2011 will be remembered as the year “social media” fell by the wayside, strategy became a recognized prerequisite for serious efforts, and “social business” began displacing it in boardrooms’ mindshare. “Social media,” which usually tries to use social technologies to talk at people, has been the predominant “first use” of socialtech because marketing drives most social initiatives, and marketers “communicate,” i.e. push content, to their targets. When they “listen,” they use limited legacy processes such as focus groups, email marketing, data mining and online surveys. However, none of these scratch the real itch because they emphasize the company asking individuals structured questions; they don’t allow customer to customer interaction, which is ten times more illuminating because it is spontaneous and customer-centric.
Socialtech gets there, but marketers are ambivalent about it because it means a loss of control. And more profits and career growth for marketers, but they have to let go first. It’s a leap of faith, but imminently doable.
Social business as term has been rapidly growing in the final months of 2010. I first encountered at Headshift in 2009, who had excellent thought leadership (since acquired by Dachis). Social business will be more focused, disciplined and business-mature. Its goals will be to use socialtech to cut huge swaths of inefficiency out of commercial and government enterprises that are predicated on an “us and them” assumption: “we” create products and services, and “they” consume them. There will be decreasing barriers between inside and outside in the years ahead, and companies that get ahead of this transformation will profit at the expense of others that lag and often perish.
CSRA’s engagements in 2010 put the Social Network Roadmap(SM) through its paces ;^) while creating and executing strategy. Across the board, clients were astounded at the depth of analysis and planning. When it came time to execute, however, strategy repeatedly proved itself as a valuable keel: clients knew what they were doing, why, with whom and what to do when surprises occurred. This enabled them to build momentum, reputation and loyalty.
2011 will be busy conducting “value realization” for hoards of malnourished social media orphans that are running around organizations with runny noses, skinned knees and ribs showing. Since organizations “threw a couple of interns at Facebook,” they never had any serious rigor behind their initiatives. Their orphans never had a chance because they were conceived with good intentions but little else. Like other fields of human endeavor, organizations are learning that they get out of social initiatives what they put into them.
Summary: 2011 Predictions
Social technologies will unleash a quantum leap in productivity and profitability by making continuous innovation achievable and pervasive. This will occur when commercial and government enterprises understand how to be more human and engage people who are motivated by causes that are important to the enterprise. Crowdsourcing will be as common as electricity within five years. However, in 2011, using social technologies to transform the enterprise will remain nascent. Here are CSRA’s specific predictions. We invite you to read the longer version on the Global Human Capital Journal.
- The Economy will continue to improve, but it won’t feel like a recovery for most people, and there is still considerable risk of a major disruption
- Employment will not recover in 2011, but executives can increase security by changing their approach
- Marketing 2.0 will continue to grow, but social media campaigns will disappoint in 2011
- Government 2.0 will continue to pioneer social tech initiatives in select areas
- Empowerment is clearly assuming a political as well as a commercial dimension
- Geosocial will continue to be Web 3.0’s visible face
- Social business will be increasingly mentioned in 2011, but few firms have the capability to do it
- Social actions and Internet advertising headed for disruption
- Social business models and tactics summary: crowdsourcing, gaming/virtual worlds, commco, proam
- Sociology will be the competency of the next 20 years
- Get to know your ecosystem and how you can interact with it most effectively. I have yet to meet an organization that knows its stakeholders’ preferred venues, workstreams and networks in sufficient breadth and depth from which to create sound strategy. Millions of conversations are taking place in an ecosystem around you, and you need to understand what digital venues are most influential. You also have to look at your organization, honestly, and develop a vision for what value you can bring to these conversations and venues (hint, it’s probably not your products and services).
- Develop resident skills with digital social technologies, processes and behaviors. This is a strategic imperative because stakeholders will increasingly expect you to interact how they want to interact.
- Blogging is about what you think and creating a network around yourself, not about selling. Leave the latter for your website.
- Experiment with geosocial pilots; you need to understand Web 3.0 and how your stakeholders can use mobile technology and social actions to create value for themselves.
- Gaming will become the new work, so you need to learn how to use it to increase engagement—in business contexts.
- Assign a top executive to manage your adoption of social business because changing stakeholders’ expectations will change your business. Develop a social business strategy.
- Create and maintain a relationship-centric ethos for your social initiatives.
- Start blogging, it’s the easiest way to differentiate yourself.
- Start tweeting. Twitter is a new mode of communication that you need to understand because it is transforming communication and creating new kinds of relationships.
- Cut back on unproductive networking. Don’t fall into networking as an activity trap.
- Relentlessly conduct yourself so that you increase trust with people who count.
- Experiment with video. If you have a family member or friend who has some video skills, make a couple short videos of yourself talking about something your stakeholders are worried or excited about.
- Get on Foursquare, Facebook Places or another geosocial app. You need to understand Web 3.0, and it doesn’t take much time. Don’t let it happen to you.
- Read the full story on Global Human Capital