Social business is easy to say, hard to do.
Consumer and media expectations of brands are often unfair and irrational. Budgets shift to new media at a glacial pace. Value chains have been optimized and resist change with skills of green and black belts.
Institutions by necessity operate at scale and have only recently found social solutions to match. Not every complainer on Twitter is a boy with his finger in the dam. But today’s solutions still aren’t easy, but just like e-commerce didn’t shutter retail doors overnight, social isn’t putting companies immediately out of business.
Several years ago, a friend at a software company told me of an analyst advisory session that didn’t turn out so well. The legacy business model was 25% of revenue from sales and 75% from customer support. When asked what this meant from a social servicing perspective, the analyst recommended that the company get into a new industry because the 75% would be totally eroded in a few years by blogs and discussion boards. It hasn’t and the analyst was never asked back.
So we’ve identified the big issues with social business – now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and solve them. I think the dirty work has just begun and I’m seeing many people who don’t necessarily want or need to stick around to see how the story ends up close. We’re moving into The Age of Infrastructure and heavy lifting is required.
Scalability was identified early, as individuals brought tools and ideas from their personal lives into the workplace. I’m starting to focus on newly emerging issues, drawing on our work with social business professionals…and the by-products of most organization’s processes have clearly left some organizational mucking to be done.