Social Strategies – Introducing Tomorrow’s World.

There’s a social media phenomenon that has taken the business world by storm – its becoming more and more common, and its down to social strategy.

You see it happening everywhere, but how do you adopt it for your business?

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Social Media Strategy VS. Social Business Strategy

Typically, social media doesn’t make it into a organsiations business strategy. Its not seen as a primary driver of business, only a perk to create awareness and add additional value. These perks seem like a pretty good reason to get social media involved in the business strategy, and that’s exactly what organisations around the globe have begun to realise.

So how does it work?

Well firstly, you need to decide if you are creating a social media strategy or a social business strategy.

A social media strategy focuses on how an organisation uses social media, from setting up your organisations Facebook page, to listening and engaging with customers. Simply put, it is a strategy that outlines what you are trying to achieve, who your customers are and what your competition is doing. Most companies have some sort of social media strategy, but what we are beginning to see is an evolved social media strategy…

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The Social Business Strategy.

The social business strategy is essentially an evolved, and advanced version of the social media strategy. It’s focus isn’t only to engage customers, but to incorporate social media into the organisations overall objectives. It works by integrating social technologies and processes into business values and practices, and uses them to build relationships which ultimately create value for both the customers and stakeholders.

In order for a social business strategy to be successful, the organisation must align its social efforts against a clear set of business objectives forming a single business strategy process. There shouldn’t be a separate social strategy, to be truly successful – the strategies are combined to create one overall, final strategy that targets business objectives.

Not seeing a return on your social strategy? Here’s why.

Many organisations work tirelessly to create social strategies, implementing platforms, targeting and engaging with customers all with the same idea. Social media will build brand awareness and make us more money. Well, whilst this isn’t exactly incorrect, these businesses are not using social strategy to its full potential.

By scrapping the social media strategy and forming a new social business strategy, all objectives are aligned, more dedication and effort goes into the right areas of social media.

There are three main reasons social media strategies tend to be less successful, all of which are addressed with the social business strategy.

  • Lack of defined strategy
  • Lack of governance
  • Lack of funding

Its always handy to have a dedicated team, how about creating one?

As social business strategies are created, dedicated teams are built to coordinate, teach and lead. These teams act as learning centers based on experiences and insights, they do not exist to control social media but to coordinate it, some organisations even run multiple teams for different areas or functions. People are drawn from all areas of the business to build the teams, the only requirements being that they are socially savy and respected opinion leaders. These teams have a list of responsibilities, somewhat similar to the below:

  • Governancenetwork-1020332_960_720
  • Best Practice
  • Content Direction
  • Training
  • Technology
  • Leadership
  • Insight Dissemination
  • Conversation Shaping
  • Conflict Resolution

These teams are established to aid in social business strategy, but they are not without risks. Multiple voices, whilst a benefit in many ways can also lead complications. Fortunately social media can be self editing, meaning that numerous comments from employees or stakeholders correcting a rumor may have more of an impact that a formal message of correction from the organisation itself.

Lets look at the maturity levels of a social business strategy..

There are six stages of maturity for the social business strategy, outlined below:

  • Planning
    • Planning is all about listening. Listening to customers, market research, even focus groups. Find out what people what, make sure your plans are inline with business objectives.
  • Presence
    • Establish a presence, be it a Facebook Page or a YouTube account, develop sharable content, provide support information but just hold off the engaging for now.
  • Engagement
    • Initiate conversations to build up communities, be transparent, introduce value and amplify the business presence. Get your staff involved and establish a risk management process which you will undoubtedly need at some point.
  • Formalised
    • Keep up your communications, internally and externally.
  • Strategic
    • Begin rolling the strategy into all areas of business, make sure the executives are actively engaging and formulate a committee for coordination.
  • Converged
    • Make sure there is only one business strategy process, by this time, there shouldn’t be a separate social strategy in existence.
Following these steps can aid your business in creating a successful social business strategy.

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Social business strategy – Be a part of tomorrow’s world.

 

Images have been obtained from Pixabay, and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

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