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CSRA Milestones Ten Years of Experiential Social Media

CSRA Milestones: The First Ten YearsCSRA milestones reflects on my first ten years of experiential social media, seen through the eyes of clients I’ve served. I’ll share what I learned about what outcomes we got in each engagement as well as how it happened that I developed and pioneered experiential, which if a repeatable process for developing trust and profit at scale.

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Global Investment Bank

CSRA Milestones The First Ten YearsI’m grateful to a global investment bank for being my first client! I worked closely with an internal strategy team for over a year and researched disruptive digital social trends that could affect the bank and its wealth management business. This work was very similar to what I did at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ strategy practice because I advised on strategy for a global business dealing with digital disruption.

The Executive’s Guides

In 2007, I ended up writing the first “executive’s guide” to LinkedIn, by accident. I’d been explaining the value of LinkedIn to […]

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Social Media Strategy Good Practices

Social media strategy good practices is a short list of principles that can make your firm stand out when empowering customer and employee experience. It’s part of a talk I gave today to a large multidisciplinary team. Their venerable institution plans to use social media strategy to get the ducks in a row without too much squawking. The most exciting aspect of social media strategy is that there’s so much room for improvement: while your peers and competitors are trying to “engage” with finely crafted-yet-impersonal content, you can power past them using experiential social media, which focuses on scalable interaction.

Social Media Strategy Good Practices: summary

Here are the cliff notes to the good practices part of our discussion:

Make Personas Actionable

Social Media Strategy Good Practices: Make personals actionablePersonas are like strategy: often researched and constructed but seldom used to optimal effect. Social media changes that because your teams can find personas online and iterate them continuously, quickly and inexpensively. They […]

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The End of Social Media Reflected by Fake Followers

Bill Snyder at Infoworld posted some amazing statistics that support the end of social media as we know it, which I predicted in 2009. Marketing and public relations have been losing influence for years because they are impersonal, and people prefer personalized interactions (deep dive here), so marketers and their vendors are grasping at straws. In this context, “social media” has generally been practiced as a shallow promotional activity, and my premise in predicting its demise is that the true potential of social technologies is creating and maintaining relationships, which are based on personalized attention and caring.

Twitter’s Fake Followers lays out in gory detail the extent of vendors’, marketers’, “celebrities’ and politicians’ desperation, and its links take you to real data. It also links to the Fake Follower Check, which reveals the degree of fake followers of any Twitter handle/username. For example, since I have chosen to build a tight Twitter network, I have 2% of fakes, 8% inactive and 90% good. Unsurprisingly, political candidates have some of the biggest percentage of fakes in their followings. I first covered sponsored tweets in 2009 in Advertising on Twitter?

Why the […]

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Brands’ Facebook Investments Show Increasing Risk

Recent coverage has increased my doubts in Facebook’s management team, whose failure to capitalize on its unique assets looks increasingly likely. In the Facebook As Investment trilogy, I examined Facebook through three different lenses and voiced my doubts about its management team’s ability to realize the company’s fantastic potential. Many of CSRA’s clients have invested significantly in Facebook presences, and I am not predicting the site’s demise, but I question its long-term viability. Brands face two types of immediate risk: erratic technology/functionality changes to “add value” with features—and lack of innovation due to management team paralysis. Facebook Page owners and individual users may be inconvenienced, but nothing drastic will happen right away. As a related issue, Facebook’s experience may presage a Web 2.0 startup bubble bursting. After a summary of danger signs, I’ll recommend how you can minimize your inconvenience due to Facebook’s gyrations.

Posts that Suggest that Facebook Is Drifting

In Facebook Revenue Skids, Shares Plummet, I am not concerned about revenue and even less about share price; however, the management team’s quoted responses do not reflect an understanding of the company’s lack of a value proposition. Zuckerberg’s answer is […]

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The Twitter-LinkedIn Breakup: How to Manage Your Ecosystem Better

The Twitter-LinkedIn Breakup: How to Manage Your Ecosystem BetterThis week Twitter and LinkedIn canceled their agreement for easy cross-posting, which begot numerous indignant comments from people who seemed to have forgotten that they were using free infrastructure. Social business platforms are built and managed by venture-backed firms that need to execute on evolving business models, so we can all expect sudden changes from any and all. However, with some foresight and preparation you and your firm can minimize disruptions, which we’ll cover here. Even better, the LinkedIn-Twitter dustup provides strategic insights into how to operate within the digital social ecosystem, and we’ll address those, too.

What Happened

In case you were not aware of these features, for the past two-three years, LinkedIn members could “connect” their LinkedIn accounts with one or more Twitter accounts (authorized by Twitter), which would enable two-way cross-posting. In other words, your Linkedin status updates would publish as tweets for the specified Twitter account(s). It also worked the other way: the specified Twitter accounts’ tweets would publish as LinkedIn status updates. Effective this week, it only works one way now: Linkedin status updates can publish as tweets. […]

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How Brands Cut Their Exposure to Facebook Business Risk

How Brands Cut Their Exposure to Facebook Business Risk shows how brands can reduce the risks of depending on Facebook too much.

How Brands Cut Their Exposure to Facebook Business Risk: Part three

In the Facebook As Investment trilogy, I have analyzed several dimensions of investing in Facebook and raised my doubts about the company’s management and direction. In Part Three, I’ll address how brand executives can insulate themselves from Facebook’s—or any platform’s—fortunes by moving to make their relationships and networks portable. By making and managing investments carefully, brands’ relationships will endure regardless of platforms’ destinies.

By the way, Part One examined how Facebook’s trust gap would make it difficult for Facebook to fully monetize its considerable assets. Part Two analyzed Facebook as a social platform and revealed that it had no competitive threats from other pureplays; rather, the risk was that the whole pureplay category would lose its dominance in 3-5 years.

Seeing Beyond the Platform

How Brands Cut Their Exposure to Facebook Business Risk: part threePureplay firms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have defined language, behavior, features and the very concepts of […]

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Facebook As Investment: No Replacement for Facebook But Pureplays Will Fade

Facebook As Investment: No Replacement for Facebook But Pureplays Will FadeFacebook As Investment: No Replacement for Facebook But Pureplays Will Fade shows how the fading importance of social networks is the threat—not competitors. In Part One of the Facebook As Investment trilogy, I argued that Facebook had a signifiant trust gap with users that would inhibit its ability to monetize its most unique and valuable assets, and that the trust gap was recently compounded by its “IPO irregularities.” In Part Two, I’ll take a different tack and analyze the investment prospects of Facebook-the-platform. Part Three advises executives on how to isolate their social business investments from Facebook business risks.

In its favor, Facebook will not have to worry about being “displaced” by another social network the way that it displaced MySpace. In the near term, this lack of competition will give the company some breathing room. However, a more daunting threat awaits, the end of the social network pureplay, but that is 3-5 years out.

Nonetheless, the fate of pureplays should be top-of-mind for serious Facebook investors: to produce the fabulous returns that current investors expect, Facebook will have to move far […]

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Facebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to Wealth

Facebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to WealthFacebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to Wealth describes why Facebook needs to change its orientation to users to unlock its full wealth potential. Over the past month, it has been de rigeur to comment on Facebook’s IPO and “quality” as an investment, but I decided to hold back until I could free a window to consider the matter in sufficient detail. The result is the “Facebook As Investment” trilogy, of which this is the first part. Part Two analyzes Facebook-the-platform’s investment prospects. Part Three advises executives on how to isolate their social business investments from Facebook business risks.

I did not buy into Facebook and do not plan to invest in its stock. I think it is a fantastic social venue and platform in which to connect with people (“stakeholders,” friends, associates..)—personally and for enterprises and brands. However, as I’ll argue here, Facebook‘s Achilles heel is a significant trust gap with most of its stakeholders. Its trust gap will make it difficult for Facebook management to fully monetize its most unique asset, its users’ social graphs.

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Three-Step Executive’s Guide to Blogging

Three-Step Executive's Guide to BloggingThis Executive’s Guide to Blogging offers executives a pragmatic, conservative approach to blogging. For years, now, I have beseeched all the executives and “knowledge workers” I know (that’s thousands) to blog, so please consider this as part of that campaign—with benefits (because this is a how-to post). Here’s why: In the Knowledge Economy’s pervasive digital networks, you are invisible unless you come across people’s screens regularly. And, while you are invisible, your potential business partners are seeing people who do flit across their screens. If you aren’t there, you are in a bloody ocean that gets smaller every year. Don’t stay in, the water is not fine. Please understand that I’m stating this as a simple fact. I’m sure you’ve read books like The Long Tail, which describe how we are all publishers now, that is, those of us who decide to use the free tools at our disposal.

Blogging is 21st century thought leadership, which is table stakes in the Knowledge Economy. Your thoughts represent and “scale” you, so they help you to connect with people with whom you can collaborate to do meaningful things. Moreover, blogging […]

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Quick Notes: How to Build a Vibrant Google Plus Page

Quick Notes: How to Build a Vibrant Google Plus PageEveryone wants to know the secret sauce, how to build vibrant communities in digital social venues. Here is a question to a community manager to whom I responded recently in a gated enterprise forum. The question was, “What are some effective ways to improve circle count and follower engagement on google+?” Read on for some general pointers and references for further reading.

Response To arrive at a satisfactory answer, we need more context. For example, ask yourself what are the top3 stakeholders you want to engage? Define them specifically enough to distinguish each from the others clearly. In addition, around what actions do you want to engage each? Given the answers to those questions, you can create a robust strategy for your Google+ Page. In the beginning, maintain a rabid focus on community quality, not quantity. In networked environments, your core membership is the root for the tree. If your community/following is a grab bag, you will have trouble creating critical mass to have a distinctive Page. If there are a few people whose social actions detract from what you’re trying to create, […]

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