Know your customer

Can social media really help you go from “WTF is Facebook Page?” to “Revenue exceeds company’s expectations.”?

Image by Anne Hemond

The Dachis Group held their 2nd annual Social Business Summit 2011 here in Austin, TX. The speakers are leaders from different industries and they openly shared their tried and true experiences in social business strategies. It was one of the best conferences I have attended in a while.

Here is some of their shared wisdom:

1- JP Rangaswami, Salesforce.com: Chief Scientist
– Business is inherently social, yet in the last 50 years, we have somehow engineered the social out of business.
– Technology is changing the enterprise. There is less friction between people and more social interaction.
– Change is good or bad depending on the context it occurs. The change in technology is shifting everyday paradigms. Today’s 3 year old expects to touch the screen and drive the experience.
– We will go from accepting process as standards to see process as a pattern, then allow the change to occur.
– We are moving away from fear to sharing, mentoring, collaboration. The idea that we can now store failure as future proofing is very important.
– Now we can make new mistakes, and today’s failures will become tomorrows innovation.
– We’re approaching an age of associating work with pleasure at the enterprise

2- Dave Gray, XPLANE: Founder, Co-Author of Gamestorming.
– Life expectancy of a S&P 500 company is 10-15 years, and profit per employee drops by half as company grows by 3times
Next he talked about The connected company, he said:
–  In reality we design machines for repeatability and predictability. However people are unpredictable. So you can’t run company as you run a machine
– There is a similarity between urban design and organizational design. Both companies and cities are made of people. So take lessons from Urban Design.
– Start from bottom up (1 wide street with lots of people), with many cross functionality for scalability, and finally you must have ownership for projects, each with a private place to work and a public face to interact.
– Long lived companies have 3 things in common: decentralized their systems, strong identity and culture and active listeners in their environment
– The future of organizations is moving away from territorial style to a flatter and more connected in order to succeed and survive.

3- Phil J. Kaplan: Internet Entrepreneur and co-founder of Blippy
– 2 years ago many people thought Facebook was “Creepy”, and privacy was a concern. Today Facebook has over 500million members, and some still are concerned about privacy, but not that many looking at the numbers.
– People are always suspicious and scared of something new. Yet people will share their private life if you give them the means and the reasons.
– Because people in the past didn’t have ways to publicly share their lives, they freak out now about sharing online. Young people on the other hand, it is all they know. So it is no big deal to them.
– To create an online presence, find out what you have that people could use and need, then offer it. People will jump on it.

4- Rawn Shah, IBM- Rewiring Mega mind
– You need to understand the nature of friction to understand the value of innovation
–  Currently 140K of IBM 400K employees are remote. Trust is essential to encourage people to share their information and contribute to internal interaction
– IBM uses itself as case study to demonstrate the benefits of social tools internally and with their customers
– Managing social tools is different between small company and big company. Culture is another consideration to take into account when deploying social tools.

5- Josh Bernoff, Forrester, and author of Empowered
–  It is no longer just social technologies; there is mobile platform, cloud computing and video accessibility.
–  Empowering your employee is like creating a hero (Amen!!!)
–  Online social participation continues to grow. In 2007 18% were creators, 48% spectators and  44% untouched by social. In 2010, 23% creators, 68% spectators and 19% inactive
–  Social networks contribute to 500B impressions, 25% of that number is impressions from ad dollars
–  People on mobile web far more likely to spread influence impressions than non-mobile customers
–  It’s more important to get people to culturally embrace social collaboration than to embrace the systems you will use
–  Think IDEA: Identify mass influences; Deliver groundswell customer service; Empower mobile information; Amplify fan activities
– Ways to create heroes in your organization:Empower employees with technology freedom; Encourage experiments; Commit to collaborative system culturally and use counsels to spread best practices.

6- John Hagel III, Deloitte & Author of The Power of Pull
–  It used to be that the harder you work, the less you get back in return until you jump into the next stage. Now you can make big changes by learning to share
–  The changes are not about social or technology, it is about organizational change
–  Deploying social tools will succeed with metrics that matter to different groups within the organization
–  The value of social software is in helping define, connect and support solving problems, for diverse groups
–  It is only when you measure against metrics that you will see the success or the failure of your social initiatives
–  Massive organization change rarely succeeds. Small moves smartly made set big changes in motion
–  To make changes, it is best to start at the edge of the organization. The core of the businesses has antibodies that are effective at resisting change. So when you succeed at the edge, start scaling to make it the new core.
– There is very little passion left in big organizations. You need to find the passionate people and connect them to new social initiatives.

7- Michael Gold, Founder and President of Jazz Impact
– To find innovation, we need to be in the liminal zone. It is the space between what you know and what you don’t know. It is the zone of possibilities
– Business is like Jazz. There are are base cords and notes, but on top of that there infinite possibilities for improvision and creativity.

8- Shiv Shingh, PepsiCo Beverages & author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies
– The future of Marketing is Real-Time Marketing
– Social Media is fundamentally changing organizations
– There are 90M tweets per day to show you trends
–  To go from insights to execution in seconds requires new ways of thinking and acting
Real-time marketing = Insight into the customer trend + ability to respond +  creating relevant content + co-creation and distribution + customer engagement…ALL in Real Time

9-Jesse Thomas, CEO and Founder of Jess3
– Use the data to show the story
– Data visualization and symbolism have always been part of storytelling
– When designing infographics, it is best to design style and content in parallel, because serial processing misses opportunities

10- Lee Bryant, Headshift | Dachis Group, Managing Director, Europe

– The change for social business needs to be deeper, more structural – it is Not about humanizing old companies as if putting lipstick on a pig
–  Don’t limit employee conversations. Real leaders thrive in open culture and feedback
–  Move beyond carrot and stick thinking to connect with peoples’ intrinsic motivation and sense of purpose
–  It is a myth that flat structures don’t need leaders, real leaders not managers, have persuasive quality
–  Harness the power of open data to evolve and better understand
–  Follow objectives not instructions
–  Ecosystems + passion + active listening = enterprise transformation
–  Use the Wiki way: Managers only intervene when there is a problem

11- Tony Hsieh (Zappos) and Jenn Lim (Delivering Happiness)
– If you don’t pay attention to your company culture, it may become something you dread
– Zappos is in the business of delivering exceptional customer service and they just happen to sell shoes. The power of WOW!
– Your culture is your brand
– People are really bad in predicting what is going to make them happy
– Instead of a high tech approach, try to go for a high touch approach

Great event. Thank you Dachis Group.

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