Size Doesn’t Matter in Small Business Cultures


shutterstock_197718245The term “silos” in relation to company culture is typically associated with larger organizations.

For that reason I was flabbergasted by a conversation with the CEO of a small, but very well respected not-for-profit in my community.

She told me she wanted to improve teamwork in her organization.

That sounded typical and not unusual to hear from a small business CEO.

Then, I probed a little deeper and she added, “well, we need to break down the silos in our organization, too.”

“So, how many employees do you have?” I asked.


I replied, “Oh, that’s interesting.”

Can you imagine? Cultural “silo” issues with just seven total people in a work environment?

She chose not to hire me to help her with those challenges.

And then, less than two years later we reconnected at a holiday event at which time she gave me an update.

“I’m very upset with Sally (her “former” CFO), she left me in August and only gave me the standard two weeks’ notice.”

I just listened.

As I did, I was thinking, “isn’t it odd that in such a small organization the CEO and CFO would have a relationship where the CEO would not have enough of a trusting relationship with her CFO to know she was looking to move on?”

Obviously, two years later, the silos (even in the C-Suite) were still entrenched.

This is an organizational culture issue.

All organizations have a culture.

As usual, in most things, size doesn’t matter.

A couple of key things to understand about organizational cultures:

  • They develop through one of two ways, default (the most popular) or by design.
  • However they develop the most important influencer is the senior most leader of the organization. He or she, through their behavior and communication style, sets the tone that flows throughout.
  • Peter Drucker, the founder and guru of present day organizational management consulting once said, “culture eats strategy for lunch,” meaning that regardless of how great an organization’s strategy, if the organization’s culture is not in the right place, the strategy will fail miserably.

Organizations large and small invest tens of thousands to millions of dollars to create their corporate strategy, yet invest virtually nothing in creating a culture that will be THE driving force to move the strategy towards success.

This, I believe, is a universal truth in business.

Yet, it is violated in virtually every company, regardless of whether it has six, 600, 6000 or 60,000 people working in it.

Only a precious few get it right.

Does yours?

The simple question to ask when developing your company’s strategy is, “does our present organizational culture function in a way that will support the successful implementation of this strategy?”

If the answer is “Yes,” don’t stop there.

Test your assumptions behind that “yes.”

Chances are those in the boardroom creating the strategy have no clue whether that “yes” answer is true.

Keep that in mind as you begin creating or adjusting your strategy for 2016.

Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’


Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayThere are 280 million friend requests sent on Facebook every day. Users watch more than four billion videos on the platform, 350 million photos are uploaded daily, on average. 150 billion ‘moments’ – stories viewed across Facebook and Instagram – happen, every day.

It’s these moments that Facebook has been examining as part of their latest research efforts shared via the Facebook IQ Insights blog. Over the last few months, Facebook has shared information about these moments, what people are sharing, when they’re searching for different content and the language they use around such events. In doing so, Facebook is hoping to help marketers understand how they can utilize these insights to better reach consumers at the right times in the purchase cycle in order to maximize response.

And now, Facebook has released a new, 50-page whitepaper which is the accumulation of the data they’ve gathered on these moments, highlighting the insights they’ve gleaned, along with key takeaways for brands and marketers trying to better understand how their audiences engage on the platform. Here are some of the highlights.

In the Moment

The premise of Facebook’s ‘Moments That Matter’ research is simple – we’re moving from a world where people connect around big moments manufactured by the media (“like soap operas, the “Seinfeld” finale and pivotal sports games”) to a situation where people are creating and sharing their own moments every day, 24/7. These moments are everything from what you’re having for dinner to starting a new job – all of these events are being shared on Facebook, giving marketers access to an unprecedented level of insight into consumer behaviors and interests.

To demonstrate, Facebook has provided data insights into how consumers interact on Facebook and Instagram around such events – for example, getting married.

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayNow that type of overview might seem somewhat generic – it might help target your advertising to that audience segment by understanding the most popular month people consider getting married, but likely most people in that industry already know that info, right? But Facebook’s moments data provides more insight than that – for example, when does honeymoon related conversation peak on the platform?

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayThat type of info offers significantly more value – using this, travel marketers can better target their campaigns based on peak discussion time and the person leading that discussion (clearly, the bride in this case). While you’d still need to know when exactly a couple is set to get married to focus on such detail, it’s through the cumulation of this ‘moment’ data that Facebook is suggesting brands can better focus and hone their content, by getting to know how people discuss each element and aspect within the process, enabling marketers to capitalize on the insights available.

Baby Steps

Another major life event widely discussed on Facebook is having a baby, and Facebook provides a range of research on how and when new parents use the platform around such events.

“New parents spend 1.4X more time on Facebook mobile than non-parents. Moms primarily drive the increase in mobile activity, spending 1.5X more time on Facebook mobile than non-moms, though new dads also spend 1.1X more time on Facebook mobile than non-dads.2”

Again, this type of insight is largely known by those marketing to this sector, but Facebook’s data is deeper, with insights like:

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayThere’s also data on how new parents are more likely to share content than non-parents – likely because they’re spending more time at home with the new baby, with less time to socialize and share content in person.

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayBased on these insights, Facebook suggests that advertisers looking to reach this market focus on ‘snackable’ content for mobile moments and look to reach parents in the early hours to capitalize on that audience attention.

Driving Conversions

People also discuss major purchase decisions on Facebook, like buying a new car. Facebook’s research team have found that the average consumer considers 2.5 types of vehicles and 5 makes before making their car-purchasing decision.

“2 60% of people are “in market” for a car for at least 6 months, gathering research and seeking advice to help guide their decision making. Besides price, which most people decide on at the beginning of the purchase cycle, consumers refine their choices about what elements they want in their new vehicles—such as vehicle type, size, fuel source, make and other vehicle features—as they become more educated during the purchase cycle.”

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayYet, while consumer are most open to consideration earlier in the purchase process, people are more exposed to car ads later in the chain, once they’ve already narrowed down their options to one or two choices. This represents an opportunity for auto marketers to do more research into how consumers discuss their discovery process and target potential customers earlier in the sequence.

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayOne way this can be done is by building greater awareness around the conversations consumers are having which lead to a new car purchase – for example, buying a new car due to a change in family situation.

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayWhile this example relates to car marketers specifically, this is the type of intent and focus data Facebook is trying to highlight with ‘Moments That Matter’. The data shows that you can use the signals on Facebook to reach your audiences at the peak times that they’ll be most interested in your offerings – the conversations are all there, the signals are available. You just have to know what you’re looking for.

Time and Place

Facebook’s guide also includes a listing of major, ‘Once a Year’, moments that marketers can use to reach people in a more targeted way, with data on the related Facebook and Instagram conversation around each event.

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayThere’s also a section on everyday moments and how these smaller interactions are discussed, including food:

Facebook Releases New Guide to Help Marketers Capitalize on ‘Moments That Matter’ | Social Media TodayThese are all valuable insights into the wider Facebook discussion and all provide great food for thought for how marketers can better utilize and capitalize on both the data and discussion being shared throughout the Facebook eco-system.

Overall, the ‘Moments That Matter’ whitepaper is a great read, and a great way to get marketers thinking about the possibilities, not only in the data provided, but in how the data has been gathered, and how similar insights could be applied to your specific niche and industry.

You can read the full Moments That Matter whitepaper here, or read what Facebook’s Erin Sills, (Director of Global Consumer Insights) and Ann M. Mack (Head of Content Activation) think about the data and insights available in a new Facebook IQ blog post here.

Social Media Today RSS