Social Business Forecast 2011

Over the past three years or so, Jeremiah Owyang and David Armano have been a source of inspiration and plain old common sense when I was developing a social media strategy for business clients. There is much to savour, in this deck of slides from Owyang’s keynote at Le Web.

My ‘take-homes’ for the new year:

1. Avoid self-proclaimed social media gurus like the plague. Ask them to explain how they would develop a strategic plan, and how ROI could be measured for a programme. Get them to share their blog and explain how they use Twitter and Delicious for research purposes. Finally, how they intend to cross-train your staff, and whether they’d like to provide you with an active client list. It may be a short conversation.

2. Blogging is not going away, even if the numbers and pundits point to its slow demise. It’s just going to become granular and content-rich. The blogosphere may well become smaller. It may not be such a bad thing if the attention-deficient migrate to other platforms.

3. Social media monitoring tools are suddenly all the rage. I expect these to eventually become embedded in some larger, mainstream product. Some add-on to Google Analytics, perhaps. In the short term, some people will get seriously rich.

4. The tools may be new, the thinking isn’t. Read Castells, Turner, Wellman, Granovetter, Rheingold, Shirky or plain old Boissevain for a history of social networks. Ask your gurus if they read them too.

5. Inbound marketing still works – especially from quality third party collateral, in the form of sponsorships and quality advertising. As does the plain, old, tried and tested e-mailed newsletter masquerading as a filtered blog.

6. WikiLeaks will encourage further disruption by citizen journalists operating at a more hyper-local level. Expect a cocktail of law-suits, nervous politicians and mainstream journalists getting all defensive about blogs, tweets and Facebook pages.

7. NGOs will continue to lead the way for innovation in social business. They are hungrier, and have less internal political baggage and resistance to deal with, as a general rule.

8. There are still companies who have yet to exploit their own sophisticated CRM systems. Conduct a simple exercise to determine how your customers are participating on social media platforms. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is so much easier to up-sell to an existing customer as opposed to winning a new one. Especially if you start engaging in a more social, transparent manner.

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One Response to Social Business Forecast 2011

  1. Joakim Nilsson says:

    Good summary Alex. Re social media monitoring, it may well be that GA could recognize users after a while, or as you say with some kind of add-on. Meanwhile its important to identify your brands mass influencers, Google Alerts might be enough if you’re starting out… But in a larger organisation you want to look at an enterprise solution. Most smaller brands will probably notice that not all that many ppl talk about them…

    Re crm, have you looked in to rapleaf?

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