Articles by: Maria of Nimble

Conflict And Community: Are You Prepared?

Conflict And Community: Are You Prepared?
By January 21, 2011 Strategies 101

street signLEADING THOUGHTS There are many types of communities: there are user forums and more permanent communities – some “walled” and some open. Blogs are absolutely living, breathing communities, where comment discussions are oftentimes more valuable than the content itself. There are also ad-hoc communities that result from people coming together to discuss something — picture a “tweetchat” that comes together to discuss something. These are all communities, and although they are different in formation process, duration, barriers to entry (signup, pay wall, professional qualifications), and other aspects — they are all built with a purpose of bringing people together who share an interest and passion. When passionate individuals get together and engage with each other, it’s like music to people like me. A shared passion inspires engagement, action, reaching goals, discussion, discourse… and conflict.

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Do You Know Any Directors Of The Telephone?

Do You Know Any Directors Of The Telephone?
By January 11, 2011 Social Selling

telephoneI spent the past couple of days in Las Vegas for CES, and even though consumer electronics is not my focus, it has an increasingly new media bend to it.  As such, it was great to see my old industry friends and meet new ones. I found myself having a series of conversations about where social media is heading. It’s been on my mind quite a bit lately, and my latest thoughts and conversations are what inspired this post.

As social media moves out of the experimental stage and into that of business plans and financial commitments, and as the industry matures, we need a better plan than just throwing some tweets into the “social river”. I think the idea of a social business will keep gaining a stronger and stronger foothold, as the novelty of social media wears off and reality starts to set in.  There’s an important distinction between social media and social business. Social media is a new set of channels communication paradigms; a social business is a business that knows how to take social and traditional tools and make them work together. A social business doesn’t single out social media; rather, it makes it part of everything it does.

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Goal Setting For Your Social Strategy. Goal #3: Increasing Profits

Goal Setting For Your Social Strategy. Goal #3: Increasing Profits
By December 31, 2010 Social Selling

drop coin in piggy bankLEADING THOUGHTS Earlier this week, we discussed the importance of both, increased awareness and an excellent customer experience, to your ability to get and retain customers, as well as increase trial, purchase and repurchase rates. We also discussed the ways in which social media engagement can help you achieve both of these goals. If you do these things well, your revenue will grow. However, revenue is the first step in business success. Making sure you remain profitable and have enough money to invest back in your business is key. Social media can actually help you do that as well. Right next to raising awareness and providing a better experience, driving profits should be a goal for your social media activities. Recall that a healthy social project ROI is a product of both: increased revenues and operational cost savings. Check out this great ROI framework created by Michael Fauscette, Natalie Petouhoff, Kathy Hermann, Erin Traudt and Mary Wardley.

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Goal Setting Continued… Goal #2: Excellent Customer Experience

Goal Setting Continued… Goal #2: Excellent Customer Experience
By December 28, 2010 Strategies 101

smiley face LEADING THOUGHTS Welcome back! Last week, we wrote about the importance of goal setting for your engagement strategy, as it relates to social media in this particular example. What you do on the social web, just like any other business activity, can’t be haphazard. Social media is fun and exciting, and I fully understand the temptation of doing it for the sake of doing it. However, it’s a business activity, and you should approach it as such, with a plan for execution and measurement, metrics appropriate for your goals, and maybe even its own P&L.

Last week we talked about increasing awareness as a goal. If you don’t increase awareness, you won’t increase the number of unique users, and without that, you won’t grow your revenues (which is, or at least should be, your #1 goal). Sure, you could live off strong awareness for a while, getting everyone to try your product, maybe even buy it once. However, if your product doesn’t deliver what you promised it would, no one will want to repurchase or purchase after the trial runs out. There’s a word for that — hype. You don’t want to be one of those. You will risk turning off your loyal early brand champions, possibly resulting in bad word of mouth. For revenue to sustain and even happen at all, you need to tend to goal #2: customer experience.

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Goal Setting: Is Your Engagement Strategy Ready For A New Year?

Goal Setting: Is Your Engagement Strategy Ready For A New Year?
By December 23, 2010 Social Media

boy kicking LEADING THOUGHTS In a recent post, we explored a parallel between social media and a giant cocktail party. To make that post more actionable for you, our readers, I want to expand a bit on goal setting in your overall engagement strategy, with a special emphasis on social media. Listening and engagement are a great first step, but you need to do it with an end goal in mind. Daily observations and questions I receive make me think that this is where most fall down. Having an end goal will help drive many decisions you face when creating an engagement plan, such as:

  1. Should we have a blog? What should it be about? Who should contribute to it?
  2. What should our Twitter handle be? Should we have one handle for our company, or should corporate branding and support get their own handles?
  3. Which conversations should we listen to? In which channels?
  4. Whom do we want to meet? What are we going to talk to them about?

Let’s take a quick look at 4 large goal buckets as examples. Many goals that you will build for yourself will end up being part of these big buckets. But let’s do this: let’s break these goals into several posts over the next two weeks. I want to go into detail on each one, and I don’t want to bore you with an incredibly long post. At the end, you should have a nice checklist and (hopefully) inspiration to build your own plan for 2011.

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Social Media Is A Cocktail Party – 5 Tips For Networking Success

Social Media Is A Cocktail Party – 5 Tips For Networking Success
By December 17, 2010 Social Media

cocktail LEADING THOUGHTS As we are right in the thick of the holiday season, you have certainly been to many holiday parties and professional networking events, and there are more to come! With holiday parties comes the joy of celebration and the excitement of forming new relationships and meeting cool people. But also, holidays are responsible for anxiety around putting your best foot forward.

When I talk about social media, I like to say that it’s like a cocktail party. Even if you don’t know anyone on a particular social network or online community, you have an opportunity to meet a ton of great people and share and learn some great insights. If you know how to listen, how to approach people, how to break the ice, and how to nurture the relationship, your experience on any social network will go from so-so to full-steam-ahead.

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