “I don’t see an immediate ROI”, “My fellow executives from other companies aren’t using Social Media either”… The reasons to ignore it are most likely equally diverse as the reasons to ignore the development of cities and companies 200 years ago.  My personal prediction is that it may take well another 5 to 10 years for the majority of businesses to recognize the impact of that change and what it means to their business. And the more people warn “If you don’t adopt, you will fall through the cracks”, the less likely business executives will even listen.

Denial is a mechanic of our psyche that sets in when the amount of information or the degree of danger is so large that the brain is not able to comprehend it.  So here is why Social Media Managers keep failing:

1) Thousands of people – like you and me – have gone through a learning curve, comprehending the seismic shift in our business society. But it took us a year or more of learning and thinking to get there. Most who began to recognize the shift are pounding on business leaders to recognize it too and get ready for change.

2) A business executive who is very focused on keeping the company or their division afloat and fighting on all ends for growth and profitability, competing in a taught global economy, has probably less time to even start comprehending the change. And the more people talk about apocalyptic business erosion the more those managers go into denial.

Even though people get hired to ‘manage’ Social Media – to many have zero pull through in their respective organizations and remain to be an alibi function for executives to be able to say “Oh yes, we did invest in social media, we even have a management position and doing it for quite a while. We are totally covered”.

In a recent research we asked 100 companies about their social media engagement and 72% confirmed that they are very active and happy with their results, 21% are exploring social media but will not engage before middle of next year and 17% stated that they don’t see a benefit and therefor have no plans to engage.

Now – checking out the level of engagement of the 72%, is very easy because everything is public and very transparent. We realized that nearly 80% of those 72% have only a very rudimentary presence, very low engagement level with customer and inquires or questions unanswered for weeks. Only a small group has actually recognized the opportunity and developed a highly engaging online presence with apparently very active customers.

The larger part of social media managers apparently work heads down, trying to keep a low profile (and the job) and don’t making any major inroads helping the business to make significant progress in this highly transparent and communicative world. They simply keep failing. We recognized this by seeing an increasing churn in social media positions.

The key reasons for failing are:

  • Lack of a profound social media strategy
  • Lack of comprehensive experience what it means to build a customer engagement
  • Lack of market research skills and reporting
  • Lack of management skills to present a business relevant plan without overwhelming executives with details and technical aspects
  • Lack of skills aligning social media activities with overall business objectives

 

Axel
Http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

 

 

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When Your Social Media Scores Suck

There are lots of controversial discussions about scores. To some extend it is personal as people do not want to be measured against something, and yet other highly competitive people love the challenge. The deeper meaning of scoring however is the very basic concept of feedback. It’s a great way to support learning and improving whatever needs to be improved.

Activity Scores

There are many well known activity scores out there such as Klout and Kred and many others. They all evolved and went though a steep learning curve. Today more and more people look at those scores and use them to judge a persons networking and communication skills. Most take it with a grain of salt, yet see it at least as one of several key performance indicators. Activity scores measure the countless events of activities and to a certain degree responses to those activities. Social Media folks have learn to be highly active and through the evolution of the scoring algorithms also learn that pumping out content is not all – getting qualified responses are key and one good dialog is more worth than 100 posts without value. Action and reaction is key in the activity scores.

Return On Engagement

Now – over time business people have developed a great success pattern for themselves, yet struggle to “bring it home”. There is so much valuable content they created but most have a hard time to let every of their connections know where all that content is. It’s literally scattered around the global web. Much of the creative energy is evaporating and only those who are right at the time of the post on the respective network see the content. Everything else remains hidden – unless the user finds a way to always share their entire presence with all the connections on all the contributions with a simple and non intrusive “signature”. This nut was cracked by XeeMe. The more you share your entire social presence the higher is the leverage of the energy you put into content creation. If a user looking at a post, tweet, picture and video you shared and looks at other content you created through the little signature URL you doubled the Return on Engagement.

ROE Score – XeeScore

The XeeScore is a strategic counterpart to the engagement scores and you can see it all around. XeeScore is strategic because having a high engagement level is only have the story. Only having a high return on those engagement is actually bringing the success home. Just envision bringing the users “home” to your entire social presence.

Inbound data
The XeeScore looks at the “inbound visits” meaning people who visit your XeeMe. If they leave right there, you XeeMe is apparently not very attractive or the story that got people there was not so compelling.

Outbound Data
The outbound number are visits that are initiated by clicking on any of your sites on your XeeMe to the respective social presences. If people visit more than one site, you actually experience a great amplification because they see more than one item of your content. That amplification (the ration between inbound and outbound) is a key to a high XeeScore.

Uniques
It tells you how many unique visitors you have to your XeeMe. The more the better for you. And as such the XeeScore increaees with unique visitors.

Amplification
As mentioned before, the ratio between inbound and outbound visits, gives you the “amplification”. An amplification of greater than 1 is already good. An amplification of more than 2 is excellent. An amplification of 0.5 is ok but tells you there is some room for improvement. Below that you should review with peers and friends what they think about the value you contribute and the size of your network.

Tips to grow your score

Verify your social footprint with Google
One interesting idea is to check your google presence by clicking on the Google Search link on your XeeMe. You will find it under the profile tab. If you look at my XeeMe you find a high XeeScore but you also get about 50,000 findings from Google.  You will hardly find anybody with a high Klout score, a high reputation on Google and a low XeeScore. Even though Google is not a social tool you see an interesting correlation on the ROE.

Checking other resources
You will find a lot of helpful tips on the XeeMe website to grow your XeeScore. Check out the resources area

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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The post When Your Social Media Scores Suck appeared first on Society3.

Social Media and Customer Experience Management

Social Media is widely used in businesses for all kinds of aspects. It typically starts on the marketing side to spread the word and get fast customer feedback. The experience with the customer feedback often times triggers new ideas in market research and Social Media becomes an interesting real time market research instrument.

Service And Support

The other aspect of market feedback are obviously product related questions, complaints or issues. Needless to say that service and support departments are requested to take care of those issues and begin to discover Social Media as a support vehicle. Comcast Cable for instance reported they responded to over hundred thousand support requests on Twitter. Why is that important? Because a support person can read a support request written in 140 character much faster and also respond much faster than in any traditional media.

Product Management

With all the inputs, requests, wishes and ideas compiled in the social web, product management is discovering a new world of product feedback, market research and feature request sources to build better products. Crowd sourcing is the key word. Not only does product management reduce the risk of creating a product release nobody really wants but gets free additional requests that make users happy as they get build. Dell, SalesForce.com and others are leaders in that development.

Sales

Now all that engagement obviously brings sales people into the scene who want to know more what people want, hoping they can offer an even more tailored solution. And as recommendations play an ever more important role, sales people begin to introduce prospects to existing clients in a rather informal and social manner to stimulate those recommendations.

Full Circle Customer Experience

If we look at all this – this is pretty much the full circle customer experience a person can have when dealing with a company. For customer experience management teams social media has become a very strategic playground. Obviously there are still areas that has no touch points with social media like the invoicing process or logistics, but interestingly enough those are rarely strategic problems in the eye of a customer. On the other side, support, product influence and product quality, exchange with other customers, approachability of a team are key items and they are all part of the social media landscape.

 

Understanding the criticality and how to deal with that new field is a big challenge for many CX managers. That’s why we created the CEM training program. http://academy.society3.com/s3-ccems/ The core of the program is developing a CEM strategy leveraging social media that can be implemented in any size company.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

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Reputation of sales people continue to decline

Is this what your sales guy looks like?

Reputation of sales people has rapidly decliened over the past few year. 20 years ago the sales teams were celebrated heroes in almost all businesses in the western world. Highly skilled and well trained sales people brought a lot of business which was responsible to drive the growth of the respective company. In the 70’s and 80’s the sales teams learned a lot of new techniques such as reference selling, solution selling, they learned to be a facilitator between customer and the experts inside the company they work for. They were wining and dining their clients, and learned to please the customer no matter what. What a great situation and pleasure to buy. But that was going to change: Continue reading “Reputation of sales people continue to decline”

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Creating a Social Media Strategy Handbook

95% of the customers had a choice when they purchased the product or service in the first place, they had a reason for their selection. The single most successful way to use social media is empowering customers to share that reason and turn it into recommendations. The single biggest challenge: make it actually happen.

The Social Media Strategy Handbook

It became best practices to create a Social Media Strategy Handbook for each social media project documenting everything including the ultimate goal and purpose, initial market research, SWOT analysis, strategy, programs, actions, social presence, resources, budgets, reporting and the ROI.

We are sharing two examples of those strategy books that were created by attendees of the Social Media Strategist class. One was for Lindt Chocolate and one for a Hotel & Spa in the Caribbean. None of the information provided here is confidential – everything can be found in the public social web. Continue reading “Creating a Social Media Strategy Handbook”

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Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk

I recently wrote a post “Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL“. I received more personal responses on that one post than on all posts I wrote in the past 5 years together. It inspired my to write this response to the overarching question: “What shall we do“.

No project success – No Reference

The consequence of failing projects – beyond the fact that it failed: here goes a potential reference customer.
Agencies have to come to a bitter realization:

Taking a print brochure to the web was an important transition
Taking a webpage and share it with friends is meaningless

Tens of thousands of agencies and social media consultants struggle to run their business. The social web is just NOT what so many people think: “just yet another marketing channel”.

10 things successful agencies do differently

Successful teams think entirely different and help their business clients to think through the entire chain of implications of a social engagement rather than just selling followers, fans and a page. And this is no different whether it is a 25 people small business company or a 25,000 employee global enterprise. Continue reading “Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk”

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NEW: Social Presence Methodology

After three years we are updating our methodology set. While our methods are all technology independent and don’t need an update whenever a new tool comes in or one goes out, we still fine tune our methodology set.

What has changed

1) Presence Management

Managing a social presence has grown to a very critical point that we call it now strategic. While in the  past years defining and managing the social presence was a rather easy task – it has grown in complexity in just the last two years. Today almost every department has their own page on Facebook, their own twitter account in parallel to personal accounts and the same for Pinterest, Facebook or LinkedIn groups and so forth. In addition, businesses realized the enormous brand power their teams can contribute when more and more of their employees are getting active. The presence related questions that need to be answered include: Continue reading “NEW: Social Presence Methodology”

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Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL

Here is what happens:

Customer: We need to get our number of fans up, some more follower and some really hot buzz campaign. We need some agency who can really deliver.

Agency: We can do that for you. We have people who setup your presence, tweet for you and do some blogging. We upload a few photos and take care of feedback. We also do social media monitoring.

Customer: Great – here are $3,500 per month and I expect you double my followers, grow my fan base, steer up some noise and generate solid leads for me.

Agency: Done deal – we’ll start tomorrow morning. Continue reading “Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL”

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Growing the mid market – improving the US economy

A healthy mid market is part of the secret sauce for a well oiled economy. In Germany, one of the most stable economies in the world, 99% of all businesses are mid market companies, mostly privately owned and employing 70% of all people. Also in the US the mid market is about 99% of all businesses but employs only 16% of all people. Growing that US mid market is probably the most significant improvement to the US economy.

A pan European social media initiative is created to strengthen the mid market even further with a clear objective: Continue reading “Growing the mid market – improving the US economy”

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