Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Observations from Enterprise 2.0

Every year people gather in various cities to discuss the next phase of the inter-webs....also know as Enterprise 2.0. This conference is a thought leadership explosion uniting the directives and intangibles that guide the next day of the ever-evolving world of social media and the like. The degree of collaborative thinking is encouraging to say the least. New platforms are introduced and strategies are discussed. We learn how to measure the ROI of social media, how to sell it our executives and what trends to adopt/ignore.

With my blogger pass proudly displayed around my neck (pictured). I braved the halls of the Santa Clara Convention Center. Here's what I learned on days 1 and 2:

Community Evangelism
We often think about social media as it applies to the organization that employs us: our employees and how they can use it to boost revenue, our executives and their degree of adoption. This year's focus has been firmly on product end-users, program administrators, and customers. It has become abundantly clear in 2011 that company reputations are rooted in social media. Product reviews, staff responsiveness and leadership accessibility are always on trial in the social media world. It's not just an awareness of poor Yelp reviews anymore. Great companies are embracing transparency and are showcasing their customer service practices on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Fan pages have become a community for those who love certain products to evangelize. The question at E 2.0 - how do we incent our community of customers?

Erica Kuhl of lead a great break out session on Monday. She introduced the Salesforce MVP program. This program recognizes the world's best Administrators. This is not a passive customer loyalty program. MVP's are granted access to product managers, invited into exclusive community forums, and empowered to drive the success of their companies by improving product development at SFDC. The concept was fresh and inviting to me. Show us you love our products/services and we will give you not a gift card, but more work to do....the difference: the people who work as salesforce admins love their work. They are willing to do more to make product administration more streamlined to their companies.

Throughout the sessions presenters have differentiated customer satisfaction from Community Evangelism. Lessons learned that social media is no longer an option, it is a necessity that drives your organizational reputation. Ignore social media and your customers will ignore you.

Organizational Contortionists
At Dreamforce 2011, the great Gary Vee was asked by an audience member how she could evangelize social media to her reluctant organization. Gary commented that you don't need a title to sell the merits of social media internally. Along this line of thinking, Daniel Zucker offered the description of Social Media Leads at Autodesk as Organizational Contortionists. (he wanted me to be very clear that this phrase was coined by his manager, Maura Ginty)

Gary's advice and Autodesk's qualifications are the essence of the existence of social advocacy. Great organizations have the ability to find their catalyst. That person who represents well...sometimes its a Sales Professional to speak at a conference, sometimes its a programmer to share her vision with a client. At present, the social media realm is not completely defined - an opportunity for advocacy.

I find it a great luxury to work for a company that has empowered me to drive organizational social media strategy (albeit as a volunteer). I also see it as a massive opportunity for anyone who has the willingness to lead the charge.

The standout Keynote of the Enterprise 2.0 event was presented by Tim Young, VP of Social Enterprise at VMware. Tim introduced the concept of About.Me as the template for future of social media. In short, simplicity rules. No one can argue that adoption of social media will require executive approval. Bring a CMO a list of 28 sites you wish to integrate into a congruent strategy and she will slap you across the face. Tim's message was perfectly appropriate, if you are asking people to do something new make sure it is a simple transition. Words to live by.

As we move forward....
I love being in the presence of people who have something to share. The feeling that there is something new that will change the way we work is massively empowering.

A resounding message from Enterprise 2.0:
Social Media is no longer the Elephant in the is a Fire Breathing Dragon!

It is no longer an option to ignore social media. Your customers, competitors and your girlfriend are in the community.....if you pretend it doesn't exist, neither will they!

Don't Forget to Remember!

Dave Kovacovich

1 comment:

  1. was there something you did not see or hear that you expected to ?