Conversation Builds Your Network

tweet

Having conversations, being present, and engaging on social media are more important than Follower count and are the keys to success.  Tweetchats are a fantastic way to find great people to have these conversations with; this blog will discuss some of my favorite tweetchats.  Please give them a look, jump into a conversation, and build your network.

#ContentChat – Monday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Erika Heald @SFerika: This chat brings together content creators and content marketers to share their challenges and best practices for solving them.

#BufferChat – Wednesday 12-1 pm EST hosted by Buffer @buffer: Join this chat to discuss social strategy, platforms, and growing your audience.

#SproutChat – Wednesday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Sprout Social @SproutSocial and Vera Flores @sproutvera: Discussions around relevant topics and challenges that social media and community managers face.

#TwitterSmarter – Thursday 1-2 pm EST hosted by Madalyn Sklar @MadalynSklar: As the name suggests, this chat is about all things Twitter and Twitter marketing.

#HootChat – Thursday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Hootsuite @hootsuite: From tools, to strategy, and best practices – all things social media.

I participate in these chats because they are hosted and attended by knowledgeable people and relevant to my career.  If these do not interest you, don’t worry, there are many chats out there; do some research and find those that do.  No matter which one you choose, I recommend using TweetChat to follow and participate.  Hope to chat with you soon; I look forward to your comments and questions.

Best,

Toby

 

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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

#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 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