Part three in a series introducing The End of Business as Usual…Written by Frank Eliason (@frankeliason)
Certainly not a statement you would expect to hear from the person formerly known as @ComcastCares, but I think it is an important perspective to consider if we are to build stronger relationships with customers. As I look around I see many interesting aspects of social media from large and small businesses. and I am very excited to see companies trying new things to reach their customers. But we are now moving in a new direction and I think too few see it yet.
This is part two in a short series to introduce The End of Business as Usual…originally posted on Harvard Business Review (edited)
This is the first part in a short series to introduce The End of Business as Usual…
Change is inevitable, but it is rarely easy. Among the greatest difficulties associated with change is the ability to even recognize its need at a time when we can actually do something about it. Sometimes, when we finally realize that change is inevitable, the vision or energy needed to push forward in a new direction is elusive. Or worse, when competitors recognize the need for change before us, we are by default pushed into a precarious position where our next steps become impulsive rather than strategic.
Meghan Keaney Anderson is a marketing manager at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Cambridge, MA that makes marketing automation software.
Radian6 is one of the industry’s leading social media management platforms and was recently acquired by Salesforce. I was invited to join Salesforce at its recent Social Advisory Board meeting during its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco where I had an opportunity to sit down with Marcel LeBrun, SVP and GM of Salesforce Radian6.
As the line between social media and privacy continues to erode, I often think about these words by Gabriel García Márquez, “Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.” Sometimes in social media, we intentionally or often, unintentionally, blur the lines between who we are (outward facing), who we are (introspectively), and who we want to be.
“For the first time ever in a single day we had 500 million people use Facebook” – Mark Zuckerberg
For those who focus on the debate between Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter are missing the true story. Today at Facebook’s f8 developer conference we were reminded about what the story really is…you and me. No, it’s not about features, capabilities, or the number of users. We were reminded about the power of something much more important, our experiences, relationships, the content we create and share and how each paint a picture of who we are as individuals.
New media marketing is creating an undercurrent that is shifting the very foundation of business. Without a full understanding of what’s possible, a clear view to the future or an idea of the strength or extent of the market undertow, executives cautiously embrace emerging social and mobile channels based on guidance of internal champions and external pressure from competitors and customers alike. But, leaders can only lead when their vision is focused and direction is defined. The ability to execute becomes paramount and the gaps that exist between goals and capabilities must be identified and solved for quickly to stay the course.
Twitter continues to impress its supporters and critics alike. With 100 million active users, one billion Tweets published every day, and a fresh round of funding, Twitter’s monetization strategy continues to mature. In addition to licensing deals for its coveted fire hose and a future revenue stream tied to analytics, Twitter’s blue bird truly flies with the help of its expanding portfolio of Promoted products. The company is now releasing its latest offering, and it’s the most controversial product yet. New Promoted ads currently in a limited round of tests, hit streams even if users do not already follow the brand but are “like” those who do. Notoriously conservative in pushing ads to its fiercely loyal audience, this move represents a Mad Men moment for Twitter as it ventures into bold new territory.
I have to be honest, the headline is a bit hypocritical. I spend most of my time helping businesses embrace the opportunity to understand customer needs and engage with them in ways that they appreciate and value. Contrary to popular belief however, everyday consumers aren’t flocking to social media to build relationships with their favorite brands or local businesses. The truth is that consumers are using the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, et al. to connect with friends and family. But, that’s not all. People also follow those who help them better understand the world around them, share their interests, or introduce moments of desired distractions.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish 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. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.