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

Category: SBF13

Talking Social Business with Airlines in Prague with a new Social Study for Airlines

 The GLOBAL AIrline Summit. 

On September 9, I’ll be talking with senior airline executives from around the world at the IBM Airline Summit in Prague, Czech Republic. The theme of the summit is “Smarter travelers expect smarter airlines: Delivering an exceptional customer experience while optimizing operations.”

Today’s travelers really do expect more from airlines than ever before. Yes, we expect smooth operations, a pleasant flight and good value.

But more and more we expect personalized customer service while we are shopping for a trip and during each step of the journey, delivered consistently through all the devices we use.

The NEW Socially Connected Airlines. 

Today, meeting those expectations depends on using the latest social business tools to help the airline workforce keep the planes on schedule and to create exceptional customer experiences.

I recently read a related article in Business Travel News that might interest you by Paul Campion, an IBM colleague in the UK.

The SUMMIT.  A Breakthrough Event!

 At the summit, airline executives will share their own experiences and hear speakers from other airlines, industry analysts, a leading international airport, Coca-Cola marketing, Netflix, and from IBM. 

We’ll be launching some exciting new social business research sponsored by IBM with PhoCusWright – “Social media in travel: mayhem, myths, mobile and money.” The study will provide clear quantitative insights around what travel companies need to manage, mobilize, and monetize their social strategy.

Of course, the Summit won’t be all work and no play. I hear that we’ll take a tram ride and walking tour through Prague’s beautiful old town. Then we’ll share a meal in one of the city’s great restaurants. I’m looking forward to it. Watch this space for my blog post after the event.

Sweet tea and screen doors. Social Businesses could learn alot from them!

Yes, I am southern pure as they come!  I love my sweet ice tea, grits with butter, screen doors, and Kudzu.

screen door

In the summer, the screen door is an essential element of everyone’s home.  The screen door’s entire point is that it’s not a barrier.  Its job is to open easily.  It is a welcome to all visitor’s and friends that approach it.

Is your social media site like that screen door?   Does it open and welcome others in?

Tips to make your site as welcoming as that Southern Door!

  1. Do you make people type in that “code” to enter?   Don’t!
  2. Is your site mobile friendly and usable?
  3. Do you have stellar content ?  Content is Queen!
  4. Is Video part of your strategy?  Video is the highest trusted media!  Use it wisely!
  5. Do you have a Twitter Widget on your Home page to engage your audience?  (Check out my blog on IBM Voices!)
  6. Can you feature other guests on your site?
  7. How do you listen?  All relationships listen first!
  8. Are your employees empowered to really represent the brand on your site?
  9. Have you chosen the right social tools that welcome your audience?  For instance, if you are selling to men, Pinerest may not be the best first choice.
  10. Do you constantly review the feedback and make changes to adapt and change?  

Premise: If social is the new operating system, what is the installation kit?

If today’s company structures are often obstacles to smarter, more collaborative organizations, only a systemic perspective to social business transformation can succeed. How should we think and understand the business change in a systemic approach?

The key to any Social Business strategy is understanding how it will align with core business objectives and organizational goals.  You also need to understand your current culture and any specific desired or required shifts to enable a social workforce, social partnerships, or social customer engagement.  Gaining trust is another critical component of social transformation, which is closely tied to the need for transparency in a social business.  Engaging participants through exceptional experiences, gamification, and mobile increases their participation in the transformation; and networking social capabilities into existing core business processes and business systems further increases both the use of social and the key linkages back to fundamental business goals.  A successful program also needs to anticipate and mitigate potential risks and regulatory requirements, and analytics will be required for monitoring the social transformation as well as the associated business benefits as they are realized.

How do we concretely manage a transformative experience that is able to lead companies from their current limits to fully embracing social? How can we execute a disruptive business strategy that can benefit the organization in the near future?

Your Social Business strategy will determine whether your start internally or externally, and will ideally identify specific roles or business activities that will quickly generate demonstrated value.

Based on your understanding of your unique culture, draw from our experiences with early adopters to increase the pace of adoption across the enterprise.  At different times in your transformation,  some of these will be particularly valuable, and they can provide support for programs as they are just beginning or once they have matured.  We also host an Adoption Council who’s members provide peer-to-peer guidance from their prior experiences with social.

  • Create a New Way of Working — Integrate into Processes, Customize the Experience, Drive Culture with Governance, Hire Social Job Roles
  • Launch with Top and Groundswell — Leaders Show the Way, Evangelize and Enable
  • Engage to Fit into Work Style and Culture — Motivate and Engage, Reverse Mentor Leaders, Raise an Internal Brand Army, Show Metrics and Value

The social business process has its  measures and KPIs, but the idea of ROI as a silver bullet often underestimates the complexity of evaluating the impact of innovation. How do we assess and prove the value of the social business transformation?

While there are many KPIs that are critical to maintaining the health of a social program and individual communities, the ROI of social needs to derive from core business metrics.  With a properly structured Social Business strategy, clear alignment to revenues and expenses should be identified and subsequently monitored.  You also have the opportunity to leverage social business patterns captured from the experiences of early adopters in social.  The first six patterns provide top ROI, touch 70% of our clients, and show the value of social without the “S” word.  IBM’s proprietary research along with leading management consultancies including McKinsey have also provided support for substantiating the value of social business transformation.

  • Find Expertise
  • Knowledge Sharing and Innovation
  • External Customer Insights
  • Recruiting and Onboarding
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Safety