Tag Archives: social media playbook

Fun Fact Fridays: How Content Creation Helped Create Corporate Change

While preparing for a speaking proposal last month, I pulled together case studies how content creation can help start a quiet revolution for corporate change. I am a big believer that everyone in your organization has the potential to help promote the brand. Over time, employees’ contribution to content will be more important than what is said in your media release or company’s newsletters. But, this is a huge shift on how most business are operating today. Often times the employee is an untapped resource when it comes to content and social media.

Challenges of Building Social Business

There are a lot of conversations about how company today need to preparing for Web 3.0.  While there are many articles about this topic, one that I found as an awesome resource is from the Altimeter group on the challenges corporate social strategists are facing with bring social to their business.  Anyone interested in social and how to bring it to your company should read it.

The report outline challenges that I had experience when building my current organization’s social strategy. Most organizations are still struggling how to use social media and control its brand on those channels.  I would say many social strategists already know that the paradigm of control is already shifting. Specific to public relations and social, I spoke about the important of earn media a few weeks ago and its impact.

Image from Walker Zine (UK)

Image from Walker Zine (UK)

This sparked the idea about how companies should better leverage their employees for social media (also outline in the Altimeter paper). But beyond that, I began think how do you leverage your employees’ talents for content? This question is vital especially since you cannot participate in social if you do not have any content to share.

With this in mind, here are some of my own case studies that highlight the importance of content creation and brand advocates.

Rebranding Project

I had the fortune of working on rebranding project last year that really was more of a corporate culture shift. So, a couple of things we did that helped not only our content machine, but also our business:

  • For the prelaunch of our brand initiative we created an internal campaign to get folks excited about the brand and why employees where critical to the success of the overall project. The month-long campaigns yielded 4700 opens, 640 click-throughs, 2600 views on its internal site, and 150 posts. Our internal campaign won the Bronze Stevie for Communications Campaign of the Year – Internal in 2012. I also talked about the campaign in-depth in AMA Marketing News.
  • We assigned brand ambassadors for each department. They helped disseminate the message and distributed templates to their teams.
  • We went to each office (US, UK, and Australia) and kicked off the brand launch through targeted activities including what the new brand meant, architecture, how to talk about it, its impact on our marketing (example: events and webinars), and how to use it in terms of their daily work.  It was important that every office get the full impact and exposure of how important this initiative was.
  • Fun fact: I led our APAC brand launch in our Australia market. I spent my downtown touring Australia and where I took the photo for my blog. The photo is of The Twelve Apostles. If you don’t know where this is, it was taken from Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road, outside Melbourne, Australia.

Company Blog

  • We created a blog where internal (as well as external) folks can share their passion and expertise. To help folks with writing, we crafted guidelines to establish our brand messaging and overall tone. So far my corporate blog, which started in June 2012, has 21,000 page views, garners 2300 unique visitors a month with an average 2 minutes on site engagement.
  • Everyone has the chance to participate. We sought out folks who had something to say. Sometime, it was the customer support rep and other times it was our division leaders. We search high and low in the organization and didn’t use title as a prerequisite to contribute.
  • In order to quell my stakeholders’ need for equitable sharing of resources, we created an editorial calendar to make sure we had equal share of voice across business interests both domestic and international.

Social Media

  • After we streamlined some of our social assets, I led a few workshops how employees can use social more in their work.
  • As I wrote in my previous post, if you want your company to be more social train your people.
  • In addition to training, you need to provide some type of guidelines or playbook.
  • In addition to the playbook and training, we showed folks where to go to find content in addition to their own.
  • I repeated training, playbook, and where to find content often.
  • I encourage folks to follow me and other folks to find content.
  • I trained anyone independently when they asked. I am a true believer that mentoring and coaching are the keys to adoption.

While I don’t believe the above case studies were different or unique, the point of those are you can start a quiet revolution by planning small, but delivering big results.

How to Run an Internal Social Media Training Workshop

So, you want to make your organization more social? Congratulations. It’s a smart move given that social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC according to a recent study by Hubspot this year.

If you cannot budget funding for a social media strategist to come in, how can you run an internal social media workshop? Couple of things you need to realize and do in order to be successful.

Step 1: Not Everyone Will Participate

Accept this now. Not everyone in your organization with jump on the social media bandwagon. I learned this the hard way. Even after running multiple workshops on how you can sell, engage, and network more there are still people who will throw their hands up and say, “I don’t have time for this.” Leverage the folks who already using social media to influence others. If you can get even 10 percent more people involved in your companies social media efforts it is a win. Not everyone will be an adopter to this new medium, so plan for it.

Step 2: Create a Playbook

Single best advice I every received was from Wendy, director of digital strategy from the Red Cross. I attended her session at DC’s Social Media Week in 2012 in which she shared with the audience this nugget, “you need to provide people with guidelines.” So simply, but this step is often overlooked.

Embracing this concept, my social media specialist and I developed a social media playbook. Best thing I did because it outlined the foundation of what I was expecting from employees, social media tips, best practices when engaging online. Don’t assume people will understand how social media works. The playbook is key in training.  I outlined what should be included in a social media playbook in a post last year titled Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch. Here is my personal example to use as a reference on how you can build a playbook.

 

 

Step 3: Practice What Your Preach

Most likely if you are running this workshop, you are already using social media. If you are not active using social media, then get active. You can’t expect people in your company to take you seriously if you are not actually using social media.  You don’t have to be a social media ninja, guru, or change agent to convey the best practices. You just need to be enthusiastic and passionate. I got involved in social media back in 2008 when I figured out how that word of mouth marketing was going digital.  This doesn’t mean you can’t get there; just don’t think you need some fancy title to deliver a quality program. Answer these questions and you will be well on your way, “Why Should I Care?” and “What’s In It For Me?”

Step 4: Build Your Workshop for Beginners

For the most part, if you are kicking off a workshop, you need to design it with the beginner in mind.  Why? Most folks are using social media for personal connections (hello, most people have a Facebook account and think just having an account is what social media is about). Think of this presentation as a selling your team on the concept. Don’t assume they know anything. When I developed my social media workshop I tried to create a presentation that was interactive and informative. It was filled with plenty of best practices and examples for folks to us. Here is an excerpt.

Step 5: Repetition is Learning

Perhaps my experience teaching was a great primer for teaching adults to use social media. Don’t think you will do this workshop and that is the end. “One and Done” it is not. Plan on folks to ask questions and follow up with you. For people who were generally confused or didn’t know how to do something on Twitter or LinkedIn, I organized meetings to review.  We also created an internal social media group on our intranet to upload articles and tips to help folks along. Essentially, I never stopped teaching. Whether it was by example or direct meetings with folks, I had an open door policy for folks to ask questions. Best thing you can do to create internal advocates for social media is to be a teacher. Be accessible and open.

Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch (Part 4)

In my past entries I explained the four things I learning while implementing a corporate social media strategy.

4)    Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch

My final point or tip I learn is that everyone needs to participate in social media, otherwise your efforts will be 1) minimized and 2) only seen as a marketing or communications “thing.” Let’s be clear that I am not advocating that everyone in your organization needs to “tweet” or post your company’s business on their Facebook. Rather instead of focusing on the 100 percent, focus on those who are interested and want to participate. If they “raise their hand” make sure your provide them with social media guidelines or a playbook. This doesn’t need to be the length of War and Peace, however, should provide your employees with guidance on what not to do and what is considered acceptable.

A good example is Red Cross Social Media Playbook.

If that’s too in-depth, here is what I focused on with our company (outline):

  • FAQ
  • When You Engage
  • Procedures ( essentially, what you should and should not be doing)
  • Our style guide on social media
  • How we response to flagrant or negative comments (response)

The above may be too much or too little, but ultimately you want to give your people some guidance before letting them loose. While social media may be free, the impact on your brand is forever. Anything that lives on Twitter or LinkedIn is for everyone to not only see, but also make an impression.

Ultimately, while it is create to have hundreds of your employees be your brand ambassadors (think Zappos), you still need to tread with caution. Not because your folks will do the unthinkable, but because if you do not set the expectation of what you expect from them, you will be disappointed or worse embarrassed. Not everyone thinks before before they post. You would be surprise on the number of inappropriate or ridiculous posts I have seen with folks who thought they were living the brand.

It is worth a conversation with your HR team too. Make sure you work with your internal stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.