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Social Media Southern Hospitality Style


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This presentation, given at 2009 Social South, uses the lessons from the culture of "Southern Hospitality" as a foundation to discuss a critical aspect of a social media strategy - Can you be your authentic "self" while staying true to your company's value and culture?

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Social Media Southern Hospitality Style

  2. 2. Toby Bloomberg is a widely recognized “expert” on social media marketing and author of one of the most highly respected marketing blogs, Diva Marketing ( launched in 2004. In fact, Toby’s blog was required reading for marketing students at the University of Delaware, Bentley College and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Toby Her consultancy, Bloomberg Marketing, helps marketers join new media Bloomberg conversations, from blogs to social networking to blogger relations and beyond .. without getting blown-up. Toby organized the first coast-to-coast AMA (American Marketing Association) Hot Topic series on Blog Marketing in December 2004. She has been quoted about social media in INC magazine, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Business Chronicle. She is profiled in the books about social media Naked Conversations, Now Is Gone, Twitterville & Digital Handshake. Author of the 1st business book written using Twitter as the major distribution channel and content platform Toby speaks at conferences and works with organizations such as the Chick- fil-A, AMA, 3M, CDC, Healthcare Blogger Summit, Cox Communications, Mayfield Dairy, M/A/R/C, Blog World Expo, BlogHer, PRSA. She was an adjunct Professor at Goizuetta School of Business at Emory University. Toby holds a BA from Emerson College in Boston, post graduate studies from Emory University and lives in Atlanta with her YouTube rock star Westie Max. Connect with her @tobydiva
  3. 3. Successful Enterprise Social Media = Your Authentic Self + Authentic Self + True to Brand/Company Values True To Your Brand/Company Values Relationships Values Culture Change
  4. 4. What does social media mean to you?
  5. 5. Front porch conversations develop relationships/community
  6. 6. Or on an urban stoop Where everyone knows your name
  7. 7. Porch People Organize Responsive Contact Hospitality H o
  8. 8. When you visit on the front porch, or on a city stoop, you extend your world from inside your house to outside into your neighborhood. Question: How do you bring that type of interaction and relationship to the digital world?
  9. 9. How Do You Take The Concept of Creating (Offline) Relationships To The Digital World? Social South Participants’ Responses • Finding people with similar interests • Being consistent, authentic, human, conversation • Sharing – always make relationships beneficial for both parties • Ask why they’re not online – bridge gap for them • Invite them to connect • Teach/educate • Share content • Prove value • Find their currency/network • Client/customer Advisory Boards • Customer Service • Provide an incentive: community, answering questions, involvement, show-off expertise
  10. 10. How Do You Take The Concept of Creating (Offline) Relationships To The Digital World? Social South Participants’ Responses • Make it safe for both • Minimize fear • Trust • Provide information they can’t get any other way • Make it more intimate • Permission – contact them the way they want to be contacted/communicated with • Create benefits • Engaging fans, friends to be a part of Facebook, Twitter (and those you trust) • Have a plan • Use personal relationships to refer counterparts, friends and family to your digital world/networks • Build a community: blog, email, Twitter, Facebook
  11. 11. How Do You Take The Concept of Creating (Offline) Relationships To The Digital World? Social South Participants’ Responses • Advertise/direct people to your social outlets • Must be a part of where the people are online: leaving comments, posts, etc. • Gather input • Friend people on social media .. Makes it easier to remember, old friends and contacts • Translating real life - networking into online networking Follow up with social networking requests after real life meeting Organic growth with your new friends’ networks • Geographic networkings Very different from digital networking with peers Syncing up to other’s schedules (clients, customers, etc.)
  12. 12. Values impact how relationships are formed.
  13. 13. Corporate values impact the way relationships are formed in the workplace and may also influence those in the digital world. Questions: How do your company and/or brand values impact developing and implementing a social media initiative?
  14. 14. Your personal style What might turn me off from one person's approach just might draw others in. Christy Jordan. Eating lobster rolls is what makes you unique.
  15. 15. Fried green tomatoes or Bubba's jokes may not appeal to everyone. Each of us has a unique personality and our own approach to social media. Different styles appeal to various audiences. Begin with understanding the corporate culture. Clues: How do people work together? How employees are valued? How are customers valued? Understand the brand value. How do your values align?
  16. 16. Challenge is to take your authentic style from offline to online while maintaining the culture of your organization. Questions: Is it okay to “vanilla down” your personality to fit the culture of your company? How do you remain true to yourself?
  17. 17. How do you stay true to your authentic self and to your company’s values/culture? Social South Participants’ Responses • Believe in what you share • Values begets values What’s in it for them? What’s in it for me? • Values, ethics, morals, honesty, transparency, listening • Keep part of yourself to yourself • Remember you’re always on the stage • You have to take your company’s culture to represent them in the social world. • Be an advocate at all times for your company • React positively to good and bad feedback • Don’t work for dicks • Infect corporate culture with (not your) personal style • “Oatmeal world”
  18. 18. How do you stay true to your authentic self and to your company’s values/culture Social South Participants’ Responses • Why would you be with any company that doesn’t fit your values and why would a company hire people who don’t share theirs? • People don’t ask what corporate values are … people are hungry for authenticity, open, honest. • Reading off of a script … people can tell and don’t want to talk to a robot • Zappos and Southwest – they are deliberate in who they hire and who fits their culture versus we need a “warm body” • Different approach from different personalities
  19. 19. How do you stay true to your authentic self and to your company’s values/culture Social South Participants’ Responses • Showing personality while still representing the company • Sharing resources that readers would be interested in • Behind the scenes update for followers and fans – How do you know when it is inappropriate? • Follow your brand strategy • Your personality should be similar to your company’s public culture if you are the PR guy • Exhibit your personality as long as it stays in the guidelines of your brand • Do not compromise your personal values • Get creative with ways to express yourself • Easy to work for a company whose values you agree with • Be flexible without losing your personal ethics
  20. 20. How do you stay true to your authentic self and to your company’s values/culture Social South Participants’ Responses • Separate personal opinion from company message • Be objective: professional opinion vs. personal opinion • Find a company that shares your values • Differentiate “friendly” conversation vs. “business” conversation. Different way to present information • Conversation is same but presentation is different • Find shared values • Exercise restraint • Balance social circumstances • Try understanding context • Consistency/Internal-External
  21. 21. How do you stay true to your authentic self and to your company’s values/culture Social South Participants’ Responses Interesting things you can’t talk about: religion, politics Company/Enterprise You
  22. 22. When you invite people in there may be unexpected influences
  23. 23. Opening the enterprise door to social media impacts the enterprise from the way communication is handled to customer service to hiring decisions. Question: How do you prepare an organization for the impact of social media?
  24. 24. 7 Tips For Preparing An Organization for Social Media 1. Create cross functional teams 2. Identify impact on specific areas 3. Are the right communication processes in place? 4. Do employees have the right skills and experience? 5. New job descriptions -> new evaluation criteria may be needed. 6. Where does social media reside? Can it have mulitple “homes?” 7. Who “owns” the customer relation? The answer may hold some surprises.
  25. 25. Thanks to the great people at Social South who played along with me. @seankelley, @southernplate, @jasonfalls, @ikepigott, @treypennington, @takinpitchas,@bethharte, @mackcollier, @kdrewien, @resultsrev, @kellyecrane, @navistarlpga, @barbersindy, @billpowell, audreypannell, @charityhisle,@annehearnhuff, @sailingbo, @betsyfgray, @sweetsheets, @anwith1n, @thomascook, @dennispillion Note: there were many more people but unfortunately I don’t have their @s.
  26. 26. Toss Of A Pink Boa From Diva Marketing To You! @tobydiva Y’ALL COME BACK NOW!