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Social Media As Business Accelerator but Business Culture on Both Demand and Supply Side Has to Change

That’s what needs to happen in order to cost-effectively solve broad business problem and co-create e.g. a new product choice, a marketing campaign or a new service experience. Enterprises need to start taking advantage of the “wisdom of the crowds” available though social media information, or risk missing out on huge opportunities to boost business, according to the MIT Centre for Digital Business.

In order to get to this level of social media information integration within the companies, business culture has to change to achieve that highest level of benefit. Below you see a Social Media Framework that embodies how strategy relates to investment, value and culture. (Link to bigger image)

Social Media Framework

When we relate this for instance to the TV industry, where one of the biggest industry disruptions is taking place, companies like Bluefin Labs are increasing the insights by the correlation between the shows and ads audiences are watching on TV and what those audiences are saying about that content via social media streams. As reported in that article, this technology is a type of ultimate focus group, continuously extracting information in a P2P environment where “honest” interaction can be monitored, without worrying about socially-favorable answers and diverts.

On a strategic level it alligns with Gartner’s Strategic Technology Areas for 2011:


The TV industry has potentially one of the biggest focus groups, in terms of interaction about TV, “TV shows will be the most common conversation topic around the world and the subject of more than a billion tweets,”according to Deloitte. Think not only of this area of communication, but also on business issues as Customer Service and new product identification which can be extracted from the crowd.

A step further would be involving customers and giving them a sense of ownership of the brand. Once the consumer owns the brand, they already bought the product. Co-creation processes brings the best of both worlds, at the one hand, customers influence internal processes, involving them means a better adapted proposition to the needs of the audience. On the other hand, the business part, co-creation brings cost-savings. “Businesses can use information available from social networks to solve the broadest problems in a cost-effective manner”, McAfee said.

The time has arrived to act upon concrete changes in the (social media) landscape. Not only are signals by Gartner important, but the timeframe of benefiting the most out of social media is a lengthy one. (see Social Media Framework above).
There are challenges though in order to achieve that culture transformation, looking at the Through of Disillusionment, Internal Community Platforms and Unified Communications and Collaboration are having a hard time proving themselves. It’s the phase where real value needs to be shown (or not), after having created the expectations.
This is part supply side, which also is shown at the end of the Peak of Inflated Expectations, namely Social-Media Consulting. According to the chief executive of CapGemini a “new type of consulting” has to be offered – one that focuses less on improving productivity and cost efficiency but focus more on innovation, understanding of customers and risk management. “Much work has been done in terms of efficiency, but not much in terms of customers.” This is exactly where social media can add viable/scalable advantages and value, and what the 90:10 Group is achieving.
In terms of opportunities, Social Analytics is in lign with Gartner’s focus on strategic techs (see image above), but one I’m expecting lots of, is Social Network Analysis.
Social Network Analysis “Views social relationships in terms of network theory consisting of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. The resulting graph-based structures are often very complex.”
SNA will also create new B2B business models in creating meaningful data pipelines and research/consultancy on the back of it.