The Social Organization Rorschach

The Social Organization Rorschach

(Cross posted from the Spredfast blog)

Last week, Spredfast published our first Social Engagement Index Benchmark Report, characterizing the social accounts, organizations, activities and results of a large swath of the Spredfast user base.  As part of this, we segmented companies into Activating, Expanding, and Proliferating segments.   Data is what it is, what you draw from it, however, is a bit of a Rorschach test. Trust me – the distribution even looks like an inkblot upon close review!

It is only natural to read a study like this and be thinking, “what does this mean about me and my organization?”  Chances are, because you are reading the data through that lens, you may have only drawn 1-2 takeaways from the Social Organization data.  I am lucky enough to work closely with many of our customers and would like to share my top 5 takeaways – culled from reviewing the data wearing differing customer hats.

The Value of Internal Orchestration is Validated – If you have been trying to inspire social players across your company to get coordinated in an SMMS publishing and analytic platform, this data helps you.  As organizations begin to orchestrate across an increasing number of users and social accounts – to bring more and more of the company’s social activity into a place where it can be measured & improved, we see them working with correspondingly greater audiences and even some increased efficiency with the way those orgs engage (deeper in the data – look at Total Engagement for instance).

It’s More than Marketing – If you are being asked to work with colleagues in Care or Support, in Marketing in other countries, in Corporate Communications, Risk Management, etc., you are not alone.  With even the Activating companies coming in at a mean of 3 groups coordinating for social engagement, multiple groups in social are the rule vs. the exception.  While coordination across peer silos in an org can be a challenge without an executive mandate, many companies are successfully making it happen.

Measuring by Content Themes is Table Stakes – the benchmark shows organizations moving beyond social account as a variable to measure success.  With a mean of 94 unique content labels across the entire sample set, we see clear indication that orchestrated companies want to compare performance of social campaigns, product content, and themes.

We Have a Long Way to Go – It may have been a long strange trip thus far, but even the most active, coordinated Proliferating orgs in this study had a mean of 99 social accounts under management.  While I can’t calculate that as a percent of the total number of social accounts that represents, we know that is substantially south of the self-reported average of 178 corporate owned accounts in data collected by Altimeter.  Given that the 178 number is more than a year old and is not the result of full 3rdparty audits, 99 is likely less than half of the total.  While the goal may not be 100%, organizations should be actively making decisions about who and what should be coordinated in social at scale.

Numbers don’t lie, which is fabulous as we’re experts at lying to ourselves.   I invite you to review the benchmark again and do two things:

  1. Challenge your assumptions – question your initial takeaways of the benchmark with a second hard glance, looking for opportunities where your org could be driving more value from social.
  2. Find solace – To all of you doing the hard work of orchestrating social every day, you are the vanguard, and we hope you will see in the benchmark contents that your work is paying off.  Our collective Spredfast hats are off to you!
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