Study: Social Business is critical to future success

Jive Software recently published a study that unveils how social software is increasingly perceived as a strategic executive imperative in the enterprise. Surprise? No. Jive is a provider of social business technology and commissioned the study, which was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and asked 902 U.S.-based knowledge workers.

The three key finding can be summarized as…
– Social strategy will be critical to the future success of businesses.
– App Stores are gaining traction in the enterprise
– Email usage is growing but is not solving communication challenges in the enterprise

So, what are essential facts from the study…?

Enthusiasm for social software in enterprise is high according to the study. 96% stated that social software adds value to at least one key performance indicator with 67% claiming it would improve customer engagement. 57% even believing it would increase sales or revenue. Two-thirds (66%) of executives responded social software represents a fundamental shift in how companies work and engage with customers.
However, only 17% of the same executives reported being ahead of the curve in this area. So, obviously web business strategy is not where executives think corporate culture should be. And that is although 83% of executives leverage at least one social network for work use.

Reference marketing is becoming essential and social software will play a big role in the future of purchase decisions. 54% of millennials said that they are more likely to rely on and make purchase decisions from information shared via personal contacts in online communities versus 33% more likely to use information from “official” company sources.

Obviously the study also finds that mobile is growing. App stores are gaining tracion in the enterprise and 74% of executives are indicating interest. The reason i salso mentioned in the study. 92% of executives and 82% of millennials believe that work-related web-based apps greatly or somewhat increased their productivity.

As a final finding, the study states the growing use of email which the bloggosphere is evaluating as a weak collaboration tool for a while. The study agrees here. 89% of executives, 88% of millennials and 76% of general knowledge workers believe that they and their teams would be more productive if they could dramatically reduce the time spent writing and reading emails. Seventy-three percent of executives, 73 percent of millennials and 64% of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies.

Spot On!
The study obviously favors the benefits of social software (it is a Jive USP). Some weeks ago, an IBM study took a step ahead and looked at the way executives have to challenge SocialCRM in the future and what their main fields of activity are at the moment.

So, if knowledge management in companies via social software is seen to have client engagement potential to improve business objectives, executives should have a close look at the following numbers and think about how (and how long to wait) to implement social software in their business processes: 73% of execs and millennials and 64% of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies.

Google Plus – When the leaders chase the leader's strategy…

As Facebook and Twitter are becoming stronger and stronger, the search giant Google had to do something about it. Especially, after Google Buzz did not really take off. Google more or less had to announce some new social networking tool as a leading technology company.

Now the baby is born. It is called Google Plus… So we are going from Google Buzz to Google Plus. Sounds similar, doesn’t it? However, it isn’t

With Google Plus the brand wants to “make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life”. A video explains how Google Plus works and you can decide if this is for the classic user, or just for the advanced web nerds…

This example illustrates how leading tech brands are challenging the success of other leaders from leading tech companies. It looks as if they cannot afford to miss out on a leading trend, need to start and copy, and then create their own “Me too” product or solution. However, the challenge is to create the simplicity, design, user friendliness and fascination around that new platform. And if a companies strength is technology and development of software, then it will become difficult to challenge a leader’s strategy that relies on the ease of human behavior, their conversations and interactions… and vice versa.

Still, they all do…

Spot On!
Google Plus offers a bundle of exciting and interesting features that other platforms don’t have in that evolved technological perfection (yet). The technology is good, no doubt. It has great functionality. OK. However, the question will remain if it will become a killer for Facebook as another challenging social network platform? Google’s leaders will definitely chase the strategy and tactical efforts of the Facebook & Co. to be part of the social networking game in the future. Nevertheless Bruce Lee once said: “Simplicity is the key to brilliance”. From a strategic business perspective, I would add: If simplicity of a Me Too product cannot trump the leader, ask yourself if the users will benefit from it. For Google Plus, I personally doubt it…

Wenn das Imperium Corporate Social Responsibility zurückschlägt…

Volkswagen verschreibt sich schon seit einiger Zeit dem Thema Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Offensichtlich soll das Thema Unterstützung von Entwicklungsländern, Nachhaltigkeit und Umweltbewußtsein die strategische Ausrichtung des Unternehmens für die Zukunft zeigen. Wer im Web ein wenig stöbert, findet Broschüren bezüglich des
Engagements in Afrika sowie die neusten Aussagen der Unternehmensführung zum Thema Nachhaltigkeit.

„Nachhaltigkeit ist und bleibt das Fundament unserer Unternehmenspolitik. Ein klarer Schwerpunkt liegt auf ‚grüner’ Mobilität, denn sie ist das Gebot gesellschaftlicher Verantwortung und wirtschaftlicher Vernunft“, beteuern Konzernchef Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn und Bernd Osterloh, Vorsitzender des Gesamt- und Konzernbetriebsrats der VW AG, im Vorwort des Berichts.

Das Enagement hat offensichtlich Methode und Erfolg. Erst kürzlich konnte man wieder einen nationalen Erfolg verbuchen, als man den
“Deutschen CSR Preis” nach Wolfsburg holte.

Zum Super Bowl wurde der neue US Passat mit einer Star Wars Kampagne beworben. Die Idee der Kampagen, die schnelle Verbreitung des Videos und die vielen Offlinegespräche, die ich mit diversen Leuten geführt habe, beweisen den Erfolg der Kampagne. Ob da schon jemand an das Thema Nachhaltigkeit und Wirtschaftlichkeit dachte, erscheint mir fragwürdig. In
meinem Post von damals findet man auch nichts…

Das Thema CSR und alle seine kleinen Kinder kamen in den Gesprächen um die Passat Kampagne nicht auf. Wohl aber bei
Greenpeace diskutiert. Strategische Broschüren und nette Worte sind geduldig, hat man sich hier wohl gedacht und mobile gemacht. Das Imperium Greenpeace schlägt zurück.

Mit einer Viral-Kampagne
“VW Darkside” will Greenpeace nun Volkswagen bekehren, parodiert die strategischen Ansätze des Themas Corporate Social Responsibility… und verlängert die Star Wars Kampagne auf seine Weise. VW wird zum Todesstern. Und Star Wars Helden wie Luke Skywalker und C3PO stellen sich mit Lichtschwertern gegen Darth Vader.

Das Video der Greenpeace-Kampagne ist gut produziert, vielleicht nicht so witzig wie der Volkswagen Spot, aber mit hervoragenden bildlichen Aussagen. Die drei Forderungen sind dennoch deutlich…

1. Für strenge CO2-Klimaziele

2. Für strenge CO2-Grenzwerte bei Autos

3. Taten statt Worte!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXndQuvOacU]

Letztendlich honoriert Greenpeace die Ansätze des Autobauers und appelliert an deren CSR Strategie: “Noch ist nicht alles verloren, wir spüren deutlich: Es steckt Gutes in Volkswagen!”

Die Frage, die man sich stellt ist… Wie soll Volkswagen angesichts der CSR Strategie reagieren? Wie nachhaltig sind solche Kampagnen von Greenpeace hinsichtlich des Umdenkens. Man denke an die
Kitkat Aktion. Was würdet ihr Volkswagen raten?

Wie sich die moderne Generation der Angestellten motivieren lässt…

Oft denken Manager die Top-Down Führung sei die einzige Chance die Produktivität der Unternehmen zu steigern. Schluss mit Social Media. Kette vor Facebook & Co. Bianca Gade hat auf einem Webmontag Wege illustriert, die das genaue Gegenteil des traditionellen Managementstils aufzeigen – und dabei an Produktivität nicht verliert. Nicht Allein-Herrschaft ist die Zukunft, sondern Transparenz in Zahlen, Kollaboration, Teamgeist, Sinnhaftigkeit und Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) werden den Mitarbeiter der Zukunft leiten.

[slideshare id=7435373&w=425&h=355&sc=no]

Studien zeigen, dass die Generation Y und Z sich den
Zugang zu sozialen Medien während der Arbeitszeit nicht verbieten lassen wird und vor allem
Gen Y ganz spezielle Vorstellungen von einer Work-Live-Balance hat. Dennoch wird Produktivität nicht verloren gehen sondern bei vertrauensvollen Selbstbestimmungsrecht des Einzelnen steigen wird – siehe auch
Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB) Projekt.

Letztendlich sind die vorwiegenden Beschäftigungen der Mitarbeiter laut WILB das Suchen von Informationen über Produkte oder das Lesen von Nachrichtenseiten. Und wenn das zukünftig via Facebook oder Twitter passieren würde und nicht mehr über Suchmaschinen, wird das wohl kaum die Produktivität stören. Vorausgesetzt man lässt sich von der Ablenkung durch die Nachrichtenflut nicht motivieren, die Produktivität zu vernachlässigen.

Die Frage, die man sich stellt ist… Kann der Mensch sich selbst managen? Sind Provisionen nicht auch bei Social Media Aktivitäten einplanbar in Stellenausschreibungen? Wie werden Unternehmen bei diesem Thema weiter vorgehen? Ideen Eurerseits…?

Wissen Firmen um die Wichtigkeit der Webstrategie?

Als
The Strategy Web vor rund drei Jahren ins Leben gerufen wurde, habe ich mir genau obige Frage gestellt…

Das
Marktforschungsinstitut Allensbach kommt in einer
Studie nun zum Ergebnis, dass die meisten Firmen die Bedeutung des Internets für ihre Geschäfte unterschätzen. Den meisten Unternehmen fehlt eine Webstrategie.

Der Studie zufolge, die im Auftrag von Infosys unter 2.000 Personen durchgeführt wurde, nehmen 91% der Befragten die Unternehmens-Webseite als erste Anlaufpunkt für Informationen. Die Firmen Webseite hat also noch nicht ausgedient, wie schon eine
Studie von Virtual Identity vor einiger Zeit resummierte. Knapp 20% besuchen die Unternehmensprofile in sozialen Netzwerken. Ist das jetzt ein “schon” oder ein “erst”, frägt man sich…?

62% der Webnutzer lesen Online-Testberichte, jeder zweite Onliner studiert vor dem Kauf Bewertungen und Kommentare anderer Internetnutzer. Ein Fakt, der sicherlich bei der Betrachtung der Webstrategie sowie damit verbundener taktischer Massnahmen noch viel zu stark zu kurz kommt. Die Demokratisierung der Meinungsbildungsprozesse wird gerne noch unterschätzt und in die Internetstrategie wenig einbezogen.

Die Marktforscher aus Allensbach fanden auch heraus, dass jeder dritte Onliner Informationen über Firmen in Lexika wie Wikipedia sucht. Dabei greift mehr als ein Viertel der Internetnutzer auf die Webseiten von Zeitungen und anderen Medien zu.

Die Frage, die man sich stellt ist… Warum entwickeln sich Unternehmen bei diesem Thema nicht weiter? Oder seht ihr die Studie als nicht aussagekräftig?

Update 2011: Social Media Revolution Version 3

It has become a classic for all social web evangelists in the last three years. Now, we have version number 3. I am talking about the videos called Social Media Revolution (versions number 2is here). Those videos that tell us the story how the social web changes and takes over our offline world. If you believe it or not…

Last week, I have written about how fast the social web is changing the world in only 60 seconds. With this video we get some more data. And again, I will be raising the question if we understand the challenge of reading infographics properly from a business perspective. However, I am sure I will see this video again in many presentations in the next months.

This latest version contains the data and statistics as of June 2011. All Social Media Revolution videos were created by Eric Qualman from Socialnomics.

What happens in 60 seconds on the Social Web? A comparison and the value of "infographics"…

There are different ways to illustrate how fast the Social Web is growing these days. For two years my favorite “real-time” resource -based on studies and research data- was Gary Hayes Social Media Count. And I am sure, you have all seen this great little widget already…

However, we also have to keep up with the pace and realize that -although people already hate them- infographics are sometimes a nice way to grab facts quick and easy. The Shanghai Web Designers created an infographic which illustrates how fast conversations, comments and content are produced on social networking and online platforms in only 60 seconds.

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

Now, although I honor the work of the Shanghai Web Designers, it lacks some information on where the data was generated from. Gary Hayes explains nicely how the app data was put together and how actual it is (having said that I think Gary needs to refresh his links as I found links ending in 404’s).

A comparison could be interesting, I thought. Why not compare the 60 seconds data from the Shanghai Web Designers (SWD) versus a “one-minute-momentum” of Gary Hayes (GH) counter…? I started the counter and waited 60 seconds, and there you go. Here are the results…

The comparison will just focus on the essentials Google, Email, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. You can still do your own comparison afterwards…

Google
Search queries: 694,445 (SWD) versus 1,393,519 (GH)

Emails
Emails sent: 168,000,000 (SWD) versus 204,255,455 (GH)

Facebook
Status Updates: 695,000 (SWD) versus 696,758 (GH)
Comments: 510,040 (SWD) versus 512,100 (GH)

Twitter
New accounts: 320 (SWD) versus 208 (GH)
Tweets published: 98,000 (SWD) versus 62,707 (GH)

YouTube
Hours of content uploaded: 25+ hours (SWD) verus 36 hours (GH)

LinkedIn
New members: 100 (SWD) versus 60 (GH)

Spot On!
The comparison makes clear that the Facebook figures are similar whereas for the rest of the figures there is a massive discrepancy in numbers. Facebook is sharing their latest actual figures, for the other technology platforms the data probably comes from third party sources (or at least as far as I can see). If all platform and technology owners would share their latest data, those discrepancies won’t happen. The lack of source information from Shanghai Web Designers makes it difficult to argue which data is the latest, where the differences in the comparison are coming from, and so on. Maybe this is the reason why some experts don’t like infographics any more. “Don’t like…” might be wrong when I see how many people have shared the infographic in the last days. They appear very nice and compelling in social networking accounts and “illustrate” thought-leadership in presentations. Right…?!

82% of word of mouth conversations are face-to-face

The word of mouth and research company Keller Fay Group and Google have collaborated to understand the effects of the Internet and Internet enabled devices on word of mouth conversations about brands – and the Google Business Youtube channel published some findings now in a video.

In the US there are 2.4 billion conversations involving brands on a day, and the question is what role do various types of media play in this process? The study -based on 3.000 responding adults- comes to the conclusion that the vast majority of word of mouth conversations still happens face-to-face (82%).

However, the internet is the leading source of information motivating conversations. TV is already number two media to trigger word of mouth conversations. Google searches directly inform 146 million brand conversations a day, says the video. Are we surprised? Well, I wasn’t…

Obviously, Google would not publish it, if search wasn’t the main initiator in conversations as the study claims. According to the study, search is also said to outperform social media when it comes to credibility and likelihood to purchase decisions.

The study video concludes to mention the importance of search which is the leading source that inspires and informs, and thus triggers word of mouth brand conversations, followed by e-commerce with 7%. Social Media and branded websites are coming in at the same level.

Spot On!
The findings illustrate the importance to connect offline and online brand activities. Although search definitely has a major impact on our purchase behavior these days, and especially Google with all their opportunities and different service offerings, I would definitely stress that brand advocates also have a major impact on word of mouth conversations when using them to empower social media capabilities. The study did not use these special people as “online channels” of course. However, think about brand advocates and how you could leverage your brand with them.

PS: The full video can be seen here…

Workspace 1.0 versus Workspace 3.0

Is this be a workspace 1.0 versus 3.0 software tool? Or just remain a downloadable app for PC and MAC? Or just a brilliant marketing, or should I say buzz branding idea…?

Some people are worries their bosses might catch them “facebooking” at work. Some people might jut not be able to work with Facebook, or get adapted to getting their brains around working with Facebook. With Excel they know how to do their job. Diesel presents Excellbook. This app is masking FB as an excel chart. Fantastic or best stupid at work?

Will it blend? What is going to become famous? The app, the technology or the brand? Or the workspace 3.0? If the later, then tell me what it looks like, this workspace 3.0!

You decide…!

Oldies but Goldies – Corporate Twitter (cartoon)

Sometimes realtime business communication gets into the mainstream of daily business, daily decision making and daily spontaneous conversation that keeps our business alive and our tactics up to speed. It’s weekend, so let’s have a meeting to think about our next tweets, discuss them and have a laugh…

Thanks to Lee Bryant who reminded me of this great cartoon by Tom Fishburn.