Make that Five Laws of Social Business – Visible Technologies’ Take


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Last week at the SMASH Summit, Altimeter Group partner and friend of Visible Technologies Jeremiah Owyang delivered a compelling presentation: “Four Laws of Social Business.” While he introduced the four laws with the caveat that they are not the final word in social business, we believe he introduced helpful, actionable rules to the burgeoning social business frontier.

Before discussing Jeremiah’s exact rules of engagement, it’s important to remember why these rules have even come about and why it is increasingly important to incorporate social media into a sound enterprise strategy. More and more people are networking online – meaning many of their opinions, complements and concerns about brands are available for the public to see.

Businesses that have not yet taken advantage of the new media should enter the space thoughtfully, yet earnestly: discovering where customers spend time, listening to consumer feedback and joining in practical and transparent ways. For many companies that are new to social media, this task may seem daunting and confusing, however taking the time to understand how to implement can be well worth the investment. Organizations that embrace social media can positively impact business results and improve brand reputation. Jeremiah provides some well thought out rules of engagement for companies that are looking into making their business more social.

Here is a snapshot of Jeremiah’s list (which you can also find on the SMASH Summit SlideShare page) and a few thoughts on our perspective.

Four Laws of Social Business

“Don’t fondle the hammer – Build a sturdy house – isn’t that the goal? Jeremiah recommends starting off with a blueprint of the overall enterprise goals, not just the social networking platforms you or your CEO wants to have a presence on.”

Visible Technologies’ take: Understanding your social media objectives is essential to driving positive business results. Finding out where your target audience resides online and agreeing on your social media goals beyond ‘just being there,’ will help you achieve the social ROI you’re looking for.

“Live by the 80% rule – Jeremiah advises to spend the majority of your time (80%) getting your company ready to incorporate social into the greater business structure. Figure out where it will be situated within the company, who will be creating and implementing these strategies and what kind of resources they need to succeed with social – then use the remaining 20% of your time to research and implement social media tools.

Visible Technologies’ take: Social media solutions are important (after all, we do offer the truCAST suite – shameless plug) but creating a targeted, relevant social media strategy and figuring out stakeholders will guide your organization and deliver more business value in the long run.

Customers don’t care about your department – Different companies have social media interaction living in various departments, but at the end of the day, customers want to hear your united voice.

Visible Technologies’ take: Social media is an extension of your brand and our customers are seeing success by uniting social media at an enterprise level. It is about having a holistic social strategy across business divisions that are touching the same audience.

Real time is *not* fast enough – Jeremiah agrees that reactionary PR is important – especially in times of crisis – but incorporating social in your overall business plans gives your company the opportunity to think ahead, putting you one step ahead of the competition.

Visible Technologies’ take: Your audience is talking about you online – shouldn’t you be there? If you’re still not sure where to start, our team can help guide you through the wild world of social.

I would add one more to Jeremiah’s list  and that would be to understand the total cost of being a social business. By that I mean comprehending and calculating the cost of people, process, and technology investments to capture social insights, digest them and interact with those same consumers that are talking about your brand. Separating social noise from actionable insights requires good data, enriched data, and business intelligence that one’s organization can take action upon. If one is spending all their time drinking from a firehose of unstructured or non-actionable data then it can quickly overwhelm and denigrate the valuable insights and passionate customers that you should be interacting with. Plan and invest according to scale and generate success for the firm.

You can find more stellar social media advice on Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy blog. Is anything missing from these five laws?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Blake Cahill
Blake Cahill is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Visible Technologies. He is responsible for executing marketing strategies, thought leadership, and analyst relations to increase market and customer awareness for revenue growth.


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