Creating An ROI For Human Capital And Organizational Change Projects: Part 2

I was working at a company and asked to do several things. First was to recruit 100 engineers. That may not seem like a lot, but for every 100 people, we interviewed we had 1 person accept. So it took interviewing 1000 people to obtain 100 engineers. Part of that was because we were looking for a specific type of engineer – digital signal processing engineers. The company I worked for had gone through a series of hiring and layoff cycles, so they weren’t completely trusted by the local community as being a stable place to work. Many of those types of engineers had left southern California to go to northern California to pursue work – and for larger salaries and more stable positions.

Examining What Was Important to The Employees Was the Key

We had lost a large number of engineers and some accounts were in trouble. So the need to recruit quickly was key. Normally it could take us 3- 6 months to recruit these type of engineers. I had been given a month. So I stepped up to the challenge. I thought, what would I want to experience to determine if I wanted to work for this company? I would want to hear from the leadership that they were dedicated to doing things differently. I would want to know that there were exciting career options in various categories and I would want to feel, touch and see the advanced technologies I would be getting a chance to work with and enhance my skill set so I would be more marketable in the future, both inside the company as well as if I decided to leave. I would want to get to talk to potential colleagues and potential bosses. I would want to get a sense of the culture and the environment I would be working in. And I’d like to meet people who were seeking the same or similar positions to what I was seeking – who would be these new people on-boarding with me?

The Answer? A Career Day With a Special Invite to Top Candidates

What I proposed was a career day. We took out an ad in the LA Times, inviting the best of the best to apply to our company and upon invitation, they would be invited to come to the career day, hear from our leadership about our company and their future there, be interviewed by direct hiring managers for our 5 major divisions as well as tour booths staffed by some of our top engineers and business folks. In the booths, we demonstrated our “cool” technology – at least that which was not classified as top secret.

To pull this day off, I worked with our graphics department to create amazing ads, colorful booth content, onsite brochures and the personal invites sent to those that had sent in resumes and qualified to participate in the career day.

The Launch of the Career Fair

The day started with a group of engineers who began their career day journey with us by hearing from our top leadership. Then they got to tour 5 divisions, each with several booths where the top technology was being demonstrated. We tried our best to come up with really interesting, real-life demos that potential employees could get to touch and feel the technology = actually experience it. Then they were invited to interview with a hiring manager there on site. The hiring managers were given the ability to hire people on the spot (something we’d never done before.)

The Reaction of the Interviewees Was Fantastic

What was interesting was the feedback we collected on video as the employees left the career day. Most of them, after interviewing wanted to go back and hang-out in the tech booths or listen to more talks from our leadership. They commented that it was the best interviewing process they had ever experienced. What was even more gratifying was that the day not only had a positive effect on the interviews but also on the employees who helped put the day together. I had not seen the employees shine so brightly in a long time. It was clear they had a new found sense of pride in the work they were doing as well as for the company. We even captured their feedback on the video and put a compilation video together. Why the video? To help demonstrate the ROI.

Examining the ROI for the Career Day

The cost to develop the day and put it on was about $1,00,000, including the a portion of the salary of all people who participated in the project for various amounts of time, the graphics, the ads in the LA Times, the billboards off the 405 freeway, the booths, tanks we had onsite as part of the booths, etc… When we looked at the cost of recruiting one engineer in our typical process. HR had calculated that to be about $150,000. To obtain 100 engineers we would have had to interview 1,000 people at a cost of $150,000 and that would be equal to $15M. Most people would have considered those soft costs. But they still cost the company time and money. In this new process of interviewing, it cost about $2M. We were able to interview and hire over 100 engineers. The ROI?

$15M – $2M / $2M x 100 = 650%.

(Benefit of saving the regular cost of interviewing – Cost of the new interviewing process / Cost of the new interviewing process x 100 = ROI %.

What I Found Surprising

It wasn’t just that we were able to recruit so many great people quickly. Another aspect of this process was that we actually interviewed our own employees who staffed the event and created all the content to make it amazing. What they said on camera was they were truly proud of the place they worked. They felt a sense of pride they had not in years. I what I learned was that by engaging our own employees, making them part of the recruiting process in this event, it changed their attitude towards the company and their work. So not only were we able to hire all the engineers we needed, but we had boosted the internal company morale! It was a very exciting day for everyone. Something I will proud of for years to come!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP, Innovation and Transformation Expeditions, Salesforce

 

 

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Is Organizational Change Management Just the “Fluffy Stuff” or Is There Real Business Value?

Is OCM and CC Kumbaya?

When I first lead organizational change management (OCM) and culture change (CC), it was at previous high tech company; a company made up of mainly engineers. When the topic was first announced as part of our integrated product developed process (a.k.a. teaming) it was labelled very quickly as “apple pie and motherhood.” Many thought we were going to sing Kumbaya or I was going to bring cake and cookies to meetings. What I learned was framing what the results could be and by providing individuals, teams and organizations, with tangible results, I found being outcomes-driven was the missing key. How so?

Outcomes-based Driven Values

When I framed OCM and CC in terms of outcomes and business value, I asked questions like, “Would you like it if everyone showed up to your meetings? On time? With the action items completed? With a proactive attitude vs “not invented here or we don’t do that – that way here” attitude…  Get a high rate of return on projects- projects on time, within budget and scope, high customer satisfaction…? Of course the answer was a resounding “YES.” The employees were craving answers to these issues that plagued the organization. And no one knew how to fix these issues. They just persisted. People stopped taking deadlines seriously. They expected project scope to creep. Budget overruns were somewhat typical.

WIIFM?

When I was able to explain the value of the outcomes of OCM and CC to them personally and their teams- the WIIFM (What’s in It For Me), they became extremely interested as the cultured suffered from too many meetings, people always in meetings so they never had time to do their action items; a passive-aggressive culture- so instead of coming to the meeting (without the action items completed and saying they didn’t have time and figuring out how to change something so they did have time) they just wouldn’t show up… And in that company – one team’s action items directly impacted another. For instance, if team 1 didn’t finish their action items teams 2, 3, 4… couldn’t do theirs… and the project fell behind, out of scope, over budget… It was a horrible domino affect that one one really knew how to fix. Giving orders that projects needs to be on-time, within budget and on scope didn’t really lead to change. It just lead to frustration because there were reasons why those things were happening, but giving an order that they needed to be done didn’t fix the root cause. So nothing changed.

What I learned about Leading Change

What I learned was when I presented OCM and CC in terms of outcomes – employees and leaders were very interested. I learned when I first presented OCM and CC without the business outcomes, it resulted in #fail. Then, I pivoted and iterated to an outcomes driven aproached, related to WIIFM and it resulted in #success… Net-net? Choosing a few key behaviors’ that help people work better together in a way that supports desired organizational outcomes, gets people on board…

What 20 years of leading change has taught me is that it’s all about framing CC and OCM in a way that people can relate to. Unfortunately a lot of CC or OCM got a bad rap as the fluffy stuff. But I have spent a great deal of my career over the last 20 years writing ROI (return on investment) models for the “fluffy stuff.” And I can tell you, it’s not fluffy… it impacts the bottomline…  

OCM and CC Tools and Methodology Are Key to Successfully Transitioning From The “Fluffy Stuff” To Concrete Business Results

And of course having a methodology and tools that help teams and people make those changes… takes it out of the “fluffy stuff” and into the business realm. OCM and CC is so much more, but people don’t know, what they don’t know… so it’s key to have a concrete methodology so it’s taken seriously and it can add business value to teams and our customers. More on that in future posts.

@drnatalie

Natalie Petouhoff

VP, Program Executive, ITC | Salesforce.com

 

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New Report: The ROI Of Agile Customer Care: Reduce Training and Easy To Add Channels

The word “agile” has been part of may conversations when it comes to software. This new report looks at the importance of agile customer care. What exactly does agile customer care and agile customer experience mean?

Traditional Customer Care Solutions Require Resources from IT and Result in Low Agent Productivity and ROI

The costs for customer service, customer care or customer experience often come in when a company wants to add a channel, say email or chat or mobile. Often times, depending on the technology stack they already have, there is a lot of code that has been written to add something new – i.e., it requires that a major pow wow of IT, customer care, business leaders, etc..  to all get in a room and meet and discuss the benefits, risks and timeline of adding a new channel. that timeline could be weeks or months.

Often adding that new channel means that the code that has already be written in the customer service software has to be adjusted. This often means IT has to get involved and this change to the code needs to be added to IT’s agenda of an already long list of “asks” from the business as well as what IT is already tasked with (maintenance, system upgrades, compliance, security, etc…) Perhaps we are unrealistic and have always been unrealistic to expect that IT can and should handle everything IT specific as well as all of the needs of the business. Maybe IT should be split into two different departments, one focused on purely IT issues and the other being the IT business liaison?

Agile Customer Care Results in High ROI and Less Stressed, More Engaged Employees 

In our research we found several areas that contributed to ROI:

  1. Lower costs of implementation and maintenance of SaaS customer care and customer experience and
  2. Better customer care technology leads to improved employee/agent experience and customer experiences

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.59.49 PM

So agile customer care or customer experience software allows a company to add a channel very easily without affecting the code or requiring months and months of writing new code so the addition to the system doesn’t mess up what is already there.

In addition, when agile customer care is implemented, it is often so simple that customer service agents don’t need training. The use of the software is very intuitive. Agents are one, if not the most expensive re-occuring expense in a contact center. So anything that can reduce costs associated with customer service agents (without negatively affecting the service they provide) is extremely important.

It’s also important to look at the stress put on agents to learn new technology. Generally agile technology is more easily adapted because it is so much easy to use. Blame it on the consumerization of IT (CoIT) if you want, but people expect the technology they use to get their job done to be as easy as using a search engine like Google or Bing. (They forget that those types of softwares only have one function – to be a search engine and the software we use to service customers is far more complicated… Nonetheless, people still expect easy to use GUI interfaces that are intuitive. That you’ll only find in agile software. It was designed with the user in mind!
MY POV: Choose agile first. A company can’t be agile if the systems, infrastructure and technology it is using are not agile – meaning that they can’t be changed, added to or modified quickly, on the fly, without waiting in line for the IT department. IT should be supporting the business, customer care and customer experience by choosing agile solutions that allow for quick additions of new channels, workflows, fields and features. Agile should be part of the strategy, part of the process, part of the technology, and part of the culture. 

Design customer service into the customer experience, making sure that the complete customer journey includes an exceedingly better customer service experience. Because customer service needs to happen right where the customer is, it is key to use embeddable customer service tools, especially when it comes to mobile customer care. The key is to make the service experience more effortless.

All customer conversations (social, chat, email, messenger, Facebook, Twitter) should funnel into one place so nothing or no one is left behind. Help customers help themselves by providing amazing, agile self-service capabilities, with one customer portal and knowledge management base.

For more information you can download a courtesy copy of the report here.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-Facing Application that Make Awesome Customer Experiences

 

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ROI Of Social Media Social Media Club Presentation

Many enterprises are considering social media and are wondering if there is return on the investment. I’ve taken a stab at calculating an ROI when social media is applied to customer service. The result? Large ROIs and benefits to every part of the company! Applying social media to customer service may be the tipping point for business to take social media as a serious enterprise application!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on How Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Exceprt from “Like My Stuff”: Socially Responsible F-commerce

Socially Responsible F-commerce

As the awareness around sustainability and social responsibility increases, brands are doing more and more to donate to charities and do more for their communities as part of their day-to-day strategies and operations. What is social good? There are many definitions, but the context I am referring to in this e-book is the ability to do good using social media. In particular, Digital Millennials that use social media tend to like to work for companies that emphasize charitable giving as well patronize brands that care.

Brands need to become aware about specific attitudes, perceptions, and sentiments of Millennials as well as how they align their spending with their own interests, passions, and community. Many Millennials say that the charities they support are one of the ways they express themselves. They feel that regularly donating your time to help others in need is a sign of success and accomplishment. They want to know how their donations or efforts will impact others or make a difference. Brands need to enter this type of endeavor with care. Millennials are also very skeptical of brands that take up social causes and may question the true intent of the sponsoring brands. If a brand wants to go down this path, they must make a commitment that demonstrates the ongoing attitudes, behaviors, and actions of the brand.

 Old Navy

Old Navy was founded in 1994 and named after a bar in Paris. The Old Navy Facebook page is intended to be an online hangout for the Old Navy community. There customers and fans can learn about upcoming sales, new styles, contests, promotions, and more. And customers can leave a comment or ask a question on the wall.

Most importantly to their fans, Facebook is a place for their audience to become part of cause marketing programs and social good campaigns. That’s because one of Old Navy’s target audiences is people who truly care about social responsibility. Their Feel Good program appeals to people who are about making the world “Bright, colorful, and playful.” Old Navy connects their sense of style with how they view the world and invites customers and fans to join them in making a difference.

They invite fans to join them at an in-store event celebrating the Boys & Girls Club. A portion of sales during the event go to supporting that charity. They also have “Operation Troop Donation.” This is a program that supports the troops and their families by creating care packages. The Flip-Flop Relay invites customers to bring their pre-loved flip-flops into Old Navy Stores to be recycled into playgrounds. The “It Gets Better” program helps educate people about all types of love. Old Navy donated 10 percent of their Gay Pride t-shirt sales to the “It Gets Better” Project.

While these are not direct e-commerce plays, they are part of a very smart marketing campaign to appeal to a very loyal demographic. A company that shows that they care, that they give back, and that they are “human.” This is a far cry from brands of yesteryear. This kind of humanizing of a brand can create loyal customers and advocates and influencers who spread the “good word” of their company via social media, reaching millions of Old Navy’s target market. And that is essentially the hallmark of understanding and utilizing social media for PR, marketing, and advertising.

Within Facebook, Old Navy has a section called Hot Ticket. Here a fan can enter their name and when they click on submit, they are given a personalized ticket for 30 percent off. That can be shared with their social network, Tweeted, and/or printed out.

Ettitude

Ettitude is an Australia-based company that sells environmentally friendly products made from bamboo and organic cotton. Ettitude was founded on the simple idea that everyday products, such as clothing, bed linen, towels, and stationery, could be made much more responsibly and contribute to making the world a better place, as well as look good and be affordable. Their goal is to give people who care about their family and the earth the ability to easily adopt a greener, more socially responsible lifestyle. Ettitude does this by providing a range of premium and unique eco-friendly products in a quick, convenient, online shopping environment. Because they have such a compelling store, it is a natural for people to want to share this among their social graph.

When I was on their website to do some research for this book, I was impressed with their use of their traditional website as a “Facebook sharing moment.” Here’s how this works: I was on the About Us page, and I went to highlight some words on the site and a widget popped up and enabled me to share what I highlighted with my Facebook connections. This is a brilliant word-of-mouth strategy to create awareness for the brand, and because their marketing message is something people can get behind, i.e., being more socially responsible, the ability to share that website information may even translate into shopping cart dollars.

When you click on the Facebook icon to share your highlighted information, it asks the customer to allow permission to connect to Facebook and post on my Facebook page. The ability to allow your customers to find things they like about your company and post to their friends can be a very good PR and marketing awareness tool. Especially for a company like Ettitude, which has a very share-able brand story around social and personal responsibility.

Looking for more of my ebook? No problem, you can get it by clicking here!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Brands Are Listening, But They’re Not Hearing: The 7 Keys to Increasing Engagement

I told you a little bit about the workshop I’m hosting for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk coming up in March…here’s more info to get you excited!

Studies show Marketers, PR Professionals and Social Media/ Digital Experts are measured on increasing engagement. Engagement is often evaluated with fluffy metrics or “Likes.” Content is what people share and hence, it’s what drives engagement. What brands don’t have a good handle on is how their content ranks amongst their competitors in driving engagement.

So with the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars spent on content and engagement tactics in social media and digital marketing, brands and agencies are flying blind. Many typically use social monitoring/listening tools to monitor social media interactions. However,  these traditional tools don’t provide a clear, competitive standing on how engagement and content performance stack up against other top brands.

As marketers become publishers, they need to move beyond social listening tools and advance to competitive industry reports that provide insight into their rivals’ positioning in social engagement. These reports are guideposts not only for smart executives who want to know where their brand stands, but also for those who want to learn how to improve their brand’s engagement and content performance for a higher social media ROI. Join me as I provide practical tips and guidance via my “7 Steps to Social Media Engagement ROI” based on best practices from my UCLA Anderson School of Business Executive Program.

When: March 14th, 10:15 AM

Where: At your desk! Really! Register here.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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Join me for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk, March 14th

Starting at 10:15 AM on March 14th, I’ll be presenting “Reboot Your Marketing Plan with Smart Data – for Email, Social Media and Beyond!” I’ll demonstrate how data and social media interactions can  seriously increase ROI, including loyalty, brand advocacy and referrals.

Here’s a little more about Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk:

The Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk Virtual Conference & Expo, brought to you by Direct Marketing IQ and Target Marketing, is a one-stop shop where you can find the information you need to reach more people and serve them better, to market more effectively, and to increase revenue — all online.

Peggy Hatch, Group President and Publishing Director of DMIQ and Thorin McGee, editor-in-chief of Target Marketing, are masters of direct marketing strategy. Peggy, Thorin, and the teams at DMIQ and Target Marketing have gathered a team of direct marketing professionals who represent the freshest thinkers in the industry today for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk — a one-day virtual event for direct marketers.

DMIQ’s mission is to give marketers practical tips and strategies for profitable direct mail marketing, thanks to research and trends discovered in our extensive Who’s Mailing What archive, the world’s largest library of direct mail. In addition to our website, DMIQ also offers a weekly newsletter that offers case studies and unparalleled insight on the trends, tests and controls of what’s working in direct mail.

Target Marketing publishes both a monthly magazine and a daily newsletter, delivering hands-on, how-to-do-it editorial that gives you the tools you need to effectively develop, execute, and evaluate your direct marketing efforts. Whether it’s direct mail, telemarketing, or websites, you’ll get the ideas and insight you need to help you and your company market smarter and more profitably.

 

Looking to sign up for my roundtable? Just click here! I hope to “see” you there!

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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An Excerpt from “Like My Stuff” Chapter 5: Social Marketing with Facebook Plug-ins

Some brands have chosen an f-commerce strategy where their main focus is on enabling their regular e-commerce site with social graph Facebook plug-ins so that fans can see on the traditional e-commerce site what their Facebook friends and family like. The reason for including this option in the e-book is that it is an example of how peer-to-peer influence and word-of-mouth in social networks has changed business.

Before social media, a brand depended on advertising, marketing, and PR to get the attention of their customers. Back then the tools of the trade were creating a logo, key message points, and then repeating them in front of customers as many times as a brand could afford—in print, on radio, on billboards, and on TV . . . But as the old saying by Wannamaker goes, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” F-commerce is helping companies learn where their dollars are paying off.

 

Word-of-Mouth Power

And it’s not that people didn’t influence each other before social media. In fact, studies by The Goodman Group, noted experts on customer relations, showed that people on average told 10–20 of their peers well before the Internet became popular. Even back then the calculations for word-of-mouth had huge affects on sales, revenue, and profits. The numbers are impressive:

 

  • 71 percent of customers recall a positive experience—more than double the recall of a negative experience
  • 42 percent will buy for the first time based on positive word of mouth
  • 21 percent will buy more based on positive word of mouth.

 

With the advent of social media word of mouth has increased expontentially. In fact brands have lost some of the power to deliver their key messages to consumers. Before social media, the brand “controlled” the “media” about the brand. But with the new web 2.0-type technologies, customers now contribute to that “media” via social media. In social media, customers can say openly and to millions what they think of a brand and its products and services. This ability has removed some of the control of a brand’s equity from the company and put it into the hands of the consumer.

So today brands must still get in front of their customers and assure that some of the messaging sticks, but they must also engage the help of their social media brand ambassadors to deliver positive messages. They need to engage their fans and the social graph of those fans. Studies show that brands must deliver better products and service via their customer experience, especially now that social media has the incredible reach it does.

 

The Power of Trust

Edelman’s 2011 Trust Barometer®, the firm’s 11th annual survey, gauges attitudes about the state of trust in business, government, NGOs, and media across twenty-three countries. Edelman was one of the first to try to measure how much consumers trust brands. In years past, the Trust Barometer study showed that consumers trusted each other more than brands.

In 2010 the report showed that consumer’s trust in companies did go up, but that generally consumers thought that businesses will probably revert back to their old ways after the recession and not be able to be trusted. The United States was the only country in which trust of companies declined in all types of institutions.

In 2011, the study showed that “consumer trust” protects a brand’s reputation. When a company is not trusted, 51 percent of people will believe negative information after hearing it one to two times.

 

The Value of Social Currency

An article on brands’ social currency, Fast Company author Kevin Randall wrote about How to Measure Brand Value: Likes, Followers, Influencers, Views? No, Social Currency. This article not only pointed to how powerful word-of-mouth marketing is, but also provided a number of methods to determine a brand’s equity and to correlate a brand’s “equity” score with its bottom line, as follows:

  1. For a brand’s financial value use Interbrand, Millward Brown BrandZ, Credit Suisse Great Brands
  2. For a brand’s equity use Equitrend
  3. For brand word-of-mouth buzz/promoting use McKinsey’s method and Net Promoter Score

The Fast Company article added another method to this list, the work done by Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners, in their report on Brand Social Currency. Brand Social Currency, as defined in this study, is the extent to which people share the brand and/or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work and/or at home. To measure a brand’s social currency, they use six key attributes:

 

  • Utility
  • Affiliation
  • Identity
  • Conversation Advocacy
  • Information

 

Erich was quoted in the Fast Company article saying, “Building Social Currency is probably the most important investment companies can make to create value for themselves.” As the author Randall states, perhaps Social Currency is the new, strategic dashboard to help corporate leaders diagnose, build, and monitor the long-term health and value of their “brand assets.”

The study showed a direct correlation between financial performance and the brand’s Social Currency scores. For example, Apple had a high social currency, which is reflected in the company’s financial results. Starbucks, for the fast-food category, also had a high social currency score and traces its 2009-2010 sales growth to a number of recent operational, brand, and social media initiatives.

You can order my complete e-book by clicking here.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

 

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“Like My Stuff” Chapter 2: How Does F-commerce Work?

Facebook offers a variety of methods to do business using its f-commerce tools. They range from the setting up entire virtual storefronts, creating access to existing brand websites, social interaction with customers and clients and brand marketing.

 

Facebook Storefronts

It doesn’t cost a brand anything to set up a storefront on their Facebook pages. Thousands of brands have done this. In this example, a customer starts the shopping trip within the brand’s Facebook shop. At some point in the purchase process, the customer is taken to the company’s e-commerce page or a licensed merchandise marketing and fulfillment service. Examples in this book that have this type of Facebook shopping capability are: Avon, Old Spice, BabyAndMeGifts.com, Ettitude, Livescribe, Best Buy, LadyGaGa, Jennifer Lopez, iTunes, Disney Toy Story, Victoria Secrets Gift Cards, Chile Monster’s Merchandising site, Coca-Cola, Amazon Gift Cards, and the WWE.

Sometimes when a customer leaves the Facebook page and is taken to the brand’s e-commerce site, a new window opens. Sometimes the look and feel changes as a customer goes from Twitter, to Facebook, to the website. You’ll want your web designers to maintain the look and feel of your Facebook Storefront in your e-commerce design for brand consistency.

Some brands, even though the customer ends up on a site external to Facebook, keep the social shoppers inside the Facebook environment longer than others. They do this by using the social interaction features offered by Facebook.

Let’s say a customer is browsing through your product selection. When they find something they like, you can empower them to share it with their friends with options like “Ask Friends” or “Share This.” How does that work? When a customer uses “Ask Friends,” that customer’s comment is sent to their Wall where their friends and family can see it and comment on it.

 

How to Display an F-commerce Store on Facebook

To display an f-commerce page in Facebook, there are two options. A brand can use iFrames or a Facebook app.

 

iFrames

With iFrames, a brand can create, host, and display its own content in a Facebook page in the middle column. The advantage to iFrames? The creation and maintenance of the content and site can be done in-house by the business itself. And it tends to offer the most seamless customer experience for consumers. As many of us have experience as customers ourselves, the ease of use and simplicity in the shopping experience is critical to engaging and retaining customers to follow through and not abandon their shopping cart.

 

Facebook Apps

 

The adoption of smartphones, 3G/4G networks as well as the increase unlimited data plans has accelerated mobile media use. Brands are realizing that another venue to reach customers is through mobile browsers, apps and SMS. As technology advances, advertising will most likely play a major role in the development of the mobile ecosystem that Facebook users count on. In fact, according to comScore’s U.S. study on mobile advertising, they found that the number of advertisers using mobile display ad campaigns has more than doubled in the past two years.

The next trend will be brands that allow full f-commerce via smart phones. One often overlooked aspect is how often a product is forwarded to a friend or posted to Facebook, These actions are quite common within mobile applications, with 4-9 percent of users doing it regularly. Brands need to start thinking about how to reach their mobile audiences while they are shopping. Through Facebook Mobile texts consumers are able to receive notifications, and send and receive SMS. One of the biggest advantage of using an app is the increased amount of space a brand has to show their content and merchandise. For instance, an app gives you 760 pixels but iFrames only allows 520 pixels.

 

Geo Location, Deals and Facebook

 

Facebook has hoped to compete in this aspect of mobile social commerce with their feature

Facebook Places and Deals. Places would alert customers what brick-and-motor stores sold

Products in real time. Deals would offer discounts and limited time offers similar to Groupon

LivingSocial. However, after months of testing, Facebook determined that the market was a bit crowded even for them, and have phased them out – for the present.

 

 

 

Facebook Apps are evolving into one of the most possible segmente of f-commerce. However they are complicated and do require a professional development team to implement. Here a few examples of professionals in the field:.

 

8thBridge. 8thBridge allows a brand to provide social shopping experiences that are portable, personalized, and participatory. The experience across a merchant’s social shopping channel is consistent with the merchant’s existing website because 8thBridge leverages the merchant’s existing shopping cart, payment processing, and order fulfillment systems. This means there is little IT support required from a brand’s tech team. 8thBridge monetizes social media for some of the largest merchants in the world including 1-800-Flowers.com, Lands’ End, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook, and a division of Avon called mark.

 

SortPrice. With SortPrice’s free Merchant Store application for Facebook, merchants both big and small are running Facebook storefronts. The stores are powered by SortPrice technology combined with the product datafeeds. This allows the product information to be easily updated, so new products and price changes are synchronized. Each Facebook store application has an integrated Wishlist which allows Facebook users to save products and share them with friends. Over 1,500 small, medium, and large brands have stores. Among them are OfficeDepot, PetSmart, Loews, and Adobe.

 

Ecwid. Ecwid’s focus since 2001 has been commercial open source PHP shopping cart software. One good thing for small to midsized brands is that it’s also free. The software can be easily integrated to any existing site in minutes and the store can be mirrored on many sites at the same time and managed from one place. Because the store integrates with social networks, brands can run their own store on Facebook. No PHP knowledge is required, and there are no code changes or hosting expenses. Brands include Embe, K&K Photography Gallery, Hello Magpie, RedZero Printing, US21, Cafe Grumpy, and Mammamiu!

 

Usablenet. With Usablenet’s integrated Facebook application, brands can offer any product, service, feature, and functionality currently available on your website within Facebook. Customers can purchase a product, book a reservation, pay a bill, review products and share them with their friends, or provide feedback—without leaving Facebook. Customers include ASOS and JCPenny.

 

BigCommerce. BigCommerce provides e-commerce software to online retailers and merchants. Brand that want to do business on Facebook can use the BigCommerce free application, SocialShop 2. The retail platform shows up as the “Shop Now” tab on the Facebook page. It allows customers to share products with their Facebook friends and buy products within Facebook. Examples are Southern Jewlz, BabyAndMeGifts.com, and Etitude’s.

 

Payvment and PayPal’s Adaptive Payments API. Payvment may be a great choice for small to midsized businesses because it’s also free. Payvment originally was a web service that allowed a site owner to integrate a shopping cart into their e-commerce by adding one line of code to the site. The software allows retailers to create Facebook storefronts. Customers can use credit cards and PayPal. The new paid versions of the software include advanced analytics on Likes, comments, and Tweets on a product-by-product basis. Example Facebook shops are CHiASSO, Amoeba Music, Molly Sims, Hooked on Phonics, AdultSwim UK, Gibson, and Lakers Nation.

 

Storefront Social. This software enables retailers to connect their e-commerce store to Facebook. The brand can upload the storefront banner, choose from a wide variety of templates, feature/highlight products for special promotions, etc. After building the storefront, the connection wizard allows the brand to easily install the storefront to Facebook. Example brands that use this software are Livescribe and Zumba Fitness.

 

TheFind. Who has surpassed Yahoo as the second most popular shopping site? TheFind, according to comScore. TheFind’s mission is to help every shopper find exactly what they want to buy, and to help every merchant, large and small, to reach those shoppers. TheFind is a vertical search engine for shopping that puts every product, every store, every sale, coupon, and discount right at the customer’s fingertips. It provides an in-depth Facebook integration called “Shop Like Friends.” It allows customers to sign into the site with Facebook Connect. It then taps into the preferences of their Facebook Friends and pages that their friends have “liked” on Facebook. It then maps this to stores and brands. In the next chapter we’ll take a look at how f-commerce is different from e-commerce.

 

Enhancing Your Website with Facebook

Another option is to bring the Facebook experience to your company’s website. This allows a brand to tap their customers’ Facebook social network’s connections and interests within the purchasing process. The Facebook-provided buttons have short code snippets that ping Facebook’s social network for information about the customer and their social network while they are visiting the brand’s site. An example of a brand using this Facebook technique in this book is Levi’s.

 

Facebook Buttons & Plug-ins

A brand, to be successful with f-commerce, must use the Facebook social buttons and plug-ins on either their own website and/or their f-commerce stores. Facebook buttons and plug-ins are what make the f-commerce a social commerce experience vs. just another e-commerce transaction. The reason they are such a critical part of f-commerce is because of the difference between a website and a social network. Facebook is not a website. Facebook is a social network. Sometimes people come to Facebook and think it’s a giant website with over 750 million people. And because there are so many potential eyeballs, it’s a great place to put a store. It can be a great place to have a store, but not understanding the difference between a social network and a website will make all your efforts for your Facebook store a waste of time, energy, and money.

A website or an e-commerce site is a site where you display your information or products. The expectation of customers is that they will find what they need from you on those pages. A social network is a social interaction center on the Internet. Within a social network, people expect the ability for two-way interactions. They aren’t interested in your store if all you do is display your products. Customers are looking for interactions between the brand and the customers as well as the ability to interact—customer to customer, friend to friend, friend to family.

The Like Button is one of the first interactions in f-commerce. The standard buttons, while they are not new, are a critical part of getting people to come to your store and buy. Most all companies using f-commerce have you “Like” the brand’s store. In other words, if the customer doesn’t hit “Like,” they can’t get into to the store to see the merchandise. In addition, the Like Button enables users to share pages from your brand’s site back to their Facebook profile with one click. When it’s used with a product page it can entice and influencer a shopper who sees the names and pictures of people in their social network who have also “Liked” that product.

The Send Button allows your customers to easily send your brand’s content to their friends.

Some of the other interactions that you can enable to create interactions within your store are the plug-ins. If you haven’t been using plug-ins for Facebook, you’ll want to spend some time learning about these.

The Log-in Button shows profile pictures of your customer’s friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a log-in button. The Registration plug-in allows your customers to sign into your website with their Facebook account.

The Comments plug-in encourages your customers to comment on the content on your site.

The Activity Feed plug-in shows your customers what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.

The Recommendations plug-in gives your customers personalized suggestions for pages they might like on your site. The Like Box enables your customers to like your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website.

The Facepile plug-in displays the Facebook profile pictures of your customers who have liked your page or have signed up for your site.

The Live Stream plug-in lets your customers share activity and comments in real-time as they interact during a live event.

 

These amazing tools, simply yet efficient, have put Facebook in the forefront of the social commerce environment.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

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“Like My Stuff” Chapter 1: Why Do Business on Facebook? (Part 2)

Facebook as a Marketing Funnel

Many businesses are investing resources into building a Facebook presence for their brand to engage with fans, advocates, ambassadors, press, influencers, and customers. The question for most businesses is how to move the page from just a PR and marketing awareness page—in the traditional marketing funnel—to a consideration and purchase page, thereby increasing the marketing conversion rates into solid, traceable sales.

A typical Facebook user spends a good part of their day on Facebook. And according to Compete.com, 68 percent of people become fans of retail pages to keep up to date on sales and promotions. So what’s the logic for a business to provide e-commerce on Facebook? Many businesses realize that if their fans are on Facebook to connect with family and friends and to engage with brands and receive coupons and deals, it may make sense to provide the ability for fans to purchase products, too.

In terms of real businesses today on Facebook, there is a wide range of how e-commerce is being handled. They range from Facebook shops selling items such as airline tickets, beauty products, baby products, clothes, and specialty BBQ sauces, to offering the ability to participate in charity donations and buy tickets for shows. Businesses are using the Wall as a shop “window” as well as to actively promote and purchase products on the shop tab itself.

To give you a good understanding of how companies are using f-commerce, the following chapters are packed full of practical examples. I’ve captured screenshots to illustrate how the brand uses Facebook and what the customer sees and can do. Having concrete examples helps to demonstrate the “how-to” part of using Facebook for e-commerce.

It’s highly recommended that you take the time to go online and click through the pages as you are reading the book. This will give you a more experiential feel for how brands use f-commerce. And note, some of the Facebook pages and stores may have changed by the time you are reading this book. That’s how fast things happen in the social networked world.

What’s the financial return for f-commerce? Some businesses are seeing as much as 20 percent of overall online sales coming via their Facebook stores as well as higher cart values as compared to traditional e-commerce venues. That in part may be due to the influence of friends, family, or colleagues and the recommendations that come from people they know, versus an unidentified stranger’s review on e-review or e-opinion sites.

Facts about F-commerce from SocialCommerceToday.com

  • Top 3: The top 3 brands on Facebook (by fans) all sell directly on Facebook—Coca-Cola (24m), Starbucks (20m), and Disney (19m)
  • 2–4%: f-store conversion rates—on a par with web-stores (avg. 3.4%, according to Forrester/Shop.org)
  • $650,000,000: The drop in Netflix share value when Warner opened up a Facebook movie rental (streaming) service in 2011
  • 1,000: Number of diapers P&G sold on its f-store in under an hour
  • 50,000: Number of retailers who have opened an f-store with Payment
  • 6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out
  • 3rd highest: daily sales made by Rachel Roy, the day it opened it’s pop-up f-store
  • 1m+: Starbucks customers using their e-commerce-enabled Facebook CRM loyalty program
  • 1,300: Number of products added every week to the ASOS f-store
  • 20%: Proportion of black Friday sales transactions on Facebook for e-tailer Kembrel
  • 7–10%: Increased Average Order Value for Facebook transactions (vs. web-store) for Kembrel
  • 5000+: customers using Walmart’s group-buy Facebook app on the day of its launch
  • $34: Amount paid for the first transaction ever to take place on Facebook at 11:50 a.m. EST on July 8, 2009 for bouquet of flowers ‘A Slice of Life’ on the f-store of U.S. florist 1-800 flowers
  • 76%: percentage of retailers who plan to use Facebook for ‘social commerce’ initiatives
  • 50%+: proportion of the global top 100 websites that have integrated with Facebook using its social plug-ins
  • 50,000+: Number of websites that integrated Facebook social plug-ins (incl. ‘Like’) in the week they launched
  • 2.5 million+: websites now integrated with Facebook
  • 10,000: number of new websites integrating with Facebook every day (with social plug-ins) since April 2010
  • 2m+: Number of sites that have integrated Facebook social plug-ins
  • 7 out of 10: proportion of digital marketers who have implemented or are planning to implement Facebook Like feature

Relevancy: Know Your Audience

Often understanding what is interesting and relevant is best found by asking customers directly. Too many PR, marketing, and advertising firms think they know better. They don’t take the time to do the account planning or research to really understand their audience, their behaviors, their motivations, and drivers let alone for traditional campaigns. Enter social media. If a brand does not listen and understand their online audience, the results can be devastating. That doesn’t mean a brand should not enter into the social media realm. It means they need to go back to school and understand the differences between online and offline customer interactions and the viral nature of a scorned customer.

Brands need to make sure they have someone on staff who understands how to do primary audience research in both social media and traditional methods. Qualitative and quantitative methods of traditional account planning and audience research include:Focus groups

  • In-depth interviews
  • Polls
  • Surveys, both on- and offline
  • Ethnography/netnography (observations off- and online of the audience behaviors)

Social media monitoring tools like Radian6, Sysomos, Tracckr, etc. lend themselves to account planning and audience research, especially for:

    • Primary Research (research conducted by the brand itself)
    • Sentiment and share of voice online
    • Identification of the top influencers, advocates, customers, brand naysayers, and press
    • Polls, surveys, and netnography
    • Topics influencers and advocates are discussing about the brand
    • Customer issues, questions, suggestions, and praise for the product, service, and the brand
    • Secondary Research (research conducted by other people than the brand)
    • Studies other research groups or institutions have produced on the brand or product category that the brand falls into (consumer products, automotive, etc.) and the customers associated with those groups.

In addition, conversations within online communities, either owned by the brand or third party communities, can reveal very interesting insights for the brand. Of particular interest to this book on f-commerce is the use of community applications within Facebook. An example of a community application used within Facebook is Get Satisfaction’s Facebook Solution.

Because the Wall in Facebook changes so quickly, brands end up answering the same questions over and over. The Get Satisfaction Facebook widget allows brands to not only avoid spending time repeating the same answers on the Wall (because questions and answers can be searched on and retrieved), but instead can focus on creating relevant content and interactions that engage customers to participate and make that brand part of their lifestream. I can’t stress how important creating interactions with your customers are. Facebook is not a website. It’s a social network where people socialize with each other and with brands. It’s not a broadcast medium where a brand can send out marketing messages. It’s a medium where customers go to exclusively to interact with each other and with brands.

Most social media monitoring tools can only provide Facebook data that is on public pages. Because of the partnership between GoodData and Get Satisfaction, the brand can obtain intimate knowledge of the conversations on their Facebook pages between the brand and its customer’s. And, if the brand has included the Get Satisfaction widget on their website or other communities, that data can also be aggregated.

If a brand doesn’t take the steps to understand their audience, there is no guarantee that the social shopping experience will yield good business results. Why guess, when you can know?

Engagement

In the old days, marketers counted on a customer perhaps telling ten to twenty of their friends about a product or service. Today with the social web, one customer’s comment, negative or positive, informs thousands and sometimes millions of people. And reports show that year after year, consumers generally trust the opinions of people they know more than they trust anonymous ratings and reviews posted online. And in comparison, they trust online banner ads and advertisements even less. Social commerce or f-commerce is the opportunity to leverage word of mouth to increase the awareness of brand and drive customers through the consideration and purchase funnel.

Brands must begin to think from the social customer’s point of view. Customers who use social media are constantly being bombarded with invitations to new social networks. They have to decide where to spend the little free time they have. This means that a brand must provide their social customers direct engagement that acknowledges their understanding of their customers in the social web as well as reward them for that participation in the social experience created by the brand. Customers who do encounter great social experiences influence other customers. That influence can multiply across their social graphs and spark comments, conversations and purchases

I hope you’ll keep reading along with me! In the next chapter we’ll take a look at how f-commerce works.

You can order my complete e-book by clicking here.

 


Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
@drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts

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