Have you been following the series? We hope it has inspired you to take steps towards being more social within your career.
Today Anthony Orr, Director, Office of the CTO for BMC Software shares his experiences and social insights from the past few years. You can find Anthony on BMC Communities or on Twitter via @AnthonyOrratBMC.
From a personal perspective I have been active for a while on Facebook and was browsing—but not using--Twitter because originally I didn’t recognize much business value in the tool. My first business view into social media was a blog. I started a blog over four years ago. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I didn’t get any feedback from it.
With a BMC business focused perspective, I have been actively using social tools for about a year. I promote BMC best practices and try to create awareness of things people might not consider to as it relates to Service Management as a practice--not just ITIL but eTOM, Six Sigma, project management and so forth.
Overall today from a social perspective, I use LinkedIn, Twitter, Chatter and use Facebook more for personal use, however do connect with a few business colleagues with Facebook. For me, the impact of social technology such as LinkedIn and Twitter is just unbelievable at the end of the day.
How did you get started in Social Media?
I got started blogging about four years ago. It was a company initiative to make us more social and I was asked to write a blog on a regular basis. I was glad to do it and they allowed me to write about anything I wanted to—but had to reinforce that it was my opinion.
A number of months later after the blog, I was approached at an ITSM user conference. A lady approached me after a presentation I gave and commented “Anthony I really enjoy reading your blog, it had an impact on me.” I thought to myself… “what blog?”
That’s when I started realizing the power of social media.
I wish I had gotten positive feedback like that more often. But as I started understanding social media, I realized that there are different virtual personalities in Social Media—some people that watch, others that respond and others that lead/influence —etc. You might not know that there are people listening to you, but you are making a difference. Over time, you can ultimately see your followers and influence grow.
Today I am approaching socially differently because of the Best Practices Social Media training and insights from Chris Dancy. My perspective and approach changed due to understanding the value chain on Social Media and my part of the overall value chain from the social moment to action.
How do you find “Inspiration” for Social Content?
What inspires me most is conversations that I have with customers and my peers. I think about my day-to-day conversations and realize that there are probably other people who have the same questions or thoughts about these topics—so I then choose to Tweet or write a thought leadership article, etc about it.
I may (or may not) get some feedback or a follower that is interested. It’s the 80/20 rule as it relates to social—80% have some of the same thoughts, while 20% might think differently. Social Media keeps those day-to-day conversations out of the silos and makes industry challenges open to discussion.
How do you Approach Content Development?
Basically, content development is inspired by people i.e. peers, customers, etc. Sometimes a white paper will inspire social content—and sometimes it the social content that inspires the creation of the paper. For example, I may have a white paper under development, so as a precursor I start tweeting or blogging. If I don’t’ get any feedback, I take a step back to look, listen, and to see if the content is relevant by looking at metrics such as are follower accounts going up or not. If not, I might change directions on that piece.
I am approached to create thought leadership material i.e. podcasts, blogs, videos, whitepapers, etc regularly. Once the video, podcast, blog, etc airs, I may not get written feedback, but people sometimes call me directly to comment and ask for more information. If it impacted them and made sense, I am inspired to do more and look for more details to create additional content in that focus area.
Do you have a Personal Rule/Mantra?
Yes. Keep it simple and relevant.
Try not to talk in a lot of industry consulting terms/jargon but in a manner that resonates socially. Use everyday language so people know what you are trying to communicate. Every time I write something I look at it and try to clarify and simplify.
Would you share your Biggest Win/ Achievement?
To me the biggest win at the end of the day is my ability to influence and help people. When we think about services, delivery of services, and management of services, it becomes very complex as it relates to Service Management as a practice within an organization.
Every day, I try to measure myself against the metrics of —“How am I helping people?” And “How am I influencing the market in a positive way?” I measure myself with the goal that I am helping people overall to do things better, have better experiences and specifically our customers run their businesses better with the solutions we have at BMC in technology, services and education.
How do you approach Time Management?
I actually put time on my Outlook calendar on to direct me and schedule my social time. It’s a general time and I decide what works for the week. When possible, I try to put an entry into my calendar that is specific to an activity—like if I have a podcast to prepare for.
When I have a break in the day, I try to take that time to send out a few thoughts on Social Channels or Tweets, even if it is re-posting content that someone else has done that I find interesting. One of the Tweets that I just started a few months ago is called the #ITSMTIP “ITSM Tip of the Day.” Even though I don’t create a daily Tweet, I use the phrase “Tip of the Day” to get people to come back and keep looking for more.
Generally I schedule my social time on Fridays but try to beat that deadline. If I do, then I use that time on Friday for something else. My content usually goes out real time, when it comes to mind, dynamically on a mobile device. I rely on content scheduling that is BMC driven to happen at other times.
What are your biggest Challenges with Social Media?
My biggest challenge is always trying to be current in the industry and understand what people are discussing or sharing interest in. I try to get feedback from my social media team to determine the top searches to see what people are talking about that I may not see because I am not looking at internet ITSM search history.
Ultimately my biggest challenge is working more collaboratively within other functions at BMC to make sure that I am working with the team messages vs. Anthony’s thoughts of the day. I want to be more coordinated and holistic in my approach.
Do you have a Parting Thought to share?
Just Do it. And, when you do it for the right reasons— to help people in organizations to do things better—it’s a very good thing.
Feedback may not happen. Forget about the feedback—just do it.
As long as you are positive in expressing yourself, you can be influencing people. You may never know what the outcome will be and may never know who you will inspire with positive and helpful communications.