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Enterprise Social Technology: Helping Organizations Harness the Power of Social Media, Social Networking, Social Relevance Paperback – January 1, 2011
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About the Author
Scott Klososky, a seasoned speaker and entrepreneur, has founded several successful companies, including webcasts.com, a technology pioneer of the 1990s. The company's clients included IBM, Compaq, AOL, Hewlett-Packard, Enron International, Conoco Inc., and BMG Music, among others. Klosoky speaks professionally on subjects such as technology and leadership, and collaborated with H.R. Haldeman, Richard M. Nixon's chief of staff, on the New York Times bestselling book, The Haldeman Diaries.
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One of the book's strengths is the many examples of social tech use. Klososky summarizes success stories from British Airways, BBGeeks.com, Dell, and JetBlue, among others. Klososky also emphasizes the power of crowdsourcing to harnesses the talents of potential collaborators and provides examples from Starbuck's, Procter & Gamble, and FashionStake.com.
He walks us through the process of developing a social tech pilot project. And although it's difficult to measure the return on investment for social technology, Klososky shows how it can be done.
A Forgotten Asset: Current Web Presence
Often people forget about their website and other online sites they've created for their business in favor of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. But these websites are valuable assets in any online strategy. As Scott, explains, social networks are for having ongoing conversations and places like the corporate website are destinations where people go to do something specific (get information, purchase from you, request a quote, etc.). Figuring out how to unite current websites with social networks may be difficult to figure out, so Scott has provided 7 easy to understand (and follow) steps to a unified web presence:
1) Identify Your Constituents - While this may be obvious, some companies have different audiences with different needs and interests and trying to serve them all in one place may be ineffective. Properly identifying who you are trying to reach is key to any marketing strategy (offline or on).
2) Identify Actions - Having a clear call to action is one of the most missed parts of marketing strategies for many companies. If you spend a lot of effort building an audience, but it's not clear what they should do next, you're missing out on a lot of sales.
3) Create Conversations - Social networking is obviously about having conversations, but to unify your web and your social networking presence, you need to have them working in concert. People should know where to find you if they'd like to ask you a question or have a conversation (beyond just a contact form).
4) Define the Content Visitors Want - Some people may be interesting in your promotions, but the great majority of people aren't interested in being advertised to. You need to figure out what information you can provide that is of interest to your target audience.
5) Define Your Communication Style - How you communicate online should be directly tied to how you'd like people to view your brand. I find that it can help to list out attributes you'd like your brand to have associated with it if you thought of it as a person. Setting this style (and persona) ahead of time helps make sure that no one acts on behalf of the company in a way that isn't appropriate. Being cool and hip may not work for a button-down accounting firm (although that would be a cool differentiator in my opinion).
6) Send Advertisements - While promotion shouldn't be any more than 10% of the content you put out, it is required in order to make people aware of your social networking presences and also to leverage your audience to increase sales. Incentives or giveaways can be powerful motivators to get people to connect with you (just look at the success of sites like GroupOn).
7) Use Web Properties - You need to leverage your websites and other online presences to have places where people can take the actions you'd like them to once they've conversed and engaged with you on social networks. Social networks are great for short bursts of information and for having conversations, but they aren't so great at providing in-depth information or for converting sales. Websites can help you provide the in-depth information your audience wants, as well as providing locations where people can perform desired actions for your sales process (request info, purchase, etc.).
While none of this information is particularly new (I use a lot of the same strategies with my clients), Scott presents each step with actionable items and reasoning in a way that makes them applicable to any organization. I ended up highlighting a lot of this chapter just so I could use some of his explanations to get concepts across with my clients. Breaking down the process of integrating social technology with websites into 7 steps makes the concepts more easy to digest and therefore to implement.
Here are my overall thoughts:
Pros: The entire book is broken up into chapters which each stand along fairly well. Each chapter ends with a list of key points to cement in the important topics, but which could also be used to guide implementation of his ideas. There are also some great case studies to see how social media has been used by companies to drive revenue and results.
Cons: I was expecting more in-depth examples in some cases (for example, in creating a social policy -- not just in what the policies are, but how the company developed them). Some of the chapters seem more well-thought-out than others, which may be due much of the content being crowd-sourced. The chapter on measurement, for example, had steps, as well as good examples of different ways that a company could measure, but some of the topics that were mentioned within the explanations felt like they were trying to cover ground that was already covered.
Verdict: Enterprise Social Technology is a good read. If you have a company or are part of an organization, that's trying to figure out how to use social networking within your marketing strategy, this book can serve as a great guideline for getting things started. I also think it's a great book for anyone who is involved in social media or who is making decisions about whether to use social media because it covers a lot of the decision making that needs to be done for a social networking strategy to be successful.
The results--both highly readable and filled with useful information. My favorite chapter was actually the afterward, where they describe the entire crowdsourcing process in detail. Although I used crowdsourcing a bit for my first book the Findability Formula, Enterprise Social Technology has taken this new way of getting resources, information and assistance to a new level with fantastic results. I learned a lot!