If you missed it, Community Manager Appreciation Day was this past Monday, the fourth Monday in January. As the Wikipedia link notes: Community Manager Appreciation Day is "... a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world using social media and other tools to improve customer experiences."
While community management is a growing and discrete role in many organizations, I don't want to highlight that here. Instead, I want to take this opportunity (albeit a few days late) to thank YOU, our clients, business partners, IBMers, and extended readership for what you do within the communities in which you participate.
You may recall a "Think Friday" blog post from last year in which I expounded on how each of you are indeed community managers. Specifically I noted: "As active members in social networks, we create our own ad hoc communities every time we post content, be it a status updated about what we had for lunch or a longer missive on a facet of today's society. In each case, we own the responsibility of managing these ad hoc communities just like a 'formal' community manager would. Likewise, when we comment on other's posts, we are engaging as a member of their community and have the responsibility to act accordingly." So, you see, Community Manager Appreciation Day isn't just about those of us working in the specifically defined roles; it is also about YOU and our appreciation for how you manage your own ad hoc communities to build value for yourself and your network. While curating your own network is often its own reward, sometimes it is also important to acknowledge how critical managing your own communities really is to not only the value you see, but the value we all see from those efforts. Your own community management activities helps us all grow, and because social business IS a community, none of us can really grow without the rest of you! So, cheers to you all for being awesome community managers! I look forward with great anticipation to seeing what the next year brings for all of us in these spaces!
So, you see, Community Manager Appreciation Day isn't just about those of us working in the specifically defined roles; it is also about YOU and our appreciation for how you manage your own ad hoc communities to build value for yourself and your network. While curating your own network is often its own reward, sometimes it is also important to acknowledge how critical managing your own communities really is to not only the value you see, but the value we all see from those efforts. Your own community management activities helps us all grow, and because social business IS a community, none of us can really grow without the rest of you!
So, cheers to you all for being awesome community managers! I look forward with great anticipation to seeing what the next year brings for all of us in these spaces!
kellypuffs 06000168YK Visits (3894)
That's a powerful statement.
It's also one of IBM's Core Values, one that resonates particularly with me in regards to our social business initiatives… like this blog. Let me explain.
Think of what you might consider a traditional technical support organization. Fielding your questions and calls via email, phone and PMRs, we stand ready to assist you. As soon as you reach out to us.
Once a call is fielded, a solution provided, and a technote written and published, we hope that you (or others) will find the information when you need it.
Ok, that's a gross over
Now throw social business into the mix ...it's a game-changer.
By connecting with us via Twitter, Facebook, here on our developerWorks blog, on YouTube, LinkedIn and dW forums, we hope to be able to help you find the information you need to be successful with our IBM and Rational products BEFORE you need to file a support ticket. We can share the information we learn through our support calls with you and others who may need it, so that they don't have to call. By holding open mic calls to share information on relevant technical topics and field questions, we want to arm you with the information you need.
That's powerful. But it's also scary, particularly for comm
Fortunately, IBM is NOT one of those companies.
IBM as a corporation was in the vanguard of supporting employees' participation in social media, both personally and professionally, LONG before social media was cool. We have a set of Social Computing Guidelines, developed by IBMers all over the world.
IBM and Rational trusts that we will participate responsibly in these venues, and we work very hard to deserve that trust. No one has to vet or approve our Rational Client Support postings before publication, and no one tells us what to post. We are empowered to "do the right thing".
Sometimes I take that for granted and I shouldn't. Neither should you.
I feel very fortunate and am proud to work for a company that trusts their employees to "do the right thing". And I'm not just saying that to suck up.
However, I DO have an ulterior motive.
While we trust that we are doing the right thing and providing a valuable service with these programs; in effect, transforming our support organization, we struggle to identify our ROI (return on investment). Unlike marketing-driven social media programs, we can't measure lead generation or sales revenue derived from these initiatives. We HOPE that by reaching out to you proactively, we help you be successful with our products without having to call support - but, as you might imagine, measuring something that does not happen is a bit of a challenge.
Therefore, you can help us gauge the value of our social business efforts to YOU by answering 2-3 quick questions on our social media survey. It really is painless. We want to know who's following, and how valuable you find our various efforts. If you have an extra minute, you can provide some free-form comments to help us serve you better.
Because honestly, it doesn't matter what WE think ... YOUR opinion is the only one that really counts.
Pretty please? And thank you!
Link to survey
Image credit: Some rights reserved by flickr user nots
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (3873)
Social CRM is becoming a bigger deal as businesses grow in the social spaces. Where we once referred to this all as "social media" or "new media", we've begun to shift the jargon in how we talk about the spaces. Moving from words indicating "what", we are now using words to indicate "how" we work in the spaces. You've likely seen me use the phrase "Social Business" in the past few months. I made this shift in verbiage based on the fact that "Social Media" really just described the tools we used, not how we used them. We are a business after all, and our primary focus is to help our clients, to help YOU, be successful with the products and services IBM provides.
We are constantly striving to improve how we engage and help, which not only means implementing our strategies, but to get out and learn as much as we can about how best to work in these spaces. And wouldn't you know it, in my effort to learn more, I was pointed to a fabulous paper provided by IBM Global Business Services (htt
From social media to Social CRM: http
There is some really great and recent information in this paper outlining the gap between what customers want and what companies/brands -think customers want. (As an aside, one of my difficulties has been finding studies like this which match the present climate. Most social media/social business studies I have found were released as far back as 2008 or 2009, some of the more recent ones in early 2010 based on 2009 data. This particular paper has the most up to date information I've found thus far!)
While the paper provides some very eye-opening data and likely will help change how many businesses focus on their social efforts, I was happily surprised to see that our efforts in IBM Rational Support, as well as the larger IBM Rational brand efforts appear to fall in line with the gap table of customers' rankings. Now, I may be biased here (an amazing realization, I know), but I think our four social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and here on NFRS) are indeed aligned directly with customer/client demands from a support organization. But that's just my view, we'd love to hear your view.
So go on and take some time to read the Social CRM paper. I think you'll find some very valuable insights there which you can take back to your own areas and use the data to build your own successes in social business. Of course, once you've read read the paper we here in Rational Support would really appreciate your insights as to how you really think we're doing here and how we may be able to improve the spaces to help you be even more successful!
image credit: (cc)Some rights reserved by smemon87
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (3642)
This is a re-print from the original post by Jason O'Donnell on www.waywardcelt.com which ran on August 20th:
The number one barrier that prevents people from engaging in social business is their fear of saying the wrong thing.
Addressing that issue has proven difficult as it involves so many variables and is deeply rooted in the individual’s own psychology. It is a myriad of obstacles that get in the way of engagement here, any one of which can be the one issue that prevents someone from playing in social media, or it could be a complex web of issues woven to prevent adoption. For me, the solution was two-fold:
Luckily, I have a wonderful tool to help guide me in the social media world as I interact and engage in valuable conversation. The IBM Social computing guidelines give me the framework to avoid saying the wrong things on-line and provides you with the same benefit:
Quoted below from the IBM Social Computing Guidelines with my own bold highlights for emphasis:
Take a moment and also real the Detailed Discussion section of the IBM Social Computing Guidelines here, as it will explain some of the above in better and clearer terms than I am capable.
Once you have a handle on the social computing guidelines, life becomes so much easier... but even then, you or your employees may still be hesitant to start sharing, or think they don’t have anything to say... that’s okay. After creating your account, go find a few people to follow then start listening to how they are interacting. Take the next step by highlighting some of the ideas or information you find that you agree with and reshare those. After a while you’ll start to really get a feel for what you want to be saying and how to say it effectively as well.
Lastly, and this may seem overly simplistic though it is true: don’t worry about making a mistake. If you are playing in the social spaces you will make a mistake; but that’s okay too. Acknowledge when it happens and make your correction as soon as you can. In this way you can own your words and your mistake. This behaviour makes all the difference between a big or small mistake; between something that blows up or blows past.
Remember that social business is no different from any other interaction in the core values. If you pick up a phone or respond to emails in a professional capacity you can engage in social business as well. You have the trust of your company behind you, all you need now is the same trust in yourself and your success will be imminent! Just remember to follow the social computing guidelines, especially so if you share something you disagree with...
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (3360)
Over on my personal blog, I posted last week about Building a better business: Hiring ducks and eagles for the right jobs.
In that post, I explored the personal experience and positive results of team hiring practices that focused on finding the right person for the right job. The net conclusion of that post being: "Hire to your needs, but also to the candidate’s strengths and abilities. It isn’t easy, but the rewards and your future success depend upon it."
But, I'd like to take that conclusion a step further now, since "future success" is a bit too nebulous for my taste.
From the social business perspective, hiring the ducks and eagles is a critical portion of our success, as people in the right job tend to be more motivated and passionate about what they do. It is this increased level of passion that is such an important building block of success in social business. Without passion, social business just becomes activities that fall flat, and your audiences will pick up on that immediately.
Social businesses with passionate employees, however, are thriving and forging new paths in the world around us. It is that passion which drive employees, either on their own or with slight urging, to get out in the social spaces and share their knowledge and excitement with others. While the passion IS infectious, it also needs to be cultivated.
That passion is either fostered or stifled long before the employee ever has opportunity to play in the social spaces. It begins during the hiring process: identifying and hiring to both your needs and the candidate's abilities right from the get-go builds that foundation to grow your company into the motivated and passionate social business you need. Hire a duck for an eagle's job (or vice versa) and you will stifle that passion. Likewise, put the duck in the right pond and enable the eagle to soar, and that same stifled passion now becomes a raging fire driving both to spread the excitement.
Your audiences can tell the difference between mere activity and authentic excitement, and they will treat your social business accordingly... Can you really afford to not hire the ducks and eagles?
I'll leave you with the video that inspired both post titles and over-arching topics: You Can’t Send A Duck To Eagle School: