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    Is Your Company Ready For Collaboration?

    Although I write a lot of posts about being customer-centric, it’s important to remember that customers form only part of the corporate relationships agenda. Another category of important relationships are partners.

    And partners will only become more important in the Digital Society.

    A recent article by John Hagel III and Marc Singer entitled Unbundling the Corporation hit home just how the importance of partners will grow within the Digital Society. The article appeared in the McKinsey Quarterly.

    Hagel and Singer wrote,

    Click to read more ...


    Simplifying Social Business–The Focus Series Recap

    Woo hoo! Dr. Natalie and I just finished the last roundtable episode in our Simplifying Social Business series on Focus. If you missed any of the episodes, you can catch up on the flip flop by following the link. You’ll see a recap of all the episodes as well as links to catch the replays.

    Both Natalie and I want to thank Focus for sponsoring our in-depth series. We had a great time sharing our social business thought leadership and engaging with attendees.

    We based the roundtable series on our Simplifying Social Business ebook series. If you want an even deeper penetration then what Natalie and I could give each week, check out our ebooks. We’ll soon be releasing our Social Customer Service ROI Playbook and then a social marketing ROI book will follow.


    Click to read more ...


    Assessing Your Social Media Maturity

    With the prevalence of social media, many businesses have started to incorporate some of the basics by adding a Facebook page or a twitter handle, but are at a loss to prove how its affecting the bottom-line.

    Part of that is because they don't realize where they are with respect to a continuum of what they could be doing.

    When we work with clients, we benchmark the “As Is” state of social media initiatives and compare them to “Could Be” via best practices.  With this insight, businesses can create a world-class social media and digital presences and are more likely to monetize their investments when they accomplish higher levels of capabilities with their social media initiatives.

    We’re going to talk about social maturity in detail at our next Focus roundtable on Wednesday, December 7 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 p.m. PT.

    If you missed the live event, you can catch it on replay here. We also used an accompanying slide deck. To view the slides, click here and follow along with the replay. The slides can also be viewed as a standalone.

    Click to read more ...


    Collaborate or Risk Social Media Failure

    There’s substantial ROI of social media, whether it for PR, Marketing, Customer Service. But if leaders don't understand the business relevance of social media, they may be doing their organization harm.

    If you missed out on yesterday’s Focus roundtable, then you missed out hearing Dr. Natalie and I talk on the importance of collaborating across functional departments and what happens to brands that don't.

    Among our topics, we covered:

    1. Mixed messages that have a longer life due to social. – iRobot case study
    2. Not getting the full benefit of ROI. – Dell case study
    3. Dangers of poor leadership that can cause internal weakening due to political infighting. – Aliased case study (name hidden to protect the fightees).

    Catch up, though, via the replay.



    Now It’s Time to Show Social Marketing & PR ROI

    Last week, Dr. Natalie and I opened our kimonos and showed Focus roundtable listeners how to determine a social customer service ROI. We moved beyond just talking about metrics to discuss how calculate the ROI by merging information from:

    1. Traditional operational activities and metrics.
    2. Social analytics.
    3. Business results when social media is applied.

    We connected the dots to show the interrelatedness and dependencies across the different types of insights and how that translated into monetary savings for a client. And we compared those gains to the costs of the social program.

    This week, Dr. Natalie and I going to do the same with showing how to calculate a social marketing and PR ROI on Focus. Join us tomorrow, on November 9 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET!

    **** If you missed the live event, catch the replay!



    How to Calculate Social Customer Service ROI

    Customer Service executives and managers have the responsibility for caring for customers and delivering experiences that ultimately result in customers deciding whether to stay loyal to a company.

    That decision affects the bottom-line by either increasing or decreasing costs and revenue.

    Social Media represents a new dynamic in customer experiences where the company, its products, services, reputation and the way it treats customers is front and center of millions of people.

    Comments, reviews, ratings and the dissatisfaction is permanently “inked-in” in the online world for millions of others to view -- forever. And while Marketing and PR may spend hundreds, or sometimes millions of dollars creating a brand image, a short message, like a Tweet or Facebook post, can activate the destruction of a brand’s reputation. In effect, Customer Service is the new PR and Marketing for a brand.

    Don’t fall into the trap of “Social media ROI cannot be calculated because there are too many unknowns.” To the nay-sayers, I say baloney!

    Check out this video on How to Calculate Social Customer Service ROI, originally part of a roundtable hosted with Dr. Natalie Petouhoff. For the new and improved video format, I added a bunch of new slides.

    Dr. Natalie and I are also within weeks of releasing our Kindle and Nook versions of a Social Customer Service ROI ebook as part of our Simplifying Social Business  ebook series. We’re a little behind due to work commitments.


    Wrong-headed Hoopla About Social ROI

    Too many social media pundits hold the view that a social Return on Investment (ROI) can’t be determined. You’ll hear all kinds of reasons like too many unknowns. And there’s my personal favorite, “Don’t worry about the ROI, just get a strategy and start doing something.”

    Well, I agree with part of the above statement. You do a need a social strategy to before you can even begin to determine the social ROI (smROI). But the rest? They’re mythtaken.

    Social ROI can be determined. So why do the myths around ROI persist? Here are a few reasons:

    Click to read more ...


    Objectives & Strategy–Social Business Starting Points

    There’s so much talk about social ROI but the focus seems to be on the endpoint (ROI). As important as determining the ROI can be, it’s the caboose on the business case train.

    The starting point is objectives, followed by strategy design, KPI definition, and then lastly, the determination of the ROI. Let's talk turkey.

    Click to read more ...


    Focus Roundtable – Becoming a social business

    If you missed The Business of Social Business live talk on Focus, catch it on replay. This was the first of several sessions where Dr. Natalie and I discussed the 7 steps to become a social business.

    This week, we covered the first 3 steps: 

    1. Understand the impact on traditional functional roles.
    2. Understand the impact on the business at large - people, process, & technology.
    3. Listen & discover with social monitoring.

    Next week, Dr. Natalie and I will continue the discussion, focusing on social objectives and strategy.

    Both of these sessions are based on content from our The Business of Social Business ebook.


    RIM (Blackberry) = Social Business #Fail

    OMG. Have you been following the RIM (Blackberry) outage snafu in the UK? This is an operational crisis accentunated by a communication crisis. And it's an anti-case study in how to be a failed social business that lacks customer centricity.

    Update - Oct 12 - The crisis moved into the 3rd consecutive day so I updated my video analysis. Here it is...

    Dr. Natalie and I are talking about The Business of Social Business in tomorrow's Focus Roundtable. We'll be providing important insight this week and next in how to avoid being a RIM. Because trust me, you don't want to lose customers the way they're going to.


    Reference articles

    BlackBerry Service Crashes in Europe

    BlackBerry Outage Persists in U.S.; Customers Rely on Work-Arounds

    Outages Plague RIM's BlackBerry for Second Day in Europe, India

    Social Media Woes Highlight Marketing Faults


    This article isn't specifically about the RIM outage, but you may find it an interesting perspective about RIM's future...

    A third of BlackBerry's enterprise base to head for exits in 2012