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Don’t do “Jellyfish Social”!! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ls12 #gitomer

April 3, 2012

My daughter’s science project was on Jelly Fish this term.   (She is 13!). While helping her I learned some interesting facts about Jellies!

Top 3 Factoids:

1.  Jellies have no brains

2.  They consume too much and then spray out !

3.  Do not learn.

As she completed the project, I thought about the implications of “bad”social – which I will call Jellyfish Social!

What is Jellyfish Social?

1.  Brain not used.  Some companies still seem to not use their brains in doing social!   Gang, social is not about control.  Those days are gone! Yesterday a company spammed Twitter with their “message”. The comments were direct back to the company!  LIsten to us, talk to us.  Don’t just do your normal 1 way message.    Social means engagement.  That’s two way discussions. Not just pushing your message.

2.  Consume and spray!  No interaction.  Jellies really don’t interact with anything!   They just spray their waste and go!   The best social businesses interact.   They get them to Comment (hint hint!) , Share, ReTweet,  Vote, Badge, Watch a Video, or do something!!!    You need move folks from being a spectator to being a participant.  Maybe with a reward — and that will be most for tomorrow !  Gamification to reward for action!

3.  Do not learn.  Those worst practices don’t learn from the information they gather.  Social is an innovation ignitor!   The best companies innovate with their employees and clients.  Yesterday I did a Coffee Break on TD Bank, a great example of listening and then changing.  Sunlife, IBM, Cemex, Lowe’s and others know that social can drive innovation.  It helps turn an organization into a learning machine!

So my daughter did great on her project (thanks for asking!).   And here she is!!!

 

35 comments

  1. Great analogy…


    • Thanks! It is funny how so many things in life are lessons in Social!


  2. Love it!


    • Thanks Betsy!


  3. Great analogy, Sandy. Thanks for sharing.
    I love jellies visually, but they aren’t particularly interactive, and float wherever the currents take them, which you could compare to companies throwing some social media tactics out there without a plan or objective — hoping they’ll stick.


    • Agree….and when they do try to interact they “sting”!!!

      Thanks for the continuation of the analogy!


  4. Nice!
    Jellyfish sting too! Even after they are dead.

    “Spray and Pray” Social media executed “poorly” can sting even after your campaign is long gone.


  5. Nice!
    And yes…Jellyfish sting too! Even after they are dead.

    “Spray and Pray” Social media executed “poorly” can sting even after your campaign is long gone.


    • Right on!!!! Spray and Pray never works!


  6. And I’m pretty sure Jelly Fish are spineless. Represent your company with some backbone!


    • Backbone is essential and perfectly fits into our analogy!


  7. Love the analogy! I feel like posting this on Facebook and Twitter to those sprayers…I wonder if they will get the hint when they’re posting what they are eating……


    • :) Thanks for the comments! I agree.


      • I just remembered Hootsuite is good for that and it is done. Posted.


      • Yes, I love hootsuite too!


  8. Super read. Very reminisant of a twitter chat I was in earlier. All about why we take part in such events. I am sure I saw some sprayers in there.


  9. There are lots of jellyfish on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/foley/jellyfish Literally and figuratively, little interaction, just lots of posting and reposting images.


    • Yes, true. Do you see any enterprises using Pinterest in a great way?!


  10. Great post. I love the analogy – and the continuation in the comments.

    I agree that ‘Jellyfish social’ (in other words using social as a mechanism to generate impressions haphazardly) really misses the point of the medium and the opportuinities it presents for learning, influence and collaboration.

    To me, the concept of ‘social’ necessitates people at the other end of the communication understanding and caring about the information being shared. If they don’t feel some sense of RAPPORT with the sender, they’re less likely to bother to engage at the receiving end.

    QUESTION:
    If someone reading this is doing ‘jellyfish social’ today, what would we encourage them to do differently?

    My recommendation would be to develop a rigourous engagement plan e.g.:
    - identify SMART objectives (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound – and tied to business objectives)
    - define a segment; target audience (based on demographics) or, in the online space, a constituency (based on psychographics; shared interests, beliefs, ambitions – and behaviourgraphics).
    - listen to develop insight into relevant keywords, topics and medias before developing content and selecting engagement tactics
    - get relevant experts to engage with a point of view (strong backbone of reason, intelligence plus empathy) via
    - the right mix of integrated engagement tactics (social would probably be one element of a broader 360 degree integrated plan)
    - measure and iterate

    Do you agree with this recommendation – or see something different?

    I look forward to reading more of your entertaining posts!


  11. Great post. I love the analogy – and the continuation in the comments.

    I agree that ‘Jellyfish social’ (or using social as a mechanism to generate impressions haphazardly) really misses the point of the medium and the opportunities it offers for learning, influence, building rapport and collaboration.

    QUESTION:
    If someone reading this is doing ‘jellyfish social’ today, what would we encourage them to do differently?

    My recommendation would be to develop an active, rigourous engagement plan e.g.:
    - identify SMART objectives (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound – and tied to business objectives)
    - define a segment; target audience (based on demographics) or, in the online space, a constituency (based on psychographics; shared interests, beliefs, ambitions – and behaviourgraphics).
    - listen to develop insight into relevant keywords, hot topics and medias before developing content and selecting engagement tactics
    - get relevant experts to engage with a point of view (strong backbone of reason, intelligence plus empathy) via
    - the right mix of integrated engagement tactics (social would probably be one element of a broader 360 degree integrated plan)
    - measure and iterate

    Do you agree with this recommendation – or see something different?

    I look forward to reading more of your entertaining posts!


    • Love your recommendations! Yes, I would say that if someone is doing this today I do agree that they need to stop and think about why they are using this great new relationship builder. I think perhaps they have not thought through how to build a relationship or perhaps made the mistake of thinking this is “marketing”. It is about relationships — not pushing a single point of view!

      And to add value, you need to add value and have value to share! Unleash you employees aftering training them as they are your most valuable asset!!


      • Sandy, I think the point you raised on value is key to the cultural shift that’s required.

        It’s easy for an org to fall into the trap of doing ‘jellyfish social’ when staff only consider the value to their own organisation – and not the value to the constituents they plan to engage with. This seems to stem from ‘old world’ thinking – e.g. that it’s possible to control the communication systems and that pushing messages one way (inside out) is still effective.

        There is a lot of talk about the need to build two way engagement (incl. pull / outside in) in order to take advantage of the digital and social mediums. Understanding what would be of value to the constituent seems key to this – and requires insight. However traditional marketing and communications processes do not involve gathering the insight into psychographics or behaviourgraphics that is necessary to engage with the right people and provide purposeful content at the right time in the right place, to deliver the value these constituents want.

        I think the marketing and communications process must therefore transform, including how we segment, per my post above. Problem is that this will mean redesigning the organisation – not just the structure but strategy, people, rewards and culture! I see this being the ‘marketing transformation’ of the coming years. I’d love to hear others perspectives on this.

        I guess what I’m saying is I think we’ll be fighting jellyfish in the social space for some time to come. I’d like to be able to point them to some guidance on what to do differently – maybe I’ll write a blog post on it… :s


  12. Analogy is good and the examples given are all matching the three points. We live in a society where, there are more jelly fish on earth than in water though land space is less than water space :). I would love to see some feedback on how to handle those jelly fish, may be immediate superior or a friend or some one we know.


    • Vivek! Thanks for the comment and I will have a blog entry coming up on these questions as I think there are others that would gain value from them as well! Sandy


  13. Very interesting. I guess I still need to learn a lot about the social business.


    • I’d be happy to help in anyway I can! I would recommend that you listen to the Social Business Coffee Breaks!!


  14. This analogy is so great – its simple but it meats all the relevant points that you need to take into consideration when setting up a social business. I am sure I will use your example from now on when I am talking about this subject.


    • Great! Thank you for the re use! Let me know how it goes!


  15. I found this in the paper this morning…and it reminded me of your posting on Jellyfish: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/18/brian-hutchinson-beware-of-rising-tide-of-jellies/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    I believe if your social medial analogy is applied to this article, it makes for interesting reading.


    • Debbie, very interesting. I guess we’ll be increasingly reliant on powerful search, listening and data analysis tools to cut through the clutter?


  16. Catchy title that got me to stop for a minute and read. Thanks for sharing, Sandy.


    • Any time@!!!!


  17. Being a closet biology buff, I can’t help but respond to this note from you. And while you may think in this response that I am “missing the point” by focusing on jellyfish anatomy, please consider the underlying survival strategy of this organism; or organisms depending on your perspective.

    Jellyfish are actually some of the simplest multi-cellular organisms on the planet, and in comparison to other carnivorous animals, have very little cell differentiation within each jelly. The reason this is important is because a jellyfish can almost not be viewed as a single organism, but rather as a community of cells that differentiate to work synergistically. Fundamentally, by viewing this life form as a single organism would be missing the point because the willingness of its prehistoric DNA to provide only enough guidance for its cells to collaborate is the underlying reason for its survival.

    So no brains? Lets look at its success as a survivor on the planet….they have survived 3 major planetary-wide extinctions. How many animals can you think of that have done this with brains? To top it off, despite the extremely damaged ecosystems our oceans are today, jelly populations are increasing.

    If you consider the jellyfish not as one organism, but as a collection of cells with only enough differentiation to live as a community, I believe you will see that this is a superlative example of what collaboration can accomplish. And not to get too esoteric, could it be argued that by tapping into the power of synergistic collaboration, the jellyfish actually achieves something that organisms who live as sentient beings could never accomplish. In essence, we as humans separate ourselves from our surrounding environment by viewing our individual contributions to society. We put our name on our work and we think of success as an individual’s endeavor, which will be achieved at some future time. But jellyfish are 95% water. They “accept” their environment as a fundamental component of what they are, in the each and every present moment.

    Could this acceptance of environment and ignorance of time be a core tenet of collaboration?


    • Great and food for thought! I love your biology analogy….. while I do think the analogy works for Social, i do like your survival view. I think doing social is about survival — which is what jellyfish have done. But if they used their brain, would they be further ahead?!



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