Tag Archives: strategy

Social Media Matters: Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

A Social Media Strategy Story

A few weeks ago, I met with some people from a local organization to discuss how to use the web and social media to share some of their stories.  The goal of phase 1 was to connect with others and obtain good placement in search engine results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  Here is the situation:

  • Little Time
  • No Money
  • Minimal Tech Skills

A quick analysis of the situation lead us to Google Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and the creation of Children of Humble School Africa Blog.  Most of the people in the organization were already familiar with these Social Networking Services.  These Social Media tools are free and can be activated in minutes.  These tools don’t require a Computer Science degree to use, in fact they are simple enough to be used by a child, grandparent, or anyone in-between.

Social Media Gets Results

Using Social Media to share stories and connect with others has a positive effect in top search engines.  Here are the results after 14 days.

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was top four results out of 13.2 Million.

 

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was the top result out of 29.2 Million.

 

Bing: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.2 Million.

 

Yahoo: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.3 Million.

 

Social Media for Small Businesses & Non-Profits

The Social Business of Web 2.0

Once upon a time, the power to reach out and connect with others beyond your local community was reserved an exclusive group of people.  Social Media extends this ability to all people and bursts open the door of new opportunities.

Google Blogger

I was not as familiar with Google Blogger compared to other types of Social Media tools, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get started.  The ability to integrate other social media is also very simple.

Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly – whenever the urge strikes. It’s the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or “blogs.”  Google Blogger gives you a way to automate (and greatly accelerate) the blog publishing process without writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software or scripts. And yet, it still gives you total control over the look and location of your blog.  Details on how to get started are available in this video.

Web Gadgets, Widgets, & Apps

There are countless gadgets, widgets, and apps to support social media integration.  Some of these for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Networks can be found in these collections, “25 Great Blogger Widgets“, “Google Gadgets Directory, Collection of Google Blogger Plugins, and people can easily create their custom social gadgets with the Google Blogger API.

Mobile Device Support

The ability to support displaying your content in “app-like” format on multiple mobile devices at the flip of a switch is one of the main strengths of this free service.

Photo Walls

You can also add interactive photo walls to your blog, created with pictures from Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, YouTube, and RSS.  You can share these photo walls on web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, and more.  You can create and share amazing photo walls for your web sites and blogs using Cooliris.

Social Media Engagement

The Children of Humble School Africa Blog with Social Media integration is just a tiny example of the real possibilities.  There are many great people that share helpful tips about how small businesses and non-profits can leverage the power of social media. Some of these very talented people include:

[twitterusers @goodlaura @scedmonds @JessicaNorthey @Philanthropy @kanter @rosettathurman @briansolis @2morrowknight @chrisbrogan]

 

Gamification Game Plan for Reducing Cost of Employee Turnover

idea flickr pachytime 2450230567

Human Resources Gamification

Reducing High Cost of Employee Turnover

One day I was having lunch with some of the management team of our human resources department and was shocked to discover the outrageous cost of employee turnover.  This information lead me to performing some additional research on the issues and the organization’s culture.  A few days later I was invited to give a presentation on my ideas about possible solutions.

I presented an idea about a new platform to facilitate connecting employees to support fueling innovation.  I called this platform “Mentor Match”, some of my colleagues laughed at me when I compared this new platform to a dating web site.  More of them grumbled when they saw things like “favorite sport teams, places, books, movies, …” in the employee profile mock-ups.  I just explained that we are not a factory of robots, but an organization of human beings.  Our goal here is to provide people with the seeds of initial interaction for growing meaningful relationships.  The mentor feedback loop, leaderboards, education, skills, and recommendation engine won them over.  A new platform was born.

The game mechanics and gameful design used in this solution supports the concepts of gamification.  I believe real gamification success is achieved when interactions continue beyond the platform.  These interactions included mentoring circles, speed mentoring events and employees creating lasting friendships supporting emotional bonds and psychological connections to the organization. This was created on the REAL foundation supporting the Pillars of Purpose.

The REAL Foundation

Supporting the Pillars of Purpose

Small things can make a huge difference. Do you believe the words “who” and “how” have the same letters by accident? How solutions solve problems is not possible without the letters from the word “who”. The R.E.A.L. Foundation helps us discover “how” by focusing on “who”. R.E.A.L. was inspired by Rob Forbes’ works in “Design & Culture“.

Relationships
Engagement
Attitude
Listening

 

Social Business Gamification

Unlocking the Power of Meaningful Engagement

Today’s smart business owners are applying this same type of strategy to strengthen relationships with customers, clients, & partners.  They now  have the opportunity reach beyond Twitter Followers, Facebook Fans, and other Social Media channels to harness the power of meaningful engagement.  Many name brands are achieving new levels of engagement with Social Business Gamificaiton.  Business owners can use services provided by several big players in the gamificaiton market to step up their customer relationship game.

Rypple combines the best qualities of social software with a new approach to performance management-one that empowers managers and their teams to learn faster and perform better.  Rypple is based on 50+ years of behavioral science, focusing on what really keeps people passionate about their work.

Badgeville, The Social Loyalty Platform, makes it easy for business leaders, smart marketers and innovative technologists to increase user behavior and conversions with proven techniques from social gaming.

Bunchball’s Nitro platform drives participation, engagement, loyalty and revenue for customers including Syfy, USA Network, Hearst, Meredith, NBC, Comcast, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Resource Interactive, Exent, LiveOps, Warner Bros. and Hasbro. Brands, publishers, employers and CPG companies use the Nitro gamification platform to create compelling, meaningful and enjoyable experiences for their users.

BigDoor helps web publishers, marketers and developers grow and engage their communities.  They offer a cost-effective, flexible and easy to use suite of tools to quickly build game mechanics into your online experiences and applications.

Cloudcaptive provides Social Business Gamificaiton services and products.

UserInfuser offered by Cloudcaptive, is an open source platform that provides customizable gamification elements designed to increase user interaction on websites.  The project involves badging, points, live notifications, and leaderboards. Additonally, the platform provides analytics to track user participation.

AppFusions is an engineering consultancy of experts creating implementations, solutions, connectors.  They have Social Business Strategy consultants and specialists around the world that are ready to help you with your Gamification needs.  The friendly professional people at AppFusions can help, contact AppFusions today.  You can also catch up with Ellen Feaheny (CEO of AppFusions) on Twitter at: @ellenfeaheny

Gamification Strategy

Your Gamification Strategy should compliment your Social Business Strategy.  Developing well defined goals along with an understanding of your audience will improve your levels of success.  The magic of gameful design, the social science of game dynamics, and the implementation of great game mechanics will help you achieve desired results when coupled with a long-term business strategy.

Additional Gamificaiton Resources

Please feel free to share your gamification resources and ideas here.

 

Driving Engagement in Social Business with Gamification

The Social Science of Engagement

The Business Game Plan for Building Loyalty & Achieving Goals

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Social Business Gamification

Today’s successful organizations are leveraging behavioral economics with a palette of game mechanics to create new types of user experiences that drive real engagement.

Social Business Gamification is the social science art of facilitating the desired behaviors of all players.  Deeper levels of engagement can be achieved through the practice of active listening.  The rewards are limitless when organizations satisfy the needs of their clients, partners, fans, and potential customers.  This type of social business strategy starts with understanding the culture of their target audience along with defining clear goals and objectives that support the concepts of design thinking.  The Harvard Business Review article about Design Thinking by IDEO’s Tim Brown is available for download as pdf here.

Rajat Paharia, Founder of Bunchball shares many very interesting points about how business owners can leverage Game Mechanics in Gamification to create deeper relationships through engagement.  He shares his thoughts on how new ways of Active Listening (through actions) can transform fans into loyal customers. Rajat describes learning about understanding how to connect with customers and what motivates clients. He makes an interesting point about the difference between points and credits.   He goes on to say business owners believe 50% of their advertising money is being wasted, but they don’t know which 50%.  Additional insights about Gamification by Rajat Paharia are available in this video.

Top 5 Keys to Successful Social Business Gamification

  1. Seek first to understand
  2. Define key business goals and objectives
  3. Learn how to satisfy business needs together with customer interest
  4. Create something bigger than yourself and your customer base
  5. Meaningful Engagement Has Meaningful Rewards

5 Keys to Driving Engagement with Smart Gamification

Some of the things Ragat talked about in the video above reminded me of many of the things Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim talked about in this webinar I attended on June 13, 2011.

To some, “gamification” means adding simple game mechanics like points, badges and leaderboards to websites and apps. But that’s not what makes games truly compelling. In this talk, social gaming expert Amy Jo Kim goes behind the scenes of successful gamification efforts, and reveals the 5 keys of Smart Gamification – a framework for driving deeper engagement in your product or service.

This gamification webinar was sponsored by Badgeville @Badgeville.  Amy shares a smart business game plan with “Smart Gamification: 5 Keys to Driving Engagement“.  Adena DeMonte @AdenaDeMonte of Badgeville has shared a recording of this great webinar here.

Smart Gamification

Social Game Design for a Connected World

Discover new social business strategies in this presentation by Amy Jo Kim, “Smart Gamification: Social Game Design for a Connected World“.  Learn about the Engagement Loop: Visible Progress, Positive Emotion, (social) Call to Action, Player (re)Engagement, and more.

These are the same proven strategies and techniques Amy Jo Kim shares in her book, “Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities“.  These Gamification Strategies and these types of Social Game Design techniques were used by me with others to create award winning software.  These platform types include: Intranet (Nielsen Norman Top Ten Intranet Design), Enterprise 2.0 (Open Enterprise Innovation Award), Enterprise App Stores (JackBe wins Top 10 Enterprise Products), and now Government 2.0 App Stores.

The key success factor behind these award winning platforms is: “Put people before technology“.  Several years ago I worked as a  contractor with a great team at NAVSEA on developing the VV&A Process for Modeling & Simulations.  This process was adopted by the U.S. Navy [pdf].  This process focused on 3 simple questions that address social software development today:

  1. Did we build the right thing?
  2. Did we build the thing right?
  3. Does it suit OUR needs?

ROI of User Experience

Culture at the Core

Putting culture at the core with a focus on user experience design is the fuel that powers immersive engagement. Great game designers are masters of this concept. Software developers are also seeing the benefits of focusing more attention on user experience. Businesses can save a tremendous amount of time and money by putting people before technology. Dr. Susan Weinschenk demonstrates how user centered design results in significant return on investment (ROI) in this video.

What’s Next for Gamification?

Here are a few things Rajat shared toward the end of his video.

Game Mechanics trickle into the Enterprise

  • How do you motivate Employees?
  • How do you provide sales incentives with Employees?
  • How do you practice Employee recognition?
  • How do you support employee health and wellness?

He may be on to something, Michael Wu @mich8elwu submitted the following session for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. Why game mechanics and game dynamics are able to drive actions so effectively and predictably through the lens of behavioral psychology; the underlying behavior model which is necessary to bring about a change in behavior; and how to implement this in enterprise software, making it fun and productive.

How to be Truly Excellent

4 Principles for Achieving Excellence

Unlocking Your Full Potential

Life is full of distractions that can keep us from achieving our maximum potential.  Our real purpose can get lost in the background of daily activities, robbing us of living prosperous and fulfilled lives.

Putting passion into purpose can help us find courage and strength in the face of adversity during our journey to excellence. This is the act of living up to one’s full potential, as described by the Greek word “Arete“.

Understanding the essential characteristics of excellence can unlock the secret to living a prosperous and fulfilled life.

  1. Treat Your Skill as a Craft
  2. Become a Craftsman
  3. Practice Discipline
  4. Set Goals for Achieving Excellence

4 Steps to Being Truly Excellent

Self Development

  1. Educate Yourself
  2. Be Disciplined
  3. Learn From & Share with Peers
  4. Be Patient

 

Become the “Chief Operations Officer” of Your Life

Develop Operational Mentality

Career Development

A Velocity 2011 Video Presentation by Theo Schlossnagle

Velocity Conference

Companies, big and small, face the same challenges. Our platforms must be fast, our infrastructure must scale up (and down) efficiently, and our sites and services must be reliable. Velocity is the best place to learn from peers, exchange ideas with experts, and share best practices and lessons learned.  O’Reilly Media was also kind enough to share several “Must See” videos from the Velocity 2011 Conference on their Google YouTube video channel here.

9 Principals of Leadership

Lighting the Path for Others

Leadership Lessons from General George C. Marshall

  1. The principle of integrity-Doing the right thing.
  2. The principle of action- Mastering the situation.
  3. The principle of selflessness- Serving the greater good
  4. The principle of candor- Speaking your mind
  5. The principle of preparation- Laying the groundwork
  6. The principle of learning and teaching- Sharing knowledge
  7. The principle of fairness-Choosing and rewarding the right people
  8. The principle of vision-Focusing on the big picture
  9. The principle of caring- Supporting the troops.

Have Courage

Take Hot Pursuit of Your Passions

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs

How to Master the Mobile Market

Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Ultimate Strategy & Development Guide to Mobile Markets

This beautiful and comprehensive guide created by the amazing people at “Enough Software” is a spectacular piece of work!  You will be astonished by how incredibly fast you can establish your presence in the mobile market with the simple steps explained in this PDF guide for all things mobile.

Mobile Developer's Guide to the Galaxy

Mastering the Mobile Market

Here are just a few things you will quickly learn in the “Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

Mobile Developers Guide

  • Programming Android Apps
  • Programming bada Apps
  • Programming Native BlackBerry Apps
  • Programming Flash Apps
  • Programming iOS Apps
  • Programming J2ME / Java ME Apps
  • Programming MeeGo Apps
  • Programming Qt Apps

  • Programming Symbian Apps
  • Programming webOS Apps
  • Programming Windows Phone Apps
  • Programming Mobile Widgets
  • Programming With Cross-Platform Tools
  • Creating Mobile Websites
  • Implementing Rich Media
  • Implementing Location-Based Services
  • Implementing Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Testing Your Application
  • Monetization
  • Appstores

Thanks to the creative crew at Enough Software for creating the most beautiful and comprehensive guide in the galaxy for mobile development! Thanks to @rickmans, @roonaan, and @peterpeerdeman for sharing this on Twitter.

Mobile Market Strategy

A mobile market strategy should be a foundational part of Social Business Models.  I hope this encourages others to share their ideas about Social Business Strategy and their thoughts about Mobile Markets.