Buyers of online social products and services face a difficult problem – what is it, exactly, they are purchasing? Social initiative sponsors and corporate purchasing agents alike must evaluate market offerings against a backdrop of hyper-speed product and service evolution, hyper-active marketing efforts and, well, just plain hype. It’s a daunting, confusing and uncertain process. With so much variety and rapid evolution, even industry insiders find it tough to make apples-to-apples comparisons, let alone identify the best apple or apple seller to meet a specific business need.
Social business checklist
Sorry, the party’s over. The days of social media celebration are gone. It’s not as if a random collection of “Likes” and “followers” had any real meaning but, hey, it was fun to watch the cool kids all get drunk at the bar of social media promises.
It’s time to sober up and put the kids to work. Business executives, in the parent role, have arrived on the scene and are calling for more focus on business goals and authentic measures of success. The caretakers are taking a hard line as social business enters young adulthood. So how do the kids win the trust of those parents in the executive suite? Where is the Kevin Bacon for this social media “Footloose” story? Learning to think critically about business concerns and addressing the needs of the business execs is the burning question for today.
The finest social business leadership team or community manager can benefit from a little outside guidance, fresh ideas, new perspectives and best practices to keep the social business machinery humming. The good news is that successful communities can perform even better, and laggards can make significant improvements, when the right strategic, tactical, operational, technical and organizational changes are implemented.
That’s the key: identifying and implementing the right changes to keep your community on track. What kind of activities, practices and behaviors should be assessed to ensure it is healthy and operating efficiently to generate the greatest returns? There are well over 120 checkpoints to assess an online community’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth and greater success.
“I don’t have time to participate in social media” is a common cry heard within enterprise. The concern is that…
Our series on Social Business Readiness is intended to focus attention on performing the due diligence needed to understand if key departments are ready to innovate and implement social business solutions within their functional areas. Managers of those functional departments ignore this step at their peril. Few initiatives can boomerang and create chaos as quickly as an ill-considered and haphazardly implemented social media effort.
Funny thing about customers: unlike staff, you can’t make them stop talking in public about what they like — or don’t like — about your products, services, policies, practices or personnel. But you can respond in public — if you’re careful — and maybe even develop a pro-active customer care strategy that integrates best practice using the social web.
ocial media is all about marketing, right? Wrong. Marketing has been advancing the role of social media in business quite actively for some time, and are likely to have evolved social media use and experimentation ahead of the other lines of business. However, best practice often reveals that the most successful marketing programs offer a blended approach of traditional and social media driven programs. To strike the right balance in a social strategy informed by marketing, consider the following questions as part of the due diligence process:
In order to play a leading role in social business, the IT function can create a purpose-driven social tool kit in support of the business goals of the organization. Factors to consider include:
Does IT management have a seat at the table when it comes to the formation of a social strategy?
Has IT been given the charter to perform due diligence on social tools and create a standardized list of tools approved for use within the organization?
Does the list of approved social tools include an appropriate range of capabilities? Mobile social networks? Video and voice over IP? Location services? Secure communications?
Do the tools support the needs of the the business? How many tools do you have? Do you know the purpose of the tools? Are they current? Has the social tools list been reviewed or revised in the past 6 months?
Is your technical support staff up-to-speed and capable of supporting your social tool users?
he folks in legal are often the last ones invited to the social media party. After all, they are often the “Dr. No” of the organization; who would want to let them in too early on any groundbreaking innovations? At best, they would certainly try to change it. At worst, they’d kill it. I have written about this before (in 2009) but believe it needs further treatment.