Social Business 2012 Presentation

I’ll be speaking about social business strategy at the ASAE Technology Conference and Expo CIO Summit next week in Washington, DC. There are three key components to the conversation.

1) The Social Engagement Journey

The Journey is the recognizable progression of social engagement capabilities that a large enterprise goes through on its way to becoming a social businesses.


2) The Relationship Progression

While the “purchase funnel” has been well understood for years, there is a comparative dearth of conversation around how business relationships progress over time. A big tip of the hat to Dr. Michael Wu at Lithium and CRM maven Paul Greenberg for spurring the synthesis of these two previously unrelated (at least in my head) ideas.


3) The Social Engagement Matrix

A deep dive on the processes that come into play when customers and brands engage socially, especially when the two parties are at different relative points of view on the relationship.

While those three models are the keystones of the conversation that we’ll be having next week in DC, you can view the entire slideshow below.

Hope to see you in DC!

This Week’s Social Business Jam

DocsearlsA number of luminaries participated on this week’s W3C Social Business Jam, including Doc Searls (pictured), Alex “Sandy” Pentland and the inventor of the web itself, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. A jam is “an online conversation among leaders in business, government and technology about the current state of social business, the future role that social technologies can play in improving the bottom line, and how social technology should evolve in order to support business objectives.”

There were a number of deep conversations, which generated over 1,100 posts on the topic of social business. The key issues explored were:

  • Mobile And Social
  • Business Process Meets Social
  • Identity Management for Social
  • Information Management
  • Seamless Integration of Social
  • Metrics For Social Business

Of the topics covered, a few rich seams emerged. Doc noted that “way back in 1995 we got hooked on the cookie as a way for sites to keep track of our relationships with them. This, along with the login/password ceremony, cemented client-server in place as the default for e-commerce (and everything else) on the Web. This not only legitimized dependent submissive-dominant relationships, but made every site into a silo, and contained our imagination about What Could Be Done as well. This is why every ‘solution,’ it seems, is yet another site/service, each of which is its own silo, even if it has open APIs, uses open standards and the rest of it.”

This is a notable point. If you contrast the key pieces of social media infrastructure today, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or internal collaboration tools like Yammer and’s Chatter, all are their own proprietary systems. Contrast this approach to the approach of the most social of all online tools, email, or even the web and the internet itself. In all of the latter cases, a handful of fundamental, interoperable standards have enabled a thousand flowers to bloom. Can you imagine Facebook and Twitter and Google working together to insure that their systems interoperate? Fat chance. (In fact, Facebook just killed one more bit of openness, by deprecating the ability to import RSS feeds from one’s own blog into Facebook Notes.)

In the same thread as Doc’s thinking above, Charles Oppenheimer, the CEO of Prizzm (and a great, great dude who is working on “Reverse CRM” which dovetails nicely with ProjectVRM), noted that “through the history of markets, which I suppose is a lot briefer than human history, markets were the place to be social on a daily basis, and defined our interactions with the community. Especially in rural places, that is the hub. But if we work in the ‘enterprise,’ we are in the business of taking something straightforward, exchange of goods and services – into something that scales, massive, and abstract. Goodbye social, and community — and I guess that is why the web/social technology seems to be a big deal. Bringing the old stuff back.”

This is an important point, in my opinion. Social business, when done right, enables us to play both sides of the fence. We, wearing our “customer” hats, can engage with each other at a human level and, when done right, enterprises can also organize their people and processes in such a way that enables connection with customers at this same human level. It’s not an either-or any more, where interactions with enterprises need to be filled with jargon and a deflection of the “human” in order to operate at scale. Instead, smart businesses are re-tooling their processes in such a way that they can both interact at a human level and do it at scale.

You can check out everything from the Social Business Jam until December 31, 2011, at which time the online archive will no longer be available. (You’ll need to register for the site, which is free.) And of course, if we’re talking about jamming, there is only one sound track that matters…

Google+ Launches Brand Pages

GoogleplusThe big news today is that Google+ has finally announced their long-awaited brand pages with a blog post here. The top line, from Google:

For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.

A number of pages are already available (see below), but any organization will soon be able to join the community.

A few good examples of brand pages can be found here: Examples of Google+ brand pages

While the overall brand page implementation is new, it is still imperative to secure your organization's presence on the Google+ platform, if nothing else to prevent others from infringing on your organization's brand. The brand signup page is located here: (Do note that Google is incrementally letting new brands onto the system, so it may take a short time before your'e able to successfully log in and secure your organization's name.)

For a deeper dive, here are the differences between individual profiles on Google+ and Google + brand pages: