So Jimmy Kimmel does this thing on his show where he’s started having celebrities read mean tweets that were posted in regards to the celebrities. These are definitely worth watching as they’re super funny, but there is something else Mr. Kimmel says that brings up a good point: people regularly say/write things that they don’t take accountability for.
I imagine a conversation taking place between between the guy who called Will Ferrell “dum” and Will Ferrell going something like this:
WF: “Dude, why did you call me ‘dum’?”
Guy: “No, I mean, it’s this joke my friend always says. It was an inside joke. It was like, this inside joke we have.”
WF: “You didn’t even spell ‘dumb’ correctly.”
Guy: “No that’s part of the joke. I know how to spell ‘dumb,’ I spell things every day so it’s not that I don’t know how to spell ‘dumb.’ I was really tired and I had spent the last 8 hours writing and then the ‘B’ key on my keyboard is stuck and I sent the tweet out for review before it was published and the reviewer missed it too.”
Here is the point I am making: no one knows how to admit they’re wrong anymore. I’m guilty of it too, we all are. We’re all willing too take credit for something that goes over well, but not for something which is controversial or just straight up wrong. This is something I see coming to the forefront even more often with corporate social media. Some of you may be familiar with YouTube’s recent decision to ask users to use their real name in an attempt to clean up spammy comments.
People were up in arms! “How could they?!” One person even commented on the PC World article I’d linked to above that they don’t want their name associated with something they chose to do in their spare time. Then don’t do it! This goes for corporate social media as well. Everyone wants to be involved, but at the end of the day, no one wants their name attached to the channel because what if something goes wrong? If something goes right, we can all take credit and claim it was our idea, but if something goes wrong, someone went rogue, it wasn’t our fault.
I have been there, and I get that you don’t want your name associated with a page that you don’t have final say or control over — but then the answer to “whose name do we put on this?” is the person who will take accountability at the end of the day. You want to know why executives get paid so much money? Because at the end of the day, there is no where else to push the buck and they need to take accountability for the actions of their constituents (See: every CEO ever fired.)
My advice for today is to learn how to gracefully accept fault as well as praise. Remember:
Feel free to point out all of the grammatical errors in this post, in the spirit of my rant on accountability.
The reason I’d asked people to comment on that last post by filling in the blank was that I want them (and the other lurkers) to recognize why their colleagues/employees/boss don’t think their social strategy is brilliant.
Here were some people’s initial responses to Twitter: “What a random load of crap!” “Who really needs to know that I am having a coffee?” “Why would I want my SMS to be public?” “Why would anyone need something like this?” I think one of the most interesting responses was “I posted some stat about how x% of people tweeted once and never did it again…and then didn’t post again for 8 months.”
From my experience both personally/professionally and in speaking with clients, many of us get a similar reaction when we’re trying to explain our concept for a corporate social strategy to our colleagues/employees/boss. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” However to them we say something like “ignorance isn’t bliss,” or “our competitors are doing it.” Those arguments unfortunately don’t stand up in “court” and at the end f the day you look like this guy/gal:
Each of these initial perceptions correlates to a common misconception people have about business use of social software (both internally and externally facing, across every which use case in every industry in every region —> it’s that scale.) So let’s start with our first one:
“What a random load of crap!” AND “Who really needs to know that I am having a coffee?”
First recognize what is actually being said. What they’re really saying is: “where is the value in having masses of people deliver constant updates?” So answer the actual question. Don’t pretend some of the updates won’t be personal, they will. So where is the value? How do I extract it?
“Why would I want my SMS to be public?”
The question here is centered around two misconceptions. 1: Every conversation I used to have via email, text or phone will now be posted to a social network. 2. Social software doesn’t have privacy settings. Do yourself a favor and correct these. On the first one, explain when each channel is to be used. Put a little work into considering when which channel would be used — think about the employees who will have to be executing on this.
“Why would I need something like this?”
You don’t need my help figuring out how to broach this one, but this is something I want you to understand. If this was the perception of people who are regular tweeters now then imagine speaking to them three years ago and THAT is who you are dealing with. Get to work.
“I posted some stat about how x% of people tweeted once and never did it again…and then didn’t post again for 8 months.”
You as the social media manager should be providing stats so that people don’t think that it is their job to be the reporter. Tell them what you want them to do on the network. Hopefully you don’t have a company full of reporters and have some doers.
So I obviously left some questions to be asked as it is the business I am in, but I’d love to have the commenting section open for peer debate. Gartner clients, feel free to reach out through Inquiries and set something up if you’d like to discuss this one further.
I remember the first time I heard about Twitter. It was 2008 and a new colleague had just moved over to the team I was interning for. He was tasked with teaching our team about collaboration technologies and so I humored my boss (because I was an intern and hadn’t started acting out yet) and hopped on the phone with this guy.
“Have you ever heard of Twitter?” We went over to Twitter.com and I thought to myself and said out loud (I’ve never had a good filter:) “So this is a site where you just post Facebook status updates?”
This is the first in a two part blog post. What I want to know first – without any sort of justification about what changed your mind – is what you thought when you learned about Twitter for the first time.
Fill in the blank: When I first heard about Twitter, I thought ______
Remember Pac-Man? He used to eat all of those little dots until there were none left and he could run freely? Of course there were the ghosts but sometimes Pac-Man would eat a special little dot and then he could eat the ghosts too. This is the social CRM market.
In the past two weeks there have been three significant acquisitions in this space involving players previously included on the magic quadrant for social CRM [clients only] aka “the big dogs” in this space.
What’s a dot to do? Why does Pac-Man insist on eating these dots? Pac-Man needs these dots to not only score points (make more $$) but he also hopes he’ll eat one of the magic dots and be able to turn on the ghosts (his competition) instead of having the ghosts following his every move, looking to take him down. Making sense? If you’ve lost me already, you may want to call this post quits and try back another day.
One of the most interesting things a vendor has ever asserted to me is that the social CRM space is a “land grab game.” Eating littler dots might not mean making as much money, but it still clears away the dots, getting Pac-Man closer to his goal of total domination of the puzzle board. Pac-man understands he can’t ever be the ONLY hungry guy on the board, but he wants the ghosts to know he has a magic dot/trick up his sleeve.
So let’s talk dots: Vitrue, PowerReviews, Buddy Media. Why would Pac-man eat these dots? These dots are each strong competition for another competitor in the market. Vitrue and Buddy Media were competitors in the social marketing, specifically Facebook marketing, space. In terms of Bazaarvoice buying PowerReviews, let’s put it this way: if Bazaarvoice was Pac-man, then PowerReviews was one of their ghosts.
This may win funniest cartoon I've seen in a while...
So let’s talk about “the” ghosts: Oracle, Bazaarvoice, Salesforce. They’re all Pac-man and they’re all ghosts, it depends who you talk to. They’re all looking to expand their social CRM business. In the case of Oracle and Salesforce, they’re trying to complete an offering and remain competitive with one another. In the case of Bazaarvoice, they had the opportunity to eat a ghost.
CHILL WITH THE PAC-MAN, SUSSIN, AND TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW
I’ve told you, we’ve told you, and we’ll say it again: this market is going to continue through a period of consolidation for another 12-18 months. What you, the reader, are going to do about that depends on your position. If you are a client, I would urge you to take a look at some of the First Takes on these acquisitions (looking for upcoming notes by Adam Sarner and Gene Alvarez) where we go a bit more in depth about what each acquisition means to the Pac-man, the dot and the ghosts.
Let me know what you think in the comments section here. Also please call out my typos, I know you all love that.
“Social” has unfortunately become a buzzword. I would say this has happened over the last year or so (does anyone agree, disagree?) It’s driving me bananas (not a Denny’s plug, just the way my brain feels right now.) With these last three sentences of vented frustration, you’re probably thinking: hypocrite. I know, I am a social CRM analyst. Let me share with you how I avoid feeling like a hypocrite on this by sharing with you the way 40% of my client inquiries start:
Client: Hi Jenny, we need a social strategy.
Jenny: Okay and what is it that you’re looking to do?
Client: See what people are saying about us on social media. Oh, and brand awareness, general marketing.
Jenny: In order to…?
Notice how I am not using the term “social” when I talk back. I practically beg and plead with people on a daily basis not to go after “social” for “social’s sake” – and yes, people have told me that is a meaningless phrase and to those people I say, go work in corporate marketing for a week and come back to me. What I am saying in an overly complicated way is that the word “social” is stigmatized. “Social” is something employees are supposed to be/do and businesses are “being.”
The word makes people angry and defensive. A few weeks ago at an event I was told by not one, but two attendees that I wasn’t an expert on “social” and that they have been “social” for their entire careers. If when we say “social” we’re talking about talking in person, or through email, or on the phone, or attending an event – then yes, you and the cavemen have been social forever, no one is debating you. The problem is, they know and I know that, that isn’t what is meant when people say “social” now. When someone says “social” now they’re talking about mass:mass media, and more often than not they’re talking about externally facing social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
And externally-facing mass:mass media isn’t something everyone or every business should be leveraging. Just because Autodesk used social media (a peer-to-peer community) to cut customer support costs and realized ROI of about $6.8 million [clients only] – doesn’t mean you will. And that is okay! I know that isn’t what you’re hearing from your management, but it is!
Along the what-we-mean-when-we-say-social thread, the term “inherently social” is also misused “on the regular.” Since we can all stop arguing for a minute and agree that “social” doesn’t mean socializing in the way we’ve meant it for the past hundreds of thousands of years, saying something is inherently social would probably have to mean it is built off of/or with a connector to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Here is all this rant and rave is really asking for: please stop defining “social” as the dictionary does whenever someone comes to you and says “we need to get social!” Additionally, when someone says that to you, can you please ask them or take it upon yourself to define potential business benefits [clients only] for the actions you are about to take? Thank you.
P.S.: And for the record, I have not ever, and will not ever, be calling myself an “expert” in anything. There is always room to learn, analyze and form new perspectives, which is fortunately what I do for a living.
P.S. x2: Try to forgive all of the grammatical errors. Just try.
I’ve been hearing this in bits and spurts and it came up again today. “Millennials are walking away from Facebook.”
You know what bugs me? The articles that say things like this claim to have a sampling of 18-24′s that prove their point, but the psychology behind why people in this age group are on Facebook would not back up an assertion like this, regardless of who this mysterious sample is.
Stay with me: did you hear that this weekend Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt finally got engaged? If you did, this was less than 48 hours ago and you know and formulated some sort of opinion even if it was “I’m over their relationship.” If you didn’t you’re thinking “I thought they were engaged/married,” or “they’re so weird,” or “finally,” or something like that. Guess what the bottom line is? YOU DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW THEM.
Think about why people are interested in celebrities. It is because they are a common article of gossip for all of us. We all love/hate them together based upon gossip we’ve heard about them.
This is something you do back in school too. It’s why cliques exist. We love to align ourselves either with or against people. Facebook is the magazine/tabloid of school and then post-academic life. It has never been that for people who didn’t initially adopt it in school, but that is why those people can’t understand why Facebook is remaining popular.
Remember when “news feed” first came out? (And if you don’t, and you claim to be a social media expert…) Everyone hated it. It was an invasion of our privacy. That’s how gossip works though, isn’t it? I can know about you, but you can’t know about me. There are DEFINITELY privacy concerns with Facebook, but the fact that I can log on to the site right now and see pictures of kids in their freshman year of college getting drunk goes to show you that this isn’t a primary concern for this demographic.
Maybe I’m wrong. There are a bunch of surveys that say I am. Yet those surveys also cite the growth in presence amongst millennials on Twitter as one of the reasons Facebook use is in decline. You can use different networks for different things, but what do I know? I’m just a millennial.
And now for our third, and perhaps final (but who knows really) post in our (my) Social Networking for Business series, we’ll cover everyone’s favorite social network: Facebook.
And now for my disclaimer: I want to start each post in my new “Social Network for Business: Etiquette” series with a quick one liner about why I am doing this: too many people in business (marketers, you are the #1 culprit) very obviously to users on the social networks, do not understand the medium they are working with. No one is asking you to create new content. We (we the people, the cool cats on these networks) just want you to put a little effort into making sure the way the content is presented is appropriate for where you’ve placed it.
In talking about Facebook, I am going to split the blame. I’ll take a little away from marketing and I will give some of it to customer service. The most common abuse of Facebook I see by businesses is ignoring questions or legitimate comments on the business fan page’s wall. Some people don’t bother to try and defend themselves, they know they are “doing it” wrong. My three biggest frustrations come with the following three excuses. I will title this section, “Suck It Up.”
1. “Well we have a Q&A tab and that is where we’ll acknowledge and questions.” – Really? Guess what, you don’t make the rules here. If this is your excuse then you’re really just a poser in the social space anyway. Do you remember why you got on Facebook? I do. It was so you could “reach” more people. This is social media not a megaphone. They’re reaching back to you, it’s what you wanted isn’t it? They are using the wall to communicate with you on your Facebook because that is how they communicate with everyone else on Facebook. You wanted to be one of their friends? One of the guys? Well now you play by “the guys’” rules. And if you’re asking me whether or not I care if you already invested in a Q&A tab, the answer is I don’t, not unless you also manage the comments on your wall. It’s called courtesy.
2. “There are too many comments up there, we can’t possibly respond to them all.” – Then don’t have a Facebook fan page. You don’t need to respond to everything, I’m not advising you do that. I am advising that you be able to respond to any legitimate question coming in and not just have a billboard on Facebook where kids (your customers) draw graffiti. Buy some software to help you. Social CRM doesn’t = FREE.
"Storefront Metal Gates of New York" by Dan Nguyen, found on Flickr
3. “Oh a different department owns the Facebook page…” – Really? Because if you weren’t someone who works in a corporation, you would not understand that excuse. I (Jenny Sussin the 20-something that spends at least an hour a day on Facebook) do not care who “owns” your page, solve my problem! Answer my question! You are you! You are not You Lower Limbs (catch my drift?) Gartner clients I have a read recommendation for you on this one. It’s called “Don’t Let Customers See the Cracks in Your Social Media Presence” and if you have ever uttered the phrase “oh a different department owns XYZ” to someone outside your organization, you need to read it.
With the advent of new “rules” around Facebook fan pages in the timeline layout, we the consumer should be able to ignore many of your other common infractions – but please work on these three.
Are you seeing anything else that irks you with businesses on Facebook?
I feel like the title of “Lessons Learned” is so boring, don’t you? Instead I went “Occupy Wall Street” on you.
Image from "Technosyncratic"
For those who didn’t attend 360 this year, let me give you a quick recap of how days went: breakfast meeting, meeting, presentation, meeting, meeting, thinking you don’t have a meeting but you do have a meeting, lunch meeting, meeting, coffee meeting, presentation, meeting, meeting, dinner meeting, sleep, repeat. Needless to say, my brain was on overload and is still in recovery mode so I am sorting the “lessons learned” into three categories: confirmed truths, things to revisit and things I was totally off on.
1. Confirmed Truths
Biggest issues for organizations looking to implement a social CRM plan are cross-teaming (the good old silo issue) and figuring out how to budget headcount for the work to be done.
Marketing is still leading the social CRM revolution/evolution, followed by customer service and IT. Sales is still saying “prove it.“
IT is still trying to figure out how to convince LOBs they should be included in social CRM planning.
Technology is not the issue – people and process are. All the software in the world can’t make up for poor people and process planning.
There is a MAJOR divide in the maturity of social CRM strategy and implementations.
Some businesses, we’ll call them the 1%, are rolling. They’ve created a single view of the customer (social, CSS, sales,) they have a cross-departmental team in place to guide the enterprise social CRM strategy, they have budget, they are measuring what they have done, they are putting it into an ROI model.
The 99% are still trying to get their strategy off of the ground. They need traction. They need help identifying their business case. They need strategy advice. They need execution advice. They need tactical advice. They are at levels 1 and 2 of The Five Stages of Social CRM Adoption.
The 1% are sick of people calling themselves social media experts, so while there are only 1% of us: please stop calling yourself that.
3. Things I Was Totally Off On
The timing of my presentations. They took 25 and 35 mins of the 60 planned. (Nice, Sussin.)
My jokes…I am not as funny as I like to think I am.
Very little else, it actually makes me feel alright that I am not so off.
Anyone else at 360 – what did you learn? Anything surprise you? Any feedback for the crew here?
Oh, and first person to find 3+ grammatical errors in this post, wins!
“Social Network for Business: Etiquette” series disclaimer: too many people in business (marketers, you are the #1 culprit) very obviously to users on the social networks, do not understand the medium they are working with. No one is asking you to create new content. We (we the people, the cool cats on these networks) just want you to put a little effort into making sure the way the content is presented is appropriate for where you’ve placed it.
Today we tackle the all-mighty Twitter with it’s PR-filled postings and the outright lies about being passionate about *insert B2B-sold tech object here.*
I know that there are likely thousands of “what to do on Twitter if you’re a business” blog posts out there – most were from two years ago a la the blog posts on Pinterest (am I a hypocrite?) swirling around right now – but I believe the time has come to assess some of the silly little things we’re still seeing out of business Twitter handles and lay down our collective pleas for the universal “you” to stop it. (I think I really missed an opportunity here to headline these blogs “Hey you! Stop it.”)
As a little precursor I want to say, this list used to be so much longer. Companies are doing a great job learning from their mistakes in the past – so don’t be discouraged when reading these, just keep them in mind.
Let’s throw out a couple of gripes we’ve all had with “you”…
1. Sounding the alarm then putting in the earplugs and taking a nice long nap: stop it! I’m actually cool with companies marketing to me assuming I’ve opted to follow them (that is a dig at promoted tweets) but then when I want to ask you something, you listen. You not only listen, you respond.
2. Acting like a robot: stop it! Continuing from the gripe above, you not only respond, you respond like a human – not a robot. I didn’t go to your self-service site because I didn’t want a canned answer. I know we’re all busy and it’s easier to provide our employees with canned answers rather than training them on etiquette from medium-to-medium, but by being on Twitter, this is what you signed up for. Are these standards too high? I don’t think so. Personal example: I had a jolly old exchange with UPS over them sending my package to the wrong address. I was pissed that my package was across town, but I actually forgave a pretty substantial error because the person tweeting from @UPShelp was so real with me. Now I’m not the “every man,” but I immediately thought much more highly of UPS. (Plus my new UPS guy at home keeps bringing my packages into the foyer instead of leaving them on the porch, but I digress…)
A gratuitous why-I’m-such-a-pain-in-the-neck:
3. Businesses that ask employees to do their bidding from the employees’ personal IDs: stop it! Why? For one, everyone knows it wasn’t your employees idea to tell their friends about your product – unless they are a regular product evangelist, they won’t have followers who care and your sweet “impressions” number means nothing. For another, what if someone then comes back to that employee to answer a question and your employee either doesn’t know the answer or is not usually on Twitter so they see it 5 days later. It reflects poorly on the company for the employee to say “hey I don’t really know what I was just talking about, go on this wild goose chase to find out” or to not respond at all. Plus we all pity the employee and think a little less of him/her for being such a slave to the groove.
4. Hijacking a tag for competitive communications purposes: STOP, please stop. Some of you may be familiar with hijacked tags advertising adult themed products or services, but there has been talk in the past of hijacking tags for a competitive purpose. An example of this would be if during one of Coca-cola’s events that had a hypothetical hashtag of #cola2012 where attendees were discussing things happening at the event, Pepsi came in and said something like “Pepsi is better than Coca-cola as proven in taste tests #cola2012.” All you’re doing is spamming a community. “But it’s relevant and clever.” No it isn’t. If people wanted to talk to you about your product/service/topic they would have used a tag that called you to attention. Back off. You’re ruining Twitter.
5. Overcomplicated hashtags: (credit to Charles Tuite) No one can figure out what you mean. Putting your name in front of a practice or universal item doesn’t make the conversation yours, it makes it a private conversation, where you’re talking to yourself. If you want to join the conversation, use a broad hashtag so that people outside of your usual reach can find you and speak to you. “But I can’t track how many people tweeted with my tag then!” It’s going to be okay. Impressions is a bologna number anyway. If you really need, you can run a search or create an archive for tweets with two hashtags in them, one being your company name and one being the broad topic – that way you’re hitting multiple audiences.
What else bugs you about businesses’ approaches to Twitter? Anything you see that you actually really like?
I want to start each post in my new “Social Network for Business: Etiquette” series with a quick one liner about why I am doing this: too many people in business (marketers, you are the #1 culprit) very obviously to users on the social networks, do not understand the medium they are working with. No one is asking you to create new content. We (we the people, the cool cats on these networks) just want you to put a little effort into making sure the way the content is presented is appropriate for where you’ve placed it.
I know it’s so “riding the wave” of me to start the social networking for business etiquette series with Pinterest as it is what’s hot right now – but I think this post is needed following a blog post I saw about ways to market your business on Pinterest that was so alarming I had to do something. (Side bar: this tends to be a thing with me – I see something that irks me so much I need to write a passive retort. This thought is for my therapist…)
Let me explain something to you (the “you” in this case is a marketer or salesperson, customer service folks are in the clear on a lot of this etiquette business:) no one wants to see your brand name plastered all over Pinterest except for your executives and while it may often be taught that they are your target audience, they are not the business’ target audience. STOP putting your brand all over everything. An exception here might be a luxury retailer like Chanel that people dream of being affiliated with, but if I can buy your brand at my local mall, don’t bother.
That isn’t to say don’t bother posting images of your product or affiliated ad campaigns, but don’t bother putting your brand name on them.
Consider the medium you’re working with an why end-users are there. On Pinterest, we’re looking at aspirations. These are things people want to do, see, be, get – not what they are doing, seeing, being, having. It’s literally a series of virtual “dream” boards (which is why it attracts females, we know men don’t put their dreams on display, perhaps there is something in that generalization that can explain why men don’t understand the significance of flowers…another one for my therapist.)
But away from my gender warfare, let’s talk about how you really get something “re-pinned” on Pinterest. If I put a picture of a cool looking building and post it to both my “Cool Buildings” board and the public “Architecture” board, people who like architecture are likely to re-pin it, assuming what I think is cool actually is cool to other people. Now let’s say my reason for posting it as I want people to know that Gartner is cool and modern and this is one of the buildings we have an office in, so I throw “Gartner” up on the image. Now other people who look at it perceive that they are no longer re-pinning a cool image, they are re-pinning a brand. For them to do that, they’d already have to have some brand allegiance to Gartner, strong enough to share with their personal friends (Pinterest helps you import your Facebook friends, assuming you create your login with Facebook, which I see is very common.) BE SUBTLE. You’re not being deceptive by captioning the image with “Gartner Singapore” vs. putting the Gartner name on the image. You’re not being deceptive by linking the image back to Gartner Singapore’s page where the image sits and there is information about the building’s architecture.
On a site like Pinterest, your content is only good if it’s re-shared. If you hear there are a million people using Pinterest daily, that doesn’t mean you can reach a million people. It means you have the potential to, but only if you can get each of their eyes on the content you’re trying to share. The way you do that is by making the image compelling enough to re-share. If you’re brand is on it, you already decreased the likelihood of a re-pin. I don’t have the stats on the likelihood of something being re-pinned with or without a brand name on it. No numbers, just common sense from a chronic social networker.
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