Social Media

Social is here – Where's the ROI?


Social Media Best Practices for SMBs

Social media, a disruptive phenomenon, has the potential to engage communities and drive business growth. Social media promises to accelerate innovation, drive cost-savings and strengthen brands through mass collaboration. How will you phase your organization into social technologies? Where's the business value?


Through 2015, 80% of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology.

Key Challenges in Social Media

Social media forces you to wrestle with three key strategic and operational challenges:

  • Business Case:

    You intend to leverage social media to drive business growth, improve your business processes and drive innovation. Is it clear how you will create business value?

  • Social Collaboration:

    You need to tap into your collective social networks and glean insight from emerging digital communities to help drive product innovation. What competitive advantages will you gain by tapping into the power of the masses?

  • Technology Management:

    IT must support new requirements for content, collaboration and analytics. One size no longer fits all. Are you prepared to handle multiple user interaction styles and needs?

Business Case

You need to strengthen your customer relationships and share ideas with your customers, prospects, suppliers and partners. You also need to drive more workforce effectiveness and enhance your customer productivity. What are your business reasons to justify investment in social media? Is your vision clear?

  • Strategy: What are the most relevant social use cases for your organization? How will you assess and prioritize initiatives for readiness and maturity? Are your social media objectives tightly aligned with business and IT?
  • Governance: How should you govern social media participation? What policies must you consider to reinforce your social media strategy? Are you prepared to monitor conversations, and what will you do with the feedback?
  • Enterprise Change Management: What cultural and behavioral changes does your organization require? What business and technical skills do you need to support social collaboration? What level of transparency is required?

Social Collaboration

You need to take advantage of the collective intelligence and behaviors enabled by social technologies. Are you ready to move beyond community creation and link in your marketing, sales, IT, customer service, HR and other business functions?

  • Mass Collaboration: How will you create an effective mass collaboration environment? Which collaboration behaviors should you monitor, and why? Should you explore peer-to-peer support?
  • Community Engagement: How should you engage communities to float new product ideas and testing? How will you take advantage of actionable insight from your social networks? How will you integrate customer service channels — Web chat, email response management and virtual assistants — into your social Web communities?
  • Crowdsourcing: Should you explore crowdsourcing to help solve business problems? What are the risks? Will it really help your loyalty programs?
  • Technology Management

    IT must integrate social initiatives with enterprise content and applications. Are you prepared to introduce social media and collaboration into business workflow? What emerging trends and technologies must you consider?

    Your digital infrastructure must support growing user demands for social access to new mobile, tablet and composite devices.

    • Social Analytics: What tools does the business need to analyze, filter or search artifacts of social interactions and other content, and to enable discovery? How does the business want to monitor collaboration usage and performance? How will you help analyze customer demand and ideas and turn that into lead generation and new revenue? Should you explore predictive analytics and sentiment analytics?
    • Social Platform Selection: By 2013, spending on social software, marketing and customer service processes will exceed $1 billion worldwide. What types of vendors should you assess to enable social interactions, conversations and collaboration within your existing business processes? Should you consider SaaS solutions? Which cloud platforms should you leverage? What about security?
    • Digital Content Management: You need a robust content management system for a new array of digital content assets. How will IT help organize, share, leverage and use all of the new structured and unstructured data created by social media? How will IT handle increased use of multimedia content and data from the Internet? Should you consider content pooling?

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