Leveraging Online Social Networking For Business


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How to manage risks and issues of online social networking, and fifty ideas to use online social networking to improve your business.

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  • Refer to the recent @TechCrunch example of when your PR play can go just a little off-track!
  • This is the AS/NZS 4360:2004 we talked about previously.
  • Soon to have RSS Feed. Set up Google Alerts easily enough, and it’s free. Not foolproof, not immediate, but you will probably find out something soon enough.
  • It’s the year 2020, and your legs are stretched out under your desk and a coffee is in your hand. You are successful. You did well at university, you qualified as a CPA and deal with challenging, business-related issues every day. Your work is interesting, and you love working with clients. Of course, you did have to take your mother’s maiden name after that unfortunate incident in 2010, but life is good and you’ve got coffee.The telephone rings. Your boss, Jenna, wants you to meet her prospective client. You enter the room and shake the hand of the client, who vigorously pumps your hand. The vigorous pumping suddenly freezes. You know what’s coming. So does Jenna, who glares at you darkly. The client laughs and bursts out, “Hey. I remember you. Aren’t you the one in that video with the llama? You know, the Llama Loser? Nice tattoo by the way.”Your heart sinks – it has happened again. It is difficult to give clients serious business advice when that image keeps playing over in their head. You feel like screaming, “Leave me alone!”
  • Demographics: Not for profits, Public Sector, SME’s? Corporates? Public Practice.Do the housekeeping items.
  • WebsitesFacebook and MySpace are the most well-known examples. Blogs such as wordpress.com and livejournal.comYouTube, Flickr, PhotoBucket, Yahoo, TwitterThe CPA Congress 2008 website at cpacongress.ning.com is an example of a private social network. Is it different?Not really, people always talked to each other and said ‘stuff’ – blowing off steamTrouble is those conversations at barbecues were never indexed by Google.Frequently we forget the context of the forum – and its accessibility – and say ‘regrettable’ things.The growth of online social networkingSeptember 2006 – Facebook in AustraliaFebruary 2009 - 4.4 million Australian usersAppears to be here for some time, in some formEmployees expect to have access, customers use it to discuss and evaluate businessesA general distrust of advertising, but a trust of an online user
  • When the conversation is positive, this is great word-of-mouth advertising. Before the arrival of the internet, the saying was that a customer with good news told three people, whereas a customer with bad news told, at most, ten. Today, the rules have changed. One twenty-something using Twitter on her mobile phone complained about the service from a retail store - whilst still in the store. Her seven hundred and eighty-nine followers immediately received that message. Even worse for the store, the conversation now shows up in internet searches. It is difficult for a business to cope when its customers complain of bad service before the salesman has even noticed them. The challenge is even greater when the business does not realise that the complaint has been made. The business is deaf to this world, and does not hear the customer’s loud complaints at the on-line water-cooler. Prospective customers will quickly find these negative comments. If the business does not hear its customers yelling, customers will likely take their business elsewhere.
  • There are essentially seven business risks that arise from the use of online social networking.
  • Leveraging Online Social Networking For Business

    1. 1. Leveraging Online Social Networking for business Presented by: Micheal Axelsen Director Applied Insight Pty Ltd
    2. 2. Introduction
    3. 3. About this presentation Agenda • Overview • Dealing with risk • The business etiquette of online social networking • Leveraging business opportunities • Fifty ideas • Conclusion Objectives • This seminar identifies and discusses prominent social networking websites and identifies some of the commercial applications that social networking websites can have for businesses.
    4. 4. About the speaker Services • Micheal Axelsen provides consulting services in the business governance of information technology, and the development and implementation of strategies for the management of information technology Position and qualifications • Director of Applied Insight Pty Ltd • Chair of CPA Australia Information Technology & Management Centre of Excellence • Qualifications – Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) – Masters of Information Systems – FCPA
    5. 5. Meeting the challenges of IT Information Technology & Management Centre of Excellence Forthcoming: Social networking policies & procedures Online social networking etiquette
    6. 6. Your expectations Housekeeping – Exits, etc Expectations – Audience demographics – What are your expectations from this session? Strawpoll: Who uses social networking websites? – MySpace, FaceBook, Friendster, MyYahoo, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, SchoolFriends, Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Microsoft Live... – Blogs/Vlogs? Others? Strawpoll: Who didn’t know about these websites? Strawpoll: Anybody here ‘Vlog Naked’? – (sorry, just wondering)
    7. 7. Overview
    8. 8. What is social networking? Definition – Online social networking sites are web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public (or semi-public) profile within a bounded system, identify other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. – They are simply websites that allow you to maintain relationships with friends online, sharing and talking about common interests – Some social networking websites are internal (private) and some are external (public)
    9. 9. The world of online social networking Image from www.xkcd.com/256 Some Rights Reserved.
    10. 10. Dealing with risk
    11. 11. What can happen?
    12. 12. What can happen? Alritey. The names Ryan workin at #### #### At the moment to get the money to go out and enjoy my much appreciated young life. As far as i know i enjoy life to the max, i love to get wrecked, mwi and be around mates and loud music. No better way to spend a weekend than gettin out my #### in one way or another and be surrounded by loud music and knowing that i have a stunning girlfriend when i go home.
    13. 13. Some “funny” examples
    14. 14. Business risks of social networking Productivity losses – Addictive and time-consuming – Over-use during work time is a genuine issue – Can actually increase the productivity and effectiveness for some roles Legal risks – Generally employers can monitor their employees‟ web use and email, but notice is needed. Can result in legal liability – Potential for legal liability due to customer actions Reputation risk – A risk to the business‟s reputation – Many examples of gaffes & negative comments – Difficult to remove these comments
    15. 15. Business risks of social networking Viruses and spyware – Frequently a platform for malicious attacks using viruses and spyware Privacy breaches and identity theft – Can promote identity theft, even where „private‟ – Third party applications usually get access to data Social engineering – Use online information to commit targeted acts of fraud – Could profess to be the assistant to a high-level staff member, and know enough „internal‟ information to convince a staff member to provide cheques or goods – Convincing identity cards/business cards used to gain access to the business or its customers – Grandparent fraud
    16. 16. Business risks of social networking Inadvertent release of information – Windows into the lives of users – Unintentional release – LinkedIn shows your network your recent connections – who are probably prospective clients – Using an online wiki to collaborate with a client (or even to track tasks and manage projects) may result in the release of confidential client information
    17. 17. AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management
    18. 18. Some business examples of issues • Staff issues: – Employees sacked for blogging – Using firm email addresses to argue with clients Embarrassing photos of office Christmas parties – Employees with „lewd‟ Facebook sites • Customer/online reputation issues: – Suing Whirlpool – Twitter & Best-Buy – Comcast technician falling asleep while on hold – Youtube FTW!
    19. 19. Internal and external privacy issues, and other related issues • Productivity cost • Employees may (cyber-slacking) become stalker • Phishing attacks, risk targets of spyware, viruses • Submit intellectual • Unintended property consequences • Inadvertently transfer • Spur of the moment intellectual property to tweets a client
    20. 20. Tailoring your response
    21. 21. Business etiquette
    22. 22. Google Alerts www.google.com/alerts
    23. 23. Business etiquette • Encourage discussions to flourish by providing and promoting the use of online forums. • Give good service and hope that people talk about it online • Demonstrate an interest and respond online to address a grievance, and be transparent about it • Consider the use of professional monitoring services • Use low-cost solutions such as Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, or MonitorThis. • Ensure that your service representatives join online, private, forums and „lurk‟ for issues
    24. 24. Business etiquette • Set clear expectations as to what staff can do with your brand name on the internet • Never post a hot and angry response to a negative comment online. • Don‟t exercise legal muscle to have a blog post or other message taken down unless you really have to • Respond to a negative comment with transparency and honesty, but take up discussions off-line at a senior level. • Sometimes, leaving it lie is the best option. • Never lie and pretend to be a customer – you will be found out eventually, and the price will be high!
    25. 25. Business etiquette • Avoid a search engine optimisation solution to „drown‟ a negative comment • Invite genuine customers to respond in a forum • Ensure that potential recruits know if you are researching them online
    26. 26. For individuals • Bring the common sense that is used in the „real‟ world into the „virtual‟ world. • Never post in your real name – set up three email addresses: • Personal, anonymous email address that forwards to your main email • Personal (for all your personal email) • Work (for work email – no personal email!) • Be responsible when writing messages on other people‟s sites • Get permission before you post a photo of someone online
    27. 27. For individuals • Only „friend‟ friends! • Be coy about your age • Use the privacy options available on social networking websites • Limit the sites you participate in – perhaps FaceBook for friends, LinkedIn for work colleagues? • Limit the number of applications (for example, („Which Princess are you?‟) you „accept‟ on social networking websites. • Set up Google Alerts to monitor your name and email address
    28. 28. Leveraging business opportunities
    29. 29. What is OSN being used for by business? • Increased professional contacts, exposure to new ideas • Use the network to recruit new employees • Allow new-hires to mix with current employees • It is good when customers say positive things about the business • Online reputation monitoring & proactive customer support
    30. 30. Maintaining client relationships Blogs – Promote and discuss on your own blogs – Get a groundswell of discussion Communities – Build relationships between users and the company products Video on user-generated sites – Viral marketing promotion – Audience gives more weight to genuine user experiences than paid TV spots
    31. 31. Maintaining client relationships Support forums – Customers can answer their own problems online – Customers can help each other – Become aware of issues much sooner – Proactive support e.g. Direct2Dell Wikis – Customers can answer their own problems online – Self-documenting – Save on publishing costs and corrections
    32. 32. Sales Social networking sites – Can target sales (but need to be careful!) – Create groups & events e.g. Friends of Ford Brand ambassador programs – Identify loyal customers who bring others into your community Communities – Understand and target sales Embeddable widgets – Users can prove brand loyalty – Points of presence for sales
    33. 33. Research and development Brand monitoring – Understand the reach and impact of your brand – Know what is being said in the „hearts and minds‟ and be more reactive Research communities – Share and build ideas within internal and external communities to test their value Innovation communities – Users can provide recommendations for new features – Communities of users can vote on new features to guide product or feature development
    34. 34. Operations Internal social networks – Cross-fertilisation of ideas – From front line to back office – e.g. Blue Shirt Nation (Best Buy Inc) – Promote the sense of culture and can bring together widely dispersed/loosely coupled workforces Wikis – Provides a platform to develop self-organising teams – Take on responsibility and change External social networks – Leverage employees‟ networks to hire new staff
    35. 35. Strategic impact on future business 3 1 4 2 5 6
    36. 36. Strategic response
    37. 37. Fifty Ideas
    38. 38. Fifty ideas (some might even be good!) Marketing Recruitment 1. Viral video 11. Current staff „Friend‟ new recruits 2. Twitter account for product 12. MySpace advertising 3. Product Facebook fan page 13. Ask staff on OSN to use networks 4. Use Twitter to engage media 14. Company fan pages 5. CEO Blog 15. Create OSN for recruitment 6. search.twitter.com RSS 16. Use OSN search to „reference 7. Google alerts check‟ candidates 8. Create a Facebook widget 17. Use OSN to headhunt candidates 9. Watch and learn 18. Mention jobs within LinkedIn groups 10. Put Presentations on Slideshare 19. Ask new staff to blog/vlog/tweet their experiences 20. Staff Alumni OSN
    39. 39. Fifty ideas (some might even be good!) Internal communication Training 21. Use Yammer between staff 31. YouTube your training sessions 22. Convert intranet to an OSN 32. Use YouTube videos in your training 23. Internal vlogging for projects 33. Use podcasts for training 24. Community of Practice Wikis 34. Use SlideShare to find presenters 25. Create virtual teams on new topics, and skype them in 26. RSS external newsfeeds 35. Use Facebook/your own OSN to 27. Wiki to work track attendance at training events 28. Yammer your timesheets 36. OSN surveys for training feedback 29. Flickr photos, with GeoTagging, of 37. Have staff blog/wiki their learning remote offices/sites and peer-assess for CPD 30. Create OSN for the social club and 38. MP3 record training sessions, family! create a podcast (marketing, recruitment, & training)
    40. 40. Fifty ideas (some might even be good!) The final 12 39. Use FriendFeed to „stalk‟ research 45. Use Web 2.0/OSN to communicate the activities of your competitors & monitor your delivery of strategy 40. Use OSN to help telecommuters 46. Use Twitter to turn the coffee feel more connected machine on in the staff room before 41. Create an @fakecompetitor on you get to work Twitter.... naw, just kidding 47. Use QIK to broadcast AGMs 42. Use Yammer to cut down on 48. Publish your delivery „group emails‟ across the routes/pipelines/infrastructure enterprise assets on Google Maps 43. Create a mashup website of your 49. Replace your client newsletters with product, newsfeed, Google Mapos an online social network and retailers 50. Keep looking out for what things you 44. Research a client‟s personal can use online social networking for! needs and target accordingly
    41. 41. Conclusion
    42. 42. Concluding questions? Conclusion Review the expectations wall – How did we go? – Look at the fifty ideas Applied Insight Pty Ltd Services – Social networking training for staff – Social networking review for your business – Social networking policies & procedures – Developing and implement online social networking strategy
    43. 43. Contact details Micheal Axelsen Applied Insight Pty Ltd Director, Applied Insight Pty Ltd PO Box 603 Toowong DC 4066 m: 0412 526 375 AUSTRALIA t: +61 7 3139 0325 e: micheal.axelsen@appliedinsight.com.au blog: www.michealaxelsen.com