Everywhere we go, we see Facebook "likes." Everyone clicks on the "likes." The "like" then becomes a part of your social context. Marketeers can access more info about you than you ever imagined, including your favorite restaurants, music, shops. What a devious premise.

This was one of the points made at the Gilbane Boston session entitled "Integration of Consumer Social Software with Enterprise Systems" on how the usage of consumer social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr can have a place inside enterprises, and why and how social content can be integrated with enterprise systems.

Moderator: Larry Hawes, Lead Analyst, Collaboration & Enterprise Social Software, Outsell's Gilbane Group

Presenters: Tom Wentworth, VP Web Solutions, Ektron, and Martin Coady, Director of Technical Strategy, VML

Putting It into Context

Content is king. Context is queen. Together, they rule the fiefdom of web experience. Context can come from a variety of sources:

  • Preferences
  • Behavior
  • Social networks
  • Location

Social networks become the single identity source on the web.

Facebook Is (Again) Evil

According to Wentworth, in 10 years, Facebook will have a lot of data about us. It's frightening. Even today, the amount of information we share on Facebook is huge and can be used by companies to deliver personalized everything, including shopping experience.

If you look at Facebook as a developer, you will be blown away by the amount of data you can get. The social graph as a combination of your "likes" and the "likes" of your friends in the shared social network can be a powerful tool for marketers. Once you authenticate as yourself, the API can expose everything in your social graph. All data that is available for that particular user.

Amazon is already putting this power to action by using Facebook Connect pretty aggressively to sell the goods. What they did is decided to let user to log in to Amazon with Facebook credentials (devious reason behind that). Afterwards, they can get access to all your Facebook data and personalize merchandise recommendations based on what you or your friends like.

Facebook is a potential massive privacy issue. But Amazon describes explicitly what will be used and how. Once logged in, you are conveniently shown a list of your friends' birthdays. Amazon can match relevant products for you to spend more money on your friends, providing personalized product suggestions.

The concept of how the social graph determines what we show to visitors on the website is mind-blowing. It can be applied in both in B2B and B2cC contexts.

A Word on Multichannel Publishing

Despite all the CMSs in the world, getting the basic multichannel publishing down is hard for most organizations. With social in play, it's even harder. Some go drastic routes. Vitamin Water, for example, abandoned their website and focused all the web presence on their Facebook page.

While social can present challenges, we can make websites more intelligent through the use of social context. But think about smart ways of breaking down your content into re-usable chunks and managing them. Many organizations fall victims to siloed content, making multichannel publishing and authoring more difficult.

People should be able to manage social media content with the same sets of tools as their other types of content. Why don't people use content management tools for social publishing to all channels? If you publish a corporate press release, a link to it on Twitter should be sent automatically.

Protocols like OAuth are easier to use from an integration standpoint.

In the create -> publish -> listen -> learn process, you still need social CRM tools for the listen and learn parts of the process.

With social participation, organizations can respond and listen in order to analyze and influence.

There are missing processes for capturing insights and bringing social data into larger marketing ecosystems. This social content should be used for response actions. An integrated marketing platform is designed to use technology for what it's great for -- to let people do their jobs better. There're aren't may, if at all, unified platforms of that kind, but there are many connection points from one system to another.

What is important is being able to leverage social data as input to creating and refining marketing campaigns. Providing a unified framework will allow social experiences to merge with tradition marketing (digital and very traditional).