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I posted that I had completed the wonderful Gamification course on Coursera.  Ryan Rutan suggested it might be worth sharing a couple of key learnings, and I would love to.


First off - Gamification is not about turning everything into a game (as is commonly assumed).  Jive is gamified, but is not a game. The idea is to look at the elements of gaming that engage people so much, and then apply those to other arenas.   The working definition in the course:

Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts.

There are three parts to that definition.

  • Game elements. (The tool box.  Visuals, avatars, points, activity, etc.)
  • Game design techniques. (Design.  There are a lot of elements to consider: objectives, behaviors, the "players", psychology/motivation, technology, feedback mechanisms, activity loops.  Makes a lot of sense to instructional designers like me.)
  • Non-game context.  (Business or learning (or other) purpose.  On the other hand, when you're playing a game, you're playing to have fun in the game, that's it.)

A huge purpose of gamification is to motivate people to engage in certain behaviors.

Next - you really need to do a good design if you want to gamify something (well done, Jive designers!) - you need to understand your purpose, what you want to motivate people to do, and have a sense of the underlying pyschological/neurological mechanisms involved (fascinating stuff!).  There are plenty of caveats here - it is often not well done, and gamification thus can get a bad rep. 


It's a fascinating and emerging field.  The Coursera course is very well done and I enjoyed it.  The Prof has a book For the Win (Werbach, Hunter), which I am reading as follow-up and reinforcement.  There are other great resources as well, but I find this well thought out and useful. 

Please review Part 1 of this article before diving in below.


The other software a Social Business needs to have is a Social Media Management System (SMMS) that is scalable across the corporation. This tool lets you manage, monitor and measure your social accounts all from one location.


Since social media provides a one-on-one conversation between a brand and a consumer, all departments should be empowered to execute within social. Customer service representatives need to have the authority and ability to respond in a timely and effective manner through corporate accounts. Human resource employees can communicate new job openings using their network and their corporate network to find qualified resources. Sales employees can troll social media for leads, and create a lead-gen social campaign through multiple channels.


Further more, stand out enterprise SMMSs can also connect the dots. Users have the ability to see all former interactions with a specific social profile and collaborate on how to move forward with a sales lead or with a support ticket. The ability to escalate, assign, approve, collaborate with other users in the SMMS is key.


Whether you like it or not, your customer or potential customers learn a lot about your brand through social media, and there are many business opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. So if you’re playing the social media game, make sure you’re set-up to play it right as a Social Business.


For larger corporations, Spredfast is a great SMMS.


What Social Media Management Software does your company leverage?

I would love to discuss any best practices as far as setting up and executing on an SMMS for your corporation!

With clients’ expecting "real-time" responses to RFPs, marketing agencies have to act fast to find experts and develop innovative solutions that win new business.  But with agency teams distributed globally, it is increasingly difficult to coordinate a comprehensive response that incorporates relevant case studies, employee backgrounds, and 'elegant solutions' for each opportunity within a few days.


Wednesday, May 29th at 11am PT join us for a webcast to hear from jbartolotta \from Millward Brown and elizabeth.brigham from Jive Software about how Millward Brown is generating new business by using social business technology to find internal experts, collaborate on proposals, and reduce the time it takes to respond to RFPs.


Attendees will learn how high-performing marketing agency teams use social business tools for:

  • Finding experts faster and collaborating with global teams on RFP responses
  • Developing and launching campaigns more efficiently
  • Coordinating cross-functional team alignment
  • Creating, sharing and getting feedback on campaign assets faster
  • Monitoring and engaging in feedback on campaigns to drive optimization


Reserve your seat here.

The Way We Work is Changing.pngThe way we work is changing. The amount of digital native workers is increasing rapidly, we no longer work a 9-5 day, and inter-connectivity and your network does indeed matter. Social media and accessible software have presented an opportunity to work more efficiently and effectively. Because of all these changes, corporations need to evolve and change the way they work.


In my opinion, the term for businesses working in an interconnected, social manner is called “Social Business”. There are many advantages to operating as a Social Business but it takes foresight and sign off from the executive team (many of whom are digital immigrants), a strategic implementation plan, and the right technologies to implement. Corporations need to overcome the old fashioned way of working and evolve into a Social Business before they’ve missed the boat.


All companies executing Social Business have one thing in common - a place where they can collaborate both internally and externally. Visualize this as your corporate Intranet but on social steroids. This is a place where you can collaborate in forums, share updates like in Twitter, make comments on media like in Facebook and work on documents as a team like in Google Drive. (And yes, I’m talking about Jive Software ) For example, at a minimum, the social team needs a space that houses the following dynamic and accessible documents:

              • Social guidelines, strategy and goals for your corporate accounts and your employees
              • All corporate social channel credentials
              • All employee contact information (phone, TW handle, LI profile)
              • Content calendar with hot dates (PR, corporate events, marketing campaigns, etc)
              • Campaign 1 pagers that encourage employees to share related social messaging with their networks
              • Escalation guidelines


The purpose of a space like this is to encourage sharing, capture knowledge, enable action and empower employees. Having a space like this creates corporate transparency, allows your corporation and employees to crowdsource ideas, to opt-in on projects and conversations they feel strongly about, and to collaborate in a space that’s natural to them.


This results in employee ownership and pride of their product and of their company. This also results in non-siloed social media execution. Many departments and pinpointed personnel can and should partake in social from customer service, to human resources to sales.


How has your company set up your shared space for your social team? I would love to hear any best practices you’ve uncovered!


* Graphic by Mark Smiciklas

Imagine that you're planning your next product launch -- and it's going to be big. As the product marketing manager, you're excited to focus squarely on acquiring new leads for a venture into a new market, but there's a twist: You have lots of education to do at the top of the funnel to get new customers interested in this new, different product. How do you make that happen? Sure, there's plenty of brand equity you can rely on and you can hope for the best. After all, you're part of a company that's been around for over 20 years with rock-solid results. But now you have to get customers to think about your brand in a new way, and none of your old case studies or promotional materials fit the bill.

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The answer, you realize, is a serious investment in content marketing.

It's the buzzword of the year: From top consumer brands to major B2B players, from agencies to small businesses, everyone is talking about content marketing. Whether it's white papers, featured articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, or dozens of other tactics, relevant content marketing can educate potential consumers; fuel brand value; generate quality leads; boost authority; and communicate core messages.


But it’s easy to talk the talk about content marketing. Anyone can say they’ll turn their marketing department into a lead-generating, loyalty-boosting, kick-butt-content-king.


Walking the walk, however, isn’t easy. Dreams of content greatness can quickly morph into in-the-trenches nightmares with overwhelming commitments to creating dozens of content pieces, each of which requires planning, writing, editing, proofreading and graphic design, not to mention the sign-off and say-so of several stakeholders. Without the right tools to optimize content workflow and collaboration, you can easily start to feel like you’re feeding a hungry content “beast” rather than implementing a thoughtful strategy.


So what does that mean for your team, which must plan, produce, and disseminate high-quality content to meet your product marketing goals? How can you develop a content production machine that runs smoothly? How can you get feedback and insights on results so you can publish content that drives results?


Social business technologies allow you to take your big content marketing ideas to the next level by going beyond high-level strategy to tactical tips for the trenches. Here’s the bottom line on what you truly need to get a handle on content marketing for a powerful product launch, brand awareness campaign or thought leadership effort:


1. A central hub where all content participants can plan.

Successful content marketing involves a variety of participants, depending on the project. There are the marketing folks, of course, but there might be a freelance writer and contracted graphic designer. Product, sales and PR teams might need to be looped in. An outside agency may need a seat at the table. External partners might be part of the dissemination process. Best-of-breed social business technologies allow you to create central workplaces where all stakeholders can come together and have total visibility into everything related to the project. With Jive for Marketing's Purposeful Places, for example, pre-built templates let you speedily bring together all the people, tools, info and content you need for a project in one central workspace. And most importantly there's a specific template for collateral development that helps teams get cracking quickly.


2. Better document collaboration.

Once you start growing your content marketing, it’s easy to find yourself stuck in quicksand-like endless email threads, multiple attachments, out-of-sync versions and frustrated participants. It's like trying to be your own publisher without a newsroom setup. You need unified document collaboration so versions stay under control, co-authoring and commenting is easy and integrates with existing tools. Jive has a full-featured text editor, for instance, or Jive for Office turns Microsoft Office into a real-time document collaboration platform.


3. Easy access to subject matter experts.

Maybe you have to put together a slew of new, quality content pieces for that product launch. Or, you might require fresh storytelling spins on old content to keep up with product updates. One important way to do that is by getting internal subject matter experts involved in content development. Social business allows you to easily find, connect with and loop in thought leaders, whether they are C-suite executives, sales managers, product development leaders or technical experts. Jive's smart activity streams, blog posts, status updates, and @mentions mean even the busiest folks across the company are accessible, no matter what city or time zone they work in.


4. Customer and partner connections in external communities.

To come up with great content marketing ideas and strategies, a focus group made up of customers or partners can offer invaluable input and real-time feedback, particularly when it comes to product launches. Social business communities can serve as the kind of creative crowdsourcing that power-charges your content marketing, while offering a central place where you can share and disseminate useful content that boosts brand affinity and customer loyalty. Jive's customer and partner communities offer the opportunity for authentic dialogue, insights, and two-way interaction that takes content marketing strategies to the next level.

5. Intelligence and analytics at your fingertips.

Developing successful content requires knowing what customers want to understand and need to know as well as the best way to provide information and education. Social business technologies can help put content strategy in context through intelligence and analytics. For instance, you can learn more about customers and partners through Jive Resonata, the industry-leading community analytics tool, which offers real-time intelligence within external communities to understand sentiment trends, hot topics and help predict potential opportunities. And within the organization, everybody can use Jive Impact Metrics internally to measure and maximize the impact and reach, reaction and influence of communications shared across teams and departments -- whether through blogs, status updates or discussions threads.

You can transform your organization into a killer content marketing machine that drives more opportunities and sales. Download this whitepaper for more information. How invested is your team in content marketing today? Comment below.

Decentralized organizations tend to utilize many channels of information flow in order to solve complex problems. However, without a way to manage this flow, departments can easily lose sight of the organization's common mission, which leads to information loss. UBM, a global events-led marketing and communications service provider, operates in more than a dozen distinct divisional functions all over Europe, Asia, and North America.  The decentralized nature of the organization made is extremely difficult for employees to connect with peers in different locations and business units in order to share their business experience and expertise. The need to leverage business synergies was more crucial than ever and became the catalyst for igniting a change in the company.

Their vision of a "One-Company" initiative led them to Jive. As a result, UBM went from a federated company with divisional and functional silos to one with a UBM-wide employee enterprise social network, powered by Jive, where transparency and collaboration reign. The impact of social software was apparent within the first 12 months of deployment. As a result, employees were spending less time on administrative work and more time creating and developing new ideas and impactful programs. Get the details of the results that UBM found in this deck: Transforming Company Culture through Social Business

UBM Blog.png

I often get asked what I do for a living, and I usually tell people that I wear multiple hats depending on what role is needed at any point in time.  I have worked both as an internal community manager for a Fortune 500 company and for my own personal company as an external community manager to promote external services and products.


Community management, whether internal or external – can be elusive to colleagues, friends, and other spectators who don’t fully comprehend what this role demands.


By definition, community managers are responsible for building, monitoring, and growing their company’s social networks. Those social networks can be social intranets for employees, public social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, or branded customer-facing communities built by and for the company. Community managers are on the front lines of communication for these social networks – monitoring activity, responding to member inquiries, engaging in conversations, seeding content, and driving the company’s social business objectives.


There are two key types of community managers:

  1. Internal Community Managers are responsible for internal social networks (also known as social intranets).  These networks live within the four walls of an organization.  Internal community managers focus on collaboration, efficiency, and connecting to the right people – they help the community thrive by making connections between people and information that lead to greater productivity, transparency, and innovation. They help break down silos by encouraging people to work out loud and constantly finding ways to improve internal processes. They drive adoption of social collaboration platforms through effective training and communication. The day-to-day work of an internal community manager involves group creation and interaction within the community, moderation, governance, developing metrics and KPI’s, and managing daily operational tasks that keep the internal community running smoothly.
  2. External Community Managers are primarily responsible for their company’s external social media presence and accounts (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), but they may also manage a brand’s proprietary customer community. Additionally, they monitor the social web for conversations happening online that involve their brand, and join those conversations or get the right company spokeswoman involved when appropriate. Their main focus is building rich, authentic relationships online that drive customer retention and acquisition goals – this can involve promoting special offers and new products, engaging the community in conversations, sharing valuable content, posting real-time updates during special events, and responding to customer service inquiries. When customers reach out to the company via social networks, external community managers quickly engage subject matter experts to provide appropriate, accurate, and timely responses. They also work as messengers, bringing back sentiments (good or bad) to the corporate environment that provide feedback to internal teams (i.e. customer care, innovation/design teams, sales, marketing, etc.) that the company can leverage to make improvements.


Community managers are critical to the success of any social business initiative because they are ultimately responsible for the adoption and growth of internal and external communities. Their jobs are complex and require a unique skill set that is harder to come by than many people might think.


For internal communities, community managers are the “insiders” who are constantly aware of groups that are collaborating, content that is trending, and conversations that can be acted upon or connected with other cross-functional groups. They connect the dots for members who want to collaborate with other members who share similar topics of interest, and they can tremendously help in on-boarding new members and encouraging them to think and work differently (i.e. using discussions vs. email) in a collaborative environment.


For external communities, community managers are the “eyes and ears” of a company’s social presence who can detect the nuances (i.e. good or bad consumer sentiments) in real time. They are the voice of the brand who can communicate a brand’s message while relating to their social followers. External community managers must be agile and responsive to react quickly to consumer sentiments that can make or break a product launch, sell, or marketing campaign.


Successful internal and external community managers are masters of communication. They listen (both to the explicit and implicit messages from their communities); they summarize and reflect back those messages to help their communities grow, and they rapidly and accurately bring others into the conversation to enrich, enliven, inform and move the conversation and community forward.


Just as being social business involves more than having a Facebook or Twitter account, community management requires much more than hanging out on social media all day. The real value of community managers will increase over time as companies recognize the pivotal role these individuals will play both inside a company and within the external communities vital to the continued growth and health of the organization.

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