I was at a #DigitalSurrey talk the other night given by Ade Oshineye (@ade_oshineye) a Developer Advocate at Google. Ade’s talk was titled – What comes after social networking? and he spent much of his time talking about the idea of ‘social objects’.

I’m still working through/exploring the concept of social objects in my head, but the talk got me thinking about the role of social objects within customer service/social customer care, and whether social objects exist within this context?

Ade spoke about the notion that ‘social objects trigger conversations that create communities’. The idea that the social object serves to unite people together around a point of common interest, whatever that interest might be.

Within a social context the #hashtag perhaps becomes the mechanism by which people are able to unite. Although this got me thinking about the difference, albeit subtle, between the ‘#’ and ‘@’. For example, #digitalsurrey represented the social object for Digital Surrey. It was the means by which a group of disparate people could come together for a moment and share a common interest. However, I wouldn’t necessarily view @digitalsurrey in the same way.

From a customer service perspective, I’m wondering if the following are examples of social objects:

#UnitedBreaksGuitars

#ComCastCares (interestingly has the value of this social object changed now that Frank Eliason has moved to Citi? Should #FrankEliason be the social object instead? Might the social object transfer in time to Citi through Frank Eliason?)

#custserv

#DellHell

#Twelpforce

#Zappos

I’m wondering if #complaint might be a social object?

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More links on social objects:

More thoughts on social objects by @GapingVoid

Social object theory

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Do social objects matter?

Not necessarily. But at the same time it’s hard to deny the potential they wield to unite a disparate group of people together around a common purpose. The power of the simple #hashtag should not be underestimated.

What other examples of social objects would you suggest within a customer service/social customer care context?

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