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The Success Rate of Social Collaboration is not 10%

By Anthony J. Bradley | April 08, 2013 | 2 Comments

Recently Gartner published a press release in anticipation of my participation in the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit conferences where I will be presenting the following:

Social Collaboration Demands a New Approach to Architecting Human-centric Solutions


Gartner Keynote: Driving New Business Outcomes With the Nexus of Forces

Unfortunately, several press outlets including Computerworld, and CIO Magazine picked up a misinterpretation of the press release stating, in various forms, that the overall success rate with social is 10%. This is neither the intended message of the press release nor the result of Gartner’s research.

The press release states, and our research shows, the “Provide and Pray” approach to social collaboration sees about a 10% success rate. The subtitle of the press release is, "Provide and Pray" Approach Has Just a 10 Percent Success Rate. It goes on to elaborate with the following. ”Without a well-crafted and compelling purpose, most social media initiatives will fail to deliver business value," said Anthony Bradley, group vice president at Gartner. "This provide and pray approach provides access to a social collaboration technology and prays something good comes of it, like a community forming and participants’ interactions naturally delivering business value. As a result, this approach sees a 10 percent success rate, and the underlying reason is usually that the organization did not provide a compelling cause around which a community could form and be motivated to provide their time and knowledge. In other words, purpose was lacking."

The overall message being, “Don’t take a ‘provide and pray’ approach to social collaboration. Instead focus on purpose.”

The methodology and initial data set is explained in the Gartner research report (only available to Gartner clients):

Employing Social Media for Business Impact: Key Collective Behavior Patterns

by Anthony J. Bradley Updated 12 July 2012  ID:G00173838

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  • We have found that if social media is used correctly to your needs, the outcome is much higher then 10% conversion. While just posting a site or comments will not do the job!

  • Thanks for the clarification Anthony. Much better.