The Six Pillars Of Social Commerce

Ever heard about F-commerce?

Yes, you probably have: Facebook Commerce was supposed to be the future of e-commerce. Was, because we now know that things are not that simple: One cannot multiply one’s revenue simply by adding a Shop tab on their Facebook Page. So is Facebook Commerce nonsense? Mostly, yes. But more importantly, F-commerce is just a tiny part of what social media can bring to e-merchants. Continue reading

Who Should Manage Your Social Media Presence?

Small business owners and managers are facing the question of “Who should manage our company’s social media presence?” with increasing puzzlement. If you are one of them, don’t feel bad about it.

First, you are not the only one who feels a bit lost in this subject. Second, the discussions you can find regarding to this matter are confusing indeed.

Ultimately, the question boils down to content creation. More accurately, relevant content creation. What you call relevant is dependent on what you are talking about, who you are talking to and when you are talking.  Continue reading

Birthday or Funeral? – DOStalgy

She is 30 years old. She has provided us with lots of excitement and – admittedly – some frustration. Though she – the personal computer or the PC as we used to call her among friends – is not dead yet but her years are numbered.

It was exactly thirty years ago, August 12, 1981 when the first IBM PC 5150 went on sale. The inflation adjusted price was roughly the equivalent of ten current laptops while its computing power was about a mere 1/4000th of one contemporary machine.

Fast-forward three decades, DOS, XT,  AT, x86, Windows 3.1, mouse, Intel Pentium, Internet and we arrive to the second decade of the second millennia, the era of wireless networks, mobile devices and cloud computing, which also marks the end of PC domination.

Is this just another typewriter story?

We saw the mimeograph (stencil duplicator), the telex, the typewriter, the fax and numerous other machines go obsolete and suppressed by more modern technology. We abandon our most loved and hated desktops for tablets and smartphones which can do all the jobs while we are on the move and keep us connected and entertained at the same time. Is this just another tale of the technological evolution or is it something different?

Mark Dean, Chief Technology Officer, one of a dozen IBM engineers who designed the first PC puts the change in a very different context on his blog:
“PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device—though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets—but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.”

Technology is changing the way we are connected and the way we communicate at such a rapid pace that while we try to keep up, we hardly have the time to step back and realize the potential future impact of the change.

As mobile devices with ever shrinking size keep us connected to each other just as much as they connect us to cloud computing and 3D applications blur the reality with virtual reality, we’ll find ourselves in a world that is organized along new paradigms before we know it.

There will be absolutely no business, big or small, who will not feel the effect of this fundamental change in human to human and human to machine interaction that is facilitated by current technology.

Adaptive capability has always occupied a prime placement on the list of common qualities of successful businesses in the past but there is a change with regards to this too. Adaptive capability migrates from the “Key to Success” list to the very first chapter of the “Business Survival Guide to the 21st Century”.

When the slightest skepticism arises over what these changes might bring to your business, remember: Ken Olsen the CEO and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), a leading vendor of computer systems from the 1960s to the 1990s, said in 1977, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”.  DEC is long gone, we have more computers in our homes, offices, cars, briefcases and pockets than ever before and this is just the beginning of a new era.

Happy Birthday!

Executives Fail to Focus on Social Media Marketing Strategy

Recognizing its importance is not enough to make social strategy a reality – eMarketer

Social media marketing has gained its place at the table. eMarketer estimates 80% of companies with at least 100 employees will use social networks for marketing this year, up from nearly three in four last year. By 2012, usage will be even greater, and, in turn, efforts are becoming more sophisticated.

Most companies now recognize a well crafted social media strategy is a vital part of the marketing mix. In fact, a study from Jive Software and Penn, Schoen & Berland found 78% of executives thought a social business strategy was somewhat or very important to the future success of their business.

Despite this realization, most executives are still only in the tentative stages of making social strategy a priority.

Continue reading

Twitter or Tupperware party?

What if Twitter was gone tomorrow?
– We would use email.
What if e-mail was legislated out of existence?
– We would be back to the good ole in-home Tupperware parties.

The strategy stays the same.

We can’t ignore social media’s unique advantages:

  • While websites are recognized as commercial mouthpieces, blogs and Facebook fan pages are widely viewed as being more reputable and believable.
  • It gets easier every day to publish content across the web, allowing companies to engage with their audience quickly.
  • The right content can unleash a branding windfall as the content jumps from blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

So why can’t social media get any respect in the “sales” conversation?

The tools are great. It’s the strategy that stinks.

It happens when perfectly qualified marketing professionals assume that a social media tool is the solution rather than the “starting point”. What gets missed is the core premise of social media – the tools distribute engaging content. If your content is boring, thin, or disingenuous, the tools will only aggravate your problems, not solve them. Marketing decision-makers need to take a step back and ask a different question – “How does social media HELP me make my case to potential customers”

You can sum up social media’s sales bona-fides by saying: Social media closes the deal.

However the hero isn’t your fancy product or stellar service.  It’s something, actually someone, else entirely. Social media builds relationships with customers, fans and evangelists and gives them a platform to close the deal for YOU.

The tools and platforms are just the “means” for telling your story, establishing rapport, and motivating your community. If Twitter was gone tomorrow, we would use email. If email was legislated out of existence, we would be back to the good ole in-home Tupperware parties.

The strategy stays the same.