Content creation made easy

This is a post I originally wrote as part of internal series of blogs on social leadership, so you’ll see lots of mentions of ‘the Hub’ which is UBM’s enterprise social network hosted on Jive; however many of the suggestions here can easily be applied to external networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter.


Being a social leader in today’s digital business landscape is hugely important.

“In a social enterprise, your value is established not by how much knowledge you amass, but by how much knowledge you impart to others.”
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at IBM.

And imparting knowledge in a digital world means creating content. But creating content doesn’t mean having to slave away over an essay length blog post once a week, it can be much simpler than that.

Here are 14 ways to create content and impart knowledge which won’t eat into your day:

How long do you have?

60 seconds
> Post a status update on the Hub – perhaps you’re working from home, or you are on site at an event, want to welcome someone new to your team, or have a photo to share
> Call out examples of the Events First Strategy on the Hub using #eventsfirst hashtag
> Share an open position from your division into your network on LinkedIn
> Like a piece of Hub content
> Like a LinkedIn post from your network

5 minutes
> Comment on a piece of Hub content and share your insight or ideas
> Comment on a post from your LinkedIn network
> Share the link to an interesting article you’ve read today (remember to add your thoughts to give it some context)
> Scan through the recent Hub status updates and add a comment or two to increase employee engagement
> Upload a document to the Hub –perhaps your strategy, a template, PDF, a spreadsheet – which others may find useful; this helps make our knowledge more universally accessible

10 minutes
> Take a look a new Hub Discussions: Is there a question you can help answer or an opportunity for you to impart your knowledge?
> Create vlog: Using a platform like Microsoft’s Movie Maker makes it quick and easy to record video updates with your webcam
> The Hub team create weekly vlogs, updating each other on what we’ve achieved during the week. It has hands down been the best global team building exercise we’ve tried, far outstripping the value of conference calls.

20 minutes
> Commit to writing a weekly round-up blog on the Hub
This shouldn’t be a strenuous exercise. Think of a blog like a diary, or an opportunity to reflect on your week. Have you read something interesting? Who have you met? What have your teams achieved? What have you learned? What ideas have you had? What are you looking forward to over the coming week/month?


What is social business and where’s the ROI?

In a social business, the culture and systems enable the organisation to use its communities (whether internal or external) to encourage people to create business value and yield real business results including increased profitability, loyalty and advocacy.

Here at UBM, we’re already able to measure and analyse how our brands’ social media engagement is influencing the conversion rates at our shows, but how does this translate to social engagement internally?

“Before social business, companies were very hierarchical, and information was shared hierarchically, and people’s contributions were determined partly by their geography and partly by their relationships,” says Nick Blunden, SVP Digital, Economist Group. “But what social business does, putting people at the centre of conversations, allows you to create much greater levels of engagement and participation at every level of the organization.”

Research from McKinsey has shown that improved communication and collaboration through social technologies could raise the productivity of interaction workers by about 25%.

Enterprise Social Network provider Jive (supplier of the Hub here at UBM), has helped customer companies increase employee productivity by 15% and drive 2-4% incremental top-line value annually.

Use of the platform also sharply reduced employee turnover and drove major improvements in a range of business areas, including corporate strategic alignment, marketing planning and execution, sales team effectiveness and customer service.

Researchers commissioned by Jive found that platforms like the Hub:

> Improve productivity by 15%
> Grow top-line value by 2-4%
> Reduce email load by 21%
> Reduce meetings by 16%
> Reduce the time to find knowledge, expertise and best practices by 34%

The research demonstrates that when you have a company of people who are sharing knowledge between themselves, you have an amazing powerhouse.

What’s not to like?

Going Social: The Payoff for HR

I watched the first part of this ‘Going Social: The Payoff for HR’ webinar – HR platforms, market overview, with Claire Schooley, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research. She talked about how collaboration is now a strategic part of HR. It permeates all of the HR components and is essential for success.

(The remaining 45 minutes covers the SAP Jam solution – ‘join us to learn how SAP Jam enables a seamless process for hiring, onboarding, and training and generates an ROI of more than 500%’ – which people may find useful.)

Here are my notes from the webinar on what makes social collaboration so important for HR:

Recruiting and hiring

  • Social has been an important development to find those passive candidates you were never able to tap into before
  • Much more candidate engagement in the recruitment process
  • The candidate wants to know more about the company and the culture before they decide whether or not to apply – this is why brand promotion through the career website is so important
  • Google’s website really gives people a sense of what it’s like to work there and what the environment is like
  • Recruiters can’t do their job without getting involved with social media
  • Employees can help in this process by using their own social networks to talk to their friends about jobs
  • A career website is important to communicate information about the culture, what it feels like to work in the organisation, and to hear from people working there now – the teams, the roles, the locations
  • You can get a really good sense within 3-4 minutes of whether you want to apply

Performance and learning

  • Performance management has typically been an annual process at the end of the year – it looks backwards
  • Today it’s a continuous and collaborative experience
  • The manager becomes much more of a coach in this environment to help the employee reach their goals
  • Performance transparency around goals means that peers know how each is performing and can offer help/ideas/knowledge where needed
  • Social interaction increases awareness of employee accomplishments and recognition
  • Future orientated to look forwards rather than back – how you’re going to help the company meet its goals/strategy
  • Traditional/classroom learning can be enhanced through collaborative activities such as interactive forums between F2F sessions
  • Mentoring can be done online – 121 or group (video, audio, text)
  • Special interest communities allow idea sharing
  • Informal leaning with collaboration is growing strongly

To get ahead you need to recruit, retain, and mentor a great team

This Google exec’s success shows how it pays off to invest in talent – Quartz

With the news that Google is to restructure into new holding company called Alphabet, control of its core search engine business has been handed to rising star Sundar Pichai.

What has Sundar been doing which other Google execs haven’t? Good old-fashioned team building.

Pichai succeeded by avoiding some of that big think and focusing more on people management. Particularly for managers that want to rise in a company or move on to start their own business, investing in building a great team is absolutely essential. Even at a company as focused as Google is on finding great people, that takes individual commitment and skill.

The Rise of Social HR at HootSuite

I got ridiculously excited when I started reading this blog – I mean, crazy excited: How to Use Periscope for Social HR with Lars Schmidt #SMKnowHow

In the post, Lars Schmidt, employer brand strategist at HootSuite,  shares the work the company is doing in the field of social HR (bringing social into HR operations) and how this has led them to develop the concept of Open Source HR:

“The idea is that we want to start working out loud on some of the projects that we’re doing, where really the whole HR team is empowered to share some of the things that they’re working on, what they’re learning, where’s they’re finding inspiration”

We’re going to be creating a series of case studies that will really go into a lot of detail on particular HR projects or recruiting projects that we’ve developed within Hootsuite. But beyond just saying, “Hey, here’s a thing we did,” and really breaking it down to say things like, “Here’s where the idea came from. Here’s how we pitched it internally. These are what the expected outcomes are. This is how we executed it. This is what the actual outcomes were,” and then ultimately even, “Here’s what we got wrong.” Because we want to really be open about that, especially around social HR. There’s a degree of risk-taking that I think takes place, which is a good thing, but it also means you are going to fail and you are going to get some things wrong. And we think it’s important to be able to share that too. So, it’s not all unicorns and roses. You’re able to say, “Yeah, we thought this was going to be how this would turn out and some of these things were right but actually some of these things were wrong.” So, that’s going to be a key part of each case study we do.

“I think social HR is really the idea of having your entire team being open to sharing on HR, sharing best practices, and even interacting within your organisation”

Interestingly, being a leader in social HR is one of HootSuite’s talent groups’ objectives and that the HR team is looked at as an innovation-driving function within the business.

It’s a long post, but well worth a read: How to Use Periscope for Social HR with Lars Schmidt #SMKnowHow – or you can listen: How to Use Periscope for Social HR with Lars Schmidt by Social Media Know-How | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Other highlights from the post:

HootSuite’s ‘Follow the Sun’ recruitment project –

Inside Operation #FollowTheSun

We were operating in nine different offices. We wanted to make sure we could help prospects get a sense of that global footprint. And then also, the unique culture within Hootsuite. We thought live streaming would be an interest way to do that. So, the idea of Follow the Sun, actually Ambrosia had the great name for that. The idea was we wanted to start in Singapore and actually work our way East, around the globe throughout the day, showcasing a different office every hour on the hour. So we started in Singapore, we moved to Bucharest, moved to London, to Boston, to São Paulo. All the way over to the headquarters in Vancouver. And the idea of Follow the Sun was we wanted to literally Follow the Sun as it turned around the earth. Using that same approach to showcase different offices, and some of our peeps from office to office throughout the day.

HootSuite’s HR presence on Twitter –

@HootsuiteLife: HR/recruiting/employer branding handle on Twitter. Used for interaction and promoting the HR and recruiting team. It’s the anchor employer branding asset for HootSuite

#HootsuiteLife (@HootsuiteLife) | Twitter

All employees are empowered to use that (the hashtag), whether they’re periscoping, tweeting, posting stuff on Instagram, or even Facebook. The volume of that hashtag is massive. And it’s all, for the most part, employee-generated content. So, again, from a recruiting perspective, it’s really easy for us to showcase and show people what the culture at Hootsuite is all about. We can share that hashtag and we have a link to Hootsuite campaigns URL that actually aggregates all of the content on that hashtag into a branded page. It allows us to actually show prospects or applicants what it’s like to work here. And the kind of people they’ll be working with. So that becomes a really authentic and powerful recruiting tool. I think Hootsuite’s probably one of the better examples of using that successfully and also doing it in a way that really all of the employees are truly empowered to contribute.

Through the Looking Glass(

This is a post I originally wrote for our enterprise social network. However it’s very applicable to those of you who may just be getting to grips with employee advocacy and Glassdoor.

Social media platforms are enabling potential employees to look inside companies like never before, giving them access to the inner workings of a company’s culture, as well as a broader view of how the business is performing in the eyes of their peers.

Thanks to the openness of social, the old freedoms, which enabled some businesses to project a different public persona compared with their internal reality, have been stripped away. This increase in transparency means that what’s happening behind the wall is just as important as what’s happening in front of it.

A brand is no longer just about the product, but also about the wider business’ internal cultures and process. In order to influence potential hires, brands now need to be shaped from the inside out. Nowhere is this more apparent than on

Launched in 2008, Glassdoor is a social site where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and their management. It’s a one stop shop for job hunters wanting to get the inside scoop on a potential employer.

So how does UBM measure up? (and just as a spoiler – why aren’t our scores better?)

Glassdoor UBM.png

Compared with some of our competitors:

Glassdoor Informa.png



Glassdoor Reed.png

And with some tech brands:

Glassdoor Google.png

Glassdoor Twitter.png

OK, so 2.5 stars isn’t the worst score in the world, but it’s a bit ‘meh’, a bit #whatever, and totally forgettable. It’s equally not brilliant that it puts us behind our direct competitors when it comes to attracting the best, brightest, and most awesome talent to join our ranks.

So what can we do about it?

I’m a big believer in employee advocacy – power to the people! – and feel that the best way to attract the best talent is through you and me. So if you’re passionate about being part of the UBM community, if you’d recommend UBM to a friend, and if you want UBM to be the best place it can be, then I’d ask you to give us a review on Glassdoor. Let’s make sure those stars are a true reflection of what it’s like to be part of the global UBM community.

Happy Reviewing!