Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

SEC Social Business Framework

October 21st, 2010

Beyond social media and marketing, Social Business is really about internal and external customer experience –a cross-functional responsibility of the entire organization.  To help executives wrap their arms around the key pieces that can be augmented through social efforts, the Social Executive Council (SEC) created the Social Business Framework. This framework is designed to help organizations understand how to align, manage, and bring cohesion to business objectives, company activities, and social solutions. In essence, this framework “operationalizes” social business in a manner that modularizes its components into company-relevant pieces that can then be utilized to build a social roadmap of strategic and tactical steps that facilitate implementation.

This framework also helps executives visually understand the complexities associated with a successful social program, as well as gain clarity on the:

  • Multidimensional benefits of an enterprise-wide social enablement program.
  • The structured business gains when implementing a social communication layer that allows free flow of ideas and reporting.
  • Limiting results gained when assigning social activities to one silo-ed department and/or junior marketing/public relations associate.
  • Opportunity costs of not participating in this program from a financial, efficiency and productivity perspective.

The SEC is an active forum for senior executives to collaborate and adapt the Social Business Framework to their own organization. The impact is too large and too overwhelming to do it alone —the SEC and this framework are here to facilitate the process and help our members gain social market leadership.

Is Your Business Over-Automated?

October 6th, 2010

I have never heard anyone tell me that a business is over-automated, but I think it should be a term and concept that should enter into the business lexicon ASAP. I would define over-automation as the mechanical, impersonal, and crappy customer experience that I get when I have to engage with a large enterprise with lots of customers and too many bright people thinking about the bottom line.

I will pick on Blockbuster for a minute. Blockbuster, in its heyday, was a powerhouse in the movie business that is, as of this week, in bankruptcy. As a customer, you could tell that the company designed their customer experiences to maximize profitability; hence the late fee model that made more money than the original rental fees.

On paper, this is a great idea. In execution, it pissed off a lot of customers and, I would contend, led to the gap in trust that opened the door for Netflix. I really like the visceral experience of browsing isles looking at the sea of titles and seeing which one stands out. I like doing the same in bookstores. Online doesn

The True Cost of “Free” Social Transactions

August 26th, 2010

This week I had a conversation with another LinkedIn Group leader that I wanted to share —our conversation puts the challenges of social media marketing front and center.

We were discussing how the amount of noise has increased within social media networks and that there is a lot of junk out there on, for example, LinkedIn groups. She was frustrated with the amount of spammers posting advertisement and she felt she had to continuously monitor the group to make sure the interactions were professional and relevant.

I told her that the real cost of social transactions was shifting from sellers to buyers.

What does this mean?

If you think about it, we don’t really bother to consider the true cost of our time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, industry forums and communities, blogs, etc. Beyond the value that you get from sharing with friends and colleagues (my wife posts baby pictures up on Facebook for far-away family and friends) there is a lot of stuff that sucks time away that may not only be useless but actually a true waste of time.  Beyond slightly amusing posts my friends share…. do I really need to wade through that and the 50 other meaningless announcements on my Facebook home page to find the one nugget that is worth it?

Furthermore, how many LinkedIn group posts are a blatant sales pitch, job request, and link bait to visit your website before I tune out your group?  How many SPAM emails do I have to delete on a daily basis to keep my inbox clear for my real work? BTW – I delete pretty much everything that doesn’t have a person sending and personally addressed to me. Email marketing doesn’t really work with me. Probably most people are feeling the same way.

There is no question that there is a fundamental shift occurring on the web.   The cost of information distribution is shifting to the consumer from the distributor –social media is accelerating this. Facebook is free to post and to read. However, it costs some time to post, but it is taking a huge cost of time to filter the amount of information to read that “right” post.

Now, this may sound esoteric, but think about this on an enterprise level and from a productivity perspective. The amount of emails, posts, articles, powerpoints, etc. and you realize:

  1. We are overwhelmed with information
  2. It is costly, in terms of productivity, for our employees
  3. Social media is contributing to the problem of noise
  4. We don’t have good information filters to help our organizations yet
  5. Social marketing if done correctly, can help with the problem in that we can use “trusted sources” to credential and filter information
  6. The costs will continue to rise in terms of productivity if we don’t begin to focus on the problem.
  7. Customers actually pay a transaction cost for your marketing.
  8. The currency they use is their attention. Considering how busy many executives are, spending 10 seconds reading your email is a costly time consumer when you consider how many emails they get on a daily basis
  9. If your marketing transaction costs are too high because it isn’t relevant, timely, focused, and credentialed; you negatively impact your relationship
  10. Customers are reacting to the “hidden” costs. Companies that are SPAMMING them are losing attention and actually losing brand equity.

So, what is the solution?

The paradigm shift that needs to be made in order to capture what is going on in the market, leverage the opportunity that social brings, and accommodate the practical lens of the executive, today’s professionals need to think about customer engagement in terms of “cost of attention” instead of “cost of customer acquisition.” With this new perspective, then focus your social business transactions to provide:

  • High quality
  • High value
  • High integrity

This will increase the customer’s perception of your importance, lower the noise in the market, and will translate to the bottom line in terms of financial transactions.  We are all trying to discuss and navigate through the speed of social, but not many are taking account the paradigm shifts necessary to help make social relevant to the enterprise.  I hope this blog post is a step in that direction.  Would welcome your thoughts.

Social Marketing Is & Isn’t

May 25th, 2010

Social marketing is an “effective way to build relationships over Social Media”

  • Effective – Defined as cost effective, efficient, focused, specific, works
  • Relationships – Defined as having both recognized value and emotional connection
  • Social Media – platform independent; not just LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, but the right platform to support the right interaction

 Social Marketing is not…

  • Just Another Channel – old form over new medium hasn’t worked with the transition from print or TV to internet, why wouldn’t a new form of interaction require new rules?
  • Just about Creative Branding – How many cool TV ads where you can’t remember the company afterwards. Creative just creates awareness, but not necessarily leads to a buying relationship.
  • Build “It & They Will Come” – Despite your brilliance, you still have to build a relationship to the community (credibility) and you have to actively promote your solution(evangelize)
  • Magic Relationship Bullet – just because I connect to you doesn’t mean we are friends, or even acquaintances. Hell, I don’t even know you…. Etiquette rules still apply.
  • SPAM me into a Relationship – “No matter how many times you send it (awareness), I don’t care (interest), don’t want it (relevance), won’t buy it (relationship).”

 Social Media (Marketing) is about having a presence, Social Marketing is about having a purpose….