Which Side of Digital Divide Will Your Company Be On in 2 Years?

Filed in Guest Post , LinkedIn , Sharisax Is Out There 6 comments

Social Media Academy is an online learning experience for an online world, and I was fortunate to have recently completed their leadership training for social media consultants — where many of the classes were conducted by one of my first mentors SMACAD CEO Axel Schultze.

SMACAD sponsors a LinkedIn group, and member Morris Pentel asked:

What do you think the role of social media will be in 2 years time?

Here was Morris’s answer to his own question:

“Customer Partnerships rather than Customer Management will become the new way to deal with customers moving forward as we start to recognize the power that customers have.”

Axel responded with a not-quite-so-optimistic answer, which he has allowed me to use as a Guest Post.

Lack of Relevant Curriculum Will Hamper Majority of Today’s Business Students — and the companies that hire them

by Axel Schultze

As a customer experience fanatic, I understand Social Media to be the single most powerful mechanism to improve customer experience. But social media is not something you “install” and then have it.

Unfortunately, I see the “social divide” widening in two years.

Social Graph Factor

It takes approximately six months to establish a decent social graph. Within those six months many people will give up, make mistakes, and start all over in another six months. In other words, somebody who starts in the social web today can be savvy and have a valuable social graph by end of the year.

Organization Factor

The democratization of knowledge is another current dilemma. The established experts make way to whoever communicates fastest, loudest and with the largest number of followers (not twitter followers, but followers of their direction).

  • Today more people say “You have to grow the number of followers” than those who say “Focus on relevant people in your network.”
  • More people say “Social Media is the new marketing channel” than those who say “Social Media is most successful as a cross-functional customer engagement model.”

The challenge is to identify the most successful way for an organization to create a sustainable success model.

Role Model Factor

In the past, if a company installed CRM, SAP, Local Area Networks, the company or their vendor heavily advertised that fact.

Not so in Social Media. Social Media is a powerful competitive advantage and those who figured it out won’t advertise it. The majority of leadership teams are followers — following the market leader.

But if the market leaders do not promote what they do, the followers will fall back more than ever before.

Educational Factor

The vast majority of business education still teaches traditional techniques. Many of the instructors are business consultants who were pretty successful 10+ years ago and are now teaching their success model to others.

There are only a microscopically small number of business-relevant social media training institutes or consultants with both — sound business experience AND a profound social media background. Look at the major sales training institutes: You won’t find them in the social web; some even require their trainers to NOT use social media at all.

As such – the “social divide” will widen and the distance between market leaders and followers will get bigger in the next two years. In most industries the market leaders are heavily engaged in the social web while their B-Class competitors are still busy wondering if “the economy is coming back.”

Which side of the Digital Divide do you want to be on, and what will you be doing about it?

Social Media Academy’s next Leadership Class begins June 9.

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   24 May 2010
Tags : , , , , , , ,
May 25, 2010
6:01 am

Great article Shari… spot on.

This really hits home for those of us who understand the power of authentic collaboration. I love the distinctions made about social media as a “cross-functional customer engagement model”.

Think about it. Some of the most professionally fulfilling moments come when connecting with a client and helping each other find innovative solutions. This concept flips it and has you collaborating on the front end of the relationship. Very powerful.

Shari… your blog is outstanding… great insights that help me… information I can’t find elsewhere.

In your corner and on your side,

Mark Allen Grainger- I am, http://TheInspirationalMarketer.com
(415) 789 6009

Author May 25, 2010
8:29 am

“Spot on” . . . unfortunately
thanks for the support. That, of course, is what the Social Web IS all about. And everyone can take part.

May 27, 2010
5:55 pm

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

May 31, 2010
9:04 am

I’ve only been saying the same thing about education in Social Media for the past year, and am consistently either ridiculed or shouted down about it. Nice to see that there are some intelligent people that understand what the coming of Web 3.0 is all about! Great post.

Mar 11, 2012
6:17 am

Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

Apr 29, 2012
6:13 am

I believe most companies know that Social Media play a bigger role in a company’s market strategy. However, many make the mistake of thinking “Build it and They Will Come!”.

One important lesson we have learned is customers like to be engaged more that they like to be sold to. If a company does not get this right, jumping onto the social media bandwagon will experience the opposite to the intended effect it wishes to have.

Some mistakes that companies commit online are : having a super pushy sales strategy, pushing a “buy-now” campaign down prospects’ inboxes, weak (or mis-timed) call to action (buzz does not necessarily translate to sales!).

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