Looking Beyond 2012: Trends for Leading Transformation

Part 16 in an ongoing series that serves as the prequel to my new book, The End of Business as Usual

It’s a new year and a new set of predictions to set goals and expectations for 2012.  I won’t bother you with the top 10 emerging social networks or apps to focus time and resources. Nor will I gaze in the crystal ball to reveal the five secrets to viral marketing and user/customer acquisition. Instead of adding my forecasts to the endless sea of debatable prophesies, I chose a more aspirational path.

How Suntrust Uses Social Media to Engage Customers and Comply with Regulation

Financial institutions are bound to rules and regulation than other companies experimenting in customer engagement, specifically in social media, can ignore. Over the years, SunTrust has stood out as one of several examples that understand how to use regulatory boundaries to inspire a new generation of customer engagement. The result is finding balance between risk and reward to meet customer expectations and improve customer experiences now and over time.

As I’ve always believed…constraint forces creativity.

Married to your business Twitter or Facebook account? Think before you say, I sue

About a year ago, I was asked to testify as an expert witness in a celebrity case where the celebrity in question had Tweeted a negative assessment of a particular service provider. The service provider sued claiming that the said Tweet caused significant damage to their reputation, which ultimately contributed to an unrecoverable loss in overall sales. I turned down the opportunity because in my research, I couldn’t substantiate with confidence that the Tweet caused the amount of stated damages…or anywhere close to it. Naturally, that made my testimony undesirable by the attorneys representing their service provider client. The celebrity eventually lost the case and as a result, paid a hefty sum. This case now serves as precedent for any and all case that will emerge as people seek restitution against potentially damaging status updates.

Digital Trends: Strategies for Reaching and Influencing Connected Consumers

In 2011, the digital landscape underwent a significant shift that will have profound effects on business in 2012.

The challenge is that hardly any business leaders noticed. That’s not their fault however.

Although the impact of technology on business and consumer behavior was widely reported, in-depth reports on what to do next or how this will affect their business specifically were scant at best.

The Hierarchy of Contagiousness

Guest post by Dan Zarrella, author of Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

The key to applying science to marketing is being prescriptive. Calculating and analyzing data that is interesting is fun, but information becomes useful when it tells you how to achieve a specific goal. Throughout my career, one of the goals I’ve focused on is the engineering contagious ideas. I’ve worked for years, using science and data to understand how to craft content that spreads like wildfire.

Ten Social Media Strategies to Define a Successful 2012

Welcome to another New Year! While everyone else is busy thinking about or already breaking their New Year resolutions, it’s time for us to take a moment to rethink what it is we can really do better now and over the next 12 months.

I’m sure you heard it everywhere last year. Experts found the highest blog mountains and social network skyscrapers to Tweet in concert, “You need a Facebook brand page! Why are you not on Twitter yet? Have you checked-in on Foursquare? Hurry up and get set up on Google+. If you don’t get on social media, you’re going to go out of business!”

Ford’s Jim Farley on the importance of putting your brand in the hands of customers

During Blogworld Expo in Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service live on stage. The discussion was focused on a powerful theme, putting your brand in the hands of customers. Certainly for any business, large and small, the idea of empowering customers to shape and steer your brand can be perceived as both frightening and dangerous. But here, Farley brings a refreshing perspective on why businesses, including Ford, need to engage customers in a more human and genuine manner. He looks beyond marketing to bring executives, employees and customers together in building a stronger brand, more relevant products and services, and investing in meaningful relationships to ultimately create a remarkable business…a business that matters beyond its goods.

Going Global by Going Local: Why localization improves engagement

Part 15 in an ongoing series that serves as the prequel to my new book, The End of Business as Usual

The world is becoming a much smaller place. But even with social media contributing to a globally connected society, businesses that continue to take a global approach to social content and engagement may be missing opportunities for greater resonance and relevance. While a global presence is necessary for any organization hoping to connect with customers around the world, placing reliance on one prevailing strategy is just the beginning. In any web strategy, including social and also mobile media, localization is king.

Social CRM Needs Clarity

As the headline implies, even though Social CRM exists as an official category, what it is and what it is not is blurry and hotly debated. No, it doesn’t need a new definition. And, no, it doesn’t need new leadership. sCRM, and now “social enterprise” as categories could however, benefit from clarity around what it is they’re solving for, which companies actually provide solutions against those objectives, and ultimately, how everything works together for the benefit of customer engagement and relationships.

Is the Golden Age of tech blogging over?

My colleague Jeremiah Owyang sure ruffled some feathers with his post claiming that the Golden Age of tech blogging is over. Aside from being a mentor and a tireless analyst, he’s also a long-time blogger. His words over the years helped blaze the trail for blogging and ultimately the micromedia bonanza that he believes is contributing to the erosion of long-form social prose. In his article, he quotes good friends Loic Lemeur, Ben Metcalfe, Ben Parr, Francine Hardaway, Chris Heuer and Dave McClure. Their perspective is always interesting. And, his post also drew telling comments from some of the best known names in tech blogging including Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable, Sarah Lacy, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and Dylan Tweney, executive editor at VentureBeat.

ABOUT ME

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.

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