“The social revolution is a trust revolution.”
This statement appeared on the 9th slide of Marc Benioff’s opening keynote, “Business is Social,” during his kickoff of Dreamforce 2012 last week. It followed some compelling statistics proving that the trends toward social media adoption in business are undeniable:
1.3 Trillion in value can be unlocked through social technologies – McKinsey Global Institute
123% growth in social customers – Google Social Media Analysis Study
150 million conversations per day – Twitter, Visible Technologies
As your customers, employees and partners become increasingly connected online, this raises some interesting questions, opportunities and risks in regards to trust:
- Will we have some kind of open and universal access to ratings and reviews for B2B sales and service professionals as we now see on consumer Internet sites for professionals like doctors? Will enterprise products – and the companies that produce them – be subject to a proliferation of eBay or Yelp-like reviews?
- How will this impact how we treat one another in business? Will those with the most loyal, helpful and honest behavior be recognized and rewarded? For example, will buyers search not only on solutions but also on the reputations professionals who represent them in marketing, sales and services (and even product development, accounting, HR….)? Will the deceitful, insubordinate, or lazy lose customers, jobs or promotional opportunities? Will companies that stretch the truth in marketing materials or products that don’t perform as advertised be shunned and avoided? Will we be able to measure that economic impact by corrollating some sort of truth index with market share or financial performance?
- How can we automate and encourage the process of recommendations and reviews for B2B customers, coworkers or managers at the moment when they have a positive experience? Is “gamification” – providing some kind of recognition or reward such as privileges or prizes for participation – appropriate when it comes to ratings? Or will incentives beyond just doing the right thing skew results?
- How will we defend ourselves from inappropriate, inaccurate or competitive attacks on our reputation? Will we all need products like reputation.com to defend against career-limiting online content?
Rachel Botsman, one of the speakers at this June’s TEDGlobal conference, thinks like Benioff. She says that the currency of the new economy is trust and reputation in your most valuable asset. Botsman writes, speaks and consults on “the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies, and on how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live,” according to her TED bio.
As examples of the real value of reputation, intention, capabilities and values, Botsman references the following in her talk:
- Uberhosts at Airbnb
High scorers draw more overnight visitors and make more money
- Super rabbits at TaskRabbit
Popular and efficient part-time workers are more likely to find jobs and command higher rates.
How will the social revolution- a trust revolution – impact your business in the future? What are you doing about it?