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How to Write a Blog Post and Use Social Media to Improve SEO

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Jan, 23, 2015 @ 16:01 PM

share blog posts on social media to improve SEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've written a lot of blog posts on the importance of blogging and sharing information of value:

 

Why blog, create valuable content and build networks on social media?

Share Information of Value to Accelerate Sales

10 Reasons Every B2B Firm Needs a Blog

 

However, I've never written a blog post on how to write a blog post and I was recently asked several questions about how to optimize a blog post, and other content, for SEO.

 

There are five steps:

  1. Provide unique information of value.

  2. Format your blog, or other content, properly.

  3. Optimize your blog, or content, for search engines.

  4. Use calls-to-action.

  5. Promote your blog using social media.

1. Provide Information of Value

Don't sell, inform. Write about your industry, or something you are passionate about, not yourself.

Identify the persona for whom you are writing your blog.

Answer questions your buyers and prospects have asked. The more specific the question the better. Answer without selling. Answer to educate and build trust.

Focus on one topic per post. Don't cover too much. Don't take too much of the readers time. Today readers want "snackable" content. If it's too long, or a gray wall of type, it won't get read.

Think about the content you, or your firm, produce on a daily basis. All of that is information of value. If a restaurant is changing its menu daily, it's menu can become a blog post and then be reposted on other social media channels.

A retail store may want to feature products that are currently in demand or on sale.

Images, both photographs and videos, make great content. Lowes is doing a great job of producing "how to" videos for do-it-yourselfers and posting them to their website, their YouTube channel and their Facebook page.

Write consistently and frequently -- at least twice a week. The more frequently you share information of value, the more traffic you'll drive to your site.

 

2. Format Your Blog Properly

According to Copyblogger, eight out of 10 people will read your headline but only two out of 10 will read your content.

As such, spend half your time writing your headline and half your time writing the content.

The title should be less than 55 characters and include the keyword of the topic you are discussing.

Include plenty of white space and images. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. Make your post inviting and easy to read.

Don't let any paragraph be more than five lines long. This will help your read focus on the content, not the clutter.

 

3. Optimize your Blog Posts for Search Engines

Keep your readers in the front of your mind and the search engines in the back of your mind.

People will share your blog posts if they find the information your share with them sufficiently valuable.

Think about the long-term keywords you want to rank for. Pick one long-tail keyword to focus on.

Place the long-tail keyword in each of the following: title, URL, image alt-tags, body and meta-descriptions. This is what a search engine will scan to understand what you are writing about.

Include anchor text for your posts -- a word or phrase which links to other blog posts. By linking to trustworthy, reliable content you are building trust with the search engines.

Assign topics to each blog post (e.g., I write about customer experience, customer satisfaction and employee engagement).

 

4. Use Calls-To Actions

Consider different offers for each point in the buyers journey or the sales funnel.

I've found eBooks to be good top-of-the-funnel offers, webinars to be good middle-of-the-funnel offers and a free 30-minute consultation to be a good bottom-of-the-funnel offer.

Calls to action are critical. If you don't tell your reader what to do next, it's not likely they're going to engage with you. 

Invite readers to subscribe to your blog and engage in a discussion. Ultimately that's what social media is supposed to be -- a social discussion.

 

5. Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

Include social media links of all of your posts and make it easy for readers to share with their family, friends and colleagues.

Ideally you will share information of value that readers find so compelling they'll want to share it with everyone that's following them, some of whom will want to share on their social networks.

 

This is how content goes "viral."

 

What has worked for you when blogging?

 

How are you getting more readers and more engagement with those readers?

 

Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues

Tags: earn your customers trust, information of value, content marketing, social media, call to action

6 Steps to Creating Relationships Using Social Media

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Dec, 05, 2014 @ 00:12 AM

social media is about relationships

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good white paper from Astute entitled, "Holistic Social Relationships: Breaking down social media silos and enabling a coordinated brand voice."

Lesson #1: The majority of social media conversations aren’t relevant to the business, but those that are can be incredibly valuable. Listen intensely to find relevant conversations. Those that are not relevant to business can be a good way of building relationships and putting a human face on your company.

Lesson # 2: Social isn’t something you can own, it needs to be leveraged as an integral, vital and strategic channel. Getting access to relevant information is important. Delivering it to key stakeholders is critical. Strive to create relationships in social media. Provide information of value. Answer questions before they are asked. Be a trusted, transparent source of information.

Lesson #3: It’s not enough to simply monitor social media. You must be able to find and act on critical issues in real-time. Responsiveness is key. The more timely the response the more trust you build.

Lesson #4: Consumers want to tell you more about what they like and don’t like. They’ll tell you in great detail about how they use your products and services. Make their feedback a strategic part of your organization and engage them further to understand the emotional connection they have with your products and services.

Lesson #5: Integration is important and connecting of all parts of the organization to social systems is critical. Build a common platform based upon the needs of your service origination and you’ll find more flexibility and access to the most important information.  It's critical that everyone speaking for the firm in different social media channels are delivering a consistent message that is "on brand." Consistency breeds trust. Inconsistency breeds confusion and distrust.

Lesson #6: Collecting data is terrific, but look closely for actionable feedback from consumers AND act on it! Train your firm's social media participants what is "actionable feedback" and why it's important. This is their, and you firm's, opportunity, to be "awesome," be responsive and provide an outstanding customer experience. 

By empowering your employees to engage with customers via social media, you are putting a human face on your company.

To ensure you are delivering an integrated message, make sure your employees understand the vision, mission, values and strategic positioning of the firm and are able to articulate them in the appropriate manner via social media.

Have a "go to" person for any potentially problematic situations and get everyone participating in social media together on a regular basis to share what they are seeing, hearing and learning.

How are you leveraging social media in your organization?

Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book

Tags: customer experience, be responsive, consistent messaging, listen intensely, social media

7 Ways to Create Better Content Marketing

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Nov, 19, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

content marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am frequently asked by those who are pursuing a content marketing strategy what they can do to make the process easier and provide higher quality information of value for their customers and prospects.

 

Following are seven steps to take to create better content:

 

  1. Be strategic and identify how your content marketing integrates with the rest of your marketing communications strategy:
    - Who are your target personas -- who are you trying to reach?
    - What are your goals -- awareness, traffic, leads, dialog, SEO?
    - When do you want to reach your target in their journey -- top of the funnel (awareness, research), middle of the funnel (RFI, short list, competitive evaluation), bottom of the funnel (meeting with vendors, purchase decision)?
    - Where do you want to reach your target -- where will they be most receptive to your message, where are they going to be looking for information of value?
    - Why does what you are sharing matter -- is it really information of value or all you doing a brand dump, or selling?

  2. Create one big piece of content and then break it down into different content types that can be shared across many channels -- blog posts, white papers, videos, ebooks, infographics, testimonials, FAQs, case studies, webinars, newsletters.

  3. Tell a story that is different and unique to you and your business. What business problem have you solved with a creative solution?

  4. Be useful. Answer questions before people asked them based on the questions you've been asked many times before. The more time you save your customers and prospects, the more you make it sinple and easier for them, the more likely they will become long-term customers.

  5. Have a content generation mindset and inculcate that mindset into your employees. Content is everywhere. One of the best sources I heard lately are the emails members of the sales team are sending to clients or prospects. These emails are likely answering questions or objections.

  6. Do more. The more you do, the better you'll get and the more analytics you'll have to let you know what is, and is not, working. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than companies that do not blog (Hubspot).

  7. Be a better writer. Tell better stories. The more you write, the more you share, the more you have a chance of stirking a chord with a prospect or a customer. Write emotionally compelling content to increase the likelihood that your content will be share with others.  

Tags: dialog, earn your customers trust, information of value, customer journey, content marketing, emotional connection, trusted advisor, social media

Why blog, create valuable content and build networks on social media?

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Nov, 14, 2014 @ 13:11 PM

why blog?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Bullas recently asked the question, in the title of this blog, in his post "44 Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media for Your Personal and Business Brand."

The biggest reason for me is to "leave a legacy." I don't have any kids. I've helped more than 100 people become successful marketing professionals.

I felt like my blog was a place where I could capture and share everything I've learned, and continue to learn, over the course of my career.

Hopefully providing information of value to business owners and marketing professionals will help them:

  1. Grow their business.
  2. Engage and empower their employees.
  3. Understand the value of customers versus revenue.
  4. Commit to providing an outstanding customer experience.
  5. Learn from some of the mistakes I've made.

Building a network, and making connections, on social media has been invaluable. It's given me an opportunity to connect with people I would have never met -- with them adding value to my life, and hopefully, me adding value to their's.

I love what Guy Kawasaki says, "The Internet rewards those who share information, and penalizes those who hoard it."

Blogging consistently is a great way to capture, and share, your thoughts and information of value.

It's also a great way to build awareness, traffic and leads. The key is consistency of message and presence. Most people who start a blog stop blogging after two to three months.

I know from experience, and data shared by HubSpot and other companies, that it takes six months to build a following that will help to double website traffic and improve SEO. Although I also know that by publishing at least twice a week, I've doubled traffic and leads for clients and employers in less than three months.

Do you share information of value to create awareness of your brand and to build your business? If not, and you'd like some help getting started, let me know. I'd be happy to help.

Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues 

 

Don't have a website or need a refresh? Website are becoming easier to build as well with free resources like Squarespace and Wix and information of value from companies like http://firstsiteguide.com. That's on my "to do" list.

Tags: be reliable, be real, information of value, be relevant, content, social media

Guest Blog: What to Do When Your Social Media Campaign Backfires

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Nov, 13, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

NYPD twitter fail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NYPD Effect: What to Do When Your Social Media Campaign Backfires

 

Almost everyone uses social media. More than 70% of Internet users are involved in at least one of the major social media networks – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram – or even all of them. [http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/]

 

Using social media for branding and customer engagement often is paved with good intentions, but it doesn’t always assure that everything is going to work out well.

 

Take, for example, what happened to the New York Police Department (NYPD) in April 2014, when it tried to establish itself as a brand and engage its customers on Twitter. [http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/22/tech/nypd-twitter-fail/]

 

NYPD is one of the major police forces in the country that have been working hard to improve community involvement. Aside from setting up its own Twitter account, it also launched a campaign early this year inviting people to upload and tag a photo with an NYPD police officer with the hashtag #mynypd. [https://twitter.com/NYPDnews]

 

Well, it didn’t really turn out as planned, where photos of NYPD officers interacting with community members in a positive light would be uploaded and tagged, because within only a few hours after the campaign’s launch, the hashtag went viral for all the wrong reasons: people started uploading a variety of pictures showing NYPD police officers in compromising situations (e.g., depicting harassment and brutality).

 

Worse, other police departments got involved as Twitter users tagged their officers in photos depicting negative circumstances, too.

 

It turns out that the NYPD effect happens far too many times, particularly on Twitter with its millions of active users all around the globe and where trends can be monitored in real time and easily go viral.

 

Similar fiascos have happened to some well-known corporate entities including McDonald’s, Amy Baking Company and even celebrities like Robin Thicke. [http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/01/24/mcdstories-when-a-hashtag-becomes-a-bashtag/], [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/amys-baking-company-kitchen-nightmares_n_3274345.html], [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/10937764/Robin-Thickes-Twitter-disaster-the-best-of-AskThicke.html].

 

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, what should you do?

 

  1. Don’t let it run for too long. If there’s one good thing about social media failure, it’s that you can see its effect within hours. Thus, you always have the option to end it as soon as possible, which is definitely suggested.

  2. Avoid feeding on the trolls. Trolls are Internet users that love to ignite heated discussions and arguments with the brand and/or among its followers through posting offensive, hurtful, below-the-belt comments and inflammatory media such as photos or videos. Trolls are growing by astonishing numbers [http://www.bustle.com/articles/45430-online-trolling-statistics-reveal-almost-one-third-of-millennial-americans-admit-to-being-internet-trolls], so you need to be very careful in how you deal with them:

    * Don’t respond to anything offensive. That’s what trolls want you to do. Remember that. 

    * Block them immediately from your social media account. This way, your other followers won’t see their remarks, and they have no other means of communicating with you unless they create a new account. 

    * Take legal action. If you feel that their comments are untrue and are hurting the brand, do know that you can always take an appropriate legal action, but be discreet about it.


  3. Take control of the situation. Apologize if you have offended users with your campaign or strategy, even if that wasn’t your intention. You can never fault other people’s feelings or perceptions about an issue. Deal with the trolls, but respond to certain serious concerns and questions. Pick one social media person to maintain consistent feedback to your followers.

     
  4. Use it to your advantage. As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Tell your followers that you appreciate all feedback, whether good or bad, and that all feedback can be used to improve your product or service. Then follow through with action on that feedback so that your followers can see that you have put your words into practice. This builds trust.

 

Social media teaches brands a very painful and hard lesson: you can’t please everyone. There will be hundreds or even thousands who will taunt and say something bad about your brand on a daily basis. The keys to surviving any kind of social media backfire are to be objective, maintain a positive, calm mind and act upon the lessons you learn.

 

About the Author
This article was provided by our friends at Fluid Review. As a leader in the cloud-based application management sphere, hundreds of organizations use FluidReview to make better decisions in their scholarship, grant and fellowship programs.

Tags: trust, be reliable, be responsive, be real, authenticity, social media

Empower Advocates to Build Your Brand via Social Media

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Oct, 20, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

raving fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great presentation by Jason Hibbets (@jhibbets), Red Hat's community manager of Opensource.com.

 

Jason, his team at Red Hat and 10 non-Red Hat "moderators" are generating 600+ articles per year consistent with their goal of building the world's premier open source story telling platform.

 

They do this by following the same principles of open source:

 

  1. Transparency -- in participation and passion

  2. Collaboration -- enables rapid prototyping and meritocracy

  3. Methodology -- lean, get stuff done

  4. Strategy -- daily heartbeat, content is king, 50% user generated content, SEO while writing naturally

 

Opensource.com monitors its writers and gives them awards and badges creating a win-win for Red Hat, opensource.com and its supporters.

 

It holds voluntary meetings with moderators every Monday to discuss potential topics of interests for the coming week.

 

According to Jason, the magic, and the success of opensource.com, is in the community.

 

As such, it makes sense to invest in, promote and facilitate your community of advocates.

 

I have been a raving fan of Chipotle for seven years and have written a number of blog posts promoting their products, service and personnel.

 

I believe Chipotle, and every other major brand, is missing a tremendous opportunity by failing to engage their promoters to share information of value in their social media channels of influence.

 

If you have loyal customers who are willing and able to sing your praises, do everything you can to facilitate and encourage them.

 

As a matter of fact, here's a great infographic from Matt Banner that will help you and your advocates know everythingy you need to know to master a particular social channel.

 

Why would you not want free marketing and to recognize, and reward, your best customers?

Want to Accelerate Sales? Download the Free e-book   

Tags: information of value, raving fans, content, social media, advocates

Use Social Media to Do More with Less

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Sep, 22, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

social media

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits (@ncnonprofits) for allowing me to serve as a "curbside consultant" for two of their member organizations yesterday.

 

The question I received from both organizations was "how can I do more with less?"

 

I am a strong believer that the internet and social media has leveled the playing field for small-medium sized businesses as well as not-for-profits.

 

You have a tremendous opportunity to tell your story, and make an emotional connection, by using the resources you already have.

 

Here are five suggestions:

 

  1. Ensure that everyone in your organization is in alignment with regards to the vision, mission and values of the organization. If there is misalignment, or lack of agreement, you won't be able to deliver a clear, consistent and effective message. The less consistent your message, the less trust you and your organization will have.

  2. Identify your organization's story and make sure it makes an emotional connection with those you are trying to reach. Ensure everyone in the organization is telling the same story in the same way. Look for situations your organizations have facilitated to reinforce the message of the story.

  3. Share information of value -- don't sell, don't ask for money. Educate people on what your organization is doing and it accomplishments. Get testimonials, quotes and video clips from those you have helped. Ask them to tell their story.

  4. Identify your promoters and raving fans and ask you to help them spread message, and information of value, on the social media channels where they are most comfortable.

  5. Have a content marketing mindset. Look for content and then opportunities to use the content multiple times (on your website, in an email, on social media channels, in a slideshare). All of this content will help your grassroots SEO and generate more awareness and visits from people who are interested in helping your cause.

How are you and your team using social media to do more with less?
Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues
 

Tags: consistent messaging, raving fans, content, emotional connection, social media

Accelerate Sales with Social Media

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Sep, 02, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

use social media to enhance customer engagement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use social media to build authentic engagement with customers and prospects throughout their customer lifecycle.

 

Open, transparent and honest conversations accelerate the customer lifecycle, as well as the sales cycle.

 

The more you know about your customers and prospects, the more you are able to help them by providing information of value that will simplify their lives.

 

The more you simplify their lives, the more loyal they will be, the more they will buy from you in the near-term and the greater lifetime value they'll have for your firm.

 

Strive to build relationships.

 

Facilitate conversations across all stages of the customer lifecycle. The person who is just considering your product or service for the very first time is very different than a previous customer or someone who has been researching for the past few months.

 

As an example, I’ve been evaluating marketing automation software for employers and clients for the past five years so I’m a fairly well-informed prospect; however, the features and benefits of the platforms change so frequently I need to get a demo every six months so I'm fully aware of what one platform offers versus another.

 

Know what your prospects know and then share with them what they need to know to make a well-informed decision.

 

Customer communities help build engagement and brand advocacy.

 

Prospective customers trust what other customers say about your product or service, twice as much as what the company says.

 

Empower your customers to speak to others on your behalf.

 

Encourage them to do so by providing "wow" customer experiences that they want to share with their friends, family and colleagues, as well as their social media followers.

 

You can drive engagement and activate revenue through persistent, discoverable and relevant conversations.

 

Make fleeting social interactions more persistent and long-term to build trust and credibility.

 

Relevant content drives conversion. Achieve this by prioritizing and contextually appropriate community topics.

 

Ask your customers and prospects what they want to know more about and then engage them.

 

Engagement = (Content + People) x Participation

 

Relevant answers to relevant questions accelerate revenue.

 

Know your customer's buying cycles.

 

Know what their questions are at each stage of the cycle.

 

Answer the question before they ask it.

 

You will earn their trust and make their lives simpler and easier.

Click Here to Download the Free e-book

Tags: trust, integrity, voice of the customer, accelerate sales, authenticity, listen intensely, social media

Engage Employee Advocates to Accelerate Sales via Social Media

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Aug, 28, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Engaged employees accelerate sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great webinar by Nicole Alvino (@nalvino) of Social Chorus, Susan Emerick (@sfemerick) of Brands Rising, and Jenn Meiner Roumian (@jroumian) of EA on "Engaging Employee Advocates: How Electronic Arts is Activating Employees to Amplify the Brand's Message."

 

Nicole started the presentation by sharing how companies can "turn social media inside out" by engaging the thousands of insiders a company or brand has -- their best employees, customers, partners and influencers. 

 

People like to help people they know like and trust. They want to see them succeed. If you let them know that sharing something about your product or service on social media will help your business, your brand advocates are willing to do so to help you.

 

And, based on several studies, the help of advocates is invaluable:

 

  • An everyday employee is trusted twice as much as the CEO (Edelman Trust Barometer).

  • 92% of an employee's Twitter followers are new to the brand (Cisco).

  • 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service when they hear about it from someone they trust (Nielsen).

  • Employees have 10 times more followers than corporate accounts (Cisco). 

People build relationships with people, not companies. Brand advocates are great ambassadors for your company.

Employee advocacy impacts all facets of a business:

  • Reputation (Communications and P.R.) -- corporate reputation, awareness, internal communications, thought leadership.

  • Demand (Marketing) -- awareness, reach, buzz, leads, cost savings as the result of social word-of-mouth.

  • Recruting (Human Resources) -- provides an inside view of the company, builds the corporate reputation among potential employees, cost savings from recruiting expense. You have people knocking on your door who want to work for you based on what they've learned about you on social media from your advocates.

  • Close rate (Sales) -- leads, both marketing qualified and sales qualified, thought leadership, local sales, customer stories and testimonials, relationship building.

  • Awareness (Product Group) -- buzz, trusted expertise, demand, awarenss and leads.

 

There are three critical steps to execute a successful employee advocate social media program:

 

  1. Executive support -- buy-in, financial support, support of the mission, involvement and encouragement.

  2. Training and onboarding -- must be ongoing and sustainable. Employees must know what is, and is not, acceptable as representatives of the company without diluting their voice or integrity.

  3. Activation and results -- define the program, the strategy and how participants will be recognized, and, if appropriate, rewarded.

 

Susan Emerick shared three three steps necessary to build a compelling business case for an employee advocate social media program:

 

  1. Value realization -- how will the program impact revenue, costs, efficiency and productivity? Have the steps in place to measure so you are able to share the results with the management team.

  2. Securing investment -- sell the benefits to the internal stakeholders so they are willing to make the investment, whether it's time or money, to insure the program's success.

  3. Understanding motivations -- how social employees can have a positive impact on metrics: cost/lead, share of voice, sentiment, costs, sales, market share, productivity, efficiency, talent acquisition, retention.

Jenn Meiners Roumain is the Global Brand Manager, Talent Acquisition at Electronic Arts, a leading developer, marketer and distributor of video games with more than 9,000 employees.

 

Jenn created the EA Insiders as the firm's employee advocate social media team based on the vision, mission and values of the firm. 

 

The characteristics of an EA Insider are:

 

  1. A champion and evangelist of all things EA.

  2. A collaborator and partner with Talent Acquisition, Corporate Communications, senior leadership, Public Relations and Human Resources.

  3. A promoter and engager of EA events.

  4. A social media maven. Once EA Insider has 15,000 followers.


  5. An inspirer of, and an inspiration to, Talent Acquisition and employer branding initiatives.

 

Jenn laid out the six steps to activating the group:

 

  1. Align the goals to the mission and philosophy of the firm: increase awareness and engagement; influence talent acquisition; engage; provide thought leadership; and, enhance morale.

  2. Identify internal business partners and get leadership involved from Talent Acquisition, Corporate Communications, H.R., Marketing/P.R.

  3. Choose a pilot group -- by region, by department and by social media knowledge.

  4. Define how to measure success. Engagement might be the number of shares or the amount of content generated. Advocacy can include participation and activation. Impact can be measured by audience engagement and increase in job applications.

  5. Create a plan for long-term engagement by providing a diverse mix of content, encouraging employees to recommend new content, and create a thank you and recognition plan.

  6. Scale and grow the program. EA Currently has 60 EA Insiders with a goal of having 100 by the end of the year, 500 to 1,000 after two years and, ultimately, everyone in the company.

 

After the first few months, the EA Insiders have made 9,300 personal engagements worth more than $25,000 in media value.

 

How much value can your employees provide you by engaging customers and prospects via social media?   

 

Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book

Tags: trust, empower employees, customer engagement, employee engagement, social media

Create a Center of Excellence to Improve Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Aug, 21, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

social media center of excellence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Vanessa DiMauro (@vdimauro), CEO of Leader Networks, Ekaterina Walter (@ekaterina), CMO at Branderati and Jessica Gioglio (@savvybostonian), head of Public Relations and Social Media at Dunkin' Donuts for sharing their insights and experience on the webinar "Social Organization: How Centers of Excellence, Collaborative Management and Seamless Enterprise Structures are Working" for Social Media Today (#smtlive).

 

Social media is causing businesses to evolve.

 

More than 50% of businesses report they currently are, or will be, a socially-enabled enterprise within the next year.

 

Line of business silos can lead to difficulty when trying to become a socially-enabled enterprise.

 

Different business units use different metrics, have competing budgets, duplicate efforts, have resource wars for talent and have multiple social media accounts.

 

Companies lack an integrated business strategy, an integrated communications strategy and best practices for using social media to promote the business, engage with prospects and service customers.

 

The solution is for the business to create a Social Business Center of Excellence housed within the strategic communications group supporting the different lines of business.

 

Doing so will result in an integrated approach to creating standards and best practices that can be applied across the organization based on the vision, mission and values of the firm.

 

The Center of Excellence:

  • Establishes, and monitors performance against, the shared goals and objectives of the organization.

  • Creates a framework, tools and standards for using, and interacting with prospects and customers via, social media.

  • Implements pilot projects for organization learning and best practices.

  • Shares measures of success and performance versus key performance indicators (KPIs).

 

The benefits will be:

  • Insights for new product development and R&D by listening intensely.

  • A more customer-centric organization.

  • More innovation.

  • Flexibility to respond to trends, customers and prospects in a timely manner.

Over time, the goal of the Center of Excellence is to help the company become so proficient at social media, and sharing information, that it's no longer needed.

 

Keys to success:

 

  1. Executive buy-in, leadership and ownership.

  2. Center of Excellence objectives are driven by line of business leaders but captured and managed by the Center of Excellence in light of the vision and mission of the company.

  3. The Center of Excellence is empowered to be an organizational change agent.

  4. Cross-departmental collaboration is enabled, supported and rewarded.

 

Has your firm created a Center of Excellence to improve the customer experience in social media and beyond? 

 

Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues

Tags: alignment, consistent messaging, vision, mission, content, social media