Thoughts on Blogs | Week of October 9, 2009
Selected participation in the social web following the Social Media Academy’s NCP Model
Social Media Considerations for the AEC FIRM ( HelpEveryBodyEveryDay) -
In regards to a post about strategy for social media in Architectural/Engineering/Construction firms:
Valerie, your comments are very valid in terms of social media being a tactic/tool to achieve your business goals. The big part, and to me the most important part, is completing an assessment of the places and spaces that your potential clients and current clients are engaged in. Picking any tool, without this knowledge may be a shot in the dark.
Following a solid methodology that focuses on customers, competition, brand, and partners in the assessment should uncover what problems and issues are being discussed that you can solve. Gearing your involvement in social media around this knowledge can help new business understand what they are listening to and begin to develop a strategy for engagement.
Most B2B clients that I speak with are most concerned about the time their internal resources may be wasting on social media. However, with the assessment complete, conversations to point to, one can build a sound action plan and “relocate” budget and resources to begin as you said, a small effort. Key to this Valerie, as you pointed out is determining measurement and tracking methods.
When you spend $$ (resource time) on social media but can show that you grew your network, 70% became leads and 30% became clients, management begins to listen and also is willing to spend more resource time/$$ to continue the success.
Is social media the latest iteration of CRM (Catherine Sherwood) -
In regards to a post by Catherine Sherwood on the connections between Social Media and Customer Relationship Management (CRM systems):
As a long time users of various contact managers and customer relationship management tools, your comments are thought provoking. I find social media a perfect place to be for someone who has focused on the customer side of business for the past 25 years.
On the selfish side – I love the one on one and many to many conversations I am having. As the convoluted connection path travels from one connection to another, it highlights someone I know. Then someone I would like to know. In the past 2 years as my network has grown, I feel richer because of the depth and reach. Its exciting to connect with someone in AZ with more touch points than the person next door. I won’t even bore you with my thrill at having great connections in Paris and Australia!
What CRM does do is help provide a process to manage these business connections and make the “drip marketing” or the Email marketing a little more feasible. What social media runs the risk of is overwhelming all of us with information and management overload. I believe that the next wave of Web 2.0 (or will it be Web 3.0) functionality will be better management systems for our social media relationships and even (can one hope) tools that truly integrate CRM and social media as one symphony together.
Do companies need a formal policy on social media? Question by Kristine Maveus-Evenson (LinkedIn Questions/answers) -
In regards to these questions: What do you think about formal policies involving social media? Do the risks of social media outweigh the rewards? Why? If you do believe that there should be policies on the use of social media, what should be covered?
First of all I truly believe the rewards outweigh the risks in social media. I believe several things are required by companies as they begin an engagement in social media for their business. First they must be committed to engaging in conversation with their customers. They also need to have defined business goals around which a social media strategy can be developed.
Creating an action plan and resource spreadsheet takes care of the effort.
Now you need guidelines for the designated social media team (team of 1 in some cases) to follow. They should know how much time to spend, on which sites (social media tools), and for which activities. Creating an issues list to begin conversations (based on an initial assessment) is important so they do not randomly chat. You should also develop a escalation policy in case problems occur out of the authority level of the employee.
Last but not least, recognize that we are humans and make mistakes. something will be said that causes concerns and PR ripple. Understand this and prepare for it like Dell did after the famous laptop caught fire. Know where you will go and who will talk.
Create a policy for speaking out of turn, beyond what is acceptable, where and with whom. State repercussions and be consistent.