ROI of Social Technology Implementations in Government.

erik roi

Erik Qualman YouTube video 

In this blog I will attempt to calculated return on investment for a medium to small sized government agency to request funding to implement Social Media technologies. The costs associated to Social Media implementation is difficult to quantify and there are more intangible benefits than there are tangible.

The current mandates in place in both the Federal and State Governments are to transverse towards a more open government based culture, and allow better access to government information. To encourage and enable the public sector to engage in more forms of collaborations with the non-government groups and other government groups. Also to use and engage in social media, crowd sourcing and online collaboration projects.

The vision is all about informing and engaging and participating with the private sector and Australian citizens to open government communication channels and create transparency and open information to the general public.

Staffing requirements

Listed below is a list of the staffing required to monitor, mediate and support the new social media technologies for the government agency.

sallery table1

These figures have been collated from the Payscale website and are based at the top of the scale in pay rates to ensure the returns on investment figures are achievable.

Training Requirements

The training component is based on one person in the organization, possibly the Social media analysis being professionally trained then providing in house business training to the organization.

training table 1

To calculate training cost I discovered a training company based in Australia to provide online training to the Social media Analysis.

Setup Costs

The setup costs are calculated from Silver Web solutions for Word press, Twitter and YouTube setup cost. These can be formulated through the social media team and the marketing and graphic design teams.

setup cost table

The cost also includes prices for Yammer and is calculated on number only, Microsoft discounts and combining existing SharePoint licences has not been included in this ROI. The table below shows the continual server costs associated with setting up Word press, virtual server costs and an estimated annual increase in capacity of 10% per annum.

server costs

Monitoring tools

Monitoring and mediating the comments is a critical aspect of social media, Socialbakers Analytic tool has been included in this ROI based on my finding in my previous blog.

tools cost table

Tangible Cost Savings

Cost savings can be achieved in the reduction of emails and more effective collaboration methods. From Atlassian info-graphic and, a centralized repository of statistics and research specific to the email marketing industry states the average office worker receives 304 weekly business emails on average and will checks their emails 36 times every hour.

With online collaboration through social media tools, can build a culture of online innovation within Government, and promote collaboration across agencies.

ST collab

Image from The Business Case for Enterprise Collaboration – Oracle

The figures below have been collated form “The Business Case for Enterprise Collaboration – Oracle“ and the “Social economy” report – McKinsey & Company  which discusses the Benefits of Enterprise Collaboration. The graph below taken from the McKinsey report shows the possible improvement in communication and collaboration with Social media and how it could raise productivity by 20 to 25 precent.

mckinsey table

Image from “Social economy” report – McKinsey & Company

Also a similar study in The Business Case for Enterprise Collaboration – Oracle shows the average worker will waste 20 hours a week through poor collaboration processes.


Image from The Business Case for Enterprise Collaboration – Oracle

From these findings I have incorporated these figures into the ROI, the savings of 20 hours per week have been calculated over a 5 year period as I do not believe that these results will be seen instantaneously and are more likely to be achieved over time.

time saving

To calculate the ROI certain assumptions were made to derive at the ROI, these assumptions are listed in the table below and online form the state budgets government documents were access to ascertain employee costs.


To calculate the return on investment, I also investigated this return over a 5 year period as the initial outlay would be in the first year and the maximum benefits will not been seen until approximately five years’ time.


Apart from the tangible areas that can be quantified in this ROI, there are some intangible results achieved. Listed below is an extract from the Government 2.0 Taskforce called “Engage

Getting on with Government 2.0

Make government policies and services more responsive to people’s needs and concerns by:

  • Providing government with the tools for a much greater level of community engagement
  • Allowing the users of government services much greater participation in their design and continual improvement.
  • Involving communities of interest and practice outside the public sector — which offer unique access to expertise, local knowledge and perspectives — in policy making and delivery.
  • More successfully attracting and retaining bright, enthusiastic citizens to the public service by making their work less hierarchical, more collaborative and more intrinsically rewarding.

These are only some of the intangible benefits that can be achieved by introducing Social Media technologies and most of these are of more value to a government agency than monitory gains.

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Social media monitoring tools

Social media has evolved into a new enriched source of data, allowing businesses to focus marketing campaigns to an attentive audience in real-time. Social media monitoring tools allow companies to measure and maximize their effectiveness of their social marketing and form a basis for their marketing campaigns. The analysis in this blog is derived around investigate 12 free social media monitoring tools and their effectiveness, purely based on this authors opinions and limited experience of these tools, below is a list of tools that were reviewed:

To compare these tools I used a company knowing that it would have a substantial amount of social media interaction and one of Australia’s largest company, ANZ Bank. Below are thumbnails of my experiences with these applications, if you wish to view these, you can click on them to view the larger images.
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The results into quantitative data. Each tool has been categorized and measured by evaluating them in three areas, ease of use, graphical display and software that supports multiple social media searches. These are all ranked from 1 to 10, 1 being the least effective and 10 being the most effective. A brief description of my experience of each tool is listed in the Findings column.

Social media monitoring analysis_3

The ease of use refers the login process and the intuitive way in which a user can comprehend the software. The graphical display refers to pie charts, line charts and bar charts as a way to graphically represent the data.


The graph above depicts the results, the higher the sphere the easier it is to use, the further to the left the better the graphical display and the larger the sphere the greater number of social media site it will report on them. From this graph we can determine that “Hootsuite” and “Socialbakers” appear to be the best preforming social media monitoring tool with social baker just out preforming “Socialbakers”.

social media monitoring tool with social baker just out preforming “Socialbakers”.

“Socialbaker” professional designed interface and its ease of use was the tool of choice. The free version produces a detailed report with an excellent interactive graphic and reporting interface and the professional version offers a lot more.

“Hootsuite” was also a very useful tool and once learning how to navigate around the interface “Hootsuite” provided a live feed of social media interactions you wished to monitor including a graphical interface.

All of these tools provide the basic requirements of an analytic monitoring tool they provide content filtering, real-time responses and identification methods. As social technology transform society processes and culture in participating in open sharing and collaboration. The challenges and advantages for enterprises to embrace and exploit this avenue of information will allow a company to market its products or services to an attentive audience. These social media monitoring tools are indispensable to any company’s marketing toolkit.

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Architectural Professional Services through Social Media

When investigating the Professional Services Sector of Architecture and its utilization of Social media there are numerous examples of companies that use their websites to display imagery and at times videos of their Architectural creations. However there is a hesitation of many Architectural organizations to use Social media to its complete potential, the power of these tools from a simplistic marketing technique is invaluable and appears to be an untapped potential in the Architectural industry.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, which was founded in 1955 with approximately 1,600 people collaborating across a network of 24 offices on three continents. HOK generated over $409 million (US) in 2012 gross fees; making HOK one of the largest Architectural firms in the world.

location-map-firm-overview v1

Image from HOK website

HOK’s exemplary use of Social Media is impressive but I believe it is still only at its early stage of its existence. Below are links to HOK’s blogs and social media tools that are available through their website.



Even though HOK uses social media tools to present their work, with tools such as YouTube, Flickr and Facebook, what is impressive is the collaboration and information sharing the organization encourages. This appears to be predominantly due to their multiple offices geographic locations; however HOK could have opted to host this information on their own internal network system. The lacking of sharing data and sharing lessons learnt in the Architectural Industry has for many years have been normal practice. The fear of the competitors having access to your firm’s trade secrets is hopefully a thing of the past. HOK’s twitter accounts and blogs are evidence that these barriers are being removed  and enabling firms to effectively share and co-create information rich content to accelerate their access to expertise around the world.

HOK has used a vast array of social media tools to increase its collaboration and marketing processes, however there are many other options available to the wider Architectural community. As by the definition of social media which refers to the interaction among people where they create, share and exchange information and ideas through virtual communities and networks, tools such as Google earth can assist in this sharing innovation. ArchiCAD is an architectural design software which allows an Architect to upload a model directly to Google earth and with a Google earth account share this data with their client giving the owner a geospatial representation of the future structure the Architect is proposing.

Bloom Unit is another Architectural tool that can be used with the addition of social media tools to enhance the experience. Bloom unit is an online cloud based rendering application that allows the architect to share their proposals, communicate with clients instantaneously make corrections from remote locations. In this video below the Architect is using a phone call audio connection to his clients, he could however choose to use Google hang outs and connect to YouTube or even podcast the conversations.

From these examples you can see that the power of Social media can be used to build brand strength and awareness of innovations to enrich the experience of the client and provide support and mentorship to the Architectural and construction Professional industry at large.

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Social Media & Greenpeace

Greenpeace is an infamous nonprofit advocacy group that uses the power of social media in many aspects of its organization. The Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo acknowledged on CNN the use of social media.

“When we connect online marketing campaign as well as on the ground conventional activities you can get the best impact.” (May 24th 2010)

There are many value levers associated to the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 according to the McKinsey Global Institutes report, and Greenpeace does embrace many of this aspects with their business model.


Image from “Social economy” report – McKinsey & Company

In this blog I will briefly focus on Greenpeace’s efforts to enlist volunteers and raise funds through their use of Social media. This blog will briefly discuss some of the core functionality of Greenpeace such as crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and cyber activism. Greenpeace is a point of realization that social media provides new technologies for engaging with people and an opportunity to change people’s minds allowing them to react and act as a unified and united voice.

Collect Information and Insight

Greenpeace are continually investigating the effects of human activities on the natural environment, conducting research and publicising results including its effects on people and animals as a result of changes in the environment. These issues are predominantly investigated through Greenpeace’s research team and journalist teams, although collating information at times has presented itself through social media. Greenpeace’s Benjamin Borgerding hosted a conversation sharing examples of Greenpeace Germany utilization of crowdsourcing tool Jovoto to design a logo for renewable energy. This initiative invited 40,000 freelance designers to create the logo, Greenpeace received 300 entries with the winner receiving a financial award.


Image from jovoto

Mobile Resources

Greenpeace has a traditional website to collect donations similar to most organizations methods of collecting funding. However their most interesting endeavour in using social media as a fundraising exercise was around the construction of the ‘Rainbow Warrior III’. Greenpeace used what is now called crowdfunding to generate fundraising for its construction, through an interactive 3D model using Autodesk products and DDB Paris, viewers can select items that they would like to buy or help fund its construction. All donors received a certificate and their names were added to dedication wall on the ship.


Image from Ideasspotter

The project received 100,000 donors from around the world and provided users an opportunity to share their purchases or donations on social media networks through Facebook and Twitter.

Executive Mission

The simplistic mission statement form Executive Director Kumi Naidoo is “Greenpeace’s ultimate success will be measured when we are no longer necessary.” The Greenpeace Chronicles

As well as donating and volunteering one of Greenpeace’s fundamental strategies is to simply spread the message, Greenpeace encourages this by taking action and signing up as a cyberactivist. Their use of Social Media has set the standard for other organizations, and when all formal communications and correspondence with businesses fail social media is a very important tool in Greenpeace’s arsenal, an example of this is the Facebook campaign against coal.


Image from Greenpeace

This use of social media to engage supporters set a world record with excess of 80000 Facebook comments in eleven languages in 24 hours. This is one of many campaigns Greenpeace has used social media to improve collaboration and communication tool to educate people and spread their message.


Screen capture from The Greenpeace Chronicles

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Let’s take a break, a Nestle break, Greenpeace vs. Nestle.

The evidence of legal risks associated to companies using social media are predominantly associated with issues relating to copyright law, privacy law, discrimination, misleading and deceptive conduct, defamation and negligent misstatements. These laws vary from country to country and as with any legal issue it is dependent on the interpretation of the law. Not being a lawyer and not having any experience to base comments or judgment on any of these action attributing to social media lawsuits, however I believe in using commonsense one can cast their own judgments.

Greenpeace started a campaign against Nestle which targeted nestle use of palm oil farmed from Indonesia which Greenpeace say is leading to deforestation in archipelago. This seriously impacted on Nestle as their company has previously been promoting their support for environmental and social awareness.

Greenpeace initially started with altering Nestles logo as shown below, does this breach copyright law, and this is difficult to prove.


Below is an extract from a law office in California

“To establish copyright infringement in a court of law, a copyright owner must establish proof copyright ownership and proof of copying. Proof of copying may be established either by direct evidence of copying (i.e., an admission) or by indirect evidence showing 1) access to the original work; and 2) “substantial similarity” between the original and allegedly infringing work.”

Greenpeace has since removed the logo from the video only, it stills appears on their website.

The biggest issue was not with the logo but with Greenpeace launched a YouTube video of an office worker unknowingly biting into an orang-utan finger instead of a Kit Kat bar. Legally is Greenpeace discriminating or causing defamation with negligent misstatements? Greenpeace always consults legal advice prior to running slur campaigns and has walked a very fine line in this anti Nestle add.

The YouTube video was viewed 750000 times in the first week which seriously effected Nestle reputation. Nestlé’s Facebook fan base of approximately 92000 was also affected by an additional 4000 who signed into the Nestlé’s Facebook site in the first week all complaining about Nestlé’s use of palm oil, suddenly the company fan base was exposed to negative reports on their products.


Some of the negative criticism on Nestlé’s Facebook fan page over its use of palm oil in products (Credit: Nestlé’s Facebook fan page)

The volume of complaints and viewers to the YouTube video and the call from the protesters to boycott Nestles products which at the time was very close to Easter forced Nestle to rethink its manufacturing processes with palm oil. Nestle was forced to announce that it will stop using products that come from rainforest destruction. If you wish to read more please click here.

Nestle corporate image to the public is more valuable to the company and possible more detrimental to the organization then if Nestle was seen to sue Greenpeace. The possibility of negative press associated to legal action against Greenpeace could permanently damage their reputation, so how did Nestle handle this PR disaster.  Below is Nestle way to beat social media hostility in a digital world.

Nestle has learnt a hard lesson in Social Media and now is well equipped and prepared to address any negativity to their company in a timely manner.

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SAP’s implementation of Enterprise 2.0 and its functional business support leverage gains.

SAP is an international company based in Germany with offices in 130 countries around the world, and being one the largest supplier of enterprise software. SAP’s software is based on industry best practices and acknowledges the use of Enterprise 2.0 technologies as an integral part of their business model.

“SAP Community Network is SAP’s professional social network, orchestrating connections between SAP customers, partners, employees and experts. These communities play an integral role in the SAP ecosystem. Members use the power of social networking to tap into a broad network of peers to gather advice and knowledge to help solve their business problems.” Communities – Key to the SAP Ecosystem

This blog will identify two of the ten associated value levers that SAP extracts from utilizing Enterprise 2.0 technologies based from the McKinsey Global Institute 2012 report. Below are the ten points in McKinsey’s report detail the value levers that Enterprise 2.0 technology has to offer a business, I have added links to examples of how SAP has embraced these opportunities in Enterprise 2.0 technologies.

  1. Co-create products
  2. Leverage social technologies to forecast and monitor
  3. Use social technologies  to distribute business process
  4. Derive customer insights
  5. Use social technologies for marketing communication / interaction
  6. Generate and foster sales leads
  7. Social technology commence
  8. Provide customer care via social technologies.
  9. Use social technologies to improve intra- or inter-organisational collaboration and communication.
  10. User social technology to match talent to tasks.

Using social technologies to improve collaboration and communications and also the ability to leverage social technologies to forecast and monitor are aspects relevant to SAP’s commitment and recent initiative in embracing social media technologies. These two points are the focal discussion topic of this blog which focuses on the benefits of the emerging web 2.0 technologies.

Use social technologies to improve intra- or inter-organisational collaboration and communication. (Points 9)

SAP provides a system to facilitate organisational collaboration and communication in multiple systems, one of these systems is the SAP Developer Network. This blogasphere allows customers to interact and communicate with the people responsible for developing the systems, it gives the customer an insight into what to expect in new releases and possible future tools but also aids in shaping these technologies.

SAP discussion

Image from the SAP Developer Network

Another system SAP introduced is SAP EcoHub, the EcoHub provides an area to explore what the SAP community of associates, partners and industry experts observations and opinions on possible solutions. SAP EcoHub allows you then to make an informed evaluation and purchase solution suited to your business requirements and needs. All solutions are ranked by star rated system and comment field produced by a community driven marketplace, this allows customers evaluate solutions and channel questions to the appropriate resources within SAP.

Leverage social technologies to forecast and monitor (Points 2)

At SAP they have actually recognized that Enterprise 2.0 technologies will not only place your business in a competitive advantage, they have built a tool to leverage the potential marketing revenue possibilities that can be ascertained through this medium. SAP has introduced a tool called SAP Social Media Analytics .

The recent hype and influx of internet based messages through social media technologies has become a major influencing factor in consumers purchasing actions. (Mangolds, Faulds 2009). SAP acknowledges this and through a cloud based solution, customers can undertake their own marketing research on what the company’s brands, products and even the competitors brands are trending through social media chatter. To capitalize on what products are desired, there customer’s geographical location and their associated family and friend network with similar aspirations are invaluable.

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Week 3 Web 2.0 tool investigations for personal productivity

Week 3 Web 2.0 tool investigations for personal productivity.

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