Posts Tagged ‘social media’


photo by: dantada

Ever try and sell an idea “upstairs” and have it go absolutely, positively nowhere?  There you sit with this burning passion and desire, knowing it can make a real difference for your organization only to have the flames extinguished with the wave of a hand, roll of the eyes, stroke of a pen, or strikes on a keyboard.  Before the singed remnants of desire morph into disgust, here are 3 things to consider on the journey of getting the “c” to “see”.  Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

1) Make them look great
A retiring CEO told me at her going away party that the best advice she could leave is to “never make your CEO look good, make them look great…always.”  It is important to remember that it’s not about our great idea or concept — it’s about the leader and their legacy.  In nonprofit organizations, the CEO is accountable to a board of directors, he or she has likely presented a list of deliverables (goals, objectives, plans) — making them look great is delivering on that list, even if it is just one.

2) Only their goals matter
Who really cares if your social media plan can create a click conversion of 40%?  Your idea MUST achieve the goals, objectives, and strategic plan as determined by the CEO.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Site traffic is nice and pretty on a graph, but is totally meaningless unless translated into the CEO’s goals.  The ever elusive ROI is simple: are the CEO’s goals being achieved?  It is all the ROI the CEO needs (or likely wants to hear).

3) Just do it
I know, I know, it sounds very cliche and I do get into trouble sometimes (especially after eyes have rolled).  However (and it’s a big however), I always “do it” keeping #1 and #2 at the absolute forefront of the initiative or project.  It’s easier to apologize than it is to beg — especially if the goals are aligned.  It involves some risk, yet in most cases the only resource I try to consume is my time and energy thereby not compromising the organization.

Have a plan and one that clearly aligns the initiative with the organization’s goals.  Do not over-plan — the wait for perfection will last until eternity, and that’s being conservative.  Over-planners usually launch nothing, delay launches and stay busy critiquing those of us constantly trying.  Some find it easier to point out what’s wrong rather than what’s right or good.

The view from the c-suite can be distorted with constant noise, constant feedback and constant input.  The clear path through the noise is a plan or idea that strikes directly at achieving the CEO’s vision — that is something he or she can and will see.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing to add,
but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery


In social media, we have all witnessed some real PR nightmares unfold.  Interestingly, most happen out of the Phoenix metropolitan area where I happen to live, work, play…and dine.  It is with a heavy heart that I feel compelled to weigh in on what transpired via the social review platform called Yelp.  Yelp is a nice platform for businesses to engage with customers through reviews, connection and specials.

A local restaurant received a sub-par review — food, service, experience.  Personally, I would have considered it an opportunity — someone actually took the time to write about us, let’s bust our tails to remediate the experience and ask for another chance.  The owner of the restaurant reacted by taking the potential relationship right off the rails.  You can see the meat of the article here: New Times Blog.  In the comments of the blog, the owner continues her tirade.  Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has said that social media does not create negativity, it only magnifies it.  Well, this owner has turned social media into an electron microscope.

It will be interesting to see what transpires and how much actual damage is done to her business.

We all fail in moments of truth with our customers, as consumers we certainly understand, especially if the business owns the error or failing — we’re all human.  Would it all have been resolved with a simple apology?  Hard to say, but it may have been a more tactful approach.

If the restaurant’s mission or core values are to simply make pizza with organic ingredients it may be far too limited.  Now if the restaurant’s mission is to provide delicious organic pizza in a friendly, intimate, neighborhood environment — they may have some work to do in delivering.

Business leaders must remain well aware of who truly pays the bills.  This will likely serve as a social media case study for quite some time with mavens and professionals adding their twist.  Quite simply, treat your customers as you’d wish to be treated…only better.

I had the honor of opening a new YMCA branch in October 2009.  In the journey I purposefully strayed from traditional practices and those pesky unwritten rules.

Sitting in a dusty, dirty construction site with a hardhat throughout an Arizona summer can lead us to do some crazy things.  I joined Facebook.

In late July we had a direct mail piece ready to hit 20,000 households (OTM for the marketing purists) on August 1st.  One blessing was we had a call center to handle inquiries and sales calls and I owe them to this day.

Only myself and our marketing vice president knew the phone number dedicated to the branch.  So on July 27th, I thought, “what the heck, let’s see if this FaceBook thing is for real”.

20 minutes after the post, the call center called me and said they were getting slammed and people were mentioning they “heard it” on Facebook.  108 page fans at the time and we sold 50 of our charter memberships prior to the mail drop hitting homes.

Here is the FaceBook post (click here) that resulted in $75,000 in revenue in 4 days.

For a non-profit and in a down economy.

Notice the date is July 27, 2009 — the branch did not open until October 21st.  If you tour the Facebook page you’ll see the construction progress photos — I posted something every week religiously.  Sitting in that trailer, I would engage with the community through Facebook, listening to what they were looking for from our organization and sharing aspects of the project.

With the wise counsel of our marketing consultants we created a great product and offer.  We were able to ride the wave of an incredible capital fundraising campaign and I had led or participated in over 50 community presentation in the prior 18 months.  A group of 14 teens even designed our teen center (we went through 12 cans of silly string).

I am far from a social media expert, it served as an incredibly useful tool and vehicle and it made me a true believer and advocate.  In a service industry that traditionally establishes its member relationship in-person, it is allowing us to take those relationships to new heights and levels of engagement.

How has Facebook served your business or organization?  And in your professional opinion, where can we go from here?