Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Introduction of social media in organization is a change management tool and a change management process at the same time

Web 2.0 Expo - Microsoft Search Network Event ...Charlene Li
(Image by kyeung808 via Flickr)

My first session this morning at the Web 2.0 Expo, with Peter Kim (Dachis Corporation), Charlene Li (Altimeter Group - author of the book Grounswell), Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester Research - one of the most active Web 2.0 evangelists) on "Why Social Media Marketing Fails - and How to Fix It"

This about Change Management, what a surprise. What they talk about is basically what we change facilitators talk about for years.The introduction of social media into organizations needs to fit into their general strategy and you need to have executive buy-in. Charlene says that in many companies there are now plenty of people who belong to the digital natives generation. She opposes the idea to appoint a Chief Social Officer who is in charge for promoting the use of social media.

Jeremiah proposes three organizational models with regards to social media:
- the tire: social media activities come from the edges but aren't really connected
- the tower: the executive mandate defines the communication strategy, top-down
- the hub and spokes: cross-functional group in the middle of the hub which catalyzes social strategies

A few statements from the panel:

Peter Kim asks how do companies with measure and their meet quareterly goals and should we get rid of the marketing department?
Charlene Li: Social media isn't about technology. It's about relationships.
Owyang: The difference between campaigns and community marketing is campaigns are short term - community is long term
Measure of social media success should be based on what you want to accomplish, not the number of followers.
Charlene Li: Corporations don't trust their employees when it comes to the use of social media. So we usually do a comprehensive risk analysis before we advise our clients to embark on that journey.
Charlene Li: If you engage in social media you have to accept to fail.
Charlene Li: Most organizations don't want to open up.

Interesting question from a participant: What risks are we running in as a company if we are embarking on a social media strategy? Will we be accountable to deal with any request that comes in, e.g. through Twitter?

It becomes clearer to me that if we as consultants advise our clients on a social marketing strategy, the entire organization has to understand the significant impacts such a strategy will have on that organizations. Introduction of social media in organization is a change management tool and a change management process at the same time.

The big question at the end is: "Does social media even matter (to the well being of an organizations / it's execution)?" Peter say not yet but it will, certainly. Look back at ecommerce 12 years ago and how that developed.

Yes, I believe it will matter.

Other blog posts on the same session:

Jessica Valenzuela, Maven Digital Mashup

Susan Etlinger, Horn Group, Brass Tacks blog

Mia Dand, Marketing Mystic

Michael Cayley, Social Capital Value Add

Jennifer Leggio, ZDNet

You can listen to a podcast of the entire session here.
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Ilkka said...

Thanks Holger for this reporting. Really important discussions in the panel. I liked the idea of CSO role and the direct connection to change management.

Jessica Valenzuela said...

thanks for posting our session notes!

~ jessica

Ashley Mullin, MSOD said...

Great summary of the discussion. As an Organizational Change Management leader who started with a career in marketing, I do believe we are on the cusp of what will be a redefinition of how we do change in the future. It's relatively easy to make the inferential leap of a change roadmap that incorporates social media (as a process and tool, as Holger points out) as a main work stream and communications channel. Very interesting and exciting-thanks for the recap! -- Ashley Mullin, MSOD, DC Metro Area

Raymond said...

This is already an old blog post. Can anyone advise me more literature on the subject of social media in relation to (organizational) change management?

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