Centres of Excellence for Social Media and Enterprise 2.0

A while back I wrote about setting up your organisation for new media success http://bit.ly/fx3JK3

With the velocity of change in new media, social media and our marketplaces in general, innovation will be a commonplace metric in the CSuite dashboard. The catch-phrase Social Media, web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, collaboration terms will morph into Social Business. A term describing leading organisations that transparently collaborate not only internally but also with their clients.
Co-creation, be that internal or external, even for restricted industries and consultancy firms with highly valued IP, will proliferate. With various lines being drawn for what is IP, valuable insight and what is education.

Companies with the capacity to innovate will be truly measured by their capacity to share ideas effectively. Both internally and externally.

We’ll move beyond intricate taxonomies, top down messaging and best practice archives. Adopting folksonomies, the capacity to search everything behind a firms firewall and beyond will grow. Best practice guides will turn into continuous works in progress, with collaboration tools allowing both implied and explicit experts to weigh in accordingly.

– the 30 email chain, CCed to any possible stakeholders and amended called notes-on-meeting-about-meetings-draft-Final-v34.doc – will turn into a document in a collaboration zone that I can read and comment on from any device, share at any time, and publish to any level or group.

Sharing innovation to hubs, nodes and all empowered the second the market shifts.

Centres of Excellence will be true teachers with the tools to disseminate knowledge and empower innovation.

Email, Social and the Art of #Storytelling #iStrategy

John Sadowsky from Emailvision cracks into a theme, many have either forgotten or ignored. 


Starting out with a great quote, “god made men because he loves storytelling” ~ Elie Wiesel

The essence of storytelling not being the push out of material about your Brand, but in today’s age, leveraging your community to tell your story for you. It’s about creating an emotional tie to your product/service so that clients are talking about the product, but also what they do and how they feel about it.

That message appears again from John.
Start listening to your clients and fans, rather than disrupting them with your blast messages. 
In order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening ~ Quote

Some interesting case studies included 

Bike Friday – dropping an email invite and collecting great YouTube videos from their tribe of folding bike lovers.

Mathon.fr – as an apart from their brand created and invited customers to a cuisine fan page on FaceBook. With the odd giveaway, and a stream of home town recipes, the community blossomed around regional variations, conversations about how best to roll dough etc.

As authentic as a piece of content we create may be, user created content has far more street cred.

Some interesting ideas for B2C where power tools approach customers for miss use stories.

Products people don’t like to talk about or where they can’t talk about it are hard to deal with. Bit it can be done.

Genital herpes cream is not something with an open fan base, but it does go viral!


Understand what your brand stands for is paramount to finding your story – and getting the story you’d like your fans to tell.

HowTo Measure Market Attractiveness By Using Location Based Landscaping #iStrategy #Foursquare

Now as mayor of iStrategy, I’m obliged to be bullish on this presentation as Naveen Selvadurai, from Foursquare runs us through the game overlay and how gamification is motivating people to go out in the real word and do something!

The basic push to be Mayor of a location you frequent has initial draw, and badges, recognising your efforts extends the model. People coming to work just to keep their mayorship or frequenting the gym.

With 50000000 checkins, and at least one in every country around the world its a valuable datasource to analyse.

Heat maps, of checkins, are invaluable for picking new restaurant locations and even public transport routes. Future analysis of this draws insights into masses, and also personal details.

A record of lunch meetings, being a great prompt to realise, “hey, I haven’t connected with X client in a month”. Or even analyse who’s taking up your time and not converting to a sale?

As foursquare became popular, chalkboard rewards were up in bars that realised their clients were embracing the platform.

When in platform specials arrived, mayorships were the first to promote, but often not that interesting for the majority of clients, or roaming FourSquare users.

First time, tenth time, bringing friends and Swarm discounts are some of the latest variants.

Case Studies
Amex in Austin – took things further, aligning with frequent business, they labeled up certain places, and gave cash back rewards for checkins.

History channel – added tips to historic / famous sites around the US

CatchAChoo – took data from the API, hiding Jimmy Choo’s around London for customers to hunt down.

The FourSquare API allows you access to all functionality and data – in the future CRM / CMS style management of locations will be available for brands. Self management getting around issue that they’re not physically in EMEA yet, as a company.

Naveen believes FaceBook places, a large competitor lacks the gamification and a method for brands to link to their checkins.

Privacy, although a concern, they believe the ability to hide checkins, checkin, post to twitter etc addresses users concerns.

The last example being Pet food billboards that dispensed samples for a checkin.
For more case studies hit: http://www.Foursquare.com/businesses


How Social Is Your Business? #iStrategy #mashable

To start off the day Frederick Townes from Mashable asks us How Social Is Your Business?

The reply for most of us was, “Well, we’re trying.”

The notion that we should fish where the fish are rears it’s head, but to take the analogy further, don’t blast round the lake making your presence known and scaring the fish off. Use the right rod, and be selective. Tailor your marketing and interactions to the environment and the individual.

There’s quickening in the industry and each day, competitors are moving faster to engage, and push the industry even further.

It sounds silly, but we just added social to the front of media, it’s still the same principle, reel or funnel your potential clients into wins. With the recent revolutions, there was a workflow around how they used the services available to us. Facebook to plan, twitter to co-ordinate, YouTube to share results.

For us, as content strategist, being aware of all the channels, and their benefits is paramount to leverage the platform’s ability to share our content, and or engage with clients/prospects.

Frederic reiterated – and I’m not tired of the message:

” it’s not enough to just be present, you need to engage, leverage social media. ”

Optimising a campaign for a service like social bookmarks or flickr and broadcasting to them is quite different from how you engage in Facebook.

Brian Solis has a great slide segmenting the services, networks, and web today.



Drinking from the fire-hose was an issue even in old media.
Once working in these areas, it’s hard to filter out the noise, and for that matter stand out.

Digesting what’s relevant, and acting on it will be our new dilemma. The luxury of being able to “structure a response” , “run that by legal” is gone. The opportunity cost of not responding realtime is rising, and with new tools developing, we will have a dollar value to this.

Structuring internally, and empowering individuals to act and engage in social media will be our trial. And from discussions today, it’s a lot easier for startups and small brands, where the CEO tweets, and internal silos are minimal.


Here’s the full deck with some great #infographics and data. http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/iStrategyConference/istrategy-ams-2011-frede…

Understanding Social Media’s Soft Points #iStrategy #ecademy

Penny Power from ecademy, as she puts it between us and happy hour, showed some insights into the extent to which – in social networks and social media – businesses and personally we need to develop a personality and express it.

Can businesses really care about the person, not just their wallets?

Often in today’s society we are perhaps too focused on ROI. 

Focusing on solving a clients pain point, addressing a communities problem is far better than selling specifications.

The line of personal vs. business posts is for each to set, yet adding this is often an icebreaker to a lead, or to develop a friendship / peer network to bounce ideas with.

So were back to addressing all of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Both in our organisations and with our clients. 



It’s interesting that there’s underlying theme from today.

An organisation that understands core values, has a true shared vision and brand, and works together as a community – will outperform in social media.

– less throwing out pretty brochures – more “hey buddy, this could help you! I recommend it.

B2B the full story #iStrategy

AKA: Everything You Wanted To Know About B2B Social Media (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)
It’s hyped by the name so let’s see how deep we can go.
And our cocreators are:

Menno Likendijk – Director and Partner, Milestone Marketing

Jeremy Makin – Director of Media Sales and Strategy for Optism ,Alcatel-Lucent

Ed Bezooijen – Director of Marketing, Citrix Systems

Moderator:: Martin Meyer-Gossner – Strategic Marketing and Sales Services Director, IDG

To give us a feel for the marketplace Martin quotes:
B2B online just released the impressive stat: 93% say they’re ‘using’ social media.
Quite what that means is another thing.
Heres some of the areas Martin is using:

“ @Jakes5000: #iStrategy  B2B social media blueprint http://t.co/1zEhr0H

Lead Generation and building relationships is at various levels across the panel. Some with every associate participating, others with trained empowered social media hub and node teams within the organisation.
Citrix, being very wary of code of conduct, nondisclosure and how you communicate. All associates are aware and marketing, PR and customer support, engage accordingly.
They’re also wary of being to pushy with sales.
Alcatel-lucent adding:  The B2B sin, is spending time planning the wedding not the marriage? Beautiful brochureware with no ongoing though leadership or content strategy will die.
Insight generation is something many have explored, yet again this requires an org structure and overall understanding of Social Media that let’s those on the front line raise issues with the appropriate leader/contact.
It is interesting to note those experimenting and retrofitting social media to their marketing strategies. Vs. An integrated approach.
Retrofit – Tweeting invites to the event you planned, tweaking posts to LinkedIn etc. Local twitter accounts, millions of pilots etc.
Integrated – Lead generation and insight generation funnel, leveraging the different communities and the interactions within them. A funnel and Social Media Architecture that aligns with the marketing and growth path for the organisation.
Parting nuggets:
“Just do it”
“It’s game changing”
Enable your teams, not with “howtos” but also content
Get your content strategy right.
Have a plan
The nugget I’d offer – if you’re starting out, think like Agile Software developers.
1. If you can’t have a full plan, then at least get your headline elevator pitch for the strategy.
2. Don’t do anything that conflicts with that headline.
3. Get going.
Then communicate and collaborate internally as you would on Twitter, LinkedIn or FaceBook
4. Get your content strategy in place.
5. Outside of your core streams and messages, allow associates the freedom to engage and make them aware of your strategy. Train then, offer the basics.
6. Don’t toe dip, but if needed, chop you’re presence development to bite sized stories.

What’s your Social Media Architecture? #iStrategy

OK, two of my favourite hashtags in one session – WOOT

Coming back from meat stew, and feeling it we get @jmichele Joshua-Michele Ross

We run some great kinestetics – getting us to trace clockwise circles on the ceiling with our finger – bring the finger down to eye level and down to your waist, and now it’s anticlockwise! Social media is a complete perspective shift. The way we see an org via social media, vs. how do I manage social media and how my org functions, are still totally different perspectives.

The current fast moving landscape
Our attention is a leading indicator, of where we will spend, a lagging indicator.
This reflects in the way even mainstream news is spreading.

Information is moving in realtime and we need to adjust to react, From twitter, to blog post, to mashable, to New York Times, and then print.

Here’s the report predicting when newspapers around the world will fall. http://www.futureexploration.net/recentmedia/

Social Media Architecture is moving from pages and campaigns to coordination and connectivity. @jmichele s view is that your architecture should encompass: Utility durability and beauty – customer centric, longevity and uplifting people.

Understand your communities When you’ve roped out stakeholders, audiences their shared passion, concern or need – take a look at your communities and their basic need – then focus on it.

Some of the basic needs communities will have:

– Inspired entertained – Earn status
– Learn
– Get support
– Be rewarded.

You could layer culture and language, but these are the basics for any community.

Your internal structure, hubs, nodes and centres for excellence should focus to the basic needs, eg, ‘get support’ need means realtime responses from experts, or ‘learn’ should come from true though leaders.

Empower those closest to the community, and scale this with guidance and a blueprint. Having decentralised social media communications or interactions, is a lot easier for organisations that aren’t stuck in a top down internal push model. And companies with a diluted sense of purpose or brand find this hard to shake externally especially in social media.


Topping out a GREAT post lunch presentation @jmichele Ends with a great slide on how to structure for Social Business that speaks for itself.

To quote a fellow attendee:

” “@roelandeuser All you need to know to get started http://yfrog.com/gymgsqlj #strategy ”

Nick Allen


Social Networking & the B2B Economy #iStrategy #LinkedIn

Stepping into B2B mode Eugenie Von Wiechen from LinkedIn, bringing us the current stats continuing their impressive growth and looking at the network effect and putting things into context.

I keep giggling at conversations I’ve had with HR associates everywhere of how we shouldn’t promote the use of LinkedIn. “PEOPLE WILL FIND THEM. We will loose them to competitors!” – HR

“Sorry I didn’t catch the last part, I was reading a post from an HR though leader in Social Media….” Nick

Sharing or collecting information is still bound between three arenas:

Personal, professional and family – which provide relevance to the topic at hand. With as many levels of crossover as people. As mentioned coming out of the FaceBook keynote, it’s inherently more relevant if a colleague or peer recommends the B2B you’re exploring. – Generating new business via a FACE to your business is invaluable! The faceless organisation will become obsolete!

Providing relevance, a background and referees for the writer of your latest article, CEO of your company seems like a no brainer! On the platform
Some of their latest releases, news and extended company pages, addressing the on off nature of LinkedIn.


The table agreed there’s the creative and frictional costs to do viral campaigns and large social media efforts well. At a second personal level – Empowering and teaching non digital natives how to be social AND leveraging your base of employees to share, create and amplify the message of your brand is a todo NOW, not a FY2013 goal. Seems we’re all facing “we should be in social media” from the C-Suite which is promising.

Not acting outweighs the risks of getting it wrong? Well… We were split on that, still fears or repercussions. So do it with structure and with training and understanding throughout your org.

Philips commented in via their global head of digital with good nuggets:
– Plans and guidelines need to be in place, don’t prohibit, but teach them the basics. – Speak only when your really have something to say as well! – Be prepared for any change this engaging may bring to your org. – their winning LinkedIn Groups are free from ads and push, NO SALES PITCH, but are about educating clients and thought leadership!

Small biz nation from HP was another LinkedIn Group to check out.

On empowering your employees to act as brand ambassadors, we agreed:

– If your Brand values and employee engagement are right, you have a better chance of succeeding, and some recruiter not headhunting your biggest Klout scorers.

Now for LUNCH!

Nick Allen


I’m your number 1 fan! Keynote panel #iStrategy

Interesting session walking us through Facebook analytics, social CRM, and engagement 

Call me old fashioned (or daft) but working in a regulated B2B environment I’m less bullish on our engagement opportunities for ‘sales’ via Facebook. I’m not talking legal issues or fund management out in the open, I would however love to leverage it more for graduate recruitment.

And hey, it’s the new white pages – and if we (prof service firms) keep silent, just syndicating /RSS feeding our PR, we WILL begin to stick out!

On to the panel.

Jan Rezab talked SocialBakers.com and their analytics. 

Through great FaceBook analysis they highlight opportunities to engage – take your pages beyond just content syndication and into engagement. Bring to light their wonderful notion of Superfans those that would answer on your behalf about your Brand. 

Stephane Lee showed us Dimelo.com and their engagement come social CRM offering.

Showed nice segmentation of FaceBook page, search functionality and videos within.

Humoured me that Orange instead of addressing WHY people were asking questions, worked on ways to channel those discussions out of central FB page ‘message’.

Panel members

Manny Anekal from Zynga (farmville)

Julien Fourgeaud Rovio (angry birds)

and Arno Lubrun from FaceBook

Gave some nice nuggets.

With startups, and smaller companies it’s inherent that everyone is engaging via social media and spreading the word about their company, their @brand accounts therefore are manned by their executives, answering as many tweets as possible, replying to posts and questions.

Organic blueberries on farmville linked millions of users to a US farm – with some nice in game engagement, and I’m guessing lingering reminder in your space.

Facebook Pages – are they a good strategy going forward? 

FB say – keep it relevant, and distinguish yourselves. Organise conversations, engage, poll and prod your fans to come back. 

Some are saying the flow of wall posts from someone who is a ‘fan’ of many things, overwhelms. Hmm, like Twitter? Tweetdeck Hootsuite I say!

All reiterate that Geolocation will grow. FB to leverage this soon perhaps? Acquisitions coming?

Mobile is enormous focus – they’re improving for ads, media and games. Apps on their way.

The best way to build on Superfans?

– get them involved with the brand, Face to Face and let them participate and shape your companies direction.


An aside – Food for thought.

Via open API, and a quick ringround of all the point solutions, when can someone give me an integrated dashboard solution?

Something that: Allowes us to collaborate on content, publish it to our web presence (brought and owned) to measure engagement, search for opportunities, report analytics, and disseminate best practice…

iStrategy notes day 1 #istrategy Philips keynote

Under the mood lighting of iPad and iPhone screens, we’ve just wrapped up the first of the morning sessions of iStrategy Amsterdam.

Some of the nuggets included fantastic storytelling through the Philips – Nigel and Victoria series on YouTube. Based around Nigel the Philips marketing guy and Victoria the product tester and actress. Leveraging stories their consumers could relate to, with comedy and cliffhangers to keep them hooked. They’re incorporating product placement, educating potential clients, adapting and shifting their story for:

Constant ongoing engagement! User experience as @ThomasMarzano reiterated reaches far beyond how well your website funnels sales. Could they find the answers to their problems at the moment they needed them, offline or online, and were they enlightened or excited enough to SHARE that! Moving from a product based Brochureware website to a needs based total web presence is needed NOW.

Educating clients and potential clients in language they understand is a lesson we can well learn in the B2B consultancy space!!!

Finding and providing methods for your brand advocates, clients and colleagues to amplify Your story. It’s got me thinking…