Archive for September, 2010

Upcoming Research Teaser: What do Employers Want in a Corporate Social Media Strategist?


Altimeter Group is doing thorough research on the role of the Corporate Social Media Strategist. I’ve got bits of data below, and a bunch more coming.

Who are these people? The Corporate Social Media Strategist are are decision makers of social media within an enterprise corporation over social media programs. In fact, I have a growing list of actual Corporate Social Media Strategists right here.

Our research will involve surveying them, analyzing job descriptions, analyzing LinkedIn Profiles, looking at HR salary information. Beyond that, we’ve completed 49 interviews over the past few months of strategists and those they work with, that’s right, 49 to find out what works and what’s keeping them up at night.

Teaser Data: Here’s what Employers Want in Corporate Social Media Strategists
Here’s a teaser of just a small part of the research findings, based on analyzing 51 (not 50) real job descriptions:

Employers are seeking experienced professionals:

  • 5.2-6.6 years of real world Business Experience
  • 2.3-3.6 of actual Social Media Experience

Education Requirements:

  • 76.4% request a Bachelors degree.
  • 11.7% prefer (yet most don’t require) a MBA.

Degree Preferences

  • The primary segment of requested degrees is in the area of focus of Communications, Journalism or English.
  • The second segment of degrees was closely followed by either Marketing or Advertising degrees.
  • Thirdly, a handful had web, technical, IT, or general business degrees requests.

Now to be clear, that’s just what employers want, that’s not actual reality. We’ll be comparing what employers want –vs what real strategists actually do in our report.

The Many Other Questions Our Research Will Answer
It’s interesting stuff, and part of our research will to analyze and compare what employers want –vs what really exists from these actual professionals. What else will this report answer?

  • Background, responsibilities, and skills employers want from this role
  • Their actual background, experience, and skills
  • What makes them tick: about their mindset and personality
  • Top challenges they face
  • What they measure
  • How large team sizes are
  • How sophisticated programs are
  • Spending trends on Software, Agencies, Consultants
  • How they organize their programs
  • Where they go to learn about new technologies
  • Who they rely on to make decisions
  • What they think their role will become in 5 years

I have that role: I want to take the Survey
Are you a corporate social media strategist and want to take the survey? We are seeking actual social media decision makers at brands and corporations, if you fit this category, please sign this form and we’ll email you the survey.

I want to be in-the-know: send me the report, Jeremiah
Do you want us to email you the full no-cost report when it’s available? Sign up here to receive the no-cost Altimeter report, you can read much of my previous research on my research tab on my blog, look up, or view research.

Caveat: The above data should be assumed draft, wait until the final report comes live for all the detailed info.

Research Note: Integrate Social Networks with your Corporate Website with ‘Social Sign On’


Trend:  Corporate Websites and Social Networks Begin Integration
For over three years, it’s been argued that corporate websites were irrelevant since they were separate from consumers who were making decisions with each other on social networks.  Since then, we’ve discussed a vision of how corporate websites and social networks would integrate (roadmap: see these 8 stages of integration) and today, the tools and technologies are finally here to make that happen.

There are at least a few points of entry to integrate your corporate website: 1) Extending your corporate websites to social networks, 2) Allowing for customers voices through reviews and ratings, 3) Aggregating the discussion back on your own website.  Yet, despite the options, I’d like to discuss an underlying technology that is going to be core to the infrastructure of these programs going forward: Social Sign On.  While we’re risking ‘social washing’ all terms old into something new, let’s discuss why enabling social logins from third parties makes sense –and when it doesn’t.

Problem Identification: Corporate Websites Detached from Customers
There are a number of specific disruptions now that social networks have gained prominence with customers, the include:

  • Consumers and customers are already connected to each other using social technologies and making decisions about products and the brand is not involved. While the corporate website is still key for factual product information, it’s safe to assume that consumers will continue to lean on each other to make decisions –not listen to the bombardment of marketese.
  • Furthermore, the information consumers enter into the antiquated registration pages is likely inaccurate percentage-wise compared to the level of accuracy in self-updated profiles in Facebook and other social networks.
  • Managing these multiple login systems from all these social networks is cumbersome due to changing APIs, protocols.
  • Companies that simply put a “Follow me on Twitter” or “Like us on Facebook” without registration are doing themselves a disadvantage as they throw away hard earned traffic to a social network.
  • Lastly, don’t expect your consumers to be using a variety of social networks and email platforms –they are not evenly distributed, surprisingly, Yahoo has more login than Facebook logins.

“Social Sign On” Defined
Social Sign On enables website visitors to authenticate to your website using their existing credentials, such as Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, etc.  As a result, users don’t have to initially register to your website in order to verify their identity.   Social Sign On is a subset of Social CRM’s 5Ms, read the report to understand the greater strategy required.

[Social Sign On enables visitors to register to your website using their preferred credentials increasing the opportunity for contextual content, website engagement, and conversion]

Value Statement
Social Sign On offers a variety of benefits:

  • Increase conversion rate as users use existing Social Network logins (in a few clicks) rather than filling out long registration pages.
  • Opportunity for increased engagement as users can quickly identify which one of their friends has also visited that same website and interact with them.
  • More accurate contextual information as first time users information can be used to match relevant content, media, products, and even advertisements.
  • Reduced time in marketing/sales funnel as prospects quickly can be served up relevant products and even shopping carts of peer recommended products within seconds.

Downsides and Limitations

  • Industries in a regulated space may have significant policies and user privacy to overcome before ever implementing these systems.  Expect that lifestyle marketing efforts will be the first foothold for these industries –but not their core activity website.
  • While Social Sign On may be key for upper funnel activity, don’t expect it to fully replace credit card registrations as ecommerce may still require a registration page to collect credit cards, shipping addresses, and other detailed information.  This, could, overtime go away as we’re seeing Facebook snuggle up to payment systems like Paypal in recent quarters.
  • Reliance on a third party for registration creates additional failure, and in this case is known as ‘Authentication Rot‘ (This was added post-publication via Carmen Delessio)

Impacts: Future Trends

  • Potentially less data collected by brands, as users can control how much information is passed from the social network profile to the corporate website.
  • Expect this trend to continue and most major consumer lead corporate websites will have one form or another of Social Sign On within a few years –the trend that the ‘power shift to consumer’ continues.
  • Expect this term “Social Sign On” to fade into the background as we just use ‘logins’ for all of our interactions in the digital space.
  • Registration pages go away…much to the approval of consumers.
  • Single Sign On systems don’t go away they simple aggregate this new level of data.

Primary Vendors

Case Examples and Research

  • Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs “Docs.comuses Facebook connect as it’s “active directory” to allow members to login and connect with their real friends.  An interesting deployment as it assumes that we use office collaboration with our actual Facebook network.
  • Levi’s deployed Facebook’s “Like” button which increased conversion rate, and serves up recommended products from friends after a few clicks.
  • Citysearch using Janrain’s ‘Engage’ and has increased the amount of content on Facebook using the connection technology, read the PDF for details or more of Janrain’s case examples.
  • Gigya offers a best practices guide on increasing registrations using Social Sign On technology (PDF).
  • Gigya has conducted a survey with a third party to find out The value of Social Sign On (PDF) and has a myriad of graphs and user awareness demand data in this report.
  • has integrated community right onto their homepage, and also offer a variety of ways to login and register, such as Facebook. After connecting with Facebook, users are prompted to enter their email, zip code, and create a login name. What’s interesting is that request for email is still required to complete Social Sign On, a hybrid model. (I added this on Sept 29,2010)

Develop a Roadmap for Social Integration Using the ‘8 Stages Framework’
My research indicates this is an undeniable trend, that corporate websites must integrate social networks to increase the relevancy and interaction of their websites.   Use the 8 stages of corporate website integration frameworks as your roadmap –don’t have a plan before jumping into this space.   Consumer facing companies should look at their customers socialgraphics to first identify which social networks they should allow for integration of, yet be inclusive by using a Social Sign On feature which allows for consumers to register using a variety of login options.

People on the Move in the Social Business Industry: Sept 21, 2010


Both the submissions on this job announcement board, as well as available social media positions at corporations continue to pour in.

In this continued digest of job changes, I like to salute those that continue to join the industry in roles focused on social media, see the archives, which I’ve been tracking for a few years.


People on the Move in the Social Business Industry

  • Kaiser Kuo, a respected global peer, founder of China’s iconic rock band Tang Dynasty, has joined the Chinese and Japanese search engine company, Baidu Inc., and serves as the international media public relations director of the investor relations department.
  • Michael Chin, who I’ve worked with extensively on projects joins SocialFlow VP, Marketing He’ll focus on bringing SocialFlow to market and help customers communicate better on the social web.
  • Dave Knox joins Rockfish as Interactive Chief Marketing Officer I will help Rockfish to be a Digital Innovation Partner for our clients, working with them to understand and embrace the opportunities created by an increasingly digital world.
  • Michael Stich joins Rockfish as Interactive Chief Operating Officer Responsible for Business Units, Creative and Technology teams
  • Bryan Radtke joins Rockfish as Interactive Vice President of Strategy Lead strategy and execution with clients.
  • Lena Shaw, who I’ve met a few times and have been impressed, joins UCSF Social Media Marketing Manager Develop UCSF’s presence in social media circles.
  • Stephen Derbyshire joins CACI UK as Principle Consultant, eMarketing Leading campaign execution, eCRM and Social Media Marketing activities for clients
  • Catriona Oldershaw joins Synthesio as UK Business Developer Expanding Synthesio’s – international web monitoring – Presence in the UK
  • Edwina Dendler joins ReviewPro as Social Media Manager Manage ReviewPro’s Social Media Strategy
  • Miko Mercer joins Invoke as Director of Communications Management of all external communications and public relations
  • Jessica Smith joins Planit as Director of Social Influence Smith will lead the social influence team in the development of best-in-class word-of-mouth and social media campaigns. One of her first priorities will be to integrate social and WOM strategies into clients’ existing campaigns.
  • Toby Beresford, Iskandar Najmuddin, Stephen Folkes join Syncapse Corp. Director of Sales and Partner Development, Technical Services Director, Creative Services Director (respectively) All three Nudge Social Media co-founders are joining Syncapse’s management team
  • Matt Savarino joins as Community Developer Responsible for guiding and implementing the technical direction of the suite of ESPN Community products including Conversations, Message Boards and Profiles.
  • Ryon Harms joins Farmers Group as Director, Social Media Leading all social media initiatives both for corporate and more than 15,000 independant agents.
  • Ryan Stephens joins MD. Anderson Proton Therapy Center (MD. Anderson is #1 Cancer in Center in US – US News) as Marketing Coordinator (emphasis on digital) Leading social media & other digital initiatives for Proton Therapy
  • David Akermanis heads to Edelman as Account Manager Focused on digital healthcare
  • Saul Colt leads Saul! – The Idea Integration Company as Head of Magic Idea Creation and Execution

Submit a new hire

Seeking a job?

  1. See the Web Strategy Job Board, which includes paid submissions from the top brands in the world.
  2. Community Manager jobs by Jake McKee
  3. Social Media Jobs by Chris Heuer
  4. Social Media jobs, filtered by SimplyHired
  5. Social Media Job Network by James Durbin
  6. 25 places to find social media jobs by Deb Ng

Additional Resources

Please congratulate the new hires by leaving a comment below.

Update: Corrected to Catriona Oldershaw for the Synthesio submission

Matrix: Risks and Rewards of Social Business


At a recent engagement, I was asked to list out the benefits and risks for companies to participate and not, as you know, from our research on how companies connect with customers, the Engagement DB research found there are four types of companies: Wallflowers, Butterflies, Selectives and Mavens –clearly not all are doing it.

The scope of this matrix “Social Business” is when a company and their employees engage with customers in the social web, where customers, competitors, and prospects are already talking. In 2010, it’s assumed the conversation in your market in the social web is already happening.

Risk/Reward Matrix: Social Business
Like all investments, there are risks and rewards, use this matrix to help decision makers understand the downsides and upsides by participating.

For more like this, see all my posts tagged ‘matrix’. Feel free to use this matrix in your work, kindly provide attribution.

Finally, Social Media ROI at our Intimate Event: ‘Rise of Social Commerce’


Rise of Social Commerce, an Altimeter Conference Are you struggling to measure the ROI of your social business efforts? Can’t get more resources? Unable to link your social media efforts to where your ecommerce is already happening? Have you been asked by management “How does social media impact the top line?”, chances are, you’re being asked that now.

We’re just a few weeks from Altimeter’s first conference “The Rise of Social Commerce” where we’ll be exploring first hand with brands on stage how companies are going to use social media to actually drive revenue.

Please join me, and other pioneers at “The Rise Of Social Commerce”, taking place October 6-7th at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto, we’ll hear about best practices from expert practitioners like Best Buy, Dell, Hallmark, Nielsen, Newell Rubbermaid, Virgin America, and Zynga, amongst others. Here’s the agenda, where you’ll hear Altimeter’s vision and framework on this space, and learn from the top brands that are doing it now.

Those 100 early adopters that attend will build deeper relationships with each other, have intimate conversations, and yield insight in how others are doing it (and where they have overcome challenges) and meet some of the technology and solution providers that will help you.

If you’re a website, social media, ecommerce, digital or marketing executive at a corporation, this event is for you. We would hate to turn people away at this intimate event, so Register Now, use the code “RSC1” to get a $100 discount.

Key Vitals: Rise of Social Commerce Event

  • What: An intimate event on social media ROI at Altimeter’s Rise of Social Commerce.
  • Where: Palo Alto’s Four Seasons.
  • When: Oct 6-7th.
  • Learn:  Thought leadership from Altimeter’s partners, brand case studies, and vendors who will aid you.
  • Who: Decision makers in Web, Social, ecommerce, shopping, commerce, marketing, supply chain.
  • Connect With Others: The Hashtag is #rsc10
  • Register Here: Use the code “RSC1” to get a $100 discount.

Related: Read Brian Solis’s point of view on the social commerce trend, and Wildfire Apps.

Feature Showdown: Twitter 3, Facebook 4.


Cowritten by Chris Saad (@chrissaad), and Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang).

Situation: Twitter’s new redesign advances their user experience
Twitter has announced a new redesign today, yet by looking at the news, there hasn’t been a detailed breakdown of these two leading social networks.  Overall, Twitters new features start to resemble some features of a traditional social network, beyond their simple messaging heritage.  We took the key features from both social website and did a comparison and voted on the stronger player.

New Twitter Homepage (Mouse over to see my notes about new features, see below to see how the image embed works)
Above: Click image to see notes about the new Twitter features.

Comparative Matrix: Feature Showdown Between Facebook and the New Twitter

Feature Facebook Twitter Verdict
1) Content Stream Intelligent stream provides relevant content based on Facebook’s proprietary algorithm called “Edgerank” that surfaces more relevant information than a straight ‘stream of data’. Participating in a conversation, will propagate that conversation to friends of friends Twitter does not provide any intelligent filtering or sorting in the default feed, instead it’s sorted by reverse chronological order. Although filters and lists are available, these require manual setup. Our call? Facebook. Facebook’s content strategy and feed (the main attraction for a social utility, is far superior than Twitter’s rudimentaryam
2) Discussion and Reaction Management Facebook’s conversation features thread the discussion and comments inline in the stream, keeping conversations in context Users have to click on a tweet to see the reactions to that tweet in the newly expanded right column. Includes retweets and @ replies. Other participants that are not following each other do not see each others’ comments before participating. Our call? Facebook. FB’s sophisticated newsfeed model encourages peer to peer conversation, is different than Twitter’s broadcast model which encourages asynchronous responses.
3) Profile Features Facebook is slowly reducing the profiles features by removing heavyweight features like ‘boxes’ and ‘canvas apps’ streamlining the experience. Is beefing up their profile pages with ‘follow recommendations’ and ‘you both follow’ features, in order to encourage more interaction.  Their dead simple features make it easy to self express, and offer a limited profile Our call? Twitter.  While both these players are both meeting in the middle, with Facebook getting lighter, and Twitter is becoming more robust, Facebook’s features are excessive to most users, and simplicity trumps.
4) Application Platform Facebook has treated the platform as a proper product with developer relations (although often with challenges) viral distribution of the newsfeed, and developer ecosystem relationships. The application features are designed for third parties to quickly integrate using tabs. Over the past 12 months, Facebook has aggressively changed their strategy to encourage developers to spread the APIs to third party sites (vs only embedded on profile pages) , expanding Facebook’s colonies to the open web. This loose strategy has been adhoc with simple APIs without formal development initiative with no hooks to integrate apps into In fact, Twitter only recently hosted their own developer conference this year. The relationship between Twitter and the developer community remains torrid, as they buy or build features from the developer community. For example, the latest release today, threatens the functionality of many existing clients. Our call? Facebook. FB is focused on a land grab for third party real estate, Twitter appears to be cannibalizing their own B2C developer ecosystem.
5) Multi Media Integration Media, such as video, is loaded and embedded right in the stream, as well as in stream playing. Third parties that inject media into the stream will embed into the service at will. Twitter’s new media features requires users to click and open separate screen –although embedded media plays in panel. A business dev relationship must be established for media to be detected from target URLs. For example, only partners of Twitter that have approved media will be able to play embedded media in the Twitter stream. Our call? Facebook. Facebook makes it easy for users to consume media, and for publishers to spread it. They make it easy.
6) Location Platform Facebook recently launched ‘Places’ feature and data, that allows for users to checkin upon arrival at a locale. This is manual and opt-in behavior for each checkin. Twitter offers opted in users offers each Tweet a location payload. Each Tweet is an implicit checkin. Our Call? Twitter. Twitter is more lightweight and could have more location data per opt-in user, hopefully increasing context in the future.
7) User Experience Design Facebook’s continues to streamline their formerly confusing experience, yet limits the amount of self-expression beyond text and media content. Twitter remains simply, but allows personalization in the form of color palettes and BG images, yet lacks depth in profile descriptions (interests, networks, and other personal info). Our call? Twitter. In the world of information overload, Twitter now has a nice balance between self-expression and simply to use and consume profile information
TALLY Facebook: 4 wins.
Twitter: 3 wins.

Our Verdict: While Facebook Leads, Twitter’s Redesign Strengthens as a Challenger.
Facebook’s features offer a more robust user experience, and they have a longer history of developing the right relationships with media, developers, and their users.   Twitter, a rapidly growing social network has launched a series of new features (described by the founder as “smooth like butter”) that provide users with a snappy experience and enhanced features.

Twitter is Evolving Beyond Just A Simple Messaging Systems Into a Full Fledged Social Network. We tallied the important features of this launch and to their overall expansion strategy and have concluded that Facebook’s features continue to hold dominance over Twitter, despite the noticeable improvements.  While we don’t expect that Twitter wants to become ‘another Facebook’ they should play to their strengths and remaining nimble and lightweight yet allowing for developers and content producer to better integrate into their system. One thing is clear, Twitter is enhancing their simple service with more features, which moves towards the feature rich experience Facebook offers.