Social Media: Business Drivers

When organisations start thinking of social media they often focus on specific goals or ROI. However, taking the advantage of different social media tools requires a good plan. Therefore, identifying Business drivers and current key issues is one of the top requirements of a good plan. In order to do that, I have collected the main business drivers of different modren organisations and put them all together in one table that I have created myself.

No                                               Category  Business drivers   Primary Secondary  Relevant
1 Risk management    
2 Time savings
   
3 Cost savings
   
4 Greater productivity
   
5 Better Project Management
   
6 Workplace training
   
7 Engaging with customer  
 
8 Deeper Product knowledge (internal)    
9 Attracting strong talent    
10 Gaining new customers
   
12 Better moral (social interaction builds trust)

The above table has 3 different categories; Primary, Secondary and Relevant. The primary and secondary are the business drivers that stakeholders needs most. While the relevant business drivers are the ones you or social media expert finds useful to the company. Last but not least, business drivers should be reviewed and revised based on ongoing activity. Results could be surprising of where social media tools makes the most impact.

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Reference 

The Wax Blog. (2011). dentifying business drivers for your social media plan

Rick, T. (2010). Social media as a business driver

Nicky. (2008). Enterprise Social Media:Top Business Drivers

Authority Domains. (2010). 10 Important Social Media Data Points, Quotes & Business Drivers

Social Network: implementation strategy

Background

Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals (whatis, 2011).

 

Social Networks

Today, social network is more poplur than anything else on the Internet. According to Holt that around 65 percent of U.S. adults who use the Internet are using social networking services like Facebook, LinkedIn and Myspace, up from 61 percent in 2010. That figure is more than double the percentage of adults who said they were using social networking services in 2008 (29 percent) and means that 50 percent of all adults in the U.S. are using such services.

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BAS

Social Network Tools vs. Strategy

In this blog post I will discuss how can BAS use social network for external communication purposes. BAS Est. can improves their internal collaboration by using social network for the purpose of external communication. I’m not going to discuss here the different social network tools that can BAS uses rather I’m going to discuss how BAS can implement social network tool/s successfully.

implementation strategy

First thing to do before implementing social network, is determining the objectives and goals. In this case the goal is to build good external communication with global community.

Find the Best social tool

Facebook would be the best social tools in Saudi Arabia for the following reasons:

  • 46.39% of Internet Users in Saudi Arabia use Facebook (2011).
  • Many companies are using Facebook for external communication purposes in Saudi Arabia
  • 54% of the Facebook users in Saudi are aged between 19-29 (2010)
  • People become a fan on Facebook because they actually like the product/company, not because of advertising (Seager, 2011)
Making Conversation & Building Relationship 
Engaging with customers by answering their questions and solving their problems is the key of building relationship (Shin, 2010).
Measure Results 
Having an objective and a goal can help BAS to measure their results. Here are some great metric tools that can be used for measurement.

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Some of the Benefits of implementing Social Media at BAS

  • Joint operation:
    • BAS still have internal collaboration with staff and external communication with customers as a separate tasks. However, with the advent of social network tools, stakeholders can find a real benefit to having both internal and external groups operating under the same social umbrella.
  • Relationships:
    • A foundation that spans both internal and external collaboration is relationships. Relationships in E2.0 are not limited to people, but include interactions between employees, teams, experts, content, knowledge assets and the community at large — including customers, partners and prospects (Green, 2010).

Recommended Materials:

1. This video reviews how social network sites like Twitter and Facebook are changing how companies think about external communication. It includes points on:

  • How social network sites are making organisations rethink external communication
  • How one company confronts a crisis – and learns how social network can help
  • The role of empowering employees to participate
  • The role of policies and guidelines in social network participation

2. This blog post introduce some really good statistics in social media usage around the world

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Reference

Green, P. (2010). Enterprise 2.0 Best Practice: Unite Internal Collaboration with External Communication

Holt, K. (2011). STUDY: 65% Of Adult Internet Users Use Social Networking Services

Seager, S. (2011). Social media round the world 2011: statistics in social media usage and a question for marketers

Shin, N. (2010). 7 Steps For a Successful Social Media Strategy

Whatis. (2011). Social Network

Facebook Page: A new tool for a good Class communication & collaboration

We as (4 INN) students created a Facebook page called Social Media Guide (beginners). This page is created to increase the class communication & collaboration. All INB/N346 students are encourage to do the following in order to improve our knowledge of E2.0 as well as the knowledge of the World Wide Web Community:

  • Extend the weekly lectures materials by sharing/posting useful and new resources into the page
  • Ask questions
  • Announce Weekly Blogs Updates
  • Share any E2.0 useful tools, case studies, best practice even if it is not related to the weekly materials
You can join the page and share your thoughs, experiance or ask questions NOW.  
Some of the Facebook page advantages:
1- Can host applications which will give our page a very professional feel.
2- It is very easy to set up and will only take you a few minutes.
3- We can share anything and RSS it to our blog or Google Reader
4- We can add polls to increase student feedback and collaboration

Corporate Wikis: Implementation Strategy

What is a Wiki

A wiki is a Web site that lets visitors easily add, remove and change the content. The best known example of Wiki is Wikipedia.

I found this useful video on Youtube, which explain the following:

  • What a Wiki is
  • Why a Wiki can be a powerful teaching and learning tool
  • Some Best Practices for utilising a Wiki
  • Where to get started with your own Wiki

Wikis are now making their way into corporations where they are used as collaborative software to handle such tasks as project management, tech support, research and development, event planning and customer relationship management (businessweek.com, 2007).

BAS

Wiki solutions are being utilized more and more internally in organizations as a way to promote collaboration and information sharing. In this blog post I will present a strategy to implement a Wiki specifically designed to serve the stakeholders as a knowledge bases and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Current Situation

Many of the medium-to-low level employees in BAS Est. are facing repetitive issues frequently. Some of these issues include;

  • Proper Chain of Command Formal Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • File Archiving and Retrieving

The collaborative nature of wikis makes it the perfect tool to distribute information to a large group of readers by offering an up-to-date employee handbook, dispensing information about common questions and making general office announcements (Nations, 2011).

Wiki Evaluation

The Wiki must be searchable and can also provides search option to the attached documentation.  The Wiki must be easy to maintain and modify. The Wiki must also have built in metrics collection that at least tracks the number of pages, number of users, and number of page views for the system.  Finally, price is necessary for evaluating the Wiki tools.

This post will provide 2 examples of Wikis:

  1. Screwturn Wiki – free and open source software that can be used for group collaboration, and as a personal wiki.
  2. Social Text –  a secure, group-editable website. Instead of sending emails and attachments, users can use private web pages to work together from a different location.

Implementation Strategy

Before we implement a Wiki we needs to have a structured plan for evaluation, implementation and maintenance. Enterprise 2.0 Framework will be used as a reference to successfully implement Wiki in BAS Est. local network.

Implementation Plan:

  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): is a good practice that can bu used to implement the Wiki over a long period of time (for example 2 year).
  • Team Formatting: is an important step to support this project throughout the implementation process.  The team must be a special interest group and have the time to meet regularly.
  • Project Champions: Low-to-Medium size staff must be identified and supported in order to support this initiative.
  • Pilot Program: will provide a period of time to evaluate the selected Wiki software solution to ensure it meets the needs of the stakeholder of BAS.
  • System Maintenance:  The system has to performs optimally and has minimal to no down time.  This includes developing and executing a data backup plan.  Individuals from the special interest group will maintain the system and answer user questions. In general the Wiki needs to be easy to use with minimal to no training required.
  • Monthly Metrics  Collection: Metrics should has at least the number of users of the system; the number of pages created; the number of page views; the most frequented content and total data storage size.
  •  Monthly Meeting Review:  Meeting will be to discuss any issues, current best practices, and lessons learned.  The metrics will also be reviewed to discuss current statistics.
  • Annual Review: This will be an opportunity to discuss the continuation of the group and the Wiki itself.
  • Identify and leverage success stories: a good story of a successful implementation of a corporate internal Wiki is the story of Intelpedia!
  • Identify Key Risks and Internal Barriers: In this blog post I have identify 3 major risks, their possible scenarios and how to avoid them.
  • Proposed Wiki: This is the finsal stage where a Wiki that meet the above requirement can be chosen. The nominated Wiki has to provide a friendly user interface, with a robust content editor to allow Wiki user/builder to easily add information to the site.
  • Employee Recognition / Reward: The implementation of a Wiki should consider how recognition of individuals who contribute will be handled.

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References:

Business Week. (2007). Corporate Wikis: CEO Guide To Technology. Retrieved September 26, 2011

Nations, D. (2001). Wiki in the Workplace. Retrieved September 26, 2011

The story of Intelpedia: A model corporate wiki. Retrieved September 27, 2011

Greenier, T. (2007). Wiki Implementation Strategy. University Of Pittsburgh Joseph. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 

Micro-blogging strategies for BAS ALJUBAIL Est.

1.0 Company Background

BAS is a municipal waste (liquid and solid) transporter that is based in Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1991. The company mainly focus on long run contracts/projects with large organisation such; SABIC and Saudi ARAMCO. The company has branches in different geographical areas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Click on the map to see it in Google Map

BAS ALJUBAIL EST. Branches in Saudi Arabia

2.0 Suggested Blogging Strategies

As a group of 5, we come up with 5 different Blogging Strategies and in this post I will discuss:

2.1 Current Situation: 

Knowledge Collaboration and Expertise Sharing within and/or outside the company.

2.3 Suitable Web 2.0 Solutions:

  • Micro-blogging:  is a term described by Wikipedia as “a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user”.
  • Micro-blogging could be very important to BAS Est. Knowledge Collaboration and Expertise Sharing. Many of us have witnessed the phenomenal growth of micro-blogging application, most notably Twitter. In addition, numerous social networks including Facebook and Bebo which are similar status update services.

2.4 Implementation tactics strategy 

Every business plan, campaign, or project comes down to Tactics and Strategies. Therefore, implementing a successful social media strategic plan has 5 critical components:

Step (1) – High Level Strategy
To begin, first we need to develop several high-level strategies. According to SAFKO “after some research, discussion, and introspection, we determine our top three, high level social media strategies”. These 3 strategies are:

• Increase Awareness (develop brand)
• Build Community (engage prospects), and
• Generate Publicity (free-ink)

Step (2) –  Mid Level Strategy
This blog post will discuss “Building Community” and looking at each of the possible social media strategies that will best accomplish the selected goal. According to SAFKO that this step is the hardest, as most resource intensive strategy in the list!

Building external or internal Community require the following list:

  • Make the Strategic Level employee to get involve in the community
  • Double Your Email List
  • Inviate People to the community
  • Generate Link Love, Google Juice
  • Increase Facebook Fans

Step (3) –  Low-Level Strategy
The third in developing a successful social media strategy is to choose one of the mid level strategies. In this post “Increase Your Facebook Fans” will be discussed. To fully develop the third step, the Five “W’s”; Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How will be used:

The Five "W's" Chalkboard

• Who’s going to do it?
• What’s going to be done?
• Where are we going to do it?
• When are we going to do it?
• Why are we doing it?  And,
• How are we going to do it?

Step (4) –  Tactics

If we know that we want to Increase Our Facebook Fans, by driving traffic to our blog, what are the ways to do that? Let’s take a look at a few of the actual tactics we can apply to Increase Our Facebook Fans:

  • Google Juice
    • You can also climb to the top of the search engines by simply having a lot of content.  The more content you have which contain the same or similar keywords, the more likely you will come up on page one of a google search for those words (Smith, 2010).
  • Use Facebook App
  • Suggest to Friends
  • Get Fans to Tag photos
  • Load videos and Embedded on your Facebook Page
  • Place Facebook Ads
  • Relevant case examples

Some related Companies who are using Web 2.0 for the purpose of Collaboration and Expertise Sharing:

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References 

Henry, A. (2007). 10 Micro-Blogging Tools Compared. Read Write Web

Safko, L. (2010). Tactics, Tools & Strategies
 – Five Steps to Implementation. FC

Smith, M. (2010). 21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase.Social Media Examiner

Social Media ROI: How can I prove that social media affects my business?

“Forrester Research estimates that social media will make up 3% of overall interactive marketing spend in the US in 2010 with the highest delta of growth in any channel over the next four years. As social media’s channel grows so will the pressure to quantify” (Djambazov, 2010).

However, investing in Social Media or in any other field require the following:

  1. Know Your End Game: Know what are you trying to accomplish and how you want to try keep track of it all.
  2. Define Your Metrics: What metrics do you need to track to quantify results: Leads, Registration, Sales?
  3. Check Your Tracking:  If your success metric is sales make sure you’re not just tracking leads. This requires testing.
  4. Set Expectations: Benchmarking is great way for you and your
  5. Have a Chief marketing officer: to have realistic expectations from a campaign.

Okay, after doing the above 4 steps what come next? How can I calculate numbers or dollars?

ROI %= [(Gains – Costs)/ Costs] X 100

This useful video gives a practical examples of turning metrics into the amount of saved dollars

The following table I create is another example that shows how to calculate ROI of Enterprise social media by focusing on the important business drivers (Hetrick, 2010): 

Press on the table to enlarge it

Some useful Metrics Tools:

Google Analytics — It’s free and it can provide a really powerful baseline for a variety of different factors. You can track incoming links and then the activities of the users they send, which can be helpful.

Omniture — Omniture has a slew of services available for businesses, including components that track Facebook and Twitter metrics.

TweetMeme Analytics — This is useful if you use TweetMeme’s retweet buttons on your sites. It’s a lot like Google Analytics, but focused on TweetMeme.

PostRank Analytics — This suite of tools measures social engagement on other platforms and services. What’s nice about PostRank is that instead of just a raw number, you can actually see the messages and comments from other sites that contribute to your stats. This can be really important for sentiment analysis (more on that later).

HootSuite — HootSuite is a great Twitter manager but also offers impressive analytics. The nice thing about the click data you get from an app like HootSuite (or bit.ly) is by looking deeper you can more easily see if those clicks translate into transactions or impressions on your other sites.

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Recommended Materials:

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Reference:

1. Sexy Numbers: Measuring ROI in Social Media Campaigns

2. Gallup Engagement metrics

3. Journal of Management and Marketing Research 

5. Gartner’s 2011 CEO and Business Executive Survey

6. Hetrick, C. (2010). How To Calculate the ROI of Enterprise 2.0. Retrieved September 12, 2011.

7. How to calculate the ROI of E2.0 or Social Business projects

Could Social Media negatively impact on Organisations?

Today, businesses have found a new place to advertise themselves through social media sites. Having a medium available to connect with customers in a non formal way creates loyalty and awareness but could leave a company vulnerable to hackers and phishers feeling the squeeze on your new found success. A social site provides information on what your company is doing and offers a platform to generate spiteful negative comments that could hurt the reputation of your business (Mellisa, 2011).

Selected Organisation: Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions. They have over 90,000 employees from all over the world and their revenue is 69.94 billion (Agencies, 2011).

Some of the major legal risks that Microsoft could face as a result of using Social Media and how they can avoid them:

Microsoft uses social media to market themselves very widely (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Microsoft Answers… etc) , therefore, many different legal risks could occur. The following table (table 1.0) that I made will cover 3 major legal risks, their possible scenarios and how Microsoft could avoid these possible scenarios:

Table 1.0: Risk, Possible Scenarios and Prevention Strategies

Recommended Readings:

Microsoft Leaked Its Own Social Networking Secret, Then Swore It Was Accidental

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Referances:

Agencies. (2011). Microsoft quarterly earnings beat estimates Retrieved August 23, 2011 from Global Times

Melissa. (2011). Dangers of Social Networking Sites; Businesses, Job Seekers, Children and Adults Beware!. Retrieved August 23, 2011 from optimum7

Brooks, R. (2010). The 5 Biggest Social Media Security Risks for Businesses. Retrieved August 23, 2011 from FC EXPERT BLOGGER

McGonegle, M. (2011). Managing Your Company’s Social Media Risk. Retrieved August 23, 2011 from Sustainable Business Forum