All posts in Social Business

News Release: Ending Homelessness in Sacramento with Better Social Business Workflow

December 29, 2011 (Sacramento, CA) — Sacramento Steps Forward is a non-profit tasked with a critical mission of ending homeless in Sacramento by 2020, serving as a national example of how to end chronic homelessness.  Beginning in January 2012, C7group will partner with Sacramento Steps Forward staff and volunteers to implement social business strategy and tactics for their organization.

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Infographic: Generation Mobile

social-network business consulting graphic connected enterprise nodesThere’s no question that the avaialbility of high speed data on a mobile platform has a lot to do with today’s social adoption.  Social business platforms must be available to the mobile user. And, as business needs to continue to appeal to the workforce of tomorrow – we better pay attention to how they want to communicate.  Thanks to Hack College for this great depiction of how mobile has changed life on campus

Generation Mobile
Created by: HackCollege

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Microsoft Shares Vision for Office Productivity [Video]

This is quite a fantastic vision of the office of the future. there’s no doubt that it gives some hope for the ideas that are flowing in Redmond. We have to wonder, how much is art and how much is true ideation?

 

Microsoft has consistently done a great job of catching up to the visionary plays and still doesn’t have a solid offering in the mobile space as compared to Google or Apple. And, we don’t include them as a contender, currently, as a social business software platform for business communication or collaboration. We consider that other platforms and tools must be able to “play nice,” in terms of integration with Microsoft Office and Sharepoint – but that there is no current Microsoft offering that has what others like Jive Software, Drupal Commons or Socialtext do. We love the concepts though and are all geeked out over another indication that interactive holographic extensions of the traditional screen concept might not be all that far away?

What strikes you as exciting or interesting!

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How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media – crowdSPRING
Crowdsourced Logo and Graphic Design by crowdSPRING

This infographic tells an interesting story about social media adoption by small businesses; perhaps most interesting are the stats near the bottom of the graphic. Namely, it’s the ability to marry social media activities to business metrics like customer engagement, intelligence gathering, external and internal collaboration, and lead generation that really matters. If a business can’t point to tangible results from their social strategy, it might be time for a fresh look.

“Taming the social beast can be a real challenge for business owners who are already spreading themselves thin,” says C7group VP of Communications, Shelly King. “The need for a clear strategy and roadmap, and the right tools to execute it, is more pressing than ever.”

C7group has created a Small Business Social Integration service that is designed to help small businesses take their social presence beyond marketing and create a truly social business, from customer service and retention to employee collaboration and workflow improvement. If you’d like to know more about how we do that, click the link above to request more information or give us a call today.

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C7group Announces Launch of New Offering for Small Business

Since its formation, the C7group has worked to help business owners and executives, from enterprise to SMB, understand that making the move to social is about more than ust using social media platforms for marketing and customer acquisition. A true social business engages customers and employees across the organization, from customer service, to innovation, to employee collaboration.

Small Business Social Business Integration SacramentoToday, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new social business offering designed specifically with small businesses in mind. The Social Integration for Small Business Suite from C7 Group brings cost saving and revenue producing tools that have previously only been available to enterprise level organizations, as well as the expertise to properly implement them, to small and mid size businesses.

C7 Group founder and CEO, Jeff Marmins, says, “We looked around right here in our own backyard, Sacramento, CA, and realized that there was a huge void in the marketplace; no one was talking about how small businesses could, with the right tools and training, compete with much larger organizations by adopting a social model.” Marmins lists the advantages small businesses have over their larger counterparts: speed, agility, centralized decision making, lower overhead. He also acknowledges that many small businesses jump into the social space haphazardly, with no clear idea of how to use the available tools to retain customers and make more money. “We’re a small business. We understand how confusing the digital landscape is today. C7group has taken advantage of cloud based software and social platforms such as Google Docs, the Google Apps Marketplace, Hootsuite, Nimble and others. What combination of the hundreds of offerings are right for you? We can help with the roadmap and tool selection.”

Marmins cites some astounding statistics to make his case (from a study conducted by C7group software partner, Jive): businesses that have adopted a social model have seen a 27% reduction in email sent, a 26% decrease in time needed for meetings, a 30% increase in employee satisfaction, a 42% increase in customer communication and, perhaps most impressive, a 27% increase in sales to new and existing clients. The path to that kind of productivity can be tricky, though, Marmins warns.

“There are a lot of ‘overnight experts’ that have jumped into social media,” Marmins says. “If you don’t know what to look for, you could easily get burned by an amateur looking to make a quick buck or that is looking at marketing in a vacuum. Where can you really create leverage and increase net profit? What should you do first?”

And while other firms have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to assist their small business clients in adopting the use of social media for marketing and PR purposes, C7group is the first consulting firm in Sacramento to offer an end-to-end package that covers employee collaboration and document management to workflow and process improvements and, of course, social media marketing.

“What we’re really taking about is social technology and related practices, not just social media marketing,” Marmins states. “We can show you that the difference is bigger than you might think.”

Get more information about the new Small Business Digital Services Suiterequest a consultation with a C7 Group social business expert or call (916) 538-3767.

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C7 Group CEO Jeff Marmins to teach LinkedIn for Business

Social business is changing the way your business interacts with customers, generates leads, and collects business intelligence. LinkedIn is the leading public social media platform for Business-to-Business (B2B) relationship development. Many business owners and salespeople, though, are confused about how best to use LinkedIn to contribute to client acquisition and retention.

C7 Group CEO, Jeff Marmins, will make a free public appearance as the lead instructor in the Sacramento Social Media Club‘s quarterly workshop, LinkedIn for Business. Jeff Marmins, Melissa Washington of Smartnet Strategies and special guest Christopher Baccus, Executive Director of Digital and Social Media at AT&T, will instruct a hands-on workshop in advanced LinkedIn practices and concepts to showcase individual credibility, expand networks and make valuable business connections.

For more information and to get your name on the waiting list for this class, click here. The event will also be broadcast live online via the Drexel University School of Graduate Studies.

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The Evolution of Workplace Collaboration: This Is Not Your Father’s Usenet

Last week, C7group CEO, Jeff Marmins shared an infographic demonstrating that the web has always been social.  As social tools move to the forefront of business, though, it’s becoming clear that one of the biggest gains from this progression will be the impact on workplace collaboration.  The ability for employees to work together on projects over great distances and without regard to time zones is becoming a key competitive advantage.

Have a look at this video from our partner, Jive Software:

Did you catch the vision? The business of the future will do more than use the latest social media tools to keep in touch with customers; forward-thinking businesses are already implementing tools like Jive to build internal teams that know no borders.

Think of the the impact that something as simple as sharing internal documents can have on a team. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when team members had to rely on email to share documents, make edits and updates, save new versions, make sure they sent back the *right* version, then start the whole chain over. It was time-consuming and messy, and God forbid you moved the wrong version to your laptop for the big presentation.

Now, documents are living, breathing things with a safe place, probably somewhere in the cloud, to call home. Team members can access, edit, and use the same document from any web browser anywhere in the world and at any time of the day, and they’ll always be using the latest version. That’s just one example of the kind of strides collaboration has taken in the social business model.

Are you engaged or is something holding you back from taking the plunge? Share your thoughts about the potential risks and benefits you see!

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Social Media Risk Management Roundtable

 

There is demand for software solutions and practices that mitigate the risk of employee use of social media. C7group and enterprise software solution provider Sociallogix are hosting an executive roundtable on Social Media Risk Management.

This is a critical discussion for corporate and legal leadership about mitigating the risks associated with loss of intellectual property, compliance violations and HR lawsuits through employee use of public social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social media regulations and social media risk managementSocial Media Risk Management Roundtable [PDF]

Legal, Compliance, Human Resource and IT leadership must come together to discuss the role and effectiveness of governance and technology and how risk can be reduced and behavior monitored in actionable ways.

WHEN: December 1, 2011, 8:00 AM

WHERE: Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies, Sacramento, CA

Register for Social Media Risk Management Roundtable in Sacramento, CA  on Eventbrite

The roundtable will include a discussion moderated by Jackie Alcalde-Marr. Jackie is the author of Social Media at Work and the Director, North America, Organization & Talent Development for Oracle.  She is also adjunct faculty at Drexel University and the University of San Francisco.

Risk in this area will grow as corporations become more and more engaged in the modern social business imperative. The discussion will include recommended approaches to rules and regulations recently introduced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), SEC, NASD and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

We look forward to your participation!

Sponsorship for the Social Media Risk Management Roundtable is available. This is a unique offer to position your brand now in a critical practice area that is just beginning. Please download the sponsor offer and contact information. Exploring solutions now, in this format, will create the practice leadership in this space.

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Seven Reasons to Move to a Social Business Model – Before Your Competition Does

To tweet or not to tweet? That seems to be the question facing countless businesses today, and it’s a question that is becoming a dilemma for many executives. They’re faced with a tough decision: is it better to suffer the “slings and arrows” of the social space, in spite of the risks? Or are their stakeholders better served if they “take up arms against a sea” of talking heads and social media gurus who insist that they must join the conversation or die?

Here are seven reasons many brands are choosing to take their chances and pursue a social business model.

1. It’s where the people are.

Facebook has 700 million active users. Twitter has 175 million, LinkedIn 100 million and the new kid on the block, Google+, topped 20 million account registrations in less than 20 days since its July 6th launch. And it’s not just kids: Facebook’s second largest user demographic are females aged 35-54.

The numbers are clear: more and more people (i.e. consumers) are turning to social networks for entertainment, education, and interaction. Many are even using social platforms to request assistance with customer service issues, and forward-thinking businesses are there to answer their calls for help.

2. Your customers want to talk to you.

Social business goes well beyond using social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to broadcast marketing messages. A recent Gartner study concluded that, by 2016, 15% of all businesses will have deployed a “social layer”, a place where deeper, more meaningful conversations with customers can take place than in the rapid-fire, short-form interactions of the social platforms.

With the right listening tools in place, businesses can tune in to what’s being said about and to them. Paying attention to those signals can rapidly turn potentially volatile customer service issues into PR victories; neglecting them can lead to seriously bad press.

3. Like it or not, you’re already there.

If you think that you’re going to avoid the risk of bad PR in the social space by simply refusing to participate, think again. Your customers, whether fans or detractors, are already talking about you online. While you can’t control the conversation, doesn’t it at least make sense to chime in and influence it?

4. Everything can be measured.

Hands down, one of the most appealing things about the Internet, especially to marketing folks, is the fact that everything can be measured. And while marketing departments around the world are using these metrics to calculate ROI on their campaigns, other departments can take advantage of this ability to measure, as well.

For example, those responsible for risk management in an organization can use social listening tools to monitor the conversations that employees have online (like they do with email now) to make sure that everyone is following the rules. With the right tools in place, this process can be almost entirely automated, giving risk managers a much needed sigh of relief.

5. You can keep potential customers engaged, even over a long sales cycle.

For businesses with sales cycles that are measured in multiple years, the only choice until now has been to “check-in” with customers periodically to keep them engaged. The social Internet, though, has created an entirely new method for keeping in touch and engaged.

When you can connect with prospective clients in the social space, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level; that kind of relationship can make the difference between getting the deal at the end of the cycle or watching it go to a competitor who played a better game.

6. Community is more that just a buzzword; it’s the future of business.

Communities have always popped up around products and brands, from the car enthusiast clubs of the early 20th century to the bulletin boards and newsgroups of the early days of the Internet. As the world becomes more and more connected, businesses need to be able to identify where those online communities are and what they’re talking about. They also need to engage the leaders of those communities, making them an integral piece of their effort to stay connected with their customers.

As brand and product communities become more and more prevalent, the companies who create a space for those communities to thrive will be the winners in their industries.

7. It’s not a fad.

Make no mistake: the world is becoming more social, not less. When someone tells you that social business is just the latest fad to overtake the business community, remind yourself that radio, TV, the cell phone and email all had their detractors, too. As companies like Facebook and Twitter have demonstrated, people want to be heard; that includes your customers. Ignore them at your peril. Chances are pretty good that your competition won’t.

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