I’d like to thank Paul Greenberg for giving the industry yet another acronym to think about as we mosey along the 2.0 highway. Seriously, Paul, thanks…
Paul’s neologism is OSN – short for Outcome-based Social Networks. Read about it here.
And while I kid Paul for adding to the alphabet soup of the software market, his points on the topic are strong. Here’s Paul’s definition of an OSN:
Outcome based social networks are often organized around an opportunity in sales, an engagement, or a particular transaction or interaction that has a limited lifespan.
Paul mentions some more project based sites and networks in the article (which is also a free excerpt from the latest edition of CRM at the Speed of Light) – but I would expand the definition to sites like LinkedIn and Monster. While there tends to be a lot less collaboration and content generation on these networks, there is a specific outcome – making deals and finding a new job or new candidate.
These OSNs are profoundly different from sites like Facebook or MySpace – which I see as having little to no value when it comes to integrating the data therein with a CRM system. See, in an OSN, these people are expecting an outcome or are part of the network for the very purpose of being “out there” and leveraging that association as a point of a CRM engagement is less intrusive and more valuable. It is also easier, since these purpose-built networks usually have less personal data to sift through – given the sharper focus.
In the end it all comes down to your CRM goals, your industry, your target market, etc. But I feel that a lot of the legwork is already done when you connect to an OSN versus a more open, public social network.