Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Three T’s Of The New Workplace Organizational Structure: Technology, Teamwork and Time With [Infographic]

Anise Smith Marketing Teamwork

 

We are truly in new and unchartered lands when it comes to technology.  We are experiencing growth and change at a rate of speed in which I’ve never experiences due to the growth of technology primarily excelerated by the growth of smaller devices like tablets and smart phones. These technologies are now having a profound effect on how we live in our personal and business lives.  Technology in regard to our personal lives is a little bit easier to adapt to; however, technology growth within the workplace is a whole different animal.

 

When planning a new technology strategy, there are so many things that have to be considered. Some of those things are how people will adapt to the introduction of new technology, training staff, how it will effect the budget and more. If a company is a B2B or B2C it can be that more difficult to adapt, change and embrace new technologies on an organizational level.  Of course for some organizations it can be an easier process but for some it can be a challenge. Companies that are involved with technology on a certain level will of course adapt better to change, but those that are totally removed from technology may struggle a bit more than those that work within the technology industry.

 

Although technology has grown at such a fast rate we are all still trying to catch up with all of the changes. I once said that at any given day you can feel like a n00b because of the super quick growth to technology, social media and digital marketing channels.  We are truly in a different work era now due to the the boom of technology and although technology can be used to streamline our processes, save time and make things easier often times that is not the case because we are all still learning to utilize those technologies within our workplace more effectively.

 

The first thing that we must do when planning to implement new technology within our organization,  is to realize that we are indeed in a different workplace era now due to the growth of technology and adapt accordingly.  That, I must say, will probably be the biggest challenge in the new technology focused workplace. We are now a part of a technology boom that is equivalent to the initial introduction of PC into the workplace.  So I cannot promise that the process will be easy and seamless.  We can use the technology that is growing so quickly as an asset to our organizations or allow it to be a burden. A few very basic things to keep in mind are the fundamentals and I call them the Three T’s Of the New Workplace Organizational Structure:

 

Technology:

We must first learn to embrace technology in general as time is not going to roll back to suit you in your need to hold on to the pre-technology days. Then we must discover the technologies that we deem to be appropriate for our business. Not all technology, social media and or digital media channels are appropiate for all businesses.  Exploring new technologies can be as easy or as hard as a company can make it. The first step would be to assign or hire a person that is familiar with a variety of technologies, that have embraced new technologies and can lead your company on the right path. After finding out what technologies and or digital marketing strategies work for your organization, implement a plan to integrate those technologies into your company organizational structure.

The implementation process is what will probably be the hardest challenge, and this is especially the case with older organizational structures.  The key is to have professional guidance and get started sooner rather than later because technology will never wait for you to catch up.

 

Teamwork: 

One of the greatest things about the growth of technology is that it presents organizations with an opportunity to take a look at their organizational structure and tweak it if needed to integrate more of a teamwork structure if it is conducive to the organization as a whole. Technology will almost force people within the organization to work as a team due to the huge effect that technology has on the entire organization. There is no aspect of an organization that will be exempt from the use of technology when its implemented so this will create more of a teamwork atmosphere.  Teamwork is great for employees, the workflow and the bottom line which is good for the entire company. You know what they say, there is no I in team.

 

Time:

As we utilize technology more effectively and implement a more team oriented workplace it can actually minimize the amount of time spent on task and streamline organizational workflow. This is of course contingent upon effective utilization and adaption of technology, increased teamwork and proper training of staff.

We are at a point in the workplace that we are NOT utilizing time effectively which minimizes productivity and maximizes the amount of time spent doing tasks. Consequently our days are longer, our workflow is not as effective as it should be and organizations are not running as smoothly as they could.  Take a look at the Infographic below which will give you an idea of exactly how ineffectively we are managing our time within the workplace.   A few tweaks to organizational structure to implement a teamwork dynamic and implementation of effective technologies could really change this slippery slope that we are on.

 

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic
Source: OnlineMBA.com

 

Ultimately the goal is to utilize technology strategies that are smart for the employees and organization as a unit in order to use time more effectively  while creating a teamwork inspired organizational structure. This is the new workplace organizational structure, embrace it!

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It’s NOT Complicated, It’s A Digital World, You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy: That Was Easy

DigitalMarketingEasy

 

I often speak about how technology has really grown so much within the past few years. It is quite astounding if you think about how quickly we have gone from being a traditionally print focused world to a world that is really becoming primarily digitally focused.  Sometimes I think, OMG When did this happen?  It was such a gradual process that the transition was almost seamless.  One minute we were flipping through newspapers, magazines and yellow pages and now,  not so much.  There is a bag filled with two versions of 2013 Yellow Pages marinating in 103 degree heat on my door step waiting for trash day, as we “speak”  I have no interest in pretending that I care enough to move those Yellow Pages  into my home even on a temporary basis, I prefer to allow it to stew in the sun in wait for the recycling truck.

 

One of the things that really contributed to quickly propelling us to this digital world is mobile devices. People are literally attached to any information that they need to access by way of pocket or purse through their mobile device. The need to go home and flip through the Yellow Pages, Newspaper or Magazine is just no longer needed.

 

Since moving so rapidly into the digital age the need for traditional marketing as a primary medium is not as high demand as it once was. With that said it is imperative that companies look beyond traditional marketing used as a primary means to market an organization. I am not saying that companies should disband their marketing teams only that it is very important to integrate digital marketing strategies within the company marketing mix. I would say that a huge part of the marketing focus should be on  digital marketing.

 

It is no longer optional whether we need to adopt digital marketing strategies, it has now become almost mandatory. Think about how many times you’ve picked up a newspaper, magazine or yellow pages within the past 3 months and this will be an indication of how important it is to adopt at least some digital marketing strategies for your organization. If you have not utilized any traditional media it could be that your customers or potential clients may not have either.

 

Getting started with digital media can be as easy or as hard as you allow it to be. Starting with the basic online strategies are advisable.  Companies should additionally incorporated video, slideshows, images, podcasts and a variety of other interactive elements to their marketing mix.  Like I said, I wouldn’t throw out traditional marketing strategies, especially if they are working. I would, however integrate more digital marketing strategies to the mix. Take a look at my 12 go to platforms that your company should be rocking.

 

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Pageand that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.

Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. 

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups,Social EmpireTeam Zen XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things  Rock on and get Digital!  Just  remember we are in a digital world so digital marketing is no longer an option but a necessity.

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