Social Business Fades Away

January 25th, 2011 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

For those of us who lived through the web evolution remember the disruption on business status quo quite well…

5 Stages of Web Development

  1. Websites and Webmasters – tactical and basic
  2. Web Groups – tactical and advanced
  3. Web Strategy – Strategic and Advanced
  4. Web Functional – Every Dept. and Application had a web function
  5. Business Strategy – Web no longer became an issue, everything was web enabled – assumed

In Social Business, we are seeing the same thing….

  1. Social Media Presence on Public Social Networking Sites and Social Media Managers – Assumed
  2. Social Media Groups – Maturing – Team to manage the social function
  3. Social Strategy – Evolving – Strategic and Coordinated Across Enterprise
  4. Social Function – Emerging
  5. Business Strategy – TBD – social becomes part of the enterprise DNA

If social business strategies and functions are still evolving yet, that means that there doesn’t currently exist an industry standard for developing a social business structure. This translates into a greater risk either of failure or inability to justify investment; inconsistent performance; or a lack of measurability. In short, business impact will be continue to be ad hoc until a standardized set of industry methodologies emerge. Mature organizations need risk management and defined ROI for major investments which will drive the development.

As with any business function, the right approach to ROI should be designed from inception. Yes, there are many “social” templates, but the very few clearly defined methodologies that can consistently and predictably drive results. Online communities and social networks are complex ecosystems which templates do not adequately address for most sophisticated enterprises. Templates assume some type of uniformity which is too simplistic for larger communities with heterogeneous participant motivations and engagement requirements. It is far more difficult to manage deep customer relationships across a heterogeneous population of millions. Why would we think that “social” would be less complex.

What is needed is sophisticated business methodologies to manage both Social Strategy and Functions. Eventually, this too will give way to more traditional management consulting approaches, but this will take a few more years for the body of knowledge to develop to make this part of the enterprise DNA.

Our new market analysis models enable us to visualize market patterns that have been difficult to see for clients to see for themselves. Our proprietary SPICE℠ methodology coupled with our social market research and business requirements allows us to systemically build basic models of the market in advance so that we can properly plan for the complexity, allow for easier prioritization based upon real-world market conditions, and segment the anticipated needs of the target communities.

By integrating buying process and psycho-graphic buyer types, we are beginning to be able to determine when in the buying cycle a prospective buyer type will intersect with social media, determine the prioritization across buyer types, and develop a process to determine the gaps in the social marketplace that we can exploit. We are also seeing the impact that distribution channels have on social markets. More importantly, we are then applying these models to real-world execution in pilots and then training our clients to do apply this knowledge for themselves.

For us this is only the beginning, we have extended our methodology to bridge into the enterprise and align all of our market insight into enterprise-wide, social business functions. Many of our clients are looking for 3-5 year strategic social business roadmaps. Most are just beginning to realize the disruption to the status quo that social represents.

We aren’t alone in developing methodologies to systematize enterprise adoption of social business. We are just early in the market’s evolution.

If you think you know “social media”, you haven’t seen anything yet. None of us have…

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