Which is a fancy way of saying people started using the tools to support their business plans.
Every year, on the last day, I compile a list of Conversation Agent posts that had an impact for that year. Although independent thought has been a hallmark of this blog and my life, I feel that this year has brought about the biggest change in perspective compared to past ones.
Thanks to the many people who have contributed in conversations here and live, I feel that even though these are still early days, businesses large and small are realizing that the opportunity is to find their own humanity again.
2011 will be the year of social customer insights
As evolutions go, better results reside in meaningful customer insights and intelligence. Activities that bring those to the fore will take a greater slice of marketing and communications resources inside organizations. Proactive is where you win.
The proof of this shift is in Twitter's commercial metrics, Facebook insights, and the custom metrics available on business-grade social media clients.
Here are some of the conversations that led us there:
One of the main questions marketers and business owners ask themselves is what really affects behavior? Plenty of food for thought there between informational guideposts and social influences, for sure customer experience is more important than ever. So that is one area where we need to roll up our collective sleeves.
The other is content. And so far, we're seeing that organizations still think there's no money in content creation.
With all the conversation about networking and social, we still get things done through search. It works especially well when you have evangelists writing about your organization. Here's an example of Apple and brand evangelists. Not that you need one more story about this company, however, here I take a look at the iPad launch. Marketing as a profit center is a reality at that company. What about yours?
Bonus post on time management: urgent vs. important
Most customers choose you and your brand on the basis of reputation, and there are 7 social media behaviors that won't win you customers while two recent surveys validate companies adoption of social media.
The question then becomes, which has priority over your scarce resources, should you outsource social media?
Many are not. Are you ready to become a media company? Your organization, too can develop it. Top company blogs require content strategy, expertise, and good writing.
Live conversations are always stimulating and we had good thinkers in a room when we talked about how to connect with your customers. And talking about customers, I have had the distinct impression that they don't -- do social networks see organizations as customers?
A work in progress, as they say. Which is why it's a good ideas for organizations to build an online platform and move past the article to the topic.
The question around content and value continues to be central, especially online. There are 3 sure ways to create signal with content. We also took a look at social content. And talking about signal, here's an example of how AT&T and Apple are birds of a feather.
Something that has been on everyone's mind all year -- crisis communications in social media: are you ready?
I wrote it before, and I'll say it again (at SxSW), everyone's wrong about influence, except your customers. Another question organizations have been asking this year is customer service on Twitter, should you do it? Tools come and go, bookmarking and taking notes stays.
Because 2010 was about making social operational, this post about 7 business pitfalls that impact social strategy makes the list. What is at the heart of the customer experience? Emotions, trust, and control.
Many have built on this post and shared it with their friends because they wanted to learn how to develop a customer case study.
Should we be putting the human being first, or the brand/idea first? Cluetrain vs. Madison Avenue.
When you attend an event, you want to make it a super useful opportunity. For that, I offered the 7 "shoulds" of conference organization. And since I do like to flip questions around, how much is your brand worth to a fan? Do you know?
There are many more, this is a good start though -- 5 reasons why listening is so much more than monitoring. One of the first outputs of listening should be designing the customer experience.
And if you've done your job well, you're capturing the value of what you create.
It is time to ask do you have a plan or just a wish? Because that may well be one of the reasons why customers turn to each other for help. And a reflecting post that outlines the challenges with content strategy for the coming year.