Do you have a social strategy?
I mean a real social enterprise strategy – one that is driven and measured by business performance? Not the garden variety social media marketing campaign that focuses on tools such as creating a a Twitter account to “get” followers or a Facebook corporate account to put up marketing information — but a real social strategy that is well-grounded in the business goals and objectives your company needs to achieve, one that permeates the organization’s operations from customer care to competitive intelligence, to driving new products and features and is integrated in the sales cycle. Have you prepared for the cultural impact and change management process that a social strategy can have on an organization? Have you created a social framework for the enterprise to do business differently?
In order to move from fanciful experimentation with social media tools to putting a social strategy at the forefront of the business operations there are some key areas to focus on:
1) Develop an integrative approach to a social enterprise strategy: Social strategy doesn’t just impact marketing nor should marketing be the only influencer on social strategy within the enterprise. Instead, a balance of voices and vision should be driven from key operational areas within the business. Strive to meet the needs and help achieve the goals across the organization.
2) Seek external metrics: Don’t spend too much time navel-gazing, looking only at your social returns but look to competitors for best practice, success indicators and outcomes. Outside research and benchmarking is often rich with data to inform your organization about what is possible with social strategy and also surfacing where you may be lagging.
3) Define frameworks and measures: Social strategy is not different from any other kind of business strategy and needs to have in place milestones, measure and metrics to critically assess efficiencies and outcomes with the same rigor you would apply to any other business line. Yes, social business is a new order but it should be held to the same performance standards and measures as any other business strategy. Social strategy needs to return stakeholder value.