social media monitoring

The Black Box and the White Box: Moving towards better collaboration with markets

“Capturing the full potential value from the use of social technologies will require transformational changes in organizational structures, processes, and practices, as well as a culture compatible with sharing and openness.”
~McKinsey Report, “The Social Economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, McKinsey & Company, July 2012.

WHAT IS THE BLACK BOX: Wikipedia defines the black box as follows, “In science and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings, that is, its implementation is “opaque” (black). Almost anything might be referred to as a black box: a transistor, an algorithm, a business process, or the human mind. The opposite of a black box is a system where the inner components or logic are available for inspection, which is sometimes known as a clear box, a glass box, or a white box.” (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_box)

BUSINESS HAS TO MOVE OUT OF THE BLACK BOX: Business must move toward the white box model for one simple reason: more access to customer collaboration. We live in an age where customers and employees work together on products, services and programs. The most effective product lines, service offerings and policy programs involve customers in the development process. The reason this method is so effective is because the customers have a previous experience that contributes value. The professional expert who has worked for years in a specific business niche can benefit massively from amateurs who have tried multiple variations. Major brands are involving customers in the development of next season’s fashion line, governments are inviting citizens to work with policy makers, and customers now lead service communities under corporate umbrellas. As the old adage goes, “many hands make light work”.

MOVING TO COLLABORATION: In business, black boxes have been essential in a competitive market, to protect sensitive internal processes in development. If one’s competitor can see how one develops an application, a program or a product, then he can take it and improve it and beat you to market. Corporations have prioritized black boxes to protect their stakeholders and investment in people, materials and resources. But in many cases, these same black box eco-systems have created misunderstanding and conflict. And these misunderstandings are a primary reason why businesses are moving toward transparency. To state this another way: we exist within a world so clarified by social networks that many businesses are opting for collaboration models. Businesses are opting for white boxes.

Jacob Tell, an innovator in collaboration vs. competition at Oniracom, a leading lifestyle marketeing company, has said, “We’ve chosen a partnership model over a competitive model. This is a proper way to approach business in today’s increasingly networked world.” As a veteran of the Internet and people-person par excellence, Mr. Tell has identified a very true and helpful dynamic for today’s new paradigm of business — a humanized way of being and doing where we come together for a win-win.

THE WORLD WANTS THE WHITE BOX: Mr. Tell is not alone in his sentiments, either. Kim Stokely, a leading trainer of educators in the United States has said, “This time of history signifies the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism.” The US Intelligence office has just published a Trends 2030 paper that states, “There will not be any hegemonic power in the future. Power will shift to networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.” Tom Oliver, of the World Peace Festival, has stated, “Until now the world has had no method that systematically deals with violent conflict. To fill this void, experienced peace builders from across the globe have got together with government officials, civil society and the military to design a strategy that could prevent war and resolve violent conflict. This strategy works at all levels – from the bottom up and top down.”

The entire human community cries out for a unified and transparent world group of leaders that move from competing black boxes to collaborative methods of dealing with conflict, poverty and disaster. The world needs and wants a White Box paradigm and good 21st century corporations, banks and governments will step into this clear room together. Peace is quite possibly the number one reason for entering this white box paradigm and leaving the black box method.

RESOURCES:

DEEP TRANSPARENCY VIDEO:

HOW TO OPEN THE BLACK BOX – The method to opening the black box is straight-forward:
1. Research your customer using social media monitoring solutions. Listen to what your customer is saying.
2. Design a White Box program to invite your customer or fan into the process of your business. Base the strategy and aspects of this program on what you discovered through research.
3. Design safeguards in this program to protect your business from sabotage from competitors.
4. Allocate inner resources from every silo (HR, PR, Marketing, Sales, C-Suite, Customer Service, etc.) to handling different aspects of this White Box program. Designate one person to manage the entire program and be a liaison between the departments involved.
5. Design the campaign where you announce this program.
6. Launch the program.
7. Be sure to follow up on EVERY entry/suggestion. Allocate resources so that you can do this. This is a full-time job for one employee (or more, depending on the size of the operation).

SOURCES:
1. Here are 9 case studies where social media took out the middleman:
http://barnraisersllc.com/2012/04/9-case-studies-social-media-middleman/

2. The Current State of Social Engagement Inside the Large Enterprise:
http://www.slideshare.net/dachisgroup/current-state-of-social-engagement-inside-the-large-enterprise-engagement-scale-report

3. Transparency.org:
http://www.transparency.org/

4. Twelpforce Case Study Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6Z5KR-Oys

5. Framework and Matrix: The Five Ways Companies Organize for Social Business:
http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/04/15/framework-and-matrix-the-five-ways-companies-organize-for-social-business/

6. Brandwatch
http://www.brandwatch.com/

Listening technologies aid heart-based initiatives

Love does not dominate, it cultivates. – Goethe

Creating an organization characterized by heart-orientation requires leadership to implement listening technologies and human-run analyses of conversations. These analyses can lead to extremely effective internal and external focus groups geared towards bringing employee and customer needs to the forefront. Such research also exposes potentials for excellence previously unnoticed. This “positive shadow potential” can be just what an organization needs to move forward into the next level of excellence.

Unconscious processes are a central reality of organizational life, just as in individual life. Effective market research using social data can reveal such processes. When I peer into the conversations surrounding an organization and within an organization, much is revealed about the workings and doings of that team. A primary value for large enterprises in hiring a market research team to work internally is discovery of shadow aspects within the silos. When unseen trends within staff are revealed through conversation research, leadership can take steps to elevate positive potential and heal negative propensities.

Seeing into the heart of an organization via social listening projects is a very effective measure for weaving the strengths of the silos together for total organizational success. For example, the customer-facing staff who are involved in servicing complaints and solving technical difficulties are often at odds with quantitative, sales-driven staff. The results-orientation around money in the sales department runs contrary to the nurturing orientation in the customer service department. Sales leaders need to hear the chief complaints from customers via the market research staff. This will help the sales staff to bring their pitches into closer alignment with what the customer truly wants and needs.

To cultivate a heart-based organization, leadership must itself be willing to invest in a unit focused on listening. This is the first step in nurturing deep growth and consistent attention customer need.

A brief description of Social Business Intelligence

WHAT IS SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE: The basic concept behind the term “social intelligence” is to derive customer, competitive and market intelligence via data scanned in social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

THE NET RESULT OF A SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PROJECT (WHAT YOU GET FROM A S.I. PROJECT): The value of a social intelligence project is manifold, including the following benefits:

• discovery of warm leads related to psychographics and demographics from a customer’s current database.

• discovery of current trends and developments in a market sector that could lead to product/service innovation.

• discovery of a competitor’s activities that may aid one’s sales efforts.

• discovery of what your customers talk about, leading to product/service innovation and changes in marketing/sales strategy/tactics.

• discovery of new regions where your product/service is being discussed and your competitors are making money.

• discovery of upcoming events where you could generate awareness and sales.

• discovery of new pools of customers in digital networks. You may not have been aware of these pools of customers and their interests.

• discovery of conversations that social marketers and community managers can enter and utilize for higher brand awareness and sales.

• discovery of vendors and employees via professional networks like LinkedIn or the European Women’s Professional Network.

HOW TO PERFORM SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE:

WHO: Gathering social intelligence is best performed by someone trained in research. Although a great amount of data may be aggregated automatically during a social intelligence project, it takes a human being to segment and make sense of this data and create insights related to the data.

HOW: There are many tools used to gather social data. Some of the best are expensive and require additional training to master. One of the best ways for a novice to begin is to use Twitter and LinkedIn. After setting up accounts in both social properties, use the free tool Listorious to research lists of influencers surrounding specific keywords in Twitter. Be sure to sign up for an Executive Account in LinkedIn so you can use all of the features in the Advanced Search tool.

WHICH TOOLS: More advanced social intelligence tools include Radian6, Sysomos, BrandWatch, PeopleBrowsr, Crimson Hexagon, Recorded Future and Trackur. A comprehensive list of these and other social intelligence tools may be found here.

Why study influencers' social streams?

When one goes slowly and with imagination through a list of influencers, reading about their passions, studying their proclivities, observing the vicissitudes of mood and opinion in their social stream…a story emerges and forms about that individual, about their market sector and about the customer in that sector. And it is such stories that form the basis of potent marketing campaigns, the focus of which is to grow awareness of YOUR product/service.

The World Wide Mind

The world is made of stories, not of atoms. – Rukeyser

worldwidemind

THE PRISM OF STORIES: Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism is the “eye in the sky” at this time. If one wants to peer into the World Wide Mind, no better microscope is needed than the Conversation Prism. The networks and social sites within this Prism are both social and interest focused. The Prism is a living image that pulsates with our conversations, relationships and potential. And our mysteries.

THE MYSTERIES WITHIN THE PRISM: If one peers deep enough through the Conversation Prism, the resulting transparencies AND mysteries are truly profound for the individual, the community and humanity itself. In fact, one finds that transparencies (what is revealed) tend to invoke even deeper mysteries. In the words of the great and current mathematician, Grigori Perelman, “Emptiness is everywhere and it can be calculated, which gives us a great opportunity.” It could be said that the white space, the “dark matter”, the shadows within AND between the social properties in the prism offer the MOST potential. Tools like Research.ly and Recorded Future are helping humanity plumb these seemingly “empty” spaces.

THE HUES OF OUR GLOBAL MIND: I have identified one property from each shade of the Prism. These are first layers of an onion: the conscious level of our World Wide Mind, our collective psyche. The next layers are found through the conversations discovered when one searches one’s interests, customers, competitors and questions WITHIN the World Wide Mind.

communitymind

QUESTIONS DEVELOPERS SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES: Developers should ask themselves what new apps, new social properties and new functionalities lie BETWEEN these existing social properties. Which of these social properties should “mate” one another? What does a conversation between Quora and LinkedIn sound like? What does a love affair between Technorati and Disqus look like? Are there categories that have yet to emerge? Can the Prism be even more finely divided?

SOCIAL BOOKMARKS: STUMBLE-UPON presents only web sites suggested by other like-minded Stumblers. Think: Bookmark. Not all those who wander are lost. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

COMMENT AND REPUTATION: DISQUS builds active communities from comments at your website, blog or web portal. Think: Debates & Innovation via Conversation.
It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. ~Joseph Joubert

WISDOM OF THE CROWDS: REDDIT is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. User’s vote content up and down. Think: Democracy. Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. ~George Bernard Shaw

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: QUORA is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. Think: Question Answered! Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much. ~Francis Bacon

COLLABORATION: BASECAMP is the leading web-based project management & collaboration tool. To-dos, files, messages, schedules, & milestones. Think: TeamWork. Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~Mattie Stepanek

SOCIAL COMMERCE: GROUPON negotiates huge discounts—usually 50-90% off—with popular businesses. Think: Coupons. A History of Coupons Infographic. -http://bit.ly/history_of_coupons A History of Groupon. –http://bit.ly/history_of_Groupon

BLOG PLATFORMS: POSTEROUS lets you post things online fast using email. You can attach any type of file & POSTEROUS posts it to your POSTEROUS blog & social properties along with the text of your email. Think: Writers and Authors. It’s not what happens to people on the page; it’s about what happens to a reader in his heart and mind. ~Gordon Lish

BLOGS/CONVERSATIONS: TECHNORATI tracks the authority and influence of blogs AND provides a comprehensive & current index of who & what is most popular in the Blogosphere. Think: Bestselling Authors. One of the biggest challenges is how do you make that content more easily discoverable, easily consumable, easily digestible. ~Fortune Tech

SOCIAL CURATION: PAPER.LI organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Think: Journalism. Curation itself isn’t new; it’s just the way that some of us are doing it online that’s fairly new. The tools have evolved, but the goal of capturing a story and turning people’s attention to it isn’t. ~Andy Carvin (http://twitter.com/#!/acarvin)

SOCIAL CURATION 2: SPOT.US enables the public to commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories. We are an open source project, to pioneer “community funded reporting. Think: Journalism. We no longer look for news, it finds us. ~Lee Mikles

STREAMS: TWITTER – The ultimate source of Interest-related information. Everything and anything is being messaged about 24/7 here. TWITTER is THE golden key to discovering INFLUENCERS. Think: Giant Rivers of Information. Twitter is a tool for “anarchic learning and peer support”. ~John Davitt

NICHEWORKING: YAMMER is a tool for making companies & organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: What are you working on? Think: Walkie-Talkies in The Factory. Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address. ~Yammer HQ

DIY + CUSTOM SOCIAL NETWORKS: JIVE is THE social business solution delivering features of popular social networking, community, collaboration, and content management software in a single highly secure enterprise platform. Think: Social Business. Business Process Management (BPM). Jive enables businesses to engage with their employees and create environments where ideas can be shared, knowledge can be shared, and expertise can be shared, to create efficiencies and help unlock value. What’s missing is businesses understanding how to organize for that collaboration to occur, and how to integrate those tools to allow collaboration. ~Jeff Dachis, Founder and CEO, Dachis Group

SOCIAL PHONES: SKYPE is a software application that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet. Group calls, file-sharing also. Think: Telephone
The acceleration of Skype. http://bit.ly/skype_stats2011

SOCIAL NETWORKS: FACEBOOK is THE BIG-ONE. You dream how you want to do it and you can do it here via a dizzying array of apps and methods of communicating. Think: The Ocean/Universe. There’s lots of stuff none of us have ever seen before. That’s good in some ways, but limiting in other ways. ~Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook

LISTENING & TARGETING: RESEARCH.LY allows users to build “on-the-fly” communities based around any interest. Non-branded Interest-Graphs built with RESEARCH.LY provide one of the BEST sources of real-time collective intelligence. Think: Market Research/Focus Groups
Jodee Rich, Founder and CEO of PeopleBrowsr, talks about Research.ly – http://bit.ly/about_researchly_2011

BUSINESS NETWORKING: LINKEDIN is a networking tool to find connections to recommended job candidates, industry experts and business partners. Think: Career Building/Networking with Colleagues. See Twitter and Quora as golden keys to LinkedIn. Data will be the platform of the next era of the web, of Web 3.0. This is where some massive innovation will happen that will transform our lives. ~LinkedIn Founder and Chairman Reid Hoffman

ATTENTION/COMMUNICATIONS DASHBOARDS: HOOTSUITE is a web and mobile social media dashboard that helps individuals and organizations spread messages, monitor conversations and track results across multiple networks including Twitter and Facebook. Think: Thread & Needle (this is a tool for “knitting” communities). “HootSuite was created at a digital agency called Invoke where we experienced the problem of managing multiple social accounts on multiple networks for multiple clients,” said Community Marketing Director Dave Olson. “So we set out to solve this problem elegantly. We created a comprehensive social media dashboard allowing you to manage multiple networks & profiles from one place, plus share access with teams without compromising security.”

REVIEWS & RATINGS: YELP is a hyper-local search network and app where you find restaurants, hotels, bars and TONS of other types of businesses. Think: Reviews.
How Yelp got its name from the CEO: http://b.qr.ae/yelp_name

LOCATION: FOURSQUARE gives you & your friends new ways to explore your city. Earn points & unlock badges for discovering new things. Think: Social Compass.
What do users want in a location-based app? http://b.qr.ae/users_locationbased_apps

VIDEO: YOUTUBE is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States. Also the world’s 2nd largest search-engine. Think: TV. YouTube to spend $100 million on TV shows. Plans to create online TV ‘channels’. http://bit.ly/YouTube_TV_100milliondollars

sCRM: SALESFORCE is a collaboration suite for the enterprise to connect and share information securely in real-time. Think: CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Why did Salesforce.com succeed? http://b.qr.ae/salesforce_success2011

DOCUMENTS & CONTENT: SLIDESHARE is an online slide hosting service. Users can upload files in the many file formats. It is also amongst the World’s Top 10 tools for education & e-learning. Think: PowerPoints. White Papers. Dissertations. Professional Writing.
How to Maximize the Value of Slideshare for your business? http://bit.ly/maximize_value_of_slideshare2011

EVENTS: MEETUP helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings & form offline clubs in local communities 
around the world. Think: Circles of Interest. Mapping the genome of groups may help us understand ourselves as we behave within a broader collective. ~http://bit.ly/the_value_of_groups

MUSIC: LAST.FM lets you effortlessly keep a record of what you listen to from any player. Based on your taste, 
Last.fm recommends you more music and concerts!Think: Music Community/Social Radio. THE social property that allows one to mine the subconscious psyche of the community via music discovery. There is so MUCH hidden gold here in this endless and tapestried symphony of artists. ~Ladydust

WIKI: WIKIPEDIA is a free encyclopedia built collaboratively using wiki software. Think: Encyclopedia. A history of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

VIRTUAL WORLDS: WORLD OF WARCRAFT is currently the world’s most-subscribed Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with more than 12 million subscribers as of October, 2010. Think: Dungeons & Dragons morphing into actual economies and battlegrounds. Virtual Currencies. Virtual World Master List (flipped sideways so download this PDF and rotate clockwise: http://thesocializers.com/VW_masterlist.pdf)

LIVECASTING: USTREAM allows you to broadcast video LIVE to the world from a computer, mobile or iPhone in minutes, or watch millions of live OR pre-recorded shows. Think: Social TV. Social TV platforms and research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_television + http://bit.ly/future_of_socialTV_report2011

PHOTO: FLICKR is the largest and best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Think: Photo Communities. About image retrieval via tags – http://imageclef.org/2011

RESOURCES: The demographics and statistics on useage of specific social networks 2011 report by Ignite Social.