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Social cosmology: Social media is creating its own multiverse

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Social media is creating its own universe.

blahoIf you really think about what’s happening, the social media/enterprise media sphere is crashing into other worlds:

Social media is creating a communications multiverse.

Fear is pervasive regarding social technologies and the empowerment it offers consumers, but companies that are dragging their collective worries, in effect, tying themselves to the gravity of a black hole of fear — should look to thought leaders.

100 of the biggest that do not live in solitude

When it comes to the Fortune 100, social media is alive and well and becoming a multiverse. The 100 were mentioned 10.4 million times in one month.

As the social media universe expands, Twitter has gone from:

  • 50 million tweets per day in 2010, to
  • +140 million tweets per day in 2011, to
  • 340 million tweets per day in March 2012

Looks like Twitter is alive and well and only beginning to explore where it can go.

  • More than 1 billion tweets are sent every three days

Imagine the intellectual capital of that … (For more stats on Twitter, see the below infographic.)

Tools are neither bad nor good

Upon invention, was the printing press bad or good? I recently had the opportunity to look at an old press. It sat there like an objet d’art — a tool that could be loved for what it could facilitate: communication.

SocialMind: Everywhere, further, faster

Some tweets aren’t what you or I may deem important. But some will contain the germ of creativity that will thrust us forward. Ideas. Concepts. High-quality information.

Consider how new Twitter still is and then use your ability to see into the future, to focus on worlds within worlds, on universes merging and acquiring information from each other, sharing and pushing the capabilities of SocialMind deeper and further, exploding the capacity of what information-sharing can bethink.  Think potential.

And there will be more tools.

What the social multiverse will become lives only in the imagination. Perhaps it hasn’t even been imagined yet:

  • 87 per cent of companies are using at least one social media platform
  • 82 per cent of global companies are using Twitter

The average number of Twitter accounts each corporate account is following increased 182% since 2010. Companies that fear the reputational damage that social technologies can create are listening to what the social multiverse is saying.

Thought leaders aren’t shrinking away from social media: They’re embracing it

Why? Because they understand the awesome power of the social multiverse.

  • Each corporate YouTube channel averages 2.02 million views
  • 79 per cent of corporate accounts engage on Twitter
  • Corporate accounts on Twitter and Facebook average more than 10 accounts on each

Companies in Europe are using accounts in mulitple languages to reach out, to inform, to embrace. Europe, by its geopolitical and multilingual construction, already knows there are multiple worlds.

Lead or resign yourself to being a follower

Raising awareness and increasing brand equity is increasingly hard to do — especially if you’re not using the channels that 100 of the greatest companies in the world are using. And if you’re not using these channels:

What does that say about your organization, and, what will your customers think of you?

Will they see you as a thought leader?

Or a follower …

We’re not talking about posting random nonsense in the social media multiverse. We’re talking about sharing and distributing high-quality content. We’re talking about communicating, about reaching out like light particles that travel boldly at break-neck speed.

These particles of light carry messages. When it comes to the quality of messages, the rest is up to us.

Reach your customer, share your intellectual capital in a way that only lived in the realm of science fiction a short while ago.

Fear of social channels will do what fear does. It will distract our attention with end-of-the-world scenarios (think Mayan calendar), but those who know the future has been changed forever are already going social.

Twitter is the most popular social media platform in Latin American. Its user growth tripled in China from Q1 to Q2, 2012 (35.5 million). This isn’t a strictly developed world phenomenon. This is a universe.

A multiverse.

Multiple possible universes, a click, a tap or a keyboard shortcut away

Multiple possible universes of information and of information-sharing, including the history of everything we’ve created, everything we know and have done … Could such tools be coming to a future near you? Twitter’s planning a massive archive available to each user.

Channels. Channels that will reach out into everything that exists and will exist. That’s the potential of social media.

If creation is cosmology, then we will create new cosmologies, new universes.

It’s coming.

When Da Vinci set down his brilliance in his notebooks, did he know that his work would live today? Did he know it would be digital? Did he know he’d be touching the face of an audience …

  • that could send short messages at the speed of light?
  • that could attach all kinds of intellectual property or images and share them in seconds?

Channels and social Galileos: Leaving behind the flat Earth

Channels can be used in mulitple ways. They are tools. What we will develop, share and disrupt with those channels will be a flat Earth that will give way to digital  Galileos finding celestial bodies, spheres. Twitter is simply one example.

Social Galileos will project their ideas and their creativity into the multiverse. Social Galileos will peer into holes in space and find new worlds. We’re already busy compiling archives of tweets that have gone before.

And we’re just peering through the portal.

Feeling gravity’s pull into the great beyond

That is the promise of these technologies: that they will bring the brilliance of our collective imagination to multiple thresholds and portals and push through like light pulled by the gravity of a black hole, bending, but finding spaces to create new worlds.

Because … we are human and we aspire toward and beyond the stars. Because … we want new worlds.

Because the next bold steps for humankind will be in the creation of our cosmologies.

 

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The social multiverse at work?

A friend of mine sent me the following, startled at how similar the beginning of it was to my pieces on the social multiverse. Interesting …

How Twitter Is Reshaping The Future Of Storytelling http://www.fastcoexist.com

Statistics: Burson-Marstellar

TNW.com

Some stats on Twitter courtesy Forbes:

twitsta

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Digital at the speed of light: Who’s afraid of social media?

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Companies fear of social media may be the greatest danger to companies’ digital strategies

Fear. Fear of a social planet.

Over the last few years, communications professionals have been challenged by the rise of social media. They also face the challenge of a consumer who has issues with trust.

Consumers feel burned by great financial forces that left many repositioning their opinions of the financial sector. The financial crisis has been a profound instructor. Companies need to communicate transparently in order to work at rebuilding trust.

If you monitor issues related to CSR/sustainability and social finance, you’ll find interesting comments left after articles. Read the wrong way, they can be paralyzing.

The virtual world can be filled with negatives about corporations, banks, fees and a litany of other topics. We live in a social world. Business is going to have to get used to consumers’ flexing their opinions socially.

Consumer empowerment is changing business. Businesses that aren’t getting it could be in for a universe of pain. An enormous part of the lifeblood of business is its ability to adapt to changing environments, opinions, priorities.

Seeing social tomorrow

Strategists work hard to understand the direction and impact of social enterprise. It’s important to see the grand scheme of things.

“Social” touches so many moving parts of the communications world.

Social enterprise isn’t one definition. Social technology isn’t Facebook. It’s not Twitter. Not alone. It’s a vast union of technologies converging, changing and moving, evolving at a pace that would freak Darwin out.

When Facebook went through a very public reputational (it is a word if you know Fombrun) convulsion, many linked social media as a whole with the avalanche of bad news that hit Facebook.

Social enterprise and social media: Evolution happening so fast, it’s hard to forecast what SocEnt/SocMed will become.

Social media: Where will ROI be tomorrow? Power in communications has always come through the integration of communications technologies.

Evolution. Don dark shades and miss the rays of light.

There is nothing to fear but change itself (for some)

Change.

Change can frighten.

With the flip of a tweet, Joe Average has become Superman. The creation of movements depends on the successful communication of ideas. The successful communication of ideas rarely results from someone sounding off, spreading impenetrable jargon out into the world.

But 140 characters, for those who learn to do it well, is a succinct statement to the universe. And the universe is listening. The universe is hungry.

The marketplace loves technologies that promise much. At the same time, the consumer craves a relationship based on trust. When 85 per cent say, worldwide, they expect companies to become actively involved in solving world issues*, brands have to notice.

How the elitist fails in communication

One of my professors used to say that if you go about sounding like an elitist, you’re not going to make a whole lot of friends. His popularity was due, largely, to his ability to communicate at a very grassroots level. A kind of Warren Buffett of the academic world.

He had a genuine love for his students. It came through loud and clear.

Joe Average doesn’t always have a well-researched opinion. But what Joe A. does have is the pulse of Main Street thumping through his veins. Digital Joe Average is the social revolution. The “x” to the exponent “many voices” that can come together and cause immense, pivotal social moments.

So, there’s Josephine and Joe A., looking for something they can believe in. A partnership.

Talk to any number of individuals involved in development in business or the not-for-profit sector, and you’ll see they welcome partnerships. Much is  accomplished through partnerships spanning inter-organizational objectives.

Partnerships connect people. Ideas are forces for change. Like anything worthwhile, opportunities come with challenges:

  • The challenge to rise up above the norm
  • The challenge to do things better
  • The challenge to break down “us” and “them” mentalities

Silos are vampires. Blackholes. They draw only for and into themselves to increase their own immortality.

Partnerships give birth to new life. They create out of a seed, an idea, a plan: potential.

When partnerships touch a great many people, then an incredible, transformative force is let loose.

Coming soon:

Why win-win thinking triumphs over fear

Update (Jan. 14, 2013):

Software Advice did an interesting experiment involving big brands recently. What the experiment shows is that even big brands can struggle with social media when it comes to employing social media best practices.

Bank of America had the best response rate. Still, the lack of response for most of these top brands is interesting:

Companies only responded to 14% of the tweets.

See the infographic here:

soc cust serv

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*Source: Havas Media

Social. Mobile. The future.

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This post continues from Social media is enterprise media.

The trend is the “send”

You often hear the expression “the trend is your friend” from portfolio managers. Might this be true when it comes to social media? Well, ask the Obama campaign.

By the end of this year:

  • Nearly 82 million U.S. mobile users will use a social networking site on their phone at least monthly, or more than a quarter of the total U.S. population
  • The vast majority of these users (95.5 per cent) will be checking social sites on a smartphone

and,

  • Smartphone users are about twice as likely as overall mobile phone users to do so this year

By 2014, eMarketer estimates:

  • Nearly half of the total U.S. mobile population will be mobile social networkers

Mary Meeker just gave a presentation saying there will be:

  • 1 billion smartphone users but 5 billion mobile phone users by the end of 2012

This means 1/5 of the phones in the world will be social-enabled phones.

The signpost at the road ahead is social-enabled and mobile.

Inherit the future:

It’s the millenials, dude …

  • 43 per cent of people aged 20-29 spend more than 10 hours a week on social media sites

These kids are the future. While you might not want to put your social media strategy in the hands of a 22-year-old, you do want to pay attention to where these future consumers are going to live. And more and more, they’re living and playing digitally.

But there’s a social boom amongst the boomers, too

While boomers weren’t first-in, they’re also embracing the social sphere:

  • Social networking use was only 20 per cent in 2010 but is now 51 per cent amongst those 50-64
  • So, amongst the 50-64 set social has more than doubled

As Boomers and businesses become increasingly social, the opportunities for businesses providing social services will also increase. More and more businesses will want to incorporate social strategy in their marketing, communications and CRM initiatives. Businesses are forging development programs in an integrated strategy to reach and engage audiences faster and more cheaply.

Those who built it saw them come

Some companies saw the opportunity in the social world we now live in: a rapidly growing social cybersphere.

Forbes says:

  • 85 per cent of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure

Any resource that can deliver an increase in market exposure for a brand is a resource business can’t afford to ignore. Remember e-commerce?

Despite the readjustment of the tech bubble, leaders in e-commerce like Amazon have gone on to become enormously successful. Amazon has outpaced both the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrials by over 12,000 per cent respectively since 1997 in stock appreciation (at time of writing). While we have to pay attention to valuations when they get stretched, we also have to understand that leaders will emerge, and a reluctance to embrace new social resources may leave companies stranded like a non-functional rover on Mars.

Keep it about sales, salespeople

At the end of the day, everyone, everyone is a sales person. We all project who we are onto the world. In the C-Suite, everyone has to be a salesperson. It’s inevitable. As someone develops professionally reaching into the higher levels of management, sales skills are an absolute. It doesn’t matter if this is in the private, government or non-profit sectors. Developing something out of nothing’s not a bad thing.

(More on sales to come.)

While some managers are afraid of the “social” in social media, others are embracing it. The enterprise advantage is not about wasting productivity, it’s about enabling it.

Coming soon:

SocRev: The social revolution and its potential to revolutionize the corporation

Would you have said no to Galileo?

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Source: eMarketer

Written by johnrondina

November 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Social media is enterprise media: How business can expand with the social universe

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Implement first. Gain competitive advantage.

If you build it, they will come

 

Strategy. Tactics. Integration.

With anything new, there are always those who implement first. So it goes with social media. Some business leaders may be put off by the “social” in social media. It might be better to think of the technology as enterprise media.

Facebook’s had its difficulties, but what’s sure about social media is that several companies have realized that social media represents a strong competitive advantage. It’s not about social tactics, only. Like all communications, strategy and tactics have to align. Integration is key.

What’s happening regarding those who are using social technology?

The road to success is built one strategic brick at a time

Success. It speaks for itself. When companies that have been successful with social media are surveyed, the same findings come up again and again. Success is defined through:

  • Developing a strategy
  • Getting the C-suite to prioritize that strategy
  • Dedicating social media staff to execute social media strategy

What are marketers and communicators doing?

Marketers and communicators, by the very nature of their work, either jumped or were forced into the social space. Since they’re “in”, what are they doing?

  • 94 per cent of all businesses with a marketing department used social media as part of their marketing platform
  • Almost 60 per cent of marketers are devoting the equivalent of a full work day to social media marketing development and maintenance
  • 85 per cent think social media networks/tools will increase business development
  • 69 per cent think it will increase traffic to corporate websites
  • 65 per cent think it will improve marketplace insights

The numbers are compelling. Executives see the potential the digital universe offers to business. A new universe. Will executives invest in it?

Without investment, ideas are just loose currency rolling into a gutter of “what if”. But when businesses invest in the social media space?

How are companies that have already achieved “buy-in” doing?

They built it, and business came:

 When you commit, you produce a hit

Without a doubt, strategy’s important.

Are you developing a strategy? Do you have one? Is senior management on board?

How’s it going for the businesses that had the courage and foresight to invest in a social future?

Research indicates social enterprise initiatives add value to the bottom line:

  • 77 per cent of people with 3 or more years of experience commit more than 6 hours weekly to social media marketing

Of those:

  • 72 per cent  saw new partnerships — most of it B2B
  • 78 per cent gained leads from social media marketing
  • 75 per cent improved search engine rankings

Light through the threshold:

Opportunity

Since marketing and communications executives expect social enterprise to grow, the opportunity is in early integration.

  • Only 30 per cent of businesses are getting help with some part of their social media marketing

Only 30 per cent.

  • Seven out of ten businesses are ripe for individuals, internal or external, or an organization able to help businesses as they become increasingly social enterprises

Companies that realize social enterprise is here to stay, and:

  • Develop strategy
  • Prioritize that strategy

and then,

  • Execute that strategy

… are going to be ahead.

Executives see the potential. Highly entrepreneurial firms that move quickly to seek competitive advantage will:

  • Gain a foothold in an area of marketing and corporate communications that is bound to develop partnerships/relationships in the future
  • Partnerships/relationships lead to business development

and

  • Better communication
  • Better communication leads to change throughout organizations

It’s this organizational change that will reveal increasing opportunities.

Some of these opportunities may not have even been born in the collective imagination yet.

But they will be. 

I’ll be continuing posts on Social media is enterprise media: How business can expand with the social universe

Coming soon:

Social. Mobile. The future.

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Stats: 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
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