These three words exemplify our company’s social media strategy.
Yesterday, a small group of us were invited to a tour and presentation of the National Australia Bank (NAB) Social Media Command Centre, a state-of-the-art facility that monitors the social media channels to gauge public reaction to the bank, it’s products and services. You can see more about it here.
The presentation included an explanation of the analytics on each screen and the Twitter walls and how these are monitored by the small team who are made up of digital marketing and corporate affairs experts. The analytics provide real time, instant and immediate visual representation of the general public views towards various banking products and services. A red halo around products signify negative reactions and green halo, positive.
In order to test out the wall, I decided to send a positive tweet to see what happened:
Sure enough, the tweet was picked up within a few minutes and my Twitter profile photo floated across the screen with a green halo around it…(first and last time I’d see any halo around me).
The Social Media team works quite closely to one another to structure key messages suitable for their audiences and media. After having worked in corporate affairs in my military career in the past, I was no stranger to the importance of structuring key messages that don’t affect or impact reputation or brand but what did surprise me was that what suited one stream did not suit another. For example, you cannot structure a message in ‘corporate affairs speak’ for social media and vice versa.
In fact, social requires a more authentic and honest voice. I didn’t know if one was harder than the other but I believe that social may be harder for the organisation to do initially.
While I sat there looking around the room taking in the analytics on each screen, I had an unexplainable feeling of being in ‘interim’. I don’t know why, but that word ‘interim’ just floated around in my mind throughout the whole presentation – much like my face floating on the big screen.
The precipice between anticipation or uncertainty.
Expectation or no expectation.
Waiting for ‘something’ to happen.
One particular thought that crossed my mind was, “we have a social media centre today but will we need one tomorrow?”
In effect, it felt like I was sitting in a place that today is considered cutting edge, but tomorrow, it will be fondly remembered because all these analytics and social connections will already be in the hands of employees – and not a separate function.
After all, when telephones and emails were introduced into our workplace, did we have a command centre for those? Or did we just expect people to use these tools in their normal daily work.
So why is social media different?
I asked this question and it started a discussion around where the organisation is at with social. How we work, how we learn, the level and quality of our networks, our collaborations. We all agreed that by making social matter – it means that we can directly connect and support our customers. It was also understood that this meant a major cultural and behavioural shift for our people. In effect, it will change the way we work (and hence learn) and connect with others both inside and outside the bank.
My biggest realisation while sitting in that room surrounded by technical gadgetry and big screens was redundancy or the slow death of my Learning and Development profession.
In a social world, one where the tools are in the hands of the employee where they instantly can find answers to questions; create and consume their own content; a world where they learn from each other and their networks, it dawned on me that feeling of ‘interim’ was really a feeling of inevitability.
Making social matter doesn’t just mean to social media strategy – it’s everything. How we live, work and breathe.
I don’t know whether this disruption will be for the common good or go the opposite as it affects society in every aspect but in some way, I’d like to revisit this blog in 5, 10, 20 years from now and see the difference. I cannot for one moment, predict anything but I’ve got a quiet hope that it will all be for the common good.