Last month I blogged about "Ten Questions: A B2B Online Community Readiness Checklist" to identify the key elements for successful social business programs. I was very pleased to learn these ideas touched readers far and wide as they struggled to develop social business strategies for their organizations. To help address these issues I am excited to announce a new research study that will help companies understand the strategic trends in social business strategy and identify the best practices.
Truthfully, many organizations stumble into social business activities, if not by accident, certainly without a well-defined context or strategy. These firms commonly begin by picking tools and starting a social media marketing campaign before considering the long-term implications. A marketing effort may succeed at driving traffic to a web site or blog, but customer issues and opportunities are overlooked or ignored, and thus fail to be integrated into core business processes.
In other cases, staff is issued a social media or social business charter, but don't have the skills to execute it successfully. Then there are companies which forge ahead into social business experiments without policies to govern best practice. All of these are common pitfalls with a disorganized social business approach. Such disorganization may run against the grain of business best practice, but many companies end up in this position and make excuses such as "social media activities are so fast-moving." Not so fast!
There are significant costs and risks to core business activities and values when customer-facing initiatives are conducted without a strategic plan, appropriate tactical execution and oversight. This might have happened a few years ago during social business' experimental phase, but now high-performance firms have made social business a part of the overall business strategy, necessitating close alignment between social initiatives and core operations.
Today, a small but growing number of companies are using social tools and strategies to build a whole new mechanism for helping customers get more value from the firm's products and services. These new approaches enable better new product and service development, more effective marketing and selling through educational content as opposed to promotional messages, better after-sale service and support and more control over what the market says about the company and its offerings.
So ... do you wonder how well your organization is handling these social business challenges? Never fear, SNCR is here! The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), a nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank focused on the latest developments in new media and communications, is launching a brand-new research study, the "Social Business Benchmark ™ Program," led by yours truly, SNCR Board Director and Research Co-Chair Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks.
Participating organizations will gain new insights into their social business activities and risks. The Social Business Benchmark ™ Program also offers new information on social business trends, strategic social intentions, operations, staffing, policy and governance structures, organizational readiness plus selection and use of social tools.
All you need do to get started is participate! We encourage and invite you, and those within your organization, to begin by taking this brief survey.
Findings will be shared with participants in Winter 2012. Thank you for supporting this initiative. Please take the survey and share it with your colleagues. The opportunity is yours for the taking!