Leading up to the New Year and the weeks following, you will have been inundated by experts providing their predictions for the year – an annual ritual usually followed by “told you so” at the end of the year.
In her Social Business predictions, Charlene Li of Altimeter Group explains her prediction pet peeve.
My pet peeve about the annual predictions ritual is that they lack context for action. It’s nice to know that tablets and big data are important — but what should you do about it?
I echo Li’s comment. Don’t get me wrong; I think it is important to provide analysis and foresight into future trends, but this needs to be coupled with insight and direction. Similarly, overambitious statements like, “2012 will be the year Social Business will revolutionise organisations” only risk relegating this business transition to mere hype.
Those of you who have been following our Volume blog will have noticed we are doing a fairly in-depth series on Social Business. We do not believe Social Business is hype, nor do we believe it will revolutionise organisations in 2012.
As individuals, we already understand the value of communicating across social channels. We are able to share pictures, videos and updates with friends and family around the world. Social-media channels make it easier for us to communicate effectively. 2012 will be the year that businesses also begin to really understand how the communicative properties of social media can be utilised to improve business performance. Businesses will begin to understand how a socially-connected ecosystem of employees, partners, distributors, influencers and consumers will improve engagement, collaboration, lead generation, customer retention and new sales. It will be the year that organisations seek out consultants to guide them through the implementation of Social Business processes and technology.
The direction I offer around this prediction is to proceed with caution. To effectively integrate Social Business technology, processes and people, understand your options and how they fit with your current environment and culture. Evaluate all the advice, including our blog series, and understand the tools on the market. There are currently several tools available to you, but you should define your need before looking at the solution. This is a simple but often overlooked task that often results in unused and redundant technology. With 2012 likely to be a challenging financial year for most businesses, throwing money at unused and expensive technology is not a luxury many can afford.
When looking for a Social Business consultant, make sure they can provide demonstrable experience and success. Social Business consultants should have experience working inside and outside an organisation, to effectively implement social technology and processes internally to improve social communication externally to customers. Furthermore, consultants should be able to show concrete results and success stories.
We currently provide Social Business consultation to businesses varying from Fortune 50 companies to small-to-medium-sized businesses. For more information on what we have done, please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter: @sukijohal.
In the forthcoming blogs, we will continue with our Social Business series. The next post will focus on stage two of our methodology: consumer insight and direction.