Posts tagged ‘Web 2.0’

Shifting Social Media Business Strategy from “What” to “Why” and “How”

Last week I delivered a presentation in Chicago outlining the generalized steps for developing a social media business strategy to a wonderfully engaged audience of around 80.  In connecting one-on-one with a number of those in attendance prior to the start of the session, my perspective is further reinforced that most organizations are generally trapped inside the rapid reaction phase of social media strategy, which often fails to take into consideration the true opportunity presented by the social web.

Many are treating the social web with a “gold rush” mentality which as I’ve written before very much feels reminiscent of the rush and bust of the late 90s.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that true social web strategy in my estimation is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme, rather it is an investment of time and disciplined business planning like any new business strategy.

Want a shortcut to getting on the right track in the development and implementation of social media business strategy?  My advice is to focus/refocus your thinking away from “what do we do?” mentality toward the better questions of “why” you are engaging in social media in the first place and “how” social media will help you advance the mission, vision and goals of our business.

While this sounds overly simplistic at first glance, the difference between the “what”-focused approach compared to the “why/how”-focused approach could be the difference between success and disaster.  In other words, the question you must ask yourself is whether you are rushing a series of half-thought tactics into the marketplace full of uncertainty OR are you investing in a solid business planning process unique to your organization geared toward evolving and advancing your business mission in an effort to adapt to the opportunities and realities of this new business environment.

Remember, the true successful practice of eCommerce emerged as a disciplined long-term business strategy in the aftermath of the craze which produced countless business models which have succeeded for new and existing business enterprise.  I predict the same will hold true for web 2.0 and social media in that once the smoke clears from the craze and “snake-oil” presently saturating the air, we will find that those who succeed in tapping into the social web did so through a deep understanding of the psychology behind social media participation as it relates to their business and the development/execution of a well-conceived creative business plan which is integrated within the overall business model of the organization.


December 21, 2009 at 6:23 am 1 comment

5 Ways to Get into the Flow of Social Media

DSC_0131Below are  5 ways to use social media to expand your organization’s sphere of engagement, interaction, particiaption and influence: 

1)  Develop a comprehensive relationship-focused social media strategy driven by the mission and strategy of your association.

2)  Conduct a social media audit to identify all groups and influencers within your association’s social sphere. 

3)  Engage regularly in social media monitoring, utilizing keyword-based search tools built into popular social media platforms or third party applications.

4)  Operationalize the use of social media as a business tool at levels of the organization.

5)  Be authentic, experiment, make connections, build relationships and cultivate brand ambassadors.

August 24, 2009 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

The Great Web 2.0 Evolution Within the Web Me.0 World

Over the past couple of years, the term Web 2.0 has become a household buzz word within our associations and the larger world.  As in the early days, the promise and potential of Web 2.0 has become the well-hyped social media darling of the online world.  Yet, there continues to be struggle over how to flip the peverbial switch in leveraging and mainstreaming these social technologies for the rest of the world.  At the same time, users of “sit forward” online technology are still somewhat skiddish in terms of pledging online trust and so many still prefer the comfortable confines of anonymity. 

On the other side of the aisle, the expectations that the “harvest” of web 2.0 potential will somehow be reaped overnight has led to premature impatience and skepticism.    

Based on learning and observation to present day, my belief is Web 2.0 and the social web, in general, is still in its infancy and is far from reaching full maturity in terms of value and engagement… not just for the association world, but also for the for-profit world as well.  However, in my mind that is the natural evolution of any technology.  

We’ve been feverishly constructing Web 2.0 and 3.0 worlds, when all along what we’ve needed to focus on is the Web Me.0 world.  The same basic public relations principle of “so what, who cares, what’s in it for me” is highly applicable to the evolutionary change process occurring in the true Web Me.0 world.     

One thing I’ve learned about change, in general, is there is often considerable lag time between visualization and realization.  Measure it however you want, whether it be radio-to-tv or dial-up-to-dsl… we must accept the fact that even the most ground-breaking innovations take time to find status quo critical mass within the mainstream.  Patience and progression are essential virtues of the day.

Why does it take time?  Well, since we are heading out of summer, I’ll use a vacation analogy.  Visualize the last time you sat on a semi-crowded beach in front of the ocean during off-season.  The sun is shining, the waves crashing, yet most people remain on the beach.  For those who venture into the water, they typically take quite a bit of time to slowly adjust to the temperature while at the same time mentally assessing how far they are willing to venture out into greater depths.  However, there is always the courageous few who will see the ocean’s allure and sprint full stride toward the water, splashing wildly as the water begins to obstruct motion and diving face forward toward that first set of small crashing waves for the decisive plunge into the cool depths. 

Over time, as the months go by and the season change, the heat of summer eventually returns, the water temperatures rise, the beaches become more crowded and eventually most people take to the water… why? because the conditions are ideal, peer pressure is moving the crowd toward the water and, ultimately, the transition is far more comfortable and relaxed.

The translation is we must realize that the summer season for the social web is on the way and we all must begin by testing the waters.  Further, we must be careful to pace rather than drown ourselves in the mad rush out into the water.

More importantly, while we might be able to invent all sorts of clever whiz-bang social web applications, widgets and worlds, we must never forget the mainstream Web Me.0 world whose measure will always be real world relational value based upon the age-old principle of “so what, who cares, what’s in it for me”.

The good news is I believe a killer set of waves are forming off-shore and setting a course toward our association shore.  SM

September 3, 2008 at 6:14 am Leave a comment

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