Crossing the Social Business Rubicon

November 12th, 2010 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

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.
  • “We want to have a workshop of the applicability of social media to our particular area” – It flipped to you said the business objectives of this area is X, Yand Z. Let’s focus on the business objectives, the requirements to support those objectives, the functionality to support your people, and then the technologies available and limitations. Social is a means to an end.
  • “We want to do a social CRM initiative with Twitter and Facebook, etc” – It flipped when we pointed out that the expectations that we can add the accounts and turn them up didn’t sync with their ideas of CRM. They had an extensive call center and when we pointed out that we may be transitioning X% of their calls to this function, we need to equate the complexity of the workflow, integration, and escalation processes to support that volume. How do we leverage these technologies to better satisfy the customer. Social is a means to an end.

I use these examples to highlight that very experienced senior executives are trying to absorb the applicability of social media, but it flipped for us in that we need to help organizations absorb the magnitude of the impact, adapt to the new business landscape, and foster the adoption of these technologies on their core business.

We are realizing that our roles is not to be subject matter experts, but rather to be enablers of executive decision making and organizational execution around leveraging these new technologies with better planning, process, and organizational support.

Knowledge is best when shared. Strategy without application is theory.

It flipped and I don’t want to go back.

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at or contact him directly at