Enterprise 2.0 – Not if, but when do you start?

“My products have hashtags”, as Ramon de Leon -the brilliant pizza baker from Domino’s Pizza indicated. Ramon was the true rock star who shook up the congress “Enterprise 2.0 – RIP or ROI” in Amsterdam on January 27 and 28. But there were more oneliners on this congress we attended:

“Know what ROI means? Return on Ignoring”,
“You’re best Social Media tool is as good as the person sitting behind the keyboard”,
“I have a click-and-kill behavior against newsletters per email”,
“To whisper works better in social media than to shout”,
“Let people love you, that’s all you gotta do”,
but the best remains: “My products have hashtags.”

With an audience of about 50 people and on stage quiet a few remarkable names (i.e. Google, Vodafone, Philips, Airbus, SWIFT, SAP, Lego, Nokia, Kodak, Roger Smith Hotel). A small but intimate setting with a promising program. And they delivered the promise. The intention of this event wat to give insight in new and innovative strategies for better performance within the organization by using social media engagement.These strategies, not only focussed on the external customer or as part of the promotion of product, but also for communication internally.

Vodafone kicked off with a presentation by Eva Buschkrei (VP Entertainment, Communications and E-Commerce) about the social media campaign around their new service Vodafone 360. At the introduction Vodafone first aimed for users via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, causing the initiation of the conversation. “It’s more about the people, than about the products”, said Eva, embracing the importance of Word of Mouth for Vodafone.

Mobile is going to play an increasing role, as Eva indicated. Georges Edouard Dias (L’Oreal) adds later: “If you don’t use mobile, then you’re an idiot! Use mobile in your brand conversations and you’ll find the way to the heart of the customer. It’s as close as you can get!”. Vodafone still has no clue about how to measure the ROI of Social Media (wow, where did we hear that before?) and has thus introduced Social Media Currency. Five questions which should offer immediate answers on why you are recommended by other people:

  • Social Authority – who is talking about you?
  • Social Conversations – with whom do they talk about you?
  • Social Sentiment – how do they talk about you?
  • Social Network Valuation – positive versus negative?
  • Social Conversation and Referral – how can you benefit from that?

In my view this provides a rather good insight into ROI, especially if your goal is to bring your product or service under a broad attention.

Return on Investment. Each and every congress it’s a topic. And never somebody was able to answer the ultimate question satisfactory.ROI is difficult, especially for communication-activities. “What you really shouldn’t do is looking at the number of HITS”, said Matteo Rizzi from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). “HITS means ‘How Idiots Track Success'”. For SWIFT the use of Social Media is more aimed at reducing costs than to increase revenues. The value is also much more in teh ‘intangible benefits’ and much less in the ‘tangible’. Last year SWIFT has introduced their platform for innovative collaboration, Innotribe. Innotribe makes use of the power of the community by bringing together customers, vendors and partners to share knowledge and ideas. Innotribe makes this possible by facilitating in crowd-sourcing, mash-ups and cloud computing. “It made the dinosaur move”, according to Matteo. As we speak Innotribe has 1,712 members. That doesn’t seem a lot but in this industry it’s certainly an indication that there is a need for collaboration. It has also resulted in the development of Mindtagger, a nonpublic concept, by which people with the right expertise connected through tags.

Kees Mulder prefers to speak about Return On Ignoring. He hints to the more than 1 billion active users on social networks which an not be ignored anymore. Kodak, almost had to shut down themselves (revenues in traditional photofilm from $15 billion to $300 million in 10 years!) just realized the changes on time. They appointed a ‘Chief Listener’ which had the task to listen to what was said about Kodak online, as a kind of airtraffic controller. Based on that, ways were sought do profile the new Kodak – especially through these new media. An example of this was the ‘eyecamera’ which created a lot of buzz – not in the last place because it was an April’s Fool-joke. “It’s all about the 4 Social Media E’s: Engage, Educate, Excite and Evangelize. Key here is to use OPM; Other People’s Money. That has saved Kodak from a certain death and since then the brand went through quiet a shift.

Co-creation Classic
Lego already understood end of last century how important it sis to listen to your customers. In 1998 one of the robots of the just launched Midstorms was hacked by a few students from Standford University, to ‘improve the product’, sort to speak. Lego had two choices; sue or listen. They chose the latter. “We knew we owned the trademark, but we realized that we didn’t own the brand. Our customers do”, said Tormid Askilsen who was working for the company around that time. Lego realised that there are many users feeling connected to the brand which are more than willing to help designing new stuff. The essence of Lego is: ‘being able to express something that I see in my head so that other people can see it.’ The story of Lego obviously is well-known, but still nice to hear from first hand.

Phillips is still struggling to implement social media in their marketing activities. Hugo Raaijmakers and Marco Roncaglio gave a surprisingly smooth presentation about the development of a Social Media strategy within Philips. The current initiatives such as for example Facebook are too fragmented, too much ad hoc and inconsistent to be effective. Especially if you compare it with competitor Samsung. Besides that, there are no guidelines and there’s not team directly responsible for Social Media. Time for a strategic plan, Hub & Spoke, which is strongly based on Forrester’s POST method. Philips has chosen for a combination of ‘bottom-up support’ and a ‘top-down steering’. This means that local social media activities are being stimulated but streamlined through guidelines and at the same time creating awareness at senior management level. Especially the latter is important because without this support each social media activity is doomed to fail. What was surprising however was that Philips only focussed on social media for external activities and not at all for internal usage (they later wrote us an e-mail explaining that they do have internal activities)

First internally, then externally
Not starting internally is a missed chance according to us, because a company devoted to external use only may oversee crucial parts or -even worse- damage itself severely. Next to that, in many organizations little attention is given to the communication with the internal customer, the employee. Especially when compared to external communication. An interactive platform for internal communication is a win-win:one gets experience with social media and improves internal communication.
“If you don’t have an Internal Communications Department, start one tomorrow”, said Sean MacNives van SAP. Sean has followed this principle, with success. Within a year SAP developed a strategy and a social media platform which is used intensively by the employees. Guidelines were desgned and adapted according to the dynamics of the platform. In this case a lot of experience is gained which can be utilized externally as well. “When you start Social Media internal before external you’re as authentic and real as possible.”

The mouse that roared
That there’s no need being a multinational to be successful with Social Media proved Adam Wallace from the Roger Smith Hotel. This hotel based in New York used to be small and unknown. But now it has grown to a hotel with true fans which make the Waldorf and The Four Seasons look at it with envies eyes. How did they achieved that? By being open and transparent showing people what’s happening around the hotel. By being active on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. By speaking to potential customers directly. Because they will start talking about you, such as Chris Brogan and iJustine. No smushbags in the Social Media space. “The biggest ROI is to look back and look at everything as if we were the customer”, said Adam Wallace, head New Media Marketing. Also the employees of the hotel play an important role. “The people that provide our service are the ones creating our brand, not me”, outlining the authenticity of the Roger Smith Hotel.

A congress needs to end with a big bang. Something sticky, something impressive. More often than not this doesn’t happen, and many congresses fade away in the darkness of our day to day business. Intentionally planned or not, Ramon DeLeon was that big bang. Franchise entrepeneur from Domino’s Pizza in downtown Chicago knew how to turn

the audience upside-down. With a overwhelming presentation he showed the audience how he, as an owner of 6 pizza shops, knows how to deal with Social Media. Just before his presentation he placed this on his Facebook wall:

“AWESOME Pizza Deal!! To the 1st person who responds to this status update, how ever many minutes it took you to answer “ME”, that is the price you pay for Two Large Pizzas with anything on it plus any Two Side Items (my stores only).”

Within two minutes people responded. Nice deal for $2. This is Ramon. Ramon ‘gets it’. “We need customers to tell a friend about us. We want to wow our customers”. And the proof is in eating the pizza ..eehh.. pudding. When a rather distasteful video is placed on YouTube by two (now former) employees of Domino’s negative publicity takes over.Everywhere in the US Domino’s sees revenues falling. Except in downtown Chicago. On teh contrary, more pizzas were sold! “That doesn’t happen at Ramon’s”, said his fans, and continue eating truckloads of pizzas. What is his secret? “Passion”, Ramon told us afterwards, “passion and love for my customers. I don’t have to promote my pizzas. I make contact with my customers and they will find out I make pizzas”.

After two days it’s clear to us. For companies it’s not the question if, but when are they going to start with Social Media. Start with a sound strategic plan, convince management and start internally to gain experience. Then go play outside. Doing so might provide yet another advantage: loyalty from young employees. This is the way they communicate, and providing these possibilities for them might become important in a time where switching jobs is getting easy again. Because after we crawl out of the misery called Recession and after all those babyboomers are spending their hard-earned money on their retirement activities, who’s gonna work, still?

One Response to Enterprise 2.0 – Not if, but when do you start?

  1. Pingback: You want loyal customers? Then you need to socialize! « KGS Global

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