Every day, consumers are exposed and are participating in a variety of fan pages, corporate and employee Twitter accounts, social contests, and branded viral campaigns. Openly and voluntarily, social media users share votes, post videos, link friends to social comments, and opt-in to gain more information about products and services via social media and e-newsletters.
It’s no surprise that businesses are adapting their current business strategies to adopt social media practices. Businesses are no longer using strictly traditional channels to interact with their employees and consumers. Rather, most companies, if not all, are using social media to have conversations with customers, business partners, stakeholders, employees, and more. This high level of social interaction between consumers, brands, and employees exemplifies the need to formulate open lines of communication, provide better on-demand customer assistance, and allow for friendly yet informative discussions.
In order for businesses to progress in The Social Movement, they must adopt social channels and utilize social conversations to build a loyal fan base, create evangelists, streamline communication, provide better customer service, and most importantly, increase sales and maintain a positive reputation.
According to Ben Foster, Vice President and Digital Strategist of Ketchum, “a Social Business is a long-term strategy that will have many phases and iterations.” Keeping this in mind, panelists from Ketchum, Zcalo Group, Allstate, and Motorola Mobility of Social Media Week Chicago recommend some important steps for leveraging social business strategies.
Ways to Leverage Social Business Strategies
1. Executive Buy-In: It’s important to gain approval and support from the executive team. Without this, you have no base to stand on.
2. Align with Business Objectives: Keep your social goals, strategies, tone, and objectives in line with the company’s overall vision.
3. Have Clear Objectives: Foster indicates that “in order to be successful, companies must ensure they have clear business objectives so that social technologies provide value and aren’t treated as a Cure Chasing a Disease. Once clear objectives are defined and adopted by top leadership, it becomes much easier to set employee social communication guidelines and outline the path to a social business.” Keep this in mind when planning your company’s objectives.
4. Social Playbook: Most of us have played a team sport, and understand what a playbook is. Practice this in your social business strategies as well.
5. Educate, Train, and Reinforce: Salesmen can’t be great salesmen unless they understand the product, know how to sell it, and are constantly improving their method. Take these principles and apply them to social media. Do your homework, walk the talk, and constantly adapt to fit the needs of your consumers.
6. And last but not lease… centralize and collaborate.
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