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torsdag den 5. juni 2014

Implementing social media into an enterprise is that just plug and play?

When enterprise companies decides that they want to invest in social media, a lot of these companies  do not look into their own business structure to see if they are ready for going social and they forget to do the proper investigation of the company maturity is in before start using Social Media.
It is a fact that Social Media is a hit among consumers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn is social platforms where consumers do everything from telling what they are doing right now to discussing brands and product performance. There is no doubt of the Social Media power, the collaboration among consumers can change the behavior of big enterprises and make them do things consumers demands. This is why the company has to do a proper homework before starting the collaboration within social media.

What is Social Media not about and what can it lead to!
Social media is not about starting a weekly or monthly blog from the CEO where there is no room for response or collaborative work, this is not social this is just changing media from one communicating platform to another. The proper way to embed social media into the enterprise company is about empowering the influencers and drive adoption of social networks and hereby secure the collaboration.
Social media is not just plug and play, social media can be disruptive to the established communication structure  and even to the entire hierarchies of thinking in the enterprise company if the company haven´t taken the proper precautions before just implementing the social media. Social Media can even start challenge company policies, strategies and governance. An example of preventing disruptions to company policies and strategies is how IBM Denmark implemented social media in the general communication. As IBM have a set of policies called business conduct guidelines the social media implementation and strategy had to incorporate these policies and not disrupt this structure. A dialog was established with the employees where the critical subjects where discussed to secure a properly collaboration.

What is Social Media about!
How do an enterprise company get success with social media? 
  • Task no.1 is to get employees to use the social media in a proper constructive collaborative way. This is not done by force or by telling employees that the company will save cost by using it. The success of social media adoption often requires senior management  to lead by example. 
  • Task no.2 is making social media fun and useful to every day activities  of employees. 
  • Task no.3 is to secure employees time to be social, and emphasizing employees by giving them credit for sharing on the social networks. 
  • Task no.4 is certainly not to get rid of other communication forms it is to secure the way that every employee should work together.
Will Social Media lead to no physical workplaces?
There has been a lot of guessing about getting rid of the physical office and let people be distance workers as the digitization and the social media platforms will allow this - but as predictions of the paperless office has been proclaimed several times and not yet happened. Enterprises know for sure that they can not attract young and visionary people if these people do not have a community where they can test their visions. Social media will be an important part of getting the visionary delivered to numerous employees by collaborating. 

The conclusion is that it is not just plug and play to implement social media, however the enterprise companies that doesn´t provide the social media tools to its employees will force the employees to use external services and hereby exposing the enterprises to even greater risk. It is not an option to modern enterprise companies whether to use social media or not. The issue is how the enterprises create the proper environment to appropriate the benefits and minimize the risk of using the new social media.

lørdag den 1. marts 2014

Why does US NSA watch our Social media activity – is the surveillance rely to prevent theorist attacks or do they have any other purpose with this snooping?

During the first months of 2014, all Social Media users did feel exposed to privacy interruptions from NSA and the increasing security investigations they have forced upon companies such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many others, to look into your conversations and the information you send and share with others.
Is this snooping into the social sharing a real act of preventing a theorist attack, or is it just an easy access to get knowledge of what new things are invented and could be a profitable sell to an American corporation in the future?

One thing is for sure, the US president do not score high points from the voters by jeopardising the privacy of the individual by forcing access into peoples Social media conversations.
What is the actual purpose, for organizations like NSA to look into millions of conversations from numerous providers of social traffic?
The official purpose is it to prevent theorist attacks – or is it pure spying on its own and other citizens?
Taking into consideration that NSA and the British GCHQ are working together on the surveillance of our social media traffic makes it even worse if the agencies actually are in for even political/personal reasons such as Mr Snowden suggest that our smartphones and social wear about can support agencies with personal data, location information and details such as political affiliation or sexual orientation. [1]
This entire discussion of who is getting access to data and social activities, gives us the reason to start a much bigger discussion about privacy on the internet and reasons to make guidelines for enterprise employees, of what they are discussing on the internet through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other social media platforms. This is to secure as little vital information to go out of the enterprise organisation and herby diminish the possibility of trade with company data from big public organisations such as NSA and GCHQ

[1] Source: Japanes Times, January 29, 2014

onsdag den 1. januar 2014

Social Selling is the 2014 challenge for the Enterprise Company

Happy social selling in 2014
Among large companies top management, it is a common misconception that all involved in social media and selling is either placed in marketing and or sales department. It is extremely important that top management is fully committed to communicating with customers and helps to bring value and Content into the dialogue with customers. The first step in this process is to have a social strategy, where working with social strategies are clearly defined and formulated so everyone knows what to do to ensure a successful social media/selling engagement

The traditional sales cycle process changes due to a number of factors.
·      First the decission makers in the B2B market changes, where it was the It-manager taking the decission when IT had to be purchased it is now the CFO who take the decission on recomandation of the It-manager.
·      When it in the past was mainly price and features which was the overall decission factors it is now the value creation towards the purchasing company which is top of the decission line.
·      When it was the marketing messages and the product catalougees that decided what the company should purchase it is now the experience of  other customers and their rating of the selling company value creation model which makes the customer take a purchase decission.

Enterprise Companies must fundamentally alter their marketing strategies and quickly adapt to the social selling ecosystem. To be able to take advantage of the new social dynamic environment the enterprise management must start to:
·      Gain real time knowledge of the customer decision behavior.
·      Understand the customer’s individual needs and engage in relevant communities creating valuable useful information.

Social Media has reached a new level
Social Media has reached a level where all the target-buying groups (prospects and customers) are freely offering information about themselves, their buying behavior and their communication with other potential customers. The customers are giving free feedback on their opinion of the products and services they want to buy or just have bought from any enterprise company in the same target group as your company are working in.  It is time for the enterprise company to be able to collect all the data being produced every minute of the day (Big Data) and process the data so it can be used to support the social selling.
Social selling has created a world where even B2B buying decisions start , progress and reach the closing point with little or non face-to-face collaboration. The Pre-Social Media selling where the B2B buying was governed by the face-to-face sale, the product catalough and the marketing communication sent out from the enterprise company is now beeing deminished and is under presiour from the social communication going on among customers.
The B2B sales force are feeling the presiour and know if they should keep their specialist position they need to participate in the conversation going on in the Social Media univers. The sales departments are seeing that a real shift in communication is taking place, and therefore they must urge their B2B sales people to take advantage of the power that social media content offer as a sales tool to create new prospects and keep into the collaboration with their customers.
This is where 2014 will force enterprise companies to adopt social selling in greater numbers.
Happy social New Year

fredag den 6. december 2013

Social Media trends for 2014 – What should enterprises expect?

Social media as a communication form has changed completely the interaction between people and organizations.  Social media has lifted the communication from the few –to- many over to the many-to-many.  The communication has moved from “we tell you” to  “Tell each other” and we as enterprise will listen to your conversation. Enterprises will collect the Big data to “paint” a picture of your purchase behaviour and your “Likes” in your conversation to be able to sell you what you need. Having a social media strategy has suddenly become a necessity if the enterprise wants to succeed.
But being social continues to mature and the various buying segments will change and mature – you will properly see that target groups will be younger and demand more from you as an enterprise both in terms of price and performance and ethics.

“A picture says more than thousand words”
The famous phrase “One picture is worth a thousand words” is quit actual as the younger generation are requesting a more visual experience on the Social Media. The Social Media App is a brilliant example of how you use pictures to show your world of food, clothing and travel among other things. You can choose to follow a magazine a designer who will show his or her world in a visual stile using pictures when it is on Another possibility is, you can ad your own video on YouTube and upload your own mobile phone video production in a few minutes.  This visual way of expressing one self is true of younger generations who are the future customers, which put a pressure on enterprise organizations to change their practices and embrace the visual experience. According to Apu Gupta the co-founder of; Enterprises need to find tools, which can measure and understand imagery and visual cues are most likely to be successful in leveraging Social.

“You need to be quick in responding to your customers and witty as well”
Social is often a live interaction between customers and enterprises, where the enterprise company need to be quick in responding to comments on their products and actions with knowledge and witty, using Twitter to do it short and precise. It is a must but can be a challenge for an enterprise company to respond to costumers and events in real time and herby use this concept to their competitive advantage.  Brands known for using this strategy is Old Spice with the witty and Caricature Old Spice man. This brand story went into a communication between the actor and brand been asked by costumers everything from wedding to when the next video will appear. The case of Old Spice tells us that enterprises need to be constantly monitoring social channels to respond to any customer or make the most out of a given situation. 

“Quality over quantity and an ethic touch”
It is important in all communication to have a high quality instead of a big quantity – WHY!! – obvious you need to send a clear and simple message to costumers which spot on in a collaborative way state the message in a clear context and content. Look at the most successful enterprises in modern time all with out any doubt have had a clear and relevant message to their costumers. Relevant messages addressed to me with a clear content and context will have my doled attention, and a higher possible rate of purchase. The social web needs to be a platform for sharing quality content and context to engage interested users.  And then you can not as an enterprise start cheating with your quality to increase your quantity. On top of your quality you need to be able to appear as an ethical correct thinking and acting enterprise company - this is an expectation from costumers.

Collaboration is everything
Collaboration is everything when we are talking Social Media. Collaboration is both the nightmare for the enterprise and a Hugh advantage. The nightmare appears when and if the conversations among costumers turn into a negative dialog where the offering from the enterprise is scowled instead of being praised for the value created to costumers. The Hugh advantage for the enterprise comes when social collaboration turns into the praising and positive conversation among costumers and their friends and herby is marketing and driving sales for the enterprise. There is a trend in social collaboration where costumers are interested in asking trusted “friends” for advice about products and services before purchasing anything. The strategy for the enterprise is to create value into the collaboration to secure a praising of the enterprise products and services among costumers “trusted friends”.

User generated content is the soul of Social media
Social Media has the ability to bring different people together often because a user has generated content, which appears to have the interest of another person. User generated content is the soul of Social Media, and enterprise should embrace it and provide customers with the space to interact with each other. For the enterprise company it is about listening to your customers and make sure that you will host the forum where the conversation takes place. It is a matter of grapping the conversation and be able to apply the knowledge of the conversation into the brand of the enterprise. This will give you as an enterprise a competitive advantage. An example where an enterprise company could use their costumers input and conversation is the chocolate producer Tom´s. In December they produce a Christmas chocolate calendar for children. Apparently a lot of parents have experience that when the children opened December 4th there was no chocolate inside the box – some parents was very angry in their social media communication towards Tom´s chocolate due to sad children who did not have their expectations fulfilled. The Marketing director from Tom´s had to answer the angry parents. He had the possibility to send the costumers some chocolate and whish them a merry Christmas and herby show how Tom´s protect their brand towards mistakes in production. Tom´s are living of having happy costumers. User generated content suddenly have a power addressing several other of the enterprise costumers. Enterprises have to react and respond and use the content to secure future mistakes.

The conclusion of the above trends for 2014 keep the pressure for the enterprise organizations to continually addressing the issue of Social care and expand the delivery of customer service over the social channels. Customers expect enterprise companies to use the social media as an extension of service delivery.

Merry Christmas and happy Social Media year

søndag den 1. december 2013

Will the use of Social media be jeopardized by NSA surveillance?

During the latest month NSA has been exposed in systematic surveillance of conversation on Social Media and other cloud based forums. A former NSA analytic Mr Snowden has exposed this systematic surveillance. This exposure has given Enterprises a wake up-call that US surveillance is not about national security for the United States, but in general of industrial espionage on enterprise companies outside USA. 
The most embarrassing case is without any doubt the interception of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone. But significant companies with an interest in the U.S. domestic market has undoubtedly not been listed in the systematic monitoring by the NSA. How do we as nations, individuals and companies relate us to systematically monitoring of our social media footprint. Or, are there, far more important issues that we as individuals need still in this new monitoring reality to take care of?  The relevant questions to ask here is perhaps:
Are we creating an information society, in which every Social Media conversation, cell phone photograph or other record of personal behaviour is transmitted not to police but to the world at large?
Do we want to jepodize our democraticaly right to speak and express our opinion with-out beeing afraid of some organizations will monitorize us ?

Do we want to chill behavior and spech with the fear that an unpopular comment or embarassing slip will call forth vituperative criticism and perhaps even adversely affect careers or reputations?

Do we need to constantly monitor what we say or do in restaurants, at sporting events, on public sidewalks or even private parties ?

This is worth to have a national and global debate about to secure that our new social independence – the conversation many to many  - will be able to continue freely. Everybody who are using the social media must start introducing a self-criticism, which does not create limitations in our use of social media but ensure that we become more worthwhile in the use of the medium. This debate of how we are using social media needs to be as much about our culture as of our law.

There are no doubt, that a constant surveillance will jeopardize how enterprise organizations will use Social Media in the future. The competitive advantage of beeing an american company,with an inteligence services, who are producing vital information which could be used by homeland industry, could develop the competitive advantage for the americans knowing what their European and Asian competitor are doing in the same field of work. As a privat person we must be aware of how we behave on the social media platform to secure our intrigity and independence to have the ability of free speech on the www.

torsdag den 10. oktober 2013

From Social Media to Social profitability

During my many blogs addressing the collaborative social media tool of communicating from many to many, and giving enterprises the possibility to enter new markets and having new information of their costumers, it should be quite obvious that using social media is all about creating profitability in the enterprise.

Marketing has owned Social Media.
Social Media has been owned by the marketing department, who has used it to justify their increased value on revenue generating in the enterprise.  In fact Social Media is not a tool to justify the marketing department’s value towards the enterprise organization, social media is all about driving revenue, EBITDA, earnings per share and competitive advantage – it is a strategic element which should have the CEO´s and the top management’s top priority.  

CEO should take charge of Social profitability
The CEO´s has to take charge of the social media / social profitability to be able to control the profit of the enterprise company. The strategic value of social media/Social profitability is to gain increased revenue, competitive advantage and profit, all key performance indicators which should be in the top management’s highest priority. Another advantage of a social profitability strategy is a change in the information flow between departments in the enterprise company. Social profitability re-defines the flows of information and decision making between departments in the enterprise company. Changing focus from Social Media to social profitability you will have the entire enterprise organization from HR, Marketing, and Finance to production in the group as stakeholders. The CEO as the main stakeholder in the Social profitability should start asking the questions such as:

  • How can social profitability affect the enterprise competitive advantage?
  • What is the role of Social profitability within the enterprise branded business system, both internally and externally?
  • What are the associated resource and capability implications?
  • How are we applying social profitability outside of the marketing department?

When the CEO takes charge of social profitability – the marketing department can operate again.
With the CEO as the main lead of social profitability, the CEO will relief the Marketing Department from the burden of seeing the cross-enterprise potential of Social profitability and not having the authority to make it happen on their own. Functionally speaking, Marketing could very well continue to press the buttons on social profitability, with the difference that it now will be fully supported with the authority of the CEO.
The outcome of this change in lead and responsibility of your social profitability strategy will be embedded throughout the enterprise organization. The advantage for the Marketing Department is that the social profitability strategy is not seen as a marketing tool but instead as a means of driving profitability throughout the entire value chain.