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Good Afternoon. Thank you to James for inviting me to speak. My name is indeed Aden and I am an Innovation Technician.Don’t laugh. This slightly ridiculous title means that I research new technologies and trends and see how they apply to banking or the organisation I work for.
I have kind of strayed off my supposed topic which I think was to do with how social media applies inside organisations. I will try and come back to that where possible. First I must answer this oft asked question, a question that has been asked and answered many, many, many times in lots of bad presentations (and some good ones). I will add my definition to the mix shortly but what I want to say first is what it is not.
Social media is not just about these 3 sites. Wow you have a Facebook page and you have x thousand fans, You have a Twitter account pumping out links to your great products and news items about you, you, you and you have a YouTube channel showing your adverts. Boring. I am of course being a little flippant these sites are important but social media is not just about having a presence on these three sites.
While putting together these slides this week this tweet passed by in my stream. Now I may have just said Twitter is boring but I am addicted to it so not sure what that says about me…anyway. I love this description of social media platforms / networks. They are indeed sharing systems. Sharing our thoughts, our dreams, our annoyances, our creations, other peoples creations etc etc. You must always keep this in mind. It is not about one way sharing either. Not about hoovering up all that great insight and stealing ideas. Not about you, you, you. Here is all our great stuff go and tell all our friends who great we are and how clever our ideas and services are.
My slot was billed as What social means on the inside or something like that. I may have gone slightly off track but I will try and bring it back to that thinking as often as possible. My first point is probably my most important one. Ask yourself how many people in your organisation today are authorised/encouragfed/employed to primarily go onto the Internet and talk to people? I have a feeling for most companies it is a low number. What tools do you have in place to allow staff to talk to each other internally? If you want to get involved in social media then you need to be social.
For most companies the starting place for responding in social media is customer service. This is the right thing to do of course. The chances are that a very high percentage of discussion about your brand and its products and services are related to customer service. This is our pilot project on this. This Twitter account was set up to test the model of twitter customer services with a focus on our Secure Key device which some customers were having issues with. The view is to expand this to cover all aspects of personal banking shortly. It already fields a number of questions on non related issues as you can see here.
Once you starting talking to customers online then the ideas will begin to flow. Now this is a response from Target in the US. Now who thinks this is a good response? Who thinks it is genuine? Who thinks they really passed on this feedback? Who would like to know what the right team is? If I got this reply I would be fuming (but then I am a grumpy shit)
Here is Ronda Marie’s feedback. She is none too happy with their website.
Now this reply actually seems to have placated her. I read this and I see ‘get stuffed customer with your idiotic ideas’ but I am maybe a nit more negative than Ronda. I wonder if Target will keep Ronda informed of their progress on this issue?
Even though social media as we know it is reaching its infant years the integration of this thing inside of businesses is still at a very early stage. Social CRM as it is known is burgeoning area but very few companies have brought communications from social channels into the channel they own eg CRM. How do we capture ideas against customers? The conversations we have with them outside the organisation etc.
Allowing staff to talk to customers in apublic forum. Requires trust (and a lot of training). Some companies are braver than others. The normal model is to have a small team of highly skilled professionals trained in the art of communicaton online. Some companies are going a stage further.
If you have been to any social media events then it is the law to mention BestBuy and their laughably named Twelpforce. The bottom line for his is that BestBuy have around 3,000 employees empowered to respond online via this channel. Spread all over the US in their department stores. They are passionate about technology and it gives them the scale to be able to respond to a huge volume of queries both at a national and a store based level. This feed has proved to be a valuable source of insight into both customer needs but also to staff ones as well. http://www.fastcompany.com/1648739/marketing-that-isn-t-marketing
Let’s take a look at ideas more specifically. If social media and the like are sharing systems then why not share some of your ideas. Share the things you are wanting to do in the future or have coming up soon.
This is first direct labs. It has been designed to do just this. Share upcoming projects. Share ideas about things they think customers might like. The kind of things that are posted are mockups of mobile app concepts, the designs for the upcoming personal website relaunch and even sharing things from other companies that first direct are inspired by (even if they are by competitors) It was launched in September last year and has been very successful. In its first month we saw around 6,000 comments from customers. That is a lot of feedback and engagement.
One of the things shared was the designs for a new debit card. Not that exciting on paper but he fact is that a lot of customers have issues with the fact that the debit and credit card look familiar. They are both, unsurprisingly black and white. A lot of people have the same PIN for both so you get a lot of accidental use in ATMs and at the till. So first direct posted new designs for the debit card and took a vote on which one should win.
Here is one of the designs for the cards. We got 1645 comments on these redesigns.
In October fd left feedback to say thanks and promised an update.
Two months went by without an update. Customers started to get annoyed. If you are going to solicit ideas you can’t just take feedback and not give it in return. Sharing is a two way process. This iwas a valuable lesson.
Thankfully feedback came shortly after and the decision was that neither design had won but that people actually wanted the credit card redesigned! As well as the feedback on the designs in amongst all those comments was some really valuable feedback and ideas. The whole site has been a great learning piece for first direct. The key things to rememebr if you are going to share ideas with customers and solicit feedback is that it is a two way process. You need to keep people updated. This community has grown much quicker than initital expectations and running this needs to be a full time job for at least one person. You also need to have the ability for the feedback to make a difference to these ideas. Your internal processes need to be flexible enough to allow that. There are grand plans for this in 2012 and I am looking forward to seeing where that takes this. One of the things that is on the radar is soliciting new ideas from customers directly…
Which leads me nicely on to this. Of course this is nothing new. Just that social media makes that a bit easier.
I am sure most of you in this room are aware of My Starbucks? Crowdsourced idea site. They have had over 80,000 ideas on their range of products and services.
And I believe it is illegal to talk about ideas and social media without mentioning ideastorm. 15k ideas and 750,000 votes is an impressive set of numbers. 400+ of those ideas have been implemented. That is around 2.5% implementation rate. Is this good or bad? 100 new ideas implemented a year? I personally think this is a pretty good rate of return from externally sourced ideas. Implementation is not easy.
In banking we have seen few implementations of these idea gathering schemes. One recent example that has caught my eye is from the very tech savvy commonwealth bank in Australia. Launched at the end of last year. Built on exactly the same model as the other sites mentioned it will be interesting to see how this develops.
One other type of idea gathering process that has also caught my eye is ePetitions by Her Majestys Government or more accurately her new Government Digital Services division which I am a big fan of. These ePetitions allow any pleb to suggest something with the aim of getting that discussed in pariliament. All you need to get is 100,000 eSignatures. Quite a prize for a successful idea/ideal.
One of my favourite ideas of recent times was a call to have MargeretThatchers state funeral privatised. With 9 months left to run it only needs another 72,500 signatures to be debated. The thing about ePetitions that is so powerful is how closely tied they are to social media. The sharing buttons bottom right mean that spreading the word of your idea is easy to make a start with.
As you can imagine this petition caught quite a few people’s imaginations when it launched. It spread like wildfire through Twitter. The power of marketing your ideas can not be underestimated. You cant just post something and hope for it to be implemented. Building up support for an idea is crucial. Social media makes this easier….but it is still hard. How do your internal systems allow for this? Can I share ideas internally? Can I share an idea with a view to it being discussed by senior management should it receive enough backing?
Just submitting ideas is all well and good but what about submitting something a bit more fully formed. Maybe you have got to a certain stage with an idea but need some backers? Well, newish platform Kickstarter does just that.
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. It allows people to post their ideas and seek financial backing to progress them further or take them from prototype to reality.
They have a range of projects covering my main area of interest technology but also Art, Comedy, Film, Books etc etc. It truly is a wonderful thing/
You post your idea or project. You set a financial goal for the amount of money you would like to raise. Then set a time limit for how quickly you would like to raise the money. This fantastic idea is for Balloon mapping kits. They allow you to attach a camera to a balloon and fly it over the area you want to map and photograph. These people were after 6200 dollars. So far 256 people have backed this project and they received 15,619 dollars so in 13 days time when the project funding period ends it will be all systems go.
There are different levels of pledges you can make. $45 gets you a balloon only. $85 Dollars get you the balloon and everything else you need for this (1000 feet of line for the baloon, special wnder, clasps etc) except the camera and strangely a soda bottle.
Kickstarter have had a vey good year in 2011. The stats speak for themselves. 46% of the projects posted reached their funding goal.
One stat missing is how many dollars were pledged. Would anyone like to guess how much was pledged in 2011?
600,000 dollars short of 100,000,000 dollars. Why on earth did a bank not think of this? (Although I am sure a bank is profiting at the back end somewhere)
Could this kind of idea hosting work for your organisation? Could you post ideas and ask customers to fund them up front? It would be an interesting thing to try
More interestingly to me could it work inside? Could you seek funding in virtual dollars? Or maybe seek resources to help build?
Social media is all about sharing. This tends to bring like minded folk together. This leads to the creation of communities.
This is Giff Gaff. It is an MVNO i.e. it is a mobile network that runs on top of O2s network. It is run by it’s own community (it has staff etc but the majority of the support, ideas etc come from the community)
Nothing really fancy here. It is based on good old fashioned internet forums. This form of social media should not be discounted. They have been around a long, long time and they wont go away anytime soon because they just work. Part of the Giff Gaff community is all about new ideas, suggestions etc.
100sand 1000s of ideas and suggestions and discussions. For an excellent report on Giff Gaff Http://www.lithium.com/pdfs/casestudies/Lithium-giffgaff-Case-Study.pdf
On a more financial services focus one of the most interesting communities to arise over the last few years is Stocktwits. A hybrid community that blends twitter and a private community. It allows traders of any level and experience to share knowledge and ideas around stocks, bonds and futures.
A look at the page for HSBC looks like most other stock insight page such as Yahoo finance but the central activity stream s made up of comments from various users of the site.
When you register for the site, tracking the stocks you want to follow, your investment strategy etc you are also given the opportunity to follow others who match your styles. I will admit I know sod all about trading but since following Howard Lindzon the CEO of stocktwits I have learnt a lot.
The power of this community and the ideas that it generates means that StockTwits ideas are now featured on mainstream news sites such as CNN Money and their CEO is a regular on the financial news channels. They invented the interaction for twitter around stocks with the $ symbol followed by the stock name. How could you utilise existing communities or platforms and add value or bring people together?
Let’s look a bit closer to home. Do you know this man? The scourge of weak terms and conditions and sneaky brands. Martin Lewis. Now I must state I am a big fan of this man and what he has done. He certainly causes a few debates in the banking industry but the bottom line is he has tried to save people money and people like that.
One of the things that is so impressive is the way he has built up his following using a mix of a great content and old school forums and a very successful email newsletter. The basis of great social media. The other thing about him is that he is a figurehead. Even though he has a team of 30 it is still very much his face all over the site. The forums on MSE are full of rich insight. They show when companies get things wrong (and right) they also highlight how people do want to talk about money and the issues surrounding it (debt for example) when for so long banking and finance has remained a very private affair.
It is not just fluff though as he is also responsive. I asked for some stats on twitter and he very quickly replied. I would like to think that is because I am massively influential but I suspect it is more the fact that he is just helpful.
Here are a handful of stats on this 30 man web powerhouse. 7 million email newsletter subscribers. Including me. How many people in this room subscribe to this? I bet quite a few. But what does all this have to do with ideas? Well this community and its insights, and buying power have contributed to making Martin Lewis one of the most powerful men in the country.
Most powerful person on the high street according to the influential grocer magazine…have a guess who came second in this list? He CEO of Tesco. But was has this got to do with ideas?
For someone with such power and wielding a large community of followers it means is ideas have a good chance of being heard at the highest levels. Martin successfully used the ePetitions system to successfully get 116k people to sign his idea around getting financial education on the national curriculum. Now social media was not the reason for his power but it has certainly helped.
What I am interested in is if companies could really create a community like this? Could they find a purpose and a delivery of that to match something like MSE?
Could a company create a figure head like Mr Lewis? What are the pros and cons of such a move? What if they leave?
Could you replicate that inside the organisation? Do you have the means for building a community? Can a leader arise out of the network without being at a senior grade?
Social media has little respect for hierachy. That causes a few political issues and probably makes same people uncomfortable especiialy the Highly Paid People.
One of the smartest people on this subject is Lee Bryant, he made a very god point about being 2.0 on the outside if you are 1.0 on the inside. If you don’t live this way inside your organisation can you fake it on the outside? If you are dealing with static one way intranets and email inside can you really move to dynamic collaboration on twitter and facebook? I think you can give it a go but wil it really drive the organisation and will any ideas that come from those weird places outside really be treated in high regards?
Onto some sort of vague conclusions. If social is really going to make a difference inside your business then your existing processes need to cater for it. They need to allow for genuine two way listening to customers. They need to allow you to share as much as possible. They need to be flexible enough that customer comment and feedback can affect a product or a service.
Social media, sharing systems, what ever you want to call it, at its very best it brings people together (hopefully for positive reasons rather than Twitter mobs rattling 140 char pitchforks). Think about what you are using social channels for. Is community building an aim? Does what you are doing have a purpose over and above sell more shit? Build something people can believe in and show them that what they offer and what they contribute makes a difference then a better quality of idea should flow.
It is called social media for a reason, it is social. Two way listening, dialogue, sharing whatever. Solicit ideas and then never tell people what is happening with them and you will have annoyed and disillusioned customers. The ideas will dry up fast and you ill look like you don’t get social inside or outside of your organisation. Feedback as much as possible, share willynilly, be transparent and be human. Don’t bore people to death.
Thanks for listening I hope I have not left too many of you feeling like bony spent husks.
Can social media work inside your organisation for ideas?
Hello.My name is Aden.I am an InnovationTechnician.
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