If companies are to make the very most of social media, the latter must become an integral part of behaviors and workflows – which requires a significant amount of organization, communication and strategizing. In this post we discuss four aspects of successful social business. We refer to them as pillars because, though they aren’t always implemented in the same order, they are all necessary in the long term.
Social business involves using communication channels which, for a considerable period of time, were not part of the “professional” toolbox. For many organizations, it therefore constitutes a considerable change in how things are done. So whether it’s encouraging sales teams to connect directly with prospects, helping recruiters to communicate about the employer brand, or providing training for non-digital natives, strong leadership is essential if new behaviors are to be disseminated in such a way that they are not only understood, but successfully integrated into employees’ workflows.
A Focus on Individuals
Social media is changing the way companies do business and communicate, most notably through the breaking down of silos, direct interaction with clients, prospects and partners, and the engagement of employees in brand communication. This in turn means inviting employees to communicate about the company in their own words and, as such, putting the focus on individual insights and expertise that serve to enhance overarching brand messages.
The Democratization of Communication
Following on from the previous point, social business is changing how companies capitalize on ideas, abilities and resources. Individuals who weren’t previously empowered to play a role in brand awareness, lead generation and recruitment are now actively encouraged to do so on social media. Employee advocacy in particular democratizes communication, in the sense that it gives all employees, not just dedicated marketing and communications teams, the opportunity to make contributions they would not have been previously enabled to do, and to have an impact on how the organization is perceived.
The Synchronization of a Digital Ecosystem
Most companies use a wide range of tools and communication channels as part of their daily workflow. These include listening tools, paid and organic social media, email campaigns, lead tracking and retargeting platforms. However, linking all this activity in a truly efficient way is easier said than done. Tools and processes are likely to have been introduced one by one – brick by brick. What is important is that these bricks fit together within a logical system. For example, social media campaigns that feed into lead tracking and CRM systems, or listening tools that connect with employee advocacy platforms). The idea is to gain as comprehensive a view as possible of the digital ecosystem: of what works, what doesn’t work, and what can be improved.
Becoming a truly social organization takes time, but it is an initiative that is necessary to companies’ evolution within the fast evolving business landscape. Read these case studies to discover how many companies are already reaping the benefits.