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Last week I talked to three separate prospects that rely on memos to communicate to employees. Yes, memos. All three embarrasingly mentioned how they actually use the didn't-you-get-the-memo joke.

 

What's more is that all three companies have big investments in SharePoint. But despite a few solid use cases where SharePoint helps manage high-maintenance documents, most Team Sites were fragmented wastelands avoided by most business users. I asked, "How do people find the information and experts they need to get their jobs done?" The common response: "There's no one, easy way to do it. It takes forever. Some people blast out emails, others pick up the phone. Whatever people do, they figure something out, but it's painful and doesn't scale. We end up reinventing the wheel and waste tons of time."

 

I can go on detailing painful details, but you get the picture. Traditional intranets, by and large, are failures. In many cases, then, people resort to email, and though email is good at sending a message to a colleague, it's awful for broad collaboration.

 

Sound familiar? Does your company rely on emailed memos? Is your intranet a soul-sucking wasteland? There's got to be a better way, right? As Director of Product Marketing at Jive, I'm tremendously biased =o) but there is a better way. And it's a proven way. We have myriad customers that use Jive to power their social intranet. But rather than read from a biased marketer, check out what we've learned, and what our customers have learned by grabbing our social intranet toolkit here. We'll also be kicking off a ten-part social intranet blog series where you can learn more about the Social Intranet directly from Jive experts, customers, and partners and experts.

 

What about your traditional intranet? What horror stories do you have? Are you still sending memos?

 

(click for larger view, or download in the attachments)

http://www.jivesoftware.com/files/images/infographics/Social-Intranet-Infographic.jpg

What's that you say?

I can speak at JiveWorld12?  That's right!  .... You too can follow in the foot steps of people like:

Steven Bamberger Mark Brundage Heather Burks Jorge Camargo Sarah Carter Nick Crawford Kevin Crossman Patrick Darling Kim England Krissy Espindola Claire Flanagan Heather Foeh Karen Gettman Mary Hamilton Rachel Heskin Ted Hopton Jem Janik Brice Jewell Chad Jones Brooks Jordan Kevin Joyce Thomas Kallstenius Laura Kelso dkibbey@newark.com Tristan Kime Scott Lawley Trisha Liu Gary Lungarini Tracy Maurer todd.miller jeanne Eric Nielsen Maria Pinchevsky Robert Reti  Jon-Michael Richardson jen schultz Peter Simonsen John Stepper John Summers Daryll Swager Heather Tortorelli Andy Wang ... and that's just to name a "few"! =)

 

So how does it work? 

Wire transfers to a stranded Nigerian dignitary, tedious magazine subscription promotions, or a first born child perhaps?  No. (we tried those, they didn't work j/k). 

Instead, all you have to do is visit:  JiveWorld12 - Speakers and let us know what topics you'd like to present.  That's it!

Obligatory fine-print:  All submissions will be reviewed, and speakers will be notified in early May.

 

Sounds great, but what should I talk about?

For starters, we recommend that you talk about you!  But to kick start your mind, here are some thoughts to consider:

  • How did you come to embrace social business?
  • What was your journey like?
  • What obstacles did you overcome?  How did you overcome them?
  • Last but not least, what role did Jive play in this journey?

JiveWorld is a conference for the customer, by the customer.

Customers want to hear from you.  Your lessons learned, successes, and failures all make great topics!

 

Topics that are historically in high demand include:

The specified item was not found., The specified item was not found., The specified item was not found., The specified item was not found., Plugin Developer

 

Also, if you have questions, feel free to reach out to the Jive Community and ask past speakers about their experience(s).  A "few" have been listed above. =)

 

Hope to see your submissions soon, and look forward to inducting some new members into the JiveWorld Customer Speakers Club.

Note: There isn't a club "per say", but there is a secret handshake!  Am I kidding?  Submit your topic(s), and find out.

As popular as the term "social business" is in the industry today, there are still significant gaps in clarity about what it actually means.  Case in point:  Social Business, as defined by Wikipedia, is a:

... non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today ...

This article is about a business with a social objective. For organization designed around social tools, social media, and social networks, see Social media.

Strange. In my life, I can hardly remember looking for something on Wikipedia and not finding it.  My hard copy 1984 World Book encyclopedia, that's  a different story.  Granted, it points me to "social media." which I feel covers aspects of "social business," but is in my opinion, nowhere near comprehensive.  So I started to think, the problem has to be one of two scenarios:

  1. My definition of "social business" does not exist, is made-up, or may even be imaginary. (Yet Bigfoot and Bunyip appear to make the cut?  Note: Check CraigsList for pet griffin), or ...
  2. Wikipedia needs a correction, and I should finally sign up and share my 2.5 cents.

So before I get too carried away, I felt compelled to share my take on "social business."  To do so, I have assembled an evolutionary framework that illustrates how "social business" and perhaps "social media" can have such varied interpretations.  Goal:  To better articulate the "social business" landscape for companies looking to define/refine social adoption.

 

Social Business Evolution Portfolio
Display social business evolutionary progress.

10 Stages of Social Business Evolution

 

  1. Self Enablement
    Productivity driven by "the one"
  2. Team Enablement
    Productivity driven by "the few"
  3. Social Intranet
    Productivity available to "the many"
  4. Ubiquitous Access
    Productivity "anywhere" and "any time"
  5. Customer Engagement
    Integrated productivity and coordination with Customers
  6. Partner Enablement
    Integrated productivity and coordination with Partners
  7. Hybrid Enablement
    Integrated team productivity across Employees, Customers, and Partners
  8. Enterprise Enablement
    Integrated productivity and coordination with foundational Enterprise Systems
  9. Social Awareness
    Monitoring en masse, reacting in time, and engaging relevantly at scale
  10. Social Process Management
    Established social indicators driving foundational business processes (*see below)

 

In social business, much like evolution, few paths or destinations are identical. This is in part due to unique business models, but more so to the fact that social business evolution is not always linear. In many cases there are logical progressions, such as: Self Enablement to Team Enablement to Social Intranet; however, there are multiple points of entry for social business, and each journey can be influenced by numerous factors, such as industry exposure, business need, and/or available resources. Still, some of these "stages" may not even be relevant to a company, thus creating yet another permutation. The result? A Darwinian marketplace filled with varied perceptions and realities of social business sophistication and status. And of course, a link on Wikipedia that started this article.

 

What stage(s) are you most interested in?

What stage(s) are you currently adopting?

Did this help YOUR perception of "social business"? Perhaps influence your definition? 

    If so, you may find the Social Business Evolution Portfolio (above) helpful in not only visualizing your destination, but also communicating progress to stakeholders.

     Note:  If you like this evolutionary framework, I have attached a worksheet pre-configured to generate this chart.


Most important: Should I sign-up for Wikipedia and share my thoughts? =)

 

* Beyond the organic lessons learned in the previous 9 stages, "Social Process Management"  involves the onset of social data analytics, establishing key performance indicators (KPI), and instrumenting an organization to react (if needed).  For example, much like the way the federal funds rate and prime rate influence credit card rates, Social Process Management would look to KPIs for proven correlations and automate behaviors and process to ensure timely and appropriate reaction.  Practical applications can range dramatically between portfolios; however, here are some common themes I have already seen in primitive form:

  • Monitoring trends of key social topics for competitor footprint, and publishing ready-made content into social channels to reclaim the conversation. (a.k.a. low-touch newsjacking)
  • Monitoring aggregate conversation sentiment in external channels regarding products, and initiating conversation of product owner(s), management, and engineering on the social intranet to formulate a timely and relevant response.
  • Monitoring aggregate conversation sentiment in external channels to time releases of product promotions and corresponding marketing efforts

This is the primary reason Social Process Management is the last stage of Social Business evolution, as it should be based off actual results from your social business portfolio, not a hypothetical one.


** Productivity (as used in this post) infers enabling efficient execution of efforts that promote or add "positive value" to the business.

Social customer service in a nutshell

You have a question, another person has the answer. You learn from the answer and share what you've learned with others. Everyone benefits from everyone else's efforts. Now contrast that with the fragmented systems, the barriers to communication, and duplicated effort that typify traditional customer service processes.  It becomes a journey just to get to an answer that may lie with your colleagues, just feet (or meters) away.

 

I've learned a lot from our customers over the last 5 years. I've seen the difficulties customer service teams face when handling questions - first hand.  I know how those pain points can be reduced or removed by social solutions through frictionless information flow and sharing. And I've found that every customer service team needs metrics to measure value and promote further investment once the honeymoon period of 'new software' is over.

 

So how exactly does traditional customer service go wrong? And how does social customer service provide a better way? I helped put together the following infographic to show the impact of a complete social customer service solution, backed up by results from our customers.

 

You can learn more by grabbing our customer service toolkit here: Customer Service Solution Toolkit - Jive Social Business Software

And be sure to register for the upcoming customer service webinar here:  http://www.jivesoftware.com/events/webcast/register-accenture-thinkjar

 

(click for larger view, or download in the attachments)

http://www.jivesoftware.com/files/pdf/infographic/Customer-Service-Infographic.png

 

*Results may vary based extent of hydra infestation.

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.30.09 AM.pngYesterday was Super Tuesday in the United States.  It was almost exciting as the Superbowl in my house.  Throughout college, I worked for a state senator and then started my professional career off in public affairs.  For 24 hours, I was glued to the results of the Republican presidential primary.

 

I was especially excited to see the social statistics on this important day because as William Powers of Bluefin Labs stated, "social media is the frontier of democracy."

 

Even if you aren't a social media geek like me, it was impossible to login to Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram and not get overwhelmed by the amount of social buzz surrounding the candidates.  So I decided to setup a monitor using Jive Fathom Pro (which thanks to our community manager Ryan Rutan you can now download the app on the Jive Community), to see who generated the most social buzz.  I wanted to keep my sources small, so I just looked at Facebook and Twitter updates.

 

Official Results

Before I share the social stats, let's look at the official results:

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.14.49 AM.png

 

Social Mentions

As you can see above, all of the candidates failed to break out from the pack.  This was not the case for social.  Rick Santorum was the clear front runner, with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tied for second, and Ron Paul coming in last in terms of overall social mentions.

 

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.20.58 AM.png

 

 

Sentiment

However, pure mentions, weren't enough for me to analyze.  I also wanted to see general sentiment score. In Fathom the scale is from -100 to 100, negative to positive.  The data below shows that while Santorum had more mentions he had less positive tweets and status updates than the other candidates.

  • Romney: 9.88
  • Gingrich: 9.88
  • Paul: 9.63
  • Santorum: 7.13

 

Conversations

Since social is more than just numbers and data, here is a collection of some of the more interesting updates. (NOTE: I'm not taking sides, just pointing out some interesting conversations).

 

From the Candidates:

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.47.49 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.48.21 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.49.18 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.51.38 AM.png

 

From the General Public:

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.54.11 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 11.00.46 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.55.13 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.58.01 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 11.05.14 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 11.06.30 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 11.08.31 AM.png

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 11.11.40 AM.png

 

We've Already Moved On...

Screen shot 2012-03-07 at 10.57.23 AM.png

 

Did you do anything special for Super Tuesday on social media sites?

To explore this question further, I sat down with Tim Zonca Jive's Director of Product Marketing.


Q: Are companies really replacing their intranets with social business technologies?

In a recent conversation with an industry analyst, he interjected, "You keep using the word 'intranet' as you talk about using social business for internal collaboration. Do people really use Jive as their intranet?"  My response: you bet they do. Our customers have been using Jive to connect employees at some of the largest organizations on the planet. For example, Yum! Brands, the world's largest restaurant company, uses our products to foster unity and creativity in the business units in 110 countries. They have found that global collaboration has sparked innovation, saving critical time and money.

 

Q. What business challenges is the social intranet trying to solve?

Whether you want to replace your intranet, or just give it a facelift by adding a social layer, you need to figure out why. And "better collaboration" isn't a clear enough reason.

 

If you don't know what problems you're trying to solve, you'll end up underwhelming and confusing your execs, chasing pointless integrations, distilling a massive vendor list, and wasting time. (Check out this great post from John Stepper on the topic: When your audience says: “No time. No money. No thanks.”)

 

Regardless the industry, I've seen our customers deliver a social intranet to address these main challenges. They want to:

1. Give employees a way to find the information and experts needed to get their jobs done faster, better.

2. Foster a culture of innovation and shorten the time required to take new ideas to market and to implement new ideas within the company.

3. Reduce the costs associated with keeping employees informed, aligned and trained.

 

Q. Specifically, how does the social intranet help improve internal communication?

I see our customers solve these collaboration problems across a few broad areas of collaboration:

1. Corporate communications: The top-down dissemination of information across the company. This can come in the flavor of communications from execs and HR, career development & training initiatives, and communications steering organizational alignment.

2. Cross-department, cross-organization collaboration: This is the type of collaboration that spurs innovation and connects people to the information and experts, outside of their team, that will help them get their jobs done better, faster.

3. Team, department collaboration: Working better as a team, for example marketing coordinating product launch activities, sales teams working around opportunities, R&D collaborating on product development, support solving customer issues.

 

Q. Show me the results.  How do we know this is successful?

Don't forget why its important to solve these challenges: Value.  According to Social Business Value Survey results, by using social technologies, Jive customers see a 32% increase in ideas generated and 25% decrease in onboarding time.

 

Q. What else is important to understand about social intranets?

It is important to have integrations with key intranet technologies and back-end systems. Providing rich integrations with common systems and apps like SharePoint, Office, Outlook, along with a powerful integration layer for custom integrations should be assumed as givens for any social intranet platform. Likewise, a great mobile experience for workers is critical for effective internal collaboration.

 

Q. What's the #1 thing people exploring intranets should takeaway?

Overall, I think social intranets empower end users to collaborate more efficiently, and inevitability helping solve key business challenges.

 

What's your take? Are you trying to address these challenges? Is your current intranet cutting it? Where do you think social business technology can help most?

Do either of these images look familiar?

 

office-party.jpg  Boring-Office-Party.jpg

 

Chances are if you work in an office environment you have witnessed one or both of these scenarios - the holiday party that got a little out of control or the boring birthday "bash" consisting of cardboard cake in a conference room.  While the planners had the best intention of getting co-workers to bond, most of the time, these events are a bust.

 

IMO, one of the best ways to increase employee satisfaction and connectedness is through social! Social tools have made it easier for people to communicate with others that are important to them in their personal lives and better maintain friendships. I found this also to be true in the world of social business.

 

In an independent survey of our customers, respondents reported an increase in employee connectedness by 39%. The survey respondents also reported that social business tools increased employee satisfaction by 30%. All of this adds up to higher level of employee engagement. This is a critical metric that translates into real, hard-dollar ROI.

 

At consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, a .1% increase in employee engagement survey ratings at a store translates into a $100,000 bump in annual revenues at that location, according to research published in the Harvard Business Review.

 

A 2007 study by polling and research company Gallup Organization found that publicly traded companies rated in the top 25% in employee engagement metrics posted earnings per share (EPS) growth nearly 9% higher than EPS growth of comparable companies rated in the lower half of the study. According to other research from Gallup, more satisfied employees equates to higher levels of all manner of related KPIs including: customer loyalty (+56%), productivity (+50%) and employee retention (+50%).

 

In summary, higher engagement = higher profits.

 

Plus, it keeps remote workers like me from feeling too isolated.  Just check out the extreme I went to with my "office mate."

 

Screen shot 2012-03-05 at 3.51.39 PM.png

(Yes, this really is MY dog Bailey in a tie).

I want to hear from you.  Has social business technology increased employee connectedness at your organization?  If that's too intense for a Monday morning, what's your favorite office party memory? 

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