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Social Wars at TSW?

October 24, 2013

I am awful at networking in person. I wish I were better, but I’m just a shy boy. Some people perceive that standbackishness (I know it’s not a word…) as arrogance. Sorry. It isn’t. I’m just better at social networking in the non-threatening space behind a keyboard. So are many others, and that’s how they want service and support for their technology. So… my focus at Technology Services World this week was social media in services. Yesterday, I attended a Social “Breakfast of Champions” with about ten others. 70 people were invited. Granted, it was a 7AM session, and apparently some people don’t get out much, but the lack of attendance confirmed my observation from a day earlier:

TSW tweet

star wars trash compactorThe breakfast session was very good, and there were some social savvy people in the room like Scott Hirsch from Get Satisfaction, Joe Cothrel from Lithium, Carl Knerr from Avaya, and Rob Shapiro from Oracle. I mostly listened as the conversation caromed around the room like when Hans Solo shot his laser gun in the trash compactor on the Death Star… I finally chimed in to suggest the attendees weren’t very virtually social, and “social” is so broad that there’s still quite a bit of confusion. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and “content” marketing, communities, social listening and support, social selling… It’s got to be a vague blur to many tech executives focused making the quarter.

Given that the demographic of attendees is largely the management of some of the biggest tech services companies in the world, and with their P&L’s are under significant pressure, I think advancing social anything in these organizations will daunting unless a solid financial ROI can be proven. Sure, some organizations (EMC comes to mind) are pretty advanced with their use of social technologies and practices, but the majority are not.

Moderator John Ragsdale from the TSIA stated their goal was to “help their clients become more social enterprises.” I suggested a Social in Service 101 to help establish a baseline for attendees on social tools and practices. Someone else suggested a “Social Media Maturity Model” to help define the journey. I’ve poked around the net a bit, and the SMMM concept exists, but it’s really more about whether organizations are using standard SM channels like Twitter and Facebook to promote, support, and defend their brand. The social implications and opportunities for service organizations are much broader.

Now I need to catch up on day job stuff, but I’ll be going into the compactor to see what’s lurking in there. I think it’s opportunity.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2013 4:34 pm

    Well put, Leo. You’re observations are right on. Hopefully we can both help John and team put something together for the spring conference.

  2. October 25, 2013 1:37 pm

    Astute observations, Leo. Sorry I didn’t get to see you or Joe in person this time…



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