This was my favorite session at Blog World Expo this year because I actually felt like I learned a thing or two. I’ve known Jeremiah for a little while and see him at events/conferences in the tech/social scene, he’s a smart guy that I have come to admire and respect in the space; I try to show him my support when I can. Jeremiah delivered a very interesting presentation at Blog World Expo that covered the future of social media and business. Here is the most important slide from his presentation which talks about where we are headed.
I’m going to summarize each bullet point to give you an idea of where the future of social media and business is headed (according to Jeremiah).
Large websites and brands are adopting social media, it’s not something we can stop and it’s not a fad that’s going to go away. There is no point in being scared about the social web, it’s going to exist with or without you.
Corporate Websites are Irrelevant
In the near future product pages on websites are going to appear as streams of conversations from people talking about your product. You need to fragment your website across multiple channels such as Facebook and twitter, your website is much more than just a single URL.
Real Time: Not Fast Enough
You’re going to need someone looking at the conversations and interactions taking place about your brand on a continuous basis. Conversations happen 24/7 and you need to be there when they happen. You can’t put up information on a Friday and not monitor what happens to that information over the weekend. You have to have a listening program in place that will allow you to respond quickly and efficiently.
Departments – Customers Don’t Care
Customers just want their problems solved. They don’t care what department you work for as long as you can help them. This means that you need to be integrating all of your customer information; i.e. your CRM systems/databases/and monitoring tools. There’s no point in having these things fragmented, they need to interconnect.
People are using information on their personal profiles that is more accurate than information they use to sign up or register to purchase a product or service. Many large websites are now allowing users to access information by logging in with their Facebook or Twitter accounts. This means that a company knows who their customers are and where they exist online, hence they should be able to provide targeted and relevant messages/information to people. I’ve actually talked about this in the past and see this as a huge opportunity for companies. If I purchase a product on Amazon then Amazon should know where I exist online and what conversations I’m having about things relevant to Amazon. Amazon can also check whether or not I’m connected to other people that work at Amazon (or recommend Amazon folks for me to connect with). This information can plug neatly into a CRM tool that a company may be using.
So there you have it, these are the 5 areas that Jeremiah believes are the future of social media and business. I think Jeremiah is correct in his analysis but would also add that there is going to be a strong shift towards the ROI and accountability component of social media, I should know because I’m working on some interesting things in exactly this area which will be announced soon. Social media has to be justified in terms of spend, if you can’t measure it then you know very little about it.
For a live-blogged version of the presentation you can check out Dave Thomas’ blog post.
So what do you think? Do you agree with Jeremiah’s 5 points on the future of social media and business?