In an era of Digital Darwinism, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed…this is your time.
Many follow, but very few lead.
Many compete to survive, but few compete for relevance.
Do we listen to our customers? Do we truly understand them?
Do we create experiences or do we simply react?
The future of business comes down to one word…change.
This is a new era that redefines everything.
An era of empowered consumers and employees.
Will we fall to natural selection or will we rise to lead the revolution.
This is our time to make business relevant.
Because people, after all, are everything.
Digital Influence is one of the hottest trends in social media and it is also one of the least understood. Klout, PeerIndex, Kred among many others are investing millions of dollars to understand how our social media activity translates into influence. The market for influence is only heating up with more entrants expected to debut and acquisitions or mergers likely on the horizon. Within the last 90 days alone, Klout took in a Series C of $30 million from Kleiner Perkins at a whopping valuation of $200 million. PeerIndex also recently announced an investment of $3 million.
About three weeks ago, I celebrated my first anniversary as Principal Analyst of Altimeter Group. And, it is with great pride that I mark the occasion with the release of my first official Altimeter report, “The Rise of Digital Influence.” Not a traditional market report, it was written as both a primer and a how-to guide for businesses to spark desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence.
With all of the momentum social media has earned over the years, the reality is that still today, it is very much siloed in marketing. The aspiration of using social technology to build a social business is not yet within grasp. In many ways, social media is much more about media than it is about opening two-way channels for interaction where information, empathy, and resolution travel inward and outward with all parties walking away with a sense of value and affinity. For what is a relationship without benefit or bond?
In 2007, I wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years (and counting), I thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, I amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”
Why did I change such a powerful statement? I believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.
We see everyday what’s possible with social networks for improving customer engagement and experiences? Can the same be done with internal social networks for improving employee engagement and experiences?
In the many years of helping businesses align business objectives with social and new media strategies, there is one thing that always introduces difficulty into the equation, employee engagement. At some point in the development of any strategy, employee and stakeholder input is critical to ensure relevance and ultimately success. While social media may more often than not live in the marketing department, it affects the entire organization and as such, requires a centralized approach to leadership and management combined with a distributed platform for communication and learning.
Part of an unpublished appendix for The End of Business as Usual…
Think of your favorite brand, and the first thing to come to mind is likely a logo, such as the Coca-Cola scripting, a tag-line, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” or a jingle – remember the Oscar Meyer Wiener song? These may be the aspects of a brand you remember, but they are no longer the most important aspects of branding today. Identity, persona, essence and promise, are the new kings and queens of the branding kingdom, thanks to technology and the deeper connections it opens up between brands and consumers.
When I originally outlined my presentation for SXSW, my plan was to set the stage for a passionate and engaged conversation by sharing the inspiration for my new book, The End of Business as Usual.
The more I thought about it, I realized that I could do more. To me, SXSW is a celebration of culture, art, innovation, and vision. The End of Business as Usual isn’t just about “business,” it’s about the end of everything “as usual.” So, I thought, what if the world of any business prioritized the same pillars as SXSW…art, innovation, culture, vision? What if everyday consumers, we, became the cogs in the business machine?
I am not a social media expert and my new book, The End of Business as Usual, is not about Social Media. If you’re looking for the Top 10 ways your business can succeed on Facebook or Twitter, secrets to attracting more followers or likes, creating viral videos, or the best practices for creating infographics that over simplify the complex world of business, save your money. There is no shortage of useful books and resources out there.
The first time I wrote about Twitter was March 2007. My, how time and Tweets fly. With 500 million registered users and 250 million Tweets flying across the Twitterverse every day, Twitter has become a fabric of our digital culture. Twitter is now ingrained in our digital DNA and is reflected in our lifestyle and how we connect and communicate with one another.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, 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.