As the number of social networks grows, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the effort to maintain each one independently. Each network may serve a purpose to your personal or professional life but it is easy to lose track of the networks you've joined, are managing or are interested in.
For individuals, there is a great How To from Ben Parr at Mashable that provides a good approach to identifying and managing your networks. There is also a desktop solution that I will be experimenting with called Sobees. Sobees claims to "offer an easy unified user experience to get, organize and share information from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Digg, Flickr and YouTube directly on the desktop". Sobee sounds similar to Collactive which is a company that offers a robust social media management platform for the corporation.
Finally, for those who support Corporte social media programs, I would recommend reviewing the Forrester Wave Report on Listening Platforms as well as the agencies they recommend.
How do you manage yoru social media profiles?
The last six months have been very exciting for me and amazingly busy. I serve as the Director of Social Media and Digital Communications for Aurora Health Care, a not for profit health care provider that serves the eastern half of Wisconsin. We have over 29,000 employees and provide care for millions of people.
I've spent my time since my arrival educating the organization on what social media is and how we can enter into a new level of conversation with our caregivers, patients, donors and the communities we serve. Recently, I've been finalizing our 2009 strategy and slowing rolling out the program. We're currently establishing a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I'd like to share a recent experience we had with Twitter, a tool that is tough one for individuals, let alone corporations to get their heads around. At the end of the day, Twitter is what you make it.
Aurora Health Care has been steadily expanding its presence on Twitter and exploring ways to use the tool to help us learn about online conversations especially those focusing on health care. Our network is quickly growing and has been very useful in helping us on a couple of projects. We're currently developing social media guidelines to help caregivers within the organization as they participate in social networks and other opportunities on behalf of the organization. I was in a team meeting and we decided to check to see what other corporations were doing around guidelines for employees. I quickly pulled out the trusty iPhone and sent a tweet to the Aurora network and my personal network. Ten minutes later, I had five examples and over 20 links to corporate social media guideline examples.
This is information we otherwise would have needed to spend time researching and tracking down. Instead we used the power and knowledge of our network to facilitate the process. If we can do this for simple things like this, think of what we can do for patients around health care needs and information. Amazing opportunities.
I'm overwhelmed by the number of opportunities available to take Aurora Health Care into a new direction with digital communications and social media. It's an exciting time for me and my team but it is also challenging because we're facing the Fear of Start.
In an organization of 30,000 employees, one of the most challenging items is determining where to start. It's a paralyzing experience when you consider the organizational goals, overall strategy, resources required and need to have the right people on board.
I came to a realization this week during a team meeting. We've got nothing to lose. The team is primed and ready and all I need to do is lead us out of paralysis. I'm going to do three things to get us out of the current situation and moving forward.
Our first step is to overcome the fear of the unknown and who needs to be on board. We will do our best to educate internal participants on digital communications and social media along the way rather than waiting for them to "get it" before we start. We'll start small and grow as more and more people see the vision and get excited.
Our second step is to realize that their is no template. I'm a big fan of templates and established processes (ask my previous boss) but there isn't a one size fits all template for instituting social media internally and externally for an organization. We need to be prepared to experiment, fail, learn and do it again.
Finally, I need to motivate my Tribe. I need to lead by being courageous, by making mistakes and learning from them. I need to empower my team to do the same. We need to take risks and harness the excitement of the organization.
The time has come to lead and overcome the fear of start.
I just wrapped up a meeting with Erik, Jason and Greg from Avicom regarding social media and opportunities in the health care sector. It was refreshing to have a face to face conversation with individuals who "get it" and see the opportunity for using new media tools to communicate with internal and external audiences. You can move past the 101 conversation and really get into the vision for the future.
I generally read a couple of books at a time. I'm not sure if it's a form of ADD or if I consumer information better in bits at different times but usually the mix includes a marketing book (my career focus), a book for leisure such as a novel and a topical book to learn something new. Right now, I've got four books in the hopper, one of which I just finished and three which are in full swing. Here's my current reading list:
Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
I received this book as part of the blogger outreach program and was asked to read and review it on my blog, amazon and every where else I could. This book was very well written and easy to read and identify ways to integrate the practices into my daily work. This book is an excellent jumping off point for individuals interested in social media and looking to take their company into the waters. It provides clear explanation as well as valuable case studies for framing ideas about your company's move into this medium. It also provides a valuable how-to approach for planning purposes. I'm looking forward to leveraging my learnings from this text into my new position in the healthcare field.
Tribes by Seth Godin
To my surprise, a copy of this book showed up in the mail on Saturday as an early release present. Earlier in the year, I pre-orderd the book and joined Seth's experiment at Triiibes. The book was delivered as a pre-release gift, an additional copy to read, so that I can share my purchased copy when it comes. I'll provide more information on Seth's approach and on the book in a future post but needless to say. I'm cranking through this because it's an insightful and engaging romp on leadership.
The Lord of the Ring: Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
I love these movies and decided I needed to read the books to get the full experience. I'm through part one and am excited to see the world of Middle Earth unfold with additional content that didn't make the movies. Many things can be taken from these books and applied to every day living. I appreciate the works of authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik
One of the challenges I face in my new job is to establish a process to make informed decisions on digital communications social media applications for the organization. I'm reading Avinash Kaushik's book so that I can bring a formal analytics program to our web sites and digital programs that will help us know what our users want and how to create an experience that will reward them. Compliments to Mitch Joel for recommending this book as well as to Avinash for writing a book on something technical that engages the marketer in me.
Look for tidbits of wisdom and thought that inspire me from the pieces in the near future.
I was watching a TED Presentation with Jonathan Harris, an artist and computer scientist, about his passion for collecting stories. One of the projects that Jonathan shares during the presentation is We Feel Fine which he developed with Sep Kamvar.
We Feel Fine scans the worlds blogs to collect snippets of peoples feelings. The information is then rolled together and presented using visual cues that allow you to review and even search for feelings. It's a mesmerizing, amazing and frightening look into the emotions and experiences that people are sharing online.
Have a look when you get a chance and explore the snippets of stories that are being shared. The digital experience and tools available to individuals today have fueled the need for connection and sharing more than any other medium before this. To me, this is more proof that brands are not in control of the message or the medium any more.
The Age of Conversation 2 is coming soon. 237 authors have submitted their contributions and the final review and book building is underway. I was fortunate enough to participate in the first Age of Conversation with 100 authors and am excited to be apart of this second experience. The new book will feature a variety of topics that will feature thoughts from all the authors below. The other wonderful thing? All the proceeds go to Variety, The Children's Charity.
Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem
During a recent integrated advertising conference, Joseph Jaffe has provided an interesting perspective on Social Media mistakes made by some of the top marketers: Sprint, Sony, T-mobile, Target and Starbucks. Jaffe has been challenging corporations and individuals to harness the power of social media and new opportunities for one to one communication. I think it's a challenge to all of us, to bring our brands to the conversation. This age of conversation is an open door for brands to change the game and truly interact with consumers. Are you up for the challenge?
Head over to AdAge for the Video.