Crossing the chasm: insights from Digicitz

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I hopped along to the Digicitz event tonight, themed around 3 Social Media Experts taking the stage with advice for specific social media related challenges being experienced by two organizations – Nexus and Reach Out Australia.

Great ideas were in flight across 3 clear strategy streams: the creative strategist (@michaelwatkins from Mudomedia), the strategic consultant (@paulalexgray from Brainmates), and the strategy executor (@katydaniells from DaemonTWO) –  all of which might I say are important perspectives to consider when seeking success in a campaign or project. And yes, strategy is also about execution – business fundamentals since the Kaplan/Norton days!

The topics however had me pondering over the following:

1. Deciding if social media is an appropriate activity to undertake requires common sense

Once you decide on your business objectives, use common sense to derive your plan: understand how your customers tick – where they spend their time, who they hang out with and what they like/dislike and understand your options in targeting them with your product or campaign.

2. It also requires humility

Head honchos within enterprises also need to recognise that social media is a playing field that can’t be learned unless you actively play in it (again common sense). As Jye quotes Katie Chatfield, it’s an ‘emergent discipline,’ in which ‘we’re all still making up the language as we go.’ This involves letting down one’s guard, and acknowledging that there is room to learn (this is what makes social media so enthralling!).

So, as social media evangelists who preach versatility and untapped potential in this space, we need to:

1. Educate and gain buy in from the top

Start with educating C-level management about the benefits of social networks. Success stories such as that from Deloitte and their adoption of Yammer across the employee network signifies that CEO’s can be convinced about radical proposals. It’s the CEO who will have the authority to infuse adoption throughout the organisation once they’re sold on the idea. [For Deloitte, the useful life of email has apparently been set to 5 years since Yammer’s rollout].

2. Be thoughtful with the pitch

C-level management are concerned about the bottom line, shareholder return, and corporate reputation. Elements of a social strategy can provide benefits in all these elements. Measuring changes in brand sentiment, dollars spent on listening and conversing with online communities (labour and systems) can all be directly attributed back to net profit.

3. Respect where they’ve come from

Tonight there were a few throw away comments on bureaucratic government organizations and cagey staff unwilling to trial new things. Accept these as fact and use it to your advantage. There’d be a valid reason explaining why there is process to follow and resistance to change – understand their motivations and take them head on.

  1. Fridley says:

    Really glad you enjoyed the event. Was interesting to run an event with a new format.

    Think you’ve nailed a lot of the key ideas from the night. Nice summary 🙂

    • schmediachick says:

      Thanks dude. I think most of the attendees enjoyed it as much as me! For the record, I seldom write a post straight after an event, so there was alot of drive to do so.

      Catch you at coffeemornings soon.

  2. Nice post.

    I agree with your pragmatism that there are limitations but as an industry recognition of these and working with them is key to getting clients over the line.

    I have found the ‘mentor’ role with clients to be critical – embedding the knowledge in their organisations and being on hand makes the education transfer smooth.

    Well done once again for writing an incisive post – and late at night!


    • schmediachick says:

      That’s right, taking them on the same exciting journey and finding champions within the organisation who are willing to learn and impart knowledge about social media is critical to success.

      Can you believe that I couldn’t go to bed feeling satisfied without writing a rant? And to think my hubby wants us to talk more.. 🙂

  3. Katy says:

    Thanks Denise, a great piece. I’m glad you enjoyed the evening and that you managed to take away some food for thought. I loved the format of the event and thought it was very interesting to hear the differing approaches to the individual briefs. I love social media’s evolving nature and the vast opportunities for learning. It’s a great space to work in and there are some fantastic people to learn from.

    You touch on some great points here. Understanding the client’s objectives and expectations is a key factor to consider when approaching your strategy. Education plays a big part in getting an organisation excited about social media from the inside.

    Any event that stimulates interesting debate is a success in my book – great work #Digicitz 🙂

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