Digital Business, Media 140
Joanne Jacobs, 1000Heads
Reflects on the bad reaction she got from many businesses in the mid-2000s when attempting to promote the value of social media. What is the value proposition of social? How are stories crucial? what is happening with mobiles?
Emphasises that businesses can’t manage conversations, can’t manage communities, and can’t control the message. Reflects on the gap between marketing now, and marketing as represented in programs such as Mad Men.
Value proposition for social business is its use for all business activities – not just marketing, but HR, logistics and so on. For example, using twitter’s private functions to connect people and share critical information.
‘Social’ means saving money, not just bringing in more business. But it is not just technology – “we are the ones who made these technologies”. “Social media came about because trust in corporate messages had declined” – in other words, what we think of as social media is the result of many aspects of the managed, controlled marketing process which had come to dominate consumer life in the 1990s.
Crucial to the power of social media is trust, and trust is formed through social interactions. Social interactions are themselves the result of stories shared between people.
Social media is about getting people who will buy to inform the business development process, not the other way around. Critically “influencers are facilitators of organisational learning” – the people ‘out there’ are the experts in the brand and what it does and they should be informing the company – influencers are not some celebrities which are employed to ‘sell’ something. Hence she concludes “‘CRM’ should not exist”.
You set up contexts within which social interaction online can occur, thus providing some shape, but that you avoid intervening too directly inside that context. In this way, you can use the social business approach to improve product development into the future.
Jacobs concludes that mobile devices, by attenuating conversations, focusing us more on shorter messages, more exchanges, create more opportunities for more people to participate in a social business strategy. Mobiles present an opportunity to change the way ‘IT’ is seen (either marketing or IT owned). Mobiles are part of all aspects of the business.
Jacobs’ idea of a social strategy is that you let the marketing happen because of the collective, community discussions and interactions, rather than attempting to impose the marketing. She sees social business as a paradigm shift away from the fundamentals of the buyer-seller relationship, towards one in which there is ‘authentic’ partnering between those two poles. This position is, indeed, more closely aligned to the lifeworld of people, rather than the way they are imagined as consumers by the marketing departments. However it appears to me there is a fine line between the two – there is still an sense that Jacobs is pitching a business methodology, just one that is rather more cleverly attuned to the way people work and live.
Vanessa Paech, Comunity Engine
social commerce — well, all commerce is social and always has been
“The internet has given us a new way to talk about the social life of our stuff”
Paech presents a sophisticated analysis of the way that commerce has always been social, and that the internet has “given us a new way to talk about the social life of our stuff”. Many of her comments refer to intimacy … what we feel might be a short-cut to decision making (including, for example, buying). Intimacy comes from relationships, authenticity, and more, and generates trust.
Sharing model – curate what you personally like, etc, which is then pushed OUT to your friends, regardless of whether they like or want this. Taste model – reads our data and pushes back to us advertisements and commercial opportunities which appear to meet our tastes. Both involve curation, of different kinds.
Describes Community Engine, a “Social transactional noticeboard”, – effectively trying to develop a space (like a piazza or open market) in which social commerce can occur online or, even, not online but influenced by online. In effect, CE is trying to get a lot of the commercial possibilities of social media OUT of the primary sites (like Facecbook, which is vaguely analogous to a shopping mall), where small business don’t have enough control.
Critical in all this is to know who to trust when we look at online reputation – eg Klout doesn’t work because it gets it wrong and we don’t trust its results – we need online spaces and communities and systems which establish the value and authenticity of someone’s reputation for recommending etc.
paech’s presentation is handy for reminding us that small commerce is just as much ‘at risk’ or ‘dominated’ online by big business as is a consumer. There’s a strong sense here that commerce is fundamental to human interaction – a kind of interesting community oriented capitalism. What ‘big consumerism’ has done is to alienate us from our authentic cultures of buying and selling, in a manner similar to being alienated from the fruits of our labour (a bit of a stretch I know, but it does give some sense of what paech is driving at