Your future business is a social business. Are you there yet?
Is it because nobody really knows what a social business is or perhaps how a business becomes a social business? Maybe it’s because they just don’t know the steps needed to get there or even if it’s a journey worth embarking on?
What is a social business?
A social business is one which has broken free from its own social media handles and has seen the bigger picture.
Their customers and prospects are interacting with the organisation via social media… at all levels… before they become a customer, when they are about to make a purchase and of course after they’ve made their minds up and bought the product(s).
Importantly, social businesses have their teams engaged on social media too. Senior Management to educate the market, sales teams to find and close business, marketing to drive awareness, HR to recruit new staff, and Customer Service to serve customers. The list goes on and on.
These social businesses have grasped the crucial fact that social is no longer something which can be done in isolation, in one part of the business or for just one function…it is the business.
For me, what separates a social business from one which is not, is the difference between “Social something” and “Social everything”.
Is becoming a social business important?
I believe very much so. There is no doubt that social media has changed the way we do sales, PR, marketing, HR, and technical support. Critically, with change comes opportunities, and today they are bigger than ever.
Social businesses can do everything faster, better and more effectively. They can react to customer issues quickly, they can adapt to change and move to new markets faster, and they can be more personal, engaging and likable.
Look at how brands like Oreo managed to take advantage of the Super Bowl lights fiasco in 2013.
It’s not just about marketing either; British drink brand innocent leads the way in handling customer feedback and engaging with customers every day, which delights their customers and builds their brand on a one-to-one level.
It’s a tough journey to get there.
Enterprises are going to need to address critical areas of the business in order to become full-blown social businesses. Technology can get you a long way, but it’s not the silver bullet.
Your sales teams are going to have to learn how to effectively sell socially, your customer service teams are going to have to learn how to engage with customers in a timely, sensitive and sometimes confidential manner when the whole world is watching.
It’s not simple. Your enterprise will need to put in place policy changes, controls and training in addition to working out how each component of the social business can be unique enough, but also similar enough to sit within your brand.
How to help your sales and marketing teams?
Once you have made the decision to create a social business, and you’ve thought about how you can “socialise” each area of your business, you need to start thinking about how you’re actually going to do it. This is where technology comes in.
Most of your social business is going to need a technology which allows you to create the vast majority of your content centrally, and to distribute this content to the right people, at the right time in your organisation.
Marketing automation platforms, and in particular, content syndication and amplification platforms will go a long way to helping you become a social business. I’m in the space, and I’ve seen it first-hand how technology is revolutionising businesses, and helping them to socially enable all parts of their business through content distribution and amplification.
If you’re interested in getting more out of your social media marketing efforts, want to help your senior managers and employees amplify your brand messages and become influencers, or even want a healthier and happier partner and retailer network, then becoming a social business is the step you need to take.