SXSWi 2011: Activating Business Social Graphs

Peter Fasano is a Dachis Group engagement manager with deep experience in making social business work for big brands. Like The Coca-Cola Company.

Peter’s panel proposal is In the Hive – Activating Business Social Graphs. Let me know if this sounds familiar:

The state of now for you is a game of whack-a-mole. You are looking for a future state of scalability for you, your team and your business. Social Media Marketing, Servicing or Communications has matured through your enterprise and so must your integrated approach to becoming a socially calibrated business. Your internal band of rockstar marketers, service agents or PR teams have risen from the early days of passionate workers and social media hobbyists to the formal or informal social media leadership of your organization.

You have engaged your community on nights and weekends to meet their growing demands and growing numbers. Your social outposts have grown to include private or public communities, social networking sites, blogs and the works. Your communities are diverse and have moved from self-policed to moderated. Communities have moved beyond your “official outposts” to Twitter posts, blogs, or YouTube channels about your business – to keep up with the growing voices you have now activated Listening Services to keep track of conversation on your “owned” social outlets and then to the “outside” voices. Your efforts have earned additional resources and the attention of the Marketing or PR teams that want to push messages through status updates.

Has the organic collection of people, process and technology reached its limits?

Peter’s panel will address these questions:

  1. Does your org chart map to your knowledge chart?
  2. How to identify and map your knowledge centers?
  3. What are the incentives needed to activate your business graph?
  4. How do you optimize information flow through the enterprise?
  5. What is the business justification for this resource shift?

To learn more, give a thumbs up to In the Hive – Activating Business Social Graphs.

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Simple thoughts on Facebook’s complex plan

One of the biggest stories in social media this week is Facebook’s plan to expand its platform availability and allow users to link disparate online activities into a single social graph. I see this as a case of “aggregate or be aggregated” – and the biggest question mark is how Google will respond.

There’s some great writing out there already on Facebook’s plan: Robert Scoble describes Facebook’s ambition. Jeremiah Owyang calls it a Crusade of Colonization. Shiv Singh sees it as Social Glue.

Some of my quick thoughts:

  • Network effects aren’t unlimited. Facebook operates the universe’s largest social network. We all know about the benefits of network effects – but unlike a theoretical hockey-stick graph, past a certain point network effects diminish. You don’t have to search too hard for people who’ve gone through a “friend/follower purge” to reduce network noise. Bigger networks aren’t always better from a user perspective.
  • Natural monopolies have huge barriers to entry. Scoble uses a railroad analogy; earlier this week, Shawn Morton told me a story about a speaker who equated social media with the nuclear power industry. While Facebook’s investment in technical and human resources is substantial, it’s not exactly a natural monopoly on the scale of a railroad, electric utility, or airline. And the nature of social technologies tend to disrupt institutions; don’t be surprised if a new entrant – comprised of staff who’ve departed Facebook – undercuts Ubiquitous Liking.
  • This isn’t free. Keep in mind that participating in this effort isn’t free for anyone. Individuals gain recommendations from friends, so far on things like hockey players and jorts. The cost is a bit of privacy. Brands stand to gain referral traffic. The costs include sharing customer data. Whether individuals and brands decide to “pay” those latent costs, vis-a-vis personal experience or online business goals, will determine Facebook’s success or not.

I’d add a “like” button here but my blogging platform’s not ready yet, so you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way…in the comments below.