An experiment with #socbiz & #e20

I’ve just set up an experimental site called Basically what the site does is aggregate Tweets for hashtag content #socbiz and #e20 plus the normal variants of e2.0, enterprise 2.0 and social business. I’m going to let in run for a while and see what happens. My motives for setting it up can be seen here.

One thing I’ve learned already is just how creaky the SEO is on this site so going to load Yoast up and do some serious tweaking too.

Impact of the snow on the Social Business

Earlier in the year I wrote about the impact of disrupted travel caused by Iceland’s volcano and the follow on impact on innovation in the enterprise. With the UK and much of Europe turned into an iceland and air travel freezing to a halt (at least here near Heathrow), with treacherous roads and the wrong snow on the railway tracks, it’s worth revisiting this and looking at how this will impact the drive to create a social business powered economy.
Here’s what I wrote back in clement April as key topics:
  • Enterprise social network and related software – online meetings, video conferencing and TelePresence used to overcome the lack of flights.
  • Work based networks connect up stranded employees -shows importance of software in crisis management
  • Work based networks connect up stranded employees – self help networks formed
  • Up to date info and help/discussion for stranded employees – shows how enterprise social networks overcomes issue of swamped out call centres and ‘your call is important to us’ situations
  • Mustering / accounting for people – networks can account for people (possible geo location additions)

To the snow we might add self help information, say #uksnow which graphically shows where the snow is falling and in what quantity and depth. Plus the miserable communications from the guys who run Heathrow, BAA – pants, guys pants and the potential for Twitter to overcome at least deal a bit better with some of their inadequacies.

But more importantly, I think this cold spell is going to spell out the advantages of being a social business now – the early and fuller adopters will win out here. As McKinsey have shown, those making the most investments and taking the strongest initiatives are showing the highest gains: The rise of the networked enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday. These companies are networked up – they don’t need all their teams sitting in the same offices to be productive and those both in and out the office can connect, share, exchange data, ideas, images, video etc etc just as well as they can in the office. For those companies that insist that ‘bums on seats’ means people doing work, my oh my how they will be suffering if their workforce can’t get in.

So in sum, I can see this cold weather stimulating the drive to the social business – it simply makes good business sense, what ever the weather.

The Social Business Scorecard IV, or ROI made easy

Ok then, following on from previous posts on social media scorecard and E2.0 ROI, let’s tie them together, add some other factors and prepare the way to churn out some numbers. Here’s a progress towards a social business balanced scorecard:

Goal Social Business Activities Candidate Social Business Metrics
Employee Engagement Increase employee engagement via genuine dialogue and polyphonic communication channels. Overcome Generational Shift. Discussing! Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Polls, Feedback from Social Media Channels (% Csat), CSAT on Generation – Y + Millenials + Boomers
Innovation Increase level of innovation via Innovation Wikis (e.g., Cisco I-Zone), Competitions and ‘wisdom of crowds’ gathering of info activities. Listening! Number of ideas submitted, number of successful ideas turned into pilots, number of pilots entering the market as new products. Time to market ratios.
Increase Productivity Increased productivity % increase, contribution in $/£ per employee
Improve Customer Experience Increase revenue per customer, increase engagement from the customer, social marketing, brand protection Customer retention / satisfaction, inputs into marketing process, overall cost of marketing $/£ per $/£ sale. Brand insurance.
Social Engagement Connections, sociality of employees via Enterprise Social Networks, 2.0 profiles, Tagging across the Enterprise, Expert Locators, Silo Busting Social Network Analytics, (NodeXL), Measure of Relations, Overcoming Geo/Time barriers with synchronous & asynchronous comms / collaboration = decreased travel budget. ratio of flights/meetings vs online engagement.
Learning Social Learning, sharing of information, 2.0 Training, e-learning, EMS. Cost of training, number of courses taken/passed, diversity of learning offerings, Customer satisfaction/CSAT Degree of ‘Knowing what we know’ better.
Sales & Turnover Social Software as cumulative competitive Advantage. Increased Sales and Turnover + Productivity Sales figures, sales generated per employee at employee cost (as above inc productivity).

How to calculate the ROI of E2.0 / Social Business projects
Social Media Balanced Scorecard III
Determining the Value of Social Business ROI: Myths, Facts, and Potentially High Returns
How To Calculate the ROI of Enterprise 2.0
Creating the Social Media Balanced Scorecard, doing the undoable….
The Balanced Scorecard For IT: Value Metrics. Forrester
Measuring Social Media ROI is a pipe dream

Hard Boiled Social Business: a zone of engagement

A while ago on Twitter I somewhat bad-temperedly remarked that “This E 2.0 or Social Business debate is about as useful as which end of a boiled egg to crack open 1st”. My reasoning here was that for any of us actually battling as practitioners in the enterprise, a discussion on nomenclature is not exactly high on our priorities. Since then I’ve been reconsidering whether ‘social business’ is a better term to use than ‘Enterprise 2.0’ (or its shortened form as E.20).

So far I’ve reached the conclusion that E.20 still has mileage, but that social business offers a chance to both widen and deepen what we mean by the use of collaboration technologes in the enterprise and more particularly what we hope to achieve by them.

Gia Lyons at Jive recently posted a really useful article on this topic: Social Business Strategists: Social Media vs. Enterprise 2.0. Gia was responding to the Altimeter Group’s The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Be Proactive or Become ‘Social Media Help Desk’ and the Corporate Social Media Strategist and the role of the Enterprise 2.0 Strategist.

I’m coming to increasingly think that it’s essential that these work in tandem, or that a new over-arching role or team is needed in the enterprise to synch both internal collaboration and communications (E2.0) and social media marketing and PR. This creates an holistic sense of the brand as something that has meaning both inside and outside the company. What this means is in part:

  • Internal Communications as articulating the brand inside the company
  • Saying internally, what the enterprise says externally to customers, media and stakeholders
  • A conversation that engages both customers and employees

Where these activities overlap creates an interface, a new zone of engagement.

I’ve tried to create a diagram of how this might look:

Social Business / E 2.0 zone of engagement
Zone of Engagement

(please don’t steal my image & if you must ‘borrow it’ do provide a clear citation of source and link…)

On the eggs

“…our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons past. It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for refuge to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.’
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathon Swift

Social Business Gallery #3: Evolve to Enterprise 2.0 & more…

Gallery 3 in a collection of presentations and videos from some of the best E 2.0 minds, I collected together for a project at work. Now shared with a wider audience.

Previous: Social Business Gallery #2: Enterprise 2.0 Demystified & more…

Next: Social Business Gallery #4: Success & Struggles @ UBM & more…

Social Business Gallery #2: Enterprise 2.0 Demystified & more…

A great Preso from Susan Scrupski @itsinsider to start off this Social Business / E 2.0 Gallery.



Social Business Gallery #1

These are a collection of really informative presos and videos I pulled together for a project at work, now sharing with a wider audience. There are some fine 2.0 minds out there!

Social Business Gallery #1
Social Business Gallery #3

Social Business Gallery #1

This is the first in a collection of social business software galleries I collected together for a project I’ve been working on for the last 17 months or so. I finish in a couple of weeks and thought it would be useful to share with a wider audience. My selection criteria is simple – the presos and films are fun and educational.



A collection of Social Software Videos and Presentation #1

Trillions from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

We Think

How will you manage?

More to follow…

How to calculate the ROI of E2.0 / Social Business projects

An interesting document has come my way from IDC, “Determining the Value of Social Business ROI: Myths, Facts, and Potentially High Returns“.  To my mind, the report provides a simple and elegant way of measuring ROI in real terms, it highlights a very important principle of unified social strategy and spells out even more potential gains when we look at the broader picture.

How to calculate the ROI of E2.0

To business: the report points to the way of precisely calculating the ROI of social business or Enterprise 2.0 projects. It does this by debunking a couple of myths, basically fluffy measurements where ROI becomes ‘return on impact’ and the like; and concentrates on the ‘brass tacks’:

“To calculate ROI, in its simplest terms, means that companies must have more money coming in than money being spent on something…[] ROI compares gains with costs and it relates very specifically to money.”

This of course is the literally the bottom line, tangible results in the accounts. So how do they think this can be measured? Leaving aside their arguments on Cashflow Analysis and Net Present Value, they see Social Business gains in the following areas:

  • Sales Revenue
  • Customer Insights
  • Brand Protection
  • Lead Generation
  • Call Center Operations

For all these gains, IDC details how they would be generated, for example sales revenue is increased by ‘accelerated customer acquisition rates and decreased customer churn’; customer insights leads enables the company to ‘leverage real-time insights to accelerate product development, messaging, and go-to-market strategy’ and lead generation gains are seen in the ‘lower cost of lead acquisition through less expensive social channels’.

Against these, they detail the costs as follows:

  • People
  • Technology

These costs are straightforward, the people needed to run the projects, cost of software and hosting from Microsoft, Jive or whoever…

The ROI is therefore calculated by subtracting the costs from the gains and IDC provide and example that pumps out a 561% gain. To the skeptical, I can best advise read the report in full, I have obviously and by necessity simplified here.

A Unified Social Strategy

Earlier on I mentioned a key principle of a unified social strategy, let me spell this out if I may. IDC see internal social business practices completely in synch with external social media activities. The gains we see, are in the dialectical play between the two spheres, for example, customer insights provide a better service at a cheaper cost, which means the production of better products, morre aligned to customer needs. We can extend this out further and look at the potential for even more gains. How so?

Articulating the Brand

Well if we look at the brand, IDC see the gains in protecting the brand. They see social business software working to help limit the brand damage in an incident of whatever magnitude. I think there’s more here however. For me this is how social software can work in concert with internal communications initiatives. I may be a little radical here but I see internal communications as about articulating the brand internally, about making the brand something real and worthwhile for employees.

The importance of social business’ role here was shown for me at least in a recent Forrester report, Do Your Employees Advocate For Your Company? What was noteworthy here was the finding that where social business software was present the percentage of employees promoting or detracting the company

With Social Business: 48% promoters / 22% detractors

No Social Business: 31% promoters / 45% detractors

Getting employees engaged and aligned to the company goals is for many internal comms people a number one goal. This is also something that is measurable to the extent it too can be quantified to the bottom line. It is also pivotal to the brand, even more so if we think in terms of damage limitation. If something bad happens and 45% of the employees are cheesed off with the company they are not likely to be brand ambassadors…

In Conclusion

I liked this report for showing in simple and concrete ways how the ROI of our social business efforts can be measured. It also points to a holistic way of managing both sides of the social equation. It achieves this well and provides the foundation for going far deeper and to genuinely quantify how.

Update 1st Dec: checkout this great article on SocialCast’s site:

See also my blog on UBM and their ROI on social business / E 2.0

Adventures in media