Friday, December 23, 2011

Tis' the Season for Sharing: My Top 10 Sites for 2011

At OpenText, as well as in my personal life, I spend a lot of my time offering advice to our sales teams, my co-workers and friends on Social Media. I am often asked things like; how do I get started; how can I be successful and why should I do this? 

For those of you that have asked, I thought I would compile my top 10 list of sites that I use for research and advice. I also threw in a few sites that I use for fun as well. I hope you enjoy, pass it on and share your own, as it is the season of sharing.

For Advice and Research:

1.    My number one site for research this year was Twitter. I am thankful to my 507 sources of very insightful information. Feel free to take a look at my follow list here:

2.    I get very inspired by Gary Vaynerchuck’s talks. I am in the midst of his book “Crush it!” and I love it so far; so much that I am having my Book Club feature it this month.

3.    This is a great site for Social Business advice. Of course AIIM is  a great source for all content management needs.

4.    I am very visual learner; this is a fun site and full of great content.

5.    Great articles that can help you get started with social initiatives.

6.    Great visuals that can help provide you with stats about Social Media to share.

7.    If you are ever left with some time to kill or need to be ispirded, take some time to listen to a few TedTalks.
Here are a few talks that have inspired me in the past:

For Fun:

8.    My work environment is very open, so I like to plug in the tunes so that I can focus my thoughts and fuel my energy with music. This is my favorite music site for streaming music.

9.    Shopping, of course I would not miss this - as this is my passion, after work of course ;-)

10.  The last one is for those that own the iPad. My favorite app right now is This is a personalized magazine that customizes your content as you read based on your likes and dislikes.

Happy holidays and all the best for the New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Importance of Measuring Social Business to Fuel the Customer Experience

This is a cross post from @CMS Wire posted here.

Social business is about connecting users, partners and customers through purposeful conversation and collaboration and most importantly; it’s about integrating or weaving social media into our existing business functions to help build a more collaborative infrastructure.

Social Business Driving Engagement

While often hard to measure, social business has productivity impacts that can be felt by IT, Sales, HR and many other areas in the organization — see Infographic (reg required) — but the real impact, and where the ROI can be best shown, is the increased engagement your internal and external audiences have with the communications initiatives that you invest in.

The key to measuring this increased engagement is ensuring you have the right tools and strategies in place to help monitor, react and respond to these initiatives in real time.

By analyzing real-time visitor and social interaction information (both inside and outside the firewall), organizations can help to optimize online initiatives and identify actionable trends within their visitor base, and capture user events that are specific to business goals.

The Impact of Social Analytics

The power in using Social Analytics is enabling the business to use the data to make recommendations to the business about how things are working, or not, and how they can be improved upon, both for your users and your customers.

Social analytics, from an external view, provides a window into things like how people perceive your brand and how they are responding to your corporate products, services, and marketing messages.

Internally, social analytics provides a window into things like; what is the most engaging content on my intranet; how many people are commenting on our blogs; what the tone of those comments are and who the most influential people in my community are.

Social Analytics can become the vehicle that helps your business translate data into insights. It can help improve your customer experience by writing better targeted content, can provide sentiment analysis, create higher converting sites and reshape a user’s site navigation to improve the overall online experience — just to name a few!

For a concise summary of cross-department benefits, download the Infographic here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Path to Social Business..Share, Engage and Measure

I spent the last week fully immersed at our user conference (OpenText Content World 2011) and in my opinion; I think it may have been our best conference to date. Each year I like to create a post after the conference that speaks to my experiences at the event and this year I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at a previous post I wrote in 2009 on social media and it's use and acceptance at the conference, just to see how far we have come in the last 2 years. As with the past years, I went to the conference to present on the topic of social business and the value of applying social media across the organization to help improve the customer experience. In 2009 I wrote in my post;
There was a general consensus with the attendees in my sessions that it was not a question of whether or not they saw the need to introduce more “social” tools to their users to allow them to contribute and build out conversations around content and business processes - the struggle existed in the ability to shift the mindset of users. Many people in the room were more concerned about how they were going to be able to adapt to the use of social media. They understood that this was more than just introducing new tool sets; it represented a culture shift - a shift that needs to happen to make the use of these social tools take on meaning and relevancy in their organizations.
I would have to say that this year I heard less about adoption issues, (though this is still a concern for many) as our customers seem to be on the path of understanding how they can apply social media to their current business processes to help knowledge share and better engage with each other and their customers. Many of the conversations that I had with our customers revolved around the ability to ensure that they can measure the effectiveness of their use of social media in the Enterprise. Customers were very interested in seeing where we are heading with our web and social analytics offerings as well as compliance; many of our customers are asking about how they can best balance the risks vs. the rewards when it comes to using social media in the Enterprise in an effective and safe manner. There were many discussions around the governance of social content and how customers can evolve their current knowledge management strategies to also now include social content.

It was nice to see this progression in the conversation around social media. The conversation is no longer just about the "why social media", we have progressed to the "how social media" and now we are starting to hear "how can we do better social media".

Where are you in your path to social business? Let's keep the conversations moving....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Social Buiness: It's Time to Put Social Media to Work!

Over the last 4 years in my role of product marketing for our social media and collaboration offerings we have used several terms to talk about social media such as; Web 2.0, Web 3.0, Social Media, Enterprise 2.0 and the Social Enterprise. The most recent term that has evolved is Social Business and, in my mind, this term resonates very well with the enterprise audience. Social business is about the shift in the way we do business and the changes in the business model itself. It's about tearing down the walls and the operational silos, it’s about connecting users, partners and customers through purposeful conversation and collaboration and most importantly, it’s about integrating or weaving social media into our existing business functions to help build a more collaborative infrastructure.

We seem to slowly be moving past the roadblocks and the misconceptions that have existed previously with the term, Social Media - many believed (and many still do) that social media in the enterprise resulted in time wasting and increased risk. Social Media made sense when we talked about it in the context of marketing, but when it came to applying social media within our day to day work stream it seemed harder to grasp where the value add would come from.

Over time, we are seeing many great use cases of value add when we apply the use of social features in the context of a existing business process; such as the on-boarding of new employees by offering them more transparency to the companies goals; empowering sales teams with collaborative team spaces to better learn from each other; fueling conversations with customers for improved marketing effectiveness, and many others.

My advice is start small, think about an area of your business that could benefit from increased levels of engagement. "Situating social media in high intensity areas of worker engagement and putting it in the flow of work is much more likely to result in substantial return on investment than large, horizontal deployments." wrote ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe.

Are you ready to put Social Media to work?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Social Media and Rock and Roll...Building a Better Experience

Summer time means for me a slew of outdoor concerts. So far I have been to at least 7 live shows over the course of July. Something that I have noticed at these live shows is the growing use of social media on mobile devices. A number of the shows have had large flat screens along each sides of the stage running live Twitter stream feeds and Facebook updates with their event hash tags. These streams were representing fans trying to engage with both the performers and the audience. I saw several shout-outs for birthday wishes, requests for reactions such as “let’s all scream when this hits the screen”, (no one ever screamed though) and even a marriage proposal (did not see an acceptance tweet). Apart from what I would call “spam like” tweets and status updates, I also saw a lot of interesting conversations happening between the fans and the bands themselves performing on stage. This to me is where we can truly see a shift in the music culture happening, much like what we are seeing in the shift to social business in the Enterprise world. The wall between rock star and fan is slowly coming down with the use of social media. This was duly noted in a blog post I read this weekend here.

"As music blogger Bob Lefsetz pointed out that historically in music there has been a buffer between star and audience, but thanks to social networking sites the barriers were coming down. "It was like everybody with a media profile had a coach. And if you disobeyed him, you were booted from the team," he wrote. "But now, through the magic of the web, through the magic of Twitter, a celebrity can speak directly to his audience; can tell his side of the story, sans the reinterpretation and the agenda of the media."

More and more, artists are starting to see the power of building stronger connections with their fan base and the power behind giving the fans what they want. They are going beyond just the top down fan club approach and creating that VIP customer experience by building conversations with their fans through tools like Twitter and Facebook. They are harnessing that power to turn that experience into a more engaged fan base; which can turn into a larger fan base and at the end of the day, can also become a vehicle for selling more media(songs, CD’s, t-shirts). The beauty of this is that this is all happening organically and without the help of the big record labels themselves.

What I find of interest here is that social media is leading the music industry into a new business model, one that is driven by being more social and more open. We are already seeing this happen in the business world as we drive more social collaboration into our business process, but it is nice to also see this happening across a broader perspective and driving change in other areas as well.

Where else are you seeing this happening? Let’s socialize our thoughts….

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is What I had for Lunch on Thursday a Corporate Record?

Today more and more companies are asking their employees to get out there and start swimming in the streams of social media. Companies are asking their employers to take part in social media forums such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn to help build better connections with both their peers and customers. Here are just a few of the questions that typically follow after hearing this request:

What am I suppose to talk about?
Do I only talk about the company?
Do I need to create a new account that is separate from my existing personal account?
Can I still Tweet about what I am having for lunch? (OK, maybe not..but had to throw it in there)

These are all great questions and the answers should be captured by your corporate social media policies.

Social Media creates new and exciting opportunities for an organization such as increased engagement with employees and new channels of conversation with customers; but it can also create equivalent risks and obligations. The key is to capture this balance between risk and reward.

Before a company embarks on having their employees dive into these social media streams it is crucial that your employees clearly understand the risks and how they can help mitigate them. Employee education and awareness on social media policies are a must.

I wanted to share with you an excerpt from an article I read recently titled; From 'friend request' to discovery request: Issues raised by business use of social media. This was written by Matthew A. Cordell and Barry P. Harris, IV, Ward and Smith, P.A. The full article can be found here.

“In creating social media policies, businesses must understand what can be implemented and enforced; the policies will form a baseline in an opponent's or court's analysis of what can or should be produced in discovery.”

“Social media can open new doors, but it also presents new challenges. All businesses participating in social media should adopt and implement policies governing its use by employees, and must be prepared to preserve relevant social media data as soon as it becomes reasonably apparent that litigation or an investigation is on the horizon.”

So my advice is to dive in, for the rewards will quickly outweigh the risks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's (Already) Time to Rethink Social Media

Last week was exciting as I had my first article published in KM World. The premise of the article was to talk about how Social Media should not be the strategy—it supports a strategy as a driver of business value. It's how and where your customers talk about your brand. And it's changing the way we work.

Here are a few excerpts from the article and I hope you will go and have a read of the article in its entirety on their website. (

Or if you are not a KM World member you can obtain a copy from the OpenText website here.
“Even though most organizations have been using social media tools for some aspect of their business for two to three years, most say that a steep learning curve has yet to be overcome where understanding and effectively using it is concerned. Worse, a woefully low segment indicates that they are doing it well in terms of leveraging multiple social media channels to achieve specific business objectives.”

“Not only is social media about establishing meaningful conversations (not just communications) with customers, it is about improving response levels and the quality of the overall customer experience. Achieving this takes more than just tools and techniques. It takes a real commitment from the organization and participation at all levels. The trouble is that many organizations have policies that preclude participation from staff that are actually best suited to respond to customers. Still, more than 45% of large organizations block staff use of public social media tools. In certain sectors, such as investment advisory firms in financial services, it is actually illegal for certain departments to communicate with other departments using messaging or any other social media tool.”

“By delivering enterprise-class social media applications that can extend to customer use cases for the Web, intranet and extranet scenarios, such as a social platform from OpenText, organizations can rapidly apply social media to existing team collaboration and content and knowledge management solutions to capitalize on the opportunities of social media while averting the risks it may pose.”

Thanks for reading and I look forward to the conversations!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Join me at the Virtual Enterprise 2.0 Conference: Let's get Back to Business! Social Media Applied to Core Business Objectives...

I am excited to be presenting at this week's Virtual Enterprise 2.0 Cconference. My talk entitled -Getting Back to Business: Social media applied to core business objectives: marketing and organizational effectiveness - will talk about how social media should support your key business objectives and goals, as opposed to being the strategy or goal. I will spend some time discussing how applying social media can better equip you to hear and react to what your market, customers and users are saying. I will be talking about how social media can help expose those nuggets of tacit knowledge. Our social activities such as comments, tags and activity streams can make valuable content surface. Open conversations across the enterprise whether its conversations between users, between customers and partners or a combination of these can help add additional value to content that already exists by adding additional context - creating what is often referred to as social capital.

The event is on Wednesday the 16th of Feb from 12 to 5pm est. and it’s free to attend. I will be joined by a number of other great speakers so I hope you register and join the conversation!

You can take a look at the agenda and register here: