Open Source Social Media Management Software Survey

I was recently looking at the social media management software (SMMS) landscape as it relates to other types of marketing software, especially content management systems. I was surprised that no companies or developers have built an open source alternative to popular SMMS’s such as Buddy Media and Hootsuite. There seem to be plenty of social networking and online collaboration software options – Drupal Common, Pligg, etc. – but no tools for publishing to and moderating social media platforms.

I have been wondering if brands would consider an open source alternative to proprietary SMMS. I put together a quick survey to gauge brands’ interests in a potential OS SMMS solution. If you are a social media manager or consultant, please take 3 to 5 minutes to fill out the survey below. I will share the information once I get enough responses.

Take A Quick 6 Question Survey

What Community Managers Can Learn From Community Organizers

I didn’t begin my career in digital strategy. I spent the first five years doing community organizing on issues of affordable housing, youth rights, voter education, and political/issue advocacy. I cut my teeth as a student organizer at UMass; went on to do organizing in low income neighborhoods in Boston; and rounded out my experience organizing people both online and offline for political campaigns.

During that time, I picked up a few tenets about building community that I believe most community organizers share:

  1. You shouldn’t tell the people you serve what problem you need to solve for them, they should tell you.
  2. In order to build a strong community, you need to build strong community leaders.
  3. Change cannot be brought about within communities unless people in that community take ownership of creating change.
  4. Hold yourself accountable to the people you serve.

Community managers can learn a lot about building community from community organizers. The concept of the “consumer-focused brand” is becoming pervasive in this economy where consumers are not as loyal to brands and can be very vocal about their displeasures. We are seeing more and more brands – like American Express, Sephora, Dell, and others – seeing huge growth as a result of adopting this approach. Community managers need to focus their efforts on building community and putting consumers first in order to truly see large returns from their social media efforts.

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The Miseducation of Marketing Executives (About Social Media)

Earlier today, I was chatting with a couple of old colleagues about how brands think about and approach social media, and what holds them back from running successful social media programs at scale. Aside from a lack of resource allocation, most brands are held back by the lack of power social media teams are given to run truly effective programs. Most brands don’t make it past the crawl stage of social business evolution due to a lack of understanding of how adopting social business practices can help brands capture a competitive advantage.

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Using Positive Reinforcement in Social Media to Change Consumer Behavior

At about 6:30 a.m. this morning, I walked to the local Giant in Columbia Heights to pick up some eggs to make breakfast. When the cashier was almost done ringing me up, she hesitantly asked me if I needed bags. My immediate thought was “odd question”, but I responded yes. She proceeded to push a button on the register before bagging my groceries, and, to my surprise, I was charged a fee for each bag she gave me. Having lived in Boston the past three years, where we are not charged a mandatory fee for bags given to us by a store, I was annoyed by having to pay this.

I did a little research into why I was charged this fee when I got home and found this interesting graphical explanation of the “bag law”, more formally known as the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009.

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How do you change culture within an organization?

Lead by example. Show people through your own work that your idea adds value to an organization and can make things better. There will be a learning curve, so you need to develop a curriculum for how you plan to educate people within the organization on the new approach you are proposing.

Start small. Create a small group that you incorporate in the process to get buy in. They will ultimately become your advocates. When it is time to spread change throughout your organization, they will be on the front lines with you.

Make change viral. Once you have a small group of advocates, have them go out and work with people on their teams and departments to implement their new learnings. Then have those people introduce this new process to their colleagues.

Create a sustainability mechanism. Change can fade. People easily revert back to their old ways. If you can create a support network for sustaining the change you have introduced – ongoing trainings, support forums or meetings, or incentives – you will keep change afloat.

Change is progressive – it cannot be rushed or forced. Be patient when trying to bring about change. Often times, you will slide backward and have to pivot to make things work. Approach it as an iterative process, give yourself small wins. Don’t move on to a new phase unless you are confident that you hit your mark and you should be fine.