Last week we presented a webinar in partnership with Enterprise Connect. The topic covered a broad plan for migrating to an IP communications system. During the session we had touched on some of the hot topics in communications today, such as incorporating process automation, communications as a service (CaaS), and the use of social media in the enterprise and contact center. We loosely defined social media as the interaction with sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The one hour session only had part of one slide mentioning social media, and one poll question for the audience, to gauge their interest level in the subject. Here are the poll and results:
We discussed the results briefly, talking about how certain industries are invested deeper than others in using social media to connect with customers. Eric Krapf, our host from Enterprise Connect addressed the results on a blog which he posted the day after the webinar.
Like most charts and data, the same results can be interpreted in different ways. (See political polls) The chart shows 44% have no interest in making use of social media, the largest slice of the pie. But the other two slices add up to 56% indicating those respondents are already using or are in the planning stage of incorporating social media into their enterprise.
When the results were being shown live during the session I made the comment that I’ve gotten questions about social media from customers recently, and in most cases they had no immediate plan or need to use social media in their organization, but wanted to start learning more in the event that a competitor in their space might offer something to customers that could put them at a disadvantage.
During the Q&A part of the webinar we received no questions on social media. However, if you’ve ever presented a webinar or a session at a trade show, you know many people don’t ask questions in the public forum and will prefer to wait until later to have a one-on-one conversation. It’s been 3 days since the webinar and I’ve had several emails and even 2 calls as follow-up, and all were concerning information about the social media topic. The most common request is not about specific technology or solution, instead the common thread has been, “Have you heard how anyone in (insurance, hospitality, utility, etc) are integrating with social media for customer service?”
To me, the current interest in social media in enterprise communications feels a bit like the interest in speech recognition about 5 years ago. Every RFP, vendor marketing collateral, trade show and customer meeting seems to mention it, but the adoption is a bit scattershot and only adopted in a few industries. It’ll be interesting to ask a similar audience the same poll question in another 12 months.