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HigherLogic and Socious

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5 Social Business Trends to Watch at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Posted by Joshua Paul on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 @ 09:46 AM

Trends to Watch at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Fun Fact:  At Socious, we have been providing enterprise social networks to businesses and associations since Mark Zuckerberg was in high school.

Having seen buzzwords evolve, new technologies launch, and more successes and failures in the enterprise software space than we can count, my ears perk up and I go into listening mode when the Enterprise 2.0 Conference rolls around. Founded in 2008, the Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together the brightest minds in making social and collaborative platforms work for businesses.

You often hear me write or speak about using private or gated online communities to bring more value to your business or nonprofit. Today, I want to share with you 5 of the trends that I am looking for updates on at this year’s conference, which runs from June 21-23 in Boston.

Trend #1: Definition of Community

At this year’s conference, will there be more agreement on the definition of community than years past? When a business launches a strategic initiative to "engage their community," are they referring to customers, partners, and employees only? Or are they talking about Facebook fans, non-customer Twitter followers, legislators and regulators, the media, etc.? For best practices to be tested and later established, it is important that companies use the same language when discussing the same thing. 

Trend #2: Metrics

This is increasingly important as Social CRM technologies, such as customer communities, becomes a viable and profitable enterprise solution for more and more companies. I’m looking to see if an agreed upon framework is evolving for how businesses measure their return on engagement and produce actionable business intelligence from their online communities for growing their business and retaining customers.

Trend #3: Internal vs. External

Where are organizations putting the emphasis when it comes to enterprise social technology -  internal use for employee productivity, external use for customer marketing and support, or a hybrid of both where customers, employees and partners can collaborate to solve customers’ problems?

Trend #4: Community Management

Ask 100 community managers about their methodology and you’ll likely get 100 different answers. At this year’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference, will a best practice emerge for engaging customers, employees, and partners on an ongoing basis for the good of the organization? I’m looking for signs that a standard, conventional wisdom approach is solidifying in the same way agreed upon best practices have come about in more mature marketing and support technology areas such as public social networking.

Trend #5: Mobile

With the buzz about "the mobile enterprise," I’m looking to see if focus at the conference is on easy access to information on the go, a collaborative community that fits in your pocket, or both. The companies and associations that are using our mobile community platform to engage their customers and members are focused on providing both quick access to information and a way to easily interact with their community. Is there a third pillar that will emerge for social enterprises, such as location-based interactivity?

Are You Attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston?

In the comments section below, let me know what you are watching for at this year's conference. If you attending the event, I recommend checking out the following speakers and sessions:

Engaging and Servicing B2B Customers
Tuesday, June 21 3:45 PM–4:30 PM
Moderated by Michael Fauscette (IDC)
Panelist: Laurie Buczek (Intel)
Panelist: Mark Wallace (EDR)

How Do You Measure That?
Wednesday, June 22 1:15 PM–2:15 PM
Presented by Rawn Shah (IBM) and Hardik Dave (IBM)

Pick one of these three. They will all be amazing!

Online Communities - A Strategic Imperative
Tuesday, June 21 1:15 PM–2:15 PM
Presented by Rachel Happe (The Community Roundtable)

Mobile: Delivering New Context and Capabilities to Applications and Collaboration
Tuesday, June 21 1:15 PM–2:15 PM
Moderated by Maribel Lopez (Constellation Research & Lopez Research)
Panelist: David Boloker (IBM)
Panelist: John Cash (Research in Motion)
Panelist: Jim Worth (Merck)

Why Supporting Customers is the New Marketing
Tuesday, June 21 1:15 PM–2:15 PM
Presented by Kristin Hersant (StrongMail) and Michelle Warther (Webtrends)

Toolkit: How to Create an Online Community Content Plan

(image credit: UBM TechWeb)

Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Enterprise 2.0, Social Business Trends

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