Guest post by Greg Narain (@gregarious) co-founder of Chute, a company that helps brands discover or collect relevant photos from social networks and incorporate the visuals into their websites and apps
Brands finds themselves at a challenging crossroads in their evolution. For decades, companies have utilized a command and control model as it pertains to their brands. Billions of dollars have been spent to carefully craft specific messages and deliver them via campaigns. However, as consumers continue to create and promote their own stories, brands now must decide how to integrate that content into their own stories.
Employee empowerment is about creating brand advocates to scale customer relationships and effectively compete in new digital markets. Organizations can no longer rely on inbound and outbound sales reps, people willing to jump through hoops and obstacles via call centers, or traditional marketing to boost awareness and demand. Customers demand engagement, in real time, and that takes human beings, training, and support.
As editorial director and conference producer of The Pivot Conference, I have the privilege to meet with the people who are bringing about real change inside organizations. During the 2013 conference, I had the chance to interview Dr. Rebecca Harris (@RebeccaHarrisDr), who leads the Social Media Center of Expertise at General Motors in Detroit. Her role is all about transformation and integration as she works across brands and around the world on social strategy, social tools, social processes, points-of-view on multiple social topics, and overall integration between brands, divisions and countries.
Guest post by Brendan Gahan (@BrendanGahan), a YouTube marketing expert. Gahan was Forbes 30 under 30 for Marketing & Advertising and has helped Fortune 500 brands with their YouTube and social media marketing.
This year has been particularly busy yet productive for Charlene Li and me having published two reports that detail the six stages of social business evolution and the true state of social business in 2013, an ebook on how successful social businesses are evolving, and an image-rich slide deck complete with all the graphs and charts you need to benchmark where you are compared to other social businesses.
In recent times, I’ve noticed a rise in discussions around the “death of social business” and also an increase in alternative “fill in the blank but don’t use the word social” businesses. Some of those discussions have been hosted here recently. There’s strong merit to the discussions of course, especially those I’ve hosted (be sure to read the comments). But as an analyst tracking the evolution of social businesses and equally the cause and effect of digital transformation overall, I’m learning that the most advanced organizations see social not as a technology movement but instead one of culture and philosophy. Openness, collaboration, transparency, communication…these aren’t buzz words. Among those leading change, these words represent a way of business and it all starts with vision and the ability to see how relationships and experiences with customers and employees can improve or accomplish new and greater goals.
When writing my new book, What’s the Future of Business, Changing the way businesses create experiences, I felt that text wasn’t enough. So, I sought the wit and creativity of my good friend from the ole Web 2.0 days Hugh MacLeod aka @gapingvoid to help summarize each chapter in the form of a toon. Then we got to talking, why limit the cartoons to just the book?
Guest post by Greg Narain (@gregarious), co-founder of Chute, a social media platform that helps brands and publishers obtain rights to UGC content.
Customer-contributed stories are not only powerful, they’re also influential and important. Yesterday, customers conveyed their stories through text and voice. Today, we’ve moved to visually rich tools like photos and videos. While compelling to look at at face value, there’s quite a bit more hidden within.
In 2012, Google along with Jim Lecinski published a fantastic book that explored how digital customers made decisions in what Google refers to as “The Zero Moment of Truth.” The ZMOT as it’s abbreviated, helps strategists discover relevant strategies and tactics on how to show up at the right place, at the right time and with the right content in a digital ecosystem.
Guest post by Philip Sheldrake as a reply to Chris Heuer’s post, “Social Business is Dead! Long Live What’s Next!”
As he finished a game of Cut The Rope on his iPhone, my young godson asked what my phone was like when I was his age. I broke it down for him. I was in my twenties before someone offered to take north of ten thousand dollars for a basic digital camera, and not much less for a GPS device. And I got my first basic mobile phone (I explained that means just making phone calls and sending text messages) as I approached thirty.
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.