Social Business Trends and Prediction Articles for 2014

When implemented successfully, social collaboration technologies connect people to other people, both within an enterprise and externally across enterprises. When people get connected digitally, it strengthens the relationships those people have with each other. And it increases the productivity of those people relative to the business transactions they are conducting.

I recently published my trend report  Social Business Trends to Watch in 2014.   The report provides an overview of Social Business and what sub-trends to watch in 2014.

Below I’ve provided you a list of 10 articles that I thought you might be interested in

Source Title
AIIM 2014: The Year Collaboration Goes Social through People
Altimeter Group 2014 Trends: Organizing Around the Social Customer
MindlinkSoft What’s next for business collaboration? Six Trends emerging in 2014
Colligo  Top 5 Mobile Collaboration Predictions For 2014
Altimeter Group Infographic: State of Social Business 2013 and Outlook for 2014
NMK Workplace collaboration technology to mature in 2014
Clara Shih (hearsay Social) Big Idea 2014: Social Business Grows Up
Forbes 2014:  The Year Social HR Matters
Jim Whitehurst Big Idea 2014: Collaborative Innovation Shaping and Changing Our World
View Do Labs Enterprise Social 2014 Predictions

You can download my report via slideshare.

Social Business: A 2013 HorizonWatching Trend Report

I’ve posted my Social Business:  A 2013 HorizonWatch Trend Report out to Slideshare and have embedded the report at the bottom of this post.  The report provides an overview of the Social Business trend and what we might expect to see happen in 2013.  The report contains summary information as well as many links to websites, reports, videos, and other resources to help you learn more about Social Business.

Social Business is really not about the technology, it’s about connecting people.   It is clear that social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted.  Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will become part of every business function within the company.  Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction.  All participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment. 

Top Trends in Social Business for 2013
Here are some key trends I see happening in Social Business over the next 12 months.

  1. It’s more than Social CRM: Social Business capability is increasingly embedded into all traditional applications.
  2. CEO (and Senior Execs): Finally realize it’s not a fad, but a new way of doing business. They step up to owning the transformation challenge.
  3. CIOs take more of an interest: Driven by CEO/LOB interest as well as IT concerns (security, integration, control, user experience, etc.).
  4. Processes start to change: It’s not about the technology, its about how we work.
  5. Analytics: New dashboard analytics and visualzations provide progress reports to execs on how the transformation is going
  6. Social Media Marketing: Enterprise Marketeers need to pull in the reins, clean house, and re-focus on relationship engagement.
  7. Renewed Focus on Owned Properties: Data ownership, security and control are a concern.
  8. Community Marketing: .com Communities spring up around every topic, every function, every business process. Many are mismanaged and will fail within 90 days after launch.
  9. Education & Training: Companies deploy tailored education to employees, segmenting them based on their needs and experience levels.
  10. Reward Programs: Gamification applied to social business results in socially active customers, employees and partners being more motivated, rewarded, and recognized.

Social Business:  A 2013 HorizonWatch Trend Report

31 Trend and Prediction Lists for Social Business in 2013

Social Business If you’ve been following this blog the last week, you know I am in the process of sharing back to you lists of trends and predictions I have uncovered while doing research on the top Technology trends for 2013.  I’ve inventoried over 500 different articles that discuss trends and predictions that might happen in 2013 related Technology.

Today I am providing you a list of 31 articles and blog posts that all discuss what trends to watch out for in the area of Social Business.  Included are articles on Social Media Marketing, Social CRM, and Internal vs. External Social Computing.  The Social trend is one of the major trends that is happening in enterprise businesses today.  It grew out of the Web 2.0 trend a few years ago and is a new way of doing business.  The important implication for business and IT leaders is that new business processes and skills are required.  And another thing….don’t underestimate the effort it requires to use social computing technologies.  It can be a large undertaking for a business to transform itself to a ‘social business’. 

So below you will find the list of articles and blog posts on the Social trend topic.  Come back over the next 10 days and you will find other related lists….

Source Title of Article / Blog Post
Brafton Social commerce: The real trend of 2013
Business Expo Center Creating a Social Business: Trends to Follow in 2013
Business2Community Seven Social Media Trends for 2013
Business2Community 2013 Blueprints: Social Media Marketing
Business2Community 14 Experts Predict 2013 Social Media Trends for Small Business
Clickz.com Corporate Social Media Marketing Strategy Checklist for 2013
CMSWire Social Business in 2013: A Challenge, An Opportunity, A Commitment
CMSWire 2013 Predictions: The Changing Needs of the Mobile, Social Business
CMSWire 2013 Prediction: Social Business Tech will Stop Blaming Culture for Failure
Dallas Business Journal 5 tips for setting social media strategy in 2013
Digitas Distillery Five Days of Digitas Predictions (for 2013): Social
Exchange4Media.com Higher growth, greater spends on social in 2013
Fast Company The Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends For 2013
Forbes Social Business: 5 Trends To Watch For 2013 And Beyond
Forbes Roundup of CRM Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012
Forbes The 2013 Social Business Marketing Manifesto
Forbes Social Business: 5 Trends To Watch For 2013 And Beyond
Fresh Business Thinking Social Business Predictions For 2013
Gartner Gartner Outlines Six Best Practices for Moving to a Culture of Extreme Collaboration
HuffingtonPost Secrets to Success for Social Media in Business in 2013
IDC A Pivotal Year For Social Media In The Enterprise: ROI Drives Changes Across All Areas Of Social, Says IDC
PitchonNet Social Media: Trends Forecast for 2013
RealBusiness A look at social business in 2013
ResourceNation Top 10 Social Business Advances of 2012
Social Media Examiner 21 Social Media Predictions for 2013 from the Pros
Social Media Today Where Businesses Meet Social Media – Predictions for 2013
SocialMedia Today My Social Media Predictions for 2013
SocialMedia Today 5 Inbound and Social Media Predictions For 2013
Telligent Social business predictions for 2013
Tibbr 16 Enterprise Social Networking Predictions for 2013
VentureBeat How to take control of your company’s social destiny in 2013

Come back to this blog in the coming days and weeks for more insights on the important trends in technology.

Social Business: IBM Websites, Social Media, White Papers and Reports

I’ve blogged before about the social business trend and it’s impact on businesses. I believe that the social business trend will have a profound impact on the architecture and design of future businesses.  Business processes will change and that will lead to required changes in application software.  Those businesses that make the successful transition will be more agile, more responsive, and more successful than others.

IBM has clearly called out social business as an important trend for the company going forward.  Our Social Business team and experts across the company have been busy producing thought leadership content.  It’s all great reading.   So, as a service here to readers of this blog, I am providing direct links to the most current reports, websites, and social accounts related to the social business trend.  The reports and sites below are all hotlinked.  If you see something that is missing, let me know and I will revise this post.

Websites

Social Media

White Papers, Surveys & Reports

Questions Community Managers Have…And Potential Actions They Would Take If They Had Answers

Online Community Managers typically wrestle with the problem of how to encourage more participation in online community platforms.   The secret is to figure out what the community members value and deliver more of that good stuff to them.

As a long time Community Manager, I have always been a proponent of more dashboard tools designed to help the Community Manager solve this problem.   Sophisticated analytical tools can help managers understand their membership demographics and behavior as well as help managers do a better job of delivering content and activities that the community members will respond to. 

Community Managers who focus on delivering content and activities that members value will see increased participation on the community platform.

Below I provide a list of questions a typical Community Manager might have about the community they lead along with a description of the types of actions the Community Manager might take if they had the answers to those questions.

Question 1) What are the other communities that my members belong to?

Potential Actions: 

  • Partner up with other community leaders on community activities (e.g. conference calls, brainstorming exercises, etc.)
  • If there’s a great number of members in one community, it might make sense to merge communities.

Question 2)  Who from my community is also a member of the xyz community?

Potential Actions:

  • Partner up with other community leaders on community activities (e.g. conference calls, brainstorming exercises, etc.)

Question 3) Who has not signed into the community in the last 6 months? Last 12 months?

Potential Actions:

  • Send them a personal email inviting them back into the community space and asking them what could be done to make the community more valuable to them.
  • Post a message on their Profile board.
  • For very inactive users, let them know how to leave the community.

Question 4)  Who has never posted anything to the community?

Potential Actions:

  • See actions for question 3. 

Question 5) Who has posted something to the community more than 5 times?

Potential Actions:

  • These are active community members. I’d like to contact these people and get their feedback, suggestions, etc. on what they want out of the community in the future.
  • I may want to invite a few of these people to help me manage the community.

Question 6)  Who were the top ten most active community members in 2011? so far in 2012?

Potential Actions:

  • I’d like to send these people a Thank you card. 
  • Invite them to a special conference call where I can get feedback and suggestion from them on community activities planned for the future.

Question 7)  As a community manager, it would be helpful to know the percentage of people who have posted more than 10 times, between 5-9 times, between 1-4 times, once, and never. And it would be interesting to compare my community’s stats against all communities

Potential Actions:

  • Benchmarking my community against others can help me understand how I am doing as a community manager in the area of getting my community members to engage and participate. I might want to contact other community managers who have higher rates of engagement / posting than I do to get some ideas on how to improve participation rates.

Question 8)  Who from Asia/Pacific (or any specific region or country) is the most active in my community over the last 6 months?

Potential Actions:

  • I might want to reach out to a specific geographic region and tailor specific community activities to that region. If I know who in the community is most active, I can contact them and ask them for advice or help in planning out the activities.

Question 9)  Who from _______  (insert organization or department name) has participated in a discussion forum the past year?

Potential Actions:

  • I might want to tailor community conference calls or other community activities to a specific organization or department.  
  • I know who from that organization is most active, I can reach out to them and ask them for advice on how to tailor activities and content.

Question 10)  What types of job roles do my community members have?   Consultants? Sales Reps? Technical Sales? Managers? Lawyers? Marketing Professionals? etc.

Potential Actions:

  • I might want to tailor community conference calls or other community activities to a specific job role. If I know what members is in a specific job role, I can contact them and ask them for advice

Question 11)  How does my community compare to other active communities?

  • Number of Bookmarks?
  • Number of Blog Posts
  • Number of Comments on Blog Posts?
  • Number of Recommended Blog Posts
  • Number of Discussion Forums
  • Number of Replies to Discussion Forums
  • Number of Hits

Potential Actions:

As a community manager, I’d like to benchmark my community against other active communities.  Where does  my community rank?  I’d like to see the above stats computed as a percentage of total members and I’d like to see a graph of the above stats viewed as a 30,60,90, 120 day trend line.

  • Knowing this information helps me understand how well I am doing to engage my community members.  And it will help me understand where I can improve.
  • This exercise would also identify the top performing communities…and allow us all to learn from those community managers that are doing a great job.

Culture Plays A Big Part In Social Business Adoption

A couple colleagues recently reached out to me on the topic of how best to implement social business within a mature company.  Some employees seem to flock to the latest collaboration and social technologies on their own.  Most employees seem unsure why they should be using these technologies and how to go about getting started.   Finally, some employees want to avoid social and collaboration technologies at all costs.

The fact is that emerging technologies do get a lot of hype and sometimes leaders decide to implement these new hyped technologies without the proper understanding of the change that will be required in business processes and what the impact that will have on employees.

The bottom line for me with any new emerging technology…whether it is is analytics, cloud computing, or social business is that successful implementations of new technologies must have three strategy elements integrated and in place 1) Technology Strategy (the new emerging applications and tools)  2) People Strategy (changes to skills, organization, and culture) 3)  Business Process Strategy (changes to tasks, activities, etc.). 

Too often I see a focus on the technology strategy too much without a focus on the other two.  It's like a three legged stool….if one or two legs are bad the stool falls down.   The business leader must focus on having the proper people and processes in place and that often depends on the culture that business leader develops and promotes within the organization.  Leaders who give the green light to implementing new technologies without understanding the impact on people and processes, will only see those technology initiatives fail.

So my message and advice is that culture does play a big part in implementing change within a mature corporation.  In my mind, culture change is the responsibility of our business leaders and therefore leaders should not implement new emerging technologies unless they understand the impact on people and processes.

Regarding the topic of implementing social business and the cultural implications of doing so, I’ve developed a list of links for those of you who would like to read up more on this topic.  Enjoy.

For more information on the Social Business trend itself, check out my other Social Business related blog posts

Top 25 Most Popular Consumer (B2C) Branded Facebook Pages

I’ve been busy doing lots of research into how social media is being used by corporations.  I thought I’d share with you one piece of analysis I’ve done on B2C Branded Facebook pages.

As I’ve discussed here before, social business is an important emerging trend for corporations.   Many companies are past the experimentation stage on Facebook and are utilizing that platform as a way to build communities of customers into fans and advocates.

This table below documents the most popular B2C Branded fan pages on Facebook.  The table provides the number of fans and the URL for the top 25 pages.   The information was collected in mid October 2011.

Top 25 Most Popular Consumer (B2C) Branded Facebook Pages

#. Product/Brand Fans URL
1 Cocacola 34,643,972 https://www.facebook.com/cocacola
2 Oreo 23,142,657 https://www.facebook.com/oreo
3 Redbull 22,472,071 https://www.facebook.com/redbull
4 Skittles 19,382,918 https://www.facebook.com/skittles
5 Pringles 15,720,653 https://www.facebook.com/Pringles
6 Monster Energy 12,429,566 https://www.facebook.com/MonsterEnergy
7 Ferrero Rocher 12,252,965 https://www.facebook.com/FerreroRocher
8 Nutella 11,397,566 https://www.facebook.com/Nutella
9 Dr Pepper 10,631,556 https://www.facebook.com/DrPepper
10 Starburst 10,020,345 https://www.facebook.com/Starburst
11 Nike Football 8,969,053 http://www.facebook.com/nikefootball
12 Starbucks Frappuccino 7,744,417 https://www.facebook.com/Starburst
13 Mountain Dew 6,116,553 https://www.facebook.com/mountaindew
14 Pepsi 5,966,034 https://www.facebook.com/pepsi
15 5 Gum 5,412,955 https://www.facebook.com/5Gum
16 Sprite 4,584,408 https://www.facebook.com/Sprite
17 Kit Kat 4,508,596 https://www.facebook.com/kitkat
18 Gatorade 4,218,322 https://www.facebook.com/Gatorade
19 Slurpee 4,175,892 https://www.facebook.com/Slurpee
20 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts 3,432,172 https://www.facebook.com/kelloggspoptarts
21 Kinder Surprise 3,299,680 https://www.facebook.com/kindersurprise
22 Nike Basketball 3,180,994 https://www.facebook.com/nikebasketball
23 Lay's 3,072,879 https://www.facebook.com/lays
24 Vitaminwater 2,913,825 https://www.facebook.com/vitaminwater
25 Wonka 2,870,596 https://www.facebook.com/wonka

 

Observations

  • These brands invest time in developing an inviting Facebook experience.
  • Many of them have built extra features into their Facebook pages, including contests, games, recipes, discussion forums, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Most of these companies interact well with the fans, asking questions of them or providing posts that encourage the conversation.   This interaction keeps the fans coming back to the site and participating.

Learning about the Social Business trend: Three IBM White Papers

I’ve written before about the social business trend and it’s impact on businesses (see The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station Are You On It? and A Social Business Strategy Can Make A Company More Responsive and Agile). 

I believe that the social business trend will have a profound impact on the architecture and design of future businesses.  Business processes will change and that will lead to required changes in application software.  Those businesses that make the successful transition will be more agile, more responsive, and more successful than others.

This post provides links to three white papers found on IBM’s Social Business website.  IBM has been on the forefront of the social collaboration and social media marketplace, learning how to leverage these technologies internally.  These white papers provide a great overview of social business, the potential value of the trend, and the challenges all businesses must overcome to become a true social business.

The Social Business: advent of a new age

ibm soc biz - The Social Business (February 2011) This 10 page white paper written by the Lotus team at IBM Software Group defines what a social business is and what it takes to become one.  It puts forth the view that businesses are entering an inflection point where social computing and social media are about to be fully integrated into enterprise application design.  The table of contents are: 

  • Introduction
  • What does it mean to be a Social Business?
  • What is the value of Social Business?
    • Deepen customer Relationships
    • Drive operational efficiencies
    • Optimize the workforce
  • Preparing for the future
  • The right partner for a changing world
  • For more information

Becoming a Social Business: the IBM story

ibm soc biz - Becoming a social business January 2011)  This IBM-sponsored 14 page white paper was written by IDC’s Erin Traudt and Richard Vancil.  In this paper, IDC provides three case studies that describe IBM's internal evolution to a social business.  The paper then uses the learnings from these case studies in order to provide guidance to other large organizations considering making the transformation to a social business.  

  • IDC Opinion
  • Methodology
  • In This White Paper
  • Situation Overview
  • Case Studies
    • IBM DeveloperWorks
    • From Individual Contributor to Community Manager
    • BlueIQ
  • Future Outlook
  • Challenges / Opportunities
  • Conclusion

 

Jamming on social business

ibm soc biz - Jamming on social business (April 2011) Exploring new approaches for the next era of business.  This IBM white paper provides a review of the key findings from a 72-hour online brainstorming session held in February 2011 between over 2,700 participants from over 80 countries.  This report summarizes the key insights gathered from the all the conversations, comments, and tweets. 

The table of the contents of this report reads as follows:

  • The Social Business Jam
  • What is a Jam?
  • Jam insights
    • Building the social business of the future
    • Building participatory organizations through social adoption
    • Using social media to understand and engage with customers
    • What social means for IT
    • Identifying risks and establishing governance
  • Our jamming experience
  • Next Steps

If you are tasked with learning about the social business trend, these three white papers are an excellent resource for you.  More information and case studies can be found at the IBM Social Business website.  For those of you who want to follow the discussion on Twitter, search on the hashtag #socbiz.

Slides: How IBM Enables A Social Workforce

This week I have been attending WOMMA’s School of WOM in Chicago.  The conference started on Monday and wraps up today.  There have some great keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions.  I’d estimate roughly that there are about 300 attendees.

On Monday, Susan Emerick of IBM (@sfemerick), Chris Boudreaux of Converseon (@cboudreaux) and I presented during a breakout.  Our presentation, “Enabling the Social Workforce” discussed how IBM has been able to enable thousands of employees to participate in social media.  At IBM, employees are such an extension of our brand and it is important that IBMers represent our brand in the social media.

Most businesses are finding it challenging to mobilize employees in social media on behalf of the brand.  For years prior to the social media explosion, IBM had focused on enabling IBMers to collaborate internally via collaboration tools.  As social media took off on the public Internet, IBM has, in turn, successfully enabled thousands of employees to participate in the social media conversation. 

The presentation (loaded on slideshare and then embedded below) discusses how IBM advances the goals of the business while growing the professional influence of the employee. The key to enablement for IBM is focusing on empowering the workforce to communicate their strategic expertise socially.  Our presentation and the Q&A session afterwards covered important program elements like

  • Developing the Digital Strategy Model
  • Publishing and Communicating Social Media Guidelines
  • Developing a Social Computing Curriculum that includes certification-based training
  • An Expertise Locator system that helps aid in the search and discovery of IBM experts
  • IBM’s Centennial Program that enables social conversations.

Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight

Last Wednesday evening I delivered a keynote presentation at an end of the year student event at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendozza College of Business MBA program (http://business.nd.edu/). 

Mendozza Keynote

The students are all required to take a class in Futures Studies and this was their end of year event.  During the late afternoon Poster Session that was held in the atrium of the Mendozza building, they all assembled and displayed posters that communicated the results of their semester long projects.  The topics covered a wide variety of subjects, from the future of Electric Cars to Solar Technology, to how to solve water irrigation in Africa.   In all there were over 50 projects from teams of 4-5 students.   I was impressed with the students projects and the level of research, analysis and insight generation that went into the poster presentations.   I learned a lot just by walking from poster to poster.

After the poster session was done, we all assembled into the auditorium where I delivered my keynote to the students “Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight”.  The deck has been uploaded to my HorizonWatching account on Slideshare and is also embedded below. 

During the keynote, I discussed how the emergence of online social media and communities is transforming communication around the world.  The shift from traditional institutional-led communications that is relatively controlled by a small number of companies to an era where any individual can create and publish content is a shift that is transforming the way individuals learn, collaborate, and create content.   This has a ripple effect across all business professionals and certainly is impacting the way we research, analyze and develop insights about emerging trends, technologies and issues impacting businesses and individual citizens.

I provide the students with my personal story of how I’ve led an internal IBM community called HorizonWatch since early 2001 and how I started blogging internally in 2006.  I also discussed my public social community effort called HorizonWatching.   Both efforts have helped me do a better job of scanning for emerging trends and then developing insights from those scanning activities.

I ended the talk with some advice to the students on how they could get started leveraging social media in their own careers.  My main advice was that they should all think about taking control of their personal online brand.  As they are soon to turn their attention to job searching, now is the time for them to think hard about what their digital brand looks like to recruiters and potential employers.  But after the job search is over, I believe those who will be successful in their careers are the ones that will figure out ways to leverage social media and communities to build their expertise.

As this was their last day of class, they were all eager to go out and celebrate, so the Q&A session was short and sweet.  However the 5-6 questions raised were smart and right on topic.  I wish all the students good luck and best wishes over the summer and challenge them to begin using social media and communities as a strategy to better understand the future(s).

My presentation is embedded below.

Fourteen Social Media Disasters: Learning from the mistakes of others

Social media can work wonders for your brand, but it can also spell disaster.   A colleague recently asked me for a list of examples of where the wrong post or tweet has damaged a brand’s reputation.  I had a few examples on the top of my head, but thought I would do some extra research on the side to see what else I could find.

After some research, I produced a deck titled “Social Media 101: Social Media Disasters”.  I’ve loaded the deck to Slideshare and have embedded it here:

Examples of bad social media can be tracked back to a focus on social media governance by companies. 

  • Lack of real-time monitoring
  • Not responding to customer concerns
  • Lack of corporate social media policies
  • Employees not trained in company policies
  • Lack of professional Social Media managers
  • Too much focus on self-promotion (lack of relationship building)
  • Lack of due diligence before launching social campaigns

We can all learn from these mistakes.

  • Having a social media presence that represents your brand means responding quickly and directly.
  • You need to plan for the worst while expecting the best.
  • A professional and responsible manager should be in charge of all communication on the various sites and this person should be very well versed on the many risks of social media.
  • All employees are potential spokesmen for your brand. They (including executives) should be trained in the basics of good and bad social media communications.

There is a risk to participating in social media, just like there is a risk with any other channel or method used for external communications.  Smart companies acknowledge that risk, but have focused on limiting that risk by hiring professional social media managers on staff, putting in place proper social media guidelines, and ensuring that employee and management alike are trained in how to best represent the brand when participating in social media.

WOMMA School of WOM: The Art & Science of Creating Talkable Brands

SOW On May 9-11 the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) comes to my neck of the woods (Chicago).  The event is the “School of WOM:  The Art & Science of Creating Talkable Brands”.  You can check out the event and register at http://womma.org/schoolofwom/about.html

sow-speakerbadge-1 (2) I’m on the speaking agenda along with my colleague Susan Emerick (@sfemerick) and our friend and colleague, Chris Boudreaux and (@cboudreaux) SVP of Management Consulting, of IBM’s strategic partner, Converseon.  We will be speaking on May 9, Tuesday afternoon.  Our topic is entitled “IBM: Empowering Employees to Participate in Online Conversations.  We’ll discuss how we’ve developed an ongoing social listening and engagement process within IBM designed to enable IBM employees to become active in the social conversations happening everyday.  Hope to see you there.

The School of WOM event has a jam-packed schedule of presentations from brand names you all know, including:

  • IBM
  • Gap
  • Kellogg's
  • Nabisco
  • McDonald's
  • Chick-fil-A
  • SAP
  • Random House

You can check out the full agenda here http://womma.org/schoolofwom/faculty.html

It’s a very rich and full agenda.  I’m really looking forward to it!!