pilum

2013/05/15

Social Media 4 | How Is This Connected With Project Rescue?

Filed under: social media. english. — Tags: , , , , — supernova @ 2:01 AM

Are you still with me? Great!

In the course of the last weeks you read the social media trilogy. Maybe you have asked yourself what all this has to do with project rescue, why we are caring so much about this subject and if we shifted our focus.

Let’s start with the question what project rescue and social media have in common. This answer is: Nothing and everything.

Nothing

Typically, our projects are not in the acquisition phase but struggling with the implementation. In this case it is important to analyse the situation, probably elaborate corrective measures along with a new planning, negotiate them with the stakeholders and implement upon agreement.

Everything

Project management is primarily communication. Project rescue is even more so, as one has to take decisions which are not always very popular. And they need a lot of communication.

The phrase «the communication is bad» is most of the times true, always too superficial and simply worn out. So the motto must be to analyse how the communication can be improved and what is counted as communication in a specific situation. Last, not least we have to make sure that the next project does not need rescue. In a larger context even a change of process is communication.

Focus Shift?

If you ask if pilum shifted their focus the answer is: No, but extended.

In German speaking Europe – meaning Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and a part of Switzerland – hardly anyone is familiar with the notion «IT Project Rescue» and its German equivalent which is «IT-Projektrettung». Using the German keyword on Google for Switzerland will yield at least three pages of articles, websites, pictures and other documents from one single source: pilum. The results for searches from Germany and Austria are not much different.

Even if one googles for the English notion we rank on the first page several times. You might know that Google takes the region into account. When searching for something from the US you will receive different results than someone looking for the same keyword in Germany. Furthermore, our server statistics allow some conclusions as the whitepaper which is only available in English is very much in demand.

Conclusion

This means that not only project rescue is our mission but we have to mission the mission. This is what I tried to explain in the previous newsletter. It might well be that for future project rescue we recommend the use of social media as a corrective – or preventive –  measure.

Meanwhile we are fit to support you with the concept. :-)

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For the time being this is the last part about social media. In case you’d like to read the previous articles about this subject, please click on the links below:

2013/05/08

Social Media 3 | Concepts for Social Media

Finally, we get to the concepts and their most important aspects.

Social media is not pure marketing but must be part of your corporate identity, meaning living company culture. It is not just another sales channel but a platform for live discussions.

Of course you have to stick with your corporate design, which is part of your corporate identity; the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Your Mission

No matter what kind of enterprise you are in; you have to define the mission you want to present your prospects, business partners and clients. This is not just a simple slogan «Simply the best» but your customers must be able to see who they are dealing with. Even if you have a shop or a medical practice and target a Facebook page with many «Likes» you need a mission.

When it comes to change we always have to start with our self. Before we «attack» our customers we have to find an internal agreement who should talk to whom and about what. And you must convert your employees into real fans of your product and your enterprise, as you want to be represented as positively as possible.

Therefore experts recommend that the management should appoint a task force which teaches people the appropriate communication style and assesses the employees’ knowledge regarding your company’s products. By the way, the term «appropriate communication» means according to your corporate identity.

Who Communicates By What Media?

The next decision is about the technical media. This choice depends of course on aspects like company size, field and geographical distribution. Maybe your top management would like to communicate important changes by video stream. In this case the managers need education, which could be organized by the task force.

The support people could cooperate with your customers by Twitter; in real time. This is already done today. In this case a company has to establish communication rules regarding style, response time etc. Employees must know meaning and use of hash tags. A #hashtag is a keyword that helps to find communication streams and starts by #. If you click on this #Keyword you will find everything that has been written in this context so far.

A third platform could be used by the marketing department and of course the effect of your communication has to be measurable.

The Threads of A «Social Enterprise»

For our subject «social enterprise» only describes the use of social media and has no ethical claims.

Of course there are lots of whispers and warnings about the risks a company has to face if every employee can talk to each prospect and client on a platform that legalises eavesdropping. There is a certain danger, no doubt. On the other hand even in the offline world the most expensive employee is the one with the lowest motivation. And even in a legacy phone conversation one can easily determine if your staff represents you brand poorly.

Moreover, would you want to have an employee on your payroll you don’t trust? I think rather not. And if you entrust people with a certain amount of responsibility their motivation typically rises.

Some Figures to Close

Forrester analysed that 51% of the employees using social media state to work more efficiently.

According to Gartner’s prediction 20% of the companies that use social media not only for marketing purpose will be leaders of their industry.

How To

A click on the picture will take you to the documents we established because we think that they might contribute to your own social media plan and the daily work with these media.

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In case you’d like to read the previous articles about this subject, please click on the links below:

2013/05/01

Social Media 2 | Why Communicating According to Plan?

Filed under: social media. english. — Tags: , , , — supernova @ 4:05 AM

Remember, last week I said that the problem with the communication via social media was the concept?

I could proof this statement on the basis of some renowned companies. They do have a Twitter account all right but hardly posted more than 20 messages within the last six months. The subscription with Facebook seems a very spontaneous idea, too.

The Altimeter Group found that 70% of the enterprises allege to reach their targets by the support of social media but only about 43% had a serious plan. Does this mean it works fine without a plan? Does it work out well during a limited period of time and in some months some experts for social media project rescue will appear? An imaginable scenario, isn’t it? Probably the Altimeter Group rather wants to point out that these companies do not fully use their potential and therefore lose volume of sales.

I suspect that companies do not establish concepts because there is a lack of know-how and they have not yet really decided whether social media is worth an investment of time; hence money. Market surveys document that the answer is clearly yes. Gartner’s resolution is short and clear. They state that companies have to engage in social networks if they don’t want to miss the boat.

Figures and Examples

But what makes social media so effective? You see, it works very similar to a word-to-mouth advertisement. People make recommendations or complain about something. Normally this is a one-to-one communication. Not in social media. On these platforms hundreds of people are listening. I can back up this assertion with figures and examples. Clickfox, a company specialising in customer experience, established that 97% of all customers state that they are influenced by other customer’s comments.

A cloth shop in the United States puts their collection on Facebook. The visitors can «Like» each model individually. Obviously this company takes their customer’s opinion to heart. Meanwhile they have cloth hangers with built in intelligence. They are connected to the internet and show the number of «Likes» the respective model fetched in real time. This has a dramatic impact on the sales volume. (Source)

The next example which I read on a blog shows the real meaning of «listening». A man has been queuing at the check-in of a big hotel in large city for more than an hour. Annoyed of this lousy service he sends a Twitter message sharing his thoughts plus the hotel’s name. Another hotel around the corner is listening. They tweet back inviting the Gentleman to check in to their house within ten minutes. Not only he seized the opportunity but on this very afternoon the hotel rented out 20 other unreserved rooms.

Maybe you believe now that social media can add some value to one’s business. But maybe you are now thinking that your company is somewhat larger and that your customers are not consumers but other companies. And if you accuse me now that I did not think of this and still did not get to the point of how a concept must be established I understand and promise to get there soon. Only, how could I expect you throwing money at something you don’t know if it is worth it. So I felt that I first had to support this idea.

Next Wednesday we will get to the questions concerning the concept itself. That’s a promise. And of course I am aware that I still owe you an explanation what all this has to do with pilum’s core competence.

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Please feel free to read the first part of the subject of social media

2013/04/24

Story 05 | 2013 | Social Media 1 | Facebook. So?

Social Media are trendy but far more than just temporary fashion. The increasing amount of messages wrapped in images, videos, blogs, tweets etc. make a clear statement. And please do not believe that they are only sent by people who have nothing else to because they have no friends in the off-line world and therefore depend on Facebook. This was yesterday.

Today, these platforms make quite an effort to be of service to enterprises and other organisations. If you – just like us – use social media for business, even in several languages, you will probably have recognized the following.

Success

If ever one had any illusions about making their company a star overnight they will have noticed after some weeks that social media is back-breaking work. But it is fun – at least according to the writer.

Several Platforms

Now, that we understood that we will have to work our fingers to the bone we are the proud owners of several accounts and pages on various social media platforms. Viral, really!   With all enthusiasm one has to choose the right platforms that fit their business model and where they meet their audience. Sometimes one platform is enough. Social media emphasizes the value of a virtue that theoretically is also useful for offline relationships but often neglected: Listening! On most social media platforms listening equals reading. And it is truly indispensable if you want to say something meaningful that might attract new customers. In my humble opinion the «listening factor» is good reason for sending the entire marketing and sales department to a social media course.

The System’s Slave

If you are blogging on a regular basis and distribute your postings on different social media platforms you will soon have an international readership (called «Community») and feel you have to be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is of course unbearable but you do not want to upset anyone.

From my point of view there is only one way out of this dilemma. The solution comprises two inseparable factors.

Software
One needs an application that allows seeing all accounts and profiles at a glance. And – even more important – that gives you the possibility to schedule your postings in advance. Like this one can plan an entire month, publish according to the local time of the communities and still maintain a normal life.

Concept
A concept is a plan that contains the information, about who should communicate what content to whom, in what frequency. Maybe this reminds you to the communication plan I mentioned when we spoke about project management.

Most probably you will not be surprised to read that the concept is the biggest issue.

Within the next weeks we will discuss why a concept is that important, what that should look like and what all this has to do with project rescue and project management.

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P.S. If you click on the picture above you will be taken to our Facebook page, which you can see even without a login. If you should have an account, don’t be shy to «like».

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to download this article as a pdf-file.