Social Technologies Return on Investment (ROI), is it all dollars?

It is really difficult to gauge how companies are achieving a return on investment (ROI) on anything let alone their Social Technologies involvement. It is information they tend to keep in house probably because making it public would be risky to their strategic plans and I’m not prepared to make up a case with fictitious information as I believe in real world information or experience as an example.

So I’m turning to a company that offers social technologies solutions and analysing a slide presentation with the benefits they claim their clients have experienced. Intergen are a New Zealand based company who are a Microsoft Partner, acquired by Australia’s largest Microsoft business solutions provider Empired Limited.

The slide document is available as a resource on LinkedIn provided by Cuneyt Uysal @cuneytuysal which is about the Sitrion plugin for Microsoft Sharepoint.

Tangible Benefits
Citibank (#51) =
– Goal: Introduce New Services / 500 ideas captured / 2 ideas selected
– Goal: New Brand Identity / 1 Employee idea Selected / $500,000 cost saving

Intangible Benefits
Social Companies: (#6/Mckinsey Global Institute 11/2012)
– 200% More innovative
– 87% Less likely to leave your company
– 78% Work harder if they are recognized

Social Tools:
– Productivity increase for information workers using social tools average 25% (#4)
– Speed up knowledge tasks 35% (#19)
– Reduction in employee turnover 24% (#47)
– Employees who feel more connected to colleagues 61% (#47)
– Employees who reported greater job satisfaction 38% (#47)

Social Technologies Return on Investment (ROI), is it all dollars?

The Tail End

My introduction to a library was one situated in a hallway at my first rural primary school then at a later school which I remember a card catalogue and the highly important dewey-decimal system. Today though, I engage with libraries in a much more tech-savvy way and I suspect most people do so too.

One major differing aspect of the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) against most other common libraries is they don’t contain fictional based items.

To explain the leveraging of the long-tail, I will use the example of music. Radio stations commonly play the hits of various eras with a few one hit wonders thrown in but there is always music that was created that is hard to come by on the radio. This is where streaming music services such as Spotify have filled the niche void giving access to a vast library taking advantage of the long-tail connecting supply and demand.

In respect to SLQ, I think its the services that aren’t available from a local library that sets them apart and getting the word out seems to be the difficult part. For instance we had a gas leak in our suburb in the last couple of weeks and I found out the first gas pipeline built in Australia runs through my suburb. I’m pretty sure the SLQ would have mapping details on where it is located but to convince me to use SLQ to find the information I would want to see it online.

The Tail End

Digital Strategy


One Rabbit is transforming and positioning professional service firms for new business in a digital age. This small company based in Geelong Victoria has established a fresh website that lays out who they are, what they do and one could say it is quite inviting as you feel you are engaging with a person or a team of people with their faces in your face. They have a blog portion on their website which more than one staff member contributes on almost a weekly basis providing really good advice on digital marketing strategy. One noteworthy feature of their blog is that you can drill down to specific target reader groups such as Accountants, Engineers or Lawyers bringing related articles quickly to the forefront. They also provide a resources page and nothing has cost you a cent even this far in. On the homepage their introductory video provides the viewer with the idea that if you are unsure of how to digitally market your business then they are are here to help with a free introductory no BS guide that you can download from the site and I can only imagine they have chosen this approach as professional service companies don’t like their time wasted, wanting trustworthy information. I also think that One Rabbit promotes confidence that they can fulfill client needs with their proven approach.

Of the Mckinsey Value Levers described in my earlier post, in this blog entry we focus on the Marketing & Sales levers and I believe the most prominent lever would be the “Generate and foster sales leads”. One Rabbit makes a solid attempt to bring new customers to their business through the initiatives they’ve combined on their website. As a professional services firm they depend very heavily on social interactions along with long-term relationships that are built on trust.

Digital Strategy

Epic Fails?

Orange City Council is the local government organisation for the city of Orange district in Central West New South Wales, Australia. According to a council Facebook page response to a citizen querying why the council rates are some of the highest in the state, they provide a range of services for local residents including a pool, sporting fields, library, regional gallery, tourism marketing and info, child care centres, family day care, a pound, shop health inspections, Cook Park, water supply, sewage treatment, a cemetery, urban planning, a caravan park, theatre, Meals on Wheels, supported housing for disabled people, elderly support, vacation care, an airport, Botanic Gardens, street trees, and more.

Some examples of the potential legal risks both internal (employee) and external (public) that the council may need to be aware of in regards to social media, I will elaborate on two of these further.

  1. Loss and disclosure of confidential information
  2. Wrongful dismissal
  3. Statutory risks
    • There is a community Facebook page titled as ‘Orange City Council Epic Fails’ which uses a logo that resembles very closely to the actual council logo. The amount of likes for this page exceeds that of the official council page by over 1000. The page could be mistaken as an official communication channel for the council and the content shines a poor light on the organisation e.g. “Post your pics of things council needs to fix, or has fixed with a band-aid!” followed by an about link to the main council website.
  4. Occupation and organisation specific risks
  5. Reputation risk
    • Council operates a Facebook page and Twitter account, anyone can post to these platforms which may contain comments that are undesirable or cause conflict.

Risk reduction could be managed by making sure trademarks are in place and not infringed, closely monitoring social media channels and responding promptly, but with public relations firmly in mind, this would be part of employee training. Further legal risks could be addressed through adopting a social media policy.

Epic Fails?

Benefits and Value of Implementing Enterprise 2.0

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) assists over 444 community broadcasting stations in radio and television of which approximately 80% of those are members. The largest sector (number of stations) in the radio industry with many processes and facets of stations being of similar nature. The CBAA is a not-for-profit organisation largely funded through the Community Broadcasting Foundation which the government awards grants for part operation of the sector. The vast majority of stations are operated almost entirely by volunteers.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute there are six functional areas, these are Product Development, Operations & Distribution, Marketing & Sales, Customer Service and Business Support which comprise of ten social technology levers in total. This post will focus on the Customer Service area which entails the “Provide customer care via social technologies” technology lever. The reason I have chosen this area is that I believe it is the most important aspect of the CBAA due to the large amount of contact they face on a daily basis and I feel technology solutions could ease the pressure. The CBAA in the past have used an online forum which was largely discontinued due to external hacking along with a wiki which become abandoned and even CAMPsite an old email mailing list from the 1990s. Today, they maintain a Facebook page, Twitter account, an online PDF magazine called “CBX” but mainly interact with their members through phone and email. When a large portion of member station volunteers are over 35 years of age this interaction is not surprising but to improve the sector, newer forms of communication are advisable to take greater advantage of younger volunteer contributions and future generations.

The implementation of an online searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) interface or even knowledge base (KB) accessible by either publicly or registered users would allow for a reduction in repetition responding to queries and allowing to free up time for staff to carry on with other duties. The addition of a user rating facility or “Was this information helpful?” prompt would allow for review or contact required to be identified similar to that of Apple or Microsoft online support pages. It would also be worth revisiting the use of a Wiki and online discussion forum but perhaps recruiting sector volunteer moderators to maintain the online spaces as it would appear that CBAA staff are unable to attend to this moderation due to competing duty priorities.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.06.19 am

The above image is a screenshot from an Apple Support page. I guess you could even ask this question on blog entries, “Was this information helpful?”.

Benefits and Value of Implementing Enterprise 2.0

Breaking or Smashing the Ice

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In 2013 I had a conversation with a friend and colleague who worked with me in the IT & Communications industry which I have known for quite a lengthy period. We were discussing career direction for myself, as I needed a new and interesting challenge that I would find enjoyable. As I had worked for major IT & communications, Internet advertising and traditional broadcast media industries in various roles he suggested working in social enterprise. He had recently been working on a project implementing Sharepoint throughout the company he worked for and this sparked my interest after being commonly frustrated with internal communications I experienced within these companies.

Social Enterprise is the ability to use social software within business, which brings the benefit of organisational change through increasing collaboration and integration. Components that I have studied and experienced through cognitive behavioural therapy are traditionally not likely to be visible such as beliefs, thoughts as well as feelings whereas behaviour and outcome are more likely to be seen in environments without social enterprise solutions. So I have commenced working in the social enterprise field as a Social Enterprise Consultant currently in the not-for-profit sector and look forward to using my experience to helping businesses improve their knowledge, processes and projects.

The purpose of this blog is to display the common findings I come across while carrying out the working life as a Social Enterprise Consultant and to identify as well as converse with other consultants or employees within business that identify common themes within their experience.

The most common blog I come across is the Huffington Post, but I have two personal blogs that I commonly read as they are from people I have met online and one in person. These blogs are http://www.trent.net.au/ and http://www.mediarealm.com.au of which focus on technology particularly broadcast related. I enjoy them as they have similar interests, tips and personal opinions similar to my own.

Breaking or Smashing the Ice