To make it easier to start thinking more about social business, here are four steps that can help ease a company’s transition from being social media users to a full social business.
1. Put people first – not tools
Social media may still have a somewhat intimidating air of the unknown about it for some businesses. It’s important not to forget the fundamental element is in the word “social”: communication and forging relationships is the key - something that any successful business should already be familiar with.
2. Evaluate the structure of your organisation
An evaluation of how the company is structured for social media use is a good starting point. While social business offer cross-silo communication and collaboration, issues may remain over the “ownership” or “control” of the channels. In practical terms, the technology should be owned and maintained by IT, but departments should own their own processes. However these processes should be standardised across the business as a whole to ensure best practice and maximum return from social media.
3. Start small and build momentum naturally
The scalability of social business is one of its best assets. Running pilot schemes allows flexibility and opportunity for tools and practices to be evaluated properly. Internal early adopters turned evangelists will be able to demonstrate the real value of social business to colleagues.
4. Educate your workforce
Applying social business will come naturally to some, but for many the change in process and practice may be overwhelming. Social business requires a change in company culture as much as it does technology, and so guidance and education is important to ensure successful, company-wide adoption. Use evangelists to energise the company and demonstrate the benefits of social business to encourage word-of-mouth to spread the message, but dedicated training is a worthwhile investment to ensure a consistent adoption across the board.