Tag : Social media

Lessons learned

Here’s a little secret for every project summary or report: add a section about “lessons learned.”

  • What you learned
  • What you would do differently in future
  • What new processes or training needs to be put in place for the organization

This simple section is more valuable than the “results” section because it helps us to keep learning and sharing that learning with our colleagues.

A side benefit is that it can  calm down anxious bosses who think things weren’t “good enough.”  Acknowledging that you know what didn’t happen perfectly and why — and will  do differently in the future — diffuses tension and focuses on the positive nature of learning and improvement.

The more new the area,  like social media, the more important and valuable “lessons learned” is.

If you think your company is boring…


‘Tis the season for marketing planning, which can be painful if you’re in a rut. From many years of experience I believe every company has remarkable ideas to talk about, but finding those ideas can sometimes be challenging.

This week I talked at the Word of Mouth Supergenius conference about how to shake things up and find those ideas. Thanks to Merritt Colaizzi of SmartBlog on Social Media for her post that sums up those ideas. You can find it here.

Finding those interesting ideas to talk about is well worth the work. Consider:

  • What do sales reps to say to engage prospects?
  • What makes your proposals and RFPs stand out?
  • Social media only works if you have interesting ideas to talk about
  • How do CEOs get employees’ attention?

To get more interest, you have to be more interesting.  It doesn’t mean you have to be cool like Apple. In fact, much of my work has been with “boring” B2B companies.  Everything in marketing and sales gets much easier when you find the “talkable” ideas.

If you get stuck, call me to help jump start your thinking. If your company is really stuck, let’s do a workshop in 2010  to uncover those amazing ideas just waiting to be found.  While I am slightly biased, this is the best marketing investment you can make next year.

Liberty Mutual's Kelle Thompson on social media

Another panelist in next week’s Conference Board confernce on “Extending Your Brand to Empoyees” is Kelle Thompson, employer brand manager at LIberty Mutual. Here are some of her thoughts on social media.

What is your favorite social media word?

Authenticity. It’s not a social media word in terms of Twitter, Wiki, or “unfriend,” but it is the word I use most when we talk about how we participate in social media.

What is your least favorite social media word?

Acai. Of course that is just because I keep getting served up Acai diet ads on my Facebook account. Outside of social media I don’t have any fundamental issue with Acai as a berry.

What turns you on about social media?

Being involved in the conversation at the point where companies are figuring out how to leverage the new medium. Everyone who has social media on their radar is talking about ‘do we play’ ‘how do we play’ and ‘how do we measure’ and there is no silver bullet, no one universal answer. The conversations probably sounded very similar when any new medium broke, radio, TV, the internet.

What turns you off about social media?

When people dismiss social media as a fad or as generational, that doesn’t sit well. Specific products in the medium may be fads but social media has fundamentally shifted how people are communicating.

What social media other than what you’re doing would you like to attempt?

I’ll have to wait to see who invents it tomorrow.

What part of social media would you not like to do?

Any channel that where we can’t be true to what we are as a corporation and add value to the conversation.

What one thing do you hope people will learn from you at The Conference Board’s “Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference?”

That partnership among departments and stakeholders was a critical component to our approach to ‘playing’ in the social media world.

Zappos' Sr. Human Resources Manager on Social Media

I’ll be moderating a session on how social media can affect employer brands at the Dec. 1 and 2 Conference Board “Extending Your Brand to Employees” conference,  with an amazing panel of executives from Zappos, Starbucks, Liberty Mutual Group and Prudential Financial.

I’ve asked the social media panelists to give us some pre-conference views on social media, using James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio” question format.  Here are comments from Hollie Delaney, senior human resources manager at Zappos.com.

What is your favorite social media word?

Transparency.   At Zappos, we are obsessed with sharing our culture and way of operating our business with the outside world.  Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have given us an outlet to do this on a higher level than what we ever thought possible.  One of our core values is to ‘Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication’, and this isn’t limited to the employees of Zappos; we would like for the outside world to be able to see anything that they would like about our business.

We have 450+ employees on Twitter, and there is no company policy to dictate what an employee can say. We just tell everyone to use their best judgment.  We even have a Twitter aggregate page which shows employees’ Tweets in real time, along with all public mentions of the company.

What is your least favorite social media word?

Expert/Guru. These are a series of new mediums, and we’re not sure that anyone can be an expert on a subject that we’ve only skimmed the surface of as an industry.

What turns you on about social media?

Its ability to engage with customers on a level that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.

What turns you off about social media?

When businesses look at these tools as a free way to spam customers.

What social media other than what you’re doing would you like to attempt?

We just try to form personal connections with customers.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube all seem to be the best tools right now, but we know that will change/evolve over time.

What part of social media would you not like to do?

We would like to stay away from using the mediums completely for selling products. Our idea for Facebook and Twitter is that it’s a place where people go to engage with Zappos as a brand, and just making it about sharing our culture.

What would you like to hear your CEO say about social media?


What one thing do you hope people will learn from you at The Conference Board’s “Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference?”

That it’s not how many fans or followers that you have, it’s about how you are engaging them and if you’re forming a personal connection.  You can have 1M fans, but if they aren’t engaged in your brand and they just signed up with a click and then forgot about it, the point is lost on the effort.

Putting social media to work: Publicity Club workshop

Here’s the presentation from last night’s workshop at the Publicity Club of New England in Boston. Great group and lots of fun doing conversational writing and community building workshops. Creativity is everywhere; we just have to ask new questions and collaborate in new ways to get at it.