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…

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…

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Speech-recognition apps – a step into the mobile future?

In an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West,” Gary Morgenthaler, a general partner at Morgenthaler Partners, speaks with Emily Chang about Apple Inc.’s potential strategy for speech-recognition applications. With the company’s purchase of Siri Inc. in 2010, Apple gained technology leadership that lets users search the Web by talking to their phones.

Sometimes I am asking myself if we are getting sucked into the opportunities of mobile (and Apple…) technology, or if people will move away from such “extreme” usage of technological progress. Or will it happen as it is Apple, or shall we better say Steve Jobs, who is in the driver’s seat saying: “It just works.”

Would be interesting to see how you, the social and mobile advanced users, if Apple is just catching up on an old trend or evolving the technology to make it market-ready…finally for the normal consumer…?!

Future of the Internet in 2015 (Video)

Not far away, right? 2015 is in only four years…!

However, people keep thinking about how it will change our digital lives. Well, watch the great infographic video “Digital Life: Today and Tomorrow,” created by NeoLabels and scripted by Inés Leopoldo of Mitsue Venture.

Digital Life: Today & Tomorrow from Neo Labels on Vimeo.