Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

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Insight Robotics douses out the competition, wins SmartCamp China!

Insight Robotics douses out the competition, wins SmartCamp China!

Every summer in the United States, it seems like there are more and more forest fires. Literally thousands of forestland acres are lost each summer season! It always makes me wonder, “Can’t we do better?”

Last week’s SmartCamp China winner has a great solution for fighting forest fires, called Insight Computer Vision Wildfire Detection System. Insight Robotics uses thermal imaging sensors and advanced artificial intelligence vision technology to quickly locate a forest fire, giving first responders a jump at extinguishing the flames. So precise is their solution that is can spot fires as small as an area of 2m x 1m within 5km radius!


And that’s not all it can do! Insight Robotics also says that their solution can be used in a variety of ways for undeveloped terrain, including the monitoring of illegal logging and large city parks.

Now that’s what I call a smarter solution! Congratulations to Insight Robotics!

Leadership matters! One of the Top 5 Social Business Questions Answered!

One of the Top 5 questions people ask me is does it matter if your leaders are sold on social and the answer is YES!

Getting your executives to buy into the concept of a social business in most cases is something that they will either get straight away or not.  Those who are switched on to “modern” technology will not need much convincing that implementing social technologies in the workplace will improve communications and enhance productivity.  Those who don’t see the need for it, of course, require a little more persuasion.

However you arrive at their participation, they will most likely be nervous about stepping into a less controlled environment.  It’s a bit like them going to the local swimming pool where all the employees swim.  There’s no hiding!

How do you approach executives who are not Social?!

My advice to getting them into the water is to let them observe for a while.  Get your enthusiastic evangelists publishing and propose that your leader checks in on these things.  With their permission ask a public question.  By that we mean something they will be happy to answer in public.  Encourage your other trusted evangelists to do likewise.  Use the fact that you have a team of enthusiastic users to vary the method of interaction.  Ask in a forum post for a suggestion, ask in a micro-blogging entry something else.

Make it easy for your leader to get into the water by making it easy for them to answer.  A couple of short sentences for the first few answers to things is all that’s needed.

Once you have the leader taking part, albeit on a light basis, we need to convince the leadership team that they too should look at taking part.  That team will only see value in doing this if they see the chief doing it.

The leadership team will likely be nervous about what their own areas of the organization are putting into the social system – they will be concerned that their dirty laundry might be getting washed in public.  Try to quash this concern.  Remember that a social business is one which is engaged and transparent (and nimble).

Show your leaders that by participating in the system and answering cross-departmental or cross-organizational issues their area of the business shows its value.  Remember – your value is in what your share – not what you know in a social business.


Altimeter’s report shows that only about 1/2 of executives are engaged.  How do you get that commitment in your organization? 

leadership factoids

Having a strong commitment among the leaders in the organization sets the tone, volume and enthusiasm for the use of the system.  Remember that in any organization the leadership team are essentially “celebrities” and when they post information or participate in the system the staff become engaged.  As an analogy to this, while many people consider the old-fashioned two-page memo from the chief executive setting out policy and priorities to be deadly boring, everyone reads it.  Everyone engages.  So to get the engagement, to cross the social chasm, you need your leaders to start becoming more transparent.

You can facilitate this slowly by driving engagement from your core Social Business team from below.  Encouraging the execs to take a more active role in forum discussions, making the technology available to them on their chosen mobile device and empowering the gatekeepers to your execs – the secretaries – are all good ways of driving top-down participation which in turn drives bottom-up engagement.

Reverse mentoring as a technique for helping with engagement.  You should, however, consider preparing the ground by producing some executive training materials.  An executive handbook – amounting to a maximum of 5 pages of tips and tricks, some one-to-one time, and perhaps a presentation provided to them on paper or some other medium to help them get into the concept are all good approaches.  Above all show them that these are “special” materials – these are designed only for them.  They are intelligent people and like to be treated that way.  Give them the facts in tweet-size points.

Ask if you can check in on them from time to time.  If you get their approval then MAKE SURE YOU DO IT REGULARLY.  But not too regularly to avoid getting on their nerves!

Saturday Infographic! Social Brand Advocacy!

infographic advocacy

Friday Tip: Always on listening

My  mom used to tell me that God gave me two ears and one mouth because I was to listen more than talk.   In Social Media, listening acts as a guide, through the magical and interesting world of the blogosphere.

Listening should be a passion and an ongoing process that is necessary to keeping your strategy fresh and competitive.  It enables you to find opportunities, potential new stakeholders and enables you to proactively manage Social Trust.  

The value of listening is that it assists you in understanding your prospects, clients, and of course, your competitors.   It leads to action and awareness of conversations which will compel your company to respond.  

Since your URL isn’t just your website anymore, but everywhere you are on the web, listening is important to your digital presence.  You are building a brand through images and test, and your head is on the “guillotine” everyday if you just rest and don’t stay totally tuned in a systemic approach. Business, corporation related and societal events and basically everything is simply interconnected and needs dedicated listening all at the same time.

How do you listen?   I use IBM Connections internally, and IBM Analytics externally and also set google alerts, Hootsuite and check Tumblr for trending topics.      What do you use?

Beware of ghoulish cyber-attacks!

Happy Monday and the week of Halloween!

Today, we are going to talk about cyber-attacks and the best practices to try to avoid them.   One of the top vulnerabilities is trust through social networking!

Friday Social Tip: Spend Time on Your Influencers – The 4-1-1

Spend time on your influencers!

I think this is one of the best social media tips I ever discovered.

First, a definition of an nfluencer.  An influencer is someone who influences the rest of the clients and potential clients online and offline, usually about 15% to 20% of your followers or fans!

I discovered this concept in a book by Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping,  The 4-1-1 (for your informtion!) is a way to show value and care to your social influencers.

This concept says that if you communicate 6 things socially, 4 of those 6, or 67% should be showcasing content from your influencers.   The other items you should be showcasing are your Point of View or Subject Matter Expertise .  The other could be something that is more sales oriented.

Complements of Joe Pulizzi here is a great visual of what this concept is!


The Customer Activated Enterprise – Infographics


Happy FRIDAY!! Social Tip of the week! Create a Social Calendar

Yes, a calendar.  If you have a blog, or Facebook page, or even Twitter think through your strategy of content that you need to study, learn, or create.

Then plan out your posts.   Now this does not mean that will not do the article and post that is in sync with real time events, but planning out your content helps you to add more value for your readers. 

For instance, I plan my series for my Social Business Coffee Breaks.   Each Monday, I post one of my VBlogs and I plan out the content.    5 Tips for better social selling for instance has a great following!   

Each Month, I plan my series, and my topics.  And then each weekend I write, research, poll, and ensure that I can add value to my readers!

Do you create a social calendar?

The Social Caveman

I just watched the Croods with my kids! It was such a great movie.

It was funny to watch the Crood Family move from Cavemen to being transparent and living out in the open!

The same is true for people who are hiding from Social! They are cavemen and woman!

Here’s some incentives to move out of the cave!

* Determine what your brand stands for and what you want it to stand for.   Search yourself on: Google, Technorati, Twitter

*  Come up with your own tagline and ensure that you have the tagline (your brand) on all your social tools.   Make it short and sweet like:  John:  Scholar, Nice Guy, Sales leader or Sally:  Highly recognized Corporate executive  with Top Tier MBA

*  Remember every interaction and experience is a nonneutral brand experience.  Make each one count!

*Engage your core community of enthusiasts, customers & employees where they spend their time — pick the tools you leverage based on who you are targetting
*  Build/engaging with a loyal “brand army” of enthusiasts that make your success their cause.   Social is about forming a relationship.   This is not about marketing.    Acknowledge and harness their goodwill to generate insight and return on your investment
*  Increase your engagement in important conversations.   Have a POV (point of view).     State it and add value!

*  Remember, it is not JUST about social.  It must be supported with real-world events and experiences (F2F is still the most meaningful interaction!)

Move out of the cave and get started!  Reach out if you need help!

Women’s Toolbox Conference: Giving women the tools to excel in the workplace!

I’m so thrilled to be speaking at the Women’s Toolbox Conference on Friday, Oct. 18th! 

What is the Women’s Toolbox Conference? Exactly what it sounds like! It will deliver thought leadership, resources, and networking—all the tools that can help women create a lasting impact in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

Now what does making an impact mean for women? Well, not only can it translate to making more money, but also getting more clients, finding a better job, and being known for your expertise and what you bring to the table. All these things can set you on the course to living a more balanced and happy life!

I love initiatives that champion women in the workplace so I’m excited to be sharing some of my experiences and knowledge at this conference, specifically around social. I’ll be discussing how to become essential to your customers with social business by building your social presence, knowing your prospects and customers and their influencers, engaging and responding with speed, and celebrating your customers! 

Interested in attending this wonderful event and hearing from business superstars and thought leaders?

Register  for the event, which will take place Oct. 16-18th in Beverly, MA!

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