As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.
At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:
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Tags: Enterprise 2.0, gamification, learning, social networking
The Enterprise 2.0 conference is one of those few industry events where the focus is on customers and how social collaboration is transforming organizations. This year, we witnessed how the topic of Enterprise 2.0 is shifting from a technology debate to a business and organizational conversation. Investing in a social business initiative requires us to think strategically about how to deliver customer value, how people collaborate to get work done, and how culture helps sustain success over time. At this year’s conference, attendees heard from keynote speakers like Richard Foo, Enterprise Collaboration Director at Nike who discussed how social collaboration is critical for their organization to stay connected and drive innovation. Organizations need a “culture of immediate evolution” to do so according to Richard. Leveraging a single, pervasive social collaboration platform is a critical element of their strategy. Read More »
Tags: a. WebEx Social, collaboration, Enterprise 2.0, social networking
It’s daunting, exhilarating, and a lot of hard work, all rolled into one…that’s the day in the life of social media! Each day is different as this social communication channel continues to evolve and grow. So how do organizations keep their best brand ambassadors (aka their executives, employees, contractors, vendors, partners, and customers) up-to-speed with social media?
While it’s really a mix of components, including policies and guidelines, communication, and clear strategies, training is a key component. There are a variety of social media webinars, chats, workshops, and other learning resources out there, but often times, a more robust training program is needed to educate new users and enable those with an existing skill set.
With a collaborative effort, a common goal, and a set of focused training courses, organizations can empower these ambassadors to use social media effectively, build their own reputations, and bolster the brand. Internally our Corporate Social Media Marketing team has been working hard to build a robust training program for employees, contractors, executives, partners, and customers. Below is a summary of highlights from this expanded program, tips to creating a similar initiative, and an opportunity to participate in the upcoming @ciscosocial #smtraining Twitter chat on August 2, 2012 at 9am PDT. (Please note new date.)
Cisco Social Media Training Snapshot
After assessing internal company training needs around social media and existing resources, we looked for ways to expand learning, developing the following model and implementing it this past May.
Cisco's Corporate Social Media Marketing Training Program Snapshot
Courses are offered across Cisco both in live and on-demand session formats to accommodate different regions on an ongoing basis. And in the true spirit of collaboration, we work with Cisco subject matter experts (SMEs), global social media peers, fellow team members, and even a few guest speakers. Not only does this approach create a stronger shared investment across the company, but it also enables those interested in stretch goals, the opportunity to participate in a larger role. Lastly, the program includes special incentives including three levels of certification and gaming badges to earn along the way.
Since we launched the first course on May 29, 2012, we have seen a huge interest in the training programs with over 550 participants, with many on their way to the first level of social media certification! As the word gets out internally to more and more teams, we are seeing larger registration and participation across organizations such as engineering, support, marketing, sales, and several others.
Currently, we are also offering a smaller partner-focused set of training sessions. And at the end of this summer, we will launch the executive-focused track of this program, followed by customer training opportunities in 2013.
Tips to Create a Training Program
Creating a training program like the one described above takes resources, time, determination, and support. Here are some tips to developing this type of training program:
- Get to know the audience, internal and external.
- Assess the current training resources available to these audiences.
- Outline gaps in courses, materials, and other types of resources.
- Create a social media training strategy and get management buy-in.
- Look for ways to leverage existing resources, internal team member expertise, and external contacts.
- Build content that resonates with audiences, sharing a mix of best practices, techniques, and examples.
- Tie into the organization’s overall training programs and systems.
- Start out slow, evaluate course feedback and ratings, and build out program accordingly.
- Identify opportunities to gamify the program to further incent participants.
- Recognize those that reach milestones and acknowledge participant feedback and needs.
Over the course of the next several months, we will share more program details and best practices.
In the meantime, let’s meet up virtually for a @ciscosocial Twitter chat to learn more from each other regarding social media training and how different organizations are developing this type of education. Join us on August 2 at 9am PDT, following #smtraining, directly on Twitter or another Twitter application. (Please note new date.)
What questions are top-of-mind for you regarding social media training? Share your feedback with us using the comment section below and we’ll incorporate your questions into this special Twitter chat.
This post was developed in collaboration with Petra Neiger (@petra1400).
Tags: #smtraining, Cisco, education, marketing, marketing communications, social, social learning, social media, social media strategies, social networking, training, Twitter chat
With advanced collaboration technologies like video conferencing and enterprise social software, companies are rethinking the way they traditionally have done business. Social collaboration adds a new layer to the communication experience, allowing companies to innovate, grow, expand into new markets and increase productivity. It can provide unmatched benefits to an organization including:
- Easier access to resources and expertise
- Contextual, real-time communications through integration with voice, IM, conferencing and video.
- Time and resource savings that drive better utilization of existing systems
- Social networking with less risk though rules-based policy management
- Simplified content management
- More effective information discovery
This week at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, Cisco makes some announcements around our social collaboration strategy and the extension of our market leading Cisco WebEx cloud, which I describe in detail in this video blog. Read More »
Tags: Cisco WebEx, cloud, collaboration, content management, IM, social networking, video, video conferencing, Voice
Social media has become so ingrained in our culture these days that much of the time, we’re not even aware of it as anything “other.” But for some, it’s way more than just a recreational outlet. It turns out that small businesses that are using social media are seeing the biggest gains, according to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: from new partnerships to qualified leads to improved sales to reduced marketing costs.
Gartner’s Anthony Bradley defines social media this way: “At its foundation, social media is a set of technologies and channels targeted at forming and enabling a potentially massive community of participants to productively collaborate. IT tools to support collaboration have existed for decades. But social-media technologies, such as social networking, wikis and blogs, enable collaboration on a much grander scale and support tapping the power of the collective in ways previously unachievable.”
One company that’s doing exactly that is FanAxcess.com, an Oakland, California-based start up that aims to match up-and-coming musicians with potential brand sponsors, while also creating a simpler and more cost-effective pathway for advertisers to reach target markets.
Brands are always seeking fresh ways to differentiate—and personify—themselves with standout spokespersons. But, that can be tough when there’s always the same pool of big fish to choose from. “We provide a forum for artists to create very specific profiles that give insight into who they—and their fan bases—are. So, if you’re an advertiser, you can search artists by audience (based on their social media fans across sites or, their average number of live fans), by genre, by eco-friendliness (or other indicators), and by upcoming tours and promotions,” explains Suzanne Mino Koga, co-founder, artist manager and music marketing consultant. This creates a dynamic library for advertisers to source from, to find just the right match in terms of brand feel/aspirations and audience it wishes to target. “And along the way, musical artists can tap into new potential revenue streams and raise their visibility,” adds Koga.
For other businesses that use social media such as Yelp, Facebook or Twitter as a way to market and build community with their customers, there’s something else to think about: the caliber of the type of customers you attract when you engage in social media. These folks are more digitally connected. And that means they can be a powerful form of advertising on your behalf. So when your customers come to your place of business, you need to provide guest wireless access to let them be your spokespersons and to keep them coming back.
Consistently monitoring social media activity is also critical. In fact, according to Indaba, 66% of businesses were using or were planning to use Social media monitoring for their business. Remember to watch out for potential security issues, as pointed out in a recent Cisco Small Business blog: As the line between personal and professional blurs, employees who might monitor or update your accounts could unknowingly introduce malware picked up from their own personal accounts.
Just as a Swiss Army knife can be a great productivity tool, so can social media—with care and clarity around how you want to use it, you can expand your community of customers and partners. Not only that, you can sharpen your results: If customers can be more productive interacting with your brand—and amplifying their experiences—you’ve carved out a really great success story.
If you’re going to be in Houston next week, be sure to register for The Small Business Tour: Time to Thrive, on June 7. Cisco executive Lief Koepsel will talk about how small businesses can use social media—as well as cloud and mobility—to reach new levels of productivity and success.
Tags: small business, smb, social media, social networking