When Persistency & Social Connections intersect with a World Class Hotel General Manager – anything is possible…

A story of how a very persistent and well connected social media expert was able to network his way into an otherwise sold out hotel by socially connecting with the hotel’s world-class general manager…

Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing

Date: July 1st, 2011, Situation – Hotel Sold Out on 1st of 2 day Planned Stay – Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing is the best hotel for my upcoming & out-of-town meetings, but I can only book Thursday July 14th, not Wednesday July 13th which is completely booked – no luck in booking 2 consecutive nights at this same hotel. The hotel showing booked for 7/13 for many days. Call hotel – they say the hotel is oversold. I obtain Hotel General Manager’s name from front desk agent – his name is Mike Costello.

Date: July 10th, Action PlanFind Mike Costello on LinkedIn, Send Him an Invite, Ask to Connect due to ‘upcoming stay at hotel’

LinkedIn Invite to Hotel General Manager

Date: July 9th – Connect & Correspond to the Hotel General Manager – Mike Costello, General Manager from the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing Connects with me. I send him an e-mail based on his e-mail address being available on his LinkedIn profile:

Accepted LinkedIn Invitation by Hotel General Manager

E-mail to Hotel General Manager After Connecting on LinkedIn

Date: July 11th, Update, Receive Response E-mail From Hotel General Manager: Mike Costello e-mails me indicating the 13th is completely sold out and suggests that I drop my bags off early on Wednesday so I could proceed to my planned meetings. Mike Promised to “review our status tomorrow for any changes due to cancellations or people not showing up without indicating so.”

Date: July 11th, Update, Send Response E-mail To Hotel General Manager:

Letter to Hotel General Manager - Thanks for Following Up

Date: July 12th, 9:30 AM, Update, Receive a “Reservation Change” E-mail from Hyatt indicating my reservation for the 13th had been made.

13th Opens Up, Reservation Changed, I'M IN ! :)

13th Opens Up, Reservation Changed, I'M IN ! 🙂

Date: July 12th, 11:24 AM, Update, Receive an E-mail from Hotel General Manager. Mike Costello indicates I am I am “Set for Wednesday “ (the 13th) and wishes me “Safe Travels”. I write back immediately indicating “Thank you so much!”

Date: July 14th, 9AM, The last day of my stay. I make it a point to visit the hotel Administrative offices to thank Mike, but unfortunately he is a meeting. I convey my “Thank you” to his Administrative assistant. She Promises to relay the message to him.

Date: July 14th, 4PM, Call from Hotel GM while on the train on my way home. Receive a phone call on my cell phone from the hotel GM (Mike Costello) indicating he was glad to be able to help me and appreciated the fact that I told him that his hotel was top-notch and that I really enjoyed my stay. Mike then said to please consider coming back to his hotel when I am in the area again. I told him I would now consider no other hotel except the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing to stay when in the area due to the following:

1) His world-class customer service and going above and beyond to assist guests

2) The way the hotel was run as a model of hospitality from the excellent level of guest service and the excellent staff that was always willing to help at every instance.

Bottom line – Persistence and connections do pay off (I seldom take no for an answer and always ‘figure out how to get to the goal line’ no matter what – my nickname was “tank” in college days for being so persistent and always getting the job/task done), but only if this persistency is met by a savvy and World-Class Hotel General Manager like Mike Costello from Hyatt.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I urge you to seriously consider the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing – the staff, the management and accommodations are world-class and 5-star all around.

Leveraging Enterprise Collaboration Platforms (ECPs – a.k.a. intra-social applications) to Increase Internal Collaboration, Productivity and Overall Company Performance

Part Two – Leveraging Enterprise Collaboration Platforms (ECPs – a.k.a. intra-social applications) to increase internal collaboration, productivity and overall company performance

In my previous blog, I covered the first of three mega-trends hitting the social media marketplace for large Fortune level organizations.  In this blog, I address how the use of enterprise social monitoring and intelligence platforms are helping companies leverage key insights from an array of market activity and major trends including competitor activity & weaknesses, key opinion leader sentiment/needs, regulator trends and concerns, political leader and influencer sentiment, public opinion and key issues. 

This second blog is dedicated to the second social media trend hitting corporate America that focuses on the Intra-Social Media Application or Enterprise Collaborative Platforms (ECPs). In the same format as my last blog, I will cover this subject as follows:

A) What is an ECP or intra-social application
B) What are the benefits from using an ECP
C) What are the hottest tools/applications in the marketplace
D) How do you implement an ECP capability 

A) What is an Enterprise Collaboration Platform (ECP) or Intra-Social Application?

An ECP is a social media application much like Facebook, but exists entirely behind the firewall and is designed to increase intra-corporate collaboration, decrease time to market, and enhance overall corporate productivity. In direct response to this fear of implementing a full bi-directional (conversational) social media program that might trigger a negative market reaction or a warning/fine from regulators (Life Sciences and Financial Services organizations), companies are investing heavily into this new intra-social application since it sits entirely behind the firewall and is virtually risk-free from a market faux-pas or fear of regulatory consequences (particularly true for Financial Service & Life Sciences Companies).  The following illustrates the key features and capabilities of a best-of-breed ECP or intra-social solution/platform:

Intra-Social Enterprise Collaboration Platform Key Features:
•  Social Networking at the Department Level (Intra-Social Networking)
•  Internal & Secure Social Communications System – Behind the Firewall
•  Intra-Social productivity enhancement environment including :
•  Internal Chat
•  Internal Meeting Coordination & Management
•  Internal video conferencing
•  Internal document management
•  Internal blogging, wikis, team profile (expertise) profiling and locating

Capabilities include:
•  Out-of-the-box social networking capabilities
•  Pre-integrated enterprise communications
•  Business Systems Integration
•  Content Management System Integration
•  Enterprise-grade security and policy management

B. What are the benefits – Why are companies and government agencies adopting social Intelligence capabilities?

The following list represents just a few of the benefits of implementing an ECP or intra-social application:

1) Optimized Team Building – Environment increases team visibility, sharing and collective insights, and collaborative/virtual project development

2) Increased Knowledge Sharing – Enables collaborative knowledge development and sharing near real-time

3) Integrates Communications and Business Processes – Integrates and accelerates the use of chat, video sharing, teleconferencing, blogging, video conferencing, etc.

4) Accelerated Team Performance – Facilitates real-time and interactive participation via the right team expertise

5) Fully Engages Teams and Departments – Encourages team interaction and inter-departmental cooperation on programs and projects

6) Increased Control over Intellectual and Digital Assets – Single/integrated environment for asset management

7) Accelerated Return on Existing Application Investments – Integrates and accelerates the value of existing IT investments by seamlessly integrating enterprise content management, unified communications and business management applications

‘8) ECPs allow companies to ‘cut their teeth’ on developing a social media capability without the risk of mistakes that would trigger a market or regulatory backlash. This social media indoctrination includes prototyping the following social media components:
1) Organizational Design
2) Policy and Standards
3) Process design & execution
4) Performance metrics & KPIs
5) Application standards
6) Support model and associated support structures

9) ECPs, when architected properly, can easily integrate with an external and fully bi-directional social media program

10) Companies who integrate and optimize ECPs with traditional market communications channels such as call center, web, mobile, e-mail, etc can benefit from a dramatic increase in the overall customer and stakeholder experience.

11) ECPs can dramatically increase the appetite for increased intra-organizational change and the appetite for innovation and entrepreneurialism. Complimentary to this is the need to support the implementation of an ECP with a heavy dose of change management as this implementation represents a new way of conducting business

12) The overall goal of the increased internal collaboration and productivity derived from the ECP is to decrease the time to market with products and services that have increased market relevance.

C) What are the hottest tools/applications on the ECP or Intra-Social Application market?

Almost all ECPs are relatively new to the marketplace and few software vendors have deployed to more than a several Fortune-500 level companies. 

Leading ECP Software Vendor & Tools:

* Cisco Systems – Quad. Cisco was well positioned for the intra-social market in that they had many of the existing components that are essential for a world-class ECP. Cisco already had many very capable collaboration applications such as the following:
a) Video teleconferencing and team conferencing
b) Instant chat features via their ‘Click-to-chat’ functionality
c) Instant meeting management via their ’click to meet’ functionality
d) Group management and profiling.

The Quad platform allowed them to effectively integrate these pre-existing capabilities with some additional ‘Facebook like’ features such as the following:
a) Community development and management,
b) Blogging and Wiki collaboration,
c) Team member or team activity broadcasting and management,
d) Team expertise profiling, etc. 

The integration of all of these components as well as the integration capabilities with existing corporate applications like document management, CRM system integration, social profiling for customer service and many other features brings Cisco to the forefront of ECP platform vendors and is well positioned to remain a leader in this space

* IBM – IBM Lotus Connections.  IBM was an early entrant into enterprise social tools, and this has enabled the IBM Lotus offering to remain in a leadership position.  IBM Lotus connections has many of the same features/functions as Cisco Quad such as Communities, file sharing, Wikis, team profiling, blogs, team activity tracking, home page activity and preference management, etc.  In addition to these features, the IBM offering has a Social Analytics function that facilitates the user on profiling those who might be good connections both on an individual level and community level. The IBM offering also provides mobile access to access the technology from a mobile device and also provides chat forums to share insights, ideas and concerns.

* Jive with Microsoft SharePoint & SharePoint Connector: Jive in conjunction with Microsoft SharePoint is a very powerful collaboration platform.  Jive is used as the hub for socializing and sharing content broadly across the enterprise. SharePoint can be used in conjunction with Jive with the SharePoint connector by integrating SharePoint with Jive, using SharePoint as the workflow and document storage system (what is was designed to be best at). Together, these two applications drive awareness of enterprise activities by socializing content and team activities, wherever it originates, to inform better business decisions.

* – Chatter. Following on their success with their Sales application, has developed a very robust intra-social ECP application called Chatter which allows all people within the company to interact and collaborate on projects. Many times the Sales Force of a company will be the first to adopt this technology due to the fact that the sales force is already using the sales application, hence is a good pilot group to pilot the intra-social application.  Similar to Cisco’s Chatter application, the features and functions are designed to maximize team interaction and collaboration so that teams can operate more efficiently by eliminating the need for many manual cycles to coordinate and conduct meetings, collaborate on documents and projects, and develop deep insights based on team specialization and expertise.

* Oracle  Beehive. Oracle Beehive is also a strong contender due to the size of the company, its existing installed base a relatively strong product line. Similar to many of the software vendors above, The Oracle Beehive product provides an integrated set of modular collaboration services including email, calendar, team workspaces, instant messaging, and conferencing.

Challenger ECP Software Vendor & Tools:

The companies below are considered challengers due to their smaller company size, relatively new entrance to the market place and/or their set of smaller customers that have their products currently installed.

* Atlassian Confluence: Atlassian’s confluence product is mostly seen as a productivity wiki tool, geared toward technology departments. However, the product is highly extensible with integrations into Microsoft SharePoint and Lotus Connections.  The product is also most geared toward content sharing, discovery, creation, etc.

* Novell – VibeCloud.  The company’s acquisition of SiteScape brought the company beyond email and calendaring and more into the collaboration space. Novell has many of the futures as some of the leaders above such as document management, social messaging, conversation tracking, group & community management, etc.

* PBworks – PB Works appears to be geared to mid-sized companies in providing collaboration Software for Smaller Advertising Agencies (PB Works Agency Edition), Legal Firm, Consulting, Medical, Associations.

* Socialtext: Socialtext was best known for bringing Twitter-like status functionality to the enterprise called “signals”.  Social text has many of the same features as the leaders above, but is a smaller sized company than an IBM or Cisco.  Socialtext also provides integration with Lotus Connections and Microsoft SharePoint.

* Traction Software: Traction software is highly focused on managing projects in that their own tagline is “Social Software meets Project Management” . Forrester lauds Traction for bringing blogs and wikis to the enterprise

D) How do you implement an ECP capability – what are the steps and considerations on implementing this capability within your organization and company

Social Media Implementation & Program success requires comprehensive visioning; with stepwise implementation, guided by a roadmap and integrated project plan.  I have developed this capability for several Fortune 500 companies and the capability can be enabled via three (3) Major steps as follows (Summarized):

1) Step #1: Develop a ECP and Intra-Strategy including the following:
a) ECP  Strategy/Vision, Objectives, Business Drivers, Critical Success Factors, Community/ Forum Listening Strategy, Key Metrics & Performance Plan, Organizational Plan, Change Management Plan, Communications & Risk Management Plan, monitoring policies, governance plan
b) Put together an implementation roadmap and a centralized PMO to manage the implementation of the roadmap/ECP vision
c) Form your intra-social strategy & vision with key stakeholders

2) Step #2: Social Media Technology Platform Evaluation & Selection
a) Identify potential ECP platform & community management vendors
b) Develop Needed ECP Requirements and Capabilities
c) Perform Technology Platform Vendor Selection
d) Onboard Vendor
e) Build a techno-functional architecture to support the roadmap

3) Step #3: Develop Social Media Program Pilots & Deployment Plan
   a) Develop Pilot Project & Deployment Plan
   b) Develop ECP management processes that provide organizational confidence and exercise process excellence transparency to solidify user/stakeholder buy-in and acceptance.
   c) Develop Technology Pilots
   d) Develop  Program Pilots
   e) Invest in Organizational change management to instill solid user/stakeholder adoption
   f) Develop Organization & Process Pilots
   g) Deploy Pilots and Programs including
      1.  Center of Excellence Deployment
      2.  Multi-Channel Integration
      3.  Policies/Processes
      4.  Roles, Rules, Responsibilities
      5.  Change Management, Change Management, Change Management

That last bullet point is not a typo as I would honestly say that the #1 main key to success in implementing this type of software is an extremely capable change management program. This type of software requires a behavior change on the part of your employees and management and it won’t come easily.   I can say this with confidence – If you are not considering a heavy dose of change management as part of this implementation, your implementation is most likely going to fail!

In summary, ECPs and intra-social applications are gaining a great deal of Momentum.  Many Fortune 500 companies are either planning to implement this capability or already have.  Is your organization planning on implementing this potentially game-changing capability? If so, give me a call, I call help you achieve world-class programs that enable you to surpass your competition and bring your organization or agency to the next level of market and intra-social collaboration capability.

Leveraging Social Listening Programs To Develop Market & Competitive Intelligence to Leapfrog Your Competition

Leveraging Social Media Capabilities and Applications to Develop Competitive Advantage – Three Current Social Media Mega-Trends
Part One – Leveraging Social Insights & Intelligence to formulate better decisions to gain market, competitive, political and social advantage

In keeping a very close eye on the trends on the rise in the marketplace on how companies and government agencies are leveraging new social media capabilities and technologies, there are several on my radar screen that are coming up over and over again and again.  These trends are evidenced by the numerous requests I am receiving in these topic areas in the form of responses to proposals and information, requests for ‘lunch and learns’, requests to speak on the topic, etc.

Some of the hottest trends in the social media space from a corporate or governmental agency perspective are as follows:

1) Leveraging of Social Media and ‘Social Intelligence’ as a component to developing overall competitive and Market Intelligence Insights & Capabilities
2) The use of Intra-Social Enterprise Collaborative Platforms (ECPs) to enhance organizational productivity, internal collaboration and decrease overall go-to-market cycle time
3) The use of Intra-Corporate Social Crowd Sourcing ‘Innovation Acceleration’ Applications & Capabilities

Over the course of the next three blog entries, I will cover each of these social media mega-trend areas in the following format:
A. What is it – Description of the functionality this capability enables
B. What are the benefits – Why are companies and government agencies adopting and using this capability and how are they benefitting from its use
C. The hottest tools/applications in the market for this capability – who is leading, lagging, emerging
D. How do you implement it – what are the steps and considerations on implementing this capability within your organization and company

There are several instances where the use of social media insights could have helped organizations be better prepared for market shifts, product issues & defects, crisis management, and better able to spot trends regarding regulation, key opinion leaders, competitors, and go-to-market issues (sales, marketing, customer service, warranty claims, etc.). In the rest of this blog I will cover the first topic/trend of “Leveraging of Social Media and ‘Social Intelligence’ as a component to developing overall competitive and Market Intelligence Insights & Capabilities”:

A. BP Gulf Oil Spill – Admiral Thad Allen, Admiral from the Coast Guard who managed the gulf oil spill cleanup, indicated that if he had better insights into the issues and ‘mood’ of people through social media listening techniques, he would be much better prepared with action plans to respond to concerns, issues, inquiries, etc.

B. Toyota Stuck Accelerator Recall – If Toyota was monitoring the chat and commentary via many social media sites, it is very likely that they would have been able to spot potential automobile defect issues starting to trend and handle them earlier vs. blowing up in the media.

C. Egypt Social Unrest – Many of our intelligence agencies were caught off guard at the speed and magnitude of the protests that eventually topped the Mubarak regime. A few experts say that the information that this was going to occur was right in front of them in the form of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. If they had a social intelligence platform and methodology to interpret the information, it is also likely that this would not have been such a surprise to the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

D. Drug Issues & Recalls – Had Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Companies had a social or market intelligence solution in place, many say that companies would have been able to spot very early the issues with Vioxx, Tylenol, etc. Many people were commenting about the problems with these drugs via social media, but many companies were not listening, hence unable to respond until the issue hit crisis mode.

A. What is Social & Market Intelligence – Social Intelligence is the collection, aggregation, assimilation and dissemination of information from social media forums, blogs, wikis, websites in order to spot key trends around topics of interest such as the following:
1. Key opinion leader sentiment,
2. Regulatory issues, news, public sentiment trends,
3. Consumer feedback on your products and services,
4. Consumer concerns with product safety or availability,
5. Public sentiment about current issues, political leaders, public policy, etc.
6. Public sentiment about how a crisis is being (mis)handled
7. Information on your company or brand activity such as consumer feedback, market issues, market facing issues or trends, new products/services, news, etc.
8. Information on competitor activity such as consumer feedback, market issues, market facing issues or trends, new products/services, news, etc.

This function is usually developed into a single Market or Competitive Intelligence portal as a one stop shop to all market insights. The information will also bring together functions such as text mining, comingling of structured and unstructured data and text, and trend analysis and alerting and will also integrate with Business Process Management (BPM) functions in order to make the insights collected – actionable.

B. What are the benefits – Why are companies and government agencies adopting social Intelligence capabilities?
There are many benefits to adopting this social and/or market intelligence capability as follows:

a) Ability to capitalize on competitor trending market issues or weaknesses
b) Ability to spot competitor trends or new market initiatives before they erode you market share
c) Ability to accurately spot Key Opinion Leader (KOL) issues, trends, or preferences in order to  respond with products/services/policies that are in-line   with these stated needs/preferences
d) Ability to spot consumer sentiment trends that will impact or change regulation that might impact your company or organization
e) Ability to gauge unmet market demand or needs via consumer sentiment
f) Ability to gauge trends in the social-political climate and mood of the country in order to accurately predict needed public policy changes
g) Ability to spot and respond to potential product defect trending issues early before they get to crisis mode and erode your brand image
h) Ability to have an integrated  ‘one stop shop’ repository for all market relevant information – news, blogs, web feeds, RSS feeds, structured data, unstructured data, text feeds, etc. 
i) Ability to accurately gauge social moods and perceptions during the time of crisis in order to develop responsive programs and messaging in order to demonstrate proactiveness and responsiveness
j) Ability to filter out social noise and one-off commentary vs. significant trends and market shifts

The trick in realizing these benefits is twofold. One, you must develop robust trending functionality in order to filter out the noise associated with a few comments being said about a certain topic in order to be focused on rapidly building or significant trends vs. sentiment blips.  The second is integrating the social insights with Business Process Management (BPM), so that actionable projects or programs are put in place once significant and impactful trends are spotted. Chart 1 Illustrates how the social media listening lifecycle should be structured in order to develop a robust social and market intelligence capability.




C. The hottest tools/applications in the market for this capability

Some of the hottest platforms in the social listening space are as follows:
Leading Social Listening Tools:
1) Attensity – Attensity Analytics Suite. Social Monitoring and Analytics
2) Converseon – Conversation Monitor, Conversation Miner. Converseon also performs outbound social conversation management via their Conversation Manager
3) Jive – Social Media Engagement Platform – Inbound Monitoring and Outbound Community & Conversation Management
4) Lithium – Social Media Monitoring Console (formerly Scout Labs). Lithium is also a leading conversation management platform.
5) Nielsen  – BuzzMetrics. Nielsen also performs outbound social conversation management via BuzzMetrics.
6) Radian6 – Radian6 Listening Dashboard. Radian6 also performs outbound social conversation management via the Radian6 Engagement Console. 

Next Tier (alphabetically):
1) Alterian – SM2
2) Collective Intellect – Social CRM Insights
3) Cymfony – Cymfony Maestro Platform
4) Dow Jones – Dow Jones Insight
5) Evolve 24 – The Mirror
6) Visible Technologies – TruCast Suite

In addition to the social listening companies and platforms above, many new firms are entering this space at an incredible pace. I recently performed a vendor selection for one of my clients with many of the above tools and the selection process was extensive.  If anybody needs additional insights into these vendor or platform capabilities, please feel free to contact me for assistance.

D. How do you implement it – what are the steps and considerations on implementing this capability within your organization and company

I have developed this capability for several Fortune 500 companies and the capability can be enabled via three (3) Major steps as follows (Summarized):

A) Step #1: Develop a Social Media Monitoring and Strategy including the following:

1) Social Intelligence Strategy/Vision, Objectives, Business Drivers, Critical Success Factors, Community/ Forum Listening Strategy, Key Metrics & Performance Plan, Organizational Plan, Change Management Plan, Communications & Risk Management Plan, monitoring policies, governance plan

B) Step #2: Social Media Technology Platform Evaluation & Selection
     1) Identify potential social media platform & community management vendors
     2) Develop Needed Listening Requirements and Capabilities
     3) Perform Technology Platform Vendor Selection
     4) Onboard Vendor

C) Step #3: Develop Social Media Program Pilots & Deployment Plan
     1) Develop Pilot Project & Deployment Plan
     2) Develop Technology Pilots
     3) Develop  Program Pilots
     4) Develop Organization & Process Pilots
     5) Deploy Pilots and Programs including
           a.  Center of Excellence Deployment
           b.  Multi-Channel Integration
           c.  Policies/Processes
           d.  Roles, Rules, Responsibilities
           e.  Change Management

In summary, Social Intelligence, Social Monitoring, Competitive Intelligence and Market Intelligence are gaining a great deal of Momentum.  Many Fortune 500 companies are either planning to implement this capability or already have.  The practice has gained so much momentum there are even associations and groups being formed like the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) group ( ) in order for members to collaborate and share best practices. Is your organization planning on implementing this potentially game-changing capability? If so, give me a call, I call help you achieve world-class programs that enable you to surpass your competition and bring your organization or agency to the next level of market and social intelligence.

Governance & Organizational Design for World-Class Social Media & Customer Management Programs

Governance & Organizational Design for World-Class Social Media & Customer Management Programs

By Steven M. Jeffes
1) Background – Lack of Effective Governance can Wreak Havoc on Social Media & Customer Management Programs
In my previous blog entry titled “Social Media Pitfalls and Mistakes – the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Programs”, I covered the major mistakes companies make when developing and managing enterprise level Social Media programs.  One of the points that I focused on was not developing an effective governance model and organization in order to oversee and manage the strategic direction and overall success of a social media program.
The lack of an effective social media governing organization is the most widely encountered issues by companies and can, by far, be the most damaging to the activities of social media & customer management program. An effective governance model is absolutely critical and will directly influence the overall quality of a social media and customer management program.  The following lists the potential impact of not having an effective governance model for your social media and customer management programs:
1) Inconsistent and overlapping customer communications
2) Infighting amongst departments and functions leading to highly inefficient operations
3) Inefficiencies and cost escalation due to inter-departmental duplication of effort
4) Programs that are consider unfair, confusing, inconsistent and ineffective by stakeholder and customer groups
5) Inability to improve or scale the program due the lack of focus on cross-organizational continuous improvement
The bottom line, if you can’t develop an effective governance model, you are not likely to have a very good social media & customer management program. The remainder of this blog post will highlight the critical considerations in developing a highly effective social media and customer management (CRM)
governance model.
       The following chart (Chart 1) from my firm’s SMARTE methodology depicts two different governance models for social media and customer management. On the left, governance of social media and customer management is performed with brand silos, each having their own unique version of dealing with their stakeholders and customers. While each program is effective in each silo and meeting the needs of the specific brand, there are many issues created from a company and stakeholder management perspective. There also many missed opportunities in terms of revenue optimization and cost containment.

Chart 1

In addition, the left side governance model in silos is prone to the following:
1) Duplication of effort between brands – higher costs
2) Lost customer management opportunities (i.e. cross/up-sell) – lost revenue
3) Lack of focus on cross-company efficiency and continuous improvement – higher costs
4) Perception by customers that the social media and customer management programs are not very effective – lost revenue, wasted capital
5) Frustration by employees of continually having to reinvent the wheel in terms of programs and customer interactions – higher costs

As seen below in Chart 2, the left side governance model in silos is much more likely to generate frustration and contempt from the customer’s perspective vs. the holistic governance model on the right. Refer to the following chart for a sample of the different types of customer comments each of these governance models is likely to generate. Obviously, the left side of the chart generates many more positive stakeholder and customer comments and it much more likely to result in higher customer loyalty, share of wallet, customer cross/up-sell opportunities and will generally result in lower costs and higher revenue.

Chart 2

Based on the above outcomes on both sides of the chart, the following rules apply to social media and customer management (CRM) governance:
Programs In Silos Stifle Effective Delivery (PISSED) – 
      These silo’s programs tend to create PISSED   
      stakeholders & customers
due to perceived inconsistent,
      inefficient and ineffective program delivery
Programs Leveraged Enterprise-Wide Aid Synergistic & Effective Delivery (PLEASED)
      Remember,  these non-silo’d programs tend to create 
      PLEASED stakeholders & customers due to perceived
      consistent, efficient and effective program delivery.

2) Impacts from Ineffective Social Media & Customer Management Program Governance

Based on my firm’s SMARTE methodology (SMARTE stands for “Social Media Adaptive/Responsive/Transcendent Enterprise”) and direct client experience, I have found that in order for Social Media and CRM programs to be highly effective, a company must develop and maintain an organization design and corresponding governance structure that maximizes the ability of the company to build and leverage enterprise-wide synergy. This governing structure must be built to avoid developing programs that exist in brand or channel specific silos such whereby everyone is developing their own flavor of social media and customer management that appears to the outside world to be inconsistent, unfair, non-relevant, unappealing or just another one-off initiative.
The following are the top 5 Impacts of poor organizational design and governance for social media and customer management programs from both an internal and external perspective:

Internal Impacts of Poor Organizational Design & Governance:
1. Many individual departments are attempting to develop their own flavor of Social media without any regard to consistency
2. Infighting exists between functions & departments on which direction the SM program should take
3. The department(s) that led the introduction of the social media program thinks they own the social media program and is attempting to control the program by dictating program rules, standards, policies, etc.
4. Lessons learned and cross-brand insights are not being cultivated and leveraged for the benefit of the entire company vs. individual brands
5. Social Media & customer initiatives seem ad-hoc and are really not driven by solid metrics, business cases, enterprise-wide strategic business plans, etc.

External Impacts of Poor Organizational Design & Governance:

 1. Stakeholders & customers receive contradictory messages from organizational silos (i.e. different brands, different messages – brand A special vs. brand B special discount vs. valuable customer total discount – all brands)
2. Stakeholders & customers are treated inconsistently based on the department they are interacting with or channel they are interacting with (Facebook vs. Twitter, on-line vs. traditional off-line channels)
3. Stakeholders & customers find your company’s content and messages ad-hoc (vs. themed) in terms of relevancy, timing, venues by which messages are communicated, etc.
4. Stakeholders and customers are not recognized cross-functionally, but rather just in brand silos which tends to create frustration (i.e. “I just told ‘brand A’ my preferences, why do I have to repeat this all over again for brand B!?”)
5. Stakeholders and customers are not treated differently based on their specifics needs and enterprise-wide profile (e.g. valuable customers that buy both brands A and B do not receive differentiated ‘valuable customer’ treatment across the company)


3) Best Practice Social Media & Customer Management Governance Design Principles:

In order to avoid a sub-optimized governance model and one that is in silos, some best practice design principles must be followed when developing and/or optimizing a social media or customer management program. The following chart (Chart 3) depicts a very small sample of the governance design principles put forth in my firm’s SMARTE social media methodology:

Chart 3

These governing principles are accompanied by an entire set of practices and methods for developing a governance model and corresponding governing organization. These were developed following over 50 successful consulting engagements on Fortune 500 clients involving the development and/or improvement of social media and customer management programs.
4) Sample Governance Organizational Structure:
A very typical governing organization for social media and customer management is shown in the following chart (Chart 4):

Chart 4

The key message in this chart is as follows:
1)  Policy and strategy for social media and customer management program must be holistic, based on cross-functional leadership direction that is applied and leveraged enterprise-wide
2) Program planning and tactics must be developed by mid-managers who have direct expertise and responsibility for stakeholder and customer communications & touch-points.
3) Operations and Interactions must be carried out by professionals who are well versed in customer management, social media interactions (i.e. social media conversation managers – topic to be covered in a future blog post), and who are incentivized to optimize the customer experience to the point of best in class stakeholder and customer excellence.

5) Conclusion & Share Your Stories:

The bottom line here is that, without a strong and well thought-out governance model for customer management and social media, you will likely end up with a chaotic and ineffective program.  Trust me I know as I am hired by many companies to help re-engineer the situation after they have gone awry. Anybody wanting to hear more about social media governance, please feel free to give me a call. 

Anybody else run into governance issues that they’d like to share?

The Social Media Balanced Scorecard: Balanced External and Internal Social Media Metrics – Critical Components of a World-Class Social Media Program

by Steven Jeffes

In my previous blog entry titled “Social Media Pitfalls and Mistakes – the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Programs”, I covered the major mistakes companies make when developing and managing enterprise level Social Media programs.  One of the points that I focused on was not utilizing the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) in measuring the success of a social media program. This blog post will highlight the critical components in developing a highly effective social media measurement system and how to craft an effective social media balanced (measurement) scorecard.

Based on my firm’s SMARTE methodology (SMARTE stands for “Social Media Adaptive/Responsive/Transcendent Enterprise”) and direct client experience, I have found that, in order for a large-scale social media program to be successful, a balance must be struck between the internal success metrics and the external success metrics.  By simultaneously establishing and tracking metrics in the following areas, a program can be built on the balanced scorecard concept so that the most effective social media program is delivered externally via the optimal internal delivery model:

External Balanced Scorecard Metrics – How the program is perceived by external stakeholders and participants to be fair, engaging, referable, worth following, responsive, etc.

Internal Balanced Scorecard Metrics: How the program is perceived by internal company stakeholders to be efficient, effective, systemic, consistent, compliant, repeatable, etc.

If we place the external scorecard metrics in the numerator of the Equation and the internal scorecard metrics in the denominator the result is the Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard.

Before we demonstrate an example how this balanced scorecard can be used, let’s take a look at some of the specific measures for both the external success metrics (balanced scorecard numerator) as well as the internal success metrics (balanced scorecard denominator) for this balanced social media measurement scorecard.

Top 10 Market & Stakeholder Focused/External Social Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
1. Forum Engagement Score: Rating by stakeholders in each forum on how creative the program is in terms of engaging and interacting with the overall community
2. Forum Referral Score: How often program followers and stakeholders refer other people to follow the forum of interest
3. Forum Audience Score (Relative to Other Community Audiences): Rating by forum participants on how fair the program is in terms of consistent responses
4. Forum Responsiveness/Quality Metric: Rating by stakeholders on how responsive the social media program is to their needs and sentiment
5. Content Quality Score: Rating by stakeholders on how engaging the content is perceived
6. Content Relevancy Score:  Rating on how relevant the content and engagement is to forum participant’s needs and preferences
7. Content Timeliness Score: Rating by forum participants on how timely the content and engagement is to forum participants
8. Content Referral Score: Rating by forum participants on how likely they are to refer people to the company forums, initiatives, contests, etc.
9. Brand Quality Score: Rating by stakeholders on how brand perceptions are increasing/decreasing based on their social media interactions
10. Overall Program Quality/Appeal Score: How program participants perceive the quality and appeal of this program relative to all other social media programs they’ve been exposed to and/or interacted with

The top five benefits of measuring these external social media success metrics are as follows:
1)  Allows program participants to feel empowered to provide input into the programs’ design
2)  Enables companies to govern program delivery based on external/objective measures
3)  Enables development of best-in-class social media programs as rated by their constituencies
4)  Facilitates the development of a dynamic, exciting, engaging program
5)  Enables maximized creativity for program interaction and delivery

Top 10 Company Efficiency & Effectiveness Focused/Internal Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
1. Social Media Process Efficiency: Cycle time by which major program components (contests, new offerings, special topics, new forums, etc) are developed, deployed and adapted. This would include meeting critical process excellence Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for sign-off and completion of program materials as part of a social media process excellence model
2. Social Media Engagement Timeliness Score: Cycle time to address stakeholder concerns, comments, sentiment, needs, preferences, etc.
3. Social Media Sentiment Analytic Score: Effectiveness in locating and performing analytics on sentiment trends, issues, critical response items (i.e. product defect early warnings)
4. Social Media Forum Coverage Score: Coverage metrics on how comprehensively analytic platforms are sourcing data from social media forums and how well the company is responding to forum sentiment (both positive and negative) from all applicable forums
5. Social Media Internal Engagement Score: Metrics on how well  internal employees feel engaged with and empowered to act as an effective component in the social media program delivery
6. Brand and Forum Consistency Score: Rating by brand management on how well all of the social media participants are maintaining brand and forum consistency as to engage stakeholders and participants in a highly qualitative and consistent manner
7. Social Converter Score – Metrics on how well the company converts social engagers, social brand detractors and ‘brand interested’ into traditional prospects, brand advocates and brand customers respectively?
8. Social Media Program Value Score: Based on the Social Converter Score as a baseline, what is the current and cumulative value of the social media program and how has it delivered tangible value from a brand perception/value, prospect conversion, or customer (cross-sell, up-sell, higher share of wallet, etc) perspective.
9. Social Media  Service Line Contribution Score: From a service line perspective (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Management, etc), how much has the social media program contributed in terms of sales lead increases, increased marketing reach and customer conversions,  new product ideas (i.e. via Crowd Sourcing), customer service improvement suggestions or actionable feedback, etc.  –Refer to service line specific metrics** below.
10. Overall Program Quality/Appeal Score: How well is the social media program perceived by internal stakeholders and constituencies relative to all other social media program these departments/employees have been exposed to and/or interacted with

The top five benefits of measuring these internal social media success metrics are as follows:
1)  Allows companies to deliver cost-effective social media programs
2)  Enables companies to deliver consistent, repeatable program content
3)  Enables companies to convert social media interactions into prospects, customers and sales for bottom line results
4)  Enables companies to rate the comprehensiveness of their social media program coverage
5)  Enables company employees to feel excited about the program and to be engaged for brand, company and constituency benefit

Now back to the Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard. If we were to weight each of the ten external and internal measures at 10% (or 10 points each) , we would have 100 maximum score for external measures and a 100 maximum score for internal measures.  Here are some example scores and their potential meaning as an example:

External Social Media Score – 100
Internal Social Media Score  – 50 
   or a Balanced Scorecard result of 2 (100/50).
This typically means that stakeholders consider the company’s program to be great, but the company is struggling internally to deliver the program
External Social Media Score – 40
Internal Social Media Score  – 100 
   or a Balanced Scorecard result of .4 (40/80).
This typically means that stakeholders consider the company’s program to be weak, but the company is effective and efficient in its delivery

The bottom line here is the best (balanced) score is when the program has a 1 to 1 ratio or a score of 100 for both external and internal metrics. This mirror effect indicates a well-balanced social media program that is considered world-class by the external program participants, yet is (internally) efficiently and effectively delivered by the company. Obtaining a Social Media Program Balanced Scorecard score of 100, while somewhat demanding, can have a dramatic impact on the ability of your company to increase sales and market share.
The following is a list of other best practices to follow on developing a highly effective social media measurement capability:
1. Monitor success via social media dashboards – Track social media metrics via organizational dashboards for various company levels and functions to ensure everyone has a view into the success of the program
2. Institutionalize the metrics – Ensure that achievement of the metrics identified for social media are tied to departmental and individual performance measures
3. Establish preliminary metric benchmarks – Establish early performance success benchmarks to gauge the success of the program from day one
4. Evolve metrics via continuous improvement – Evolve the metrics each year as to improve year-over-year performance in each metric category.
5. Operationalize the business case – Ensure that a business case is built and maintained for the social media program and ensure corporate stakeholders take ownership for achievement of the projected benefits

** Function Specific Metrics:  Here is a small sample of the service line metrics I establish for my clients in terms of measuring the impact social media has on individual company functions:

1) Sales (sample):
• Social Media Lead Generation Score: Number and value of Sales Leads generated via social media
• Social Media Event Sales Score: Number of company event attendees that are attending the event as a direct result of social media marketing activities
• Social Media Sales Closure Score:  The number of sales closed as a direct result of a social media lead
• Social Media Sales Referral Score:  The number of sales generated as a direct result of a referral from an existing social media participant

2) Marketing (sample):
• Social Media Ad Effectiveness Score: Additional prospects or customers sourced as a direct result of social media advertising
• Social Media Campaign Management Lift: Additional prospects or customers sourced as a direct result of social media campaigns (i.e. direct marketing)
•  Social Media Community Lift: Number of community members acquired over a period of time into company community forums, communities, sites, etc.

3) Customer Service (sample):
• Customer Service Delivery Efficiency Score:  Rating on how effectively customer service is administered via social media venues and forums (internal/external)
• Brand Issue / Concern Resolution Satisfaction & Cycle Time Score: Rating on how responsive customer service is administered on brand specific issues or concerns via social media venues and forums (internally & externally measured)
• Brand Issues / Defect Analytic Score: Rating on how well customer service can develop trend analysis in order to correlate a number of customer service complaints to specific brand and/or product defects and serious issues (manufacturing issues, chemical contamination, safety issues, assembly issues, etc.).  (internally measured)

4) Brands/Products (sample):
• Product Insight & Engagement Score:  Score on the engagement with social media communities to source product ideas, implement feedback and suggestions for improvement and  how well this feedback is incorporated back into the product life-cycle.
• Brand Positive Perception Score (BPPS):  From a brand perspective, how well is each brand regarded from a social media perspective (externally measured)

Questions for Readers of this Blog:
1) What are some of the critical social media measures, metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you use to gauge the success of your company’s social media program?
2) How do you judge a great social media program?
3) What types of impressions do you have (i.e. what are the words come to your mind) of a company that delivers a great social media program?
4) What are some other things companies can do to enhance the measurement of their social media program(s)?

Social Media Pitfalls and Mistakes – the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Programs

Social Media Pitfalls and Mistakes – the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Programs

By Steven Jeffes

How Fortune 500 Companies Make Critical Social Media Mistakes and How These Can be Avoided

The following is a synopsis of the seven deadly Social Media Sins that Fortune 500 companies commit when developing & managing social media programs and are detailed in my post below:

1)      Organization & GovernanceDepartmental infighting and inconsistencies cause social media disconnects and customer confusion

2)      Program Measurement: Companies are lulled into a false sense of security by believing they have a great social media program

3)      Policy & Standards:  Companies do more harm than good by being erratic & unpredictable to their customers

4)      Program Process:  Successful delivery of a social media program is not repeatable due to the lack of a process excellence model

5)      Legal & Regulatory Compliance: Social Media Program exposes the company to huge compliance and customer management issues

6)      Human Resource Management (HRM): Human resources misses the opportunity to empower and excite the workforce about social media

7)      Financial Performance: Success of social media is judge via subjective vs. objective and financial performance measures

Remember the dot com days in the 1980’s and early 1990’s when companies furiously scrambled to add an e-channel or internet communications to their list of capabilities and rarely gave a second thought on how to efficiently integrate these capabilities with existing off-line & traditional channels? Remember when ‘just adding something’ and demonstrating any e-channel capability to the public was critical and ‘online’ departments, organizations and functions were added as separate silos within the overall organization? Also remember the effort that went into trying to undo some of the inefficiencies caused by these non-integrated and dichotomous processes, procedures and operations?

Any guess to what is happening today from a Social Media standpoint for many companies? In short, Dejavu is occurring in regard to Social Media and many companies are ignoring the hard lessons that should have been learned during the 80’s. Indeed, many companies are proceeding down the same path without fully considering the correct methodology to use and unfortunately will end up designing programs with the same discontinuities and pitfalls as they did when developing an internet capability.

The following chart is a quick comparison of the companies in the dot com 80’s and the parallel to the development of social media capabilities of today:

Dot Com 1980’s Internet Capability Development

Social Media Capability Development Current Comparison

Adding Capabilities just to show up


Build now/fast, determine how to integrate later


Build functions in silos or with just a few departments


Ad-hoc inter-organizational program governance


Processes and organization not totally optimized


Standards and Policy Developed on the fly


Financial Business Case Not Fully Developed Yes

As part one of a series of blog posts, the following post will provide you with an overview of the seven areas where I have seen my Fortune 500 clients make major mistakes when attempting to develop top-notch social media programs. Following this post, I will address how a best-in-class social media program development methodology I have developed called SMARTE – The Social Media Adaptive/Responsive/Transcendent Enterprise enables companies to avoid many of these pitfalls and mistakes, but rather facilitates the development of a world-class social media program that leads to increased market share, higher brand values and increased customer loyalty.

The seven deadly Social Media Sins – Pitfalls and Mistakes Companies Make in Developing a World-Class Social Media Program:

1)    Social Media Organization & Governance:

One of the largest of the seven deadly social media sins is not determining the optimal way to govern a social media program, including determining who sets social media policy, develops social media standards, develops and/or approves processes, optimizes or aligns the organization, etc. Efficient and optimized social media programs are governed by governing organizations that include a great deal of cross-organizational representation and include legal, finance, marketing, customer service, brand management, human resources, etc.  In this fashion, decisions are made holistically and with insight into all organizational considerations prior to proceeding. Many companies I’ve analyzed commence social media program development with one or a few departments considered and the resulting programs are generally ad-hoc, non-systemic, disjointed and often myopic to their own department’s needs.  Ideally they should be holistically focused on the needs of the entire enterprise.  Some of the specific sins committed for social media organization and governance are as follows:

  • Social Media Programs are governed in silos vs. holistically, systemically, and cross-organizationally.
    • Issue Created: this creates many of the same problems as the issues that were create between the ‘on-line’ vs. ‘off-line’ organizations including discontinuities in customer communications, customer management inconsistencies, etc.
  • Social media program is started with just one or a few departments.
    • Issue Created: When additional departments develop social media capabilities, many times, much re-work needs to be done to standardize the process across departments
  • The Social Media Programs Organization is separated from the Customer Relationship Management Functions: Brand Management, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Shareholder management, etc.
    • Issue Created: Customer management is handled inconsistently across all customer facing departments and functions which leads to customer frustration, confusion and resentment.  
  • Social Media customer intelligence is not integrated and managed as a strategic asset across all departments and organizations including Product Management, Branding, Campaign Management, Customer Experience, Sales.
    • Issue Created: Pockets of social media learnings and opportunities are not operationalized across all departments and functions, leading to many missed improvement opportunities.

2)    Social Media Program Measurement:

  • Social media metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not balanced between both internally and externally focused measures
    • Issue Created: By measuring too heavily on internal measures, companies can be lured into a false sense of social media success by believing they are successful when customers do not reflect this sentiment.  Additionally, by focusing too heavily on external measures, companies can be ignoring key internal efficiencies in delivering the social media program, hence driving up the cost of the program unnecessarily.
  • Social Media is treated as a ‘check-box’ and treated as a victory for just showing up vs. measuring sales, marketing, brand value gains
    • Issue Created: A feel good social media program is created and perpetuated where companies pat themselves on the back for just having a social media presence while potentially damaging customer relations (i.e. many programs that do more harm than good in terms of brand reputation). 
  • Social Media performance dashboards are not available for CxO level management to gauge program performance against key measures like brand value, average public sentiment, brand buzz and excitement values, etc.
    • Issue Created: Key issues impacting shareholder and/or stakeholder value are not missed and are not managed to create a positive impact.

3)    Social Media Program Policy & Standards:

  • Standards are not developed to consistently ascertain and respond to the ‘average customer sentiment’
    • Issue Created:  Each social media interaction is handled inconsistently; thus leading customers to perceive the program to be biased, unfair, and/or just poorly managed.
  • Brand consistency is not considered when developing social media programs and customer interaction is highly inconsistent
    • Issue Created: Companies do not present ‘one face to the customer’ and appear inconsistent, disjointed between departments and company’s brand quality is perceived to be highly variable
  • Standards and policy have not been created in terms of managing customer communication protocols: This includes frequency of responses, tone/manner of the responses, handling or rebutting negative brand or company comments, opt-ins/opt-outs, etc.
      • Issue Created: Companies do not present ‘one face to the customer’ and appear inconsistent, disjointed between departments and the company’s brand quality is perceived to be highly variable.

4)    Social Media Program Process:

  • A best practice process and organizational framework has not been fully considered for the social media program
    • Issue Created:  A best practice social media program is not just about technology and applications, but must be equally supported by a robust organizational and process framework. Lacking this structure, the program continually languishes in mediocrity without a governing continuous improvement process framework to evolve the program to world-class status.
  • Acknowledgement of customer brand input is not acknowledged and responded to which translates into a negative customer brand experience
  • Brands feel compelled to respond to every negative comment posted about their brand, products and/or organization
  • Utilizing traditional media tactics for bi-directional and conversational social media venues
    • Issue Created: Social Media interactions appear non-interactive, disingenuous, or canned, which in turn, leads to negative sentiment about the social media program being a corporate ivory tower programs that are perceived to not listen well or interact effectively. 
  • Inability to synthesize and analyze intelligence from across multiple social media venues or not listening to all relevant communities and platforms creates an inability to develop a coherent brand action plan
    • Issue Created: Key social media input and ‘intelligence’ is overlooked, creating many missed opportunities to positively influence brand perceptions, customer loyalty and company product & service quality perceptions. 

5)    Social Media Legal & Regulatory Compliance:

  • Regulatory compliance is or was not part of the overall social media program design such as the following sample regulatory rules that impact social media program design:
    • Financial Services: NASD 3010 and 3110, SEC Rule 17a-4, Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
    • Cross-Industry: Sarbanes Oxley Compliance.
    • Pharmaceutical: Fair Balance Act, Adverse Event Reporting, HIPAA Privacy Rule
  • Developing Social Media programs that assume customer opt-in permission and channel preferences are the same for traditional media
    • Issues Created: Huge customer trust issues are created that negatively impact brand value and company perceptions. Regulatory compliance publicity or fines are also at risk if compliance is not fully considered when designing a world-class social media program.

6)    Social Media Program Human Resource (HR):

  • HR does not tie social media program performance to individual key performance measures
  • Human resources fails to facilitate a sense of excitement about social media and is treated like ‘just another program’
  • Customer sentiment values are not tied to program and individual performance measures
  • Company employees are not encouraged, trained and incentivized to become social media conversation managers, Tweeters, Bloggers, etc  in order to converse with and positively influence constituencies, customers and stakeholders.
    • Issues Created: Employees feel left out and uninspired by the social media program vs. being excited, engaged and empowered to participate/communicate in order to facilitate program success.  

7)    Social Media Program Financial Performance:

  • Business case development for social media is not tied to financial  performance goals
  • Social media optimization tests do not take into account financial performance
  • Program are initiated with strong dose of intuition vs. realistic business cases vs. initiating each program based on ROI, payback periods, net present value discounting, etc.
    • Issues Created: Social Media is success is measured exclusively by highly subjective measures such as customer & program reach, customer sentiment, etc. vs. highly objective and financially driven measures such as sentiment vs. share of wallet, program reach vs. acquisition costs, etc.

Do you have any war stories that you like to share about social media programs that have gone awry? Has your company committed any of the above seven deadly social media sins? Do you have any other perspectives on mistakes companies make in developing and managing an enterprise-wide social media program?

My next series of blogs will be taking you through my SMARTE social media methodology on how to avoid all of the above mistakes in developing and managing an enterprise-wide social media program and will enable your company to develop a social media program that is considered world-class.

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