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

Category: technology

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?  

Social Business Governance: Relationship over Rules

I have been meeting with a lot of clients and see a lot of discussion around governance and structure required.   In a survey done in 1Q 2013, we see 2.7X the focus on developing social business governance. 
Because there is no natural organizational owner of “social,” an effective governance structure must balance  responsiveness and inclusiveness. 

Being inclusive means engaging stakeholders early and broadly to build shared understandings and expectations.  Responsiveness provides for clear accountability and speed in decision making.  The  challenge is to build governance structures and processes that accomplish both.

Having a relationship with your employees not just rules makes a huge difference in how successful you are!

Achieving the transformative value of becoming a Social Business involves connecting all parts of the organization (including channels, partners and customers) in new ways.  It often requires quite new ways of managing people, flatter organizations, and significant cultural change.  While becoming social provides individual flexibility, it’s important that the change achieves the unifying value for the company  of the new goals and culture. 

A strong governance program facilitates coordinated change.  The governance is led by two complementary leadership groups who’s members include the major “organizational structures” (e.g., LOBs, Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Channel Management,  …). 

The first, the Executive Sponsor Group, defines the strategic linkage and goals   of becoming a social business.  Members are leaders across the organization.  The second is a Digital Council.  These are executives who are responsible for the organization-wide, execution creation of the Social Business plan.  The representatives are often the social business leaders in their respective LOBs and functional areas, which ensures focus on the vertical and horizontal needs.


The Digital Council focuses on the key areas of a social program:

  • Community Management – Provides a common approach to drive change and adoption at and across the LOB and functional level.  It includes actions like community management, Content Management, community analytics, and best practices.  While the focus is value at the  LOB / functional level, the governance processes has a Center of Excellent that shares best practices to create a common social voice and approach across and outside the organization. 
  • Metrics and Measurement –  Covers all elements of data and measurement.  Starts with analytics / listening to guide the where and how to engage socially.  This includes internal analytics of social networks, expertise, and projects, as well as the external listening and analytics.  This group also is responsible for creating and automating the overall program measurements to track success, progress on the plan, and social return.
  • Reputation and Risk Management – Focuses on 3 main areas:  1. regulatory risk and compliance(if relevant),  social record retention for general discovery, and other legal and financial risks;    2. policies, guidelines and processes for the organization and associates to participate in social media (for example, IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines); and    3. proactively managing the organization’s reputation and having a defined plan to respond to various levels of negative media or emergencies.
  • Standards – This group focuses on process and technical standards for a social business.  While LOBs, major business functions, etc. require the freedom to build their social programs tailored to their needs, the Standards group ensures that the overall company can be nimble in connecting across boundaries in ways not always anticipated.  Standards for brand and ways of connecting with partners, channels, clients, etc. ensure that the company is viewed as coordinated and focused on needs vs. a “collection of parts.”   On the technical side, a common social business framework enables the new ways of working.




IBM @ #SXSW!! Join us! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ibmconnect

South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, starts on Friday, March 8! If you’re not familiar with this event, or if you want to test your trivia knowledge, then check out this interesting infographic from Rocksauce Studios, which Guy Kawasaki shared earlier this week.

There are so many exciting sessions and speakers that it’s hard to choose which to attend. Even if you’re not attending SXSW, you can follow along on Twitter by searching #sxsw. You’ll be able to join the conversation and share what you see with your followers.

One session that looks incredible is Tina Roth Eisenberg’s keynote on March 10. She’ll be talking about social’s impact on design.

As the mother of a tween daughter, two other sessions have caught me eye:

Digital Drama: Growing Up in the Age of Facebook With Bill Keller, Danah Boyd, Emily Bazelon and Jason Rzekpa.

Is Women’s Media Too Girly? With Anna Holmes, Deborah Schoeneman, Margaret Johnson, Rebecca Fernandez

IBM will be involved in several SXSW speaking sessions:

I Know Where You’re Going: Location as Biometric With Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow & Chief Scientist, and Jennifer Lynch from Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Large Enterprise of Social Media – Meet Up Hosted by Noah Kuttler, Market Segment Manager, IBM Enterprise Content Management

Mentor Session With Rawn Shah, Social Business Strategist, IBM

Engaging Government for Fun, Profit & Meaning With Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Innovation & Social Media Director – IBM Center for the Business of Government, Amanda Eamich from USDA, Mary Krakowiak from National Archives & Records Administration,  and Tammi Marcoullier from US General Services Administration

Making Accessible Transportation Modern & Cool

With  Bill Curtis Davidson, Accessible Transportation Solutions & Business Development Lead, IBM , James Pol from US DOT, Kamiar Kordari from TRX Systems, and Mohammed Yousuf from DOT.

I will be participating on a panel that is not on the SXSW schedule but will be fun and informative:

Just Add Followers – The Key Ingredient to Telling Your Brand Story and Getting Results

Panel Discussion with Shoutlet, Bare Escentuals & IBM, Moderated by TechCrunch       

Gone are the days when brands used a brochure or static website to tell their story. Today, social media provides a platform where brands can communicate their story through the way they engage and interact with followers. And often, those interactions shape the brand in new ways, too. Join TechCrunch, IBM, Bare Escentuals and Shoutlet as we take a look at social storytelling and provide practical tips and tools for the job. You’ll hear a robust discussion on how to effectively manage online communities, listen to fans and impact buyer behaviors and preferences. More details here.

When:             Saturday, March 9 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Where:            Lambert’s Downtown BBQ

IBM is planning an extensive presence at SXSW. Please stop by and say hello!

Mix at 6 Happy Hour

Date:               Saturday, March 9, 6-8pm

Location:        Haven Bar

5th Annual SXSW Interactive Accelerator

Date:               Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12

Location:        Hilton Austin

What: New technologies and start ups presented at SXSW. IBM is sponsoring Social Technologies track

SXSW Trade Show

Date:               Sunday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 13

Location:        Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4

What: IBM booth will showcase solutions for Social Business, the Mobile Enterprise, Digital Marketing & Analytics, and Global Entrepreneurs

Last but not least, the famous Grumpy Cat from Twitter and Facebook will be doing meet & greets and “signing” autographs. That’s just the type of event that you expect at SXSW!

See you in Austin!   Sandy

Social Business Hot Tip: It’s not about age! #ibmsocialbiz #ibm #socbiz #marketing


I hear all the time about the Gen Y in Social Business.    They are really important!   This new consumer group representing more than 95 million in the U.S. alone is referred to by the media as ‘Generation Y’.  A retailer I talked to today called them the ‘Future of Retail.’

But they are not the only future of Social!!!

A fact!  Did you know that there are 47.7 million adults 50-plus visiting Facebook in October of this year alone, according to ComScore.  WOW!  Did you know that the AARP is on the way to having over 1M members on Facebook?!

It is not about age but whether you are a digital immigrant learning or have an interest in social!


  • Target by Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants — not by age!
  • Look at behaviors not age
  • Go personal!
  • For example, millennials have the opportunity to become your loyal customer with literally the swipe of a finger. Doing things like offering free WiFi in stores, mobile checkout, free delivery and social sharing are just a few ways retailers can begin to attract this new consumer group.
  • For example, according to AARP, they found that their fans, love anything that happens in the news. Anything current, timely and really visual works. For the last year, AARP has been focused on figuring out a way to tell interesting stories through photos and videos, because these types of posts perform four to five times better than others.
  • Learn your audience!!

A new type of community! Introducing BlueWorks!


Communities and social networks are being used more and more by companies to assist their clients on targetted areas.

Yesterday, we continued our work in Social media focusing on a community experience (based on our technology and Cloud) for business users working with their processes.

BlueWorks delivers a community to business users with a set of tools that showcase industry content of best practice processes. For instance, what is the best practice process for opening a new account or gift registry.

Business leaders can begin capturing their strategic intent and link it to their capabilities to ensure that they have the key resources within their organization.

One of the keys to a great community is value that is brought to them.   It is The key thing is that there are over 2000 helpful items for the community from papers, podcasts, webcasts, demos, capability maps, and process maps.  One of the most value one is over 800 Key Performance Indictors from the industry standard body called AQPC.

Try it out!  Tell me what you think!