If you’re like me, you spend a solid amount of time reading.
Educating yourself about your business. Industry trends. New thinking. Old thinking. Learning about what the competition is up to. Listening to your consumers. And much, much more.
I’d be willing to bet that you’re not the only one in your organization doing this either.
Now imagine if you could have access to all of the best information, articles, whitepapers, reports, and resources that your coworkers are paying attention to.
Also imagine if they had access to everything you were checking out online.
You would all be better for it, right?
You’d all have access to the most interesting, thought-provoking thinking available, and be smarter and more knowledgeable as a result.
This might even save you a bit of time. Having a collective contributing to the curation of the best, most relevant content means that each individual isn’t left to their own devices (and lunch breaks) to do it themselves.
Let’s get into it. Here’s how you can use Twitter to enhance your organization’s collective intelligence.
Getting set up
First, you’re going to need a Twitter account (obviously).
Set up an account as you typically would, but I recommend adjusting your privacy settings to protect your tweets so that your competition won’t be able to benefit from your organization’s internal feed.
Organize curation, contribution and support
Volunteer to be the lead curator, responsible for collecting content and publishing it for everyone’s benefit.
Promote that you are doing this to your organization so they know how to experience the benefits and get involved by contributing their best finds.
Gain the support of senior leadership to really give this initiative a shot in the arm. Having the support of your leadership team will help this plan to really take off, and to gain the attention it deserves from the rest of your organization.
Establish a hashtag
Choose a relatively obscure, or very specific hashtag and have all participants use it so that you can easily find the content they think is relevant to the rest of your organization.
You don’t want to choose anything that is likely to be used by other Twitter users because it will taint your search results. You’ll be happy if your search results only yield your coworkers’ content and you don’t need to syphon through other conversations happening on Twitter to find what your coworkers tweets.
Search and retweet
Set up a search stream in HootSuite for your hashtag and retweet everything your coworkers are tweeting using that hashtag.
Soak up the goodness
And that’s it… contribute when you come across something valuable, and enjoy the flow of interesting content from your coworkers.
BONUS – Newsletters
If you have any interest in really going above and beyond with your Twitter content curation project, consider creating and distributing simple monthly newsletters featuring links to what you deem to be the most interesting pieces of content for anyone that may have missed it in their feed. I’m sure there will be more than just a few individuals that find this to be helpful if you’re up to it.
How do you share information internally in your organization?
Is that information collected anywhere for future reference?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Roughly two weeks ago – I know, I know… ancient news – Facebook added functionality allowing users to edit posts.
For many, this is a long overdue feature. It seems like pretty basic functionality to allow users to edit their posts following publication.
If you’ve made a typo, need to correct some of your information, or make any small adjustments, this will be an absolute life-saver, and particularly so if the post requiring editing has already attracted some social interaction.
It’s a simple tool to use:
Simply click on the drop-down in the top right of the post you’d like to edit.
And make your revisions.
Here’s the thing; you really shouldn’t be using this tool.
Before publishing any content, on any platform, it should be thoroughly proofread to ensure it is flawless and without need of future revision.
Publishing updates with typos, grammatical errors, false information, or anything imperfect is unprofessional and can have a real impact on the perception your current and prospective consumers have of your business or brand.
Imagine showing up to a business’ Facebook Page for the first time and seeing their latest post has a glaring typo or grammatical error.
You would instantly have a negative opinion of them.
If they can’t ensure something as simple as posting a Facebook update is done correctly, is the workmanship of their product going to be shoddy? Is their service going to be comprehensive and top-tier?
Further to this, if the competition is presenting itself flawlessly, it gives consumers just one more reason to choose them over you.
So, do your best to never use this new tool.
Take time and care to proof your content before publishing to ensure you’re always putting your business or brand’s best foot forward.
Have you ever come across a profile on social media that is littered with errors?
If so, what was the impression you were left with of that organization?
Have you ever decided against a purchase decision because an aspect of a business’ communications was unprofessional?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial. It would be great to hear from you.
Despite having an amazing opportunity to initiate and sustain meaningful dialogues with their consumers, many brands treat social media primarily as a broadcast platform.
Emphasis, energy and resources are typically pumped into the creation and publication of meaningful content – which is great – but minimal effort is put toward initiating conversations with current and prospective consumers. Virtually all interactions are the result of consumers taking it upon themselves to comment on a business’ content, ask a question, request customer assistance, or other consumer-initiated dialogue.
By proactively initiating a dialogue with consumers, you can expect to reach a broader audience, attract new consumers, build affinity for your brand, encourage reciprocated sociability, and increase the likelihood of consumers adding your brand to their consideration set. In short, you’ll be on your way to building real relationships, and if properly sustained and nurtured, and you continually offer tremendous value, you will experience all of the resulting benefits.
Not bad for starting and sustaining a conversation.
And, it makes sense. In the context of face-to-face interactions in the offline world, initiating a dialogue is the best way to have a meaningful conversation. Lurking in the shadows, waiting for someone to talk to you rarely results in amazing interactions, and the same holds true on social media (except, of course, for rare circumstances).
So, the question is, how can you go about initiating a dialogue with your consumers on social media?
Spend more time listening
The openness of many social media platforms means that as a business or brand, you have the capability to listen in on and observe your consumers’ conversations. By spending more time tuning into the pulse of your consumers’ conversations, you’ll be better positioned to identify opportunities to jump in and be a meaningful contributor to a conversation that is relevant to your brand.
Follow and subscribe to your consumers
A great number of businesses and brands have a strong focus on audience acquisition though rarely think about the benefits of following their consumers. Not only will this serve as an ice-breaker to introduce your brand, but will allow you to more easily monitor and follow the discussions your consumers are having on various social media channels.
Get involved in related communities
Believe it or not, your consumers are talking about your business and brand in channels that are not your own. In some cases, there are thriving, vibrant consumer-run communities that are focused on conversations to do with your business, brand, category, competition, and other related topics.
Take some time to monitor the discussions that are happening around the web that are relevant to you, and gauge the appropriateness of joining in. There will be some cases where the injection of your brand may be viewed as an intrusion, through there will be other cases where it will be welcomed. After thorough monitoring, use your best judgment to make a call as to how to proceed. The worst-case scenario is that you’ve found a meaningful forum for discussion to do with your business or brand, which can be a great source of insight.
Set goals and dedicate time to engagement
In my experience, the trouble most businesses and brands have with proactively initiating conversations on social media is a perceived lack of time. It’s one more thing, and in some cases one more thing too many, to do on top of an already ambitious publication schedule, responding to comments and questions, and other marketing activity.
To overcome this, I’d recommend you add goals to your social media strategy for consumer outreach and initiating conversations. Start with something manageable such as initiating X number of conversations with targeted consumers daily. Keep it small, get a feel for the time it takes, and build on that.
How do you actively initiate a dialogue with your consumers?
If you don’t, what keeps you from doing so?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
This post builds on an article I wrote entitled, Is Your Business Forgetting to be Social on Social Media, and will be followed-up with a future post on overcoming organizational barriers to being more social.
When determining how to manage social media marketing efforts, many businesses – particularly smaller businesses – default to putting the intern in charge.
And why not?
They have time. They’re young and ‘into social media’. They have 1,000 Facebook friends, and 2,000 Twitter followers.
They’re perfect, right?
Well, not exactly. Putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media marketing is all but a guaranteed recipe for disappointment. Here are a few reasons why:
Do you expect them to fully understand and drive results for your business?
In order for social media marketing activity to generate real results for your business, a solid understanding of your business is required. Sure you can have others assist with developing your social media strategy, but at the end of the day, the person/people responsible for bringing it to life on a day-to-day basis, and those who will be engaging and interacting with your audience, need to know how to do these things in meaningful, impactful, and strategically relevant ways to your business.
Do you think they’ll be able to correlate all of your business’ functions and apply them to social media activity?
Activity on social media tends to yield the best results when it works in concert with other business functions such as marketing, advertising, sales, human resources, operations, customer service, and more. Simply put, for interns or junior employees to be able to draw connections between all of these functions and correlate them to appropriate efforts on social media will be all but impossible for them to pull off with any level of effectiveness.
Are you expecting them to be champions of social media for your organization?
Particularly in organizations with small social media teams, or perhaps no social media team, you need individuals involved to be real champions for your social media marketing efforts to ensure they are sustained and carried out with dedication and integrity.
Additionally, they should be able to fulfill responsibilities including the delegation of content creation, work with individuals that are resistant to contributing to your business’ social media activity, measure, analyze, interpret and make learning from analytics applicable and actionable, justify resources for social media to management, and many more. If your interns can fulfill these types of responsibilities, I’d love to know where you’re finding them.
What results do you expect to achieve in the next 4 months?
By their nature, internships are limited term employment and learning opportunities for those who fill them. Social media, on the other hand, requires long-term and consistent investment and effort. Needless to say, it’s far less than ideal to have to train someone new to fulfill your business’ needs on social media every three to four months. Also, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve long-term goals without long-term leadership and consistency.
These are just a few of the reasons why putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media presence is not advisable. Just like any business function, achieving real results through social media requires experience, expertise, strategy, problem solving, management, project management, and many more qualities that just aren’t characteristic of, or found, in your average intern.
In your opinion, what are some of the drawbacks of putting an intern in charge of a business’ social media efforts?
If you’ve hired or assigned an intern to manage your social media properties, how did it work for you?
If you have any thoughts on this, it would be great to chat with you more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
It can be beneficial for businesses of any size to encourage everyone in the organization to create and capture social media content. Increased diversity, fresh perspective, capitalizing on opportunities, having a sense of involvement and contribution, greater volume, shared responsibility, and better quality are just some of the benefits that can be experienced by involving an entire staff in content creation, versus the onus being placed squarely on one person’s shoulders.
The trouble with this approach to content creation is to do with the practicality of curating content from a potentially large number of sources. Also, encouraging the creation of content that is specifically for your organization can be a headache to say the least.
So, how can these challenges be overcome? Try using Twitter hashtags.
Choose a Hashtag
Select a hashtag for your coworkers or employees to use on all of the relevant content they are posting to their personal social graphs. This will allow you to easily follow and search for this content, and won’t require major adjustments to their natural use of Twitter.
Monitor the Hashtag
Set up a stream in HootSuite or TweetDeck to monitor the content your coworkers or employees are posting and tagging using the hashtag you’ve selected. This should give you a steady stream of relevant content to post on your organization’s social media properties.
Curate, Schedule and Post the Best Content
After you’ve got your streams in HootSuite or TweetDeck set up, all that will be left is curating the very best content that is being published, editing the content you’d like to repost, and then scheduling or posting your content.
By using Twitter hashtags to curate relevant content that your coworkers or employees are creating, you’re streamlining the process of content creation, collection, editing, and publishing by tapping their natural use of social media.
All of this said, you shouldn’t expect that just because you’ve organized a Twitter hashtag that everyone in your organization will automatically become a content producing machine. However, this approach will cater to those individuals who regularly use social media and will naturally be your top content contributors, and perhaps because of the ease of contributing, could result in a greater number of contributions from people who would otherwise be less keen to get involved.
How do you curate content that is being produced from various sources within your organization?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial