Sunday, May 27, 2012

Generation X and the Narrowing Career Path

I like this analysis of why Gen X feels the way they do about work.

..."Your preferences are likely to be different from those of the Boomers who held similar positions a few years ago. You need to play a role in helping the organization understand that your goals may be a bit different. Most corporations will be delighted to help you develop a broader set of skills — if they understand that's what you want."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Does it matter whether or not Facebook makes money on advertising?

Now that Facebook has gone public, it matters whether or not Facebook can make money from advertisements. Did you notice that it didn’t matter before? We all happily signed up (because it was free) and we have been using this service (without paying a cent) to re-connect with old friends, make new connections, stay in touch with family members and share our lives.  What is Facebook worth to you today?

For the average user, Facebook is a social platform. How will Facebook successfully help advertisers get customers to click on an ad while they are on a site where their main goal is socializing? It doesn’t seem like a co-incidence that GM would publicly announce that they were pulling their advertising from Facebook the week that Facebook was to go public. At the last LinkedOC meeting, one of the panelists offered this viewpoint on the situation: Why would GM make this announcement publicly? Why would GM make an enemy of Facebook? If Ford is smart, they will make the most of this opportunity to create headlines by working strategically with Facebook over the next year.

Think about how you research products online. If you search for something on Google, do you purposely avoid the ads on the top and the side? Are you skipping down to what we call “organic” search results? Now, think about word of mouth. Are you more likely to buy something that a friend recommends? That is the basis of Facebook’s “like” feature. That is why Google created Google+, so they could start integrating the social recommendation feature.

If a company sets up a business page, and can get people to share the content that company posts, then those people are seen as advocating for the brand. Business wants to see direct ROI, however. Now that Facebook has gone public, the conversation is only focused on whether or not people will click on the ads because that is the most obvious way for Facebook to make money and for advertisers to prove ROI. I predict that there are still creative ways for companies to get ROI using a combination of advertising and “organic” content. As companies continue to use traditional marketing rules to make money online, they will find that companies using more creative (social) means will be more successful.

Facebook’s advantage over Google is the demographic data they have collected on you. Most people are nervous about that, but they use it so that advertisers can make their ads visible to the demographic they are targeting. However, Google tracks what you click and search for on the internet so they can target advertisements around things it thinks you want to buy. Either way, I am happy that the sites I use know what I am looking for and suggest good products or prices (sales) that I might be interested in.

The question is whether or not you will click on an advertisement on the internet if you had a different purpose for being on that page to begin with. Do you appreciate these sites making it easier to find products and services that you might be interested in? Or are you concerned that it is an invasion of your privacy?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Everybody Ought To Know About The Building Blocks Of Sustainable Employee Engagement

"A common held belief is that employees with a vested interest in the success of the company become much more aligned with the goals of the organization. Therefore, how could linking business sustainability concepts to employee success support both interests?  Our sustainability consulting investigates..."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Seven Social Strategies

I often use my social media reporting skills as my note-taking device when I am attending a seminar. The more practiced you become, the quicker you can turn a golden nugget of information into 140 characters or less and not miss the next great idea to come from the speaker. At the last LinkedOC event, Amber Naslund shared a lot of information on strategy and the big picture and much of it is worth repeating, so I am going to list seven tips here that I am pulling from my "notes" (my tweets).

  1. Don't build your house on rented land. Translation: Don't use Facebook as the hub of your web presence. You don't own that real estate so it could disappear at any time. Create content on your own site or blog.
  2. Must haves for any business: Listening tool (something that tells you what people are saying about your company online, better yet, also what people are saying about your competitors, your industry, etc), internal communication system (e-mail works but there are more innovative and efficient ways of connecting employees these days), web analytics (how many people are visiting your website, how long are they staying), and CRM (Customer Relationship Manager software database). 
  3. Right now, social media is seen as a job, just as in the days of Mad Men, women used to be typists. Someday, social media will be a skill set that most people will need to have, just like now, everyone knows how to type. 
  4. Here's the trick to using social media to increase sales. Be helpful all of the time and find your customer in their time of need. The only time you should actually be pitching your product is in direct response to someone asking for a solution that fits what you have to sell.
  5. People don't connect with logos - they connect with the people behind the logos. This is why I never created a  Twitter account for Building Blocks Social Media. I am my brand, so when you interact with me on Twitter, it is really me, not some faceless company. Anyone trying to sell you social media services should be transparent about who they are, otherwise, they are probably not going to give you the advice you need for your online brand.
  6. The successful social media journey looks something like this: listening, responding, participating, storytelling. It is o.k. to take these steps slowly and master one before moving onto the next step. Amber did a great job explaining each of the steps. She probably has more information about this in her book. She did mention that if companies just answered and apologized more, they would be much further ahead of their competition.
  7. And, my favorite quote of the evening, If you don't trust your employees to tweet or Facebook for you, then you have a hiring problem, not a policy problem. It is no accident that the companies who are most successful in social media have strong corporate cultures (with happy employees).
Let me know if this article helps you clear up the confusion about what you should be focusing on. I hope to be a catalyst for anyone who takes the time to read my blog posts!