Connected (at last) Social Media is from Mars, Enterprise 2.0 is from Venus from Gia Lyons

August 28th, 2009

Houston ProblemHouston, we have a problem.

I am amazed at how disparate Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 are. I recently attended and presented at Social Fresh, a new type of conference for social media folks. Jason Keath, founder of Social Fresh LLC, took a chance on me as a presenter, because my point of view and experience was so very different (fresh, perhaps?) that I felt like an ambassador from Planet Enterprise 2.0.

What the hell kind of language were these people speaking?

I stuttered some basic questions, which probably sounded like I was asking where the bathroom was in very bad Russian. “I’m sorry, but what is Social CRM again?” And, “Explain what ‘conversion rate’ means, please.” And, “What’s a WOM?”

In my conversations with the excellent people I met at Social Fresh, I learned that they are models for what marketing people should become. They focus on creating and maintaining genuine relationships with customers, and they know how to do it effectively (just see some of the excellent Social Fresh presentations, videos, and images to learn more).

But, I got the feeling – correct me if I’m wrong here – that marketing people don’t have a deep grasp on what really goes on inside their companies. And the rest of us have no idea what’s going on outside of it, even if we’re immersed in public social networks!

Examples of the disconnect

disconnectWhen I voiced my concern about how Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 peeps don’t “get” each other, one smart dude piped up with, “that’s because Marketing and IT don’t get along.” I’d say that used to be true, but today, it’s because they do not speak the same language. At all.

Another smart dude talked about how employees will learn what we’re saying about your company on Twitter, Facebook, etc. via their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, like When solutions like integrate with Twitter and the like, I guess that’s called social CRM. I call it bullshit. The only reason anyone interacts with a CRM application – or any application, for that matter – is because it’s part of their required work behavior. Sales folks are usually the only ones who must use a CRM tool. And, if an application was built for the people who need reports on the data within, and not for the people responsible for supplying the data, the phrase “force to use” is extremely appropriate. Welcome to Enterprise 1.0, y’all!

Another example of the disconnect: A smart lady mentioned that there were only two sessions about Enterprise 2.0, and they were scheduled at the same time. On the surface, that may have been true, but her comment demonstrates the fact that many don’t see how to apply social media concepts inside an organization.

What problem do we need to solve?

One of the biggest problems we need to solve before “Business as Usual” can evolve to “Social Enterprise Media 2.0″, or Social Business, is this: most large companies are not relationship-centric. They are sales-centric, customer-centric, product-centric. They are focused on whatever produces direct, measurable outcomes. So, we need to figure out how to measure the direct outcome of deeper, trusted relationships between employees and employees, and employees and customers, and employees and business partners, and business partners and customers, and… you get the idea.

handshakeBut, how do you scale trusted relationships? (Hint: you can’t. At least, not in the traditional ways.)

You know what cancer is? It’s how disease scales. It’s job is to get big, fast. And getting big, fast, seems to be a good goal, right? The industrial revolution taught us how to do it. Mass production, y’all. The problem is that we want to AUTOMATE TRUST, and do it fast. This is why Spike Jones from Brains on Fire struck a special chord with me with his 10 Lessons Learned Igniting Brand Ambassador Movements presentation. He talked about word of mouth (WOM) movements, which struck me as a great model for slowly transforming corporate cultures into relationship-centric ones.

You CAN scale trust, but you have to do it by – get this – trusting people to spread trust one by one, two by two. You must make it part of their required work behavior to network/share/learn.

Now, if we can just figure out how to measure the bottom-line outcome of such a thing, we’re all set.