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: 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

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!!

Thursday’s Chicago AMA Event – Social Media: Beyond the Chaos

Social Media Beyond the Chaos 2This Thursday, I am on the speaker list for a special event organized by the Chicago branch of the American Marketing Association.  And I’m looking forward to not only presenting, but meeting a bunch of new people who are interested in social media marketing.

There will be three other main speakers in addition to myself, all with 20 minute presentations about our experiences with social media marketing, whether in B2B or B2C.   After the presentations, we will have a panel Q&A discussion. 

I’ll be talking about two topics during my 20 minute slot.

  1. How IBM is approaching the development of a digital communications strategy that aligns with the IBM Brand.
  2. An overview of how we at IBM plan out social media marketing strategies.

I’ll post my slide deck up on Slideshare tomorrow at http://www.slideshare.net/HorizonWatching

The other speakers joining me are…

  • Blagica Bottigliero, Director of Social Media, Motorola Mobility
  • Troy Janisch, Social Media Manager, Digital Marketing, American Family Insurance
  • Jennifer Severns, Creative Director, Zocalo Group

You can read up on their bios at this site.

Here are the event details:

  • Event Name:  Social Media: Beyond the Chaos
  • Date of Event:  Thursday, March 31, 2011
  • Time:  Registration opens 3:30pm.  Presentations begin at 4pm.  At 6:30 we will close the presentations down, but people can stay up until 8pm for networking opportunities.
  • Event Location:  Alhambra Palace / Marrakech Room, 1240 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
  • Registration:  If you have not registered, you may still be able to get a ‘ticket’ to the event although last I heard they were almost sold out. The registration website is http://www.chicagoama.org/events/social-media-beyond-chaos

For those of you wanting to follow along on Twitter, the hashtag will be #AMASocial.  If I don’t see you at the event, perhaps I’ll see you on Twitter!

A Primer on the Trend Towards Video-enabled Business Processes

“One-third of online consumers in the US regularly watch user-generated videos on sites like YouTube“ – Forrester, Sept, 2010 (link)

“178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in August for an average of 14.3 hours per viewer“ – comScore, Sept, 2010 (Link )

“70% of global online consumers watch online video. More than half of global online consumers watch online video in the workplace.” – Nielsen, Aug 2010 Link

When you think of it, kids growing up today are used to creating, uploading, and watching videos online. It is part of their daily activity.  It is how they interact with their friends.  It is how they get the information they need. If my kids are having a particular problem understanding a subject at school, they just enter a search into YouTube and they get the information they need. If they want to learn how to play a favorite song on the piano, they can find that on YouTube as well. If you want to find out how to change the faucet on one of your sinks in your house, you can find that too.

Sametime video_chat_composite Online video is becoming a natural part of our learning and collaborative processes as consumers.  Increasingly, consumers are relying on videos as a way to learn about companies and it’s products and services prior to making a purchase decision.  And consumers are beginning to expect to find videos online to help them with post-purchase support questions

So I believe its only a matter of time before employees expect videos to be a part of every business website, every business process. When the teenager of today enters the business workforce, they will expect videos to be embedded in all business applications as part of the learning and collaborative process.

I stared at IBM long before the Internet was around.  We learned and collaborated in a different way.  I could simply walk down the hall or across the building to reach a colleague live and in person, and collaborate on an intimate level. But in today’s virtual workplace, such interactions are harder, if not impossible, to come by, if they happen at all. And yet the need for such face-to- face exchanges hasn’t gone away; if anything, it’s greater than ever.

Technology is available today that allows us to collaborate face to face even though we are thousands of miles away from each other. Many companies have already implemented videoconferencing for executive briefing centers and have learned that this form of collaboration is a powerful way to communicate and can strengthen existing relationships. The ability to view colleagues, both inside and outside the enterprise, and see their reactions to important discussions is invaluable, particularly for situations involving selling, negotiation and starting up a new team. 

Video is increasingly important as tool in business processes, particularly in situations where visual information is critical to a discussion.  Processes like marketing, support, and training could all benefit from the use of videos.  In fact, I expect that over the next 10-20 years, the use of videos will impact most business processes, causing need for new roles, responsibilities, and education. IT leaders will need to understand the impact on the infrastructure and will need to have an overall video strategy that is aligned to business objectives.

Sametime Meetings_Rich_18Nov09 I expect 2011 to bring increased focus on integrating video into the matrix of different communication types within an organization in order to provide a seamless communication system across multiple networks, applications and devices.  In 2011, innovative business and IT leaders will have pilots and projects underway to understand how to make the best use of videos within the enterprise.

Of course I don’t expect this trend to be one that reaches mass adoption overnight in 2011, but I do expect to hear of some leading edge companies that are starting to embrace video and embed video collaboration into it’s processes and infrastructure.  These leading edge companies will provide the case studies that help convince other companies to do the same.

The rest of this post provides you with additional background on this trend, some additional marketplace quotes, and a list of websites and resources.

Drivers

  • High cost of travel
  • Remote employees
  • Customers want video, and often engage more readily with video content than written content

Inhibitors/Challenges

  • Video production is often seen as expensive (but it does not have to be)
  • Bandwidth

Implications

  • Videos will impact most business processes, causing need for new roles, responsibilities, and education.
  • What are the video applications that are driving strategic change?
  • IT leaders need to understand impact on the infrastructure
  • What impact will pervasive video and connectivity have on customers?
  • Need to have an overall video strategy that is aligned to business objectives

Quotes from the Marketplace:

“Mobile Video: is already used by 11% of global online consumers: penetration is highest in Asia-Pacific and among consumers in their late 20s“ – Nielsen, Aug 2010 Link

“User-generated content gives Web site visitors a voice and a presence, while giving organizations more opportunities to interact and communicate with their visitors. Smart companies align with users by allowing them to upload home-grown videos related to communications campaigns or products promotion.” – Frost (link)

“Top video-enabled organizations are able to shift the focus from supporting video to aligning video with accelerated business processes such as improved product development, accelerated talent acquisition, and revenue-enhanced sales opportunities.” – Hyoun Park, Aberdeen Link

“Technology that lets employees collaborate face-to-face without actually being face-to face can facilitate virtual collaboration easily and very cost-effectively. PC-based video conferencing software is that technology..” – Frost & Sullivan Link

 For More Information

Here are some sites where you will find links to other learning resources like white papers, demos, customer briefs, and videos.

Voice / Video Convergence Delivers Value

image

IBM: Transforming your voice, video and collaboration infrastructure

Additional www.ibm.com Links

Here are some additional sites where you will find links to other learning resources like white papers, demos, customer briefs, and videos

You Are Invited To The Social Business Jam

Last week, I posted about the emergence of the Social Business term to represent the next stage in how companies are using social and collaboration technologies in order to conduct business.  My post “The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station Are You On It?” provides an overview of the trend and makes the case for why it is important.

As a follow-up, I wanted you to be aware of the Social Business Jam.  On February 8-11, 2011 IBM will host the Social Business Jam (www.ibm.com/social/businessjam).  Should you register, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts on topics such as:

  • Building the Social Business of the Future
  • Building Participatory Organizations Through Social Adoption
  • Using Social to Understand and Engage with Customers
  • What does Social mean for IT?
  • Identifying Risks and Establishing Governance

I will be jamming…along with some leading Social Business experts, including:

  • Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group, Author of “Groundswell”
  • Mei Li Tan, CMO, Treasury & Trade Solutions, Citigroup
  • Steve Wylie, GM of Enterprise 2.0 Conference
  • Vittorio Cretella, CIO, Mars Inc.

Join me in the Jam.  Should be an interesting discussion.  It all starts February 8th, so register NOW!!!  www.ibm.com/social/businessjam

For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #sbjam 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station: Are You On It?

Social Business I expect the Social Business topic to be among the most talked about trends in 2011…and all that buzz is justified.    In fact, the buzz will kickoff next week as IBM conducts it’s Social Business Jam February 8-11, 2011.  I’ll post more about the Jam next week, but for now, head on over to http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/social_business_jam/ and register for the Jam. 

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted. Enterprise processes are being transformed by social technologies. Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  I fully expect that social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

In the future, 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.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal. 

Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

Analyst Perspectives

“The social business model is changing the way companies generate and conduct business online, and IDC believes that this model will have a long-lasting impact“ – IDC (link)

“Social Technologies Will Drive The Next Wave Of BPM Suites” – Forrester (link)

“Just as the Internet had a disruptive impact on organizations' processes and business models at the beginning of the decade, today social media is changing the way business is conducted”. – Gartner (Link)

“Business application vendors are integrating social features into their applications and the dividing lines between transactional tools and social environments are fading.” – Gartner (Link)

“To optimize investments, competencies, and outcome, it is essential that enterprises establish a shared understanding of social technologies and trends, coordinate strategies and initiatives, and leverage investments.“ – Gartner (Link)

Implications

  • This will require a cultural transformation within most older, established companies.
  • Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform.
  • The path to a Social Business requires definition, education, and career paths.
  • Centralized implementation may be required for company-wide social tools, standards, policies and practices
  • Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

An important thing to realize is that the success of implementing social technologies into mature businesses will be how well business leaders can lead a cultural transformation in order to leverage these new social technologies.  Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform. All these new capabilities will require new Career Paths and Education tailored to the new social technologies. 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station….are you on it yet?

For More Information