It is with great pleasure that I share with you some exciting and hopefully helpful news. Salesforce and Altimeter Group recently collaborated on a special project to help executives understand the real impact of social media and in turn how to lead meaningful and lucrative transformation. The result is The Little Blue Book of Social Transformation, a free ebook that outlines 20 principles to lead change. It is available today as a complimentary download here.
Now, the backstory…
Facebook recently introduced the ability for brands to increase reach for important posts and updates, but that reach comes at a cost. The prices varies depending on how many fans you have in your community. This new feature coincided with changes to the company’s Edgerank algorithm, which is how Facebook automagically filters posts in and out of your stream. Similar to how Google’s PageRank sorts results to better match your search intention, Facebook uses Edgerank to ensure that engagement is optimized and spam is minimized.
The onslaught of real-time social, local, mobile (SoLoMo) technology is nothing short of overwhelming. Besides the gadgets, apps, social networks and appliances that continue to emerge, the pace of innovation is only outdone by the volumes of data that each produce. Everything we share, everywhere we go, everything we say and everyone we follow or connect with, generates valuable information that can be used to improve consumer experiences and ultimately improve products and services.
“The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge.” - Tim Berners-Lee, Web inventor, founder, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), source
The Millennial or Generation Y has the world abuzz. This generation is not only changing how businesses sell and what they sell, they’re also changing how businesses work. Millennials are indeed the first truly digital generation but they’re aren’t the only group with digital DNA. Generation Y, those that follow X and Generation Z behind them are rising fast. They too see the world differently and already represent a significant economic force in the world. In the United States, Generation Z is said to control up to $30 billion in spending. They’re connected. They’re informed. And, they’re practically immune to traditional sales and marketing programs established to serve the generations before them.
The importance of establishing your brand in the era of Digital Darwinism cannot be overstated. Digital Darwinism occurs when technology and society evolve faster than one’s ability to adapt. Every brand is vulnerable, but no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.
Photo taken 11/19/12 using an iPhone5 at St Kilda Beach, Melbourne Australia
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
- Bob Dylan
Content Context is King!
Social media ushers in an era of contextual relevance that finally trumps content as king. Don’t get me wrong, content is important. After all, without it, what would people read, watch, interpret, remix and share? But without context, content is simply a message or story trying to find a home. In social networks, people stitch together social networks based on their relationships, interests, and aspirations to personalize their online experience. Doing so creates a network where, in theory, information that’s shared and the connections that come and go are material to everyone involved.
I’ve always admired TED’s approach to presentations. More importantly, I appreciate how this approach inspires its presenters to in turn inspire audiences in the room and around the web. This evokes the concept of having an “audience with an audience of audiences” where those on stage break through the fourth wall to speak to and through audiences to extend engagement to social networks. TED stimulates the sharing of inspired experiences and it’s the nature of those experiences that foster greater dialogue in and around each event.
Social media changes everything. Marketing, sales, customer service, they’re no longer departments, engagement is now a way of business.
As the impact of social spreads through organizations, questions arise about the role social ultimately plays in customer service and overall customer experiences. For the past three years, good friend Brent Leary and the folks at Social Media Today have produced The Social Customer Engagement Index. It examines how companies are using social tools for customer service and, more importantly, how customers are responding.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.