Social journey and corporate evolution by Jeremiah Owyang

I attended Jeremiah Owyang’s talk  at the 2012 Webcom edition in Montreal on Wednesday May 16. Here we are two months later, time flies but the interest for the topic is still up-to-date!

Most people tweeted and  talked about his conference focusing on the 3 future trends he stated and for which he offered lots of click-and-mortar examples and pragmatic recommendations:

  • Trend 1: Corporate Websites Reborn
  • Trend 2: Social Becomes Automated
  • Trend 3: To be Heard, You Will Pay

Trend 1 is easy to understand and foresee as it is best illustrated by enterprises neglecting (and even sometimes abandoning) their corporate websites for corporate pages on dominant social platforms such as Facebook and Google +. Jeremiah chose to show how some very well established organizations like vitaminwater have dared to precede in that direction and set this actual trend .

Trend 2 was not dead new to me as far as simple automation features are concerned such as automated replies on Twitter for instance, when a welcome message is automatically replied to new followers as they subscribe to one’s account. But the sophisticated SMMS (Social Media Management Systems) offer rule-based UGC filtering features with automatic content linking, citing, reposting, etc. Basically integrating all social content from and to your various interactive channels. Insofar as we can consider them as powerful as CMS (Content Management System) for Social Media, we can anticipate the impact of that trend along with its network effect*.

Trend 3 is what anyone could have predicted from the dawn of UGC, that is, ‘nothing exists for free’ and even eWOM makes no exception here. Just as the Web did not remain a purely free and democratic public space of expression as it was set out to be for some of its pioneers.

Overall, Jeremy Owyang’s presentation was very interesting because it demonstrated the necessity for businesses to go social but also why that change affects the whole company. It cannot succeed if it does not involve a complete organizational culture change. We can see how the three trends interact, in such a way that the corporate presence is increasingly shifting towards major social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, etc.) and how to maintain so many contact points through  these platforms, businesses must inevitably call upon automation.

Ultimately, such levels of exposure cannot remain both free and efficient, and businesses will end up having to pay to ensure a viable minimum amount of brand visibility, as it is well highlighted in the following blogpost from Digital Trends.

*To read more on the topic of social media response automation and SMMS from Jeremiah Owyang on TechCrunch: