By Michelle McIntyre, @FromMichelle
Here are five advice-filled facts from the new book “How to Succeed in Social Business,” a collection of case studies and tips from social experts from 20 companies compiled by Shawn Santos.
1. “Social media has enabled a momentous shift in the balance of power, and this type of democratization will continue.” A girl in the U.K. started a blog about school lunches that caught on with millions of school children globally. As you can expect, some of the food reviews were less than favorable. For example some posts said the food seemed unhealthy. This angered school district management. Her teacher told passed along the message that she was not allowed to take photos of her lunches anymore. She stopped. This backfired. Because of the groundswell of support for the girl from communities globally, the school district reversed its decision to let her take photos.
Shawn Santos, ServiceSource, @ShawnSantos
LESSON I LEARNED: Use negative feedback from social media to improve.
2. A weblog is a great way to deal with the flood of requests from journalists for timely commentary on popular and constantly changing topics. For example, security threats infiltrate the digital landscape daily. Symantec ‘s Security Response Blog allows them to post commentary that reporters can efficiently access.
Charlie Treadwell, Symantec, @CTreadwell
LESSON I LEARNED: It emphasizes what I already know, that a blog is a seriously effective and efficient business communications tool. Post to the blog when news is not big enough for a press release.
3. “Relevant conversations happen everywhere. Cast a wide net.” Cisco found that customer sentiment was found in non-obvious places, like competitor pages and blogs.
Sarah Del Grande, Cisco, @SarahDelGrande
LESSON I LEARNED: Use a social media measurement tool to get a big and deep glimpse of what your customers are saying.
4. “Effectively enable willing managers to experience the direct benefits of social media” because this is the fastest path to influencing the entire team.
David Shimberg, BMC Software, @DavidShimberg
LESSON I LEARNED: Management needs to blaze the brand’s trail on social media. In the past I often recommended that start-ups hire an intern for this but now my attitude has changed.
5. “The exponential growth of social media channels and the popularity of graphics and visuals on those channels have spawned a new visual format on steroids with a new name: infographics.” Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Visuals are the rocks stars of social media.
Holly Nielsen, IBM, @HollyNielsen
LESSON I LEARNED: Never post a blog without an image and make more infographics. I use Canva to create my social media graphics. Guy Kawasaki who has nine million social media followers is the chief evangelist for Canva.
“How to Succeed in Social Business” is pricey, at $26.62, marked down from $36.99, for the print edition on Amazon and $21.49 for the Kindle version but I recommend it especially for long-time managers who are having trouble adapting to new ways.
It’s also a fit for early stage start-up founders who may not yet have a community manager.
Finally, I recommend it for all business communicators. If you are a communications professional and you are not “social” you’re not doing your job.
On a final note, thank you to the writers who are using their business skills to help the less fortunate.
Shawn Santos founded Hope Animal Network, a community-driven not-for-profit advancing animal welfare in developing countries. Holly Nielsen is a manager at One Brick’s Silicon Valley chapter, an organization that improves the lives of the poor and hungry.