Why you should ditch your ‘social business’ strategy

Have you been wading through treacle for months, trying to get people in your organisation to understand social business? Maybe you’ve been attempting to get board-level buy-in to your social business strategy, but failing to get traction? Perhaps you’ve tried to articulate what ‘social business’ really means – explaining this way, that way, in smoke signals, standing on your head… but still haven’t really managed to change anything or get off the starting blocks? If so, it might be time to consider dropping the term ‘social business’ altogether. Chances are,... Read The Rest →

Why social media strategy doesn’t exist

As someone who has written countless social media strategies, social business strategies and content strategies, I have to confess I’ve come to the conclusion they don’t really exist. I also take my fair share of responsibility for propagating the myth – a distinct case of the Emperor’s New Clothes – by purporting they do. I didn’t set out to capitalise on the insecurities of those dreadful, shamefaced folk who supposedly ‘don’t get it’, but the fact I’ve used these terms for so long means I’m not completely innocent. In my... Read The Rest →

Social Business & the People Problem

Social business is often described as a journey of technology, process and culture change. Many organisations have focused first on technology – often in a knee-jerk response to social media proliferation. In a bid to ‘do social’, often ‘because everyone else is’, internal social networking platforms, branded Facebook pages and customer communities have been launched without always seeing a great return. Tumbleweed, low engagement or a barrage of negativity can lead to them shutting down entirely, or dying a slow death. The result is burnt fingers and social skepticism. The... Read The Rest →

Kill false assumptions & evolve

Many of us are making decisions based on false assumptions every single day. In fact we’re underpinning our businesses, organisations, products and personal lives with false assumptions. We keep on doing things that have been proven wrong, that haven been proven not to work, despite mounting evidence that there’s a better way. Our false assumptions are memes, i.e. viral cultural ideas we pass from human to human, brain to brain (you can read a bit more about memes in my previous post on replicators here). Sometimes we keep spreading memes... Read The Rest →

Markets are conversations… so what? Part II

Following my last post a few folk asked me to expand on how to enable two-way comms. To cut a long story short, if you’re a big company with loads of people wanting to talk, the only way to get scale is to empower your staff to talk to customers. Companies who’ve been around for a long time often can’t see a way to make this happen – or it’s already happening in pockets under the radar and they don’t know how to control it. The important point to remember... Read The Rest →

Markets are conversations… so what?

Despite the old ‘markets are conversations’ mantra being so well used nowadays, many organisations (particularly big ones) are still struggling to get to grips with its true meaning and what they should actually do about it. The long and short of it is that at any given time there will be a bunch of customers out there who want to talk to you and about you. Sometimes they’ll want to complain that the product they bought was the wrong size, wrong colour, broke after a day’s use… sometimes they’ll want... Read The Rest →

The fundamental role of Producer

Yesterday I was invited to speak about Scramblr at a workshop on innovation and cross-border collaboration. I listened to the group talk through reasons why loads of online efforts to work together fizzle out. You know the drill… that sinking ‘not another social network’ feeling… tumbleweed rolling through empty forums and neglected profiles. All the great intentions in the world don’t give you more hours in the day to check a dozen different sites. Nobody can be arsed to overcome a lost password, let alone contribute; and it isn’t there... Read The Rest →

The conversations are out there

Many companies still hold a deep-seated fear of two-way conversations with their customers. The idea of enabling direction interaction with individuals seems like a massive can of worms. How can we trust our employees to speak on behalf of the company? Aren’t we inviting trouble? Couldn’t it damage our reputation? How can we control the conversations? How can we eradicate the negatives? Do we really need to be taking this risk anyway? Is it worth it? The answer is yes. It is worth it. In fact you don’t have a... Read The Rest →

Creative destruction

I’ve noticed that many of the business folk I meet fall broadly into two distinct categories: those who are trying to do something and those who are trying to be something. Truth be told, I don’t have much time for the latter. The former, on the other hand – those who are trying to do something – don’t need to try to be anything… they just are. And I love them. There’s something sparkly about people who are trying to do something – instigating change – like entrepreneurs who are... Read The Rest →

Social media circa 1900

This article by planning director Richard Madden from Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw brings up an excellent example of social media in action, circa 1900 – that of the Michelin brothers Édouard and André and their quest to build their car and bicycle tyre brand… by recognising that people were more passionate about food than tyres (shock horror). As Richard says, ‘[The Michelin Guide] was genuinely useful, it invited participation, it was given away free at petrol stations, and readers were invited to provide corrections and suggestions. They were even encouraged... Read The Rest →

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