Recap: Social Business Hierarchy of Needs – #3TYYZ

Jeremiah Owyang, from Altimeter Group, was in town tonight for the Third Tuesday event and I had an opportunity to interact with him again after the presentation.  From my interaction with him over the years in various roles, I’ve always been intrigued by what he has to say as an Analyst, Participant, Customer and a Practicianer. He always bases his reports on authentic real-life research, experience and context.

Without further ado, here are my notes from the session (as promised).

Strategic Social Strategy starts with scale in mind. Strategic being the imperative here. My 2 cents, tactically, there is difference in social media done by a small business vs. enterprise social media strategy. Most of the agencies have minimal experience on the enterprise side where it becomes more challenging as it’s literally disrupting the way they strucutre and do business.  Jeremiah pointed that, a proper strategy starts with:

  1. Foundation: First, develop a business plan and put governance in place.
  2. Safety: Then, get organized by anointing a team and process to deal with crisis.
  3. Formation: Next, connect business units to increase coordination and reduce duplication.
  4. Enablement: Grow by letting them prosper – give business units the support and flexibility to reach goals.
  5. Enlightenment: Finally, weave real-time market response into business processes and planning

    Social Business Hierarchy of Needs
  • Being prepared in advanced with: the proper policies, teams, roles, and education programs. These are the foundation needed to build a Center of Excellence.
  • Advanced corporations have enabled their business units to deploy social –once they’ve provided the right training, process, then technology (in that order)
  • Savvy companies are developing a social support triage process, rather than arbitrarily responding to customers, as it can teach the crowd bad behaviours.
  • Pay close attention to the emerging paid social programs and remember that Earned is a precursor to effective paid media.  More of a reason why working and non-working dollars is a flawed model.
  • Social Networks will be forcing paywalls but brands will need to find a balance that works well. Not an easy task.

I also noticed that numbers are still low from strategic social media implementation perspective. Agencies are active in this space and attendance reflected that. Brand strategy was only represented by barely 5-6 of us. This makes me nervous. Would you travel on a plane piloted by an unlicensed inexperienced pilot? No? Then why risk your brand with your lowest paid intern or inexperienced non-digital personnel? Social Media requires dedicated support, an evolution of how communications and marketing processes work, requires process design experience and is highly dependent upon culture (which is never bottom-led).

As Jennifer Lo posted in her summary, everyone wants self-actualization but getting there is a journey and takes time. Same goes for social – without laying the right foundation, which +Jeremiah Owyang says is about creating structure via objectives, policies, education and access, you are not set up for success. You should not even look to the next levels until you have the foundation right. Foundation, foundation, foundation!  Common sense? Right. But seldom seen in the space that expects social to be seen as just a low cost marketing channel, more like a broadcasting channel for many.

Sacha Chua, one of my good friends, was also kind enough to post her famous sketch notes from the session. Please click on the image to increase the size.

Link to the report being discussed here.