This session at ARMA Canada 2013 described the importance of conducting a social business assessment and provided specific information to gather as part of the assessment. More detailed questions
This session at ARMA Canada 2013 described the importance of conducting a social business assessment and provided specific information to gather as part of the assessment. More detailed questions available in many of the slides as notes.
Assessments need to be done on an ongoing basis. Consider that a highly social organization in early 2007 would have focused on Friendster and Myspace, would have no presence on Facebook, and might not even know that Twitter existed. And it wouldn’t have had to worry about Google Plus, Pinterest, or Foursquare because none of them existed yet. Nor would it have felt concerns about employees’ use of mobile devices to interact with these tools because the original iPhone had yet to be released.
Ask users using various mechanismsUse the tools – search for users or organizations or productsBuilt-in analytics
Once the gap analysis is complete the organization can then update its strategy based on its findings and start to put into place the roadmap that will address the issues identified. If the organization doesn’t have a strategy this would be the time to develop it, again with the intent that it be practical, actionable, and realistic. So if the team determines that a key part of its social outreach is to engage on Facebook, the roadmap might include some of the following activities:~Set up Facebook Pages focused on particular communities and conversationsBuild interactivity into pages to get some specific and relevant behavior from people that visit the PagePromote the page through the organization’s various communications channels and to its various constituenciesReview or develop governance framework elements to ensure that risks are identified and understoodIdentify and develop the roles required to interact with Facebook and the community thereSet up alerts to quickly identify potential issues such as negative feedback or requests for assistanceAnd so forth.
Here are some of the questions to help identify whether there is a current social business strategy, and if so, what it looks like. Who are the stakeholders for this initiative?Do the stakeholders use social tools? Which ones?What are the goals and objectives of this initiative?Which ones should be prioritized?What use cases do you expect to be included in this initiative?What are competitor organizations doing in the social media space?Are they successful?Is the organization focused on internally facing technologies, externally facing technologies, or both?Who are the target audiences for externally facing social technologies?Who are the target audiences for internally facing social technologies?Where are the target audiences? (what tools are they on besides the obvious ones)
Here are some questions to ask regarding social business technologies. Note that for each tool or site there is a logical followup: How is it intended to be used, and how is it being used?Does the organization have a formal presence on commercial social media sites?If so, for each social media site please describe its purpose and how it is used. Has the organization officially implemented any externally facing social technologies? If so, for each please identify and describe how they are used. Has the organization officially implemented any internal social technologies?If so, for each please identify and describe how they are used. Are there any unofficial implementations of social technologies?If so, for each please identify and describe how they are used. What social technologies are of interest but not being used? Why?
Here are some questions to ask regarding use of externally-focused sites and communities including unsanctioned ones. Does the organization have any unofficial presences on commercial social media sites?If so, does the organization own or control these unofficial presences (for example, run by an employee)Are there any uncontrolled unofficial presences on commercial social media sites?Are there any undesired unofficial presences (parody, complaint, etc.) on commercial social media sites?Who are the influencers for a given commercial social media site and page (e.g. on your Facebook page or interacting with your account on Twitter)?Where are the interesting conversations happening?Is there a plan or calendar that describes minimum frequency of desired updates to various commercial sites?
The internal cultural assessment is very important because if the culture doesn’t support social media and the underlying ways in which it tends to change the organization it will be very difficult for any initiative to succeed. Just because the organization has set up a Facebook Page or Twitter account doesn’t mean that it’s being used, or the culture supports it, or that management buys into it – just look at all the accounts out there that post maybe every other month. ~Here, then, are some questions to ask about internal culture generally and the ways in which it might impact a social business initiative:Does the organization foster an environment of collaboration and sharing?Is the organization open and transparent?Are employees encouraged to submit suggestions, ideas, etc.?Is there a formal incentive program that rewards innovation?Does the organization restrict access to any social media sites?If so, which ones? What are the stated reasons for doing so?Do these restrictions apply to all employees?Are employees empowered to make routine decisions without approval from management?Are employees aware of existing official social media usage? How is this communicated?What is management’s impression of social business?Has management committed to provide resources for the initiative?Has management committed to provide visible support for the initiative?Has the organization identified champions for the initiative?Has the organization identified early adopters for the initiative?
Here are some questions to ask in evaluating social business processes or social tool-enabled processes such as innovation/R&D, customer service, sales support, etc. Do any processes already make use of social technologies? What technologies are being used?How are they being used?What processes are included in the initiative?Is the process documented?How well does the process work today?What are the inputs to the process?What tools or applications are used in the process today?What are the outputs from the process?Are the outputs used by anyone else? How?
And the last, but certainly not least, area to assess is governance. Here are some governance-related questions to ask. Is there a social media policy in place for employees?Is the policy applicable to the entire organization?Are employees trained on the policy as part of the hiring process?Are employees trained on the policy when it is updated?Are employees trained on the policy at least once a year?Are training materials available that describe what social media tools are and how the organization is using them or expects to use them?Does external social content require approval prior to publication? By whom?Are there employees with dedicated roles in social media, e.g. community manager?Have relevant policies been updated to address discovery and disclosure of social media?Is there a plan or policy in place to ensure that internal tools are updated and maintained?The responses gathered from all of these questions will be extraordinarily valuable in customizing the roadmap to the organization and informing and determining the social business strategy, goals, and objectives.