Archive for November, 2010

The Art of Social Selling

November 23rd, 2010

You wouldn’t walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation with “You want to buy something from me?”

What doesn’t work in the real world won’t work in the virtual world. But, why then, when you talk about selling and social media, you see people backing away with this rabid fear that they will be labeled as a “Spammer.”

Because in reality, social selling is a fine line between evangelizing through thought leadership and SPAM. It isn’t easy to figure out when a particular potential buyer is ready to transition into shopping or they are just browsing. Just ask retail clerks, it is a fine line between being annoyed by the omnipresent “can I help you?” when you are just looking versus the I can’t find a someone to help me when I really need them.

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Breaking Down Social Commerce

November 18th, 2010

If you read Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group’s post with their report on social commerce, you will know that they do a great job (as always) breaking down the “what” of social commerce. They outline clear stages and shows best in class examples. A great read if you haven’t already.

Most of the time, most companies need help in working through the process of “how” does it apply to us and how do we build a social business strategy that makes sense. Social commerce is a large component, but usally part of a larger business strategy.

To that end, I thought I would throw in our 2 cents worth (no pun there) on developing a social commerce plan for your organization piggy-backing on Jeremiah’s post:

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Three Stages of Social Maturity

November 16th, 2010

We have had a series of meetings that highlight the need for those of us in the industry to provide context as to where companies are in the social maturity curve. For companies that are on the cutting edge, this is an easy conversation as they are comfortable with ambiguity and the speed of change.  For others, the experience is different.  Through our conversations,  we’ve  identified the Three Stages of Social Maturity:

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Crossing the Social Business Rubicon

November 12th, 2010

Ok, it flipped in my head and I can’t go back. Somewhere in the course of the last several weeks the conversation changed for us. We no longer provide social strategy. We stopped having the “social” conversation and began having the core business conversation. I don’t mean figuratively, like “hey, we are now business consultants,” but rather the real value proposition on how to move the dial for organizations from a core perspective. Social business is really becoming business value for us. Points in case:

  • “We have X number of Facebook fans, what do we do with them? How do we create value?” It flipped when the conversation turned to “If your facebook fans are less than 1% of your customers, it isn’t very important” to “we need to start with the customer’s motivations for buying, engagement, and the catalysts for purchase. Social is one way to engage with them, but it has to be thought of in terms of how do we deliver a better value proposition. This wasn’t a theoretical, feel good strategy conversation as it went into some hard core discussion about commerce, measurement, customer insight, etc around monetizing these relationships and demonstrating value to the business. Social is a means to an end.
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Introducing the Social Business Office

November 3rd, 2010

Social Business Office (SBO) is a centralized, internal consulting organization tasked with managing the cross-functional social business initiatives across an enterprise. The SBO acts as a hybrid organizations that provides internal consulting to business units and functional departments to coordinate initiatives across functional groups.

As many social business initiatives span across multiple enterprise functions, many organizations have struggled to implement the right business structure to manage these initiatives. The decentralized model is grossly inefficient, while a centralized organization is not sufficiently nimble enough for complex initiatives. The SBO model enables organizations to centralize planning, but decentralize execution.
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