I had a chance to interview Dr. Marc Teerlink, Global Strategist & Data Scientist at IBM recently. He’s a fascinating guy, and we spoke about using social media monitoring tools to separate the signal from the noise, how to use past conversations to try and predict the future, why teens are the most difficult audience to monitor and the dangers of relying too heavily on sentiment when predicting outcomes.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

More »

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Social media marketing is no longer enough. You need a social media literate workforce, says Jeanne Meister, best-selling author of The 2020 Workplace.

Social media literacy is the understanding how to use social media both inside and outside the organization in a safe and secure way to improve their productivity and efficiency. More »

Today’s workforce communicates and gets information through social media. It is a mainstream communications channel.

87% of companies use and 23% of online time is spent on social media.

The more people who talk about you on social media, the further the conversation carries. Reach is determined by the number of people involved in the conversation.  And since no one engages everyone all the time, you’re better off having all your employees using social media than your are with a handful of social media specialists.

Social media is public, recorded and discoverable. So there’s tremendous upside when everyone uses it to get there jobs done. Because they leave behind a trail of digital bread crumbs that lead back to you. Starwood Hotels recently doubled the membership of their loyalty program and increased what members spend by 60% with a broad social media program than encouraged customer to share online.

Why aren’t more companies using social at the corporate level?

Fear has been holding them back. But now there’s a practical way to manage the risk associated with enterprise wide social media engagement. Through social media performance management, which combines web-based online training with assessments and certifications to qualify personnel for effective social media use.

Social media policy without training is lip service, because you can’t comply with a policy you don’t understand. And no one reads policy. You can’t protect yourself, or your organization, if you don’t understand the risks. The first question you’ll be asked in an investigation is was the employee trained.

Courts, law enforcement and regulatory agencies place value on genuine efforts taken by organizations to promote a culture of integrity and respect for the law and credit them for it in disputes. And it’s less expensive to prevent social media misuse through training than litigation.

Social media compliance training is the answer to capitalizing on the opportunity and managing risk of social media at work.  The best way for organizations to protect themselves is to make social media training part of the HR process, so everyone knows the rules.

You can’t centralize social media brand management. Applebee’s tried to manage social media communications with a four-member social media team. But when a waitress in St. Louis got fired for posting a customer’s receipt with a low tip on Reddit and the story went viral, the chain realized their strategy was flawed.  Four team members can’t look after the entire workforce. They need to learn to look after themselves.

And you can’t keep social siloed in marketing and PR.

When two Domino’s Pizza employees filmed a prank in the restaurant’s kitchen violating other health-code standards, perceived quality of their brand went from positive to negative in a matter of hours.

Bringing social media into existing training programs is the next logical step. But classroom training is expensive and ineffective for teaching computer-based skills. PriceWaterhouseCoopers says 71% of senior managers use technology for risk and compliance training.

We’re at the point now where you need to have a social strategy that goes beyond just marketing or you’re behind the curve.


Social Media Monitoring has been the focus of a podcast series released over the last few weeks in the wake of Google’s announcement they’ll be retiring Google Reader.


As the producer of an online social media monitoring course based on Google Reader, I’ve been intently evaluating free Google reader alternatives such as Feedly and Netvibes.  After an in depth evaluation of these two contenders, I also wrote a post comparing them for Venture Beat last Friday.


While Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which bundles Radian6, Buddy Media and Social.com, isn’t free, in the quest for thoroughness, I decided to include their offering on this evaluation to check in and see what’s new over there.

More »

Social media policies aren’t typically the first things that come to mind when you’re developing a social media marketing strategy.

But they should be.

Without social media policies in place, social media marketing plans are unsustainable. On social networks, reach is a function of engagement. Without engagement, there is no reach.

Thus, in order for social media marketing messages to get noticed, they need to get passed along to friends of friends and their friends. That means other people have to like, comment and share.

Drafting a social media policy may not seem as important as creating great content to share; but, if your addressable market – your employees, resellers or members – haven’t been given clear, easy-to-follow social media guidelines on permissible use, they’re much less likely to participate, so you’re much less likely to reach their friends.

More >>

Netvibes Premium

Just in time, a new step-by-step guide is available for migrating your RSS feeds from Google Reader to Netvibes.

This post is a summary of a conversation I had with Netvibes CEO Freddy Mini (@freddymini) who told me why a social media monitoring tool without integrated social media analytics is a hammer without a nail.
To make sure our online Social Media Training Bootcamp stays timely, I spoke to social media marketing analyst Brian Solis about his new book What’s the Future of Business – Changing the Way Business Create Experiences, which redefines the key elements of an effective social media strategy.


If you haven’t read it yet, the new book advances his “shareable moments” concept into a framework for social media engagement by identifying when, what and how organizations can best shape the dynamic customer journey, suggesting social media marketing should be about shaping intentional experiences or the experiences customers have through experience architecture.

More »