This week, I had the opportunity to host a Webinar here at CoreMatrix on one of my favorite topics: becoming a Social Enterprise.
I had a terrific time prepping for the presentation, and came away from that research in awe of the rate of change in “business as usual“. I covered a ton of foundational elements in the webinar. Looking ahead, we’ll deliver tactical sessions as well, to offer up some ideas to get your creativity flowing. This post recaps the meaning of the term Social Enterprise, recaps some of the tactics you can use in your steps to become one, and give you a high level path to follow on your journey.
Well, what is a Social Enterprise?
Simply put; it’s an organization that weaves social and mobile technologies, platforms, and services into their business processes in a way that enriches Customer relationships and measurably improves the bottom line.
Key here? Two words: weaves and measurably. Your organization shouldn’t be attempting to do social “because you have to”. Social for social’s sake is not the goal. Your challenge is to find the areas where weaving social into the mix will improve results. Measurably.
ROI: The elephant in the room
There’s a recurring theme I hear when talking to people about social. It’s the unfortunate belief that Social ROI just can’t be measured. I work from the belief that any social initiatives you undertake should be either spanning a gap or capitalizing on an opportunity. If you start from that belief, then your responsibility is to ensure you can (at the end of the day) either measure the impact to the gap or the lift.
If you’re interested in learning more about ROI and some of the other metrics that can be used to measure Social Media (a component of the Social Enterprise) success, Radian6 has a helpful ebook on the topic as well as a one page cheat sheet. Of course, the end state goal is to be able to measurably impact your company’s current business metrics with social initiatives.
Where’s the Starting Line?
So where to start your search for this opportunity? Consider the following areas as likely targets: Customer Service, Sales, Recruiting, Marketing, and R&D. These certainly aren’t the only places to look – every company is different – but starting your search in these areas may yield some low-hanging opportunities. On your journey, I encourage you to find the people in each area who will join the central strategy team. These would be the folks who are experts on the current state of the state, and are future champions or owners of any potential Social initiatives. Getting these people involved in the initial stages means all your key players are learning and growing together (collaboratively).
I shared in this week’s presentation that the majority of companies are still ignoring customer complaints on Twitter. When done right, the handling of complaints via social channels can defer calls to the call center (read: costs) and reduce churn (read: increase Customer Lifetime Value). If you’re interested in getting deeper into the idea of how Social Customer Service impacts the bottom line, I highly recommend this webinar from Radian6 with Frank Eliason of Citibank (and author of the book @YourService ).
70% of companies ignore customer complaints
Maritz and evolve24 Twitter Study, September 2011
Motto to Live By: Be Prepared
Although you (or your boss) may be chomping at the bit to “go Social” I highly recommend that your starting line includes the less flashy or shiny aspects of Social. Yes, the “boring stuff” like: establishing guidelines, training employees about your expectations concerning their Social Media usage, having an Engagement Playbook (if that’s part of your plan), and including Social into your PR readiness plan. Don’t forget to get Legal’s blessing. In fact, making Legal part of your strategic team from the get-go can go a long way. Remember, even if your company decides not to actively participate in Social, your employees already do. Giving your team a clear framework on your expectations is a sound foundational move. It may seem a bit boring and old fashioned today but will quite possibly save your organization from flashy and decidedly non-boring (read: costly) future snafus tomorrow.
In my next post, I’ll dive into the components of Social Maturity and give you some ideas on how to leverage your current maturity as a call to action. Until then, feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions for future posts (I’d love to hear from you!). If you’d like to know more about how CoreMatrix can help your company become a Social Enterprise, make the most of their current Cloud investment, or move to the next level in the Cloud, Contact Us today!
Jennifer Phillips (@CRMjen) is our Social Enterprise Discipline lead. She is a Salesforce.com Certified Administrator, Service and Sales Cloud Consultant. She’s also a Salesforce.com MVP, the Orlando Salesforce.com User Group leader and an SCRM Certified Professional. In her spare time, she’s an avid cupcake enthusiast.