Flyswatters vs. Beekeepers - Bee Social :)

     There is a lot of buzz going around with social media and customer experience these days. Busy people, are buzzing to build communities, with sticky strategies that capture the hearts and minds of customers. The use of platforms, voice of the customer (VOC), analytics, software integration, etc., is huge.

I attended an IBM conference in New York City recently. There were so many solutions featured from IBM on Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics. I went there to learn about the integration of COGNOS and SPSS, which is pretty impressive. The keynoter was quite good. Yet, I found it amusing that few staff people, or consultants, could offer me an integrated view of how SPSS worked with COGNOS to build a communities and profitability. Analytics and BI seem like a natural mix that could change the world, no?

I suddenly found myself thinking about how many people come to social media with these “flyswatter” mentalities, versus that of the “beekeeper”. It was a lucid moment, where I envisioned thousands of communities, like pods, or honeycombs, being harvested information, data, knowledge and ultimately wisdom. It's a bit like a science fiction movie, and parallels the movie the Matrix, but I think it is apt still the same.

Think about the early days of radio or television and you realize that social media is still in its infancy. Supported by mobile, the future is quite exciting, yet many wonder how do we manage it? What do we manage? Where do we manage? What tools do we use? What conversations do we get involved with?

I don’t believe that there should be a specific social media engagement model that needs to be used. I do believe it needs to be completely integrated with the business. All departments need to be involved, from service, marketing, finance, production, human resources, etc. Where you bring your culture, infrastructure and social skills (to include emotional and psychological) to the cocktail party, if you are to make it work.

The ROI on it requires that you synthesize the data out there to create models, predictions, trend analysis and are innovate and agile. Analytics and BI offer a beacon, a rational ray of light that can make sense of all the chatter to get to what matters to change. Slowly but surely, traditional channels, distribution models and political walls are morphing and changing the way we do business and you need to be able to have perspective, to see the road ahead.

With a beekeeper honeycomb strategy you can work from the center out, to identify content that represents your culture and identity; types of interactions that your involved with (sales, marketing, customer service, operations, engineering, human resources, facilities management etc) to maintain your reputation; build trust with a groups and implement a social media policy that enables you to get in the conversation; share and identify management and leadership involvement; measure the success of your efforts, and implement a change management strategy to enables you to innovate. With this kind of an approach, you take a more holistic view of your business. Feedback, well planned, is valuable, clear policies, communication strategies, and rules of engagement regarding timing, tone, disclosure, etc., are essential. If not in place, possible errors can occur, which could be destructive to the brand and reputation of the company.

Finally, getting your production/operations team involved in the assessment of information is key to work towards a responsive innovation strategy. This can be done with a clear community management approach that gets your front line service team involved with each department. Like a traffic controller, they watch and reduce errors in flight, fancy, clarity, and help one-to-one interactions in communities. The opportunity to drive down costs and differentiate the brand, through social engagement, offers value to the company.

Article Source :

Keith Fiveson, is the chief strategic consultant for ITESA and Social Gogo. He offers advisory services for contact center and social media development. Visit his website at or view his social media profiles at

Posted on 2012-06-14, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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