Social Business in social media….what do you think?
Lets start with the engagement processes and the ways in which interaction and participation with social content happens on the social media that can connect your audience with your brand (for better or for worse!). Built into the engagement process is recognition of the new role of the customer, now much more of a participant in the marketplace and increasingly in the businesses and organizations that serve it. The final foundation element of the social business ecosystem and its collaborative processes exposed the collective knowledge of the Social Web and showed us how to use it in building, running, and evolving your business or organization.
If some of the core social media marketing concepts are unfamiliar to you as you head into Part II, you may find my previous article helpful. First, it means working together, which is pretty obvious. Less obvious is who is working together. Social business implies a collaborative process not only between the business and its customers, which is tough enough, but also within the business itself across “silos” and between individual customers. Using the combination of conversations and active listening to guide your business planning process is a logical but deceptively simple approach to social business. More often, the processes of organizational change, of breaking down silos, and of appropriately sharing and exposing information quickly and widely present the real challenges. Only when this occurs when customer ideas and inputs are brought into the business or organization in a visible, meaningful way is it a social business.
The key to combining listening data, obtained via support forums and similar
Applications, and other information gathered through direct connection with your customers is that this needs to be connected to your business strategy and the processes that surround it. In other words, traditional marketing is largely focused on market study (both pre and post) that informs a message. Listening in the simple sense conveys back to you the degree to which that message was consistent with the actual experience of customers and stakeholders, including in venues that you may not have originally envisioned.
If it also turns out that the firm does not equitably promote women within the workplace, this contradiction will inevitably become known, very likely being spread through social channels. This raises the requirements for active listening and the incorporation of customer feedback into your business processes: Without a strategic basis for participation, any involvement in the Social Web will be limited to listening (but not responding) and using platforms such as Twitter or Facebook for talking. Neither of these is optimal, and neither will result in the desired outcomes.
Social media therefore is not just a technology; rather it has emerged as a platform to grow, learn and diversify!