Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The evangalyst: preaching to the converted

There are definite signs of evolution in social media. Where I saw some issues around mainstream adoption over a year ago, I can now rest assured.
Dozens of "priests and monks" have arisen all over the world to further aid the conversion towards social; Social Business now is the way to go and according to most InfoGraphics over 3/4 of all businesses all over the globe have either implemented social media or are very happy with it, or both

I sense a bubble like the Internet one back in 2000. Not stock-market wise, as we're currently in a crisis already, but this one is an equally inflated one, where anal-ysts and even complete companies and research groups cite each other's flawed studies to build a Tower of Babel that reaches far beyond the sky

The legitimate question of Return on Investment, asked and evaded since the very beginning of Social Media crazyness, now gets "proven" by the dozens, no, by the hundreds even - of course I'm being sarcastic here. The post at hand, by Peter Kim, got perfectly butchered analysed by Olivier Blanchard, who does know (more than) something on ROI, especially when it comes to social media - although ROI is fairly independent of the subject, of course

Peter Kim, who I also liked, really, until I read his response to Olivier's post, then goes on to suggest Ford would make a fine Social Business! It's almost as he has to make his blog post target before the end of the year, but both these aren't even a week old, and the new year is still very, very fresh. So why, oh why, this embarrassing amount of content-free socmed hallelujah? Not New Year's Resolutions, I hope

I have written about social and social business many times before, even done a bit of research and published a small book on it, in which I try to divide the world and businesses in convenient squares in order to cut the pie in edible pieces. Stressing the fact that Social Media is best to connect people who don't know of each other's existence (there's email, telephone, chat, fax, telex, and Lawd knows what other technologies to get into contact with people you know), I show that in businesses, people facing other people have the best use for Social.
In general, that would mean employees facing customers when a company's product doesn't have customer registration (e.g. food and retail), or consumers where it does (e.g. banks, insurance companies, and others who have very detailed records of the people they already do business with)

That means product-facing people are least likely to benefit from Social. Especially when they're product-driven too, that makes for the worst business case in my book: assembly lines.
So I'm stunned to read Peter's latest thoughts, although I sense that he is really writing about Social Marketing, not how Ford is a Social Business. But he perfectly helps the Social Bubble Dream to grow bigger, doing a bit of analysis on the side to sustain the wild success.
Ford just does what most people do: they watch their neighbour do something new they don't really know about, and being afraid of being left behind, they start to copy that behaviour. Before you know it, the bandwagon is full speed on its way to new frontiers (cough)

Is this post about Peter Kim? No, not really - but this past week he just perfected the art of turning an InfoGraphic into words, as so many others have tried and done in the last year(s) and are continuing to do - so I gladly use him as an example

Behold the evangalyst: the social media evangelist in disguise, pretending to have objectively analysed and researched his suggestimations. He's even better at lulling you into sleep than his former appearance - oh and even more easily offended

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