And while that may yet prove simplistic, it is clear that Social Business Design as a discipline – adopted and practised by some of the world’s leading organisations – is now here to stay. (Good definitions in Danish here and English here.)
By way of evidence of Social Business Design’s emergence into the mainstream, USA Today ran a front page story last week that contained the following snippets:
“Beyond advertising on Facebook or Twitter, companies are using social networks to build teams that solve problems faster, share information better among their employees and partners, bring customer ideas for new product designs to market earlier, and redesign all kinds of corporate software in Facebook’s easy-to-learn style.”
“After a slow start, Big Business is embracing social media in a big way. Forrester Research says the sales of software to run corporate social networks will grow 61% a year and be a $6.4 billion business by 2016.”
Published on the same day was this Harvard Business Review piece detailing the six key trends of the ‘social business revolution’.
A few days later Forbes detailed a major IBM study that found that companies whose CEOs are active in the social space are likely to be more competitive.
And yesterday Techcrunch reported on Oracle’s 300 million dollar purchase of the social media marketing platform Vitrue, a sale which in Techcrunch’s words ‘continued the trend of large, old-world Internet marketing companies buying their way into social after being slow to adopt’.
It’s clear then that, perhaps grudgingly, definitely warily, the corporate world is beginning to see ‘social’ as something beyond a Facebook page. A point rammed home by Peter Kim in his keynote at the Community Conference. (Peter is Chief Strategy Office at Dachis Group, the company which has done most to formalise the discipline of Social Business Design.)
As well as promoting his new book ‘Social Business by Design‘, Peter also focused on several of what he calls the ten tenets of social business.
My main takeaways from his talk:
> Social Business Design is the strategic application of social computing to enterprise challenges.
> Early experiments were trial and error but we’ve reached a point where we can cultivate planned outcomes and increase the likelihood success through best practice.
> When practised effectively, social business design is truly integrated and can result in high value, high scale, cost-effective and emergent business outcomes.
> The ROI of social business is quantifiable. (Here’s 101 examples from Peter’s website.)
Following on from Peter was American Express’ Director of Social Engagement Carl Barkey who shared some excellent insights into the venerable old company’s social journey, including – somewhat amusingly – the fact that it took them 30 days to agree on their first Tweet.
My main takeaways from Carl’s talk:
> Engagement with social and digital has been the most transformational change in his 14 years at the company.
> The company has seen the limitations of interruptive messaging and believes in social media’s ability to amplify word of mouth.
> Amex’ mission in social is tied into its corporate vision and mission – to cement feelings of trust and security and deliver great service – and its goal is to increase brand image and loyalty.
> Amex wants to own the ‘spend graph’ connecting buyers and sellers (owning that relationship and the data it provides which is returned to the merchants)
> Two key success stories were @askamex, a Twitter-based customer service platform and Small Business Saturday, which garnered 1.5million Facebook fans in 3 weeks and created an average 28% increase in revenue for the businesses involved:
Carl’s tips for a brand taking its first steps in social:
- Identify the unmet need
- Prioritise the biggest business opportunities
- Think like a start-up (with an eye to scale)
- Stay authentic
Props to Seismonaut for another excellent conference.