As social media matures, so too do its related expectations. We’re in the midst right now of a transition from social media to social business. Sure, we’ve all been searching for the ROI associated with our Facebook and Twitter endeavors for a few years now, but what we’re really starting to see is a fundamental shift in the way social media fits within a company.
Back in my music business days, the Internet guys (or should I say – guy) were the last ones consulted on what to do with a new artist. Today they lead the conversation. As do the respective leaders in film, television, and publishing. Businesses outside of entertainment are quickly gaining traction in that area too as digital becomes core to the launch of any new product from all aspects including market research and product development.
Digital and social media find themselves at the center of a business’ strategy and not the add-on. Thus the transition from social media to social business. These days, when we get called in to talk about social media with a brand, for the most part they already have a significant presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest. The conversations have become far less about how can we help you get to a million fans on Facebook and more about how can we turn those virtual fans into even bigger fans of the brand. And let’s cut to the chase – we want those fans to buy more and tell others to buy more.
A social business strategy is more complex than a social media strategy. It involves multiple divisions of a company and it involves buy-in from the senior level. All you have to do is look at what Walmart and American Express are doing to understand that social is quickly becoming a core part of some of the biggest companies in the world.
A social business strategy is essentially a collection of strategies that work together to ultimately drive loyalty and sales. This includes:
I could go on, but any more and you’ll start getting dizzy and ask yourself how on earth you could ever get all of that done. The point is that everything I stated above is meant to drive more business your way. It asks you to take a good look at what you are doing and whether you have the right process in place to make this work. Again, this is for your business, not for bragging rights.