Web 2.0 Expo – Creating a Coherent Social Strategy for Business

Original Post 04.23.2008

Charlene Li (Forrester Research), Josh Bernoff (Forrester Research)
9:40am – 10:30am Wednesday, 04/23/2008

Many companies have dabbled in social technologies, ranging from blogs to profiles on social networking sites. But almost all of these efforts are one-off technology deployments, instead of being part of a master plan on how to engage customers and employees on a strategic level.
This session will lay out a framework, which Forrester calls the “POST” method, that helps companies understand how to leverage social technologies. POST is an acronym for “People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology” and is the order in which companies need to build their social strategy.

People: You have to understand how your target customer uses social technologies today—and in the future.

Objectives: Given how your customers use technologies, what business objectives can you realistically meet with social technologies? We believe there are five objectives companies can meet better and faster because of Web 2.0 technologies:
1. Listening
2. Talking
3. Energizing
4. Supporting, and
5. Embracing.

Strategy: After identifying your business objective, what is your strategy on how you are going to achieve it? A deep understanding of which Web 2.0 technologies and approaches work for which objectives is essential.

Technology: Once the other steps are done, then, and only then, should companies focus on which technologies to use. All too often, we have companies asking us “Which blogging software should we use?” when the question should be “Why should we have a blog at all?” Knowing your objectives will make winnowing and selecting the right technology vendors a much easier process.

The framework described above is the foundation for an upcoming book, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, that will be published in early April 2008.

Charlene Li
Forrester Research
Charlene contributes to Forrester’s offerings for the Interactive Marketing professional. She is a driving force behind Forrester’s Social Computing and Web 2.0 research, and examines how companies can use technologies like blogs, social networking, RSS, tagging, and widgets for marketing purposes. Charlene also blogs on these topics at her Groundswell blog and plans to publish a book by the same name in spring 2008. During her eight years at Forrester, Charlene has also led the Marketing and Media research team, and run Forrester’s San Francisco office. Prior to Forrester, Charlene was publisher of interactive media for the Community Newspaper Company in Massachusetts. Charlene also served on the board of directors for the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Federation. Before that, Charlene was at the San Jose Mercury News, where she managed new product development. Charlene is one of Forrester’s most quoted analysts and has appeared in outlets like 60 Minutes, The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, CNN, NPR, and BBC, as well as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek. She is also an accomplished and frequently requested public speaker, and has appeared at Web 2.0 Expo, Ad:Tech, Search Engine Strategies, and AlwaysOn. She has delivered keynote speeches at many events, including Forrester’s Consumer Forum and Television Forum. Charlene is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Josh Bernoff
Forrester Research
Josh, a vice president at Forrester, is one of Forrester’s most senior and most frequently quoted research analysts.
Josh joined Forrester in 1995. In 1996, he created the Technographics segmentation, a classification of consumers according to how they approach technology. Forrester has used this segmentation as the basis of its consumer research offering, also called Technographics, since 1997. Josh is best known for his analysis of television. In an interview for 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace identified Josh as “the top TV industry analyst at Forrester Research, the authority on where TV is going.” He led Forrester’s analysis of technology change created by devices like digital video recorders, HDTV, and online video. Josh advises senior figures in the media and electronics industry and chaired Forrester’s 2002 Television Summit, an event that was covered live on CNBC. In 2007, Josh began work on a book, Groundswell, which describes how people with social technologies like blogs, wikis, MySpace, and YouTube will threaten institutions of all kinds, and how companies can succeed in the face of this change. Josh’s coauthor for Groundswell is the primary Forrester analyst researching social media, Charlene Li. Groundswell will be published in 2008.

Conference Notes

Groundswell – BOOK

Groundswell – social trend in which users use the new Web 2.0 technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of using traditional methods such as getting information directly from companies.

Scale of web 2.0 spectrum
· Corporatists – online activities must deliver business benefits
· Pragmatist –
· Purist –

Objectives are the key to successful social strategy. To succeed you need to know what you are trying to accomplish in order to be successful in a social / community delivery.

1. People – Access your customers social activities
2. Objectives – Decide what you want to accomplish
3. Strategy –
4. Technology –

PEOPLE – New Way of looking at customers.
· Creators
· Critics
· Collectors
· Joiners
· Spectators
· Inactive


OBJECTIVES – key roles and their groundswell objectives
· Research – GS listening
· Marketing – GS Talking
· Sales – GS Energizing
· Support – GS Supporting
· Development – GS Embracing

Corporate examples – Have real conversations with Customers
P&G – http://www.beinggirl.com/ address information in a viral marketing way with out a marketing page. 4 times as effective as regular advertising. Brand surveys caused cheaper advertising that is more effective.

My Space – http://www.brides.com/ – enable widgets to allow marketing by users to do the work for you.
Best buy – http://www.blueshirtnation.com/ – community enabled in order to solve problems internally
Starbucks – http://www.mystarbucksidea.com/ – suggestion boxes that become public and allow users to vote on ideas. Provide feedback to ideas to the users. Post blog to close loop on suggestions.
French Bank – Credit Mutuel – If I were a banker contest – take all the ideas and post all and winners – roll out to branches.

ROI of executive blog for year one. Based on the last lane blog from GM.

· Planning and training 35K
· Platform and IT 30K
· Brand monitoring service 50K
· Content production and review 170K
Total Cost 285K

· Advertising visibility 7K
· Press stories 240K
· Blog rowk of mount 37K
· Support savings 69K
Total Value 353K

Keys to success for pragmatists
· Start with you customers
· Choose an objective you can measure
· Line up executive backing
· Romance the naysayers
· Think big deliver small

Pragmatists bring companies and the groundswell together.

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