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I have posted many updates on twitter over the last year or so (over 1,000). Some updates include my travels, some updates include different places that I go to eat, while others are focused around Social Media questions – all of the posts have a different focus and require a different interaction from others. I had heard businesses wonder about Twitter, and what effect it may have on them, and while some “get it”, others can not make the connection. I wanted to highlight 2 different ways that Twitter’s platform can have a positive effect on your brand.

Brand Awareness
The other day, I posted that I was going to the Boston Celtics basketball game. Within 10 minutes or so, I was followed by The Bulfinch Hotel

.

Now I did not post that I needed a place to stay in the city, or that I was looking of a restaurant to eat at, I just posted the Boston Celtics, and the hotel decided to follow me. Now my curiosity got to me, so I looked at their profile and went to their website. I learned a lot about where the hotel is and what their costs are. In the future, when I go into the city and need a place to stay, I will probably give them the benefit of the doubt and stay with them based on their eagerness and aggressiveness of following me on Twitter. By setting up a simple search on Twitter for “Boston” The Bulfinch Hotel is able to see everyone that posts that within their tweet. They can then take the initiative to follow those people if they feel the need, and their scalable, cost-effective Social media campaign is launched.

Customer Support
Last year New England had a “wicked” ice storm that paralyzed the area for many days, and weeks in some cases. We initially lost power on a Thursday afternoon as I remember. During the first couple of days, I did not call our electric company PSNH

too much (after the initial report), as I was sure that they were on it, and that they would restore power as soon as they could. When I got to work on Monday, I began reading about the storm through local websites and news outlets. Within the articles that I read, the electric company promoted the fact that PSNH was on Twitter and if you wanted to report outages, or stay up-to-date with updates concerning when power was going to be restored to your area, to follow them. I followed them immediately and again reported the outage in my area. I was then contacted by a representative of the company on twitter letting me know that they were aware of the outage and that it would still be a couple of days for them to resolve my specific situation. I was in contact with their twitter account over the 7 days that the power was out for. Because of this, I did not call their support lines, or have to listen to dreaded on hold music while waiting for a support person to not tell me anything that I did not already know.

Now I do not have a huge reach within the “blog-space” and do not have thousands and thousands of readers. I may not be able to have any effect on their bottom line, but these 2 companies understand the importance of communicating with their audience 1 person at a time, which, when it comes down to it, is just what it takes to make a difference.

If you are in the Social Media space, whether it is on the client or vendor side of the equation, you have probably seen the following image published by Gartner, as well as many other vendors:

gartner-magic-quadrant-social-software-workplace

If you are on the Web Content Management side of the house, the following graph is probably familiar with you as well:

168694_0001

You probably know at least 1/2 of the companies listed in each of the 2 graphs, but what about the others? Why do you now know about them?   How great would it be if you could have a partner/vendor/provider with robust tools for both external and internal websites? To empower your members/customers to purchase more and create brand awareness, and/or to create efficiencies within your employees base to make your decision-making process faster and more effective? A single solution for your entire corporation….

I only see a few companies that are included on both graphs above, IBM, Microsoft and Ektron. Pretty good company eh? So to answer the question, that is why. 

*(update – I apologize for the oversite, but Open Text is also on both graphs. They did not contact me, I rechecked the graph)

Mike

When I think of Social Media and companies that are incorporating a strategy around it, I think of sailing. Now for all you true sailors out there, I will promise you that I will probably get some terminology incorrect, and will do my best to paint an accurate picture, hopefully  you all will get the picture.

I think of the boat as being your business; the Captain, as just that, your leader; his crew are the Exec’s, Board members and other that can directly influence the course; the sails that you sail under as the decisions that you make; the wind behind you as your employees, or your customers, basically anyone that interacts with your company, or helps it move forward.

The wind will always be there, whether it is strong or whether it slows down, it will always be there. The Captain is always there to make sure that you are heading in the right direction, and grabbing as much wind as possible. Most boats sail with the same number of sails, which makes the decision making process for the Captain really difficult and timely, as the winds could shift tremendously, and if you are not ready for the shift, you will be dead in the water. If another boat with the same amount of sails cuts across your bow and steals your wind, the race is over for you. The fact of the matter is that he WIND is what keeps you moving, and the Captain has to know when to listen to the Crew, and when to observe the wind and go with his Gut.

The Social Media sail, once drawn, can assist in many decisions that the Captain can make throughout the sail, while also grabbing additional wind in the process. Whether the “wind” is employee productivity and retention, additional sales and revenue, streamlining processes and procedures (efficiency)……the benefits of this sail can and will pay itself off over and over again. While this ROI is different dependant on the implementation it is there and can be measured.

When I hear companies discuss if they can afford to implement Social Media technologies or implement features and functionality within their website that will empower customers and employees to interact and provide feedback to each other as well as directly to the business, I think of this – “Can you afford not to”? Can you find yourself in this photo?

sailing

Where are you?

Employment

I am currently employed at Bose as the Digital Platform Manager, leveraging Ratings & Reviews and Community content to increase customer acquisition and retention

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