culture change

Three Trainings Every Community Manager Should Consider

Companies can also arrange themselves differently, to better learn from the world outside. ~Karl Heiselman, Wolff Olins

SUMMARY: Faced with the challenges of an increasingly segmented digital landscape, community managers must know their customer, know their content, and know their internal team. The following three trainings apply to these needed areas of know-how.

1. SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE 101: Covering the full range of social media monitoring options and market research training. This workshop trains staff how to creat social network analysis reports and generate insights and recommendations from social data. The course is highly focused on actionable intelligence, INCLUDING how to apply social business intelligence to the practical needs of running and growing a business.

RESULTING CERTIFICATION:
• Use of social media monitoring tools. Knowledge of different options available and hands-on training in the various tools.
• Market research skills basics, including social data research report writing, how to segment data into specific categories relevant to business needs, and how to derive insights from aggregated social data
• Strategy creation, including creating recommendations based upon customer/competitive insights.
• How to present findings in a concise fashion to the various silos at a brand headquarters, to agency staff and to the directors of a brand.

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2. CONTENT MARKETING 101: Covering the complete set of content in the Content Grid v2.0. This workshop is a complete training in how to create and place every single content piece in the Content Grid. A particular focus is placed upon practical step by step production of each content piece, along with tactics for where, when and why to use each piece of content.

RESULTING CERTIFICATION:
• Full understanding of the Content Grid v2.0 and how to create each social object on the grid.
• Training in the social channels related to specific social objects. How to set up these social channels, when to post the social objects, how often to post the social objects, how to schedule automatic updates to social channels using social management software (HootSuite).
• Each student will work on a specific set of social objects and learn how to produce each of these important communication vehicles.

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3. SOCIAL BUSINESS 101: Covering internal culture change related to doing business within social networks. This course teaches managers and corporate leaders how to adapt their business processes when entering social networks. Every silo of a business is covered and trained in the benefits and uses of social networks. A particular focus is placed upon elevating internal collaboration and software/process related to weaving the silos together as a team.

RESULTING CERTIFICATION:
• Training in the various methods used by the Chief Collaboration Officer to facilitate conversation between the silos in a major corporation.
• Training in how to promote and grow on-going conversation between the silos at a major corporation or brand for the purpose of presenting a unified message in social networks.
• Training in how to involve the Compliance Department in cross-silo decisions related to messaging in social networks. Further training in how to present reports and udpates to the Compliance Department so that speedy decisions can be made AS RELATED TO on-going messaging in social networks.
• Training in proper risk assessment PRIOR TO launching a full-blown social presence for a brand.
• Training in how to handle typical customer and internal objections to basic social media marketing practices such as the use of Twitter, the value of on-going monitoring and the use of social project management tools like HootSuite and BaseCamp/SalesForce.
• Training in the basic social business software suites, who the vendors are and the comparison between these vendors. Training in how to present this software to senior management and how to begin cross-silo set-up of social business software (example: Jive Software).

ABOUT C.O.I.N.S. – A CLOSING THOUGHT:
COINS or Community of Interest Networks, ARE essential venues for product and service innovation, as well as customer relationship building. A community of interest is definied in Wikipedia as “a community of people who share a common interest or passion. These people exchange ideas and thoughts about the given passion, but may know (or care) little about each other outside of this area. Participation in a community of interest can be compelling, entertaining and create a ‘sticky’ community where people return frequently and remain for extended periods. Frequently, they cannot be easily defined by a particular geographical area.” This describes precisely what we are seeing in social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook with specific groups and lists.

No-one can contest that we currently live in an era of massive “COINS” presently via online and in digital social networks. Brands and corporations now recognize the value of orienting their core Business Process Management (BPM) around social business sensibilities. Community Managers are an essential bridge to the customer base and stakeholder community in a Community of Interest Network. Community Managers facilitate conversation, growth and listening within these social networks. Community Managers are the core individuals in charge of fostering unity in groups, lists and forums online.

Good technology serves and nurtures humanity

We must place the pace of the human heart before the pace of the machine. This is vital.

Yesterday, in Athens, Greece, a 77 year-old man took his life in broad daylight because the government had severed his pension and his debts had run too high. Rather than eat from garbage cans and saddle his children with debt, he chose to end his life. Greek psychologists on the radio called this a murder by the State and a failed system.

One way of understanding this event is through the lens of the human heart, the emotional center of the human being. The Greek system had its own pace, a momentum and rhythm out of sync with the individual who took his life. If the system had been in sync with this gentleman, he would have received what he needed on that day, in that week, during that month. The system would have been in tune with this man and his pain, his loss, his need. And he would have had a number, an email, a chat room, a physical person to reveal his situation to. And this person would have made a plan with him to ease the weight for that week at least, or even that month. And a life would have been saved.

The machine in current times bears much the same complexion as in decades and centuries past – a banking and corporate system driven by supply and demand, by profit and loss. The difference in today’s world is the sheer velocity of the machine we now interact with: from the millisecond pace of the currency trading world to the speed of next-day delivery, humans have upped the ante in terms of “estimated time of arrival.” And, in the case of the 77-year-old gentleman in Athens, we have accelerated the “estimated time of departure” as well. That man did not need to go when he did. And the way to change this is to incorporate a system that compliments or matches human pace.

Debt is an excellent market niche to locate the discussion of human and machine pace. The varying strata within the loan universe carry varying levels of velocity in terms of repayment. Most are inhuman, determined by an equation vs. the natural pace of the individual being lent the money. Some systems are different and more human. Let us take an option called Cumulus Funding. With Cumulus, the human being can share his particulars and then be lent money based upon his income potential (as measured by what the IRS has recorded). And, over a period of 8 years, this individual is charged a minor percentage each month of his varying income. If his income ceases for a time due to sickness or loss of job, then Cumulus will not draw from his account. When he finds a job again or his health improves, then Cumulus begins drawing again. Cumulus Funding is an example of a human-based lending system, based upon the natural rhythms of a typical human life and career. And, in the ideal Cumulus world, both the individual and the lender win.

Such a system is precisely what the 77-year-old gentleman in Athens needed. He needed a system that understood the needs of his stage of life, of his week, of his month. He needed to be in relation to an intelligence machine…one could even say, an emotionally intelligent machine. We need a culture of technologists oriented toward the human animal. We need a banking culture oriented toward the human family. To be clear: It is vital that humans leverage technology to create a more humane world. Business must be about pleasing the heart vs. pleasing machines.

Humans are in the process of knitting the global heart together

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” via @Oprah

In the early 21st century, human beings constructed social networks that connected everyone. In the midst of this process, it became fashionable to share one’s deepest self with the network. The result of this sharing was a profound sense of global connection between all humanity. Within a few short years, a wave of emotional warmth and peace swept through the cultures of the planet. People started to really listen to one another and help each other in myriad small ways. There were a few bumps along the way, but these very same challenges became the greatest of opportunities for connection and cultural stabilization. The norm became full acceptance of the whole human with both shadow and light. The norm became an open-heartedness to others. The norm became to embrace “the Other” and welcome difference. The norm became to love one another…deeply and fully.

In the early 21st century, humanity walked across a collectively built light-fiber highway of data into an un-ending, harvestable dreamscape…each person’s inner world became visible and tactile. Such is the complexion of this spreading digital network, once unknown…now an increasing source of physical and spiritual sustenance to all. Human heart “stuff” has become the content of regular newsfeeds and the impact of this deep sharing with one another is profound. Consider the momentum towards global understanding that such intimate newsfeeds create. Consider the inescapable intimacies that result from hearing each other’s hearts. Consider how tightly bonded our human community has become and how instantly a wave of liking and care spreads now through digital networks. The inner realm is currently accessible and moldable via social networks in particular. Humanity has got what it takes to create a Golden Age of peace and prosperity…very quickly.

Listening technologies aid heart-based initiatives

Love does not dominate, it cultivates. – Goethe

Creating an organization characterized by heart-orientation requires leadership to implement listening technologies and human-run analyses of conversations. These analyses can lead to extremely effective internal and external focus groups geared towards bringing employee and customer needs to the forefront. Such research also exposes potentials for excellence previously unnoticed. This “positive shadow potential” can be just what an organization needs to move forward into the next level of excellence.

Unconscious processes are a central reality of organizational life, just as in individual life. Effective market research using social data can reveal such processes. When I peer into the conversations surrounding an organization and within an organization, much is revealed about the workings and doings of that team. A primary value for large enterprises in hiring a market research team to work internally is discovery of shadow aspects within the silos. When unseen trends within staff are revealed through conversation research, leadership can take steps to elevate positive potential and heal negative propensities.

Seeing into the heart of an organization via social listening projects is a very effective measure for weaving the strengths of the silos together for total organizational success. For example, the customer-facing staff who are involved in servicing complaints and solving technical difficulties are often at odds with quantitative, sales-driven staff. The results-orientation around money in the sales department runs contrary to the nurturing orientation in the customer service department. Sales leaders need to hear the chief complaints from customers via the market research staff. This will help the sales staff to bring their pitches into closer alignment with what the customer truly wants and needs.

To cultivate a heart-based organization, leadership must itself be willing to invest in a unit focused on listening. This is the first step in nurturing deep growth and consistent attention customer need.

Growing Community: the KPI of the heart comes first

Growing community in social networks begins with a passion for shared experience. If you want to be part of something exciting right now, put a few words associated with YOUR favorite activity into a search field at any social network. You are sure to find living, breathing human beings awake and actively discussing your passion RIGHT NOW.

The metrics of growing communities have to be related to heart first. We all want and love specific people and activities in life. And that passion dictates how and where we spend our hard earned dollars. Community managers who understand this very real truth about human beings do not push products, events or services. They initially engage in conversation with others about a shared passion. The offerings within a dynamic community generally emerge out of a collective wish list or a mutually desired experience. Those highly attended events are birthed from noticing where people like to congregate. Great community managers are passionate about the niche topics related to their brand and lead others into mutually gratifying experiences.

When we lay out a plan for growing a community, our initial goals ought to center around creating meaningful content and discovering individuals who feed passion. A community manager who has lived, eaten and breathed a topic finds this naturally and is excellent at listening and encouraging members of the community. Everyone in a community has their own unique way of expressing interest, insight and observation. Good community managers facilitate a collective story fed by everyone in the “circle”. This weaving of stories is how cohesive communities form and provides a context for spreading awareness of a product/service. We need those thousand true fans as our initial base to carry on the work of the Community Manager.

It is the job of a Community Manager to nurture conversation. A Twitter stream, a Facebook wall post, a comment thread on a blog, a winning presentation on Slideshare, a location on FourSquare, a widely pinned photo on Pinterest, a video on YouTube that gets passed around: these are ALL seeds to be watered and nurtured by a Community Manager. JESS3 has given community managers a very precise map of content that different consumers interact with when considering a product or service (The Content Grid). It is a community manager’s job to identify, create and spread each of these pieces of content into the social fabric of the Internet.

For more on people-centered Community Management read this interview I did with Eleftherios Hatziioannou, former social manager for Mercedes Benz.