Social Fresh: KEYNOTE – The real-time revolution

Presenter: Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra) Director of Community for Radian 6. From the program:

    New blueprints for doing business at the speed of now. Our keynote is a special treat this year with Amber Naslund presenting for the first time in Charlotte. She is one of the highest rated speakers in Social Fresh history. And she has just recently combined forces with Jay Baer on a no nonsense social media book by Wiley Publishing.

What is social media doing to our businesses?

It’s re-engineering the way we do things to adapt to the web. We need to figure out how to operationally pull this stuff into our work. We have to adapt businesses to social media. It’s a challenge, but the opportunity is unprecedented.

How we use the we use social media forces businesses to adapt. It creates open and reciprocal communication. Everything’s more visible.

What needs to change?

  • Culture: We feel it more than we hear or see it, woven into fabric of company. It starts with intent. It’s defined by your shared purpose, your values, and how you carry that out. We can feel when it’s healthy and when it’s not. What does healthy look like?
  1. Solidarity of purpose: communicate what they stand for in community
  2. Demonstrated trust: Trust in your people. EVERYBODY now is a brand ambassador. Anyone that’s attached to your brand is a spokesperson. Ritz Carlton gives every employee $2000 to fix a customer problem at anytime.
  3. Laboratories & feedback loops: Business needs to have an appetite for experimentation, and willingness to adjust processes.
  4. Diversity of people and ideas: Jones soda lets everyone join in things like taste tests, determining what they sell.
  5. Reward systems: People are more important than bottom lines
  • Talent: We need to change the way we hire. We don’t tend to hire that way or through the channels we expect them to use. Think about how we’re finding people. Today’s resume IS online. Your customers don’t care what department someone is in if they are asking for help. We’re all responsible for that. Make sure new hires are resources across the board. Amber’s is an attributes-based process:
  1. Curiosity – Are applicants interested in finding new ways to make jobs better?
  2. Enthusiasm – Do they have a love for social media?
  3. Innovation – It’s important to hire people who have mindset to say “I wonder if just because we’ve always done it this way, if we should keep doing it this way.”
  4. Motivation – Autonomy to be nimble and engaged means they have got to want to do it
  5. Collaboration – Social media in a bubble does not work. New employees have got to be willing to work with colleagues, and be accountable as a group as well as rock stars.
  6. Translation – They need to be able to speak the language of the the business and the social media, and explain why this is valuable to the business.
  7. Humility – “You are not in social media to be a rock star.” Instead build the mindset as a whole.
  8. Awareness – This is not easy or instant, and new hires must have what it takes to coach others.


New Roles and Responsibilities

  • Listening
  • Success Metrics
  • Story Harvesting
  • Brand Immersion & Representation
  • Engagement


Nimble communication

  • Who owns social media? Who cares? It all goes back to your business’ purpose. Every department in media owns it. Customer service, PR and marketing. Each team “does social” but they do it in context.
  1. Bridges – people who find information
  2. Frontliners – people who respond
  3. Backstage – analysts, R&D
  • Good wiring: systems in place to get info from one place to another.
  1. Policies and Guidelines: Create these so people know what the rules of engagement are
  2. Training and education are huge – If people want to be part of it, they can find resources to learn how to do it. Training needs to be around judgment – how to evaluate situations you’re in and act accordingly.
  • Answering the new telephone [listening]: People don’t pick up the phone and call a company much anymore to tell them about a problem. Now they put it on Twitter. We have to answer these new types of phone calls. People are expecting us to.
  1. Active listening: Listening with intent to respond. There is a ton of value in learning what people are saying about competitors, what they’re saying about you involving more than your product or service.
  2. Passive listening: Simply checking things out and getting the lay of the land.
  • Listening intersections: Where listening process intersects your business.
  1. Sales: Point of need.
  2. Marketing: “Do people like us? Is our brand taking off?” Messaging can get better (more relevant) by listening. How do other people describe you? Use those words
  3. HR – Recruiting and talent identification.
  4. Customer services: Handling issues in real-time, and easing load on call center.
  5. Creative: Idea generation.
  • Response-ability: It’s not always the people who are the approved spokespeople doing the response. Look at different types of participation online.
  • The humanization highway: Steps to maturing in engagement.
  1. Ignoring
  2. Listening: paying attention
  3. Responding:
  4. Participating: talking about us and participating in other conversations people have started. May not be about us. Might be about industry
  5. Story-telling: creating content.
  • Volunteer armies: People who can respond without that being their full-time job. Somebody’s interested in this. Pick people who are passionate about your company and purpose. All you have to do is teach them the tools, which is a lot easier than teaching the mindset.
  1. Encourage employees to harvest stories. Share information.
  2. Opportunistic response: Taylor guitars video response to “United Breaks Guitars” made by random employee
  • Build a fire extinguisher: We’re all vulnerable to a social media crisis. We have to have a plan. They’re more important now than ever.
  1. When to yell “fire”: A customer service issue is not always a crisis. Crisis is unstable (you don’t have all the facts. You’re not equipped to respond), has the potential to do lasting damage, and is real deviation of the status quo (something you haven’t had to deal with before).
  2. Have a conversation with employees about what a crisis is.
  • Design a response plan: Who needs to get involved at what point.
  1. What can we say? What can we not say? Acknowledge and respond to the crisis. Sometimes you have to say you’re sorry.
  2. Don’t forget to document what you’ve learned. Where did you go wrong? What did you do right? What worked? What didn’t?
  3. Design this now, while you’re not in crisis.
  • Make a calculator: Measurement – we have to do this as businesses.
    1. What you measure and when depends on the type of business and information you have access to.

Social media and the web move at the speed of light and we’re trying to hold on. Measurement gives you reasonable degree of certainty, but goals have to come first, and there has to be time to sit and watch.

What are the goals?

  • activities to create awareness
  • sales
  • loyalty: you want transaction value, retention to go up.

Figure out what your goal is, and you’re halfway there. In theory it isn’t complicated. Where it gets tricky is in practice. Social media needs to be an integral part of the company. Your goals don’t have to be complicated but they do have to exist..and it takes time


Now is real: this is an unprecedented time in business. You are all equipped to do this. You’re ready for it. Now is the time to start and time’s a-wasting.