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Has the Empire Struck Back?

Posted on 7 October 2014

At the recent Social Shake-Up in Atlanta, Robin Carey, CEO of Social Media Today, interviewed Brian Solis in a session called Has the Empire Struck Back?

Here’s the interview:

Solis traces the disruptive trends happening in social businesses and how to ride the digital transformation wave, while meeting the challenges of retaining the human to human factor and creating community to solve global problems in a social media era.

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media.

According to Solis, we’re at a crossroads – social still needs to figure out where it fits in the organization. Social really means making businesses more human. Social brings more to the party, but there’s still a lot to be figured out. Among the many CEOs Solis has interviewed, he said what keeps them up at night is they don’t know that much about their digital customers. Which begs the question what’s the meaning of truly customer-centric?

Solis definition of Digital Transformation: The changing realization that the digital customer is different, and making investments into discovering this digital customer. A recent survey of CEOs revealed that 80% are making investments in digital transformation but only 30% know why. Solis described his concept of “the embrace,” a missing ingredient in the organization structure of some businesses. Many of today’s organizations have so much structure built around them that they don’t have time for the “embrace” of getting to know their digital customer. Solis believes that before the transaction can happen, the organization must first experience the customer “embrace.” Inspiring rather than manipulating behavior difference makes a difference and impacts transactions. “Social” has the power to be the means to an end.

Over the course of the two-day Social Shake-Up, industry thought leaders discussed what the future of technology – including mobile, scanning, and wearable – looks like. How to connect with the global consumer. What you need to be concerned with regarding security and privacy.

Jeramiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies, also keynoted a discussion about the diverse emerging models of the collaborative economy and what it means for corporations and brand marketing. (Collaborative Economy)

Social Media Today, the organizer, describes the Social Shake-Up, as a “unique kind of conference because of the opportunity to network with the ‘Who’s-Who’ of social media and make valuable new connections across multiple industries rather than just being sold to by vendors.

The next and third Social Shake-Up will take place in June 2015 in Atlanta, and the first global event is planned for September 2015 in London.