The time is now!
Now is the time to figure out how you can integrate social technologies into your business. We are way past the “social media is a fad” stage. Social is real and its here to stay. According to a recent study conducted by McKinsey on how social technologies are extending the organization, Seventy-two percent of executives polled responded that their companies were utilizing social technologies. Sixty-nine percent of those executives indicated that social technologies were increasing the effectiveness of marketing. An even larger percent indicated that they were seeing real business value by utilizing these technologies for internal purposes, such as: increasing speed to access knowledge, reducing communications costs, increasing speed to access internal experts and collaborating more effectively with suppliers, partners and distributors.
There are many companies who are experimenting with social media marketing (setting up a Facebook page, creating a Twitter account, participating in groups on LinkedIn), and some of these companies have been somewhat successful in engaging with their customers and prospects and creating new sales channels. However, the majority of these companies are missing the boat. They think that because their Facebook page has 200 likes or their Twitter account has 3000 followers, they are succeeding at implementing social technologies into their companies.
The reality is that social technologies have their most meaningful impact when they are deployed both internally and externally. If a company is not utilizing social technologies to enhance the communication and collaboration amongst their employees, then they are only achieving a third of the value they could be receiving from these new business transformation tools. A company that isn’t properly socialized internally will be unable to quickly take advantage of new opportunities that may surface as a result of their social marketing efforts. Furthermore, if companies are not deploying social tools internally, they will not be able to respond efficiently when their customers have problems or issues with the goods or services that they purchased.
Fred Cavazza, a french blogger for Forbes wrote a blog post on The What and How of Social Business which best describes how social technologies are completely transforming the way business is being conducted. In the blog post, Fred displays a pictogram, which in my opinion, accurately describes the framework of a social business. You can see the pictogram below.
As you can see from the pictogram, Social Business is much more than Social Media Marketing. It comprises several elements, both internal and external that together create the framework for a social business. Over the next couple of weeks, I will explore each of these elements in detail and provide readers with a better understanding of why the time is now to fully integrate social technologies into your business.