Only 34% of businesses felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes and just 28% felt that they had a holistic approach to social media, where lines of business and business functions work together under a common vision. (Source: The Evolution of Social Business Six Stages of Social Media Transformation)
Charlene and I found that only 34% of businesses felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes and just 28% felt that they had a holistic approach to social media, where lines of business and business functions work together under a common vision. A mere 12% were confident they had a plan that looked beyond the next year. And, perhaps most astonishing was that only one half of companies surveyed said that top executives were “informed, engaged and aligned with their companies’ social strategy.”
In the early days of social media, emergent networks changed how people connect to one another and the information that’s important to them. With each update, shared experience, and event, the world shrank. People were (and are) becoming increasingly connected and as a result they are more informed.
With information and connectedness comes the reality of increased customer expectations. Value, engagement, entertainment, personalization, people must takeaway something meaningful from the exchange otherwise there can be no relationship. A relationship is after all a mutual exchange where all parties believe that connectedness is beneficial.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and every network thereafter are merely communities, ecosystems, and platforms where information is exchanged and relationships are formed and abandoned. How you make the case for engagement and how to deliver or extract value isn’t directly tied to the nature of the environment as much as it is the facilitator of the way and the weight that value is defined, expressed, and measured.
If we’re not providing solutions we may in fact be contributing to the problem. See, social technology isn’t the answer; it’s part of the answer. Yet many social media enthusiasts are often caught up in a socialized ecosystem of catch-up and that’s part of the challenge and the test. There’s always going to be a new network or another shiny object. There are always new case studies or expert theories flooding blogs, conferences, and books.
A New Way to Think About Social Media
Again, the best advice I can give you is to stop talking about social media as a means to an end and start thinking about how social media becomes a means toward triggering meaningful activities or outcomes that align with business priorities or objectives and customer expectations.
This is the time to get back to basics. This is the time to take a step back.
Social media is not the crux of you argument. It is an enabler. This is your opportunity to lift the conversation from tools to value and to translate the promise and opportunity of social into an emissary of meaningful engagement that aligns business goal, social media strategies and customer value.
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