Social Business Evolution Starts Now!
Is today the day we start thinking about social media as part of an integrated program?
My friends at ExactTarget announced a moment ago that they have acquired CoTweet, the leader in enterprise Twitter management, and will be building a social products lab to add tie-ins for Facebook, YouTube, and other elements of the social communication ecosystem. All members of the CoTweet team, including uber-sharp CEO Jesse Engle will stay on board, and the CoTweet name will continue. This is the first salvo in what I anticipate will be a flurry of moves to bring together email and social media into a coherent whole. As I wrote just a couple weeks ago, email and social media are more alike than different, and the major corporations that comprise much of the customer bases of ExactTarget and CoTweet are embracing that concept. Really, what is social media from the brand perspective but email 2.0? A way to remain top-of-mind with your customers, in a way that’s (hopefully) relevant and engaging. Not the ready, fire, aim email that’s the bane of your inbox, but smart, contextual email that sends the right message to the right person at the right time.
That’s been ExactTarget’s territory for a long time, and extending that concept of message-centric, platform-agnostic to social media is a natural fit. And the fact that Forrester Research projects social media spend in the U.S. to be larger than email by 2012 doesn’t hurt, either.
4 Milestones to Social Business
There are numerous granular issues to consider, and it will be fascinating to watch ExactTarget and CoTweet work out the operational details (I might even get to help a little, as ExactTarget is a client), but I see 4 primary hurdles that have prevented the full synergy of social and email to-date. This move will start to eliminate all of these obstacles:
1. Personnel Integration
2. Database Integration
3. Messaging Integration
4. Metrics Integration