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May 23, 2011

The Social Business Evolution : Products Vs People

Social Business Imperative

[Source: OnlineMBA.com]
This social business infographic was created to illustrate the social customer’s impact on business operations. It also encompasses most of what is discussed in my upcoming book, Smart Business, Social Business. The infographic starts off defining the social customer and social business. The social business declaration is defined; and then discusses the three pillars that make up a collaborative social business – People, Process and Technology.
 
Marketers today are caught up in a jumble of buzzwords that mean very little.  It's a confusing time, but to get the marketing right, you need to start thinking about relationships first.  "It's not about selling something anymore; that might be the end result, but to get there, you need to work on the relationship.

Creating your social strategy is a four step process

1. Who is your audience?
2. Very clear goal
3. Action plan
4. Tools, tactics, techniques

Determining Your Audience

 Each user group who interacts with your brand  differs  by levels of participation. They can be broadly grouped into

Non Active Watchers: 52% of online users have watched YouTube, 42% have read blogs, 19% have downloaded podcasts

Sharers: 29% have used social networking sites, 28% have tagged online content, 21% have shared online content that they created

Commenters: 32% have rated a product, service or person, 30% have commented on a product, 22% have commented on newsgroup or site

Producers: 12% have created or worked on a blog; 11% have remixed content.

Curators: People that have edited a wiki - moderated a forum

Companies That Utilize the Social Web Well

According to  Readwriteweb  companies that use the Social Web well are:

Oracle:Prior to running Oracle Open World, Oracle changed its home page for two weeks.  The page asked for consumer feedback; community involvement was important enough to interrupt the normal flow.

H&R Block:When H&R Block realized selling was no longer working, they created a page on FaceBook to provide tax advice. They don't say "come and do your taxes with us," on FaceBook; they only offer advice.

Comcast
Frank Eliason, Director of Digital Care for Comcast Cable uses Twitter to look for people talking about Comcast, 'tweets' them, and offers to help.
Skittles
Skittles has a page on FaceBook called 'Mix the Rainbow'.
It's created a spark and now the community is interacting with one another.  The company occasionally steps in with light and fun comments; never with sales talk. 
A recent series of messages on the Skittles wall:
Derek says:  Is it just me, or does there seem to be too many orange ones in the bags now?
Skittles says: Derek despite what you or the Internet may think, we can assure you there is no orange skittles conspiracy - red on the other hand...

Starbucks
Starbucks asks for suggestions on how to make the company better.  If you provide a suggestion, Starbucks CIO will discuss the idea on the site; it's not just a black hole that suggestions go into.  He explains the back end - or what has to happen on the technical level before they can implement the idea.