For any new technology, consumerization is the way to spread it in the business and government organizations. Without consumerization, Internet, Blogs and social networks wouldn’t never upraise as social model. The problem is that consumerization often focuses only on technology and not on social dynamics. Saying “social dynamics”, I mean the way and “the why” people uses a certain technology or tool and how this technology modifies the user’s behaviors, also in the basic aspects of life.
So, we see the growing of fashioned technology trends also in business models and we observe companies competing in a crazy running, shifting from one technology to the other, without understanding the dynamics and the way to maximize investments and experiences. This happens because the main goal behind the tactics is to reach the largest number of people.
A further problem of consumerization is the technology-addicted approach. It seems, today, that you can’t market if you don’t join Facebook or Twitter. This drives a dependence relationship between the platform and the business, forcing business to change the organizational model in order to use the platform. As the Guardian experience showed, this change not always is the winner one. Guardian, indeed, is leaving Facebook not because of the “numbers”. It is quitting because Facebook is making the Guardian to lose its mission of informing, filtering the news according to the users behaviors. Guardian was too dependent on the Facebook Algorithm. In some way, Facebook was forcing Guardian to review its business model in order to “be liked” by Facebook.
Social Media are tools and not the world itself. They have to be useful to the business, not the opposite. If the cost of adopting social media is higher than the revenues then, from a management point of view, they are a loss.
Anyway, I don’t mean that social media are the Evil, but they are not the Truth. Approaching the connected society, it’s more important to understand social dynamics than the last feature of a platform. A social media strategy can be adopted without joining necessarily Facebook or Twitter or without forcing the business to be “compliant” with the technical features of the tool . Many Big Brands, such as Vodafone, for example, use Facebook as a first-approach with users and then they drive contacts to their own community.
Last, but not least, it’s time to throw the social media measurement away. Attending many discussions, I heart from non-social-media entrepreneurs the critique about the success in engaging with a low conversion rate. The social media ROI is a controversial question. Many Gurus would say that the problem relies on goal definitions and measurement system. The point is another: if your business model is purely on-line then you can track correctly the conversion. But, if you’re a B2B company and your business is made by a long-cycle-sales process, you can track only the leading. Indeed the next steps (lead->prospect->client) depends on the 1-2-1 relationship between sales team and the lead.
In this post I opened many questions about different topics. I will go through in next days, but now I’d like to hear your opinion: has come the time to go beyond the social media fever?