Blog Assignment #10 – The Groundswell Inside Your Company

My previous blog posts have been in regards to using the groundswell to connect with your consumers. This blog focuses on using the groundswell to connect with your employees. According to Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Li and Bernoff employees are a natural constituency for social connections. Your employees share a common goal, the success of your company. Within larger companies, internal communication can be difficult. Throughout the world organizations are helping their employees connect on internal networks, wikis, and idea exchanges; these applications “tap the power of the groundswell of ideas among the people who know best how your business runs, your employees” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Chapter 12 in Groundswell discusses strategies for nurturing the internal groundswell, which include:

  1. Promoting a listening culture from the top down – This strategy is only successful if the culture of the workplace permits it; there needs to be a high degree of trust between management and employees to get employees to interact because employees have a large stake such as their jobs and livelihoods. If management does not actively participate this strategy will fail.
  2. Easing and encouraging participation with incentives – Organizations need to find an effective way to get the inactives to interact. Coercion is not the answer. Groundswell describes one  effective way to get employees to participate is to create easy “on-ramps”.
  3. Finding and empowering the rebels in your organization – Help the rebels try things, pick them up when they fall down, dust them off, and help them learn from mistakes. Use management  to identify when success begins, what is succeeding, and have them duplicate it.

Source: Ateiler (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.atelier.net/en/trends/articles/modern-hr-management-must-focus-connecting-employees

At Telus World of Science we offer a couple of platforms where employees can communicate. The main communication channel is an internal emailing platform where employees receive all of the information that is relevant to them, and a lot of information which can be non-relevant. The second platform for communication is called SIM, which is basically like an internal wiki that employees can use to update issues within our facility. SIM is also a great source of information.

 

References

Ateiler (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.atelier.net/en/trends/articles/modern-hr-management-must-focus-connecting-employees

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

 

Blog Assignment #9 – ROI Research

Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to research and identify three ways organizations can see a return on their social media investment. According to a recent survey conducted by eMarketer.com, organizations that have an established social media presence reported an ROI of more than four times greater than organizations that conducted little or no social media marketing (Lerner, 2014). Based on statistics, social media marketing can add value to your organization as well as your consumers. Following are three methods organizations can use to measure the ROI of their social media marketing.

Social-Media-ROI

Source: Franchise Essentials (2014). Retrieved from: http://franchisessentials.com/category/social-mediadigital-marketing/

Statistics

Although many believe it is impossible to measure the return of a social media investment, research shows many different techniques organizations can use to measure the ROI. Most organizations use the simplest method by researching and comparing statistics. Statistics that can be used to measure the return of a social media investment include “measuring the number of fans, likes, released-tweets, traffic and mentions” (Lerner, 2014). Most social media platforms provide users with statistics to track user engagement; these are great tools for tracking statistics within a particular platform, however they won’t help organizations determine how much traffic is being driven to their own website (Lerner, 2014).

Oktopost

Oktopost is an ideal example of a platform that gives organizations the ability to see the return of their social media investment. Oktopost incorporates “Lead Capture Technology” which allows users to see their ROI and other powerful metrics. “Whenever a lead is generated from an Oktopost link, the platform  will be able to show you exactly which post, social profile and LinkedIn discussion group they came from” (Lerner, 2014). Generating a list of leads is one of the most useful tools in proving the effectiveness of your social media marketing. Using a platform such as Oktopost not only gives organizations the ability to access quick and accurate information used to determine the return on their social media investment, it also allows them to track and measure leads which is considered an asset to any organization (Lerner, 2014).

SocialMention

SocialMention is another platform used to collect the appropriate information required for determining the return of a social media investment. SocialMention is a free website where users can input a search term, based on the search term Social Mention will provide organizations with information such as whether the sentiment was positive or negative, top key words for the search term, top users, top hashtags and top sources. Since SocialMention requires no signup, I tried it by typing in the name of my current workplace “Telus World of Science Edmonton”.  I found it interesting that even WordPress came up as one of the top sources; I have discussed Telus World of Science in every one of my blogs on my WordPress account. I also learned that most of the mentions about Telus World of Science are neutral. I found this website to be very helpful with a lot of applicable information organizations can use to calculate the return on their social media investment (SocialMention, 2014).

 

References

Franchise Essentials (2014). Retrieved from: http://franchisessentials.com/category/social-mediadigital-marketing/

Lerner, M. (2014, February 7). Social Media Marketing: Generating Leads and Measuring ROI. Retrieved from Business 2 Community: http://www.business2community.com/social-media-marketing-generating-leads-measuring-roi-0771186#!bwyt8m

SocialMention. (2014). SocialMention. Retrieved from SocailMention: http://socialmention.com

 

Blog Assignment #8 – Energizing the Groundswell

This weeks assignment focuses on energizing the groundswell. Energizing your customers is an effective method for using the groundswell to boost your business. According to Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Li & Bernoff, “individually, no consumer can achieve the reach of mass media; but word of mouth is a powerful amplifier of brand marketing , achieving results no media campaign can achieve”.  There are three main reasons that make word of mouth a successful tool for marketing; word of mouth is:

  1.  Believable
  2. Self-reinforcing
  3. Self-spreading

Source: MK Office Solutions (2014). Retrieved from: http://mkofficesolutions.com/referral-program

Groundswell explains three techniques firms can use to connect with their brand enthusiasts with the goal of generating positive word of mouth feedback.

  1. Tap into customers’ enthusiasm with ratings and reviews – This technique is considered suitable for large retailers and companies with direct customer contact. Positive reviews from real people who have used a product or service will increase a firms sales. At Telus World of Science this technique could be used by asking customers to rate their visit. Although this technique can generate positive interest in a firm, the risk of negative feedback could have  counteractive effect.
  2. Create a community to energize your customers – This works best for companies who already have brand enthusiasts who are truly passionate about what you do.
  3. Participate in and energize online communities of your brand enthusiasts – The third technique involves engaging your consumers using existing online communities which they are already active in.

References

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

MK Office Solutions (2014). Retrieved from: http://mkofficesolutions.com/referral-program

Blog Assignment #6 – Helping the Groundswell Support Itself

This weeks blog focuses on helping the groundswell support itself. At Telus World of Science, we participate online by talking with the groundswell on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, however to my knowledge, we do not have an online community that supports itself. According to Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, a properly managed online community can make your customers happier, save money, and generate insights. Managing an online community requires a great deal of effort on behalf of the company. First the firm must examine the following three things:

  1. What problem you will solve.This step involves asking questions like why will people participate in our online community? A good way to respond to this is to think about it from a consumers perspective. Find out what your customers biggest issues are and support a community based on the key issue. Huge brands can form a community based more broadly on their brand; however smaller companies most likely don’t have enough brand enthusiasts online to do this.
  2. How you will participate. To get others to participate, your support community needs activity, people are not likely to follow a community that is inactive. According to Li and Bernoff, “activity creates content, which creates traffic and links, which boosts search engine placement, which drives more traffic, and so on” ( Li & Bernoff, 2011). Firms should expect no more than 1 to 5 percent of their consumers to participate in an online community, this percentage is affected by your consumers Social Technographics Profile and how committed they are to your brand. At Telus World of Science, our Social Technographics Profile consists of many joiners and spectators, however that does not mean they would all follow us if we created an online support community. An important thing to remember is that the firms participation in the beginning of an online community is crucial to get things going and get others participating.
  3. Whether you should create a support community or join an existing one. Finally a firm should check to see if there is already an exisiting online community for their consumers; why build it if you can join it? A successful way TiVo communicated with their consumers through an existing online support community was to support their subscribers, listen to how people use their products, and talk to their community members that can spread the word about improvements.

Source: Carver-Media. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.carver-media.com/category/communitybuilding/

References

Carver-Media. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.carver-media.com/category/communitybuilding/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

 

Blog Assignment #5 – Talking with the Groundswell

Advertisments and public relations are the two most common and expensive methods firms use to try to talk with their customers. However, advertising and public relations don’t create conversation amongst consumers, it is known as shouting, not talking. According to Li and Bernoff there are four effective techniques for talking with the groundswell. The four most effective techniques include:

1.     Post a viral video

This involves putting a video online and allowing people to share it. The textbook describes how Blendtec did this with a video of extreme blending in order to advertise their blenders.

At Telus World of Science we are celebrating our facilities 30 year anniversary on July 1st 2014. In celebration of our anniversary, our facility will be bringing back pricing from 1984 for the special day. The staff put together the 80’s dance video to create excitement for our big day. I have shared the video below. I think it’s quite hilarious and I’ve also shared the video on my Facebook page.

Source: TWosEtv. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gzgp7nUBw

2.     Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites

The second technique involves creating a personality for your firm in social networking websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter. According to Li and Bernoff engaging in social networking websites is a simple way to extend your brand reach; however getting the groundswell to converse is a more difficult objective.

Telus World of Science is involved on several social media websites, represented as the whole company and certain departments within the organization. I just learned that out Science in Motion (SIM) team has their own Twitter account where they post updates of where they are traveling to teach. They are always traveling to do science demonstrations at schools outside of Edmonton that don’t have the opportunity to come visit our facility. Check them out on Twitter! https://twitter.com/twoseSIM

When brands should use social networks

  • Use the Social Technographics Profile to verify that our customers are in social networks

According to Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technology, your firm must engage in social media marketing if your brand appeals to consumers ages 13 to 35, because they are already active on social media websites. Based on the Social Technographics Profile I completed for Telus World of Science, I determined that my target market is widely active online and a majority of them are joiners and spectators. Social media marketing has proven to be a successful means of marketing and reaching out to the customers at my work.

  • Move forward if people love your brand

Popular businesses that people love will have no problem gaining “followers” or “friends” online. Department store companies that are not exclusive to any one brand may have a more difficult time gaining acceptance on social media websites.

  • See what’s out there already

Popular brands may already have an online presence before the firm officially gets involved in social media, in some cases the company is unaware of these fake pages. These could be seen as an opportunity to work with the owner of the page if it is well established rather than having it shut down and starting from scratch.

  • Create a presence that encourages interaction

This is about figuring out how to get the groundswell to interact with your firm online. At Telus World of Science we displayed hashtags around our exhibits to get people involved with posting on our social media. The Harry Potter exhibition is a good example, it brought in a huge number of young adults and many were tweeting about it! https://twitter.com/search?q=%23harrypotterexhibition&src=typd

3.     Join the blogosphere

This strategy is successful through encouraging and empowering your executives and staff to write and respond to blogs. A fundamental part of this strategy involves listening and responding to other blogs.

4.     Create a community

Being in an online community is a powerful way to add value for your consumers, deliver a message, and talk and listen to the groundswell, rather than shouting at them.

 

References

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

TWosEtv. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gzgp7nUBw

Blog Assignment #4 – Strategies for Tapping the Groundswell

The groundswell POST strategy is used by following the four steps planning process to build your groundswell strategy. “POST is the foundation of groundswell thinking” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). The POST strategy involves analyzing the following:

  • People – What are your customers ready for? The Social Technographics Profile that I discussed in my previous blog post is intended to answer this question. The Social Technographic Profile will indicate what your target market is already doing online. It is important to know how your customers are engaged online in order to formulate the appropriate strategy.
  • Objectives – What are your goals? The clarity of your objectives will determine the total success or total failure your strategy. According to Li and Bernoff, there are five primary objectives that organizations successfully pursue in the groundswell. The five primary objectives include:

 

  1. Listening – Involves using the groundswell for research to better understand your customers. This objective proves successful for companies seeking customer feedback to use for marketing or development purposes.
  2. Talking – Involves using the groundswell to spread messages about your organization. Companies are successful when using this objective if they are ready extend their current marketing practices to a more interactive channel.
  3. Energizing – Involves finding your enthusiastic customers to engage online. This objective promotes the power of word of mouth. This strategy is most successful in companies that have brand enthusiasts to energize.
  4. Supporting – Involves establishing a groundswell tool that will allow your customers to support each other. This strategy proves successful in companies who have customers with a natural attraction to connect with one another.
  5. Embracing – Involves integrating your customers into the way your organization works. This can include using their help to design products or services. According to Li and Bernoff, this is the most challenging out of the five primary strategies; companies who have already successfully obtained one of the other four primary strategies are most successful with embracing their customers.
  • Strategy – How do you want relationships with your customers to change? Do you want them to carry messages to others in your market? Do you want them to be more engaged within your company? Answering this question will help you take the appropriate steps for desired change.
  • Technology – What applications should you build? Once you’ve answered the questions from the previous three steps you can then decide on the appropriate technologies to incorporate in your company. Technologies include social media, blogs, wikis etc.

Source: Fore Golf Properties. Retrieved from: http://www.foregolfproperties.com/impacted-38-tax-selling-home/confused-figure-with-question-marks/

References

Fore Golf Properties. Retrieved from: http://www.foregolfproperties.com/impacted-38-tax-selling-home/confused-figure-with-question-marks/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Blog Assignment #3 – Listening to the Groundswell

Image

Source: Bad Language (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.badlanguage.net/listening-means-great-content

From my personal perspective, listening is to pay attention to, understand and interact with whom you are speaking with. After reading chapter 5 in Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernkoff, I realize that listening from a business perspective is much more than that. For businesses, listening is known as market research and it involves a lot of money. Businesses pay over $15 billion annually for market research. Companies use market research to look for answers to their questions and doing so can help businesses reveal new insights about their consumers and target market.

According to the groundswell, there are two types of listening strategies:

  1.  Set up your own private community
  2. Begin brand monitoring

Setting up your own community on a website such as Communispace, allows natural interaction in a setting where you can monitor and respond. Brand monitoring would involve hiring a specialist to monitor blogs, discussion forums and any feedback that could be relative to your business.

Listening to your consumers whether it’s through a private community or brand monitoring can be beneficial to your organization. According to groundswell there are six reasons why a company should listen:

  1. Find out what your brand stands for
  2. Understand how buzz is shifting
  3. Save research money; increase research responsiveness
  4. Find the sources of influence in your market
  5. Manage PR crisis
  6. Generate new product and marketing ideas

The company I have been relating my work in this course to is my current place of employment; Telus World of Science. At my work it is important to listen to our consumers as they influence important decisions such as hours of operation, what kind of special event nights to hold, and what major attractions to sign. We currently have an interactive presence on Twitter, Facebook and our own website where we are able to monitor what people are saying about us.

References

Charlene Li, J. B. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Bad Language (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.badlanguage.net/listening-means-great-content