Articles by: Maria of Nimble

Benchmarking: If You Don’t Know Where You Are, How Will You Know Where You’re Going?

Benchmarking: If You Don’t Know Where You Are, How Will You Know Where You’re Going?
By December 16, 2010 Strategies 101

LEADING THOUGHTS In a recent post, we discussed the importance of tracking and listening to social media. As a follow-up, I’d like to take a stab at attacking measurement. Although both listening and measurement stem from tracking social media, there are differences between the two. In one of my articles for Mashable, I wrote about these differences. The short of the story is that the main difference is intent: for listening, the intent is to discover what people are saying in realtime and prioritizing for follow up. For measurement, however, the intent is to recap metrics, track performance over time and against competitors. In this post, I discuss the steps you can take to successfully measure social media. To recap, these steps are:

  1. 1) Have a goal
  2. 2) Align your team members, other teams, and leadership
  3. 3) Always consider context
  4. 4) Select platform wisely
  5. 5) Conduct a social media audit
  6. 6) Dig deeper
  7. 7) Do A/B testing

In this post, I want to address benchmarking, without which metrics is meaningless. Benchmarking provides the context that you need in order to make metrics meaningful. Imagine you start measuring social media, and you discover that you had 1,000 social media mentions in all channels. Now what? Is that good or bad? I have no idea! To really understand this, you need context. What’s customary for a product like yours? How much buzz is the product category garnering? How does it compare to your own performance? Let’s dig in and figure out what you should be benchmarking against.
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The Oldest Social Gesture: The Handshake

The Oldest Social Gesture: The Handshake
By December 10, 2010 Social Selling

handshake LEADING THOUGHTS Once upon a time (a year or so ago), I tweeted something, to which someone responded: “Hey, you should meet @alizasherman“. I no longer remember the particulars of the context, nor does it matter really. What matters is that through this Twitter introduction, Aliza and I virtually “shook hands”, mutually followed and started to build a “professional acquaintance” relationship, tracking each others’ personal and professional developments, commenting, tweeting and retweeting.
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All Ears: Listening Is One Part Science, Two Parts Art

All Ears: Listening Is One Part Science, Two Parts Art
By December 8, 2010 Strategies 101

hand LEADING THOUGHTS Back in the day, businesses could afford to keep an arm’s length from their customers. While just about every company waxed poetic about customer support and being customer-centric, for most it was simple rhetoric, something people wanted to hear. Customer support and sales were the only departments that were really and truly touching the customer, listening and responding to the customer, whether he or she was happy or somehow unhappy about the experience. Our CEO Jon Ferrara likes to refer to this as the “castle analogy”, where companies tried to keep the customer away with castle walls, moats and artillery. Now that social media has played an equalizing role, bringing companies and customers together, the castle walls are successfully coming down. You can’t engage with anyone — a customer, or a prospect, or a partner — until you really learn how to listen. And by that, I mean really listen and really hear. When someone tells you that there’s a technical issue with your product, don’t simply shrug it off and chalk it up to user error. Make sure you 1) dig in and really understand the issue, 2) empathize with the customer, 3) establish a guideline of what to expect in terms of resolution, 4) communicate the issue back to the relevant team members and 5) keep the communication loop going back and forth.
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Swimming In The Social River

Swimming In The Social River
By November 15, 2010 Social Media

river LEADING THOUGHTS Twitter is a river. Think of the image that a river conjures up… It’s babbling, full of life, effervescent. In some areas, it appears to move really fast, and even may have cascading waterfalls. Sometimes a river may seem  quiet, but may have a strong undercurrent that can drag you in if you aren’t careful. Twitter reminds me of  a river, barreling forward at an enormous speed. Just like a river, it babbles along, full of life and full of light. Just like there are many streams of water in a river, there are many conversations going on at the same time, in parallel, together and orthogonally. At times, it moves at a million miles a minute. Some other times, it’s seemingly dormant, only to wake up 5 minutes later. They say that you can’t enter the same river twice, because it won’t be the same river. Twitter is the same. The fast-moving tweets don’t slow down for anyone, and if you can’t keep up, you’ll miss it. Let’s deconstruct our Twitter river:

Ignore the noise: One would say that social media is very noisy, and one would be right in saying that. The true key to results in your social media efforts will be based on your ability to filter out the noise and focus in on the signal. Unfortunately, as social media hits the mainstream, the signal to noise ratio will only deteriorate. Don’t get me wrong: I am 100% behind democratization of media and giving people a way to express themselves. However, most tweets, Facebook posts and blogposts are not going to be relevant to you in your business. If you are a business and you are trying to connect meaningfully with others in a particular community, you can’t simply engage  with everyone. You need to pick and choose the most meaningful messages to focus on. Here’s what you should listen for:
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Social Media Is Not New

Social Media Is Not New
By November 12, 2010 Social Media

handshake with blue skies

LEADING THOUGHTS Gasp! Isn’t social media “the tidal wave crashing over us” or the “biggest revolution since the Industrial Revolution? Well yes, of course it is! Social technologies give the consumer a voice and relevant tools to connect and talk to “people like me”. As a result, companies feel akin to being under a microscope, and now (fortunately) service and customer experience are making a comeback. At the same time, social media is not new, because the underlying behaviors have always been a part of our personal and professional lives. Humans are inherently social, and social media simply allows us to do the things we were born to do, while doing them bigger, faster and better. Let’s deconstruct this for a bit:
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Hello, Nimble!

Hello, Nimble!
By November 11, 2010 Customer Focus

plane flying

OUR STORY I had the distinct priviledge to get to know Jon Ferrara on Twitter through Social CRM conversations and the #scrm hashtag. He told me about the startup he had created, Nimble. I was excited to learn more, and over the next couple of months, we took some time to talk and get to know each other. I had the pleasure of previewing Nimble early on, and had a chance to meet the wonderful Gilles Marchand also. The more I got to know the company, the vision and the team, the more I loved it. One day the stars aligned, and I decided to join the Nimble team.

Everyone who knows me told me that I was insane starting a new job, especially an early-stage startup, right before I leave for my wedding. Naturally, I decided to go against the grain and start right away, which is a testament to the passion I have for this product and Nimble’s vision. With all hands on board, I just couldn’t afford to wait; we have some very exciting initiatives coming up and are working extremely hard for a successful public launch. Why did Nimble grab me this much: enough to undergo two major life changes within a span of weeks? Simple! Nimble solves real life problems that I myself have. These are the problems experienced by social media individuals as well as teams of all sizes:
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