Social Networking Conference Wrap: Clara Shih on Business Social Networking

salesforceClara Shih, Faceconnector: Implementation of Enterprise Social Networking across the Company

Clara is the author of The Facebook Era, which describes social networks’ transformational potential using Facebook as example.

  • Facebook and other social networks are creating a new sociology; Facebook is rapidly becoming a new Internet portal for hundreds of millions of people. There are 660,000 developers of Facebook applications.
  • Is email dead? Yes, except for older people.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn and others created a template and an expectation for people to share unprecedented information about themselves.
  • Now Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect are enabling people to take their social graphs with them as they traipse around the Internet. In other words, if you authenticate at an e-commerce site with Facebook Connect (the site must be a partner), you can see which of your friends bought something on that site and whether one of them wrote a review. Citysearch is a partner, so you can see what your friends thought of that restaurant or dry cleaner. You take your community with you.
  • You can syndicate your website and publish on Facebook feed (I believe she meant using Facebook Notes, which can automatically import RSS).
  • From a business development standpoint, people will increasingly expect you to know them personally. Soon, it won’t be enough to have the best terms; you’ll have to get personal by leveraging friends.
  • Transitive trust is a powerful concept. I don’t know Jan, but Jan and I both know Robert; therefore some of my trust in Robert applies to Jan.
  • Discovery (of relationship) is automatic now; it’s actionable and pervasive.
  • Facebook is creating new modes of communication such as Poke. The cost of being connected is rapidly falling due to social networks.
  • Facebook makes the power of weak ties actionable; you can maximize them, capture the long tail of relationships, exercise options; you’re always available.
  • She repeated a story she told in Miami: of a teen named Tommy who is Facebooking everyone he’s ever gone to school with, from elementary school on. He’ll have all of his relationships on Facebook, his whole life.
  • From an enterprise perspective, sales must recognize and leverage these changes; leverage transitive trust; she showed some screens of Faceconnector, which makes Facebook profile information available within Salesforce.com under certain conditions. Its progenitor was Faceforce, which I reviewed.
  • B2B can leverage the social graph; as the price of your product/service increases, trust must increase as well.
  • At Salesforce.com, we were integrating Salesforce with Twitter, but it was very hard because Twitter was growing so fast.
  • Facebook enables hypertargeting for marketers; you can easily target age, marital status, location, school, workplace and even more personal things—because these are part of the Facebook profile. It enables you to tap latent demand economically (people don’t realize they have the need. This is different from marketers pushing the same product on everybody because it’s targeted and more likely relevant). Google searches are active demand (people are looking for that product or service). She cited Bobobos, which sells trousers only through Facebook ads—and is up to $1 million revenue after only two years.
  • Facebook creates loyalty magnification through social ads, in which your friends appear alongside advertisers if they have social actions connected to that advertiser (i.e., Fanned a Page). It almost appears as an endorsement.
  • Regarding sales employees, you need to start thinking about the person’s level of influence times the size of his/her network.
  • A big question is, how do we scale listening? It’s rapidly moving to “everybody to one” in which everyone is talking to one person/company.
  • She predicts that Facebook and Twitter will sell analytics.

Social Networking Conference officialThe Social Networking Conference took place June 24-26 in Beverly Hills. Between leading the pre-conference workshop on Enterprise Social Networking and leading the final panel, I scribbled these notes.

Enjoy and watch for the final report within a few days!

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