Becoming a social business is more important than ever.
Social business covers more than having a social media presence – it’s a digital strategy that spans throughout the organization. “Social business is all about creating meaningful connections between people to achieve business objectives,” says Mikael Lauharanta.
The 2014 MIT Sloan Management Review found that there is a strong connection between social business maturity and social’s value to the enterprise. It correlates with results, decision-making and innovation.
Different stages of becoming a social business
Much like measuring the social maturity of an individual employee, organizations have different stages of social before they are considered to be a social business.
Altimeter maps out seven elements of social media maturity*.
Social listening is the key before entering the world of social as a business, and it is the often the first step to take before setting a social media strategy and its goals. Establishing a strategy for pushing out content should be based on this listening and measuring what the benefits for the company through social media can look like.
The engagement stage embraces social media as a way to build relationships. Creating a clear process, involving C-level and integrating social into all parts of the business come next.
It should be top-down
The transition from having a social media strategy to becoming a social business is a major one, and needs to go from bottom-up to top-down. Planning, allocating resources, ensuring process efficiency and providing the necessary technology are all important aspects to establishing a strategy for becoming a social business.
“What many strategists eventually learn is that governance is key to scaling social business outside traditional silos, and it’s incredibly challenging to offer a holistic, integrated customer experience without the coordination that governance can deliver,” says Ed Terpening.
Leverage your employees
Establishing a full-fledged social advocacy program is a way to spread social media use throughout the organization. A program like this combines shared technology and social media policies to unify the company as a brand and bring people together with shared values.
It's good to start small and scale up from there. You can make social media count by investing in your content and making sure your best assets – your employees – are motivated to engage with it and share it to their networks.
*The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Media Transformation, by Charlene Li and Brian Solis
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