YouToo 2011- Geoff Livingston-Sustainability in Social Media


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Geoff Livingston, co-founder of Zoetica and author of "Now is Gone," delivered his presentation at the 2011 YouToo Social Media Conference.

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  • Social media always has a new bell & whistle. Today’s fad may be neat, but how does it make for good marketing? Examples in the past, apps, Facebook, Foursquare, now iPad apps.
  • Sustainability begins with measurement. What does that mean?
  • Idea Storm - Dell has beta tested a feature called “storm sessions.”What does your internal social media effort try to achieve?  We are moving to use or adopt social media as a tool across the whole fabric of the company. Believing it is a great tool, not channel, for listening learning and engaging with customers. This is not about campaigns or initiatives. Its about adopting social media as a way to do better business. Worth noting that practically every tool we use externally we have similar tools internally. For example we have an employeestorm that mirrors ideastorm; like twitter we use chatter; blogs we have blogs. In addition, we have embarked on robust training initiatives with employee unconference in each of our global regions as well as training programs that lead to certification as a social media and community professional. In the last 2 months more than 2000 people have been trained. We have also been training employees across the enterprise on use of our listening and conversation tools. A daily tracking report is emailed to more than 500 people (including CEO CMO and lead of each of our business units) in the organization highlighting top topics in social media and overall twitter reach of various conversation threads.How has the company reacted to the effort?With more than 2000 employees signing up and taking training courses over the past 7 weeks I think interest and adoption seems quite highPlease tell me a little about your stakeholders, the employees adopting.   I can tell you that our 4 major business units -- enterprise, public sector, small and medium business as well as consumer -- all seem to be adopting social media as a viable tool which to use and connect directly with customers. Our product group is also engaging both on and off Dell com. more social. You'll see that today practically every page is shareable. Rating and reviews can be found across the site and more to comeTake a look at tag team on facebook. Its is all user generated content. Aggregated in a way to let other customers sort by how they want to use a computer and based on reviews from other customers like them. Did you integrate the social effort into other communications mechanisms? Social efforts are increasingly integrated in all our communications. But more importantly it is being integrated as a tool to do better business...not just communicate.  What social media tools did you use?   We use blogs, community forums, twitter, ratings and reviews, share this, yammer and chatter, ideastorm and employeestorm, facebook, linked in, radian6 for listening...... How is Dell (as an entity) interacting with its internal and external community now?.....Did I answer?What where the measurable outcomes (pageviews/follower counts won't be used)...   All of those. Visits to dell,com, sentiment, share of voice, revenue generated and more to come in several months.
  • How have you sustained the LinkedIn community over time?  Our focus has been to leverage the reason people come to LinkedIn in the first place – to connect and collaborate.  We’ve therefore adopted a technology approach, investing in new products and data analytics, so that professionals can more easily find one another, connect, and discuss topics they care about.  One great example of our approach is “People you may know”.  This tool suggests people we think you know, so that you can connect and stay in closer contact with them.  Closer contact means knowing more about what they’re working on, where they’re working, what they’re reading and thinking about, where they’re traveling, and how you can help.  This closer, more constant stream of valuable information between people forms an extremely strong community, because it’s based on trust, goodwill and common interests.  Another great example is our continued investment in LinkedIn Groups.  At the time of writing this, more than 600,000 professional interest and alumni groups exist on LinkedIn, with more than 1000 new ones getting created every day, and more than 100,000 professionals joining a group every day.  Today’s Groups experience is fluid, useful environment, where the most interesting discussions (according to the community) are bubbled to the top, and other stuff sinks to the bottom.  Group members can create discussions, share news, like (vote up) things they find interesting, and quickly scan the group for useful content or connections.  Remember, useful content comes from the knowledge and passions of the community, not from LinkedIn.  Our role is to create a clean, well-lit venue where information and people are easy to discover and interact with.  Great professionals do the rest :)What’s been the most difficult part of maintaining the community throughout multiple years?  The hardest part, that requires the most thought and investment is the relevance technology to make the discovery of great people and information easy, enjoyable and most of all useful to people to help them do their jobs.  Go to any conference in the real world, and there are so many conversations on such a massive variety of topics taking place amongst so many different people, it’s difficult to process.  LinkedIn is the online version of that.  Help people introduce themselves (the LinkedIn profile), and then we have a better sense of valuable people they can be introduced to (People You May Know), and useful conversations they can participate in (Groups and Network Updates).  We continue to make better and better progress against these objectives, but it isn’t easy, which is a key reason there’s only one LinkedIn.How has your organization incorporated its social media evolution during this period (new tactics and/or approaches)?  The answer to this is twofold.  Part 1 is how we become a useful social media media tool to businesses.  At the time of writing this, over 30 million professionals are following over 1 million companies either as job seekers, employees, partners and suppliers or just followers, and this number is growing fast.  Companies can now use LinkedIn’s Company Profiles as a way to provide a new, tremendously efficient interface to the market.  It helps companies understand their following amongst professional circles, and helps professionals know more about a company, its people and who they know there.  We’re also seeing brands, large and small develop communities of their own using a custom version of LinkedIn Groups.  The smartest companies don’t make the group all about them.  Instead, they carefully develop and curate their groups around topics that their target audience cares about.  We’re seeing brands amass huge numbers of exactly their target audiences on LinkedIn, and maintain an ongoing constructive dialog with them.  Part 2 of the answer revolves around how we ourselves leverage social media to build our company.  We start by ‘drinking our own champagne’ and adopting the tactics above with our own customer segments – specific professional verticals like students, career services officers, hiring professionals and marketers.  Additionally in 2009, we integrated LinkedIn and Twitter together so that members of LinkedIn can tie their Tweets to their LinkedIn status updates, and vice versa.  This is a hugely popular feature amongst our members, who set their LinkedIn status and automatically tweet it to their followers, and send their professionally oriented tweets into LinkedIn, with the prefix “#in”.
  • How have you sustained your community over time? We've employed quite a few different tactics over time to sustain the WiserEarth community as we've figured out what worked and what didn't. We listen to the members of our community and give them a voice by soliciting their feedback on many of our features, conducting surveys, posting guest blogs and helping promote their projects via our platform. Since the beginning, we've kept our operations side transparent and open to community feedback. As our number of volunteers has increased, we added a model for more in-depth volunteer involvement: the WiserEarth editors. Editors voted for roles they wanted to take on, such as moderators, content builders, and networkers. The editors have been some of the most engaged members on the site, and we have supported them in their own projects and community groups, providing promotion, content assistance, and technical support. The editors have developed such projects as a community newsletter, a news group to report live from the Copenhagen climate conference, a group to develop new systems of sustainability, and more. Whenever possible, we engage them face-to-face, such as in our annual editors meetup, held in Sausalito, California. We also hold regular virtual monthly meetups for the many international members. We've extended our face-to-face interactions with the community with a program called WiserTuesdays, informal gatherings around social change and technology. WiserTuesdays have been successfully held in France, the UK, and Liberia, with more to come. We've reviewed and enhanced government models to include the WiserEarth advisory council so our community is a true part of our organizational oversight. This has allowed for greater and deeper feedback on improvements. In the spring of 2009, we opened WiserEarth's directory via an API, in a campaign called OpenWiser, allowing our tech-savvy members and the broader community to bring WiserEarth's resources to their own sites. We don't expect our community to just come to us, and we both reach out and listen across multiple channels, including Facebook, Twitter, our blog and e-mail. We've assigned specific members of the staff (including international coordinators when we added languages) the role of to engaging the broader community. They welcome new members, show them around, and give them handy tutorials. They also provide a technical helpdesk group and newcomer welcoming groups. Ultimately we've discovered that the best way to build a community is through individual connections: one person at a time. What’s been the most difficult part of maintaining the community throughout multiple years? A community-led community can be a bit more challenging in practice than in theory. In order to nurture our community, we needed to form a governance structure. Our model of governance has evolved over the years to encompass volunteers, partners, board and staff. With such a global community, the variety of cultures has also been challenging. Each have different needs and we have to surmount language barriers. In France, for example, it is challenging to establish oneself if not a France-based nonprofit. We have worked to overcome this with WiserTuesday Paris gatherings, and launched a successful Social Innovation BarCamp there in June. In Mexico, face-to-face is also crucial, and our community coordinator does as much, if not more, networking offline as online. How has your organization evolved its social media program during this period (new tactics and/or approaches)? Around one and a half years ago, we integrated social media with our communications strategy. We use Facebook, Twitter and our blog to both listen to and connect with our community, as well as showcase what they do. We've used social media to assist with fundraising and have been able to go viral and entirely paperless this way, with such successful campaigns as OpenWiser and Sustain2010. 50% of our board is also actively engaged and promoting via social media. One interesting recent addition to our repertoire has been social media across languages, with different regional coordinators in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese (with Indonesian starting up as well)! We've been using Twitterfeed to pipe our RSS search feeds into automated region-specific Twitter accounts, with our most popular being the SF feed. These audience-specific feeds have helped drive traffic back to WiserEarth. We'd recommend other sites to make use of their search engines in similar ways. We also use tags such as #wiserearth and #sustainable to help filter our tweets. Our executive director mans the main organizational Twitter account and connects personally with others in the field, as well as sharing sustainable links and making WiserEarth announcements. We've noticed the impact is much greater when everyone in the organization is using social media, versus just one staff member!
  • How have you sustained your community over time?Our primary role is that of "enablers" - i.e. provide a platform that is easy to use, and then get out of the way so that our members can engage each other.  We do insert ourselves to keep the forum safe and welcoming (e.g. we use both technical and human powered solutions to get rid of trouble makers and spammers), but we don't attempt to direct the conversation or build on certain themes.  Our secondary role is to provide interesting topics, in the form of blog posts, for people to talk about. One of the biggest shifts we've seen over time has been from an emphasis on group discussions toward conversations around specific pieces of content.  I think that's mostly because it's easier for people to give their opinion on one of many blog topics versus facilitating / maintaining a group conversation on a single topic.  In response to this, we've significantly increased our emphasis on building our blogger network and producing blog posts for the community.In general though, I'd say we take a fairly laissez-faire approach to community building. In addition to it being easier and less expensive to manage, I believe it helps our community members to feel a greater sense of ownership for the community.  Our members - not us - really are the stars of the show. They thrive on that, appreciate each other for their contributions and support each other as true friends do.One of the other important things we do is to include our Community in decision making and do our best to not surprise them. This has been a tough lesson over the years, but we've learned that it's not really possible to over-communicate when it comes to making changes on the site. We do surveys, listen to feedback and look at lots of usage data before making product decisions, and then we ask for feedback before making significant site changes (or at least give them plenty of warning).  We've also learned to fix problems on the existing platform before adding new features.Also, if the site is experiencing frustrating technical difficulties, we're quick to acknowledge the problems and let our members know what's going on.  Over the years, this has helped us gain the trust of some of the community leaders, who then can help calm frustrations when newer members may lash out during the occasional technical hiccup.What’s been the most difficult part of maintaining the community throughout multiple years?One of the great things about Care2 is that we cover a wide array of causes that pull in passionate advocates of all sorts.  However, all that passion can sometimes get the best of people, and we can end up with heated debates and even personal insults. At times these fights spill over as each side threatens to involve lawyers to fight perceived libelous comments.Of course, each side lobbies us hard to show that they were an innocent victim. Trying to uncover the history is incredibly time consuming and usually futile.  If we kick out one or both sides they scream bloody murder, accuse us of censorship, and often make it their mission in life to destroy Care2's reputation among our community and far and wide across the web.Our customer support team is quite adept at dealing with these blow ups, but they take a lot of resources, no doubt really do damage our reputation, and are a downer for everyone involved. How has Care2 evolved its social media program during this period (new tactics and/or approaches)? As our social network existed even before Facebook launched, the rise of Facebook forced us to really understand how we fit into the grander social ecosystem. Care2 is not the platform people use to keep up to date with their friends - Care2 is the way they can get involved in making the world a better place and share their passions with other like-minded individuals. There are a variety of strong social components to that... e.g. feeling like  you're part of something bigger than yourself, or simply connecting with someone who actually cares about a problem as much as you do.Once we really figured out how we are unique and important even to most Facebook users, we decided to fully embrace Facebook. We quickly enabled FB Connect and now offer a complete duplicate of our Petiion Site. on Facebook, so anyone can sign a petition without ever leaving FB.We've also integrated Twitter, Stumbleupon and other social media buttons throughout our site. We see all of these as channels for spreading the word, not competition to the value people get from Care2. We track, test and quantify the value of our efforts religiously, and invest in areas that work. For example, we have individuals responsible for managing our Facebook page, and posting to some of our Twitter feeds.We also encourage our members to aggregate, curate and promote through services such as our Care2 News Network - a Digg style service that allows members to post on Care2 stories of interest from around the web, and then vote those most deserving onto our homepage.Finally, we established a rewards program called Butterfly Rewards, that provides incentives for individuals to take action, and spread the word about content on Care2.
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  • YouToo 2011- Geoff Livingston-Sustainability in Social Media

    1. 1. Sustainability in Social Media<br />@geoffliving on Twitter<br />
    2. 2. What Would Happen If Facebook “Died?”<br />2<br />
    3. 3. The Internet Is Littered with Past Leaders<br />3<br />
    4. 4. Why Facebook Has Taken Off (Again)<br />4<br />
    5. 5. Did Facebook Hack McDonald’s Business Model?<br />5<br />
    6. 6. The Result Is a Text Heavy Nightmare User Interface<br />6<br />
    7. 7. What Could Beat That?<br />7<br />
    8. 8. Tools Are Just Tools… Even Shiny Social Ones<br />8<br />
    9. 9. “Social” Is About People & Orgs Are a Part of Communities<br />9<br />
    10. 10. Sustaining Relationships Begins with Measurement<br />10<br />
    11. 11. “There’s Nothing Cheap About Loyalty”<br />Research conducted with Care2; Dell; the Humane Society, LinkedIn, and Wiser Earth<br />Measurement drives knowledge<br />Relentless focus on community’s actual use of new media forms<br />Willingness to experiment<br />Focus on mission, serve to sustain<br />11<br />
    12. 12. Staying Power = Evolving Toward Community Needs<br />12<br />
    13. 13. Adding New Tech<br />Decade old, most relevant now?<br />Provides pros ability to find one another, connect & discuss<br />Groups, shares, company profiles, people you may know<br />Competitive API <br />13<br />
    14. 14. Integrating Major SocNets<br />Every player (except LinkedIn) moved to integrate Facebook & Twitter<br />WE understands beachheads, fluid conversation<br />Extremely interactive feature development<br />Responsive content development for timely matters<br />14<br />
    15. 15. Evolve Community Management<br />15<br />
    16. 16. Evolutions<br />Care2 took a backwards step to keep people engaged, focused on blogging content <br />Found over interference from org hurt conversations<br />Focuses on conflict resolution within topic communities<br />Well integrated into other social networks<br />16<br />
    17. 17. How the Humane Society Continues to Evolve<br />Started with Facebook<br />Every person must be self sustaining financially<br />Social extends to volunteers<br />Challenges with community (700k)<br />“Build a loyal community so if Facebook disappears…”<br />Eighth person just hired… A mobile media manager<br />17<br />
    18. 18. The Tech to Adapt<br />47% of Americans get news on mobile (Pew)<br />1 in 5 use an app for news<br />Mobile traffic to surpass desktop in 2014<br />40% of Google Maps page views on the phone<br />27% of Americans have smartphones, 4% tablets<br />New uses arising – LBS, group texting<br />18<br />
    19. 19. Early Majority Phase of Adoption<br />4G will spark more development use<br />Expect shorter media<br />More visual with pics and videos<br />Less user input because of input method<br />Heavy text is not your friend with mobile<br />19<br />
    20. 20. Move with the Water<br />20<br />
    21. 21. Questions?<br />21<br />