Some of you know me through my work in studying how social media and disruptive technology impact business and culture. Others have worked with me in translating insights into action and change within the enterprise. Every now and then, I share another side of myself that evokes the aspiring social scientist in me as I explore how all of this is affecting us as individuals and human beings.
Social media is more than a digital water cooler for TV and movies. The global conversation that takes place around events and the experiences people share based on what they watch teaches us about consumer preferences. More importantly, their activity influences behavior. Behavior counts for everything. Studying it is just the beginning of course. In order to understand and eventually steer behavior, we must translate activity into insights and in turn, translate insights into actionable strategies and programs.
The future of television is much more than social; much in the same way that the future of media is too, more than social. Social is a fabric; it connects the individual nodes that make up the human network. But, social however, is not a means to an end. And, as such, the same is true about the working theories driving Social TV. Understanding the role social plays in how viewers connect with programs and other people is essential to defining the future of television.
I’ve been a long-time supporter of MediaTemple’s (MT)Residence program along with Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Patel, and many others whom I respect. I wanted to share my “7 questions to answer to become a social business” with you here..
Frank Eliason and I have known each other for many years. We’ve shared the stage on many occasions, he’s made an appearance on Revolution, and most importantly, I’m proud to call him a personal friend. Frank has championed the adaption and transformation of customer service during his time at Comcast and at CITI. Never one to shy away from sharing his opinions, he’s certainly bullish on where service needs to be as a function and a philosophy versus where it is today. In fact, he’s gone so far as to call out social media customer service as being a “failure” in its current state.
Guest post by Danna Vetter, VP, Consumer Strategies, ARAMARK
People laughed when we began talking about putting resources towards building a social structure for a company like ARAMARK. We heard it all:
The standard -
“We can’t open ourselves up to this kind of risk.”
The mean -
“You’re just trying to manipulate company perception.”
The ridiculous –
“No one wants to read tweets about hot dogs.”
The headline calls attention to everything that’s wrong with how businesses measure engagement in social media today. Businesses that invest any level of marketing resources in networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like (get it?) are being groomed to focus on soft metrics instead of the relevant activity that signals the strength and worth of a community. By weighing conversations, interactions, and views, businesses are fed raw numbers that demonstrate KPIs but they do not offer the insights necessary to glean ROI or deep understanding of what people do and do not want, need, or value. And that’s part of the problem as marketers and developers are focusing on stimulating movement, which by default becomes a game of competing for attention, moment by moment.
I recently had the privilege of presenting at the GDOL Digital Talkfest in Istanbul. The focus of the event was very much in line with my current work. GDOL tracks the new generation of consumers who do everything online and the impact they now have on popular culture, society and ultimately business. I refer to this generation as Generation-C.
Social media is a global phenomenon indeed. Certainly Facebook, Twitter, Google+, in their own way, each make the world a much smaller place. The distance between any two people is shrinking as the number of network connections continues to proliferate. I’m sure you’ve heard at one point or another, that the distance between two people in an offline world is six degrees. In a recent Facebook study for example, the average degree of separation between two people in the network is only 4.74. When focused on one country specifically, such as the U.S., Sweden, or Italy, among others, the number of hops between two people further shrinks to 3.74.
Marketers, educators, parents, it seems that almost anyone in the Generation X or Boomer demographic is scratching their heads trying to figure out Generation Y aka the Millennial. After all, it’s the first generation to seemingly possess digital prowess as part of their DNA. And, it’s the first generation to receive both a birth certificate and a social profile or presence upon delivery into this world.
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.