On Social Media Becoming Social Business – David Armano – Harvard Business Review

We are entering an age of social business: a purposeful, planned, orchestrated, and integrated way of doing business in a social context which may feel personal to the outside world but combine complexities internally within organizations that will need navigating. As further evidence to the shift, one can look to technology for yet another clue.

Over the past several years, forward-thinking companies have begun to understand the value of monitoring conversations, so they have purchased software licenses from platforms like Radian 6. Recently, Enterprise software behemoth Salesforce acquired the startup, sending the signal that listening to social conversations is only one slice of the bigger pie for business. The true opportunity lies in scaling and operationalizing “social”. If the next phase of social media is operating as a scalable social organization or business, then expect to see an explosion of activity in the following areas:

via On Social Media Becoming Social Business – David Armano – Harvard Business Review.

If you haven’t read this article please do so before continuing to read this post. David is a thought leader in the social media space. We have to thank David for validating our business model with his post.

He highlights 3 areas of focus:

  1. Organizational Design – a social business is redesigned as it moves through key phases of its evolution. All business functions have to undergo several iterations of change. Looking at your organization from a social business lens means looking at it more holistically.
  2. Social Business Intelligence: The rise of social media led to a gold rush in technology solutions, which allowed organizations to eavesdrop on conversations happening across multiple social ecosystems and digital public spaces such as the blogosphere, message boards, and Facebook.
  3. Cultures of Collaboration, Co-Creation & Shared Value – The end result is what’s commonly known in the business world as an ecosystem in which value is entered into it and extracted by multiple stakeholders for mutual gain. An ecosystem, by definition, is sustainable.



Sacramento-based company turns social media into social business

Sacramento-based company turns social media into social business

ABC News 10 January 28, 2011

SACRAMENTO – Imagine taking the success of Facebook and making it work for your business. That’s exactly whatC7 Group co-founders Jeff Marmins and Mark Bean did.

Based out of Sacramento’s Urban Hive, they developed a business solution that utilizes the philosophy behind Facebook and other popular social media tools to help businesses improve their project cycle times and interoffice communications.

“Today’s companies are so big and so busy they no longer talk to each other. This can result in a miscommunication of strategy,” Jeff Marmins, C7 Group co-founder said. “We’ve come up with a way to help them with this problem.”

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Company attempts to create social media that improve workplace efficiency

Wenatchee World, December 24, 2010: Company attempts to create social media that improve workplace efficiency

“The lessons about why Facebook has worked, why it has 500 million users, why we link and tweet – it’s translating that into a business culture,” said Marmins.

That’s the key to social business, Jive’s Lochhead said, incorporating the social media technology that has become commonplace outside the office to help companies work and communicate more efficiently and talk more directly with customers.

“Whether it’s fun things or transactional things, whether it’s happened in our personal lives or not, it’s extraordinary,” Lochhead said. “If you think about all of these things, why is it so fun and effective to live online, but back at work, it (stinks)?”

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Lots of Interesting Facts about Facebook

User profile

  • The average user has 130 friends (Facebook press room).
    • The average user age is 26 years old
    • returns 40x monthly and spends 23 minutes per visit
    • Likes 80 community pages, groups or events
    • creates 90 items of content monthly
    • 30B pieces of content are shared daily
    • 770B page views monthly
  • The fastest growing demo group on Facebook is women 55-65 years old. (Facebook press room).
  • Users are mostly women 57% (
  • Facebook is the prefered social network of Baby Boomers (eMarketer via Six Pixels of Separation)
  • 57% of women members 18-34 years old say they speak more to friends online than offline (Oxygen Media 2010/07)
    • 39% say they’re hooked on Facebook
    • 34% consult Facebook first thing in the morning before going to the washroom, brushing their teeth or hair
    • 21% check their account in the middle of the night
    • 42% believe it’s ok to publish photos of themselves drunk
    • 50% have no problems being friends with complete strangers
    • 9% of women on Facebook have broken up with their boyfriend on Facebook, vs 24% for guys.
  • 23% of 50+ year olds prefer Facebook to MySpace and Twitter (AARP 2010/06).


  • 35M users update their status daily (Website Monitoring Blog and Facebook press page)
    • 60M status updates daily (Facebook Blog).
    • 10M users become fan of a brand daily (Facebook Blog).
    • 45M user groups exist (Facebook Blog).
    • 3B photos added monthly
    • 5M pieces of content added weekly
    • 3.5M events created monthly
    • 3M of active business pages on Facebook
    • 1.5M businesses are active with at least one page
    • 20M users become fan of a page every day
  • On average, youths access Facebook 16x weekly (Cossette 2009/11)
  • Facebook received more visits in 2010 than did Google according to Experian Hitwise (Mashable (2010/12) 8.93% of all US website visits in 2010, vs Google with 7.19% of visits.
  • The average user consults 661.8 pages of content monthly on Facebook, far ahead of the closest competitor Hi5 with 351.2 and MySpace 261.8 (
    • In pages viewed per visit, Friendster is the most important at 30, followed by Hi5 (29.3), Bebo (28.3), Facebook (23.6) and MySpace (21.8).
    • In total monthly visits, Facebook dominates with 28 (almost daily!), followed by Hi5 (12), MySpace (12), Slashdot (11) and Twitter (9)
  • Artists receive an average 92 likes and 17 comments per post on Facebook, vs 57 & 43 for Media and 54 & 9 for Brands (Visibli 2011/04)
    • 50% of Likes are accumulated within 20 minutes

Mobile Usage



Social Media Risk Management

As the world becomes more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent and the population continues to embrace social computing, today’s enterprises face the dawn of a new era – the era of the Social Business. Just as the Internet changed the marketplace forever, the integration of social computing into enterprise design represents another enormous shift in the landscape. Organizations that successfully transform into a Social Business can potentially reap great benefits – among them the ability to deepen customer relationships, drive operational efficiencies and optimize the workforce.

According to a recent Gartner prediction report: “By 2014, 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices. Support for corporate applications on employee-owned smartphones is impacting an increasing number of organizations and will become commonplace in four years. The main driver for adoption of mobile devices will be employees who prefer to use private consumer smartphones or notebooks for business, rather than using old-style limited enterprise devices. Enterprises will no longer be able to standardize on one or a few corporate mobile device platforms, but instead will have to support a variety of mobile platforms for which they will have to choose an approach that enables selected corporate applications while enforcing IT policies through management tools and capabilities. Organizations that do not support personal devices and fail to set and enforce policies will experience an increased number of security exposures and incidents.”

These tools are asking our workers to change the way in which they work, and the transparency with which they do that work. It is shifting business and leadership culture in ways enterprises have not seen in the past. It’s new. It’s scary. And it’s hard. And the part that’s hard is NOT the technology. The part that’s hard is the culture, the behaviors, the new skills we want workers to have innately.

Businesses are feeling the impact from employee social networking communication. Newly emerging issues surrounding social network communication, such as loss of intellectual property, compliance violations, and HR lawsuits, as well as productivity of the workforce all threaten the health of the business causing loss of revenue, reputation and potentially, customers. Corporations today are spending billions of dollars to mitigate such risks from email, instant messaging and other established methods of communication.

In a recent market research social networking related exposure incidents for US companies have increased to seventeen percent in 2009 from twelve percent in 2008, and is expected to continue to grow. In a separate market research, twenty four percent of the companies indicated that they have disciplined an employee for his or her activities on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Guidelines and policy alone are not sufficient in eliminating the risks.

With proper planning it may be possible to take advantage of the new media’s strengths and mitigate the risks that your company will end up in the headlines.



Social Media ROI Measurement: Notes and Resources

Social media can be a powerful tool for communicating with your customers and reaching new prospects. A survey by Mashable found that 84 percent of social media programs don’t measure return on investment (ROI). It also found that many individuals and businesses don’t know how to measure the ROI of their social media strategies and campaigns.

Social Media ROI: The Conversation

I was fortunate to be included in a panel discussion on the subject of ROI.  The event was produced by the Sacramento Chapter of the Social Media Club with the intention of covering the topics:

  • Best practices in social media measurement
  • How to calculate ROI with social media campaigns
  • When social media should be a part of a comprehensive communication strategy

Innovative marketing pro, Gordon Fowler, President & CEO, 3Fold Communications (@Gordon3Fold) and Josh Hilliker, Director of Social Media, Intel-GE Care Innovations (@JoshProStar) were co-panelists.  Josh is the Director of Social Media at Care Innovations, an Intel-GE Company. He is responsible for the company’s Social Media strategy, online communities and product evangelism. Gordon is CEO of one of the few growing interactive marketing and public relations firms in Sacramento.  He is a thought leader in brand strategy and generational marketing.

With well over a hundred attendees the conversation de-railed a bit into tools and tactics.  It proved to be somewhat of a frustrating experience for some, considering the need for strategic thinking.  The audience did get what they wanted.  I’m just not sure it’s the information that was (is) really needed. There were plenty of salient points covered and I encourage you to view the Social Media ROI panel discussion in its entirety here.

Hopefully, we see these events as only the beginning of the dialogue. Continuing the conversation is the first step toward collaboration, real results and real answers.  I’ve curated some resources and will provide some perspective with the hope that it will be discussed and augmented by those of you that want to know where and how you should be spending your time online in social media.

You can view  see the  conversation on twitter  from the event by searching #smcsac on Twitter.

twitter conversation hashtag #smcsac example

Much of our thinking applies first to larger companies.  The notes I prepared for the panel discussion apply to any size organization, as the membership of the Sacramento Social Media Club skews toward smaller businesses.




15 Principles of Agile Social Business Projects

15 Principles of Agile Social Business Projects:

1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable social business solutions.
2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in the delivery lifecycle. Agile processes harness change for the stakeholders’ competitive advantage.
3. Deliver working solutions frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
4. Stakeholders and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a delivery team is face-to-face conversation.


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