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15
May

Key Factors to Social Business Success

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jive Chief Strategy Officer Christopher Morace to find out his view on what really matters when building a Social Business. Culture? Technology? Strategy?  Here’s what he had to say:

iStock_000016149647XSmall.jpgQ. When trying to create a truly Social Business, what are the key success factors?
Chris: I think there are a couple of things that are critically important to enabling success. The first is understanding the way your own organization works, adapts, and evolves.  The second is selecting the right technology platform to enable it. People get confused into thinking that technology will solve everything, or that technology isn’t important at all. The reality is that you need to be very mindful of both organization and technological concerns.

Many companies embrace social by trying it in a place that will provide the most value. There are so many possible places to start and often the most critical component is that a team has clarity on what they want to do and how they want to use it.  In these cases the ability to instantly get up, on, and driving toward value is imperative. 

For example, CSC wanted a collaboration solution to help improve expertise location, speed up onboarding, promote innovation, preserve IP, and reduce time spent evaluating solution and technology partner options. Based on the viral success of its pilot (25K users in less than 20 weeks), they launched Jive Software company-wide. With more than 45,000 active members, Jive is at the heart of the company’s internal platform, C3. In addition to collapsing time and geo barriers, CSC is seeing a reduction in proposal development times and customer acquisition costs and more collaboration around business processes that are driving efficiencies. Read the full case study here.

In other cases a CEO may be leveraging Social Business transform their culture into one that is more open, transparent, and adaptable. In these cases it is critical that the solution connect into the systems users spend their time in today. Very few people have the time to learn a new way of doing things in the midst of their hectic schedule, so it is imperative that you go to where they are and add value or give them an inviting doorway into a better way to work in a system like Sharepoint, Outlook, or Office Terry McGraw, chairman, president, and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies, exemplifies this point.  He introduced their internal Jive social network to help employees collaborate, share knowledge, and work closer as a team.   

Finally, it is really critical that techniques are used to help orient new users on the system and get them to a place where they are producing real business results. We have found that game mechanics are really useful here. Users are given simple quests, challenges, and incentives that motivate them and help them learn how to quickly accomplish things they want to do. They are immediately recognized and rewarded, and they see others doing the same things. It’s an effortless way to turn novices into highly productive users.

To read more about gamification, see Molly Kittle blog post Engage! Gamification for the Enterprise 

What do YOU think are the key factors for success in Social Business? Comment below.

13
Apr

10 Jobs in 1: The Life of an Internal Community Manager

Last night, I was having dinner with some folks in my social circle.  One of them exclaimed, “Good news! We FINALLY get to hire an internal community manager.”  We all raised a glass to toast the victory. See, he had been battling to get a headcount to manage his social intranet for years.

Based on his struggle, I decided to develop the Top 10 Roles of an Internal Community Manager.

Now, for some huge Social Business software customers these will come as no surprise, but at smaller companies with more modest resources, an FTE might bust the budget. In these cases, carving out a partial responsibility and making it official reduces the danger of the social intranet becoming beloved in concept but largely shelf ware.

So, here’s the list of the Top 10 Internal Community Manager Roles they often juggle:

HiRes.jpg1. Ambassador. One of the biggest drivers of social business success is company culture. Community managers help form a successful company culture by being open, responsive, and strategic.

2. Unifier. Community managers helps unite distributed leadership on the best practices for internal collaboration.

3. Builder. Skilled managers focus on best ways to structure and design for interaction and engagement. They also stimulate conversation and have content plans until the community matures.

4. Coach. They are excellent at articulating how employees can use the new technology to accomplish real business objectives, without leaving their comfort zone (which often means their email inboxes).

5. Cheerleader. Community managers often bust out the virtual pompoms.  They reward positive behavior.

6. Leader. One of the most important jobs of the community manager is to identify effective volunteer advocates and facilitators for various units (marketing, sales, finance, R&D, manufacturing, etc.). Without these foot soldiers, the community will not take flight.

7. Game Maker.  No, I’m not referring to Panem! Community managers come up with awesome techniques to keep employees engaged and reward the most active contributors or the executives who “get it.”

8. Listener. Community managers understand better than anyone the “pulse” of the employee base.  They often can be the voice of the masses when it comes to marketing ideas, product features, etc.

9. Governor. Community managers help develop and enforce social media guidelines.

10. Analyzer. Successful community managers can help point to real business value (ie. Employee satisfaction, productivity improvements, increase in sales, etc).  They can also do predictive modeling based on sentiment, help find the true expert in a given area, and understand valuable enterprise relationships.

I want to hear from the Internal Community ManagersWhat’s the biggest value you bring to your organization?

7
Mar

Social Listening on Super Tuesday

Yesterday was Super Tuesday in the United States.  It was almost exciting as the Superbowl in my house.  Throughout college, I worked for a state senator and then started my professional career off in public affairs.  For 24 hours, I was glued to the results of the Republican presidential primary.

I was especially excited to see the social statistics on this important day because as William Powers of Bluefin Labs stated, “social media is the frontier of democracy.”

Even if you aren’t a social media geek like me, it was impossible to login to Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram and not get overwhelmed by the amount of social buzz surrounding the candidates.  So I decided to setup a monitor using Jive Fathom Pro (which thanks to our community manager Ryan Rutan you can now download the app on the Jive Community), to see who generated the most social buzz.  I wanted to keep my sources small, so I just looked at Facebook and Twitter updates.

Official Results

Before I share the social stats, let’s look at the official results:

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Social Mentions

As you can see above, all of the candidates failed to break out from the pack.  This was not the case for social.  Rick Santorum was the clear front runner, with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tied for second, and Ron Paul coming in last in terms of overall social mentions.

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Sentiment

However, pure mentions, weren’t enough for me to analyze.  I also wanted to see general sentiment score. In Fathom the scale is from -100 to 100, negative to positive.  The data below shows that while Santorum had more mentions he had less positive tweets and status updates than the other candidates.

  • Romney: 9.88
  • Gingrich: 9.88
  • Paul: 9.63
  • Santorum: 7.13

Conversations

Since social is more than just numbers and data, here is a collection of some of the more interesting updates. (NOTE: I’m not taking sides, just pointing out some interesting conversations).

 

From the Candidates:

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From the General Public:

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We’ve Already Moved On…

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Did you do anything special for Super Tuesday on social media sites?

7
Mar

Is there such thing as a Social Intranet?

To explore this question further, I sat down with Tim Zonca Jive’s Director of Product Marketing.

Q: Are companies really replacing their intranets with social business technologies?

In a recent conversation with an industry analyst, he interjected, “You keep using the word ‘intranet’ as you talk about using social business for internal collaboration. Do people really use Jive as their intranet?”  My response: you bet they do. Our customers have been using Jive to connect employees at some of the largest organizations on the planet. For example, Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, uses our products to foster unity and creativity in the business units in 110 countries. They have found that global collaboration has sparked innovation, saving critical time and money.

Q. What business challenges is the social intranet trying to solve?

Whether you want to replace your intranet, or just give it a facelift by adding a social layer, you need to figure out why. And “better collaboration” isn’t a clear enough reason.

If you don’t know what problems you’re trying to solve, you’ll end up underwhelming and confusing your execs, chasing pointless integrations, distilling a massive vendor list, and wasting time. (Check out this great post from John Stepper on the topic: When your audience says: “No time. No money. No thanks.”)

Regardless the industry, I’ve seen our customers deliver a social intranet to address these main challenges. They want to:

1. Give employees a way to find the information and experts needed to get their jobs done faster, better.

2. Foster a culture of innovation and shorten the time required to take new ideas to market and to implement new ideas within the company.

3. Reduce the costs associated with keeping employees informed, aligned and trained.

Q. Specifically, how does the social intranet help improve internal communication?

I see our customers solve these collaboration problems across a few broad areas of collaboration:

1. Corporate communications: The top-down dissemination of information across the company. This can come in the flavor of communications from execs and HR, career development & training initiatives, and communications steering organizational alignment.

2. Cross-department, cross-organization collaboration: This is the type of collaboration that spurs innovation and connects people to the information and experts, outside of their team, that will help them get their jobs done better, faster.

3. Team, department collaboration: Working better as a team, for example marketing coordinating product launch activities, sales teams working around opportunities, R&D collaborating on product development, support solving customer issues.

Q. Show me the results.  How do we know this is successful?

Don’t forget why its important to solve these challenges: Value.  According to Social Business Value Survey results, by using social technologies, Jive customers see a 32% increase in ideas generated and 25% decrease in onboarding time.

Q. What else is important to understand about social intranets?

It is important to have integrations with key intranet technologies and back-end systems. Providing rich integrations with common systems and apps like SharePoint, Office, Outlook, along with a powerful integration layer for custom integrations should be assumed as givens for any social intranet platform. Likewise, a great mobile experience for workers is critical for effective internal collaboration.

Q. What’s the #1 thing people exploring intranets should takeaway?

Overall, I think social intranets empower end users to collaborate more efficiently, and inevitability helping solve key business challenges.

What’s your take? Are you trying to address these challenges? Is your current intranet cutting it? Where do you think social business technology can help most?

5
Mar

Beyond the Office Party: How to Increase Employee Connectedness (and Profits)

Do either of these images look familiar?

office-party.jpg Boring-Office-Party.jpg

Chances are if you work in an office environment you have witnessed one or both of these scenarios – the holiday party that got a little out of control or the boring birthday “bash” consisting of cardboard cake in a conference room. While the planners had the best intention of getting co-workers to bond, most of the time, these events are a bust.

IMO, one of the best ways to increase employee satisfaction and connectedness is through social! Social tools have made it easier for people to communicate with others that are important to them in their personal lives and better maintain friendships. I found this also to be true in the world of social business.

In an independent survey of Jive Software customers, respondents reported an increase in employee connectedness by 39%. The survey respondents also reported that social business tools increased employee satisfaction by 30%. All of this adds up to higher level of employee engagement. This is a critical metric that translates into real, hard-dollar ROI.

At consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, a .1% increase in employee engagement survey ratings at a store translates into a $100,000 bump in annual revenues at that location, according to research published in the Harvard Business Review.

A 2007 study by polling and research company Gallup Organization found that publicly traded companies rated in the top 25% in employee engagement metrics posted earnings per share (EPS) growth nearly 9% higher than EPS growth of comparable companies rated in the lower half of the study. According to other research from Gallup, more satisfied employees equates to higher levels of all manner of related KPIs including: customer loyalty (+56%), productivity (+50%) and employee retention (+50%).

In summary, higher engagement = higher profits.

Plus, it keeps remote workers like me from feeling too isolated. Just check out the extreme I went to with my “office mate.”

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(Yes, this really is MY dog Bailey in a tie).

I want to hear from you. Has social business technology increased employee connectedness at your organization? If that’s too intense for a Monday morning, what’s your favorite office party memory?

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