Avoiding the Social Media Train Crash


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One of the poisoned chalices that many finance departments have been tossed by their CEO or COO is to justify the extensive time being invested in social media - marketers being seen as having gone native. Based on a recent MPF survey into digital and social technologies:

Their primary purpose, according to both marketing and management, is raising profile, in effect advertising. However, advertising has always been recognized as far less relevant than other marketing tools for professional firms, so it is unlikely alone to justify the current level of investment.
Another purpose is fostering collaboration and interactions with clients and other audiences. However, this received a far lower priority, especially from marketing, with, for example, 50 percent of firms measuring online conversations but only 10 percent of practice group leaders receiving relevant KPI analytics.
A third purpose is obtaining new client instructions. Worryingly, this emerged as the preferred outcome for both marketing and management in spite of all the marketing textbooks telling us that measuring advertising by new work gained is misleading and dangerous.

The concern is that, unless the mismatch between purposes and outcomes is resolved through increased clarity, a train crash can be expected, with marketing being the victims. Under this scenario, how easy will it be to reclaim the territory surrendered to others in a zero-sum world?

Attendees will learn:

The most popular social media channels used by peer firms.
The need to clarify the purposes of using social media.
The limited role for formal training in improving digital expertise.
The need to share KPI analytics with practice leaders.
Ways to avoid a mismatch of outcomes and purposes.

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Avoiding the Social Media Train Crash

  1. 1. Avoiding the Social Media Train Crash Speakers: Nick Mustoe CEO Kindred Gerry Moran Head of Social Media Marketing SAP Helen Hammond Managing Consultant Elephant Creative Richard Chaplin Founder and CEO Managing Partners’ Forum #HCMTV
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  6. 6. Frequently Asked Questions 1. Will I receive a copy of the slides after the webinar? YES 2. Will I receive a copy of the webinar recording? YES Please allow up to 2 business days to receive these materials. #HCMTV
  7. 7. Exploring management attitudes to social media Insights based on survey conducted in May/June 2013
  8. 8. Background to survey respondents •190 in-house people; 82% UK-based •49% management team; 45% marketing experts •Digital expertise: 24% experts; 64% working knowledge; 15% novices •Firm footprint: 47% global; 15% capital city; 16% national; 22% regional •Firm sector: 46% law; 21% accountancy; 16% consultancy; 9% property Management Marketing 0% 10% 20% 30% Digital expert 40% 50% Working knowledge 60% Digital novice 70% 80% 90% 100%
  9. 9. Why conduct the survey? “We live in an era of volatility, uncertainty and transient advantage - where savvy clients, alternative business models and emerging technologies are creating new opportunities for innovative professional firms.” “Knowledge workers average 28 hours weekly on writing emails, searching for information and collaborating with others.” “…increases of 20% to 25% in productivity…[if] management develop and implement a strategy that brings about radical change in technologies, management practices and organisational behaviour.”
  10. 10. In short… It’s all about relationships and interactions
  11. 11. Theme: Purposes must be matched to outcomes Awareness and Knowledge Interaction and relationships Converting opportunities Name/issue recognition No of conversations No of Instructions
  12. 12. Step one Digital in context Relevance & usage Evaluation & outcomes (ROI)
  13. 13. Personal usage and firm policies •Over 70% of respondents spend time working from home. •Over 90% collaborate with others using digital and social technologies during working hours - 30% for ½ or more of the time. •40% have been using these technologies for more than two years. •62% of firms adopt some form of corporate stance when using these technologies; 38% leave it entirely to individuals. •When enhancing their expertise in these technologies, the vast majority prefer articles, discussions with co-workers, and trial & error to formal training.
  14. 14. Phone, email and social media equally relevant for digital experts Digital Expert Working knowledge Digital Novice Meeting colleagues face-to-face 3.15 2.60 2.45 Meeting clients face-to-face 3.94 3.35 3.34 Using e-mail with colleagues 4.12 3.87 3.93 Using the phone with colleagues 3.71 4.10 3.65 Using the phone with clients 4.42 4.13 4.18 Using e-mail with clients 4.52 4.32 4.32 Using social media for work purposes 5.00 5.83 6.57 Using social media for social purposes 6.70 7.27 7.46 Relative relevance of activity (1 = High)
  15. 15. Impact on relationships “Personal relationships are the bedrock of digital technologies” versus… “Clients want to see the whites of your eyes; they want to be given time to get their point across and to hear your advice as a whole not drip fed communications in e-mails or long letters that they don't have time to review.”
  16. 16. Impact on meetings Meetings have become unproductive and disorganised. 93% believe they waste time in meetings. 24% for ½ the time. “These days time is precious and face-to-face meetings take time to set up and execute. As a result, you need to be more certain about who you plan to meet face-toface and why and digital communications (phone, email, social media) help you qualify and determine which face-to-face meetings are worth investing in or not.”
  17. 17. Perceived value of face-to-face is changing Face-to-face is universally seen as most important communication channel. Social media the least. Yet, considerable confusion over impact on value of faceto-face meetings from new technologies Digital novice Working knowledge Digital expert 0% 10% 20% 30% Value of F2F up 40% 50% No change in value of F2F 60% 70% Value of F2F down 80% 90% 100%
  18. 18. Why value of face-to-face has increased “Digital technology provides more information than is needed. The real value comes from understanding the impact or relevance for your situation which can only be done face-toface. It also provides context, allows non-verbal communication and reduces likelihood of misunderstanding.” “People pay less attention to digital communications because everybody produces information for digital purposes and nobody listens”
  19. 19. The alternative view… “The value of face-to-face meetings has decreased because technology allows us to use that to achieve our work goals via more focused communication. For me now, face-to-face is really not about work, but about covering off what technology cannot do when it comes to working relationships e.g. just getting to know people.”
  20. 20. An explanation “I find the increase of social media use has made it easier for me to establish contact at the right level in the right context either via LinkedIn, discussion groups or common groups with potential contacts. Sometimes this has enabled and quickened the speed of arranging a face-to-face that is valuable. This means that the time I spend in face-to-face meetings is less speculative but far more valuable but nevertheless necessary in establishing good, strong contacts.” Insight - Digital improves face-to-face
  21. 21. Step two Digital in context Relevance & usage Evaluation & outcomes (ROI)
  22. 22. Primary usage is marketing to prospects ... Channel Primary usage for my firm Current usage Anticipated usage in 12 months from now Interactions with prospective clients 77% 77% Marketing to prospects 75% 79% Sharing knowledge 41% 45% Marketing to prospects 45% 63% Marketing to prospects 40% 52% Marketing to prospects 21% 33%
  23. 23. ... with awareness top of the agenda Marketing activity Primary purpose Current usage Building brand/image Awareness and knowledge 95% Attracting new clients Awareness and knowledge 85% Retaining existing clients Interactions and relationships 65% Search engine optimisation strategy Awareness and knowledge 61% Client care Interactions and relationships 21%
  24. 24. Twitter top channel for marketing & knowledge sharing, with strong growth anticipated ... Most popular channel Current usage Anticipated usage in 12 months from now Marketing to prospects 75% 79% Marketing to existing clients 70% 77% Sharing knowledge 60% 63% (Current/ 12 months time) Finding knowledge 54% 61%
  25. 25. … but no consensus over relevance for marketing 84% of firms may use one or more digital and social channel for marketing, but no consensus over whether they are seen as an essential precondition of marketing a firm 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Digital expert Leadership Working knowledge Management Delivery team Digital novice Business services
  26. 26. Digital experts are winning argument on client interactions – but not on internal conversations Digital expert Working knowledge Digital novice commercial success 71% 52% 19% interactions with prospective clients 71% 53% 24% interactions with other external audiences 71% 49% 22% interactions with existing clients 59% 41% 22% interactions between frontline members 33% 29% 5% interactions between management team members 25% 24% 5% Digital and social technologies are an essential precondition for:
  27. 27. LinkedIn most popular tool for all interactions, but no growth in usage anticipated Current LinkedIn usage Anticipated usage in 12 months from now With prospective clients 77% 77% With peers 74% 74% With existing clients 68% 67% With outside experts 67% 74% Internally on social issues 21% 19% Internally on client issues 15% 15% Internally on management issues 11% 12% Interaction
  28. 28. How reliable are these growth projections? Survey respondents are predicting limited changes from current usage levels. Yet there is every reason to expect the same level of disruptive change in the future as has been the case over the past few years. Facebook was only launched in 2004! MPF encourages Boards to appoint an ambassador for emerging technologies to participate in their business strategy discussions
  29. 29. Step three Digital in context Relevance & usage Evaluation & outcomes (ROI)
  30. 30. Reminder: Purposes must be matched to outcomes Awareness and Knowledge Interaction and relationships Conversion Name/issue recognition No of conversations No of Instructions
  31. 31. New instructions are seen as the most highly valued outcome ... As perceived for: Leadership Delivery team Business services #1 outcome per marketing Obtaining new instructions from clients Obtaining new instructions from clients Reach #1 outcome per management Shaping the public perception of the firm Reach Reach #2 outcome per marketing Engagement Return on investment Obtaining new instructions from clients #2 outcome per management Obtaining new instructions from clients Obtaining new instructions from clients Obtaining new instructions from clients (Choice of 3)
  32. 32. ... yet have been low in the past year ... Work attributed to digital and social technology channels New clients Existing clients Formal tracking 40% 28% Informal tracking 32% 44% More than 25 instructions 6% 3% Between six and 25 instructions 16% 16% Fewer than five instructions 36% 27% No instructions 13% 19%
  33. 33. ... with client care and business goals least valued As perceived for: Leadership Delivery team Business services #7 outcome per marketing Helping firm achieve Helping firm achieve Helping firm achieve its wider objectives its wider objectives its wider objectives #7 outcome per management Reach Achieving firm’s client care objectives Helping firm achieve its wider objectives #6 outcome per marketing Achieving firm’s client care objectives Achieving firm’s client care objectives Achieving firm’s client care objectives #6 outcome per management Achieving firm’s client care objectives Helping firm achieve Engagement its wider objectives (Choice of 3)
  34. 34. Focusing on cash investment alone is myopic ... Largest item (delivery team time) seldom captured Share of marketing budget/growth rate Current level of cash investment Expected growth in cash budget next year Per marketing Per management Nothing 15% 36% 18% 1% to 5% 50% 21% 22% 6% to 10% 12% 14% 12% Over 10% 8% 7% 18% Not sure 15% 22% 30% 18% of management are intending to increase the budget by over 10%; yet only 7% of marketing are expecting such an increase. It’s good to talk!
  35. 35. ... if not resulting in leaders driving blind ... Leaders in receipt of formal KPI analytics on the perceived contribution of digital and social technologies Engagement: 85% x 60% x 20% = 10% New clients: 85% x 40% x 29% = 10% Existing clients: 85% x 28% x 24% = 6%
  36. 36. ... given KPI analytics are not being shared Extent KPI analytics are being formally shared with: Extent data formally collected CEO/MP Practice leaders Management team Just marketing Website traffic 73% 31% 25% 50% 36% Reach 61% 26% 22% 46% 34% Engagement 60% 22% 20% 41% 34% 40% 29% 29% 53% 19% 37% 12% 15% 25% 33% 28% 24% 23% 42% 15% KPI New clients Inbound links New work from existing clients 85% of firms are collecting at least one of these KPIs
  37. 37. If awareness is more important for business services and the delivery team than engagement As perceived for: Reach per marketing Reach per management Engagement per marketing Engagement per management Leadership Delivery team Business services #5 #3 #1 #7 #1 #1 #2 #5 #4 #3 #5 #6
  38. 38. Marketing may be left holding the baby if management allows the mismatch between purposes and outcomes to continue
  39. 39. Disconnects for management to address Confusion over purposes and outcomes of using tools – awareness; engagement; new instructions KPI data is being collected - but is seldom being shared with those who lead business and practice development New clients are being won – but at a (mostly hidden) cost of misapplied time and giving the impression of not being a cost-conscious firm Collaboration leads to productivity gains – yet only 11% are using tools for management team interactions
  40. 40. And finally – some wider issues Explore impact on the firm as digital novices become experts. The process is inevitable. Can and should it be speeded up through effective interventions, training etc? Identify ways to increase collaboration and eliminate digital silos through smarter integration of all communication channels Appoint an ambassador for emerging technologies to participate in business strategy discussions Use tools to help your people set and track personal goals, and to support effective appraisals by using collaboration KPIs in performance assessments
  41. 41. Join Our Next Webinar “Putting HR in the Driver’s Seat of Collaborative Social Learning and Leadership Development” Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Webinars start at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific Register for upcoming CLO Webinars at www.clomedia.com/webinars #HCMTV