Case Study: Lessons Learned

So it turns out my other lessons learned (you can’t control everything, plan ahead, automate and social media is a culture) proved fitting for the final assignment. They all apply to the group work we had to do for this #smrtcce class.

We had a unique group being that we were a foursome, instead of a group of three like most of our classmates. In one way it was nice to be able to divvy up the work, but it was also tricky to coordinate. We don’t live in the same city either. But that’s the point of social media, right? To be able to transcend distance…

So let me answer three “questions”, and briefly summarize what I gleaned from this experience (I’ll make it short and sweet – that’s why I said “briefly”).

1. What you learned about your personal abilities, work habits and behaviours.

I have a decent work ethic. I like to do things according to a timeline. I tend to become the leader (read: take control). I can perform a mean gap analysis and fill holes when needed.

2. What you learned about working as part of a team.

I’ve worked in teams before. I love team sports; collaborating at work. This was a unique experience though because we had to use social media tools to complete the project. And we all had different comfort levels when it came to using those tools. I have to say that everyone made a real effort and I appreciated working with our team.

I like team work, but I also dislike relying on people who aren’t me. I have to credit our team with making that adjustment a lot easier (on me) than I anticipated.

3. What you will do differently in the future to be more effective both as an individual contributor and as a team member.

I need to learn to be more flexible (like Lesson 1) as an individual contributor. Because I like to do things my way. Only my team mates can tell me if I hid my bossy tendencies as well as I think I did.

As a team member, I could have stepped up sooner to help plan ahead a little more (like Lesson 2). As I move on in my career, and as I age, I’d like to think that I am capable of really changing my behaviour – to be able to plan ahead more. But I know that’s probably not going to happen.

Yes, I like a timeline, but I trained long, and I trained hard in my undergraduate years and now I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire. No one can take that away from me 🙂

Final note

Being effective to me means being flexible and adapting to the group’s needs. If the group seems to need a leader, step up. If the group needs someone to do the technical stuff, offer up your skills.

When it comes to social media, as I learned earlier, it’s a culture. Successful social media campaigns, just like successful group dynamics, depend on the ways you participate.

Ahem: the pitch

So I already alluded to my pitch as part of my research summary so this won’t be unfamiliar ground.

I’m going to follow Scott Berkun’s advice on “How to pitch an idea”…particularly step 4, specific to a written pitch.

You’ll notice that it builds progressively…so for the whole shebang, you can read the 5-minute version.

*clears throat*

 

The napkin

The napkin


5-second

I know how we can make GO Transit more accessible, to a wider passenger audience.

 

The napkin: stage 2


30-second

I know how we can make GO Transit more accessible, to a wider passenger audience. There’s an opportunity to leverage the social media platforms GO Transit already uses. We have such an online presence and ways to engage our passengers, but we could do more to cross-promote our use of social media. By offering yet another way for our passengers to engage in a dialogue, we can continue to build trust. And ultimately, we’ll be able to show our passengers that we are addressing issues and we’ll be able to showcase route expansions and other positive things to our customers to keep them in the know.

 

The napkin: stage 3


5-minute    

I know how we can make GO Transit more accessible, to a wider passenger audience. There’s an opportunity to leverage the social media platforms GO Transit already uses. We have such an online presence and ways to engage our passengers, but we could do more to cross-promote our use of social media. By offering yet another way for our passengers to engage in a dialogue, we can continue to build trust. And ultimately, we’ll be able to show our passengers that we are addressing issues and we’ll be able to showcase route expansions and other positive things to our customers to keep them in the know.

Now there are things to consider, and we’ll need to do a lot of work up front to make sure we’re well-positioned to handle all that using social media means: the good, the bad and the ugly. We have to be aware of the issues our passengers bring to our attention through surveys and properly integrate our increased use of social media with all of the ways we presently communicate with our passengers.

By focusing on increasing our presence on three key social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – we’ll have a better chance of reaching a wider passenger audience. The more reliable and consistent access points we offer to customers as options to engage with us, the more likely we’ll be to increase our reach. But we have to start somewhere. And if we spend time and commit resources at the beginning of this process, we’ll be able to use social media strategically and influence public perception.

Part of the problem is that many of our passengers don’t know that we’re using social media. We can’t risk falling behind in the social media stratosphere. Our audiences are already there, so we need to go to them to make sure we’re engaging with them. I’m not saying it’ll be a walk in the park; this will take work and constant vigilance. We can’t start this and not follow through. We’ll have to dedicate resources to community management and engagement.

Increased dialogue is what we want, and what we need. When positioning things like a fare hike, our passengers will be able to voice concerns or encouragement in more online forums. Our supporters will help us respond to the negative and we’ll be able to reinforce our messaging. And our critics will feel like they’ve been heard.

This is directly related to our third customer promise: “Keeping you in the know.” Increased use of social media completely reaffirms that commitment.

I have to fall back on building trust. If we become a reliable source on multiple social media platforms, our passengers will see value in engaging with our business. If they can depend on us for consistent, transparent and real-time communication, they will certainly never feel like we left them hanging. If passengers see that added value from using our service, our profits will surely follow.

We have a great starting point. We’re already using social media. We have clear goals and a focus on safety that’s widely known. We’re committed to keeping passengers in the know. And we can leverage our online presence in other areas for an effective “re-launch”.

We can’t ignore this opportunity. The framework’s in place – all we have to do is build on it.