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.
To achieve a more strategic approach to using social tools as part of the sales process, sales executives should start by thinking through their current working patterns to identify ways in which a social business approach could support or, in some cases, change the sales process altogether.
ffective social business strategies connect people, processes and technologies in ways that strengthen a company’s competitive position and increases the value of its brand experience — not to mention the bottom line — with customers, employees, shareholders, partners and other stakeholders. Here are five big strategic wins an effective social business strategy can deliver:
Few seasoned marketing professionals would argue that online thought leadership is a waste of time or money. Most would say it’s an imperative. But while the “Must dos!” on this topic are whizzing past, the instructions on “How?” seem to have been left behind. To help with the how, I work with thought leaders within enterprises via a social media immersion program. The program’s goal is to help marketing and other thought leadership executives make the shift away from traditional to online and social thought leadership – cuz it ain’t easy! It means rethinking the “how.”
There is a rather large difference between companies “doing” social and “being” social. For a company to succeed at this new business model, they must learn how to do social and also, enable their people to be social.
Doing social is the imperative part of the equation. This means making plans, defining objectives complete with outcomes, tracking and measuring success and making adjustments to the plan along the way. Most companies start doing social within their marketing and sales departments to drive traffic to their site and raise awareness about their products or services. This usually looks like marketing managers using social tools to broadcast their message to the world.
Starting a strategic social media plan can be overwhelming to a mid-to-large size company. There are a few big questions that often cause organizational paralysis…the most daunting of which is “where do we begin?” followed by “what’s happening that we don’t know about?” But knowledge is a catalyst to action. And, as with the formation of most effective business strategies, you need to understand it in order to set a course of change.