Posts Tagged social media
When we started to advance Social Media as an industry or field of practice back in 2006, I had the highest hopes for our future. I saw social media as an opportunity to not only bring people together, but to bring people from different backgrounds together. Just as Howard Rgeingold had explained in his book Virtual Community, but instead of being in the fringes, it would be at the core of society. I also saw social media as the force for organizational transformation, bringing transparency and openness to companies and governments alike with societal change forcing a new wave of change management.
Unfortunately, as Shel Israel explained to me many many moons ago, we tend to overestimate change in the short term and underestimate it over the long term.
As social media has evolved, SMC is also facing change. While many cities have found a way to persist, others have become a bit more quiet. Perhaps remaining as a strong online community as Austin has done without a lot of in person events, or just folding altogether. This is actually normal and healthy. Change is a constant and is required for any community in order to remain relevant and valuable to its members.
While I’m not seeking to get involved in the organizational structure discussion, I am interested in getting more engaged with the community here in Austin now that I will be down here regularly over the months ahead. So I want to talk to some other folks who care about what’s going on in social media today – to share experiences, insights and yes, miseries too. While social is now pervasive as a medium, it’s less then optimal as a profession.
In recent weeks I’ve spoken to way too many people who are struggling, who are undervalued by management and who still don’t have an easy+valid way of proving their ROI. So while social is amazing in so many ways, it’s not yet widely honored for its true potential which means it’s not getting the investment it deserves which means it’s not getting honored for its value… Ugh.
So this isn’t going to be a pity party. Not in the least. It is going to be whatever we want to make it together as a round table conversation with whoever shows up. I’ll start with deeper remarks on the subject to kick things off, talking about the why’s and whatnots as I see it, then open up for questions and ongoing group conversation.
So what is the State of Social Media from your perspective? Share in the comments and if you are in Austin, come join us next Tuesday at 630pm at the Ants Eye View offices in North Austin.
There were so many rich gems from this conversation with Marshall Kirkpatrick of Little Bird on last week’s CXDNow, that I’ve rewritten the headline almost 10x and have struggled with how to best synthesize our one hour show for you. Marshall and his team are rightly excited about “Contextualized Segmentation”, I am personally a fan of “Market Engagement Optimization” which I’ve been thinking about for a few years and “Holistic Business Strategy” which I have been touting for over 15 years. But after listening to this whole conversation a second time and reviewing my notes, I think what best encompasses what Little Bird does, especially as it impacts our ability to design great customer experiences, social intelligence is the clear winner.
Why? While Marshall shares that the first thing most people do with Little Bird is to find who are the influencers a company should talk to about a new product launch, as they start to understand the capabilities more fully, they quickly are able to create value across their entire business strategy. From marketing, to recruiting, to trend watching, to content curation and especially for learning from the market to inform their product strategies, Little Bird is able to best identify the truly influential people and the conversations that really matter to your market.
How do they do this? As you will learn in this episode, their key metric is based on the relationships and connections between those who are regularly engaged in conversations about key aspects of your market. It’s not only about who has the most ‘potential reach’, but about how many other connections a given influencer has within a given network. Going further, Little Bird helps you to see the clusters of the types of influencers engaged in the conversation – are they high volume self promoters or are they true influencers? What potential sub-communities exist? And now with the latest release, what are the phrases and language being used within those sub-communities that may be salient but not obvious.
I think the reason I am biased towards thinking of Little Bird as a Social Intelligence tool is best summarized by this quote from Marshall in the podcast when I asked him what is different about his product. He said his best customers are “Leveraging influencers not just for what they will tell the world about you, but for what they will tell you about the world.”
This post only scratches on the applicable insights we uncover in this conversation. To get the most from it, find yourself an hour on your commute or in the evening and listen to our conversation between Marshall Kirkpatrick, Dave Gray and myself as soon as you can.
Sponsored by XPLANE:
XPLANE is a strategic design consultancy focused on addressing complex challenges on the inside of organizations. We leverage visual thinking, people-centered design, and co-creation to design solutions that accelerate the way our clients envision, explain, and realize their goals.
CXDNow is back for season 2 of our series focused on understanding and successfully executing on customer experience design so that your organization may better serve, and ultimately win your market. In season 1, we focused on the fundamentals of CX Design through conversations with CX leaders such as Brian Solis, Risto Lahdesmaki and Tom Illmensee among others. As we move into 2016, we will be bringing you stories from more leaders around who will share their deep insights and practical advice in pursuit of advancing the field for the benefit of all.
chris heuer, contextualized segmentation, Customer Experience, CX, CXDNow, Dave Gray, Little Bird, market engagement optimization, Marshall Kirkpatrick, social intelligence, social media, twitter, XPlane
Here at IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando this week I’ve had a epiphany. Or perhaps, I should say that I have actually come to face the facts I have long known to be true, yet tried to forget. Or rather, I tried to ignore the facts by imbuing my support for the bigger idea that is Social Business, with a greater aspect of my soul, and my aspiration for improving humanity. Yes, I still have aspirations for a smarter planet, a smarter workforce, a smarter city and a smarter, more informed citizenry (h/t to our friends at NPR as well as IBM there). But Social Business was barely ever alive, so it isn’t dead, it’s just a marketing slogan.
No, this does not mean that I am disavowing my claims from my earlier post, “Social Business is Dead, Long Live What’s Next”. So, if you are one of the zealots hoping I have had a change of heart, you will be disappointed by what’s written here, yet I will encourage you to read on despite our disagreement. I suspect we agree more then you may even know, yet are still clinging hopefully to the symbols of these two words and the higher meaning it portends.
What I have come to realize by listening to sessions here, talking to consultants, asking analysts and speaking to real world users of the suite of technologies IBM calls Social Business is what many have known all along, and what few evangelists are willing to accept: Social Business isn’t a solution to a company’s problem; it is an aspiration. Hence, the need for such energetic and strong willed evangelism. As I came to realize long ago, great products aren’t sold, they are bought. Which is why advertising is the tax companies pay for incomplete or poorly designed products. (let’s leave aside solution selling from this discussion for now please, as that is different)
When I recommended to my colleagues at Deloitte Consulting, at the start of my job in early 2011, that we pursue Social Business as our focus, instead of Social Media, it was based on an assumption I had made and an understanding that social media was the realm of creative and communications agencies more then consultants. It was an assumption that I now realize was only partially correct, which was based on an incomplete understanding of the facts I used as the basis to make that recommendation. Yes, I made that decision in large part because of the marketing muscle and might that IBM was putting behind Social Business as much as their prior success touting eBusiness, but it’s also based on what I learned from advocating and educating people about Social Media.
At the time, I argued that we needed to call it SOCIAL media and not new media, and not, as my friend and respected colleague Steve Rubel argued, to just call it media. My reason was that we needed to accentuate and call attention to what was different about it: it was social, involving people sharing, and participating in conversations in public spaces. It has taken about seven years since those arguments in my opinion to reach the point that we can actually mostly just call it media now (though I am not opposed to calling it social media), but surely that realization has been evident for many months if not longer to many of you.
Perhaps with Social Business, the cycle has accelerated and we have reached the point where extra differentiation or attention on the social aspect isn’t needed even faster then before. The one thing I keep hearing in the keynotes, in the hallways and in my discussions with leading analysts is that most of what we are talking about is just BUSINESS. It was always intended to be about the new way we should be doing business. It was abut leaving behind the exploitative ways of old to embrace more efficient, more effective and more human aspects underlying the engine of our economy.
To this end, we do need a label, a symbol or a banner to rally behind; hence, we do need to call it something. That was really the point behind my Social Business is Dead post, to seek out and perhaps discover a better phrase. But none have materialized, and no appropriate alternatives that encompass the ideals has been suggested yet, though several exist which are at least partially true. This is why I don’t mind if we keep calling it Social Business. Or, that you might call it the Postdigital Enterprise. Or, if we talk about operating in the collaborative economy.
There are probably few things I wouldn’t want it to be called, but my mind is mostly open. It’s a big transformation for the world, and that requires a big tent where thinkers and pundits and leaders can connect the proverbial dots and go about letting people see it as they do from their perspective, calling it whatever makes the most sense to them.
Leaders, particularly in large, conservative, publicly traded companies are not ones to buy something because they’ve been told it will make them feel better, they want solutions to their problems and clear proven advantages that will help them grow profitability and market share. But still, some very smart people I have met and have known still think a social business is one that participates in social media spaces effectively with their customers, responding to tweets that might otherwise tarnish their reputation if they aren’t there fast enough. Truth is, as it has been designed, social business is much more then that – it is, as several speakers yesterday said proudly, “not something you do, but a way you are”.
As I talked with colleagues here this week after I realized Social Business isn’t dead, it’s a marketing slogan, there was some head nodding and some very light resistance – but not much. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, and while it may be off-putting to some, it is actually just a label applied to a view of how the world should operate for the benefit of everyone, where organizations work to create shared value for our society. One society, under god, with liberty, justice and equal opportunity for all.
And in that spirit of freedom, I won’t mind if my colleagues and friends keep calling it Social Business, as even I do from time to time. But I will be on the lookout for a better symbol and phrase for the foreseeable future. Because as those speakers has been saying, and as I have been hoping, its more then a set of tools, its a way of being that is different than most managers in the old world can even comprehend.
That is worthy of our efforts, and worthy of marketing dollars to help shift that change, but its also worthy of us going way beyond the marketing, the messaging and the dogfooding, to find ways to help more leaders wake up to the new world order. It requires us to convene conversations that really matter like the one I had with Rudy Karsan in the press conference after Monday’s opening general session. (will share audio shortly)
What it takes is more conversations like the one we will be hosting at our next Work Hackers Salon later in February with Charlene Li at Altimeter Group’s Hangar. If you are in the Bay Area, I hope you can make it to talk to us about the fight of our lives, the fight for defining the future of work and ensuring it has a bigger soul that will drive an even bigger wallet.
It’s been a while since I blogged once again. Since pointing out how little I could trust American Airlines communications last month in talking about its broken promises I have been busy in mind if not on socnets (and they never did reply again to my follow-on communications, nor did the guy who worked on their Twitter account @aairwaves stay on top of it, or get back to me). But I digress and I give those airline people too many pixels as it is…
Since I haven’t been out and about a lot, I am getting the same questions over and over, so I thought I should at least take a few moments and lay out a quick personal update about life, health, work and the near future. The vacation with Kristie to Cabo (and the brief visit to Miami for my grandad’s 94th birthday and a few business meetings) was a great trip, but did not afford the time for reflection and plan development I hoped to find. No, instead I returned needing a vacation from my vacation. 12 days on the road is really way too easy for me now, but my body still feels the consequences. Regardless, I am here back in San Francisco for 2 weeks before heading to Montreal for Webcom where I will finally deliver my keynote on Serve the Market and run a session on community management with my wife and Social Media Club co-founder Kristie Wells.
So it looks like the health scare I had in Sweden was a result of a lot of bad things, but thankfully not an indicator of a bigger problem with my heart. While there is not specific diagnosis once again (UgggghhhhhH!) the trouble that seemed to be a minor heart attack was probably closer to a panic attack, caused by sleep deprivation, exhaustion, stress, not taking my blood pressure medication and perhaps an inflamation of my chest/rib cage known as costochondritis. Of course, I can always blame SxSW and the craziness that we had with the Social Media Clubhouse and particularly late night on that party bus 🙂
At this point, I haven’t had any chest pains in weeks, though it did last after my return for a bit. My blood pressure is now down to a more manageable 145/85 or thereabouts and getting better every day with the meds and workouts leading the way. While traveling last month I lost almost 20 pounds which I managed to gain back after only a few weeks back in the states. Now I have to get all the way back down again, but I am working on it. Chief strategy being curtailing drinking beyond wine with meals and one or two social drinks. That should go a long way to better health just in itself.
I have a brilliant business idea I hit upon while in Sweden that I really want to pursue. Everyone, including angel investors I have pitched thinks its a brilliant idea, and I have a college buddy waiting for the plan who would likely fund it fully and many other friends in the venture business I could get behind it, but its still risky and I need to start making real money soon after postponing income for too long this past year and not picking up as many clients as I would have liked. I also still have a lot of commitments which aren’t making me any money at all right now, which I need to 1) finish with and 2) stop taking on.
Social Media Club is at a crucial point right now and the pieces are falling into place for a major change to how it operates that for too long has been waiting in the wings. In order to fully accomplish our mission, we need to generate more income for the organization, become more structured with our network of chapters and empower more people to address the core activities on a full time basis. Hiring Justin Herman has been an incredible good fortune for us and the community as a whole, but we need more paid staff and that means its time to shore up our ‘business model’ and get to work. Which is what we are doing with the new site, but even that is a risk as I am sure the new model, despite its necessity and obviousness won’t be well received by all. Which means we have a real challenge in front of us that we will begin to address more formally on our local chapter leaders call next MON and thereafter with the launch of a real membership drive. (it was supposed to all happen at SxSW but our development team really screwed us over so we have to get a new team up and running right now and fix all the crap they left half finished and broken).
The bottom line though is we can’t keep doing this on a volunteer basis any longer. We need a real professional organization that is looking out for the community, not these psuedo efforts by people with for-personal-profit and self-aggrandizing motives. As I said during the Business Wire panel last month in San Francisco, the problem with Social Media douchebags is not going away, and someone needs to address it properly. I intend Social Media Club to serve this important role of community standards bearer. A compass holder if you will. Its more complicated of course, and its deserving of a longer post which I am indeed writing this month…
Then yesterday, GigaOm wrote about this executive search for a ‘Head of Social’ at Google and all the current thinking/planning was thrown into a kerfuffle. I mean, where else could I get a chance to make a real impact using all the intellectual tools and talents at my disposal. With a background not only in virtual community, but general web strategy, software development, organizational change, user experience, marketing, evangelism and community leadership, it would seem a perfect fit. More so when you consider that my vision in 2002 for The Noble Pursuit included an element I called ‘The Global Anthropologist Project” as an effort to harness what is now called the wisdom of crowds and has been manifested not only by Wikipedia but also by many of the social search functions Google has already adopted but which widely has not been realized as I had envisioned it yet. It would really be fabulous to take on the challenge, working with Bradley Horowitz, Chris Messina, Joseph Smarr and the rest of the Google team do social right. Completely right for the full golden triangle of user-service-advertiser (or the real USA as its also known 😉 The opportunity is huge and very enticing – it could also potentially mean a huge lift for Social Media Club… but most importantly, it would be a chance for many of the ideas of Insytes to see the light of day. I almost wish I wrote about them more often.
Life, the near future.
At the moment, I have my hands full fixing all the problems with the Social Media Club site and getting it relaunched, getting the Social Media Club business model ramped up properly, organizing about 10-20 events between now and the end of the year, wrapping up a client engagement, looking after my health/losing weight, investing in my relationship with Kristie and finding a way to do a lot of writing. This post is a step in the right direction for all of it actually. So the near future looks pretty good.
I just need to keep finding my way to the keyboard, the gym and the conversations that matter most, which means being more proactive then reactive and focusing on the important stuff more and the urgent stuff less. Life is really pretty good right now, just putting one foot in front of the other and not getting overwhelmed by all the big ideas about how things should be in the world in the face of how things actually are… it feels good to make the world the place of our dreams, especially if I get to play the role of George Bernard Shaw’s unreasonable man.
Well its not an official event like InternetWeek NY was, but for me it is a great Social Media Week in London. While I still have a few open appointment slots on Monday morning, the week is pretty booked up. I hope you will be able to join me at some point and say hello and we get a chance to talk about all the ways in which social media is creating growth opportunities and changing the way we work.
Thursday 25 June – 1700-1930pm
Open to everyone
The International Bar (near Charing Cross and Leicester Sq)
- Gov2Gov UK
Friday 26 June 1600-1900
Registration Required (sold out, but contact me if you really need to be there)
Canadian High Commission Office
Saturday 27 June 1000-1800
Waiting list only now
- Geek Field Trip – Tate Modern
Sunday 28 June 1100-1400
Open to Anyone – Show Up at Main Entrance, Look For Me
Bankside (on the Thames)
So it is pretty much a Social London Week for me and I hope it will be for some of you who join me as well.
The reason I am coming over is for the Gov2GovUK event and all the other opportunities to get together and talk present themselves when you think differently about how to connect with a community. We are really hoping to see Social Media Club take off again in London (Lloyd Davis was organizing Social Media Club events before starting Tuttle).
We are really excited about Gov2Gov as I think it will be the start of something very big, where we are bringing together an array of events to facilitate international knowledge exchange on social media between governments and amongst their citizens. This is one stone that kills about 20 birds, as the outcomes from these sorts of meetings are filled with amazing potential. Not only does it improve international relations and facilitate cross border knowledge exchanges, it creates opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development, new ways towards civic engagement and so much more. Pay attention to the conversation around this as the next announcements coming later in the month are going to be very big… in fact, we will start talking about it on Friday evening, at the Gov2Gov UK event.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give out a lot of credit for this event to Lovisa Williams from the U.S. State Department who helped in so many ways from introductions to organizational support and Dominic Campbell of FutureGov Consultancy who (very humbly) has contributed his expertise, his network and so much more. These are the sort of people that get me excited and make the work we do so much more fun. Am so glad I can call them both friends.
Of course, huge thanks to the High Commission of Canada’s office for hosting the event. Of course, we have always known how great our friends to the north are (particularly Our Vancouver Crew) – I have now found that their representatives in Ottawa and in London are just as wonderful.
So I hope to see you in London sometime this week, if not at our Tweetup on THUR at The International Bar, or The Gov2Gov UK Event on Friday at the High Commission in London, or at Tweetcamp on Saturday, then you better come out on Sunday for our Geek Field Trip to The Tate Modern.
Or, if you want to meet with me independently, I have some time for business meetings on MON morning 29 June and would be happy to book appointments with you while I am in the UK.
Oh well, might as well post all the domains I have for sale so we can get them all reviewed at the same time. Some of these below are really really good. Wood still like to do sites for more then half of them myself if possible. There are some possibly great blogs in here that would be great as part of a network. Others are simply great company ideas.
If you are interested in making a serious offer on one of these before I put them up for auction elsewhere (would rather they went to a good home), please comment below or reach out to me through my contact form. For more details on why I am doing this and how we got here, read the post, Help Me with my Digital Addiction.
Again, if you are interested in making a serious offer on one of these before I put them up for auction elsewhere (would rather they went to a good home), please comment below or reach out to me through my contact form.
Chris Heuer participated in the May 2009 Disruptive Media Conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Chris discussed social media management with Pia de Gysser, formerly of Agria, and Andreas Aspegren, community manager at www.aftonbladet.se.
I don’t know how I let this distract me from my work I am doing in my hotel room [oh wait, is that an Eagle flying over the BC Place Arena out my window? shoot, where was I? oh yes, Twitter] – So I stopped in on Twitter and happend to see this tweet from Robert Scoble and mistakenly clicked the link, only to get my panties all in a bunch at the level of pettiness and noise in the comments on his post about the importance or unimportance of having more followers on Twitter and on this one about whether or not . [if you can spare a few hours and resist the temptation to scratch your eyes out, there are some really good points in both of the threads if you can get past the baseless and off-topic ones] paid to be featued on Twitter’s list of suggested user’s to follow
As Robert admitted in the comments, he did a bad job of framing the question on TechCrunch and Twitter, partly driven by a desire to get you involved in answering it (ie getting more ppl like me excited and upset which is what people with journalism degrees sometimes do, obviously with some effectiveness). As such, I want to try to reframe the issue with some clearer questions and thoughts. NOTE: I did not read all the comments because I don’t think I cold avoid the impulse to scratch my eyes out or go deaf because of all the noise in that thread (personal aside: wow, do we need Insytes more then ever today).
Before going further, I want to point out that we should not unfairly target our good friends Ev/Biz and their hard working team which needs a real business model to ensure their service is sustainable. The reason for me dropping what I am working on for tomorrow night and PortlandSocial Media Club Seattle Tuesday night (both sold out unfortunately) is that this is really important question that should receive some critical examination. The issue is important to consider for all organizations online, most especially social networks, blogs and web services – but also for media companies, associations and other non-profits who work with advertisers, sponsors, donors and/or patrons.
This is clearly a discussion on disclosure first and foremost, but as a result, I hope other important lessons can be learned too…
Q1: Is Twitter adopting a pay to play model for being featured anywhere on its site? Are other sites doing this without making it clear? If so who?
A1: I don’t know, do you? Besides answering here in the comments, maybe we need a wiki page to list those who do things like this but dont disclose it properly?
Q2: Does this sort of advertising (and the sort that has GaryVee using adsense to promote his twitter account) have a positive or negative impact on other users? on the Web 2.0 / Social Media era? on the broader society? Does it matter at all? Q2b: Does this conversion of dollars into the power to get attention take away from our open/transparent/meritocratic ideals? In which situations is this ok?
A2: I think it is ok accompanied by simple disclosures and transparency as that will reveal true intentions and we, as informed citizens, can make our own judgments on the value of that reccomendation. In the case of Garyvee, it just seems odd, but there is nothing wrong with that. Strategically he is the BRAND of his company (do you know what his company is?) so advertising his Twitter account does help his company/. Personally, I believe that strategically he would be better off putting WineLibrary.TV in the ads for increasing the overall awareness of his great wine buying advice site, despite the likely decreased click through rate from a non-personal, company branded ad. Of course, the mere fact of breaking ground in this way has led to plenty of other new followers for him as a result of people like me writing about it… but that’s Gary, always passionately leading the way for others to follow…
Disclosure: Just last week I contacted the folks behind TwitterCounter to see if we (aka me for @SocialMediaClub) could buy a ‘follow us’ ad on their top 100 page – as the noise gets louder, we need better ways for getting noticed. @SocialMediaClub was in the top 100 on TwitterCounter for several months until recently being kicked off the list by the volume of hollywood celebtrities joining conversation (which is a more interesting issue in itself to talk about a bit later).
Q3: Will the user community (especially new registrants) be better off if Twitter is open about how they are doing it?
A3: This is the only one I will answer in detail because I am sure that everyone will be better off. This is similar to the need to put the word advertorial on top of paid placement in print. People know a banner ad when they see it, but a ‘friendly recommendation’ that is soley based on the ability of people to pay that doesn’t inform the consumer is harmful to the spirit of transparency we are trying to manifest in the world. It may even potentially be an issue for the FTC, so let’s do our best to solve this before someone else does.
This hits on two of Social Media Club’s missions, both Media Literacy and Ethics. It’s hard enough for most people to know when they are being advertised too already, so this, if true, is a real problem for me personally and professionally.
Q4: Should celebrities and companies be on separate lists – should we have user ‘types’ to differenentiate and allow people to see different accounts? Shouldn’t companies (including perhaps our non-profit Social Media Club) with over 10,000 followers pay a reasonable fee for the service? It certainly would still be cheaper then a newswire for a press release]
A4: Well, let’s be honest, this is my suggestion not a question, so my answer to these questions is yes.
What do you think?
At the Miami Social Media Workshop Chris Heuer gave his presentation, “Social Media Principles and Introduction to Conversational Marketing.” The Workshop is designed for small businesses, communications agencies and tourism related businesses. Workshop leaders will help attendees figure out how to effectively use Social Media for their businesses, learn how Social Media marketing is different from than traditional marketing, and take home some very practical knowledge they can apply to their businesses immediately.
Chris sat on an emerging media panel hosted by Michael Pranikoff. Chris was joined by fellow panelists Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher and Louis Gray. To see Chris’ comments and hear the audio, see his post here. Also visit Louis Gray’s blog to read his review of some key points.
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