Building A Positive Work Culture

Bufferchat

My recap of the 11/12017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.  Culture is the backbone of your company; are your employees engaged or are you pushing them out the door?

Q1: What are the benefits of building a positive work culture?

  • A positive work culture leads to happy and motivated employees
  • Positive work culture drive employee longevity
  • Positive and motivated employees pass that great attitude on to their customers

Q2: What is one of the first steps you would take to implement more positivity?

  • Positivity and great culture starts from the top – Management must live it lead by example
  • Meet regularly with your team
  • Create a culture that manages people over spreadsheets
  • Along with team communication, don’t let individuals live on islands: let them know how they are contributing
  • Just like passing on employees who don’t get it done, remove toxic managers

Q3: Do you think positive work cultures are more productive? Why or why not?

  • Positive cultures are the MOST productive: they WANT to come to work and contribute to company goals
  • When you know the impact you have on company goals, you are more willing to participate
  • A culture of fear destroys productivity and increases turnover

Q4: What can you do to promote or model positive and honest communication?

  • Don’t hide in your office – walk the floor and talk to people
  • Smile to others
  • Say Thank you
  • Don’t get defensive when criticized

Q5: How do you prevent “false harmony” when developing this kind of culture?

  • “False harmony” is spotted right away – employees know it when they see it
  • Don’t say you are pro-customer, then create policies that annoy them
  • Just like “Your call is important to us” employees can see when mgmt is not being honest
  • If you LIVE the culture / behavior you want, your team will too
  • Numbers are easy to manage, people are much harder – train people HOW to manage others
  • ASK your employees what environment / culture they seek – report back to them and implement what makes sense

Q6: Are there goals or intentions you can set around positive work culture?

  • Improved employee retention rate
  • Net promoter score improvement with customers

Thanks for reading – hope to see you at the next #bufferchat and look forward to your comments and questions.

Cheers,

Toby

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#Bufferchat: Team Collaboration

BufferChat

 

My recap of the 10/25/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.  No matter your profession, collaboration and communication are keys to your success.

Q1: How many people are on your particular team? Does your team have a name?

  • As a Community Manager, I collaborate across all departments
  • Team names: Community – Customer Advocate – Utility Infielder

Q2: Who do you work most closely with on your team? How do you work together?

  • I Collaborate with Marketing, Social, Tech Support, Web – utilize community groups and WebEx
  • I work the closest with my community members – we collaborate in public discussions and private groups within the community

Q3: Anyone have great tips for structuring meetings or brainstorms with your team? What works really well?

  • Private Groups within a community makes it easy to meet, exchange ideas, and store the knowledge
  • When time zones are great, WebEx to the rescue
  • Shared boards make it easy to track tasks and their stages of completion – You can also add due dates
  • Another great collaboration and tracking tool is – everyone on the same page
  • Last tool – – very easy to take and share meeting notes

Q4: What are some awesome tools that support team collaboration, and how?

Q5: What’s your advice for working through conflicts within a team?

  • Set and confirm expectations
  • NEVER make it personal
  • If there seems to be miscommunication, pick up the phone or meet in person to confirm and align

Q6: What are some ideal ways for a team to get to know each other and build trust?

  • Dinner
  • Team trip to Vegas 🙂
  • A weekly lunch with the team is a great team builder
  • Go see a relevant speaker or influencer like Seth Godin

Thanks for reading – hope to see you at the next #bufferchat and look forward to your comments and questions.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#Bufferchat: Day In The Life (Of A Social Media Manager)

Bufferchat

My recap of the 9/27/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: What is the first thing you do when you get started with work for the day?

  • Job 1 is to check mentions / direct messages in my community & on Twitter
  • I purposely do not start with email at that can often be a black hole
  • I check into my board to see what projects are pressing

Q2: What are your main areas of focus in your work as a social media manager?

  • Curate content for social platforms – rather than thought leadership, I seek customer-centric
  • Find content that Account Managers and Sales ppl can use to best engage customers
  • Share content that educates and interests my customers
  • How can I educate and help people in a way that starts conversations – it’s not called “social” media for nothing

Q3: How do you organize/structure your work day with tasks/projects?

  • To stay on track, I use Outlook reminders and boards to organize tasks and projects
  • Schedule my tweets and blog posts with and

Q4: Approximately how long do you spend directly on social media platforms throughout your work day?

  • When I am scheduling tweets and blogs, that is the most time, but about 2 hours a day is normal
  • I always respond to direct messages and mentions – customers expect (and deserve) acknowledgement
  • Ensure you have a social dashboard – it will make content easy to digest

Q5: As a social media manager, do you collaborate with a team or mainly work autonomously? Which do you prefer?

  • I collaborate with a team to triage questions that arrive via social
  • I curate content a place it into a social library for the team to use
  • For the most part, I work alone, but find, create, and share content to help others

Q6: Which part of your work do you enjoy the most, and why?

  • Conversations, conversations, conversations
  • It is fantastic to sit back and watch community members help one another
  • If I get a like, comment, or questions on content I have created – I am rewarded.
  • When I check Google Analytics as see that ppl are not only clicking my links, but spending time on site too
  • Tweetchats are not only important parts, but very rewarding

Q7: If you had more hours in the day to focus on new skills or projects for your social media work, what would you focus on?

  • I would like to improve my HTML chops
  • More webinars, classes, and learning in general – maybe start a podcast
  • Develop the perfect analytics platform

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!  If you have questions about online communities, I am always happy to chat.

Cheers,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Building Digital Skills

Buffer

My recap of the 9/13/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: How do you make time for building new skills?

  • Building new skills must be done – boost your productivity and work smarter
  • Often I learn about new tools during tweetchats, make note of them, then check them out later
  • You cannot afford to not continuing to educate yourself

Q2: In your opinion, what are the 3 key skills marketers need today?

  • The ability to listen – The willingness to respond – Pick the right social networks

Q3: Do you feel like marketers need to learn coding skills? Why or why not?

  • Coding? I guess it depends on how the marketer is reaching their targets
  • Having HTML knowledge is important

Q4: What do you think businesses can do to help close the “digital skills gap” that exists today?

  • Do a better job with FAQs or Self-help documentation for their products
  • Set up online communities so customers can visit, discuss, and learn from each other
  • Online communities help your customers help each other (and lower costs) Sponsor meetups or write blogs that cover how-to issues
  • Send their employees to training sessions

Q5: What are low-cost ways you can strengthen your digital skills toolbox?

  • Tweetchats!
  • There are many (free) online tutorials, start with YouTube
  • Don’t just consume – blog about or upload skills you have – you may make some great contacts – share your knowledge
  • Do some searching and find a community that covers the software or skill you want to learn

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!  If you have questions about online communities, I am always happy to chat.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#Bufferchat: Building Your Social Media From Scratch

Bufferchat

My recap of the 3/22/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @TrafficJamMedia.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: If you could only start off by investing in one social platform, how do you decide which one it should be?

  • Look at features and reach
  • If determining a community platform: features and cost vs free
  • What platform does my target audience use?
  • What analytics are built in, will you need a 3rd party tool?

Q2: How much time should someone expect to spend on social media per week?

  • Depends what you are using social for: marketing, customer service, social listening…
  • If you are on Social, you better be engaging when customers reach out
  • Using a content calendar and scheduler tool will help streamline your efforts & make you efficient
  • I monitor a community as well as social media – 2/3 hours per day

Q3: How do you find great content to share on your social media profiles?

  • To find content I utilize my community, Google Play Newstand, LinkedIn Elevate, Twitter
  • Through tweetchats, I have met thought leaders – followed them – share their content
  • I participate in discussions on online communities with fellow Community Managers & Social Media pros

Q4: What are good “rules of thumb” for how often to post on various social platforms?

  • I am posting and responding within my community every day
  • I post to once a week
  • I post to Elevate a few times a day as it gives content to fellow employees to share
  • I am on A LOT

Q5: What are some things to avoid when just starting out on social media?

  • Trying to be everywhere ie using too many profiles
  • Not having consistent brand identity across different platforms
  • Not responding to questions
  • NEVER USE AUTO DM’s or canned responses – tailor your answer
  • Not utilizing utm codes and

Q6: How can you start to measure the business value of your social media activity?

  • Measure the increased traffic to your web site, your online store, knowledge base
  • You can measure ROI in Knowledge Base Views / Correct Answers in your community – these equal case deflection
  • In – look at Sessions – Pages per session – Ave. Session Duration – all should be increasing
  • Look to your CRM for cases before social, then cases after social – formal cases should go down
  • In my community – I look for increases in: Questions – Engagement Rate – Correct Answers – Active Members

Q7: What’s your #1 piece of advice for brands just starting out on social media?

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!

Cheers,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Social Media Analytics

Buffer

My recap of the 3/15/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @RivallQ.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Let’s kick off with an icebreaker! If you’d like, share where you’re tweeting from… & where you wish you were tweeting from!

Icebreaker: Tweeting from Needham MA – I am the – would love to visit Australia (it’s summer there now)

Q1: Why track and measure social media analytics?

  • You cannot improve what you are not measuring
  • Analytics help you report the success of your efforts up the management chain
  • Analytics help you identify the content your customers love (and my not like so much)

Q2: If you could only pick one social media metric to capture, what would it be and why?

  • The ideal metric will depend on the Social Tool you are using
  • For Twitter: time on site – shows you directed them to content they like
  • For my community: questions asked – As this number increases, it shows my community is trusted by my customers
  • No matter a Social Media campaign or a Tweetchat – engagement is the Key

Q3: What tools work well for capturing analytics across your social media platforms?

Q4: How often do you (or should you) analyze your social media data?

  • Monthly, Quarterly, Annually
  • It can depend on the campaign: email, social, blogging, etc
  • Remember to compare year over year – how did you move the needle?

Q5: Have you ever made a big shift in your social media strategy because of analyzing data?

  • Have not made a major shift – thankfully small tweaks have made the difference
  • Always testing hashtags and content types

Q6: Where are the best resources for better understanding social media analytics?

  • tweetchats (like this one)
  • I would like to learn the best resources, but there are some easily sourced content via Google search
  • I network with other Community Managers – we trade best practices

Q7: If you could wave a magic wand and have any analytics feature you wanted, what would it be?

  • I would wish for the one perfect tool: easy to use, digs deep into the network, creates solid dashboards

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Risks and Experimenation

bufferchat

My recap of the 3/1/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: If you’re up for sharing, what is a big risk you’ve taken in your life that ended up working out well?

  • Getting married and having children

Q2: What was the last time you tried an experiment, or followed through with a new idea, at work?

  • Being a Community Manager – every day is something new and full of experiments (& new relationships)
  • A risk that paid dividends is handing community keys over to my members; asking for and counting on their help

Q3: What’s your process for starting an experiment (or anything new) at work? What steps do you take?

  • Plan / brainstorm – make my case – get buy in – execute – measure – correct as needed
  • Ensue it aligns with company goals
  • Gather great brains to brainstorm

Q4: How do you know if it’s worth taking a risk at work or in life?

  • What does your inner voice tell you

Q5: When you have new ideas, what’s your advice for getting more support from managers/leadership?

  • Prove with data how is moves the company forward
  • Prove how your idea will make your boss / department look good
  • Ask for their opinion or strategy advice

Q6: What do you do if your ideas/experiments aren’t successful?

  • Don’t whine or pout – understand why it did not fit into the strategy
  • Ask if now is not the time, when would be the time
  • Understand how your idea can be improved then make your case again
  • DO NOT take it personally

Q7: What has been your biggest learning about risk-taking? Any tips to share?

  • There is no reward or sense of personal fulfillment without risk – plan and go for it

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby