This week I am at the European Conference on Social Media 2016. I’m presenting later today, and have a poster tomorrow, but will also be liveblogging here. As usual the blog is live so there may be small errors or typos – all corrections and additions are very much welcomed!
We are starting with an introduction to EM Normandie, which has 4 campuses and 3000 students.
Introduction from Sue Nugus, ACPI, welcoming us to the event and the various important indexing etc.
Christine Bernadas, ECSM is co-chair and from EM Normandie, is introducing our opening keynote Abi Ouni, Co-founder and CEO of Spectrum Group. [http://www.spectrumgroupe.fr/]
Keynote Address:Ali Ouni,Spectrum Group, France – Researchers in Social Media, Businesses Need You!!!
My talk today is about why businesses need social media. And that, although we have been using social media for the last 10-15 years, we still need some approaches and frameworks to make better use of it.
My own personal background is in Knowledge Manageent, with a PhD from the Ecole Centrale Paris and Renault. Then moved to KAP IT as Head of Enterprise 2.0, helping companies to integrate new technologies, social media, in their businesses. I belive this is a hard question â€“ the issue of how we integrate social media in our businesses. And then in 2011 I co-founded Spectrum Groupe, a consulting firm of 25 people who work closely with researchers to define new approaches to content management, knowledge management, to define new approaches. And our approach is to design end to end approaches, from diagnostic, to strategy development through to technologies, knowledge management, etc.
When Christine asked me to speak today I said â€œOK, but I am no longer a researcherâ€�, I did that 12-15 years ago, I am now a practitioner. So I have insights but we need you to define the good research questions based on them.
I looked back at what has been said about social media in the last 10-15 years: â€œOrganisationz cannot afford not to be listening to what is being said about them or interacting with their customers in the space where they are spending their time and, increasingly, their money tooâ€� (Malcolm Alder, KPMG, 2011).
And I agree with that. This space has high potential for enterprisesâ€¦ So, lets start with two slides with some statistics. So, these statistics are from We Are Socialâ€™s work on digital trends. They find internet activity increasing by 10% every year; 10% growth in social media users; and growth of 4% in social media users accessing via mobile; which takes us to 17% of the total population actively engaging in social media on mobile.
So, in terms of organisations going to social media, it is clearly important. Ut it is also a confusion question. We can see that in 2010 70%+ of big international organisations were actively using social media, but of these 80% have not achieved the intended businesses. So, businesses are expending time and energy on social media but they are not accruing all of the benefits that they have targeted.
So, for me social media are new ways of working, new business models, new opportunities, but also bringing new risks and challenges. And there are questions to be answered that we face every day in an organisational context.
The Social Media Landscape today is very very diverse, there is a high densityâ€¦ There are many platforms, sites, mediasâ€¦ Organisationsa re confused by this landscape and they require help to navigate this space. The choice they have is usually to go to the biggest social media in terms of total users â€“ but is that a good strategy? They need to choose sites with good business value. There are some challenges when considering external sites versus internal sites â€“ should they replicate functionality themselves? And where are the values and risks of integrating social media platforms with enterprise IT systems? For instance listening to social media and making connecting back to CRMs (Customer Relationship Management System(s)).
What about using social media for communications? You can experiement, and learn from thoseâ€¦ But that makes more sense when these tools are new, and they are not anymore. Is experimenting always the best approach? How ca we move faster? Clients often ask if they can copy/adopt the digital strategies of their competitors but I think generally not, that these approaches have to be specific to the context and audience.
Social media has a fast evolution speed, so agility is requiredâ€¦ Organisations can struggle with that in terms of their own speed of organizational change. A lot of agility is requires to address new technologies, new use cases, new skills. And decisions over skills and whether to own the digital transformation process, or to delegate to others.
The issue of Return on Investment (ROI) is long standing but still important. Existing models do not work well with social media â€“ we are in a new space, new technology, a new domain. There is a need to justify the value of these kinds of projects, but I think a good approach is to work on new social constructs, such as engagement, sentiment, retention, â€œRORâ€� â€“ Return on Relationship, collective intelligenceâ€¦ But how does one measure these?
And organisations face challenges of governanceâ€¦ Understanding rules and policies of engagement on social media, on understanding issues of privacy and data protection. And thought around who can engage on social media.
So, I have presented some key challengesâ€¦ Just a few. There are many more on culture, change, etc. that need to be addressed. I think that it is important that businesses and researchers work together on social media.
Q1) Could you tell me something on Return on Relationshipsâ€¦ ?
A1) This is a new approach. Sometimes the measure of Return on Investment is to measure every conversation and all time spentâ€¦ ROR is about long term relationships with customers, partners, suppliersâ€¦ and it is about having benefits after a longer period of time, rather than immediate Return on Investment. So some examples include turning some customers into advocates â€“so they become your best salespeople. That isnâ€™t easy, but organisations are really very aware about these social constructs.
Q1) And how would you calculate that?
Comment) That is surely ROI still?
Comment) So, if I have a LinkedIn contact, and they buy my software, then that is a return on investment, and value from social capital… There is a time and quality gain too – you identify key contact and context here. Qualitative but eventually quantitative.
A1) There absolutely is a relationship between ROR and ROI.
Q2) It was interesing to hear your take on research. What you said reminded me of 20 years ago when we talked about “Quality Management” and there was a tension between whether that should be its own role, or part of everyone’s role.
A2) Yes, so we have clients that do want “community management” and ask us to do that for them – but they are the experts in their own work and relationships. The quality of content is key, and they have that expertise. Our expertise is around how to use social media as part of that. The good approach is to think about new ways to work with customers, and to define with our consulting customers what they need to do that. We have a coaching role, helping them to design a good approach.
Q3) Thank you for your presentation. I would like to ask you if you could think of a competency framework for good community management, and how you would implement that.
A3) I couldn’t define that framework, but I think rom what I see there are some key skills in community management are about expertise – people from the business who understands their own structure, needs, knowledge. I think that communication skills need to be good – writing skills, identifying good questions, an ability to spot and transform key questions. From our experience, knowing the enterprise, communication skills and coordinating skills are all key.
Q3) What about emotional engagement?
A3) I think emotional engagement is both good and dangerous. It is good to be invested in the role, but if they are too invested there is a clear line to draw beteen professional engagement and personal engagement. And that can make it dangerous.