5 Risks ofBecoming a Social Business

Social Business | January 25, 2013

A Social Business is Internal and Externally Focused

A social business is an organization that embraces the culture and technology of the social revolution for strategic business outcomes. A social business understands that being social is good for employee productivity and for external engagement with customers and partners. There are however risks involved. Consider these five risks before you label your organization a social business.

Lack of Experience

Generally speaking a business should have not less than three years experience with social media to consider itself a social business. Just like we go through a maturation process before we’re ready for certain responsibilities in our careers, likewise a business needs to mature in its use of social media. It takes about three years for an organization to think strategically about how “social” is strategic to the business.

Lack of Executive Support

When the top executives in an organization do not support being social, it’s not possible for it to be a social business. The culture of a social business has to become part of its DNA. Companies like Dell, Lowes, IBM and many others whose names are not as well recognized are strategically social because their CEO has embraced social for internal and external business value.

Lack of Employee Ambassadors

In a social business, marketing is not a department. Certain employees with subject matter expertise embrace the opportunity to contribute their expertise through content and social engagement. When certain employees become brand ambassadors and participate in engagement both with other employees and externally with people who engage the brand, these employees share a branding phenomenon that benefits both the employee and the corporate brand.

Low Quality Content

Content is a pre-requisite to being a social business simply because it is the currency that engages people throughout the value chain of a business. However, an organization who doesn’t plan their content strategy using best practices to produce relevant content risks producing low quality content. Content for the sake of content is not the answer to being a social business. A relevant content strategy doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all digital marketing plan. Detailed analysis of personas and keywords that align with personas should drive the content plan. A content calendar with assignments to subject matter experts is a staple in any social business.

Lack of Social Technology Investment

A social business cannot execute their plans or measure progress without proper tools. Social business tools include solutions for scheduling, management, analysis and measurement. A lack of investment in social business tools is like trying to dig a ditch with a spoon. Social business tools are understood as an investment in the daily management and measurement of progress for a social business.

Recently, I shared my view of social business along with examples of organizations that are enjoying success on their social business journey with Pamela Muldoon of Content Marketing 360. The interview is below. Give it a listen and share your thoughts below.

About the Author
Bernie is founder and CEO of Find and Convert and leads the agency’s strategy. Bernie is a consummate content producer on digital marketing insights and best practices and hosts the Social Business Engine digital TV show and podcast.

9 Comments to 5 Risks ofBecoming a Social Business

  1. by jaycooperlondon

    On February 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Very good approach and like that you've left technology to last, rather than start with the tools.

    I would add a lack of strategic thought is a barrier to success – without a clear goal or vision it will falter. The article assumes that marketing will pick up the ball and run with it – actually, any department can so long as they have thought through the company-wide strategic impact of what they are doing. Here's my colleague, @lauradinneen take on social business http://bit.ly/VqJUuG

  2. by business consultant

    On April 11, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Without any doubts this is really very sound allocation for realizing social business perfectly and I hope after reading out this post everyone will come to know how to do social business effectively. Thanks

  3. by FindandConvert

    On April 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Your point that anyone can implement a company wide strategic social business initiative depends greatly on the culture of the business. It may be true for some businesses…Thanks for your comment.

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