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12 Social Media Ideas to Transform

Commodity & Complacency into Community to enhance your

Competitive Advantage • Rethink customers as your Customer


• Replace Advertising Campaigns with Permanent

Relationship Building • Revive Sales Plans with Confidence • Re-imagine Web sites as Global


Broadcast Centers

• Redefine Social Networking using Social


• Rethink “Community” as your “Competitive


A 365 White Paper on:

.Community Based .Commerce

What’s the point of reading this? Simply said: “the point” is to sell more of your products. At 365 we believe that successful business development is systematic. It is processdriven. The 365Advantage process, tailored to the specific challenges of your market, is designed to formulate a set of relationship building solutions that are true to your mission, personality and brand. We also believe that there is great power in intentionally fostering an atmosphere of community with your customers, employees and vendors. Our research has shown that the creation of an active community dynamic creates a Cycle of ConfidenceTM with your audience that provides many advantages in growing your market. Technology has opened new avenues to organizations like yours to expand your reach in exciting and cost affordable ways like never before. At 365 we combine cuttingedge Web & social media technology, the science of human behavior and proven strategies in community and organizational development to help you create and sustain a competitive advantage in your marketplace. This paper will introduce you to the 365 concept of community based commerce and cover 12 specific ideas that 365 would like to expand upon in partnership with your organization.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Commodity is about Product A Commodity is a product for which there is a market need, but which also has no unique difference from the other products in that market. For example: Corn is corn, steel is steel. If you manage a business you are selling a product or service and creating a profit in the margin between what you put into it and what people pay for it. The price of the product you are selling is based on either the cost to produce the product plus some profit for you or it is based on the perceived value people place on your offering. If it’s not based on the second and you don’t factor in the value of your relationship with them, then in many ways you are selling a commodity just like everyone else. The price customers will pay for commodity-based products and services are, to a great degree, set in relation to the prices set by all of your other competitors. All things being equal, if your price goes too high, off your customers go to the next-cheapest option.  

Complacency is about People Commodity is to product what complacency is to people. If “Good is the enemy of Great,” then complacency doesn’t have to mean lazy people, a marginal product or even poor performance. It may just mean that your staff or your customers are simply OK with being “OK” when you, as the person responsible for growth, need them to be excited. In managing any organization, a “commodity” or “complacency” mindset becomes a management issue when people’s neutral or negative attitudes about your product, customer service and employee morale fail to inspire positive behavior. Examples of positive behavior are as simple as people buying your product or your team working overtime on their own to get it “just right.” What most leaders find frustrating is getting people to change those negative or complacent attitudes into excitement, into a winning energy. “Why don’t our customers refer more business?” “Why aren’t our team members taking the lead in solving their own problems?” “Why isn’t our company growing faster?” Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Community is about Process Community is a group of people organized around a “principal aim.” Community is also a “state of mind” that promotes a sense of “joint ownership” and “participation”. For example, a business is a community of people whose principal aim is to create a profit in exchange for a product or service. Every organization has many internal and external communities. Customers and employees are the obvious communities you serve, but there are also others like your vendors, the media, legislators, competitors, insurance and finance companies, regulators, investors and board members. Each of these communities requires subtle differences in messaging, content exchange, frequency of contact and security. Even within your customer community, individuals and companies have their own “principal aims” that are as diverse as just having fun to just making a quick buck. • • • • •

Do you have a plan for all of your “communities?” Do you understand your customers’ “principal aim?” Does your customer community understand yours? Do they even know they are part of a larger community of customers who use your services? Do you have a “customer community” or just a list of customers?

Your “Customer Community” will be born when, in addition to providing a solid product, you begin to inspire people to achieve great results by providing them with the confidence they need to find mutual success with you. •

Would you buy a stock if you didn’t have confidence it would go up in value?

Would you buy a house if you didn’t have confidence it was worth the price?

In what do people need to have confidence to Buy Your Product?

Building Blocks to the 365 Cycle of Confidence


At 365 we believe there are three primary building blocks that the leader of any “customer community” has to master if they want to be considered a great success. To have a “competitive advantage” in attracting new people every community must: 1. Guarantee a consistent positive experience. 2. Create mutually beneficial relationships. 3. Provide tangible opportunity.

So, how do you do that? Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage is about Confidence Competitive Advantage means getting and staying one step ahead of your market. At 365 we do that by maximizing the potential of your People and your Process so that you can realize the potential of your Product. Combining product, people & process into a Cycle of Confidence with your customers gives you the edge over your competitors. TM

How to tell if you have the Cycle of Confidence in your Customer Community? TM

Do your customers and employees volunteer to refer you to their friends?

Do they say nice things about you to others?

Do they give you the benefit of the doubt when you make a mistake?

Do they care about your success beyond just buying your product?

Do you care about theirs beyond just taking their money?

Are you growing?

Creating a great product is your job. Helping you build great people & empowering them with great process is ours. So how can 365 help you create a higher level of confidence in your customers, employees, members and prospects? 1. Giving you creative ideas about selling your product 2. Giving you access to best-in-class technology, design and integrated social media resources. 3. Giving you the 365Advanatge of our “customer community”, our “reader community” and our “technology community.”

But today we will just start with some creative ideas; 12 of them.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #1 Let 365 Draw Your Organization’s Confidence Maps 365 Confidence Maps are our learning tools to help you begin the social media journey. Is your organization telling a story of growth? More importantly, are you living that story yourself? Are your current and prospective community members hearing your message clearly? Even if they do, does your story cause them to take action? Does it change attitudes? Does it alter behavior? … Does it work? Each of the following 365 mapping tools helps us understand your organization so that we can tell your story in the virtual world as well as you do in the real world. 365 Vision Map • Map - “Where are we? Where were we? Where do we want to go?” • Gap - “How far away are we from our goal?” “Hey, wait, do we have a goal?” 365 Product & Service Strategy Map • “What exactly do we do around here, anyway?” 365 System Map • “How many systems do we have?” 365 Capital Map • “What resource tools do we have?” 365 Community Map • “Who do we serve?” 365 Organization Map • “Who is responsible for what?” 365 People Map • “What critical tasks are we each responsible for?” 365 Skill Map • “What do we each need to learn in order to succeed?” 365 Marketing Map • “How do we claim our competitive advantage in the marketplace?” 365 Story Map • “Are we telling a clear story? How do we communicate?” Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #2 Join 365’s Core Enabling Software Partnership This is your invitation to join the 365Advantage community. Partnering with 365 is much more than just hiring a firm to create a Web site. In fact, while in most cases the 365Advantage platform combines an organization’s Web site, intranet and extranet, you may just select one application of it as an integrated solution in your existing information system. Membership in the 365Advantage community is real ownership in the medium and participation in the ongoing development of 365’s core social media software. Our community of 365 customers and partners is created around a set of open-source and shared-use principles and a core enabling software operating system that each community member joins at 5 different levels of technology and cost. The five 365 Software Communities are: I

.com - Base 365Advantage Platform


.community - Base I + Social Network, Content Management, Interactive Media


.communicate - Base I & II + Administrative Control, Communication Modules


.compete - Base III + 365Commerce, 365Workflow, 365Form Engine Creation


.complete social media You

Once you are a member, upgrades to each level of software are included in your software license. So is the ability to make recommendations, share co-development costs of specialty solutions, and even vote each quarter on 365’s investment in new modules, tools and media hardware. All 365 community members enjoy complete access to all modules and Web tools on their level of the 365Advantage platform. With over 50 specialty-use modules in our archive and 365’s propriety membership, content and publishing tools you have access to just about everything you can do on the Web. For Level V 365Advantage Platform Members, that is over $100,000 of software at your fingertips.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #3 Launch a Global Broadcast Center The 365Advantage Web Platform 365Advantage is an empowered Web-based communications platform created from both proprietary and re-engineered open source software, as well as multiple other media resources, to keep you at the very forefront of communications technology at a fraction of the cost. (365Advantage Share Point and CRM Integration available upon request.) 365Advantage starts as a Web site, Web-based Intranet or Extranet, or an attractive Web-zine, and then we add the 365Advantage with:

Level I .com

Level III .communicate

365Advantage Base Platform 15 Self Service Text & Image Pages Multiple Directories FAQ’s Announcements Embedded Links Product Feedback Modules News Feeds (RSS) Survey Tools Blog & Discussion Board Wiki (look it up @ Embedded Google Maps and YouTube

365Advantage Self Administration Unlimited Self-Service Page Construction Module Extensions Drag & Drop Module Placement Rights Multi-Tiered Content Administration User Approval and Administration Multi-Tiered Password Controls

Level II .community 365 Broadcasting Modules Video Streaming Photo Archives Audio Streaming Banner Rotation Podcast Service Chat Photo of the Day Mailing System Staff or Organization Directory 365Advantage User Self Administration Individual User Self Management User Profile “MY” Pages “Add Friends” Social Connection Modules User Uploaded Documents, Links & Photos RSS Syndication

Level IV .compete 365Advantage Commerce E -Z-Commerce E-Z-Store Front E-Z-Membership 365 Itinerary & Content Search 365 User Briefcase 365Advantage Self Publishing Modules 365 Content Publishing 365 Event Calendaring 365 Information Directories 365Advantage Content Management Archived Article and Image Libraries Multiple Document Storage Tools Content Composition and Editing Tools Self Help Document Storage Browse and Click Photos with Captions

Level V .complete social media YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Blog and RSS Integration

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #4 Share your Message with 220,000 Regional Residents Location - Location - Location Having a Web presence is only as effective as the traffic that sees it. One major advantage 365 provides is a built-in and growing user community called the 365 Regional Network. Using that network we talk to over 15,000 people a week. With over 200,000 people in the Tri-State area, 365 is now publishing on-line community magazines in 38 cities and our 365ink Magazine is available in hundreds of Tri-State locations. Combined, 365 is read by over 15,000 Tri-State residents every week. With 8 years in business, 365 is read by well over a million readers a year. And that was before the 365 Regional Network was created and funded with grants from companies such as Alliant Energy, Tricor Insurance and the Iowa Department of Economic Development. As a core 365Advantage partner, your new Web broadcast center will have a prominent home in the Tri-States.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #5 Sell on-line with 365 Commerce, Membership & EDI That’s right, while you have a captive audience‌sell stuff. Again, let go back to the communities we serve. Not only do your customers buy stuff, but your employees buy tens of thousands of dollars of medical, retail and service products every year. Many buy them online. Why not buy them online at your own store, where you capture a share of non-financial revenue? What about books on Amazon and other online media retailers? We have the capabilities to capture a percentage of that revenue and by encouraging your customers, employees and vendors to do that through your site, you make money. 365 provides four unique Web-based platforms to let you conduct business online. Custom CRM (Customer/Content Relationship Management) and Sharepoint integration is also available upon request.

365 E-Z-Commerce - An internally built e-commerce system within your 365Advantage Web site.

365 E-Z-StoreFront - A

separate complete storefront for your unique Web storefront presence. Includes Web design integrated with your existing marketing style guidelines. Includes payment capture, Visa PAPD verification certificate and shipping preparation.

365 E-Z-Membership

- 365Advantage comes complete with a host of membership including registration, profile maintenance, newsletter group emails and administered, individualized member self-content publishing.

365 E-Z-Workflow - Sometimes

business is just a big list of stuff to get done. E-ZWorkflow is a production maximization engine that helps you create a structured set of best practice guidelines and then easily help your team execute your workflow plan, whether it be product production, service delivery or membership management. It also helps you handle electronic data interchange (EDI) of orders, shipping and other production and process management tasks.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #6 Integrate & Brand Your Social Media Services We believe that your web presence doesn’t stop at your Web-site. It starts there. While social media is personal, creative and often crafted by the more technically savvy members of a community, most branding experts would argue that it doesn’t make any sense to let others design your marketing efforts without a plan. A radio station shouldn’t create one media campaign message while an outdoor billboard company creates another while a television station and newspaper create yet even more. Your message shouldn’t be a matter of accident. Yet in the emerging world of social media, most organizations do not have a plan. Your message on the web should be made “on purpose” and within a planned process. Your YouTube Corporate Channel, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, blog, text messaging, VOIP, Webinars and RSS integration are critical to maximizing your social media efforts.

Be Yourself…On Purpose

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #7 Viral Video, Photo & Audio Production Viral marketing has fast become a buzzword in advertising, as has the notion of social network marketing. Just for the record, these are simply marketing practices that just use a new set of tools. 365’s video and audio team is the “Easy Button” solution to making quality streaming content and keeping your content updated, relevant and quick-to-market so that you are always ahead of the competitor down the street. Here are a few tips. Be Purple In Seth Goodin’s book The Purple Cow, he defines how to separate your message from a world of brown cows. That means we had better show some creativity and not just stick to the tri-folds. Get to the Point When we say “Get to the Point,” we meant it. We need to be direct with your message. Social and viral messages need to be creative, but let’s not leave the universe guessing what your message is. Be Cheap Yes, we said cheap. This isn’t the Oscars. It isn’t free, but we don’t need a $25,000 video shoot to make an impact. We just need to be smart, funny and a bit out-of-the-box. Involve & Attach Your Market If the response from the consumer does not happen on a visceral and emotional level, then we are missing the point. Attaching people to a brand is more than having them remember it. The message needs to create an awareness of your brand as well as create a call to action from your customer. Be Realistic Selling is a system, and while we would all love to get 1 million hits on a viral clip, we should first make it a point to get the 100 specifically targeted hits we need. “More views” doesn’t equal more revenue. The right views do.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea # 8 Use Devices, Mobile Marketing and Text Messaging Anyone who has seen a cell phone or other mobile device in the hands of a teenager knows that text messaging has become an integral part of the communication model for young people. What savvy marketers understand is that with a modest investment in cutting-edge group text messaging software systems, businesses and organizations can instantly communicate with their customers, club members, or constituencies. Using text messaging as part of an integrated social networking and sales tool, 365 clients can quickly build a broad database of people in their community and connect with them at a moment’s notice. Nightclubs and restaurants can update customers on entertainment, nightly specials, or offer a “members club” coupon. Retail clients can notify their best customers about special sales and promotions. Schools can update students and parents on weather delays, cancellation, or other emergencies. Local media can notify the public as news happens and also extend new market promotional opportunities to their advertisers. Social clubs, volunteer and political organizations can communicate directly with members to schedule impromptu meetings or mobilize volunteers as needed.   Using an integrated marketing system, clients can build their subscriber network with simple signup tools on their web site or in their place of business. Once the service is in place, implementation is as easy as sending out an email. Members or customers are instantly connected to the latest news updates or promotional offers. To take advantage of a coupon or special offer, subscribers simply text back a keyword.   Already a successful marketing tool in use by some of the world’s most well-known companies in many larger markets, 365 can provide this cutting-edge service as one piece of a comprehensive social media plan.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #9 Prepare Your Social Media Communications Plan Don’t let your image and message on-line be a matter of accident. Effective social media presents strong content and visual symbols that support market benefits – making a powerful statement about your organization. The scope of work includes: •

A full review of your competitive market dynamics.

A compilation of key selling points, marketing initiatives, tactical elements and strategic guidelines identifying the integral elements of your message.

Consistent scheduled meetings (weekly/monthly) with your key management personnel in the review, evaluation and testing of media concepts.

The presentation of a report of findings and creative recommendations for permanent customer relationship development.

365 will provide design work and creative examples to demonstrate specific areas of the social media plan. Any changes to the creative work will require a new job to be opened and an estimate of work and costs. The minimum time required to do a thorough effort is 30 days from signing the agreement.

Items listed in the Budget area are estimates only. Individual tasks will need bids on each project.

365 will create a Social Media Communications Book and 365Advantage Tutorial for your selected team members involved in the project. A PowerPoint snapshot of this report can be provided to help facilitate the presentation.

Does not include out-of-pocket costs, which may include: Travel for meetings or interviews, meals during travel, additional marketing books. All expenses will be estimated and approved in advance.

365 services can also integrate management of handheld devices, mobile texting programs, VOIP, CRM and SharePoint integration.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #10 Write a Social Media Sales Plan - Then Stick To It Selling is asking people to give you money. Just because social media is community-based, visually exciting and comes with a host of bells and whistles, the truth is, if you don’t remember that you are selling something, you might as well stick with the chalkboard.

Personal Social Media is about Fun. Professional Social Media is about Results. So you if you want to win you had better have a social media sales plan. And you had better execute that plan consistently. We believe selling and marketing are not the same thing. Marketing helps position your product in the best possible way to attract and keep the attention of your buyer. It looks at demographics (who is buying your “big idea”) and psychographics (why they are buying your “big idea”). It also leverages principles of design, consumer psychology and market pricing. Sales is much simpler. Sales is asking people to buy. You might be asking, if “sales” is so simple, why do people fail to sell more products? The answer is, well … simple. Kind of… Sales is a set of technical skills applied to a defined process of selling. Using questions to determine need and providing answers to overcoming objections. It is a science in and of itself. In a well-run sales system, the emphasis is on the process, not the people. Every call, every question answered and every objection resolved are recorded, tracked and evaluated. So to make that easy;

Sales is only simple when sales is a system of selling. The 365 Social Media Sales Strategy Map combined with the 365 Staff and training that comes with it, makes selling your products and services through social media simple. And if you get stuck just ask us to sell with you. We are pretty good at it. Maybe we can race to your next sales goal? Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2008

Competitive Advantage Idea #11 Bring a dedicated Social Media Story Teller in-House Social Media is about People. Making the kind of social media that makes a difference in the behavior of your audience, requires people that do it every day. You do what you do best. 365 does social media storytelling. And, if there is one thing that 365 has learned in the 10 years since entering the World Wide Web (other than always carry a flash drive in your pocket), it is this: If you want to win … your social media partner had better have a desk and spend mandatory, routinely scheduled time in your company.

Why? We will give you three simple reasons. Social media is fast. Winning means taking the advantage of being first to your market with new opportunities. Updating Web sites daily (even hourly), instant video messages, audio education, event photography, flash emails and alert texts, as examples, are all great ways to do that. The problem is this: Getting your most talented experts to do that is hard to execute when they are already busy doing their own jobs. It is easy to say that you can delegate this kind of work. In fact, it is easier for us to make our case if you try that first. What we know works better is 365’s experts appearing at their desk for a quick interview.

Social media is relevant … right now, for the next 30 seconds. It isn’t just the cutting edge, it’s planning for the cutting edge that hasn’t even been invented yet and preparing your media plan to capitalize on the newest tools when they become available. Evolving social media tools also allow two-way communication that uses feedback from your customer community’s collective knowledge base to sense and uncover roadblocks and opportunities before they occur. Unlocking the power of your community so that you can keep as much control of your message as you can in a world of ever more rapid change. While social media is ever changing it is not just about managing change. It is about affecting change.

Social media absolutely requires everyday effort. 365 days a year. “Yep, that is where our name comes from.”

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2009

Competitive Advantage Idea #12 Go back to basics…digitally! And guess what, its cheap.

It’s a whole new world when it comes to the creation of point of purchase, print and apparel options.

Digitally Printed Sales Material - One of the easiest and cost effective ways to get the word out quick, short of email and text, is the good-ole’ post card. Thanks to digital technology you can custom design and order 4 color post cards, business cards, mailers, rack cards and even complex marketing pieces. Better yet you can get them in 24 hours if you have too.

Custom Digital Apparel - That’s right, we can even integrate complex photography and design elements into your next polo, tshirt or uniform. We can even custom sew your next sports jersey, corporate event satchel, or product release t-shirt. Yes, we design it and make it to spec. We can even do custom cloth banners, tire covers and tents. Yes, made to order, made in the USA and made to not break your budget.

Digital Banners & Signs – You name it we can design and produce it. Banners, pop ups, even large street banners.

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2009

Competitive Advantage Idea – 365 Bakers Dozen Enroll your new managers in 365’s Simple 3’s Courses Leading and managing in a world of constant change is a challenge every organization faces. The 365 Simple 3’s are easy to understand “Get to the Point” interactive lessons learned from our 15 years of anecdotal and academic research on managing people in a new social media world. 365 offers individual, small group and organization- wide training programs. Scheduled courses, lunch learning programs, and e-learning on-line will begin in March of 2009.

3 Questions: “How do we get all of our People excited about our Process?” “How do we overcome the roadblocks that are created when our People don’t connect with our Process?” “How do we make every connection between every person and every process an opportunity for growth of our product?”

One Answer: 365’s Simple 3’s - Easy Management Building Blocks Managing Your Competitive Advantage = Product - People - Process Managing Performance Change = Structure - Attitude - Behavior Managing Growth = Relationships - Opportunity – Experience Managing Goals = Actions - Circumstances - Vision Managing People = Parent - Child - Adult Managing Change = Need - Risk - Trust Managing Perceptions = Expectations - Realities - Dissonance Managing Behavior Change= Awareness - Intention -Action Managing Negotiations = Positions - Interests - Solutions Managing Problems = Identify - Organize - Create Managing Learning = Write it - Rehearse it - Repeat it Managing Personal Counseling = Separate - Specify - Spell It Out Managing Communication = Content - Context - Compatibility Managing Perceptions = Real - Social - Ideal Managing Service = Consistent - Conscientious - Caring Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2009

What 365 Promises to Deliver •

A clear and written understanding of your principal aim, mission, value statements and the secret sauce that defines your competitive advantage to your employees, members, media partners and customers.

A written organizational process to create & sustain a successful social media campaign, including clearly defined and written team goals and expectations.

A specific communications strategy, marketing resources and ongoing set of organizational Confidence Maps.

Access to the 365Advantagetm Web Platform and access to the 365 Framework Toolkit & Media Libraries.

Weekly, Quarterly & Annual Review of your Confidence Maps, Goals and Progress.

What you promise to delver: •

Access to information and to necessary employees and managers.

Introspective criticism & feedback always putting “mutual improvement” first.

Commitment to the personal & professional growth and development of your “customer community” and ours.

The 365Advantage Investment Review & Retainer: 365 works on an annual retainer based upon a predetermined set of scheduled days onsite at your locations. 365Advantage also provides an upfront Social Media Creation Fee for the initial design and build of your selected 365 solutions. License fees for 365Advantage software are included, and sub-licenses are included in annual retainer fee. 365Advantage Members also receive a significantly discounted hourly work rate for non-project additions, beginning at $65 (normally $85 to $150) for media creation, video, etc. Other fees for studio time, equipment rental or outsourced projects may apply. This includes one four-hour block of non-billed time for document review, research, survey analysis, and plan preparation. A confidentiality agreement for protection of you, your employees and your organization’s private and proprietary information is anticipated. Meetings & Travel: Weekly ongoing project management meetings in addition to the scheduled onsite workdays are included. One full day per quarter of 365 project managers onsite is also included. 365 will also participate in preparation of any available training-grant applications. Thanks to the creature comforts of cell phones and books on disc, 365 does not charge for travel “time;” however, we do charge a .50 cent per-mile auto reimbursement, cost of air travel and any hotel fees due to poor weather or project necessity. Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2009

Copyright 365, Community, Incorporated 2009

365 Whitepaper  

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